Thursday, May 10, 2007

A package, and, as promised, a new sweater

Today I got another early birthday surprise, this time from my secret pal! I had a premonition there might be a package waiting for me today, so I made sure to get home before the building office closed, and there it was, a package!

The wrapping was so nice I had to take a photo - inside the box each item was individually wrapped with little tags describing each item. For instance, the note with the hand cream said "For your hard-working hands."In the box were all the goodies you see above. A nice journal (one can never have too many notebooks and journals), a pen, birthday candles (so cool!), chocolate, the aforementioned hand cream (lemongrass and cedar), a cool ring (Which fits! This is amazing because I have really small hands.), and Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. And, check out the cute card! Now, I must admit that despite the widespread adoration of EZ, I've never read any of her books, nor even really looked at them. So, I'm really happy to have this one, and I must say that I read about half of it as soon as I opened it! The writing is great - very witty and quite to the point, which I really enjoy. I've seen some lovely examples of her Seamless Hybrid sweater, and I bet there is one in my future sometime. The lotion is great, I used some this evening and I really like the scent - lemongrass is one of my favorites. My secret pal is very shifty - I know she lives in Raleigh, NC, but I've noticed (because I watch way too much Columbo) that she's mailed my two packages from different addresses! And she has really neat handwriting, the kind I'm always jealous of, because although I have neat handwriting, it pales in comparison to some people's. Alas...Anyway, thank you secret pal! I love my package and I can't wait to find out who you are! The suspense is killing me!!!

In my last post I eluded to having started a new sweater, so without further ado, I present the humble beginnings of my Dollar and a Half Cardigan, from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits. I'm knitting this using Cascade Sierra, which is a 80% cotton/20% wool blend. This is a new yarn for me, and basically I think it's the Cascade version of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, although I've never used that before either so I can't make any sort of informed comparison. I think my photo is a bit dark, but if you click here, you can see the red I'm using, which is the dark one on the lower left. I sense this is going to be a tough project to photograph, due to the color and the fact that the lace bits want to pull in and the reverse stockinette panel wants to puff out. We'll see. I'm a bit concerned about my gauge, but I took a good stab at getting it right. The reason I'm worried is that the gauge was measured over the lace pattern, not the stockinette portion, which made it a bit tough to measure. If anything I think my gauge is a bit small, just a tad, and that would be okay because I'm making the 36.5" size, which gives me some wiggle room. We'll see. I mostly suspect that my row gauge may be off, just looking at the height of that first lace panel to the stockinette bit above it, but it's really too early to tell. When I block it the lace will stretch more than the stockinette (I suspect), so I imagine it might even itself out. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and how beautiful is this Hanami stole? I really really really want to make one of these! I found this pattern a few weeks ago and kept forgetting to mention it...I especially like the cherry blossom part (bottom in the photo). Simply stunning!


Marisol said...

Happy Birthday Emily! I hope you special day is filled with much joy and love.

Love your new sweater and that stole is really pretty. I've been thinking about making that too... Beading is somethin I have ventured into yet.... Hmmm

Anne-Marie said...

Happy birthday!
I've been thinking about that Hanami stole too... I'm not usually into asymetric patterns, so I was considering doing mirror images of the cherry blossom part at both ends. On the other hand, I guess that would ruin the symbolism behind the pattern...

yr secret pal said...

Happy birthday, Emily! I'm so glad you liked your package. I can't wait to see how your cardigan comes out; the color is gorgeous and Cascade Sierra is one of my favorite yarns.