Sockret Pal is on the go!

I’m just indulging myself a little before the grind starts and I have to work (I’m missing a meal with my mates tonight to study, but we plan a big bender after I’m done :D).

Here are my answers so that my pal can get the gist of me!

The basics:
How long have you been knitting?
I learnt when I was a wee bairne, round about 9 or 10 maybe. It was one of those childhood things that you give up when you realise your mates don’t do it, and I took it back up about 2 and a half years ago. Blimey. That’s a looong time ago now.

Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep?
I’m intermediate I’d say. I’ve knit a fair few pairs (I think I’ve done about 11 or 12), and designed a pattern with another one in the works. I can’t sit down and just knit one though – I have to plan it and have it on paper so I know where I am and all that stuff.

The measurements:
While your pal may ask for some additional info to ensure a great fit, please provide your shoe size, or any other fitting related info you think is pertinent.
I’m a UK size 4, which is quite small, but they are a little wide for my size yet flat. I think it’s my toes – I’ve never been one for pointy shoes, and you can’t get many nice work shoes without pointy toes now. Ahhh, for some work friendly Doc Martens again! Rocket Dog shoes make me happy tho. Ooops – wittering! Just make a size 4 and you’ll be fine 😉

(fiber related) Favorites:
What colors do you love?
Well, when it comes to socks, almost anything goes, as long as it isn’t too clown/lolly-ish (but as you’ll see when I post pics of my sock stash, I did kind of dye some that way when I was playing around the first time I Kool Aid dyed). Generally though I tend to go towards blues, plums, and neutral colours. Recently I’ve lusted after lots of greens though too… But you’ve seen that already 😀

Do you prefer solids or variegated?
I like both, but I’ve been trying to find some nice nearly solid colours recently because I seem to suddenly have loads of sock patterns with intricate stich patterns that variegated would drown. In garments and accessories though I go for full solid colours as a rule because the twins don’t go well with striping…

What fibers do you most love to knit with?
I’ll knit with anything if it is decent quality and isn’t plasticy or scratchy. But I confess I’m a bit of a purist – I love knitting with alpaca, and alpaca silk is mmmmmmmm especially my Elfine alpaca silk blend socks. And cashmere yummy yum yum. And merino. Those are the ones I LOOOOVE, but I will use cheap yarns if they are good (like Patons Washed Haze – that’s nice, and Sirdar Click is a good blend one too).

Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors?
Oooo I have loads, but I mainly buy from Get Knitted. I have to say though that there are lots of places I look in to regularly, like Pure Knits, Posh Yarns, Hip Knits, and Fyberspates.

What projects (other than socks, of course*S*) do you most enjoy knitting?

I aim to make things that I can use, but sometimes my eyes are bigger than my belly, and I lust after lots and lots of trendy things that I’d never be able to make while they are still trendy and then would just look rubbish in them 😀 I seem to be making hundreds of scarves too for some reason – a scarf for each outfit nearly. NO skirts tho!

(fiber related) Dislikes:
What fibers can you not stand to knit with? To wear?
Eewwwwwwwwwwww scratchy ones and plastic ones like 100% acrylic. Ladder yarns are evil, and I’m not a big fan of those ones with bits sticking out like Sirdar Fizz (even tho I used them in the beginning. Please don’t ask me why I did that).

What colors would you never wear?

Mustard (which is a shame given it is THE colour now), pure white, and anything excessively bright and clownish, but I will wear bright colours on my feet or as gloves (as long as it goes with something) e.g. my red alpaca silk armwarmers with black winter coat – that works quite nicely 🙂 I don’t like knitting jumpers and stuff with brighter colours though because I prefer to try big colours on first. I’m afraid I don’t dress to excitingly :S

The Tools:
Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood?
Plastic if necessary, but not for chunky needles. Bamboo all the way otherwise 😀

Circs or Straights?
Depends what I’m knitting. I like to use both, but whatever fits the project really.

DPNs or Magic Loop?
Depends on the stitch pattern – if a plain one, magic loop, if complicated then probably dpns to keep track of it better.

Are there any knitting accessories you don’t have in your collection but would like?

I could do with a new measuring tape on a reel. I only have loose ones after my freebie reel one broke 🙁 And blocking pins too – I’m using some cheap freebie ones for that too, and I don’t see them lasting too long as they seem a bit to pliable and might bend easily. But freebies are fine by me anyway!

The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? If so, please share the link!
I do! It lives here at Amazon

Do you like sweet, sour or salty? (or all of the above? *S*)

Definitely all of the above! Mmmmm sour Jelly Belly beans 😀 Mmmmmm. And Mmmmm yoghurt covered pretzels…

Do you have any allergies your pal should know about? (Certain foods, smoke, pet hair, etc)
I’m asthmatic, so I prefer smoke free. I’m also wheat intolerant (and I suspect yeast too, but that’s not formal yet).

Favorite scents? Scents you can’t stand?
I’m a Chanel Allure gal, and also love Flowerbomb. In general, vanilla, coffee, honey, and fruity smells are good. I lean more to warm scents because I think a home in Yorkshire is always helped by getting some warmth from somewhere…

Do you collect anything (other than yarn and knitting toys of course)?
Not collect as such, but I do seem to buy whatever I can of Hello Kitty and Miffy stuff. And Bagpuss. And Mr Men. 🙂

When is your birthday? (month and day is fine!)
25th of May, so not in this exchange! Lucky you! I’ll be traumatised next year by a new decade. A young decade, yes, but still, that doesn’t stop it being scary. Aren’t I supposed to be all organised in life by that point? See – at it already!

Do you spin? Dye your own yarn?
I am learning to spin, which means I’ve made a little bit and haven’t really got it down yet, thanks to lack of time 🙁 And I soooo dye yarn! Still with Kool Aid, because it is cheap and easy, but I think I’ll buy some real dye soon-ish. Kool Aid is a bit too unpredictable given limited suppliers here, so dyeing with natural plant things would be cool. But also scary. Come two weeks time I’ll be doing looooots more…

Your favorite author/band/vacation spot, anything you think will help your pal know you better…

Blimey, that is such a bad question to ask me. I could go on forever. I like music by Stereolab, the Pixies, Franz Ferdinand and the Feeling. I read soooo many books, being an english graduate. I love Angela Carter and magic realism stuff, and Vikram Seth is excellent. Joanne Harris (a local lass!), Jeanette Winterson, and Barbara Kingsolver. Good stuff. I still lust after returning to Prague, but I want to go to Japan big time. I am obsessed. I was learning the language before I started studying, so I’ve forgotten everything I learnt by now but soooooon I will remember! I can remember a little bit (Watashi wa Ramsden Bryony. Hajimameshite! Arigato gozaimasu etc etc). I probably spelt all those wrong.

So Sockret Pal, let me know if you want any more info, and yay!

Look out for imminent pics of sock yarn, plans for sock patterns, and winter knitting. Woot!

So little to do and so much time. No wait! Scratch that.

I have several confessions to make. These will just be in order of them popping into my head. I will inevitably forget half of what I wanted to say. I apologise in advance for everything ever.

1) I’m still plugging away at the course
2) I’ve nearly finished
3) I have barely any free time
4) The time I do have I can’t face using the computer or doing much else
5) Except for shopping 😉
6) Which I have no time for doing in RL
7) Or money, but at least I am a thrifty shopper and only spend what I feel is a lot when I feel it is justified
8) Like on the boots I just bought. They weren’t the cheapest (but I did try the cheapest on – they hurt my toes), but they are the comfiest
9) I’ve signed up for Sockret Pal
10) And Socktoberfest
11) This is because socks are ace
12) Evidence that socks are ace:


13) I will probably forget to put both sockalong buttons up. Please remind me if I do forget
14) This is the only knitting of value I have done. I have also done all of 4 inches on a scarf. It is a pretty scarf though (see sidebar for which scarf it is)
15) And I’ve done about 10 rows on a Kid Silk Haze glove. Woopdedoo.
16) Yesterday I forgot to talk like a pirate. But we are planning to rename a department for supporting students in the library to Arrrr and Design. Arrrrr.
17) I will not use consistent grammar in this post. Guess what I keep forgetting to keep consistent
18) Next month is not only Socktoberfest, it is my 2nd blogiversary. I’ve not hit 200 posts yet tho.
19) Maybe I’ll do a prize/competition thing and entice some people out of lurking (points at Sue to see if she will participate, even tho she is officially no longer a lurker).
20) I doubt I’m popular enough to do that, even if Dave does sometimes comment on the bandwidth eater that is this blog.
21) I have new pretty things.
22) I forgot to take pics of the stuff that arrived today though.
23) New pretty thing item one – newly dyed 2 ply lambswool from Texere using Kool Aid shades of red and pink (Cherry, Pink Lemonade, Cranberry Raspberry and another I’ve forgotten):


24) It isn’t what I was aiming for – I wanted really deep reds, but I still kind of like it.
25) It took absolutely bloody ages to wind into cakes.
26) New pretty thing item two – Posh Yarns sale goodies in the form of a gorgeous cobweb weight cashmere (50g) in mousey brown:


I HEART it. It makes the Kool Aid 2ply look pants.

27) Super soft, super delicate. See?


28) Another delicate type piccie:


See? MMmmmmmmmmmmmmm

29) Did I mention it is soft?
30) I got some yarn to make those tasty herringbone stitch socks from Knitty today – choccy brown and dusky pink.
31) Posh Yarns cashmere is soft.
32) I had a bad week at work last week, and this week it is just silly from new students taking over and drinking free vodka from promotional stands at the entrance to the car park at lunchtime (drunk students + lunch time + car park access = not the best planning). Wish I could have had some tho.
33) Yuck – salmon pink 2 ply instead of red 2 ply? What was I thinking?
34) Oh, I spose it is ok really.
35) Brittany birch dpns for socks aren’t that great. Too flexible – they feel like they will snap or bend and break at any second.
36) They are also too blunt.
37) The last 5 reasons are why I also ordered some new sock needles in Inox bamboo. These are my faves ever. Now I have 1 and 4/5 of a set. Yay!
38) Socks being good and needles and sock yarn is also why I got Vogue Knitting Fall 06 at the same time.
39) Can you blame me?
40) Are you bored of this format yet?
41) I am.

I’ll shut up now. ‘Chut up’ Library Girl for you will be old soon. Sooner if you don’t chut up.

Factoid 1 – in spite of hating to use the computer after studying/working at the mo (you would too after typing up lots of pages of diss after getting behind, then spending about 8 hours importing student records onto our library circulation system), I have just spent half an hour sorting out my pics (which will probably not work seeing as I somehow have named them a strange blend of jpegs and jpgs. Tell me if you can’t see any) and writing this post.

Factoid 2 – I will now get wine and watch a short film (13 (Tzameti) – only 85 mins or so). And I might even knit and plan my socks for next month and all the goodies I will get together for prizes… But you’ll have to work for it if I do 😉

Thanks for being so patient. Normal service will resume in a month. Till then you will have to deal with this kind of bollocks. Ha!

The big reveal, and a little pic for good measure

Ok, the time has come to reveal who I was spoiling for the One Skein Secret Pal 🙂 I was gifting to Model Widow, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself 😀 Go see what she got, and the finished blocked version of the crochet scarf. She’s a lovely person, very talented (she makes lace, knits, sews and more!), and she has pics of llamas on her blog. What more do you need?! I’ve not had the reveal from my spoiler yet – she’s emailed me to keep me up to date, and we haven’t quite finished yet, so I’m looking forward to see what she comes up with and who she is and everything 🙂
And just for some obligatory knitting action, here is the newly completed half a pair of Pom socks. The yarn (Lorna’s Laces in Desert Flower) has predictably pooled, but in quite a funky way (I love that the pink bits are two shades of pink, and the blue pooling blue and sand). It’s a little wide on the shaping – I like a tight fitting tight knit sock, and I had to cut the decreases for the toe short (I have small feet, which probably contributes to the love of sock knitting). The second sock is already started, and I have visions of it being completed by the end of the week, inbetween dissertation stuff (5 weeks to go! Gah!). Now that I’ve got past the bits where I keep going wrong, reading it wrong etc etc etc I’ve really enjoying knitting this. The pattern works for my foot so that all I have to do after the heel is one repeat of the pattern and then I do the toe 😀 I like that kind of structure, so that I know where I’m going and how much I have left to do. There will probably be enough yarn for another pair of socks too, albeit with a short ankle, but that’s fine 😀