Monday, 18 February 2013

New Years Resolution Swap

This swap was awesome!

What a great way to keep motivated to stay on your knitting goals! It even helped me get through some of those winter Blahs. Lorraine is such a great partner.  She did a great job in finding out what things I like:  especially those delightful little goodies that I can't get a hold of here in Canada.  Like delicious chocolate and heartwarming tea from Marks and Sparks!

Here are the pics I took of ml the goodies she sent me. Not only did Lorraine spoil me, but she also sent wonderful goodies for my kids to open.  She mailed separate packages for each of my kids to open, because Lorraine knows how much my children love to get their own mail.  It was so special.
Take a look at them opening their mail...

All of these items were wonderfully gift wrapped.  My kids had so much fun unwrapping each gift.
Emma didn't get what the 'buttons' were at first, until we opened the package and she found little chocolate buttons to eat.  She loves the puzzle!  It comes with a cute puzzle tag on the string handle.
Emma opened up the colouring pages right away.

Next was Evan.  I made the kids wait till they were done their chores before they could open their packages.  I was impressed with how quickly (and without complaining) my kids finished tidying up the living room... they even vacuumed, and put away the dishes.  "Ok mom, now can we open our packages?"
Evan was so fast at opening his gifts that I was barely able to take a photo before he was on to the next one. I made him stop for a minute to say cheese before he helped himself to the chocolates, which he thoroughly enjoyed.  Evan says thank you, Mom's friend!  for the chocolates and the origami paper.  He made us several new origami pieces before bedtime.

Next was Burk's turn.  He was acting all patient, but I saw that smile creep across his face when I gave him his parcel.  Wonder what kept him from opening it before his turn?  I had it hidden.  If I let them open theirs all at the same time, I wouldn't get any good photos.  Wouldn't want that now, would we?
Burk was very happy!  Orange Aero!!!  He was so sweet, he even offered to let everyone try a piece of his Aero, so he could prove just how much better tasting it is than the commercial chocolate we can get over here.  He says, "Thank you very much! The choclates were amazing!"

And then there was the big package, with my name on it.
The theme of this swap from our Ravelry group is New Years Resolutions.
The idea is to send each other items that will help us stay motivated to keep on track with our resolutions.  You know how you make goals, then three or four weeks later forgot what you even resolved to do?
One of my goals was to learn some new knitting techniques, like Entrelac.  Lorraine sent me a wonderful book that has clear instructions and good photos to guide me through the steps of learning Entralac.  It aslo has some really cool patterns to try out once I've gotten the hang of it.  Guess which one I will be trying... the fingerless mitts!  Can you believe it?  Fingeless mitts a la Entrelac!  Watch for it.
Lorraine sent me two delicious dark chocolate bars, only one of which made it to the photo opp.  It was quickly placed hidden in my knitting purse.  
The whoppers were not kept as safe... they were so fun looking, I had to share.  Emma really liked helping me get a whopper out of the little dispenser built into the package.  I've never seen candy packaged like that, what a great idea!  
I was sent some Marks and Spencer English Breakfast Tea.  I promise that each bag of tea will help me towards my resolution goals.  As will the Yummy shortbread cookies!  Lorraine sent an adorable little serving tray for my cookies to go on, it reads "Frightfully British.  Let's Brew Up".  All of these goodies were  packed inside a clear pink container for me to use to organize my stash in.  I like it so much, I will put some mmmalabrigo yarn inside to look nice!

Thank you, Lorraine!  You are so sweet!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Happy New Yarn!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday this Christmas season.  I had a few more days off from work than usual, and it was very nice to spend a few extra days without a schedule to follow.  Or an alarm clock, he he he.

As you probably guessed, I did NOT get all of my holiday knitting done in time.  Clearly, I will have to have secret projects started by July in order to have them done in time next year.  I disappointed myself more than anyone else, as they had other things to unwrap.  And then its not as fun trying to get something finished after the deadline.  Like half the fun is sucked out of knitting it.  I'm sure I won't feel that way when I'm binding off... I will be delighted, and will gleefully say, "Look!  It's done!".

There are a few inches left to go on the Shapeshifter Shrug, then it will need to be grafted.  I picked out some nice buttons for it that have been approved of with a smile from the intended recipient.

Then there's the dinosaur.  While I adore the photos and patterns in the book, Knitted Dinosaurs, I loathe the fact that they are all written to be knitted flat and then seamed up.  And I've chosen to do them in stripes, so they will look fun.

See the disaster dinosaur so far?

 So much to seam...
and weave in...
I really hope this doesn't become a UFO up in the closet.
My goal is to finish jamming knitting it together, then convert this pattern to be knitted in-the-round.  If it converts well, I will be bold and just knit lots of other dinosaurs in the round, instead of how the pattern is written up flat.  I was told on ravelry that it should be as easy as omitting the first and last stitch (that is used to seam together) and to keep in mind that the wrong/purl sides become right/knit sides.  Should be easy enough, right?

Now, for the hard part.  Anti-procrastinating... here are my resolutions for 2013 (not in order)

  • blog more
  • laugh more
  • take more time for God daily (bible, prayer)
  • explore more (outdoors, road trips, possibly a yarn store I haven't been to yet)
  • stop promising to knit things for other people... that only jinxes me to not get it done.
  • knit more for my family and kids, and not forget myself now and then
  • actually use my Zumba game this year - it's a lot of fun, when you find the time to do it
  • Go away on vacation for a couple days with my family.  Like, actually leaving the area.
  • convince my husband that yarn and vacation do belong together.  Does your hubby think like this, too?
  • Oh, and to surprise my hubby with a basement that has been decluttered.  
  • knit from my stash.  I'm curious how much of it I can use up.  It's not that much, just a few bins.
Oh, that looks so boring.  I will have to rethink this and see what exciting things I can add to the list.

OK, how about this:

  • Take my kids Zip Lining
  • Get to the beach at least twice this year
  • go camping or lodging
  • Explore another convention centre event with friends (maybe a spring yarn show in Toronto?)
  • Take my hubby on a Hot Air Balloon ride for our anniversary... will have to hint and see if he likes this kind of thing before I commit all the way and book it
  • learn some new fun recipes
  • host a murder mystery who-done-it theme evening, with a cool theme
  • Bring my kids to a comic convention (they have one in Canada, I forget where)
  • knit all the yarn from my stash in time for the yarn fair, then celebrate with new yarn!
  • Take my kids somewhere fun for a mini vacation, like Fallsview in Niagara Falls
There, that's better.