Personal thoughts on knitting, crochet, and other aspects of my life...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Yarmulke, Anyone?

Whew! I finished my Dad's birthday present and it is in the mail to him. I knit him 3 Yarmulkes, pattern from the Greetings from Knit Cafe book. I'm sure he will love this gift. I have never knit for him. I did crochet him a yarmulke once...oh, about 40 years ago, when I was at Camp Ramah (the kind of camp where you would learn this sort of thing) in Wisconsin.

If you're not familiar, I thought I'd show you how the yarmulke is worn...first being modeled by my husband...then being modeled by my cat Jonathan.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

SP8 Package Received

Look what my Secret Pal sent me! What a lovely box of goodies. There is some beautiful blue brushed alpaca yarn, a nice note, and goodies from her home state of Iowa including informational pencils, dill mustard, dog treats from the local dog bakery, and treats for me ...Craisinberry Crunch and Roasted Field Corn.

Also being from the midwest (born and raised in the Chicago area), I am quite familiar with corn, and corn fields. As a matter of fact, thinking about this reminded of my summer of skydiving.

Many (too many) years ago, I learning how to skydive, spending about 7 weeks time and completing a total of 5 actual jumps. The small airport where this all took place was in Hebron, Illinois. Now, in Illinois, there is the Chicago area, and the rest of Illinois...which is all flat and filled with corn fields. Hebron was located in this area of Illinois.

The airport was located across the road from corn fields. Every jump I made, I landed in the corn fields. I tried and tried; but, it didn't matter...each time I parachuted over the airport where I would wave at my instructor and the other skydivers below, cross the road (and the telephone poles), and ultimately land amongst the corn stalks.

The first jump, early in the summer, didn't matter too much. The corn was about knee high. However, by my last jump which was only about 7 weeks later, the corn was way taller than me. The corn was so tall that I could not find my way out. Yes, I was lost in the corn. Embarrassingly, my instructor had to come and rescue me from the corn fields.

That was the last time I went skydiving.

Thanks for the memories, Secret Pal...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

SP8 Questionnaire

Dear Secret Pal,

Please accept my apologies ... I am a bad blogger. Here is my questionnaire...long overdue...but filled with detailed information on my likes and dislikes. Hope it helps...

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love luxurious fibers—cashmere, silk, alpaca, merino wool
, or blends of these…especially hand-dyed yarn. Also, I love specialty yarns, like from small farms or cooperatives. I get very excited over yarns that I can't normally find at shops around here, yarns like Handmaiden/Fleece Artist or Blue Moon Fiber Arts, to name two. I definitely am a yarn snob, which I say with no guilt…I openly admit it. I do not like acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Currently, my circulars are in
The Circular Solution hanger-thing hanging on my wall. My straights are in a beautiful glass vase that was a wedding gift. I don’t have dpn’s since I do all small circular work using the Magic Loop method (1 long circular).

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned to knit about 17 years ago; but, put it aside until about 4 years ago.
Now, I’ll never stop again…I love it! I would consider myself to be an intermediate knitter…don’t really understand fair isle or intarsia too well—all that color changing.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, but I’ll look into it.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Let’s start with what I don’t like—coconut. I tend to like spicey, woodsy scents, an example being Sage n’Citrus, which is a Yankee Candle scent. I also like some fruit scents like apple, melon, etc. I love most Aveda scents (Origins, too). (I work with Aveda so I get their products at cost.)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Uh, yeah! Chocolate!!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I just learned to crochet…took a class about 6 months ago. I do not spin…yet…am considering it. I just bought a Drop Spindle (and some roving); but, have yet to use it.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like current music, current hits mostly. Some favorite artists are Coldplay, Dave Mathews, Sting, and Tracy Chapman. Yes, my computer plays MP3’s and I also have an iPod (which I love dearly).

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 like a lot of colors…jewel tones, soft muted tones. I like black, purple, red, pink, turquise…depends on my mood. I pretty much stay away from yellow-based colors…tend to prefer cool tones more.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married (will be 3 years in October). I have no children; but, my husband has two, both are in college. We have 4 dogs (2 Greyhounds, 1 long-haired Dachshund, and a Puggle) and 3 cats. Three of the dogs and 2 of the cats were adoption rescues.

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

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Mostly accessories, like hats, shawls and fingerless mitts. I like the immediate gratification of a small project. Also, I find they keep my interest as there is a lot less repetition in something small. I start a lot of scarves, too; but, don’t finish as many because I can get a little bored with scarves (that repetition-thing). Once I get a pattern down, I tend to want to start something new.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Yikes, too many to list. As you may have figured out by now, I am a GREAT starter…love, love, love starting new projects! Let’s see, though, I am working on the Short n’ Sweet crochet shrug from Happy Hooker. Also, the Streakers! Shrug from Interweave knits, a pair of fingerless mitts, a lace stole (pattern from Vogue Knitting), and the Big Bang Wrap from Sally Melville…to name a few.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular—Addi Turbos are my favorite. My new favorite circulars...drum roll, please...Knit Picks! For straight needles, my favorite needles are Lantern Moon, 10".

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, to both. I even own a yarn the gadgets!!!!

17. How did you learn to knit?
I took a class at Elizabeth’s Knit Shop, in Chicago, back about 1989, I think. It was a 6 week course and the project we learned to knit was a sweater, which I still have.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
To be honest, my oldest UFO is about 15 years old and is an ankle-length Kaffe Fasset coat…I don’t know if I will really ever finish it since I have never gotten past the ribbing. Besides that, I also have a beaded scarf project which is about 4 years old…when I first took up knitting again. Like I mentioned…I’m a great starter.

19. What is your favorite holiday?
My birthday! Then, my Anniversary. Besides those, Thanksgiving.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
I guess you could say yarn, or UFO’s, or dogs. The real answer is “no.”

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 usually do buy books that I want, I have a pretty good collection. I subscribe to Interweave Knits, Knitters and , as a member of TKGA, I receive a subscription for Cast-On (which is my least favorite, although they do sometimes have good articles). I would like to try the Socks That Rock yarn, maybe in the thicker gauge. Also, would love to try a skein of Sea Silk yarn from Handmaiden...actually anything from Handmaiden would be scrumptious.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
With knitting…color work like fair isle or intarsia. Would like to try a pair of Toe-Up Socks. Also, spinning,

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I have knit socks, mostly singles (what a surprise!). I keep trying to get more excited over sock knitting because I would like to be able to wear hand-knitted socks; but they come in pairs and that is an issue for me. I recently tried knitting 2 socks at once…another UFO…too complicated, not fun. My shoe size is 9 (big foot), which measures 10 inches long (normal width).

24. When is your birthday?