Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Loopy Ewe Swap Goodness

I have realized that in reading knitting blogs, I like succinct posts. A little about someone's life, a little about what they're knitting or finished knitting, a picture or two... more than that and my mind wanders a little (through no fault of the post author, I think it's just my short attention span). This post, though, will not be short, because I cannot think of a good way to break it up. I hope it's balanced with enough pictures, though!

Many months ago, someone put together a Loopy Ewe themed swap, where the only rules were that you knit something with yarn purchased from The Loopy Ewe, you include something that reminds you of home, and you mail in early- to mid-February. I had been curious, yet a little wary, of swaps, but decided to take the plunge and give it a try. And I must say, the experience was totally enjoyable and I hope it won't be my last swap!

First, what I knit for my "downstream" pal, Janice:

New England Socks in Progress

Pattern: Knitting on the Road, by Nancy Bush
Yarn: J. Knits Superwash Me, Boston, 1 skein
Needles: US 1.5
Project Timeline: 1/5/08 - 1/22/08

(Yes, I'm combining a FO post with this swap post, because it seemed the most natural thing to do. This is why this is going to get so long!) When I found out that Janice really likes blue socks, I knew that the Boston colorway from J. Knits (a Massachusetts dyer) would be perfect, so I decided to make a whole theme around my current adopted home. I also saw that Knitting on the Road was not among the books Janice had listed on Ravelry, so I was able to use the New England pattern to fit with my theme AND knit something for Janice that maybe she hadn't seen before. Luckily, I think the color went really well with the pattern!

I think the pattern was well-written, as is true for most Nancy Bush patterns. I also learned a new cast on (the name of which is escaping me) and a new heel (it has a little bit of extra padding in the heel turn, which I thought was really cute and sturdy). The yarn was okay - pretty soft, but also a bit splitty. Overall I enjoyed it, though not a yarn I'm going to start hording. :-P

Here's the whole package I sent Janice:

Loopy Swap Package
  • The New England Socks, with leftovers
  • Merino/Tencel sock yarn from one of my LYS, Mind's Eye Yarns
  • Boston Baked Beans candy, in a little beanpot
  • Maple Sugar candies, from either Massachusetts or Vermont (hard to tell from the package, it says both)
  • Stitchmarkers from Zero Markers (the only thing not in keeping with my New England theme)
  • Chocolate mice from Burdick Chocolate, a favorite of mine from this area

I received an email back from Janice, saying she'd received the package and was thrilled with the contents, so I thought I'd done okay! (And Janice, if you're reading, I still owe you a reply, I'll try and do that soon, I'm terrible with email these days!) That is, until I was totally blown away by what my "upstream" pal, Nadine, sent me. First, the shawl:

Forest Canopy Shawl

This the Forest Canopy Shawl, knit in Dream in Color Smooshy, Petal Shower colorway. I think Nadine did a wonderful job with this, and the Smooshy yarn makes a lovely lace shawl! Here's some up-close detail:

Forest Canopy Shawl Detail

It's not a big shawl, but it will be perfect for throwing over my shoulders during spring/summer/winter when it gets just a tad chilly. So pretty!

And here's the rest of the package:

Loopy Ewe Swap Loot

Umm... WOW is there a lot of stuff there! AND, I forgot to put the Maryland shot glass Nadine sent me into the picture! I'd list everything out, but I'd surely forget something. I think Nadine did a great job of totally spoiling me, and of including goodies from both the Maryland and the DC area. And everything was beautifully wrapped in pretty blue tissue paper with white dots and blue ribbon. Thanks so much! I cannot believe how much fun it was to put together Janice's package, and then how much fun it was to receive my own!

And did that Smooshy yarn look familiar to you? That's because I'm currently knitting socks out of the exact same colorway! Since I finished Tubey over the weekend, I've been able to devote more time to the socks and have made enough progress for an updated photo:

Roza's Socks in Progress

I'm so excited to be working towards socks that will match my shawl! Between the leftovers Nadine sent me and the leftovers I should have from Roza's Socks, I'm thinking I might make wristwarmers using the same brioche stitch pattern. It'll be a complete accessory set in Petal Shower Smooshy!


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