Saturday, January 28, 2012

Swaps R Us!

So I joined a SWAP. My first swap on Ravelry, I have been stalking a few for a couple of months, but I have been nervous to partake. For all non-ravelers and non-knitters - a SWAP is when you are partnered up and send one another a package. Now this package can vary greatly, but when it comes to Ravelry, it generally will include yarn or a knit/crocheted item. It can also include chocolates, books, postcards, knitting notions, fat quarters for sewing, needles, patterns, etc. etc. etc. The swap group I joined is one that changes each month. Yarn + Something Else, and the something else changes. This time it was Yarn + Chocolate (so you see why I had to join!).

My Swapper was from New Zealand, and I was lucky enough that she is also a member of Three Irish Girls Yarn Skein of the Month Club. I have been scrolling through these amazing handpainted yarns at Three Irish Girls for a few months now. Such incredible colours and great reviews. I have definitely decided to join the SM Club once $$ allows - so imagine my amazement to open up my package from NZ and find a gorgeous skein of Three Irish Girls DK merino!!! Oh happy day! Also, some gorgeous dark chocolate mint chocolate and a dark chocolate chili lime chocolate as well. (I won't lie, I am already well into the chocolate).

Pretty stoked about my first Swap! Here it is:

Naturally, I sent a message with much thanks ...and then started trolling other swaps to see what was going on. Now I have joined another that is a February - make something red Swap. This will be fun because I will be receiving a handknit something in this swap!!

Needles: I have been wanting to work on my thrummed slippers. I have been NEEDING to make myself some thrummed slippers!! However, it has been snowing off and on a fair bit, and we live in the bush...up a hill. So I do not go to town unless I must for work, or groceries. Since we haven't been working much, I haven't been out much! I did make it to town on Friday - I bought the needles, but when I got back and looked at the pattern again, it says "3.5 & 4.5 double pointed needles"...but the bloody pattern is knit in the flat and therefore I got the wrong needles! Oi!

To pass the time I have been spinning. That's right - ages ago I took a drop spindle spinning class.   I haven't touched it since. I always have such a fear of messing up something I don't know very well. But I pulled out the spindle and the roving and started on it. I made a fair bit of single ply VERY thick & thin, very artsy, very inconsistent yarn! But that's ok - at least I am working on it! I want to spin the rest and try to ply it together. Or else I might just Navajo ply the whole kit and caboodle!

Today I cast on a hat, a cute bay boucle hat to be sent to my friend for her photography studio. Soon I shall conquer those blasted slippers!!

Visa: Finally received a reply, the gist of which was, "Yes we received all of your info.  You will not be contacted unless we need something from you. This may take 5 - 12 months."

Well thanks so much Immigration for your understanding of my state of limbo! So we wait...

Monday, January 23, 2012

The New Year

Well Happy 2012!

Christmas was great. The family time was excellent. There was too much food...some board game playing...but it was awesome.

January came in with a bang, started working on Jan. 1st - and worked 7 days in a row because we were trying to get a house completely repainted for a family moving in on the 6th (we didn't quite make it since there were a few things added after the initial quote). 

I finished my sisters kerchief because I did not get it finished in time for Christmas. After that project the next on my list was Spyros's house slipper socks....he had requested them in November - but as I could not do them in secret I did not want them to be a Christmas gift. So he got them a bit later, but he seems to like them!

We had a clear holiday season, and a bit of a cold snap this last week or so. Got a fair dumping of snow as well. In all my years living in Northern BC I have never seen my father get stuck on a hill with his 4X4 truck loaded  down in the back. However, this year we went to my brother's basketball game, it started snowing a bit on our way in, but by the end of the game we came out to 6 inches of snow on the vehicles and it was coming down heavily! So my sis, my man & I headed off up the hill in her Geo. We had to go up because there was an 8 car crash at the bottom. Up didn't work and we were spinning in place and stopped the car. Dad followed and since he stopped behind sis - he was unable to get moving again. Spinning, spinning, and then he slid down the hill about 12 feet! Stopped himself by hitting the curb. Got a little ways up, but not enough - so we had to chain up. For all you Aussie's - that means you put chains on the driving tires to get more grip on the road. Once he was chained up we were golden. He pulled sis up to flatter ground, and helped one of my brother's teammates mum's...she also had slid down the hill.

There have been several occasions where there has been too much snow and not enough gravel on our hill & we have had to park at the bottom of the hill and walk up our blasted hill. Very very frustrated let me tell you. Once with armfuls of groceries (that was my workout for the day!!) 

On Facebook there was a status going around - to give homemade gifts. You post it as your status & the first 5 people who respond & repost are to be recipients of a homemade gift sometime during 2012. I am participating and so far have ideas for everyone!!

What's left?

Visa: No word. Emailed them, nothing. Will have to make a phone call to see if there has been any progress!

Needles: Finished slipper socks, dishcloth, a coffee cozy (but I have other plans for it), and I am planning to make me some thrummed slippers -- but need to get the correct needle size! So I pulled out the fibre batts I had here, and my drop spindle, and played with some spinning. I think I need another spinning course, as I find that I am still VERY inconsistent, and not necessarily when I WANT to be! hahaha

Some Christmas Gift Photos: