Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Creations for the Swaps :)

Some of you have inquired about the items I sent people in these swaps. The thrill of receiving gifts is amazing, but I love the adventure of picking out just the perfect gift for someone else. Ravelry is an amazing social media platform.

Here's the people I got to make things for: a woman in upstate New York who knits sweaters for herself and baby clothes for other people; she likes neutral colors, local items, herbal and green tea, and dark chocolate.

Second assignment: a woman from Massachusetts who is gluten-free and knits and participates in swaps frequently. This swaps was Valentine's Day themed.

The New Yorker was a puzzle. I had just purchased an amazing book of early modern English designs with a beautiful scarf that I thought might keep my partner warm. Problem: it's advertised as a man's scarf!! Solution: make it a woman's scarf. True to nature, I like creative solutions to complex problems. I picked a very soft off-white yarn and matched it with a plum yarn. I was a bit worried that the plum yarn might not be considered neutral enough, but I decided that it was dark and the three stores that I went back to all had different selections of other colors that were either ugly or decidedly not neutral. It seems that one of the characteristics that make this scarf masculine were the original color -- chocolate -- and the width of the scarf. The change in colors plus a narrower scarf made it sufficiently feminine.
I love the texture on the this design. I'm always looking for ways to learn new skills and this was definitely a fun project!!

As far as local items, I wanted to get things that were related to the school that I'm at, but it was hard to find anything sophisticated. I ended up buying Jasmine Green Tea and Dark Chocolate Crisps at Trader Joe's (which they don't have in upstate New York.) Then, I also purchased a postcard & a pin from my school.

The Valentine's Day project had lower budget, so I wanted to share some gluten-free goodness along with a textured scarf that looked festive. Here's what I came up with:
Shortbread cookie mix and hard shaped cookie cutters: delicious!!

Valentine's Day Crochet/Knit Swap

I also participated in a crochet & knit swap themed around Valentine's Day. I've never actually celebrated Valentine's Day, but I've started celebrating some holidays in my own and discovered that I can have a lot of fun.

This Valentine's Day was extra special because I had a huge box with lots of hearts on it that said, "Happy Valentine's Day! Do NOT open until February 14, 2012!" all over it. Of course, I was dying to open it, so since I happened to stay up past midnight on Monday, I opened it before I went to bed!!

This is what I found inside: a whole collection of Valentine's goodies -- chocolate, a mug, and cookie cutters, some cute stationary, tissues, bath salts, some new yarn, and hand-knit handwarmers & a cowl. The handwarmers are very, very soft (even if a bit big) so I'm very excited to have them.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Knitting/Crochet Swap!!

I've had a long time fascination with crafts, and in sixth grade, I started to teach myself how to crochet. I spent lots of downtime in college crocheting. And, I'm very, very, very excited to live in a place where it's actually cold enough to make crocheted accessories a must-have!! In fact, I've met a number of knitters at work, so we can talk about cool yarn stuff when the topic of work gets old.

Over winter break, I concluded that I'm very good at making certain items, but there are definitely entire types of crochet/knitted items that I've never tried. While I did resolve to try some new things, I also realized that there are things that are much, much, much easier if you know how to knit (and vice versa). While learning to knit is always a possibility, I decided that participating in swaps with people who knit was a faster way to get home-knit stuff!!

I've participated in a few craft swaps before. But this is the first time that I've participated in a group and done a blind swap. Ravelry is truly a wonderful thing!!!! My first swap was themed "secret winter wonderland." And, I just received my package in the mail.

I'm thrilled because my partner happened to solve a problem I didn't even know I had!! I didn't realize I had cold feet until I started wearing these. Plus, I love felted wool, but I haven't been bold enough to try it yet.