09 August 2007

Secret Pal Secrets

Here we go - my SP11 Questionnaire! I'm a bit confused about how this all works, so my apologies to my SP if I've stuffed up along the way...

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love soft wool, alpaca, cashmere, silk, cotton, bamboo, hemp, and other weird and wonderful natural fibres... thick, laceweight, sock yarn, it's all good :)

I'm not that keen on mohair (almost always too itchy for me), acrylics, or feathery eyelashy lumpy novelty yarns. A bit of an acrylic / nylon etc in a blend is OK (eg wool/nylon blends in sock wool).

2. What do you use to store your needles in?

I have a couple of handmade cloth rolls for my various knitting needles. I also have a Knit Picks Deluxe set, with the zip-up holder. I store my other circular needles in an expanding portable file case thingy.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Intermediate/Advanced knitter. I've knitted since I was a kid (my mum taught me), and used to make Icelandic jumpers when I was in my 20s. I returned to knitting, and became seriously obsessed, about 2 years ago.

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

Yes, I have an Amazon wish list, which has just been updated :)

5. What's your favorite scent?

Fresh floral (daphne, freesia, tea rose, green tea) and spice (vanilla, cinnamon, cloves). I wear Allure by Chanel (my one expensive luxury in life!).

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

But of course! I love those Watermelon Jolly Ranchers, which I can't get in Australia... in general, fruity flavours like berries, apple, lychee, peach, coconut (but not lemon/orange so much). Chewy things. And chocolate of course, dark by preference. Love mint chocolate.

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

I am a watercolour artist, and collage artist. I also sew sometimes (mainly clothes). Beading at times. Keen cook. I don't spin (although my daughter does, I'm resisting the temptation at the moment!).

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

Yes, I can play MP3s. I have very eclectic musical tastes (I was a classical and orchestral violinist in my youth!), ranging from early music, baroque, classical, romantic, to heavy rock, desert rock, and "modern classical".

Current favourites are Phillip Glass, Arvo Pärt, Shoshakovich, Schubert, Bach, Vivaldi, Gregorian chant, Hildegard of Bingen, Telemann, Prokofiev, Gluck, Elena Kats-Chernin, Nigel Westlake, Pink Floyd, U2, The Cat Empire, Ratatat, Cake, Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz, Big Audio Dynamite, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails (I think my son owns all the albums for these last 3 bands)... and lots more!

In terms of what would go well on a CD, if you're thinking along those lines, I only have Phillip Glass' Violin Concerto, Arvo Pärt's Berliner Messe, the first CD by Franz Ferdinand, and no Hildegard of Bingen. So anything else by these composers/artists is good :)

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love purple! Also contrasting mixes such as purple with green. Blues. Greens. Reds. Blacks. Most colours are good.

I don't wear a lot of browns, creams, tans, apricot or puce. Pink in moderation. I also don't like rainbow-coloured things in general.

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

Married for over 22 years, and we have two teenagers (aged 16 and 18). I have an elderly chihuahua called Lily, who is only slightly nuts ;) My 16 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. My husband is an astrophysicist.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes to scarves. I don't wear beanies, but like berets and hats with brims. I have a little head, only 21" / 54 cm around. Don't own any mittens, but do love fingerless gloves and wrist warmers. Smallish hands. No to full size ponchos, but I do like short poncho 'capelets'.

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

CABLES! Also lace, and top-down socks. New patterns!

13. What are you knitting right now?

A vest for my mum, a lace shawl that will never end, a Mariah cardigan for myself, a nameless wedding present for my brother, a cotton top which I'm designing myself, and am about to cast on more socks!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes, always happy to enjoy the skills of other people!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Circular needles all the way, plus nice short DPNs for socks. I have hand-wrist problems at times, and find circulars are much easier on my hands. I have metal, bamboo and caesin needles, and like them all. Not fussy. I do steer clear of bamboo/wooden needles in the thinner sizes (2-3 mm) as I've had them snap before. I don't have any of the metal Knit Picks DPNs yet, but would like to have some sets of the sock needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have a yarn winder, but not a swift (yet). I'm dropping heavy hints for my birthday next month!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

About 10 months (the cotton designed-by-me top, needing repeated unravellings and restarts!). Generally I finish projects in a few months.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Probably my birthday. Christmas is too stressful... I actually really liked Thanksgiving when we lived in the States, but there's nothing comparable here in Oz. In terms of going away, I love going to the beach :)

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Maigret novels by Georges Simenon (English translations). I've also collected little boxes since I was a teenager - my favourite one is a little round box made of cloves sewn together. And knitting gear, of course, but you knew that, didn't you!

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 don't subscribe to any mags, but regularly buy Interweave Knits and Yarn. There are some back issues of Interweave Knits I'd love to get my hands on : Winter & Fall 2006, and anything earlier than (and including) Fall 2005. The Knit Picks DPNs for socks (2.25 mm). I don't have any books on cables or sock knitting, so anything's a bonus there!
I'd love a pattern for Jess Hutch's robots, but I don't think she's publishing the pattern book any more?

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'm just dipping my toes into the world of lace, and enjoying it a lot (I have the A Gathering of Lace book)... also interested in trying felting - both needle felting and 'whack it in the washer' felting :) Just getting into dyeing wool too.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes, I knit socks! I'm a Size 7.5 shoe (in Australia) which is ~ 9" long.

23. When is your birthday?

19 September

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Still waiting, waiting, waiting.... :) 10,258 people ahead of me...


  1. I had no idea your music tastes were so varied!

  2. Oooh Hildegard of Bingen. I had a cassette of Hildegard. Wonder if I've still got it - might have to lash out and buy a CD!!

  3. This also doubles as a useful guide to birthday gift buying for you! :-)

  4. jude here, ignore the alex bit - we've just put up the wedding blog.

    Anyway, wanted to pop in and say thanks for all of your comments lately and apologies for not commenting AT ALL on your blog. I have been reading though.

    I'm also dying to find Jess Hutch's patterns too. Let's make it a project! :)

  5. Since I know your taste is exquisite, this also gives me some ideas for presents for myself. Hildegard of Bingen, huh? I'll give her a try.

  6. I'm a size 7.5 in shoe, too! Must remember to put the Jolly Ranchers in your Chrissie paccie.

  7. I use an old linen paintbrush roll up to hold my knitting needles. It works great.

  8. I have an extra copy of Interweave knits fall 2006 you can claim if you contact the girls at http://goodyarnkarma.blogspot.com/

  9. I am contiuously amazed at your talents, Jejune - violinist too! Thanks for sharing new (and very useful!) Jejune factoids.


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