Envy and More

While none of the packages I was expecting arrived on Friday (or Saturday), my Ravelry Stash Sock Club Swap box did!  That’s the gratutious group shot, and for the record, on my laptop, this photo offers the truest colors for the Envy – the Lornas Laces Shepard Sock.  It’s just the tiniest bit washed out in this photo, not even enough to try to adjust the colors…

That’s a better photo of the patterns and the bag (with EVERYTHING else you saw above, within!).  I believe my partner made that for me, and the colors are spot-on.  THAT is the soft, creamy yellow I want in my kitchen, and the colors in general say late-summer beach to me.  (Which is where I long to be, but it will be mid-November before the planets align and I can get there.  Pooey!)

That’s my new love.  It’s a LOCKING counter!  And it’s pink.  It’s made or at least distributed by KA, and you all need one.

Those are snagless stitch markers.   (You know, in case you can’t read text in a photo?)    I’m eager to try them out too.  Thank you, Sophistaknits!  Your favorites are well on their way to being mine too.

I’m still having a relaxing holiday weekend.  I’ve finished two projects (no photos, even on Ravelry!), cast on for a pair of footies, journeyed with the Knight to get the mums for the fall version of the boys’ garden, and that’s about it.  Of course, the girls have had lots of playtime and extra attention too.  If the sun will come out today, I hope to get photos of everything and update Ravelry, at least.

How was your weekend?  Are you enjoying an extra day off?

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Orange You Glad?!

I am.  I am so thoroughly blessed with more GOOD, TRUE friends than one girl deserves, including a couple of silly ones who keep me laughing, and keep me on my toes.

All of the orange

All of the orange

At some point over the weekend, Kathy emailed me and warned  let me know that I had two packages coming, one from her, and the other from Anita.  My instructions were to refrain from opening either package until both arrived.  Kathy’s arrived to taunt me on Monday, and Anita’s finally arrived yesterday.  (She said she was going to hold hers a while to make me suffer!)

Kathy even wrapped hers in ORANGE tissue paper.  You won’t see the paper in more photos, because while I was staging something else, Sissy decided the paper was her treat, and trotted it down into the pen.

The paper thief returning from enjoying her spoils

The paper thief returning from enjoying her spoils

Inside was my favorite project bag, in a very orange pattern, complete with an orange ribbon closure.  Accompanying it was the orange novelty yarn I expected.  Well, no…  I didn’t expect ORANGE novelty yarn, but I figured they were going to shower me in novelty yarn, since my excuse     reason for not participating in our little Duster Wig KAL was because I had no fun fur.

Anita sent me a cute little bag with just a hint of orange.  I chided her; my first go at Noro Kureyon was certainly much more ORANGE than that, and likely caused my strong dislike for the color.  (I swear to you that upon examining the skein in the store, it looked more pink, yellow, purple and blue…)

Hmmm… do click back to that very early post and the bag I remember as being glaringly orange.  Funny how the memory paints with its own brush.

Anyhooo, Anita also made me my own obnoxious orange and strong yellow happy flowers.  They’ll make me laugh and think of her and of Kathy every time I see them, which will be daily, as the magnets are on the fridge.  Rest assured, I will use these stitch markers too, as there’s no way they’ll EVER blend in with any yarn I’m knitting!

Good times, good friends.  Pranks and gag gifts.   Just remember ladies, both of you will be under my roof later this year.   Don’t blame me if Sissy decides to visit you in the middle of the night, right after she’s filled those jowls up with cool, wet water…

Christmastime’s A Comin’

Santa’s grumpiest reindeer.  (The doggy gifts from Michelle.)  Gretchen was overwhelmed too, but it’s a darling concept, and you can bet your ham biscuits I’ll be attempting to get Christmas Card photos with them next year!  There were cute booties too, to keep Gretchie’s tootsies warm and dry, but she wouldn’t cooperate in the least.

Do the photos look crisper?  If so, there are two possible explanations.  Firstly, the Knight was behind the camera, and secondly, as he is wont to do, the Knight gave me my big gift yesterday.  It’s a new digital SLR camera, and he correctly figured that if he gave it to me early, I might have figured out how to use it by Christmas Eve.  He took about 35 photos with it yesterday, almost all of his fur-girls.  Boy, do they have him wrapped around Gretchen’s wee-est claw!

There were many packages received over the weekend.  It was a busy Saturday too.  We had a great lunch at It’s About Thyme with Rosanne and her SO, did a little shopping at The Frenchman’s Corner, and then had a delightful afternoon tea at their home, with their precious pups in their holiday attire.  Then, I got home just in time to feed the fur-girls and head out to my girls’ night.  THAT was awesome.  Good food, good friends, good wine…  Wish I could remember the name of the North Carolina wine I  enjoyed so very much.  Had the Hatteras Lighthouse on the label…

My custom ornament from Lynn’s Little Creations arrived on Friday.  I found Lynn when Natalie got her custom cake topper from her.  (Congrats, Gnat & Special K!  I’ve had a sneak-peek preview of the wedding photos, and I can assure you they’re off to a great start!)   

The Knight was even quite taken with it, so after the holidays, I’m going to order another ornament of two special angel dogs…    What you must understand is that on most computers, that photo is larger than life! 

Gaylen‘s package also arrived Friday.  Aren’t the stockings beautiful?  Gaylen spoils me; I admired the tissue case when she blogged it, so one found its way to Virginia for me!  Makes me feel twice as guilty that her birthmasiversary gifts will have to sit in Virginia for a while, but they will be waiting for her when she returns.  Aren’t those stockings incredible?!  G modestly says her machine did all the work, but since I can’t even turn on the sewing machine I own, I’m impressed. 

Last but not least, it seems that Jessi‘s package arrived here the same day our package arrived at her house.   There was something for everyone.   Because the girls wouldn’t give up their new toys and the Knight is a slow opener, there is no shot of the whole batch!

The girls love their toys.  They share well, so there really isn’t much point in pretending either toy belongs to a particular dog.  Do note the candy cane/peppermint stripes on both toys though, because I’m sure Jessi selected them for that reason, knowing the fur-girls lurvers some peppermint.

It’s an awful picture (taken by me, with my “old” camera) but you just had to see this cute “Christmas light” full of candy-coated sundflower seeds, my snack of choice.  I thought it would be cute to take it with Gretch, but she was startled by something in the process…

Likewise here is a leaves something to be desired shot of the stitch markers Jessi made me.   (In the future, all shots from home should be better, thanks to the camera that does all but turn itself on for me.  Only those taken at work are likely to be funky, because I’m not carrying the big camera with me!)  Aren’t they pretty though, despite my craptastick photo?

That’s the Knight’s ornament from Jessi.  Homerun, girlfriend.  He came to work telling everyone about it, and demanding that I share the photo for all to see.  (And hey, I took that one myself, with the new camera!)  Jessi, you’re in trouble if he makes one of these to hang on the front porch in life-sized proportions!  (There was more, but in the interest of time and space, I shared a few of the more unique items.)

Thanks to all!  We’re sure off to a tremendous start.  This evening, I’ll buy the last two gifts I need, bind off the last knitted gift, start wrapping and baking.

Phew.  I’m tired just thinking about it.

And good winter solstice and a very happy Hanukkah to my friends celebrating those holidays!

Gabfest

I have a zillion old family photos that I’d share, if only I had a scanner that I could plug into any of the current computers.  Today’s “Celebration of Life” for Auntie was hands-down, the happiest funeral I’ve ever attended.  Oh, there were tears.  There were soiled linen and lace hankies, because Auntie’s mother inlaw taught her nearest and dearest that tissues were for colds and children, not for ladies out in public.  But all in all, I’m quite sure Auntie looked down from above and smiled.  We laughed, we hugged, we promised to stay in touch better now, because the family’s “linker” is gone. 

Her departed husband’s first cousin gave the homily/eulogy.  That’s significant, because Auntie’s inlaws are Catholic, and Auntie was Episcopalian.  The planets aligned and it was good.  The pastor of Auntie’s church?  His wife was born and raised in Auntie’s favorite beach spot, Pawleys Island.   The dear man even brought back a baggy full of sand from the beach this spring, and Auntie ran her fingers through the grit.  He said he watched the memories wash over her…

We reconnected.  We honored her, and we’ll continue to honor her by staying in touch as she would have wanted.

Believe it or not, there are more goodies for me photos to share.  And since Anita put a photo of us up on Ravelry, turnabout is fair play.  This was taken at the end of the day Saturday, but trust me, we gabbed the whole time, taking breaks only to sleep.  I’m quite certain that despite being raised to have better manners, I spoke with my mouth full more than once last weekend.  I’m smiling too hard for a good photo in just about all of ’em, but that just tells you that I had a blast!

But goodies.  We all like to windowshop on other blogs, right?  Well, here we go!

Anita gifted us each with a different set of stitch markers.  I should do a photo shoot with the assorted markers she’s made me, but today, these silly turtles get the nod.  While several of my girlfriends make neat stitch markers, I think Anita has a lock on CUTE.  If you haven’t been to her Etsy site, you don’t know what you’re missing!  (While you’re there, check out her tape measures, which are a special favorite of Sissy’s.)

Ruth brought me quite the package.  Isn’t this shawl lovely?  Be sure to note the green on the left.  Which side is the “right side”?  (Does it matter?)

She also gifted me some Pecan Tart tea and some rich, delicious chocolates.  (Do you say pee-KAN or puh-cahn? )  Thank you Ruth, for the gift of your time and the great conversation.

Sadly, I was so caught up in enjoying my visit, that even when Ruth snapped photos, I didn’t grab my camera and do the same.  So, you’ll have to wait until she blogs about our meet-up.  We had a very long, leisurely lunch at Michie Tavern, then parted ways briefly before heading to the downtown mall.  

We got lucky and made it in The Needle Lady just before closing.  I’ve been on a search for just the right yarn for a very special project, and I happened upon it there.  It’s Cascade Handpaints sock yarn, and had they had more of it, I’m pretty sure Ruth would have bought some too.  Ordinarily, I would have offered to let her have it, but this yarn really does have a mission.  The only hint I’ll give is that both the Knight and MJ agree the colorway is just perfect for the recipient.  Now, to find a pattern, a shawl pattern.  I have over 800 yards, but I’m not sure where this will fall into my queue.

Sissy and I got another care package yesterday too.  No, no, the emory board isn’t for Sissy!  There were some warm-weather Loopy Kisses for Sissy.  The Catalina Pouch is for me too, thanks to Nancy of Days Gone By.  Ever listen, or better yet read, the words to that song?  It was playing somewhere during our travels today, and it really got my attention.  Auntie lived life that way, and I aspire to too.

Little Things

There’s a couple we do dinner with rather regularly.  He and the Knight are great friends, and she’s very crafty, so we’re enjoying getting to know each other.  When the Knight mentioned to his friend’s wife a while ago that I knit, she asked what kinds of things I made.  His answer?  “Little things.”  (Eh, I guess.  Socks and shawls, and the rare baby blankie…??)

So, last night as we did a grown-up version of an 8th grade dance, with the guys wandering a few feet away to talk about guy things, she asked me what I knit.  Of course, the Lace Ribbon Scarf jumped right out of my purse (the Vera Bowler)…  I heard the men laugh, and they began to fuss about how we knit/crochet while they drive.  We began to to compare notes on our blankies in progress.  It just struck me as funny…  “Little things.”

Anyhoo, last week held a few stash-building moments.  I’d forgotten that someone had offered me some roving she – a non-spinner – had received, and it arrived with some cute stitch markers to boot.  It really has more of plum look, but for whatever reason, the camera grabbed a rather dull interpretation of the color.  The Knight announced around midnight on Friday that I should just go get my wheel, and then glanced at the clock and mumbled that perhaps I should wait until morning.  Unfortunately, it will be another ten days or so before I have a chance to do just that, but stay tuned for the joyous news!  No more waiting to make room; the wheel will come and we’ll adjust when it gets here.  Hooray!

Oh – and the stitch markers…   Thank you very much, Heather.  (I’d link to her blog, but it’s private, it seems…)  Nevertheless, I am touched by the kindness of the fiber-bloggers.  That this roving for whatever reason tipped the Knight over the edge on encouraging the wheel purchase makes it even more appreciated!

There are still a couple more packages winging their way to my little place in the woods, all part of my I am crabby I shall shop adventures last week.  It didn’t seem to really help at the time, but as the boxes show up on my doorstep, they are indeed providing some retail therapy.

Lookiehere.  I swear, they have to invent touch photos.  (You know, like those kiddie books with the swatches of this, that and the other on every page?)  Since you can’t just pet this Mooi, I have to urge you to find some of your own to fondle.  I’ve had a rather life-long affinity for bison, and who doesn’t just melt in the presence of cashmere?  Add in a healthy hunk of bamboo, and what’s not to love?  I’m not sure what it will become, other than the most-often petted yarn in my stash.  Oh – and according to the link above, it’s pronounced “moi” not Mooo-EEE, as I thought.  I’m not sure about the technicalities behind that, but I’m betting that being a Looo-AAAA yarn has some influence.

I know.  From Kureyon hater to Noro junkie.  For everyone who raced to your LYS to pet the Kureyon sock yarn and pulled back shredded, sore fingers, rest assured that this softer cousin is indeed the stuff self-striping sock yarn dreams are made of.  As soon as I am motivated to turn this skein into two matched balls for knitting two at a time socks, I’ll gush more, but honest…  I wouldn’t lie about how a yarn feels.  This is soft, happy yarn.  Being on the thin side of fingering, I haven’t seen too much of that Noro thick-thin thing either, but I’ll let you know once I handle it and start knitting.  (Any pattern suggestions?  I want to let the yarn do all the work, but you know I can’t do plain ol’ stockinette…)

Same here.  Happy Choices, which is Plymouth’s flat, unravel while you knit offering.  The sucker’s longer than I envisioned, but I can hardly wait to knit it up too.  According to the little article in the front of the July 2008 Knit Picks snail mail catalog on their sock blanks, I’m guessing that painted pattern is going to give me some wide stripes with some unexpected results at the chevron tips where the colors change…

That’s the little delayed who says money can’t buy happiness update.  I think my dogs are ready to come back in and allow for a little more sleeping in, so pardon the rather abrupt ending!

Whirlwind Weekend

I don’t even know where to begin.  It was a fun, full weekend, and we’re not done yet.   Go grab a cuppa’ and a snack, and then we’ll see how much I can cram into one post. 

First, we have to slip back to the contest prizes.  More have arrived!

It’s not a great photo, but it’s been rainy and/or overcast here since I honestly don’t remember when.  The sun almost made it out yesterday for a while, but not when I was at home.  The yarn is a custom colorway from NH Knitting Mama, just for this contest.  The colors are some of my favorites, as noted in my recent coffee swap questionnaire.  The stitch markers are from InsanKnitty, and while the photo is inadequate, there’s a cute basset hound and a bone amid the ruby red beads.  Thank you so much Amanda and Michelle

Speaking of Michelle…

We had a great weekend.  Friday night, we went out to dinner, hit the grocery store, and then sat up late knitting and talking.  Saturday, we headed out for Carodan Farm.  It was a pretty drive through the countryside, with redbuds and blooms galore, but Caroline was as accomodating as ever.  I wanted the April Tofutsies yarn and pattern, so she kindly walked over to her home, unpacked a skein or two, downloaded the pattern, and brought it back over.  While Michelle had no trouble finding yarn, I touched everything and yet, I wasn’t moved to buy much.   I had this feeling I was leaving something behind.  When Caroline asked if she could help, I jokingly asked what she would feature in the shop newsletter that would find me saying “Shucks!  I wish I’d seen that!”  She laughed, and left the shop again, returning with Online’s new cotton sock yarn, the whole box, so I could see all the colors, and with some Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle (which for whatever reason, didn’t make it into the photo). 

I love that pattern too.  The sample was done in Koigu, which of course, I have in my stash thanks to my Red Colorswap pal.  I was torn between the Anne and the Heather yarn, but the Anne came home with me.  The Bamboucle is a must-see.  It’s not so boucle, and it’s actually cotton, bamboo, linen and nylon.  I think it will be a little scarf, but who knows?!

 

It would truly take all day and dozens of photos to show you everything Michelle had in this basket.  There were treats for the dogs, shortbread which the Knight is sure were for him, teas, flavored syrup…  and three new magazines.  I am going to take a moment to mention that I’m sorry I let my suscription to Creative Knitting expire.  They have a new editor, and the whole feel of the magazine is different.  (Yes Jessi, that’s Spin Off, and a subscription is in order.)  Knit Simple is always a good choice, and the assortment of “tee shirts” they offer is sure to have something for everyone.

Then, there are the highlights from the basket.  I mean, everything in there was obviously selected by someone who know me well, especially my requested candy-coated sunflower seeds, but these are the things I thought the rest of you might appreciate and/or “need.”

Love this very sleek mug.  Can’t wait to drink from it, and it might get a quick wash for that early evening cuppa’ I’ll need after this long composition.  Yes, it’s slightly assymetrical, but that’s part of its charm.  I like brown a lot too, so even without loose tea packed inside, it’s a keeper!

 

 

 

 

 

Next, there’s a treasure I think some of you will have to special request from Michelle’s shop.  (She is indeed the InsanKnitty linked at the top of the post.)  It’s a yarn cutter, taken off the chain, and slipped onto a clip, with some very “me” charms added.  I’m still thinking the blue teapot needs to move over to my charm bracelet.   This little baby is going to be clipped on my project bag, and it will go everywhere with me.  No more worrying about my scissors on planes, as Caroline pointed out when we were looking at the cutters in her shop. 

 

 

 

I loved Pez dispensers as a girl, and this little one delights me to no end.  Could it be any cuter?  It has a hook to be a keyring, but I know that with my life, it would be dirty dingy in no time, so I’ll have to think of a nice, clean place for it to live. 

 

 

 

 

 

The folks at Lindt are so clever.  Isn’t the little black sheep precious?  I hate to rip the foil, but you can bet that if I don’t, the Knight will. 

 

 

 

 

Can you guess what this is?  Yep!  It’s the cutest tea ball EVER.  It’s now offical; I’m going to have to collect novelty tea balls.  I had no idea they made anything fancy or silly, but isn’t this fun?  Even the metal “tag” on the end is a little slice of citrus. 

 

 

 

Michelle had been taunting me all week last week about her secret project.  Sigh.  It was worth the wait!  She hand felted this adorable little rooster, bless her heart!   He’ll have to find a very high, very safe perch, because Sissy’s reach expands a little every day.   

Michelle also made me a very sweet cloth with a “profile” head shot of Winnie the Pooh, but I just can’t get a good shot of it.  It’s hard sometimes to get a good photo of a cloth, and you know I’m not a great photographer.

 

There’s so much more, but this is already very lengthy, so I’ll stop here for now.  There’s a photo of Michelle and me just before she left this afternoon, and much more about tea and friendship, but the Knight wants to take me to dinner, so you’ll just have to wait!

PS – Where did spell check go?!  WordPress, what have you done!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Knitting Content

Quite a bit of knitting happened over the weekend. I finished my beautiful shrug Saturday, and I need to remind you that Amanda has opened an Etsy shop, so now you too can create beautiful things with her semi-solid colorways! I hope to talk the Knight into taking a shot or two of me wearing the shrug this afternoon, but it’s supposed to be about 90 degrees then, so we’ll see.

Here, it is displayed on the wrought iron chair on the deck. It stretches, oh my does it stretch! That’s a good thing, because I’m not a waif. Still, I think it looks great on too. It’s warm though. Very warm. When the temperature drops later this week, I will appreciate that.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed knitting with the NH Knitting Mama’s yarn. Follow the above link to her Etsy shop and get some of your own; you won’t be sorry. The pattern was by Dream in Color, and I used #9 KnitPick Options, with a 32″ cord. I think a 24″ cord would do, but evidently, I don’t have one. I used the metal tips here, as I don’t have any tips in the Harmony Options yet, save the flawed #10.5s, which are being replaced as we speak/type/read. I am now eager to tackle more lace and “real” fitted knits.

I also snagged some great stitch markers for a pal, and some custom-made earrings for a Christmas gift (see?! I’ve started shopping!), and sweet Anita also included a notepad, which I adore. (We happen to share a last name; how cool is that?!) You can secure your own Yarndemon creations here.

Aren’t these guys darling?! (Squint through one eye. Maybe then the photo quality won’t be such a hindrance.) In case your imagination is weak, they’re little Scotties, which will be happy earrings for someone in a couple of months.

Of course, there are other friends on Etsy too. Mary is working on some row counters for me, and anyone else with similar desires, and Jessi is working on something very special too. It’s even better than having a personal shopper; I’ll never settle for a yarn or stitch markers that aren’t exactly what I want again. (And they’d do the same for you. Really.)