Posts Tagged ‘swaps’

She’s Done It Again!

My secret pal in SP10 has done it again! She’s spoiled me rotten! 1000 thanks to my pal, Becky, who is from my home state and an avid sock knitter. Becky has been spoiling me from day one of the swap. My final package did not just contain one, two or even three yarns, I got a giant bag full! Some of the other fantasitc goodies in my box included sour candies, and my favorite popped rice green tea. If you’ve ever had this tea, you should definitely try it. It’s called genmai chai. If you live in and around the San Francisco area, I recommend supporting one of the local cooperatives and purchase the tea at the fabulous Rainbow Grocery, which has a regular and an organic version. If your’re not that fortunate to be able to shop at Rainbow, then you can get the tea online at Adaigio Teas. A lovely pendant from a fantasitc etsy seller features beautiful artwork sandwiched between glass. It’s a little heavier than one would expect, but it’s quite a unique piece. The only thing I’m worried about is chipping the pendant, since my secret special talent is breaking glass.


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1000 apologies to my swap pals. I was preparing for a weekend of gluttony and did not post the lovely things I received from them. First, I must thank my SP10 pal, who got me a generous $25 gift certificate to Earth Faire for my 30 something 29th birthday. It was frustrating trying to order, as I came across many snafoos and glitches in their online ordering and coupon redeeming process. However, Ellen, who runs the shop, was very responsive and tried her best to be helpful. I ordered a bottle of Soak, Opal yarn and some yummy beads.

My second thank you goes to “Pippins,” my Dye-No-Mite pal, who sent me the lovely package below. It’s a good thing that hubby prefers milk over dark chocolate. Otherwise, we’d sure have a fight over the mouth-watering dark chocolate in my package. My pal also included a skein of Henry’s Attic Kona that she dyed herself, and a bar of handmade natural soap with tea tree oil.
Whitey Coyote and Brownie just had to inspect and supervise my photo-taking. After taking the photo above, Whitey Coyote drooled over the yarn and rolled and rubbed herself in it when she thought I wasn’t looking. Of course, she pretended to be innocent and disinterested when she realized that I saw her. Sneaky brat.

Gluttonous Weekend
I spent the weekend with Aubrey and her freinds at her bachelorette party up in the Santa Ynez valley. It almost felt like a college vacation, especially since we stacked ourselves in the rooms like sardines. Although I must say that the nice beachfront hotel with heated pool was certainly more preferable than the cheap motels my friends and I stayed during our excursions. If can can recall correctly, we drank, ate, drank, ate, toured wineries, drank, drank, drank, ate. And as if we didn’t have enough already, prior to driving back, a few of us had mimosas and bloody marys during brunch. A few of the many highlights of this festive weekend:

Left: Sadie, the winery pooch, with whom I fell in love and wanted to dog-nap. Right (l-r): Me, Kim, Aubrey, Derrick and Sadie.

Above: We spotted this baby goat in the back of a truck driving in front of us. This cutie looked frightened, tense and very unsteady in the back of that truck. With every little bump in the road and bounce of the truck, the poor goat looked like it would topple over the side. I couldn’t help but think that the accident would be imminent and the poor goat would end up under the wheels of a passing car. The goat looked tied and appeared to be blocked in by a bale of hay, but as you can see from the photos, there were no other safety features (like a rail) to prevent the goat from falling off the truck. 😦
Above: The beautiful bride-to-be in a vineyard.

Above: At our last vineyard stop, I spotted this amazing tree with beautifully angled and twisted branches. The leaves seemed to glow with the sun shining through, and when I looked up, the branches looked like they were preparing for an intimate embrace.

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Seeing Red

There is a good reason why red is a symbol of love, luck and prosperity in most Asian cultures. Red is just beautiful, inspiring, stimulating and bold. I was showered with red this week.

After a gluttonous food outing with my visiting friends a couple days ago, I was greeted by a package sitting at my door. It was from my SP10 pal. I opened it and saw oodles of lovely red everywhere. I opened the box up and this is what I found:
Ok, there were also a box of cute ladybug milk chocolates and a bar of Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate. I gave hubby the milk chocolates and selfishly ate the dark chocolate. I love organic dark chocolate. Yes, they were gobbled up and didn’t survive long enough for the photo.
The yarn in the package is a silk/mohair by Alchemy in the loveliest shade of red and is so buttery soft. The book is The Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting. There are some beautiful projects in it, including a much better rose circle shawl than the one in A Gathering of Lace. (previous post) I’ll have to take extra time to review and post from the book later. My package also included a journal, cloisonné bead stitch markers that my SP made, a pair of US 8 Lantern Moon needles, a Hello Kitty pez and a handmade necklace that is a domino on one side,

and a bird on the other side:

A bad close-up photo of the red cloisonné bead stitch markers.

I hope the Year of the Pig continues to be good.

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Here’s what I just got from my swapper in the Cool Crafty Chic Swap (see photo at right.) My swapper is Karrie of Girl on the Rocks. She spoiled me with some merino roving she painted with such lovely shades of blue, indigo and violet, some of her own button creations, a hand-woven pouch and some awesome vintage magazines that I have never seen before! Thanks Karrie!

I spent the weekend making a portable needle roll for my swapee in Italy. Since she lives in Italy, I went ahead and sent her what I had until I had time to make something and so, she’ll also be getting this from me:

Here’s what it looks like without all the stuff on it, and with it buttoned up:

And finally, I got around to taking some photos of some cashmere yarn that I dyed about 2 months ago for projects commissioned by my friends/family. This one will end up being a scarf or wrap for my friend Pamila:

And this will end up being a rectangular shawl for my cousin Amber (which will take me a while to get to and finish):

These are yarns that I painted/dyed a while back but never got around to processing. I plan to post them on my shop. Ugh, I still have lots more to process and photograph:

Clockwise: “Minty,” Kid mohair; “Wildflowers,” Merino wool; “Jewels,” 60%Cashmere/Merino; “Purple Haze,” 40%Angora/40%Merino/20%Rayon

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Amazon Gift Orders & Secret Swaps

I wanted to send my secret pal a gift from Amazon, but I started wondering if my secret spy identity would be leaked by Amazon via the billing name/address on the packing slip. Last night, I called Aubrey and Zona to ask them, but neither of them knew. So, I decided to email Amazon, per Zona’s request. I know that many of the visitors of my blog are swappers, so here’s their response, FYI:

“We do include a packing slip with gift orders, so the recipient can verify that the correct item was received. For items fulfilled by Amazon.com and designated as gifts during the checkout process, the packing slip will not list any prices. It will be enclosed in an envelope that has “Don’t Ruin Your Surprise!” printed on it in large letters.

When you mark your order as a gift, you will be prompted to enter a billing address. This will not result in a bill being sent either to you or the recipient, but your name and address will appear on the packing slip so that the recipient will know who sent the gift.”

So, if you want to keep your anonymity, don’t ship directly from Amazon, even if you select the gift option. You’ll have to resend.

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Swap Happy

Secret Pal 10
SecretPal 10 officially started when the hostesses assigned pals last night. Boy, was I in for a surprise when I got home! Not only did I get a very nice “hello” from my secret pal, she sent me a gift certificate from Adagio Teas! I’m sure I’m the first to get something in this SP! I ordered 3 different Japanese green teas, including genmai cha, which is similar to the one I got in SF (blogged here), except the one from SF is organic and doesn’t have popcorn in it. I can’t wait until it arrives. Thanks secret pal!


I’m really looking forward to this one. There is a decent number of people currently signed up for my 1st foray into swap-hosting and organizing. Yay! (I really didn’t expect hoards of people to sign up for a brand-new swap they’ve never heard about, unlike the 600+ for SP10.) I hope we get a few more people before the sign-ups close on March 21. I really wasn’t sure where to advertise Dye-No-Mite!, except to put it in my signature block on Craftster. I did try to contact a moderator to see if I can advertise the swap, but the mod never replied. However, I did post (and got per permission to) on Knitty’s forum. Then a couple of days ago, I had the idea of posting Dye-No-Mite! on swap-bot, but I’m asking people to sign up outside of swap-bot because I’m afraid that swap-bot might reveal the secret pal before the pal is ready to do it themselves, and I want to try to match people up by commonalities/ interests, if possible. We’ll see how that turns out.


I recently completed 2 swaps on swap-bot, a ribbon swap and the Crafty Chic Swap. I haven’t received anything from my pal in the latter swap, but I sent my package out to my assigned pal, who lives in Italy. This swap required that we include many small things, including something vintage and something knitting and craft related. My package included 2 vintage napkins, some origami paper, chocolate, Japanese gum, beads I made, and I dyed some yarn in colors that she said she liked. I also threw in a couple of extra little things, including my buttons, some vintage beads and 3 tiny origami cranes.

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Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love natural fibers and am an admitted yarn snob. I refuse to work with acrylic, nylon, novelty and other synthetic fibers. I don’t even use acrylic yarn to make charity knits, even if it has a 20% wool blend.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Needle rolls I made.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? Taught myself from a crappy book 3 years ago. Am intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Amazon

5. What’s your favorite scent? Lavender

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Yes! Dark chocolate is the best! I also like Jelly Bean Sours and fruity candy (no banana or pineapple).

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I am slowly fixing up my house by myself (hubby doesn’t like or do DIY). I dabble in many crafty things, but lately it’s knitting, sewing and a little beading (stitch markers!). I’ve been borrowing a friend’s wheel to practice spinning.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD). I listen to a variety of stuff. I love 80s alternative/new wave music. Also like Cowboy Junkies, Norah Jones, Manu Chao. Don’t know the names of a lot of new stuff, but I like Snow Patrol, Radiohead. Don’t listen to rap. Don’t like country at all.

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand? Red, earth tones, blues. Don’t like pink.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married, 3 felines (one is supersized at 23 lbs; one is an average 11.5 lbs but acts like a dog), no human children

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? scarves

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Don’t have one.

13. What are you knitting right now? lace shawl, entrelac wrap, scarf, baby booties, hat…and lots of other UFOs

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Both straights and circulars have their own purpose. Bamboos, birch and Addis are my favorite needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I have 2 homemade swifts and a store bought ball winder.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? 3 years

18. What is your favorite holiday? Don’t really celebrate any holidays. Used to like Chinese New Year, but now that I’m older and married, I don’t get red envelopes and money anymore.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Does yarn and knitting tools count? Actually, I like antique and vintage crafty things. I have antique wooden shuttles and a vintage Sears sewing kit.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Don’t have subscriptions to any crafty zines, except Readymade.

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn? Shaping when working with lace patterns.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? No.

23. When is your birthday? April 18

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