It's never too hot to knit

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Secret Pal questionnaire

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?

Yes, I suppose I am.

I mostly knit with wool. I'm branching out into alpaca and silk (so far I prefer them mixed with wool). Eventually I want to learn how to deal with cotton and linen. That said, there are some pretty cool yarns out there made from man made stuff. I'm especially interested in modal, tencel, rayon and anything else that claims to be good at absorbing moisture (see title of blog for context.)

2. Do you spin? Crochet?


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

I'm allergic to cats. Which might be a good thing b/c otherwise I'd probaby be a crazy cat lady with zillions of cats. The not-so-good part is that cat dander gives me asthma. If I store something for 3 months, whatever it is that I'm allergic to breaks down and I no longer have a problem. And I can handle the deferred gratification.

Although I am not allergic to smoke, I really dislike the smell of it. I am irrational on this point.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Since I was 5 or 6 years old. Since I'm stunningly middle aged, that turns out to be a zillion years. However, I am emotionally arrested at 36 years of age, so it doesn't really seem so long to me.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do, but I use it as a "what I might want to buy someday" list for myself. It wouldn't be useful to anyone else.

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

Natural scents. I don't like scents that are synthetic or manufactured. For better or worse, I have a terrific nose (should have gone into perfume design, maybe) and can recognize artificial scents and find them disturbing as a weird imitation of reality.

I like scents like lavender, citrus, cedar, rosemary, juniper and so on. I adore perfumes (i.e. mixed and complicated scents) and love the little sample bottles that I can sometimes convince the perfume counter salesperson to give me.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Oh my, yes. I try to keep it under control. I lost quite a bit of weight several years ago (lots of pats on the back) but find it a constant struggle to keep it off.

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

Cooking (esp French, Italian and Chinese)

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

(As in, when one's beloved is going out to run errands. "Do you want me to get you something?" "Yes." "What?" "Something good.")

I like jazz, rock, R&B, pop, funk, soul, classical, opera, flamenco (good) and on and on and on. I don't care much for celtic music or Steely Dan.

My computer and stereo and ipod can play MP3s!

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

My complexion has changed in the past few years (more middle aged stuff). I now wear a lot of olive green, rust, khaki, cream, burgundy, and virtually any shade of blue. I'm also crazy about any shade of grey - a new obsession of mine but it looks as though it will go on for several years.

I don't wear much yellow or orange (they turn me all orange and yellow - not good). I don't wear jewel colors much any more.

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

Married (Heterosexual union, not that it matters because I absolutely and totally and completely and utterly support gay marriage.)

No children (Didn't get lucky there. But I really really like children so I rent them for 36 hours fr tired parents and then return them like video tapes. Works well for everyone.)

Two smart dogs.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Work hard. Love deeply. Always see the joy in life. Survive the grim times.

Winning the powerball lottery would be nice.

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

At the moment I'm pretty fond of Cascade 220 - I really like the way it felts. Sock yarns. Froehlich Blauband Special (I can't believe it has been discontinued! depression). Noro - anything by Noro (but that really is more the stuff of dreams). Oh, and hand dyed and/or handpainted stuff. I have done a fair amount of koolaid dyeing and really like the variety of shades that I get even when using a single color.

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

I'm not particularly fond of acrylics but maybe I just haven't met the right one.

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

Shawls. Socks. I keep meaning to make sweaters in order to decrease the size of my giant yarn stash and also to get ready for the 3 months of winter that New Orleans has. It doesn't last long and it rarely goes below freezing, but the weather is usually damp and raw. Since the houses aren't well insulated, I'm usually damp and raw too. Need more warm sweaters!

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

Socks, sweaters, shawls, slippers, scarves.

I also really enjoy intarsia. I like doing Grace Ennis patterns for Christmas stockings (vintage 1940s and 1950s patterns). And I like doing Kaffe Fasset sweaters (the easy designs; I'm not foolish enough to tackle Foolish Virgins, at least not yet).

17. What are you knitting right now?

Socks (like, about 6 pairs).

Shawls and larger scarves (to put on when the air conditioning gets too cold).

Christmas stockings.

I'm about to start knitting some children's sweaters.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

I like them. Great way to use up all sorts of stuff.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

I prefer circular and dpns, with the result that I have a bunch.

I have recently started checking out needles made w exotic woods: very cool! I bought a pair of straight needles made in rosewood for some lace work and like them very much.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Bamboo, other kinds of wood, plastic, nylon (those grey ones that Susan Bates made? divine!), Balene, addi turbos and so on.

I break the really thin Brittanies (like, size 0) (must learn not to torque the needles so vehemently).

I don't particularly care for aluminum needles - too cold on my hands.

21. Are you a sock knitter?

22. How did you learn to knit?
My mom and her friends knit. It was part of the culture when I was a child.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Whew! 10 or 12 years. Unless I have an even older one the memory of whose existence I am suppressing.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Beats me. Get back to you.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

I like a whole lot of holidays:

Christmas: Probably the best.

Martin Luther King Day: Great things often happen to me on this day, so I have to say it is a favorite.

Mardi Gras (and the whole season leading up to it): Way cool, tons of fun. It isn't like the pictures of the tourists in the French quarter that get circulated around every year. It is a family and neighborhood holiday and it is a blast. It has the added benefit of having specific colors associated with it (purple, green and gold) and occurs during a rather cold time of year for New Orleans, so there are lots of knitting opportunities associated with this holiday.

Jazz Fest: Only in New Orleans is there a holiday called Jazz Fest, but there you go.

Labor Day: The crowds on the beaches start to thin out.

Autumn: My favorite season, esp in New England where it is a real season. It is more theoretical in New Orleans.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Spy novels (I call it "the literature of paranoia" and it really speaks to me).

Knitting needles.

Knitting patterns: I love to read patterns, to puzzle them out. I might not ever get around to knitting them, but I really love to read them!

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Vogue, Inknitters, Knitters.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Not that I can think of at the moment.

It's never too hot to knit

even living in New Orleans, Louisiana. But that is only because air conditioning has reached its finest phase of development here. Because the moment I set foot outside the door from May - October, it is too hot to do anything except get back in the a/c.

I've set up this blog in order to participate in Secret Pal 5. I _love_ secrets!