there’s nothing like good friends

look what arrived at our door, JUST when we needed it most—a big box of california sunshine! our good friend kim and her boys, kade and sam, picked these for us from their own fruit orchard, then boxed them up and sent them for the holidays.

i can’t even describe how heavenly the downstairs smelled this morning with the scent of fresh citrus filling the air—like nothing we can create ourselves, a real treat.

and as if that by itself wasn’t enough

i got to sink my teeth into this for breakfast—mmmm, juicy and sweet. i’ve been planning all morning in my head what i’ll do with the rest. there’s lemon pie, lemon curd, and lemon cake—maybe even lemonade, just because we can. those oranges are going to be sliced for our christmas eve salad, i think.

thank you SO, SO much for your uproariously enthusiastic support of the crazy quilt fundraiser we are doing to benefit the red scarf project—it’s a good day to click that link; norma has an awesome photo and update of scarf drive progress so far, yay! as for us, we’ve sold over 150 copies of the pattern so far, with weeks to go before the end of the promotion.
thank you one and all.

ooooh, and guess what? i have some knitting to show you.

my mitts and beret project are working up a treat in zen yarn garden serenity 20. this springy, merino/cashmere/silk blend in colorway frosted teal is just perfect for this project.

the mitts are done now and the beret is progressing; last night i got past the biggest section and started decreasing, so i’m betting that the rest will go really fast—i might have it done by tomorrow. i’m anxious to see what kind of final yardage it will require; i don’t yet have a good idea of that. i’ve been working from two skeins, but it’s possible it can be done with one.

and in the anne has absolutely no self control department

last night, with a secret project that needs to get done and several potential gift knits in progress that i should finish and handsies to knit for all the kids, i had a fall-down instead and cast on for some seriously plain tailored mitts with my last skein of crack spirit trail holda, in colorway fig.

don’t ask what i was thinking, because i just don’t know; the yarn isn’t even in stock til january, since we already broke the supply chain on that one.

i’m panicking a little—i’ve suddenly realized that december is a runaway train and that i have something like one WEEK now to get ready for christmas.

let me clarify—i’ve actually been preparing for the knitspot christmas month for some time now and most of our business-related christmas activity is well under control. but my own holiday shopping, baking, and knitting goals have been de-prioritized too many times and as a result, virtually nothing has been prepared for the kids or my friends or even david—it’s shameful.

i know what you’re saying too—”she does this EVERY year! hmmm, now let me guess . . . next she’s gonna say that she’s starting a sweater TODAY for david’s gift!”

sigh—and you’d be half right. i’m not even starting a sweater today exactly, because i haven’t finished swatching. like everything else on my list, it’s started, but that’s as far as it’s gotten.
i think the appropriate word here would be—oy.

well, there’s no sense in getting bogged down in what i haven’t accomplished yet—that’s sure to end in a pity party, possibly with scotch involved. and we don’t need that.

let’s talk about that gorgeous yarn i’m swatching with.
see? instant pick-me-up. it’s friday after all—we need this: a yarn parade.

as it happens, i got two especially nice boxes of yarn this week (dyers are so accommodating, aren’t they??).
did you know that kim at the woolen rabbit has a whole schlew of new sport weight yarns? she does!

first, let’s talk about that deliciously dark sporty kashmir that i’m swatching with in colorway enchanted forest. it’s not on her site yet, but i bet she’s going to have listed soon.

this is the same merino/cashmere/nylon blend as her other kashmir yarns, now offered in a 3-ply sport, perfect for a guy sweater. it’s next-to-the-skin soft, but washable and has great recovery. david’s got a sweater that kim and i would love to tear off his back and burn, but i think it’s only fair to provide a replacement before making off with it, hehe.

the original has an extremely subtle knit/purl pebble stitch pattern that’s easy and quick to knit, so i’m going to give it the old college try, using the pattern i wrote for the old one if i can get gauge.

if that goes well, we’ll go into production with the pattern, probably with variations that are similar to the rené sweater.

and i’ll make use of this batch of sporty 3-ply SW merino to knit myself a cardigan in the (very anne) colorway olive tweed. i’ve been dying for an olive green sweater or two, so her timing couldn’t be more perfect.

but wait—that’s not all . . .

kim’s also got this cushy, soft-but-tough 8-ply merino sport yarn that would work equally well. maybe this one will become the vest version, hmmm. this new color, brown berry, was the result of a mistake, but when she saw it, she thought of me. and sure enough, every person who has seen it says “oh now, that’s an anne color”.
who knew i was so predictable?

and those are just the sport yarns she sent.

she also threw in a couple skeins of her WW kashmir, which i’ve been hearing about through the grapevine and was dying to see. i’m so glad she sent it in boney maroney, a beautiful light straw neutral.

and one of my all-time favorite woolen rabbit colorways—birch beer. this time dyed up on the airy base, a merino singles fingering yarn, perfect for shawls or very light, drapey sweaters.

are you fanning yourself yet??

because just when i thought i cooled down a bit from the excitement of that box, another box from another kim arrived in its wake.

haha, now this kim is very different from the other kim, but i love both their work with abandon, so i bet they’d really like each other, too.

anyway, indogo dragonfly kim sent me a box which arrived on the same day, also filled with droolworthy yarns of heartbreaking beauty. and the names—well, if you don’t know about her naming protocol and/or you need something to laugh out loud about right now, go take a look (hover your cursor over each square to read the names).

ok, now this first batch—DK polwarth silk—i know is practically unfair

kim wrote me about this green that “i know you won’t love at all”, haha, which translates in annespeak to “uh, never not green”. haha, she even named it with my favorite of her button slogans—”curse you and your inevitable betrayal”. to top off the perfectness of the green (and its name), the yarn a DK blend of polwarth and silk. there’s just two words for that—to die for, right?

(i know that’s four words, but a blend like this doesn’t give a whit about our rules)

so anyway, there’s nothing for it but to knit a sweater . . . something tells me i’m gonna be busy after christmas.

while i was opening this box, i could sorta hear the wheels turning in kim’s head; there’s no use in sending a box all the way from canada with just two skeins in it (even if they ARE big), is there? so while she was at it, she filled the extra spaces with a few other goodies—i bet she knows who loves yarn around here, huh?

this heap of gorgeousness is her MCS sock in a black colorway called “the pursuit of meh”. and even if you didn’t want to use it for socks, it would be unbelievably beautiful as a shawlette.

and then i think she must have gone and gotten a bigger box, in order to have more spaces to fill in, because there was a lot more treasure in its depths. above is her merino silk 4-ply sock, which is another perfect choice for a shawlette or any beautiful gift knit. it is exactly this type of yarn i used for the first spiraluscious and one i go back to repeatedly when i want that extra-special, sexy drape.

this merino single lace yarn has a lots of yardage for a larger, delicate lace piece, but it’s still got enough body to offer control and some speed in making progress.

and last but not least, evidence that otis the dog has been keeping a close eye on my blog; he knows that i’ve not been keeping up my sock knitting and that poor david has had no new socks in quite a while. to add insult to the injury of being called on the carpet by a dog, he’s double daring me to knit some over christmas with this merino/nylon sock yarn—HA! as if christmas is a holiday for me.

otis, i will try my darndest.

and with that the snow has begun to fly outside and it’s already getting dark (ok the dark is not news here in ohio). i think i’ll leave my desk for the day and head up to my knitting chair to watch the show from the warmth of my study.

there, i can place some of my new yarn on a very special gift i received today from my dear friend kat—isn’t this lovely? it’s a yarn holder that turns like a lazy susan to unwind your cake form the outside in, if that’s your preferred method. i think it will prove an awesome tool for plying singles from a cake as well (that might require a second one).

anyway, these are hand made (impeccably so, i fact) by a friend of kat’s from gorgeous hardwoods. which means that they take time, so you may not be able to get any before the holidays, but i’m going to show you his information anyway

and hopefully, he won’t be scared into retreat by the rush of requests he’s about to get.
be gentle please, he’s probably not used to us.

this weekend i’ll be finalizing the yarn picks and starting work on the first of the designs for our spring/summer barenaked club. it’s shaping up to be another fun adventure for members at all levels.

memberships are selling well, but we still have spots open at every level; if you’ve been toying with the idea of joining or wondering what it’s like, i invite you to check out the barenaked clubhouse or our fall in full color clubhouse to get an introduction to our methods and madness, haha.

we love you, we want you, we’ll do almost anything to enable you.

ok, my work here is done, i think; have a wonderful, safe weekend; i’ll be back with more in a couple of days!

21 Responses to “there’s nothing like good friends”

  1. GerryART says:

    I just may have to give MCS a try
    such lovely friends you have
    we had sunshine today here in mid-MO
    hugs
    Gerry

  2. Kim says:

    Holy Kim Day! :)

    Glad everything arrived alright. Thanks for the great post and enjoy!

  3. Linda says:

    Anne,

    Your friends have been very kind to you. Lovely fruit (btw, may I suggest lemon-poppyseed pound cake?), heavenly yarn, gorgeous turned, lazy susan spindle. It’s all rather breathtaking, isn’t it?

    You must be a very good person to warrant friends such as this. I hope it leaves you with a nice, warm feeling inside (even while it snows on the outside).

    Cheers!

  4. Kim says:

    Okay, Sam read your post and is quite concerned that the oranges won’t last till Christmas Eve. . . . he thinks we might need to send more. . .

  5. Brandi says:

    There is nothing lovlier than fresh produce from someone’s orchard or garden. What a great gift!

  6. Robby says:

    About the rush to get everything ready for Christmas… I learned a glorious plan from our pastor. They celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, which means they also enjoy that time between Christmas Eve and 12th night. They use the time to reflect, write their Christmas cards, spread out the gift giving (eh hem, hint, hint), enjoy the company of family and friends without any guilt about not getting it all done by 12/25. Just a thought.

  7. Liesel says:

    ohhh, what a lot of delights in this post! I am already looking forward to the new sweater :)

  8. Rose says:

    Lucky you with such generous friends. Citrus is so good. I so enjoy seeing the knitting and the yarns you show on your blog. I’m looking forward to receiving the first shipment from the Barenaked club & learning about the properties of different yarns.

  9. bluesbee says:

    I’m in total agreement that you’ll do almost anything to enable us. The yarn photos reel me in, then your vivid descriptions of the yarn make it almost inevitable that something will end up in my stash. I love Indigo Dragonfly Kim’s colorway names! I think I see a Princess Bride reference on one.

  10. KatJ says:

    Awww, Anne! I’m so glad the ball minder arrived safely. I did warn Paul’s wife that I was sending it to you. : ) I love mine and use it daily. I’m such a child at heart that I love to just unwind the yarn to see it spin off of the winder. Heh!

    All of that yarn porn was amazing. I might have hyperventilated as I read your post and looked at all of the pictures. I can tell this self-imposed 2012 yarn diet is going to last maybe days or hours into the new year.

    Love and hugs to you and David.

  11. Ruth Martin says:

    Oh dear, I was instantly compelled to go to the Indigodragonfly site (some yarn may have been ordered, I was a little dazed)! I’m eagerly anticipating the beret/mitts pattern release – so pretty! I gifted my hair stylist with a Spiraluscious set in Spirit Trail Sunna and she LOVED it. All the best for the holidays to you both (you enabler, you…)

  12. Mary says:

    A box full of sunshine and another full of lovely woolen rabbit–lucky you!

  13. Vicki says:

    You have great friends, a box of sunshine when it is dark and cold would be wonderful. great yarn, thanks for sharing. It all looks so delicious.

    Happy Christmas knitting. You always have so many projects on but you always manage to get it done.

  14. Judi says:

    That last picture (starting the first time you showed it a while back) is my very favorite picture of David – ever.

  15. Kim says:

    I just love you and love that David will be getting a new sweater. :) Such a wonderful post full of not only my yarn but the other Kim’s amazing yarn AND a wood product that I know I am going to have to go visit next. (I am so weak)

    I still can’t believe Christmas is in 2 weeks….I am still in a September frame of mind. Must be because I missed Rhinebeck this year….

  16. nancy schwartz sternoff says:

    wow you have such great friends anne! all the yarns are delicious. and you kknow how partial i am to kim’s WW Kashmir. just wait ’til you knit with it – you’ll be in love!
    enjoy them all…

  17. nancy schwartz sternoff says:

    btw i am going to send you an amazing orange chocolate (how’s that for a combo) chunk cake straight from ina garten.
    http://leitesculinaria.com/3076/recipes-barefoot-contessa-orange-chocolate-chunk-cake.html

    perfect for the oranges from kim!

  18. margene says:

    You know how to fill a grrls heart with envy and delight!

  19. Mitty says:

    OK, I *am* fanning myself after that parade of gorgeousness! The enchanted forest swatch is really handsome.

  20. Jocelyn says:

    You’ve got a lot going on there!! I know what you mean about Christmas preparations – I feel like I’ve gotten nothing started, let alone finished. And now I want to knit a sweater either out of that new Kashmir three-ply, or the Polwarth silk – or both! You temptress, you.

  21. josiekitten says:

    All that fruit looks just delicious! I’d definitely make some lemon curd. My Mum used to make a fabulous lemon pudding too. You mix everything up together and as it cooks in the oven it separates out to have a lovely light lemony fluffy sponge on the top and the most divine lemon sauce underneath. Let me know if you’d like the recipe. And as for all that yarn – well, you have obviously been a very good girl this year and Santa called early!