Saturday, February 16, 2008

Coming and going

It's been a week for packages, one way or another. I'm about to leave to post my Loopy Swap package. I'm a day past the deadline, but in this case, it's actually because there was something I wanted to add that I needed to get this morning (well, to be totally fair, that I needed Rick to get; he's doing it now). I'll share once it's been received, but I'm hoping my swap partner thinks it was worth the extra day! Here's a picture of everything but those last things all packed up.
I'm rather pleased with the way all the coppery tones came together.

And, of course, I received my amazing Loopy Swap package. This is only the second swap I've ever done, but I seem to be very lucky in my partners. Here's everything unwrapped (each item was individually and lovingly wrapped up with a little label, but of course I ripped into all of them so fast that there were no pictures to be had).
Yes, that would be three, count 'em, three, beautifully handknit items all for me! I've only ever had one other thing knit for me (that's a story worth telling sometime; it was before I was a knitter, and I realize now how much I didn't adequately appreciate everything that went into it). The bag, which is felted, is long enough for a straight needle project, while being shallow and wide enough to find everything inside. And the lighter blue item is a gorgeous lace shawl, wide enough to cover my shoulders, and short enough not to get in the way. I can tell it's going to be my all-time favorite sitting and reading and grading shawl. And then right there on top, a pair of socks. Someone knit me socks!

The socks and the shawl are gorgeous; Jessica clearly knows her lace. Check them out.
(I'm so glad I waited for better light to take these pictures, by the way; these really deserve to be shown off.) And of course, the barbecue sauce is sitting on my counter, waiting to be used. I'm thinking I should plan a meal around barbecued pork something-or-other tomorrow night. What do you think?

I also received a surprise package from Anne, with some yarn that I'm dying to play with. But I'm promising myself I'll be disciplined and finish what I'm working on first. Sometimes I hate being a grown up. These two in particular are calling to me.
I'm starting to poke around Barbara Walker's books to see if I can find the perfect motif to use on that one on the right. It needs to be a lightweight shawl for the fall, doesn't it? For me. And look how fun these are.
The ones on the right may have to be something for my mother. The colors are right up her alley. And the yarn on the left is begging to be socks for Younger Daughter. I don't know why, they just are. (There's something about that child that screams future goth, or punk, or whatever the equivalent will be when she's in high school. I have known this since she was born. I'm scared.)

And so my plans get ahead of my needles. Such is life, no?

Anne commented that it seems odd to think of February as spring, and it's true. I'm about to go on a limb and publicly post an observation that is based on living in California my whole life. Rick (the wanna-be meteorologist of the family) laughs at me and tells me this is all in my head. But honestly, I've lived in the San Joaquin valley, LA, San Diego, and the Bay Area, and this has happened more than not in all of those places (all the rest of you out here, tell me if you think I'm right). So, here I go. As many winters as not, February does a very odd thing. For a week or two, everything warms up. And I mean, really warms up. I remember in Sacramento, it would go from 30-degree weather, tule fog every night, to 75 degrees or so. And everyone packs up their winter coats, and gets excited for spring, and thinks that they can believe winter has ended. And just as soon as we've decided that winter is really and truly ended, bam! We're back to cold and sleet. I tell you, it's February's little way of making us pay for assuming that as Californians, it's our right to have good weather.

All right, Rick is back, and I need to get to the post office before it closes. More tomorrow about my adventures with a spinning wheel.


Anonymous said...

Oh, my, gosh - the lace is gorgeous. And you are right about that shawl - I have a short little shawl that I keep at work and it finds its ways around my shoulders often in the summer when the a/c is chilling things down ridiculously.

Can't wait to see what comes of the new yarn, especially that yarn that says "daughter socks". Oh, you know when the Goth phase starts, don't you? Yes, age 13. ;-)

Anonymous said...

What delicious surprises--gorgeous lace and beautiful yarns to play with as well. Life is good!

I totally understand the February-as-spring idea. When I lived in central Texas, I used to get outraged in February when the temperatures soared above 90 degrees for a week or so. After all, Austin only gets about a millisecond of winter; why waste any of it on early summer weather?

Here in upstate New York, it also felt like spring today. The sun was shining on us all at the Ithaca winter festival. Of course, it was just 30 degrees out, but it felt like spring nonetheless. I guess it's all relative... :)

Willow said...

In Northwestern Oregon where I was born and raised, and then moved back to for a dozen cold, dark, dreary, drizzly winters, it stops raining for 1-3 weeks in February and you'd beter get outside right then and cut back your roses. Woe to you if you miss it because you are on vacation; you'll be clipping and cutting in cold rain. I haven't lived in SoCal for enough winters to verify your hypothesis, but it's all west coast, ya know?

I love the shawl! I think I need to spin up some yarn love and knit me one of those.

hopalong682003 said...

Oh boy, I hope you forgive me for my terribly lazy commenting on your recent posts. I'm posting one reply for your last five posts. You're clearly a better person than I am. :-) Hee! In all seriousness, I'm sorry that work has been so stressful for you lately. I know what it's like living in an environment of budget cuts. On the other hand, the knitting gods are looking on you with favor. You've got some GORGEOUS socks and your new goodies that you received in the mail are spectacular. How wonderful!! Thanks for posting. I love reading about your days. :-)

BTW, I totally agree with you about your weather observations. When I lived in the midwest for years and years, we'd occasionally have "Indian Summer" days in October where it would be gorgeous 70+ degree days. We'd think it would stay like that forever...and the next day it was below freezing. That's how February is now in SoCal. It's cold at night. I'm wearing 2 layers of fleece plus a robe and then suddenly it's 82 degrees in the daytime. I think Wow!!! I can open up some windows. Grab my lighter clothes. And I do. And 2 hours later I'm begging to have my fleece layers sewn to my body permanently. ;-) Indian February???

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you liked your swap stuff. It was lots of fun knitting for you. I do think you're being generous in your praise about the buttonhole bag. LOL. That thing felted so oddly long that you might be able to store your new ocean kayak paddles in it--hahaha.

Alwen said...

I can't comment on California weather, but we always used to get a January thaw in Michigan. These days, who knows. One winter we have no snow until February, the next we have rain one day and three days of snow, week after week!

Anonymous said...

Someone made you socks! And a shawl, and a bag... So lovely.

I can never remember one year to the next what winter does around here (SF Bay Area), other than it often rains on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge around Christmas, when family is visiting and driving back and forth between East Bay and Marin.

In Alabama, I remember often having the first strong spring, nearly summer warm weather day around the beginning of March. (Usually my birthday, which is probably the only reason I remember.)

Marianne said...

The lace gifts are beautiful... you do know... handknit socks = love.
Mmmm, the colours in that Briar Rose skein... they're Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I completely concur with your February theory.

That shawl and socks are gorgeous! Lucky girl.

Cannot look at your spinning post - must not go to darkside.....have fun at work tomorrow! Me too. [big sigh].