Friday, May 19, 2006

Hoping to hear from my Secret Pal....

I haven't had any contact from a Secret Pal, although I've already started spoiling my assigned pal... (feeling guilty, Pal?) so here's a questionnaire to give you some help, hopefully.
1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)? Hmmm, personality? funny question. Then I guess maybe some kind of handspun, handpainted yarn. I think I'm all about variety, with some quirky thrown in, but with consistency. I love quality, and also vintage things. How's that? The yarn I have used that I adore is Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb, the silk and merino, wow, the feel and drape and colors. Yummy.

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with? I love purples and blues, also heathery greys. I wear a lot of black, and also in the blue ranges. I can't wear browns or oranges or yellows, or the yellow end of any colors. I never wear white...

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns? I don't even know what magic yarn is? Yarn that knits itself? or maybe the perfect size, shape and color for the intended wearer, without ever knitting a swatch?

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns? Definitely like natural fibers, and nothing too skritchy (although I loved Noro's Aurora, and it's definitely skritchy, but it has that glow). I have used synthetics and wild things for certain projects, but they can really be a pain. I really love the feel and look of natural yarns.

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn? I like center pull, but have a winder, so I can deal with it.

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them? Never have yet; it's intriguing.

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year? I only started (after a 29 year hiatus) knitting again last year. The urge and inspiration just came out of the blue in February, and in March my son announced that he and his wife finally had been picked to adopt a baby (after years of waiting). I had made a few scarves and then tackled a baby sweater and hats. I've started cabling, done some free form stuff, designed an IPod and a Nanopod holder, lots of felted kitty pi beds, felted catnip mice, hats of all kinds, a bolero, wristwarmers. Learned magic loop knitting (which I love) and now have made almost a dozen cupcakes and some clutches and bowls from OneSkein.

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year? It's nearly all gifts, but I definitely want to make a man's vest (it's been promised for months) and tackle an adult sweater, as well as finally go for working on the Dunadd throw from Alice Starmore.

9. What is your favorite one skein project? That's tough to pick. I love the cupcakes, and the felted bowls. I want to try a bunch more things, so too early to say yet.

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it? Yikes, confessions! Ziplock bags on shelves in the garage. I went to Stitches West conference earlier this year, and was just blown away. Also came down with serious pneumonia, and was sick for a month afterward, so haven't really gone through some of the acquisitions.

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it? No, I can't imagine!

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer? Well, this is my first summer knitting. I used to crochet year round, and Monterey is cool and we need sweaters year round here.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)? I have a wonderful LYS, Monarch Knitting here in Pacific Grove, which is like a second home to me. They are so awesome, such great help, wonderful sense of humor, very supportive. I love all the knitting podcasts, feel like they are "knit-sibs." And of course, the OneSkein KAL.

14. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love soft wool, cashmere for sure, though I haven't bought any for myself. I love silk and merino blends. I love stuff that shows pattern, or drapes beautifully, or changes with the light, has slow color changes. It has to feel good, and wear well. I've made a couple things that just get snagged and caught up on everything, or are too, too skritchy. I do love felting things though, as well.

15. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a big rubbermaid tub that goes under the bed. About once a month I collect all the needles and hooks that have somehow migrated all over the house, put them back in their holders, and back in the tub. I wish there were an easy, organized system that kept all the circulars from getting so loopy!

16. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I started back in the '60s, taught myself, after a friend taught me to crochet. Cast on a giant purple acrylic cape, dropped some stitches, and gave it up for 29 years. Now I've been knitting almost every day since February 2005, but will always have beginner mind.

17. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Nope. I aspire to Sinead O'Connor's song "I do not want what I do not have" but I am very weak!

18. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Real vanilla, then woodsy, deep spicy things, but it has to be real essence. I'm a migraineur, very sensitive to chemicals and synthetics scents.

19. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Afraid so, I adore darkest, bitterest chocolate, I like the oddball ones with pepper and coffee nibs. I can't eat too much or very often, again, migraine trigger.

20. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I don't spin, heaven help me. I do polymer clay, see my ClairVoyArts website for a tiny sample; also collage, I used to sew a lot, did some silver and lapidary, but not now. Photography intermittently. So many arts, so little time.

21. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I love world music of all kinds, actually almost anything except country-western, bluegrass, most opera. Bantu water music is incredible. I have a mac, and a nanopod.

22. 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 purples, blues, teal, silvery greys. I'm wearing black till they come up with something darker. I can't wear browns, or beige, or yellows, or chartreuse, or oranges.

23. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
My tango partner and I have three cats. We'd have 53, but that might be too many. I love all animals, including spiders, dragonflies, snails. I do love Gromit, I have Gromit knitting in my car back window. I love peregrines and other raptors, and cats, large and small.

24. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I like hats, but they have to be the right ones, or I feel strange (like a cat with a haircut). I love scarves. I don't have any mittens, hardly ever cold enough here for mittens. I love fingerless gloves. I've never had a poncho, so I don't know.

25. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Something new. I go in fits, right now it's a dozen cupcakes. I sometimes lose inspiration for big things, find it hard to finish. I love small stuff, but I want to get fast and good enough to do adult sweaters.

26. What are you knitting right now? Cupcakes, felted clutches, I have Dunadd from Alice Starmore on the needles, but only have about 4". Lots of stuff in my head.
I'm getting ready to cast one a shrug from LaLana wool, the streakers shrug in Interweave a couple months ago, and a vest for my partner.

27. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? It's lovely, especially if useful. I have a pretty small house, and don't want to accumulate "stuff." (I have a phobia of having my poor daughter have to sort through and throw out 35 years of "stuff." My adult children all have permission not to buy me "stuff."

28. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I love bamboo, I have a couple Addi turbos, but the metal is so slick and shiny, wow the reflection sometimes blinds me, but the feel of Addis has about ruined me for any other circular.

29. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Not a swift, I have a ball winder

30. How did you learn to knit? See above. I have a great LYS, Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove. They are so patient with me, they never groan when they see me come in the door.

31. How old is your oldest UFO? Well, somewhere in the world is a purple acrylic cape on circular needles with a bunch of dropped stitches, from about 1969.

32. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween, of course, and Carnivale.

33. Is there anything that you collect? Cat whiskers. Seriously. When I find one on the floor, or in a cat bed, it's like a special little present. When I have enough, I make a piece of jewelry.

34. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I currently subscribe to Interweave and Knit.1. I listen to several knitting podcasts. I'm bad to subscribe and then never read the whole issue.

35. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I'd like to learn continental style knitting. And I want to make the pirate felted bag, so I guess I have to tackle intarsia. Oh, and socks.

36. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I wear an 8 1/2, I've never done socks.

37. When is your birthday? May 31st. I'm a Gemini, virgo rising. Fire Boar in Chinese astrology.

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