Sunday, July 15, 2007

Where have I been? And Secret Pal 10 and ISE4 come to a close.

Dirk Star thinks I've been travelling. I wish! I won't be able to afford another trip abroad for another couple of years. Although I have been gallivanting in Brighton. More of that later.

No. I've had blogger's block: this being a similar disease to tennis elbow or athete's foot, only in the head. I developed an aversion to the computer (a very nasty complaint) - and there wasn't even lovely weather to blame - it's been one of the wettest Junes in England's history.

I have been busy. But all work and no play make Tutmut a dull person.

I've been training for a half marathon, bookcrossing, knitting (no! never!), painting, reading, walking the dogs, socialising (a bit) and catching babies.

It's lovely to come back to all those comments (I had 8 unmoderated comments to snicker over!) and realise folk out there in cyber world are actually thinking about little ol' me! Amazing!

Right: back to business. The Secret Pal 10 and ISE4 have come to a close. Let me show you what my most fabulous Secret Pal Terri Furry sent:
Here are Tilly and Syd investigating an intriguing looking box. Anything edible in there? I don't think so. I tear open the packaging (difficult, it's well wrapped) to be greeted by:

Oh my goodness. Loads of little presis. I pull them all out, scattering the strange little plastic macaroni shaped fillers all over the floor in my excitement.

There is a card from Terri, and a HUGE amount of rainbow wrapped parcels.
Which turned out to be this lot - although a couple of little packages tried to escape, which was a bonus, because, just when I thought it was all over, it wasn't!

In the picture: Beautiful ready dyed alpaca wool for spinning - Ever the optimistic one, Terri (no, not me, my secret pal) had read of my intention to attend a two day spinning workshop at my LYS and thought I'd be ready to spin this lot immediately. I need to practice practice practice before I embark on something so lovely. The red thing at the back, centrally, is a knitting bag. This has been in constant use, making walking the dogs and kntting socks at the same time a breeze. The yarn goes in the bag (which is made of rain resistant rip-stop) and a draw string stops it falling out. A small tab with a popper slips through my belt loop where the bag and yarn hangs feeding my sock yarn as I knit (or I can loop it round my wrist). How cool is that? And it's made by . ON top of the red knitanywhere pouch is a box of beautifully presented stitchmarkers. Bright red. These are currently in use on a new wip - Duck egg blue Debbie Bliss cashmerino DK cable cardigan (design free on Prima magazine's website). I'm knitting the jacket all in one, as far as poss - have knitted one sleeve - and am now knitting the back and two fronts altogether, so the red stitch markers mark the dividing line where the seams would have been IYSWIM. There is a generic glove pattern. It's ALWAYS good to have generic patterns to play with and adapt - and Terri sent me some trekking sock yarn to knit aforementioned gloves with. Now - an inspired addition - 4 bamboo sock needles! How did you know I was having trouble with the fiddly finger part of the gloves I'm knitting? The dark packages and the red tin are full of different fruit teas. When I'm not supping black decaff coffee (made twice as strong to try and convince myself there's caffeine in it) - I drink fruit teas. These come with bits of fruit still floating in the teapot - Yum. The magnetic pad with attached pencil is on the fridge door, with shopping list on. The candle is gently scented and there is a packet of thimble substitutes. Terri worries and cares about my hands.That, and the card, was my lot. Or so I thought. Then under the sofa, I discovered two more little packets: one, a green glass nail file which is the best nail file I've ever used. NO, I kid you not. And the other little package was full of curly little brightly coloured knitting needle holders.

Bonus goodies! Thanks so much for being fun and I'll write you in snail mail, Terri, to thank you properly. (When I stop procrastinating that is).

"So", says Syd, "was there really nothing edible in there for me?". "No, and you're a labrador and all you ever think about is food, so go away until suppertime and don't look at me with those great big soppy eyes."

I also got sent this scarf in the ISE4 swop, from Kimber She is a beginner at lace, so did really well to knit this scarf for me. She also included a Fiber Trends pattern for a shawl, with the most lusciously soft alpaca yarn to knit it with. Thanks Kimber! Ccompletely off topic: Kimber has a one eared dog. I kid you not.