Friday, February 29, 2008

In Shanghai

Our last stop in China was Shanghai. It's a large, modern, shiny city.


We met with a delegation from the Institute of Coastal Studies at East China Normal University.


There is a wonderful antiquities museum in Shanghai. Aren't these statues cool?


Knittah's Dad sets a crazy pace. He let me take a break, though.


At long last, it was time to go home. One last picture outside the VIP lounge in Beijing. Did you know I'm a VIP?


Actually, it should be VIS: Very Important Swatchy!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Contest Reminder Correction

Whoops... I forgot that there's a leap day in February this year. (All of my calendars are still packed.) So you still have one more day.

Current entries:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Contest Reminder

You have one day left to enter the Warming Up Swatchy Contest...

Friday, February 22, 2008


From Chengdu, we went to Xi'an. This city was an ancient capital of China, and has amazing architecture. Knittah's Dad thought the Great Wild Goose Pagoda was the best.

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We also visited the city wall, which has a really cool bell tower.

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My buddy Frank tried to throw me off the wall!


But don't worry. Knittah's Dad always takes really good care of me.

Back to Chengdu

After we left Beijing, we headed for Chengdu. Swatchy Hugz was there before me! Some of what I saw was the same, like the yummy food:

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But I also visited the Naval Institute of Biology and saw this leatherback turtle. Yes, there are sea turtles in China!


But the best part, ooohhhhhhhh, the best part was the PANDAS!

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No one would let me get too close to the pandas. I don't know why. They sure are cute, though.


Knittah's Dad was the luckiest. He got to hold one! I think it talked to him!



Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Entries in the Warming Up Swatchy contest: You know you want to win those prizes... deadline is the end of February!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Noricum came up with a great idea the "Warming Up Swatchy Contest." Just photoshop Swatchy (the original Swatchy only) into a warm weather photo and send her the link. Noricum is contributing the hilarious prize of a vintage book on fur. And I am happy to add TWO skeins of sock yarn:


Specifically, the prizes are one skein of Austermann Step with Aloe and Jojoba (420m, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon) and one skein of Plymouth Sockotta (414 yds, 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon). Both of these yarns are machine washable, too!

So get those links in! You have until the end of February.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Botswana Knitting Guidelines

blanket1.JPG Hi Everybody! I'm glad you liked the pictures from Botswana. Let's do it again! Winter is coming to Botswana and no one has heat. Here are the guidelines for the next round of knitting:

1. All items are needed, but we've been asked especially for mittens, scarves, sweaters and blankets.

2. Think WARM, so wool is better than cotton.

3. Most items will be washed by hand in a tub, and hung to dry on a wire fence or similar, so think DURABLE.

4. Kids love bright colors.

Our deadline is JUNE 1st. Email me to make arrangements for sending your items.

Thank you in advance! These children need to know that people love them, even from far away!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Warming Up Swatchy Contest

Brrr! It is *freezing* here. Literally. Actually, if it were only freezing, it wouldn't be a problem. However, when the windchill brings the temperature down to below -40 (F or C, it's all the same at -40), all we want to do here is snuggle in a warm blanket, in front of a crackling fire, with a mug of hot chocolate. However, Noricum has to work, and she drags me along with her. *shudder*

So, we decided to have a contest. I, Swatchy, want to be somewhere sunny and warm. (The warmer the better!) Since I'm stuck here with Noricum, I've decided to do some virtual travelling, and that's where this contest comes in. Please send me somewhere warm! Photoshop me into one of your vacation photos (or a photo that you have permission to use), and we'll send one winner a fantastic prize we picked up at the Manitoba Crafts Museum.

We're going to ask Knittah to be the judge and pick her favourite photograph (this blog is here for her, after all), unless, of course, she'd like to enter herself. ;) (Or if picking a winner is too much for her limited energy. If she doesn't want to do it for whatever reason, we'll decide on a different judge.)

To enter, leave a comment with a link to your photo, or e-mail it to Noricum. She'll make a post with all the entries after the deadline so that Knittah (or whoever) can pick the winner.

So, what is this fantastic prize, you ask? It's a hilarious used book from 1935 that we got for $1:
It contains valuable information, such as how to clean and repair furs, and gems such as a pattern for this stylin' fur tie:
I bet you didn't know that both skunk and opossum are very hard wearing furs? Or that antelope "is one of the most attractive furs for sports wear. The flat set of the fur is so distinctive and slimming."

After hearing what can be found in this book, you may want to keep your eyes open for some of their other titles:

Deadline: please submit your entries before the end of February. (Noricum decided that we'd give you the rest of February, since this is her birth month.)


PS: If someone would like to add to the prizes, feel free!

Hello! We're Still Here!

Hello Knittah!

Yep, we're still here, freezing in Winnipeg. Despite the cold this past weekend, we did make it out of the house. Saturday was a fun day! First we went to the Manitoba Crafts Museum, which currently has an exhibit on handspinning. The volunteer staffing the museum said it was okay to take photos, so we took a few so you could see some of the exhibit too.
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Noricum thought the information in the above article was really neat. She didn't know that Mary Maxim, practically a Canadian icon, started in a small town in Manitoba. (It's now based out of Toronto, and has an American outlet store too, in addition to it's ongoing mail-order business.)
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This drawer was really impressive:
There's a contest to see how long a yarn can be spun from 10g of fiber... and the amount is absolutely stunning!!! For all those talking about spinning "frog hair"... have *you* ever spun over 1000 m of yarn from 10 g of fiber? The local best had much less yardage, yet were amazingly thin.

It looks like someone other than Noricum has thought of gathering fiber at the zoo... some ladies actually tried it during the war:

After a fantastic time for a measley $2 donation, we stopped in at Mitchell Fabrics, Noricum's favourite fabric store. *Wow*! That place is *huge*, and has a mind-boggling array of fabrics! We didn't take many photos, because Noricum wasn't sure how the staff would feel about us taking photos, and by the time we asked, it was time to go. However, here's the outside of the store:
One general photo of one part of the inside, which really doesn't do a good job of giving the feel of the place:
And a funny photo that we snuck before we had permission:
That sign says "Oscar de low Rental, anti-fashion fabrics"! Hee!

In honour of Noricum's birthday, and because I'm tired of freezing my fiber off, Noricum and I have decided to hold a (hopefully) fun contest. We'll write it up in our next post.

Hoping you are warmer where you are,

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Spreading Joy

Remember Swatchy Doc? He was traveling to Botswana along with a box of toys, socks and blankets made by some of our wonderful knitting friends. Dr. G passed the box on to a volunteer organization, and on Monday, I received the most beautiful pictures of the children who received our gifts. All of these children live in the country of Botswana, and many of them have been touched by HIV/AIDS in some way. They may have family members who are ill or who have passed away. The disease is so prevalent in Botswana that most of them know someone who has suffered. Your generous gifts have brought happiness to these beautiful children. Some of them look very serious in these pictures, but we're certain that the toys and other items are already treasured.

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I've already asked the volunteers what types of knitted items they would like to receive in the future. I'll let you know as soon as I find out! In the meantime, please email me if you are interested in helping out with the next round of gifts.