Secret Pals Rock!
Umm, have you noticed anything new around here? It's okay, look around. Yes, that fabulous new header, created by my fabulous new secret pal!! I love the strawberry letters and I love that she made it for me--I wanted to have something pretty up there, but I am still so new at everything that all I managed was some pretty font, and that only showed up on certain computers. So my blog is getting prettier by the day--thanks, SP!!
In knitting news, I am heading out to the Fiesta Yarns Outlet Store
this week with my friend Michelle--I am hoping for not only juicy yarns, but juicy bah-gains as well. Stay tuned!!
Secret Pals 4
I decided to join Secret Pals 4 and I am so excited!! I just think it's a great idea, and really a testament to the great online community we knitters have! As soon as I get a place going to store images and pictures for my blog, I will put up the button. Till then, here is my questionnaire:
- Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
For me, I only use natural fibers. No way will I have polyester anywhere near my body. It feels gross to even touch it. That said, I will knit with things that have a percentage of fake in them for other people, like for kids and people who won’t hand wash. Red Heart—bad. Lion Brand Wool Ease—sure.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I want to learn to spin and I’ve bought a spindle and some fiber, but any attempts to teach myself have been unsuccessful. I only know enough crochet to accent my knitting—provisional cast off and chain edge, basically. But I’m hoping my friend Ling will teach me more!
3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I do not have any allergies, but my husband is terribly allergic to dogs and cats, so none of that stuff in our house.
4. How long have you been knitting?
I’ve been knitting obsessively since 1999, when I realized I was watching too much TV, and needed something to show for my time.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do! Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/registry.html/ref=cm_wl_pref_
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I really hate strong perfumes—they give me a headache, but I like natural, clean scents, like lavender and rose, and I like what laundry smells like, and the smell of any baby product (I use Baby Magic lotion!)
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes. I mean no. Wait, what? I was distracted by the thought of chocolate. Milky, sweet chocolate all the way, baby. I also LOVE English toffee and peanut brittle.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I like to sew, but usually utilitarian things, like curtains or pillowcases, when I can’t find what I want in the store. I also make collage idea books from magazines—things I see that I could use in my knitting or for decorating my house, things like that.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like all kinds—but they’ve gotta have a good singer. I’ve been listening to Switchfoot, the Garden State soundtrack, the Donnas, and I like Guster, Fountains of Wayne, John Mayer (the first album more), Sarah McLachlan, Def Leppard, ACDC, and anything they might have played on the easy listnin’ station in the early eighties.
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
Red, pink, orange and anything in between. Cranberry, maroon, rust, salmon, mauve, tangerine, you get the idea. I’m trying to branch out into blues and greens, but it’s hard.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married to a wonderful guy (it’ll be 3 years in May!) and we do not have any pets, because of my husband’s terrible allergies. We also don’t have any children, but are hoping that will change.
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
I am working on my elementary education degree, so I am really excited to become a teacher and work with the kids. We are also looking to move, and live somewhere with a greater sense of community and friendship. I would like to work on designing my own knits and eventually have a website to showcase them. I’d also like to find some friends to knit with, and talk shop with. I have only one knitting friend here, and she’s moving away!!
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Anything soft and yummy! I love alpaca and merino wool, and I’ll sometimes go for a cotton, but it’s gotta be great to sway me. Usually cotton is too stiff for me. I also LOVE variegated yarns. I think they are so cool---mystery in a skein. You never know how they’ll turn out. I love pooling and flashing and whatever else people complain about---bring it on!
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Anything fake (acrylics, polyesters) and anything that has loops that catch on your needle points.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I love well fitted, well designed things and am extremely turned off by no shaping or bad shaping. I love Rowan and Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas. I also love Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson for the colors and the ideas. I have several projects from there in the knitting queue.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Anything with a great design and some great yarn. I ain’t picky.
17. What are you knitting right now?
I’m making a quick hat out of some yummy bulky alpaca I got last summer in Toronto and the monkey from Knitted Toys by Fiona McTague. I have several other UFO’s going, but I’m not knitting on them. Must get to that…
18. What do you think about ponchos?
Not for me, but I’ve seen some cute ones. My cousin loves ‘em, and she’s got good taste.
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I never use straights, I use my circs for everything.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I love addis and bamboo Clovers, and Crystal Palace bamboo dpns or Brittany’s dpns
21. Are you a sock knitter?
Only when I have to. My dad loves handknitted socks, so I make him a pair for Christmas.
22. How did you learn to knit?
My Memere taught me when I was little, and I promptly forgot, and I learned in home-ec class, and promptly forgot, and then I got a book and taught myself in 1999, and that’s when it stuck.
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Winter 1999, baby! And proud of it. Although I do want to finish it someday…
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Strawberry Shortcake? I don’t really like that kind of thing. I like strawberries, because it’s the one thing that rhymes with my name (hence my website, strawberry knits). But other than that, nope.
25. What is your favorite holiday?
My birthday, May 1st!!! Cause it’s all about ME!
26. Is there anything that you collect?
I don’t collect per se, but I’m always on the look out for pretty handkerchiefs, and old knitting needles. Oh wait, I’m a liar. I’m looking for all of Madeleine L’Engle’s books in hardcover. I have Many Waters, Troubling a Star, The Young Unicorns, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother and Two-Part Invention. I’m only getting them if I can find them in local used bookstores. I want to support the local guy rather than go online.
Erte Cloche--Part One
I am a loyal reader of Marnie MacLean's blog
, and she has designed a very cute hat that the minute I saw, I wanted to knit. It's a cloche---those twenties-style flapper hats---and she decided that she was going sell the design. She has a bunch of really cute free patterns
, but the cloche is to be her first for-sale pattern. So she asked her readers for someone to test-knit the pattern, I volunteered, and she picked me! I have to say that her pattern was very easy to understand and she has these great diagrams that explained what was going on. For me, if there's a picture, there's no problem. Marnie was so nice, and answered any of my questions, and also was gracious about any comments I had. See, we NH girls do okay. :-)
Here's the cloche in progress. You can see the orange provisional cast on, my messy seed stitch, and the lovely Koigu--the color is pretty accurate. I used #2 addis, and I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Tiny yarn and tiny needles will be my friends.
I can't figure out how to get more than one picture in a post, so I guess I will have to post a couple of times to get all the pics up. Hmm.
I have placed myself on a yarn diet---no more yarn until I finish the gazillion and one unfinished things I have lying around. I know that seems kinda mean, and like I won't ever be able to do it, but I really think I should. It's really getting out of hand over here. And, I have a lot of yarn around too, just waiting to be knit up into something beautiful. I have a UFO from when I first started knitting that is gorgeous and really should be finished. There's nothing wrong with it, I just got distracted. I get distracted easily. Yarn is an evil temptress. Speaking of distractions, have you seen the yarn over at Hello Yarn
!?! I want it SO bad! Damn you, yarn diet!!
This is a shot from Christmas. My Memere and Auntie were in town, so we had many big feasts and my folks really went all out to show them a good time. So I decided that I would knit everyone something, even though we had decided only joke gifts. My Dad got his pair of house socks---which I only knit for him, because I dislike making the socks so. I have a feeling that will change though. Once I get more zen about things and like the tiny-needles-tiny-yarn thing. I mean, it's not as if I don't have the yarn lying around (see, I told you!! I NEED a yarn diet!). Mom, Memere, and my bro all got yummy slippers made from "Felted Knits" by Beverly Galeskas
. I used the mohair ballet slipper pattern, but because I didn't want to felt them really, just have the stitches kind of distorted and soft, I made the slippers about true to size. My brother didn't want to felt his at all, so there you go. I also put elastic in the cuff so that they would stay on. Even when I do felt them all the way, I can never get those puppies to stay on, so the elastic works like a charm. My Auntie got a beautiful feather and fan pattern scarf, but alas, no pictures were taken where you can see it.
Time to Get to Work
Here's Duckie, Jarrett and Vanessa. I knit Duckie from "Knitted Toys" by Fiona McTague. I had some trouble with the increasing on the head. Did you know that when it says [inc 1, k1] it really means k1, k1 and then increase? It does to Ms. McTague apparently. I tore my hair out trying to figure out how to go from 30 sts to 45 when inc1, k1 down the row gives you 60 sts. But, I finally remembered that I am not a knitter in a vacuum, and asked for help in the Knitter's Review forums.
Those lovely folks over there helped me up good, so when I go to knit the monkey, who is next on the list of to-knits, I will confidently inc with the best of them. Oh yeah, and aren't those kids the cutest?! They even outshine Duckie, who is still pretty darn cute.
I have been out of town for a few days, but I am back with (hopefully) lots to show for it. I got close and cuddly with my digital camera and am figuring out how to post the pictures in my blog. I never knew how involved this whole thing was. I was thinking it just a journal, lots of people are doing it, I am a smart and capable woman--I should have no problems, right? Well, bucko, I'm here to tell you it's just not true. My mother has been lying to me this whole time--I CAN'T do everything. Who knew a pretty blog takes a whole helluva lotta knowledge, esp. of HTML? Who knew you can't just slap in some pictures you took with your digital camera? I'm hoping to work out some of the issues and we'll see how it goes.