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 Nuts.com 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!
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.
GOD BLESS US, EVERYONE!