Monday, April 14, 2008

We all have days like this...

This morning I had a 50 foot tree from the front of the house cut down. It needed it. It has been losing branches for 7 years, and not only was it shaggy looking, we were starting to worry about it deciding to come down of it's own accord - probably on someone else's car, or house, or self, even. The men were done by 8:45. I am blaming it on this.

Anyway, after the men, and a number of people who just had to either call or show up at the door, or call back, or forget to call back, and cleaning the couch from the creative efforts of the two year old who has started making a habit of this, I decided to call Patternworks and ask about a sock yarn I've been eying in their catalog. It is the Kertzer On Your Toes, color 3812.

It is in the same box with color 3817 ,which is shown knitted up into a pair of socks, and very clearly the socks have strong stirpes of Hot Pink about 3 inches wide, with stripes of multicolor in between. I was discussing this with customer service, and went on to explain that This was not my favorite look, although I do like the color pink, and anyway, if they are too bright,

"All you have to do is pull your pants down."

I probably should have included the word "cuffs."

We had a good laugh, though. You'd hope that would distract from your socks, wouldn't you?

See, knitting CAN cure anything. Even a crazy day...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cast your bread upon the waters...

As the woman who wrote the I Hate to Cook Book pointed out, sometimes when you cast your bread upon the waters, it comes back nicely buttered.

I got my bread back toasted, buttered, and with a dollop of something delicious on top from my Hogwarts Sock Swap Two Partner, Daisy Hippogryff.

Look at this wonderful package! All it had to include was the following:

Socks in my house colors
A sock pattern
An HP bookmark (Which you can see better in the next foto)
Yarn for a pair of socks

Hmmm...yep, I think that was all, but look what she picked out for me!

First, there is a pile of edible goodness - Petite Ecolier Cookies, which are even more delicious than any I have had here, Cocoa sent to me by Remus Lupin, an Easter Egg that Dobby made me, and a box of lavender candies that are just - OOOH! I can clearly see I am going to have to start ordering them for myself - I have been very carefully eating them one at a time, as a special treat.

The major part of the gift, what she really concentrated on, was the yarn, and I think she totally outdid herself. Observe:

Two Skeins of Elann's Sock-it-to-Me sock yarn in Gryffindor burgundy.

Two skeins of Bergere de France Lima in machine washable wool and alpaca - I had never even heard of such a thing! - in a terrific green to make my son a pair of socks. I have no idea how she knew, but it is almost exactly the color of his eyes.

The leftover yarn from my socks, for repair, and

Effiloche, which is sea wool dyed locally in brazil wood. This is also machine washable, and a perfect color for me. I was stunned, actually. I kept holding it as if it were very fragile, almost afraid it would disappear from my hands.

The other items in the box were all also very special, and some of them were specifically sent to me by members of the Hogwarts staff and extended family. I think you can see in the photo:

A scarf woven by Hermione hanging up over the back of the box.

A bottle of honeysuckle scented bath and shower gel brewed for me by Madame Pomfrey

Minerva McGonagall came up with the lovely little notebook - there was a whole story about it in the letter which came with the package.

The little yellow rat you can just see on the top of the skein of Gryffindor yarn is the bookmark - Petter Pettigrew, hiding out as Scabbers.

There is a lapel pin of Hedwig, and a black and red pendant which relates to my pal's screen name.

The black circle you can see is actually the round top of a little skein holder I can put sock yarn in to keep it neat in my project bags.

The bracelet is a row counter bracelet, which she made for me herself! I have only been wanting one of these since the first time I saw something like it in a catalog...

There are three Cd's - a movie she thought I would like, and two sock patterns because she liked them both and could not decide between them!

And dear, busy, Molly Weasley out did herself! That is the bit you can see of a felted oven mitt she made me, there in a corner. (I had a whole picture of it, but Blogger was very mingy about how many pictures it would let me post... : - ( )

But you have been waiting to see the socks, haven't you? I have to warn you they are a tiny bit dusty, from being put on my feet the minute I got them and not taken off for quite some time... Here is one on my right foot...

And here is a photo that shows how much attention to detail Daisy put into them. The little hole that almost ALWAYS shows up at the side of the gusset? GONE!

You may have noticed that this was a bit more lavish than the average sock swap package. Daisy and I got to know each other very well. I think the swap mom paired us very carefully, possibly partly because we had each designed our own sock pattern for the first round. You can see her pattern here, along with the pattern for the socks she made me - Daisy is a very generous knitter who offers her patterns free on her website, and they are all worth knitting. Right beneath the pattern for my socks is the pattern for a baby bunting, and below that, her showcase of what I sent her.

We actually opened our boxes at the same time, while hanging out together on Yahoo messenger. It just took me a while to get this post together... (Very red face here...)

We took our time with this, by mutual consent. The packages were due at the end of October, but we did not mail till March, for various reasons. We corresponded throughout the whole time, however, and got to know each other fairly well. At this point she is a friend, not just a swap partner who did a great job, and we continue to correspond. So, not my bread came back not just buttered, but toasted, buttered, and layered with little delicious bits. Occassionally, things do turn out much better than one could ever have expected.