And here's my questionnaire. I don't know how to add it as a link in my sidebar so it'll just have to go here until I figure it out.
Secret Pal 7
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
Not really, as far as I’m concerned I’m more concerned as to how it feels rather than whether it’s natural or not. I do like silk, alpaca, cotton but I also like a lot of Colinette which is nylon or polyamide. As long as it feels soft that’s my stipulation. I also hate yarns which have a horrible plastic feel to them – Rowan Spray springs to mind, it’s horrible. We don’t have Red Heart or Lion Brand across here.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I just got a drop spindle for my Christmas but I have to persuade a friend to teach me how to spin. I’m learning to crochet but most of my attempts have been really hilarious so far. I’ve got some funky 70’s patterns from my Granny which I really want to crochet.
3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have an old vase for my straights, a basket for my circs and the original box for my Denise set.
4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I’ve been knitting since I was 4 so that’s a rather scary 34 years this year. I’d say I was a good intermediate.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do. Go onto www.amazon.co.uk and put in “Maureen Heddle” as the name of choice and you’ll find it.
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love Lush, especially their candy bar bath products. Got far too many candles as it is.
7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
YES! I don’t like aniseed, liquorice or turkish delight otherwise anything else is pretty fair game – especially if there’s chocolate involved. Fruity things such as raspberry or grape are pretty good too.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I love photography, I’m learning to crochet (pretty badly at the moment), and I received for a drop spindle and a small table-top weaving loom for my Christmas so that I can learn to spin and do some basic weaving this year. I’d like to get the hang of felting but it’s not so easy when you only have the choice of a front loading machine.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Loads of stuff. Dance music through to guitar bands to female singers e.g. Public Domain, Franz Ferdinand, White Stripes, Kaiser Chiefs, Beth Orton, Johnny Cash – very eclectic. It’s easier to say what I don’t like which is bland middle-of-the-road rock or jazz.
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Most folk would probably say my favourite colour appears to be pink, apart from the really flourescent shades. Quite into purples and reds as well, even got into orange this year. Like my colours to be more autumnal in hue than springlike. Not into extremely pastel shades. Like greens and browns. Not a huge fan of blue and really don’t like yellow
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Partner of 8 years (Robert) plus one puddycat by the name of George. He likes mice, rats and weasels for snacking on!
12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I have a few favourite scarves but not a huge amount. Hats definitely, mittens occasionally and “no to ponchos!”
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I’ve become rather addicted to Hip Knits aran weight silk. It does pill a bit but it is lovely. The new Louisa Harding yarns are rather lovely as well. I’m quite weird in that I quite like knitting with 4ply/laceweight but then will go back to a thicker yarn for a quick project. Colinette is rather lovely as well. Artesano Alpaca has some lovely colours and Kaalund has some gorgeous silk laceweight. I also love variegated yarns which have subtle colour variations.
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don’t like anything which is too acrylic and has that whole feel of a cheap bathroom sponge.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I love lace knitting, whether it’s in a laceweight or a more chunky knit. I get really bored with plain knitting. I need a bit of a challenge.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I mainly knit for myself with a few items done to order for friends or at birthdays/Christmas. I love doing retro/vintage inspired patterns. Designers I admire include Teva Durham, Stephanie Japel, Kate Gilbert, Veronik Avery, Leigh Radford and Louisa Harding.
17. What are you knitting right now?
Only 4 projects on the go at the moment. The Teva Durham cardigan out of the latest Interweave Knits, “Heather” from Louisa Harding’s latest book, a 1940’s lace short-sleeved jumper with some Kaalund variegated laceweight, and I have to adjust the Teva Durham scarf out of the Scarf Style book as I’m a bit narrow on the shoulders. Think that’s it! I’m about to start an Aran jumper as a “commission” for a friend.
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Can’t say I would say no.
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
It depends on the project. My favourite needles are a pair of 5mm straights I got from a charity(thrift) shop for 60p (about $0.40) which are purple with silver tips.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Again it depends on the project but I would like to stock up on bamboo DPN’s as they’d be easier to take on offshore work trips. My Denise needles don’t go small enough all the time.
21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a yarn swift purchased at the Ally Pally Craft Show in London – you take one of them on the London Underground at rush hour. It was fun!
22. How did you learn to knit?
My granny taught me when I was about 4 years old. I’ve learned a lot of new techniques over the last 2 years from the Internet and my Stitch’n’Bitch buddies.
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I’ve got it down to about the 3 month mark which is pretty good.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I don’t have a favourite animated character but cats of any description are pretty high on the list. I’d like to have a sheep (we looked after orphan lambs when we were kids) but Robert says it would ruin the garden. Not fair!
25. What is your favorite holiday?
We’re not really a nation that celebrates specific holidays so I don’t have a favourite. I do quite like Hogmanay (New Years Eve) but then I am a Scot.
26. Is there anything that you collect?
Robert would probably say I collect junk! I’ve got loads of books. I love retro/vintage knitting patterns (I have started a collection of vintage Vogue knitting magazines) – especially 1920’s to 1970’s. I have got a soft spot for 1960/70’s coffee pots – the more lurid the pattern on them the better. Does chocolate count as a collection if you eat it and store it in your stomach?
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I have a Rowan subscription but that’s only twice a year. I tend to get most copies of Vogue Knitting and have started to get Interweave Knits.
28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Can’t wait for Debbie Stoller’s new crochet book when it comes out. Yarns? Anything pretty and soft which will knit up without pilling horrendously. Just something different really. Needles – bamboo DPN’s to take offshore as they don’t like metal needles on oil rigs!
29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Grafting – I’m rubbish at it. I’m saving it for my next Stitch’n’Bitch. I want to learn to spin and weave and dyeing my yarn would be pretty cool too (I need to try the Kool Aid technique)
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I’ve started knitting bedsocks in the Artesano Alpaca but I’m not really a sock knitter otherwise and not really a handknitted sock fan. My feet are a UK size 5 (European 38).
31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
I’m a St Patrick’s Day Piscean – 17 March.