Knitting Like A Sailor

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Secret Pal 7 Answers

I just checked my email and received my notification of my Secret pal. Guess that means I'd better post this, huh? :) Sorry, Gifter. I'm starting Spring semester tomorrow, and what with everything happening today it kind of went by the wayside. That would be me, a bit disorganized :)

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
I'm not really a yarn snob intentionally. Acrylics have their purposes, but I don't often knit them, I prefer to save up for the good stuff. I do have to admit to really liking the one pair of Susan bates quicksilver (the grey coated line, if I'm mis-remembering the name) sock needles I bought when I lived in Georgia, but they're not to be found in these parts.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I do spin. I have a Babe and a Schacht wheel, and several spindles. I know the basics of crochet, but it's not a craft that I prefer to do often as I feel the resulting fabric is frequently too bulky for garments.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a fabric case for the set of dpn's I bought from QueerJoe a while back, other than that they're rolling around in a drawer in the kitchen or stuck into various balls of yarn that were handy at the time.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Gosh...Well, my grandma taught me to knit and crochet when I was under ten. I got the basics down, and then put it away for many years. Occasionally I'd buff up my needles and make a swatch and then put it away again. I'd always been drawn to spinning, and picked that up in 2000, and then started knitting again as a way to use up my yarns. Lately I have only had time for one or the other, and knitting has worked better in that regards.
As for my skill level, I will try anything, and the level of patterns that I find not too difficult are usually advanced intermediate/adventurous intermediate. I've tried some expert patterns and I can do them, if I take it one step at a time and have patience.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do have an amazon wish list, if you'd like to see it I can email it to you. I tried to link to it but blogger didn't like that and gave my hands a hearty slap.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
For things like candles etc, I prefer homey, pastry type smells like pumpkin pie, sugar cookie, ginger, things like that. For personal use I prefer floral/oriental scents like coco or coco mademoiselle. (edited to add holy CRAP! I just looked up the prices of those and man, do I ever have expensive tastes. I keep the scent thingies from the magazines and use them when I want to smell pretty, Kev gets migraines if I wear a strong perfume often)

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do like candy, but I don't eat a lot of it. I prefer chocolate to anything else, and don't consider chocolate a candy. Dark semi-sweet chocolate is the best. I refuse to believe that white chocolate is indeed chocolate, and as such it is not favored. Neither are walnuts.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Oh, my three favorite words. Say them with me...Some Assembly Required. Sexy, aren't they? *shiver* I looove to put things together, take them apart, and to see how things work.
Aside from that, I like to cook (is that a craft?) I have made one quilt, and might like to make another some day, but becoming a quilter isn't on my list of priorities. I like needlepoint and tapestry, candlewicking, I've done silk ribbon embroidery, but I'm not a big project person. I have kits I've been working on since high school that I take out, work for a bit, then put away again. They may never be finished, and I'm comfortable with that.
I like to dye fibers and yarn, spin, knit, and that's pretty much it.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like country rock, hard rock, classic rock, metal, Glen Miller, Frank Mills, Trace Adkins, Garth Brooks, Def Leppard, Uncle Kracker, Dansig, Allanis Morrisette, Coldplay, Nickleback, Violent Femmes...Just about the only music genres I don't choose to listen to are opera and gansta rap. My computer can play mp3's, I don't have a stereo, and the CD player in the van only takes CD's.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love deep rich teals, blue greens, green blues, and jewel tones. I'm good with brighter, saturated colors too, but I'm not a fan of the day-glo colors that have been popular. Pastels are alright. I prefer topaz and golds to sunny yellow and pumpkin or warm peach to orange. Pretty, bright colors like Opal Petticoat and Parrot, Lornas Laces Rainbow and some of the STR yarns are great.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Kevin (my significant other, partner, and also known as the man who may no longer live here when he ticks me off) and I cohabitate. We have three children, two sons (11 and 2) and one daughter (4 this month) We have a dog, Shaela, pictures in the last post, and one and a half cats, Bielset my fluffy grey boy, and New Kitty, a black DSH Kevin came home with. (btw, New Kitty is officially his name, and he answers to it. That's what the kids started calling him and I didn't feel up to a new pet after my Pongo died this fall, so New Kitty he will remain.) I usually name my animals after Shetland sheep colors and markings or Gaelic words.
My children also have more traditional UK names, Timothy, Gwen and Liam.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves, yes. Hats, when I live somewhere cold enough, yes. Mittens, no, I prefer gloves or fingerless gloves, and I wear them regardless of the season, my hands get cold easily ever since the carpal tunnel surgeries in '98. Ponchos, no, I don't think I have ever worn one, they seem like they would get in the way.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I like wool, alpaca, silk, blends. My favorite types are smooth, plied, classic styled yarns. I would love to try some Kid Silk Haze for lace.
I don't generally knit with anything larger than heavy worsted, and prefer sport or dk for socks when I knit them. I will knit socks from some of the thicker fingering weight yarns too, and use sock yarns for shawls. I wear my socks around the house instead of slippers and need the density from a thicker yarn knit densely.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like.
I don't do much with cotton because it generally doesn't have enough give and wears my hands out quickly. I have tried the stretchy cotton sock yarns, but my tension was all over the place with them so they're shelved. For now.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Lace. I'm a big fan of the "classics" lace, aran, and fair isle. Although have you seen some of the gorgeous stuff Kaffe Fassett has done? Oh. My. God. I might have to get me some of that there soon. (have I mentioned that I live in the south now? I try to acclimate LOL)

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Judging by what I have been doing lately, swatches! I've been interested in doing some felting, and looking for a good sized bag pattern to haul some textbooks and a bit of knitting around in. Otherwise, I like to make shawls, sweaters, sport weight socks, the occasional scarf when required. I like using fine yarns and small needles even for big projects, so sock yarns are something I would use, just not for socks unless they were thicker fingering weights. Some of Cat Bordhi's patterns look mighty interesting, but I haven't seen the books in hand to make the decision yet.

17. What are you knitting right now?
A shawl from the Heirloom Knitting book in a singles yarn from, Rosy Fingered Dawn by Hazel Carter bought as a kit from blackberry ridge, I have a plain jane sweater back on the needles for me, from the handy book of sweater design in patons merino and my own handspun, and I have one worsted weight slipper sock to finish the pair.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
I think so. My sister made me a ten foot long red heart scarf once when I was in high school and I wore it every year until the washing machine shredded it 8 years later. Then I cried.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
It depends on what I'm doing. Knitting in the round, on a large project like a fair isle in shetland yarn, I actually prefer loooong dpns, but my set broke and I haven't found any replacements, so I use inox or bamboo circs. For shawls, I prefer circs. For sweaters for the kids, scarves and smaller projects knit in pieces, I prefer short straights, and for socks I prefer 6 or 7" dpns. I'm not a fan of brittany dpns, or long straights, they're hard on my wrists.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo, wood, casein, bryspun and teflon coated needles rock!

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I do have a wooden swift. I had an elderly plastic ball winder, the handle of which broke off last weekend. I am thinking about saving up for a more durable wood ball winder.

22. How did you learn to knit?
Grandma originally, books and the internet for refreshers, and books, the internet, and bugging people like Mar for technique refinement.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I believe it is from August. I tend to frog frequently if it's not working for me, but I am a slow knitter and do take turns with my projects.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
If you mean like a mascot, I don't really have one, nor do I collect them. I am fond of Eeyore, I like classic Pooh as opposed to Disney pooh, and I like colorful animals like moths, butterflies, appaloosas, poison arrow frogs etc.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
I like Christmas, fall, the fourth of July, Valentines is a bit schmaltzy, but it's cute from the kids. I try to celebrate every day because that's more fun :)

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Besides fiber, yarn, and the tools to manipulate them? Books. I'm a big fan of science-fantasy authors like Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, JK Rowling, Laurell K Hamilton. I also collect old housekeeping manuals and cook books. I also seem to have developed a collection of yarn Color Cards.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None currently, although I am looking at the Interweave magazines, INKnitters, Twists and Turns, and Wool Gathering.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Oh my yes.
I have lists, if you want I'll send them along to you

One of the lace weight yarns from here
I love Cherry Tree Hill lace weight in the peacock colorway, two skeins would make a lovely shawl!
Kid Silk Haze.
Hebridian yarn from Virtual Yarns
a J&S color card, I'm gearing up to knit a FI in 2007.

the raku suri stole, reflections shawl, forest path stole from here
I'm a big fan of Mary Dominsky's mosaic sock patterns and Lucy Neatby slip stitch sock patterns as well, but I don't have any.

I would like some more Susan bates Quicksilver needles in their smaller sizes
I would love some of the longer (I think they were ten or fourteen inch) dpn's for making bigger projects on in size 2, I truly need finishing needles. I can't keep hold of those things to save my life.
I would be tickled to death to get one of the introductory spinning kits from Skaska designs. I have cashmere and thin silk thread set aside for the day I get a russian spindle.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Not at the moment, I'm too busy trying to refine what I do know :)
Argyle will eventually have to be conquered as I do want to try for the master knitting program.
Support spinning with a russian spindle too lol

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I do knit socks but Kevin steals them before I get any wear out of them so I just make them in his size and schlepp around until he notices and then liberates them. Why fight the inevitable? I also make the children socks, usually with my own yarns. I wear a size 9-10 ladies, size seven men (can't always find ladies tennies in size 9/10) they're about ten inches long, my tape measure has wandered off, with some help I'm sure. I do cuff my socks.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
July 16th, I will be 35.

Well, now that's done. I hope I don't sound really picky. I'm pretty happy with whatever, I just wanted to give lots of options and help, it's hard figuring out what other people will like!
I'm off to pack my backpack for classes tomorrow. Have a good week everyone!