now i'm pretty sure i'm safe posting this as i'm pretty sure my recipient doesn't read here. anyway, even if she did she won't know she's my recipient until too darned late.

as soon as i heard of coloriffic swap-o-rama's existence i started getting excited. how much fun would it be putting together a colour-coded swap for a crafty chick? it takes a while for new memberships to get processed, so when i finally got in it felt like i'd been granted access to some amazing secret club. and it has been such a pleasure putting together a package in springlike greens and blues (oh and it's pure co-incidence that it co-ordinates so well with the new look blog, i swear) my only problem being trying to stick to some kind of a budget and not just adding every cool thing that sprung to mind.

i've used the swap as a great excuse to try my hand at new stuff as well as bringing me back to old favourites. i dusted off my wheel to make this yarn. it's roughly 50/50 dyed merino (not dyed by me) and white alpaca, blended on hand cards. it's bulky weight, around 8wpi and the colours are rather more intense than they appear on my monitor. i deliberately tried to keep the yarn nice and chunky, which is quite a feat for me, on wheel or spindle. it's pretty well balanced and quite tightly plied, while still fluffy and soft. full stats: 68m/90g, 6-8mm knit, 7-9mm crochet.

M's absence also let me get the sewing machine back out (like an old friend) to have a go at these fabric covered notebooks. it's not that i can't do this stuff with M here, but everything has to go away, cupboards have to be re-locked, sharp and pointy things have to be put out of reach, i can't just start a project and be able to leave it where i stop and pick it up again next morning. it turned out these only took one day, although one day when childfree stretches seemingly endlessly into the distance as so much can be accomplished :).

i made these following this fantastic tutorial from craftapple. the process was nice and straighforward except for the rayon embroidery thread that just wouldn't unwind off the spool properly and kept wrapping itself around the spindle pin and fucking up the tension. honestly, i could sew for about 3 or 4 inches before i had to stop and untangle it each time. turning the reel the other way up helped a bit, and for some reason the green thread was much worse than the blue.

i had to unpick one side of the first one as i'd sewn it too tight, but once i found how much slack i needed to leave the other came together seamlessly - so to speak. i really like how these have turned out and i can see myself doing more variations in future.

i'm just a little concerned that my offerings aren't quite pale enough for the colour theme. pastel figures hardly at all in my stash, i'm a saturated colours girl all the way down the line. so although the blue/green combo suits me down to the ground, i've failed to really nail the mint/sky blue thing which is a bit of a shame. still, i had to use some of what i have and this is the best i could do. hope it will do.