SP 10 Questions

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I like wool. Not a big fan of cotton, but blends are o.k. Favorite brands/names, Noro Kuyeron, Blue Sky (even their cotton!) Berroco.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Plastic storage tubs. I have a system that I really like.
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 for a few years really. My skill level is intermediate, but I’m lazy and have a short attention span, so I do mostly beginner-ish projects.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes. see my sidebar.
5. What's your favorite scent? I have very, very sensitive skin, so it’s best to stick with things like Burts Bees or other all natural brands. I like Vanilla.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I am a chocolate pig. Chocolate and peanut butter. Yummy!
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I make jewelry, scrapbook. I tried to be a spinner, and it didn’t work, so I’m not interested.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I listen to all kinds of music and am open to everything! My computer will play MP3s.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Purple/Pink/Black are my favorites, but I really like everything. It just depends on the project. Right now, I’m somewhat following Project Spectrum, so I’m trying to explore more color!
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Live with my boyfriend of 8 years. No indoor pets – we have a farm cats.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes, Yes, Yes, NO!
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I seem to be on a baby hat kick right now.
13. What are you knitting right now? Log Cabin baby blanket, Fake Isle Hat.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Sure!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Prefer Addi Turbos. But would maybe like to explore Knit Picks options.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I own both.
17. How old is your oldest UFO? More than one year old.
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
19. Is there anything that you collect? Yarn. :)
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I’m open to any/every thing. No subscriptions but I like to read Knit Simple.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? My last few secret pals have gotten me sock yarn, and I’m just waiting to take a sock class. I don’t know that it’s a technique, but I’d like to challenge myself a little more this year with my knitting.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I should be a sock knitter soon! I wear a women’s 10 shoe.
23. When is your birthday? June 27 – I will be 28 years old.


Strangest Baby Blanket Ever!

Remeber this? I hadn't finished it and it's well over a year old. The good news is it's done now. The bad news is that, well, let's just say say that the blurry photo is the best thing about this knit baby blanket. I'll have to wait to be home during some natural light to take some photos of the other issues with it.

In other news, tonight I'm going to see Barack Obama at a town hall meeting in Des Moines. I'm not a political person, but an advantage of living in Iowa is that all of the presidential hopefulls visit here often, so I figure I should take the opportunity to see them all while they're here. For the record, I am not a republican or a democrat. I'm open to anything!


I am not a Spinner...

And I'm o.k. with that. I guess I got overly excited last year when I was at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival - I bought a drop spindle, but never really could figure out if I was spinning correctly.

On Sunday, I took a spinning class at Living History Farms here in Des Moines, and I liked it - I really did. I just found out that I don't have the patience for hand spinning - on a drop spindle or on a wheel. The instructors actually complimented me a lot on my wheel spinning - I found the wheel MUCH easier than the spindle, but it just didn't do it for me. I hate to admit it, but it's a ton of work!
I am very jealous of those spinners out there who make such beautiful yarns. I am just going to have to continue to support their passion by purchasing more handspun yarn. The effort is worth it, because it's beautiful, but it's not for me. I'll just have to keep knitting!


Why do I love Iowa?

I never, ever thought I would end up living out in the boonies in Iowa. But I love it. Why? Because I can walk out the front door on a cold but sunny Sunday morning, and see two bald eagles perched in a tree.


The White Feather

My Uncle Jerry died just over a month ago after a long battle with colon cancer. He was "technically" only my uncle for a few years, but he and my Aunt Carol (my mom's sister) were together for as long as I can remember, so he really was always my uncle - technicalities aside...

Carol has a daughter named Dena. Dena has three sons but only two of them are old enough to know and remember their Grandpa Jerry. These kids were heartbroken when he died. They loved him so much. At the wake, one of her sons asked me if their Grandpa would be friends with my Grandpa in heaven (my grandpa died 5 years ago.) Jerry and my Grandpa were friends before, so I know they are friends up there!

Just before the one month anniversary of his death, Dena and the kids were talking about Jerry and sharing stories of the fun they had with him. Dena said that she told the kids to look for a sign from him that he's o.k. She had read in one of her books that a white feather is a sign from a loved one that they are doing fine.

On the one-month anniversary of Jerry's death, Dena's oldest son, Ryan, went home from school a different way than he usually did. He was walking along and came across a white feather.

A day or so later, Dena and her other son were cleaning out the car, and they found a white feather in the back of the car.

I'm not religious, but I believe in God. I also believe that when people die, they can still see us down here and are watching us. Jerry sent those kids those feathers to help them heal. They still miss him. They will need a lot of time to heal, but it's nice to know that Jerry sent them a little something to hold onto.


The Soundtrack of My Life

Emily posted this on her blog, and I thought it was fun, so I did it too!

If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?
1. Open your mp3 library
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press Play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the Next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.
7. Don't skip songs. (Unless they happen to be podcasts/foreign/downright perverted and you don't want your sister to think you're some sort of dirty whore.)

My Soundtrack:
Opening Credits – Crash – Gwen Stefani
Waking Up – That’s How Strong My Love Is – Rowland Gift
First Day of School – Beautiful Day – U2
Fight Song – Kick - INXS
Breaking Up – Falls to Climb – R.E.M.
Happiness – Burn for You - INXS
Life's Okay – For Martha – Smashing Pumpkins
Mental Breakdown – Can You Hear Me? – Missy Elliot
Driving – Showdown – Britney Spears
Flashback – Run, Baby, Run – Sheryl Crow
Getting Back Together – Hey Now! - Oasis
Wedding Song – Shine Like it Does - INXS
Birth of First Child – Disenchanted Heart – The Nadas
Final Battle Scene – No One’s Leaving – Jane’s Addiction
Death Scene – Eskimo – Damien Rice
Funeral Song – Maybe Katie – Barenaked Ladies
End Credits – Cowboys and Angels – Garth Brooks

I have a pretty diverse musical taste, so I'm not surprised by some of these. I'm obviously a huge INXS fan, but never would have thought they would come up as often as they did. I'm also a huge Tori Amos fan and have all of her music in my iTunes, but none of her songs came up! Strange. iTunes must have it's own mind...I'm now listening to these in order to "live" my life in music today! What a fun meme!!


On gauge swaches

I caved in and knit a gauge swatch. I actually knit about half a gaugue swatch and that indicated that I was spot on with gauge - which is an anomoloy, but whatever. So I started to knit Green Gable. and discovered that the YO, K2tog details at the beginning did lot like my yarn. Or the yarn did like them because it split like crazy. I'm using Addi's - they're not too pointy, but my yarn fell apart. It's Royal Bamboo - It's meant for this project. I knit about 2 inches, then ripped it out because the fraying on the neckline irritated me too much.

I'll re-start it again this week, I'm sure. For now, I'm in the middle of knitting fun fur hats! I hate fun fur knitting - I don't mind it for scarves, but when I'm trying to do ribbing, it's impossible to work with.



So tonight I'm going to start knitting a sweater for my sister. I'm going to make either Green Gable or Glee in Royal Bamboo - the cornflower blue color.

I'm not quite sure what to do about swatching. I usually get gauge by going down two needle sizes - and since these patterns are mostly knit in the round, I need to make a round gauge swatch. I don't really want to. I just figure I can knit it, and see what happens. I know that many a knitting disaster has happened when knitters think they are above swatching. Only tonight will tell!

This will be my first adult knitted sweater. I'm making it for my sister because she's small!!


Thoughts on...

Secret Pals - I know that the pal who spoiled me is a busy lady, so I don't know who she is yet! I can't wait to read more about her in her blog though! I'm a little impatient with this - but that's just my nature! :) The secret pal I spoiled is Emily. It turns out she and I have a lot of similarities, so I'm glad that I've made a new friend!

Project Spectrum - Officially started yesterday. I have a fair amount of blue in my stash, not too much of the other two Feb./March colors. That's o.k. though because one of my first projects is going to be knitting my sister a sweater out of blue yarn.

Organization - I sat down a few nights over the last two weeks and cataloged all of my knitting needles and yarn. I made a spreadsheet with several columns for the yarn so I know the color, gauge, yardage, fiber, etc. for what I have. Every time I buy new yarn, I'm going to enter it in there. Also - I'm a little embarassed at the amount of fun fur that I own, but I used to knit and sell those scarves so whatever.

Weather - It's cold. Really, really cold. -2 when I got up. Tomorrow, the high temperature is going to be 3 above, with windchill of -30. Brrrrr!!!!

Yarn Stores - A while back I mentioned Donna's was going out of business. That's still sad news, but the good news is that Artistic Bead is going to move into Donna's old space and expand their bead selectin and be a yarn store as well! The owner and I had a few e-mail exchanges about what yarns would be good to carry, and I've given her plenty of feedback! If you're in Des Moines and want to tell her, get thee to Valley Junction and talk to them! I'm excited to see the new store!