Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recovering From Illness at Covet Central

Good grief, kids, whatever you do, Don't Hit 'Return/Enter' after typing the title of your blog entry - it posts directly and immediately! Hopefully I deleted the thing before Feedburner or whoever sent an email to my hapless readers. I'm not a Blogger-hater, but some of the whizbang updates they foist upon us bloggers are a real pain in my ass.

Anyway, here's the post-Xmas post; I say that as if it's a tradition - I have no idea whether I've posted after the holidays or not, and I'm not going to look at previous Decembers to find out. You should know by now I'm not that kind of blogger, the kind that cares.

I was sick over the holiday; unfortunately, my mother's druggist doesn't carry my favorite cold medication:

I really do need a teaspoon full of it every four hours, just as is says on the label. Since I had to do without, not only was I expectorating like a late-stage consumption patient, I was cranky as hell. Lucky for you, I've been home a couple of days now and taking my Pectoral Compound as prescribed, so I'm no longer ranting about the holidays and my relatives.

{Nota Bene: These wonderful olde-timey labels are courtesy of Spookshows.com - you can download a zip file of high-quality versions!}

I treated myself to some fine jewelry from Perfidious Beadworks for the holiday season, and I simply want to say that everyone out there needs to purchase an Edgar Allan Poe pin. Anyway, the proprietor of PB recommended I check out photos of dearly departed folks at The Art of Mourning. I've been avoiding that site, because I knew it would waken lusts best held at bay (unemployed people should only want food, shelter and a job, not old junk about dead people). But I went there, and indeed found much to covet. So if anyone is interested in buying me a fine present for my upcoming birthday (50th - I deserve something fancy for my 50th!), below are the sorts of things I would enjoy and appreciate:

A late 18th century fob (another view below)


A late 18th century clock (another view below)


A hair chain (for an eyepiece?), circa 1840

I definitely need the latter item - I had to fake a chain for my eyepiece recently with some shredded silk ribbon, and it would be much nicer to have something like this.

A final mention of things related to death, I found another lovely website, Morbid Anatomy. Want to read old broadsides of crimes? Look at photos of medical students and dissections? Look at 19th century photos of albinos? The site covers a lot of territory, but if you are interested in science, medicine, pathology, death, crime, and the history of these things, you will undoubtedly find something there to keep you amused.

I'll be doing a post on knitting stuff soon - and to stay on the theme of old and dead, I'll make sure I post something written by some long-dead housewife trying to feed her family by writing knitting patterns. But right now, I've got to take another dose of my Pectoral Compound (cough! cough!).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

'ere, now, wot's all this, then?

Picking on the knitters  - for shame!  From The Telegraph

9. Mother Clancy must have found the deal of the year at the Arran jumper shop: 'Buy one get three free'. 

I must admit, though, that's a lot of Aran knitting on those four boys. Hopefully some knitter was handsomely paid for all that cabling.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Fine Idea for Clutzy Needleworkers

When my father died a few years ago, my mother wanted to have all the men in the family over to pick through his tools for what they wanted. No way! I cried. Why, I might want to build an airship! Or a Tesla coil! Or at least a Tesla induction motor...

In truth, I haven't even glued the leg back onto my pizzelle iron, simply due to laziness. But I did drag a few tools home, and they do come into good use, even when no construction is involved. For example:

This is one of those extending magnets for reaching icky areas and grabbing loose screws and bolts, and quite a powerful one at that.

And those safety pins? They are part of a box of 300 safety pins that spilled on the floor. Mr Extenda-Magnet was lying nearby when I spilled the box of pins - what, don't you leave tools lying around your house? Y'all are strange. I have a hammer next to my bathtub and a crowbar hanging on the bathroom doorknob.

Anyway, the magnet was lying on a bag of roving, so I grabbed it and used it to collect bunches of pins at a time.

It worked great! (Until I got to those evil little brass pins, consarn it!). It worked so well, brass pins excepted, that I vowed I'd use it next time I spilled a bunch of straight pins (which happens every five years whether I need it or not).

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Plot Z-twists

The would-be pithy title is my half-assed attempt to make light of my excitement in discovering a film in which knitting is a plot device. Not much of one, admittedly – mostly serves as a red herring - but one that unexpectedly moves the story forward.

As you may have noticed, dear reader, I have a fondness for things vintage. I’ve a modest but well-loved collection of vintage knitting and crochet patterns. For over a decade the only new garments I wore were underwear and socks (put on a bit too much weight to stay vintage, unfortunately). And when I’d switch through the channels on TV, I’d stop anytime I saw something black and white.

So I was delighted to find a small collection of public domain movies available on the Internet Archive. I downloaded one immediately entitled “And Then There Were None”, directed by Rene Clair. The visuals of the film are quite wonderful, and there’s a light touch of humor brought to a grim Agatha Christie tale. (NB – the novel has a much nastier ending than the film.)

If you’ve never seen any versions of this story (most filmed under the title “10 Little Indians”) or read the book, it’s about a group of people who are invited to an isolated locale for a house party that turns out to be an opportunity for one of the characters to kill off all the others. The justification is that everyone in attendance has gotten away with some crime and deserves their fate.

Judith Anderson is one of the actors in this film version. Her character knits. And she sports a knitted stole for a sizable amount of her screen time. And in one sequence she is wearing what looks to be one of those lovely 1940’s hand knit jackets.

So I grabbed some screen shots – sorry they’re not better, but the print was not dvd quality – to share with everyone, along with a few of the more entertaining dialog quotes.

First photo is a seemingly gratuitous kitty photo. But it’s not gratuitous at all.

The next several are of Judith Anderson. She is sitting on a terrace, knitting her hard little heart out. She seems to be knitting a sweater (or jumper, as they would have said in 1940-something Britain) with what looks to be two to three inches of ribbing. Notice also her shawl and the jacket she is wearing.

Check out the knitting bag!

Large enough to hold her knitting and a pair of binoculars, as you'll see in the next two shots. You'll also see closeups of the sleeves of her jacket – I would have loved a clearer picture, but these were the best I could get. I'm pretty sure I've seen that design, or something similar, in one of my vintage books.

These photos show the design of her stole (which she also uses for a scarf). It’s a long rectangle, so shaping isn’t an issue.

Here’s Judith throwing her yarn, knitting English (just as I would expect). Nice to know that she and Dr Zoidberg share knitting techniques.

Next we see Dame Judith at the beach; note that here she’s using the stole as a head scarf.

Dame Anderson's character stops to pick up some seaweed. But why...?

She returns to the house with her find and says, “Such a pretty pattern - I thought I'd like to copy it for a shawl.”

At a knitting retreat, no one would think twice about that remark. However, since she's the only knitter at this house party of doom, they simply look at her as if she's insane.

The notion that her behaviour is irrational is seemingly supported by a brief conversation someone has with her in the kitchen, in which she makes (what I think) is a perfectly rational observation:

“Very stupid to kill the only servant in the house; now we don't even know where to find the marmalade.”

After breakfast (probably one without marmalade), the rest of the house party discusses Judith's oddness, with Walter Huston passing final judgment with this great line:
“No sane person would think of using seaweed as a pattern for a shawl!”
However, before they can get their pitchforks and torches together to go after the heartless, knitting-crazed witch, a ball of yarn drops down into the conversation. Our little kitty friend has chased it over the banister.

And here’s a gratuitous shot which does not do justice to Clair’s visual aesthetic – the light yarn against the dark floor, with an even darker shadow falling across it.

They follow the yarn into Judith’s room, where she’s obviously died like she lived, with her knitting in her hands (and probably on a chenille bedspread).

From Viviana's Mad Howls

I'll look through some of my knitting patterns to see if I can find one which matches her jacket. And I think the design for the stole should be fairly easy to reproduce - in the next few weeks I'll knit up some swatches and post the photos. I won't, however, be designing shawls based on seaweed just yet. Maybe later.

So, in summary, I rate this film "Mmmm...knitting."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cross Post - Good Summer Reading (circa 1875)

He's dead, Jim!

I just finished reading the first half of that classic novel, "The Somnambulist and the Detective" by Allan Pinkerton. Yes, the Allan Pinkerton for whom the Pinkerton National Detective Agency was named. Allan moved here from Scotland with his bride, began as a private detective in Chicago in 1849 or 1850, eventually met up with some muck-a-mucks (click the link if you want details; I'm not going to repeat a Wikipedia article), popularized such detective tricks and shadowing (tailing, following) and what we would now consider undercover work, and eventually put his name on a series of fictionalized accounts of his career (rumor has it they were ghostwritten).

The story begins with a young bank clerk being killed and a bank robbed. This all takes place somewhere down south; most of the evidence is overlooked by the locals, since it leads to the best friend of the deceased because class matters in 1850 Mississippi, and the best friend, Mr Drysdale, is of the best of families. But ol' Pinky, who is called in as a last-chance attempt to catch the killer/robber, is a cranky Scot, he is, and he dinna care fer a man's standing in the community. After examining clews, weighing evidence, and sucking down mint juleps galore, he trots back to Chicago, and formulates a plan so cunning that you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. A large, inefficient, clunky weasel.

Next we know, a widow (Mrs Potter), a man of means (Mr Andrews), and a young carpenter (Mr Green) descend upon this small town. All are operatives of ol' Pinky - oops, I should have said spoiler alert. Now y'all will know how the story ends.

Their job is to figure out how to get a confession from the murderer Drysdale. Mrs Potter (not her real name) befriends the innocent wife of the alleged murderer...

Hard-boiled female detective schmoozes up innocent housewife

...you can see the evidence for yourself. In fact, this heartless undercover agent fakes an injury to infiltrate their household - a shameful pretense of being dependent upon the kindness of strangers. Indeed!

"She's suffered severe trauma, Jim!"

Mrs P starts smearing blood all over their home in the middle of the night in order to freak out the suspect. Talk about the house guest from hell...

Meanwhile, Messers Andrew and Green (not their real names) plot to drive Drysdale insane, in case Mrs P's imitation of "The Shining" doesn't work. (Okay, okay, this book came before "The Shining".) Mr Green looks like the deceased, so they dress him up to look like, well, a zombie in order to freak out the suspect even more.

"He's undead, Jim!"

And it works - but only some of the time. Our alleged murderer gets up and wanders in the middle of the night to the locations where he has buried the stolen money, and doesn't notice the zombie during his late-night strolls.

"He's the living dead, Jim!"

At this point, I know, you're hoping for a zombie war, or perhaps a face-off between a zombie and, say, a nosferatu. No such luck, dear readers. If the title hasn't already given it away, he's sleepwalking! Yes, sleepwalking. Wow! And FYI, that's a large, flat rock that our sleepwalker is holding. He's not wrestling with an alien life form or anything. Sorry.

By now, Drysdale is in hysterics. No southern belle could out psychosomatic him at this point, and I mean it. For instance, every time he finds the blood smeared in his room, he faints and says that he is weak from loss of blood... but he hasn't really lost any blood. So why is weak and faint - hysteria? Nerves? Guilt? A secret opium habit we're never told about?

No matter. They've succeeded in making him crazy. And yet, he still won't confess.

From what I can tell, the operations of these three detectives has probably taken three to six months. Honestly, if all his cases were this labor-intensive and drawn out, there is no way Allan Pinkerton would have become the rich, worker-hating lawman that he became.

Anyway, Pinkterton returns to the south, and gets together with everyone to plan one last attempt to coerce a confession from this dude without using a waterboard or lynch laws. Mr Green gets into his zombie togs again, and hides in the bank - the scene of the original crime. They arrest Mr Drysdale and take him to the bank. (If you're like me, you feel like you're suddenly in an episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies", but you're not; hillbillies could not afford Pinkerton's fees back in 1856.) I'll let the lovely illustration show you the moment when they break the killer:

"Dammit, Jim, I'm a murderer, not a doctor!"

Ah yes, they just don't confess like this anymore. And look at Mr Sourface McMustache in the background (just to the left of Drysdale) - stern and judgmental. That's a level four glare of disapproval. If it had been a level five, Drysdale would be a heap of ashes or a puddle of goo on the floor.

Eh, I give the story a C, mostly for being brief and having some lovely illustrations. The plot was ridiculous - but not as ridiculous as "The Ghoul", a book which I will review in loving detail someday. If you're not going to be a realistic mystery, you should go all out for crazy, over-the-top thrills, which "The Ghoul" delivers. The second half of the Pinkerton book is a tale entitled, "The Murderer and the Fortune-teller". If it's any good - or if the drawings are the least bit entertaining - I'll let you know.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Woo hoo! Knit Swap Time!

Gypsygirl and I had our Summer Swap - a smaller swap, but full of goodies to get us through the dog days of summer. So I've got a few photos of summery fun to post, as well as my thanks to my knitting swap buddy.

But first, I wanted to post a little something regarding the fact that I rarely leave home without some sort of knitting project in hand (and often, a book as well). I keep telling people, "You don't want to be trapped with me for 72 hours and me not have any knitting around!" Friends generally agree, whether they appreciate knitting or not. They can imagine the horror of such an event...

I've been reading articles every now and then about the earthquake in Abruzzo, Italy. My grandfather was from that region, and I'd like to move there - or at least visit - someday (yeah, it's boring, but they have sheep - sheep, I tells ya! Sheep-wool-knit!) I found the following articles on the same woman:

Maria D'Antuono told rescuers that during the 30 hours she was trapped, she occupied herself by knitting and doing crotchet.

The stone house where the 98-year-old was buried under her bed in the village of Tempera, was a scene of devastation having completely collapsed on one side.

A relative told The Daily Telegraph: “She is a very respectful, well brought up, nice person. She is a little, skinny lady, full of life, joyful and well-educated.

"She lived with her daughter, a retired teacher. Because of the strength of the quake, they thought the old woman was dead. They couldn’t look for her the first evening as it was too dark.

"The firemen came back at first light with a ladder and found Signora D’Antuono alive and in good health. It’s a miracle. She couldn’t do anything as she was stuck under the bed. They took her away, gave her a check-up and found her to be in perfect health. It’s incredible.” {from the Telegraph UK}

And then on the Yarn Forward blog:

Always keep your knitting near!

by Shannon on April 8, 2009

One bright spot in the news about the recent Italian earthquake: a 98-year-old woman pulled alive from the rubble spent her time knitting and crocheting while waiting to be saved.

From the Telegraph:

Maria D’Antuono told rescuers that during the 30 hours she was trapped, she occupied herself by knitting and doing crochet. The stone house where the 98-year-old was buried under her bed in the village of Tempera, was a scene of devastation having completely collapsed on one side.

Let this be a lesson to you — always keep your knitting nearby, you never know what might happen and it’s good to be prepared!

At this point, I assuming it's a genetic predisposition that has me going nowhere without my knitting. And for good reason, as the articles demonstrate!

Now, back to the swap.

Gypsygirl sent me the following goodies:

A couple of skeins of yarn, and a yarn bag!

A close-up of the Opal; the perfect color for some summer knitting. I have several sock patterns that would look wonderful in this color!

Some sari silk yarn; this is great, as I have some Mango Moon I've been meaning to knit a pillow out of. I can add this to it. That's the nice thing about the sari silk yarns - they are usually so multi that you can mix them any which way!

Patriot goodies for the family 4th of July fete - I'm gonna kick my cousin's arse at paddle ball, I tells ya!

Mmmm...knitting patterns.

She also sent me this groovy ice cream cup and scoop. So I had to buy some ice cream to try it out!

A to-do list with "I'd rather be knitting" at the top (I have my doubts as to whether I'll get more done with something reminding me that I'd really would rather be knitting) - a red, white and blue candle that I'm enjoying in the bathroom (I'll have to take a soak with some champagne on Bastille Day and the tricoleur candle) - some wonderful old-fashioned soap that's really lovely - a book of very funny quotes for women and their women friends - and the best bubble-blowing setup I've had in forever! This baby puts out a lot of bubbles, all good-sized but not huge. Too cool!

What did I get her? Oh, a bunch of weird stuff from the local Daiso $1.50 store. I love those places! And yes, I did send her yarn. Need you ask?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Blogging Fabulously!

Liisa of Under the Cupola has rated me as one of her top five fave blogs - woo hoo! {For those of you commenting about my infrequent and erratic posting, Kultakutri, as she is known on Ravelry, is a great reader and doesn't rely on my blog alone for information - and a good thing, too!}

This is a meme, of course, so let me post the details for the bloggers who are about to be tagged here -

The rules are thus:

1. You have to pass it (the award) on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.

2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.

3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.

Instructions: Include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. And don't forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.

Five Fab Blogs & Their Bloggers

1. Liisa/Linda
of Under the Cupola: If you've been on Ravelry, you've probably seen a few of her posts (at the very least). Very smart, incredibly funny, she relates her adventures and misadventures in a wonderfully wry voice that makes her posts always worth reading. If you're reading my blog, then you would undoubtedly enjoy reading hers - it's better, more interesting, and updated more frequently. I'd list the things she writes about, but I cannot do her justice. And she posts some wonderful photos... Just go - read some of her posts - you'll find fibery goodness in there from time to time, of course, but it is all worth reading!

2. Severina of The Omnigraphic Blogopticon: Severina's blog is full of steampunkery and snark, and funny as hell. Regular postings include her perverted steampunk Sims and periodic book reviews (which I highly recommend as informative & entertaining), as well as her Perfidious Beadworks projects (I'm the lunkhead who recently put her Arthur pin through the washer and dryer). If you want to check out her knitting blog, which features tons of lovely vintage patterns, it's here. If I weren't 150 years older than she is, I'd want to be her when I grow up.

3. Franklin of The Panopticon: Franklin has no idea who I am, and probably couldn't give a rat's ass for getting this nomination. I do enjoy his blog - vintage knitting here and there, well-written entries, and (for the unenlightened), an explanation of 'twinks' and 'bears'. I, of course, was already familiar with those terms, but his explanation and accompanying photos were delightful. A wonderful blog, funny, and there's plenty of fibery goodness to be found here, too.

4. Toni of A Little Off The Beaten Path: Toni's blog is the home of "Month of..." and "Year of..." experiments. The current experiment is the Year of No Processed Food. She writes entertainingly of trying to live without eating processed stuff, both the successes and disasters involved in such a process. Her "Things We've Learned" posts are always funny. If you have an interest in knowing what it's like to live without high fructose corn syrup in your diet (something very difficult to do in the US), this is definitely a site for you. And hey - if you want to find an alcoholic drink with peanut butter in it, you need look no further than this site. NB: Toni is also a knitter, and her sister blog about her knitting is here.

5. Bohemian of A Lost Bohemian: My former coworker (we were both laid off) has recently begun a blog attempting to unravel the mysteries of her family's exodus from WWII Europe, their ultimate relocation to the US, and the impact that life in a diaspora can have on people - the shift from citizen of privilege to resettled refugee, and what that has meant for her family. All this in addition to entried on the current state of the human condition. Thoughtful stuff.

You'll notice that four of the five feature fiber, or have a fiber blog in addition to the one listed here. I discovered all of those blogs via my knitting habit, and indeed, knitting drives a great deal of my blog-reading activity. I'll let knitting transition me into my Five Fabulous Addictions. And they are, both fabulous and addictions.

1. Knitting: I first took up knitting in the early 1980's. There isn't a single thing about knitting that I don't love. I love patterns, looking at them, reading them, studying their construction. I love the quality of yarns that have become available in the last 5-1o years or so - the softness or squishy-ness of the fibers, the gorgeous colors, crazy art yarns with all sorts of strange things spun into them. I love Addi Lace Turbos. I even love the act of knitting, of creating a fabric with a bit of (very fancy) string. My friends have to regularly intervene when I try to expand my stash.

2. Books: As with knitting, there is nothing about books I dislike (except how heavy they can be in large quantities). I have no idea how many books I have; they are scattered in various locations, like a pirate who has buried his hoard on several different beaches. The best thing about books is content - information - words - ideas - entertainment. But I love old books especially - the craftsmanship that went into a well-designed, embossed and painted cover; gorgeous illustrations; heavy paper... The happiest of finds is an old knitting book (sigh!).

3. Coffee: My current favorite is the local Herkimer coffee, but anyone who knows me is familiar with my "Coffee. Now!" routine. In fact, the unfortunate above-mentioned Bohemian used to endure "Coffee Me" every day when we worked together.

4. Sushi/Chocolate/Curries: I couldn't choose one of the three. Sushi is not an addiction I can afford to maintain, but folks who know me will tell you that I am obsessed with it, however infrequently I get it. Chocolate and curry are much more accessible - the last I can make at home, and do. Frequently. And Seattle is a good town for good chocolate, so I can and do indulge in that addiction without great expense. All this talk of food - I'm hungry!

5. Single Malt Scotch: I can't really afford this either while I'm on the dole, at least not the stuff I enjoy drinking. Friends will tell you, though, that I am perfectly willing to accept donations of 16-yr-old Lagavulin or Oban. Anyway, I don't drink it every night - don't want to run out of the good stuff - but see what happens if you try to walk off with one of my bottles. I'll cut you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why Non-needleworkers Shouldn't Write About Needlework

I recently completed Laced, by Carol Higgins Clark. On a scale of 1 to 100, I'd give it a "meh". Not bad, not good, but had the virtue to not take up too much time to read (if you're not going to be a great book, you can at least be a fairly brief book).

The title of the book, of course, appealed to the lace knitter in me. The stolen object is this magnificent handmade lace tablecloth featuring a castle as either the focal point of the design, or the main design element. But what irritated the hell out of me was that readers were never told how the famed tablecloth was made. May Reilly made it by hand, we are told in the novel. But how? The reference to shamrocks not being part of the design made me think Irish crochet (and the novel takes place in Ireland, so this makes sense). And that would indeed be some fancypants needlework to create a castle in Irish crochet and make it look good. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure it could be done, but nutty needleworkers from the world over would trek to Nowheresville Ireland to see such an incredible thing.

So then I pondered whether it was knitted, or if some other method of lacemaking had been used. One could knit a castle design in openwork, using yo's and the like to create the shape. This sounds more like a Shetland textile than an Irish, though. Not that the Irish can't knit Shetland, etc. My logical (?) mind, however, thinks that a novel set in Ireland should feature needlework for which Ireland is famous. For example, the Irish Lace Museum lists the following as the five main Irish laces:

Irish Crochet Lace, Youghal Needlelace, Inishmacsaint Needlelace, Carrickmacross Lace and Limerick Lace.
If you visit their lovely site, you can see photos of the various types of Irish lace. What was most interesting about this, though, was that in seconds (thank you, Google) I found an Irish lace museum with examples and discussions of the main types of lacemaking done in Ireland. I gathered enough information from one site to give some description of how a famous tablecloth with a castle as the main design feature could have been made.

Not that I think a writer needs to become an expert in every topic that comes up in their books. Not at all. In the age of the internet, though, it's extra-inexcusable to not spend an hour researching something that's pretty easy to research.

So if anyone out there is inspired to crochet/bobbin/knit/hook/otherwise make a lace castle, please send me photos!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

For the Industrious of the Fair Sex - 1882

{From the South Jersey Republican, Hammonton, NJ Saturday, April 29, 1882}

French Lace

cast on 15 sts

row 1: knit 3, yo, k2tog, knit 3, yo, knit 1, yo, knit 6

row 2: knit 6, yo, knit 3, yo, k2tog, knit 3, yo, k2tog, knit 1.

row 3: knit 3, yo, k2tog, , k2tog, yo, knit 5, yo knit 6.

row 4: cast off 4, knit 1, yo, k2tog, knit 3, k2tog, yo, k2tog, knit 1, yo, k2tog, knit 1.

row 5: knit 3, yo, k2tog, knit 1, yo, k2tog, knit 1, k2tog, yo, knit 3.

row 6: knit 3, yo, knit 1, yo, sl 2, knit 1, p2sso, yo, knit 4, yo, k2tog, knit 1.

begin first row.

Below are photos of a few repeats of the pattern, unblocked and still on the needles. I used some really old Knit-Cro-Sheen, needles sized 2.75 mm.

This last photo is mostly to show that, at one time, Knit-Cro-Sheen really did have a sheen:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

First, some lovely flowers from a friend:
From MoreMadHowls
When I thanked him for the flowers and other kindnesses of the day, he said it was all part of the package. What a sweetie!

I opened my VD swap package from Gypsygirl today - and what a lovely bunch of goodies!

From MoreMadHowls
Lots of chocolates - including chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, which will pass as protein on my diet list. Yummy valentine-red yarns, heart-shaped ice cube tray (which, weirdly enough, is perfect for my overcrowded freezer), a gorgeous candle (in case I can't afford to pay the light bills anymore, heh), chocolate liqueur, silly putty, and that wonderful book on Orenberg shawls that I've been eyeing but didn't have! I've been lusting after it for quite some time, so I'm really, really happy to have gotten that one in my package! Gypsygirl has been a great swap partner over the last year - I consider myself very lucky to have gotten paired up with her on Rav last Valentine's Day! We're close enough in age and life experiences where we can grouse about things, and sympathize, and warn each other about which yarn folks to stay away from.

Anyway, here are more photos of what I got from GG:

I want to thank Gypsygirl for the great prezzies, and another fun Valentine's Day!
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