Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Secret Pal Went to France...

Forget those lame assed t-shirts: "My (fill in relationship) went to (fill in city) and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

My secret pal went to France and I got way better than a lousy t-shirt. Check this out:

The secret package arrived at work on Monday.

I had no idea what it was. Our office manager who delivered the box to me said: "Yarn from France, perhaps?" (I guess she's figured out I'm a shopper.)

My response: "Hmmm. I don't know anyone in France. I and haven't bought anything online from there (that I can remember...)"

Wrapped goodies inside. Even the tissue paper from France was nice. All thick and textured.


What _is_ all this stuff, you ask? Beautiful angora yarn from rabbits who live in a great chateau (my pal said photos were to arrive later on where and how they live); yummy French cookies; sea salt from France (can't wait to cook with that!); bath gel/soap (this particular part of France is known for their bath items); and the most adorable monkey pen.

See how fluffy?

Look at these adorable monkeys.

My pal can find the greatest stuff for me. Thanks, Secret Pal. I now need to figure out who you are.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Because I Need More Yarn

My husband and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. We got married at Carmel Valley Ranch and thought it would be a great place to visit again for this special weekend.

The night of our anniversary we had dinner at the Pacific Edge restaurant at the
Highlands Inn.

The view from our table

My heirloom tomato salad (deeeeelish!)

The anniversary cake

The view after the sun set

I ordered the cake from the same bakery that made our wedding cake. I spoke with the restaurant in advance and told them it would be a surprise for my husband. The plan was: take our desert orders from the menu, but substitute what we order with the surprise cake.

All seemed to be going well until I saw that a cheese sampler was one of the desert choices. Since my husband is the lover of all things cheese, he studied the list and selected the three he thought would be best. While he placed the order I thought to myself, "damn the cheese course."

While the cake was truly delicious (and the added ice cream a complete bonus - diet be damned) my husband's response after we cut into the cake?

"I guess this means I'm not getting my cheese course?"

It was pretty funny.

Maybe next anniversary I'll have them make a cake of cheese.

While on our getaway weekend we had to stop at the LYS in the area. (Of course...)

I had visited Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove the last time I was in the area, and I really liked the selection. Plus, the owner and her staff are completely friendly and helpful -- so why not stop in again and see what's there?

This is what I came home with. Because, you know, I need more yarn.

The polka dot black and white is actually for my mother

The brown will make this felted bear (minus the retarded "sweater" he's wearing...), which may eventually be a gift for my neice. Or not...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Inspired Again

I've been a little dismayed by my knitting lately. I have SOOOO much yarn and SOOOO many patterns to make, but my last sweater attempt has left me gun shy.

As I mentioned here before, I'm sick of making scarves and yet another kitty pi. But it took the monthly knit and wine at my LYS to get me back into action.

I obviously couldn't go there with nothing to knit, so I scrounged around my stash and found some yarn I bought before the summer started. Nashua Wooly Stripes. One of the other knit and wine participants made a great mistake rib scarf using this yarn, alternating two skeins every two rows.

So I gave it a whirl. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Broken Rib Wooly Stripes Scarf

Now if only it would cool down enough to wear said scarf!

The pattern:
Multiple of 4 plus 3 sts
K2, P2 across row. End with K3
Repeat this row throughout