Swapping Around the World (and Actual Knitting Content!)

Last fall, I signed up for what looked like an interesting little swap on Ravelry - the Mix Makers Swap, where we create music mixes and swap them along with some yarn and other goodies. The first round ended up being a lot of fun and so I signed up for the second round. And am I ever glad that I did.

I am fortunate to have been paired up with blogless Caroline (her rav id is 'ameristralian'). We have some important things in common, especially our love of knitting hats, scarves and other simple diversions (although she is by far a more talented knitter than I), as well as our love of similar kinds of music. And, while I am not as passionate about all things Aussie as she is, I have had a lifelong fascination with the country, even going so far as badgering my parents about moving our entire family there during a particularly difficult 7th grade school year. I had seen the movie "The Sundowners", after which I developed a brief, but intense desire to become part of a sheep ranching family. During my graduate school years, I was part of a collaborative research project with a group of delightful Aussies down under in New South Wales, when I again entertained the notion to move there.

But I digress from the more important task of flashing my great first package from Caroline. She must be psychic, because I could not have done a better job of putting together my own package. Even though I have never said this in response to a swap questionnaire, I love the color grey and have numerous items of grey clothing and accessories. So I was delighted to get 2 skeins of Paton's Shetland Chunky in a beautiful shade of charcoal grey and a pattern for the Bella mittens. I have seen these on ravelry and lusted after them, except they looked way too difficult to consider. Caroline also included some cable needles and a very sweet note encouraging me to take the plunge into the wild world of cable knitting. She assured me it's not hard, so I think I'll take the plunge soon.

There was also a GREAT mix of world music, of which I loved every single song! And quite possibly the very best treats I've ever received in a swap - silky, creamy milk chocolate covered cookies and a slab of chocolate covered popcorn. I haven't tried the cookies yet, but I am not ashamed to tell you that after one taste of the popcorn, I put it away until Mr. C went out of town this week so that I don't have to share it with him. Judge me if you want to, but if you could only taste this crack-in-a-cellophane-wrapper, you'd do the same thing too.

Finally, look at these gorgeous stitch markers (I am guessing she made them!). They came in this cute little bag and I just love them. In fact, I loved everything, can you tell? Thanks so much Caroline - you're the best!!!

In case you haven't noticed, I have been very remiss in my blogging. Work, not enough time in a day, blahblahblah. I have been knitting furiously every day, however, trying to get as many wooly items made as I can before the shipping deadline for Afghans 4 Afghans. I made two hats, but I think they're too big for this shipment (they need items for young children and infants) so these may need to wait until another time. The green one was knit in Lamb's Pride Bulky and still needs a pompom. The variegated one is Galway chunky yarn and is my favorite. I crocheted 3 strips of single crochet for the corkscrew top and stitched them together in the middle, then ran the 2 long threads down in the top center of the hat, tied it off and wove the ends in. Faster than icord!

Here are some of the squares for the blankie. I am mixing knit and crochet, which should give an interesting texture. I am using a lot of leftovers from my stash and am amazed at how well the colors go together considering I didn't buy the original yarns to go together.

We had a very sweet, but uneventful Valentine's weekend here at the little house on the prairie. Criquette had her fill of flowers and candy and romantic movies and she hopes you all had likewise.

I am getting ready to go to San Diego to join up with Mr. C who is already there on business. I've never been there and have already gotten lots of very useful advice from the SD Knitters group on ravelry. I have made plans to visit at least one yarn shop and of course, the zoo. I'll be back with a full report. Hope you're all staying warm and dry!