Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thank you, Felicia!!!

One of my favorite events has been The Hand-Dyed Yarn Swap. We just finished up Round Four, and here's what I received:

I am so thrilled with my package from Felicia!! Just look at this gorgeous yarn!! The photos do not at all do it justice. It's wonderfully muted shades of greens and blues, with a bit of yellow. Felicia dyed this yarn for me with Superwash Merino in sport weight. She calls it "PG Getaway" after her home in Pacific Grove, California.

Along with my beautiful yarn, Felicia also sent me some really fun gifts. There is some lavender-scented vegetable oil soap, some "beak balm" (not sure what to do with that, yet), a lovely Lantern Moon notepad, and a postcard with a photo of the beach at Pacific Grove. Each item is fabulous!

Now, on with the search for the perfect sock design to showcase this beautiful yarn. Thank you, Felicia!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Not Your Ordinary Block Exchange

The NYOBE is a group of knitters and crocheters on Ravelry. The group was divided into several circles based on the individuals' color preferences. I joined the Buttercup circle whose focus was on neutrals. With a circle of 12 people, we were each to make twelve12-inch blocks, send out eleven to the other members, and keep one for our own blanket.

Now, if you've never joined a swap or exchange circle, I do recommend least once. While not all swaps are successful due to well-intentioned folks who flake out on their commitments, most are a fun way to exchange ideas and make new friends.

The NYOBE was very well organized by Tanya. Cindy, our circle leader, did an excellent job of keeping track of folks and encouraging all the members, even taking on additional postage charges for the international portion of the exchange. The end result was a mixed-media blanket, made by many hands from all around the world.

My blanket details:
I made four additional squares in order to enlarge my finished blanket. This was also a fun way to try out a few new stitches and color combinations.

Not all the squares I received were 12 inches. (One was as small as 9"X10".) In order to make them uniform, each was blocked and then edged. I crocheted around the smaller blocks with matching yarn using either single, half-double, or double crochet to bring them all up to the same dimensions. Then each block was edged with the darker brown.

Then, using Priscilla Hewitt's Flat Braid Method, all the squares were joined together. I had never used this method before, but it quickly became my favorite!

I finished the whole thing up with a simple Picot Edging. Tah-dah!!! A cozy new blanket ready for our cool weather this fall!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I lovvvvve thrift stores!!

Finding new life in someone else's cast-off is actually quite fun. You just never know when you are going to come across a treasure that was on it's last stop before the landfill. Some days, you may find nothing but picked-over junk. And other days can be filled with gems.

Today was a great thrifting day. Just take a look.

This Wagon Wheel blanket is in excellent condition, and was obviously made with love. It's crocheted with fingering-weight yarn and I can imagine it took the artist a very long time to complete.

Just look at all those colors. I'm so happy it came to live at my house!

And how fun is this?! Two tubes of linen. It's rather fine...probably 10/2. Since I don't weave, I'll need to find the perfect crochet pattern to show it off. Each tube was marked $2.99 and I had a 20%-off coupon. Yipppeee!!

This partial skein of yarn had obviously been looked over. It was hanging out by itself, while most of the other yarns were grouped in bags. This is the type of yarn I grew up with...this and Red Heart WOOL. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I had to bring it home, too.

Happy thrifting. May your day be filled with gems!!