Wednesday, January 11, 2006

For My Secret Pal

Hi Secret Pal,

Here's some information about me, as the SP7 organizers asked me to post it. I think I did a decent job of telling you what I like here, but would also enjoy you sharing what YOU like, so don't feel too limited by my preferences.

One more thing: I like used/remaindered books and hand-me-down items, so feel free to give from your own stash or bookshelves, rather than buying new things.


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 a semi yarn snob. I generally prefer animal fibers (I love merino best), and I appreciate excellent quality things, particularly artisanal yarns. At the same time, I think KnitPicks is the best thing since sliced bread, and I do have a soft spot for Red Heart Light & Lofty (I designed my first sweater in this, which was the absolute wrong choice for the design, but I still like the yarn), Lion Brand Wool-Ease for slipper socks, and Lion Wool for felting. That said, I strongly prefer basic yarns over novelty (of course, there are always exceptions: there are some really beautiful quality and unusual novelties I admire, particularly among the handspuns).

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I don't spin, but would be interested in trying drop spindle spinning. I have dabbled in thread crochet for lace making, but am much more excited about knitting.

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

I have a Denise Kit, which has its own case. I keep my other needles (mostly double-points) in ziploc baggies in an accordion folder.

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

I learned to knit when I was very young, but didn't rediscover it until 2000, when I was going through some very hard times, and was moved by the scene in Like Water For Chocolate, in which Tita finds comfort in knitting through the night. I would say I'm at a high-intermediate level. I'm an adventurous knitter, and I like a challenge or to try new techniques.

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

I do, although I tend to use it as a "things I may want to look into later" list, rather than a "things I really really want" list. My knitting and design list is at:

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

I love vanilla, pumpkin, or spices, or other "baked goods" flavors for candles, etc. For bath products, I love citrus and citrus blossom scents, lavender, and nutty and spicey scents.

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

I have an insulin condition, and follow a low-carb lifestyle to keep it under control. That said, I love sweets, so feel free to send me low-carb or diabetic-friendly sweets. I'm not wild about the Russel Stover Net Carb variety, though.

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

I do beaded embellishment, mostly flatwork and fringe on belly dance costumes.

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

I am a semi-professional belly dancer, so I listen mostly to belly dance music (Arabic, Turkish, and American-traditional-style). I also love celtic music (particularly but not exclusively Irish; I used to play the tin whistle) and classic bossa nova. I'm also exploring bluegrass, and love any music where the artist's soul really comes through. Surprise me! I can play MP3s on my computer or ipod.

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 absolutely love electric blue, teal, turquoise, pinks, tomato red, wine, and mint green. According to the Color Me Beautiful analysis I did in middle school, I'm a Winter, meaning that I look best in jewel tones and icey pastels. I rarely look good in brown, orange, or muted or dusty tones. If you could describe a color as bright or crisp, it's probably a good choice.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am recently married, and have one cat.

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

I wear scarves, hats, and gloves/mittens. My coat is brown and ivory with strong grey tones. I'm generally anti-poncho, but I have been known to wear the occasional capelet, as long as it's not overwhelming (sleekly-fitted, delicate, etc.).

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

I LOVE Karabella Aurora 8 (or anything from the Aurora family), Lorna's Laces (gorgeous colorways), and Over The Rainbow Yarns silk/merino blend.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I'm not wild about acrylics, with the exception of Red Heart Light & Lofty. I find that, although Alpaca is softer to the touch, I often get fewer "pricklies" from a good-quality wool. I don't like scratchy wools, however, I just worked with with Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed, and I wasn't thrilled: awfully scratchy for the price.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

I am in love with cables at the moment. I've also been meaning to try out fair isle colorwork, make some more socks, and get futher into sweater design..

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

I'm all about sweaters lately, but I also like socks and wraps. I'm feeling the jackets at the moment, but I'm not sure how long that will last.

17. What are you knitting right now?

I'm just finishing up the Blissful Jacket from Interweave Knits Fall '05, and the Lelah Top. I'm currently swatching for Tubey (still in the yarn selection process)

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?


20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Depends on the application. I have a Denise set in Cassein, which are great for most size 5-15 applications. For smaller diameters, I like Bamboo for slippery yarns and aluminum when I need speed.

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

I have a winder, and my husband is making me a swift for my birthday, at least in theory...

22. How did you learn to knit?

My babysitter (a professional ballerina) taught me when I was young (6,7,8ish).

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

From early 2003, I think, although it's in the semi-permanent time-out basket. I'm not sure it's worth finishing. My oldest truely-working-on-it project is from the spring of '05.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

Powdered Toast Man from Ren & Stimpy.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

That's hard to say. I'd have to vote for Chrismas, since the money you spend on yarn comes from both your knitting budget and your xmas budget. :)

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Nope, although I really like earrings. I'm allergic to nickel, though.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Interweave Knits.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Addis in smaller sizes (0-4 with long cords for the Magic Loop, or in normal lengths in pairs for the two circulars method), Loop-D-Loop by Teva Durham, anything by Barbara Walker, Jean Frost Jackets, Designing Knitwear by Deborah Newton.

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

Fair Isle, hand dyeing, and pattern design techniques.

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

I like making socks a lot, but have done most of them in sport weight, rather than true sock weight. My feet are size 8-8.5 wide (US).

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

February 26th (right in the middle of the SP7 date range!)


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