SP10 final package!

My final package for SP10 came early this week (Monday?) and I forgot to blog about it, though if you follow me on Flickr you’ve seen this already. Anyway, the lovely Celena sent me another great package! The made the sheep soap, and dyed the yarn herself. She also dyed up a tote bag, which you can see if you click through on the photo. She also sent some mocha mix, which is delicious. I had a wonderful time with SP10, and while I’m not going to do SP11, I will definitely do another SP in the future.

In other knitting news, I have picked the sock back up and knit the heel flap the other night. But, at the moment I am spending most of my time reading Harry Potter 6, which I hadn’t read previously, in order to read Harry Potter 7 as soon as Sparkle J and JeT finish with one of their copies. I also saw “Order of the Phoenix” last night, which was very helpful as about halfway through Chapter 2 of “Half-Blood Prince” I realized I had never actually read book 5. Whoops!

3 Yarns to Try

A little thing for Secret Pal 10 — three yarns I’m dying to try.

  1. Handmaiden Seasilk: Do I even need to explain why? The colors are gorgeous and it’s so soft. Windsor Button carries it but it’s expensive enough that I can easily resist.
  2. Lorna’s Laces: Lucky for me, I have some Shepherd Sock (in Red Rover, scroll down a bit) waiting for me to start my second-ever pair of socks. I hope to finish the first pair this weekend, but there hasn’t been much knitting around here lately so we’ll see how that goes.
  3. Araucania Atacama: Another yarn with gorgeous colors that just feels lovely. (But then, when doesn’t alpaca feel lovely?)

I’m sure there are tons of others, but these are the first three that come to mind.

Secret Pal – Second Package!

My second package for SP10 arrived today. Hooray! Look at all this good stuff – Malabrigo, a pattern book (“Bags: A Knitter’s Dozen”) and a needlecase, among other things. My pal is spoiling me completely rotten. Good thing I haven’t sent out my second package to my pal yet — I definitely need to toss in a few more things to pass the good karma along.

Click through for more views.

Works in progress

A couple of days ago I was going through my stash to see what I have, and I figured I might as well document it for Flickr. Apparently this is an indication of ESP, because my SP10 hostess announced a contest a day or so later: post a picture of your current WIPs. Only one of these things is technically a WIP–the others are just yarn that is hanging around waiting for inspiration to strike. Also, there are a couple of other things I want to make in the very near future, another one being yet another secret project, for which I have yet to purchase anything. (Waiting for that first summer job paycheck . . . ). Anyway, here’s what this stuff is:

  • Red: Re-do of a crocheted scarf I made with Malabrigo in Sealing Wax. I want to make a scarf with this, one that will be less stiff than the one I crocheted. Have started and given up on a few things, including Backyard Leaves.
  • Black: Legwarmers from LMKG that I wore once & not again b/c they fell down, with extra skein of yarn. It has occurred to me that it might make a great sweater vest. Note to self.
  • Blue: Pouch I’m working on in Reynolds Revue and Paton’s Brilliance. Needed the needles for something else. I’m not in a rush to finish this, I think it will wind up being a carrier for someone’s Christmas gift this year.
  • Burgundy: Leftovers from Fetching, some of which were made into an ill-fitting and ripped out Calorimetry. At a loss as to what to do with this next. Another Compulsive Cables?

There’s also the sock, which is motoring along quite nicely. Yay! Click through for a photo of that, as well as photos of yarn I should probably destash, and yarn for upcoming projects.

First package for SP10!

My first package from my SP10 pal was waiting for me this morning when I brought out some recycling. Yay!

I am particularly excited about the Trekking XXL — I’ve seen so many socks knit up with this that look great. I think that this yarn might be better to learn with than the KnitPicks Dancing that I got over the summer, which has weird plying). She also sent me some metal DPNs (we have chatted about how bamboo sock-size DPNs feel like toothpicks that could snap at any moment) and a basic sock pattern. So, guess what I am casting on for at SnB this week?! She also sent me some Hershey’s chocolate — super dark, with blueberries, strawberries and almonds. I have been wanting to try this.

Almost everything had a post-it of explanation, which I thought was great. Thanks pal! I hope that the Florida air trapped in the box will keep the monsoon that is forecasted for Sun/Mon at bay. I want to go the Sox on my birthday, not get rained out!

Click through for more.

Vile projects

An interesting question posed by my hostess for SP10: what is your most hated project?

Legwarmers. I have knit them twice, in different yarns and different patterns, and each time they turned out badly.

Top are the first pair. Lion Brand Thick & Quick, 1×1 ribbing. I think the problem with these was that I bound off too tightly, but I also just didn’t really like them once I was done with them. They have been unraveled, and the yarn is sitting in a bag waiting to have something done with it.

Next, we have the Cascade 220 Tweed legwarmers I made this winter, using the pattern (and specified yarn, even) from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I had bought two skeins, but it quickly became apparent that you barely need the second skein to make a pair. So I thought, meh, why bother with that? I used only one skein (but of course, I kept the second skein). In addition to being too short, they don’t stay up. How annoying is that?! These haven’t been ripped out yet, but they will be, don’t worry.

Now I’m thinking that I will try these again in plain stockinette, a la Weekend Knitting. But given that it is now March, that will happen in the fall. I guess I will just knit legwarmers every year until I find a pair I like (or realize that hey, maybe Ms. Ann Taylor here is not a legwarmer-wearing gal).


Knitting Accessories

For SP10: What is your favorite knitting accessory?

This is a tough one for me, since I really don’t have that many knitting accessories, and the ones I do have are utilitarian, not cute. I’ve got cable needles, plastic stitch markers, a row counter I never use because I forget to update it as I knit, tapestry needles, folding scissors, tape measures. Nothing that really inspires fondness.

The only thing that might count is the WIP bag I got in Austin. So cute! But for all of the cuteness, I rarely use it. Right now, the only time I take projects anywhere (regularly) is to SnB on Tuesday nights at school. But I’m at school all day before that, so I have my backpack or another big ol’ bag with me. Sometimes I’ll put the project int he WIP bag, and then the WIP bag into the backpack, but that renders the cuteness a moot point. Maybe someday when I’m a grown-up librarian and am going to a different SnB (sad day!) I’ll use it more.

If I had a swift or a ball winder, that would definitely be my favorite accessory. Sadly, my own extremities serve as both.

Begining to begin (SP 10!)

SP 10 is starting up, yay! I’m excited. If you’re my pal you can find my questionnaire by clicking here or scrolling down. We haven’t gotten our matches yet, but I have been making little notes to self when I come across something that I think might be a candidate for a pal gift. Obviously this will be come a lot easier once we’re matched and I can have a particular person in mind.

I started my sweater last night and am still struggling (though not actively) with socks . . . more later, for now I really should go finish that paper due next week.

Top Secret

Over the last year or so of being obsessed with RSS feeds, I have slowly grown the number of knitting and crochet blogs that I read and/or skim (yes, and also library and tech blogs). And yet, I somehow always missed hearing about the secret pal things and swaps that go on, at least in time to sign up.

Well, no more. Nicole pointed me to the 2007 Knit-Alongs and Swaps blog. When she posted about the end of Secret Pal 9 I asked where to find out about it, so she sent me to the SP9 blog, where I then found the Secret Pal 10 blog. Signups for Secret Pal 10 just opened, and will be open until the end of the month. I just signed up, and I’m psyched! I think it’ll be really fun to play secret admirer and send someone little packages.

One other thing–If you’re signing up for Secret Pal for the first time, there are two steps. First click “New Account,” and set up your account. Then hit “Sign Up,” and register for SP10.