Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yarn Swap Gorgeousness

You may remember me mentioning awhile back about a themed yarn swap I was participating in....well this post is all about that. Its going to be a pretty long post with lots of pics so you may want to go grab a cup of coffee and settle yourself down for lots of scrummy yarn pron....(don't say I didn't warn you this was a long one)

Ok so the swap was the brain child of uber talented kb. (She has a cool blog here you should go check out!).

This is what we had to do...

You will need to pick a theme that you wish to build your swap package around. Your theme can be anything - a song, colour, emotion, book, quote, pattern, an era, country - whatever inspires you at that particular time.

Now, you've picked your theme, you need to put together your swap package.
Your package must have:
* 100g hand-dyed yarn
* 1 piece of knitting paraphernalia
* A pattern suggestion that will suit not only the yarn, but the theme as well!
* A recipe
* Something SMALL (i.e, a small gift. So if it is something knit must use less than 50g yarn, if sewn something using less than 1/2m fabric, if purchased something less than $10)

First up....the magnificent yarn package I received.

My theme was Scandalous Romance of the Tudor Dynasty

From my yarn swap fairy:
The pattern suggestion I have chosen is a vintage capelet. Perfect for keeping your shoulders warm whilst stealing those secret kisses in the palace grounds on brisk spring nights.

As per the pattern instructions I have used 10ply wool (felted merino) dyed in brilliant regal colours as you are no shrinking violet. It is this same bold manner brilliance and beauty that has seen you capture many hearts in the royal court

As only the best will do for you, enclosed find some jewels (st markers and an antique brooch) of venetian glass and hand made silver beads brought from lands afar by your current lover.

Sadly the brooch is your undoing

On one of your romantic liaisons it comes unclasped you are unable to find it, you think little of it but the lady of the house finds your brooch. She insists you are banished from Court, you are never to be seen again

This scenario lends itself to a recipe of sweet desire mixed with sensuality (berry) and sharp pangs of reality (lemon)

How freakin cool is that????!!!!

So I was given "regal" dyed wool, a gorgeous antique brooch, TDF stitch markers, a pattern for a capelet (brooch to secure it perhaps) and a recipe for decadent berry cheesecake.

Here is my package

My gorgeous 'regal' wool - love the deep rich colours

My "jewels" - venetian glass stitch markers and antique brooch

Lucky me!!! My yarn swap fairy was "Mavis" and she did such a fantastic job of it. I loved the little scenario, don't know how she knew that I have a teeny obsession with the Tudor era and Henry VIII and I absolutely love it all. I feel very spoilt! Thank you SO much!!! I am so keen to knit up my wool but for now it is still on my dresser so I can admire it every time I walk past.

And here are the packages that were sent by me....(I was sending 2x and receiving 1x)

The first theme was "Under the Sea". First I dyed 100g of DK wool in 2 tones of blue and green
Under the Sea closeup
Under the Sea1

I loved how this wool dyed up. It looked so pretty in the skein I sent it as is (hopefully my person has a winder). I really wished I had dyed some extra so I could have kept some for me (an important lesson learnt!!).
My knitting paraphernalia were some fishy stitch markers (my pattern called for 2) - I made these the same day as I made the ABC ones I mentioned here. Really pleased with how they turned out ....and can so see how people get addicted to beading now!
My little gift was a little notepad with a paua shell motif (you might know it as abalone perhaps) and a little bath book for my persons little boy which was about an octopus and his adventures under the sea! The pattern part of this swap caused me a bit of grief until I found a pattern for kids fingerless gloves called "small fry fingerless gloves" (Small Fry.....get it??!!....i don't think my person did). I also included a chart I made up for a little fish to embellish the gloves with, and a tiny bit of orange yarn to do it in. And to finish the package off, the recipe I sent was for "Kuku" or mussels, a family favourite.


In a large pot add 1/2can of coconut milk, a heaped tablespoon of minced fresh coriander leaves (or use from jar equivalent), 2 tablespoons of sweet thai chilli sauce and 1 heaped tablespoon of minced garlic. Mix well and add mussels (approx one big pot full ). Mussels are cooked when the shell opens.

This is also a nice BBQ recipe – omit the coconut cream and spoon a little mixture into each mussel as it opens.

My 2nd package started off as one thing but I wasn't thrilled about my yarn dyeing and was severely lacking in inspiration until I wandered past a market stall selling lavender products. So I bought a little lavender pouch (which became the knitting accessory part....for sweet smelling stash)

and decided to do a lavender theme.I based it around the nursery rhyme "Lavender's Blue" (if you don't know this one check out this youtube clip)
This is the wool I dyed (I called it Lavender Fields)
Lavender Fields closeup

I loved this and got to keep an extra 70g for myself, which if you are the observant type you will notice I have already knitted up. Naughty eh?! Couldn't help myself - it was perfect for the project at hand and I was so interested to see how it would knit up.

I found a totally yummy sounding recipe for Lavender icecream (and learnt heaps about lavender for cuisine and medicinal purposes during my 'research')and included this pattern called Lavender Scarf. Finally my little present was a lavender bookmark and a book about Aromatherapy. My person makes her own organic cosmetics so I think this theme suited her. She seemed to like so that made me happy.

This swap was so much fun! A great chance to do some fun dyeing and to get the brain ticking over trying to come up with a theme and all the bits to go together. Thanks kb!!!

Now...if you are still with me and want to see MORE yarn swap goodness check out these posts from
kb and again

Pretty cool huh? Amazing to see everyone's different take on the same guidelines. It was great seeing everyone's fantastic creations!
There were about 30 people playing this swap but unfortunately there are only a few people with blogs and funnily enough there are a few giving to each other there so sorry if you see the same stuff twice, well worth the extra few minutes to go have a look what everyone else received though :D


Sharonnz said...

Lurve the Lavender one!

Louise said...

Wow - you are the swap queen! What sort of dyes do you use? You get such vibrant colours! If you're ever thinking of doing a dyeing tutorial, I'd be interested.

Julie said...

Wow, what fantastic swap goodies! Such a great idea as well, I love it. Your little socks are real cute as well..X

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I think my fav is the lavender blue. it's just so soft and subtle. Well done Gabes

amanda said...

What a lucky bunch of ladies you all are!

Sounds like Mavis has an imagination and a half! :D

Aunt Kathy said...

Well I for one enjoyed the blog today, and I also visited all the others as well. What a cool swap idea

Sonia said...

You got a great package from your swap partner! And I think the things you put together were very clever and thoughtful. Small fry--I got it! And that mussells recipe sounds delicious.