Sunday, 13 April 2014

Best shipping note ever, and some finishes

Being weak of will when it comes to shiny new things demonstrated by talented crafts people, I succumbed to ordering some fabric and a template from the Missouri Star Quilt Company after watching the lovely Jenny Doan in a free three-part interview filmed as part of the 'Quilt with the Stars' series. I love Jenny's Youtube video tutorials so enjoyed watching the interview and learning more about Jenny and her family.

My order generated the best shipping despatch confirmation ever:

Thanks for your order at the Missouri Star Quilt Company!
We just want to let you know that your quilting supplies have been meticulously gathered, placed on a red velvet pillow, and delicately escorted by 25 of our finest employees to our shipping department. Our master shipper has dutifully performed his craft, lovingly packing your order in the finest materials known to man.
Our team gathered to give your package the proper send-off it deserved. Tears of joy were shed, speeches were given, and there was even a farewell cake. Following the festivities, the whole group, led by our local high school marching band playing the song Leaving on a Jet Plane, ushered your order through downtown Hamilton, Missouri. No, we don't own a Jet Plane, but your package was placed in the care of a roguishly handsome man who is riding in a majestic horse-drawn carriage which is on its way to your home as you read this.
Although the products you've ordered will be sorely missed here at MSQC, we are overjoyed that they have found a good home. Take care of them, treasure them, and when you make something beautiful with them, make sure you share it with us on facebook, twitter, or just send us an email, we love to see what you make!.
*Note the above is a slight dramatization of what actually happened with your order, but seriously we did ship it, and here is the tracking info:

How wonderful is that? It deserves to go viral. I will probably get hammered by Customs for daring to order abroad but I almost don't care when the customer service is that lovely.
Finishing off stuff
Having somewhat alarmed myself last week when I bagged up knitting projects and discovered I had 10 of them, I have made a push the past week to finish stuff off.

At long last, I have finished the Haapsalu Shawl, which came close to getting frogged last year after a long hibernation since its start in 2010.  I was able to knit both borders to five eyelets in depth, and spent a morning carefully sewing them on.  Blocking was a bit complicated, because after blocking the shawl the normal way, the book then instructs you to pick up all the edge stitches onto needles, then wet them to coax them to stand out in nice loops.  Once that has dried, it's messed up your scallops a bit so you have to go along and pick up loops on each scallop and tug them to shape.  Hopefully I will never have to wash it again.

I'm not really sure when I am going to wear it as it is rather over the top for the office, but it feels lovely and soft and fuzzy.
I also finished my Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knitalong from the Lord of the Rings group on Ravelry.  This was a simpler shawl than last year's 'The Unexpected Journey' and personally I don't feel the design is nearly as successful, but I still really enjoyed knitting it and participating in the group to see what everyone else was doing.  I also liked the colourful Auracania Ranco Multy yarn.  This shawl is much easier to wear and has already been on a few days out.

I finally stopped procrastinating and finished the Opium Cardigan which was all done apart from the buttonhole band on one side.  I had a few fun and games trying to do buttonholes in this slubby yarn, which I eventually overcame by actually stitching around each buttonhole with some spare yarn to stop them gaping open.  However, when I took the pictures I noticed that I have 'bald' patches on each shoulder where the yarn pooled, so I am going to disguise those by darning in some thicker slubs. This is definitely one that I can wear to the office.

I also finished the textured beanie hat by Jane Burns from Simply Knitting April 2014 which I started as a portable project for SkipNorth using the same Rowan Wool Aran yarn as the Fetchings that I also knit that weekend.  Speaking of the Fetchings, after wearing them a few times I found I didn't like how they gaped open and let cold air in, and they didn't seem to come high enough on my hand.  I had some of the yarn left over, so I unpicked the binding, knit another cable repeat and four rows of k1,p1 ribbing to bring them higher on my hand.  They're much better now. I really like the Rowan aran, it is robust without being scratchy, really shows the texture, and softens slightly when washed.

I decided to knit the second pair of Fingerless Gloves for DS right away, while the pattern mods were fresh in my memory.  I've finished one and am just up the fingers on the second one.  I knit a little cable twist on the first one to differentiate them from DH's gloves.  But I forgot to do that on the second glove so I need to drop down some stitches and cable them back up before I start knitting fingers.
Also this week, though it won't be a 'finish' for a long time, I've made an effort to stitch down some more of the applique on my Hawaiian Applique Quilt.  I feel guilty that it's been sitting there almost untouched for months when really it should be a great project to do while we're renting.  However, I find it much easier to do when I've got some natural daylight which doesn't really happen on work days. 
I finished crocheting the first crochet slipper that I started on the SkipNorth weekend and have done half of the second slipper but annoyingly I've run out of yarn.  I need to mailorder another ball of the Drops Karisma before I can finish.
That's about it this week.  We are enjoying some lovely Spring weather. Today we went out for a drive to a couple more lovely Northamptonshire villages in the morning, then dragged DS out for a walk to a nearby country park after lunch. In the morning we stumbled across a gorgeous English country house called Lamport Hall and saw signs for a Collectors Fair they are having on the Easter weekend.  So we'll probably head back for that next weekend, to see if we can pick up anything nice.


Daisy said...

Wow, and I thought I was doing well finishing two projects off!

swooze said...

Great job on the finishes! I love the Desolation shawl.

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