Friday, December 28, 2012

My Swapee Spoiled me silly

This is a really long post, please do close everything but this window.  Go get you a cupa and allow this page to load and try to get to the bottom as I saved the best for last.

     Ok if not silly (title) then to TEARS!  AND totally made my Christmas very special this year. First of all... this is what I got, YEAH FIVE, count em, FIVE boxes.  Me and a special friend of mine did this to each other as we wanted Christmas to be really special.  She got one box but the box was just too important NOT to send it was BURSTING but it came from which has writing all over their boxes and is just fun.  She also got a squishy bag again packed to bursting. SHHH!!! I shouldn't have said that as she doesn't have it yet.
ALL of these boxes were themed! All of the goodies were wrapped the same too which was just lovely.  The wraps were either solid silver or silver with white snowflakes.  I loved that.  Then there were great cards as you can see here, this is a pile of the tags and the hand spun yarn used to hold present together.

This box was called Let It Snow.  2 tea towels with silver snowflakes embroidered onto them. See all those silver snowflakes?  Those were all hand crocheted by my Mel for me and will end up on the tree as a special dear ornaments.  
She didn't know this but DH calls me Angel, see the cup and saucer on the left?  Just below are white chocolate flakes.  All the tags and wrap were silver and yarns!  There's a candle on the right that smells just heavenly, that silver shawl pins great for shawls or to tame my unruly mass of long curls.  Sugar plums from Jelly Belly (DH fell in love!), chocolate covered pretzel sticks with snow flake candy sprinkles.  Then see the teal rounder?  That's a skein of Kidd Silk Haze!  Which has gone the way of the dinosaur so I'm very pleased to have it.
This is Dr. Doolittle and some of it's for our pets!  They all love them.  The cats REALLY dig the Pounce!  I'd forgotten about that stuff.  Lil horsey sticker, me LUV's stickers! and the mice... oh man, chocolate covered cherry bodies, jelly bean ears, the tails the cherry stem and the head I think is a malt ball! Clever that!
She even got stuff for my family!  Shane and DH got sweat shirts, DS LIVES in them and can't have too many, can you see he's got one under the blue one?  They are special as they have Michigan stuff on them which is where my beloved Swappee lives.
DD LOVES her present and rocked it like a baby!  It's Unique Sheep gradient EOS yarn!  She wouldn't let it out of her sight and smart girl,,, took it to her room immediately so I wouldn't forget and think it's mine!  HAHA you'd be surprised what with my short term memory loss and it being in all of my favorite colors!
Now lets go into the foodie boxes.  Left we have Gummy Bears, Hot Fudge for ice cream, Elderberry jam which is lovely on the oat bread.  The shiny thing is a box of dried strawberry's. NUM

Here's my favorite candy of all time salt water taffy.  In this photo you can actually see the strawberry's and the entire family loves chocolate chip cookies which are wrapped two per pack.  YUM
Here we have something actually from Michigan!  Kettle cook, skin on chips, love me some chips!  Baby bell cheeses in two flavors! YUM and a Rose' Salami.  That Starburst candy thing is so unbelievable!  None of us had ever had it.  They are chewy outside and LIQUID inside OH MAN but these are good, rather I should say GONE!  We will have to find more locally.
This food photo is REALLY special!  This one came all the way from PARIS!  Tole ya I was spoiled!!!!  MtB's DH goes there and will bring her this back.  He bought one for me too!  SPOILED ROTTEN! and lovin it.  I am using the bag for projects.  The bread is half way gone and the TEA out of this world You can see the name of the place on the bag.  The name of the tea is Yule and it SCREAMS Christmas.  We loved it! YUM.
      OK NOW what I have really been waiting for.... drum roll please...
"The big one!" [Toy Story]
Lets start here.  This one is my "Challenge present"  They were individually wrapped and tied together. The book is Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller and the pattern is the Queen Ring Shawl, each numbered, I got 450 out of 750 for this year.  In it are great clear photos of the shawl and the pattern for it.  The yarn, CASHMERE!!! GOSSAMER!!!  Yeah they deserve all caps.  You can see how excited I am by this Challenge! What a lovely shawl I will have when finished with this. Yeah, SPOILED! Anyway we recently purchased 4 cones of silk in gossamer each with 14,500 yards per cone and all this other gossamer in cashmere now. You now understand right? I will have HAVE to stop working for a time and just make me up one of these wedding ring shawls. I can't help it! I will still do what I have said I will to date which is Princess Bride and the Winter KAL BUT HOLY MOLEY! These puppies are begging to be worked with. The Queen Ring Shawl, Sharon said she worked on it for only 2 hours per night and got it done in 5 months. A total of 300 hours. If I work on it for 6 hours a day it should only take just under 2 months to crank out this lovely shawl. It's massive 72" square. I keep thinking canopy! Wedding! Then I got to thinking wedding gown!  What girl wouldn't want a gossamer cashmere gown!  I will have to think fast as DD is going to be snapped up here in short order as she's amazing.  Rabbit trail.  sigh.  I LOVE my new yarn and pattern and I will c/o soon.  Once I tried to with the Queen Susan.
This is as far as I got due to some stuff that went down.  It's been in time out for years now.  I'm going to rip it out and c/o for my Queen Ring asap. ;-)  Well around my work knitting anyway.  I always take the weekends off and DH has a 4 day weekend coming up so I will be found working in cashmere gossamer if you need me.
     What with all of this gossamer I am going to have here shortly I will have to design some shawls from it too! :-)
   That's enough right?  You'd think ok that's more then enough right?  WELL......
Left to right, DD's EOS, my EOS called  Michigan Morning and it's what Mel see's first thing in the morning so it made this yarn very special to me.  I figured out that there's 1890 yards, enough for a very large circular shawl split up the front with about 225-250 rows! That's Michigan Morning so yeah a circle, split up the front with mountain shapes and birds the yarn is multi colored so it will be simple lace for sure.  Then I will use my gradient color changing technique to get from one color to the next.
    The dark plum on the right is Mink and it says it's hand spun! My Swappee really shouldn't have done all of this but MAN! OH! MAN! am I ever happy that she did.  There is 300 yards here and I should be able to whip these up in no time. HAHA watch me!  I'm would like to make a hat and ascot combo first cause it's something I need.  Thinking grapes? pinwheel top, grapes for a tiny bit with 2 green glass bead leaves at the clusters top and then ribbing. The ascot could be similar, diamond shaped and lace with cluster in the center and then plain around the neck and for the tie that will slip into the back of the lace part. Hum... might work swell.
  Here is another Unique Sheep gradient but it's silk and has 1575 which will make a half circle at 250 rows on size 3 needles and will be grand in fine lace as these colors are more meltable what with green being in all but the last two skeins. This is much more what I think of as a gradient and I think that a shawl from these will melt nicely and be just smashing!
This is even MORE yarn!  S-P-O-I-L-E-D!!! and lovin it!  STILL!  Ok so here's Mini Mochi which is one of my FAVORITE yarns that Crystal Palace makes.  It's a true gradient long color change yarn.  Sort of like Kauni which is famous so that you know what I mean.  It's fingering weight and has nylon.  I KNOW I should make a shawl from it as there's 780 yards and it would make a good sized triangular shawl BUT... I keep thinking STOCKINGS stockings ooooohhhh [ghostly] stooooockingsssss  :-)  Time will out.  It's lovely it goes from dark purple to violet, green, navy, turquoise, royal, they are all in there and screaming to be knit as well! UGH!  What to knit first!??? On the right is a hand spun!!!! in single ply WOW I opened the skein to look at it and it's not just cream but there's beige and a peach in there too!  It's just like my Kissed yarn!!!  Purdy!  So the tag inside says 78 yards I knew that couldn't be correct so I figured it out and they are 330 yards each for a total of 660 yards.  It's a thick thin lace weight which will make a lovely triangular shawl, heavily patterned!  I can't wait to work with this one.

Here I am totally overwhelmed by the generosity of my Swappee and yet there's MORE!  
She knit me MMario's Wedding Peacock shawl! with like massive amounts of beads.  The poor dear, had the yarn, then had to purchase even more yarn! Then kept buying even more yarn! In the end I think she said it was like 2500 yards and 2000 beads. I think you will agree with me that the results are STUNNING.  MtB you really outdid yourself with this one.  I'm very proud of you and I have NO other shawl like this one.  You are AWESOME! Due to all those beads,,, it clinks and clacks as I move!
I think you all will agree with me that this shawl is just beautiful!  She did a 7 wedge with the front opening.  There's a crochet loop, beaded edging after the beaded peacock feather on the edge.  Mel, any larger hon and I don't think I could have held it up... so it's PERFECT!  This shawl is large enough to gather up a Pixie for a rock in the chair.  MUCH beloved is this shawl and YOU for making something so stunning for me.  GOD BLESS YOU GREAT BIG BUNCHES!  I can't thank you enough for making this Christmas very special indeed.  


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


I hope you all are having a wonderful day.  We had so much fun here that it's time to take a breather.   Before....

What a mess!  But we had SO MUCH FUN!  It was great!  
      Here I am digging into my Swappee's boxes, yes BOXES Mel totally spoiled me silly!  I'm so happy with all my goodies, it's as if she's known me for years she did such a great job of sending everything with so much special meaning that I was moved greatly.  As were the rest of my family.  She gave something to everyone and must needs have another post solo.
God bless us everyone.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Middle Earth

Yes we are an odd family, we dressed to go see the opening of The Hobbit.  There was much oogling and as far as I could see, only one other group dressed.  BUT we wear it well.
    I had all of my items already in my wardrobe  how scary is that?  Yes, I dress this way and yes I have THREE wreaths.  What you can't see is my cape.  It is a hand woven purple woolen I purchased years ago at a Scottish Festival.  Complete with satin lined hood, LOVE my cape.
    Actually the only items which were purchased for the event were the children's capes and Pixie #2's gold vest... which he has worn to church!  While I'm sharing secrets,,, he also wore his KILT to church once with the full tartan gear and sporran.  DH's boots go to his knees and are a suede type item he wears with his kilt.  The duster was a gift from me years ago as were the boots and top come to think of it.  Ok so I dressed them!  :-)  DD fell head over heels with her cape and it was the most expensive item but much beloved and fits her to a T.
It has black velvet on the outside and inside it's lined with satin which has little circles gathered every 5 inches or so... which makes a melon quilt shape for those of you familiar with quilting.  She made her headband, the necklace is blue on one side and green on the other, it contains a vial of orange oil which smells heavenly.  You can hardly see it but I made the clasp on DS's cape.  It's this weird beaded metal woven thing which worked perfectly.
     I made my corset about 8 years ago and a few years back added the silk ribbon embroidery.  See the worry beads?  I love that large lobster claw it goes anywhere I want it to go.
     Pixie #1 might have a problem with me sharing her laughing so I thought I'd post my oriental chipmunk look to help her out.  YUP so not as photogenic as I used to be when I tried out for the Rose Queen of Pasadena back in the day... many, many moons ago.
     On to the fun stuff.  We get there and we girls are waiting for the men to arrive after parking the beast.  While trying to keep warm, in vain I might add... who do I spy?  Frodo!  Complete with BARE FEET!!!  In the low 40 degree freezing midnight air.  I couldn't believe how much he looked like Frodo.  He had the stick and the back pack, green shorty pants and a homespun shirt.  He was AWESOME!  Behind him were not one, not two but THREE Gandolf the Gray's!  Full hair, beard and belted cape thingy's.  Their sticks were complete with the blue glow light too.
     We get inside about 30 minutes before it starts and guess what?  No good seats were left and everybody in the theater watched us walk across it!  Great! right? The only seats left were the front section, you know those 4 rows that no one sits in?  Well, guess who we sat in front of?  You got it!  The Gandolf's!  HAHA it was great and really added to our little night out.  They said we were "Solid Elves", several times in a weird creepy, young person wannabe old wizard voice.  But it was still fun.  They talked through the trailers and pre-movie garbage and were hilarious!  At one point we found the OCD in the group. I laughed so hard and had to keep it to myself and tell my gang after the fact.  This one guy, he kept reaching for DD's head,,, due to the headband being OVER her hair and not under she had one of those bumps you get.  You know - when a bit of hair lumps up due to being pulled on something instead of being flat.  So he keeps reaching and his friend keeps slapping his hands.
     [Reach] "But I have to fix it!" 
     [Reach] "But I have to fix it!" 
SLAP "I said, NO!"
     It was hysterical, I couldn't keep from busting up and I couldn't tell my gang as the speakers were so loud and I was on the far end of everyone.  Last time I get left out on the outside.  It was a riot going home cause I notice everything, I'm a good people watcher, so I was able to relate things that no one else witnessed. 
      But - about half way home my ailments kicked into high gear.  It was all I could do to get into bed, then as many of you full well know I was unconscious from Friday through to Sunday when I tried to get out of bed and really shouldn't have.  I will get better, it will take about 3 weeks... but I will get better.  
     Meanwhile I have much to keep me occupied and keep my mind off of it.  I have the Princess Bride KAL pattern to continue writing and selecting the perfect beads... writing the perfect pattern.  Two actually as I decided to make them gloves OR a scarf for those who don't want to do gloves.  AND try! TRY to figure out how to get the very special thing out to some very special people without being bombarded as there are so few of them. HUM,,, I'm thinking... I'm thinking... nope not there yet.  Then there's the Raven I'm knitting for KP, I hit Chart 2 yesterday or should I say this morning as we made a very late night of it.  I finished a good bit of my Christmas knitting DS's jacket is finished.  I worked something for DH last minute, all 450 yards went down in like what? 3-4 days?  When I put my mind to something I can really get it done.  :-)  DS has three presents which turned into her b-day presents since I was able to work up 3 items for her I'm sure she wont be too disappointed.
     For you who have seen my last video... the roses are turning yellow and their leaves have started to flake off.  Hey, I did pretty good-since Labor Day.  At least it's not a total twig for 6 months like the last one was, if they go there they are being dumped as I have never been able to resurrect any of them.
     ENOUGH!  Yeah, putting off work further, not a good idea.  Carpe Diem! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chatty Patty

     Well Kiddies, seems that the chronic laryngitis is giving me a talkative streak that I'm finding hard to curtail.  Just needed to pop in and say hello and give you a small run down of a few more personal things.  

     First our family is going through the old TV show Dark Shadows from the 60's.  I can't imagine watching it in real time as each weekend there's a terrible cliff hanger!  We have all fallen in love with poor dear Barnabas who seems to always have an unrequited love story going on.
     One day as we were speaking of the cliff hangings Mom figured out that every episode ending in 0 and 5 ended on a cliff hanger, GO MOM. Unfortunately Netflix (which we just got finally!) doesn't have all of the episodes.  It starts at about 200 so we missed the first half of the series and I might have to purchase the 132 disk set!  BUT Barnabas shows up in the series just at the point we started watching so I'm not quite sure just yet.
     Of course this one will have to be purchased as well since we all love Johnny Depp.  His story about playing Barnabas has made watching the old series even fuller for us when we learned he would run home from school every day to watch it.  I was only about 5 at the time so it wasn't something for me, back in the day.
     Another must see is Blood and Chrome for all you BSG fans.  It's set as a prequel to what all has gone before and tells of Huskers' (Bill Adama) rise to Admiral of the fleet.
     On to knitting. One of DH's b-day presents this year was another pair of socks.  He's actually wearing them and giving me a big smile every time I see them on his feet.  I purl the feet for him, well really I knit them and turn them wrong side out and continue from there.  We find that they are more comfortable for him this way and he does a lot of walking at church in them.  He's got a lovely tie which is a perfect match.  They look horrid in this photo but he has large feet and I like to use up all the yarn... yes it's an undertaking of love to make a man sized pair of socks.  1000's of tiny stitches go into a pair but they last longer and are more loved because of it.

   In my last blog post I said we were all going NUTS and here's the proof. is a great place to shop, even Lil' says so.  You can get organic dried fruits and all sorts of other items there.
     A side ways shot of my desk covered with M4 gear for making of SM's and Moon beads.  Tink pulling herself outta my coffee cup a must.  What a mess eh?  I work best in a mess as everything's right where you need it to be within arms reach.
     You know Dad goes out of town once a week right?  Well you know that when the cats away the wee mice (Fae) will play!  Here's a recent episode of one such night.  Yes, that's DD!  HAHA it didn't last long, it turned into a powder and the dust got everywhere!  So she washed it out that same night.  Needed DS's assistance to boot as came out with a green splotch still left in.
     Christmas knitting update... Swappee has a few rows left.  Large pink thing for someone who's reading this... about 50% done.  Large cream thing for someone who's reading this is at the tail end and then will need a border.  Large green jacket for someone who will not be reading is almost finished but I can only work on it on Sundays as that's the only time I'm away from DS and it's his.  He picked a lovely yarn and I'm making a jacket that I have made several times.  Need to get photos of all these things but I think I would like to get them with their owners as models.
     Been shopping at World Market a great deal and I want to share one item with you.  No make that two, oh bother the count!  The first is a soap that they have it's GREAT in gardenia which is one of my favorite scents.  I love the smell of Freesia as well but it's hard to find in products.  They also have lovely chocolate biscuits as the Brits call them. Many different types try them all. Oh and Panettone which is favored this time of year as french toast in this family.  Lastly their Jasmine Pearls for all you tea addicts out there this is a GREAT tea.  Of course I had to go and order all of this stuff as we are talking!  NUTS still.
     A good friend of mine sent us the Alpine Village advent calendar by Jacquiline Lawrence.  I always love receiving those cards through the year from friends.  When they come in I call the children round as I open the card and we watch it play out.  DS was just telling DD the day before that he want an advent calendar to open.  Timely as I never did finish the quilted one I have around here some place.  This calendar comes as a desktop snow globe and opens to a winter scene.  Each day that you open the calendar you watch another scene play out.  Then when you go back to the home page it has that area of the village opened and operating.  We all loved making the snowman which then appeared in the village!  Watching the bear on the ski lift who then took a header into the snow.  Now that area of the card is moving and you see the characters from each scene in the village.  My friend had to pay for this calendar and I appreciate her thoughtfulness as we all really love this snow ball village.
     Chatty Patty has spent far too much time away from Barnabas and the rest of my Fae, times calling me away.  Have a great day and a wonderful season.