I had actually expected this, having requested one when my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday, but I was surprised to have it come so early, and from Susan and not my parents. Susan got me a ballwinder this past Christmas, but I haven't gotten much use out of it because it's difficult to use without a swift. It's a lovely wooden swift, and it gets quite large so I think it will accomodate anything I can find to throw on it. Thank you Susan, this will get plenty of use!!! Dave thanks you as well, because now he is off the hook when it comes to ball winding, and Oliver is also looking forward to watching a fun spinning gadget!
Then tonight at knitting club I received a most unexpected bag of birthday gifts from Anne-Marie!
There is a lovely skein of Fleece Artist merino sock yarn, which I'm quite excited to try. I've heard great things about this yarn but I didn't have any in the stash, amazingly enough. And she got me my own copy of Latvian Mittens! I had been looking for a good book of Fair Isle patterns, and Anne-Marie just finished some mittens from this book (which are spectacular, by the way). I had eyed up this book when she brought it to knit one day, and now I have my own copy! It's got all kinds of great patterns in it, some crazy complex and others completely manageable even for a Fair Isle newbie like me. So, I'm pretty excited about this. AND she got me a bright teal LeSportSac purse, which I tried to photograph unsuccessfully (it's shiny). I am not worthy - thank you again Anne-Marie!
I've made some headway on my new project (Are you curious? Have I even mentioned what I'm making?), and I think it will be blogworthy soon. Tonight I made some reverse progress at knitting club, having knit an entire row (99 stitches) doing *P2tog, yarnover* instead of *P2, yarnover*. Now, it comes as a surprise even to me that I then knit the entire next row, got to the end, of course having the wrong number of stitches, tried to fix that by knitting two together, all while thinking, "wow, that row seemed really quick," before realizing what I had done wrong. I ended up having to rip out about 4 rows because it's a lace pattern and I didn't see a reasonable way for me to unknit it or unravel and pick up the stitches properly at any point before the stockinette bit at the beginning of the lace. BUT, I've since gotten well past where I started so nothing was really lost, except perhaps some pride, because there were witnesses to this P2tog debacle. Let us not speak of it again. For the next lace section I will be putting in a life line at the end of the stockinette portion, so if I screw up again (not unlikely as there will be shaping in pattern (gasp!)) I won't have to go back too far...