Warning, this post is full of pictures of yarn... Do not proceed if you are of a droolsome nature (or else have a bucket handy!).
The Advent Calendar woolly people/animals are all in place:
Christmas wasn't actually too bad, I think it helped that we did something totally different to normal.
Monkey raided my sock drawer so he could put a stocking out and was delighted to discover he'd been left a banana in it on Christmas morning. He was also entranced with his new friend, courtesy of Mary Anne. New Friend is as yet un-named, so if you have any ideas please let me know, as I might run a blogpoll on it.
This book was from my godmother and looks totally totally cool, with very funny illustrations. And the sock yarn, from Hazel, is also totally totally cool. It's from Curious Yarns, a shop I've been drooling over a considerable amount recently! Thank you Hazel. The yarn is in the colourway "Candies" and the little pink skein on the side is for cuffs, heels and toes - how cool is that?!
The book "Shepherdess - notes from the field" is from Mary Anne and is about a woman who gives up her job to raise sheep (tempting idea there). Also pictured are a Scarf in a bag kit and a poncho from my Mum. The scarf is three balls of Patons Whisper, a lovely and soft eyelash yarn (it's softer than Sirdar's Funky Fur). The poncho is a lovely soft alpaca mixture (the idea is to where it in the freezing cold at work). The wooden chopping board from my brother and SIL is what I asked for (as I've only got a manky old plastic one at the moment). It's from One Village
a fair trade company who had a stall at the Greenbelt festival.
Then there's some pattern books. Sirdar Chino Knits (beautiful children's knits with a size range from baby to about 8 years, which is really cool!) and Sirdar Nativity Collection (including very groovy sheep) from Mary Anne. Thank you for all your presents Mary Anne, they're all lovely!
There's also Rowan Big Easy and Jo Sharp Village from Debbie, from Knit Lincs. Loads more lovely lovely droolsome patterns. Most of which I want to make (when am I going to find time?!). Thank you Debbie!
SECRET PAL SECTION!
Amy, my Secret Pal and I exchanged our last parcels early in December, but both decided to wait until Christmas before opening them! I should explain at this point, that a mistake was made early in SP6 and Amy and I were matched directly with each other - as in I was given Amy as a secret pal, and Amy was given me! We didn't realise until the first packages were on their way and decided to keep going as we were.
The following pics are of my final SP6 package - and they're ace!
An Advent calendar (which I'll use next year), a sheep bookmark, another card from her local bible calligraphy project (there was also one in my first parcel and some groovy wooden knitting needles with glass ends with flowers on. As you can probably just make out in the very bad photo below!
Amy suggested learning some new techniques (in the second parcel is was lace!); this time it's socks. She's sent me the Magic Loop booklet, which I'd been eyeing up on various US websites for a while and some looooooooong Addi Turbos for trying it out on (look how different the US Addi packaging is from the UK/Europe!). The Knit Picks pattern underneath is for two socks at the same time. Which is all cool, new stuff to learn.
Then we have some Cascade yarn. Two balls of Fixation, which is the yarn specified for the Broadripple Socks, so now I can make it "properly" too and compare with the Regia version I'm working on at the moment. And two skeins of Cascade 220 Quattro, a 100% wool aran weight yarn. Amy suggested thick socks with this (very tempting to wear for work!) but it also felts well so I'm going to think about it for a while and then decide. And what a yummy yummy colour. DB has suggested "fluddly" as a new adjective for yarn description - a combination of fluffy and cuddly which I think is a good description of this yarn.
But wait, there was even more yarn in the package! This is a ball of Trekking XXL, a 4ply sock yarn in a sort of variegated blue (the colour hasn't come out so well in this pic). I haven't come across this yarn in the UK, so I'm not sure if it's available over here or not. Also, there is a tiny little cat magnet and some flowery blocking pins. The angel on the right is made from mohair - I nearly put her on my Christmas tree but was worried she'd get spiked on the needles. Maybe she'd be happier on the fibre-optic tree? There is also a little pack of Burt's Bee's toiletries - I hadn't tried these before this SP exchange and the little sizes will be great for all the travelling I've got to do in the next few months. At the bottom of the pic are some book plates and a great little miniature book about knitting.
Thank you Amy for all the lovely surprises over the last few months! I hope you'll keep checking my blog to watch the knitting process for all this yarn!