Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recession Special Swap Blog Q #2

Are you attending any Fiber Festivals this autumn? If so, which ones and why?
Alas, I am not. I would've attended Stitches had it been held in Baltimore as it was in the past, but they moved it to Connecticut (I think). And I briefly entertained the idea of going to Rhinebeck, but opted for a trip to Napa Valley for my birthday instead. ;) Maybe next year!

Friday, September 18, 2009


I gotta tell ya, my little Christmas elves, the swap stats aren't looking good. Tomorrow is supposed to be the last day of sign ups, and unless quite a few knitters sign up between now and then, well . . .

OK, spirits up, let's give it one last push. I'll try to spread the word a bit more and see what happens.

But just FYI.

Don't forget, if you're reading this (or this), want to sign up and haven't yet, DO IT NOW!

Send this info to merryknitmas at gmail dot com:

Full name:
Mailing address:
Rav ID:
Blog address:
Willing to ship outside your country (US to Canada or vice versa)?
Would you be a swap angel, or be willing to donate $ or items to angel packages?
Do you prefer a $ swap or a $$$$ swap?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hey, I knit something!

No, really!! Look!!!!

And check out the adorable buttons:

Pattern: Presto Chango; visit my Rav project page here.

Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Cotton worsted, 1.33 skeins-ish

Size: 6 months

Mods: I replaced the front panel design with two owl cables. I decided to do it and then checked out Ravelry to see who else might've had the idea already so I could steal their pattern. I based my mods on katafi's notes, but switched it up a bit to fit two owls on there. In retrospect, I sort of which I'd put them on there catty-corner (or kitty-corner, depending on what part of the U.S. you reside in). I'm debating putting button eyes on them or not.

Loved this yarn, very soft, not splitty at all. Pattern was easy too, no problems, but seaming the arms is tricky. Most people who tackled this sweater, myself included, went with fake grafting, which looks ok but creates quite a bulky seam. If you put more advance thought into it, you might be able to do a provisional cast on for the sleeve stitches and then graft them for real.

The buttons are absolutely ADORABLE. I got them from seller cutecumber on etsy.

I used only one skein for the body of the sweater, so the second skein is available for making multiple front panels. I do plan to make some additional panels . . . eventually. Fortunately the baby's not due for a few months.

In other news, we've had a few sign ups for the Christmas swap, but I'd really like to get a few more, so keep spreading the word!

And just in case this works as an incentive for some knitters, I'm going to do a contest! Christmas Swap 2009 is a rather blah name, so as soon as I've got some time I'm going to get my act together and announce a contest for naming our swap. You'll win some yarn from my overflowing stash.

Also, if you're reading this in Google reader, you can't see that I've created a little swap graphic and put it on the right sidebar of my blog. Feel free to use it! Right now it links to the blog post with the swap details, but once I get the group blog up and running, it will link there.

And, though I hate to end on a down note, I do have some sad news to share: my grandfather passed away over the weekend. :( He was 89 and had been ill, so it wasn't a total surprise, fortunately, but obviously sad nonetheless. My Pop Pop lived with my family on a couple different occasions when I was in high school and college, and had been living with my parents for the last few years until he had to move to assisted living earlier this year. He led an interesting life. He grew up in an orphan home, but don't shed any tears for him, because from his stories, it sounds like he had the time of his life. He was stationed in the Phillipines during WWII, and to hear him tell it, that was one big party too. Then he became a letter carrier--he always loved to ask my friends where they lived and then tell them about delivering mail in their neighborhood.

Bye, Pop Pop, you will be missed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

SP14 - spoiled again

Check out the fantastic, amazing, totally awesome package I received from my Secret Pal!!

It's chock full of goodies, many from my etsy wishlist, which is awesome because I'm always putting things on my wishlist, but never actually buying them.

Some highlights: square knitting needles (heard so much about them, can't wait to try!), adorable stationary-type items decorated with Shawn the Sheep, a new matryoshka doll for my collection, Sheeppoopaper air freshner (!!!), and a Post Secret book--I love reading Post Secret, people's lives are fascinating!

Wonderful package, thanks so much Secret Pal!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

RSS swap blog question #1

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

Well, just how much money are we talking, here? Assuming this means I've won the megamillions or something, I'd start by paying off my remaining school loans and my parents' mortgage, buy myself my dream home, give money to some of my favorite charities, travel the world, and if I've got really big bucks, maybe even quit my job and open a yarn shop. With a cafe! And used books!

(Sign ups for the Christmas swap are off to a slow start, knitters . . . just sayin')

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's the most wonderful swap of the yeaaaaaaaaar

Well, that’s the goal, anyway. So, if you think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year (no Scrooges here!) , join us to swap 3 Christmas-y packages between now and the Big Dance.


Sign ups: September 6 – 19
Partners assigned: on or about September 21
Length of swap: 3 months, September 21 – December 19
Packages: 3, to be RECEIVED by October 31, November 30 and December 19
Swappers: Knitters and crocheters in the U.S. and Canada, unless you’re overseas and desperate to join, and I’ll see what I can do
Cost: $45 - $70 over 3 months, not including postage
(you’ll have the opportunity to tell me whether you prefer to be on the high or low end of that range so I can assign partners accordingly)

The Knitty Gritty (see what I did there?):

October package: Send your spoilee a handmade ornament, plus any extra goodies, $10 - $15.

November package: Send your spoilee a pattern for a winter-y accessory (hat, scarf, mittens, cowl, etc.) and the yarn to make it, plus any other goodies, $15 - $25.

December package: Send your spoilee a Christmas stocking, which does NOT have to be handmade, stuffed with goodies, including (at least) one skein of yarn, and one knitting (or crocheting) notion/gadget, $20 - $30.

The October package is the only one that requires a handmade item, but you’re encouraged to send handmade goodies in any or all of your packages. That might be something knit, but could also include stitch markers, tote bags, Christmas cookies—anything. We’re all crafters, right? And isn’t it nice to send your handmade goods to someone who really appreciates them?

This is a NON-Ravelry swap—that is, you don’t have to be a Ravelry member to sign up, and we won’t be doing a Rav group. Instead, over the next couple days I’ll set up a swap blog, and ultimately all participants will be invited to post to the blog.

You will, however, be asked to provide your Rav ID if you have one, to give your spoiler another place to stalk you.

You also need to have your own personal blog (with some knitting content!), and post WEEKLY so your partner knows you haven’t been crushed to death by a towering pile of holiday gifts or something equally terrifying. As usual, once the swap gets going, I’ll supply a nosy questionnaire for you to post to your blog to help your spoiler get to know you.

And let’s go with a secret swap—so get yourself a secret email address.

One of the things that will be posted to the swap blog is a biweekly (Wait, does that mean twice a week, or every two weeks? Well, I mean every 2 weeks.) “egift” you need to send to your spoilee: an ecard, a recipe, a free knitting pattern, etc. This will encourage communication, and help prevent partners from getting caught up in a cycle of “so, how’s the weather?” emails (I hope).

So, those are the basics. I'm sure I've forgotten something, so feel free to ask question.

Want to sign up? Send the following info to merryknitmas @ gmail . com.

Full name:
Mailing address:
Rav ID:
Blog address:
Willing to ship outside your country (US to Canada or vice versa)?
Would you be a swap angel, or be willing to donate $ or items to angel packages?
Do you prefer a $ swap or a $$$$ swap?

Now, every swap runs the risk of not getting enough participants. If I don’t get a decent number here, I will, sadly, shut the swap down. So, please spread the word about the swap to the Christmas lovers you know!

Friday, September 4, 2009

La gente unida jamas sera vencida!

Guess what this is??

Here's a hint: that pile of bricks in the background is my office building.

Yes, we are being protested! This must be what it feels like to work at the World Bank.

I'm all for free speech, protests, power to the people, etc., but I feel it's my duty to let you protesters know that the Permanent Council, made up of representatives from each of the 34 member states, is the body that makes all the major decisions on policies that the OAS pursues.

And the Permanent Council:
a) isn't meeting today
b) doesn't meet in this building anyway.

So maybe next time, a bit of research. Because as of right now, you're out there making a big fuss to a bunch of people like me whose opinions mean next to nothing.

Also, may I recommend that you be a bit more on point? I saw a lot of signs about Honduras, but you were chanting "No mas FARC" and "Fuera Chavez," so you're kind of all over the place, aren't you? I realize they're all interrelated in the grand scheme of things, but you'll probably get fewer quizzical glances if people don't have to spend so much time figuring out exactly who or what you're rooting for. I mean, we're generally only allowed to take in fresh air during our lunch hour, so we're in a bit of a hurry . . .

Si se puede!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Onward and upward

Thanks for the comments regarding the possible Christmas swap. Obviously this swap will be for very enthusiastic swappers--enthusiastic about swapping and about Christmas!

Two things I didn't mention:
1. I think we'll do U.S. and Canada, unless some intrepid overseas knitter is desperate to join in.
2. This swap will NOT be Ravelry based! I know of at least one very awesome knitter who's not on Rav, and I'm sure there are others, and we want them to join us. I'll set up a blog and invite everyone to contribute to it instead.

I'm going to give myself a couple extra days to think this over, but I think I'm going to move ahead with this swap. I'll really need you guys to spread the word, though! And any experienced swap leaders who have advice about the logistics of the swap (how to keep things organized, how to deal with problems, etc.) please feel free to comment or send me some words of wisdom via email (kristen dot jancuk at

I've had a couple knitters volunteer to help with the swap, and I want to warn you, I just may take you up on that!