Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras Swap 2012: Part II

Well this year's swap was another delight.  Just when I thought I could not feel any more glum about being away from my beloved New Orleans for Mardi Gras, my swap package arrived ON THE HOLIDAY!.  I tore it open and found lots of goodies to delight...thanks, Criquette from Kansas, for making my day!

IMG_0044IMG_0041 First, she must have known of my love of cooking...AND of those crazy old traditional mixes to which New Orleaneans are faithful.  I got a treasure trove of mixes...and even made the Jambalaya on MG night! I put on CD she made of favorite home-town music and tossed the PGG Fleur-de-lis sprinkles on the lawn (would have been pretty on the snow...alas, no snow this year).

She made me some beautiful PGG stitch markers and packaged them along with this magnificent enormous glass bead fob in a pretty round box enticingly wrapped.

IMG_0039IMG_0040 This is an absolutely gorgeous skein of Mardi Gras yarn hand-dyed by my talented partner...love it! Most wonderful of all was the designed-and-hand-knit item...a scrumptious and soft Malabrigo cowl which I wore all Mardi Gras day. IMG_0036 It is festooned with sparkly psychedelic buttons...a real weakness of mine! IMG_3937 Thanks, Deborah, for organizing ANOTHER great Mardi Gras swap...and to Criquette, a kindred spirit displaced daughter of New Orleans. Happy Mardi Gras, all! IMG_3940

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mardi Gras Swap 2012

Best PackageBest Water BottleBest BroochBest T and KThe 2012 Mardi Gras Swap is here!  This year I had the uncommon pleasure of actually KNOWING my swap partner.  It is ironic that we are both knitters who lived in and loved New Orleans, LIVED for MG, and now both inhabit the American arctic tundra known as New England.  Best hatThe first project I made was the "Side-Slip Cloche" (by Laura Irwin) in MG colors...topped with a vintage Fleur-de-lis broach (the symbol of New Orleans).  Ironically, Knit1eattoo had in her possession the identical vintage broach...though without the enamel...  Kismet had to be at play here....What are the chances!  The next part of the ensemble was a cowl which I improvised using a slip stitch in order to maximize color play with "windows" of purple and green beneath sparkling frames of Soft Payette (Rozetti) in 14 Karat.  Best CowlThe last knit gift was customized...created using Photoshop and Avery Printable Fabric...to satisfy my partner's infatuation with Saints-era Jeremy Shockey.  "I'll Keep You Warm," he says hotly from the side of a felted hot water bottle.  Mmmm...  Packaged up with some yummy Araucania Antu Multy (colorway 12...available at WEBS), Real Tasso from Savenor's (a Boston meat source), a Vintage Cajun Cookbook (Knit1eatoo is a cookbook author AND collector of those Junior League-style cookbooks), Stitch markers and a poem just for her, Best Markers Zapp's MG chips, a traditional French King Cake from Boston's own Cafe Vanille,T and King Cake and of course, BEADS...and it was done.  Well almost...

Best Tracie and SuzieBecause what made this package fun was that I got to deliver it...by hand.  As Knit1eattoo now lives in Portland, I elected to make a day of it.  Fridays are fun day at KnitWit LYS in Portland, ME.  As the Flagship store representing Quince Yarn, it enjoys a permanent relationship with the greatest "Knit Local" crafters in Southern Maine.  Quince Yarn is a locally produced and New England spun yarn , the new lifework of fiber artist, Pam Allen (as well as Carrie Bostick Hoge and Bob Rice).  Ownership of KnitWit was recently assumed by the lovely and Stash52...pictured here with my package recipient.  We sat and knit all afternoon, in the good company of at least 25 knitters who filtered in throughout the afternoon.  I met other doctors, lawyers, moms, runners, and knitting instructors...LOTS of them.  Help was abundant.  No wonder Friday afternoons at this fabulous LYS are THE event in the mecca of Knitterville, ME.

Thanks to dearest 7LetterDeborah for organizing ANOTHER fabulous swap...AND for making the yarnie pilgrimage and a treasured night with a friend possible.

...and One More Book to Add.

IMG_7439 by dr.knitter
IMG_7439, a photo by dr.knitter on Flickr.
I nearly forgot a favorite...gifted to me by a fellow boy-mom (shout out, Lisa). Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep is a fabulous rhyming book which tells the story of how a sweater is made...beginning with its agricultural roots and sheep. Each step is lovingly personalized (as in, "Mr. Peale, who owns the finest spinning wheel") and illustrated energetically.