Posts Tagged ‘secret pal 14’

Purple lace socks

October 14, 2009

Here they are…ta dah! Finally, the secret project that took so much of my time. I can now reveal to you that I was working on a pair of socks for my downstream pal, Kate, in Secret Pal 14.


They’re the finest-gauge project I’ve ever knit, and the first time I’ve done lace on socks. But I think they turned out pretty well, and I was very sorry to take them off, block them, and send them away. But I think Kate will like them. It turns out we share a love of purple!


The pattern is Crosshatch Lace from Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks. It’s Raveled here.

It’s lucky that Summer is coming up—although I enjoyed making these socks, they took it out of me and I don’t think I’ll be knitting any more socks for a while. At least a few weeks…


Best package ever

September 27, 2009

The last package from my wonderful Secret Pal arrived on Friday, but I didn’t get time to open it until today. Don’t ask me how I managed not to leap on it and tear off the paper as soon as I found it on my doorstep. But somehow I restrained myself until I was not so busy and had time to properly enjoy the experience of unwrapping it.

Once again, it came in a gorgeous box (see the pretty boxes of the first two packages here and here)

pretty box

and was beautifully wrapped and packed inside. Look, star paper and pink sparkly bits!


All of these stellar little parcels opened to reveal the loveliest contents. There were three types of lovely squishy yarn, all different and all amazing! My camera can’t really convey the rich saturation of the purples and reds of the centre yarn. Delicious. The Astronomy theme was continued in the ‘Galaxy’ colourway of the sock yarn—very appropriate, especially since I absolutely love that blue :)


There were some gorgeous rainbow goodies—striped knee-high socks and glossy coloured knitting needles, that almost looked good enough to eat! And some pretty sparkly little stitch markers, and a lovely crocheted button brooch (all brooch addicts, raise your hand!).


And…the last and the best. SOCKS! Handknit socks for me!


Amazing purple colourful lacy clever foot-loving handknit socks knitted just for me! Oh my goodness it was like all my Christmasses had come at once. What an amazing colourway, and how beautifully the self-striping fits into the lace pattern! How happy and loved they make my feet feel. How wonderful to have someone make me handknit socks, after I spent all winter knitting socks for everyone else, with no time to make any for myself. How special I feel right now :)


Just look at them. Aren’t they wonderful? I’m wearing them to work tomorrow, and I’m going to be sock-boasting all day. Everyone will have sock envy. There will be much sock love. YESSSSS!!!!!!!

I have to say a huge thanks to my wonderful Secret Pal, who’s made this round so enjoyable and made me feel so special. She’s sent me such wonderful things, and magically managed to make them arrive just when I was in need of a little pampering. Thankyou so much!

I heart packages

September 3, 2009

Yesterday another package arrived from my Secret Pal in London—how exciting!

brown paper package...

When I tore off the brown paper and bubble wrap, I discovered it was a crocodile.

and a panda.

He was quite a friendly crocodile, and obligingly opened his mouth so I could see all the treats that were inside for me.

marzipan, notepaper, serviettes

There was some tasty Hungarian marzipan covered in dark chocolate, with a kitty in a yarn bag on the front. Kitty! There was some adorable star-patterned notepaper, and a stack of wee cupcake serviettes, which I already have plans for.

socks, bandaids, notecards

There was also a pair of sweet panda socks, whose panda face peeked out of my flats today and made me smile whenever I saw it. The small writing on the tag said they were ‘just for the swell girl’ which sounds strange and sweet—my favourite kind of Engrish. There were some bandaids with colourful hearts on them, and I know all that love will make my scraped finger better. And there was a set of lovely lilac notecards and envelopes, monogrammed with my initials! That personal touch gave me a bit of a thrill, I’m not too proud to admit :)

flutterby, goldfish spoons, bookmark, cake tape, knitting giftcards

And then there was a funny surprise flutterby which will be gracing the birthday card of someone special soon. And some measuring spoons shaped like goldfish! No more guessing what a quarter teaspoon of vanilla looks like! And a measuring tape bookmark. And the cutest sticky tape in the world—it has cakes on it! And a very handy stack of cards to slip in with knitted gifts.


And to top it all off, two wonderful knitting magazines I’ve been idly thinking of looking at, and a booklet of toy knitting patterns.

What a fantastic package, Secret Pal! Everything made me squeal with pleasure. I am the luckiest girl in the world!

First package from my Secret Pal!

August 11, 2009

The first package from my Secret Pal arrived yesterday! I got home and there it was sitting patiently outside the front door. It came all the way from London.

package for me!

It was so exciting that it finally arrived—SP and I suspect that Australia Post decided to hold onto it for a while, to allow me to enjoy the anticipation all the more. It definitely worked, I had the biggest grin from the moment I saw it.

I opened the box and discovered the most adorable little blue polkadot suitcase

sweet little suitcase

which was full of beautifully wrapped goodies!


They were so beautifully wrapped in such cute paper I had to get them all out and take another photo (nothing like prolonging the enjoyment!)


There was a cute bookmark, a rainbow pencil, a sheep notepad,

bookmark, sheep notepad, rainbow pencil

a sweet little heart tape measure, some funky folding scissors (so retro!), and some jelly-spiral needle holders (which are already keeping my dpns safe).

needle holders, tape measure, scissors

There was some absolutely delicious and strokeable yarn—Sirdar Just Bamboo and Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, both in shades of purple, one of my favouritest colours. Smoosh! I see some very luxurious knits in my future, yes indeedy. Provided I can stop snuggling the yarn long enough to be able to knit with it!


And finally, there was a cute purse mirror, a button badge with a picture of yarn on it (which I’m proudly wearing at work today), and the funniest, loveliest air freshener ever.

sheeppoopaper air freshener, purse mirror, yarn badge

Yep, it’s made of sheep poo :) I am so impressed that someone has managed to effectively recycle a waste product into something useful! And before you ask, it’s making my car smell divinely of Daffodils, and not like sheep poo at all.

Thankyou so much to my wonderful Secret Pal! I was tired and having such a blah day yesterday, and this cheered me up perfectly. I love everything so much!

Secret Pal 14 Questionnaire

July 6, 2009

Hello Secret Pal!

  1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely not like? I love natural fibres and blends of natural fibres. Wool, alpaca, angora, cashmere, silk, bamboo… my skin is a bit sensitive so I can’t deal with anything too itchy. I tend to knit lots of small projects because I buy single skeins of nice soft snuggly yarns. I don’t like acrylic and I’m not that big on cotton either. But I’m a big fan of handspun and hand-dyed fibres too, and I’m excited about some of the new fibres available these days (from seaweed, milk, soy, etc—it’s hard to find these in Australia).
  2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Nothing at the moment (it’s rather a mess…) but a sewing-savvy friend is making me a needle roll. I just bought an interchangeable circular set but that has its own case.
  3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I’ve been knitting for just over three years. I decided I wanted to learn to knit and bought a book with lots of pictorial guides. My grandmother used to knit and she tried to teach me as a child but it never really caught on and I certainly had to learn everything from scratch three years ago. I guess my skill is beginner to intermediate—I’m good at some things but I haven’t tried other things at all. I’d like to try fair isle and stranded colourwork but haven’t got there yet, and I’m just starting with lace.
  4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No, sorry.
  5. What’s your favorite scent? ‘Scent’-wise (as in perfumes and artificially scented things) I prefer the musky, the spicy and the fresh over the sweet and floral. As for natural scents there are so many—I find my sense of smell to be my strongest trigger for memory. I love the smell of sun on Gum trees, the smell after rain, flowers, chocolate, tasty food cooking, the sea…
  6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Absolutely. I’m not so much into sweets but I quite like chocolate—usually dark (at least 60%). And I’m a sucker for cakes, cookies and desserts.
  7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I don’t have many other creative outlets, apart from all the cooking and baking I do. I wish I was more creative but don’t really have the time as I’m working on my PhD at the moment. I’d like to learn to spin though, and one day I want to try dyeing my own wool too. I have a violin but haven’t played it in a while now.
  8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yes to MP3s. Most of the music I like is Australian and I have a pretty eclectic mix but the stuff I like best is slower, folksy, soothing, and makes me happy, or is upbeat, alternative, and makes me want to dance. At the moment my favourite bands are Josh Pyke, The Cat Empire, The Fleet Foxes, Simon and Garfunkel, Lilly Allen, The Mamas and the Papas, and Powderfinger. I don’t like country or punk or metal. I quite like classical music too.
  9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand? I find it hard to choose favourites so I call many colours my favourite! Purples—all shades but particularly strong violets, blues (particularly duck-egg and royal blue), greens, chocolate brown, yellows… I also like most reds and pinks, and I really like colours that are new and can’t be found elsewhere. I’m not such a big fan of tans and light browns or oranges, mainly because I can’t wear them.
  10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Just me and my husband. Would love pets but can’t, we are renting.
  11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I love scarves but they have to be ultra-soft and non-itchy. Also definitely yes to hats and mittens, as it’s winter here at the moment! Ponchos? That would be a no… (does anyone still wear ponchos?)
  12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Oh that’s hard. My favourite things to knit at the moment are things for me that I really want—I’ve always been a bit of a fashionista/shopaholic and I’m still caught up in the novelty of being able to create things I want, instead of having to buy them! I quite like small projects (hats, scarves, socks, etc) because they go so quickly, and their small size means I can justify buying nicer yarn. But I’ve got a few sweaters on the drawing board at the moment and am looking forward to making those.
  13. What are you knitting right now? A pair of socks for my mother in law, an owls sweater, and swatches for another sweater.
  14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I love them! Anything unique, handmade, pretty or quirky just makes my day, and makes me wish I was more creative myself. And I always feel blessed that someone went to all that trouble for me.
  15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Metal circulars for preference (but DPNs for knitting in the round). I find everything else too bendy. Even cheap aluminium is not so good. I recently discovered KnitPicks needles and am loving them, so much I bought the interchangeable kit! (Yes as you’ve noticed I can’t stop talking about it…)
  16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No, haven’t been able to justify the cost yet.
  17. How old is your oldest UFO? None at the moment! I’m not counting projects I’m currently knitting as UFOs though, but all my current projects get knitted on every few days so I think that’s okay. My longest ever UFO was my first sweater that I think took about two years total to complete. That was partly a bad pattern, partly an inferior yarn, and partly taking on something too ambitious too soon. I think I’ve learnt my lesson. Also, our house is pretty small so I’m not allowed to work on more than a few projects at once, which means there’s less likelihood of UFOs.
  18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? By winter holidays I’m guessing this means holidays around Christmas? Which is in summer here. Rather a Northern-hemisphere-specific question, this. Hmph. There’s no real winter holidays in this hemisphere. I celebrate Christmas.
  19. Is there anything that you collect? Um, yarn? Vintage/retro clothing and jewellery as well I guess…but I don’t know if it counts as a collection if you’re using it, not pinning it into a book…
  20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I’m not subscribed to any knitting magazines (it’s way expensive to get overseas subscriptions in Australia) but I regularly buy knit.1 by Vogue Knitting, and I love reading Twist Collective online. I’m interested in other knitting magazines but it’s hard to find good ones in Australia. As far as books go I don’t have any specific titles but I’ve been thinking about getting a Stitch Dictionary/Reference of some sort, and maybe something about designing your own pieces—that’s something I’d like to get into. As I said above I just bought my dream needles. Yarn-wise I’m always up for new and interesting combinations (never tried Seasilk!) and stuff that’s ultra-squishy or really purrty.
  21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn? Fair isle/colourwork, designing knits to fit me properly, understanding how knitting is actually constructed (I’m used to just following a pattern and am often not sure what effect particular techniques might produce), spinning, dyeing.
  22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes I am. My foot is 9″ in circumference and about 9.25″ from end to end.
  23. When is your birthday? The 9th of December.
  24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID? Yes! Just look for nimloth.