Monday, February 19, 2007

Secret Pal 10

I had been debating --

Secret Pal 9 was fun. I received some different yarns I had not seen or tried before. I gave some gifts, which I love to do.

Should I take a break, or sign up for 10?

Took me a little while, but I decided to repeat the experience with Secret Pal 10.

To that end, here are my questionnaire answers:

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

I like all kinds of yarns. Size-wise, I do better with DK or heavier. I find I have not yet master the teeny needles needed for the smaller yarns. I’ve been using the smaller yarns to carry along to add warmth to some items. I am determined to master the bitty needles, but I’m not there yet. Fiber content? I’m easy!

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

I use a zippered case for one set of crochet hooks. I use a Crock (it is to make bread, but I’m using it like an extra large pencil cup with my needles) for most of my straight needles, including DPNs which I keep in their original wrappers (this will not work for long, the wrappers will get worn out, but that’s where I am right now). Circs that I use a lot hang out of the crock too, but the rest stay in their original wrappers!

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

I have been knitting seriously since Feb/March 2006. I learned from a book many, many (like 35?) years ago and made two things: one became a dog coat; the other was a beautiful scarf. I took up crocheting instead – way back when - and, until the Knitting Olympics, I hadn’t knit a stitch in all those years. However, I am a crafty person by nature, and I’ve picked it up pretty well. I’d consider myself an Advanced Beginner or, perhaps I have Intermediate skills. I think it depends on the definition ~ which seems to vary by knitter.

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

I have an Amazon knitting list

5. What's your favorite scent?

I’m not really a scent person, but, if I have to choose, I’m more fruity than flowery. The Renuzit® Air Freshener is Cucumber Melon or Kiwi Mango rather than Country Flowers or Lilac.

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

not particularly. I’m more of a salty sweet person. Honey Roasted nuts, chips, cheese and crackers are more popular with me than candy. My favorite candy is/was the PayDay® bar (sweet center, salty nutty outside!). However, my teeth no longer like that one!

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

I do not spin and have been actively avoiding it, while looking longingly in its general direction. Knitting has been pricey enough to keep me going on craft expenditures for the next few years. Also, I want to get better at it before heading off to the spindle or wheel. I like to scrapbook, crochet, and cook; and I’m trying my hand at a little beading.

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

Country and Show Tunes (though generally older shows. I’m too old for some of the current crop of Broadway shows like Rent). I believe my car and my computer are capable of all types of music storage/playback.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I used to always say blue and, indeed, shades of blue still rank right up there with my all time favorites, but I have added to the blues – deep burgundies and reds and the coordinating creamy pinks and roses, as well as, deep greens. Not so much into the BRIGHTs and the Neons.

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

No pets and no plans for any. I’m a widow. My sons (16 and 18), my mother and I share a home. The 18 yo will soon be leaving the nest. He graduates (hopefully) on May 31st and will be entering a shared house with some other young men, to make his way in the world. Then there will be 16 and me and mom for another year or two. Then it is anybody’s guess!

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

no ponchos and only occasionally mittens (I prefer gloves) – but definitely hats and scarves. I generally make myself the “Adult Male” size hat. I don’t do form-fitting well – in clothes OR hats!

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

hats for speed, then anything with a new element I didn’t know before (heels/gussets come to mind!)

13. What are you knitting right now?

hats and socks and booties (these types of things are always on some set of needles or hooks), and a baby sweater. I have plans for a light, Spring sweater for my mom

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

sure, who doesn’t?

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

I do not really care for plastic needles or hooks. Nor do I like the actual Aluminum ones, like Susan Bates. Silvalume and Quicksilver aren’t too bad. The Addi Turbos and Naturas are very nice. I have three straights by Lantern Moon that are gorgeous. I haven’t made many things on them (two were gifts), but they are the most beautiful needles I own.

I prefer circular needles if I’m going to be knitting wide, or while commuting, or in the round (for obvious reasons here). DPNs for socks, booties, final hat decrease. All of my DPNs are wood, but the kind of wood varies – birch, bamboo and something else.

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

Yes. Both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

I have no idea. In the knitting genre, it can’t be older than about 1 year (and I don’t think I have any that old) because I only started last Feb/March! Crocheting? Well, I don’t want to think about it… I’m sure it will surface one day when I finally get through all the boxes in my basement!

18. What is your favorite holiday?

I don’t really have a favorite anymore. Last year, I really enjoyed Thanksgiving. But I don’t really have a favorite.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

I collect everything! ~grin~ No, really, I do not collect any particular thing and I don’t plan to start any kind of collection either!

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

Creative Knitting is the only subscription I have. There are some reference books that look interesting. My Amazon wish list has the books on there. As for yarns, needles and patterns:

Interesting yarns I have yet to try: Socks That Rock; Claudia’s Hand-Paint.

Needles: I have tried a little bit of most kinds except KnitPicks and Denise sets - but they are beyond this swap!

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

entrelac looks cool, or perhaps a lace project. I’m not sure about intarsia.

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

I’m just starting. I haven’t customized any socks, but I wear a US Women’s Size 11 Wide shoe.

23. When is your birthday?

May 13

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