I've been a lousy blogger and exchangee recently – more on the reasons for this and general navel-staring another time, but first I need to make a big, public THANKYOU post for the two wonderful gift – partners out there who have been sending me such wonderful packages.
Firstly, my Rowanette exchange partner sent me the cutest pair of felted baskets I have ever seen, and a hot water bottle cover from one of the earlier Rowan magazines (I have a copy of it myself, and could go and look up the number – but I'm too lazy.):
Then, to my shame, I have TWO Secret Pal parcels to report on! The first has provided many hours of inspiration. See here:
I adore this book; I have spent so much time trying to work out a dyer's palette that I can grow in my own garden! I have the front garden earmarked for this; it desperately needs a 'plan', and I'm trying to build one. I would love to be able to dye my own spinnings, using natural dyes, native (where possible) to the UK! In my ideal dreamworld, they will also be dye-plants documented for use in the middle ages, but let's not get too excited here. At any rate, I'm unlikely to be using stale human urine as a mordant, or any of the other rather icky or downright toxic practices of the time.
I haven't started using the cute notebook and pencils yet, but I shall. Possibly to document the front-garden-dye-plants plan, once it emerges from my head….
And, finally, we have my Secret Pal Reveal Parcel. Now, I warn you, prepare yourselves before viewing the following photographs. I can assure you that I was very glad to be sitting down when I opened this package; I was blown away!
First, an overview of most of the package's contents. Snacks galore (little biscuits to have with my coffee; and, ooooh, chocolate!), a postcard-letter, bamboo sock needles, and some really cute beaded stitch markers:
A close up for you – the stitch markers hanging from a couple of the needles. These have been a bear to photograph; they are a really rich berry-red, not the slightly murky brownish red they appear here. The needles feel wonderful; all my sock knitting thus far has been on metal dpns, and these feel so warm and light in the hands! I do worry slightly that I will break them, though…
and – please make sure you are sitting down to read this – the whole was topped, surpassed and overshadowed by *the* most beautiful knitted shawl I have ever held in my own two hands! Knit for me! By my secret pal!!
It is the Yarn Harlot's snowdrop shawl; (I don't have to link that, right??), and I just can't stop staring at all the perfect little flowers:
Thankyou, again, to both my Rowanette gifter, and my Secret Pal – who is, of course, no longer secret! In case any of you are so jealous of my wonderful gifts that you want to make offerings to whichever powers you believe in, in the hopes that she will be your secret pal in another round, I can now reveal that I have been spoiled beyond my wildest dreams by Susan, from knit two, purl two – she will now be on my regular blogroll reading, and reading her blog will doubtless help me brush up my very rusty German… Go visit -you don't need to read German to admire her spinning, nor her beautiful socks and shawls!!