Wednesday, February 18, 2009

All Those Smiles

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
-Thich Nhat Hahn

It feels like I'm blogging more than I am. What happens is that every other time I go to work, I stay overnight for 30 hours. So what is really two days, feels like one. I finally had a somewhat-less-than-completely-crazy call night last night, which means that this afternoon post-call I was able to do useful things. Like go to the gym, read a delightfully trashy novel, and wind yarn.

I really do have a big NaKniSweMoDo post half-written to fill you in on all the sweaters I'm making. So many that I ran out of baskets to hold my Works-In-Progress and discovered that one of my many, many tote bags is actually perfect, and even color-coordinated.

But as I ramble, I know you all want to know who got lucky and won the yarn. Since my Peace Fleece good fortune was random, I went to the random number generator at Good fortune knows no boundaries.

The winner of the Briggs and Little was Cheryl:
Cheryl 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.

And the winner of the Peace Fleece is KC.

KC 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.

Aren't they lovely stories? Thanks to everyone for sharing their happy thoughts last week.

The winners should email me at knittingunderway AT gmail DOT com so we can work out minor details like mailing addresses, and Peace Fleece selections.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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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Friday, February 06, 2009

One Down

You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love;
the running across fields into your lover's arms
can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.
-Jonathan Carroll

Since my regular photographer is off serving our country, making the world safe for democracy, and getting himself rather beat up for the sake of wearing a different color belt (boys will be boys), I had to take my own finished object photos. (Do note the quotation above; taking my own photos here is akin to tripping.)

I tried . . . In spite of my bad hair day . . . Outdoors, indoors . . . Left, right, center . . . And then I called it good enough for a photo montage.Hopefully you can get a vague idea of just how great this sweater is.

Cable Down Raglan
Pattern: Stephanie Japel from Interweave Knits, best of, among others
Yarn: mystery wool bought off eBay circa 2001 - I believe this might be my oldest stash yarn!
Needles: US 7
Notes: Great pattern, fun to knit top down. No mods - just kept trying it on!
Best Thing About This Project: It's a toss-up between finally putting this albatross of the stash has been put to good use, and finally buying a scale to measure my yarn.

In fact, I was so happy with this, my first finished sweater of NaKniSweMoDo, that I immediately cast about on the interwebs for my next projects. I fell in love with Acer after seeing Margene's version and Sarah's version on the same day. So I bought some Beaverslide. Always wanted to try that. Then I saw that Fiddlesticks Knitting (some of my favorite Canadians) was having a special offer to celebrate the Blooming Cardigan on the cover of IK. Of course I had to celebrate with them. But then they arrived, and I immediately saw the problem: Am I predictable, or what? These colors are just a little too close. So I bought some Peace Fleece. And that's a story for another day . . . Stay tuned for a big give-away this week!

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