Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Blocking & Secret Pal 8 News

Okay, that sucked.

Long story short, the blocking didn't take. This may sound insane, but I think I may have bound off too loosely for a change. Usually I bind off too tightly and have to rip it all out, so on the shawl I followed the knitting geek's instructions and crochet ch1 between every binding. So, as so many other things in my life, the shawl didn't come out as I was expecting. It still hangs very nicely, so I have decide not to mess with it. Am I settling or am I just that zen?

I am once again enjoying Jessie's ribble socks, thank goodness. No wonder I felt out of balance; I had 5 projects on the needles... See, the Rule of Three (see entry March 5th, I think) is a rule for a reason. I've finished the shawl and Jen's Bubby-Kitty, so I'm down to the Chocolate Mariah, Acrylic Nightmare scarf, and Jessie's Ribble socks. Still the sock yarn calls to me... The idea of knitting a sock used to scare me to death, but now they have to be my favorite projects.


I have to admit it, I feel a little isolated as a knitter. There's a knitting group that meets in town, but I never seem to get there. None of my friends knit, and my efforts to convert everyone I know to the cult of the needles is, frankly, going too slow for my taste. This knitterly loneliness + my love of spoiling others = Secret Pal 8 . So, without delay, here is my first assignment:

Da Questionnaire
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I don't have a lot of fiber experience, but so far my favorite yarn has to be Noro; it was the first yarn that made me sad when I knitted it all up. It's not that I do *not* like acrylic, but I have so much of it that I already don't know what to do with. I still use it, but now that I have felt the glory of natural fibers, it's hard to go back to plastic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I used to keep them in an ArtBin case left over from my art school days, but I picked up this nifty rollup case in Syracuse from a woman who calls herself Bean.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for... I dunno how long. Purling on the other hand, has only been mastered in the last two years or so. I was really frustrated because I'd have to find patterns where all I had to do was knit, BORING. I don't think I've crocheted much since the purl dream. Intermediate works.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I forgot all about it, but I do have an Amazon wishlist! I also have one at KnitPicks.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

This is gonna sound odd, but I have had a serious thing for Rosemary lately... It's kinda hard to find unless you know where you're looking.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Yes, I have a sweet tooth (and a big fat behind). I can eat Reese's Minature Peanut Buttercups until they start leaking out my belly-button.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I used to crochet and, in fact, have an 1/8th finished crocheted throw hanging in the closet waiting to be worked on. I found the directions, but just haven't wanted to lately. I'd love to spin, but I'm sure I'd never leave the house again.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Right now I'm really into Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service (I know, same dudes). I wouldn't take them as my primary music for a cross-county business trip ever again though. My DB (Dear Boy) got me an mp3 player for the winter holiday ^-^

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I used to be only blues and blacks, but I've been trending quite nicely into browns; I seem to be collecting items with the color name "chocolate", hmm.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live in a not-too-tiny studio with my boyfriend, for whom I knit two pairs of socks then cut him off until marriage. He's already starting to sweat. I also have a kitty named Stinker. Her fur is black on the ends and gray at the roots. No clothing is safe from her shedding.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I have this killer scarf pattern committed to memory, so I have several scarves and give them away all the time. Hats make me look like a weenie, but warm is warm. I have always wanted to knit mittens, but the thought of having my fingers restrained drives me bonkers. Ponchos? Eww... Not ewe, ewwww.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I just made these lacy socks during my trip to Syracuse that were a joy to knit. It was my first foray into lace. Right now it's lacy socks, but cables have been known to turn my head as well.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Long Term: Chocolate Mariah cardigan. Small project: Jessie's Ribble Socks. Transient project: Acrylic Nightmare Scarf.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Hells yeah. Handmade things are comforting. I get sick a lot, so I really appreciate that quality.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I like straights for flat work, I feel like I have more control. I am in the midst of amassing a collection of double-pointed bamboo needles to feed my sock fetish...

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I handwind my yarn, but not my choice. I need a yarn winder so bad. I tried one at the LYS and had a ball.

17. How did you learn to knit?

I learned to knit from the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. Problem was, I couldn't grasp purling from the same illustrations. I actually figured out how to purl in a dream I had a couple years ago. I woke up and I could purl. Nothing around here has been the same since.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

I have the aforementioned crochet blanket that I have no intention of touching for the time being. Next up is the Chocolate Mariah, which I think is circa September 2005.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

No favorite holiday really, but I love autumn.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Rubber duckies. It's insane...

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I would do disgusting things to try out some Fleece Artist. Maybe a thrummed mitten kit?

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I just got my first taste of lace... and I LIKED IT! I would like to try something a little more involved (sounds like famous last words to me).

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I love knitting socks! I'm a size 8 wide in womens I think... Thin wrists and chubby ankles.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

02/26, closer to 30 than 20....

Okay, that wore me out. Maybe tomorrow I'll have a good story instead of just a bunch of gimme-gimme crap.

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