Category Archives: Contest

Thanks to all, and yarn for a few!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and to share their favorite quotes, poems, songs, and more.   Thank you!  I had such fun reading them all!

And thank you to the random number sequencer for picking out my lucky winners in the Birthday Blog Contest!

Kathryn, Becky and Gladys all were selected by the randomness inherent in atmospheric noise to receive some lovely yarn.  (The multiple mathematicians who apparently stop by my blog should appreciate that link.)  I’ll show you what they won a little later this week, when I’ve picked out some very special yarn.

Let me highlight their words of wisdom:


"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute,
and it seems like an hour.
Sit with a pretty girl for an hour,
and it seems like a minute.
That's relativity."
                        -- Albert Einstein


"Victory will never be found
by taking the path of least resistance."
                         --Winston Churchill 

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task,
but it is my chief duty
to accomplish small tasks
as if they were great and noble."
                         --Helen Keller 

"The greater part
of our happiness or misery
depends on our dispositions,
and not our circumstances."
                      --Martha Washington


Something I learned a couple of decades ago,
but still have to remember at times,
is to live -- and make decisions --
with no regrets. This means that I
try (not always successfully)
to look forward and see
if I might regret the action
that I'm about to take.
This doesn't always work at yarn sales. :-)

Words of wisdom in truth, all of them.

Especially the one about yarn sales.  Sigh.


Prelude to a Celebration (and to a Contest)

Not just Thanksgiving —

but tomorrow, we’ll be having a wonderful feast in celebration of another occasion as well.

Since my brother and his wife will be having Thanksgiving dinner with her family tomorrow, we went out for dinner tonight when they came down from the Twin Cities and started the celebrating early.

But my pre-birthday fun really started even earlier today when a friend of mine at work gave me a couple hilarious presents.  (It’s his birthday today — Happy Birthday, Ken!)

The first (slightly profane, I don’t think any children besides occasionally my teen read this blog, however):


(He knew I’d love it.  And I do!)

Second, even better, a knitting bank for stash money:



The pictures of the other sides didn’t turn out so well, but read:

Ever fantasized about knitting your own work clothes?  Or instantly whipping up some winter mitts and a matching scarf?  Don’t fool yourself.  It’s gonna take some serious money to learn how.

That’s where we come in with our easy-to-use Magic Wool Fund.™ We’ll have you savin’ up before you can holler, “Knit one, purl two!”

You love wool?  That’s your problem.  Our problem is helping you find the funds.


and on the other side, this knitter is calling her dealer:


“I need a half gram of wool and quick!  I’m starting to come down…”

He knows me.  Too funny.


And then tonight we the family went out to an Italian restaurant where good times, good drinks, and good food were had by all, culminated by birthday cannoli courtesy of Ciatti’s.


And some lovely gifts from my brother and sister-in-law.

So, tomorrow is the actual natal day, marking the midpoint of my 40s.  And I loved your comments last year, so I’ve decided to have a birthday blog contest with a similar theme.

Starting tomorrow, November 27, 2008, and going until midnight Monday, December 1st (because I know some people may be on vacation until then):

Please do leave a comment on tomorrow’s post with a favorite quote, poem, motto, saying, or a song with a message that you like (you don’t have to write down the whole song unless you’d like to).  Also, tell me your favorite color (or two colors, if you can’t decide).

The random number generator of Fortune will select a winner, who will receive a very nice (oh, I promise) skein of yarn in their favorite color.  Probably sock yarn, unless you have a preference otherwise (if you are the lucky wiener, I’ll check with you as to weight and fiber preferences).  (I have learned that I can’t decide based on merit.  You all are just too good, and too funny!)

PLUS: bonus contest today!  Here’s a non-random one.

The first person who can say in today’s comments the name of the style of sweater that the fashionable lady on my birthday knitting bank is wearing, and exactly what is depicted on her sweater, will win a small but fun knitting-related prize.

Go for it!

Oops, I Dropped One

Or 2300, perhaps.

Stitches, that is.

The Frozen Waterfall Scarf is off the needles!

Here’s a preblocking preview:

I do like the way it turned out, even before blocking; which will have to wait until parental obligations allow time tonight. I’ll give you more details about the project once I know the final size (plenty big) and can show you the final finished pictures.

But I think the pain in my wrist is worth it! I certainly would be happy keeping it, which is the sign of a good swap scarf, right?

Note: generous donor/consolation prizes from the Blogiversary Raffle went out Tuesday night, except Lisa‘s. She knows why. No, she’s not being punished, and hers is going out today! Those of you who had gotten emails from me, should be getting something fun by the weekend!


That’s how many dollars were raised for four worthy causes in my recent Blogiversary with a Cause Raffle!

For Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières; The House that Yarn Built, supporting Make It Right/New Orleans; Knitters For Knockers (a Race for the Cure team); and the Red Scarf Fund of the Orphan Foundation of America.

You guys are AMAZING.

Here, have a bouquet of daffodils. All of you.

How about another flowering crabapple photo to look at?

Ok, Ok, I know. You all want to know who won the Wollmeise!!

Well, most of you probably know her already: The Queen of Contests herself, Chris of Stumbling Over Chaos!

She says she’s excited, not having knit any Wollmeise yet; and what’s more, even before the Random Integer Generator picked the winners, I had already tenderly wrapped the yarn in tissue paper of her favorite color. It was clearly meant to be.

The other lucky winners of wonderful prizes?

Lorette won the Knitters Without Borders Socks that Rock, ever so appropriately since this is her favorite charity and she IS the Knitting Doctor!

Martha in Mobile won the signed copy of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s most recently published book, “Things I Learned from Knitting (whether I wanted to or not)”. This is also ever so appropriate. because Martha is an avid reader of the Yarn Harlot (meaning, of course, that she already has a copy of Steph’s book, but will welcome a signed one!), and because it was Steph’s first published work in KnitLit that led to Martha’s writing and submitting an essay to KnitLit, which led to her becoming a published author. What an awesome story!

Kristin S. won the squooshy, wonderful Unique Sheep sportweight Doctors without Borders colorway yarn. I wish you could all feel this “Footprints” yarn. Luckily, I still have another skein so I can squish it. Boing, boing. I can see from her blog that Kristin likes to knit socks, so I know she’ll love the yarn too! Go see Kristin’s Kiri Shawl which she gave her mother for Mother’s Day!

Lastly, the Random Integer Generator awarded the extra special Twisted Fiber Art yarn in Portal to Norma! Ya know, I think the R.I.G. was doing a great job till then, for a random entity, with matching prize to recipient. But as we all know, because she keeps telling us, despite showing us this and this and this: Norma is not a sock knitter. Well, she’ll just have to use it as eye candy, or make a scarf out of it, or give it away. Or suck up and knit (more) socks.

I guess that wasn’t lastly, because I have one more thing to say.


I want to give a shout-out to some people who were especially particularly generous and, given the nature of randomness and the limited number of prizes, were not recognized by the Random Integer Generator. (Said lack of selection by RIG despite attempts at RIG bribery by people who shall not be named, but whose names rhyme with Fuchsia. The RIG, which is an internet resource since people are not truly random when asked to pick a number, cares nothing for chocolate.)

So, an extra special above-and-beyond thank you to:

Laurie, Kate, kmkat, Sarah-Hope, Lisa, Kathy B, Helen, Lucia, and Sara D M.

(A little something will be in the mail to you too….)

And, post-post-lastly, may I say that I do (of course) put my money where my mouth is and have donated to all the great causes I’ve written about. Well, as I’m currently preparing to send off lovely yarny prizes, I find out that I myself have won a prize donated for the Knitters for Knockers! How exciting! It’s an Ironstone sock kit

donated by The Knitting Basket in Richmond, Virginia. Which looks fascinating!

And, as I was scanning the Knitters for Knockers blog site to download the picture, I saw a familiar name, who I think donated through this blog, so that was rather cool too! (And I saw a Sock Camp friend’s name, also cool. Speaking of Sock Camp — I think the time has come for the great Toilet Paper Cover reveal in the near future. There are at least two people who want to see it, I know. Just to fulfill their thus-far unrequited curiosity, if nothing else, I’ll put it up. Promise not to be too disappointed, though! It did not entirely fulfill my artistic vision….

Blogiversary with a Cause

A year ago today, encouraged by Beth, I signed up on WordPress, and whoops, before I knew it:

I had a knitting blog!

1st picture; borrowed digital camera with a dirty lens giving an impressionistic look

What a long, strange trip it’s been.

And what an amazing number of wonderful people I’ve met along the way, many of whom I am proud and honored to call friends.

(And how much yarn I’ve acquired, but we’re not discussing that now. Move along now. Nothing to see here.)

So I’d like to celebrate in my favorite way (sharing fiberlicious love!) but, borrowing a page from Sarah-Hope, I’d like to throw a party that helps others as well.

Here’s the scoop: Instead of just being a comments ho (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course), I’d like to invite you to join me in supporting some truly worthy causes. And by doing so, you can win some AMAZING prizes!

What AMAZING prizes, you ask? Take a look:

The gorgeously beautiful, limited edition, not-quite-yet-available-to-the-general-public-as-of-today (it is anticipated to go on sale on the BMFA website tomorrow, April 30th) “Knitters WIthout Borders” Socks That Rock yarn in lightweight!

i bought this at BMFA Sock Camp, where a portion of the purchase price already went to support Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières), one of my favorite charities. (I ran out of yarn room in my suitcase, so fellow Camper Lisa kindly mailed this skein home to me with, ahem, a little more yarn perhaps for company. Thanks, Lisa!) By the way, what looks purple there is more of a black in person; blame the photographer, not helped very much by post-snow gloomy skies.

And the organizer of Knitters Without Borders (Tricoteuses sans Frontières) (knitters supporting Doctors without Borders) herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, has a new book out — perhaps you’ve heard? A signed copy will go to a lucky winner! She’s inscribed it, “Knitblogs Rock”!

Next for another lucky and generous winner, another Doctors Without Borders special colorway hand-dyed yarn, this one a sportweight merino superwash (331 yards, 4 oz) from The Unique Sheep, mmmm:

Again, by the creation and prior purchase of this yarn, a donation has already been made to Doctors Without Borders, so a win-win situation! And I can tell you, this yarn is nice and squooshy, just awesome.

(In case you think I’m utterly insane, I, um, still have another one of these for myself of all of the above. But I’ll share the yarny love!)

We need to break up the red theme a bit, so here’s some gorgeous and (since Jess on Ravelry made Twisted Fiber Art yarn Jess’ featured yarn selection) virtually impossible-to-get Twisted Fiber Arts yarn.

“Portal” colorway, in “Arial” superwash merino fine fingering weight yarn base.

The swatch is Meg’s photo of it knitted up.) (Meg of Twisted Fiber Arts is putting a new website up in the near future, I’ll keep you posted. We Twisted addicts are certainly excited!)

Now here’s a prize that should really get your attention:

An absolutely drop-dead gorgeous skein of Wollmeise!

Pfauenauge (Peacock) colorway, medium intensity, an incredibly generous put-up of 150 g (574 yards) of superwash wool. (And, no, I don’t have another one of these. I’m not that lucky.) No color enhancement whatsoever, the colors really are that intense. This is definitely a “Wow!” in person. Or maybe a “Whoa!” (Or “Wo!”)

How, you may ask, could you, you, YOU have a chance (or 20!) to win one of these truly and unutterably exciting prizes?


Donate to any of these charities with a knitting connection (and actually, they have a connection with the prizes as well!)

  1. Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières/MSF), a cause near and dear to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s heart and mine too. Suffering does not respect borders, and neither should healing. I can’t go and help at this point in my life, but I honor and support my colleagues who do. Donate here. You can email Steph and let her know you donated too, and your donation will go into her running total sometime, and occasional prizes are drawn, apparently. (I keep forgetting to tell her about my donations, myself; oh, well, c’est la vie!)
  2. Knitters for Knockers, a team of Richmond, Virginia knitters which is Racing for the Cure for breast cancer on May 10, 2008.  One of my fellow Sock Campers, Lou, is on the team. Fabulous prizes there too! Donate here.  One out of 8 American woman, it’s estimated, will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. My 39-year-old cousin died of breast cancer several years ago, and her younger sister’s cancer was then picked up and treated early, and she’s fortunately doing great. But this cause is near and dear to my heart, and the hearts of many. The money all goes to breast cancer research, early detection, and reaching underserved women. (The latter also near and dear to my heart: I see people struggling without adequate health insurance daily, and my cousin had felt a lump for quite some time, but didn’t get it checked out due to lack of insurance and her assumption that it was nothing.)
  3. The House That Yarn Built, an initiative by Christy for knitters to support Make It Right (rebuilding New Orleans’ Lower Ninth District in an environmentally responsible fashion). Read about it here (or let Brad Pitt tell you about it on the Make It Right website), and donate here. (Connection with the prizes? YARN!) Another opportunity to double-dip, there’s prizes to be awarded for donating there too; why not? Represent Knitting and help get the most devastated area of New Orleans back on its feet with a House that Yarn Built!
  4. Just added!  Norma* reminded me about The Red Scarf Fund of the Orphan Foundation of America, whom we tend to think about in the fall/winter when red scarves have been knitted for the Red Scarf Project in the past.  But The Red Scarf Fund supports the young adults who have ‘aged out’ of the foster care system year-round by providing for emergency needs of OFA students such as medical bills, housing, transportation, as well as supporting OFA programs in general.  Über-knitterly, and a great cause. Donate here (right side of page).

*On that first blog post on April 29, there was a Magic 28 sock using Norma’s pattern, too!  Too funny.  Neither of us are sock knitters, though.  Nope.

So, the FINE PRINT details: Every $5 donation will get you one chance to win. More money, more chances in the virtual hat. The Blogiversary with a Cause ‘raffle’ will run from now until midnight CDT on Sunday, May 11, 2008. Unbribeable internet random number generators with no interest in yarn will select the lucky winners on Monday, May 12, 2008.

To enter, email me at hitherandyarn at gmail dot com (you know the drill) and, on the honor system, let me know the amount of your donation.

Donate early, donate often!

It’s all good.

P.S.  And you may certainly free to leave a comment too!  I never said I wasn’t a comment ho!  I only said I wasn’t JUST a comment ho, as I recall.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Help! I Need Somebody!

As I prepare to write up the pattern for the Raven Feather Mitts


(shown here cropped to exclude the tumor watch lump),

I realized I needed a different name for the pattern.

The name was perfect for the mitts I knit, given their recipient, his music (one of his CDs is called Raven in the Snow), and the yarn. But the pattern can and should be knit with whatever yarn the knitter decides upon. Knitter’s Choice! It could be a Cardinal in the Snow, a Blue Jay, a Chickadee, an Owl, a Phoenix, a Roc, or a Pink and Purple spotted bird!

So — it’s been a Very Long Day at work today and it will be a long day tomorrow, I can tell already. I have one idea but it seems kind of lame. And Feather Mitts is just way too pedestrian. (No play on words intended.) My brain is not coming up with the Perfect Pattern Name.

Any ideas?

I do have an incentive!

If someone suggests a name for this pattern, and no one else has used the name before, and I love it and choose it:

I will send you the remaining yarn that I used to knit the above mitts (and the Preteen’s).

Dream in Color Smooshy: Colorway Black Parade. It’s gorgeous.

It should be enough to knit one more pair of women’s mitts (or socks for a very hip kid). I’d weigh it, but I can’t find my scale right now; the hand-wound ball is about the size of a large orange.

I’d like to publish this on Sunday (2/3/08), so please put your thinking caps on and help me out! Thank you so much!


….being what my husband calls cat feet.  For reasons that elude me. But, for Ruby and kitkatknits’s contest, here are Citrus’ ‘bunny thumpers’:


Can you see? 4 3/4 inches.


Citrus is your basic average-size semi-stray domestic short-hair orange cat. (Who thinks he’s a dog.)

What you can’t see (but might infer) in the above picture:


“Must I really put up with this??  I was sleeping!” That’s two humans preventing him from leaving the scene. Resulting in a mildly annoyed tail.

In knitting news, one more preemie hat done, ends and all; now back to my father’s long-neglected Oktoberfest socks (among other projects).  Don’t let me start anything else (except a preemie hat or three) until I get some things off the needles!

We Three, We’re Not A Crowd


Brownie points if you remember the name of/tune to that old song!

“We three” are three little preemie hats, for Jeanne and Chelle’s 4th Annual k3tog Preemie Hat Knitting Extravaganza!

The one in the middle is not quite as pointy as it looks there; see?


(That would be the green-eyed stare of death, there. No animals were harmed in the making of this photo, just seriously ticked off.)

And I have a fourth little hat on the needles. (Heavens, these go fast after this: we-call-them-pirates-hat-done.jpg

But I’ll show and tell you more of that later. There’s a story. There’s always a story with me….)

Anyway, back to the preemie hats! Check out the link above; the goal is a total of 150 preemie hats knit in January, which is so do-able, you guys! There’s even a contest. And there’s a basic preemie hat pattern here, courtesy of Chelle, or you can Google a gazillion.

Or here is my little hat pattern, finally typed up, which I find doesn’t fall off easily, and also grows with the little squirts (their heads grow Really Fast!). It’s what I used for the above hats. The pattern is mom- and baby-tested and approved! One friend’s baby would only wear this hat; or at least, it’s the only one that didn’t fall over his face and make him cry. Flip the brim up when first wearing, hat-with-brim-folded-up.jpg then down brim-folded-down.jpg as the baby grows. Knitting at a slightly looser gauge makes for maximum growability (unless you’re making an outdoors winter baby hat, which needs to be denser).

The above-pictured hat is in yet another version of lovely Twisted yarn. This is Meg’s Kabam yarn, a superwash merino/bamboo/nylon blend. At first glance, I preferred the more saturated colors of her other yarns; this one is softer, more heathered, a little more lustrous (though not shiny like Tencel). But, oh, is it ever nice to work with! Not splitty, very soft, and it makes a wonderful baby hat. And I’m liking the softer colors now.  Definitely some socks are going to happen from this yarn in the future. The other two hats are in a nice DK-to-worsted-weight acrylic from Moda Dea.

So — go forth and knit a preemie hat, or two, or five, or more! Talk about a quick and satisfying knit, which also helps the tiniest new little members of our world. Then either send them to Jeanne or Chelle sometime this month, or donate them to your Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of choice (either works by them — just let them know if you donate locally, and you’ll count towards the total hat #, and qualify for contest prizes!). Have fun!

Now We’re Cooking!

In response to Kay’s prompting, here is my entry for The Grandma Mabel Memorial Recipe Box Show and Tell Contest.

Ain’t got no box, though.  My mom does, but I has a binder.


Just look at the cool Harvest Gold outside with Avocado and Tomato Red accents.   (It dates from the late 70s.)  The inside is pretty cool, too, as the binder has envelope pockets and looseleaf paper.  And on the inside front covers, handy-dandy conversion charts, tables of weights and measures, and common cooking times and temperatures for various baked goods.  (Click to biggify if either you would like to refresh your memory of what a ‘slow oven’* really signifies, or to see the hidden bonus recipe!)


But here’s the recipe I’m officially sharing.  Based on the handwriting, I wrote this down in high school.  It’s still a favorite, and oh so easy!  Even though right now we are all surfeited on cookies and bars (I tried to type bookies and cars, oops), it’s still appealing.  I love toffee….


Here it is transcribed and edited.

Toffee Bars

1/2 c butter

1/2 c shortening

1 c brown sugar

2 c flour

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1 c chocolate chips

1 c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cream butter, shortening, and brown sugar.  Add egg yolk, vanilla, salt and flour and combine well.  Spread in 9″ x 13″ pan.  Bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees F.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top while still hot from the oven, allow to melt, and spread. Sprinkle nuts on top if desired. 

Replacing half the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips is also rather yummy.  Not the best bar to take to a Fourth of July picnic as the topping gets melty, but then that’s true of most chocolate.  Tasty all times of year, however!


Speaking of recipes:  Here’s the Gothlet with one of her Christmas presents from my folks:  Joy of Cooking!  I got mine when I left home, but both girls enjoy helping their father cook (he’s the real cook in the house!) so they got their own copies already this year.  The Gothlet is snuggled up in her brand new Snug Sack, also from Grandma and Grandpa, reading her cookbook. 


*One of the cookbooks I used growing up was the “Household Searchlight“, still in my mother’s possession, which was owned by my great-uncle Jim when he was a cook for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Depression.  The cookbook was full of terms like “slow-to-moderate oven”.  I remember the sugar cookies I made from it turning out rather inedible.  My fault, no doubt, as well as some things not translating so well into modern kitchens (my oven was probably not set at slow-to-moderate!).   But it had great household hints and some classic recipes.

Birthday Babbles and Gratitude


(Exclamation points and circles and rays courtesy of the Gothlet, who claimed today that she and the rest of the family had — no doubt temporarily — forgotten my birthday this morning because I hadn’t written it large enough on the calendar. So she rectified the situation.)

Thank you so much to everyone who left such wonderful words and birthday wishes! I am overwhelmed. And (almost) speechless!

I enjoyed so much reading all the quotations and poems. Such a variety, too! There were no duplicates; and the only ‘sources’ quoted more than once were: Dorothy Parker, Garfield, and the Bible! (Fascinating juxtaposition.) And several original poems were gifted as well.

I have no idea how I’m going to select the ‘best of’. I must ponder on it. So, short term, I took the easy (random) way out, and went to my friendly cyberneighborhood random number generator. (Word to the wise: if you ever really need a random number, don’t ask someone; we humans are non-random in our number selection….) And picked four winners instead of two, because I may not be able to decide, and darn it, it’s my birthday so I can change the rules if I want to! However, there may be a merit award this weekend when I have pondered sufficiently.

So, the random numbers are 62, 71, 21, and 5.

Which would be Elaine (sans blog), Timiae, Janice in GA, and Jennifer (masquerading as xmascountdown). And both the first and the last picked, Elaine and Jennifer, win a double prize for being born in November! (Not only that, Elaine was born on Thanksgiving! My birthday also falls on Thanksgiving often enough, but I was actually born the day before.) And Elaine was also the author of an original Thanksgiving Birthday Poem. Woo-hoo!

I must defer the pleasure of selecting the perfect yarn for the lucky winners to this weekend. I can’t wait; this will be fun!

So, other than the thrill of generating random numbers (aided and abetted by my girls), what was I up to today? Well, in my mind, today started yesterday when I got some fun mail.


My two sock yarn club yarns o’ the month came last night! Aren’t they wonderful? The Yarn Pirate Booty Club is Blue-Faced Leicester, mmm! Colorway called Solstice, and washable to boot (ar, ar). And the inaugural offering of the Sumptuous Sock Yarn Club is cashmere/silk beauteousness, a little more winey and less pink than the photo. That alone would have been super presents (even if I kind of gave them to myselves). But still, thank you, Georgia the Yarn Pirate, and Roxanne at Zen Yarn Garden!

Anyhoo, then it was an early arising, off to a very busy morning at work, but punctuated with many birthday wishes (my friend Jean puts birthdays in her weekly department email updates), and the best card from a good friend of mine. (I can’t believe there was a totally different cat/knitting/funny birthday card from the one Chris got!)


(Inside it says, “Take some time to unwind”. Awesome.)

My friend also gave me Naughty Needles. I think my husband might appreciate the future results! Heavens to Betsy!

Time to unwind was in precious short supply today, however. After a noon meeting, I had an eye doctor appointment. Guess what? My eyes are getting old, regardless of what the rest of me is doing! Then only a few free moments before the girls’ dance classes; this week is one of the two times all year that we can observe the classes, and both girls especially asked us, the parents, to come. [When a Preteen actually wants you to be there? You go!] So after a quick bite, my husband and I got to watch Music Theatre Dance I and II, and Ballet III. (I forgot I had my camera for the Music Theatre Dance classes, which were really enjoyable; I was so enthralled! But to prove I’m a good parental unit, here is Ballet III (Gothlet on the far end in the pink skirt, the pinkness of which is way atypical for her; but her black skirt is poufy, so I guess pink is not as bad as poufiness in the Book of Goth):


And you know what can be done while viewing dance classes, of course.

Before dance (after Dr. appt): ~~ After dance class:


(I think this yarn is an antidote to gray and brown!)

Unfortunately, I had to skip my own dance class due to a migraine that I also got for my birthday, dang. But instead we all went out for a birthday Cold Stone Creamery treat (more my daughters’ preference than my own when the temperature is well below freezing, but that’s fine! There was no waiting in line, anyway.)

And in the middle of my ice cream, my family gave me something:


See it? Here’s a close-up:


Isn’t that the most lovely thing? I love garnets; they are among my very most favorite stones. So rich and deeply colored. (This is, as a matter of fact, my favorite color if I have to be pinned down to one. The color of garnets.)

Apparently The Preteen picked it out. Superb taste she has.

So all in all, though busy, my birthday was wonderful, and thanks again so much to all who shared with me their wonderful words and wishes (she says alliteratively). I get to celebrate again this weekend, when we go out to eat with my parents, since birthday dinner was not in the cards today. And also this weekend, I get to have fun petting my stash and selecting some nice yarn to go out into the world to the fortunate random recipients!

Who could ask for anything more?