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Today is a sad and happy day for this SP9 Participant. I am sad because this is the last gift I will receive from my thoughtful SP9 spoiler. She spent extra time personalizing each gift down to the last note. It is not often that you get treated so special by someone who does not even know you. Thank you very much Lynn.

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The happy part is that I will finally get to meet my SP9 Spoiler…ummm…officially that is. See, I accidentally stumbled across her blog when I was looking at my referrals list on my blog counter. I always like to know how people stumble across my blog. I don’t do it often, but every once in a while I do. It so happens that I came across her post when she was blogging about these…

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They are my spoilers special scissors that she accidentally left in one of the packages she mailed off to me. You have to read the comments because they are so funny. Very Office Space like. Per her request I will be mailing them back but I have to say they made me giggle every time I looked at them

So go on over and meet a very wonderful lady at her blog. Thanks you again for making my SP9 adventure so wonderful.

Ok… so it is January and I still have not finished all my Christmas giving. Grr….I am really starting not to like this holiday again. Between the guilt, the stress, the sweatshop laboring, and the “tit for tat” buying sprees. I just want it to be over.


Then I get gifts as thoughtful as this and remember all the time I put into my own gifts and I know that next year will start the gift giving juices flowing again.

So my wonderful SP, who I can’t respond to because the stupid blogger not giving me the e-mail address, has sent me another mailbox surprise

It’s a Winter Wonderland!!!

I received my wonderful package on Tuesday this week so it was the perfect start to the year

Inside was a plethora of goodies including some crocheted snowflakes, new ornaments for my tree next year, some candy apple body powder, a wonderful homemade card, and a pattern for booties to use with the Lambs Pride snowball she sent me. She even made some pom poms to add the the booties!!

On a funny aside, SP, if you are looking for your scissors I found them in the shipping box. Umm, they are a little dull, so what exactly were you using them for? I figure they were relegated to only paper cutting or something like that. I felt a little like I was looking at modern art – appreciative but not really seeing how it went with the theme. If I am completely missing the point of the wonderful yellow handled scissors, I apologize in advance. I just thought it was very funny when I realized what might have happened :O)

Some other cool gifts I received this year were

Singer 8280 Prelude

A sewing machine of my very OWN!!! My lovely sister bought this for me. I immediately ran out and bought way too much fabric to start the stashing process, then felt guilty, then felt angry, and now plan on making purses in two weekends (too busy this weekend). But it is out and sitting on my kitchen table and welcomes me home everyday with eager anticipation.

My friend Jilly made me this crocheted necklace. It is very pretty and I believe it was loosely based on a pattern in the 2005 Interweave Crochet Magazine.


Little Miss matched Socks

These were also a hit with me. My friend bought me these socks. Can’t really say they are a pair as they purposefully do not match which is the cool part. I think the idea is lost on many, but I loved them. We even went shopping at a hospital gift shop because I wanted to get more and couldn’t find them anywhere while I was up in Nor. Cal.

Because it was so funny, I had to take proof of our insanity

Anyway, I hope the holidays brought you lots of joy and you are now relaxed and ready for the New Year! I hopefully will be by the end of this weekend.

Welcome to 2007 (5 days late)

Dear Secret Pal,

I love you! After my relatively hard week it was great to come back to such a wonderful surprise. I would like to show everyone just how cool my secret pal is!

Look at this gorgeous bag. She made it for me! I love handmade presents. They just embody so much love and effort that you can’t help but love them back.

And guess what was inside.

Tea, Noro Kujaku yarn, a Geisha Pen and matching notepad.

More goodies! She based it on an Asian theme so you can see what great taste she has as I love Asian items.

She also enclosed a pattern for a tea cozy made from the Noro yarn and a yarn requirements pamphlet. It was so thoughtful in every respect.

I immediate commenced to having a cup of tea (shown with my favorite teapot) to wind down and cuddle with my new presents.

Thanks Secret Pal

Dear SP9,

The Package

I received a notice of your package in my mailbox on Monday and was uber excited, so excited I stayed home until the 9am pickup time from the Post Office. I was subsequently late for work but it was worth it. The first thing I saw was the wonderful stickers. They were great to see especially because I am missing Oakland, my old home town in Northern California, so the Golden Gate sticker brought on a bit of nostalgia.

Inside were some great gifts. Loved everything, especially the cup, tea cloth (featured in back), the yarn and soap. Uhh…Everything in fact.

The Result

I was inspired by all the great gifts that I had to put them to immediate use. So today I set about baking. Which consisted of baking Banana Bread and Double Chocolate Muffins.

I especially like making Banana Bread because it was one of the first recipes I tried to perfect. The technique that I like to do to make the batter a little less dense is to separate the yolk and whites of the eggs, beat the white into a soft meringue and then fold them back into the batter. This make a lighter, more cakey bread which I prefer.

Today I was too lazy to beat the whites or bring down the KitchenAid mixer so I just made regular Banana Walnut Bread. The bread was good and I had a piece with green tea in my new cup (I was out of earl grey which I was craving and would have been great with this bread).

Second item, because I was in the baking mood were the Double Chocolate Muffins courtesy of Ghiradelli Muffin Mix. My best friend got me hooked on these puppies. I finally got around to making them for myself because they were looking at me from my cabinet as I pulled out the flour for the Banana Bread. So I said “what the hell” and whip them up too.

Lastly, I shower using my new soap, you can see the pictures here…just kidding no picture of that but it smells really good and is 82% organic. I can hear my environmentalist best friend thanking you now.

Now what to make with the lovely super soft Merino Wool that was also included?? If you or anyone else has an idea for my 175 yards of pure joy, don’t hesitate to comment. Until then I will have to sleep with the yarn…in a “just friends sort of way”…Geesh the minds of knitters.

Anyway, thanks for all the great gifts and inspiration

Your SP9 Spoilee

Dear Pal,

Thank you for you words of wisdom on the sock yarn size. However, as you can see I am a glutton for punishment and was not able to heed your warning..”USE THE BIGGER YARN, LUKE!!” because I had already casted on for the Pomatoumusee sock.

As you can see from the last post it is going well, but as you predicted a little slow as my fingers are not yet made for size 1 DPNs. Luckily I am not actually making a sock this time, but instead making gloves. Which comes with its own challenges as I have never REALLY made a thumb gusset or fingers so instead of meeting the challenge head first, I have decided to do another pattern repeat to stave off the inevitable new techniques.

As for you suggestion of the All Things Heather Sock Yarn…you have got great taste my SP9. I loved all the colors she had! I have been lusting over them at the Loopy Ewe and plan to buy some BIGGER size yarn when I finish this sock/glove. Which at this rate may not be until the end of November as the Christmas knitting that I have not started is weighing heavy on my crafting soul.

Think I can finish 2 hats, 1 cabled scarf, 1 lacey shawl, 2 wristlets, 1 felted hat, 1 hat with short rows, and a pair of fingerless gloves?

Yeah me neither. And for all of you who said yes, you are the people who just can’t look away from an accident waiting to happen. Don’t get mad because I outed you! I too am one of many who would have said “yeah, do it!”. Why? Because I am masochistic that way. It’s a sickness people!!!

Ok SP9 Pal, just thought I would send you a little impersonal letter to say thanks for the suggestions and the comments.

EDIT: Dear SP9 pal, Per your question in my last post, I LOVE teas. I actually wanted to be a tea sommelier at one time in my life. I have only heard of two restaurants in the U.S. that have such a position but one can hope. My favorite flavor is Early Grey. But I like to experiment and try new flavors all the time. Hmmm…in fact I am going to have a cup right now. See!! My SP9 pal is full of inspiration.

Your SP9 Spoilee

Thanks goodness they posted the Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire so that I have something to blog about. Just so you know, I am still trudging away on the Sunrise Circle Jacket. But for my Secret Pal, here are my details.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Hmm, my favorite yarns… Well I like S. Charles Ritratto Yarn, Elann Highland Wool, Touch Me…pretty much everything except Acrylic. Now I have had my share of Lions Brand knits but they always seem to pill or feel scratchy and plastic like so I will pass.


2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Um, well they are in my makeshift,poorly made needle case that I made. I need to find a better way to store them but for now they are all together. I got some cool needle markers from Knitpicks so at least I can identify the sizes, but I need to get more as the needles keep appearing from UFOs

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting for 2 years now and I learned in a Beginners knitting class. I would probably consider myself an intermediate knitter but I love the challenge of hard projects. I have even been accused of wanting only to knit the hardest pattern in a book. Talk about masochism.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I actually have my wishlist on the sidebar of my blog with links

5. What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

I love scents!! I love scented lotions, oils, bath products, and perfumes. I am not much of a candle person because I am afraid of my cats catching on fire and burning down the apartment (not necessary happening at the same time)

My favorite scents are roses, flowers, coconut, lime…pretty much everything but musk.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Not a huge sweets fan. But I do love the Godiva Raspberry Caramel Duets. I have to get one every time I see a Godiva store

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

Photography, cooking, and I will be taking a sewing class in October. Nope, don’t spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

All kinds, except Country. Yup, I can play MP3s.

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?

Favorites: Lime Green, Dark Reds, Dark/Burnt Orange, Brown

Don’t Like: White, Pink (at least solid pink),

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Single with two cats. And I have to say, if you can mail be Taye Diggs or The Rock, you will be the best secret pal ever!!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Love scarves!! Not really a hat, mittens or poncho type of gal

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Scarves, but I am branching out into sweaters which I am enjoying immensely

13. What are you knitting right now?

Sunrise Circle Jacket and the IWK Pink Mimosa Vest

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Love them!! Especially is the maker truly has me in mind when making it.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Metal Circulars, KnitPicks Options to be exact. Love love love them. I also like bamboo, but not a fan of plastic.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

A ball winder..yes. Swift…No, but I need one.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Just ripped out my year old Kyoto Sweater to make the Pink Mimosa

18. What is your favorite holiday?

The ones where you get a day off. Not really partial to any holiday and have found a new dislike for Christmas due to the headache and ingratitude from gift recipients

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Oh boy, is there anything I DON’T collect? I am materialistic. I love things. I collect Star Trek action figures, Magazines (Photography, Knitting), cookbooks

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Check my wish list cause I have lots! However, I don’t have any knitting magazine subscriptions but wouldn’t mind one for Vogue Knitting or Interweave

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?

Sock knitting and getting better at lace.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Not yet, but I kinda want to start. I have a 12W in Women, size 11 in Men so that is why I am a little scared of the whole knitting socks thing. Also, I am either a self-striping or a slight variegated solid sock yarn kinda gal. I REALLY don’t like Regia or Lorna’s Laces type of yarns that have funky colors cause if I knit socks I want to do the cool pattern (read: Pomatomus and Ripple Weave)

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

March 4th. I am a Pisces by birth but have decided that I am more like a Taurus.

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On the Needles


Kusha Kusha Scarf CO: 8/22
Turtleneck Tube Vest CO: 9/30
Knitty Shimmer CO: 9/8
Cable Down Raglan CO: 10/26

Under the Needle

McCall's M5478 Jacket
Started 8/07, 45% Complete

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