Happy swapping!

March 14, 2008 @ 1:24 am
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal,yarn


Finally! Pictures!

Can you believe this gorgeousness?

OK, so remember last year when I got my final package from Heli, my SP11? I was supposed to post pictures but didn’t get around to it until NOW. I am a super bad SP11… Better late than never I say! So here it is! She got me several balls of really soft bamboo yarn, some handspun(?) yarn that is good for felting and a ginormous (150g) skein of baby/sock yarn. I had to buy an extra bin of yarn storage for all the yarn she has given me! Thanks again, Heli, I am so sorry to take forever posting these pics!

Then from my previous post about handspun, I traded some of my Wollmeise for some of Micki‘s fingering weight handspun. I think I got the better end of that deal! She is a really great spinner and produced some really gorgeous yarn! I also have some spinning friends who have volunteered to spin up some stuff for me! I am so lucky! Shopping for roving has been so much fun, there is a LOT of gorgeous stuff out there!

I thought long and hard about if I should get a wheel or not and financially, it’s not in the cards. :( I will have to rely on trades and spinning friends to feed my handspun appetite for now! Just as well, it probably wouldn’t keep my interest enough to justify the cost. Hmpf!

Comments (10)

I am very thankful

November 24, 2007 @ 3:12 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc,secret pal

We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving anymore. One, we’re in Germany where we don’t get a holiday on Thursday and Friday. Two, we don’t have a whole lot of family here to celebrate with. Three, you need to order a turkey like 2 weeks to a month in advance. And finally Four, I can’t cook a darn turkey or anything else for that matter. And again Five, I’m freaking lazy and would rather be knitting. In previous years, we have been invited over to other people’s houses for dinner, but I think they’re onto us and realize that we’re just moochin’ off of them. ;)

I am very thankful for having a wonderful family who makes me laugh AND cry at the same time and who will put up with my extreme focus on knitting and other pursuits. The boys can drive me up the wall, but then be incredibly sweet and funny a moment later. And also for a husband who is very patient and supportive and still cracks me up.

I am also thankful for the many packages I received today. The first one is from my SP11, Heli in Finnland. She emailed me and said “the last package will be a small one” and OMG, she totally lied and surprised me! All of her packages had a color theme – the first one was blue, the next was red, and this one is greeeeeeenn! I got one big skein of a Finnish lamb yarn, which she says felts really nicely, one 150g skein of 75/25 sock yarn, 200g of a bamboo/nylon blend, chocolate (of course!) and a cute little wood mouse pin, which was made in a place that is only 1 km from where she lives. She has been an amazing pal and my stash has been super greatly enhanced. I think all the yarn she sent me probably will take up one of my bins! (pictures coming soon)

The next package I got was from Finnland as well, from a Katrina(?). I am so sorry, but I don’t remember what this was for! I am totally drawing a blank!!! She sent me some really cool “pre yarn” that she says could either be knitted up as is and then felted or could be needle felted, or I could give it to Elem or Fbz and have them spin it up for me! ;) And then she included some Green & Black’s Almond chocolate. This person obviously knows me and it’s driving me nuts not knowing who this is. I really do apologize for not remembering – please email me or comment to let me know! (pictures coming soon)

Are Finnish people cool or what? I love them!!! On an unrelated note, why is Grape Nuts neither grapes nor nuts? Discuss.

I have been feverishly knitting hats for gifts for the boys’ kindergarten teachers. I knitted 3 so far so I have one more to go. First I planned to make them socks, then it was scarves and now that I’m so pressured for time, hats. They take only a day or two to make and is very useful. I have seen all of them wearing knitted hats (albeit store bought) so I’m sure they will put these to good use. Michael has been bothering me to make one for him too, so somehow I need to squeeze that into the mix. He also wants a scarf too. I guess since he ultimately pays for the yarn I should at least do that for him! :)

On Sunday we are going to have a birthday party for the boys, they will be 3 next Tuesday. My, how time flies! They like to say “buzz ear” and “ee eeinee … an ayon!” I’m wondering if anyone else knows what they’re saying? C’mon take a guess…

Comments (8)

My poor SP11

October 29, 2007 @ 12:42 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal


Don’t I have the most fantastic SP???

Hi SP, I am sooooo sorry to not have posted all this time. I received a package some time ago – last week(?) and took pictures but never posted. I think I am becoming really de-motivated with posting pics and blogging. It could be that since my husband was gone for 2 weeks I just wanted to hole up and knit. I have been terrible about a lot of things – emailing, skype chatting, blogging, podcast editing (crap, need to do that too). Could be I’m getting burnt out. I do enjoy looking at everyone else’s things but the energy it takes to do the pics, edit pics, upload pics, blog pics, is a little much right now. I’m trying to be good about for SP11…but maybe after that I will take a break.

Anyways, sorry to be a downer, especially since I got the most fantastic package from my SP in Finnland! She sent me 6, count em, 6 skeins of gorgeous Finnish yarn. The colors are just perfect, in different shades of red and wine. That wine color is just irresistible to me. It is the same color as my marisilk, which I bought 3 skeins of. The wine colored ones are laceweight, and the other four are worsted weight. They are all silk/wool blends and oh soooooo soft! She also included a huge honkin’ bar of dangerously good raspberry chocolate as well as a cute cat bookmarker, perfect for pattern books! I have to admit, I always wanted one of these “fancy” type bookmarkers, but never bought one. I’m trying to save some chocolate for the family, but, well, that’s not going over so well. It’s addictive! :) Thank you sooo much, SP! And again, I apologize for not getting this post up sooner.

Comments (7)

First package from my SP11 and other SP goodies!

September 9, 2007 @ 3:41 am
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal


My First SP11 package arrived!

Tiefer See from Tini

My First SP11 package arrived!

Woohoo! I got my first package from my SP11 and it is from Finland!!! :) I knew it was another European country, but I didn’t know which one. How lucky am I??? It had *3* skeins of DK/Sport weight yarn (Vourelma Veto) in beautiful shades, just perfect for my boys – instead of socks, I think these are calling out to be hat/mittens for this winter! At least that’s what they told me when I first laid my hands on them. It is so soft and squishy and most important – machine washable! :) Actually, I think they could be socks AND mittens AND hats! In addition to the beautiful yarn, I also got some bamboo dpns and dark chocolate. In this picture, the chocolate is all gone and I saved the wrapper so I could pretend that it was still there, but it’s not. My husband and I had it for our after dinner desert and dipped it into peanut butter. It was kind of weird (in a good way) because the peanut butter took on a whole different flavor when mixed with this chocolate. And between the two of us, it was literally gone in 2 seconds. I’m serious. Thanks so much SP11!!!

In strange-yet-wonderful news, my SP10 downstream (meaning the person *I* spoiled) gave me a skein of Wollmeise in Tiefer See colorway! Claudia kept asking me what my favorite colorways were and wouldn’t tell me who it was from. I was so curious to find out! And when I got it, it was from Tini!!! Did I tell you that she called me once to surprise me and it took me a few seconds to realize who it was? She threw me off with her scottish/british accent! And then we’ve been just missing each other on Skype but we will for sure see each other at Benediktbeuern, which is in a couple of weeks! Yipee! Thanks so much Tini and sorry for the delayed response!

Speaking of SPs, I also got a nice postcard in the mail from my SP10 and SP8 hostess, Bobbi. It was of the Lego area in the Mall of America. Geez, I can’t imagine a mall so big it can fit a freaking roller coaster in it!!! Thanks Bobbi for thinking of me!

Comments (16)

A package for me today!

August 23, 2007 @ 1:28 am
posted by kris


My first SP11 package came!

OMG, today I received a package from my Sock-It-To-Me pal! She is really on the ball and apparently from Denmark! Oh and she knows me oh so well. Green & Black’s almond chocolate! I had a hard time not eating it before I took the picture. And now it’s gone. Poof! She also sent me a gorgeous bit of roving, with dark purples, browns and a little blue. It’s kinda pushing me to actually sit down and learn how to spin. *sigh* I feel like I’m under so much pressure to knit a billion things right now – christmas, gifts, swaps, etc. that I think the only time I will be able to sit down and do it is when I go to Benediktbeuern. But I have a bunch of roving to test out so I’m set! She also sent me a big pin thing (sorry, don’t know what it is, maybe a stitch holder?) with some cool buttons, one of which is a cute pink elephant!

I *finally* sent out a package to my Sock-It-To-Me pal. I hope she likes it. Nothing knitted in it (cast on for it today, yikes!), but some knitterly goods and some sweets.

And I cast off my second Montego Bay and it is blocking as I’m writing. I am out of silk so didn’t cast on another one. :( I’m trying to be good and not buy any…but…oh…love…Marisilk! Where are the pictures, you may ask? Yeah, don’t have any…yet.

I finally bought my ticket to go to London in October for the Knitting and Stitching show. I am soooo excited! I also bought my tickets to go to the show, I will be attending a Rowan runway show!, I made my arrangements at the hostel so I’m good to go! This will be my first knitting show and I am so excited! Although who knows how much money I am going to blow there. Kinda scary!

Comments (12)

SP11 Questionnaire

August 7, 2007 @ 12:28 am
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
100% merino sock yarn! I love handpaints – Wollmeise (of course!), Hello Yarn (YUM!), Yarn Pirate, etc. My latest obsession is sea silk because Christmas is coming up and it’s oh so soft! I don’t like acrylics and any scratchy yarn, although Noro is the exception. :)

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have the KP Options, so I keep it in that folder thingy.

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 off and on for about 16 years, but only became super obsessive about it in the last year. I would say that I’m an advanced “small project” knitter. Meaning, I usually don’t do anything like sweaters or big projects that take forever.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yep, I have a Kaboodle list!

5. What’s your favorite scent?
My favorite is bath and body works “cucumber melon”. YUM!

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Chocolate of course! I love Green&Blacks almond…oh…Can’t get it here though, which may be a good thing.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I sew a little and am learning to dye and spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I’m not really a music person, but I do need it to exercise!

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?
I love all intense colors. I love rich earthy colors, dark colors, sometimes really bright colors, almost everything is pretty to me. I gravitate towards a lot of purples, blues, and rich and dark reds and browns. I don’t really like anything with black or white in it. I’m also not a huge fan of yellows, although sometimes mixed with orange and reds it’s ok.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a husband and twin 2.5 year old boys. They are my pets as well. HA! Just kidding…

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I do wear scarves, hats and gloves. No ponchos or mittens.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks!!! And scarves, hats and baby things.

13. What are you knitting right now?
I have 3 socks going on, one montego bay scarf

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circs (Knit Picks are great!)

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

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I frog my really old UFOs, so I would say 2 months

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Hmmm…not really a holiday, but my birthday! :)

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn and more yarn

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
As for yarns…oh, so many! I would like to try some from Pigeonroof Studios, Yarn Nerd, cashmere anything, Schaefer Anne, Interlacements Tiny Toes, J Knits, Cabin Cove Merchantile, Dream in Color, Fleece Artist Sea Wool and funnily enough, Sugar & Cream for dishcloths if I ever have the time. As for patterns/books, I can’t think of any at the moment.

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?
For knitting, not really, but I want to learn other things like dyeing and spinning. I do have a drop spindle, it’s just a matter of sitting down and doing it!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
YES!! I have a foot circumference of 9 inches, and a length of 9.5 inches. I like socks to be fairly short – like 4 inches above the heel flap.

23. When is your birthday?
In April.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID?
BockstarkKnits

Comments (1)

Last package from my SP10

July 9, 2007 @ 6:33 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal


My awesome final package!

Look at my new cute matching project bags!

I finally got my last package from my SP10! She sent it to me over a week ago, but due to the postal strikes in the UK, I guess it took longer than usual. Wow, what a package it was though, totally worth the wait! There was so much stuff in here, where do I start? She made *2* bags for me – one a bigger project bag that can hold everything without being too big, and a smaller drawstring bag, perfect for a sock project (oh she knows me so well). I already have my Vista Mare’s in it. She also made for me a wee sock bookmarker (sorry, you can’t see it in the pictures)!!! It will come in quite handy when the new Harry Potter comes out in only a few more weeks. I also got a cute sheep card, a cute sheep retractable measuring tape, chocolate (YESSSSS!), and lovely kitty stitch markers that she made herself. Did you know that these are my first stitch markers? Well, I do have these old plastic ones from the 90′s but I don’t count those. So I’m looking forward to them hanging off my needles!

Thank you so much, Nicola, you have been a really great pal!

Comments (6)

Bye SP10, hello Sock-It-To-Me!

July 1, 2007 @ 8:53 pm
posted by kris

Well, yesterday was the official end of SP10. My upstream pal has sent me the last package, but it hasn’t arrived yet, due to the postal strike. It should get here this week, I can’t wait to get it. My, the time has just flown by and I had a lot of fun this time around. My downstream pal, Tini, is such a great person. I really enjoyed reading her blog and figuring out things that she would like. You can see what I got for her here, here, and here. I really hope I get to meet her one day, especially since she’s not that far away!

My upstream pal has been really good about keeping herself hidden. BUT just last week, she made a mistake and posted a comment on my blog using her “real” email/name and not the secret one. So I know her name (Nicola) and I know she’s in the UK, but I don’t know her blog. And I can find it out quite easily, in fact, but I’m choosing not to, just to keep it a surprise. I am really excited to “meet” her (meaning read her blog) and find out who has been sending me all this great stuff. You can see what she gave me so far here, here and here. And there is one more package on it’s way still. She has really great taste in yarn!

OK, so now that THAT’s over, I signed up for the Sock it to Me sock swap and it will be a secret swap. Same thing as secret pal, but you have to knit your pal some socks. Looking forward to it! I’m also part of the Summer of Socks KAL, but I’m so confused as to what I need to do that I’m just not going to do anything. I know, lazy ass. I know I’m supposed to send my “blog reader” a weekly email, but really, I don’t have the time for that, so I’m just going to quietly sit it out.

Comments (1)

My Secret Pal is awesome!

June 16, 2007 @ 11:33 am
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal,yarn


What could this be?

Woo hoo!!!

How lucky am I?

I just got another package from my secret pal! This time, she sent me some hand-dyed yarny goodness!!! She said that it was inspired by the blue parrot socks that I made as well as my recent dive into bright colorful things. Isn’t it an amazing skein??? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Thank you so much SP10, whoever you are! BTW, I still don’t know who she is. I haven’t gone searching for her, but she hasn’t really slipped up yet. She doesn’t put return addresses on her packages, and usually they have a Natural Dye Studio return address…hmmm….either she’s affiliated with NDS or she orders a ton from them! I’m guessing this yarn is merino superwash 75/25? Please correct me if I’m wrong!

She also sent more Green&Black’s chocolate, going to be gone in 10 seconds. I already tore into the almond one (my favorite) and it’s almost gone. Can’t blame the kids or husband. Horrible, horrible. But G&B is something that I cannot resist. It’s like yarn. Must. have. more.

She also sent me a cute notepad with little sheep with numbers on them and at the top it says “it’s sheer vandalism”. Haha! Too cute!

Thanks a lot SP10, I really enjoyed this package! Now off to plan what to make with the yarn….Ravelry to the rescue!

Comments (3)

Secret Pal blog contest

May 16, 2007 @ 11:35 am
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal

Another contest for SP10! Assume that you will be gone for ten days to someplace “foreign” that is known for having great knitting locations.

1) What do you pack to knit?
Socks of course! Depending on how long the trip is, I usually pack enough supplies to make one pair every 3 days. Ambitious, but what else is there to do on vacation except knit? :) I guess if I knew there would be great LYS’s, then I wouldn’t pack so much but buy, buy, buy!!! :)

2) What do you hope to shop for?
Yarn, stuff for the kids, more yarn, christmas gifts and SP gifts, and did I mention yarn?

Bonus: Where would you go on a “knitting holiday”?
Hmmm…I would go to Seattle. We miss it dearly and they have a ton of yarn shops! And as a bonus we would get to see all of our old friends!!

Comments (1)

What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.