Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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  • Smile, and Pass It On

    If you only have one smile in you, give it to the people you love.
    Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street
    and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.
    -Maya Angelou

    Thank you for all the lovely comments on my new sweater. I keep meaning to post in more detail about my grand plans for NaKniSweMoDo, with sweaters #2 and possibly #3 nearing completion, and #4 just started (and having bought yarn for #5 and #6, of course), but I'm spending all my days and 1/3 of my nights in the ICU. Which can be surprisingly good for sweater knitting as I wait and watch. But I digress. I'm loving my new sweater, and the fact that this week it's been a delightfully cool 50s and rainy.

    I mentioned in my last post that I thought making two sweaters in the same brilliant peacock blue (as gorgeous as it is) at the same time was overkill. So I cast about for a new yarn for Acer, and settled on Peace Fleece. It's the original, called-for yarn. It's reportedly soft and wooly. And I like the company - no one loves peace more than those of us in the military.

    It came quickly, within a week or so. And it was as perfectly, delightfully, soft and wooly as I had hoped. I went with pink, for variety.

    Inside was a delightful surprise:

    You probably can't read that, but apparently my order was selected during their Tuesday staff meeting as the "Smile" order - it was sent free of charge. I say again, free. No charge for the yarn. No charge for shipping. Completely free.

    I was amazed. Astounded. Tickled pink, if you excuse the pun.

    So tickled pink, in fact, that I feel compelled to pass on this smile. . . . and, er, try to do some stash compensating at the same time. Ironically, a company like Peace Fleece that I feel good about patronizing, sent me my money back. So, let's try to send them more, shall we?

    Comment on this post, and tell us something that made you smile today. The random-number generator and I will send you the sweater-quantity of Peace Fleece in the color of your choice. That way I can support a company I like, and not add to the stash.

    In order to even out the stash a bit, and to add to the fun, here are five skeins - karmically, the same number as my Peace Fleece - of Briggs and Little 4-ply in a gorgeous charcoal gray that I bought on the way to PEI on a memorable yarn-shopping vacation a few years ago. The stash is getting upset that this lovely yarn sits unused in San Diego, so I will happily send it to yours full of the good memories of times when I lived in places where wooliness was so desirable.

    Contest closes at midnight PDT on Sunday February 15, 2009. If your stash is as crushingly-huge as mine and you want no more yarn, feel free to mention that in your comment, but tell us something happy anyway.

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    Blogger Emily said...

    How wonderful of Peace Fleece to do that!

    Can I say something that made me smile last night? My baby had a case of the giggles. Every thing we did was the funniest ever!

    2/11/2009 3:02 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've had a pretty rough February so far, so not many reasons to smile. But tonight I'm going to bake myself some brownies to cheer me up, and that, plus some knitting and a good tv show should definitely make me smile!
    It's really wonderful of Peace Fleece to do something like this, and for you to do the same. Thank you!

    2/11/2009 4:04 PM  
    Blogger Unknown said...

    That is excellent karma! I'm smiling at your mention of PEI because I'm wearing a shirt from a restaurant called Flex Mussels that has a branch there (and I got my t-shirt at their new-ish outpost in NYC). It has a big "Prince Edward Island" on the back :-).

    2/11/2009 4:10 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm sure I'm ineligible for the contest as a member of the family, (you know, like the "rules" always say), but here goes: I rearranged the master bedroom today to create a reading/knitting area! And, of course, the remodeled kitchen always makes me smile.

    Your newest sweater is gorgeous (why does that word spelling look strange?). And I love the haircut.


    2/11/2009 4:23 PM  
    Blogger SarahJanet said...

    My smile today was that I made cookies today and my husband nearly died from the shock of it. (I'm not much of a housewife. This is an understatement!) His reaction has me still giggling several hours later! (Plus the cookies were worth a smile or two too.)

    2/11/2009 4:28 PM  
    Blogger Kristen said... smile this month is that I'm on Colorado for a rotation - so there are times during the day when I think to myself, "I'm in Colorado" and can't help but smile.

    2/11/2009 5:11 PM  
    Blogger nestra said...

    The thing that made me laugh today is the antics of my little dog. He's a goof, and he makes me laugh everyday.

    2/11/2009 5:20 PM  
    Blogger Abigail said...

    My husbands beard. It just makes me smile and so does my teen son.
    Oh and the sweet fresh air of Key West, where I live.

    What a wonderful blessing for you!

    2/11/2009 5:38 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have happy memories of knitting my husband a sweater with Briggs and Little yarn in shades of dark and light grey. That wool is pretty well indestructable!

    2/11/2009 5:39 PM  
    Blogger Knitting Up North said...

    The fact that it was 73 degrees today, in February, made me smile. I'm still not used to the possibility of warm sunny days in the middle of winter. Love SC

    2/11/2009 6:05 PM  
    Blogger Elinor said...

    Damn, that's amazing! As if we needed any more reasons to like Peace Fleece! What made me smile today? 1) No med school rejection letters came in the mail and 2) someone offered to buy my house. For reals.

    2/11/2009 6:13 PM  
    Blogger Jersey Shore Deb said...

    Wow, what a wonderful story of the Peace Fleece!
    What made me smile today? My daughter is in her high school musical and she practiced her dance for me--she's so graceful and clearly thrilled to have this opportunity.

    2/11/2009 6:14 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The baby, feeding the dog through the baby jail...while the breadstick was still in her mouth! It was sorta like Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene...

    I love that pink peace fleece!

    jennanndavis at gmail dot com

    2/11/2009 6:16 PM  
    Blogger Donna said...

    This is the best thing I've read all day - I love everyone's comments. Two things made me smile most today: I got a big compliment on what a great job our office does working with volunteers - from a volunteer, who wrote to the president of my college and our Board of Trustees to say so. And, I get to knit a sample scarf for a knitting book(!) out of Rowan Wool Silk, which I've never used before. I know. I'll probably get hit by a bus tomorrow - but today was good.

    I'm torn: as a past contest winner, I'm probably ineligible, but I've wanted to try Peace Fleece and Briggs and Little forever, so I'll let you decide, and if the random number generator picks me, I'll look forward to doing something lovely for another knitter - paying it forward.

    2/11/2009 6:23 PM  
    Blogger Stephanie said...

    What a nice thing for both Peace Fleece and you to do! My smile today (and most days) is my dog. Seriously--you can't be cranky when a shepherd-sized dog brings you his squeaky teddy bear to play with!

    2/11/2009 6:33 PM  
    Blogger Kristen said...

    Oh man, the prettiest pink Peace Fleece with free shipping. I've always wanted to try it, too.

    What made me - and countless other New Englanders- smile today: Sunshine and temps in the 60's after weeks of frigid cold and snow and ice that would not melt. And spotting the first robins of the year!

    2/11/2009 6:34 PM  
    Blogger Jen B said...

    Ooh - this one is easy - the image of my extremely thin (ok scrawny) 3 year old trying to do a sit up in gymnastics & finally pulling herself up by grabbing her shorts. I just had to smile - not only did it look funny, but she was trying so hard.

    2/11/2009 6:38 PM  
    Blogger InkyW said...

    That is wonderful of you and of Peace Fleece. I will certainly remember their good karma Smile policy next time I need to buy yarn!

    as for making me smile, it's my new kitten and her morning cuddles routine. She loves to rub her nose up on my face after I snorgle her adorable mug. that kinda of karmic payback is also cool!

    2/11/2009 6:46 PM  
    Blogger Joan said...

    I allowed myself to be happy today despite the fact that I'm probably going to have major surgery soon for an aneurysm. I did all happy things, listened to The Eagles band on my ipod, read, knitting and stood out on the deck in the rare sunshine at this time of year. I love Peace Fleece!

    2/11/2009 6:53 PM  
    Blogger Unknown said...

    I was happy today because the doctor handed me a prescription and said, 'you'll feel much much better in about 48 hours'. I'm not there yet, but I'm still very happy at that news. :)

    2/11/2009 6:56 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am so excited you chose that color of peace fleece. WE ARE TWINS. I was thinking of making myself an Acer out of the same color of Brooks Farms from my LYS. Even better that they sent it to you for free. Congrats!

    And, a super cool contest idea.

    2/11/2009 6:57 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I actually smiled alot today but I have one thing that stands out in my mind. My daughter-in-law said "I love you, Mom" to me today and I know she does. Just kind of completes the circle if you know what I mean. I choose to smile tomorrow, also. Thanks!

    2/11/2009 7:35 PM  
    Blogger Jenn said...

    Wow - how neat! I've never heard of any company doing that - I will be supporting them in the future!
    What makes me smile? Hearing The Bug giggle at me when I tickle her. :)
    Can't wait to see those sweaters!

    2/11/2009 7:48 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What a wonderful way to share your good luck! I smiled this morning at other people smiling at my dog while we were walking. Some people can't seem to not smile at a big (75lb) fluffy poodle walking around. Especially if he's wearing his red shoes and red coat. Though this morning he was au natural he still made people happy.

    2/11/2009 8:09 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Terri, What made me smile was going back to the sheltered workshop at work and having people tell me my new haircut makes me look younger. It would make anyone over 50 smile-laugh. Don't send me the yarn--it would be wasted on me. However, I have started on my "gift" yarn on a pair of socks--having fun and thinking of you. Get some sleep. Love, Aunt Carol

    2/11/2009 8:27 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What a great thing for Peace Fleece to do!

    What made me smile recently? A story my daughter told me about my son and his new piano piece. When they got home from piano lessons, he asked her to play the new piece for him (she's older and a much better pianist, so it was easy for her to play). She obliged, thinking that he wanted to hear it played well so he could work on making it sound the same way when he played it. That was until she saw him running around the room wearing his cowboy gear while she played.

    The name of the piece?

    The Wild Horseman.

    He just wanted background music for his antics!


    2/11/2009 8:36 PM  
    Blogger Pam said...

    Now I like Peace Fleece even more. I smiled today when one of the great volunteers I work with for Destination Imagination agreed to take a leadership role I needed filled. Great people who say "yes!". It made me smile.

    2/11/2009 8:43 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    In addition to your post, the following things made me smile today:
    1) realizing that in the previous 24 hours, each of my daughters voluntarily and without provocation sat down at a piano in a public place and just played for the fun of it.... and sounded good.
    2) I got to say "I told you so" to the daughter who didn't want to go see the Chinese Acrobats tonight -- they were awesome, and she admitted it.
    3) Watching acrobats do amazing things, even if they did remind me how inflexible my own body is (especially by comparison).
    4) Learning that a friend, with
    whom I had lunch, has the same weird thing about onions that I do (love them cooked, can't tolerate them raw).

    Thanks for the smiles...

    2/11/2009 9:42 PM  
    Blogger Ariel said...

    What a great gift from Peace Fleece (who I've never heard of but will go look at their site after this comment).

    What made me smile today was the fact that more rain is coming. Here in So. California we don't get a whole lot of winter but it's cold (for us) and there's another storm on its way.

    2/12/2009 6:17 AM  
    Blogger Tracy Batchelder said...

    I smiled when I saw a fresh strawberries for sale in the grocery store.

    2/12/2009 6:33 AM  
    Blogger Dorothy said...

    What a great company. This morning I smiled at a story about two men in a hospital room. One had the window bed and over the 6 months they were there, every day he described in vivid detail the scenes outside the window - a lovely park, children playing, lovers walking hand in hand, a parade. The man at the window eventually died and only then did the other man discover that he was completely blind. The story was about encouraging others, even when we find ourselves down. That brought a smile to me!

    2/12/2009 6:40 AM  
    Blogger Mary Lou said...

    I don't need any more yarn, but I want to buy some Peace Fleece just to support them. My smile this morning was walking to work with the temperature above freezing!

    2/12/2009 6:54 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am smiling because tomorrow I am headed to my mom and dad's to surprise my mom for her 75th birthday! My oldest son and his wife are going to be there as well, which was not easy to accomplish since they are both doctors doing their residencies (getting their on call schedules worked around this trip has been a challenge!).


    2/12/2009 7:14 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I couldn't help but smile while I was walking my dog Rigel early this a.m. and I told him what a good boy he was and he started arching his neck and prancing as he trotted -- he's just so darn cute!

    2/12/2009 7:38 AM  
    Blogger Kat said...

    I had to smile when I asked my husband why he was cleaning the kitchen instead of going to work and he pointed out that he had to wait until the bus came so he might as well be productive.

    2/12/2009 9:56 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well I smiled when I read that Peace Fleece has a smile order in general... I also smiled when I booked my flight to LA for what should be a monumental trip next month :)

    2/12/2009 11:03 AM  
    Blogger Joan said...

    I've just come over from the "Moth Heaven" blog, where she's posted a picture of a valentine that blasted me right back to the first grade (that's 45 years ago, but who's counting?). It was a sweet memory and made me smile.

    2/12/2009 11:03 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    beautiful yarn, lovely pink too!

    My kids school was canceled today, because some of our school where with out power. I'm smiling because my kids decided to make me breakfast in bed!

    2/12/2009 11:52 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A woman at my workplace has been off on maternity leave and we haven't seen her since the baby shower. Today she brought her little girl for us to admire and coo over, and she was wrapped up in the blanket that I had knitted for her! Try not to smile at that!

    2/12/2009 12:25 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    this made me smile

    2/12/2009 4:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Today when I was driving to work I saw a huge rainbow, a full arc across the sky. In CT we had a spring-like rain this morning and to see a rainbow was great treat. I even had my camera and snapped a picture.
    Also, I consistently read your blog but never can comment because I read it through my cell phone but I made sure to log in at home and participate in such a fun contest. This is paying it forward at it's best!

    2/12/2009 4:04 PM  
    Blogger Pat K said...

    What a lovely gift for you! And I'm smiling today at all the lovely patterns in the new IK that arrived today.

    2/12/2009 4:24 PM  
    Blogger Katura said...

    African violets made me smile.
    My boyfriend loves African violets so I got him one last year for Valentines Day. Over the summer I rooted several cuttings so we now have them all over the house. This year for Valentines Day he took me to a garden center and we got three more so we can fill our house with color and little symbols of love. I smile every time I see one.

    2/13/2009 5:09 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love when unexpected nice things happen. My husband ordered some outdoor gear from a new company yesterday. They were really helpful and didn't charge him tax or S&H. I thought that was nice. Love your blog and enjoying watching you make all of those beautiful sweaters.

    2/13/2009 6:47 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My boyfriend's friends had their first baby today. It makes me grin to think that he's a Friday the 13th baby. :D He's going to be so sick of tat when he gets older.

    2/13/2009 11:40 AM  
    Blogger Kim said...

    What a wonderful business practice! I'm smiling today because my baby put himself back to sleep at 4am and I didn't have to get up! Speaking of which, when are we going to hear about baby news from you? ;) Just kidding.

    2/13/2009 1:34 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My smile came today when I was treated to a steak lunch by the mechanics in the shop I support! They wouldn't let me pay, and let me tell ya, they're good cooks!

    2/13/2009 5:34 PM  
    Blogger Mia said...

    My husband has an *interesting* sense of humor. For the past few months we have been very busy renovating our home, and I knew Valentine's day would be not a huge deal but still special in our own way...So this morning I laughed and am still smiling when he gave me a box of Reses Peanut Butter Cup miniatures with a taped on paper note that said "Please don't die!!!" I didn't get it at first but then remembered the salmonella. The card and gift are so HIM, they made me smile!

    2/14/2009 5:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I spent the day with my 2 year granddaughter. She had open heart surgery when she was 4 days old and is doing wonderfully well now. I smiled because she is alive and well and also because we made construction paper valentine heart (she calls them "happy") cards for her Mommy and Daddy. Lots of stickers were used in the process. I smiled again when she happily presented valentines to her Mommy this afternoon.

    2/14/2009 5:20 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Something that made me smile and laugh was the Valentine's card that I got from someone who I work with.It's the little day to day kindnesses and shared experiences along the way that mean the most to building friendships. And laughter, which I did when I first read the envelope.It did not have my name on it, it said, PUT THE KNITTING NEEDLES DOWN!!!!! Now, this is a friendship I hope will last a long time. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO ALL.

    2/14/2009 11:23 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    How nice of Peace Fleece!! Like you said, a great company just got even greater. (And that's a gorgeous shade of pink!)

    Today's smile-inducing, happy-making thing, at least around here, is that it is apparently Cats Go Crazy day. Both of our cats are nearly nine years old, but still playful as all get-out and they have these days occasionally -- today being one of them -- when they just go completely nuts. My husband and I haven't stopped laughing at them and their antics all day -- it's made for a very pleasant afternoon!

    2/14/2009 2:11 PM  
    Blogger JayJay said...

    What a cool thing for Peace Fleece to do! And how sweet of you to pass it along to someone else. I love the pink color you chose. I think it will look great on you.

    We've been having some tough times here, but there's still a lot to smile about. My daughter makes me smile all the time. Right now she is dancing to music while watching Sesame and it so cute!

    2/14/2009 3:54 PM  
    Blogger Katy said...

    Here's a smile to share. My 8yo daughter made me a valentine from "A Secret Admirer." She was crushed when she realized that I knew it was from her, and spent a great deal of time convincing me that someone else sneaked in the house to leave me a Valentine...written in her handwriting. ;) Very sweet.

    2/14/2009 7:37 PM  
    Blogger Linda said...

    I smiled when my DH insisted on helping me put the clean sheets on the bed - a chore that he hates, but he knows it hurts my back when I do it alone. Isn't he a sweetie?

    2/15/2009 6:14 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I smiled when I watched my husband (your Dad) share his birthday celebration with the kids. They ALL helped him blow out the candles.
    I smiled when your brother and sister came home to help us celebrate.
    I smiled when everyone else showed up and had a good time.
    Even on the most stressful days; I smile whenever I think of you.
    Love, Mom

    2/15/2009 7:04 PM  
    Blogger Walden said...

    The kindness of those in the crafting blogging world. It's amazing how a comforting comment can make your day or week.

    2/15/2009 7:14 PM  
    Blogger twigletqueen said...

    Oh Wow, lucky you! I love when something totally unexpected happens like that :D
    I smiled when I went to the local aquarium with my boyfriend today, on our way in we met a complete strangerwith his kids on the way out who gave us their family ticket, so we got in for free :D We then spent silly amounts in the gift shop to make up for it.

    2/15/2009 11:34 PM  
    Blogger Jennifer said...

    This post is making me smile! I am amazed at the generous folks at Peace Fleece. I have never heard of such a thing and am impressed and inspired by it. I'm a big fan of acts of kindness to total strangers. it is so fulfilling. I hope to find someone today that I can bless. Awesome!

    2/16/2009 4:51 AM  
    Blogger Katie said...

    Very cool story about Peace Fleece. I've been meaning to send you another care package, but I had to co-opt it for another friend (I'll tell you the story offline).

    PEI... ah, memories. I know what you mean about college. In retrospect, it was paradise, wasn't it? No grading!

    2/17/2009 10:17 AM  
    Blogger Lorette said...

    Well I missed the cutoff for your contest, but I saw spring buds on trees for the first time today, and that totally made me smile. I am also in love with that color of Peace Fleece! Is that the Georgia Rose? I have some of that in the stash.

    2/17/2009 5:29 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Just chiming in after the contest to say- what a wonderful surprise! Makes me definitely want to order from them- not on the chance I would get my order for free- just knowing that they do stuff like that is so cool! I also have something happy- I've been feeling the baby inside me move a lot more recently- which is amazing and makes me feel all kinds of happy. Just had to share. :)

    2/18/2009 11:39 AM  

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