Two sisters blog about knitting, crochet and whatever else catches our fancy...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Children's Book Swap
A big thank you to Vanjula! I recieved my Children’s Book swap package today! Hooray!! She included lot of books for my kiddos. They were jumping up and down to get their hands on them. I love the nice big copies of the Beatrix Potter books that include stickers, yes! And Miss Nelson brought back memories. I can remember sitting in the school library listening intently as the librarian read it to us. Ah, the school library. Good times… She also included a Harry Potter Chocolate Frog (Yum!) and Jelly Slugs, some cute stickers and a notepad, some fantabulous stitch markers(gotta love those!), and a box of crayons which my two-year-old son immediately confiscated “D. Aaaaannnd…….this adorable little stuffie for my baby girl! So cute!
These are absolutely super-terrifically cute! So cute I can barely stand it! Adorable animals made completely out of ribbon and beads. Yay! Besides these elephants, there were giraffes, bears, and butterflies.
Last weekend was the Got to be NC Agricultural Fair at the State Fairgrounds here in Raleigh, of which the Fiber Fair was the most fantabulous part. :) See all the fibery things:
Each group at the fiber fair was a NC fiber artist/company of some sort, including spinners, alpaca farmers, and Peaches & Creme, which, as it turns out, is an NC company. They actually have cotton yarn in many different weights and in 130 colors, when the only place you can buy it locally is Wal-mart (boo!) and they only carry six colors (double boo!). So, Wal-mart sucks. I went on Friday with Deb, and we had a lot of fun talking to people 'cause no one was there. We got a free ball of yarn and I got a pretty peacock feather. New thing I learned: peacocks lose their feathers every July, tail feathers & all! Went to the fair again with Mel on Saturday, super crowded, but still fun because of these guys:
We got to pet on them and feed them treats and the white one gave me a kiss on the nose. :) The brown one was a little boy and he was making sad little noises that, while sad, were still super cute. He was sad because they left his girlfriend at the farm and the girl that they did bring with them (white one) wouldn't play with him, opting to spit on him instead.
The cuteness is killing me.
So, it was a fun day, both of them. ;) Learned new stuff, loved on alpacas, got some ideas for knitting group field trips, and tasted a bunch of NC wines, so bonus. :)
As promised, a very, very late post on the Odd Ducks All About Me Swap.
The Rules: Package contents should include at least:
One “big” thing (A hand made item that takes you more than ten minutes to crank out)
One medium thing (maybe a skein of yarn or handmade bar of soap)
Two small things (like some stitch markers – because everyone needs stitch markers, or measuring tape, or candy)
Monetary value of package should be around $30. If you chose to go above this limit, that is YOUR choice. It does not mean your spoiler will do the same.
Partners are not reciprocal which means that you should send a package to the person that is assigned to you!
March 30: Package Deadline
So, this was an interesting package to put together. The trick was to put together a package of all your favorite things that by some crazy random happenstance your partner would probably also like. Tricky business.
I totally forgot to take a picture of everything in my package before I sent it out. My "big" thing was a pair of fingerless gloves that I'm calling Foxfire. To date, probably my favorite item that I've made, so it was a little painful to part with them. Here's a picture and my little write up from Ravelry, 'cause I don't care enough to come up with something witty and original for the sake of this pitiful, pitiful blog...
I originally latched onto these gloves because of the name “reading mitts”. I’m a big reader and often having trouble deciding whether to spend my free time knitting or reading, so it seemed appropriate. The colors - orange and gray are two of my favorites, I thought they would look nice together, and with orange as an accent color, they would “match” more things, rather, for example, than a pair of bright purple gloves would. The white was to break up the two very darkish colors and give it a little contrast.
I didn’t start out with the idea of Foxfire, but as I was knitting them, it occurred to me that that was what they reminded me of. I happened to be reading the book at the time I was knitting them and the movie came out when I was in high school, which had that “grunge” vibe, very popular in the late nineties. ;) The gloves look feminine, but at the same time the orange edges remind me of little flames, so girls that runs with foxes, flame tattoos, and all of that…. ;)
As it turns out, most people thought they were sock monkey mitts. Eye of the beholder, I suppose. Also in the package: a skein of Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold in a red-orange color, a ball of yellow Sugar ‘n Cream, orange & black “Halloween” stitch markers, a beaded bookmark, a little notebook, Anne of Green Gables audio book, red hots, Ferrero Rocher, raspberry flavored coffee, a few bags of my favorite teas, a Kermit the frog spoon, a lavender plant, a dishcloth pattern, a spoon coaster pattern, and a print-out of my favorite web comic. Here's a kinda crappy photo of the stitch markers & bookmark:
In return, I received this nifty little package:
...which included a multi-blue scarfette, Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in Fall Foliage colorway, cute little stitch markers (which I've been getting a lot of use out of recently, 'cause I think I might have accidentally thrown my little bag of stitch markers away!), a set of purple size 2 DPNS (yay for more needles! and purple, too, bonus!), a notebook with a cute sheep on it (love notebooks, always have one with me), chai tea (yum), and chocolate (double yum).
I found it an interesting, but difficult swap. Difficult in that it was difficult to decide what to put in the package, and equally difficult to part with it, 'cause they are, in fact, some of my favorite things. ;)
I have much more swap awesomeness to share, but that will have to wait for another day...to be continued...
Swaps in progress: The Office, 1980s SciFi/Fantasy Movie, 1950s Retro/Kitsch, It's Easy Being Green
The Rules of the Swap: Package contents: One “big” thing (i.e. sushi roll scarf), one medium thing (i.e. wasabi inspired yarn), two little things (i.e. package of miso, chocolate, magnets, buttons, etc.) Total cost should be no more than $30. Package deadline: January 30, 2009.
I had a lot of fun putting together a package for my downstream partner.
Big item: Corkscrew scarf - the inspiration for this was the quote by John Bender: "Screws fall out all the time. The world's an imperfect place." I choose the Patons SWS in the natural slate because I felt it had a nice "corkscrew" color. ;) It was my first time doing short rows, and I really enjoyed knitting it. Once soaked and blocked (pinned in place to my ironing board 'til dry), the corkscrews on both ends held up very nicely. On further reflection I might have made the middle, "straight" section a little longer than ideal, so would only increase the length specified in the pattern by half rather than doubling it if I were to knit it again.
Elephant - a little crocheted elephant based on the lamp that Brian made in shop class. The light didn't go on when he pulled the trunk and he failed.
Claire's Earring stitch markers - These were fun to make, but tracking down the pieces to make them was an adventure. Here's a close up:
A thermos (a nod to Brian's thermos) filled with pixie sticks (you know, for sandwiches)
Reese's peanut butter hearts for Allison's line: "When you grow up, your heart dies."
A card with the previously mentioned Bender quote
and breakfast tea :)
The thing about swaps is that you have so much fun putting a package together that you forget that you're going to get one in return. Unfortunately, my upstream bailed, but I had a wonderful swap angel who sent me this awesome package:
The awesomeness: a super cute gray pleated purse (good for either dumping out on the couch and inviting people into my problems, or carrying a bunch of stuff just in case I have to jam), a black garter scarf (inspired by Allison’s scarf in the movie), vodka (I laughed out loud when I saw this), pixy sticks (you know, for sandwiches), headbands (for makeovers), two lovely skeins of purple Pima Fresca (which is currently being knit into a scarf), tea, and chocolate.
So, it was a good first swap experience, even though my first partner bailed. :)
We made these beaded bookmarks and covered journals at our church craft group. The cool thing about the bookmark is that you can lengthen or shorten it (depending on the size of the book you’re reading) by pulling the ends or pushing them together. Thanks Leann!
I signed up for the first ever Ravelympics 2008 and I finished all my projects! (The goal was to pledge to finish specific projects during the Olympics.) I decided to do one larger, new project and then to finish up some works in progess so I didn't have to keep looking at them.
Event: Shawl Relay
I knit this shawl as a housewarming gift for my Grandma who moved recently when she didn't want to. It was super quick to knit and the instant gratification was so intense that I wanted to cast on another one right away. I couldn't though...I had another event to compete in! The pattern is free from Lion Brand: Easy Triangle Shawl. It only took two skeins of Homespun and maybe about 10ish hours of knitting, give or take an hour or so.
Event: WIPs Wrestling
This scarf had been sitting around since December. I'm going to send it off to Heartland Rabbit Rescue for the craf fair. It's a dropstitch scarf made from Moda Dea Prima - very soft and fluffy.
This little pumpkin dishcloth was supposed to be for last Thanksgiving...at least it's all ready for this year. ;) The pattern can be purchased from Knitwits Heaven.
Ruby Slippers - I have no idea who I'm going to give these to...I just made them for fun. I wanted to find either star buttons or scottie dog buttons, but ended up using some I had around the house. The pattern is Saartje's Bootees made out of Patons Brilliant. These were quick and easy to knit. They would be a great quick baby shower gift.
My Pretty Scarf - finished and I'm keeping it! :) I'm going to make some Newfoundland Mittens to match. Now I have my very own scarf for the winter! This is the first thing that I've knitted that I'm keeping for myself. It's a little shorter than I'd like, but I haven't blocked it yet. I only had one ball of the yarn left and the store is out, so I wanted to save it for the mittens. The scarf pattern is Wellenreiter and the yarn is Plymouth Boku.
And finally...That 70's Bag! My only Ravelympics crochet project. The pattern is Fat Bottom Bag from Happy Hooker, and the yarn is Bernat Boucle. The actual crocheting was pretty quick...it was the details, like lining the bag, that took a little more time. This was a present for my sister's birthday. :)
A lady in my knitting group, Mary, invited the group over to her house one Saturday morning to give us a glimpse into the world of spinning. (Thanks, Mary!) It was very educational and fun to play with the wool, however, I don't see a lot of spinning in my future. ;)
Here's a picture of a few of Raleigh's fantastic knitters in our group:
And here's the "stuff" you need to spin:
And here's my before and after shot...I'm not even sure it looks like yarn...spinning is tricky business. ;) It takes a little skill and a lot of practice!