Saturday, August 25, 2007

Swap Box Arrived!

My husband and son and I were on our way out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Sea Fresh (mmmm, calmari!) and I nearly tripped over a big box on our drive. I squealed, scaring both husband and child, and grabbed the box, getting into the car.

Wait to get home to open it? I don't think so!!! In the car, I inspected the box, and then carefully opened it. The return address was marked Israel! WOW! I love these swaps; to be able to contact people all over the world and share a bit of our selves and our culture is a wonderful experience. I always feel I shortchange the people on the other end; American stuff seems to be available almost everywhere, and I have a hard time looking for unique interesting things that I think they might not have access to.

Anyway; on to the booty!!!

First; the fiber.

A HUGE package of white alpaca, just gorgeous! All the alpaca I have has been brown, so white is a treat. Along with it was a smaller package of less prepared fiber that I'll have fun picking and combing ( I am GOING to get those combs set up tomorrow!) I'm already planning what to make of it; a shawl? Some fine lace gauntlets? There's enough there for several decent projects. And there's always a dyeing scheme to plan...

Then there's a heavenly bag of superfine Australian merino. Ohhh yum. White as snow and softer than a cloud; it's just gorgeous. People say it's hard to spin, but not to me; it's like buttah, I swear! I love it. The smaller bag of brown fiber is baby camel. WOW! I can cross one more off my list of exotic fibers I want to spin! Even with bits of twigs and such, it feels so soft I just want to dive right in.

Then she sent some cotton yarn in a really beautiful solid blue color and a varigated brown and gold. This is a godsend, as I've been dying to make a market bag and didn't have any cotton yarn to use. This will be perfect! It's an Israeli brand too. The blue isn't quite as electric as it looks; I really do need to take some photography lessons.

On to the YUMMIES!!!

Some really interesting snack foods. One is a peanut butter flavored puff which she says is very popular with children there. I'll add it's pretty popular with children here too! Murphy couldn't wait to dive in and is thrilled that I've given him permission to take it to school in his lunchbox. I tried to explain where Israel is, and show him how the language is different, but I'm not sure he really grasps the concept. But he sure likes the treats!

While he munched those, I treated myself to a lovely cup of spearmint tea and a bit of chocolate (with hazelnut filling; YUM!). She enclosed a large bag with treat size chocolates of three different types. What a treat!
Last, but most exciting to me, is this amazing spindle.
This is her information about it. "Jerusalem High Whorl Spindle. This spindle, although originally in a larger size, was used in the early '20's in Israel. I reduced the size to allow spinning with today's fine wools. It is a very balanced spindle, and I will be submitting an article to in Sept. and it will explain its history."

As you can see, the whorl is square, with two notches on each side. It is indeed well balanced and spins forever. It's heavy (compared to my featherweight bossies!), but not too heavy, and I picked that baby up and grabbed some of the merino and spun a really fine thread sooooo easily. Oh, I LOVE it. I'm going to be spinning a lot on it, as my knee is still too painful to treadle my wheel.

Toni, I thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity! This package is amazing and far exceeded my expectations. I am truly blown away. I hope your partner is as wonderful to you as you have been to me. Thank you thank you thank you!

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