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Thank you Secret Pal!!!

Well, not so secret anymore. You have spoiled me rotten and I hope you were spoiled equally! I can’t wait to try out some of the patterns from this book!

book

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2008 in swap

 

Thank you Secret Pal!!!

secretpal1 secretpal2Thank you Secret Pal!!! What an amazing package! (or 2 packages I guess!) I opened the box on the left first and found all that yarn and the yummy swedish fish, so I was  shocked and delighted when I went for the (perfect for knitting projects) bag on the right and found it full of goodies!

I’ve already got the gingerbread man hanging on my warping board with my other ornaments for next year’s tree. The yarn is super lovely, such a great color and enough for a nice big project. I made Shawn promise to take the falling flower to work (but not until after I collapsed it a whole bunch of times and made it dance around in front of him) – I thought he could use the goofy cheer. He smiled and duly promised. 🙂

It’s funny how the little things mean so much, but I ADORE the swedish fish mixed sea creatures!  And over Christmas I finally shipped my entire bouncy ball collection from PA to Austin, so the two new ones will be joining the big group not just the handful I have here. I’m going to need a new container for them! I’m pretty sure they’ll overflow the big old timey wooden mixing bowl I was using in PA once I add the growing Austin collection. So yes, thank you again!

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2008 in swap

 

Thank you Cass!

Cass sent me the most lovely swap package (for the knitters coffee swap)! She reused the box I sent hers in (hence the “never ending swap box!”) Which reminds me – I have this blue puffy envelope I’ve had since high school that I send things back and forth in (it’s perfect for CDs) – mostly to my brother, but I’ve let one friend and my mom in on the action – both with a strict warning on the history of the envelope and the importance of keeping it going only to people who will send it back or on to someone else who would keep it going within our little loop. It’s been all around the U.S. and always puts a smile on my face when it shows up in my mailbox. I hope it does the same for those I send it to. This box definitely did with my hilarious pirate packing tape showing up on my doorstep. And I have to say – genius stuffing a bag with newspaper for padding – ecological without getting newspaper smear on everything!

cswap1

And then the goodies!

cswap2

Such wonderful goodies! The coffee looks delightful! I think I’ll take the holiday blend home with me to Pennsylvania to enjoy over the holidays. The coffee mug is the perfect size for our household. The little notepads are super mod – I can’t decide whether to use them at home or take them in to cheer up my office. The chili pepper loofah is already hanging over my sink and the adorable sheepy made me wish I had set up a tree this year. It’s definitely going on next year! (It’s hanging from my warping board right now.) I LOVE the fabric – especially since Cass pointed out that it looks like little abstract sheep. So true! Shawn and I were just lamenting our stinky dog house – so the candle came just in time. (I already have an air purifier going in our bedroom and vacuum every week – if anyone wants to share ideas for un-dog-stinking your bedroom [without actually stopping your dogs from sleeping in bed with you that is] I’d love to hear them.) And there really should be a way to send texture over the internet so you could all feel how soft that yarn is. I’m thinking an really nice scarf.

And speaking of the coffee swap. Now that Cass has her package, (in two posts) I can share some other pictures with you.

I had so much fun making this apron! I’m glad you like it Cass! The pattern is from Doodle Stitching and I cannot recommend that book highly enough!

cswap3 cswap4 cswap5

 

Thank you secret pal!

I was out picking up a few things for my coffee swap pal (Hi Cass! Boy does my craft room smell good! I hope the coffee tastes as good as it smells!) and what did I come home to but a fabulous secret pal package. Upon opening:

pal1

All unpacked. We see yummy yummy swedish fish, lovely lavender cascade fixation (which we all know makes a mean panta as well as a lovely vegan sock option), adorable sheepy bookmark, hand salve (good looking out sp!), darling notepad and calendar, handknit pumpkin cloth (I tried taking a picture of the detail, just trust me, there’s an awesome pumpkin under there) and various other lovelies:

pal2

Puffer ball! Did you know about my puffer fish soap dispenser?

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And, the piece de resistance….

Habu! I am going to have to come up with something fabulous to do with this. Thank you so much for sending 3! I’m thinking a top of some sort.

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Posted by on November 5, 2007 in swap

 

Thank you vegan pal!

veganpal

Such an awesome package! Orange hemp yarn with a pattern for a spa and bath trio, a super cool owl, warm beverage cozy (such perfect cables!), fair trade organic coffee (smells sooooo good!), recipe for risotto, fruit leathers, lip balm, the much needed chibi (which I used this weekend at Maker Faire), and of course the gorgeously colored hand painted Tahki mercerized cotton magic yarn ball which was full of the cutest fall themed buttons and some delicious candy. Thank you Debbie!

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2007 in swap

 

Thank you tea swap pal!

I’ve had house guests the last three weekends in a row*, been dealing with poor little Mashti’s drops and pills 4 times a day**, found out I have eczema*** and have been dealing with creams and gloves and not getting my hands wet and not sweating, which is particularly difficult since Shawn and I just started Wing Tsun****. Oh, and I scraped a whole bunch of nasty popcorn texture off the guest room ceiling and plastered it and helped Shawn lay hardwood flooring in his studio. I am so sore in so many places. There’s also some exciting and positive but stressful possibilities looming at work that I’m not sure how I’m going to handle yet.*****

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Mostly I want to finish painting the guest room so I can reclaim my bedroom from all the detritus created by the wonderful hard work that Shawn and his dad started three weeks ago.******

So you can imagine what a perfect treat it was to come home to such a fabulous swap package.

teaswap

A beautiful (yet impossible to photograph) handmade tea time cloth (it says Tea Time and has a little tea pot and it’s incredibly well done!).

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An adorable teacup themed pincushion, bumble bee tape measure, matching stitchmarkers (I’m assuming also handmade, but not sure), and Suss twisted cotton slub yarn. And let me tell you, I have ooed and ahhhed over Blue Sky Alpaca’s cotton, but this stuff takes the cake! I’m thinking eventually a really classy scarf for myself. Not sure what else to do with two skeins that will allow me to touch it all the time.

goodies

Some super cool stationary: a notepad, note cards, and a note book that happens to be exactly the kind I use for grocery lists.

notebooks

And of course, the tea! An incredibly hip tea set with filters and a little tea bag rest exactly like I wanted, only better, because I can’t break this one. Shawn and I both thank you for making our kitchen counter much less tacky. I plan to take the tea filters, tea set and Irish breakfast tea to work. I’m planning to get a little hot water pot and having quite the cozy little morning ritual.

teapot

And last, but not least, a jungle gym for B! She loves it! Thank you!

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* All wonderful people, but I’m still happy to have the place back to myself.
** The Dr. says she’s doing great and won’t have any vision loss!
*** It’s pretty mild from what I hear for comparison. The weird thing is that mine hurts rather than itches.
**** I’m allowed to wear my silly cotton gloves in class. I cut off the finger tips to make myself feel less ridiculous.
***** Real life friends – feel free to email me for more details.
****** That’s three weeks that I haven’t been able to move comfortably through the bedroom because of extra bookshelves, TVs, couches, etc. The new floor, lack of mold, and finished trimming around the baseboards is definitely lovely and worth it. I’m just ready for it to be done!

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2007 in other bits of life, swap

 

Knitters’ Coffeeswap Three

They’ve closed the sign ups, so my apologies if this is the first you’re seeing this, but here are my answers to the Knitters’ Coffeeswap Three questions:

1. Whole bean or ground?

I can do either.

2. Fully-loaded or decaf?

Caffeine please.

3. Regular or flavored?

That’s a tough one… I like flavors when they’re well done. I don’t like them when they’re really artificial or cheap tasting.

4. How do you drink your coffee?

I mix it up. I can do black, a little sugar, or a little sugar and some soy creamer.

5. Favorite coffee ever?

Honestly…. I always thought Denny’s had really good coffee…

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?

I’m a little fussy, but not overly fussy. I do like to support fair trade, organic, etc., etc.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?

Salt bagels, biscotti, ginger snaps, other cookies, other pastries

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?

I like rich and dark, but not necessarily bitter.

9. Yarn/fiber you love?

I like cotton quite a bit (the Blue Sky Alpaca’s is sooooo soft!), but I also like playing with some of the newer yarns out there. I try to be eco friendly and do my part, so things like sustainable, natural, recycled, and organic are always good. I like to try new/weird yarns. I haven’t tried corn or soy silk yet, banana was super weird though.
I’m also interested in linen.

10. Yarn/fiber you hate?

I don’t use animal fibers, this includes silk.

11. What’s on your needles?

Drunken Argyle…. FOREVERRRRRRRRR

12. Favorite colors?

Brown, black, eggplant, periwinkle and dusty-pinky-lavender

13. Allergies?

Not really, but I suppose this is where I should mention the whole vegan thing. For this swap, please consider me vegan, I’m not perfectly so in my daily life, but I try. So no animal fiber yarn please, no pastries or mixes with eggs or milk or whey in them and no treats with gelatin. I am happy to answer any questions about products and point out brands and sites that cater towards vegans.

14. Anything you really love, really don’t like, or just need to get off your chest?

I really like stationary and hand printed/letterpress items. And deep sea creatures. I’m also on Ravelry. I do a lot of crafts and probably should make more time for myself and spend less time on the computer 😉

If you want more ideas you can see my previous swap answers in the top right sidebar.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2007 in questionnaires and gift lists, swap

 

Cass said I could enter!

topI wasn’t going to, but since she specifically said so…

Here’s my entry to the first Vegan Pal 2 contest:

My favorite vegan yarn is Cotton Classic by Tahki * Stacy Charles. So far I’ve made a hat and a top out of it and I’ll be making this year’s red scarf from it. I first found it in my lys looking for something for a tank for myself. The pattern called for silk, so I wanted something with some drape to it and in a color I would actually wear. This happened to be in the exact same pinky/lilac color shirt as I was wearing while I was standing there comparing yarns. It feels great and it’s really easy to knit with and comes in great colors. Plus I’m a big fan of cotton. It makes very clean stitches, but not as stiff or rough on the hands as Sugan N’ Cream.

hatAs an aside, I was surprised to find I don’t have a single picture of myself knitting. This seems unfathomable since there was definitely a long time where you would be hard pressed to look at me and not see knitting.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2007 in knitting, swap

 

Vegan Pal 2 Questionnaire

1) What is/are your craft(s), & how long have you been doing it/them?

I knit, weave, sew, bead, garden, cook, embroider, cross stitch, latch hook, and generally enjoy crafts of all types.

  • I’ve been knitting (on and off) since ’97, but just started again in earnest around ’04. I’m good with double points, I’ve done socks and sweaters, and I’m working on some intarsia, but I’m not out there writing crazy patters like Euny, so I’d say I fall into the intermediate category.
  • I’ve been weaving for just under a year. So far I’ve only made shawls. Definitely a beginner.
  • I sewed a lot in junior high and high school, but then I bought a lemon of a sewing machine and didn’t sew until getting a new machine for Christmas this year. I’m really excited to be picking it back up.
  • I just learned to do beadwork a little over a year ago and really only make stitch markers.
  • When I say gardening, I really mean house plants. I’ve had some since going away to undergrad, but it’s moving in with Shawn that has pushed me over the edge to near green house status. (Which I love.) A guess of 50 house plants would be undershooting. I want to grow heirloom tomatoes.
  • I learned to embroider in high school when my mom gave me an old pair of my dad’s jeans that he stopped wearing once they got a hole and she decided to sew butterfly wings around the place she tried to mend it. I loved it and had her teach me how and embroidered two pairs of those jeans to the hilt. I’ve done some cute t-shirts more recently.
  • I learned to cross stitch in elementary school and again have picked it up and put it down over the years. I especially want to get back into cross stitching, but am having trouble finding cool patterns. I’m not interested in the traditional fare, but I’m also not interested in the subversive cross stitch, oo look, we use curse words, kind of stuff. I like Miss Wooly’s patterns, but would also like to find something more complicated. If I get really ambitious I’m going to look into making my own, I think there’s free software for that. If so, I’m doing this album cover for Shawn. Anyone who wants to be my hero and make that into a chart and tell me how much of which colors I need to buy, feel free.
  • I did a latch hook bunny rug in elementary school but lost the whole thing before I finished it. Nostalgia made me start on a fleece latch hook more recently. It’s pretty fun, but pretty tacky.

2) Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?

I’m vegetarian with vegan tendencies.

3) Is this your first swap, or have you done previous swaps before? What makes a swap enjoyable for you?

I have done a few swaps before. I love sharing treats with each other that we might not have gotten ourselves otherwise.

4) What is/are your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike any color(s)?

I wear a lot of brown and black. Then I mix in some pale blues or pale pinks. I don’t do electric colors. I’m more neutrals. I also like deep eggplant and lavender.

5) Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods, fibers or cigarette smoke)?

Don’t love cigarette smoke, but I’m not allergic to anything besides dust and mold.

6) Do you have any companion animals? If so, name(s) and type(s)?

Shawn and I have a little menagerie – Parker Pug is 4, Mashti Pug is just 6 months old, and B Kitty is 2. We’re also frequently visited by Thomas the frog/toad who likes to say hi to Mashti through the backyard sliding glass door, and Thomas the ancient Egyptian evil god/scarab, who likes to visit throughout the house, including the bathroom, the guest bedroom, and under my pillow at night when the lights are out, where he likes to pretend to be B and scratch at my hand. Why yes, I did scream and jump out of the bed.

7) Do you collect anything?

I actually collect super bouncy balls. Like the ones from quarter machines.

8) Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that’s vegan (for those who aren’t vegan),  what’s your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)

Tofutti fudge pops! (but those aren’t mailable.) which reminds me that one time ever I had this awesome huge tofutti chipwhich kind of thing. One of my brother’s friends had brought them to our house. I have no idea where she got them and I’ve never seen them since. Mailable foods… I like sour, sweet, and salty, but not spicy or fruity. I also love loose leaf tea, but again, not fruity. In the autumn theme – hot coco and vegan marshmallows!

9) What are some of your favorite/least favorite tastes/flavors? (e.g. sweet, salty, chocolate, crunchy, smooth, tart, sour, spicy, thai, whatever – Help your pal get a feel for what kind of recipes you might like and/or never ever make.)

I like most things pretty well. But not spicy! Or something that requires an oven – I don’t have one right now. I do have a toaster oven though.

10) What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don’t? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)

I can’t find my Chibi or yarn needles anywhere, so any cute little holder and some more needles would be cool. I have all the knitting needles I need. Ooo, I could also use more super strong magnets to glue to my tiles. ETA – My dog ate my row counter and I broke my retractable measuring tape, so those would be good things too.

11) Are you on Ravelry? What’s
your handle?

Yep! Ellie

12) Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?

Feel free to check out my other questionnaires for more info. They’re linked in the upper right hand sidebar.

13) What scents do you  like/dislike?

I like food scents: banana bread, pumpkin pie, coconut, chocolate, cookie, cake, yum. I don’t like fruity or floral.

14) Do you prefer fall or Halloween or some other autumn theme?

I prefer autumn.

15) Just for fun – tell your
favorite Halloween or autumn related memory.

When I wrote this question I swear I had a specific story in mind I was going to tell, but I’m blanking. I grew up in the northeast though and I always loved pulling out the light weight jackets and watching the leaves change colors.

 

 

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like cotton quite a bit, but I also like playing with some of the newer yarns out there. I try to be eco friendly and do my part, so things like sustainable, natural, recycled, and organic are
always good. I like to try new/weird yarns. I haven’t tried corn yet. I’m interested in linen. I’ve also been eying up this butter bamboo for a shirt or vest. I don’t use animal fibers, this includes silk.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a nice set of needle holders – the cloth roll kind – one each for straights, double points, and circulars.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I’ve been knitting (on and off) since ’97, but just started again in earnest around ’04. I’m good with double points, I’ve done socks and sweaters, and I’m working on some intarsia, but I’m not out there writing crazy patters like Euny, so I’d say intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yep, right here.

5. What’s your favorite scent?

I like food scents: banana bread, pumpkin pie, coconut, chocolate, cookie, cake, yum.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Definitely have a sweet tooth, I like dark chocolate (especially with fruit or nuts in it) and gummy candies (without gelatin).

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don’t spin, but I do tons of other things. I weave, sew, bead, garden, cook, embroider, cross stitch, latch hook, and generally enjoy crafts of all types. I especially want to get back into cross stitching, but am having trouble finding cool patterns. I’m not interested in the traditional fare, but I’m also not interested in the subversive cross stitch, oo look, we use curse words, kind of stuff. I like Miss Wooly’s patterns, but would also like to find something more complicated. If I get really ambitious I’m going to look into making my own, I think there’s free software for that. If so, I’m doing this album cover for Shawn. Anyone who wants to be my hero and make that into a chart and tell me how much of which colors I need to buy, feel free.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I don’t really listen to much music on my own these days. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks mostly. But if you have something awesome you want to share, I can play MP3s.

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?

I wear a lot of brown and black. Then I mix in some pale blues or pale pinks. I don’t do electric colors. I’m more neutrals. I also like deep eggplant and lavender.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Shawn and I have a little menagerie – Parker Pug is 4, Mashti Pug is just 6 months old, and B Kitty is 2. We’re also frequently visited by Thomas the frog/toad who likes to say hi to Mashti through the backyard sliding glass door, and Thomas the ancient Egyptian evil god/scarab, who likes to visit throughout the house, including the bathroom, the guest bedroom, and under my pillow at night when the lights are out, where he likes to pretend to be B and scratch at my hand. Why yes, I did scream and jump out of the bed.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Not so much.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I like things that are simple and that I can work on without requiring too much attention, stuff that is easy to pack up and take places and start and stop and pick up again. I like to make myself cardigans.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Drunken Argyle for my dad. The opposite of everything I just said above. But I really wanted to make that pattern. And I need to get cracking on it! I promised I’d have it done by this Christmas. (Which would be 2 years after I started it – life got the better of me for a while…)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes! I especially like small letterpress items.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I make just about everything on circulars from my Denise kit, unless it’s for something particularly narrow, like a scarf, or if it requires double points. I haven’t learned the magic circle yet, but I kinda like double points. I really like having the project hang out in the middle of the circulars, it’s much easier on your hands and wrists than straights for a bulky project. In terms of gifts though, I have the Denise kit, so I don’t need any circulars size 5 or above.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

No, but I covet them!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Let’s not count my afghan from ’97, because I’ve fully abandoned that, so we’ll say Drunken Argyle.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving. I get to be with my family for a long dinner, our favorite shows (Doctor Who and Star Trek), dessert, coffee and lots of conversation. Plus, my mom makes the whole spread vegan (excluding the turkey for her and Dad). It’s so nice to have such a food centered holiday totally revamped to be full of delicious things for me. I love my family!

19. Is there anything that you collect?

I actually collect super bouncy balls. Like the ones from quarter machines.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Any of the books in my amazon wish list. Yarns I linked to in the first question. Needles, I’m set. Patterns: “Ram’s Horn Jacket” from Knitting Nature, Sweet Mary Jane, Sizzle. I subscribe to Craft and Adorn. Edited to add – I can’t find my Chibi or yarn needles anywhere, so any cute little holder and some more needles would be cool too. ETA2 – My dog ate my row counter and I broke my retractable measuring tape, so those would be good things too.

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?

Duplicate stitching, magic circle for socks, woodworking. 🙂

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Nope. Size 10/11 womens.

23. When is your birthday?

July 13th.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID?

Yep! Ellie