These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Brown Paper Packages

Especially ones that come in the mail from my super-extraordinary PRGE secret pal.

Look at all the goodies:
~ Two skeins of super-soft chenille
~ Lavender, rose, and vanilla incense - Three of my favourite scents
~ Glycerine/silicone hand creme for my hard-working farm-hands - that would be my hands, not to be confused with actual hired farmhands; unfortunately I don't have any of those to rub creme on
~ A pair of circular needles - perhaps because I'm crazy about the Addis she sent me previously?
~ A matching memory game - And the tiles are coffee labels, packed in a coffee bag! Mr. O'Kitten and I played it the moment I got it; we both enjoy concentration games and I loved the matching game as a kid. (Plus, he's excited that he can beat me at this one, I've been beating him shamelessly at Boggle lately.)
~ Something really special - a CD of her son's DJ set from a nightclub! I haven't listened to it yet because I've been running around all day, but I'm so excited.
~ And finally - An obsidian kitten keychain, and just in time to put the keys to our new car on it. (Yep, with the truck officially giving up the ghost, we bought an '05 Chevy Cobalt. I'm baffled by a vehicle that's less than 15 years old with fewer than 120,000 miles on it. And what is this thing called a Car Payment? Air bags? And that little button that pops open the trunk--from the inside! I tell you, the things you kids have nowadays...)

Tied Up With Strings

Not only is this actual knitting content at long last, but what we have here is an actual, real live finished object: the Exercise in Insanity shrug I began talking about so long ago.

I only call it an Exercise in Insanity because it's my first actual garment (well, unless you count the Razor Cami, which I wore today, thankyouverymuch)--this is the first thing with sleeves. Okay, so there's nothing to it really but sleeves, but that was challenging enough conisdering I used this pattern which, as you can see, I adapted virtually beyond recognition, aside from the general shape, which I loved, and several repeats of the lace at the bottom of the sleeves.

It was also an Exercise in Insanity in that the gorgeous, luxurious, 40 % silk/60% superkid mohair yarn (Tsuki Tokyo)--a fantastic present from a friend--was the tiniest thing I'd ever worked with. Picture this: 515 yds weighs 40 g, about the same as a Hershey bar. And I mean the little old-fashioned Hershey bar, not the super-sized one you get when you really have a chocolate craving.

I added some yarn-overs on the back to create two rows of little eyelets so I could lace it up with some thin satin ribbon.

I am so happy with it; the yarn is super silky-soft and light, and once I got started it was a really fun project to do. (And yes, it has already been worn, twice!)

Not quite finished, but getting there. Mostly, I just liked the photo; it was hot but (obviously) breezy today. This is my first sweater--see, having knit the cami, and then the sleeves, I finally felt brave enough to tackle a whole sweater.

The ribbons are temporarily there so I can find the buttonholes later. The loopy mohair tried to conceal them from me, but I'll be darned if I lose them after all that work to make them.

Whiskers on Kittens


Obsidian Kitten said...

And thanks to you guys for your all tips (and links) for blocking my shrug! You were right...it looked much better after i blocked it (who knew...lol)

DAWN said...

I am loving the back with the lace ups. It is very gothic in nature. The secret pal package looks like a heap 'o fun.

Gothknits said...

The shrug is just beautiful! and the sweater too. My you are becoming a prolific knitter.
What a lovely box from your secret pal. I had to laugh at the boggle comment because I beat the pants off of my love at Jenga one night...and we haven't played since!
Hugs and kisses to you and the kitties and the llamas, the sheep and the chicks. Oh and your boy too.

Chris said...

Oh, your sweater is lovely! It looks feather light and soft!

Cheesehead With Sticks said...

Just delurking to say - OMG - the shrug is gorgeous! The lace up feature in back is fabulous.

The sweater looks real nice too!

mrspao said...

Your shrug and sweater are both gorgeous!

Jeanne said...

Wow! Your first sleeves? They look great. You couldn't pick something easy first, huh?

Mouse said...

The shrug is gorgeous! For a second there I thought that the second sweater you showed actually HAD one short sleeve and one long sleeve.. I was like "ok.. I think she's sort of lost her mind" until I saw the row counter hanging in it.

pins&needles said...

That shrug looks so nice! Love the corset lace up look.

Amy said...

That shrug is amazing! An exercise in insanity, perhaps, but obviously well worth it!

Puss-in-Boots said...

This is amazing. I was thinking about your shrug the other day, wondering if you had finished it...and voila! Photos. Well done, it looks lovely. I used to use pieces of different coloured wool to help me find buttonholes when I was working with mohair. I think ribbons are more effective though...you could use them and make a fashion statement...heheh.

And the whiskers on kittens...lovely. I found one of Oscar's whiskers the other day, which made me choke up.

Have a wonderful weekend...and keep on with the knitting, you're a whizz at it.


MsFortuknit said...

holy shit Shan'! You tore it the fuck up!!! hahaah! So proud of you and all of the wonderful things youve been doing!! So very incredible your work has just evolved and is just wonderful!
Hope your well love!

Gattina said...

I am happy to feel whiskers again, at least I hope so, for the moment my cats ignore me because I dared to go away !
I arrived home this afternoon and am happy to type on my keyboard instead of a turkish one ! That wasn't easy ! they had two different types of "i" and it took me 1/2h to find that out, I couldn't lock into my blog !

Carrie K said...

The shrug and the cami look so cute! First sleeves, inserted pattern features (the lace up the back), wow. You did an amazing job.

Whiskers on kittens! Aw.

Barb said...

I love your exercise in Insanity shrug, the ribbon in the bag is very cool:)

KnitXcorE said...

wowserz! your shrug looks fantastic!!!!! the sweater is coming along nicely too :-)

Elizabeth said...

A bonafide Knitter now! Wearable! I can't wait to see the cardi finished, I love it so far.

RheLynn said...

Beautiful knitting work! And what patience!

MsFortuknit said...

When will you be about? I would like to talk to you about that shrugger that you made I miss you tons!
Hi to C