But Steph. I'm amazed, and have a serious case of knitting anxiety at the prospect of sending anything off to either you or Sherry or to my two contest winners, Stacey (honorable mention for pouting) and Carrie, or even to Joan, who I know a bit better, for redirecting traffic. (Sorry, Carrie and Joan, I didn't intend everyone but you two to have a name that begins with "S." Feel free to take on a pseudonym, if you want.)
In the tiniest of envelopes from Belgium, Steph sent me a minature journal that seems handmade, or at least, handsewn. And a dark kind of necklace, sort of magical, with the perfect color of ribbon and coppery clasp to echo the color of the center piece. Reminds me of what Tilda Swinton might have worn as the Ice Queen in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
A largeish pin/brooch of copper wire and aqua beads. I'd been waiting until I finished my Juliet sweater to choose the buttons, but this will be perfect and much more beautiful.
A bracelet of mixed media: beads, leather, silver fixings, and a coin. I love bracelets with lots of color and texture. And I can put it on myself (not always true for me, there's the moment of struggling and then trying to find someone else in the house to put the thing onto my wrist).
Polymer buttons in a pumpkin orange and a grey-blue. One largeish and several smaller. These are the kind of buttons that precede the yarn and the sweater. I'm not going to rush it; I'm putting them in a safe place (aka one that I will remember having put them there) and wait for the right project to present itself. And even the card is handmade and a tiny piece of beauty. Even the writing on the envelope is beautiful.
Yep, I know that it's not a competition, but I do want to send these folks something special. What I have put together so far: several of my favorite books from the Frugal Muse (the best used bookstore in the Chicagoland area), including children's books that I loved, like Half Magic and Ellen Tebbits, and things with chocolate recipes in them and a crazy book about candy called CandyFreak; chocolate itself; dishcloths (I'm playing in the big leagues now and working on the Nine-Patch from Mason-Dixon-Knitting); and some beautfiul things from my stash that will find a better home with another knitter, such as as skein of Suri Alpaca and some Handmaiden silk. Or I could send a pledge to knit something in the next year and send that off with some store-bought good stuff. Or you could leave a comment and try to talk me down from my gifting-anxiety with any suggestions of your own? (Gift recipients are welcome to weigh in.)