Sunday, December 16, 2007

Of Prizes and Surprises, and Serpentines and Socks

First of all, I won a prize! Now I never win prizes, even when I buy twenty lottery tickets and should really have a good shot, so this was a delightful surprise. Bea of Baa Baa Blacksheep decided to have a contest and hand out some yarn, so she asked her readers to guess the weight of Gus the bulldog at 5 months. Well just how much can a baby bulldog weigh? More than you think. I was one of the clever folk who guessed 43 pounds. And the photo below shows Gus choosing the winners, just how fair can you be??? Well, Gus picked me! Smart dog. Cute dog. He likes to be told he's cute. He totally wiggles with joy when he hears how cute he is. I am smitten with Gus. Just look at those muscles. In the back and forth of how to handle receiving this prize, it turns out Bea is almost a neighbor. And Bea was bemoaning not having a knitting group nearby, so Bea came to join our group and brought my winnings. Now I was expecting a skein of yarn, and had high hopes it was reddish. This was the prize..... I was speechless it was so much more than I expected. A lovely little herringbone bag, just bursting with reddish yarn (yay!), handmade stitch markers, appropriate DPNs, Eucalan and yarn bras. The presentation was wonderful. Here's another shot of the inside of the bag. Coordinating fabrics and pockets and the construction is perfection. And best of all, Bea made it. As well as the lovely stitch markers. Check out her blog, I think she is selling some.
As for this week's project starts, we needs us some fingerless mitts. Our hands are freezing at the keyboard, thanks to the ceiling fan overhead which cannot be turned off. Don't ask. Faulty wire job. So grabbed some of my Wollmeise stash, Kurbis to be exact, and that nice little cabled pattern Serpentine by Miriam Felton and cast on these:
Now it is really quite unbelievable, but Micki happened to cast on a pair the same night, and we had never, ever discussed the pattern at all. Great minds and all that. Of course she is almost finished by now. I however left mine at a friend's house and didn't recuperate the project for a couple of days, so logically, rather than working on one of the other WIPs, grabbed another skein of Wollmeise out of the stash and cast on a second pair in Brombeere. Which would have been much further along if I hadn't somehow turned it around and knit backwards for 15 rows. It left only a tiny tweak in a rib, but I knew it would drive me bonkers, so a froggin' we did go.
Now speaking of surprised, Jo of Celtic Memory sent a little package, a stuffed little package, from Ireland with these treasures. A fab green sock yarn with a coppery ply in it which should make a tweedy sock. And two sample skeins of some frothy merino. Jo is thinking of making kimonos of the froth since they would be wonderfully lightweight. Will have to swatch those up and see what they want to be when they grow up. The green is really much nicer than the photo and the froths are cinnamon and coppery, no idea what was happening with the light in these photos. BTW, Jo just went to Lapland to visit Santa (and Lene) and I'm wondering what she asked Santa to bring her. Knowing Jo, she sat on his lap and read out her list. Bet yarn was on it for sure.
Here is a slightly better shot of the interesting green goodness.
And I haven't forgotten my November Sockdown pair, Eleanor by Gigi Silva in Teyani's Sock Hop color, Big Yellow Taxi. This is my second pair done in Sock Hop and I have had plenty of yarn each time to knit a generous sock. And they have washed and worn well, so I'm a declared fan. And this particular pair will be visible for miles!
Now for the other surprises. The Sisters of the Wool held their first annual Holiday Sock Yarn Exchange "free for all" at Rebecca's house. Yummy food was on hand (amazing microwave peanut brittle for one), with extras brought by many. And then we had a "Chinese" present swap, where you can choose to open a present or steal one from someone else, which keeps going in a round robin, until everyone has used up all their turns. After three steals, the object "locks" with the last thief and is no longer available. This was my first experience with the game. At first everyone just demurely opened another present on their turn, and some lovely sock yarn made appearance. Then someone started stealing and all H*** broke loose. I did manage to shamelessly steal a lovely skein of Fearless Fibers, complete with an Acorn Sock pattern by Knitspot that Angele had brought.
And then I did another swap with Micki for this beautiful skein of the tweeded Madeleine Tosh. Both skeins have great yardage for my big feet.
There was a terrific purplish tweedy skein by Bea Binney, the YarnPig, but someone (no names here, but definitely not kosher) hid it when I was making my final steal and I forgot to swipe it. It was gorgeous. Oh wow, I just checked out her Etsy shop to link this and she has the bags and yarns and stitch markers over there. She has skull patterned bags, and tweed bags and tweedy sock yarns. Fantastic. The girl's got talent.
My posting will be sporadic in the near future as my son is very ill. I will catch up whenever I can as it is good therapy to knit and talk about knitting. Thank everyone who has sent such kind words and thoughts our way.