Friday, January 05, 2007

Just call me Blanche . . .

I was sitting in bed the other day, thinking about the state of the world, resolving the Mideast conflict in my head, just the ordinary sort of things. My thoughts, naturally, turned to Christmas gift cards. I received a couple Chapters ones and had been able to put them onto one card. I thought, well hey, if I have a gift card, I might be able to buy online! (I don't have credit cards, or a Paypal account. Every now and again I re-consider, but it's not the best idea.)

So I checked out my Chapters wish list, and after much agonizing, I picked Blackadder III - the regency one! Stephen Fry + Rowan Atkinson + very young Hugh Laurie + historical jokes = me, very happy.

I arranged it to be sent to Ottawa (yes, I'm coming to a point soon . . .), because I was going to be leaving Vancouver in a day or two. So I was rather surprised, especially considering holiday shipping times, to see a Chapters box waiting for me upon my arrival. I opened it, and found . . . something giftwrapped? Curiouser and curiouser.

Knitting Nature, by Norah Gaughan!!! And it was from my Winter Cheer SP angel! I got flaked on by my first partner, so my angel stepped in. Thank you, angel!

I have only wanted this book since forever. I love Norah Gaughan's designs, and her style. I love the way everything in this book is photographed - which actually isn't that much a surprise, once it was on my bookshelf and I noticed that it, Handknit Holidays and Loop-d-Loop are all published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, and I think they were all edited (or written by) Melanie Falick.

Up in the left-hand corner of the photo, you might have noticed some knitting. That was because I was still on Vancouver time, so I stayed up until 2:30 the next morning watching Gilmore Girls and knitting. What was I knitting, you ask?

The Vortex Street Pullover, from the chapter on Waves. Patons Classic Merino in New Denim. The sweater is yoked, so you work sleeves, fronts (yes, plural) and back separately and flat, then join them together and do traditional yoked decreases. The cable-and-rib panel in worked spearately, from the top down, then seamed into place. You probably can't see from that picture, but the sleeves are just long rectangles with no shaping whatsoever. Mmmm, cozy.

Then today, I woke 2 hours late because I forgot to set my alarm, at 8:25. That would be ten minutes before my first class starts. So I took a quick shower and managed to make it to my second class on time (but without my notepad). That one always runs over, so I was late to my third class. Then on the bus ride home, I snubbed a friend, because I am a shy and very insecure hermit. Totally castigating myself on the way home for that. Oh, and the night before, Chapters emailed me to say that Blackadder III was out of stock temporarily. Then why didn't you tell me that when I ordered?!?

I was sitting at the computer, my spirits temporarily heightened by reading this wiki*, when my aunt came home. She had two - 2! - packages for me from the mailbox. The top one was from Chapters, and held - you guessed it - Blackadder! I shall ignore their confusing emails, because now I have 6 episodes' worth of cunning plans!

The second box was BIG. And it was from my Winter Cheer SP.

I am dumbfounded. This person's generosity is bewildering. Thank you, Winter Cheer SP. Thank you so much. I just feel . . . confused. Thank you!

Now c'mon, onto the goodies.

The card reads in part:
"Christmas may be over but winter is still here
So I hope this box brings you lots of winter cheer!"

The (old-school! perfection!) Minnie and Mickey ornaments are gorgeous - she noted that they could hang on my Christmas tree next year, but fat chance that I'm waiting that long! So now they stand alongside Jane Austen, an owl, Jack Sparrow, Shakespeare, my evil twin Mickey Mouses and another Jack Sparrow figurine. (I have eclectic action figure choices. I can't wait 'til they bring out a Louis Riel action figure.)

American Hershey's! That stuff is revered in my family! And yes, the Almond & Toffee bar is a half pound. My first thought, naturally, was that someone could be bludgeoned rather efficiently with that. Which of course would be death by chocolate! Ha! I crack me up.

And now to the yarn. Heh heh heh. I don't have the mad yarn pr0n skillz of some I could mention, but rest assured this stuff's purty. Malabrigo! Not quite as electric blue IRL, but still so saturated you wouldn't believe it. Two skeins of "azul bolita", which apparently translates to "blue pellet". Whatever it means, it's BLUE! I loves blue. And it's not steel blue! If you looked at my stash, you would assume I was slowly going colourblind, with steel blue being the only colour I could still recognize. (To back myself up, I would recommend investigating the colour of my Vortex Street Pullover.) Also, if you have never felt Malabrigo, it's not like Manos, which was what I expected. It's SOFT! I sense a chunky earflap hat in my future - maybe with some embroidery? That bag enspires me.

The bag feels silky - I think I'm going to use it to keep socks-in-progress & yarn safe from the vagaries of the insides of my various hard-wearing bags. Once more, check out that embroidery!

And more yarn! There's Trekking, which I have never seen before IRL. It's more of a deep teal colour. I've seen the slow colour changes of this yarn on blogs and feel inspired to try something like the Hello Yarn cable socks (pdf).

The laceweight merino in the middle is actually more black than blue. Black laceweight - it brings out my inner Burton fan and starts me envisioning cobwebs and dressing like Sally (same name, obsession with Jack Skellington and handcrafts . . . ). At 1100 yards in 60 grams, it is without a doubt the lightest yarn I have ever had. That's like 1/4 the width of your average worsted. And it's a 3-ply! Surely this is evidence of alien life, because no human could create something so fine and perfect.

Finally, the front-and-centre yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight! The colour is called Nodding Violet. Nodding Violet. Mmmmm. I actually almost didn't catch this yarn, because it was at the bottom of the box and I was astounded already by what had come before.

Thank you, SP! This was exceptional, particularly because of my vow for the Year of the Stash (see the button on the sidebar? More about that later). Thank you, thank you, thank you SP!

*It was linked to on Fark, and the thread was absolutely, positively, 100% positive. Do you know how rare that is? Lore Sjoberg once memorably said you're more likely to get a straight answer from Mary Poppins than Fark, yet such an outpouring of love for Mr. Rogers.


At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

Vintage Mouse. And lovely yarn. And more lovely yarn. And yet more yarn. And American Hershey. And embroidered loveliness. Your SP rocks.

At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're so welcome!! I'm glad everyting made it okay! Now I suppose I better give you some clues as to my mysterious identity!! :)

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Jen said...

The STR is gorgeous!!!


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