Monday, February 26

Punk Rock Gift Exchange Questionnaire!

1. How long have you been knitting/crocheting/spinning?
My grandmother taught me how to knit about 8 years ago, when I was in college and needed a portable hobby.

2. Do you consider yourself a beginner, novice or experienced yarn artist?
I consider myself somewhere between Piquant (moderate) and Extra Spicy (advanced) according to Knitty.

3. What fibers (materials) have you knit/crochet with?
I prefer to use natural fibers - renewable resources and all. I am also a big fan of knitting with recycled materials.

4. What are your favorite yarns?
Kyoto, Noro and Artyarns - Aren't those everyone's favorites?

5. What fibers are you dying to try?
Blue Moon Fiber Arts, any colorway of the Socks that Rock.

6. Do you prefer solid, self striping, or handpainted yarns?
I love hand-painted for my sock yarns, but just about everything else is solid.

7. What fibers do you dislike?

8. What are your favorite colors?
Black, Purple and Red.

9. What are your least favorite colors?
Orange, when it's by itself. If it's accenting something well, then it can look nice.

10. How did you learn to knit/crochet/spin?
My grandma taught me the knit and the purl, and the Vogue Knitting book taught me the rest - totally my bible. I've also done The Sweater Workshop, by Jaqueline Fee, and I love learning new techniques. I consider myself as always-learning.

11. What projects are you currently working on?
Oh my. This is where my ADD tendencies kick in.
I have a pair of socks that are almost done, but I want to lengthen one of them.
I have a scarf from AlterKnits that's about half-done.
I started a Clapotis.
I have a pair of mittens that's 90% done for a friend of mine.
I still haven't finished the scarf for my MIL.
In between knitting on projects I already have going, I always have a cone of Peaches 'N Creme going for dishcloths, and I'm churning out pair after pair of Fetching mitts.
Sigh, too much.

12. How old is your oldest UFO? What is it? Will it ever be finished?
Ugh. I started a tie-wrap sweater about two years ago, I think. I still haven't completely abandoned it, but I'm not sure when I'll pick it up again.

13. What is the most heartbreaking project that you ever frogged?
My second sweater. My first sweater was so humorously bad, that I keep it intact for show-and-tell. My second sweater laid bare my perfectionist tendencies when it didn't come out exactly as I wanted, even though my husband really liked it.

14. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I like short straights or circulars. I don't like my projects to get too heavy.

15. Do you own a swift and/or a winder?
Yes, both. My swift was actually a Christmas present from my honey this past year. I think he got tired of being my swift....

16. Where do you keep your needles?
I actually have a cabinet - the drawer at the top holds all of my needles, and the shelves inside the body of the cabinet hold a small amount of my yarn.

17. Do you enjoy helpful hints about your knitting or does it just piss you off?
I love helpful hints. Unless their patronizing or condescending, but I don't like those comments in general, not just about my knitting.

18. What techniques are you still a virgin in (lace, cables, ect.) and are you interested in trying them?
Steeking scares the crap out of me. Lace looks like a lot of work for something that my rougher-than-gentle lifestyle would destroy. Cables are fun, but I forget to do them.

19. What knitting magazines do you subscribe to?

20. Are there any books, needles, yarn, patterns that you are dying to get your hands on?
Anything Lantern Moon - I love their needles and notions. I also love a lot of the handmade doo-dads and yarns found on Etsy. I'm easy to please.

21. Do you enjoy knitting socks? How big are your feet?
I do enjoy knitting socks. I end up with second-sock syndrome sometimes, but I can get past it. I wear a US Women's 9 1/2.

22. Do you have a wish list?
Yes. On You're welcome to contact me for the identifiers if you'd like to look for it.

23. What are your non-knitting, crochet, spinning hobbies?
Reading, music and gossip - celebrity gossip, gossip about people I actually know, whatever. I work three jobs, so my hobbies need to stay portable.

24. How do you feel about sports?
In the summer, I play on a town softball league. I love going to football and baseball games. Watching sports on tv is lame.

25. What is your favorite season? Least favorite season? Why?
I love the summer, and like winter least, but purely for temperature reasons. I'm cold ALL THE TIME. I'm wearing a sweater over a long-sleeved shirt right now, and my hands are freezing. I think every season is beautiful, though.

26. What is your favorite holiday?
I love Christmas because I love seeing all of my family, and that's the guaranteed time every year. I also just love the season leading up to Christmas, the caroling, hot chocolate, hand-knitted stockings and decorating my apartment, the soft glow of christmas lights in every room, the warm smells of sweet things baking, cards with warm-wishes written inside and people generally in a good mood. I try not to let the commerce side of things get me down.

27. Do you like handmade gifts?
I L-O-V-E handmade gifts. My younger sister is really good at making things by hand, and I always look forward to treats from her.

28. Do you wear jewelry that isn't real?
As opposed to the imaginary kind? Just kidding. I accessorize with many items, not just things that are classified as "real". I have A pair of "real" diamond earrings, and two necklaces with genuine stones. I do have the largest jewelry collection of anyone I know. I like to make necklaces and earrings myslef, though, out of seed beads and hematite.

29. What are your favorite foods? Scents that you love?
My favorits food is spaghetti with good sauce and lots of parmesan. I love the smells of lavender, apples and cinnamon.

30. What is your family situation? Do you live alone?
I live in an apartment with my husband, Adam, and our roommate, Brigette.

31. Do you have any pets?
I have an attitude-filled cat, Madam Avery Darger. She is named after my and Adam's favorite painters - Milton Avery and Henry Darger.

32. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3's?
I LOVE MUSIC!! I work in a recording studio, so I hear everything on a daily basis. I have a massive library of music on my computers at home and at work, and I also have my 60GB iPod with me at all times. My iPod and my knitting are always in my purse.

33. What are your favorite movies? TV shows? Actors?
I enjoy a lot of movies, but I love "Where the Heart Is", "The Royal Tenenbaums", and "Empire Records". On TV, I never miss "Grey's Anatomy." For actors, I really like Natalie Portman and Edward Norton. There's a host of others that I appreciate, but those stick out right now.

34. What do you collect?
I have collected pigs for a long, long time. However, my apartment is kinda full-to-the-max, and we don't have room to keep any more that don't also serve some sort of practical purpose. I also like dalmatian-print stuff. It's rare, and the dogs are amazing.

35. What do you do in real life -- besides knit and blog?
During the weekdays, I work in a college recording studio as the manager. We teach students how to become producers (which is where I got my BM), and I am in charge of making sure that every performance in the music school gets recorded and made available for parents and performers to purchase.
One night a week, I also teach a class to mostly freshmen and sophomores one night a week.
One other night a week, I babysit for an eight-year-old. Legos and Spongebob, baby.
I keep one night to myself.
The remaining two weeknights, and the weekends, I work at Starbucks near the University.
I have already stated that my hobbies need to stay portable.

36. When is your birthday? Is it a national holiday or just another day?
My birthday is July 22nd - I like to feel like it's MY DAY, but not with anything too outrageous.

37. Do you have any allergies, medical conditions or disorders that your pal should be aware of (ie. diabetes, food/pet allergies, ect.)?
I'm allergic to tobacco smoke of any kind.

38. Are there any scents, phobias, or sensory thing (ie, the way certain objects feel) that your pal should be aware of?
I only like metal needles in the summer. They get too cold in the winter.

39. What is the most difficult thing that you have ever knit/crochet?
Hmmmmmmmm. I knit a sweet sweater for my honey, but that wasn't exactly difficult. I just did it.

40. What is your personal style? Is there a time period/fashion movement that you take your cues from?
Mostly black clothes, since they're the most flattering. I go for clothes that can take a beating, and don't need to be ironed or dry-cleaned. My outfits are usually pretty plain, and then I have accessories to jazz things up. I'm always wearing plenty of layers, to keep warm, and to keep things interesting. I have my ears pierced 7 times in each ear, and my back is covered with a large tattoo that you can see on the back of my neck, so I usually go for more punk-ish clothing looks. I also have dyed-black short hair, so I look kinda punkish, too. I think that sums it up well.

41. Anything else that you would like to say?
I love to knit, and I'm really looking forward to this. Especially with meeting new knitters! A lot of the people I know personally still see my knitting as some kind of fleeting or silly pastime. I get laughed at, but I play into it sometimes too. I see knitting as my form of portable zen. I can easily re-focus myself with a few rows on a project. I don't know what I'd do without it.

Monday, February 19

My drink

Triple Venti, 2-pump Sugar-Free Hazlenut, NO Vanilla, Nonfat, Extra-hot, Caramel Macchiatto.


Wednesday, February 7

in the style of the questionnaire...

From ..satisfying my knitspot..

i found this on sunnelite blog. i ive never done a questionaire thing for this thing. so here we go

1. I’ve been hooked on the needles since: My Grandmother taught me when I was a sophomore in college. I was too busy to join a club, so I picked up knitting, which could be carried around with me.

2. I’m still a virgin, but not for long: Steeking. I still get the shivers, but it seems like a very practical method, especially when doing colorwork.

3. She’s crafty - she gets around…to : Knitting, making notes/cards, household stuff like curtains and quilt covers.

She’s crafty - she’s always down…for: A good gathering of friends and a few beers. Perhaps a game or dancing.

She’s crafty - she’s got a gripe…about : Unreliable/Irresponsible people - pull your own weight.

She’s crafty - and she’s just my type. What type of knitter are you? Original thrower, SLOWLY transitioning to continental - my purling is still really slow.

4. I’m dying to try: Designing something myself.

5. I gravitate towards colors like: Purple. Always have, always will.

6. My most cherished possession (kids, pets, family don’t count) is: A stuffed pig that Adam gave me when we were dating.

7. I’m stuck on an island, what am I reading? Frances Hodgsen Burnett.

8. If I were about to be executed and I was offered a last meal , I’d be dining on: Spaghetti & Meatballs - little ones, not the mammoth kind - with lots of parmesan cheese over my tomato sauce.

9. Music to knit by: Anything, seriously.

10. I have a crush on: My Husband, Adam.

11. Least favorite celeb: Paris Hilton.

12. Choose:

Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp? 21 Jumpstreet Johnny Depp.

Madonna or Janet Jackson? Early Madonna.

June Cleaver or Peg Bundy? Peg Bundy - what a nut!

Jackie or Marilyn? Jackie O

Love or Money? Love

Brains or Looks? Brains

Math or English? English

Cat or Dog? I love my cat without question, but I am totally a dog person. Avery will just have to make room.

Leader or follower? In my own way, leader.

Beer or Champagne? Beer

13. My favorite smell? Apples

14. Not many people know this about me: I love to multitask. I am really happy listening to headphones, reading a book and knitting at the same time, and usually in a public place where it's busy, all while keeping a brain cell on alert in case my phone rings.

15. My hidden talent is: I can wiggle my ears.

Sorta suffering second-sock syndrome

I carry the second Widdershins sock with me at all times in my purse - it goes where I go. However, I have this sneaking suspicion that I did someting wrong with the heel. Of course, since I now feel the need to rip it back to the gusset, I need to actually pay attention to it, and I haven't felt the inclination to pay attention to my knitting. Monday and Tuesday are busy 9am-10pm days for me, so I rarely get time for any knitting at all, let alone concentrating knitting.

Today is Wednesday, though. I didn't have to be anywhere before work, and I don't have any major commitments after work. I always have my SnB gathering on my calendar, but once I get home on a Wednesday, my pajamas usually attack me, wrestle me to the ground, and staple me inside the house - no going anywhere until Thursday morning.

So, back to the sock. Here's what I'm thinking: Try to get the ripping back sorted out while I'm at work. Then, I can concentrate on the heel the way I'm supposed to when I get home this evening. I think that's a good plan.

Also for tonight, I am sewing together side two of my Star Pillow - which I have made out of Lion Brand's Homespun. Then sew up the edges and fill it. Woohoo! I know there are a number of mixed opinions about Lion Brand Homespun and Lion Brand in general. For me, I like this particular material for a couple of reasons. It knits up rather quickly, and it's inexpensive for test-type projects. I also like that it's rather soft, and comes in a number of colors. Plus, I've had a number of skeins of Homespun given to me by people that purchased it to learn how to knit, and then got too busy, or didn't take to knitting, etc.
This orange color was given to me by a friend, VeganSteven, who is always at open markets and looking for vegan (NO animal products) alternatives. In that respect, I was really happy that I was thought of in his travels. This is the biggest reason why I'm making this pillow, and possibly a second pillow to match the first.

I may even have enough gusto to take pictures of things tonight....

Monday, February 5

Brenda now knits!!

My sister, Brenda, came to frigid New England this weekend to learn how to knit. She picked lots of yarn out of my stash - trust me, it's a good thing - and I got her started on a ribbed scarf to practice her knits and purls. I also made her a butterfly to attach to the scarf when she's ready. Woohoo!!