Monday, May 24, 2010

Swap Complete

Wow, it's been a long weekend...even though it felt like Monday came too early, I spent the weekend fending off a cold or some kind of bug. :( Being sick stinks. :(

Anywho, I'm finally back to put up some more pictures and share more about the most recent swap I've been talking about lately. (Warning - I got a bit wordy today so the post is a little long.)

Last week I showed you the notions bag and needle case.  Today, I thought I'd show you the knit items - Frenchie and two pairs of Jelly Bean Baby Socks (see second pair HERE). :)  Let's start with Frenchie. Although I thought this hat was cute, it's probably not one I would have knit had I not participated in the swap.  I don't know why - it just wasn't grabbing me.  But after knitting it, I have to admit that it surprised me.
With all the variation in colors and stitch patterns, it held my interest.  Sometimes, a hat is so simple because it's just row after row of stockinette stitch.  Not that such a thing is bad - in fact it makes for a nice base of a hat, but sometimes, when you're looking for something a little more creative or challenging, it can feel like it's taking forever to finish.  Back to this hat.  My favorite part is the top, where it starts to narrow into a little cone.  The color contrast between the light and dark blues appeals to me and peaks my interest. 
The most tedious part of the hat?  The wrapped "wave" embellishments near the bottom.  I like the finished look, but after wrapping 2 rows of chain stitch waves, I'm ready to not do that again for awhile.  Part of it was my fault because I put in smaller waves, which also meant more waves.  I liked the chain stitching before it was wrapped, but I don't like not completing part of the original design, especially since I wasn't keeping this hat for X.
This time I used the same colors as the pattern called for.  I usually like to put my own spin on the colors - see what draws me in.  Originally, I looked for a rusty orange to substitute for the yellow, but I never found one I really liked, and I didn't want to wait to order more yarn in the mail since most of what was used I found in my stash.
Moving on to the socks.  This was my first time knitting socks - or footwear of any kind. These were really easy and quick - especially since the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn.  I was making socks for an older boy, not a baby, so I cast on for the largest size and just adjusted the length according to his foot measurements.  I've since heard that they fit well, with just a tiny bit of room to grow, so they should last him through the colder weather in Australia. :)
I knit the first pair with Spud & Chloe Sweater in Moonlight.  I thought they would look nice with the hat. 
When I finished that pair, I debated for a long time whether to make a second pair.  They were so fast, though, that I went ahead and made some from the lighter blue, Nymp yarn (Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece).  The second pair were that much easier.
The remainder of what was included in the swap were all the goodies.  To stay true to the Parisian theme, I found several goodies on Etsy, including some Parisian swing tags I attached to the knit items, a moleskin notebook, an Eiffel Tower pendant/keychain, and spring-inspired stitch markers. I love those stitch markers.
And what's a swap package without some yarn?  I included 2 hanks of Spud & Chloe in Firecracker. 
When I was shopping for goodies, I discovered Fareway was having a sale on KoolAid so I stocked up - for myself, and for Mel.  They were 10/$1.  I think I got 30-40 packets.  I can't quite remember. 

And not wanting her kids to miss out (since I knew they liked the KoolAid but only got to drink the invisible stuff) I picked up a larger container of Invisible KoolAid they could share. 

I found a book that had several Golden Books classics all included in one for Mel's youngest son.
As well as some party favor toys for them all to share including mini Etch-a-Sketch pads and Slinky Dogs from Toy Story. 
And to include a little bit of Iowa, I threw in a deck of John Deere playing cards.  Since John Deere is pretty prevalent in our little farming state, I thought it was appropriate.
I really enjoyed putting this swap together.  I got to be creative in several ways - knitting, sewing, seeking out the great goodies, not to mention being creative to fit it all into the box! :)

1 comment:

  1. Rae, you're doing the swap with someone in Australia? Wow! I thought only people in the US participated in swaps.

    It sounds really fun! I would like to participate in some swaps, too.