Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The International Scarf Exchange III is winding down. This had to be my most favorite yet. I was given the opportunity to surprise and spoil Debi. And the scarf that I received from Cathy is so super special. I am having such a great time viewing all the postings of the exchanges. This group has got to be the most creative!
Secret Pal 8
Officially, this exchange ended September 1st. My pal was habitually late and it was always a month after each deadline before I received a package. I never received the final package from my Pal. Oh well, actually I get more satisfaction over doing the spoiling than receiving. And this experience did not stop me from joining the next...
Secret Pal 9
This exchange will be running over the next 3 months. I have received a postcard from my Pal, as well as a few ecards. It is so nice to be thought about. I've been racking my brains out, trying to come up with a spectacular way to surprise my recipient. I love this!
OK.. So, I'm a glutton for these things. But, I joined another. Heck, I'll be knitting lace anyway, so I might as well have some company, and some good company at that!
Til next time.... Knit on!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Looky, looky......Look what I got!
The mail lady knocked on my door to drop off a very special delivery for me. It is from my international Scarf Exchange Pal, Cathy. Cathy hails from Aurora, Colorado. She did the most fabulous job putting together a very exquisite package. And it's mine, all mine.....
First, the scarf. The picture does NOT do it any justice and for that I apologize. Cathy painstakingly labored on a beautiful rendition of Ivy Bigelow's Midwest Moonlight. She used Elesbeth Lavold's Silky Tweed in a very deep, rich Chocolate brown. It has the most faint flecks of rusts, golds and tans. Silky Tweed is a luscious blend of silk, cotton, and merino to make this a scrumptiously soft scarf. Let the snow begin.
Then, there was this wonderful little brown shopping bag that was just chockful of some glorious finds. There is a book "Girlfriends". I haven't read it yet, but with a few trips on the horizon, I'm sure it will be great plane reading. Then, the most adorable handcrafted knitting needles by Serendipity Designs. Oh, my. I can see the start of a collection beginning to take shape. And the cutest Lantern Moon Sheepie tape measure and a fabulously creative key chain in the shape of a miniature sweater. Hmmm, I wonder if Cathy made it herself. It is just too creative.
Then, the comfort stuff: There are Chocolate covered raisins, umm umm good. And while I am sitting eating the raisins, I will be basking in a warm bath filled with Bath&Body Works warm vanilla bubble bath and sipping on some Bigelow (ah... same name as the designer of the scarf... was Cathy thinking or what?) apple cider herb tea. And finally, there is the cutest tin containing HT Harney & Sons fine teas. It is a Chinese Flower Green Tea, which is described as a beautiful Blend of green tea and three types of flowers accented with citrus flavors. A treasure for the eye and palette. Now, if that doesn't sound fabulous, what does?
Cathy, you have outdone yourself and you have spoiled me rotten. Thanks for one of the best packages that I have ever received. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I worked so hard on the Estonian Garden Wrap. I went above and beyond what I would have normally done, but you see, I was given the most fabulous, courageous, witty, talented, generous person in the whole world as my exchangee. Being that my pal is so super duper special, my project had to be so special too.
I was given Debi, my hero.
Now, for a little background. During my first ISE, I was so blessed to have been the recipient of Debi's generosity. She had never done lace before, but she toiled and stressed to craft me the most spectacular scarf that I have ever seen. Pictures here of all the goodies. It was sheer perfection. But, the scarf was only the icing on the cake. She made a felted needlecase, complete with bamboo needles, handmade lavender sachets from her garden, oodles and oodles of yarn, eucalan wash, and a whole lot more that was tidily wrapped in the most fantastic treasure chest. I was floored. This was the first time that a total stranger had made something just for me and it was truly beautiful. I also emerged from that exchange having met a true friend.
Fast forward to the current exchange.... Debi and I chat quite often on line. We were so excited about the upcoming exchange and when the pairings were announced and I was given Debi.... WOO HOO! Lordy, lordy... I had been given Debi. I couldn't believe my luck. I couldn't tell her that I was given her, so anonymously I was contacting her as a beginner knitter, hoping that she didn't mind having such a newbie. Deep down, I was giggling to myself, knowing the secret. I now had the opportunity to reciprocate the generosity that Debi had bestowed upon me.
In our daily emails, I questioned Debi asking what her ideal shawl would be- the shape, color, etc. I then set out to make it for her. After much deliberation, I chose the Estonian Garden Wrap, due to its simplicity and understated elegance. And being that Debi lives in the middle of the desert, I chose cotton for the fiber. It was a labor of love and I was just sooooo excited to be able to present it to Debi. She knew what project I was working on for "my" pal, but didn't know it was for her.
A few weeks ago, my husband had a show in Las Vegas. I was going to accompany him and was finally going to have the opportunity to meet Debi. I also had the shawl with me, and completed it while I was in LV. I was chatting with Debi about my project (she didn't know it was for her) and knowing that I finished knitting it, she offered to help me block it. I selfishly took her up on the offer. So, Debi had seen the shawl, loved it, and I was even more excited to anticipate her reaction when she would discover it was for her!
Back in SC, I packed up the shawl. It was wrapped in tissue paper along with a few other knitting goodies, tucked in a hat box and sent on its way to her. My DIL (Kirstin) mailed it from Ft. Bragg, NC.
Well, I have been waiting on baited breathe while the package was in the mail. It was like Christmas morning suspense. The package arrived, and no response. She had been away and finally emailed me last night apologizing. She explained that Kirstin had inadvertently mailed my pal's package to her by mistake! She was so sorry and couldn't stop apologizing.
So, the joke is on me. I was expecting to surprise her with a fabulous package and she wasn't surprised at all. She didn't even know that it was for her! Oh well, the best laid plans.....
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I am participating in the International Scarf Exchange. I have been diligently working on this wrap to present to my pal. I am proud of how it came out, I can only hope that she will like it.
She lives in a warmer climate, so I knitted it with cotton rather than the customary wool. Also, it is not a color that she specifically requested. I am hoping that she will not be disappointed. I am shopping to put a few more surprises in the box and hope to have it shipped in about a week. So, If you live in a warmer climate and receive a package... this wrap might be inside! I am hoping that you will cherish this gift, and accept it in the true spirit in which it was knitted.
Pattern: Evelyn Clark's Estonian Garden Wrap by Fibertrends
Yarn: Rowan's Cotton Glace
Yardage: 875 (7 skeins)
Needles: size 8 (US)
p.s. There are few more pictures of the detail over there in my photo album. Go and take a peek.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I love knitting with just about everything. I love alpaca, merino, cashmere and cotton. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I don't like mohair (it just seems to itch me to no end), glitzy and novelties.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I store my needles in a Lantern Moon Needle case. It is so practical and luxurious at the same time.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? I have been knitting for 1 1/2 years with the tremendous help of on-line tutorials and wonderful friends. I am still learning. Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I would consider myself an adventurous intermediate. I never met a challenge that I didn't face head on.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No, not really.
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) I recently discovered lavender and love using hand-made sachets with freshly dried lavender when storing my hand-knits. For candles, etc... I love citrus scents, like lemons and oranges.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Oh gosh yes! Love chocolate, especially white chocolate, snickers, peanut m&m's
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I have a great admiration for hand-crafts of all kinds. I have dabbled with quilting, embroidery, woodworking, painting, stained glass and basket weaving, etc. Do you spin? I can envision spinning in the the near future.
8. What kind of music do you like? Rock. Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yes
9. What's your favorite color(s)? I love all colors that are rich, deep, and fully saturated, especially earthy colors like reds, burgandys, rusts, greens, blues. Any colors you just can't stand? I abhor pastels. I do not care for brown or gray.
10. What is your family situation? I am married to my best friend of 28 years. Do you have any pets? One dog, Skeeter, a Bichon.
11. Do you wear scarves, I love scarves, especially lace ones, more decorative than for warmth hats, mittens Having relocated to the Mohave Desert, I don't have much a need for hats or mittens or ponchos? I haven't worn one since the 70's.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I love knitting shawls... one size fits all!
13. What are you knitting right now? A shawl - my second Estonian Garden Wrap.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? OH YES!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? It depends on what I am knitting. I love my Crystal Palace straight bamboos, Addi Turbo and Denise.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Both
17. How old is your oldest UFO? I don't have one.
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
19. Is there anything that you collect? Do you mean besides yarn, needles, knitting books and magazines? Tee hee. I have an affinity for German Nutcrackers, Gullah Sweetgrass Baskets, antiques, wines
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? Can anyone ever have too much? I don't think so. My stash could always use some enhancement. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have subscriptions to Rowan and Interweave Knits.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I always try to broaden my horizons. I think that my next challenge will be color work. And of course, spinning.
22. Are you a sock knitter? Yes. What are your foot measurements? Size 10 shoe.
23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) April 25th.