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.

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Tibbers Rox

That’s not where the story begins, but I know you want eye candy. There it is. All of that, in the SECOND package from my Sockza pal. (Here for the first.) A book, tea (far left), two bags, handspun, socks, two sets of stitch markers (right front), salsa seasoning mix, sticky notes (love ’em!) and a Spiritual Survival Kit. I don’t think I missed anything, but the details will follow.
Of course, the most important part is my pal’s identity. The very awesome Tibbers Sox as she called herself! Pop over and tell her what an awesome pal and sox knitter she is.

Back already? Okay. Well, I’d assured Tibbers earlier today that the package would be on my porch when I got home. Um, no. And now I know why. The folks at UPS were busy using it for soccer practice, but it got here around 5:15, while I was on hold, trying to get to Garmin’s customer support. (The Knight’s new toy requires a trip back to the factory. Uh-oh…) Can you believe the state of this poor box?! I wish I’d snapped a shot of the one from Yarn Market last week; much the same. Good thing there was nothing breakable in this one. A friend is the evening something manager, and after I blog, I’m calling her. Ridiculous.

That’s the cuteness that I saw when I finally cut my way into the mangled box. She wrapped EACH AND EVERY little thing! On the left is the sox info – Cidermoon HandDyed Yarn, in Seagrass. And isn’t that little kitty cute? No wonder Fred was under my feet as I tried to open said box, all while keeping the cordless handset tucked between my shoulder and ear…

You’ve already seen the group photo, so here’s a very rare thing on this blog – a sock on the model! I figured the occasion warranted a little extra effort. The fit is perfect. The leg – or lack of – is per my request, because I have such weird (BIG) ankles and calves, as compared to the rest of me! If you go by my wrist measurements, I have a small frame, but if you use elbow or ankle measurements, I have a large frame. So which is it!? (Large, of course, because I’m always off the charts on my weight, even when I was as tiny as I wanted to be.) And let’s hear it for yoga; I was able to sling my foot up in said position and then lean the rest of me to the right, all while not upsetting that little wavy hand on my camera! All of this while the thermometer says 94 degrees in the shade, where I was not.
More sox, because – duh? – this is about the socks. I can tell you now that these socks will be worn very regularly, probably beginning in about six weeks. While it seems impossible now, I can’t stand to have cold toes, so when the outdoor temps fall below about 65 degrees (F, obviously), I wear socks. Can’t wait!

Now, a couple of you know I was torn to bits about whether to order the Total Tote (on sale HERE) in lime green or brown, two of my favorite colors. I let my sage mother inlaw convince me that the lime green would show dirt too easily, so after a quick check with the ever-wonderful Tibbers, I went with the brown, which happens to have a lime green POLKADOTTED fabric lining! Still, I was a little sad that practicality won out, that is, until I unwrapped this lovely Lantern Moon tote!! (I’m taking something to knit to work tomorrow, just to show my mother inlaw that God knows I need lime green in my life, right Jessi?! A girl can’t have too many bags!) And yes, I know I need a real life when the big dilema of the day is where to order the tote from, and in which color. I think you’re just jealous. 😉

Last but hardly least is a photo of the SWS bag, which will likely be my winter sock bag, or at least one of ’em. The sweet stitch markers are on there, and if you care to see them, you’ll have to click on the photo and scoootch around, because my camera batteries died about then. You know, I think that bag is big enough to hold some medium projects, like a felted bag that will come to be for my pal in the Fall Felted Bag Exchange! Fred says Mugsy could fit in there, but what purpose would that serve? No Hooey, it’s not a Muggy-bag. Silly dog! (Yes Mugsy, it would be warm, but honestly, aren’t you warm enough right now?!)
Thanks again to Tibbers for her kind generosity. Lots of goodies, and they are all perfect! I just hope the socks on their way to my pal fit…

Still Green

Friends, I think I’m in a rut. It’s a lovely cloth in a cotton-linen blend, but it’s a sage green. Green. It’s all I seem to be able to reach for these days, but that will change. It must! I’m going to knit a little something for my KVVS pal, so unless she’s really into green, there will be a different colored finished object soon enough. I love this pattern. It’s in a booklet the awesome Anne gave me, and it’s called “Soft Texture.” Indeed. I think Mark wants it for his own, but no dice. I also must announce that I care not the least to knit with linen or linen blends. Ick, yuck, and almost yuck yarn worthy. Scratchy. I will do a linen face cloth for Mark (and let’s all hope he doesn’t adore it and want more), and mostly likely, he’ll get a twin to this one too, just because I’ve got the yarn, and it’s good to keep the Knitter’s Knight happy.

I did find the link for the Petal Dishcloth (pictured a couple of posts before this). In a true gooblette moment, when I unfolded the page, which was merely folded in half, there was the link, across the bottom of the page. Imagine…

I also shoved the Sockza socks on blockers. Follow the link to note that you’ve knitted your socks, sent your socks (tomorrow, for me!) and again when you receive your socks. Maybe all of y’all knew to do that, but I needed my dear Devon to point that out, so I’m returning the favor. I really do love that pattern, but there are so many others I want to do that it will probably be a while before I knit the same pattern twice again. I’m pretty sure the June Tofutsies Sock Club is next for the needles, and yes folks, that will be a return to the two circs. method. I like dpns a lot, but they wore out their welcome (snapping, poking in the palm, etc.) with that last effort. The yoga socks in Wick remain on the needles in a fancy Ziploc bag, but when Mugsy isn’t sleeping on said bag, I am picking them up once in a while, because I love the Wick.
Thanks for all the Fred good wishes. He’s better, but not much, so I’ll call Dr. Nancy in the morning, and either tomorrow or Tuesday, the big boy will go see her. It’s heartbreaking, but I still have hope…
There’s still time to sign up for the tea swap. We’re rounding up some nice prizes, and the first contest isn’t far off, so don’t wait until the last minute to sign up or to post your questionnaire!

Green Goodness

The knitterly goodness coming my way is remarkable. I truly have been richly blessed by the friends I’ve made in our online knitting/crocheting community. This treasure is now mine, merely because I openly coveted it when Mary posted it on her blog as a finished object! Not only did the bag arrive, but wrapped inside it was Knitting for Peace (thanks, Amazon, for the link). I have picked that book up a few times, and now can’t wait to get started on a hat for Amy’s charity project for her hometown. Right now, hats are my favorite charity project, and Amy’s Warm Up Winchester is definitely my go-to giving spot right now. (Note: I have yet to get a hat done, but I am going to correct that in the next few days! Will you do the same?) Many, MANY thanks, dear Mary, for the perfect gifts. I’m taking the bag along next time I go shopping, to leave a few of those plastic thingees I recycle behind.

Next, I’m going to break from my usual habits and post my Sockza socks. They’re done, and they certainly count for the Summer of Socks, as one was knitted entirely on vacation! The photo could be better, but it’s threatening to storm, so you get the idea. I hope my sweet pal will like them! They were done in the Knit Socks! pattern featured earlier in the blog, but this time, I used fingering weight yarn, Misty Mountain Farm’s Blue Ridge Yarn Jubilee. The colorway is called Evergreen, but I am excited about this yarn because the farm is in an area near and dear to my heart. It’s also a soft, yummy yarn, and a dream to knit up! (I hope they fit…) Of course, if you’ve been reading my blog, you probably know the yarn is available at The Loopy Ewe.

Last, but not least, I present my first non-square dishcloth. It was done in the Bernat Handicrafter Shades of Green my first swap spoiler sent me. I have found THE pattern for my variegated yarns. It was fun, quick and easy, and I wish I could remember where I found it. (In a link on one of your blogs, I’m sure.) At any rate, thanks whomever, because I adore this pattern! The yarn? Eh, not so much. It was less splitty than the Sugar ‘n Cream I usually use, but it somehow felt bulkier while knitting. Less flexible, perhaps? But, I wanted to try it, and now, I have, so there’s that to cross of the list. Mark should be happy; only a few yards remain, so it was a stash buster too!

Red Package(s) Day

How many posts in a day, right?! I apologize, but Fred matters, the Sox Stix thing has been stuck in my craw for almost a week (I can’t believe needles that cost so much can be so… short-lived), and now, I must blog about what I REALLY should blog about, which is the Yarn Mail that was waiting when I got home.

First, the Colorswap package from the very awesome Stacey. Have you ever clicked with a swap pal from email #1? It’s a wonderful thing. Stacey is a gem, and I’m lucky that fate cast us together. Look! Even the outside hints of red goodness! And that tote. Can you see the polka dot bows? The card’s handmade, and just lovely too. While I’d love to show you the whole process, I have been very wordy today, so I’ll cut to the chase. You can already guess that each little bundle was wrapped in red paper, and tied with the same red polka dotted ribbon. (I love polka dots. Have I mentioned that before?)

Within, there was a neck cozy pattern, some great silver and red handles for a felted bag yet to be determined, Knitting Vintage Socks, some Teavana Sencha, and some Koigu KPM. Wow! So here’s the question – is the bonus an incredibly generous swap package or the budding friendship? Why do you swap? Is it to get neat stuff, to make friends, both or something else? I’m curious. I initially started blogging to swap, because the whole beauty of the knitting community was too much to resist. Our online community works much like any other. Friends of friends become friends, and a random comment on someone else’s blog can lead to another friendship. I hope your swapping experiences are equally rewarding. There will be swaps that don’t lead to a friendship, and that’s okay too, because in other avenues, we don’t always click with everyone we meet, for whatever reasons.

But, I’m rambling, and I have yet another swap package to mention. The mysterious knitter known to me only as “Tink” (Tinkerbell or tink back a row?) sent this grand package. Again, I’d like to show all the photos I took, but we have dinner with my childhood best friend and her family, and you only have so many hours to spend on my blog.

There’s a great Moonlight Knitter row counter, in red of course, some Red Rover from Lorna’s Laces that I rather openly coveted while Devon was Sockza-ing, a darling sock project bag in red and toile, with polka dots (and I know I hadn’t mentioned my adoration of all things toile!), along with some chai and more tea. The world is a beautiful place. So, my Sock it to Me pal has also been paying attention. (That’s a tip, for anyone striving to be a super spoiler. Read up on your spoilee. Get to know them. It makes it easier to send packages that they will go on and on about on their blogs.)

Crup?

I’m just checking in to let you know that I’m beginning twelve days of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I’ll be checking email except from the 15th-18th, but I don’t know that blogging will happen much.

Why do I swap, and crazier still, co-host swaps? So I can meet people like Paula! I do believe that particular photo she’s using as her logo is of my Fred’s uncle, who was the Hush Puppy model about 10 years ago. I love it! (And why didn’t I think of that? Mugsy’s literally got his back to me. Guess I should have been Crup Knitter instead of KnitTea, huh?)

In sock news, I have begun Sockza sock #1! (aka: SoS pair #2!) I won’t be showing photos, just in case, because I do want to surprise my pal. I can proudly announce that the yarn was wound with my birthday swift and ball winder, by – get this, Anne! – my husband! He finds it all very interesting. It appeals to his inner mechanical nerd, I guess? I then had to weigh it, so – wise man, that one – I can confirm that this yarn I’ve not used before will indeed make two socks for my pal. I got lucky and got a pal with little feet, so I’m sure it won’t be a problem, but… he’s thinking like a knitter, yes?

Now, back to that crup thing. I hear some of you asking, “What’s a crup?” Well, in honor of the cinematic event, the debut of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I’m tempted to have a contest, but as it would be a month or so before you got a prize, I won’t. I’ll just tell you.

Are there HP fans out there who don’t know? Giggles… Don’t be embarassed. Even folks on my HP forums often ask. This, my friends, is a crup:

See the forked tail? That’s the only way you can tell a crup from a Muggle Jack Russell Terrier. Those of you who own crups know that sometimes, wizards dock the crups’ tails short so you can’t see the fork, but trust me, you *KNOW* if you own a crup.

Still unsure? Well, let me see if Mugsy – a pure-bred crup – can help. Is your JRT just, well, not as compliant as others you know? Do you brag that his disobedience is actually a sign of his superior intelligence? Does he train YOU? If so, you too probably have a crup. Please refer to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for more information.

Yep. That’s our crup, preparing to launch himself into HIS hot tub. Don’t worry animal lovers; we changed chemicals three times until hubby found one that is safe for human and animal consumption; the sales rep drank a big ol’ glass right from the display for him, and he was sold. That’s the other test; crups won’t allowed themselves to be owned by ordinary folks. They seek out those owners with just enough magical ability to appreciate them, which in Muggle talk means spoil them rotten.

PS – Cass, the photos are for you, and anyone else who loves photo-rich posts!

Three down…

…and who knows how many to go. My third pair of socks, done on two circs. I like that method. I’m not sure I’m crazy about this pattern, but that’s okay. The loose leg will never get too tight during a long day. My trusty, beloved sock blockers just didn’t do this pattern justice. I can say that I’m learning to graft, and I enjoyed knitting with a blend, rather than 100% merino.
Pictures might be slim for a while. I’m casting on for my Sockza socks next. I also want to cast on my Tofutsies June Sock of the Month, but I need #2 circs, and those are on order from Knitpicks, along with several books, all courtesy of my mother inlaw’s birthday money to be used on knitterly goodness.
This was also my first pair for the Summer of Socks. Clearly, I’m not entered in the most socks in a summer contest.