So much to blog, so little time...
First, let me show you the shearing of my little sheep. We decided that Owen needed a haircut - a big one! We went from this:
Quite the difference, eh? It took me so long to get used to the change. He looks so much older and more boyish now. We clipped him just in time for our July heatwave, lucky guy!
When Mom was here, we took a couple day trips, one up to Mt. Saint Helens park and the other to the beach. I opted not to lug my $700 camera to the beach where it would undoubtedly get covered in sand, so here's our one family portrait, up at the volcano:
The kids had a fabulous time with their grandma, and we were all very sad to see her go. Fortunately we're going to be heading off to Minnesota to visit her again next month.
While I was enjoying my somewhat relaxing week (it was great to have Mom here to take some of the kid entertainment pressures off of me), I got two great packages in the mail from my two secret pals.
First, my No Sheep Secret Pal Betty sent me these two lovelies from Habu along with the cutest little card:
The yarn is made of "fique" which it says is "family of pineapple plant". It's very stiff and kind of feels like twine - definitely not anything you'd make a sweater out of, but it will make a killer basket or bag. I can't wait to swatch it up and see what the heck I can do with it - I'm not sure, but I've got some ideas!
Then, I got this great package from my totally amazing SP10 Cheryl. Again, she got everything just right...
A Pampered Chef ice cream sandwich maker, two more balls of Royal Bamboo (to match the two she sent me last time), jelly beans and a pair of modified Monkey socks! The socks look all stretched out in the picture because I have been wearing them. I put them on when I opened the box and haven't taken them off since (well, except to sleep and take that picture). Check out those heel flaps!
So nice. I also got my latest publications in the mail (I actually got impatient and picked up copies at the bookstore before I got my designer copy) - Just Socks and Just Gifts from Potter Craft are now out! I have one pair of socks in Just Socks and three dishcloths and a gift bag pattern in Just Gifts. Yes, the books are from Lion Brand, but they were edited by Shannon Okey (of Knitgrrl) and she managed to dig up a great bunch of patterns. I was pretty impressed with both books, but the sock book really has some cool stuff in it.
I also have an actual FO to show you. I managed, at long last, to finish up my 2nd Dublin Bay sock:
This was from my summer sock swap last summer. Yes, it took me an entire year to knit that one sock. But it is finally done, and I love them! Here's a close-up of the side lace pattern:
And last but not least, I visited Portland's newest yarn shop yesterday - Twisted. They needed some sock patterns for all of their awesome sock yarn, and I was more than happy to oblige (they now carry the full line of Gardiner Yarn Works sock patterns). They've got a nice selection of sock yarn from indie dyers as well as Cherry Tree Hill, Louet, Trekking, Austermann, and other regulars that I can't think of off the top of my head. They also have a giant wall of Noro and a huge selection of Debbie Bliss. It's a lovely little shop with plenty of space to sit and knit (they also serve a huge variety of tea - hot and iced), and the owners, Shannon and Emily, are fantastic. I will be teaching a toe-up sock class there in August sometime. If you're in the area, get over there and get yourself some yarn! This is what I picked up for myself:
It was hard not to buy more, but between the 100-degree heat and the millions of projects-worth of yarn that I have sitting at home waiting to be knitted, I resisted. And that, I believe, is all I have to say today! We are off to the beach to try and beat the heat. I'll try not to stay away quite so long next time!