Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Ridiculously Good Swap present.

First let me say that I don't participate in anonymous swaps. I love the idea of Secret Pal whatever-number-we-are-on in theory but I'm so scared of getting a terrible package that I just won't participate. I co-own a local yahoo group in the DFW area & we do swaps several times a year. This one I like because I know all of the participants & they know me so it's easier to buy for people. I have always had great swap partners, I have never been disappointed, and I love the ladies in my group for their thoughtfulness. Our most recent swap was the brain child of Dawn & it was SUCH a good idea & fun swap. Participants sent their pal on a "vacation" of sorts. My partner, Liz is a really really good friend of mine & she is also a liar. She told me that she had someone else & I totally bought into it the whole freaking time. You must know something about me - when we have a swap I try to figure out the list of who has who so I can limit it down to the person that has me. I love a surprise but apparently I think I'm Nancy Drew as well so I get great joy out of figuring it out. Here's the best part. Liz told me that she had Dawn. Now that I think about it, I KNOW WHO HAS DAWN. And I still didn't put it together. I think I need to go back to detective school....ANYWAY. Liz knows hords of information about me because I talk an awful lot. I was a perfect target for this vacation - BACK TO THE 80s. She handed me presents all wrapped in pink paper & in a pink fabric box & everything was numbered & I had a stack of envelopes. Whew. I'm tired just thinking about opening it, much less putting it together. I'll do my best to take you through my journey.

Planning stages envelope had a message that said:
Your trip will tak you to a place with no cell phones...No internet....(eek!)...No TiVO (The Horrors!!!). You are going BACK.....

Next envelope marked "You are going....."
BACK TO THE 1980s!!

Just a brief pause to say that I was sure that I was squealing at this point....

#1 - Back to a time when we wore Converse High Tops and slathered our lips with Cola flavored Gloss

#2 - And wore baseball jerseys with 3/4 length sleeves

#3 - A time where the candy was goody and not covered in dark, delicious chocolate

#4 - When the music ranged from Punk (Lotus Yarns named Punk Rock Girl)

#5 - To silly songs about turning Japanese

I know, it's so good right! But that's not all...

Packing up: But, alas, as with every trip - you have to go home again...In this case - back to the Future.

#6 - A time of candy-pooping animals (this is an inside joke, and trust me, it's freaking funny)

#7 - And the days of Knit Clinic Yarns in colors that you wish for...

I mean, ya'll - that is just ridiculously clever! I have been wanting that shirt & that kimono pattern & I've been begging with little dignity for her to dye me some pink & yellow yarn.

I case you didn't know, Liz opened her own Etsy shop to sell hand dyed yarn. It's really gorgeous, she has a great sense of color & has been shopping for the perfect base yarn - it's fabu. Go check it out. Knit Clinic Yarns

Thank you thank you thank you Liz for the gift, but mostly for making it so fun for me. You are so thoughtful & I am so lucky to have you as a friend. Even if you didn't give the best presents EVER (which you do). Lucky me!

PS - OH YEAH. And if that wasn't enough - uh, which it was, I think she was confused on the price limit, but I got one more present. She didn't get it in time to give it to me with my gift so I got it later. It's a really pretty necklace with a friendship tree on it, much like the friendship bracelets from the 80s. No clever commentary from me because, well, she didn't give me any & I suck at that. As was evidenced by the fact that I handed Jen her bag full of goodies & said "you are going to Italy" with narry a note attached. I'm not very creative I'm afraid!

Monday, July 23, 2007

WANTED: Originality

I really love Ravelry, really I do. I love seeing the ideas people have for using certain yarns that I love, or yarns that I've never heard of, or how they modify patterns that I love, or patterns I've never heard get the idea. Part of the reason I love the idea of hand knit items is that not everyone and their sister will have my sweater. Now I wonder, is that true? I mean, 942 people on Ravelry have knit a Clapotis - do you see my point? In the big scheme of things I guess having 1,000ish Clapotis, or 10,000, or even 100,000 in the whole world is just a fraction when you compare to my favorite sweater from the Gap. Right? Sometimes I just feel like I get caught up in the latest knitting trend and I turn into a sheep. I like wool & I've turned into a sheep - what is wrong with me?

All of that to say this - tonight I got sick of looking at my Monkey sock (743 pairs on Ravelry as I type this, in case you were interested). I decided that I needed something new, something different, something that NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD HAS. Why do I feel this way? Huh? I am not a designer. I am not creative. I'm a total copy cat, really I am! I want something that is mine & only mine. I don't want to bring it to a meet up & have people ohhh & ahhh over it (no, I'm not ill & I realize how irrational that statement is coming from me, bear with me). I don't want approval from anyone else. I want to make an original SOMETHING that might just turn into the biggest, furriest monstrosity you have ever seen in your whole freaking life. So I cast on for said original creation tonight with original yarn that someone else lovingly hand spun - and then abruptly sold at a yard sale for 10 bucks. My $10 monstrosity - I haven't been so happy about anything since my unoriginal Clapotis!

Stay tuned.....