I don't know if everyone feels this way, but I find Monday mornings to be rather difficult. After two mornings of sleeping until the luxurious hour of 7:30 (or maybe even 8!), it's back to getting up early (and yes, I do realize that my early is not nearly so early as that of other people), getting kids out the door, getting on with the day.
This Monday morning was different. I woke up to find two absolutely delightful and entirely unexpected email messages in my inbox. The first was from Hip Mountain Mama, whose blog I found when I read at Darcy's Knotty Knitter that there was a blog contest, and that we should go check it out. I did, in the middle of doing many other things, and added the new blog to my blogrolls because I enjoyed reading it, and thought no more of it.
Until yesterday morning, when I got a lovely email telling me that I'd won the contest. My very first gut reaction upon seeing header in my inbox was that it was going to be a message telling me thanks for entering, but someone else had won. (No, no-one actually sends email messages like that, but this should tell you how much I didn't expect to win.)(As an aside, I may have been conditioned to expect things like that from a former Dean who always started his review letters with the phrase: "I regret to inform you...", and then, once I'd had a heart attack, would go on to say that he hadn't had a chance, due to the press of other duties, to review my file as thoroughly as he was sure it deserved, but that I still had a job. I mean, seriously.) But it didn't; it said, loudly and clearly, that I won. And what a prize! Check this out. A Fiona tote! How cool is that? Answer: very. Thank you, Hip Mountain Mama! This is one prize that is going to get a lot of use.
And right below that, there was an email from Anne, telling me to check out this page in the new issue of the Twist Collective. I don't know how many of you might remember me mentioning, way back in January, that I'd gotten a lot of knitting done: the wine dark sea sweater, and the kimono, and something else that I'd share later. Well, it's later, and I'm sharing. That there, my friends, is Anne's pattern Artichaut -- she knitted the lighter one, and I knitted the darker one. I finished it the day before Anne came to visit way back in the winter and handed it over to her then, blocked and ready to send off for a photoshoot. I was so excited to have finished it in time that I completely and utterly forgot to take any pictures of it myself (and let me tell you, it was so beautiful on the blocking wires that even Rick made several comments about it). Luckily, Anne was not so forgetful, and she sent me a few.
This one was knitted in Briar Rose Grandma's Blessing, in the most stunning olive green colorway you have ever seen. I absolutely love working with that yarn; Grandma's Blessing strikes me again and again as one of the best all-around yarns out there. It's a great weight for shawls and sweaters and so soft and bouncy that it's a complete pleasure to knit. I don't get tired of projects that I'm knitting with it (the sweater Ondule was another one). Love it.
I'd managed to forget how much I love this shawl, which is just as well, as I won't see it again for a while yet. I know that this is something I am going to wear endlessly, though.
And aren't Anne's photos beautiful, too? They put my meager skills in the shade; I think I'll send her all my knitting from now on for photoshoots, heh.
In the meantime, I completed my excellent Monday by working on the knitting questionnaire and casting on for the Fraggle socks from the Rockin' Sock Club. I'm almost down the first leg; pictures next time. Of course, life isn't all wine and roses. I woke up this morning to find that my old dog Kia isn't doing so well as we'd like, and that my lovely cat Gwilim had left a big fresh juicy (and, thankfully, deceased) rat in the kitchen for me. All before my coffee. Ah, well. It can't be Monday every day.