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hsks5 swap package

by Michelle on July 27, 2008

I’ve been remiss in posting about the swap package I received from Cecilia Kettleburn for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap. Here it is, finally:

HSKS5 Swap Package

The yarn Cecilia included is the softest sock yarn I’ve ever felt! Softer than the squishiest merinos even.

Fortissima Socka Teddy Color

It’s kind of chenille-like…but nicer than most that I’ve experienced. It’ll be fun trying it out.

There was a size 2 Addi Turbo, which is awesome because I love them and didn’t have one in that size. She included the book Charmed Knits (as you see in the photo above). I’m really excited about that one, because I’d been hemming and hawing over buying it for ages.

I don’t have a separate shot of the hand-covered blank book, but you can see it in the photo above too. Very pretty! I have to find something special to use it for. Cecilia also made me my very own wand:


I’ve saved the best for last, though. She made me these BEAUTIFUL Ravenclaw (book colors!) stitch markers:

HSKS5 Swap Package

AND a matching bracelet:

HSKS5 Swap Package

Cecilia really did a fantastic job on short notice (my previous spoiler dropped out of the swap fairly late in the process). Thank you, Ceci! 😀

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hsks5 and the secret project

by Michelle on July 11, 2008

Yay, my spoilee for HSKS5 got her package today!! I’ve also had a report from my spoiler that there’s one in the mail for me now, too! Swaps are fun!

Since the veil of secrecy is now lifted, I can finally tell you about the so-called SECRET project! One of the requirements of this swap was to send a “handmade item” (a bag, a needleholder, or…something else, I don’t remember). It was not required that this be a knitted item, but since I don’t really have a place to put up my sewing machine and didn’t have any other great ideas I decided to knit my spoilee a bag. I ran across the HP House Fair Isle Pouch Bag pattern and fell in love, so I ran with the idea.

As it happens this was my first completed Fair Isle project, and also my first lined bag. I was a bit worried during the knitting because no matter how careful I was with the floats, it contracted into a bumpy tube once it was a few rows away from the needles. I just kept hoping that blocking would fix it. So when it was done, I washed it and blocked it rather aggressively. Thankfully, blocking worked miracles and it came out GREAT!

Slytherin Bag

(I didn’t put any fringe on the bottom. I finished the bag late one night and frankly forgot. Then I decided I liked it just fine without.)

Here’s one that shows the lining:

Slytherin Bag

And, since knitters always seem to want to see the wrong side of Fair Isle, here’s a shot of the inside before I lined it:

Slytherin Bag

I followed the instructions for this bag pretty faithfully–with the exception of the fringe. I did make one major change, which was to use worsted weight yarn (Cascade 220–I’ll have to look up the color numbers once I’m home again) rather than DK. I used a size 6 needle because I wanted the result to be pretty dense. Otherwise, I knit it as instructed and just let it turn out whatever size it wanted to be. I think it turned out around 11.5″ x 14″ post-blocking (Narcissa, can you verify that? I didn’t write it down and only vaguely remember from measuring it for the lining). I used less than 1/4 yard of fabric for the lining. I sewed the lining completely by hand, which is something I haven’t done for a long time (hand-sewing, I mean). I can’t say that I love sewing by hand, but I am definitely proud of how the bag came out and I’m glad I went to the trouble.

I’ll let you read about the rest of the swap kit over on Narcissa’s blog, but I did want to mention one more thing. I had our wonderful local indie-dyer, Sharon of Stitchjones custom-dye a skein of her fantastic merino sock yarn in Slytherin colors. Here is the beautiful yarn she made for me to send on to my spoilee:

Stitchjones 100% superwash merino

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time to celebrate

by Michelle on July 3, 2008

I’m now officially on VACATION!

I don’t go back to work until July 14th. YAY!!

Tonight, I need to put the finishing touches on my “secret” project so I can get the HSKS5 swap kit in the mail tomorrow. Pretty much everything else is ready to go. I can’t wait for Narcissa to get her kit! Giving presents is fun. 😀

I’ll make sure I take some pictures before I send it off–once she gets it, I’ll post about the secret project (both here and on Ravelry) and the yummy yarn I got for her.

Tomorrow…I have no idea what I’m doing tomorrow (other than going to the post office), and I’m okay with that! The rest of my vacation will probably be pretty busy, so one empty day is actually kind of nice.


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swaps, sock clubs & homework

by Michelle on May 14, 2008

I’ve had many, many opportunities to join sock clubs over the last few years, but have never succumbed.

Until this one came up and I could no longer resist. I just joined and I can’t wait to see what they’re going to come up with!

Another thing I’ve never done is participate in a swap of any kind. The main reason for my reluctance on those is that I worry that I won’t be able to knit to a deadline–no matter how much time is given. I don’t do well with deadlines and knitting, even when they’re self-imposed.

But I just joined a swap, because it looked like it’ll be a lot of fun and because it’s a sock KIT swap, not a sock swap. There is a handmade component to the swap, but it’s pretty flexible so I’m confident I’ll be able to follow through. The swap I joined is Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 5, a Harry Potter-themed swap with games and activities throughout the swap. Because I didn’t want to create a whole separate blog for my “character,” you’re going to see blog posts popping up here that relate to the swap (I’ve only just got into the swing of things here–trying to maintain two separate blogs might have been overdoing).

As a new student at Hogwarts, I will have homework from time to time…

Oh, and I’ve been sorted into Ravenclaw. I get to spoil a Slytherin in this swap. Should be fun!

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