Thursday, August 28, 2008

Like a bandit

dahlias and carnations from my sister

Prepare yourself for the longest, most picture-filled post on this blog. I would cut this into two posts (birthday post then knitting post), but I've already uploaded all the pictures. And anyway, the birthday post would still be long because I really did make out like a bandit. This was a great birthday.

The actual day of my birthday was kinda crappy because I was in a bitchy mood. USPS hadn't delivered my KnitPicks package and when I called the post office the guy who answered the phone didn't have enough brains to fill an egg cup. Most unhelpful. Something that also ticked me off: my aunt kept calling. Calling and calling and calling. Talking about the most unimportant things for hours on end..... Very annoying. I do love her, but she does talk too much. In the end we just stopped answering the phone. We do have an answering machine. Anyway, on to the good part.

My sister wasn't able to come over earlier in the day because she had to work. She had planned on having a b-day party for me at her house (so Charles could be there - he's allergic to our kittehs), but a stupid GD @%!!*@! intern decided to quit last-minute and Di ended up working on the most important day of the year. She came over at 8:30 instead, which is just in time for a late cocktail hour. We had a simple dinner with lots of friendly martinis and a slice of the Boston Trifle that Mutti made. Then: presents!
Di got me bath things which are always welcome. Face masks, soap, and ...okay, those little Raffaello candies aren't bath things, but they can certainly be eaten in a bath! I wasn't sure about the Honey Mask because it has methylparaben in it and I'm turning into an organic freak, but I looked it up on and it's not too bad (a 2, I think).
The present I was really looking forward to:
I died and went to heaven. Do I even have to tell you how much I wanted these? I really wanted them! If I had only got these for my birthday I would still be a happy camper. I'm going to wash and block my Swallowtail shawl again just so I can use them.
Mutti also got me this little frog from KnitPicks. I love these notions containers. Very cute.

raspberry-cranberry vodka martini - mmmm...

After talking for a little bit and giving me a tranquilizer to calm me down after getting the blocking wires out, Di left. I had one more martini, worked on my sock a little, and headed off to bed.

Little did I know what was to come tomorrow morning. (wow, that sounds ominous. It isn't, really).

Sooo, yesterday morning I wake up, do my morning ablutions, make a cuppa tea, and hop online to do my usual email/Ravelry checking and Zoom! the mailman drives by. WTF? I'm thinking. It's 10:30! (yeah, I wake up that late) The mailman never drives by until at least 4pm. Well, whatever. Maybe I annoyed the post office guy so much he sent my mailman out early. I grab the mailbox key and hurry myself down to check for my KnitPicks order. Lo and behold! It has arrived! But wait. There's another box beneath the KnitPicks box. Oh, I think to myself, it must be for someone else. I go to close the mailbox and then I see the name on the box: DJ. Oh, you evil girl. I thought she might send me something because a couple weeks ago she asked my what kind of fiber I liked, what my favorite color was (subtle) and so on. Then, just a couple of days ago she was talking to Mutti who goes outside on the deck and shuts the glass door (in 80 degree weather - subtle). Then, DJ asks me for my address (subtle). After all that, I still wasn't expecting anything from her. It's a good thing I'm so thick or the surprise might have been ruined.

Her presents gave me warm fuzzy feelings and had me bouncing around all day. Here's what was in the box:
A gorgeous, hand made by DJ, cotton canvas in my favorite colors, perfect-sized, many-pocketed (with room for pens & pencils), French seamed, light-weight bag. I love it! She sewed it with her new sewing machine and she was having fun with the embroidery stitches, as you can see:
I was just about screaming with happiness when I saw it. The pockets on the outside really make me happy. Now my tissues won't molest my keys and my dpns won't poke holes in my maxi pads. Is that happiness or what?

She even filled the pockets with stuff. Chocolate from Trader Joe's;

nom nom nom

Jasmine-Chamomile Tea. (I'm not normally a fan of chamomile, but this tea is great. Very nummy. I could inhale it all day. Smells and tastes divine.);
and yarn. Not just any yarn. BMFA Socks That Rock in Mossay. When I looked at this color online I didn't really like it (too dark), but I love it in my hand. Yarn in the hand is great. The color is very beautiful.

It's already being turned into these mittens
which means that I have this magazine (got it last week at Border's).

I was so happy to get DJ's present. I'm trying not to shove Mutti's mittens on the sideline, but it's so very hard. It's a good thing that I got my KnitPicks order too:

Hurrah! This is the Chart Holder from KnitPicks. It rocks. I'm using it to hold the chart for NHM #10 and the Green Autumn mitten chart. I was surprised at the great quality of it. Nice fabric, magnetic snaps, a shiny little KnitPicks label, and four strong magnets. Nice.

Ohh, that was a tiring post. Are you tired? I am. I'll finish up quickly.

Aside from all those wonderful gifts I also got: a $75 gift certificate to LUSH, a subscription to Cook's Illustrated, and a $40 gift certificate to Border's from my dad (still guilty I see...). Di and Charles got me a subscription to Cook's, too, so now I have a longer subscription (2 years - yay!). My aunt gave me money (always welcome) with which I bought 4 lbs. of white Shetland wool from Hello Yarn. It arrived two weeks ago and I dyed 2.5 lbs. already. You can see what I dyed here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Whew.
See? Bandit-like.

Last week I caved and bought two skeins of Jamieson's Simply Shetland Silk and Wool. It's great yarn and I'm planning on knitting something like this. Right now it's living on my desk, giving me smoldering looks every time I walk by. By the way, that's a puffin on the label, not a penguin. I would like it to be a penguin.

you know you want me... touch me... tooouuchh meee...

I haven't been completely possessed by color work (only mostly). I've been working on my Shetland Tea Shawl and Laminaria, too. I'm on the 4th repeat of the Horseshoe lace on the Shetland Tea Shawl and I'm halfway through the 4th repeat of the Blossom chart on Laminaria. I think I'll have to add another pattern section or two to the Shetland Tea Shawl. I'm using US 2/ 2.75mm needles instead of US3/ 3.25mm needles like the pattern suggests and it's turning out much smaller than I thought it would.

Mutti is coming along nicely on my mittens. I made up my own mitten chart by combining patterns from Annemor #1, Annemor #15, and Annemor #13. It took me all day to make the chart perfect (anal-retentive!!) and I can't wait to show you the finished mitts. Here's most of the cuff. This is from 2 days ago so the cuff is finished now, but I'm not taking another picture.

Mutti's mitten (NHM #10 - round 2) is almost finished. I'm going to start the second one right after I finish the first one. No second mitten syndrome for me.
I'm going to spin some yarn.


turtlegirl76 said...

Wow! What a great birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Beans!!

Happy (Late) Birthday again!! Glad you had a good B-Day...mostly? I read your whole spiel and spied that luscious green shawl. You must finish that at once! It's beautiful! Just wonderful!

Luv ya!


allisonmariecat said...

Oh, fantastic birthday haul!

Blocking wires, yay. Fruity martini, even better :) I love pomegranate these days myself.

Happy, happy birthday!

The mitts are fantastic. I wish I had more patience for color-work, because it always looks so cool.

Zonda said...

Whew Girl!! Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like it was a good one :) I'm loving both yours and Mutti's mitts!