so monday was a pretty typical monday: up in the morning, drop off the laundry (what would i do without the magic laundry fairies to save me hours of time and gobs of sanity?), drop off car at mobbed-up car wash/parking lot, work blah work, rescue nicely cleaned car, observe forecast calls for inches and inches of snow to get the car grungy again, visit the homely despot for some weather stripping for my back door which leaks air like a sieve, hit up joann’s fabrics for some acrylic yarn to make Grown Up Chucks slippers, for which kim gifted me the pattern as a surprise a couple weeks ago, off to jewel to do the grocery shopping ($56 in the change jar! woohoo!), nearly forget to pick up laundry, realize i have just managed to burden myself with about three trips up and down the stairs’ worth of stuff, slog off carrying packages from the car (for which there was naturally no spot exactly close to my house) to the house, upon carrying in the final load of bags, literally fall back on my ass as i tried to close the front gate by hooking my shoe under the spikes and getting it caught there… then open my entryway door and find … a box!

A box!

yes! despite my having been basically the anti-emailer, my SP had put a box in the mail for me. a box .. of DOOM^H^H^H^Hgoodies!

on the very top of the box was a bag tied up with a tiny scrap of roving, and with a Converse All-Stars tag hanging from its handles:

Hey, that roving looks familiar

i thought, hey! that’s the same roving that kim gave me some of, when i was playing with her drumcarder! what a wacky coincidence! my SP must have seen the pictures of the yarn i made out of it and figured out where the roving came from and gotten some of it… cool!

then i looked over and there was a bag of white corriedale roving, with a tiny tag stuck to it:

Swirly card

after i opened it up and read the card, i couldn’t help but feel i was maybe being taunted a little bit:

Now guess!


alongside that there was a really gorgeous batt of fiber — a 70/30 angora/wool blend in a really pretty colorway. it might actually be too pretty to spin.

Angora blend batt

i opened up the blue roving bag and found inside… carded batts! carded batts that looked suspiciously like the ones that came off of kim’s drum carder! WHAT AN ASTOUNDING COINCIDENCE!

Hey, this seems really familiar...

i put those rovings aside and just looked at everything that was underneath them…


let’s look at that one again in slow-motion:

Goodies!  Many, many goodies!

i think you all know what i was thinking right about then. it started with ‘holy’ and ended with a four-letter word.

so there was this one item that seemed … out of place. i started to get a little suspicion in my head.

Cleveland Indians?

i picked up the phone and dialed.

Grady Sizemore??

“kim,” i says. “kim, have you got something you’d maybe like to tell me?”

Chief Wahoo

“no,” she says, sweet as pie. “why do you ask?”

Cadbury's Creme Eggs

“oh, no reason,” says i. “been to your post office lately?”

Bad President!  No biscuit.  Or army, either.

i no longer recall which one of us started giggling first.

so yes, it’s true: out of about 450 or so people signed up for the Secret Pal 11 gift exchange, all around the whole world … one of my best friends in the entire world, my friend kim got my name. (i’d ask what are the odds, but evidently they’re 449:1.) and i, friends neighbors and countrymen, i had not a single idea in the world it was she until she brought out the Grady Sizemore cluebat. i had, in fact, sent off notes to kim during the gift exchange, like when i dyed some sock yarn to send to my downstream SP and the day after got a box from my upstream with sock yarn in a nearly exact colorway — i sent emails going “omg, you’re not going to believe this!” and i was plotting to maybe try and meet up with my SP (who lived in ohio, so close to kim, after all!) next time i headed out that way! jeeeeeez. i’d blame insufficient coffee, except for the part where it was like three months…

but, now, without further ado: let’s dive into the goodie box!

Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud laceweight

Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud laceweight yarn, in Stream – a beautiful heathery medium blue. and at 1300 yards’ worth, enough to knit up maybe the Spring Blossoms Scarf she sent me the pattern for, earlier!

Tea forté

A selection of yummy teas, which is great because we now have like 8 inches of snow on the ground and I’m not exactly breaking out the margaritas over here.

Interlacements Tiny Toes sock yarn

sock yarn! i am not convinced kim actually has any sock yarn left in her house. i think she migrated it all westward!

Interlacements Tiny Toes yarn in a cute colorway with deep purple, clematis, navy, pale slate purple, and maroon. maybe this yarn would be a better choice for a pair of Bellatrix socks than the sole Koigu i’ve got (which i got with Bellatrix in mind, but now i think the variegated dark colors might be better than the uneven red-violet of the KPPPM). well, assuming i ever finish a pair of socks again. interlude: here’s my current sock in progress, the first (still) of my Montana Wheat socks — also from a pattern and yarn from my not-so-secret-anymore SP!

Sock in progress

and — remember how on Monday before i got the box from kim (waaaaay back at the beginning of this blog post?) i went to Joann’s for red heart yarn? here’s why:

Chucks slippers WIP

i know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s an about halfway done Grown Up Chucks slipper. i cast on when i was watching last week’s house, wednesday night (i missed it because there was a special on PBS instead, and i neglected to realize that i was missing house to watch it, for i am a dumbass — so i had to wait 8 days for it to show up at, but it finally did, and i got to see (SPOILER) happen, so all is well). but anyways, back to the goodie box.

so here’s something new:


three balls of flax roving — for making linen yarn. i’ve played with it, over at Loopy with another spinner who brought it in to play with, but i’ve never seriously tried to spin it. i’m going to have to read up on how to spin it, because you have to have wet fingers when you do, and it’s probably trickier than wool. by ‘probably’ i mean ‘i was totally impressed with myself for spinning about 2 yards of it that one time, so yeah, it’s harder than wool.’ so that should be fun!

Roving braids

ensuring that i will never lack for anything to spin was clearly kim’s mission when putting this box together! four braids of roving here — one purple 80/20 merino/silk, one black 80/20 merino/silk, and two extraordinary white Fleece Artist braids of 65% wool/35% silk.

one thing i forgot to take a picture of was a pattern for Cornerstone Yarns’ Sideways Garter Stitch Gloves. i’ve seen kim post pictures of those that she’s made, previously, and i’m looking forward to giving them a shot!

and finally:


handwarmers/fingerless gloves to match the hat she sent me before!

all this is on top of the last thing she sent me, which arrived right before Thanksgiving, and which i was completely shocked by: two great hardback books!


the wednesda before thanksgiving – i literally stumbled over that package while i was running out carrying my cat in his carrier to the car, to drop him off at the vet and then hit the road for holiday travelling. so when i saw it was from my SP, i grabbed it and threw it in the car as well! i didn’t have a chance to open it up for a couple of days, what with the turkey-related food coma and all, but when i did, i was quite happy. i sat down and basically read the stitch dictionary cover to cover. (it’s way more fun than reading the actual dictionary cover to cover. there are pictures!)

oh, and, for the record, it took about two minutes for kiyoshi to discover the empty box, flip it on its side, and crawl inside:

Cat in a box!

cats and boxes, man. everybody gets a present!

well, i think it goes without saying that my SP went above and beyond the call of duty with this one! thank you, kim. you have spoiled me completely rotten. :-)