Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Building it better...

*insert flashback to the million dollar man intro complete w/ cool bionic sound effects that really are from the bionic woman intro here*

In years past I've fallen all over myself joining in on swaps, clubs and -alongs...only to be generally nonplussed. Don't get me wrong, I've hand fun and had some fabulous surprises, but in general things have fallen flat. Adding that to a rather tight financial year cemented my resolve to steer clear of the bright shiny joiner bling. Kind of sad, but you know, doable. Or at least that's what I told myself a grownup responsible mom of 3 would decide.

Being an adult is just so BORING sometimes.

I do love me a good surprise though, and is there anyone that doesn't like a spontaneous present now and then? Yup, the kid in me held a wee small rebellion, which grew to tantrum level when people in the yarniverse started making noises about a certain rockstar status yarn club opening registrations soon. At which point the biggest boy glued our budget to my glasses. Party-pooper.

Then this tweet from the Yarn Harlot ran across my screen:

"Maybe taking my own advice and matching stash sock patterns w/ yarns for a random sock of the month club. All in a box, pull one a month?"

OOOOOoooooooooo!!! I've been sitting on TONS of great stuff I've picked up on my various travels and adventures over the past few years. We're talkin' lots of Handmaiden. Dream in Color. Lisa Souza. Skeins lovingly hand-dyed by my friend Meg. Briar Rose Fibers. Mine own handspun. Socks that Rock even! Every once in awhile I take it out and play with it, but in general it just sits, patternless and longing for a function. (Quite sad really. Bordering on neglect I think. Please don't turn me in.) Now this stuff, I would LOVE to find in my mailbox.

Now wait, with a little effort I CAN find it in my mailbox!

With a little time on Ravelry and some printing assistance when I squeezed the last drop of ink out of my printer, the great unearthing began:

Happy patterns. Happy fibers. Hours of organizational geek-out. Ah, the ecstasy. A bit later, here's what I gots:

Close to 30 anonymous packages of various sizes and shapes. Absolutely no identifying marks. Nice mix of knit and crochet. Some are small and quick, some a bit more elaborate...and one project I'm even a bit afraid of. All ready and waiting to please. Here are my rules:

1) I get my pick on the 15th of every month.
2) I get my pick when I finish a hibernating or temporarily-exiled-and-then-promptly-forgotten-about project.
3) I get my pick when one of several select people deems it necessary for mental health reasons. (you know who you are...use the power wisely my pod.)

How fun is that? A year of surprises! A year of surprises I know I'll LOVE! And no more fabulous-but-languishing-yarn guilt! BWAHAHAHA! This is genius!

[and for those that must know, here's the list, totally cross referenced to Ravelry for you. all patterns, with the exception of one pair of socks from a booklet a wonder friend brought me back from Rhinebeck, are free (that was part of my no-expense deal with myself):

Fawkes socks (knit)
Chevron Lace Cardigan (crochet)
Diamond Ridges hat (crochet)
Poinsettia (knit...Knitty rules!)
Springtime Bandit (knit)
Silk Kerchief (knit...but mine will be alpaca)
Edelweiss Mittens (knit)
Flapper hat (crochet)
Crocheted Mesh Scarf (duh!)
Kalajoki socks (knit)
Zagnut (crochet)
Falling Tears socks (knit)
Knotty but Nice hat (knitty rocks!)
Earl Grey socks (knit)
One Row Handspun Scarf (knit)
Susie's Reading Mitts (knit)
Hedgerow socks (knit)
Mojo socks (knit)
Magic Mirror socks (knit)
Crochet Lacy Shawl (duh!)
Cross Skull Cap (knit)
Abby (yup, more knitty!)
Sunday Swing (...and more.)
Pebble Lace Crochet Tam (hooks and needles both, it's a 2-fer)
Elissa set (crochet)
Alpaca Angel (crochet)
1 pair of socks from the Thistle & Fox book
crochet ripple out of my own head (becasue it's malabrigo lace i bought for that purpose) ]

Monday, January 04, 2010

Well Helloooooo!

Wow does July seem a world away. Was it ever really warm enough here to pick berries and do projects outside? Crazy talk.

I feel like every post I've put up this past year has been playing a bit of catch-up. I hope to do better this year. I do get a lot out of having a forum in which to clear my brain...and you know pretty pictures and a bit of brag are always worth the effort too. Yes, the blog shall be part of my ever ambitious "it's a brand spanking new year, so let's build a brand spanking new me" action plan.

That said, let's do play a game of catch-up shall we?

Summer's end saw us once again at the MN state fair. IMO outstanding fiber craft entry o the year being the quilted game of Candy Land, vintage style, not the lame modern retake...scaled so you can be your own piece. Serously. Cool.

We also adopted what we thought would be a new resident of our abode and our long awaited second dog, Mazey: ( I know, blurry, but I love the look on her face)

She's actually Gus' champion of a grandma, recently retired from breeding. The dogs got along fabulously as Gus loves nothing better than being bossed around by a pretty girl. Initially it seemed like a great fit, she was super submissive to all humans in the house, but in the long run the unpredictable energy of a 3 yo was just too much for her and she tried to keep him in line as she would a puppy...so back she went to the breeder. She was with us for almost 4 months by then, so quite a few tears were shed going into the holidays this year. We miss her, and that also makes us miss Emma and Willy. Sometimes I wonder if the hurt will ever ease.

Gus has been out of sorts ever since, and that breaks my heart. He's lonely and a bit bored with us at times...and the long stretch of below zero temps is not helping one bit. He's a cutie though, and quite a cuddle bug. Love the 55 pound lapdog.

The kids went back to school and I became engrossed in righting the wrongs of public school funding by taking a leadership roll in the PTO which has basically turned into a full-time job. There's always more to do, and not enough people willing to do it. They're getting a stellar education, but sometimes I wonder if the constant fight it takes to keep a charter school up and running is worth it. When I look at our alternatives, I know 100 and 10 percent that it is, but wow could things at a state and federal level be organized to make things saner.

On the fun side o' life, we picked innumerable apples this fall and turned them into much yumminess:

I spent some time playing with handspun (from my own batts even!)and crochet post stitches:

...made children deliriously happy with fiber goodies:

...and in general fell even further in love with my Kitchenaid mixer:

That about brings us up to date. I'll leave you with this reminder that wrapping paper, though bright and shiny, is not to be the next taste sensation: