I've signed up for my first-ever Secret Pal exchange. This is the questionnaire that we've been asked to fill in. You will note that i'm not very good at getting to the point.
Q. What is/are your favourite yarn(s) to knit with? What fibres do you absolutely *not* like?
A. Thinking about this I've realised that I'm more influenced by colour than by texture or yarn composition. Since I'm a big fan of multi-directional knitting I love yarns like Noro's Kureyon and Silk Garden that change colour and have wonderful combinations of colour. And I don't think I could ever bring myself to knit with certain pastel shades. But the pastel shades would be even worse if they were made out of a particularly harsh acrylic! I don't rule synthetics out completely, they just have to have a pleasant feel. (That's not much help SP, is it?)
Q. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A. Might be quicker to list what I don't use. I have to confess to being a rather untidy individual, so carrier bags (ugh) do, I'm afraid, feature. Mind you, the one that I use most often is a rather fabulous paper carrier bag covered in rather smart artwork that I got when I purchased the latest instalment of the Harry Potter saga. For showing off my poshest needles I have a wonderful antique earthenware jar and some very attractive pencil pots; for the everyday needles I've got a fabulous needle roll (an heirloom , it was made by, and belonged to, one of my grandmothers) and for my circulars I have a gorgeous tin (with a William Morris pattern on the top) which once contained some equally gorgeous biscuits.
Q.How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
A. Assorted feamle relatives tried to teach me to knit almost 40 years ago, but I wasn't having any of it. Finally got hooked in my late teens, so we're talking 27 years. (Where've they all gone???) My skill level is, I suppose, intermediate. I've tended to shy away from traditional techniques (fairisle, lace, intarsia, cable) in favour of exploring patchwork knitting (I've studied with Horst Schultz), short rows, slip stitches etc.
Q. Do you have an Amazon or other online wishlist?
A. I'm afraid not. But I love surprises!
Q. What's your favourite scent (for candles, bath products, etc?)
A. I love frankincense, cinnamon, cardomom and lemon-y or apple-based scents. I love the scent of grass when it has been raining, even though it makes me sneeze. I don't do sweet florals.
Q. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favourite Candy?
A. Not really. No, that's a lie! I like really dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa solids). I love dried fruit, especially when coated with blueberry powder, or white chocolate or other naughty additions. OOh, and crystalized ginger. Yummy.
Q. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
A. I'm slowly getting the hang of crochet (taught myself last year) and I do like to make felt when the sun is shining (because I work outside on a pasting table). I have experimented with a drop spindle but not got very far (as anyone who saw my attempts at Skip North will testify). In a rather off-tangent answer I confess to enjoying going outside, sticking my arms out and spinning round and round on the spot until I get very dizzy!
Q. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your pal wants to make you a CD)
A. I love early music (from medieval to baroque) and some C20th composers (esp. Copeland and Peter Maxwell Davies); I enjoy folk and world music and I love the wit of Cole Porter and Charles Trenet. If I hadn't been so exhausted after work today I'd planned to go to a concert of C17th Spanish dance music. Irritatingly, the music (and, indeed, DVD) playing side of my computer has died but there is a CD player in out lounge.
Q. What's your favorite colour? Or--do you have a colour family/season/palette you prefer? Any colours you just can't stand
A. Take a look at the colour combinations you get in Noro yarns, I've never had a duff one yet. And see my previous comment about icky pastels. More precisley, I wear a lot of mossy greens and autumn leaf colours (or, at least I would do if I wasn't expected to wear black to work!) and I also love reddish-purples (plum, burgundy), reds, quite strong pinks (Schiaperelli more than barbie!). Best of all is a certain shade of green that's not quite lime, not quite grass, not quite moss or olive green; rather bright but not *too* yellow. Fussy, moi?
Q. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
A. I live with my lovely husband of 8 months (but partner of several years) and his daughter is usually around, too. We are looked after by a very gentle-natured (female) cat called Jiminey.
Q. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
A. Yes, yes, yes and yes. And stoles and shawls and gloves. I love swishy things. I love cosy things.
Q. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
A. Accessories. I have a very short attention span and (at the moment) precious little time, so I like to think small.
Q. What are you knitting right now?
A. A couple of scarves.
Q. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
A. I most certainly do. I love making them , too.
Q. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
usually circulars, although I also like short needles/dpns for my patchwork knitting projects. I love bamboo and *anything* that is a pretty colour, or beautifully carfted.
Q. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
A. I have a vey unaesthetic metal swift that belonged to my grandma but is very useful.
Q. How did you learn to knit?
Sweat and tears (fortunately blood wasn't involved). Early knitting lessons from mother and grandmother were not appreciated. Later I remembered just enough to let me use a fabulous book with clear diagrams.
Q. How old is your oldest UFO?
A. I dread to think! Suspect there may still be one or two things from the early 1980s tucked away at my parents house. But I take heart from my mother who just 2 years ago finished something that she started (an went wrong on) in 1967.
Q. What is your favourite holiday?
A. Anything that involves fresh air and gentle strolls. If the question refers to "holiday" as in "festival" that's rather a difficult one. I'm not exactly a pagan but I like to mark the solstices and shifting seasons.
Q. Is there anything that you collect?
A. Library book fines and dirty laundry. Oh, and yarn, lots of it.
Q. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Nothing specific, but I love browsing through new titles (am lucky enough to live in a town that has several very good bookshops). I don't subscribe to any mags at the moment, but my favourties are Knitting (UK), Interweave Knits and Knitty. Actually, I've just told another lie. I subscribe to a fabulous UK textiles magazine called "Selvedge", my mother gives me a sub the UK version of "Country Living" for Xmas each year and I get the Syliva Townsend Warner Society journal. (STW is the author I was writing on for my PhD before I realised that I wanted to do something more practical and less desk-bound).
Q. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
A. I really am going to get more adventurous with sock construction (have yet to try toe up, afterthought heels etc).
Q. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
A. m I'm trying to be but suffer from second sock syndrome. So I've got lots of " nearly" pairs eg a 2x2 rib in variegated blue/cream yarn, with blue heel and toe paired with a 2x2 rib in variegated orange/lilac yarn with lilac heel and toe. Foot measurements: UK size 6.5-7 (about a 40, sometimes 41) and rather broad. Plus I've got chunky calves.
Q. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
All Souls Day (2 November)