« Battle horses on stamps | Main | Learning Kanji (Part 2) »

Secret Pal 8

At my last guild's meeting, four of my friends talked me into signing up for Secret Pal 8, a sort of secret Santa for knitters who blog. Now, that wouldn't have been such a big deal, if I had a blog. This was Saturday April 22 and on Sunday the 23rd I started my blog. Of all the reasons to start a blog this has to be a rather pathetic one, but the crazy things is: I am hooked. I rationalize my twelve entries in ten days with providing enough information to my secret pal, but I am really doing this because I enjoy it, and this has been a big surprise for me. I've never kept a journal and never been interested in one. In fact, if it weren't for Andrea, JoShell, Theresa and Rose (you bad, bad girls), I'd still be happily blogless. Anyway, today I received the SP8 questionnaire, so here are my answers. I can't wait to find out who my secret pal is!

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

    LOVE: wool, wool and wool. Oh wait, also wool blended with cashmere, silk, and other such lovely fibers. What can I say, I am spoiled rotten; guess it comes from spinning, since I can usually make luxurious yarn at an affordable price. I do use yarns with partial synthetic content for socks, though; it all depends on the project. And, unlike some spinner friends of mine who sneer at non-handspun (you know who you are), I absolutely adore some commercial yarns.
    CURRENTLY IN LOVE WITH: Rowan Scottish Tweed 4-ply.
    PLANNING TO USE SOON: Jamieson & Smith 2-ply jumper weight yarn.
    FAVORITE YARN WEIGHT: fingering to DK, although I have knitted with lace weight and worsted.
    DISLIKE: synthetics and non-bouncy fibers like cotton and linen. I also don't use novelty or bulky yarns, because I tend to favor projects that require traditional yarn and small gauge needles.

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

    A lot of my straight needles are in vases, and some in a fabric wrap. My circulars are a mess and I need to figure out how to organize them, especially since I am getting more and more of them.

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

    I've been knitting since I was about ten, with two long inactivity gaps until six years ago, when I started knitting again and got completely hooked. I am an advanced Aran knitter, absolute beginner Fair Isle knitter, kind of lousy at sewing and putting it all together. I am also good with simple socks.

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

    I have two, not entirely up-to-date, but here they are:

  5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

    No scents, please. I have really awful reactions to a lot of scents. Lavender sachets are ok, but that's about it.

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

    I love gelato, but I think that the logistics of mailing ice-cream will keep me safe from this one. :)

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

    I spin and I am getting interested in felting, although it seems so much more work in terms of set-up than knitting or spinning, that I am not sure I'll really get into it.

  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 MP3 on my Mac and iPod. I have rather scattered, er… eclectic, tastes. My all-time favorites are jazz and Brazilian music. I am not very up to speed with the latest stuff, but to give you an idea of other things I like, here are a few: Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, Antony and the Johnsons, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Paolo Conte, medieval, Irish, and more. Please, no rap, country or opera.

  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 love spice colors (mustard, saffron, curry, paprika, etc.), fall palettes, earth tones, grays, moss and olive greens, blues; I dislike purples and pinks, and don't have much use for pastels. I also can't knit anything black or near black because I can't see what I am doing.

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

    I live with my partner of seven years (Ben) and two adorable British shorthair cats (Kelvin and Piper).

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

    Yes to everything but ponchos.

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

    Socks, sweaters, wrist warmers.

  13. What are you knitting right now?

    A pair of socks and my first Fair Isle sweater. I also have several UFOs waiting on me.

  14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


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

    Used to knit with 14" straight needles (one needle under my arm as I learned growing up in Italy) but I am now totally in love with circulars. I use my metal Addi Turbos for socks and now also sweaters. I still like to see my wooden straight needles around the house and there is one particular pair of straight needles I've been lusting after.

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

    I have a yarn winder but not a swift.

  17. How did you learn to knit?

    From a friend.

  18. How old is your oldest UFO?

    About five years old.

  19. What is your favorite holiday?


  20. Is there anything that you collect?

    I wouldn't call it collecting, but I do occasionally buy stamps with maps and Japanese stickers.

  21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

    Let me get back to you on the first question. As for subscriptions, I don't have any, but I just signed up with TKGA so I should start getting Cast-On. I occasionally get Rebecca with English translation.

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

    Color-knitting. I just started my first Fair Isle project. It's not strictly speaking Fair Isle, because it's a Scandinavian pattern from Poetry in Stitches, but it's in FI technique. I have a feeling that I'll want to do more after this. I also like some sweaters that require intarsia technique, but I don't think I can handle the tangle mess of multiple balls of yarn at the same time.

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

    Yes, and I'll get back to you with the measurements.

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

    September 30.

  25. I should probably throw in some extra information for my secret pal since my blog is only ten days old. I was born in the UK, raised in Italy and moved to Los Angeles in 1992 where I've been a professional web designer and developer since 1995. Some of my interests outside knitting and spinning are: foreing languages, design, technology, maps, good food and wine, cats. I tend to have a short attention span and get interested in new things all the time, but knitting seems to be a constant in my life and I am very much looking forward to my first Secret Pal.


Hee, hee~ I love being a bad girl! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your questionnaire (and your blog entries! You are starting to inspire me!)

I was always a good girl before...maybe it is you spinsters that are the bad influence on ME