Friday, May 27, 2005

Feather and Fan II

I have about 3 inches of this shawl finished. I spent about 2 hours working on it tonight, and about another half an hour working backwards and got roughly one four row repeat finished. I'm going to be working on this forever! (pout)
But I'm getting lots of attention when I work on it in public and most of the people compliment it and say it's going to be gorgeous. I try not to growl at the people who come up and make small talk when I'm obviously counting stitches...

"one, two, three, four, five, six, one, two"
"What are you crochetting?"
"three, I'm (four) knitting a shawl, five"
"Oh, it's (six) lovely, what kind of yarn is it?"
"A blend (one, two) of merino and silk"

It's so hard not to yell at them when I'm counting out loud... Perhaps I need to learn patience. This is a wonderful way to get practice with patience. Answering kindly and introducing someone new to a craft that I love in a manner that will cause them to think kindly of it when I'd like to smack them and say "I'm counting, leave me alone" is quite a lot of work.

I'm so excited about the secret pal 5. Sign up closes in 48 hours and both my roomate and I are in which is wonderful since I happened upon it while procrastinating and looking at blogs yesterday and I could have so easily missed it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Secret Pal 5 Questionaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

A little bit of one. I greatly prefer natural fibers to synthetic and therefore tend to avoid Red Heart, Lion Brand (except fisherman's wool) and many/most novelty yarns. I know people love them, I just don't particularly enjoy working with them unless it's gift knitting and I know the recipient will adore it, then it's worth it.
(edit: It's not about the cost, I enjoy getting a good price on things and seeking out less expensive sources for my yarn (including sweaters from the thrift stores and unravelling them)... Really it comes down to whether a yarn makes my hand feel slick and oily when I touch it. If the answer is no, I'll use it. If yes, then I'd really rather not.)

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I spin with both wheel and drop spindle (anywhere), I dye (anything), I weave (not often enough), I crochet (a little bit... i know just enough to get myself in trouble), I bead (infrequently), I read (insatiably).
Pretty much if it can be done with yarn I like it, well except counted cross-stitch, I never have managed to finish a counted cross-stitch project.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

I prefer to avoid smoke, though most things can be cleaned sufficiently as it is not a true allergy. My roomate is allergic to mold and so I should not have any of it in the house.

4. How long have you been knitting?

This time around I've been knitting for about 5 years, I was midway through school and decided I needed something to do with my hands to keep me from falling asleep in class. I tried crochet, got tired of having to look at it and even more tired of lusting after all the lovely knitting patterns amongst a famine of crochet patterns. Therefore, I converted back to knitting. I am rarely without a project (or two) in my purse.

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

I have an amazon wishlist that is woefully one sided (it's all knitting books and only knitting books).. Perhaps someday I will add other books of interest, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

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

Well, I'm fairly picky about scents and generally prefer colored to scented.. but for candles I'd have to go with vanilla, for bath products I'd say lavendar, mint, or other herbal non-chemically smells...
Also, essentail oils are almost always interesting as they have uses that are nor dependent on the attractiveness of their scent.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

My scale says, "YES!"
I say, only a little bit...
My roomate says, "Did you eat my chocolate again?" (the answer is almost always a slightly sheepish "yes... Did you want it? Will this other kind do?"

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

Almost anything.... I have a degree in art, I've done woodworking.
(edit: I have almost everything required for a functioning small metalshop except the torch and relevant gasses. Maybe someday I'll get them, until then I mostly work with wire.
We're also trying to get our lampworking stations set up in the garage as we have all the pieces for them.)

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

I like folk music, rock, some country, some metal, lots of stuff that gets filed under world music, a couple songs worth of rap and r&B, etcetera.
My computer can play MP3s, though I don't currently have any music on it, I could if I wanted to or got around to it.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

Favorite colors, blues and greens. I do rennaisance fair stuff, so there's something I can do with almost any color of yarn, fiber and fabric. Lately for some reason I've been enthralled with Mountain Colors' varegaited yarns with a little punch of a contrasting color, like mystic lake or alpine.
(edit: Browns are not my favorite, same with yellow and orange. I enjoy wearing red though some of them look unfortunate on me.)

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

I have one lovely puppy named Zhenya. He's a year and a half old (roughly), we don't know for sure since we got him at the pound in January. He has a double coat that he blew out for the summer and we're going to spin it into yarn for very special little things. Hopefully he will get it back next winter and we will have our very own little fiber animal.
(edit: I completely missed the family situation portion of this question. I live in a house with my best friend and her husband. The dog is all of ours. He's my first dog and I didn't know he was going to work his way into my heart so quickly.)

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

This summer, I'm applying to pharmacy school. I hope to get in and start in fall of 2006. Currently I'm looking to go into community pharmacy because I'm enjoying patient contact in my current work.

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

Ooh, that's a tough one. I'm having a current infatuation with Jaggerspun Zephyr because I'm working with it right now. I've also really like Lamb's Pride especially for felting.
(edit: When I wrote these, it was getting rather late and I was getting rather short on inspiration. Almost anything has the potential to be my favorite yarn for a given purpose. I wouldn't often use Cascade 220 for socks, though I do have a pair of worsted weight handknit socks as part of my faire garb. Similarly, sock yarn can be used for lace, and though lovely it will never a wedding ring shawl make.)

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

I'm not particularly partial to synthetics, particularly not the ones that leave your hands feeling oily.

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

Lace... I have one project on needles and one soon to start, and given how lace eats time, that's probably all I will be working on for awhile... I'm hoping I stay interested/obsessed enough to finish both projects.
But my interests flit from project to project and I'm looking more and more at color work so I'm thinking I might go there next.

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

Hats. They're quick, easy to fit, can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make them.
Socks are a close second, they take so long to make but are so wonderful to wear and show off.

17. What are you knitting right now?

A shrug that's seeming to have patterning troubles
Hats for premies to donate
A tank top for my roomate..
(it's a mock-up for the real one that will have scary intarsia cherries on it)
Mobius baskets as a birthday present for my sister
The never-ending pile of half-finished socks

18. What do you think about ponchos?

I could take them or leave them... I enjoy capes and ruanas, and I don't follow the trends enough to think I need to develop a love of the poncho. And besides, I probably wouldn't get it finished before they went out of style again.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Circular or double point. My wrists are weak and so I can't work large projects on straight needles.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Yes... I use bamboo or wood for almost anything, aluminum for cotton and am getting acquainted to and learning to love my Denise interchangeable set.

21. Are you a sock knitter?

Yes, intermittently. It takes me forever to finish a pair, but I enjoy working on them.

22. How did you learn to knit?

My mother taught me American style when I was little, but I didn't do it for long. I wanted to pick out another project and she wouldn't allow it until I finshed the one I started with. So I got bored and moved on to something else entirely.
(edit: When I was in college I taught myself contintental as a way of gaining access to the world of w0onderful knitting patterns that as a self taught beginning crochetter I could only drool over. (Trying to convert a knitting pattern to crochet hadn't crossed my mind, and if it had I probably would have been too intimidated to try it. Besides, knitting takes up so much less yarn.)

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

My first sweater is all knitted and needs only to be seamed and a crochet edging put on, it's been in that state since Christmas three years ago. Other than that, I never did finish the scarf my mother tried to teach me with, but I don't have it any more, so it's not technically a UFO in my mind.

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

GIR from Invader ZIm

25. What is your favorite holiday?

just kidding... (Did anyone else remember the horrid ad from last Christmas? Do you now?)
Probably Yule or Samhain.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Yarn? Fiber?

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Interweave Knits, Spin-Off, Handwoven. Thinking about subscribing to CastOn (through TKGA) and KnitNet or Vogue Knitting.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

All of them!
I love my books, each new one is cherished and the old ones are rarely evicted from their space on the bookshelf.
Deb Menz's Color in Spinning was on that list for a long time. Thankfully they re-printed it and now I have a copy of my very own. It's a wonderful book.

Oy this was long... I had no idea... For anyone that got this far, congratulations on your perseverence.
(edit: Apparently my perseverance wasn't quite up to par, it was getting late and my answers got distinctly terse near the end. Some of them have addenda, some have been reworked. Enjoy... Edits on 5/28/2005)

Feather and Fan

It's taking me about an hour to do one four row repeat on my shawl that was supposed to be just a guage swatch. I was at Acorn Street on Monday trying to pick up a needle for my roomate (they didn't have it) and found some accent colors that look lovely with the grey that the majority of the shawl will be made of, a green and a purple, so I'm thinking of putting a double border on one of the long (straight) edges of the shawl. I dread the thought of figuring out how to border feather and fan's wavy edge, so I'm not going to.
If anyone has any suggestions that could allow me to border the wiggly edges, I'd love to hear them... Is there anybody out there?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Lace Knitting

I've joined a knit-along, my very first. It's a lace stole and the pattern will be given in parts by the lovely lady that writes Pink Lemon Twist. It can be found at yahoo groups under mysterystolealong. So the new project of the week is a 'guage swatch'...
Or, more honestly, I started a stole in feather and fan to determine what size needles I wanted to work the mystery stole on. I started it on Sunday at a party, and have gotten about half-an-inch done. The ladies at Tricoter thought it was lovely, the yarn is Jaggerspun Zephyr, a half merino half silk lace weight that I am finding to be a joy to work with.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

crafting this weekend

oops, it's not a weekend yet..
4 ounces of a mixed red/blue/angelina plied to roughly sock weight on the new Schacht. I'm so pleased with myself.. it's even mostly balanced too!

Completely off topic, my heart hurts.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mobius Baskets

Currently in process two mobius baskets for my sister, each in blue and dark blue with a squiggle of the other color running up the handle and into the basket! They're so cute, I hope she likes them.
(They're a stand in for the Klein Bottle Hat that has been winning since Christmas 2 years ago. I can make a hat, I can make a klein bottle... apparently I can't manage a klein bottle hat (or at least not one that looks good on a human head))