Wow – June is getting away from me already. I’ve been so focused on that cabled afghan that I wasn’t paying any attention to the date!
Because I had so much fun with it last time, I’ve signed up for Secret Pal 5. I’ve already got a few ideas for what to send my own secret pal, but I realized I need to post an updated version of the secret pal questionaire so the person who’s got my name knows a little more about me.
If this doesn’t answer all your questions, try my regular journal, A Cat By Any Other Name, where I cover all the rest of my life (the non-knitting bits).
- Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I am definitely not a yarn snob. While I may sigh longingly over the fancy, expensive cottons, wools, and blends, I simply cannot afford to be a yarn snob. Plus, I simply haven’t the patience to deal with clothing that has to be dry-cleaned or hand-washed. This isn’t to say that if I suddenly stumbled across a supply of Noro or Debbie Bliss or other types of yarn that was actually affordable I wouldn’t immediately snatch it up in my arms and race to the checkout counter while hissing “My preciousss.” in my very best Golum imitation and then dither for weeks over what to actually do with it. But since most of what I make is for other people, I’d rather stick to the more inexpensive (and machine washable!) yarns. In fact, the afghans I’m making right now are all from Red Heart, TLC, or Lion Brand yarns – they’re lovely colors, soft yarns, machine washable, and sturdy enough to stand up to the normal wear and tear of life.
- Do you spin? Crochet?
I do neither – at some point I will probably learn to crochet, but honestly, I like the look of knitted fabric better, so it’s not a huge priority for me.
- Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
If it’s small and four-legged and fuzzy, I’m allergic to it. If a mouse, rat, or other rodent-shaped critter has been in the general vacinity I break out in hives. Happily, since last August I have been on allergy shots, which actually do seem to be working. I have dreams of one day being able to visit my friend with the guinea pig without having to load up on meds first. However, luckily I seem to be blissfully allergy free when it comes to wool for knitting.
The answer to the obvious question, by the way, is yes, this does include cats. However, I figure my poor little immune system just gave up on that one years ago, since I’ve been living with large quantities of them for years (we currently have six) and have absolutely no intention of ever living without them.
- How long have you been knitting?
I’ve been knitting a little over 2 years now.
- Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Why yes, as a matter of fact, I do – here it is.
- What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love the smell of vanilla, almonds, sandlewood (if not too strong), and jasmine.
- Do you have a sweet tooth?
I’m not a big candy eater, and since I’m odd enough to not like most fruits (anything berry-related makes me nauseous, sadly) that tends to cut out a lot of goodies available. However, I firmly believe that dark chocolate (with or without nuts) is one of the major food groups, and also an essential nutrient.
- What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Mainly these days I write, poke about on the computer, or knit. Occasionally I wield a paint brush, but that’s only to paint a room in the house since I have not a drop of artistic blood in me.
- What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I live in a house with six computers – or in other words, we are very much a little family of nerds. So we’ve got the ability to not only play music on the computers, but also convert MP3’s to different formats should the need arise.
My music taste tends to be rather random. I’m a big fan of Billy Joel, Abba (shut up, they’re cool!), and Barenaked Ladies. I like woodwind music (I play the oboe, so I’m a wee bit biased in favor of the woodwinds versus brass or strings) and most classical. I also occasionally like to listen to Celtic rock (Tempest, Seven Nations, that sort of thing).
- What’s your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
I tend to prefer greens, blues, and purples, with the occasional red thrown in for fun.
- What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married, childless by choice, and owned by six rather spoiled cats who think that my yarn is edible, my needles are great toys, and anything knit is fair game to snuggle into or under, or knead upon until full of claw-induced snags. We have a great game in my house called ‘where can Jennifer hide the knitting so the cats cannot get it’. Sometimes I win. Sometimes, however, I lose.
- What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I’m not sure I necessarily have any particular favorites. I tend to prefer wool and wool blends, or acrylics – smooth yarns instead of the bumpy ones. Cottons can be lovely, but they make my hands hurt.
- What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I have to admit that I have completely failed to see the point of all those fun furs. They’re nice to pet in the store, but since I am not much of a scarf girl, or a fashion maven, I have never had the remotest desire to actually make anything with them.
- What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I think knitting in general qualifies as my obsession.
- What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I am all about the sweaters, since that’s the main reason I wanted to learn how to knit in the first place. But I tend to like knitting almost anything if it lets me play with yarn and needles. This summer is the summer of afghans for me, since I’ve decided a number of members of my family need them for Christmas. I’ve also joined Wendy’s Summer of Lace group, since in between all the afghans and the socks I intend to make at least one lightweight, lacy shawl this summer.
- What are you knitting right now?
Right now on the needles I have the basketweave socks, my second market bag (open mesh) with some gorgeous fiery cotton, and a cabled afghan for my husband that is going to take forever because I just *had* to make it complicated (but it’s turning out gorgeous so I can forgive myself).
- What do you think about ponchos?
I think they can look nice on some people. On me, however, they would look as if I was wearing a well knit tent. I’m not so sure that’s a look I’m all that keen to acquire.
- Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I tried straight needles exactly once. Then, after spending every bit of knitting time fending off cats (because knitting with a full grown cat clinging to the other end of the needle makes it a little challenging) I switched to circulars and have never gone back. The only straight needles I ever use are DPN’s.
- Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I’m not sure I really have a preference. I’ve used metal and plastic needles and they were both fine. I’ve never tried wood, mainly because I’m a little afraid the cats would decide they were edible. I mainly use my Denise Interchangeables, although if I’m going to buy needles individually I tend to head for the Addi Turbos over anything else.
- Are you a sock knitter?
Yes! In the previous secret pal exchange I was sent a skein of sock yarn and a pattern and now I am hooked! I prefer machine washable sock yarn, however.
- How did you learn to knit?
A friend at church was knitting and I asked her to show me how. So we set up a few meetings (it helps she also occasionally fosters kittens so I got knitting lessons *and* a kitten fix at the same time), she taught me the basics, I picked up a few books, went a little crazy building up my stash, and the rest is history.
- How old is your oldest UFO?
I have actually been pretty good about this. I tend to try to get things finished because a lot of what I make is for other people. So right now the only unfinished objects I’ve got are the ones I’m actively working on right now – the afghan and the socks. I do have two incomplete bags, but I don’t count them as UFO’s because they are eventually going to be frogged and the yarn saved to make something else.
- What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
My favorite animal is the cat (I’m sure this comes as a big surprise by now). I’m not sure I necessarily have a favorite animated character, since I’m not so much into cartoons, and never really watched them as a kid.
- What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas! I love the smells of pine and gingerbread; I love the music; I love the sparkly lights and the tree and the way the house looks when it’s decorated.
- Is there anything that you collect?
I’m not a big fan of kitchy, cutesy stuff, so we don’t really have any collections to speak of. I like dragons and gargoyles but I’m pretty picky about the types. And as much as I like cats, I do try to keep the amount of cat-related stuff to a minimum. Also, since I live with six cats, there are very few places in the house where knick knacks would be safe from investigating feline noses and feet, so we try to avoid having any breakable things out on display.