Thursday, March 29, 2007


See, I am NOT the only one:From the Seattle Times, 3.28.07. Confused? I talked about my QVC addiction in this post.

Coming soon:This baby grew in the sink. I'm a little concerned, but pre-blocking it was a bit tighter than would be the most flattering. Not tight by any means, but being bulky yarn, well, being a bit bigger with more drape would be preferable.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The Austermann Step socks are finished!
Project Stats: Step Socks
Pattern: I made it up. Basically 72 (or 68) stitches, with a flap heel 24 stitches wide.
Yarn: Austermann Step, colorway Royal Night (I think). I used way less than one skein, and probably could have made these a good two inches longer if not more. The yarn was received in a swap from Kim at The Woolen Rabbit sometime last spring.

Needles: Knit Picks metal DPNs, size 1.

Time to knit: 1.27.07-3.26.07. This would have gone a lot faster but I got hung up on how I wanted to do the toe of the first sock and put them down for several weeks.
Impressions: I really like these! They are definitely fraternal twins, but I think I'm okay with that. I actually made the sock that's on my right foot four stitches smaller (on purpose) and slightly shorter (accidentally), and it does fit better than the left sock, but not it's not different enough that I intend to rip out the larger sock for a do-over. Once they're worn and stretched out a bit I'm sure I won't even know which is which. Most socks have a heel flap containing half of the total stitches, but from the other socks I've knit for myself I decided that's really too wide for me, so I made my heels with only 1/3 of the stitches, which looked really narrow but fits quite well. I really enjoyed working with this yarn, which contains aloe vera and jojoba oil. I'm not sure how long the skin-softening benefits will stick around (or if there's really enough in the yarn to make a difference), but the yarn was nice to knit. These socks are the thinnest I've knit so far - all my previous socks have been with mediumweight Socks that Rock on at least size 2 needles. This is also the first pair of plain stockinette socks I've knit, and it was great. Mindless knitting at its best! I will say that the Knit Picks needles are a bit heavy for my liking, and with this thin yarn they kind of flopped about a bit more than would be ideal, but you can't tell in the finished product and the needles are nice and slippery. These socks make finished object #9 of the year for me, which is probably some sort of record, although this is the first year I've kept track so it's difficult to say. These were one of my Project Spectrum: February/March projects, so I'm glad I got them done in time!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Peekaboo Mittens

I've finished them! They were actually completed early in the evening on Friday, but I didn't get around to taking a photo until this morning.Project Stats: Peekaboo Mittens
Pattern: By Megan at Pensive Frog, from Magknits.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted, black. I used about 2/3 of a skein. Yarn was purchased at Weaving Works back in the fall, pre-yarn fast.
Needles: Size 7 bamboo DPNs. I *gasp* didn't check my gauge but it came out perfectly!
Time to knit: About 2.5 days, but I knit one whole one aside from the thumb in one night, so they were a really fast knit!
Impressions: This is a great pattern, and a really cool project when completed. I think these will be quite useful to their recipient, and I can't wait to make some for myself. The pattern is clearly written and I didn't make any changes. It's handily written for two gauges, these being the larger-gauge version. I love Lamb's Pride Worsted, which I am reminded of every time I use it. It's a little bit thick-and-thin, so it keeps your interest, and the mohair gives it a small halo. I find it nicer to knit with than Cascade 220, which I tend to lump together with it since they both come in loads of colors and are often together at the yarn store.
I am ALMOST done with my Step socks - I'm on the toe decreases, and had I not gotten up at 5:30 yesterday morning to do skiing I would have finished them last night. Photos tomorrow, I promise, assuming that buying Dave a suit for Rembrandt's upcoming nuptials doesn't turn into an all-night project (fingers crossed).
I should show off skiing photos, shouldn't I, just as evidence I was there? Yesterday I drove to Mt. Baker BY MYSELF and tried out my new skis. The skis are fine, but I had a rough time of it. Most of the day the visibility was really bad (In that I was skiing in a cloud. Not in fog. In a cloud. And it was snowing, hard, in that cloud.), and I was feeling the repercussions of the severe bruise I got on my left shin from the rental boots last weekend, which I thought was healed or I never would have gone. SO, I had leg pain and almost blindness to contend with, and no one there with me for sympathy. But, when the clouds cleared a bit it was quite pretty. Once again I didn't take the camera with me while I was skiing, which this time was a good thing since I kept falling when I ran off the groomed trails into feet of powder, which pretty much stops you dead in your tracks. That and the snow snakes - they were out in abundance yesterday. I took these photos from the parking lot as I was leaving, hence the rooftops.
I don't mean to complain, it was a nice day out overall. The drive was nice, and for once I made it there before the lifts opened (we always try and never succeed). I borrowed The Kite Runner from the library and listened to almost half of it in the 6 hours I was in the car. I've been enjoying it but I'm not sure when I'll get to listen to the rest because it's rare for me to spend that much time in the car or with the home stereo without Dave around, and I doubt he'll want to come into the story in the middle. I think the new skis will work out really nicely for me, I just had a tough time yesterday because of I couldn't see where I was going and my shin really hurt. It's fairly difficult to be confident in your skiing when you can't tell up from down! My friend Kristen went up to Whistler, BC this weekend and had similar visibility issues, so I feel a bit better...
Tomorrow - the Step socks will be finished object #9 of 2007!

Friday, March 23, 2007


I picked up my skis last night, and I understand that the thing to do is put on ski clothing and the skis and take photos in the living room, so I did just that. Please pardon the mess on the tables.And from the side, so you can appreciate the twin-tips:The skis have wild bottoms:
Aside: The Frye box on the Poang chair contains the yellow shoes I was SO excited about last week. They arrived yesterday, and I think I'm going to send them back. They're a bit tight on the side of the toes, and they were pretty expensive, so I was always intending to send them back if they were anything less than perfect. The heel is a bit shorter than I'd have preferred as well, so back they will likely go.

Aside over: Oliver was totally traumatized by the skis. He did a very sneaky and thorough investigation of the boots when I wasn't wearing them, and hissed at the skis when I skied down the hall. Well, slid down the hall. It's hard to see the trauma here though, isn't it? He recovers quickly.

All of the Fiberphiles were in town the last couple of days. We've scattered a bit lately, but Pam was up from Portland for a conference, and Daisy was back in town for the closing on her old house, so most of us got together for dinner last night at an excellent Thai restaurant in my neighborhood. No knitting was accomplished, but we did get our waiter to take a photo:

From the left: Rachel, Jennifer, Pam (great new haircut!), Daisy, and me.

I am almost finished with the Peekaboo mittens - just one thumb to go, and all the other ends already woven in. I knit the whole second one in just a few hours last night - they're an ideal quick gift project. I was going to post another photo of them but figured I'd wait for the FO shot, since it won't be long in coming!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My favorite WIP, and some others

Stop the presses, I am going to talk about KNITTING. There will even be photos of knitting! It appears that I last spoke about knitting on March 11th, and all I was really showing off was a sock I had recently completed. Not a pair, mind you, just a lone sock in need of a mate. Before you get your hopes up, I haven't yet completed this pair, but I have been working on the second sock:This was my car knitting for the trip to Silver Star, and I'd say I knit about 3 inches or so. Yes, it was almost 8 hours each way. No, I am not an exceedingly slow knitter. What I am is prone to carsickness, so I could really only knit on the straight bits of I-5 between Seattle and Bellingham, so the sock didn't really come out of the bag much. I had intended to knit more in the evenings at Silver Star but skiing is exhausting and my eyes were tired from the white snow so I went to bed early and no knitting was accomplished. This sock is Austermann Step, which is great yarn to work with, if a bit splitty. I received it in a swap package from The Woolen Rabbit, and I've really enjoyed it so far. My socks will be fraternal, and I think I'm okay with that. I did decide to make this one a few stitches (4) smaller in hopes of a better fit, but most likely I won't bother ripping the other one out to match (sorry Rachel).

Last night I made serious progress on a project I just cast-on on Tuesday:As you can see, all I'm missing is a thumb! This is a great pattern (Peekaboo) from Magknits, written by Megan at Pensive Frog. I actually know Megan - she was one of the founders of the graduate student knitting club I organize. Sadly I have to admit I didn't realize this was the same Megan until Anne-Marie pointed it out! She blogs a fair bit about cooking, but she did recently post a nice discussion of how she designed the finger slit in these mittens, which was pretty cool. These are being made for someone with slightly larger hands than mine, so I'm really hoping they'll fit. They're just a wee bit large for me, so I think it'll work out. Oh, the yarn is Lamb's Pride Worsted, which I love more everytime I use it.

And now for my favorite WIP, the Asymetrical Tank from Loop-d-Loop. I posted that I was almost done with this here, on February 28th. Well, that wasn't a lie, I was almost done, and I finished the knitting that weekend as promised, and then came the crochet edging. Anne-Marie was very helpful with this at knitting club last week, but I need to rip out what I had done because I think I was a) crocheting twice into the stiches, and b) using too small a hook. So, I've produced a tight, puckering, waving edge that I'm not really happy with.

You can probably just see the wavy edge of the right (left in photo) armhole, if you squint. While this isn't the best photo, I thought I would post it because I haven't posted any photos of the progress on this item. Not that I haven't taken any photos, but they all turned out awful. It was knit in the round so it was always bunched on the needles, and the light blue is a tough color to get a good picture of in our low-lit apartment. The yarn is Rowan Polar, which is sadly discontinued. I love working with this yarn. Bulky yarn = instant gratification! This is my favorite of my current WIPs mostly because it's for me, which is a rare thing most of the time, and because it's very unique. The cable is off-center, and the back has a panel of seed stitch running up one side, and I also love the way the cable splits for the neck. The pattern was very well-written, although I found the decreases on the back neck a bit confusing so you'll not be seeing a close-up of that region. I figure I have long hair and I can cover up the mistakes!
Both the socks and the vest were my Project Spectrum February/March items (color theme: blue, white, grey), so I'd really like to finish one or both of them by the end of March. We'll see...The colors for April and May are green, yellow, and pink, which might be a bit tough for me. I have some green yarn in the stash, and also some green/yellow socks on the needles (definitely in UFO, as opposed to WIP, status). Hum...
Oh, I get to pick up my skis tonight - I'm super excited! Now to find someone to go skiing with this weekend. Anyone, anyone?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lucky girl!

Look what I've got!

These babies are cupcakes from The Magnolia Bakery, brought to me all the way from NYC by my friend Tracie, who was visiting a friend there for spring break. I developed a taste for them a couple of years ago whilst in a long-distance relationship with a guy who was in medical school at NYU. They are SO good. Words really can't describe the frosting, it's just SO sweet and creamy. I've tried to replicate it, but no luck. Pardon their appearance - they came all the way across the country in a suitcase! It was SO nice of her to bring them for me - thanks Tracie!!!

Yes, I do intend to eat them all. The blue one was the first to go. I might give one to Dave, if he's really nice...

Oh, I also now have these, which really is more exciting than the cupcakes, but I was going to wait until I had them in hand to show them off. But, I am super excited about them and I can't wait, so here you go. Never again will I rent skis!

I also bought boots, but you don't need to see them. I didn't bring the skis home because they have to mount the bindings, but I will get them on Thursday. Probably won't get to use them this season, but maybe. We'll see. I got them at Evo, which is a great store just up the road from our apartment. Generally their stuff is really pricey but the end of the season sale was phenomenal. Let's just say I got the skis and the boots for almost $200 less than the retail price of the skis alone...

Silver Star

Dave and I spent last weekend skiing at Silver Star, in middle-of-nowhere British Columbia. We had a lovely time, although the snow wasn't quite as powdery as advertised, seeing as it was at or above freezing the whole time we were there. The sticky snow was actually good for me, because there was some steep terrain encountered, and the sticky snow, well, it keeps you in control. I didn't take the camera skiing like I usually do because I wasn't wearing my big jacket (As I said, it was warm. So warm that I was taking my gloves off every lift ride to cool off my hands. Apparently I had a bit of a death grip on my poles.), so there aren't any candid skiing shots. However, I did take some photos. This is a groomer (Snowcat), getting ready to do its thing on Sunday afternoon: There is also a ski lift and some background scenery. And some orange fencing to stop the out of control beginners from crashing into the lift. Always a risk...
Here's a slightly better scenery shot. I didn't take any from the summit (obviously, since I didn't take the camera), but you can get the general idea.
This is a nice shot of Silver Star village:
Most of these buildings are hotels, shops, and restaurants. We stayed at the Bulldog Hotel (below)our first two nights, and had a lovely dinner there Friday night after the $5 night skiing we arrived just in time to take advantage of. I know I shouldn't end a sentence with of, let's not talk about it. The first time it was ending with 'for,' which really isn't much better. C'est la vie.
Here is another mountain shot, taken from the tubing park: I skied most of what you can see there. The mountain was much bigger, this is only a tiny portion. Tubing was SO fun! We only took two runs because it was expensive, and something that you don't really need to do many times to appreciate. Here I am going up the tow rope in my tube - sorry it's blurry, Dave took it while we were both moving. Our last night we stayed in a hostel to save money. This was my first time staying in a hostel, and it wasn't that bad, although the word from those who know is that this is quite a nice hostel compared to most. It was fine. I'm not so into the whole communal aspect of hostels, but we had a private room (no bathroom), and it was only one night so it worked out just fine. Here's our room:Lovely bedspread, no?
Don't we look like we had a nice time? I will say that skiing three days in a row is hard on the legs, and I was glad I've been spending so much time at the gym. Strong leg muscles really come in handy skiing, both for controlling the skis and for recovering from little bobbles caused by the ubiquitous snow snakes. And for skating around, which we did a lot of because there were so many flat traverses. I think I encountered the steepest terrain I've skiied this weekend, and dealt with it quite well. They groom some of their black diamond (difficult) runs at Silver Star, which was great for me. I usually stick to the blue runs (intermediate) because I like to avoid moguls when possible, which crop up on ungroomed black runs (and ungroomed blues I suppose, although ungroomed blue runs are less commonly encountered). So, I enjoyed the groomed black runs, which are groomed with a Snowcat on a winch (I'd LOVE to see that in action). I also had fun skiing through some relatively open glades, which was a new thing for me since none of the ski areas I've been to around Seattle have any gladed areas that aren't crazy steep. I don't do crazy steep + trees. One difficulty is enough!
Silver Star was phenomenally uncrowded. There were no lift lines, and half the time I was the only person on a given run, which was really nice. AND, there weren't very many snowboarders, probably due to the frequent flat traverses, which are hell on a snowboard (so I hear). I would definitely go back to Silver Star, although if we do this next year we're thinking of going to Red Mountain. Also in BC, but a bit closer to home...

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Wendy of Wendy Knits did this a couple of days ago, and I thought it was a fun idea, so I'm shamelessly ripping it off, but in a less exciting fashion, since I have no photos to go along with it.
What I did today, the IDES of March, 2007:

8:07am - Dragged lazy self out of bed after snoozing since 7:30. Notice Dave is hiding under his pillow to avoid hearing the alarm clock. As soon as I get out of bed my side of the covers becomes part of his side.
8:17am - Finish shower. Check email and turn on tea kettle because I'm driving to lab today and can therefore take a beverage. It's difficult to drink tea on a bicycle, my usual mode of transportation. Clean Oliver's litter box. Like every day, be thankful for flushable cat litter.
8:20am - Realize I have 20 minutes before I really should leave the apartment, and therefore become racked with indecision over clothing options. Want to wear my red suede boots because a) I am driving and b) it is not raining. Can't find a skirt I want to wear to go with them. Wanting to wear a short skirt to show off slim thighs (At this point I must share that I can leg press 140 pounds, which is WAY more than I weigh. I am proud of this fact and have no other way to work it into the conversation, so there you are), but all short skirts are probably TOO short for work, so knee-length denim skirt is chosen. And teal striped t-shirt with thin grey sweater. Brush teeth. Feed cat.
8:27 - Kettle is boiling. Make tea. Reused 20 oz. Tully's cup (I always reuse them a couple of times - good for the environment). 1 PG Tips tea bag + 2 splendas (large cup, strong tea = 2 packets).
8:35am - Apply makeup. Even put on mascara. Dry hair.
8:40 - Realize Dave is still in bed. Feed cat. Mutter about not leaving on time whilst struggling to find appropriate outerwear.
8:42 - Why do I not have a black or brown medium-warm jacket that is not fleece? How can I have this many useless jackets? Decide on red puffy vest, which only kind of matches the red boots. Alas. Will suck it up and move on.
8:43 - Move essentials from backpack to teal purse. Triumphantly find long-lost red fleece gloves in vest pockets. Exit apartment.
8:44 - Forgot tea. Leave. Forgot ID badge. Leave again. Forgot cell phone. Leave again. Decide if I've left anything else it's not coming to work today.
9:00 - Park car 1/2 mile from work in the "No Parking 7-9am" spaces. Parking is hard to come by around where I work so these spots are key. Hence the rush to leave to arrive there at 9:00 or as soon thereafter as possible.
9:15 - Attend retrovirus meeting, with Morgan from my lab presenting. Realize he accomplishes more in a week than I do some months.
10-12:30 - Putter around the lab, doing this and that. Surf the internets a bit. Talk to a sales rep and score a free bagel (chocolate chip with honey almond cream cheese, for the curious).
12:30-1:30 - Eat lunch with Rachel and Kristen. Forget to bring knitting but got several books from amazon to peruse whilst eating and chatting. Ate the bagel, some yogurt (blackberry) and a getting-too-ripe-for-my-taste banana. And then some pretzels. And a diet Dr. Pepper.
1:30-2:30 - Marvel at the ability to distinguish 55 base pair bands of DNA from 60bp bands. Maybe not for a whole hour, but this is still an amazing thing to me. Whilst marvelling become annoyed that I still have 60bp bands where ideally I would have 55bp bands.
3:30 - Electrocute (essentially) some human foreskin (seriously) fibroblast cells to get DNA into them.
4:11 - Compose blog post. Realize you don't care about any of this but decide to post it anyway...

So, that is what I do. A typical day. After work I am going to go to REI to get some more socks for the ski trip, and then to Weaving Works for some short size 2 DPNs, and then to Trader Joes for chocolate-covered espresso beans. Then I will go home and pack for the trip to Silver Star. At some point dinner will be consumed. I suspect we will eat pasta, or maybe lentil soup. Maybe I will convince Dave to cook yam burritos. We have a very limited repertoire of dishes we make, so one of those three is a fair bet. I'll probably knit a bit, and maybe I'll update with some photos of what I've been working on. Most likely we will watch a lot of tv and I will complete the Thursday crossword puzzle and Jumble in the Seattle Times. Then I will go to bed and stay up too late reading one of the Little House on the Prairie books, even though I am too old for them and I know exactly what is going to happen, having read them repeatedly. I will become concerned that I should be reading Tolstoy instead...won't worry about it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Because my mother is wise in the ways of footwear, I have taken her advice and ordered these:
It was a trial to get them. Usually if I'm going to order shoes, I get them from Zappos, because they have free shipping both ways and it's fast, plus sometimes things are just slightly cheaper, even in season. However, they don't have these, and neither does anyone else. Macys? No yellow in my size. Every other size, sure, but not 6.5. Nordstrom? Nope. Amazon? Sells through Macy's, so no luck. In general I like to try shoes on, not order them online, unless I know what I'm getting into. But, these are apparently selling like hot cakes, and I HAVE to have them, and I will not forgive myself if I wait until I could get somewhere that sells them to try them on. I have a pair Frye boots that fit me quite well so the size is an educated guess, and I'm thinking the buckle makes the length at least slightly adjustable. I decided I really needed to get them yesterday during a symposium, when I realized I was thinking about them instead of about virus evolution. When that happens you are in trouble and it's best to just get out the AmEx and be done with it before you drive yourself crazy. Plus, I haven't been buying any yarn. Or any clothes. Or any shoes. Or even any funky jewelry. So, there you go. I really really really really hope they fit, I'm going to be quite put out if I have to send them back :(

Wow, I just wrote an entire post about shoes. With a record number of unnecessary links...what does that mean? Eek.

I have been knitting. Just this evening at knitting club, Jennifer helped me reseam the shoulders of my bulky cabled vest, and Anne-Marie taught me how to crochet around its edges, so that should be done shortly. Don't hold your collective breath though, because Dave and I are going skiing with some friends this weekend and not much knitting will be accomplished. For the curious, we are going to Silver Star, which is in Eastern (eastern? I can never remember how that works) British Columbia, where the powder snow falls...

Try not to be jealous! Hope it looks like that for us...

I will try to post again, maybe even about knitting, before we go, but no guarantees. You know how I am...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Houston, we have a problem...

Sometimes I don't know my own strength:

In case you're looking at this photo in utter confusion, that door on the right is supposed to be attached over on the left. This is one of our laundry room/closet doors, and it's been nothing but trouble since we moved in. It keeps sticking in the track, and I had had enough. So I took it down, figuring they would have to ACTUALLY FIX IT this time...No, really what happened was I thought that maybe up lifting it a bit I could get it back on track properly, and instead I ended up detaching it somehow. You can see the hardware on the washing machine if you squint. The door track is really messed up, and has been (hence it keeps sticking), so I'm really hoping they'll just replace the whole damn thing. Finally.

I have been quite crafty this weekend. Yesterday I even got out an old needlepoint project:

As you can see, Oliver was quite excited by the needlepoint. Or maybe it was the extra heat from the three-pronged lamp I dragged in from the den. I'll never understand why they print canvases with such similar colors next to each other, such that you need 20/20 vision and excellent lighting to tell what you're doing. I realize it's so the yarn kind of matches the canvas, but still...

I also finished the first of my Austermann Step socks. I had been charging along on this back in early February, and then I got to the toe was stopped in a fit of confusion over what type of toe to do, and how long it would take (length, not time), and so on. Tonight I realized I didn't have any simple knit-in-front-of-the-tv-whilst-paying-attention-to-the-tv knitting, so out came the sock, and the toe was just fine. Although the sock is just slightly too big for me. I'm now trying to decide if I should make another like it and give them to someone with slightly bigger feet, or make the second one a bit smaller and then make this one over. I feel option one will win because I abhor ripping things out...

I've been a bit down lately, which has led me hunting for cute shoes. Look what I found:

I want them both...opinions?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire!!!

I'm very excited to be participating in Secret Pal 10! This is my second go at this, having also done SP8, where I met some very nice people. I'm posting my questionnaire a bit late because I wasn't really sure if I was signed up or not, but I figure it's fine since the matches aren't going out until next week anyway! Without further ado:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'll knit with almost anything natural. I like wool (who doesn't?!?), and alpaca is lovely to knit with as well. For summery things bamboo, cotton, silk, etc. Blends are nice. I'm not big on novelty yarns or the fake stuff...

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A drawer in my side table! I have a lovely DPN case made for me by a previous swap pal, but otherwise I keep my needles in their original packaging in my drawer, and this is just fine with me - many of the size labels have worn off, so keeping them in their packaging is quite useful...

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for about 3.5 years, and was inspired by my cousin but taught by my mother and many good friends. I would consider myself intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, Amazon. I'm the one in Seattle; I think I have many counterparts across the country, so be careful!

5. What's your favorite scent?
Vanilla, or citrus. Fresh scents in general. I don't like lavender (I know, I'm weird) or anything strong/musky/incensey (is that a word?).

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes - I've been putting my dentists' children through college for many years! Milk chocolate (unadulterated), or anything sweet/sour like Lemonheads and Sour Patch Kids.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I used to do a bit of needlepoint, but not so much lately. I make my own paper and I sometimes mean to scrapbook. I have two spindles and a slew of roving but the spinning bug never quite caught me as I'm way too impatient for something with that kind of learning curve.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I listen to mostly British rock music, or I guess what could be considered alternative rock. I can tolerate anything but jazz and hard-core country and have been known to listen to rap more than occasionally...

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love teal, turquoise, purple, blue, green, and red (but not with the others). I'm not that big on neons or pastels, but I love a good jewel tone.

10. What isa your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my boyfriend and a fiesty orange tabby named Oliver, who makes frequent appearances on the blog.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Anything but ponchos. Me and ponchos don't get along. When they were in fashion a few years back I made a valiant effort at pulling one off, but I honestly couldn't figure out where my purse was supposed to go and I like to have the full use of my arms...Of the above scarves are my favorite, then hats, then fingerless gloves, which are quite useful in Seattle and in my lab, which alternates rapidly between boiling and Antarctic.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love knitting hats, and scarves, and pretty much anything in the round. Socks are fun too. I have a lot of sock yarn, so I should really get on knitting some more socks...

13. What are you knitting right now?
What am I NOT knitting right now? Actually, it's not so bad at the moment. I'm knitting a pair of socks, fair-isle mitts (my first fair-isle!), a Koigu scarf, and a lace stole that I really just started so I'm not sure it counts. I just finished a bulky tank/vest that is in need of its crochet edging, and I have a sweater that is in need of seaming and finishing, but I prefer not to talk about that...

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Depends. I'm not crafty in my decor, but if it's something fun and useful, or an accessory, maybe.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I much prefer straight needles and only use circulars when absolutely necessary. I do my best to avoid knitting straight items on circular needles. I love DPNs. I prefer bamboo but I have some metal needles I like for socks and for hats, since the slick metal really seems to be faster. That said, I'm rarely in a hurry with my knitting (Nov/Dec not withstanding), so I prefer bamboo on the whole.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a ball winder (two, if we count the boyfriend), and I use my knees (or his) as my swift :)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 1.5 years, the sweater that shall not be named.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween, although Christmas isn't bad!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Aside from yarn? Not really. Shoes maybe, and handbags...

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None spring to mind at the moment, aside from the Barbara Walker Treasury's, which would be great to have. I subscribe to Interweave Knits. As for yarns, I covet Manos, and other handpainted yarns of any nature. I love washable sock yarn, and I'm just trying to get into knitting lace so solidish sockweight yarn that could be used for lace would be lovely.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I would like to learn proper fair-isle, as opposed to the crazy thing I'm making up at the moment...And I totally need to teach myself some good finishing techniques so I can finish the sweater I keep mentioning (that I'm not talking about).

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes. I wear a 6.5 (small feet = quick socks!).

23. When is your birthday?
5.11.79. But, I still get carded at movies (seriously).

I hope this is helpful! There is plenty of other random info about me on the blog, and I'll try to get back to posting more frequently. I've been so busy - until last night I hadn't knit a stitch in 6 days!