Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RAFFLE Part Deux

My hibiscus is flowering!

We had some random heavy rain for the last two days and I was unable to photograph the other two prizes. Luckily, the sun has come out today and made for some great picture-taking weather. Its also just plain AWESOME weather. I'm so excited I was able to wear a sweater! Yay!
Fall is definitely my favorite season.
But on to the prizes.

The first is a skein of Love Cats graciously donated by Lotus Yarns. It is the Chakra base, 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon and 10% Cashmere. It is just plain beautiful and I will be sad to send it out. But it will be mailed out at the beginning of November to the winner of the raffle! So go ahead and donate and your name will be included!

The third prize is the completed project. This is a lace scarf (Annis, from Knitty) made out of laceweight cotton and using silver beads. Its a perfect little mini shawl or scarf. It is a great weight for summer as well as other seasons, because it is very light and airy. I purchased the beads at a beadshow in Atlanta and the yarn in Guatemala. I'm very sorry to part with it but it will be going to a good cause!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

RAFFLE

I've been busy working this week and knitting up a little project for the raffle.

So the first prize will be this:


It is 182 yards (approximately 4 ounces) of Merino/Silk blend 2 ply, with a third ply of purple thread strung with silver beads. I will try and get a closer picture, but it is very shiny and reflects a lot of light. I was trying to get a fine yarn but sometimes you have to do what the yarn wants, rather than what you want. And this wanted to be a DK/Worsted weight yarn. It was thinner, but then it fluffed up when I washed it. But it is REALLY beautiful and would make an amazing hat, scarf or shawlette. I hate to part with this, but it is for a good cause and I think someone will really enjoy it!

The other two prizes will be revealed next week, after I get some photographs taken, but I will tell you that the commercial yarn I have as part of the raffle was graciously donated by Melanie of Lotus Yarns. It is really beautiful, as all of Melanie's yarn is, but it is a BRAND NEW colorway and has not been offered for sale on her site. So someone is going to win some beautiful yarn!

The last prize will also be photographed this weekend after blocking, but it is the knitted item. No spoilers yet though!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the Bar, Guatemala, ALS Walk and a RAFFLE!

Its been a busy couple of months. Briefly, I took the bar exam, went to Guatemala for two weeks with DH for a Spanish immersion school, and registered for the ALS walk in November.

There's not much to say about the bar. It sucked. Big time. But *fingers crossed* its over and I won't have to take it again. I don't get results until the end of October, but I feel pretty good about it.

Guatemala was amazing. It was life-changing. It know that sounds cliche, but it was. Our school was full of amazing people, the family we stayed with was amazing and the city of Quetzaltenango, also called Xela, was absolutely amazing. We loved it. I mean, there are hazards to traveling, especially to a country like Guatemala. Both DH and I were sick briefly, both food-borne. We both tried really hard to only eat the things Americans are *supposed* to eat, but we got sick anyways. Luckily we did not get any infections or amoebas (parasites) and came home unscathed. Our Spanish improved immensely, and although I wish we could have stayed two more weeks, we were ready to come home when we did. I highly recommend the school we attended. They are incredibly professional, and while the school costs a little bit more than other schools in the area, they have an amazing staff and the school itself does a lot of good in the community.

But how did it change our lives? We came home knowing how absolutely blessed we are to live here, in the United States, and to have the families we have, the opportunities we have and to have the amazing friends that we have. Guatemalans were by far the most friendly and generous of people I have ever met. However, while the country is full of intelligent and hard-working people, various historical reasons have led to the country being not far beyond a third-world country. Unfortunately the United States has played a large part in the subjugation of native Guatemalans (the indigenous people) who make up a large portion of the population. Although, in thinking about that now, its not very different from the indigenous population here.

My life isn't perfect. I am still not permanently employed and this stresses me out beyond belief. And unfortunately, the line of work I want to pursue will never be highly compensated. But I have an amazingly supportive family and have had opportunities greater than probably everyone I met in Guatemala. I own more THINGS than probably anyone I met in Guatemala. The family we stayed with was middle class and had cell phones, television and a nice home and furniture. But we have so much MORE things at our home. And I'm not sure why we have so many more things. Its put me on a anti-clutter path lately. I have a lot of yarn, a lot of clothes, a lot of books and a lot of random other things. Now, I'm trying very hard to find new homes for the things I own, the ones I can do without. I have given away a lot of stuff and haven't yet felt deprived. After visiting Guatemala and seeing how little even middle-class people are HAPPY with, I don't think I could give enough away to match that. But I'm trying.

The pictures are available on my flickr site, which is in the sidebar of this blog. The bottom line is that I loved it and I wish that everyone I know could experience what we did. I loved it and I'm making tentative plans to return. I will have to wait until I am permanently employed, but I will be going back. And not just to work on my Spanish.

So in an attempt to give back, because I realize more than ever before how amazingly blessed my life is, I joined my good friend in her pledge to walk in the ALS Walk in November. ALS is a degenerative disease with little treatment and few options for those stricken with it. It is usually fatal within a few years of diagnosis, although Stephen Hawking has actually lived with ALS for 40 years. He is an outlier and it is very important that we support the ALS Association's work towards finding treatment and a cure.

I've already received some very generous donations, but $.91 of every $1 goes to research with this organization. For that reason, I want to try to increase the donations I am able to generate. I have opted out of the rewards program, so I will not receive anything for increasing my donations. However, I will be receiving a t-shirt :)

Here's the deal: For every $5 you donate to ALS via my page, you will be entered in a raffle for some yarny prizes. Don't knit? No problem. I will also have a completed knitted item to be raffled off. I am planning on three prizes. One will be commercial yarn, one will be handspun and one will be a knitted item. I may increase the prizes if I am able to get donations. I will post more information (including photographs) in a few days.

The raffle will be up until the end of October, as the walk is November 6. I receive an email when you make a donation so just let me know via comments if you want your donation to be considered part of the raffle. On October 31st I'll do a random number generator selection and notify the winners!

Thanks for considering a donation!

My ALS Page

Completed items:




An Owl for my best friend's Birthday. (Rav link)


A Citron for a friend!


A shawl I donated to Eastern European Russian Orphanages Project. This will actually go to a Gypsy woman in Romania.