Paid Forward

Dear Grace has paid it forward, and I am working on the items for my recipients.  (Don’t look for your packages before the holidays though, okay?!)

Missing from the photo is the tiny, sweet-smelling tea light I didn’t find when I ripped into the package while the Knight was showering so we could go pick up Gretchen.  I never did find it in the box, but the taller dog at our house (hem, hem) found it…  Luckily, “leave it” is the one command Sissy performs without fail, so there’s not so much as a tooth mark on it.

What you do see is the bee tea cozy, which is so very special because Grace and I both have an affinity of sorts for bumble bees.  It will also be my cold-weather cozy, because it’s nice and thick and will make my teapot wish it had the ability to snuggle into the walls of the “hive”.  There’s also a tea wallet, complete with a Grace-picked assortment of tea bags, and it went immediately into my handbag, so that I’m never without tea.  A pretty post card and a box of tea are rather hidden, and then you see the cloth the Knight has made his own, and the very special yarn.

Grace’s own knight, aka: Master Blocker, dyed that.  He might have to become known as MBD, as it seems he’s a rather accomplished dyer too.  It looks very much like what we see out of any window in our little house in the woods right now.  I love a very vibrant, red fall, but the colors are rather muted again this year.  Still, it’s a lovely work of art every day.

Thank you, Grace (and Master Blocker), for a very thoughtful, special package! 

 

Here’s another special delivery.  Nichole sent goodies for all the gals in our house.  The pretty raspberry wad in the rear is a shirt for me, and the girls got birthday and new arrival treats from Nic’s local pet bakery.   Gretchen just had her very first puppy treat yesterday, so we saved these for tonight, and they’ll share Gretchen’s little pupcake.  Then, we’ll let Sis have her birthday “cake” over the next few days, while passing Gretchen a bit of puppy biscuit or something.  Thank you Nic and gang, for honoring a special time at our house with unique treats we sure can’t get around here!

Here’s your gratuitous puppy shot for the day.  Sissy really does mother the daylights out of Gretchen, when they’re not playing too rough and getting in trouble!

Wishing you a happy Tuesday.  We’re having a rather cool, blustery day, but I know some of you have snow…

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Pay It Forward Again

There are some things worth doing over and over and over…  Pay It Forward is one of ’em! 

Grace has started another round of PiF.  If you weren’t involved in the first one, here’s how it works as per Grace’s post:

“It’s based on this movie with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey in it called ‘Pay It Forward’. With all of the things happening to me these days, I thought it was exactly what I needed, something entirely positive.
How many of you out there have had a chance to watch it? I myself have not. So I guess I need to do so. But anyway this is what the PIF Exchange is all about……(Copied from Jen W’s blog, which was copied from
Pony Knitsblog which was copied from…..you get the picture—the links don’t necessarily work the whole post was copied from last year ) “Here is how it works! I’ll send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange! I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week…LOL… but you will receive it within 365 days, that’s a promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog…”So the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog, I can’t wait to see who you are! I have some great treats in store for you all, just you wait and see!”
Now…  I do have a couple of disclaimers of my own to toss in.  While I adore the three ladies I “paid” in the last round, I am going to ask them NOT to sign up here.  I’ve gotten to know them rather well, and knitting for each of them truly enhanced our budding friendships, so I’d like to think that will happen with three new folks this year.  Also, I’m quite sure I won’t get to your PiF items until the start of 2009, because I’m trying to be realistic!
Also, a little clarification.  Pay it Forward was a book first, then a movie, and now, a foundation.  It’s a great concept, that one person can indeed affect change.  Long before Ms. Hyde’s book, I’d started using a line I’d heard someone else use.  “Oh, don’t worry about it.  Just do something nice for someone else someday.”  Random Acts of Kindness is another book based on similar concepts. 
Here’s where I confess that I’ve not read these books nor watched any movies of the sort.  However, I’m a philosophy student, and nearly ever culture, every age, every belief system I’ve studied, has had their own version of such.  The Day Crew captain at our firehouse sums it up nicely – Be Nice.  That’s his mantra, and the rule by which he runs his crew. 
I’m tempted to pontificate on that…  Being nice doesn’t mean being a doormat, but I think I’ll leave it at that.    😉

Can You Spot the Difference?

 

I hate those photos… I rarely find all of the differences.  At any rate, I just want to know if you can see a difference between the boucle and the regular yarn in the Omega Wrap.

The Knight and I decided last night that I need several rows of the boucle for it to show up as different.  Can you even tell?!  I only care because I don’t enjoy knitting with the boucle, and if it’s wasted effort…  Sigh. 

In happier news, two packages were on the porch.   One was from Amazon, Wrap Style.  I did order the book, and I want it, but I’m eagerly awaiting my Knitpicks order and ANOTHER book.  The good news is that while I wait another day or two for that book, I can finish up my Omega Wrap and be ready to start the Bigfoot Shawl right away!

My package from The Loopy Ewe  also arrived today.  I scored some of the Malabrigo laceweight, and I got some of the kid mohair to try another Dog Paw scarf with the suggested material.  There’s also more Soak and some kitchner dog tags, for the day when my fickle needles return to socks.

(Wanted:  a good excuse to cast on with the Malabrigo, like I don’t have enough projects in my queue already.)

In other happy news, a couple of my parcels from Wednesday’s big ship-out have found their marks.  Amy got her Pay it Forward gift, and seems pleased.  I knew she’d love the colorway, but I’m delighted that the whole shawl suits her!  Nichole also got her wrap, and was even more delighted than I anticipated.  So, my Pay it Forward knitting is done, but I’ve enjoyed it enough that I intend to continue to surprise my friends when I find a pattern and/or a yarn that calls out to them, as was the case with the modified Dog Paw scarf I sent to Michelle

We now return to the knitting already in progress.  Let the weekend begin!  I do believe my weekend holds some fun and hopefully, an FO, so come back soon!

One Paid

I know how the Pay it Forward concept is supposed to work, but I assure you, giving Wendy the first of my PiF projects in person surely paid off in spades for me.  Some of you know how much I fretted over picking the right project and the right yarn, but it seems I did just fine!  I’ll let Wendy share the photos of herself on her blog, but here it is, my first shawl!

It’s hard to get a decent shot of a big ol’ shawl!  I was happily surprised at how much it “grew” between the first wash (Tofutsies “blooms” when washed) and my low-maintenance steam iron version of blocking.  That was another concern; Wendy’s a busy woman, and I didn’t want to gift her an item that would require a lot of maintenance.  She wanted a wrap for work, and that means elementary school classroom safe, so Tofutsies was a great fit!

That’s a decent shot of the colorway.  It’s a numbered colorway #798, but Tofutsies is backtracking and naming all of their colorways now!  Done on size #5 Knitpick Options, which was a lifesaver, as dear Sissy chomped the cord but nothing was lost.  It’s the Argosy Wrap, but if you check out her blog, there are several other Argosys (-gosies?) to try.  I loved this pattern!  It was just what the doctor ordered for Sissy’s first knitting project.  No chart needed; I could drop it and take the puppy out in an instant without incident.  It used almost exactly 1.5 skeins, and Wendy insists it “fits” perfectly.

I got a gift too!  Wendy remembered that I loved polka dots, so I was happy just looking at the little bag.  Inside, there was a pretty cloth and some yummy teas to try.  Thank you Wendy, for everything!

We had a blast, once our dear waitress realized that we weren’t going to order rapidly.  We started with lunch at The Lazy Parrot Grill, and after gabbing and enjoying our lunch, we headed to Stony Mountain Fibers.   We went one farm too far and landed on a mohair-producing place, where the nice neighbor sent us back to the right spot.  Unfortunately, the owner was out on a quick errand, and we waited as long as we could before heading to stop #2.  We did peek through the window, and the Tofutsies at the door sure got my attention.  Maybe another day…

Next, we hit The Needle Lady, where we had more success.  We fondled lots and LOTS of yarn, and I was sorry to hear that the Helen’s Lace I went after wasn’t represented at all, but I still managed to leave with some lovelies.

On the left is some lucious silky-soft bamboo lace yarn.  It wasn’t just an impulse buy; I actually bought it with a project in mind, but that’s all I’m saying.  In the center was a very selfish purchase.  I simply adore Misty Mountain yarns, and one called “Alpaca Delight” in a colorway called “Virginia Creeper” just had to come home with me.  Lace ladies, start giving me ideas for my little 500 yds. of was it dyed for me yarn!  There was another skein in the same dye lot even, but it really seemed to lack that deep rose color I really adore, so I called myself practical and left it in the store.  The little tape measure reminded me too much of my white and brown dogs at home, so…  I think I have a tape measure addiction in the works.

Now, to reward your patience, I’ll share with those of you who made it this far the shot Wendy took with my camera of the two of us.  We kept asking each other to remind the other to take photos, but short of a few shots of Wendy modeling her new shawl in the parking lot at dusk, the photos of the two of us (she’ll have one on her camera too) are it!

After The Needle Lady, we did try to go to It’s a Stitch.  Unfortunately, they closed at 4pm, not the 5pm I thought.  However, we each spotted some yarn in the window we wanted by The Purled Llama.  I’ll be swinging in next time I’m on that side of town…  I think that makes the yarn crawl a bust, but that’s okay.  We had lots of time to talk, and talk, and Wendy even got to sneak a peek at my current secret project!  We’re plotting more get-togethers in the near future…

Plans

I can’t show you any knitting yet, but I’ve got plans.  Today’s been a good day for knitting plans.  I have a blues busting buddy planned for my Hot Cocoa Swap downstream.  I have plans for all of my PiF projects.  I have yarn selected for Megan’s hat.  (Well, Sissy selected it, but anyway…) 

Now, I need your help.  There’s a baby shower in the Knight’s family in a few weeks.  I can’t do a blanket, because I didn’t do a blanket for the cousin (I wasn’t knitting then, but if you have inlaws like mine, you understand).  Booties will be outgrown quickly, so what else can I do quickly that will have more than a few weeks of use?  I also have a baby blanket to knit for a good friend, but she’s due April 15th, and we decided tonight that 4-4-08 is a really “cute” birthday, so either way, I have plenty of time to pull of the blanket I admire most off for a special, first-time mom.  I need your help here too.  What’s the best yarn to use?  I’ve always used acrylic, but I read a good article the other day about wool not being flammable, so now that’s on my firefighting mind…  This is a mom to be up to handwashing, if that matters.

Shhh…  don’t wake *MY* baby. 

 

Oh – and don’t forget to swing in and check out Michelle’s random contest!

Buttonaire

Firstly, I’d like to thank Becka and her friend for creating Pay It Forward buttons. I think she alerted a lot of us, but if you don’t have one, slip over to her blog and pick out the version of your choice. If you’re not familiar with Pay It Forward, see here.
Then, there are all of the things I’ve signed up for but failed to advertise.

This one really bothers me, because it is my favorite sock book, but I’ve yet to actually knit a pair from it. I thought I was going to for my Sock it pal, but you know that story.

I’m ChanKnits there. Don’t look for anything too exciting there. This place – the blog – gets my free time, and Ravelry is a work in progress for me. That being said, I love seeing what’s in your queue and searching for different projects/yarns!

Thanks too to all of you who have admired the Monkey. You know what? There’s a reason popular patterns are just that. Easy enough but not boring, and great results. However, I gotta’ tell you… I’m getting comfortable enough that I’m ready to head toe-up and avoid the heel flap for socks knitted for me. It’s fun figuring out what I like and what fits best.

Name Game and More

My dear Anne is having a contest regarding her first pattern. I’m going to re-arrange my knitting agenda for the long weekend and whip out a cloth, because I love the research and curiousity that were behind the pattern and the contest. I have some names in mind too, and given a recent email among several friends, I’m shocked some of us aren’t banned from participating! 😉

Also, Amy still has a spot or two on her Pay it Forward list. I’m looking forward to knitting a surprise for her, and for Wendy and Nichole. More motivation to keep my swapping in check, so I can “spoil” my friends as they so richly deserve.

My skinny, short sock has a home! The always kind Amanda will finally have her own pair of hand-knitted socks. I am honored to make them for her, and I’m delighted that the pretty pattern and colorway will have a happy home.