The Lure of the Swap

That’s it, I’ve decided- I’m going to lose my swap virginity to Knit 1 Tea 2.
I have resisted for so long, but the idea of special tea from strangers is just too compelling….

Knit 1 Tea 2 Color Swap Questionnaire

Q:Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try?
A: I like both. But if someone sends me loose tea, I’d like it if they could send a strainer of some kind, too.

Q:What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)?
A:I prefer white and green teas, flavoured blends with those are wonderful! I’ve had a tropical fruit green tea that rocked my world recently…..

Q:Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up).
A:White and Green are my favourites.

Q:Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind?
A:I do both.

Q:What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself?
A: One of those little tea bag plates. I can’t bring myself to buy one, but they make so much sense. Or a seriously cute milk and sugar set. I covet those.

Q:How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc).
A: Moisturizers or tasty treats, please!

Q:If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why?
A:I’d be a squishy soft merino.

Q:If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why?
A: The booties- I’ve been working on too many big things, I’d want something small just to finally have an FO!

Q:What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?)
A: A hot date. A good movie. Combine both and you might not hear from me for days….

Q:What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?)
A: Sweet treats, like cupcakes.

Q:When buying yarn for a project how do you choose – do you buy the one called for or do you substitute?
A:I substitute most of the time- I find a lot of patterns call for ridiculously expensive yarns! I’m not interested in spending $100 for shawl yarn. Maybe that makes me cheap. I think it just makes me sane.

Q:What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go?
A:A ziploc bag in my purse. I have needle holes in every purse, and I get jabbed in the ribs ocassionally.

Q:Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting?
A:Anything, really. I’m not that fussy. I watch a lot of CSI when I knit.

Q:Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match?
A:Mugs all the way- and matching is for wedding china, not daily life.

Q:Favorite childhood birthday party?
A:Anyone’s but mine- my birthday is 2 days before Christmas and drowned out in the seasonal festivities.

Q:Favorite type of scone and jam?
A:classic scones with clotted cream and strawberry/raspberry jam (suddenly I’m starving….)

Q:If you use candles, what is your favorite scent?
A:Vanilla or apricot.

Q:If you could choose 3 people to have ‘tea’ with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead).
A:My mom, my aunt, and my grandmother, before she got Alzheimers. Because I remember what that used to be like, and it was always a great time. The women in my family are strong, earthy, hyper, and funny as hell. To sit at a table with them is to remind myself how truly lucky I am to have family like that.

Q:You’ve been invited to a tea party, what ‘props’ will you wear (formal or casual)?
A: Who knows what I’ll wear, but I’ll be bringing my manners. I think good manners are the best props around.

Q:Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to?
A: I don’t deal well with anestethic, but I’d seriously question my swap pal if that was in any way relevant….

Q:Anything we missed that you want your pal to know?
A:I don’t like cartoonish or overly frilly/girly stuff. Not to appear ungrateful, but I’m not going to use a pink mug with a cartoon daisy or a shoe on it. That’s just not me.

What the……?????

Where to begin….. Well, I spent all evening pushing to finish the Waist Cincher Top from Knitting Lingerie Style. And despite measuring, and measuring, and measuring….see that freakishly tiny armhole? And freakishly tiny neckhole? That should be plunging neckline.

Yeah. The only thing plunging are my hopes of looking fabulous in my chocolate brown sweater. That I cannot wear. Because it’s completely f**ked up!!!!

Basically, I needed to lengthen the stockinette section by at least two inches, and length the armholes by another two inches as well. So I’m 4 inches off.

Four. Flipping. inches. Gagh!

*Groans. Sighs. Goes off to take a shower to wash the smell of failure away….*

Montego Bay, Remixed

Montego Bay is a pretty simple pattern comprised of a 4 row repeat. That’s it. It’s simplicity is what makes it so darn attractive, if you ask me. Lace for those are not into lace..
Here’s Jen’s:

I am not a lazy knitter. I don’t usually take shortcuts. But for some reason, I rebelled against the simple 4 row repeat that comprises the pattern of Montego Bay. I just didn’t want to learn which row had 4 stitches at the beginning or three. So, I modified it- K3, *yo, k2tog*, K last three stitches. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This affects the pattern, of course. Instead of the simple lace moving in a diagonal to the edge, mine will be completely vertical. I’m enjoying the experiment, but really it’s just shown me that I have no real love of ribbon yarn. Although the Lang Moon is great (if you like ribbon yarn), I just hanker for the elegant simplicity of Jen’s Debbie Bliss Cathay when I see it. But hey, at least I’m busting some stash.

I thirst to be thirsty in Montego Bay

We are both knitting the same project at the same time, which does not usually happen here at Teamknit. Montego Bay (which makes the song pop into my head immediately every time I say it)is currently occupying our thoughts. Jen called it first- she loved the pattern right away. She envisioned it in a summery shade, something light and cool in the summer. Her previous post with the Debbie Bliss Cathay is what she decided to use, and it’s so gorgeous:
I came round slowly, mainly because I was obsessed with finding something to do with the many, many skeins I bought of Lang Yarns ‘Moon’ for a $1 per skein back when Knitomatic was having a crazy sale. Here’s a close up:

That’s an accurate colour shot- “azalea”. Pink without being babyish. I have swatched this stuff a million times, and really struggled with what to do with ribbon yarn. And then I figured it would be good for something that had a lot of yarn overs, to really showcase the ribbon.

Although you can’t see the colour properly there, I’m really liking it so far- soft and squishy are the adjectives that come to mind when I pet it.

I think when we are both done we’ll have to have a photo shoot where they are side by side. It would be fitting if we could do this in the real Montego Bay, but tragically we’ll have to make do with Toronto.

Big on the PRO, low on the $$$

At times, it’s really difficult to get that one shot, the shot that draws you in and dream of its potential. A good yarn/knit portrait can inspire me beyond words into the realm of covetland. That dangerous place where expensive fibers live to be touched and petted, but not to be taken home. But what happens when you cross that path and make that splurge? Sure shopping is great, but showing off is even sweeter. That’s where the photos come in. It’s the joy of triumphantly saying, “LOOK WHAT I GOT!!” But if a color is off or the image isn’t sharp maybe everyone won’t be conveyed that message. Like a scene out of StyleByJury we aren’t giving ourselves as much credit or time on appearances as our hard earned money surely deserves.

I started researching light boxes the other day and I came across a tutorial that gives clear and concise directions on how to make a DIY light box and why it works the way it does.

I still found taking pictures kinda hard. I don’t think I have my lights set up properly. So without any further adieu, let me flash those new to my stash.

4balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay. What did I post previously? That DB was too expensive? Not when it’s 20% off ! Oh and on a whim, two hanks of Rowanspun tweed dk that was 60% off. Who can say no to 60% off?

The color is spot on. I love it’s tweedy goodness.

I had some trouble getting the color right..

There we go, whitebalance was set to daylight.

So… Yah. I spent a good chunk of change today and I’m very happy about it. I think with more practice and perhaps some lessons from Toby I’ll get it down pat. CHEESE!