My Spring into Summer dishcloth pal, Mary is a real sweet gal. She sent me two dishcloths, a scrubbie and towel, all crocheted in shades of green and green variegated yarn. I put the towel up right away in the kitchen and I’ll probably save the cloths for washing my face. They look like they would have a nice texture for gentle exfoliating. Along with all the crocheted items, she beaded a set of stitch markers with tiny dice to represent that she lives in Las Vegas.

There are all kinds of other goodies, too and I hope I don’t leave anything out as it’s all out of the package and around the house now. She sent honeysuckle perfume, which is a really thoughtful touch. I love honeysuckle. Mary also sent me a book, Knitting Rules, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a felt cover notebook, knitted dishcloth pattern booklet and little “E” shape sticky notepad. Oh, and there is yarn, too! She sent me several skeins of cotton in shades of green to make more dishcloths.

All the while the swap was going on, I received e-mails every few days from Mary. She “snooped” around my blog, as she put it, to find out what I liked. She did a good job of snooping! It was a pleasure exchanging e-mails and having Mary as my partner. Thank you, Mary!

I won a contest as part of the dishcloth swap and the goodies arrived today! There’s a fancy chocolate bar, two skeins of blue Cotton Classic, one light, one dark, a spiral bound tablet with a striped retro design and a cute little crocheted sweater key chain. Thanks to the swap coordinators, Anne, Devon, and Chan for making this swap so fun with all the surprises!

The swap is divided into three groups, each with a leader they can turn to for questions and suggestions. Each group is having individual contests for prizes. For our contest, group leader Chan asked us: “So, what gives you hope? How do you recharge and get energized when you’re feeling drained? And what is your favorite summer adventure, whether it’s a memory or an item on your agenda for this year or both?”

What gives you hope? I find this question rather ambiguous. What gives me hope constantly? When I feel down? Further, hope for what, exactly? I’ll just answer in the sense that the question means, “How do you cheer yourself up?” I talk to my family and friends if I need some cheering up. They are good, fun people. That, or I just go into my dorky, self-entertaining mode. I’m hoping a description isn’t necessary here.

How do you recharge and get energized when you’re feeling drained? Power tie? Red bull? No, seriously. I just take a bubble bath or drink some decaffeinated tea. I don’t feel drained very often and when I do I don’t want to get energized, but relax.

And what is your favorite summer adventure, whether it’s a memory or an item on your agenda for this year or both? Music, hiking, camping, barbecues…all the usual outdoor fun!

I wanted to let my sock pal know that I received my socks. I sent an e-mail minutes after I received them, but it was undeliverable for some reason. Gill, if you are reading this, I love the socks! For anyone else who is reading, I will try to post a photo soon, I just have to get my IT/techguy on it. ;)

Yesterday was my birthday and I chose to go yarn shopping. Jeremy and I went to Portland and met up with Chrissy, who acted as chauffeur and tour guide. We started off at Close Knit, where we bopped from one yarn to another, petting and oohing over practically everything. Toward the end, we chilled a little and stood chattng about the Artyarns Supermerino and silk. I realized that I was with someone who appreciates handpainted yarn, sock yarn especially, as much as I do.

As we were putting on our seat belts for the drive to Knit/Purl, Chrissy gave me a birthday gift. My first Opal sock yarn! It’s self-patterning and the natural colors of black, yellow, brown and white will match most of my casual wardrobe. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while. Thanks again, Chrissy!

At Knit/Purl, we briefly checked out the sale yarn downstairs, then headed back up. Here’s where we really went crazy. As much as we tried to look at other yarns, we kept going back to the sock yarns and ogling the Blue Moon colorways. We overcame the urge to grab armfuls of it, though I carried a hank around the store. I ended up with some handpainted alpaca for my shawl, which was my birthday gift from Jeremy.
Jeremy and I headed to Lloyd Center, to spend my birthday gift card and had dinner at Stanford’s. Before going home, we stopped at Yarn Garden.