Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Secret Pal 10

I've taken the plunge and signed up for Secret Pal 10. So here are my answers:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport may be my #1 favorite, but I'm fond of the Cherry Tree Hill and Lucy Neatby sock yarns too. I look at the superwash soft wools, often multicolored, first. I prefer natural fibers, overall. I haven't done much knitting with novelty yarn, but the only yarn I REALLY don't like is the cheap acrylic. Well, Cascade Fixation and I are currently on the "hate" part of a love-hate relationship, but I've heard so many good things about it that I'm determined to give it a chance to charm me.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
The pockets of the suitcase where I keep my yarn. I'm not very organized.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned knitting for the first time when I was about 7, and learned for good when my crazy aunt taught me a few years later. So about 25 years, off and on. I'd say I'm intermediate-advanced, since the bar for advanced seems to get higher and higher.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, my Amazon wish list is here.

5. What's your favorite scent?
Light florals (lilac, lavender, jasmine) or crisp, spring/rainwater type scents. But I like some spicy and fruity stuff too - I just try to avoid the seriously cloying or overpowering stuff.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Sort of - I try not to eat to many sweets. Chocolate is a migraine trigger, so I only indulge myself with the dark chocolate (especially with mint or nuts) that I really like. I'm also fond of the occasional Almond Joy bar, Chick-O-Stix, Lik-a-Maid, SweeTarts, Peanut Butter cups, and Jolly Ranchers. I like sweets that aren't incredibly sweet, if that makes sense. I'm also fond of baked goods, and like to bake.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I spin, but not very well, with a drop spindle. I sew, do embroidery, and fiddle with other types of needlework. I make glass beads. On some glorious day, I will assemble the model Goodyear Blimp that I coveted for years and finally bought on e-Bay. I cannot draw, paint, sculpt, sing, play music, or do anything else along those lines.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
The most recent album I bought was Pink Floyd's Division Bell, so I'm not exactly musically cool. I like showtunes, '80s pop, classical music, early music, and some carefully selected folk. I like to think I'm open-minded about music, but I've never developed a love for rap.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Favorites are blues, greens, and purples - really anything jewel toned.
I'm generally not fond of the '70s appliance pallette, but one of the fun things about knitting is exploring different colors. I usually say I'm not into brown, but I'm knitting a pair of terra-cotta socks right now. So I couldn't say there are any colors I absolutely hate.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live alone, but have a boyfriend who probably would be a live-in partner if he weren't in another country (not Iraq - it's not that kind of going away). I have two VeryBadDogs, Max and Oscar.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes to the first 3. I haven't owned a poncho since I was 6. I don't have anything against them, but I'm not sure I'd ever finish knitting one.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I keep starting sweaters, and I've made a handful of hats, mittens, and scarves, and you never have too many bags, but socks are definitely the top of the list.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A dog sweater for Oscar, a pair of self-striping socks, a pair of Fascine Braid socks, and the Sunrise Circle Jacket.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I've been using circular, but it's not a strong preference. I like wood needles best, but I don't indulge myself with really nice ones (see Question #10 about the VeryBadDogs).
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No. I've never thought I needed one, but some people seem to think it's strange when I wind balls by hand.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
For any project, the oldest is the needlepoint kit my parents gave me for my 4th birthday - which makes it 30 years old. Considering knitting projects that may be finished someday, about 2 years.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
The 4th of July, Race Day, and Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Some people think I have a lot of fish things. "A lot" is such a vague term, isn't it? I also collect interesting coins, handmade glass beads, and, of course, yarn.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't subscribe to any knitting magazines.
I'm intrigued by the Socks That Rock yarn. If I ever find anyone selling "Jewel of the Nile," I'll snap it up in a heartbeat.
I'm always hoping to find insanely fine yarns (think 8/12 perle cotton) in silk, but I've never been lucky.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I want to know about the funky mittens on the Yarn Harlot's blog.
The Linen Stitch (as seen in Socks that Rock) looks interesting.
I'd like to work on my lace-knitting skills, and try some superfine knitting.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, I knit socks. I wear a size 38 shoe. (I'm sorry I can't give a U.S. size, but I've been wearing Birkenstocks for a couple of years and now nothing else seems to fit.)

23. When is your birthday?
June 15.



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