Archive for the ‘One Skein Exchange’ Category
My secret pal, Leah, sent a great gift to close out the One Skein exchange. She crocheted me a little clutch in Detroit Pistons colours! I admired this clutch in the OneSkein book and thought that the pattern might be enough to get me to learn crochet! What makes it special is that Leah thought of my favourite team, despite her loyalty to the Spurs! The zipper and jersey lining are in Piston’s blue to match!
To top it all off, she included some goodies inside! Burt’s Bees stuff (which I love) and some hand made soap (oatmeal chamomile olive oil soap, to be exact). I love homemade soap!
Thanks, Leah! The gift was definitely worth waiting for!
I completed my One Skein gift for my secret pal some time ago, but have yet to mail it off. These pictures were taken with Beth’s Mac at work, as the gift just needs to be packaged up properly and walked across the street to the post office.
I decided to make the “spiral” drawstring bag out of the OneSkein book. I picked an emerald green skein of Malabrigo (so soft!). The colour is in honour of the “Emerald City” in the Wizard of Oz, a favourite movie of my pal. I also thought the spiral pattern was reminiscent of the twister that carries Dorothy away. To finish off the project I added some fancy beads I bought at the bead store next to work. Beth helped me with the selection and figured out how to get them on there! I’ll be shipping this off with some Oz embellishments (stickers and a magnet) soon.
Because my One Skein Pal, Judy, was so good to me, I decided to send her a little thank you:
This is about 175 yards (~8oz) of yarn I spun from pencil roving. It is a wool blend and was already dyed. It is chunky and squishy and I can’t wait to see what she makes with it!
As I pulled into the driveway last night after work, I spied a little box awkwardly jammed into my mailbox. When there is something exciting for me, Nick leaves the mail so I can get all the excitement of “checking the mail.” Such a nerdy thing, but it IS exciting :)
What did I find in the box? An awesome little felty red purse. It has great detail – you can see the seed stitch on the ends and herringbone on the front and back and it has a cute scalloped edge.
It is just the right size for a few necessities and a small knitting project. It may just be the solution to my “too many big bags” dilemma for my trip to NY tomorrow! It also comes right when Ava has become obsessed with purses, so I might have to sneak it out :)
But, it doesn’t stop there, oh no. There were more treats inside the purse. First, a great skein of Noro Cash Iroha. The color is sort of magenta (though officially called burgundy). It is a luxurious blend of cashmere, silk, and lamb’s wool. Very soft. The other treat is a little baggie of tiny and super-cute stitch markers, just perfect for sock knitting. Ava really loved those!! “Aren’t they cutie?!” she exclaimed.
The One Skein Exchange had been a really treat for me. I was very fortunate to be paired with a great pal. Thank you so much, Judy (the Nerdy Knitter), for making this a great exchange!!!
August is upon us which means it is time for the final swap of the One Skein Exchange. This one is to be a completed project that used only a single skein. I choose Debbie Bliss Aran Cashmerino. I know that my pal loves Baby Cashmerino, so she aught to like this too.
Her package includes a pair of super-soft fingerless gloves (pattern from Knitty), a travel mug, some cute pyramid shaped tea in silk bags, some biscuits, and some extra yarn.
I envision her sitting out on her porch/deck this fall with warm wrists, sipping tea and knitting up a hat to match her new gloves. I hope this sounds appealing to her!
Along with July came a lovely package from Texas! My secret pal sent along a soft and unique treat:
It is a wonderfully soft skein from Russia: 65% mohair, 25% wool, 10% acrylic. It has a great wavy texture and I can’t wait to see how it knits up! My secret pal said the colours reminded her of springtime in Texas: delicate pinks and blues, soft purple and grey…gorgeous! Thanks, Leah! I think I might knit up a little clutch with it…I can’t wait!
(I apologize for the poor picture. I’ve decided that I need a fancy light like Beth’s!)
I hurried home today because I got word that a package arrived. When I sat down to open it, Ava asked what was in the box. I asked her what she thought was in the box and she said “Is it…… YARN!?” Of course she was right.
I received this wonderful “one” skein surprise:
It is a beautiful mohair/merino blend, handspun by the owner of my Pal’s local yarn shop, The Needle Lady. So, so soft and such a great color! And the best part: my Pal doesn’t play by the rules… she sent two skeins!!! Can you believe it?! But I’m not suppose to tell, so keep it quiet ;) My package also included a super-cute knitting themed card, a notebook/knitting journal, and little package of stickers. She said that the stickers are for me or Ava – but since Ava found them first, I didn’t really have a chance!
You rock, Secret Pal! Thanks so much!
Three finished projects, that is. And it is just what I needed – I’m feeling recharged and ready to go!
I started off making some mitts for my One Skein Pal. I was planning to make the gloves with the cabled cuff from the One Skein book but decided that gloves need to fit pretty well and I better not make them for someone who’s hands I no nothing about. So, I decided to turn them into mittens, which are much more forgiving in fit.
I used Araucania Nature Wool in dark blue tones. After finishing, I decided that I’m still a bit uncomfortable with the fit. If her hands are any longer than mine, they’ll be too small. So these will likely end up as a Christmas gift for someone.
The same day I decided that the new issue of Knitty came out with some cool fingerless gloves. Perfect!! It doesn’t matter how long her fingers are. So I went out and got some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and made these:
I will be sending these to my Pal. However, I need to think of something else to include as these seem kind of small. I have the rest of the month to figure it out. By the way, she didn’t specify that she likes blue, I guess I was just drawn to it.
I decided to put a little crochet trim on them to spice them up a bit. I think it looks pretty darn cute. I also decided against the very sweet Peter Rabbit buttons – I just didn’t think they fit with the look of the bibs. Instead, I dove into my huge assortment of vintage buttons and found the perfect little pink numbers.
And don’t worry, I’ll find a good use for the Peter Rabbit ones.
On May 25, I declared that for the rest of the summer, I would not purchase any more yarn. Best laid plans, and all that… It was a honorable goal but doomed from the beginning – because I am weak. I went to the yarn store last to acquire skein #2 for my secret pal, but I just couldn’t stop there. I think I touched everything in the store and finally caved in and bought 3 skeins of Ironstone Harmony.
It is a really soft bulky wool and just what I needed to shake me out of the boring-knitting-project funk I’ve been in for a couple weeks. I plan to do some felting – probably a bag.
OK, so it wasn’t the whole summer, but I went over a MONTH without buying yarn and that is pretty amazing!
Here is what I got for my pal:
It is Noro Silk Garden Lite. I’ll be sending it in that cute little bag – wonder where I got that idea ;)
It’s been a long time coming, but my computer is finally working, so I can share the great gift I got from my secret pal!
And along with it, two kitty toys for Blake! (Note: one is a basketball!)
I was so excited, as was Blake. He sniffed the yarn for a few minutes then commenced to lazily batting the balls around.
I also received a lovely hand-written note on STATIONERY! What a treat.
Thanks Secret Pal! I love it!
I am already devising the scarf pattern I will knit my skein into. I think the colours will perfectly match my turquoise winter coat! More to come on that…
Well, I finally have my skeins picked out to send my secret pal. Let’s start with June. I thought it would be nice to send ‘accessories’ and perhaps a pattern along with the yarn. On the weekend, I picked up some circular rattan handles for a purse. I thought that a handbag was a good project that could use only a single skein. All I needed was a good yarn. On the way home from work today, Beth and I stopped at her local yarn store and picked up this little treasure:
My pal said she liked earthy colours, and this Manos del Uruguay seemed to fit the ticket! As it is wool, she can felt or not felt whatever she decides to make. I also thought the colours went well with the dark wood handles I picked out:
I have found a few patterns for cute purses, but would like to find one for a loom, as that is how she knits. I hope she likes it!
When I got home from shopping today, there were two packages waiting for me. One was the long awaited alpaca and the other was from my one skein pal – YAY. I was caught a bit off guard – I didn’t expect to get my one skein surprise so quickly (probably because I haven’t gotten around to sending mine out yet). My pal found a beautiful skein of handspun yarn (50% jacob wool, 50% mohair) at her local “junque”/antique shop. I’m so glad she did – this stuff feels really nice and is a beautiful mix of natural colors – cream and brown. I can’t wait until my handspun looks this good :)
And if the yarn wasn’t enough, it arrived in a great little bag (with cool marbles on it!). Finally, I can stop using ziploc baggies to carry around my knitting projects!
Here are the responses I sent to my secret pal. I also think that we were matched up perfectly…she seems very cool, just like me…
She is a basketball lover!!! Although the loves the Spurs (Pistons’ arch enemy), I give her credit for excellent taste in teams. The funny thing is, she ALSO won tickets to a playoff game! I’ll have to ask her if she had to sing for them…
Here’s the standardized questions:
1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?
I would say Noro Kureyon – colourful and abrasive.
2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?
I like all colours, but somehow tend to work with darker, richer colours.
3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns?
I am currently using variegated yarn for the first time on a pair of socks (which I am learning to knit well)
4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?
I prefer natural fibers, but will work with other synthetics. I tend to choose wools/alpacas, but am learning to work with other types (cotton ribbon, for example).
5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls
I have generally worked with wound yarn, but enjoy center-pull despite the fact that it is far less entertaining for my cat!
6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in
hmmm. By organic do you mean cotton and hemp and bamboo and such? If so, I recently bought some cotton, but have not started my project yet (a tank top).
7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year?
I’ve made about a hundred scarves, five hats, a felted bag, a capelet, a pair of “footies” (from Oneskein), my first sweater. I am in the process of knitting a pair of socks, a felted bag, and a hat.
8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year?
I most surely will. I’ve already given five knit gifts since January (felted bag, three hats, capelet), and plan on many more for the holidays.
9. What is your favorite one skein project?
I really enjoyed making the “footies” (my first ever “socks”) because they were on larger needles and included cables. In general, I like making hats.
10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it?
I have probably 50 skeins stashed away. I create “secret” mountains. They start as a small pile hidden behind a chair, in a drawer, under a table, and they somehow grow and morph into an insurmountable tower of fiber that not even the cat can conquer.
11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never
use it or part with it?
Nope. Love to share good yarn.
12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer?
I used to. But the bug hasn’t left me this year!
13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
Technically, two. At work, a bunch of us knit one or two lunch breaks a week. I also have a group in my town of friends that meet once a week.
14. Pal, please confirm for me your mailing address
(included in the email)
My pal also sent along some extra questions of her own devising…
Do you like animals? What kinds do you have? Saw that you mentioned a cat….fellow cat lover here :).
I have a sweet and fat kitty named Blake. He is named after William Blake, as I got him the day I defended my thesis about William Blake.
Do you have any favorite shows?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, although I try not to miss a Pistons game! (I love to knit and watch basketball). When I am not watching a game I will catch Survivor sometimes. I have to say my favourite show is America’s Next Top Model. I do not know why this is.
My favourite authors have to be J.R.R. Tolkein and Stephen King. I’ve read just about everything they have both written multiple times. Two books that are favourites that don’t fall into this category are Q & A by Vikas Swarup and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
In general, I am a horror buff, reading anything I can that will scare the pants off me. Edgar Allen Poe is a favourite as well as M.R. James. I can’t get enough of their short stories!
I got a message from my One Skein secret pal today asking for my answers to the “get to know you” questions. I have emailed them to her (or him) but I also thought I’d share with everyone.
Here are the answers to your questions. Please note that there is another One Skein Secret Pal Exchange participant on this blog – don’t get us confused (PLEASE!!!).
Q: Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?
A: If I could be any yarn, what yarn would I be? Hmmmm… Is there any yarn that can be described as cranky and sarcastic ;) No? well then I pick an interesting/textured chunky wool because I always love a big comfy sweater (not because I’m interesting and chunky).
Q: What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?
A: Lately, I have been really drawn to blues and I am always a fan of greens. However, it is pink all the way when I’m knitting for my little one (two year old Ava).
Q: Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns?
A: Quite a few. I actually have a tendency to prefer multi-color yarns over solids.
Q: Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?
A: Most of what I use is wool, though I have been drawn to more wool blends, cottons, and other fibers lately.
Q: Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn?
A: I have a ball winder and swift so I never wind a ball by hand (unless I ripped out a large amount). Although I could pull from the center, I don’t because the yarn usually turns into a big tangled mess as I finish the ball.
Q: Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them?
A: I have never worked with organic yarns. I have nothing against them but have no particular interest.
Q: How many and what projects have you made in the last year?
A: In the past year, I have made a couple sweaters, several scarves, some socks, a couple wrap/shawls, a couple shrugs, several baby blankets, some hats. I’d rather not stop to count them up :) Maybe somewhere in the 20-30 range. I have also obtained a spinning wheel, learned to spin, and made several skeins of yarn. Have a look through the blog for entries by me.
Q: Will you be knitting any gifts this year?
A: Yes, I will be making a handful of baby gifts and whatever I can cram in for family xmas gifts.
Q: What is your favorite one skein project?
A: It all depends on the size of the skein, I guess. Generally, scarves – there are so many options, you can never have too many, and they make good gifts.
Q: How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it?
A: My yarn is currently stored in two plastic bins, though they are chock-full. Inside the bins, the yarn is kept in ziploc bags. A picture is worth a thousand words… here’s two:
Q: Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it?
A: Well, I don’t really think that I’ll get rid of the yarn besides knitting it up (I guess that means my stash is still too small!). But I don’t have any that I cherish so much that I would never use it.
Q: Do you knit less or differently in the summer?
A: I do. Last year, I barely knit at all during the summer. This year, I have shifted my interests to socks and cotton items.
Q: Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
A: Just the group of cooworkers who contribute to this blog. I don’t know too many knitters outside of work (just my mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law, and my aunt).
Q: Pal, please confirm for me your mailing address.
A: Included in email.