At first I was speechless.
Then I was inarticulate.
Speechless and inarticulate do not become me, but it's been two days. I'm gonna give it a go (and I have some pictures!)
Saturday was Donna's (of our knitting group) birthday. I know this by heart because Donna's birthday is 4 days off from my mom's birthday. So when Gina told the group about plans for Donna's party I was ready. I was baking scones and I was donating to Project Heifer per her request.
Last week I found out that the fitting appointment for my dress, that I scheduled in February, was not for the 14th, as I thought, but for the 12th. At noon. That was Donna's party! Shit! I tried to reschedule it, but they kinda laughed at me. The only way I could get in was if someone canceled. So I had to keep the appointment, and I was going to be an hour late or so for the party.
So I got fitted. The dress, which I got a size too small in hopes that I'd lose weight (I didn't) fit! Well, magic of magic, I need a hem and something else I don't understand. It will be done well in time for me to try it on again and have it fixed again, if need be. I accredit the fact that the dress fits to the iron maiden full-length bra that I got at Lady Grace.
So I was done, the dress was pinned, turned in, alterations paid for. I jumped in the car with Chris and my sister and sped off to Gina's.
There were purple balloons on the mail box. Purple is Donna's favorite color! There are an awful lot of cars, but we all love Donna.
I went in the door and there was a whole bunch of people yelling "Surprise!" and there was an awful lot of red (my favorite color, and my wedding color). Gina gave me a tiara, Sarah fixed me a drink, Chris's mom was there, Julie and Patti from the Chicks with Sticks group in York was there... and I think I might have stopped breathing.
They planned me a shower. Donna's birthday had been used as a decoy (we did sing for her. She's unendingly wonderful) and they were all in on it! Chris knew, my sister knew, Chris's whole family knew! The knitters had started a Yahoo group and they were like ninjas. Kninjas. And Clandestine Crocheters.
Wow, where do I start. Start at the beginning, right?
I was given a tiara and a plate of food, a glass of wine, and whisked to my very own chair in the living room. Then they started handing me presents. I'm still not in total possession of my bearing.
Gina gave me a box that was shaped like a monkey. I'm wishing now that I had taken a picture of the box. I still have it, so I'll have to do that. There's a pull tab that rips along the mouth and then you can take the gift out through the maw of the monkey.
Inside the mouth of the monkey... ok, the monkey box, was this:
(As always, click for teh bigness)
Do you see that beauty? The is the Children of Lir stole, knit for me by Gina. It matches my wedding dress perfectly! Know how I know? Chris snuck out my swatch to give to her. Gina will be on her way to the Bahama's on the day Chris and I get married (my sympathy is limited ;)) but when I'm wrapped in that shawl, walking down the isle, I'll be thinking about her.
After this Jackie handed me another package, and we were told that this was for both Chris and I. Ha! Chris can get surprises to! That thought kind of faded away when the paper was open.
I couldn't get much of a picture of this
There exist better pictures, and I will find them. That picture was obtained by me standing on the foot board and stretching the camera as far up as I could get them. Let's assign number to the squares
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20
1 and 20 were done by Denise. Denise is a master knitter and a lawyer who just got married herself. 1 is a comfy little house, and 20 is two trees, branches intertwined. Both are from the BW treasuries, and I love that these pictorials start and end the blanket.
2 is a basket weave done by Melissa. I enjoy Melissa's company and her view of the world. Good thing, because I work with her :D She has a wonderful dog and a pretty cool daughter.
3, 10, and 11 are done by Laurin. I love Crochet lace and granny squares. That's 3 and 11 respectively. When I first looked at block 10 and saw the pocket, I thought "condom pocket!". You'd really have to know Laurin, I guess. But no, inside that little pocket (Chris had to undo it, I think my hands belonged to someone else at that point) was a silver sixpence. Something old/something new/ something borrowed/ something blue/ a silver sixpence in her shoe. I am so incredibly touched by this. (Now I just need old/borrowed/blue :D
4 and 5 were done by the fantastic, wonderful, amazing (hey, she's the driving force behind all this!) Gina. 4 is a big, elaborate castle. I can only imagine that she hopes we find the fairy tale. 5 is a clever little zig zag pattern. Gina also did the make up and border of this wonderful blanket. I can never thank her enough. This is after the shawl, folks.
6 and 14 are both wonderful works of crochet lace by Heather. Yes, she picked up the hook for me. I am in love with them. Heather is just one of the most wonderful people to hang out with, clever, funny, and sweet.
7 and 15, lace and patience (seed stitch? I'm not close enough to pet the blankie right now), were done by Jackie. I'm going to miss having Jackie at my wedding as well. Apparently, October 7th is a popular day to get hitched ;) Jackie is fantastic, and I'm glad that she sat down with out group many moons ago. In fact, I think that was a turning point for our group. It's a lot more fun now.
8 is a cable rib by Marion. Marion is our snow bird and I think the world of her. From October to May we wait for her to come back. Who needs warm weather in February?
9 was crocheted by Julie, who is proof that friends can be made by blogging. Walking into that party and seeing Julie and Patti, I could tell that Gina meant business! It was wonderful to have them there, as I really enjoy their company. We'll have to make it to the Yarn Sellar in the very near future.
12 was done by Mike. I'm sure most of you know the story of Mike. He was hanging around the bookstore on a knitting night, and we asked him if he wanted to learn how to knit. The rest, as they say, is history. He knit this wonderful garter stitch square, and I feel very warmly about it.
13 was crocheted by Gaye. I get a kick out of Gaye. She teaches high school students, and she goes from school-marm to barroom brawler in no time flat. She's intelligent and thoughtful, and she's always a good one to bounce ideas around with. And she's quite comfortable being our main crocheter. I think a lesser person would be intimidated :D
16 is a lovely bit of lace done by our Amanda. I've known Amanda longer than anyone else in this group. I shared a high school with her for a year or two, and we've always stayed in touch. I think she is a truly unique and beautiful person, and I adore being in her presence.
17, that lovely little sakura blossom, was knit by Sarah. Sarah is fantastically funny, great to drink with, and wonderful to talk to. I think her kids are awesome, and watch out for the middle one. My mom had one just like her.
Ok, tearing up. Going through each of these squares... this is a record for me so far.
18, the entrelac, may be the only one I guessed at correctly. I think Lora is our only entrelac-er. That stich pattern looks good in all one color too. Who knew? Lora is our newest knitting buddy, I think. I feel like she's been part of this group forever. She fits right in and I love her.
And 19 is a wonderful granny square pattern by Caroline. Ah, a knit/crocher that flashes on demand. The world needs more of that if you ask me!
The pillow was constructed of two squares. One by the birthday girl, Donna, and another by someone who's sadly decided that she'd rather spend her Wednesdays doing other things. That's fine, but I thank her for her contribution all the same.
I really do think that this would be enough. This is something that Chris and I will keep forever and ever. But no, there were more boxes!
This lovely shawl pin is from Gaye. Sneaky sneaky. She revealed that she bought this for me when I was no further than 10 feet away :D And do you know what else?
She made me this! I had just bought a purse to have on me at the wedding. It'll go with my sister's dress too :D I'm carrying the one Gaye made me.
Chris mom got us some wonderfully soft, super big towels. Laurin got me Mary Kaye so I can feel pretty :D Marion and Caroline got us some awesome casserole dishes. (Quick, I need some casserole recipes. Shepards pie for all!) Donna got us a chopping block from the Pampered Chef that has the measuring cups on the side, and Amanda, Melissa, and Gina bought me the cast iron casserole pan that my heart truly desired. Jackie got us a butcher's knife and asked that I not use it on Chris. Don't worry, I'm still pretty happy with him right now. I can believe he had a hand in this wonderful suprise!
Mike made Chris a fuzzy beer cozy. Isn't he just the sweetest knitter?
Chris will never escape that color :D
Lora geeked me out. She has some nice pictures on her own blog (you know how it is. You make something that you are so proud of, but you can't sing it from the mountain? Let me add some harmony)
This is breathtaking.
And she beads, too, indeed. This really is quite special to me.
And Heather, Julie and Patti blessed us with the gift that always fits. And all of this, everything, after the blanket. The blanket was more than enough. I'm overwhelmed.
I couldn't possibly ever thank these people enough for the way I felt on Sunday. I am truly blessed with wonderful friends.
Thank you all so much!
I'm going off to glow :) Knitting tomorrow night!