Jan 26, 2007

Jan 24, 2007

Hurray! My hakama pattern is here!

That means I need fabric now. ;) Must ... look ... at pattern ... once I have a mug of hot chocolate, or maybe cider, to sit down with.

Requisite jazzing-up-of-text photo is of the outside of a shrine I was supposed to have sent ages ago, and which has been finished for slightly shorter ages, but which Must go out with extra apology goodies and has thus been languishing slightly.

I finally put together said apology goodies, but of course it's raining today and the lighting was crap, so my photo of the inside of the shrine is flashtastic, and then the camera started whinging about batteries, so a good photo of the inside must wait. Hopefully tomorrow, then sendage, along with my Spin to Knit handspun skein and the ring that someone kindly bought from me through Etsy.

Jan 23, 2007

Light side, dark side ;)

I've always had Light Side/Dark Side issues, and here's an example from the past two days: yesterday I hand carded a bunch of wool. Then I tried to spin some of it and it came out idiotically lumpy and bumpy and icky (though, admittedly, I was simultaneously re-trying two of my earlier polymer clay spindle designs to see if they actually worked, which ... I'm voting "not really" on ;)). So I tentatively decided that I suck at hand carding and need more practice, or maybe my cheater method is the inadequate part, dunno. Other people are using it and seem fine, so more likely it's me. That's the Dark Side -- thoughts of fiber artist/dexterous inadequacy.

Then today someone bought something from my Etsy shop. ::light shines down from the heavens:: It has nothing to do with the fiber arts, but it surely reflects my creative side, so I suddenly feel vindicated again -- look, people like my things! I need to list more Things so people can enjoy them and I can be happier, too! ;) That's the Light Side.

And that's today's example of the Quicksilver Crafter's Light Side/Dark Side issues, craft-flavored. Woo.

In other randomness, I think I'd like to join the UFO Knit Club. I did just finish my eyelet skirt, which has been a WIP for maybe a yearish -- or is it two? And that was one of my larger projects; maybe the momentum will help me keep going ... ;) Eyelet skirt, BTW:

I don't really thank the cat for waking me up at five a.m. insisting to be fed, but at least I did use my insomnia to finish something, and something selfish, at that. Just in time for Birthday Week! :D

Jan 22, 2007

Wool processing!

So a post on (I think) the Spindlers list mentioned not rolling up the wool that comes off hand carders, but just prying it off and making mini-batts rather than rolags. I've been considering doing that for a while, so that combined with the presence of the aforementioned basket of washed, unprocessed wool sparked the inspiration to have at. My hand carders have been feeling neglected anyway.

The actual basket of Columbia is for combing, because it's the nice bits that I really like, and I like combed top rather better than carded wool. There was an accompanying plastic bag of wool with way more VM, though, that I instinctively wanted to card instead of combing even though that means the result will have more VM in ... I'd just rather have more wool to work with, with a little more VM in it, in a preparation I don't like as much, than end up with only a tiny bit of spinnable top and a whole bunch of "stuffing" wool with bits of grass and such in it. Today I picked up that bag of VMy wool and had at it with the hand carders.

But wait! There's more. ;) I actually hand-picked the wool first, too, to get as much VM out as possible. And I'm using the easy "card twice" method that someone mentioned on the list: load one card, comb it with the other as if brushing hair, then switch cards, do it again, and remove the wool. The more involved method(s) of carding puts me off ... and because I already gave in and let myself make fluffy spinnable fiber rather than smooth spinnable fiber while I'm usually inclined toward the worsted methods, it's okay if the fibers aren't perfectly aligned and if I have to stop and pick out VM as I spin. New frontiers, and all. ;) Patient spinning rather than speed spinning. Wooo. ;D

It would be cool if I made it through this bag of fiber. I brought another with me in case I'm in the groove -- I process fiber so rarely that I ought to take advantage of the mood when I can -- but it seems likely I won't make it all the way to that bag. It's quickly getting dark and I'm carding on the porch so I don't get VM all over the inside floors for the cat to spread everywhere ;), plus it's started raining, which makes it more interesting, to say the least, to fling my VM-covered lap cloth to the winds and start with a clean surface.

Yay in any case. Yay for finally getting back to fiber processing. Maybe I'll even manage to wash another fleece in the next couple of weeks. ;)

Feeling spacey

Especially as far as what craftishness to go for today. There are a million and one things I could be doing, but none of them stand out. I'd like to wash some fleeces, but then I'd have to make space for letting them dry, and then I'd feel like I needed to process them immediately after ... and I already have one washed fleece sitting around waiting for me to comb the rest of it. ;) Maybe I should stop trying to use the fairly common "Process it all and then spin it all" method. I might just be a more bit-by-bit gal ... and who knows? If I'm spincrazy like I'm crazy with other things, it might even be faster that way for me...

On the other hand, thinking about washing fleeces makes me remember I have stupid amounts of fiber to spin already, and then I want to spin. But also because I'm an obsessed eejit with a mercurial brain, I have a million spinning projects started already and I have hardly an appropriate spindle for the new ones I want to start. (Note to self: It is still a good idea to try to finish new projects as fast as possible, this being a variant of the "Do it while you're enthusiastic/thinking about it and it will actually get done" rule. ;)) Then I think about making new spindles, which makes me think about making other things with polymer clay, which makes me think about jewelry...

And like I said: I'm not really distinctly in the mood for anything specific. Possibly I should attempt to do something other than crafting when I'm like this. Gasp! But what else shall I do? Shall I actually start reading again? ;)

I found out this weekend, too, that someone I know has a wood lathe. Cackle! I shall pester him about spindles next time I see him. I only need, like ... four new ones ... for now ... right? ;)

Jan 19, 2007

Chinese pirate costume stuffage

All right, I gave in and ordered the hakama/kataginu pattern from Folkwear. I could almost certainly have figured out how to make the things just from photo references and the line drawings some web sites show with the pattern information, but that requires thinking, and if I get stressed out with waiting till the last second for fabric, or something else, which seems likely, then I won't want to think too hard, and a nice, safe pattern will bail me out. So I dropped the $15 plus shipping.

For my own reference, I shall now list some resources I'm likely to want to look at while designing the bottom layer of the costume.

*Oriental Costumes, Their Designs and Colors, by Max Tilke - scans of the book
*Articles on Costuming, including a section on Asia

And I even requested a book from the library, on sewing Japanese clothing. For all I know, it'll contain instructions for making a hakama and kataginu, but the Folkwear pattern got ordered in case the interlibrary loan doesn't come through in time.

Oh, and in case anyone happens to read this and wonder why on earth I'm ordering Japanese stuff for a Chinese pirate costume, she's a bit of a fusion character, and anyway, note the pirate part. She can commandeer other people's clothing if she likes. ;)

Hand-dyed yarn swap!

Inspired by a sudden addiction to hand-dyed yarns, as a result of the lovely Mystery Skein Swap yarn sent to me by Elabeth, I've started a hand-dyed yarn swap on Swap-bot. Mmmm, more pretty hand-dyed stuff to play with ... and here I thought I didn't really like variegated yarn. (Look what you've started. ;D)

I would just like to pause for a moment

...in my spinning, and say, "Whoa. I am spinning thread."

I could totally spin my own embroidery floss on the new spindle. This girl I know linked me to a site a while back (the URL to which I promptly lost in the morass of email, but at least it's Gmail) which is run by a guy who does just that. I was all (secretly) like, "How do you spin thread, anyway?"

And now I can. :D Yayyyy!

Back to spinning. ;)

Copper wireplay and a new clay spindle

Blogger wouldn't let me post yesterday, even though I was a good girl and I took photos right away. Phooey. ;) The knit peace crane is still unfelted and unphotographed, though.

Anyway, I made myself a new spindle yesterday; I kept running out of spindles of the right qualities to spin what I want to spin (which is my fault for having several million spinning projects going at once, but ;)), and I kept hungering for a hand-turned wooden spindle from the yarn shop, but alas, fundage is low. So while I had the polymer clay out to make Brian a cutesy little pocket heart to take with him to work and hopefully cheer him up in his sucky job...

...I made myself a new spindle, too:

I didn't weigh it (bad me), and now it has yarn on it, so that'll have to wait, but overall I'm happy with the speed of spin and the balance. It would do a little better with a hook, probably, but I was far too impatientlazyfusion to attempt to dig out a hook from Somewhere in the Craft Stash. I started spinning up some Colonial last night and it may even turn out laceweight. ;)

While I was being crafty, I also posted a new set of stitch markers on Etsy:

Along with a new copper ring:

Yes, I'm in Desperate Production mode, the variant where I make arbitrary things that pop into my head and hope someone else likes them. I hear that other artist/crafters stay in that mode a lot of the time, but I've had problems with that entire "doing what I love and what's easy when I want to do it" thing. ;)

And today I made two ear cuff prototypes that I'm currently testing on myself. One is fairly basic, so no photo yet, but here's the other:

It's a design I came up with that's new to me, at least, in which I was going for a) increased comfort and b) increased stability, meaning I hope these won't fall off as much as the uncomfortable but pretty ear cuffs I've worn in the past. Oh, and pardon the ear redness; that's what happens when I haven't worn an ear cuff in years and I keep putting one on and taking it off inefficiently since I haven't figured out the best way to do it yet.

In other news, the first Mystery Skein Swap project is nearly done, and I'm pondering where to go with the next thing to use up the rest of the skein. I'm also involved in two more trades right now, these for fiber ... mmm, fiber. As mentioned, I'm po' and am negatively in funds currently, but I need to get my new fiber fix, too, and the breed swap turnaround is far too slow for me to do it with that like I'd planned. ;)

So yeah. Not doing too badly at the moment. Must remember to order Folkwear pattern for FLARF costume, though ... and get fabric at some point.

Jan 17, 2007

Caps and swaps and stitch markers, oh my

The most original title in the world, I know. ;)

Yesterday I finished my first hat for Caps for a Cure. Here's Brian modeling it with a silly expression and a bit of redeye that I find kinda cute:

It's a spiral rib pattern, which I like the look of, but probably won't utilize too often because it's a bit slow, like seed stitch, and we all know that if I don't finish things lickety-split, I get derailed and they take five times longer than they should -- well, than *I* should, anyway. Next up, my Etsy sellers swap that got sent yesterday:

And finally, speaking of Etsy, some stitch markers I'm going to put up on Etsy shortly:

There's also a non-felted crane in the Knit Not War pattern that I made yesterday as a test and is now waiting to be properly photographed. The things use virtually no yarn and are quick to knit, so I likes, though I might play with the cast on method for my next ones. I've never gotten to felt anything, either, so that'll be fun ... when I get to it.

Jan 15, 2007

Preliminary Knitter's Geek Code

(As per this system)

KER++ Exp+ SPM+++ Bam++ AddiT/KnitPicks++ Pl-- Steel Cas? Natural+++ Syn-- Handspun++ Stash++ Scale+ Fin Ent? FI? Int? Tex++ Lace Felt? Flat++ Circ++ DPN++ ML? Swatch+ KIP-@ Blog++ SNB- EZ-@ FO+(++) WIP++(+++) Gauge@DK+W++ ALTCrQXEmSw+++WvSp+

Mixed bag day so far

But let's try to inundate me with reminders of the nice things, shall we? ;)

For one, I'm trading someone a couple of ounces of that nice Columbia roving for a hairpin lace loom. I have no idea what it looks like, and it could be one of the little plastic ones, but it's better than not having one at all, right? Unless it's like that thing I suddenly can't remember the name of that you use to make wire shapes -- the basics of it being that it's a squarish thing with holes in it, that you put different-sized pegs into in different formations, then wrap wire around the pegs to make consistent shapes for jewelrymaking, etc. I have two of them and I can't remember what they're called right now, which is silly considering I've been making jewelry for much longer than knitting or spinning ... bah. ;) Anyway, having the cheap version of that is not better than having a more expensive version, because, as someone on one of my jewelry mailing lists said, "The only purpose of the (cheap) purple one seems to be to frustrate you." ;) Hopefully, whatever this hairpin lace loom looks like, it'll be better than nothing. And hopefully I can use it to make things like this hairpin lace skirt, which I think is the reason I suddenly wanted to know how to do hairpin lace to begin with.

I also just discovered that a bag of fiber I had sitting in a basket is, in fact, white alpaca and not white llama. I find this quite exciting, since I like alpaca better than llama, at least when it's raw fiber with potential llama guard hairs still in. ;) I know I do have some raw llama around here somewhere, but maybe it's actually brown...

It's also a lovely day outside and I should go sit in it before it goes away. I'm tired of being inside and only seeing sunlight filtered through glass. Maybe I'll go knit my first chemo cap for Caps for a Cure out on the patio.

Jan 14, 2007

Great magic yarn balls of fire!

Or not. Apparently I'm not very good at magic yarn ball swaps, at least not on Swapbot -- both of my magic yarn ball swap partners gave me ratings of 3. The first one I was late on, so it's true I didn't meet that requirement, but it doesn't exactly encourage me to send my late swaps. My reward for finally sending something is that rather than no rating (which doesn't hurt my overall rating), I get a worse rating than I had before? It's more truthful, but could easily make someone less likely to send late swaps when the recipient didn't leave a bad rating to begin with -- so overall, that truthfulness might be worse for the Swapbot community. I mean, would you rather receive a swap late, or not at all? Neither one is ideal, but of the two of them, I'd much rather get a surprise late swap than never receive a swap at all.

And today I got a three rating -- that means "didn't meet swap requirements," by the way -- from my spinner's magic yarn ball partner because my first attempt at art yarn was, admittedly, not very arty. (See previous posts on the topic. ;)) I did send a letter explaining it was my first try and even explained how I thought it would come out differently and had been a learning experience, but I can't exactly say it was unfair to rate me like that; my giving an explanation doesn't mean she has to like what I sent. It's also a fairly honest rating since the swap was meant for funky art yarn spinners and I guess I had no right to learn a lesson without producing something suitably funky as a result :P, but I am disappointed in my partner. She seemed like a positive, encouraging person, and I'd been planning on sending her some of my first real art yarn. I'm also a little sorry I sent that yarn at all, rather than some crazy overspun hurried singles that looks inherently funkier. Possibly the more hurried yarn would have been appreciated more, and it's a little sad to think that my yarn isn't being loved and cuddled. That was even my first two-colored two-ply, and I sent it away because I was sure it'd be appreciated anyway. Dangit. Maybe I should offer to send her some more if she sends mine back, because I truly, honestly don't want her to have yarn she doesn't like. I think maybe I *will* email her and say that, actually.

Guess I should avoid the magic yarn ball swaps in the future. :P I really enjoy magic yarn balls, but apparently others don't enjoy my efforts as much, and that is unfair of me, isn't it?

Jan 12, 2007

Mystery gauge swatch

"WooooOOOOooo, spoooooky," as Brian would say. ;) Isn't that yarn pretty? Big thanks to my mystery skein swap partner for sending me such nice yarn to play with. I'm quite enjoying it. :D

I even got my gauge right on the second try, though I had to buy new needles for it. For once I'm knitting with the size needles on the pattern ... It's almost alarming. ;) I console myself with the knowledge that this book contains patterns classified as bulky weight that reference worsted weight yarn, and the other way around ... Silly book plainly has no sense of size.

I'm hoping there'll be enough left over of the yarn to make another project once this one is done, too. Waha! And I even have till March to get this stuff finished. Obviously, I have to finish it faaar in advance of the deadline, however, 'cause if I wait, it'll get done the week before it's due.

Ring in the...

...Ne ... N ... Okay, I just can't make that horrible pun, so imagine horrible punnage here. ;) Ahem. Point being: I made a ring today! Woooo! I haven't wire-wrapped in a long while, not counting pendant bails and stitch markers. Here 'tis!

I'm calling it "Surfer Girl," although I'm an eejit and didn't manage to get the surferesque part of it in the shot very well -- there's a wave shape on the top above the center bead. I did manage to list it in my Etsy shop today, though, which I think gives this ring my personal best for shortest time from creation to listing.

And on the drive back, my brain took wire wrap and whirled off on a delta-shaped tangent full of beady, shiny, pretty spindles. I may not be the best wire-wrapper in the world, but I know I could put together a beautiful wire-wrapped spindle, now that I've thought of it.

If only my wire-wrapping stuff were here with me. Dangit. ;)

Jan 11, 2007

Giant superlist of 2007 knitalongs

...and swaps. Super cool.

Knitting, geekified old-school style

OMG. Someone did a Knitter's Geek Code. I remember when I had a Dragon (Geek) Code in my sig on alt.fan.dragons. And what was it that I made a code up for? I'm sure it's somewhere in my giant file archive of doom, anyway.

I must figure out my knitter's geek code soon. Geek code makes me feel better about the state of geekery on the Internet. ;)

One, two ... one, two...

As part of my stash exercise program, I've made a list of UFOs that I can find, or if I can't find them since they're buried in the stash itself, that I can remember. ;) Bear with my pointlessly wishy-washy categorizations; the wishy-washiness makes me feel better about my semi-arbitrary but still obligatory classification habit.

Largish projects

*Cotton A-line skirt - me
*Black alpaca lace shawl - Beth
*”Garden” Mystery Pi shawl - me
*Licorice vest - me
*Purple lace shawl - ? {frog and make socks from the yarn, using the shawl pattern for some other yarn?}
*Moonlight Mohair cape - me
*Yellow square-neck tank top - Mom
*Black and white lacy sweater - me {frog and turn into a Coco jacket?}

Mediumish projects

*Cabled chenille scarf - Virginia
*Eyelet spiral socks - (It's a gift!)
*Felted tricorn - me
*Branching Out scarf - Shari (whose birthday gift for this year just arrived today :D)
*Furry magic scarf - me {frog and turn into a lacy shawl on large needles?}

Smallish projects

*Cabled cozy socks - Brian
*Chenille fingerless gloves - me

Sadly enough, that's actually less than I thought I had on needles (and probably is a few less than I really do, since there are doubtless buried and forgotten things somewhere in the stash swamp), particularly since I know a lot of those are reeeaaallly close to being done, except for a small matter of a few more rows, or some niggly little thing that I was too impatient to do right at the time I was originally knitting (not that I would leave a vest done except for attaching the ribbing, or anything)...

Also, the Sexy Knitters Club is having a double knitalong, and while my thrifty side knows I should knit Eiffel because the pattern is free, I really like Wicked more, particularly in the short-sleeved and pocketed version. As per the stash exercise program, I am required only to knit those things for myself which I actively like, not things about which I feel lukewarm and which I'm knitting "for the experience." My problem now is that I can't decide if I actually like Wicked enough to spend money on yarn for it -- since I don't have yarn in my stash that would really work for it. (Okay, I could make a bizarre wool/wool blend stripey version, but would I actually wear that once it was finished? I might, but then ... I might not. That's part of the question. ;))

And! Someday I'd like to try hairpin lace. I'm currently on the hunt for hairpin lace loom building instructions, because I iz po' and it's one more thing I could ask someone to make me who is also po' and is looking for a gift to give me for my birthday. ;) I know, they don't cost that much (and these are rather pretty, too), but that's still money I don't really have at the moment.

Finally, an on-the-head photo of my soy/wool Calorimetry:

Huzzah for knitting things for myself. ;)

Jan 10, 2007

Swap reports and selfish knitting

Today I finally unwound my spinner's magic yarn ball; I just couldn't bring myself to try to knit from it without knowing exactly what I'd be knitting with, especially since there was an inner yarn of unknown proportion and color buried under the outer yarn. Here's the result!

There are two 41ish yard skeins of lovely two-ply handspun, one dark blue with white streaks, and one a lighter blue with a lot of variations, plus inclusions of other yarns. There was also a yard or so of really neato supercrazy yarn included, that isn't in the shot -- oops. The sender suggested they might make a nice bag, which they would, especially with the supercrazy yarn for a strap, but I may end up adding in more yarn and making a rather eccentric shawl...

The goodies included a variety of most welcome teas and candies (BTW, Jolly Ranchers are apparently more subject to mild heat messiness than wrapped chocolates at this time of year in Florida, in my situation ... who'da thunk?) plus some gum to restore my teeth to sparkling after the sweets ;), some random fibers, some Very Cute stitch markers (yay! I can always use more of those! ;D), and a fun skull and crossbones pendant I'll have to put onto a necklace sometime soon, so I can wear it while knitting the yarn and spinning the yaywondrous fiber that also got sent. Thanks again to my magic yarn ball swap buddy!

In other news from the swapping world...

In the upper right, below the cream-colored yarn, we have the skein I received from my Mystery Skein Swap partner, for which I already have ideas and with which I will embark on my knitting adventure sometime in the next couple of days. It's 250 yards of apparently worsted-weight (though the label has some interesting gauge info -- 16 stitches per four inches with size 6 or 7 needles?) hand-painted wool in colorway "Silverbow." (Which sounds like a Reference to me, BTW. ;))

Then there's the cream-colored skein, which is my finished approximately thirty yards of fingering-weight handspun for the Spin to Knit handspun swap. The stuff on the CD spindle is the alpaca I'm also working on for that swap, which measured out at barely above 60 yards today, so now I get to decide if I'm plying it, and if I am, with what. The little grey skein was test-spun from part of a spinning bell I acquired in someone else's destashing frenzy -- I love the variations in the gray and will have to think of something fun to knit with a not necessarily next-to-skin yarn that nonetheless deserves to be shown off.

Finally, we have a (virtually) finished, quick selfish knitting project, inspired by my Mystery Skein Swap partner's own versions of it: I present Calorimetry!

It's knit in a soy/wool blend I picked up in a fit of "can't resist this yarn" shopping at Michaels a few months ago. I can't remember what it's called off the top of my head, but the colorway is "Natural Blues," or something similar. I did get it out of one skein with a few yards left over, though I killed part of the yarn during my first attempt at casting on. Being a rather fat and slubby non-tightly-spun single, it's not the sturdiest stuff in the world when subjected to repeated friction, but it's holding up decently in the headband/hat itself, which I wore in yesterday's jacuzzi-located escape from the Florida "cold." ;) I love the long color repeats in that yarn -- must think of something else I can knit from it, that won't suffer from being mildly scratchy...
End report. ;D As usual, signing off with hopes of more reports soon...

Jan 8, 2007

Spin to Knit January skein is fin

It's my first try at laceweight that's actually made it off the spindle and been plied and measured, and since my partner likes natural-colored yarns (yayyy!), I spun it of some of the cream-colored Columbia roving left over from my order from the Breed Swap. It actually came out at 16 wraps per inch, as far as I can tell with my semi-inept but not completely idiotic attempt at measuring wpi on my ruler, which is fingering weight, but I don't think that's too bad, considering it's my first real try at laceweight. No photo yet, since as usual I'm a lazy freak. And apparently I'm prone to long sentences with lots of commas today. ;) Oh, and I also made my first trial of "handy plying", which worked better than my previous plying method of winding a skein into a center-pull ball and plying from the inside and outside at once.

Isn't it exciting that I'm this far ahead of schedule on something that isn't due till the end of the month? ;) I'm soooo cool right now. ;D (Or not, but it's good to have a positive delusion for once. ;))

I'm also working on a gray-brown alpaca yarn for the Spin to Knit swap. If I finish it early enough, my partner may get two skeins for January ... with colored skeins planned for February. I finally heard from my own Spin to Knit swap partner, too, meaning the one who's sending to me. Now, if only there were more news on the Breed Swap...

Jan 5, 2007

Links for personal reference

The Organized Elf, a non-last-second Christmas gift project

Kat with a K's UFO Resurrection Challenge

Yayyyy, productivity! ;)

Mismatched mittens and magic

Ben's bizarre mismatched Christmas mittens are finally finished. Voila!

They're stashbusters, and as Ben doesn't mind the strange mismatching, so I went boldly ahead and made them random and strange. ;) The pattern is Manly Mitts from Knitty, except that I encountered one of the dangers of hurriedly hand-copying patterns off the computer screen: I left out some increase row repeats in the thumb gusset and the thumbs are thus a completely different size than they should be. Oops. I offered to re-do them, but Ben says they fit fine, so there it is. For personal reference, I used the length measurements for large mittens, but the width measurements for the smaller version, because Ben has long, skinny hands.

And here's my finished spinner's magic yarn ball, all wrapped up in ribbon and ready to go:

It went out just after Christmas, but Internet access has been sporadic, so I haven't had much chance to upload and post.

And because I am having a fit of gratuitous self-indulgence, here are two Christmas photos, one of Ben wearing a ribbon because I wanted to see if it fit on his head (it did, but not on Brian's ;)), and one of Brian wearing my father's new fishing hat -- not that my father fishes, but he does kayak. I had to take a photo to show Brian what his hair was doing, and despite the red-eye, the Pretty Brian Eyelashes effect is a happy bonus feature that I can also show him. Cheers. ;)

Ben wearing ribbon:

Brian with fishing hat:

And that's all for now, folks. More pretties to come next week ... I hope. ;)

Jan 3, 2007

Mystery skein swap begins!

I have a partner, and she's the lovely Elizabeth, a.k.a. Elabeth. I love what she has on her blog, so I have hopes she'll be able to do something with the puzzling yarn I've just raided my stash for. *I* certainly haven't been able to figure out what to do with it in the past few months, so here's to a new view and a fresh brain on an old problem. ;D

Random knitting survey! ;D

1. What's your worst habit relating to your knitting?

Starting projects for me and never finishing them. How evil is it to use knitting to neglect myself? ;)

2. In what specific ways does your knitting make you a better person?

I don’t really feel like it makes me a better person, but I suppose it does give me more ways to give things to other people, especially through charity knitting. That doesn’t really make me a better person, but it does give me another way to express the person I am.

3. How might you or your life be different if you were suddenly unable to knit?

I’d probably weave a lot more. (I have to use up that yarn stash somehow! ;))

4. If money were no object, what one yarn, and what one tool or gadget would you run out and buy first?

Hmmm. I’d probably buy either an alpaca yarn or an organic colored cotton yarn. As for tools and gadgets, I’d probably buy either a drum carder or a spinning wheel, neither of which is a knitting gadget, but phooey on that. ;)

5. What knitting technique or project type are you most afraid of (if any)? What, specifically, do you fear will happen when you try it?

I laugh in the face of danger -- ha, ha, ha! But I haven’t done Fair Isle yet, anyway. It seems like it’ll take too much concentration. I’m sure that someday I’ll just randomly pick it up.

6. Who is/are your knitting hero(es), and why?

...I don’t really have any? I don’t usually make heroes out of hobbies, myself. ;)

7. Do you consider knitting, for you personally, a mostly social activity, or a mostly solitary activity?

Mostly solitary, in that I seem to knit mostly for the finished product and not because I enjoy knitting. I do generally enjoy sewing and spinning much more, but I’m the kind of freak who insists on doing the difficult and less pleasant things first. ;) I also mostly knit as a “waiting activity,” not so much as something I have to fit in to my day or feel deprived.

8. Is there a particular regional tradition in knitting that you feel strongly drawn toward (e.g., Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Celtic, Orenburg lace)? Any theories as to why it calls to you?

Er ... not yet.

9. If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be?

Probably a funky but beautiful and useable art yarn in green and blue, with some sparkle or beads or sequins.

10. Some statistics:

(a) How many years have passed since you FIRST learned to knit?

Uh. Er. Uh. Probably something like ten, give or take a couple years.

(b) How many total years have you been actively, regularly knitting (i.e., they don't have to have been in a row)?

I think about four or five years, but who counts? I started knitting to distract myself, so I sure don’t remember. ;)

(c) how many people have you taught to knit?

One, if you count Paisley, which I don’t really since she kind of knew how to knit before I got to her. ;)

(d) Roughly what percentage of your FOs do you give away (to anyone besides yourself, i.e., including your immediate family)

Dunno, say 80% at the moment, although at the beginning it was more like 40% because I knit myself all the funky screw-ups first. ;) I’m working on knitting more things for me again this year.

11. How often do you KIP (knit in public)? i.e., once a week, once a month, etc. Where do you do it?

Not that often, but I do most of my waiting not in public.

12. If a genie granted you one hour to stitch-n-bitch with any one knitter, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Errrm. Dunno. Probably not Elizabeth Zimmermann, even though tons of other people would probably say it. Maybe Maggie Righetti?

13. What aspect or task in knitting makes you most impatient?

Seed stitch and other simple, repetitive patterns that slow me down. It used to be weaving in tails, but I seem to have gotten over that one. Oh, and gauge swatches tend to stress me out, not because I dislike them, but because I always end up doing like five since I usually knit way off the gauge of the pattern or I’m using a completely different yarn. Pattern development is sort of the same way with me, since I don’t know all the formulas for angles and I don’t have a handy reference book for it yet.

14. What is it about knitting that never lets you get bored with it?

Who says I never get bored with it? ;) I think I must get bored with everything from time to time. Except maybe sewing. Sometimes I’m too lazy to sew, but not necessarily bored with it. The things that keep me from getting bored too frequently, though, are that I love fiber and color, and I like to learn about the design of knit objects.

15. Describe how and where you most often do your knitting - where do you sit, what is going on around you, what tools do you use and how are they (dis)organized?

I’m usually either on the floor or in a chair of some kind, with the pattern somewhere I can write on it, plus pencil and row counter and scissors somewhere nearby, and the yarn somewhere off to my right and below me, usually in a bag of some kind, often my knitting bag, which keeps me from having to get up constantly to get stitch markers, stitch holders, yarn needles, etc. Usually I’m either talking to someone (...who’s having a smoke? ;)), sitting with someone who’s doing something else (like playing video games), or sitting by myself waiting for something else to happen. Occasionally I knit from my knitting bag slung over my shoulder while standing in some kind of line.

16. Which one person is the recipient of more of your knitting than any other?

At the moment I have the most planned for Brian, my Significant Other, but I haven’t actually knit him more objects than anyone else and it does tend to even out.

17. What's the oddest thing about your knitting, or yourself as a knitter?

Probably the fact that I don’t enjoy knitting in itself as much as everyone else seems to. I really did pick it up as an easily portable distraction that didn’t take too much space or tools and that produced finished objects that I enjoyed, while using materials I enjoy, including fiber and color. I mostly do it now because it’s been added to the range of skills I wield for gift-giving and creative expression, and it still takes up less space and is more easily portable than most of my other creative hobbies.

18. What do you see yourself knitting - if anything - twenty years from now?

Hmmm. Interesting question. ;D Lots of gifts for other people, as usual, and probably also lots of unique objects for myself, probably in a higher proportion of organic and handspun yarns.

19. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only ONE SKEIN of yarn, which yarn would it be and what would you do with it?

I can’t have a skein of yarn that I can knit into Jack Aubrey, can I? ;)

20. If you were allowed to own only one knitting-related book, which would it be? (you'd be free to browse others, but you couldn't keep them)

Uhhhh. Ummm. Errrr. Probably a design book, or one of those giant encyclopedia books with tons and tons of reference information plus patterns.

21. Is knitting the new yoga? Why or why not?

In the sense that both have been annoyingly sensationalized, trend-ified, and shallowly pimped to people who want to look cool and unique but still to be told what to do, then yes. ;) In every other sense: no, yoga and knitting being, aside from their commercialization in America, two mostly unrelated practices which are nonetheless cool and which have long, neat histories.
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