Sunday, June 08, 2008

Welcome Secret Pal

Some would say it's summer time but in knitting land it's Secret Pal time. SP12 has started and assignments are heading out so perhaps someone who has never met me is stopping by for a visit. The answers to the SP12 ?? are below. I'll be off hunting down my down stream pal. I'm planning to have as much as I have had with my past swaps. I've met some great friends that I would probably have never met any other way! Lisa was my spoiler for my first swap and LoriBird was my spoilee (spoiled?) Both are inspirational knitters.

As for the actual knitting - I've been a distracted knitter lately, but I managed to carve out some time this weekend in the midst of a heat wave.

On Friday it was so cold I needed a scarf. By Saturday, it was so hot I didn't even want to knit on a scarf! But I did anyway because I was so close to being done with this colorful number. This is the vacation scarf I started two (three?) summers ago! I bought a skein of yarn for it at every shop at which I stopped while traveling. It was a great way to know the shop keepers because I always asked for their recommendation. It also let me buy something without blowing my budget. I knit it length wise on 250 stitches, size 11 needles. It's about 5 feet long. I used a die to determine which color to use and a coin to determine if the row would be knit or purl. That was a little knitting game that made it's way around the net several months ago. (which goes to show how long this UFO had been hanging around.) I don't know what yarns I used since the labels ran away long ago. I knit like I cook - I have a rough idea of the recipe and then I just throw together the ingredients. No dish is ever exactly the same.

I also swatched some yarn I bought in Paris and plan to turn into a smallish purse. Hating to waste my efforts, I turned the swatch into a small home for my cell phone. (And I wasn't even previously aware that my phone was homeless!) I knit it in a tube using stockinette and then switched to seed stitch for the top. The yarn is cotton but I found it to be very stretchy. That may be because it's really four strands twisted together. I made a little handle that can be unbuttoned so I can loop it onto the handle of a purse. The best part of this project is that it took just one day :) Albeit a day with a lot of knitting opportunities - swimming lessons, soccer, long ride to the store and a movie. What I learned most importantly is that my gauge is way off - I need to add more stitches for the real purse or hunt down bigger needles.
Next, I put the finishing touches on the felted purse that Allison sent me to knit as a car project. (If you have a minute, stop by Allison's blog and check out the darling lace baby sweater she just finished - it's worth the trip) It took several trips to CT, but I finally got it done. (Now what will I do in the car?) It called for grommets, which required an extra trip to the store. Too bad they sell yarn there too, huh? The bag is a cool tweedy effect from holding a strand of navy with a strand of violet.
And finally, I have conquered a heel! Look, no holes! (big grin) It only took me four tries! I was beginning to despair when I found a great tutorial for short row heels on the web that described well how to pick up the wrapped stitch, which is what I think I was doing wrong. Thank you to those of you who post your hints tips and techniques - you never know when you might lift up a fellow knitter. Now, I'm gearing up to take on the second sock. I still feel like it's climbing a mountain.
The pretty blue and green yarn is one of those my mom bought for me in Arizona. She has such great taste.
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I prefer natural fibers, especially soft ones. I’m not keen on fluffy novelty yarns.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have some in vases and some in a knit picks folder.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I taught myself to knit when my daughter, now 6, was a baby. Just when I start thinking I might be an advanced knitter, I find a project that kicks my **.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?I have an amazon list

5. What's your favorite scent? Lavender, lilac and rose.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I like chocolate, but I don’t eat a lot of candy. I drink a lot of coffee and a little bit of tea.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I sew, I bead, I take tons of pictures. I have a drop spindle, but I haven’t learned yet how to use it.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like a wide variety of music, especially Blues, guitar, classical. I listen to a lot of pop because I have kids.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?I like dusky pinks, burgundy, brown and blues. I’m not big on bright colors, yellows or greens.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I have five children, ranging in age from almost 3 to 15. We have a playful English Springer Spaniel and two gold fish.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves and hats mostly. Not so much on mittens or ponchos.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I do a little bit of everything – scarves, socks, purses, dish cloths, stoles, even toys. I tend toward smaller projects so that I can finish them before I lose interest. That being said, I like a challenge and enjoy trying new techniques. I especially enjoy lace and cables.
13. What are you knitting right now? On the sticks I’ve got socks, a lace shawl and a lace stole. I’m contemplating two purses and a variety of sweaters.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes.
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I like bamboo and aluminum. I mostly use addi turbos and mostly circular given the nature of my projects.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Both thankfully
17. How old is your oldest UFO? A doll that I started when my 3 yo was born. I’m not convinced it will ever get done.
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas for the anticipation.
19. Is there anything that you collect? Not exactly. I have an affinity for cool knitting tools and enjoy ocean-themes - sail boats and shells and such since we live so close to the ocean. I grew up landlocked in the midwest and dreamed of being near wide open waters.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I love knitting magazines but don’t have a subscription to any. The Yarn Harlot’s new book is on my list. I like books that have stories with the patterns.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I’m working on socks.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I’m a shoe size 7
23. When is your birthday? June 24th
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? yarnscribe


Allison said...

Wow everything looks amazing! I love the idea for the vacation scarf - I may have to try that. The purse turned out great as well as the cell phone pouch. Fun reading your answers - even though we now know each other I still learned a few things!

Hasbu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss 376 said...

Love the scarf too. Might get my son make his own home for is phone too. He's looking for ideas

Janice said...

All of your projects look great.. and a special congrats on your heel!!! It looks fantastic. LOVE the vacation scarf!!