Sock and Swap News

Well, Camille got her Sock it to Me package, and unless she is so sick she’s delusional, she seems to really like them. Hooray! It seems yet again I stressed over socks for a stranger unnecessarily. Whew!

Via email, Adrienne, my Sockza pal, let me know that my socks are world travelers now. Not only did the fly from Virginia to England, but they biked around Europe with her this summer. That should calm my socks for strangers fears, but, erm… no. I’m glad my sock swaps were successful, but I’ll not be signing up for more.

My tea swap package is still out there, looking for its home. Perhaps today? I’m eager to see if my pal is as pleased with it as I was when I assembled it.

However, I’m not sitting idly waiting on my packages. (I’ve lost track of what is on the way to me – things I’ve ordered and swapperly goodness.) My dearest mother inlaw brought me some chocolate mint tea from her cruise! OH. MY. GOODNESS. It smells like a peppermint patty. Add hot water, steep, and a dash of sweetener, and you have a cup of liquid happiness. It’s in a cute little wooden box. It’s the same brand she found on another adventure this summer, but that raspberry tea wasn’t as impressive as this. Of course, I can’t find it locally, and only in a couple of spots online. Figures. Still, I count myself blessed to have such a thoughtful mother inlaw, and I even politely offered her a cuppa’ too. We’ve also decided we need an electric kettle and a teapot for the office now.

Uptown Girl!

My good pal fortune continues. In Sock it to Me, a very light-hearted “Tink” had been emailing regularly. She sent me the mother lode of teaser packages early in the swap, proving that she’d read my questionnaire and then some, and really making me curious. From that package, I knew we shared a Loopy passion, and yet again, I tried to guess my pal’s identity. I was dead wrong, of course, and do hereby renounce future hunches! Thanks Ana, although I do feel guilty that it seems knitting socks for me led you to call your blog the Frog Pond.

So, feast your eyes on my Uptown Boot Socks in Cherry Tree Hill, in Cherry. They fit like a dream, and feel like a cloud. I love red, but I’ll be on the lookout for more red tops now, so I have every excuse to wear these socks very regularly. (Yes folks, my feet are that short. Lucky Ana, huh?) Oh, and don’t tell the Knight, but I’ll need another pair of clogs too, because my favorites are brown and a multi-colored felt, and these want a navy and/or black pair.
Even though she’d already sent goodies above and beyond expectations, the awesome Ana sent more. How ’bout that Scout’s Swag yarn in “secret colorway”?! I love it! The Godiva is resting up for its big moment, after dinner. I’ll have to put both dogs outside, because they can’t have chocolate – like I’d share. (I mean, I guess I could, but you’re not here, so it’s all theory and conjecture anyway.) The cute yellow thingee is the result of an especially strange question Ana asked a couple of weeks ago. Out of the blue, she emails me and lists a very odd assortment of animals and asks which would be my favorite. (No, dogs weren’t on the list, nor were horses. Go figure.) It’s “Kooly the Koala” a kritter craft case. He’s already holding the notions I use the most – my chibi, measure tape, scissors, etc. Isn’t he cute?!
Thank you, Ana. And thanks AJ, for hosting a fun sock swap. It’s always a little bittersweet when a swap winds down, but I still have three in the works, so I should get back to knitting. Tomorrow? Knitting and shopping. I hope to mail my Vegan Pal 2 swap out next week, and then, you still won’t get to see the pictures of the secret project!

No More Monkeyn’ Around

With a nod to my Knitter’s Knight for the photo, here are the Monkeys. Done. They are a titch big on me, so I hope that means they’ll fit with the negative ease my Sock it to Me pal says she likes. I don’t mind pooling, so I hope she doesn’t either. Sorry for the blindingly white legs, but that’s what I have. They brighten up the photo anyway.
The stats: Knitpicks Memories, in the Red Hat colorway. Size 2.5mm/#1.5 dpns, the bamboo Addis. Only a few yards left over. Each size 9 sock took nearly a whole ball. I enjoyed the Monkey pattern, but have decided that for me, toe-up, short-row heels fit better. (But hey! These aren’t for me…)
So, the socks and their pals will hit the road tomorrow, along with my tea pal’s package, and my portion Jessi’s prizes for winning the bingo game. Congrats again girl!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s past my bedtime.

Sweet Cherry Bag

Can you see the cute little cherries on the ribbon? Squee! I hope my pal will enjoy that little touch. The package is ready to ship out tomorrow, save a note and some tissue paper. But let me tell you, CotLin is the only linen of any blended sort for me. Sigh. It slides on through, comparable to any of the ” – & dairy product” cottons, and I bet one wash would find it snuggly soft. I see a fitted item for me in this very color, maybe, next spring. Try it for the extra-special cloths you might be giving as gifts, or treat yourself; you deserve it! I am amazed at how it costs less and feels worlds better, but don’t take my word for it. Order some and try it for yourself.
In case you missed it the first time, this is Amanda’s “Mandy’s Candy Bag” pattern. You can also find it on Ravelry.
So, a little accountability check here. Tea swap – ready to ship out tomorrow. Sock it to Me – half way there on the socks, some shopping left to do, and really should ship by next Saturday to arrive before October 5th. Vegan swap – Do thoughts count? I’ve thought a lot about what to get my friendly pal, and I do have some yarn for her, and it needs to ship before October 15th. SP11 – Package #1 shipped out earlier this week. I already have one item for the final package, and have “commissioned” something for her with one of my truly artistic/crafty friends, to be a Halloween themed package. Should ship before the 15th too. My Felted Bag package has a personal deadline which the pal should be able to guess, but I think I’ve already told you I’m not talking about that swap here, right? 😉
Whew. Wow. I’m shocked. After Monkey #2, which should be done within the next week, I will have time to cast on for the Knight’s birthday (or Christmas if I miss the first deadline) surprise, my felted bag pal’s bag, finish my Summer Daze Tofutsies, and begin holiday knitting. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train!
Now, to cast on for that #2.

Monkey Pooled

Sock it to Me pal, we’re halfway there. It’s a terrible photo, but there it is. It is too big for my sock blocker, which means your foot size is average or better. I will block them when both socks are done, which I hope will improve the presentation. The pooling doesn’t bother me, so I hope you’ll appreciate it as the way the yarn flows too. (Funny thing about pooling – hate it or accept is as part of the art?) However, I am crazy about the pattern. I now understand why Cookie A patterns are favorites of sock knitters everywhere.
In other knitting news, the yarn for my tea pal arrived Tuesday. Now, the big decision is whether to cast on for the bag for that package, or the second Monkey? I won’t have much time for either tonight, or Thursday night. Wow. When I talk like that, the weekend is almost here! Any big plans for your weekend?

Let’s Go to Vegas!

Luck is a man. He’s hot, and he’s dancing with me. I wonder if the Knight would like to skip work and scoot to Charlestown? He’s a natural card shark, and Luck is with me.

PHEW. That’s me, breathing a sigh of relief. Amanda got her socks, and they fit! It was a great little pattern, and I’ll be doing it again when ankle socks seem in season. It does my heart good to know that the second pair of socks made for someone else fits. That means that statistically (did I mention before that I love statistics, the math concept?), I should stop fretting over the Monkey socks for my Sock it pal. They fit me, and I wear very “average” socks, and pal says she does too. The wicked Knight suggested I should keep them, but I won’t. With a little luck, by week’s end, both my Sock it pal’s package and my Tea pal’s package will head in their directions.

And speaking of Sock it to Me, guess what?! I hereby renounce my right to pout out loud that I never win anything. Contest #2 simply required me to gush about my favorite yarn. In return, I’ve won gift certificates to here and here! Thank you, thank you!!

There’s really not a lot to report here, but what else to do in the middle of the night when sleep is elusive? Monkey #1 will be done Tuesday evening, and my search continues for just the right things to send with them. I bought the ribbon for my Mandy’s Candy Bag Monday night. Those of you who scrap or sew already know you can buy ribbon with ANYTHING on it, but I was still filled with toddleresque glee when I spotted it. No, you can’t see, but you’ll get a finished object photo soon enough, maybe even in the next day or two!

Froggin, a Monkey, Harmony and a Penguin

Well, after about a dozen false starts, my poor Sock it to Me pal has a sock in progress. Recognize it? Yep. It’s a Monkey. I’m really enjoying the pattern, and the way the Knitpick Memories is working up in it. And yes, those are DPNs you see. Turns out I miss the little buggers when I stay away too long. They’re the Addi 2.50 mm #1s I bought during the Sockza crisis. I like them too, but I think I’ll be buying the lot of the Knitpick Harmony needles. Every size, every style… Seriously.
Guess what?! That color is also as close to accurate as I can get. It’s a fun colorway, and I do hope it will please my pal as much as it is coming to please me. (For those of you serving as my confessors, pause for the SNOL at the irony of that statement. You’ve earned it.)

Of course, I couldn’t stay away from Summer Daze. (More irony; it was in the mid-40s this morning. No Indian summer happening here.) If you click on the photo, you can see my happy, beloved Harmony circs. Honestly, had I ordered a larger size (these are wee 2.25 mm #1s), I think I would carry them around and/or wear them in my hair. They’re that pretty, even with the diminished colorations in the wee needles. I’m not a metal girl anymore. I suspect my tried and true metal KnitPick Options will alway have their purposes (wool?), but these lighter, warm, little works of art have my heart. A couple of reviews on the Tofutsies group have challenged their use with variegated yarns, and I don’t think you can get more colorful than this one, and I had no trouble at all. Now, I will have to set this treasure aside and focus – FOCUS! – on the socks with a deadline.

Friday night, I made an attempt to channel my inner scrapbooker. She wasn’t quick to come out, but she did join hands with my not-so-inner shopper and swipe a couple of baby-related items so I can (get this – multi-crafting!) scrap my photos of the babies and blankies I’ve connected with my gifts this year. She did leap to the front of the bus during this little project. I love to journal in my scrapbooks, so a cute journal box is always a hit. My sweet consultant punched and cut out all of the pieces for each of us, so all we had to do was follow along with the adhesive of choice, but he’s a doll. My stepson likes “pingwings” so it will go somewhere on a page about him.

My September Birthday

So, some of you know better. Either way, humor me. The way I see it, any time I get two boxes addressed to me with knitterly goodness inside, it’s like a birthday. It just so happens that the first parcel was indeed somewhat birthday-related. See, my dear Anners knows I like getting gifts much more often than the calendar suggests, so… I got a nearly on my stepmom’s birthday present. Talk about being worth the wait! The card had me SNOLing (that’s SNorting Out Loud for those of you not in the know – meaning all but um… four of you? who were in on that joke), but I’ll be honest and admit that the world stopped while I gently removed the Malbrigo from the package and cuddled it. Of course, the Maizy in a colorway that had to be designed with me in mind was on top, and that will definitely move the Maizy WAY up on my to be knitted list. (Like, um, next?) There was also a nice linen smelling envelope, which is going to my vehicle in just a few minutes, when I head out for the scrappin’ group for which I am not prepared. (My knitting Mojo seems to have eaten my scrappin’ and stampin’ energies, so I’m hoping just being near other scrapperly activities will awaken those all but gone notions.)
Thank you, Anne. Your daily support is gift enough, for a friendship that is about to span a decade. (Yeah… we met in junior high. That’s my story…) That you could both surprise me and pick the perfect yarns in the perfect colorways is the best gift a girl could get.
But wait! There’s more! My Knitpicks order arrived too. You might be shocked to learn that size 2.25 mm (US #1 in the hard to find version) is not the best size to show you how beautiful the new Harmony needles and tips are, but trust me. (And look hard because you can see green on both tips.) They are lovely, and I will be tossing aside the Quicksilvers at some point this weekend in favor of these little (I mean LITTLE!) works of art. There’s also some of their Memories merino sock yarn in a colorway called Red Hat, which has none of the brightness you see in these photos. I may change my mind and use it as originally intended for my Sock it to Me pal, so stay tuned for some better photos.

Finally, I remembered to add a pair of #7 Bryspuns straights to my stash before checking out at Knitpicks. It’s a happy little box, and is almost enough to send me to the phone to tell my mother inlaw I think I should stay home tonight.
Oh! I also picked up some Lion Brand Organic Cotton today too. Wow. I made Mugsy ride in the back seat so I could pet the yarn on the way back to work. No, no. He rides in the back seat all the time, because of the airbags. I’ve seen them break noses and fingers on adult humans, so what would they do to my puppers? Plus, lunch was up front, so really, I didn’t drive through town petting yarn. Honest. (And Mugsy didn’t snort the yarn either.)
Mugsy would come to my defense, but he’s zonked out. We had a rather unplanned visit to the vet this morning. The old boy’s allergies have moved to a new level, so children’s grape Benedryl won’t do anymore. Another allergy med from the people pharmacy, an eye salve for his poor, red eyes, ear drops (the Knight administers those; he and Fred developed a rather shake-proof system years ago), and a shampoo that cost more than mine for his itchy skin should get it all back under control. Good grief. He looks pretty cute though, all snoring in the old comforter here in the study. Fred also survived the trauma of being home alone, which is always a minor miracle, so it really is a happy day.
More yarn shopping tomorrow, but note: it is *NOT* stash-building. I have a felted bag pal you know? And birthdays and Christmas, and…

Yarn Shop Therapy

It’s been years since I have knowingly and willfully engaged in retail therapy. However, this morning, I found myself with about 20 minutes to kill before my first chiropractic appointment in about ten years. So, I did the only thing I could think of – I stopped in the nearest LYS and petted some yarn. Lest you think I’m cheap and/or easy, this isn’t all of my haul. You all must pay the price for the inconvenience of having readers I also call friends. 😉
Everyone should recognize the current copy of Interweave Knits. If not, well, make it so. Get your own copy and get to know the best magazine in the industry, in my humble opinion. I’d heard it said that this wasn’t a great issue, but maybe the same apprehension that spawned my fifteen minute spree inspired me to dog ear some dozen pages within… Granted, I think there were only two or three patterns in IK I want to even pretend I want to knit, but there are still articles and ads for so much more.
On the left, we have the answer to my prayers. Erm, well, yeah, that *IS* what it is. It’s also Dulce by The Purled Llama, another almost local company! It’s a superwash merino, and it will start to become my Sock it to Me pal’s socks in just a few moments. Don’t you love it when your LYS listens and responds? I asked for more sock yarn, specifically, central Virginia sock yarns, and here it is. This is a custom colorway called “Moonbeam” and I hope the moon will shine on my efforts to knit up some great socks fast.
On the right, we have Nashua Wooly Stripes Tweed, in Tartan Tweed. I wish I could offer you a link, but it seems the site is under construction. I may have to go pick up the second ball in this colorway, because there are only 88 yards of this soft, beautiful stuff, with which I plan to produce a fall handbag…
I also petted the new Louets chunky wool, which is so soft… Again, I can’t seem to find a link, but I do have 4 hanks on order in a great green, for a “for me” project to be announced later.
Oh, and the new chiro helped a lot and feels certain he can fix me up again, sans surgery. I’m going to celebrate by casting on for the SitM socks!

Dishcloth Square Blocks

Meet Dishcloth Square Blocks. Or at least, that’s what I’m calling him. He’s #2 in what seems to be a weekly series of dishcloth patterns, being designed by Anne. He’s done in Lion Cotton Red, with #7 straight needles, in my very Continental method. You can find the pattern here, but be sure to note the contest rules for both cloths.

And don’t worry. He’s not going to live on the tree. The Knight has already claimed him as his own, and I suspect that before the sun sets, DSB will have been called into action.

I was impressed with the Lion Cotton. It was soft! I’ll have to see if I can’t find some more, since I don’t recall where I picked up this ball, but I do remember that it was the only color they offered…

Now, what next?? You’re not going to get to see Amanda’s socks while she’s on vacation. That just doesn’t feel right. If she was here to taunt – er, make that see them herself – that might be different, but since she’s out in the middle of the ocean enjoying some alone time with her beloved, I think the socks will just quietly head north on Monday, and you can pop over to her blog for a shot of the finished pair. I *NEED* to start on my Sock it to Me pal’s socks, but her yarn won’t be here until next week. I am going to send my pal a little package next week too, but the socks obviously won’t be included. I guess that forces me to figure out what I’m going to knit for my tea swap pal, huh?