Seed stitching a secret

As mentioned in my previous entry, I ordered yarns for round 2 of the Scarf Exchange that I'm always raving about lately. Have I mentioned how much fun it is? Have I mentioned that I love it? Well, it is, and I do.

A couple of weeks ago, the leader of the group expressed sad concerns that he had accidentally left himself out of the automated random name draw for this round of the swap. How tragic is that? The guy organizing everything, the guy walking so many of us swap virgins through the proper steps, has accidentally left himself out of the benefits of the whole thing! So, I just couldn't stomach it. I asked to knit something for him, and I'm so excited about it! But because he already knows who's knitting for him and because I have already pictured the yarns I purchased on el blog-o, I'll keep the pattern selection a surprise. Gotta keep something a secret, right? I have a few other things in the works for him, but let's not go there until things are revealed in the end. ;)

As for my "real" Secret Scarfee, the yarn for the thing I am knitting her was ordered from the same supplier on the 20th and arrived yesterday. Needless to say, I started knitting last night just as soon as I had finished my supper. Because she doesn't know who I am, I'll go ahead and share the secrets. First of all, this yarn!!! My goodness, this yarn is sooooo pretty. It's a hand spun, hand painted 100% cotton that is incredibly soft. And the colors are so Springy. Pastel pink and orange and green and yellow and a creamy white. It's like a sorbet. How unintentional and perfectly whimsical!

For the project, I'm knitting my own variation of the Destroyed Cowl by Martha Merzig. Rather than straight stockinette stitch, I opted to stick to as much of a Spring theme as I could and traded in for seed stitch. Real cute, I know. I've been wanting to knit something in seed stitch, and this presented a great opportunity to do so! I'm also making this version a bit shorter than the sample pictured on the pattern page... about half the size, but twice the cuteness!


A Sense of Whimsy

Sorry to everyone out there. I know that my millions of blog fans have been complaining about my absence here. I've been busy. Or lazy. Or sometimes... brace yourselves... busy and lazy. At the same time. I know, I know--that just blew your mind. I'm like Garfield and The Tazmanian Devil all squished into one person sometimes here lately. And I still somehow managed to find the time to paint my toenails the other night.

So. Of course, after my beautiful success in swapping partners (both Scarfer and Scarfee) from the Secret Scarf Exchange: Round 1, I undoubtedly jumped at the opportunity to do it all over again. But with a new Scarfer and a new Scarfee this time around. I am very sad to let my Scarfer go because she made the most beautiful and most perfectly colored eggplant purp cowl just for me. If you missed it, then I guess you haven't been missing my absence because it was kind-of a big deal. If you saw it, then I'm sure you're super jealous and hoping YOU signed up for Round 2: A Sense of Whimsy and were randomly selected to be her partner. But listen here: she is so sneaky and such a great secret-keeper that she still has not revealed her identity! I know, I'm impressed with her stamina too. Hopefully she'll give out soon and claim the purple masterpiece I wear around my neck with a camisole and yoga stretchy pants around the house at night. Hey, my dog doesn't judge, she loves unconditionally... and my husband chuckles and gives a quick-and-disapproving shake of the head and goes about his computer-clicky business. I was also lucky enough to have been assigned to a grateful Scarfee. As soon as she received my scarf gift at her home in Portugal she posted thanks on Ravelry and that really made the whole experience worth-while for me.

Now I'm looking forward to getting started on my next endeavor: Round 2. I mentioned in a thread of the group that I'll be posting little teasers and clues and hints about what I'm knitting and who I'm knitting for and what tricks I may have up my sleeve. I'm trying to keep the theme of "A Sense of Whimsy" in as much of the project as possible... and I find it to be a whimsical project, teasing other knitters about a project that may or may not be for them. So, be sure to check in on a fairly regular basis. I'm gonna be pretty busy on a couple of knitting projects, and sneaky... er, whimsical... about it to boot!

For now, the yarn has been ordered and is officially on the move. I found a lovely selection of handspun/handpainted yarns at Birds Nest Yarns on Etsy, and here's what's on its way to my house right now:

The light and fruity pastels are just lovely, no? Make you crave a cold sorbet snack, maybe? (I could definitely go for a lemon sorbet myself.) I can't wait to touch the soft handspun organic cotton tecture. And the rich, coolish-warm gray/teal/gold Merino looks yummy in its own handsome way, dontchathink?

Enough for tonight. I'll keep going on this topic once the yarns arrive on my little newlywed starter home doorstep.


Every day, since the 27th of February, I have been skipping out to our little rusty mailbox with giant hopes of opening the wobbly little hinged door and finding a package in there just for me. The New Year Secret Scarf Exchange (Round 1) ended on the 27th, and I could hardly contain my excitement while waiting for my surprise to arrive!

It pretty much broke The Hubster's heart every day, when I would come back into the house with hands full of sale papers, coupon papers, bills, newspapers, and magazines and sit down to the kitchen table and quietly open everything with the un-excitedness of an every-day mailbox visit. Leave the house hopeful and excited that a package may have arrived, and come back inside with nothing but bills! How could this not be depressing?!?

So, tonight The Hubs got home before I did. He left work a few minutes early with a headache, and I left the quilt shop a few minutes late because of a couple of lingering customers. I came inside, loved on little Vespa pup, and tended to Hubster's sore forehead. When, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a hot pink package in the seat of the Barcalounger and my heart jumped! I looked at The Hub and he just nodded at me with a smile on his face. Yup, IT WAS HERE!!!!!!!!

"Looks like you got Royal Mail," he said to me as I bounced and squealed for joy. I didn't even touch the package for a couple of minutes... like it was sacred or something, haha. I just looked at it and folded my fingers together, resting my face on the back of one of my hands like I was dreaming or something. Then I picked it up, squeezed it, jumped for joy and squealed with excitement for a few more minutes. It was like Christmas morning!

Then I looked at the mailing label. Sure enough, the parcel was actually stamped "Royal Mail" like the Queen sent it herself! Then I contemplated saving the package until later tonight to open.

Wait. What was that last thought? Craziness?!? I thought so. And so the package was ripped.

Here's what I found inside:

Ca-UUUUUTE little lamb letter from my "Secret Scarfer"

And this was the main event... BEAUTIFUL!!!

Here's a close-up of my Scarfer's beautiful handiwork. Please forgive the evening lamp light effects: it's a beautiful eggplant color, exactly perfect for me!

Here I am, happy-as-can-be, wearing my new cowl. Be jealous.

Husband's request #1: "Be sure to get a traditional MySpace photo shot!"

Husband's request #2: "You look like a ninja ready to strike at any moment. Show the camera a little bit'a judo chop action!" And so I did. Looks like you got the stink eye, too. (Please-please-please ignore the naked wall to the right, as it's the space above our sofa... we're newly-ish-weds who have just-ish moved into our first home and I don't have anything to hang there yet!)

So, there you have it. I got a cowl via Royal Mail and it's the most perfect shade of eggplant purp. And, what's that? What did you get in the mail? Coupons and junk mail and bills? Yeah, I judo chop in your general direction. Heh.

(But really, I value my blog readers, so I don't "literally" judo chop in your general direction. I'm just ensuring my superiority in this case, since I got a kick-ass cowl and you didn't. Love ya!)


Oooo, fancy pants.

Please excuse the gumbledy-gook and slight dizziness as I play around with a little bit of Flash/html/Javascript for my little Ravelry squares in the sidebar.

Thanks to sarahspins for the starter code!


Check it out

Something I read tonight really got me thinking.

My husband likes to joke around and tease me that I'm aging before his eyes as I sit on the sofa and knit. And as I exclaim, "Oh! Look at these sweet little apron patterns I can sew up!" But in the end, after his teasing at me, he really seems to love that I knit and sew and enjoy other home making crafts. He loves to peek over from his Barcalounger to check out how far down that Secret Scarf Exchange scarf I've gotten: "Only about a ping pong ball size amount of yarn left!" down to "Look! I finished the scarf perfectly--I only had 4" of yarn left over!"

I also work at a quilt shop, where home economics, crafting, home making, and other "olden days" hobbies are celebrated on a daily basis.

So, on to what I read tonight. Blogger Little Jenny Wren recently posted a blog entry that really hit home. We are special, rare, and important people as knitters. Appreciate yourself. Feel proud of yourself rather than "feeling crushed, feeling guilty, and a bit stupid." Knitting is a special talent and we should embrace it! Read the blog written by this knitter who lives in Tasmania (yeah, really!) and makes dolls, has a pet duck, and obviously embraces her crafting abilities!