Wednesday, May 10
The Secret Pal 8 Questionaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don’t like acrylic. There are very few exceptions to that rule.
I love: Koigu PPPM, Mountain Colors (anything), Lorna’s Laces, Cascade 220, Cascade Lana d’Oro, Manos del Uruguay, handspuns of great variety, Classic Cotton… anything soft that’s all-natural: wool, wool-cotton, wool-silk, cotton, linen, silk…
I use: laceweight through worsted weight. I haven’t developed a fondness for bulky yarns or larger.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A bookcase. Well, actually just one shelf.
And projects. Lots of my needles seem to be stored in my projects-in-process. (I won’t call them UFO’s until they’re more than a year untouched and I’m seriously considering ripping them out again.)

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Intermediate. Maybe advanced. Definitely not “master knitter” but maybe someday…

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

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I honestly prefer unscented. Very delicate scents are sometimes nice. Very delicate! (by delicate I mean you have to actually inhale deeply to smell it. If you smell it when you walk into a room, it’s probably too strong for me!)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do have a sweet tooth. I’m a total sucker for baked goods, actually. I’m being careful with my dietary intake these days, though. Since I injured my knee in February 06, it is much more difficult for me to work the calories back off.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, beadwork, origami, quilting, sewing of all description, baking, housecleaning, exploring artistic mediums (painting, scrapbooking, etc etc!).
I have a spinning wheel (double-treadle Lendrum) and many drop spindles. I am seriously addicted to fiber arts.

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 very wide, eclectic cross-section of music and that subset is continually growing.
Yes, my computer can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I adore bright jewel tones, I adore the blue-green-purple range.. I love surprises.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
My household: Husband (Keithr-good with computers), best friend (Bethieee-loves chocolate), dog (Zhenya-sheds constantly.)

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
all of the above. I prefer gloves over mittens (for the finger dexterity), and shawls over ponchos (for the freedom of arm movement/versatility of wearing style)I freeze year-round. I’m wearing a wool sweater right now, and it’s probably 70 degrees inside my home.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Hmmmm… I don’t think I’ve tried anything yet that I wouldn’t gladly try again.

13. What are you knitting right now?
4..er, 5 pair of socks, one pair mittens, one pair Pop-Up Paws, one “Mystery Stole (Leda’s Dream)”, one tank top, one feather-and-fan scarf in black alpaca that is taking forever… I think I’m forgetting a couple of things. .. and a shrug that I’m not sure I’ll be finishing.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Oh, Yes!! Decidedly!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
At the moment I have a fondness for Addi Turbos in really long lengths. I also love Crystal Palace bamboo needles in straight and circular.
I am slowly recovering from my childhood dislike of aluminum needles (I’m finally getting good enough that metal needles do not clack with every motion anymore!). Plastics come in such a wide variety that it’s difficult to say for certain, but most of the plastics I’ve worked with have been fine (except for the one from my grandmother’s set that broke and dropped all my stitches).

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, both. Couldn’t cope without them!

17. How did you learn to knit?
Grandmother taught me the basics when I was really young, but I strongly preferred crochet at the time. In 2002, I watched Bethieee knit a sock. That was the beginning of the end for me.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
Oldest knitting UFO: Fisherman’s Wool shrug started February 2005. Or maybe it’s the Mystery Stole .. but no—the Feather and Fan scarf started out as the gauge swatch for the Mystery Stole, so it would be older.

19. What is your favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday would be… how about at least three weeks in Hawaii!
Favorite calendar holiday? Halloween, Valentine’s day, full moons, and Friday-the-13ths.
(My fifth wedding anniversary is on a Friday the 13th this year!)

20. Is there anything that you collect?
peacocks, jellyfish, stone spheres, sterling silver charms, knitting needles.. let’s face it, I’m a packrat.

21. 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 have any magazine subscriptions right now, more’s the pity. I love books, and my wishlist always seems to grow faster than my library!

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I would like to try intarsia soon, and shadow-knitting, and entrelac, simply because I really haven’t tried any of those techniques yet.
I suppose I’d also like to learn how to safely knit while driving an automobile on city streets, but I doubt there’s anyone willing to teach me.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am definitely a sock knitter. Socks are my auto-pilot knitting. Socks are what I usually take with to the movies or to dinner or to parties where I expect to socialize. I love knitting socks.
My feet are 9” long from heel to toe, 10” around at the ankle and the arch, 8-1/2” around the ball of the foot. More specific? Ask me and I’ll measure. I wear a size 9 shoe.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
01-12



Tuesday, January 10, 2006
The Secret Pal 7 Questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
I love natural fibers and there are so many to choose from! I prefer a soft hand. With so many hours spent touching it, I want to really enjoy the feel of the yarn. I despise Red Heart acrylic. It makes me feel like I have to wash my hands every two minutes.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
Spin, yes. Lots. My husband got me a spinning wheel this past year, so now I can return the one I have been borrowing since 2003.
Crochet: some. I used to crochet a lot more than I do now. I know how to do it, and I enjoy it, but it is not the first technique I think of lately.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
DP’s (long): empty Quik containers
DP’s (short): empty VCR cassette case
Circulars: accordion folder
WIP: small, handled, zip-top bags/purses
Straights: quilted fabric roll-up cases in a metal popcorn tin

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Experienced, probably advanced. Not Expert yet. I can figure out how to do almost everything, I understand the knitting structure quite thoroughly, I eagerly try new techniques, I do some designing of my own projects. .. but my tension is still irregular and I still rip back quite a lot.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Sultrypeacock on Amazon

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
No scent, please!

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Sweet tooth: yes. I especially love baked goods! I like * good * chocolate

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Spinning, weaving, beading, jewelry-work, dyeing, photography, photoshop… the list goes ever on and on…

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
eclectic. I have a fondness for folk music, unusual instruments, 80’s pop, filking, musicals… I enjoy diverse songs from Loreena McKennit to Sisqo, to Eminem, to Stan Rogers…

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Think of a peacock: I love everything in the blue-green-violet end of the spectrum.
Valentine’s day: red, white, pink
Sunsets: orange, magenta, yellow
Fire: bright orange, yellow, red….
Aw, heck. I like a lot of colors. I like interesting things done with color. I like tweeds and heathers… I like soft transitions, and I like jarring contrasts. I may not be in a mood for a particular color combo one day, but find myself in love with it the next.
You can’t go wrong with peacocks, though.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Immediate household equals:
Husband: Keithr/Shonnon
Best friend/roommate: Bethieee/Gipsieee
Dog: Zhenya

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves: yes! Many (not all at once, though)
Hats: yes!
Mittens: not so much. (I prefer gloves)
Wristies, fingerless mitts, leg-warmers: Yes!
Ponchos: yes. And shawls, shrugs, etc.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
There are so many! Some of the yarns I have recently enjoyed:
Koigu, Manos, Lorna’s Lace, Zephyr, Cascade 220, Cashmereno, Blue Moon sock yarn,

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Acrylic, Lopi (too scratchy)

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

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

17. What are you knitting right now?
Fingerless driving mitts for mother,
Multi-direction scarf for brother,
Mystery Stole for me,
Shrug (may get ripped)
Pop-Up-Paws for husband

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Absolutely! The process of making something by hand enriches the end result.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
DP’s and circulars are easier to use in crowded conditions (like traveling by airplane, knitting in a theater, etc.)

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo is my favorite. Wood next. Plastic is surprisingly decent. I’ll use metal if I need to. (it’s difficult to find a 60” circular in anything but Addi Turbo)

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, both. I don’t think I could survive without them! ;)

22. How did you learn to knit?
Originally my grandmother tried to teach me. Back then, I really preferred crochet.
This time around, I’ve taught myself, read a lot of books, been shown techniques by friends (particularly Bethieee and Victoria), and experimented.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I finally finished Bethieee’s wristies (abandoned the buttons and button-loops and joined them with a crocheted insertion instead), and the infamous Stripey Socks are reborn in a new project (more on that elsewhere), so I suppose my current oldest UFO is the Fisherman’s Wool Shrug that I started a year ago and set aside because I didn’t like the way the thing fits. I may finish it this spring and see if blocking helps, or I may rip it out and reclaim the yarn for something else.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Peacock, jellyfish, hedgehog, platypus

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Valentine’s day. It’s a quiet, intimate day full of roses and hearts and chocolate. A chance to say “I love you” for no good reason to all your friends and family. A chance to be completely awash in sentimentality and frou-frou-ness.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Statuettes and pictures of peacocks, jellyfish, and hedgehogs.
I collect yarn (of course), fiber for spinning, knitting needles of all description, books about fiber arts (any fiber art), ideas, techniques, and skills.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Bethieee has Handwoven and Interweave Knits, so I get to see those regularly. I have none of my own right now.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Surprise me. : )

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I’d like to figure out how to spin a yarn with beads in it. .. oh wait, you mean knitting techniques, don’t you? … hmm… I guess I should try Intarsia some day.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Sock knitter? Yes. Absolutely.
Foot measurements: my foot size is about a 9. I can get more specific if asked.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
January 12



Tuesday, September 06, 2005
The Secret Pal 6 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?
I like natural fibers (wool, cotton, alpaca, silk...). I shy away from man-made fibers (polyester, acrylic...). I will work with rayon pretty happily, as well as the various soy-silk, ingeo, casein type fibers. I will also work with nylon without much complaint. And every once in a while there's something so fascinating that I'll work with it even though it's definitely Not Natural--like reflective thread.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I love to spin! I even have my own wheel now, and I'm very excited about it! (especially as the weather begins to turn cooler again and I can spin without matting the fiber!) I do crochet, also. And make bobbin-lace. And weave. And sew. There's almost nothing that cannot be done with a length of thread or yarn that I have not at least tried (or intend to try) once.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I am definitely allergic to smoke.

4. How long have you been knitting?
really, only since 2002 or 2003. My grandmother tried to teach me when I was six, but I distinctly preferred crochet at the time. Now I still value crochet, but definitely am more of a knitter these days.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
yes: SultryPeacock at Amazon.com

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Unscented is probably better, really. Most scented products really go overboard with the perfume. That said, I like the scent of vanilla, lilac, and strawberry. But just a hint of a scent, really. I don't really do bath-and-beauty products. But any color of nail polish thrills me--the stranger the better.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
somewhat. My favorite dessert is Creme Brulee. Light and fluffy flavors and textures appeal to me: meringue, Jello parfaits, divinity!
I'm not a big fan of chocolate. Oatmeal Raisin cookies are more my speed.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
glass beadmaking (not currently set up to do it though), jewelry making, origami!, weaving, sewing, bobbin lace, costuming (especially historical re-enactment: Renaissance time period), canning, dyeing... so many interests, so little time!

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
MP3s are good. CD's are good. My musical interests are pretty wide and very eclectic.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love color. Almost any color, really. There are colors that I don't wear well, of course--orange comes to mind. My favorites would probably have to be the colors you can find on a peacock: sapphire blue, emerald green, purple... sunsets: fuschia, lemon yellow, orange... foggy beaches: muted blues, greys, tans... old-growth forests: greens and browns... I've mentioned I love color, right?! You can't go wrong with peacock colors, though. I'd even drive a car painted like a peacock!

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I, my husband (Shonnon), my best friend (Gipsieee), and our dog (Zhenya) all live under one roof.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
to be a really good person, embodying compassion, happiness and enthusiasm.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
to knit with, hmm.... depends on the project, I guess. I love handspun yarns, especially ones that get their distinctiveness from the way they use color. I love working with soft wools like merino. I like alpaca, angora, and mohair. I like smooth cottons, linens, silks. I have a fascination for odd, obscure fibers: dog fur, camel, possum, qiviut, nettle...

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
acrylic, polyester, scratchy wool, yarn with a lot of vegetable matter still in it. I don't knit with bulky or super-bulky or highly textured yarns (although textured yarns could be fascinating in a woven project.) ..

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
lace, structure, and color-work (Fair-Isle)

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
socks, felted fish, little amulet bags, scarves

17. What are you knitting right now?
knee socks for myself, a hat for my father, socks for a Sock Exchange Thingie,

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I have nothing against ponchos. I probably like shawls and capes a bit better, but all warm wraps are nice.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Double Points or Circulars.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo, definitely! Wood next, then casein, and plastic. I avoid metal--the clacking sound and feel annoy me after awhile.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Yes, definitely. Lately my wrists have been hurting, but that seems to be lessening quite a bit, so maybe I will be able to start knitting with sock yarn again soon!

22. How did you learn to knit?
Grandmother taught me the basics when I was about six. I picked it back up again a few years ago. Friends taught me some new ideas, and I picked up other ideas from lots of good books.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
oldest knitting UFO: 3 years. I just have to make buttonhole loops and sew on buttons for Gipsieee's wrist warmers. Oldest non-knitting UFO? 24 years. It's a needlepoint I worked when I was just a kid on aida cloth that won't block straight and it needs some serious blocking and finishing work--framing maybe, or incorporation into a pillow, perhaps. Honestly, it will probably never get finished, but I do still love it nonetheless.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
animal/bird: peacock! jellyfish, hedgehog, platypus...
not so into animated characters. maybe Grrr from Invader Zim.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Valentines day: hearts, roses, Victorian era sentimentality
Halloween: Costumes!!

26. Is there anything that you collect? books about crafts. Amazing enough, there are still a few holes in my collection.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I don't. Gipsieee has Interweave Knits and Spin-Off, so I get to peruse those regularly. I'd like to get InKnitters.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on? lots. some of the favorite hopefuls are listed on my Amazon wishlist.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another?? When I was in Wisconsin for Gipsieee's sister's wedding, we stopped at Lakeside Fibers, and there were some fabulous mosaic-knitting patterns available there, but for some reason I didn't get them at the time. There were also some excellent Blue Moon patterns for socks and fingerless mittens that I saw at Black Sheeep Gathering and didn't bring home. foo!