I decided that I wanted to meet more knitters so I've joined Secret Pal 8. I'm really looking forward to learning more about someone and spoiling them with yarn! I have to wait now and get my email that says who I have! Here are the questions that they have asked me to answer for the person who is my secret pal!
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like all different types of yarn...though I have to admit that I prefer natural or fancy acrylic blends. I used so much Red Heart with I was crocheting as a youngster that I've really been turned off of it.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a beautiful wicker basket that is in the shape of a vase. I use to keep it up in my craft room...don't get to excited it has become a dumping ground for my hubby's computers and our DIY projects...but now I keep them in my living room. I have some beautiful Brittany and Lunar Moon needles and I like having them where I can see them.
3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I toyed with knitting since I was 18 or so. I've always crocheted and other various crafts but found it difficult to knit. I'm very tight and in my teens and twenties got very easily frustrated by that. I had a lovely lady try and teach me, but she really only managed to get me to do the longtail caston. Now that she is gone, I use that method all the time because it reminds me of her. My grandmother never could knit because like me, she was to tight. When I turned 30 I sat myself down one weekend when the family was away and started to teach myself. I never looked back. I think I did baby socks almost immediately and have always challenged myself with hard projects. No easy scarves for me when I was starting out! Of course now I've knitting lots of scarves and the rest! I would say that I'm an intermediate knitter who will try advanced projects if tempted by the right project!
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have a Amazon.co.uk wish list under the name of Dawn Downes
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love vanilla or lavender! Anything soothing!
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do have a sweet tooth. My favorite candy is sugared almonds, though I love Nestle's chocolate since you can't get it here very often in the UK.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I want to try to spin one of these days, but I'm afraid it will take over my life! I already do so many crafts, as I say in the websites intro, my husband despairs of me! My favorite is knitting and mosaic. Though I also like quilting, sewing and fixing up reclaimed items. One day I hope they figure out how to give us more time in a day!!!
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Wow, they give good ideas here! I love all kinds of music, I'm very eclectic. My favorite would be alternative music (Franz Ferdinand is a fav at the moment and Cold Play or Tori Amos) I have an MP3 player and can listen at work and at home on my computer.
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 color. Everyone wears so much black that I want to be sure to have color on my all the time. I'm really going through a purple/mauve/dark pink faze at the moment. Though I like all colors. Red isn't the best thing for me to wear close to my face, so I don't usually do scarves in red.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a wonderful hubby and The Girls. The girls are 2 guinea pigs (Dervla and Josie), 3 virtues (pet rats: Faith, Hope and Charity) and 4 detectives (pet mice: Kate, Kinsey, Sharon and Brit).
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Don't really do ponches and hats only look good if they are berets. But mittens and scarves LOTS! Can never have to many!
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Anything really, though I have to admit I've never attempted a sweater yet for myself. I've bought a couple kits recently...so that will change. Right now I'm in to bags. I've made two this year so far and really enjoy that I can make them exactly the way I want them to be. I like to have a really long strap that I can wear across my body.
13. What are you knitting right now?
Right now I'm finishing up a blanket kit I bought from Clickety Knits for my new nephew Tobin. I need to wash and sew up a lining for my Recycled Sari bag. Start my nephew Wesley's blanket so he might have it by the time he is born in August...and I just found out that I'll have to find ANOTHER baby blanket pattern because my other sister (I have 3) has my last baby of the year! (Just found out she is pregnant last night!) I'm also crocheting a string bag from one Erika Knight's books.
I'm also working on a knitting art project and fooling around with free form knit and crochet. I'm doing a workshop in a few weeks for this and I'm trying out different techniques. I've always said that I'm a crafter not an artist...but I'm starting to blur the lines. Maybe it is just maturity!
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Depends on the project. I don't really use plastic but I'll use straight, circular, bamboo, aluminum (like Addi turbos) or wood!
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, alas....though I have found that though knitting makes me car sick...I can wind up balls of yarn!
17. How did you learn to knit?
Covered above on how long I've been doing it!
18. How old is your oldest UFO?
Knitting??? Well I've been knitting very productively but I have to admit that I have a sock I started for my hubby...that I've never managed to finish...5 years later!!!! My other long one is a quilt I started in 1996...but that is in a box upstairs and hasn't seen the light of day for years. Second I have a cross stitch that I have been working on ever so often for 4 years. (It is my Olympic project!)
19. What is your favorite holiday?
I miss American holiday's such as the 4th of July and Thanksgiving....otherwise it would be Easter. We make a trip to my sis and bro-in-law in Wales and it is so much like going home! They keep us busy and I craft rest and watch lots of hopping baby lambs!
20. Is there anything that you collect?
Russ bears, which is really interesting because Russ is based out of Southampton where I live, though I've been collecting them for years. I also collect old books.
21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
I've been treating myself to too many knitting books lately...but I have a few on my Amazon wish list. I love sock yarn, I don't find very much of it over here. I love Debbie Bliss patterns and yarn, Louisa Harding yarns and patterns, and Erika Knight patterns.
What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
My sister gave me a Knitters magazine subscriptions years ago, she must have paid a fortune because I have it for the next few years already. My mom bought me Vogue knitting for Christmas. I don't subscribe, but Always by Simple Knitting and Knitting mags from here in the UK.
22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Well, as mentioned about I'm trying out free-form knit and crochet. I like that you can use up lots of bits of different yarns and you don't have to swatch! My knitting tight won't matter for once! I also would like to learn how to English knit a bit more so that if I do decide to do some teaching I can teach either way. I also would love to felt more. I have managed one project when I was still in the States, but I haven't tried now that I have a front loading washing machine. I've got so many things I want to learn though that time is a problem again. I keep saying I can't wait until I'm retired so I can sit and craft all day...but will I be able to physically do it then???? Big question!
23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, I've not managed to finish me a pair yet....but I'm getting there. I wear a size 10US or 8UK.
24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
There now you know more about me then even my hubby....probably!