Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The world's Largest Yarn Ball, Trusting Math and a Contest

So I hope this makes you chuckle as much as it made me. I realize the picture really can't convey it as well as seeing it in person, but that is one hank of Brown Sheep Burly Spun balled by hand. (The pencil cup should give you some idea of scale, it is in the middle width wise and directly next to the ball) It reminds me of those big dice you win at a carnival. I've honestly never seen something so big. I kind of wish I had had the store wind it for me, because I'd like to see the ball winder that can hold that much! It was totally my amusement for the evening. . . even while knitting with it I kept looking at it and laughing.

The yarn was wound to start Jake's hat. . . finally. I've bought 3 skeins of yarn to find the 'right' color of charcoal he wanted. I cast on and have the hat knit up to the first color change. I actually did a gauge swatch and, surprisingly, got gauge with the suggested Sz 11. I didn't have 11 DPNs, so I used magic loop to start the hat. I really don't understand how some people are so obsessed with that method. I find it more annoying than it's worth to keep slipping stitches on and off the needle. I think you must have to have some serious patience to knit socks that way.

Jake's head is 22", so I'm making the large size hat. I knit all the increases and the hat seems small. I threaded it onto scrap yarn to see if it just looked small on the needles. I put it on Jake's head (as much as you can 'put on' a hat the size of a potholder) and had to laugh, as it looked like I knit him a Yamika and didn't look like there was any chance the hat would fit. But I got gauge. . . I was perplexed. I tried to measure around, but there really isn't a good way to curve your measuring tape accurately. Then I remembered I'm an engineer, and I know math. I can measure the diameter of the knitting and get the circumference with the handy 2*pi*r. Finally, my degree is coming in handy :) So I do the math and I get 23.5". But it SO doesn't look that big. . . . I'm torn, trust the math? Or frog and go up to Sz 13s? I really don't want to frog it when I'm *supposedly* the right size, but it's also hard to not trust your eyes. Decisions, decisions.
I booked a trip to Nashville yesterday and I am SO excited. I went to Nashville once with a girlfriend but we didn't get to do much because of tornadoes combined with Jenny not feeling so well. My company is sending me to the SWE conference. Since it runs until Saturday and plane tickets were pretty reasonable, we bought Jake a ticket to come out Friday night thru Sunday. It's not until the end of October, but I'm so excited I want it to be tomorrow!

And now, if you made it this far. . .. my long promised contest. What will we be playing for, you ask? The original thought was if Laura didn't like her bag I was going to take it back and give it away. But, it turned out, she liked it. I, however, did not like assembling it. . . and I have enough supplies for a 2nd bag. So, my web friends, the prize for this contest is everything you need to make your own best friends bag - 1/2 skein of ridiculously expensive pashmina, beads, satin for lining and the purse hardware (ok, technically not everything. . . you need your own needles and sewing thread!). It's a pretty good score, if you ask me! But, in the interest of full disclosure, I did use some pashmina to make two small ring bags for Laura & Michael, so there is slightly less than 1/2 skein, so your bag may come out slightly shorter than the pattern calls for.

What do you have to do to win it? This is all about gifts. Making, giving, receiving, loving, hating. . . .I love gifts. Particularly birthday gifts. I love my birthday. . . it's my favorite holiday of the year. It's the one day of the year people let you believe you are the center of the universe. (I may try to act like that every day, but I can't help it. . . I'm an only child.) My birthday is coming up, by the way (Don't worry, I'll give you lots of reminders, but it's Nov 1!) So, to enter, I want you to leave me a comment telling me about the absolute best and worst gift you've received. And I'm not talking the 'my child was the best gift my husband could give me' kind of gifts, I'm talking material goods here, people!! You can answer in your comment, or if you have pictures and want to make a post, leave me a link to your blog. You get an extra entry if you have pictures. My plan is to select a name out of a hat of all the entrants, but I reserve the right to pick my favorite if someone makes me laugh out loud with their response. You have until midnight on September 30 to post a response and I'll announce a winner when I get back from Kansas City on October 1.

I can answer this question without any hesitation! My 26th birthday gift from Jake. All in all, my 26th birthday wasn't going well. A few of my friends forgot to call me (nearly unforgivable in my book. .. remember, the world revolves around me today!), my mom sent me an Eiffel tower clock (that got returned. . . what was she thinking!) and, to top it off, I was actually out of town in Maryland on business travel. The weekend after my birthday when Jake came to visit he walked in with a BIG box. He handed it to me and it was HEAVY! What could be so big? Immediately, I knew it was tools and I was devastated. Jake thought I needed my own tools for when he wasn't there and had bought me what he thought were essential items in the past. I started to cry. I was so angry. How could my birthday get worse? I refused to open it. Jake protested and said 'I'm sorry I upset you, but just open it. We can go out tomorrow and return it if you don't want it.' After about 15 minutes of crying and arguing, I conceded and said I'd open it. I tore the first piece of wrapping off and I WISH I could have seen myself. It had to have been the fastest transition from despair to elation ever witnessed. In the box was not power tools. . . it was my KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER!!!

The one kitchen item I've wanted since I was seven and thought I would only get when I got engaged at my wedding shower! And now I had it! Yipee!! And I didn't even hold it against him that he played into my being upset about it being a tool before I opened it (his response, 'Well technically it IS a tool')

Worst: It's amazing this worst has stood the test of time. . .but for my 1oth birthday my dad & step mom sent me the most HIDEOUS parachute pants. No, they weren't hideous because they were parachute pants. . . . they were cool then. . . but they were red & black & lime green & electric blue. . . even by 1989 standards they were AWFUL. I still can picture them in my head. .. . I wish I had a picture to share, as there's really no way to convey the monstrosity that these pants were. And no, I never wore them!


Anonymous said...

We don't have a habit of giving much gifts, especially on anniversaries on birthdays. We buy something nice if we see it, and give the gift right away, not saving it for a special occasion.

The best gift I ever got was a book my DH gave me. He was on a business trip to UK, and he told me he was rather desperate to get me something (we hadn't been together for very long). So, at the airport (how romantic!) he went to a bookstore, since he knows I love books. He got me a cross-stitching book, since I'm a passionate stitcher. I loved the book, and I have stitched several pictures of it, and I always remember that tired man at a rainy airport getting me something I loved, when I browse the book. It was really a great gift!

I can't remember getting a truly horrible gift. I have received several odd book choices from relatives, and some very dull ones like giftcards, but never really anything truly horrible. Some gifts I never used, or read, but nothing was very bad. Some items, I must admit, were "lost" or "broken" when we moved ;) If I name one item, it must've been a Harlequin-type over-romantic novel, which I absolutely hate and I never read it. I think I must've given it to my Mom, who - oddly enough - likes such things :D

- Your Secret Pal

kasiaiscarly said...

Hello Secret Pal! I also once got an airport gift from Jake! On his way home from Vegas, he bought us matching T-shirts. They are part of our painting clothes now!

Thanks for your entry. If you win, I'll hold onto the prize until I know who you are :)

PixieRose said...

hmmm i comment earlier didn't post.

i posted an entry in my blog (http://pixieroseknits.blogspot.com/) for the contest. i have my fingers crossed.

Rose said...

Hey, thanks for reading my blog. You're probably at Fairgrounds right now; wish I was. I'll definitely try to get there next Tuesday but the new school year has been extra hectic this year. I know what you mean about the KitchenAid Mixer. It truly is the Queen of Mixers and it was one of the few items I took with me when I left my first marriage. Hope to see you next week!

meg(aphone) said...

Okay...worst gift ever award goes to my Dad. Christmas morning I wake up and walk downstairs eagerly anticipating all the loot. The only present I received was a Catholic School Uniform!! No, I didn't attend a private school...but he desperately wanted me to. It was the only gift I got from him that year. In response to my question of "what I would do with this," he replied, "you can wear it to your school in Sonora." I went to a very redneck grade school.

My best gift was from my Mom. She got me a computer for christmas! I love it. She wrapped it in a dish set box because our ongoing joke is that she buys me dished EVERY SINGLE CHRISTMAS since moving out. I groaned when I opened it. To which she replied, "Oh shutup and open the box!"

I love my strange family.

hope keene said...

Hi there, this is Hope from the knitting meeting.

I figured I would throw my hat into the ring and see if i win.

My best gift would be an unexpected package from my father. Details are on my blog (http://grooviegirl.livejournal.com/)
it is filtered, but I will happily add ya if you have a livejournal. In short, my father and I are mending a broken relationship where in we haven't spoken for about 12 years. We started emailing, and occasionally exchanging recipes. So, I came home a couple of days ago and found a box on my doorstep. He had found a bean soup mix (which he couldn't find later and had to order off the internet) and wanted to share with me. Inside was the bag of beansoup mix, a can of baby clams, and a handwritten note from him. I hadn't seen my name in my fathers handwriting in years and for about an hour i just held the box and cried. Touched me beyond belief, and silly to some, but precious to me!

My worst gift was a lamp that my grandmother bought for me and thought was awesome. It was purchased at a flea market (which she admitted to me freely) and was a ceramic black man wearing a thong and a wrap around his torso/shoulder. Think native african, nearly nekkid! Then, he was holding a pole, which was the lamp hardware stem.. the light was above him and the shade as well. It looked like an umbrella, almost.. I was aghast, not having ANY idea why she had bought it for me. She grinned and said, "Well..... He was just so cute". I was thinking, "Great, a slave is cute now?!?!?"

so there you have it, my best and worst. Thanks for running the contest, this is a neato idea!

b said...

The best gift I got was my Christmas present from my husband last year. It was a particularly depressing and hectic holiday season. I was very pregnant and had just graduated and had to spend 2 days in the hospital with noro virus. I showed him the Yarn Harlot post about gifts for knitters just as a joke. We had decided just to pass on the gifts, because we were really broke, but he decided to go to walmart in the middle of the night. He said he looked everywhere for a swift, but they didn't have them. Instead, he came home with a sewing/craft table! It gave me a place to put my sewing machine, fabric and some yarn. He really put a lot of thought into it, and it is something that I really like.
The worst gift I got was from my husband's grandma. She feels like she has to give everyone a gift. I wish she wouldn't. I got measuring spoons and a hook to hold recipe cards on that is supposed to hang from the cupboard handle. We don't have handles on our cupboards. The other granddaughterinlaw got the same thing, but she also got all of grandma's "greatest hits" recipes: spam casserole, cheese whiz sandwiches, etc. So it could have been worse!