Saturday, 16 April 2011

March Side Swap

It's arrived!  Now that I know my partner has her parcel safely delivered, I can post this without risk of revealing her package before it got there in the mail.
This is a photo my little ones helped me take of the parcel we sent out to one of our friends on Ravelry.  This was for the March Side Swap theme, Anything Goes!
The children helped me wrap the items up and put stickers on them all.  We used spring stickers, of course.  The fingerless mitts and coffee cup cozy I knitted myself.  The other items were selected based on careful consideration and the children saying "Pick that!".
The kids especially liked the spring themed items we chose, like the chocolates wrapped in Easter Egg fashion, and the spring fabric bags we used to place goodies in.  The spring scarf I saw in a local shop and thought right away how it would be perfect for a spring swap.
It was a fun swap.

Monday, 11 April 2011

March Side Swap - Anything Goes...

Here is Part 2 of the previous post.  I'm sharing with you some of the photos I took from the swap parcel that arrived from Frances for me.  She was so kind, even adding goodies for me to share with the kids!

Evan was out with Daddy, so it was just Emma and I to unwrap all these fun things.

Here is the group shot of the second have of the swap goodies in the box.  Frances is very talented at packing - it was like a Mary Poppins bag of never ending goodies! Wow! Something for everyone, too!
For me, an awesome pattern for fingerless mitts, which I will be putting on my queue list.  I have to give her credit, Frances really did her research.  I guess she must know how much I adore fingerless mitts!  Bonus points for doing your homework, Frances!

  Frances also gave me a knitting magazine, see that amazing sweater?  It reminds me of one of my favorite yarns, Moda Dea, that was discontinued only after I had just discovered it.
Evan and Burk will both like checking out this book on how to draw cars and trucks.  On top of all that, Frances sent us her state quarter to add to our quarter collection. 
We were missing this one, so thank you for contributing!
Something else that will be enjoyed by all of us is the illustrated story book about the countryside, which is local to Frances.  I will also enjoy reading the local magazines Frances included for me to learn more about her area.  I really appreciate all the thought Frances has put into this swap.  It really shows.  I'm quite impressed.
Here is Emma checking out her own little Mary Poppins bag.  I wondered why the bag was so heavy...
inside it was a bag of Hershey's mini chocolate bars (the kids were very excited to share these!),
2 packs of crayons, and tons and tons of stickers!  Emma is in the photo pointing to her favorite ones.
She then got to work and promptly decorated the bag with as many stickers as she could put on it.
I thought it would have made for a great little project bag, but clearly Emma has her own plans for it.
The bag now holds her crayons, stickers, and some coloring pages inside it.  She likes to carry it around.  I'm glad it helped cheer her up, especially after having a fever most of the weekend.
Here is Emma showing me how to zip up her purse.  The zipper on it is special to Emma - she's never seen such a cool zipper pull.  She was so impressed that she could open and close it all by herself.
Now she's ready to shop.
Thank you so much, Frances!  You really spoiled us!!!

My little assistant

Here is Emma opening a parcel we just right now got from the mail man. I didn't even have to chase him down! He came right to my doorstep!

Emma had a rough time opening it up, as it was well taped.  I got out the scissors and gave her a hand.  I saw on the box that this was from Frances, but I was a little confused as I wasn't her partner in any current swaps... but wait, could it be?  Is Frances my secret pal in the March Side Swap on Ravelry?   OOOH!  So fun!

Here is the first view upon opening my mystery parcel.  Right off the bat, I can see it's packed to be discovered in layers.  :)
I do like to unwrap things.  Emma was thrilled, too. 

We have a nice spring themed card from Frances with a hand written note inside, a post card from her area to add to our postcard collection, and a really cool slogan sticker that I have on my fridge door.  "Beware of the sleep deprived mom!"  It would look equally good on top of the coffee machine.

Next is a group photo of some of the things I opened. 

I had to take 2 group photos, as this is the most stuff I've ever gotten in a swap, and it all wouldn't fit together.

Lots of goodies! 

Here is a cute little bunny broach for Emma to wear on her sweater.  She tried it on her pajamas and checked it out in the mirror, then told me to try it on, too.  It's adorable!  I wonder how small the needles were for this?  Emma then asked me about the spring stamp. 

 Next to become unwrapped was a treat from Lantern Moon... I love their notions!  I have a rosemary wood cable needle from them that is amazing!  This was a package of handknitted flower stitch markers, in such fresh spring colors!  Emma right away asked to have one.  I showed her how they like to hang on mommy's knitting needles to make my yarn pretty.
Here is not one, but two skeins of Blue Ultra Alpaca Berroco yarn!  Nice an squishy, too!  I wonder what it will become?
Even some new things to discover... like the delicious honey with nuts inside it.  It's supposed to be good drizzled over ice cream, so I'll be getting some ice cream at the store this weekend.
 That's not all... I'll have to do a second post to propery share the photos.
Lantern Moon Flower stitch markers
Ice Cream honey treat

Spirogyra going well...

I'm so excited! This is the perfect pattern to compliment the gorgeous yarn that SnazzyB hand dyed for me.
I can't believe just how well this pattern is going! Look how far I've gotten already! It's like the stitches are just flowing over the needles! I love this yarn! I love this pattern! I thought it would be much more complicated than this. And this was the pattern I chose for my birthday, only I couldn't find the right yarn for it. The beautiful yarn I bought for my birthday at the LYS was not the right gauge - one skein too large, one too thin. They will both be lovingly used in future patterns, of course. But I can't say enough how happy I am that I finally get to knit this pattern!!!!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Casting On for Spirogyra

Here is my long awaited cast on photo for the Spirogyra fingerless mitts I'm knitting in the Happy Blue Year March KAL group. Don't worry, I have until May 15th to complete it.
This pattern is by Lynne Vogel, and will be my dream mitts. I expect to have a few challenges, but it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cluster Maps view counters

Who's reading your blog?  Cluster Maps has a cool app that lets you see how many hits you get from different parts of the world.  Don't worry, it doesn't give away any info like your specific location or things like that, just what country readers are viewing my blog from.  Which is really cool.  I like to see my stats now and then, and find it really interesting when people farther away are reading.  I don't have too many regular followers, which is ok by me.  It's good to have a few friends to keep up to date with.

But I do wonder sometimes to myself, do people find my blog by mistake?  Do they google something that makes mine pop up instead of someone elses?  I've read lots of great yarn/knitting blogs, so I know mine is nothing that will win a blog award or anything like that.  But if people enjoy reading it, that's good.  I do wish people who are popping in for a visit would write a comment to say hi though. 

So check out my latest Cluster Maps numbers:

United States (US)167
Canada (CA)78
Germany (DE)8
Russian Federation (RU)8
United Kingdom (GB)7
Sweden (SE)7
Peru (PE)2
Belgium (BE)1
Netherlands (NL)1
France (FR)1
Hong Kong (HK)1
Taiwan (TW)1
Turkey (TR)1
India (IN)1

Once I had someone reading from Australia, but no more.  :(
If anyone does read me from Australia, and happens to know my old school friend Morgan Reynolds who last I heard lives in Mila Mila (or is it Milla Milla) please tell her hello for me.  After I moved we lost touch.  And she's not even on Facebook!  It's been 13 years since I last heard from her... and I'll bet I'd break my back if we were to have another wrestling match (we pioneered girl's wrestling back in the day).  Too much info? Just pretend you didn't read that then. 

Onto more knitty things, then?

I got more mail today, 2 small parcels, in fact.  I love getting mail in dreary weather.  Grey skies today, with snow that melts when it touches the ground.  Cold.  Brrr.  Good thing I have those new mitts to wear.  :)

Today I received my first Ravelry Round Robin swap.  It's a little different than the other swaps.  You get the parcel, choose something inside that you like, then put something else nice in that someone else would enjoy.  I don't think it includes things like chocolate though.  It's knitting related items.  Here is a photo of my first Round Robin swap parcel.
And here is a photo of the new parcel I will send out, with the new items I've traded in.  Can you see what I took out?
I took out an adorable miniature tapestry carpet bookmark, that Emma keeps trying to borrow for her dollhouse.  It fits perfectly to scale in there, LOL.  I also took out the mini zippered pouch, as it will do nicely for a small notions bag for one of my WIPs.  My goal is to eventually have one mini pouch/bag for each of my WIP's, so I won't have to search for one to take with me when I grab a WIP to stuff in my purse on the way out the door.  I also took the 4 adorable heart shaped buttons.  I think it will be used for something I will knit for my toddler.  Not sure what, yet.  I replaced these items with a little pack of beautiful stitch markers - I know there are already some lovely stitch markers in the parcel already, but I had already bought these to go in before it arrived, and think someone would like them.  I also put in a package of book labels, as I thought this was a good trade for the bookmark. 

I added a knitting themed emery board that I purchased at my LYS, which is fun looking to me.  And my favourite item, which hopefully will make someone laugh, is the humorous sheep birthday card.  You'll have to wait till you get yours in the mail before finding out what it says on the inside.  I thought it was funny.
I hope these items will be claimed by someone during the round robin, we shall wait and see...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Winter Lingers into Spring

We've had our first spring shower in April, which was so refreshing.  It melted the little bit of snow that had come the night before.  But it didn't last.  Only two days later and the snow is coming back again.  It got cold, too.  I don't mind the rain when it is warm enough to walk through, or the snow when there is enough to play in.  I also like it cold enough that I have a good reason to wear my winter gear.  Yes, I do love my winter accessories.  I love my toques, scarves, and most of all mitts! 

I ended up getting an extra surprise in the mail from my swap pal Alix.  She sent me a hand knitted pair of fingerless gloves, and a craft activity for my boy to play with.  I love these mitts!  I keep showing them to anyone who I chat with during the day.  That brings my total collection of owned knitted fingerless mitts (not ones I have made, they are always given away) to 4 pairs.
I'm so glad I got back in to knitting swaps.  It's so fun!  Thank you very much, Alix!