Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh, so very late!

Here is a picture of my tote for the International Tote Exchange. It's going out in the mail today. I'm not sure about it, but I hardly have time to do another.

Here's the lovely lace scarf I received in the International Scarf Exchange.

Now I have to finish my scarf for the exchange. I was hoping to be done by now, but no luck. Soon, though.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Progress, I hope

So I think I'm making progress. I'm halfway done with my scarf for ISE III. It has, however, gotten quite boring to knit, cables and all. I hope 3 more hours will do it. maybe Stitch n' Bitch tomorrow will finish it off. So I'm working on my tote for ITE II instead. This is at least the 4th or 5th one I've attempted, so I'm really afraid of jinxing it by saying too much. It's crocheted instead of knitted, which seems to have taken some of the pressure off.

I've also been putting together my first shipment for my secret pal in Secret Pal 9. So far, I have, well, way too much stuff, but it's so much fun! I think I have almost enough for 3 boxes, one each month. I'm so much better at putting together gifts bags or boxes for people than I am actually making things. I think it's because I think of deadlines as "suggestions."

I received a post card from my secret pal in Singapore on Thursday. It definitely brightened up what had been a lousy day! Thanks, secret pal!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Disaster strikes

Yesterday, I had two nasty knitting disasters. One, the purse refused to felt and dyed itself mud brown. It is spectacularly ugly. Two, the yarn linen yarn I bought and brought home to wind? Towards the end of the skein, it flew off the ball winder. Ok, I stop and check, it's wrapped around the ball winder. I have remove the ball winder from the table to get the yarn off of it. Then I realize that it is hopeless tangled, so I decided to wind it back into a skein on the swift, whereupon it promptly knots itself around the base of the swift. So I have to remove the swift from the table and fight to get the yarn off of it. At this point, it is a hopelessly tangled mess and I don't have time to deal with it. At least it wasn't laceweight, I suppose.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nearly there...

I went to a UFO Night at the LYS and made serious progress on my scarf for ISE III. They had shipment of cashmere just in, but I nobly refrained. I didn't even look, because if I had, I would have bought.

My tote for ITE II is on the stove at a full boil as I write. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I've been having fun looking for things to spoil my SP9 secret pal with. So far, I've made a purchase on Amazon, but finding actual yarn is more difficult, as I like bright, varigated yarn and my pal likes earth tones and solid colors. It's good for me, though, right? Plus, I can stay on my yarn diet, because it's not for *me*.

I received *my* scarf from ISE III today, from Lesley in Denver. It's a grape colored Branching Out scarf in Kid Seta.

I also received my bag from Rikako in Kyoto, Japan. It's a lovely red/pink/white crocheted bag. It is so me!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What a month!

I thought it would be sooo easy to participate in the International Scarf and International Tote exchanges. Boy, was I wrong! I haven't been even been able to knit much for the past month. I'm having some weird dizziness, so I can't even hold the darn needles. I finally managed to finish a tote, even if it wasn't the one my partner was expecting. I hope she likes it! It still needs to be felted, and handles attached. I think I'm going to skip the lining, though. I just don't have time.

As for the scarf, it's a good thing it's in chunky yarn on 15 needles. What there is of it is quite lovely, though. I am doing some major cleaning this weekend, so I hope to have lots of knitting time after that's all done.

My projects will be finished and received in time, even if postage costs more than the project. My goal is to have them in the mail next week. Luckily, both recipients are in the US, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Secret Pal 9

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like almost all animal fibers. I find cotton, linen, etc, to be rather hard on my hands. Acrylics, it depends. If it's really soft, I make allowances. :) I find silk stinky, but silk blends of less than 30% are ok. I'm not allergic to any yarns, but I even find baby alpaca scratchy, make of that what you will.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Nothing in particular, although I do have the Denise & KnitPicks Options sets. The needles tend to wander away, though. I confess that I own far too many of Martha's bags, http://www.greenmountainknittingbags.com.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting almost a year and consider myself a beginner. I learned at a LYS from a wonderful teacher. I'm very left-handed, so it took some doing to get it right. I've recently started knitting backwards instead of purling, but that only works if it's a whole row of purling. I haven't figured out how to do cabling or ribbing that way yet.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do, but it's more of a private shopping list right now. I'll see if I can make a public one soon.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I prefer citrussy, woodsy or "clean" or "fresh" scents. I find most flowery fragrances too cloying. No candles, please, the ceiling is awfully sooty from all the candles I used to burn.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes. Red Vines, red Swedish fish, sour gummy-type candies, toffees and coffee candies. Oh, and fresh saltwater taffy, I grew up on the beach. NO chocolate. I'm not allergic, but I really don't care for it. Heresy, I know. :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I also crochet. I would love to spin and quilt, but I am studiously avoiding these activities, as I live in a small house! Me, the cats, and the yarn are quite enough without adding fabric and fleece to the mix.

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 country music, favorite artists are Johnny Cash & Mary Chapin Carpenter. I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love hot pinks & purples, and deep jewel tones. I dislike earth tones.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
It's just me, the cats and the yarn! The yarn is winning.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves only occasionally as I live in a fairly warm climate.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I'm still a beginner, so it's all fun to me right now.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A scarf for the International Scarf Exchange, due 11/1. Yikes! I'd better get going.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
I love seeing other people's creativity. For example, I joked with a co-worker who was taking cake decorating classes that I would probably never get a wedding cake of my own, so when she made her mini-sample for class, she gave it to me. So sweet!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer circular needles for almost everything. Pointy tips are most important to me, since I'm a tight knitter. I have lots of bamboo straights, but didn't care for the one bamboo set of circs I had. The join was way too squeaky and very annoying.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes to both. That means I can escape the LYS without buying the store while waiting for the yarn to be wound.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
December, I think. I started on the Einstein Coat, and it has been swatched and started and frogged and re-started... Then I have a sweater from April, Bombshell from Big Girl Knits.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
That's a hard question. Probably Halloween. I love seeing the costumes, especially on the little tiny kids. I don't celebrate Christmas.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Dragons! Any kind of dragon, sculpture, glass, stuffed, bookmarks, jewelry, I love all kinds of dragons, but especially Oriental and Welsh dragons.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Hmmm. I tend to indulge myself, so let's see. I don't know, there seem to be a lot of luscious yarns out for fall, and I'm trying to stick to my yarn diet, so any yarn that just came out this fall would be good, for example, Rowan Tapestry, and almost all of the new Crystal Palace lines.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Lace. I keep saying I'm going to start, and I have patterns and yarns for them, but I haven't started yet.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
No socks yet. That's a lot of knitting! No idea, but I wear a US 8, and I have extremely high arches. :)

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
June 12.