Monday, May 30, 2005

Secret Pal 5 questionnaire

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I've been super busy. Two weekends ago we were in Memphis for a triathlon (I beat my time goal by over 2 minutes - yay!), then this past weekend we made our annual trek to Chicago for a Cubs game. Life happened inbetween, so needless to say, I haven't had much free time.

Anyway, here are my answers to the Secret Pals 5 questionnaire. I'm so excited about doing this! My husband thinks I'm a nerd for it, but oh well.

1. Are you a yarn snob? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? Yes, I do consider myself a yarn snob. I know it's not something to be totally proud of, but I am. I made a Rowan sweater for my son last year out of Lion Brand Wool Ease and it was so not as cute as the one in the book, and I attributed that to the yarn. Since then, I haven't used anything from Wal-Mart, JoAnn Etc. or Michael's.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? If you're talking about spinning yarn, no. If you're talking about spinning on a bike in a gym, yes. (I'm just being funny. Of course I know we're talking about yarn!) I know how to crochet but I don't do it very much. I've crocheted edges on sweaters and I made the Jessica Simpson shawl, but that's about it.

3. Do you have any allergies? No.

4. How long have you been knitting? I learned 5 years ago, but I took a break from it for about a year.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No.

6. What's your favorite scent? I don't think I have a favorite scent. I guess I like floral smells, but nothing makes me go crazy. There are some flowers along this road I ride my bike on that smell really good, but I don't know anything about flowers, so I can't tell you what they are, which doesn't help the favorite scent situation one bit. Sorry.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Yes!!! I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate, but I try not to eat it very much. I think I'm like Oprah: I have to work out really hard to keep my weight down. So eating sweets certainly doesn't help my situation. But I do like them and do indulge from time to time! (Note to my secret pal: This does not mean that you should not send me chocolate, especially dark chocolate! By all means, bring it on! I'm going to be doing so much working out this summer while training for my Ironman triathlon that I think I'll be able to afford to eat some chocolate, especially dark chocolate!)

8. What other crafts or DIY things do you like to do? I sometimes like to sew, but knitting seems to take up my craft time, so I don't do much of it.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? I have a wide range of musical tastes, although I guess I lean more towards rock n roll. My favorites include Lenny Kravitz and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Somehow I got sucked into American Idol this past season and I really liked Bo Bice. I was sad he didn't win. And yes, my husband said my computer can play MP3s. (I had to ask him b/c I'm pretty computer illiterate.)

10. Favorite color? Colors you can't stand? My favorite color is purple followed closely by green. I don't like brown or grey.

11. What's your family situation? Any pets? I've been married for 7 years and we have a 5-year old son who's autistic. We also have 2 dogs: Rudy, a Jack Russell terrier, and Gracie, a German short-haired pointer. We got Gracie before the German shorthair won Westminster, so I guess you could say we're trendsetters.

12. What are your life dreams? I would like to complete an Ironmnan triathlon. (An Ironman triathlon is a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.) 9 years ago when I started doing triathlons, I didn't think anything like that would be possible, but now I really think I can do it. I'm signed up for Ironman Wisconsin held in Madison this September 11th, so I'm making steps towards my dream. What would be even cooler would be to do the Hawaii Ironman. That race is the epitome of everything for triathletes.

13. What's your favorite yarn? Anything Rowan. I seem to use a lot of Rowan All Seasons Cotton. Since it doesn't get terribly cold in Nashville, I can't use any heavy wool. I made a sweater for my husband last year out of Lamb's Pride Bulky, and he couldn't wear it very much b/c it hardly ever gets below 30 degrees.

14. Any fibers you don't like? Chenille. Yuck!

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Anything Rowan, and lately, anything Rebecca.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Sweaters for my son or for myself.

17. What are you knitting right now? On the needles is a scarf (the Short Row Rib scarf from magknits - turning out very cute) and a bag I'm going to felt, both for the silent auction that's part of the Autism Conference being held here in July. On double pointed needles is Flick, a belt from the Sex in the Knitty issue of knitty. I wanted to finish it last Thursday so I could wear it in Chicago, but that didn't happen. I think it'll look cute this summer with the prairie skirts that seem to be gaining popularity.

18. What do you think about ponchos? I don't have a strong feeling either way. I have made 2 for myself and I like them, but I don't foresee myself making any more.

19. Straight needles or circulars? Circulars all the way, baby!

20. Bamboo, aluminum, or plastic? Bamboo.

21. Are you a sock knitter? I know how to make socks and have made some for myself, my mom, and my son, but I wouldn't say they're my favorite thing. I don't go out of my way to knit socks. I don't think I wear shoes that show off cute socks. But my son looks cute in a pair that peek out of his hiking boots in the fall and winter!

22. How did you learn how to knit? A friend wanted to take a class b/c she had been vacationing in Vermont and saw the women sitting around the fireplace, knitting. I took a class with her and 2 other friends, and I'm the only one it really stuck with.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? I tend not to have UFOs b/c I'm anal and must finish things, but I do have a couple (all with good reasons for not being finished): a crochet scarf from last fall (it got really boring to do), and a brioche rib turtleneck sweater from this past winter (it got too hot to wear when finished and I had other things to do - it's almost done, just waiting to be sewn together).

24. What's your favorite animated character or favorite animal/bird? I don't think I have a favorite animated character. I like Sesame Street characters b/c my son does, but they're not animated, so I don't know if that counts. My favorite animal would be a dog. I don't know a lot about birds, so I can't tell you the name of my favorite. Again, I saw a really pretty bright turquoise bird while riding my bike last week, but I don't know what kind it was. My most UNfavorite animal would be a frog. I am so completely scared of them it's stupid. I know it doesn't make any sense, which makes it worse. But I am not responsible for what I say or do when I see a frog.

25. Favorite holiday? I really like Christmas b/c I usually make a new sweater for my son to wear when visiting Santa, and he always looks adorable. This past year it was a cabled sweater out of silvery grey Rowan Handknit DK. My first cable project, and it was terrific.

26. Anything you collect? Not really.

27. Current knitting magazine subscriptions? I used to have one to Family Circle Easy Knitting, but I don't anymore. I'd like a subscription to Vogue Knitting, though.

28. Books wanted? The new Loop D Loop book is pretty cool. I'd also like Stitch n Bitch Nation.

Okay, that's it. Have fun, my secret pal! Can't wait to find out who you are at the end of the summer!


Monday, May 16, 2005

Who's afraid of a little intarsia?

Yesterday I got to take a class from famous knitwear designer, Sasha Kagan. I was so excited about it since she does a lot of work for Rowan, and I am a self-proclaimed Rowan freak. She taught us her method of doing intarsia, which involves weaving in the color not in use along the back. It was awkward at first because you have to hold yarns in both hands, but I think I got the hang of it and now want to tackle an intarsia project. I really enjoy learning new skills like this so that I can keep challenging myself.

Speaking of not challenging myself, I am done with Tempting with the exception of a) one end to weave in that has somehow created a little hole, b) little holes that have formed at each end of the underarm seams (hole count: 5), and c) ribbon weaved through the eyelet row at the top. It's very cute. I need to go to my LYS and get them to help me close up the holes. Tonight is Stitch n Bitch night, so I could go when my hubby gets home, but I'm PMS'ing and don't know if I'd be in the mood for knitting in a group. I might be daring this afternoon and take my son to the fabric store to find some cute ribbon. I'd like to wear the sweater this week.

Project on the needles:
Koigu pants - they're going to take a while to complete b/c they're put on the back burner to other projects that crop up along the way

Projects waiting to be started:
2 items for the Autism Conference's silent auction in mid-July (one scarf and one felted bag - LYS is having a big sale this Friday, so I'm going to wait and see what's on sale before I buy yarn)
1 baby gift for a friend having her second boy sometime in August - thought I might do hats for little brother/big brother - I like using the Fiber Trends hat with ear flaps in Koigu double stranded

Projects in my mind that'll probably eventually get started and cause me stress:
coordinating sweaters for my son and my niece for Christmas (little bit of intarsia - maybe a first intarsia attempt?)
cable sweater for hubby for Christmas (either Rowan or Rebecca - instead of surprising him like last Christmas, I'll ask him which one he likes better and maybe even get him to pick out yarn with me)
Daisy zippered cardigan out of Rowan winter magazine (one of Sasha Kagan's designs - she had it with her yesterday and I got to try it on - super cute!)

Those are just what I can think of right now. I have many others at home, just crying out to be knit! Can I quit working so I can knit more?

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I'm so close to finishing the Tempting sweater from, and I think I might fall asleep. It's not a very exciting knit, let me tell you. 2x2 rib the whole way. The picture is so cute, though. I'm hoping it'll all be worth it in the end. My goal is to finish it by the end of this weekend. I've got about 4 more inches to do, so it should be possible. I am going to be very busy this weekend, though, so I don't know.

I have a 5-year old son who is autistic, and one of his therapists has asked me to knit a couple of things for the silent auction being held during the Autism Conference in mid-July. She wants one of them to be a scarf, and the other is up to me. I think I might do a felted bag with some fun novelty yarn at the top. The scarf is a toss-up between Clapotis from Knitty, and Short Row Rib from magknits. I'd like to make up my mind by the time I finish Tempting so that I can start on it after that. If anyone has an opinion to give me either way, let me know.

This morning I got an email letting me know that I'm in Secret Pals 5! Yay!!! I found out about Secret Pals during the fourth installment, so I kept my eye out for the fifth installment to start. I'm excited; I think it'll be fun. My husband thinks I'm a nerd for doing it, but he thinks I'm a nerd a lot of the time. Oh well. When it gets closer to the time when SP5 starts, I'll post a list of things about me so that my secret pal will have an idea what to do/get.

So long for now! Going to do some secret knitting under my desk here at work b/c I'm bored but don't want to get caught. Sounds a little George Costanza-ish, don't you think?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I did it!!!

I did it!!! Actually, I did 2 things: I finished my Apricot Jacket, and I finished a marathon with no problems! My Apricot Jacket is beautiful. It was all done last Monday with the exception of buttons. I didn't get a chance to look for buttons until Wednesday afternoon, then a friend of mine at my LYS found the perfect ones. They're square-ish and mosiac looking, with bits of blue, pink and green in them. Their colors and geometry go well with the jacket. I wore it to work on Thursday and was astonished by my cuteness every time I saw my reflection in a mirror! It's such a great piece to knit.

On the marathon front, I ran the Country Music Marathon yesterday. Because of my past inability to finish a marathon, I was really weird about this one. I waited until the last minute to sign up for it, I didn't tell anyone except for my husband, my hairdresser, and one of my swimming and running partners that I was doing it, and I didn't taper at all. (Usually people take it easy the week leading up to a marathon by not exercising as much as they normally do; I didn't do that at all. I wanted it to feel like just another training run for me rather than a marathon.) I took it easy during the race and walked 1 minute for every 9 minutes I ran, whether I felt like I needed to walk or not. I didn't look at my watch every time I passed a mile marker, and I didn't look at the clocks at the mile markers. I didn't want to get caught up with my time; I just wanted to finish. I actually did pretty well: 4 hours, 19 minutes and 4 seconds. That's over 11 minutes faster than my previous fastest marathon. Today my legs are very tired and sore, but I'm very happy. I really wanted to cross the finish line of a marathon before going to Madison in September for Ironman, so now I can cross that off my list! And now I can stop worry about long runs and spend more time on my bike! Yay!

Off to knit now. I've got only 2 projects going: the Koigu pants from the Winter 2004/05 issue of Vogue Knitting, and the Tempting sweater from Tempting is my idiotic project that I do while in the car or waiting in line somewhere, so I think I'll work on my pants right now.

Knit on!