Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Punk Rock Gift Exchange Questionaire

1. How long have you been knitting/crocheting/spinning?
Knitting for 15 months, spinning for 8 months (1 month with wheel). I don't really crochet except for edgings, though I'm not opposed to the idea.

2. Do you consider yourself a beginner, novice or experienced yarn artist?
Experienced- I tend towards being a "process" knitter, always trying new techniques. The more complicated the better. I'm trying to get started designing

3. What fibers (materials) have you knit/crochet with?
Wool, cotton (not my fave), acrylic (yuk!), silk and soysilk blends, viscose, alpaca, mohair, bamboo

4. What are your favorite yarns?
Any bamboo, soysilk/wool blend, or merino wools. Specific yarns I use a lot or would like to use again are Lamb's Pride (usually bulky for felting, but worsted would be good since I can't find it locally), any Knitpicks sock yarn, Koigu sock yarn, Paton's Soy Wool Stripes, Misti Alpaca, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, or any Noro (mostly for felting). Specific yarns I would like to try are Zephyr laceweight, Kidsilk Haze, Tofutsies sock yarn, Regia sock yarn, Noro Silk Garden, Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, Malabrigo merino, any Cherry Tree Hill yarn, any Lorna's Laces yarn, or any Alchemy yarn.

5. What fibers are you dying to try?
Banana, quivut, baby camel, the blend in Tofutsies, the new Vickie Howell yarns (one of them has a milk by-product!), llama, buffalo, linen

6. Do you prefer solid, self striping, or handpainted yarns?
Yes! All are good. I like handpainted a lot for socks. I actually haven't done any self striping socks yet, but I'd like to.

7. What fibers do you dislike?
I don't get along well with acrylic. Caron's Simply Soft is ok, but the others drive me nuts. I also have issues with unmercerized cotton.

8. What are your favorite colors?
I usually stick with black, red, grey, white, and pink for garments. With socks, anything goes. Blues, pinks, and purples are nice.

9. What are your least favorite colors?
I HATE brown and gold. I'm not too fond of yellow or orange by themselves either,
but they are fine with other colors.

10. How did you learn to knit/crochet/spin?
Self-taught, mostly from online sources and some books.

11. What projects are you currently working on?
A mohair lace scarf, finishing up a kittyville hat, about to redo the sleeves on a shrug, about to start some fair isle socks, spinning some mohair locks

12. How old is your oldest UFO? What is it? Will it ever be finished?
About 8 months old, a stuffed octopus with a highly illogical amount of seaming. Probably won't be finished because I decided the patterns in the book it was in have a funny stitch-to-row gauge ratio. Everything I made from it came out tall and skinny.

13. What is the most heartbreaking project that you ever frogged?
It's not because of frogging, but I once made a penguin that made me cry cause he had lopsided wings.

14. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I have the Knitpicks Options set, so I use circs for everything. I've started doing magic loop for socks, but I have nothing against dpns.

15. Do you own a swift and/or a winder?
Have a winder, no swift.

16. Where do you keep your needles?
In the Knitpicks Options case or a tacklebox.

17. Do you enjoy helpful hints about your knitting or does it just piss you off? I'm always reading about technical tips and better ways to do things (in books and online. It's welcome in person as long as the hinter knows what she/he's
talking about.

18. What techniques are you still a virgin in (lace, cables, ect.) and are you interested in trying them?
I'm about to start some more involved fair isle projects (but I've never steeked), and I have a few slip-stitch mosaic patterns picked out from the Barbara Walker books to try. I also want to try illusion knitting and shibori felting. I've just finished my first project knitting with wire. I'm also planning to try entrelac
and/or other modular constructions. I love lace, and have converted to cables. I never liked the look until I found out how fun they are to do. I'm also working on my spinning techniques and experimenting with dyes.

19. What knitting magazines do you subscribe to?
Creative Knitting (ugh!). I'm a fan of Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, and Knit.1, but I tend to buy issues just when there are patterns I like. I'm also interested in Spin-Off.

20. Are there any books, needles, yarn, patterns that you are dying to get your hands on?
Books: The Barbara Walker stitch treasuries, DomiKnitrix, Naughty Needles (I have a well-annotated Amazon.com wish list. Needles: I'm pretty well stocked with the Options set. Yarn: see number 4. Patterns: None that I can think of.

21. Do you enjoy knitting socks? How big are your feet?
Yes! US womens size 8 (most normal sock patterns/yarn amounts would work for me)

22. Do you have a wish list?
Yes, on Amazon.

23. What are your non-knitting, crochet, spinning hobbies?
Reading, aikido, going to concerts, foreign or independent films

24. How do you feel about sports?
I'm into martial arts and I started running a couple of months ago. I like swimming and hiking and outdoorsy stuff. I don't like team sports and I hate pro sports on TV.

25. What is your favorite season? Least favorite season? Why?
We don't really have seasons in Texas. I like it medium outside (in the 70's).
I hate cold and over 100 degrees isn't so pleasant either.

26. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween!!! How could it get any better than bats, black cats, dressing up, and
eating candy?

27. Do you like handmade gifts?

28. Do you wear jewelry that isn't real?
I don't understand. Like imaginary or in another dimension? I've gotten too lazy and been working out too much to wear jewelry other than my wedding ring or nostril retainer. I'm open to the idea, though. I don't like gold or copper toned metal, but I do like silver toned or beaded.

29. What are your favorite foods? Scents that you love?
I'm really into Thai or Indian food. Italian is good, too. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, but I don't eat chocolate. I love white chocolate. My favorite scents are citrus-y, esp. grapefruit. I'm a big fan of Lush and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab products.

30. What is your family situation? Do you live alone?
I live with my husband and my Siamese cat. I have a 14 year old brother a couple
of hours away.

31. Do you have any pets?
I have a 13 year old Siamese cat and a one-fish aquarium.

32. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3's?
Punk, psychobilly, ska, and reggae. I have a lot of music, so the more obscure the better, I guess. There's a few CDs on my Amazon wishlist. Yes, I'm MP3 compatible.

33. What are your favorite movies? TV shows? Actors?
Movies: Shock Treatment, Hedwig & The Angry Inch, Trainspotting, Crybaby
TV: Invader Zim, Venture Bros, Project Runway, Law & Order, South Park
Actors: Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton

34. What do you collect?
Stuff with ladybugs or cats, weird Asian stuff. I have a whole junk area above
my fireplace. I should take a picture.

35. What do you do in real life -- besides knit and blog?
I'm still trying to figure that out myself. I'm a grad school dropout (in neuroscience). I've just started volunteering for Planned Parenthood. I think I'm going to be a sample knitter for a yarn company soon. I help organize our local knitting group. I do aikido with my husband and watch a lot of Netflix. I'm addicted to the library, although I do less reading of novelsthan I did pre-knitting. But now I can knit without looking, so I may be reading more soon.

36. When is your birthday? Is it a national holiday or just another day?
June 5. Just a regular day.

37. Do you have any allergies, medical conditions or disorders that your pal should be aware of (ie. diabetes, food/pet allergies, ect.)?
No allergies. I don't do caffeine (that extends to chocolate too).

38. Are there any scents, phobias, or sensory thing (ie, the way certain objects feel) that your pal should be aware of?

39. What is the most difficult thing that you have ever knit/crochet?
I haven't really found anything difficult yet. I'm about to start a fair isle project 2-handed, so that may change. It took me a while to catch on to seaming, and I still would rather avoid it.

40. What is your personal style? Is there a time period/fashion movement that you take your cues from?
Most of the time it's band t-shirts and jeans. When I do dress up girly, I go for a psychobilly 50's retro kind of thing. Lots of red, black, polka dots, and fishnets. I also like things with skulls or black cats on them.

41. Anything else that you would like to say?
Thank you!

Beaded wire knitting

Beaded wire knitting
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
It's knitting, but shiny! How cool is that?

Heart-shaped box

Heart-shaped box
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Pattern from anticraft.com. Used 28 gauge beading wire, pattern called for 24 gauge. A little bit floppy, but pretty fun. I've heard sometimes people can only do a little bit of wire knitting at a time, but I didn't have any discomfort with this thin wire. The pattern called for washers and nuts instead of beads. I liked that look, but I started this late at night without a car and I happened to have a bunch of small beads on hand.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Milanese lace scarf

Milanese lace scarf
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Vintage mohair scarf using Milanese lace pattern from one of the Barbara Walker books. I got the yarn at a swap but it originally came from Sears! I'll photo the label soon. The pattern is visible enough in real life without blocking, but I just couldn't get it to photograph well today. My tripod is on vacation, and I happen to be working on 3 red projects at the moment. Not the best photo day.

Core-spun mohair on bobbin

Core-spun mohair on bobbin
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
I'm spinning dyed mohair locks around sewing thread. I've got to tease the heck out of the locks to get the grass seeds and other junk out. Evil grass seeds. . . Should have looked closer before buying!

Kittyville hat sans ears

Pre-kitty hat
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
It used to have one ear, but I wan't happy with the size or placement. So now the hat is awaiting ears once again. Kittyville hat pattern from Stitch n Bitch book, using Misti Alpaca worsted.

Puffy Sleeve Shrug

Puffy Sleeve Shrug
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Puffy sleeve shrug from knit.1 magazine. Although I knew there might be sleeve length issues (http://sweaterweather.typepad.com), I went along with the pattern. So after seaming, the sleeves are too long, not puffy in the right way, and too wide. It makes my arms look HUGE. So sleeves will be redone. Just because I'm busty doesn't mean I have linebacker arms with knuckles that drag the ground.

Mock cable landscape

Mini cable dishrag
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Mock cable dishrag

Mini cable dishrag
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Used a JoAnn's Sensations yarn with weird meshy scrubbyness around the main yarn. Did the whole thing continental for practice (I'm usually a thrower). I used the mock cable method in one of the Barbara Walker books (k2tog without dropping from left needle, then knit just the rightmost stitch and drop the two stitches from the left needle).

Garter rib sock

Garter rib sock
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Garter rib socks

Garter Rib Socks
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Used Knitpicks Dancing in colorway Hula. I like the little blips of color, but didn't like the dark green/orange striping at first. It grew on me after a while, though. The stripes ended up matching prettty closely between socks. I started from both balls at the same point in the color progression, but I wasn't super picky about where I started my long tail cast-on.