Friday, May 05, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Questionnaire

I'm taking part in Secret Pal 8 which, as I understand it, is a 'match-making' event that unites knitter pen/blog pals in a 3 month friend-making, gift-giving, knitting/crocheting extravaganza. So here is the opening questionnaire - with my answers. I'm a new knitter and I'm new to Secret Pal, which I discovered through reading other knitting blogs and being intrigued by posts about Secret Pal 7. It looked heaps of fun, so here goes...

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

I don’t think I have knitted enough to have formed a firm favourite yarn. Obviously I like soft things, but I’m not someone who finds itchy fibres that itchy either, so I think I’m quite easy on that front. I choose yarn much more for the colour than the fibre.

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

I don’t have anything to store my needles in. At the moment they are just all jumbled together in the bottom of a big hamper I just bought to hide my wool in!

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

I’ve been knitting for about a year or so, but only really intensively over the last 4 months. I would say that I’m a beginner.

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

I do have a wish list that in fact is mostly populated with knitting books (to hell with everything else right?!).

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

I like lavender, rose or vanilla but I don’t like anything with too many scents blended together as it gives me a head ache!

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

Yes, in the UK I love Galaxy and Kinder Eggs, and any milk, white or praline chocolate, but if I’m in the US I can’t resist Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups/Peaces.

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

I don’t spin. I’ve dipped my toe in mosaic making and more recently card making, but right now its all about the knit! Oh and I quite like cooking and baking…

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

I have terrible music taste which is a constant source of pain for my boyfriend and other friends who are always trying to teach me; thus am much more used to giving other people’s taste a whirl…

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 am all about the colour purple in every shade and tone from deep berry to pale lilac. I probably can’t stress strongly enough my commitment to the colour purple which permeates most of my possessions, although in close second place is hot/strong/vivid pink (never pale pink!) or shades in the magenta and puce realm, and I also add in a bit of red and a touch of teal or pale turquoise. I’m not a fan of yellow or orange, though.

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

I live alone and alas without pets - but I get a good fix of setter and cocker spaniel when I visit my folks!

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

I love to wear scarves and shawls/wraps and even the odd poncho. I also love to wear gloves, mittens and wrist/arm warmers, but I’m a bit picky about hats as I prefer ones with brims or a bit of structure to them (I have a wonderful purple Fedora) and don’t suit ‘beenie’ hats at all!

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

Again I feel I am too new a knitter to have formed an opinion, but I can say that I am definitely trying to knit things I (or those around me) will actually wear and as I love shawls, jackets, cardigans and jumpers I think I’d have to say I’m more inclined to want to knit them. Having said that, I don’t doubt that sock knitting could get quite addictive.

13. What are you knitting right now?

A little cropped jacket/cardigan to go with a stunning dress that I want to wear for a wedding. I’m being a little over ambitious and using a Noro pattern with non-Noro wool, so who knows how that will go…

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes, a friend made me wonderful heart-shaped purple and pink ceramic box with a butterfly painted on it for Christmas, and of course the scarf by Melinda was fab, but they are the only hand made gifts I can remember receiving for a while, but I love them and love knowing the work that went into them too!

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

I haven’t used a circular needle yet, and all the needles I have, which isn’t many (straight: 15mm, 10mm, 8mm, 7mm, 6 ½ mm, 5 ½ mm, 5mm, 4 ½ mm, 4mm, 3mm. circular: 5mm, 3mm) are aluminium or plastic. I’d love to try knitting with bamboo or wood (but I haven’t seen any in any of my local yarn stores) because I have bad circulation and constantly cold hands and I like the idea of picking up needles that don’t feel like ice for the first 10 minutes of knitting time!

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

No, I don’t even know what they are?!

17. How did you learn to knit?

I don’t really know. My mother can knit and both my grandmothers were avid knitters (my mother’s mother especially), and I remember knitting a jumper out of lots of square patches when I was a Brownie (aged about 10), but I don’t remember who taught me. I really picked it up about 2 years ago, and only really fell in love with it this year, and have been teaching myself with a couple of books (‘Start Knitting’ by Betty Barnden and ‘Stitch and Bitch’ by Debbie Stoller) and getting the odd bit of support from an Aunt.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

A couple of months old. I started knitting a Popcorn the Bear knitting kit that I got for Christmas but I’m dreading making it up so its been retired for now.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

Halloween! I realise this is odd, particularly for a Brit as we don’t really go in for Halloween celebrations, but I’m not a big Christmas or New Year person and there is something about pumpkins that just does it for me! ;-) Plus I met my boyfriend when I was out in fancy dress for Halloween last year, so its become kind of special to me now for that reason too.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Mainly I collect hearts of all shapes and sizes. I have all sorts of heart shaped ornaments in wood, semi-precious stone, glass, tin, but I also collect things with hearts printed on such as picture frames and functional objects in the shape of hearts such as mirrors or vases. (I also seem to collect all things purple - of course many of my hearts are purple - but this collection might be cast more effectively as a lifestyle choice as much of the contents of my flat is purple). I do, however, have a secondary (and much smaller) collection of butterflies including ones made of feathers, sequins, glitter and even one tiny one tattooed on my bottom ;-)

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

The books I’m interested in are on my wishlist, but as a new knitter I am always keen to discover books I don’t already know about, and at this stage, books that will either inspire me to learn new techniques, or, conversely, books with relatively simple knits in them that wont scare me off! I don’t have a subscription to a knitting magazine although I’ve just ordered this season’s Rebecca and I have a few of this year’s Simply Knitting magazines. Pattern-wise, I’m finding it extremely hard to track down funky patterns for jackets, cardigans and jumpers or tops.

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

All of them! As I’m a new knitter there seems to be so much out there that I’d love to have a go at. Right now though I think I’d love to learn how to knit socks and I’d also love to learn some techniques for knitting lacy things like shawls/wraps, cardigans…and I guess also socks!

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

I’d love to be a sock knitter, but I’m not yet! I don’t know what measurements to give, but in the UK my shoe size is a fairly small 3 ½.

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

6th September

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