My suspicions were right on

So here’s the contents of my final package from my Secret Pal. And I got the big reveal at Wednesday’s Knit Nite™. My Pal is Robyn of Robyn’s Nest and I have to admit that I knew it all along. She asked me right away when I began to suspect and I have to say that I was suspicious right away. She contacted me through Ravelry just after I had signed up for Secret Pal 11 and is really the only person to have contacted me through the internets before. I put it into the coincidence category and didn’t really think about it.

I started going to the Montreal Knits meetups and at the first on got my first parcel. But I didn’t become really suspicious until I got my first ginormo package. It wasn’t the fact that Robyn delivered this one too. It was the fact that both my Secret Pal AND Robyn had a big complicated and overly detailed account as to why she was delivering this parcel to me for my Pal. Too much detail = made up story. And again a big complicated answer when I mentioned the Montreal postmark on a package I got through the mail. Final confirmation would have to be the French only on the front of the 2 for 1 coupons for Blockbuster from a Bébé Néstle product (Only in Québec and who do I know with a baby?).

But the surprise of who is doing the spoiling is really a minor part of the whole swap. The more important part is the spoiling. And Robyn is tops in that department. I now have a complete six mug set of sheep mugs (each one different). TONS of great sheepy things like notecards, notebooks, pencil cases, etc. A whole slew of awesome books including The Happy Hooker, some amazing handpainted, farm raised yarn from snooty French Sheep (it will not be mixed with the New Brunswick wool I don’t need an anglo/franco conflict on my hands). Some fabulously smelling cranberry shower gel. And of course there’s chocolate too. A bunch of great chocolate poker chips and a big chocolate S in a fantastic cigarettesque package. (The S is already gone and almost half the poker chips).

I’ve already added all the books into my Delicious Library and am trying to resist immediately casting on for Véronik’s Béret Gaufré and waiting until I finish at least one other project.

Other Knit Nite™ related news: Mona reads my blog which totally caught me by surprise. She didn’t know it was me until she made the mitten connection (seeing me work on them and then their appearance on the blog). I’m still kind of knocked back by it. A professional knitter with published patterns reads my blog (!!!). I’m sorry. I’ll get over it. Just give me a second or two. I’m going to have to find some nice sock yarn so I can cast on for her November Mystery Socks. I’ve been collecting all the clues, but haven’t been in a sock mood.

Um. What else? I’m somewhat officially done the Adult Surprise Jacket and the Mitten Swap Mittens. Ends have been worked. I’m considering/intending to block. Work’s just been keeping me quite busy. I even missed the Plateau Knit Nite™ yesterday, staying at work until 9:30 PM. Don’t worry, I get paid by the hour (with overtime when applicable) and they bought me dinner. But I fully intend to at least steam block to tidy things up a bit.

I’m going to get back to the knitting and bad Friday night TV. Thanks again to Robyn for all the great goodies! I totally lucked out to get a SP Hostess as my Pal. I had a great time!

Saturday with Auntie

I had to go to work today. I know working on a Saturday ranks low in the working world, but for those of us who suffer from ‘sporadic employment’ with hourly pay don’t tend to mind the extra hours, even if it cuts into the knitting time. At the moment I’m temping at an ad agency in downtown Montreal and was asked to come in to help prepare a pitch for a national campaign. Sounds all glamourous right? Really I was expecting to be working my exacto magic with some mad foamcore mounting skillz. Turns out I didn’t do much at all. Look for some stock photos (loving the new Getty Images btw), some light Photoshop and Quark wrangling. But my willingness to come in and help out made me the hero of the hour in the Studio. Adds to the superhero status which never hurts for my rep with my placement agency.

Oh and I want to mention how amazingly better working on a Saturday was with this company than with the other job that had me come in. First, people were all relaxed, friendly, came by and said hi. Next the studio guys left me a jelly filled doughnut from the previous day (plus the fact that the project manager bought us doughnuts in the first place). Finally someone came in especially to tell me that they had bought a bunch of amazing French pastries for everyone. This especially blew my mind as I am not only a temp, but working in the studio at the bottom of the food chain and all these Art Directors, Creative Directors, Client Service Managers, and VPs were being so considerate. Definitely not something I would expect from previous experience with similar high ranking types.

Also, the work load was light. I had an extended lunch break with only a couple of light things in the afternoon. I found myself with a large block of free time so I decided to meet someone introduced to me by my Secret Pal, Crazy Aunt Purl. No, I hadn’t been formally introduced to this lovely blogger before and instantly wondered where’d she been all my life! Or at least since I started reading knitting blogs.

I begun where I usually begin with a new blog, from the beginning! Well occasionally I do. Really I poke around some of the blogger’s projects, recent entries for the funnie, original designs, etc. But because of the recommendation from my Pal (and my feeling stupid for not knowing Crazy Aunt Purl alreadies, I decided to dig deeper. And a treasure I did find.

SO MUCH with the funnie! I laughed, I almost cried, I laughed until I cried, and I only made it to April 2005. My favourite bit is when she yelled at the Crazy Bus people for making the Bus Driver cry on her first day of work. As one who relies on public transportation and internally bemoans the complainers, I am so happy to see that she wouldn’t let that crap fly. Plus who doesn’t secretly wish they could pull off saying y’all?

A Parcel of Patterns

More treats from my Secret Pal. I could really get used to these daily mini-spoilings. Sure the big parcels are fun, but the bigger they are, the more time in between them.

Three fabulous patterns complete with page protectors and everything! One of these days I’m going to have to head to Bureau-en-gros to get me some page protectors and a binder to organise the rest of my pattern collection.

Two fabulous sock patterns and a super fun felted knitting bag. I’m so happy I just found a Knitty article that discusses Felting without a washing machine and I get to try needle felting too!

Thanks Pal! And I think I better get knitting me some socks.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention. I’m currently concentrating most of my knit time to finally finishing up the Adult Surprise Jacket. I’m a half a sleeve away from weaving in ends and shopping for buttons.

Sent Separately, Arrive Together

My Secret Pal told me s/he had sent me a couple of things in the mail. Canada Post works in mysterious days, both little parcels arrived in today’s mail.

Here’s the goodies:

Some very nice earrings. It would seem that my Pal is a fan of Big Earrings, not just a Big Fan of earrings. These are hands down the biggest earrings I own. But they’re great! I think I can handle them.

And a super fun Hallowe’en Package full of those fun mini plastic spiders and some great skull stitch markers. They have a great texture. Reminds me of what sugar skulls would be like, only smaller.

Thanks Pal, I quite enjoy!

Postal Post

Just when I was trying to think of what I should write about today my subject came to me, quite literally, in the post. Another package from my Secret Pal! I was able to contain my excitement enough to take pictures while I tore it open.

My Pal knows me so well to put all the stamps on in a creative manner. I’m starting to think they’re purposely posed for pictures.

Nicely staged with the note on top. Look, another two rental + mircowave popcorn coupon! I know what I’m doing this weekend…

Look at all the good stuff in there. This package is definitely brought to you by the letter S. There’s S scrabble tile earrings, an S shaped post it pad (not to mention the Swedish Berries). I love fun monogrammed stuff like that! My other S jewelry is a ring made out of a keyboard key, so the earrings fit right in!

Oh and Swedish Berries! Yummers (though they are already gone). Fun felt patches that I’m going to have to find something to sew onto. Some lovely Hawaii souvenirs and some episodes of “The Sarah Jane Adventures,” I’m curious to see what TV thinks a Sarah Jane should be/do. Lovely sheepie things, one of which is already at home on my fridge. And who really has enough lip balm in their life? I know I sure don’t! I don’t think I’ve had berry flavoured Blistex since I was 8 and it’s exactly as I remember it, Berry-licious!

And do you see the size of that crochet hook?!?!? It’s almost rude! I think I know what project my Pal plans for me to do with it. I already have some bulky yarn from her and she sent me a crocheted slouchy beret pattern, so you may see one pop up here one of these days.

Thanks Pal!

Teeny Tiny Socks

I got the kit for these earrings in the post last week and neglected to knit them or even thank my Secret Pal for sending it to me. I’ve been a bad spoilee! But a digital kick in the pants (well really an inquiry of whether I’d received the treat) got me to dig out some variegated sock yarn, cast on and knit these little socks.

Pattern: Los Lobe Hose by Carol Breitner
Materials: Regia Superwash Sockwool (unsure about colors, I don’t read German) from local yarn store.
Start Date: October 9, 2007
Finished By: October 9, 2007

The brown stripes happen to work with my hair colour. What a happy accident.

The pattern suggests cutting two lengths with matching variegation so that the stripes on both socks match, but this particular yarn doesn’t work really well for that. The colour sequences do repeat, but the lengths of each colour vary enough to throw any plans for matching socks out of wack. I ended up knitting an extra sock that was supposed to match with the first one I made, but it didn’t. Rather than having an almost matched pair, I opted to celebrate variety and use the two differently striped ones. That way one of the socks doesn’t look ‘wrong.’

So does anyone want a solo tiny sock to make into a pin?

Another Lovely Postal Surprise

My good old Secret Pal sent me another package. The excitement was too too too much to bear so I tore it open immediately!

I was very pleased to find two nice canvas tote bags and a little note mentioning saving the world through the use of reusable bags. As someone who relies on her feet and public transportation, I know the value of a good tote. Plastic bites into the hands 3 steps outside the grocery store. So I have built up a personal arsenal of tote bags that I always take with me on such trips.

And the new ones from my Secret Pal fit in quite nicely.

I know everyone and their dog have decided that this is the year of the knitted or crocheted shopping bags, but I see no need to cast on just yet as I’ve got enough to last me for quite a while.

I’m Terribly Spoiled

Through the various networks of relatives and travelling SP 11 hostesses, I received Huge Package no. 1 at the Knit Nite on Wednesday. I was so excited about it that I couldn’t help but open some of the stuff on top while waiting for the Metro. I would have opened everything right then and there, but most things were very expertly packaged up and I didn’t have all the tools with me to get at everything.

Despite being really tired when I got home, I stayed up and opened everything inside. I don’t do very well with waiting to open presents. Christmas is a killer time of year for me. Even when giving presents, I want to get it over with as soon as possible because the suspense kills me every time. I have no interest in wrapping things anymore.

I’m very happy with the contents of the package. A wonderfully huge book full of crochet afghans (I have my eye on creating a Granny Square masterpiece on of these days), some lovely, squishy fall themed yarns, a fantastic selection of old school stitch holders and cable needles (something that I have been lacking), a huge selection of tea in various tempting flavours such as Cocoa Spice as well as three sheep themed mugs to enjoy it in, a huge dark chocolate bar, milk chocolate pop-rocks, some lovely note paper, personalised pencils, a cute ‘n’ furry sheepie address book, some knitter’s playing cards, a retractable measuring tape and most surprising of all, 3 DVDs off my wishlist: Say Anything, Kill Bill vol.1 and vol.2.

I went to bed as soon as I finished opening up all the goodies. I was exhausted from my long day.

Knitting a mystery

Whenever the weather becomes particularly warmish, I start fantasising about having some lovely knitted lingerie to lounge around in trying to move as little as possible to prevent sweating. I suppose the hot humid weather makes me think of the depression and for some reason that evokes the image of Carol Burnett in her white slip, singing and paddling her bathtub gin in Annie.

I woke to find another grey and very sticky day so my desire for some knitted loungewear is renewed once more. I was willing to cast on for 1930 straight away but I don’t have enough or the right yarn kicking around in my stash. I poked around the rest of the Summer 04 Knitty and found another couple of compelling patterns, Hush-hush and strangely enough, Zaftzig though using a different yarn.

Each of these projects would require acquiring the yarn and I’m pretty sure the weather will turn before it arrives. But I’m going to head to Effiloché so maybe some of the necessary yarns will make their way into my stash.

In other news, I came home from work this week to find this lovely little treat sticking out of my mail box:

Once I finish up the toe-up socks I’m working on and get my hands on some appropriately lovely sock yarn, I’ll be plugging this into my stereo and casting on for my mystery socks. Should be interesting.