Monday, December 31, 2007

A SWAP FILLED CHRISTMAS PART 2

PHEW!!! Part 1 has been completed. It was hard waiting to until Christmas to open my swap packages. It sure was fun opening them all on Christmas but writing about them all at once was difficult and time consuming so that is why I decided to do it in two parts.

Knitting Goodness

Now I will tell you all about the wonderful WINTER WONDERLAND COFFEE Swap package I received from Maria in Kyoto Japan. She sure was right when she wrote she was half way around the world. Maria as I write this you have already celebrated NYE and I hope you had a wonderful one. Your package was certainly fun to open. Maria sent me a mother load of goodies. Here is what the package looked like when I opened the lid. All the packages were numbered and she wrote in a card about each package. Package number 1 which wasn't the first package I opened as it was on the bottom was a lovely box containing a mug from Kyoto and some Starbucks coffee. Wherever one is in the world there probably is a Starbucks coffee shop. I go once a month for sure and have a Starbucks coffee and try to go more when I can. Of course, I have the specialities but at home the plain coffee is fine. Here is a view of the other side of the Kyoto mug. I hope you can make it out enough to see how lovely it really is. Maria wrote me she is trying to collect these Starbucks mugs from the different cities in Japan. She added the Kyoto is the nicest. This wasn't the only coffee I received.

Package 2 was a wrapped bag of a local brand of coffee. I haven't tied it yet but I will be trying it within the next two weeks as soon as I finish the beans I ground from another swap. Package 3 contained some treats; Japanese Poky Sticks and something called YATSUHASHI which is green tea flavored chocolate a kin to crunch bars. The Yatsuhashi is embedded in the chocolate and is a speciality in Japan. I feel so privileged to get to try goodies from another part of the world. Package 4 was a cat package with a a cat notepad, a Hello Kitty cloth and a plastic box with both my name and Solara's name written in Japanese. Only I cannot find the plastic box. I thought something dropped when I opened this package but I moved all the furniture, chair, coffee table, and even the couch. I did a good sweeping also but I can't find it. Maybe it will show up when I am not looking for it. So I am trying to be nonchalant about it in hopes it appears when i am not looking for it or thinking about it.The beautiful cat pouch has a Darma doll. This cat is to represent good luck. The pouch also has with two zippers. Here is a close up of the pouch. It is just to pretty to use and get dirty. Packages 5 & 6 had to do with sheep. Maria called these two packages Baa Baa Black Sheep have you any wool? Wrapped in one package was the cutest and softest sheep fleece blankie and a Japanese sheep tape measure. This tape measure is different than the ones we have here. The other package was Japanese yarn. There were three skeins of a purple yarn which in some light looked brown, strange eh?? Maria translated the label for me. It says in Japanese that it is 100%wool, hand wash, 40g skeins, and 81 meters /skein, She added the Japanese do not list the weight of the yarn but I agree with Maria that it appears to be a DK weight yarn. The last package number 7 was the first I opened as it was on the top of the box and when I first opened it I didn't realise they were numbered. In it was what I took to be a Christmas ornament and I hung it on my little
Charlie Brown tree. It is a plaque with a New Years decoration with a Darma for good luck.The Japanese characters on mine read "good Luck". It is still on my tree for all to see. Maria says you often see plaques like mine at Shinto shrines where people often write wishes. This package also contained some very lovely chopped sticks and a chop stick holder. Now not knowing what it actually was and it had such a nice indent in it which when I rubbed it I thought of a worry stone but not in stone. Silly me!!

Now was this not a lovely package and from so far away. I even managed to save some of the wrapping paper that wasn't too torn after opening everything up.

Thank-you Maria for being a great partner.

I also opened my HARVEST SOCK Swap package from Jane. In this exchange we knit one sock and send it to our partner along with the yarn and pattern to knit it's matching mate. This is one great way to avoid the SSS. Jane read that I am not fond of browns, olive greens, or orange typical fall colors and she wanted to keep with the theme of the swap so she chose the colors of a Mac Apple. She designed the sock herself and it is called Picking Apples. There are two different patterns in the sock a cable pattern on two of the four needles and a lace pattern on the other two needles. She knit it in 100% Jaggerspun which I gather means it is not super wash. Important information for the care of the socks. She also included a row counter and four cat stitch markers and the needles she knit my sock with that she made herself.

Here are close up photos of the sock. I hope you are able to see the sock from different sides from these photos.

Jane also sent me a hand dyed skein of alpaca sock yarn. Isn't it gorgeous? It is oh so soft too. That wasn't all Jane sent. This box was packed filled with goodies. Searching in the box I found a pink cable knit bag she made me. Here is a close up of the pattern on the bag. What lovely knitting you do.
Further digging in the box revealed more goodies. A two year cat datebook, a couple of Alpine apple cider, a bookmark and a Susan Bates' needle size, row and stitch guide. AND AND AND an organizer.
WOW what lovely goodies Jane sent me. Don't you agree. This swap was fun. This was the swap where I sent my partner the Yukon Leaves socks. It is an easy pattern and if you liked knitting the Monkey Socks you would like this pattern. Make sure if and when you get it you get the revised pattern as the old one had a error in it which was corrected.
Thank-you Jane. I am sure we will be in touch as I work on the second sock.

Now for my Knitnplay bag swap. This is a yahoo group I belong to. It was originally called the Knitexchange except for what ever reason it has been reborn as the Knitnplay group. The first exchange of the group was a bag with KyleAnn being my partner. KyleAnn knit me a lovely bag in two colors of purple with two pockets on the outside. This bag will hold a larger than a sock project. KyleAnn also sent me a two year datebook with a deer on the cover and photos of various animals inside. Other goodies included the book The Joy of Knitting, a photo mouse pad, a large M&M calendar and two skeins of 51% cotton and 49% acrylic light blue yarn called Wildflower in a DK weight by Plymouth. I know I will be getting use from all these goodies in this swap. I can't wait to start to read my new book but I have to put it in its spot behind the others until it is its turn. Anyone interested in joining this yahoo group let me know. As of right now there are only four members in the group.On Christmas Eve I received my DISHCLOTH HOLIDAY swap from Connie in the dishcloth group at yahoo that I belong to. My puffy contained a lovely snowflake dishcloth in white cotton, a snowman ornament which is on my Charlie Brown tree and a Christmas magnetic note pad. I hope you can see the snowflake on the cloth. I have two other photos but I can't see the picture that well on my monitor. I got another package today. It was from Michele in the Love2knitdishcloths group I belong to also over at Yahoo. The puffy was packed with goodies. There are Disney pens, a sticky notepad, four Good Earth teas in Sweet and Spicy a flavor that I have never tasted and a Christmas Pez dispenser. Those holiday peanut M&M's sure are good. Here is a close up of the cloth I received.
Here is a close up of the Handicrafter blue cotton yarn I received.
AND here is a close up of the ribbon yarn Allegro I received.
So are all my swaps in? No I am still waiting for one more my whoduknit holiday swap package. Maybe it will be here on Wednesday Jan 2. That is the mail service for you. This last package was sent air mail on Dec 12. I received packages sent after that date first.

Now you can see why I had a lovely Christmas. I have so far received a couple of gifts from friends and should be opening a couple more when we are able to get together.

Did I buy myself anything? I did I purchased the Page A Day Calendar at half price after Christmas and also the new Anna magazine.

I did lean something new to use in my blogger. I am sure a lot of you know it already but I didn't and I had to do a search to find it. I learned how to strike out or cross out something I have already written I want to change. YEAH!!

During this Christmas season I went to the movies. New movies are quite expensive and I don't go to often. I was supposed to go and check out the Christmas light last Friday (Dec 21) but it turned out we went on Saturday Dec 22. After my friends said they thought they would like to go to the late show at Famous Players (the espensive movie theaters) and asked if I wanted to go. I said sure and we went to see Johnny Depp in Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It is up for four golden globes and Johnny Depp sings in this movie. I should add it is NOT a fairy tale (happily ever after). It is a fantasy and quite bloody BUT I did enjoy it and I adore Johnny Depp. It is a perfect role for him. I am just trying to figure out how they did this on stage as it was a broadway show first. HMMMMM!!!!!

This past Saturday evening I went to a movie night with the same gals as one as a large HD wide TV. We wanted to rent or I should say I wanted to rent You Kill Me with Sir Ben Kingsley but it wasn't available. Ah why did I want to see that? Well I was an extra in that movie last Dec. I wanted to see if I made the movie or the cutting room floor. I did a search on the computer and saw a preview not what is being shown on the TV and I thought I could see a bit of me. It never played here. It went to the wrong city by mistake and when it finally showed up at the movie theater there were not enough people going to see it so they sent it on it's way. So I do hope to see it. I heard it was quite funny. Anyway, we rented three good movies none of which I had seen. We rented The Painted Veil, Water and The Pursuit of Happiness. I enjoyed them all. All three had great cinemontography and great acting. I am glad we chose those but I really would have liked to see You Kill Me.

I hope everyone has a great NYE and tomorrow I will be back blogging about those pesky resolutions.

For Christmas I fed my Solara one of those expensive small cans with turkey. She turned her nose up at it and wouldn't touch it. Tonight I gave her beef and gravy. She had some of the gravy but didn't touch the beef. Fincky kitty she is.

3 comments:

M. said...

Hello! It's Maria (I changed my blog), thank you for the lovely comments! Like I said before, it was alot of fun putting the swap together. I think I know what you mean by the plastic box with yours and Solara's names on it - it is actually attached to the Hello Kitty dishcloth, I believe. Hope it helps!

LadyLungDoc said...

Oops! My bad for posting when I am still somewhat sleep deprived :(
Sorry to have misspelled your name. I corrected it and added a link to your blog.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Hi Penny

How are you?? Hope you're fine and Solara as well!
Did you have a good start in 2008?? it's so quiet here in the blog.

Your Monkey Sock (Angel) Pal