The Case of the Kamikaze Wedding Rings

Mr. Knitting Sarah and I occasionally tease that if we take off our wedding rings we aren’t married any more. Once in a while my hubby will take his off and spin it like a little top on the table and with grand theatrics including wide eyes and crazy gesticulating I’ll point and shout frantically, “We aren’t married!” Truly, we like each other a lot and have a very good marriage. I don’t know, maybe our collective sense of humor is just weird.

In actuality I have my rings off at least half the time. Between the kids and housework and yard work and the fact that I’m usually at home alone with the kids and the dog, I just take them off so I don’t accidentally destroy them, not that my rings are anything fancy. I have a plain silver band and my very simple engagement ring that has an unspectacular little opal that we picked out at our then local rock shop for less than $50. They aren’t fancy, but I’m sentimental about them, of course. I actually wear the engagement ring atop the band partly to keep it in place as the band can be a little loose depending on how swollen or not swollen my fingers are.

This morning, knowing I had a few hours of sunshine and breezes before another round of rain came through, I went to wash my 4 skeins of finished handspun yarns. I set them to soak while I sprinted around the house cleaning and about 20minutes later I squeezed the excess water from my skeins and piled them in a little basket. Grabbing some hangers, I walked them outside to go about setting the twist and hanging them to dry.

I stopped on our back deck, set down the basket & hangers, and grabbed the first skein. As always, I squeezed the excess water again so as to spray myself with just a bit less water. I looped the wet skein around either wrist and, “Snap!” I snapped my arms apart, setting and evening out the twist. I rotated the skein and snapped it again. And then, again I rotated the skein and I hear, “Snap! Clink, tink, tink…”

Silence.

It took me a minute to wrap my head around what happened. Still holding the yarn, I tried to figure out what I could possibly have broken off that was metal. To add to the confusion, from the corner of my eyes I’d watched one metal piece fly to my left, bouncing off the deck into the lawn and another hit near my feet to the right and soar off into the raspberry bushes. And then the realization hit me…

“Oh no…”

I hadn’t broken anything. My rings had flown off my finger as I snapped my yarn. Flown off my finger and into the grass and dead leaves.

“You have to be kidding me. How did they fly in opposite directions?!” I thought

With the dread of someone who knows they have to embark on an impossible mission I stood in my spot and tried to recall exactly what I’d seen. It all happened so fast and unexpectedly. I was positive the next person who would see my rings would be the person who hit them with the lawnmower and my stomach lurched. Of course I had no choice. I had to look.

I decided to start with the ring that flew to my left. It had farther to go over the deck and I figured it was pretty likely it had come to rest just off of it. Plus, it had hit a chair on its journey so I had a pretty decent idea of where it might be. I combed the ground and looked carefully for glinting metal so thankful that it was sunny and the metal would reflect. Sure enough, it only took about 5minutes and I’d located my engagement ring in the grass just off the deck.

Phew.

Unfortunately, I knew the wedding band would be the real challenge. I knew the general angle it went flying, but I had no idea where it landed — it could have been on the grass, it could have been in the dried leaves we left as mulch in the raspberries. It was pretty hopeless and as I crouched down to begin the second half of the impossible mission I cursed the fact that I always bragged at how good I am at finding things. Oh, the irony! The horrible, horrible irony! If it had fallen in that mulch it would be lost for sure. Those leaves are curled and crisp and could easily have slipped beneath to the murky, wet depths never to be seen again.

I got a rake.

I started slowly combing through the leaves. My son came out to help, spent about five minutes looking carefully, and then said the polite 10-year-old version of, “You’re screwed.” I was too distraught to really hear the words. I knew what he meant though.

Beginning to panic, I took a quick break to finish hanging the yarn up to dry. After all, if I’d just lost my wedding band while trying to get this yarn dry I had better dry the darn yarn. I went back to the leaf piles. 20 minutes passed. 30 minutes passed. I crouched down and carefully turned over and pulled out the crispy leaves across the area I thought was possible for the kamikaze wedding band to have landed. I took a deep breath and a chilly breeze made the hair stand up on my arms. A random Veery landed not 5 feet away, looked at me for a few seconds, and flew off. I’ve never seen this bird in the yard and I’d have never been able to ID it except my hubby & I had spotted one Wednesday on a family hike. This surreal appearance made me stop and stare for a minute. Giving up hope, I started to replace the leaves.

I finished cleaning up the leaves and with a heavy heart turned, still crouching, and surveyed the grassy area between the deck and raspberries. Hopeless.

And there was my wedding band.

For those who think knitting & spinning is boring and uneventful, now you know that you’re wildly mistaken. It’s full of action, adventure, heartache. It’s fraught with peril and the highest of stakes and kamikaze jewelry. If I hadn’t found the ring, would I still be married? Thank goodness that Veery visited the yard, the sun was shining, and I found that ring.

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Snowfling Mitts, Version 2

Two years ago around this same time of year, I purchased the Snowfling Mitts kit from Tanis Fiber Arts and knit up these fantastic mittens.

snowfling mittsAnd over the last two years they have been some of my most used mittens. Made in stranded colorwork and lined with a cashmere blend, you can surely understand why — they are very warm and very soft! With all the use they are holding up remarkably well, but my darling daughter has taken a liking to them. Our daily walks began to require wheeling and dealing to see which of us would get to wear them. And if you know anything about me when it comes to sharing my knitwear, you’ll know I was often left hunting for a different pair.

As I’ve mentioned, on my little birthday getaway trip to Spin of Door County I picked up some Madelinetosh DK & Pashmina so I could set about making myself another pair. I opted to make them one of my goals for my One Plus One Plus One Project this quarter and thus gave myself both permission and incentive to get them knitted up.

img_1842-1And that’s just what I’ve done!

img_2230Of course, once I start with colorwork I can never put it down. I worked both of the outer mitts first…

img_2257And then quickly moved on to the linings.

And now they’re done!

topsideI absolutely adore the mix of different snowflakes on the top of the hand. Personally, I don’t think the light blue/grey blend of the Cloud colorway could be any more perfect.

palmAnd the simple starry design on the palm is just like a light snow. I was aiming to be just a bit more relaxed with my gauge with these than the first pair in order to make them just a smidge roomier and I’m happy to report that my plan worked out perfectly and this pair is just exactly the size I wanted. I also diverged from the pattern in that this time around I went with the designer’s original impulse and made the picot edge the darker color. I opted for the darker edge partly just to try something a little different and partly because — I’ll be honest — the black/grey won’t show the dirt & wear the way the light blue/grey would. Oh, and instead of sewing the picot edge down I picked it up and knitted it at its turning point just to avoid the sewing. It’s not and neat and tidy as a sewn picot edge, BUT it saved me some time and it really isn’t noticeable when you’re actually wearing them.

As for the lining…

peekI’m not usually one to be very creative or, you know, skilled when it comes to pairing and coordinating colors. I usually seek (a lot) of help for this task, but when I saw the “Byzantine” colorway, I knew it could be no other way for these mitts.

snowfling insideoutI can say nothing more than I whole-heartedly adore how they turned out.

As they were off the needles, I laid them next to my computer so I could admire them while I got some work done. Within moments, my daughter sauntered up to have a look. She tried them on and said,

“Mom, can I have these? I really think they fit me perfectly.”

(For the record, remember they are a little big on me and she is 8).

I replied, “Oh, but I made these for me so you could have my red ones with the white snowflakes. You know, the ones you are always borrowing because you love them so much.”

(She pauses to admire my precious mittens.)

“No, I really think I should have these new ones.”

And with that she took it off and walked away.

We haven’t revisited the topic yet. It’s anyone’s guess how it’ll go down, but I’m guessing that the most likely outcome is that we’ll negotiate into some sort of scenario in which we share the two pairs. I won’t ever complain or deny my kiddos my knitwear, but for certain special projects I think I’ll always reserve the right to make them share with me.

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Accomplishing the Impossible

For those who’ve been reading this blog for a while you might remember that despite my real love of knitting, I do have a couple nemeses. Scarves can be a challenge and the occasional & inevitable long stretch of stockinette can get to me, but nothing is as rough for me to get into and get done than dishcloths.  I love using them, but for whatever reason the actual knitting of them has never really been enjoyable for me.I honestly have no idea what my problem is with them, but I don’t look forward to knitting dishcloths and while I’m making them I feel like I might go bananas, so I tend to view them kind of like a necessary evil.

According to Ravelry, a little over 6 years ago I made a batch of Ballband Dishcloths. In an effort to keep it fun, I chose the brightest colors I could find. I really like the pattern and the colors and it was worth the effort. It was just in the last 6months or so that these started to wear out which I think it pretty impressive considering how much they were used and then washed and dried. Even the bright colors held up remarkably well.  I’d supplemented these with 3 New Log Cabin Dishcloths two summers ago, but 3 is not exactly ample supply in my house. This weekend when I finished up my current WIP it was extremely hot, so the alpaca/silk blend I have on deck (even in lace weight) sounded awful to me and the patterned sock I still have on the needles was more brainpower than I had to offer, so I picked up the ‘ol kitchen cotton and got to work.

A few months ago I’d bookmarked Sinkmates by Lorilee Beltman. It looked simple, but not boring and the garter ridges would definitely be strong enough to handle washing dishes. Plus, all the proceeds of this $2 pattern go to the Special Olympics — it is really impressive how much she’s raised so far! In any case, I cast-on and got going and the weirdest thing happened…

IMG_0230-1I got totally hooked!

I think there are a lot of aspects of this pattern that make it work for me — you start with an i-cord and then pick-up stitches and then the whole thing is decreasing, so you speed up with every row. Mentally speaking, that is huge for me and made these — shall I dare say it?! – fun! I could have kept going, but I stopped at 8. That seemed like enough for now and I’d burned through the bulk of this set of coordinated yarns.

I really enjoyed mixing and matching colors…

handpainted1This one I used a plain pink Peaches N’ Cream with a hand-dyed cotton that I’d picked up from Dyeabolical a few years back when she had some cottons available.

wash1This one is just the inverse, with the hand-dye for the i-cord and the plain pink for the main body.

hodgeAnd on this one I added a couple pink stripes to use it up and then ran out of the hand-dye, so I threw on a multi-colored Peaches N’ Cream for the last few rows.

On the hottest night, I cooled off with my dishcloth knitting and color coordinated Grapefruit Shandy…

IMG_0247-0Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that I used my fabulous Knitters’ Pride Trendz Interchangeable Needles for the job. They were perfect for this little project!

stripesOut of hand-dyes for this color family, I used a different multi-color from Peaches N’ Cream and a peachy-pink solid. This one might be my favorite, probably because I really enjoyed knitting it. Yes, I said I enjoyed knitting a dishcloth — what the what?!

In any case, you get the idea — mix & match and at the end of a couple days I have 8 new colorful dishcloths.

all of themYou’ll notice that the pattern includes a little loop in the i-cord at the corner — I left that off since I really have no where I’m ever going to hang these in that manner. I simply made my i-cord with 61 or 63 stitches — depending on how great my counting was at the moment — and picked up one stitch for each stitch in the i-cord.

 The best part about this whole process isn’t that I managed to use up some stash yarn or even that I can now trash the dishcloths I have been clinging to that are falling apart. No, the best part is that I feel like I accomplished the impossible. I made dishcloths for my kitchen and I enjoyed it. I never thought I’d see this day!

In the Badlands: The Arrival

I long for the ocean and my husband would prefer the mountains, so somehow when it comes to planning vacations our go-to landscape is the Plains. I can’t explain how, but it works for us. This past week was our annual trip to Badlands National Park — parts of the park were formed under an inland sea 75million years ago and the formations kind of look like mountains, so maybe that’s it.  In any case, normally we split a week between camping in the Badlands and the Black Hills, but this year since we were planning to take time in April we opted to spend the whole trip in the Badlands. The Hills sometimes still get snow this time of year and although prepared for it, we did want to try to avoid that possibility. Correction, I wanted to try to avoid that. My husband loves winter camping and would most likely be delighted to roll out of the tent to find freshly fallen snow outside. I am without a doubt a much more of a fair-weather camper and waking up to snow would most likely just make me cranky and send me running from my sleeping bag to the heated car as quickly as possible.

At any rate, we left home shortly before 3am Monday morning. By about 3:15am we were pulled over, cleaning & sanitizing the car for our son had unfortunately gotten sick. As these things go we got off very easy, but still not really what you want to be doing at 3:15am especially on the very front-end of a week-long camping vacation. Once the unpleasantness arises, it feels like a roll of the cosmic dice as to whether this was just a random one-off event or it’s going to be a week caring for and then eventually contracting the flu while living in a tent 35miles from running water. I’m very thankful to report that aside from a bad cold which our boy valiantly ignored for the most part, this was the only illness with which we dealt all week. All cleaned up, we got back on the road for a wonderfully uneventful drive.

It’s a little over a 10hour drive time from our house to the park, so leaving when we did got us to there with plenty of time to set up camp and fetch water. When camping, we usually stay at the Sage Creek Campground which — aside from two well-maintained outhouses and a handful of picnic tables with sunshades — has no amenities. The nearest potable water is located at the Visitor Center about 35miles away via roads that take about an hour and a half to traverse thanks to only about half of them being paved and generally lower speed limits within the park. Because of the space limitations of driving a four-door hatchback containing 4 humans, a 75lb Moose, and all our camping gear, we needed to set up camp and then run to get our 5-gallon water container filled for the night. Preferably this all happens with enough daylight to then get back and cook up a delicious spaghetti dinner at camp. Even with the early start my husband usually drives the bulk of the way — he knows I like to knit and he gets a little stir-crazy in the car without a job to do, so I clicked away on socks for my daughter while we drove toward our destination.

I started them at home after my son showing off his new socks elicited a ‘But where are mine, mom?’ from my girl…

And just as we pulled into the park, I wove in the last end…

IMG_8791My girl was delighted and wore them happily until they had to go in the dirty handknits bag (that’s a normal thing for camping, right?).

As planned, we made it to the park by early afternoon and before we even made it to the campground, we spotted this guy in a tree about 300yards off the road…

Photo by Mr Knitting Sarah

My very first ever wild porcupine. Up a tree and munching away, he was exceptionally cooperative for viewing and photography.

We set up our home base…

IMG_9046and had a pretty uneventful evening aside from the ever present bison in camp…

IMG_9047…which are clearly conspiring against me. They are incredibly huge and have free rein of the park and, most notably, the campground where I was supposed to sleep. As much as I enjoy the outdoors, I have to admit that really don’t care for sharing space with enormous wild animals and my distrust of their intentions in general tends to border on the irrational and/or paranoid. But I digress. Spaghetti dinner was consumed just as the sun set over the hills and the bison moved around a bend to bed down for the night (and no doubt discuss how to torment me). The kids spotted Orion and some other constellations before we zipped them into their sleeping bags and we passed a peaceful night in our tent.

I awoke to the sound of coyotes howling in camp. Like just outside our tent. I was mildly concerned that Moose would make a fuss and propel us into some sort of situation (of which the general idea in my imagination is very bad, but the details of which I conveniently choose to not think about), but he just laid there, eyes wide and ears back. Clearly, he likes being in close proximity to wildlife about as much as I do. I dozed for a bit and then cautiously stepped out of the tent (checking for bison, of course) where Mr Knitting Sarah was making coffee. And aside from the glory of the Starbucks Via Ready-To-Brew packs I was greeted by this scene…

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Stunning, right?! Probably worth risking my life with enormous wild beasts nearby.

My hubby and I set up our comfy camp chairs and enjoyed the sunrise…

I was thankful for my comfy camp chair and my lovely Sprig Cloche & Welted Fingerless Mitts in Dyeabolical Id Squishy Sport Single. They were so cozy! If you haven’t signed up for the giveaway, definitely hop over and do so — entering is super easy and today’s the last day to throw your name in to win a skein of your own!

From here, the trip took some rather unexpected turns not the least of which resulted in this situation…

IMG_8833And this one…

IMG_9045And this…

IMG_9009Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as I share the highlights of this grand adventure!

A Red Pants Event

Starting 6th grade was kind of a big deal to me. I had just come off a year that involved a 6month relocation to Baltimore, 3 surgically broken bones that over the span of 6months straightened my left leg and lengthened it over 4inches, and a full year of physical therapy. I was able to walk into the 6th grade without crutches or a wheel chair. I got to pick out regular shoes that didn’t require a cobbler to add a couple inches of length to the bottom for me to be able to walk. And I was able to wear regular clothes — not the athletic shorts or the handmade or altered sweatpants that my mom very lovingly made & altered for me (thanks, mom! you rule!). When I went to the store school shopping — so proud and excited — I saw the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen before. Red jeans.

These red jeans were wild. They were crazy bright and they felt like they were meant just for me. They said, “Sarah, you just conquered some incredible challenges and you deserve to be seen!” They were bold and unlike anything I’d seen before and it was just love at first sight. I grabbed an equally bright pair of yellow jeans and we checked out.

When the first day of school arrived, I put on my red jeans and my regular shoes and I walked so proudly into that classroom. As we all know though, 6th grade girls can be tough. And my red jeans — my declaration that I’d went through a tough time and come out stronger, my celebration of all that I’d made it through — were met with ridicule by my classmates. I was teased. Mercilessly. Growing up with the leg issues I did, I was used to not fitting in partly because this kind of handicap is like wearing a billboard stating that you’re different in an atmosphere where fitting in is supposed to be paramount and partly because having this kind of handicap just forces a kid to see the world very differently, so I was not like every other kid in a lot of ways. Even though there was hope that my leg being fixed up would maybe magically change that, at that point in my life I’d been through enough to meet the disappointment with a little bit of maturity. Of course, it hurt a lot, but I loved those jeans. And I wore them anyways because I loved them.

To my surprise, later that school year colored jeans made their way into the mainstream. The very pants I was mocked for at the start of the year were suddenly the height of fashion in small town Wisconsin. At the time, I was pretty sure it was because secretly I was a trendsetter. I was clearly the kid other kids wanted to be like, but no one was bold enough to admit it. I had a lot of delusions like that as a kid, but on the bright side it taught me to always just go with what I like. I might not be an oracle (although I may or may not still be on the fence about that), but I might as well follow my instincts since the general public will eventually get there. Give it 6months and I’ll be totally cool.

I told Mr Knitting Sarah this story early on in our relationship when something similar happened. As I’ve gotten older, the teasing is mostly nonexistent, of course, because in adulthood who really spends their time with people who might gawk and tease about what you wear, but I still stick out a fair bit from time to time because I am occasionally ahead on a trend. And I still don’t care. Give it 6months or a year and we’ll all be on the same page.

Mr Knitting Sarah finds the story of the red jeans hilarious, though, largely because of my being convinced at the time that the fact that colored jeans became popular were a direct effect of my deciding they were cool and rocking them (obviously, that 6th grade delusion does not still exist in my head, but it’s fun to joke around with it). He likes to refer to it as a ‘synchronicity’ — meaning the two events are meaningfully related, but not causally related. So, in plain English, he thinks it’s true that I like trends that often become mainstream, but they don’t become mainstream because I like them. We’ve come to endearingly refer to such events as Red Pants Events in our house and it never fails to make my husband laugh and shake his head as I declare triumphantly with wide (read: crazy) eyes that I have once again been a trendsetting catalyst.

Last night, Mr Knitting Sarah handed me his latest Backpacker Magazine. Now as much as I enjoy ‘camping light’ (aka car camping), I’m not the hardcore 4-season all-weather backpacking enthusiast my husband is, so I was a little skeptical. Usually being handed an issue of Backpacker means he is going to attempt to convince me that taking our family in a canoe over a waterfall sounds like a great idea or that our next dream vacation is going to somehow involve wild polar bears. Instead, he just handed it to me and said, “Our worlds are colliding.”

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This article entitled Homegrown Gear: Made in America Makes a Comeback focuses on and explores the ‘new’ push toward paying a bit extra for higher quality items that are made domestically. Hmmm. As I continued to read, I discovered the article talks a fair bit about woolens and how domestically grown and manufactured woolen items are a kind of booming business in the USA currently. My husband couldn’t resist pointing out this Red Pants Event with a bit of a snicker — I’ve been hand-making our woolens for the last 12years, after all, often seeking domestically sourced wool and now it’s apparently en vogue to have such items. I’ve done it again!

This fantastic graphic shows you how the manufacturer Voormi sources, processes, and manufactures its Access Pullover “From Sheep to Shelf.”

IMG_8732For those of us who are knitters, this process looks awfully familiar. For those of us who spin, we recognize even more of the flow chart. And for those fiber artists who source their own wool and wash and card it — well, there’s not really any step there you haven’t really gone through (except maybe the ‘superwashing’). Now in all seriousness, I take no credit for this Red Pants Event (or do I?) and if you’re reading this blog post you are probably in the exact same boat as me (one that is not going over a waterfall, thank god), but it’s pretty fantastic to see this article — and especially the ‘sheep to shelf’ explanation — in a mainstream, non fiber arts periodical. A definite indicator that locally sourced, handmade or smaller scale manufacturing is becoming more mainstream in the USA and that items such as domestically grown wool are once again in demand is just tremendous news. I just think it’s great on many levels and I am so glad that this trend in product awareness is reaching more and more people.

 I’m ecstatic to say have spent the last 12years honing my skills for this trend and many of you have probably been knitting and spinning away longer than that. I’m interested to see how far this trend goes, how long it stays popular and mainstream, and how long it takes for us to get handknit socks into the mainstream. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all made our own socks, or at least some of them? If we all had a little sack of knitting that we brought along on our camping trips, our road trips, our commute to work or school? Until that Red Pants Event occurs, I’m going to stay the course…

IMG_8731-4The general public will come around eventually.

Best. Exchange. Ever.

I’ve mentioned my friend Rose here before from time to time for various reasons, usually because she did something awesome or I attempted to thank her for being awesome by knitting or spinning something for her. I always introduce her along the lines of “Rose & I have known each other since around the 8th grade,” which at this point means I’ve known her over half my life. I always start there because I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to really capture Rose in words. She is as tough as she is kind. She is quirky and fun and a little shy. She is passionate. She is like an extroverted introvert. She is the person who can spontaneously say “I’ll be at X from 3-5pm” and  I’m fairly certain that no matter where X is, friends will always show up to spend time with her. We just all want our chance to be around her.

She and I were close through most of high school & even a brief yet ill-fated stint as roommates in college. I think we are both the kind of people that hang on to friends and time & space doesn’t really phase that. She could call me tomorrow and I’m pretty sure we could talk just as we did sitting in her kitchen after pep band eating Ben & Jerry’s and Italian bread from the Pick n’Save. That’s why when around this time last year she proposed doing a themed gift exchange, I was very excited. The idea was to pick a movie we watched together as kids and to each compile a gift box based around it to exchange around Christmas. We set a price cap, agreed that at least some part of the box had to be handmade, and exchanged a few preferences — like ‘I hate pastels’ and ‘Please don’t send me licorice’ — and then it was time to select a movie.

After a brief discussion we agreed to base our gift exchange on none other than the cult classic, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
Photo from Amazon.com

We used to watch this movie probably more than was healthy. It’s hilarious though and even to this day I can quote it at will and while my husband looks at me like I’ve finally lost it, I laugh hysterically all the way through the end scene.

I got the movie and watched because I needed a refresher, of course, and some visual cues. I took notes and started formulating a plan. The handmade item was very hard for me to settle on, but I finally found ‘it’ toward the end of October. By the end of November, I was picking up the last few items at the store and wrapping them up.

r&mI found this blue & pink/red sparkly wrapping paper and on each I pasted a Post-It note with a quote from the movie (for those who haven’t seen it, the Post-Its are a reference to the movie, too). My gift box to Rose included these quotes and their respective gifts:

1) “All I’ve had to eat for the past six days are gummy bears, jelly beans, and candy corns.”

I packed gummy bears, jelly beans, and red vines (because candy corns were out of season and while I considered buying them at Halloween and saving them for Christmas I decided that was too gross and went with red vines instead).

2) “A fun frisky use of color.”

Photo courtesy of Dyeabolical.

A set of Highlighter Minis from Dyeabolical.

3) “What about making them yellow?”

I wrapped up a package of top-of-the-line classic yellow Post-Its.

4) “Have a Romy & Michele Day!”

This is the handmade item that took some figuring. I know Rose walks and bikes a lot, so I wanted a cowl that was light, but warm enough to keep a chill at bay. With Romy & Michele as the theme, the colors just had to be fun & funky & bright, but at the same time in the realm of colorways that Rose would be happy wearing often. I finally settled on using my skein of Madelinetosh Twist Light Care that I was able to order from Cream City Yarn before they sold out.

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And for the pattern, I chose Bristol Ivy’s Sallah Cowl (a free pattern on Knitty!).

sallah stitchesIt was one of those projects that once I got going I knew it was going to be really beautiful. Knit on the bias and finished with i-cord edges, it’s stretchy and comfy and just easy to wear. It was just right.

rosieI think Rose likes it, too (she let me share this photo with her modeling — thanks, Rose!).

As for the box Rose sent to me, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was horrible, just horrible at photographing & documenting it because I could not stop giggling with glee as I tore it open. Instead of plain quotes, she printed off photos, much like I did that went with each gift. This was what I saw when I first opened it…

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(if you haven’t seen the movie, just trust me that this is hilarious) and it was at this moment that all interest in documenting went out the window. I was just too excited!

Within the box was the movie Pretty Woman, some cherry gummy candies, & a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. For the record, those cherry gummy candies were ridiculously delicious — even my husband agreed they may have been the best gift ever.

Although this pretty much tied those gummy candies…

IMG_8208A skein of the pinkest Malabrigo Sock in the Light of Love colorway.

As did these…

IMG_8207These are Fetching mitts in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in the Wildflowers colorway. Rose made some mods to the pattern and you can see them on her project page here. We definitely both had a good chuckle because whether or not it’s apparent in the photos the mitts and cowl have very, very, very similar colorways. Great minds think alike, I guess!

I have to admit that I repackaged and re-opened my box a few times (and if I forgot something that was inside, Rose, it’s not for lack of love — it’s entirely due to poor documentation due to extreme happiness). It was just so fun and made me really happy to open it all over again. I asked right away if Rose would be interested in doing an exchange again this year and I’m delighted to report that she is. We’ll be exchanging around Labor Day this year to help avoid the holiday rush and our theme this year…

French Kiss
Photo from Amazon.com

The classic Rom-Com, French Kiss.

I started my research last weekend when I got a copy of the movie from the library…

https://igcdn-photos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/t51.2885-15/10963765_800536646650942_292506623_n.jpg

… and I’ve got some ideas churning. I can’t wait to see where this one takes us!