SP11 Package #3 – at last!

Due to mania, server crash and my sieve-like memory, I hadn’t posted my final SP11 package squee-ing. So here it is now. I did mention on 3rd December that I’d received it, but that was as far as I got. (In that post I also mentioned that I’d been delayed in sending my final package out to my spoilee. Well, it’s still here – my money situation has meant I haven’t been able to find the postage yet. But it belatedly occurred to me that some virtual gifts were possible, and I’m putting a bit of cash by each week to send the non-virtual things! Also, I said that I had a new design for this site. As you can see, that’s not in place yet either. Hopefully soon, though!)

Anyway! Even though the package arrived at the beginning of December, it was all Christmas themed and wrapped. Hee!

Photo of my SP11 package #3 in the box Photo of my SP11 package #3 pressies
Not that I let that put me off opening everything right then, of course. I did think very briefly about saving it all for Christmas, but… nah. So what was inside all that shiny wrapping paper? The best SP package ever, that’s what!

Continue reading “SP11 Package #3 – at last!”


  1. I’ve had THE most awesome final / “reveal” package from my SP11 pal, Janey. THANK YOU JANEY! :-D I shall write more and post pics later. And email Janey to gush a lot. Yes.
  2. Due to Circumstances Beyond My Control, I haven’t been able to send out my own final SP11 parcel to Katie yet. Argh. Actually, it looks like I won’t be able to get hold of one thing I was looking for anyway, so I guess I’ll have to give up and get it sent asap. Although asap might have to be next week, the way things are looking. I reiterate: argh! Sorry, Katie :-/
  3. It’s a year today that I was in that car accident (my car was hit). Therefore, a year since I last drove, since after that (a) my poor car was squished, and (b) I was put on meds that mean I’m medically disqualified from having a licence. Which in turn means I’ve got a free bus pass, so it’s not all bad.
  4. I was kind of under the weather again last week. Mainly, I’m annoyed. I have things to do! Therefore, I’m now running around like a… crazy running around thing. Pick your metaphor. Off to the shops soon. Hey, fresh air! That’ll be novel.
  5. Site revamp still not done. Well, it is. I just haven’t applied it to the actual site and uploaded it yet. Yeah, not done.
  6. What with the not-well thing, I haven’t got as much knitting done as I’d like, either. I do at least have one FO, but everything else that’s Christmas knitting? Um, not yet. Must knit faster.
  7. I have sorted out pretty much everything (I think!) that I’m going to destash, however. Looong post all about that coming v soon.
  8. Xandermog is poking me in the leg with his sharp pointy toes. Owwwww.
  9. Aaaaaaaaaand the child upstairs seems to be banging something echo-y and metal on the floor. Oh, someone please make it stop!
  10. I might just be having a bit of a manic Monday (haha, oh dear). Shall have to watch myself, and try to do some relaxing stuff once I’ve got the must-do things out of the way. Note to self: breathe.

Autumnal Spring Cleaning

I’ve been having a really good clear-out over the last few weeks, and I’m starting to feel less mentally cluttered as well already. I’ve even eBayed more of my yarn. I know! Can I really be breaking my hoarding mentality? Well, no, not if you look at my bookshelves (MY books *clings*) and, uh, the remainder of my yarn stash. Not to mention the contents of my wardrobe and drawers… and a couple of suitcases… However, I am going to eBay some more stuff. Not yarn this time (although I might be able to persuade myself to part with a couple more skeins), but things like my spare Palm cradle (never used) and serial cable (not used since approx 3 computer upgrades ago)… oh, and I’m sure there are some other things. I have also sorted out more clothes and knick-knacks etc to go off to the charity shop. I think I still have more to do there, though!

Unfortunately, I’ve been a bit stalled on the whole thing because I’m still ill. Bleuch. I left the flat yesterday for the first time in about 2 weeks (alright, maybe my mental health hasn’t been ideal: being stuck indoors ill was threatening to push me into a ‘down’, but I think I’ve caught it in time) because I had to go to the Post Office, and stopped in to speak to the pharmacist on the way. She reckons I have bronchitis or a chest infection, and what with being asthmatic already, I’ve been told to go to the doctor tout de suite. I know, I know, I should have gone a week ago. I am Procrastination Woman. In this case, that’s particularly stupid of me since it means I’ve been propped at a weird angle in bed for several days since I can neither sit/stand up or lay down normally and breathe comfortably. V annoying. Oh well. I have an appointment this afternoon. I’ll be fixed soon. On the plus side, this whole thing seems to have sorted out my insomnia / wonky body-clock thing that I had going on: I’m now tired / sleeping during the actual night again, instead of being awake all night and tired or asleep all day. Hoorah!

In knitting news, I have got some work done on my WIPs. I really must remember to make a couple of posts about my current WIPs and recently completed FOs to spring-clean that off my mental to-do list. Mainly I’ve been working on “Mmm, Refreshers”, which is a Christmas gift. Can’t say anything else about it in case the recipient trundles over here. You never know with my friends and family *peers around suspiciously*. I’ve also done a bit of “WFS” (likewise, Christmas), and some of my Fireworks socks… which are for me me me, so there. Obviously I finished my Tête à Fetching (wore it when I went out yesterday), and I’m really chuffed with the response – some people have said they like it and want to make it, it’s in a few queues (and one in-progress!) on Ravelry, and I even got a really lovely comment from Cheryl Niamath who designed the Fetching gloves. :-) I’ll get the scarf pattern written up soon-ish as well, but I want to make a wider version of it for Mum first. Once I’ve finished something else, that is.

I actually think my WIP tolerance has been reached. If I cast on one more project, my head would explode. I can cope, just about, with the number I have going at once right now (8 plus 3 in hibernation) because I have a definite Christmas deadline for, um, three of them. Although I have at least two more things I wanted to cast on for gift knitting as well. Oh dear. But I’m not going to think about that now! The thing is, those gift knits are the ones which are taking priority, and the rest are pushed to the back-burner. Some more than others – I’m still working on my various pairs of socks (for me) every now and again, to give myself a break. It seems to be working. But anyway, like I said, I’ll make a proper all-about-my-WIPs post a bit later.

I didn’t find my gloves, by the way. So far I’ve been wearing my Fetchings or my Hurry Up Spring fingerless ones, but I’ve wound a skein of Yarn Yard Merino sock into a ball to make some new ones – I think I’m going to make cabled ones with that. And I did crumble and get ones of the glove kits, so I’m going to make a pair with that too.

Photo of Yarn Yard Merino Sock yarn 'Damson' Photo of Yarn Yard Glove kit yarn 'Olive-ish'

Yay, gloves! I’m not allowing myself to cast on for them until I’ve finished a couple of my current WIPs, though. Preferably the Christmas gift ones, since those have a deadline!

Hmm, was there anything else I was going to say? I can’t think… oh! I remember. I found a (the) Holiday Gift KAL-CAL. Just what I wanted! I have duly signed myself up. Um. Oh yes, and I’ve been working on my next (final? I’m not sure if I’ll be sending one more package or if I’ll split it into two – Katie, do you have any preferences?) SP11 package. Mwahaha. Etc. ;-)

Right, that’s enough being upright for me for the time being. I’m going back to bed for a bit to listen to the radio / podcasts while knitting, then I shall get up again, have foooood, and get myself off to the doctor’s. TTFN!

Under the weather…. but presents cheer me up!

Oh, ick. I’ve been somewhat under the weather (physically… my mental health is still good, hoorah) for the last few days, and I thought I had a cold. But now I have the sneaking feeling that it might be something that’ll need antibiotics. Blech. I have that weird hollow-yet-tight feeling in my chest, I haven’t been able to breathe properly for a few days, and every muscle in my chest and upper back hurrrrrrts. *whine whine whine* And now I have that swollen-gland thing going on. There’s probably no point in going to the doctor just yet – I’ll wait a few more days and see if it goes away on its own. Although this has reminded me that I should get my flu jab done!

Anyway, I’m not going to moan on about that any more. If I disappear for a few days, I’ll probably be wrapped up warm in bed. Knitting, naturally. Hopefully it won’t come to that, though (the having to stay in bed, not the knitting – the knitting will no doubt happen anyway). :-)

So, on to the good stuff! I got my second SP11 package!! Wheeee, thank you Janey! :-D

SP11 package #2

Continue reading “Under the weather…. but presents cheer me up!”

SP11 Package #1! :-D

So! My first SP11 package came! …. A week and a half ago. I’m a bad blogger and totally failed to post about it til now, but I did email my pal and gush a lot. *g* Also… I now, totally accidentally, know who she is! It’s because (a) she’s on my blogroll and Ravelry friends-list, (b) she really doesn’t live very far away from me, so even though all she put for a return address was a postcode, I recognised which town it was…. and (c) my suspicions were aroused because her real name was written on the little card that came with the scrummy hand-painted yarn she’d got me. So I asked her, and yes, it turns out she’s Janey. It’s kind of hilarious, because I was having such fun with the mystery aspect – not that knowing who she is has spoiled anything. But it’s fairly ironic that all those factors came together like that and gave it away. *g* Especially since I’m a relative newbie to the knit-blogging community and don’t know all that many people!

But anyway, on to the best bit: the PRESENTS! *mercenary* ;-)

Inside the box

I like the anticipation almost as much as the opening them up, so I took the box into my bedroom and sat on the bed to open it. When I opened it up, the gifts inside were beautifully wrapped in purple tissue paper and ribbon. So I carefully prodded them for a little while, and then took them out of the box and laid them on the bed…

Wrapped pressies

Oooooo, exciting! Then there was some more prodding, and eventually, I started opening them. *g* Of course, the Xandermog had to come and investigate.

Xander investigates the pressies

But there wasn’t anything edible for him, so he soon lost interest ;-) So, what did I get?

SP11 package 1

From the back: Thorntons fudge (omg yum: that didn’t last long!!). A wibbly-wobbly pen… because it has purple hair and therefore made Janey think of me! Thorntons strawberries and cream toffee (once again, yum!). Two balls of Debbie Bliss SoHo, because she’d noticed I haven’t yet tried any felting projects – and I do want to, so yay! A skein of gorgeous black and purple hand-painted sock yarn from Gemini Knits. A dinky little sheep notepad (cute!). A set of 2.5mm Brittany birch DPNS!!! An absolutely charming book of sheep pictures and verse. And last but certainly not least (except in size *g*), three of the cutest little sheep stitch markers in the WORLD. As you can see, they’re tiny – they’re for small needles too, so perfect for sock knitting. Yay! So here’s bigger pic of them. Look at their little faces!

Tiny wickle sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeps!

Isn’t that awesome? I don’t know what I love the most… the yarn, the sweets, the stationary / sheepy things are all brilliant, and the sock yarn just couldn’t be better colours for me! But I think perhaps the adorable stitch markers, and the DPNs which were on my mental luxury wishlist (and which I admit, I’ve spent an awful lot of time just stroking!) have to come out on top. Just! Janey, you’re the best pal ever – THANK YOU!! :-D

Gratuitous Catspam! (And SP11 things)

The cuteness of Xander... follow the link to the photo album to see the full sized version

Xandermog! So! Cute!!

In SP11 news, I’ve been having lots of fun. Both my upstream and downstream pals are lovely (*waves to Miss.Teri*) and I’m told that my first package should be with me tomorrow. *bounce* I really hope my downstream pal likes her package. I really did enjoy putting it together, though I felt like I should have put something handmade in… but then I had a last minute brainwave and put a little something together. :-) There are a couple of other things that sort of count, too, and I do have plans for the next two parcels. I don’t really do any handicrafts other than knitting, so that kind of limits me there. But my plan is to play to my strengths – I may not be able to sew well, or anything, but there are creative things I can do. Like, um, stuff. And things. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll think of something! But like I said, I’m happy with the first parcel so with a bit of luck my pal will be too. :-)

Now, I shall go back to knitting, and plotting parcel no.2. Mwahahahah….

OMG ded (sic)

Woah, I’m exhausted. Feeling a little bit spacey here, I can tell you. The four-year-old who lives upstairs from me is allergic to sleeping all night long, and I keep getting woken up by loud thumps. The crying I could sleep through – it’s the intermittent bangs on the ceiling that do it. Nothing I can do about it, though, except be glad I’m not one of her parents! And possibly invest in some earplugs next time I’m at the chemist…

That’s not the only reason I’m knackered, though. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in php, and learning all about WordPress. Which have been fun, but once I start getting into the code and stuff, I forget to stop for, oh, food and breaks, etc etc. What, it’s absorbing! I’m not going to be changing this site to WP – it took me long enough fiddling about getting MT how I like it, and if I went and changed to another blogging system I’d only spend a million years prodding the back end (my Mum thinks that sounds bad, but I have no other way to describe it) and not making any posts. Again! So this site is staying as it is. However, WP is a useful thing to know how to use, and it all meshes in nicely with the PHP I’ve been learning. Hoorah!

So my brain is a little frazzled from several days intense work at that. Good thing I’ve had my knitting to wind me down! I’ve started the two larger items of my Christmas knitting (and the other two I have planned aren’t definite anyway) but I spose I can’t talk about them here just in case. D’oh. I’ve also been working on the other projects that I started recently… that I still haven’t mentioned on here, but deserve their own post when I’m less tired! I really need to make posts for my finished items too. Although actually, I can’t post one thing because it’s for SP11. Oh well, eventually!

Talking of SP11, that’s the other reason I’m tiiiiired. Sort of. I went into town and shopped! Partly for SP things, and partly for other stuff that I’d been needing. I also bumped into C, which was nice cos I hadn’t seen her for ages. And, um. Um.

Losing… ability… to… words… together… string….

if(eyes!=open && brain==ded) {
function init(goToBed)
} else {
function init(CAFFEINE)

Yup. Think that covers it. *thud*

Questions from my Secret Pal

My SP, Miss.Teri (that still amuses me… I’m such a sucker for a pun), has sent me some questions to answer for her, and I thought I’d post them here rather than just emailing them back. Because… I don’t know why, actually. I’ve got in the habit of doing memes in public, and this is a bit like one of those? I’m an attention ‘ho? Um? *g*

Anyway, here we go:

Each question has two answers, ie, chalk or cheese, just choose the answer that comes to mind first…no thinking about your answers!1

Do you drink……………………………..Tea or coffee?
Neither! Well, technically I sometimes drink herbal tea (camomile and lime flowers for preference). But in actual fact my main hot drink is hot lemon squash: I don’t like ‘real’ tea or coffee, and I only occasionally drink hot chocolate (usually in a coffee shop rather than at home) or malted drinks.

Do you choose…………………………..Bath or shower?
Shower. Mmmmm, power showers.

On toast………………………………….Butter or margarine?
Margarine. I like skimmed milk, too. I know, I’m a freak.

Which colour……………………………..Green or purple?
Purple. Have you seen my hair recently? *g* Purple’s been my favourite colour for aaaages, with green as more of an accent to it (I painted my bedroom in my flat in London lilac with lime green woodwork – it looked brilliant). More recently, green has moved up into being a fave in its own right, but purple is still the one for me!

What TV………………………………….Dr Who or Torchwood?
Dr Who. It has to be, even though Torchwood is awesome and aimed more at my age group (although next season, less with the graphic shagging all the time, please! ….However, more of the Jack/Ianto snogging wouldn’t be bad. Ahem!) and, hi, has Captain Jack. But Dr Who… I’ve loved it my whole life, and even though parts of this new series2 are so aimed at the target child-friendly audience that they make me wince a little with the cheesiness… dear lord, when it’s good – which is 90% of the time for me – it’s fabulous. I just love it madly, no matter what. Seriously, you should have seen me at the Dr Who exhibition in Manchester last weekend. There was bouncing and (quiet) fangirling… and it was OK, because there were umpteen other people in there who were exactly the same! Alright, I’m going to stop now, because my fangirling is supposed to be confined to my livejournal, and if you really get me started on the ways I love Dr Who, we’ll be here all year.

Seasons………………………………….Summer or Winter?
Winter, of those two. I just don’t do heat. The sun, it burrrrrrns.

Which do you love best………………..Cat or knitting?
My mogboy! Of course I love my knitting and mmmm, yarn. But next to my snuggly purry furry boy (are you sorry you asked yet?), there’s no contest. He’s big and daft and the best natured cat I’ve ever known, and when I’m sad he comes to see if I’m OK and lets me squish him and cry on him if need be. Also, he never attacks the knitting, which is a definite plus. Even if he does get his fur all over it. Oh well!

Food………………………………………Sweet or savoury?
S…..avoury. Huh. I would have expected myself to say sweet, but honestly I think savoury is my preference overall. I wouldn’t want to be stuck without one or the other, though. My all time favourite food is actually Sweet and Sour pork or chicken, so you can see how decisive I am on this one really!

Which is best…………………………….Rose or Martha?
A year ago I never would have thought I would give this answer, because I loved the character of Rose, and I think Billie Piper is a great actress. But it’s Martha for me, now. She just rocks! I loved everything about her. She kicked ass and took names, and even though she had the whole unrequited feelings thing with the Doctor, it never took away her dignity, and she didn’t let him get away with blocking her out. And, whoops, you got me started on Dr Who again. Stopping!!

Takeaway………………………………..Chinese or Indian?
Chinese! Like I said before, sweet & sour is my absolute fave, but really, if it’s not fish (which makes me ill), then I lurve it.

Which one………………………………..Posh Yarn or Yarn Yard?
……….And that frying noise you just heard was my brain shorting out! OMG, I can’t decide that! If you gave me specific yarns or colourways to pick between, I could probably manage it. Probably! I seriously do not have a gut answer for this one. Let’s see if I can reason it out…. I love both of them for the colours, so I don’t know if I can pick one over the other for that, especially since both have a lot of one-off colours that aren’t repeated. I completely adore Posh Yarn Sophia – that’s 100% cashmere, and utterly gorgeous. However, I’m not sure that’s it’s going to be ideal for socks – I don’t know how it’ll wear. I just made the 6-ply version into some Fetching gloves and it was brilliant for that. The other Posh Yarn sock weight yarns… I think Emily is my favourite, but I love the Yarn Yard Sock just as much. Maybe even a little more. The YY Merino Sock, too. Price-wise, the Yarn Yard is better by a pound or two… But to be honest, I generally choose by colour. So I suppose if you gave me a choice of PY Emily, PY Sophia 4ply, YY Sock and YY Merino Sock (or the new Merino Tencel, which I haven’t tried yet) in the same colour, and I was going to make socks out of it, I would probably pick one of the YYs. Overall, though, I can’t make a choice between one shop and the other because they’re both brilliant and run by lovely lovely ladies.

In Bed…………………………………….Duvet or Blanket?

Socks……………………………………..Knee high or ankle socks?
Knee high. I like socks that (a) come over the top of my DMs comfortably, and (b) keep my legs warm when I’m sitting still at the computer for hours on end! I do sometimes wear ankle socks to the gym, but that’s it.

Eggs……………………………………….Scrambled or fried?
Scrambled! For a start I do like scrambled eggs better, though thinking about it, I probably eat fried ones more often. But mainly, they remind me of my Dad. He made awesome scrambled eggs. When my brother was born and Mum was in hospital with him, I clearly remember Dad feeding the two of us on scrambled eggs. Possibly at the time it was pretty much all he could cook, but he did them well! :-)

1Well, she didn’t say I couldn’t elaborate, did she? *hides* I did give my snap answers for all of them, I really did. I just then rambled a bit. I can’t help myself! Part of it must be a natural tendency, but you have to remember that I had it drummed into me for, what, 17+ years of education that you should always show your working / justify your reasoning. It feels totally wrong to me not to do that!

2It’s been too long since I’ve watched any of the classic series to judge the relative cheesiness of that. I certainly do remember the dodgy special effects etc etc, but plot-wise I’ll have to wait til I’ve rewatched to be able to say. However, the silly effects never made me love it any less then or now, so that’s redundant.

Alright, that’s it! I was almost brief with some of the answers, at least. Go me!


I’ve been pretty busy over the last few days. Phew! But I have been knitting – I’ll make a longer post all about that a bit later. Right now I’m in the middle of a massive tidy-up / clear out that was actually inspired by me deciding that I need to destash my yarn. As in, knit from the stash. Not (*gasp*) give it away or anything drastic. Well, maybe a skein or two as gifts.

But the point is, I need to declutter my entire life. Or at least my flat. So I’ve been doing that. I’m still not properly sorted out after the move in December. But now I’m on a roll, and I know what the major problems were (wardrobe in the wrong place, and not enough storage – soon to be solved). Whee!
You never know, once I’ve done the big stuff and made a trip or two to the charity shop and the tip, I might even get around to sorting out my filing. Ahahahah! Yeah, right.

Oh, and before I forget (because I’m rubbish like that), hi to my secret pal, “Miss Teri”. *waves* I’ve had my own secret pal assignment too so I’ve been diligently stalking them. Mwahaha! I’ve bought them stuff already too. This is fun!

SP11 again!

I had an email today to say that the Secret Pal matches are starting to go out. *bounce* I’m ridiculously excited about this whole thing, really. I do hope I get a non-UK pal, upstream or downstream or both. I really like the idea of exchanging things that we can’t generally get in our own countries, and getting to try completely new stuff.

I’ve also got to drop a line to the swap organisers to let them know that I’m actually going to be away (at the LoM con / meet-up!) on 1st Sept, which is when I’m sposed to first get in touch with my pal(s?). Still, I’m sure it won’t matter if I send the mail a day or so early. Shame I can’t get my mail to send as a timed thingy, like making a scheduled blog post.

In other news, the weather has been revolting today… which has at least meant I’ve not been dying from hayfever ;-) Every cloud (and there are lots of them in the sky right now!), and so on! The cat still insisted in going out in the pouring rain, of course. I’d better go get him in and dry him off now.

SP11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I pretty much like anything that feels nice to knit with, to be honest. I’ve knit with some lovely acrylics and some horrible pure wools, and vice versa. Particularly, I do love merino, and guh, cashmere. Cotton, too, and various blends of all the above. Rayon or Tencel blended in can be nice because it makes for the shiny! Silk… I do like, but it can be awkward. Huh, I’m really not very fussy, am I? I adore everything from Posh Yarn and The Yarn Yard, but I also like Regia and Opal sockyarn (although I’m a bit bored with the patterning now), for example. And as I said above, anything that knits up non-prickly, even better if it’s soft and smooshy!

That said, I’ve probably had a surfeit of mohair now. I’m not allergic to it or anything, but I just bought too much when I came across some bargains, and… oh dear. My stash overfloweth. I also wouldn’t buy myself any eyelash type yarn – I have some for gift knitting, but that’s all.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I felt like doing an illustrated answer for this. So:
My knitting needles
The basket at the back has the huge straights that don’t fit anywhere else, and my circulars on the left, and my DPNs on the right (there are stitch holders and stuuuuff in the middle). Then the red box has most of my metal and plastic straights including the longer ones (35cm); the blue roll has various straights up to 30cm long (metal, plastic, and a pair of 8mm bamboos as well); and finally the tapestry roll has a set of bamboo straights. I do have a small collection of crochet hooks too – those are in a pot in my bedroom and I forgot to get them for the photo. Which isn’t surprising, since I hardly ever crochet.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned at school or Brownies or somewhere when I was 6 or 7, but I wasn’t really interested and didn’t continue. And since I never considered myself to be a ‘crafty’ person at all, I never thought about trying until about 4 years ago when I was bemoaning to a friend that I was too broke to afford proper Christmas presents for my friends and family. Because of my problems with Bipolar disorder (and accompanying medication), you see, I haven’t worked full time for nearly 5 years now. So, my friend (the lovely Charlotte) came to visit me, bringing needles and yarn, and re-taught me how to knit. I picked it up pretty quickly, and I haven’t stopped since. :-)

I think I’d consider my skill level to be intermediate – I moved on from scarves to hats to designing my own, to bigger projects and then alllll the way down to wee ones like socks pretty fast. I tend to have a ‘no fear’ approach: if I need a new technique for something, or just want to learn it, then I just do it. Never mind whether it’s supposed to be “hard” or “advanced” or not. (This baffles my mother, who now comes to me for knitting advice. But since she can crochet for England and I can barely get my fingers round that whole ‘one hook + yarn’ thing, it all works out.)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Um, yes. It’s split into two, and it’s kind of long because I consider it to be more of a bookmarking of things I’m planning to get than a “Buy Me All This Stuff!!!!” list. However, I guess it serves both purposes as long as wading through it doesn’t fry everyone else’s brain….
Non-fiction (including knitting books, natch)
General wishlist (fiction books, dvds, etc)

5. What’s your favorite scent?
I love fruity scents like mango, passionfruit, papaya, apple, apricot, peach, citrus and so on – I always go for that sort of shower gel and body spray.
(Because I’m awkward, purfumes generally make me sneeze, and aerosol can sprays make me wheeze. So does even walking past a Lush shop. *sigh* Awkward and slightly asthmatic, that’s me!)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh dear, yes. However, and it pains me to say this, I’m on a healthy eating diet so I can’t have much. But I’m not forbidden sweets – phew! I love European chocolate (but not American, it’s got that weird waxy taste, ick), sherbert, shortbread, cookies, that sort of thing. Not too keen on toffees. Love fudge. Erm. Fruity sweets are also yummy. I like trying new and exotic things! But yeah, like I said… can’t have much at once :-/

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I’ve been known to make cards for friends and relations, but craft-wise, knitting is about it. The other creative things I do tend towards writing, music, and web design.
I don’t spin, but I do want to learn! I even have some roving… but no spindle as yet.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Really, all sorts. Rock, metal, jazz, blues, funk, folk, pop, indie, ska, plus variations and branches of those. Fave artists include Skunk Anansie, Skin, Candie Payne, KT Tunstall, Meat Loaf, Guns n Roses, Metallica, Linkin Park, Christina Aguilera, Nina Simone, Damien Rice, Rammstein, Foo Fighters, Jools Holland and Queen. And then there’s the classical. I love early music (Gregorian chant and so on), oratorio, the Romantic piano works, opera, and of course lots of symphonies and concertos (partic. clarinet concertos, as that’s my instrument). Some of my favourite composers are JS Bach, Hadyn, Handel, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Shostakovitch, Stravinsky, Britten, Rutter, Greig and Tchaikovsky.

And now that I’ve blinded you with musicology, I’ll mention that I really do like pretty much anything, and I love finding new artists and music.
Oh, duh. Yes, my computer does indeed play mp3s. So does my DVD player for that matter. And hey, my mp3 player too!

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?
This is an interesting one – personally, I wear a lot of black, and dark greens, purples and reds. Actually, most reds from bright through to dark. But I do love those deep rich jewel colours – blues too. For knitting purposes, though, the only thing I’m really not into is pink. Unless it was to be a violent hot pink teamed with black or dark purple, or something. Think punk! Anyway, I really love all shades of greens and purples as well as red, but all sorts of colours call to me in yarn form. Except pretty pinks. So not me.
Wow, I really can’t just answer the damn question straight, can I?

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a cat, and it’s just me and him living here. Mum and bro live the other side of town.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves, hats, gloves, wristwarmers, yes. Mittens, no, though I wouldn’t rule them out for all time. Ponchos… no, and I don’t think I’m likely to. Though again, you never know! But not at the moment.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks, wristwarmers / gloves and hats. Oh, beautiful circular gratification! Er, or something. I seem to knit a lot of scarves too, but that’s mindless telly knitting. I’m well hooked on the socks at the moment. But I like making larger items as well – jumpers (that’s sweaters, US people) and cardigans, both for adults and kids. Although obviously the kiddie ones are faster *g*. However, I’m terrible at finishing, which is why I think the socks and hats take the biscuit for me – hardly any ends to sew in! And they only take one or two skeins of yarn, so they’re a relatively cheap project… and I can get extra yarn gratification because you can have a variety of different sock yarn for the same number of balls that it would take to make one larger project. Whee!

13. What are you knitting right now?
Too many things? I have two cardigans and a jumper hibernating, two of which just need sewing up. Then for active knitting projects, I have a Harry Potter house scarf that I’m weaving in ends for, and on the needles are a mindless-knitting skinny scarf, Monkey socks, Fetching wristwarmers, and my Forest Canopy shawl.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes! :-)

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
For sock knitting it’s DPNs, but I do want to learn Magic Loop. The 2 circs technique doesn’t appeal to me. But anyway, in general, I really tend to go with whichever seems best for the project and yarn that I’m doing. I use all of them quite happily. If I’m knitting a hat, say, I often start out on a 40cm circular, then change to DPNs when I’m decreasing. And for my Forest Canopy, I’ve started out on straights and when it gets too wide I’ll change to a circular.
Bamboos are lovely, of course, but aluminium or plastic suit some yarns better. I’ve not tried bamboo DPNs for my sock knitting yet, though. Or at all, come to that. But I’ve not had any problems with the aluminium ones so I’m quite happy with them.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Got a slightly knackered ball winder, but sadly no swift. Yet! I’m going to save up.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
*cough* About 3 years old. *cough*

18. What is your favorite holiday?
As in public holiday? I like May Bank Holiday when all the bikers come down here, and Bonfire Night for the awesome processions and fireworks. Hee!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn, books and cat hair? Actually, I kind of collect (or at least, people are always buying me!) sheep themed things. This is from pre-knitting times – it all originated at a Scout and Guide camp when I was 13, and somehow kind of stuck. Ever since then my little doodle mascot has been Baa-naby the Sheep. One of these days I’ll photograph and post some of the weird and wonderful sheep-themed things I have, especially since Woolly Wormhead is/was doing a thingummy on her blog about sheep (not real live ones) turning up in odd places. Oh, and (wood)wind instruments. Send me ur bassoonz! Or, you know. Not. ;-)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Heh, just a few! I think all the books are on my wishlist, so I won’t list them again. Although the ones that pop to mind immediately are The Happy Hooker, and Ann Budd’s sock book (which I’ve forgotten the proper title of). Yarns… I’d love to get a chance to try some of the American sock yarns (or any non-UK yarn) like Socks That Rock, Lime and Violet or Lisa Souza. I’ve also been wanting to find a good cotton or summery sock yarn. I wonder if bamboo would be any good? As for patterns, I can’t think of anything particular, but I like socks and lace and cables (not necessarily all together).

I’ve just cancelled my subscription to Simply Knitting, and taken out one to Rowan. Of course I also like Knitty, Magknits and The AntiCraft.

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?
Always – toe up socks, magic loop, and… hmm… I guess improving my intarsia / fairisle skills. Oh yes, and I must remember to look up the jogless jog and double check that excellent weaving-in-as-you-go tutorial.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Oh yes. I’m a UK size 4 / European 37. My foot length is 8.5″ / 22cm, my ankle circumference is 10″ / 26cm, and the circumference of the ball of my foot is 8.625″ / 22.5cm.

23. When is your birthday?
17th October. Urk, I’m nearly older again!

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID?
I am, and yes, I do spend half my life there. My ID is soulstar.

Secret Pal 11!

I’m all signed up for Secret Pal 11 – whee, my first knitty exchange! This is just a quick post to say hi in case anyone wanders over here. My questionnaire will be up soon! Everything to do with the exchange will be under the Swaps category, and also tagged as swaps and sp11, so it should be easy enough to find.
Now, I think I might bend my graphical powers (hah) to making a button…
Well, not right now. Now I’m going to bed. But tomorrow or Sunday, I expect.