Tuesday, March 24, 2009

21st Birthday In London!

There is a project that I've been working on that I've been (mostly) avoiding talking about here because it was a surprise for the recipient and I didn't want her stumbling across it and finding out. Today she got it and opened it, so I can't wait to blog about it!

A bit of backstory, however. I am not 21, nor am I in London, so obviously the title refers to my sister, who is in fact now that age in that place at this exact moment. I am very jealous. Months back, as I was completing my own Noro Striped Scarf, I decided I wanted to make her one because turning 21 in London was such a special thing.

Not in Kureyon, since she'd probably find it too scratchy, but in Silk Garden, which I hoped she could wear. (No wool allergies that I know of, but she is sensitive to scratchy stuff.) The store I work in didn't have a ton of Silk Garden colors to choose from, and when a few more came in, I took my chances and picked two out. (By the way, Silk Garden is on like, ridiculous backorder, so if you find any BUY IT NOW.) I knew it probably wouldn't be as striking as, say ... Brooklyn's or the Harlot's, but I figured I'd give it a shot, hopefully it wouldn't suck, and maybe she'd even like it.

(By the way, I feel horrible name-dropping. If you got here expecting a different blog, I apologize!)

I knitted. I knitted for over a month. I wove in ends before I was done. I washed and blocked (and drying took days and I still have towels that are stinky from it. Need to do some laundry.). I planned to go to the post office and mail so she'd get it on time. And then I got sick.

I was sick for a whole week. I could barely drag myself out of bed, let alone to the post office. I would have sent my husband, except that I hadn't written her birthday card yet and I wanted to make sure to get all the info right, since mailing to another country is kind of crazy. Finally, 2 weeks before her birthday, I was able to get it in the mail, hoping against hope it might get there so she could have something to open on her birthday.

4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden aren't exactly cheap, even with an employee discount. The customs form asked me to list everything in the box and its value. "One birthday card," I wrote. Be specific, the instructions stated. "Handmade silk/wool/mohair scarf, 21st birthday without family, we've had a hard year, I want her to have something special, priceless"? Wouldn't fit in the box. Instead, I wrote "wool scarf".

I spent more than I intended to. My box, bought from Wal-mart in the hopes that it would save me some money, ended up being just over the cheaper mailing option, so I spent twice as much to ship it. Thankfully I didn't have to buy additional insurance, since the actual retail amount of the package was covered.

I felt like I was in a MasterCard commercial. I'd just spent all this time and money. Would it get there on time? Would it get there at all? Would she even like it? Would it be cold enough for her to wear it, or would it get there and she'd forget to pack it for the trip back?

The time and effort you took to craft something unique for your sister's 21st birthday in England: priceless

Not knowing if it'll even get there, let alone if she'll actually like it?: materials+shipping+ohmygodwhydidn'tIsendagiftcard?

Amazingly, she got the package on Friday, only 10 days after it shipped. (So amazing. Go Post Office!) She opened it today.

She loves it.


Thank God.

4 skeins Noro Silk Garden, 2 #275 & 2 #245
Size 7 US to cast on and size US 6 to knit with
The Noro Striped Scarf pattern as popularized by BrooklynTweed

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