Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In search of advice..

So, I'm at home in Tennessee & loving every minute of it. I've been busy knitting away, but since it's my first adult sized sweater, there's really no progress to report. (Plus, who wants to see a giant pile of black stockinette stich? BORING!) I'm hoping to be finished by the end of the week. I'm just working on the trim now, and I have another pocket to sew on. It's so exciting!

Anyway, I'm hoping to get some input from you guys. Here's the situation: since starting law school, I've become very selfish with my time. It's just the nature of the program - you have very little "free" time, and even then they guilt you into doing something law related. Anyway, I don't have time to give back to my community like I used to, and knitting things for charity is the closest I get anymore.

My church at home does a Shawl Ministry program where I send scarves, baby hats, etc. Anyway, this past Sunday, when I brought in some new things (here and here) to add to the collection, they gave me a check. I was hesitant to take the check, so my mom took it for me. The purpose of the money is so that I can continue knitting things for the program without taking away from my own fixed, student income. However, most of the things that I've been making have been made out of my leftover stash and a few gifted items, so only rarely has it been an out of pocket expense.

I feel like taking the money makes me even more selfish, but my mom says that I need to take it and buy yarn for more projects. So, the question I've been asking myself is - do I take the money & just go out sale hunting and stretch it as far as possible, or should I stick it back in the collection plate on Sunday? (However, option #2 just puts the money back in the general fund, not with the shawl ministry.)

I'd seriously appreciate your advice on this one!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Honestly, I don't really have a favorite! As long as a yarn is soft & cushy, I'm all in. I'm not too much of a yarn snob as long as it's going to be soft to the touch when it's all said and done.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

My straight needles are in a handmade needle roll, my dpns are in a vase, and my circs are currently hanging over the bar in the hall closet because they don't have a suitable home.

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 about a year and a half. For the most part, I taught myself from internet videos, with my friend Sarah filling in the gaps for me. I'd consider myself a beginner-intermediate; I've branched out beyond scarves, but I'm not brave enough to tackle lace yet.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Sorta. I have a few things on there, but it isn't really complete.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I like gardenias and jasmine. I like the softer scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

YES!! I'm a sucker for and and all things sweet. I like gummy candies a lot.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I like to scrapbook, although it's went by the wayside since I started knitting. I'm always up for learning new crafts. I don't spin, but I've been thinking of taking a class.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like all kinda of music. My iPod ranges from The Pretenders to Justin Timberlake. Some of my favorites right now are John Legend & Anthony Hamilton, although once I come back from spending 3 weeks in Tennessee, I'm sure I'll be on a country kick. Moral of the story.. I really do like all kinds of music.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I've been on a blue & green kick lately, but I really like almost all colors. I grew up in Tennessee, so I find wonderful uses for even the most obnoxious of oranges.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live alone with my cat Jasmine, but I invite The Boyfriend to come and visit when he behaves.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes to all but the ponchos. I live in Michigan, so it's pretty much required by law here. For some reason, I've never really gotten on to the poncho kick.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

With the exception of all the mandatory baby stuff, I've been a sock knitting machine lately. (Well, maybe that's more like a sock yarn buying machine, but you get the picture.) And, who can say no to knitting a good scarf?

13. What are you knitting right now?

Babies & Bears sweater from Cottage Creations -- for a baby yet to be born
Lil' Red Riding Hoodie from Dominknitrix- for me!
Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts - for me again!
Chevron Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks - for me yet again!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I've been on a kick lately with bamboo & metal circulars, but I'll use anything that isn't plastic. I don't mean to be a needle snob, but yarn on plastic does to me what nails on a chalkboard do to others.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

No. I keep trying to snag a deal on eBay but someone always outbids me at the last minute.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Over a year.. and I've only been knitting a year and a half!

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas. I love being at home with my family & having movie marathons in our pajamas.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Besides knitting accessories? Not really.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Not really. Most of the books that I've been wanting, I have already. I don't have subscriptions to knitting magazines because of fear that my "to knit" list will increase faster than I can make things.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Definitely! I've been trying to learn something new with each project lately. I'd love to give a try at fair isle and lace knitting.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I just started knitting socks and I'm addicted! My foot's a size 9, average width.

23. When is your birthday?

July 10.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

I sure am! My username is Amanda.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Where Have I Been??

Wow. I'm whooped. In 5 days, I've been in 10 states, and I'm supposed to get up bright and early in the morning to drive to Tennessee. I made it back to Michigan tonight, but unfortunately my luggage didn't, so I might be putting off that trip another day. The last two hours of the trip are all on curvy highways, and I don't want to drive that at night when I'm tired. It's a really fun drive - You feel like a racecar driver on all those hills!!

I didn't check my email for several days, and I must say that I was floored by the number of comments that I've gotten in that time. I just love comments.. they really make me happy. Each and every one of them! Because of that, I always try to leave comments on someone else's blog when I read it, even if I don't have time to say something more than, "That looks pretty." There's something nice about knowing that someone reads the words that you put out there.

I have zero pictures to post, although I swear there's been knitting! I finished about half of my first adult sized sweater on the trip, although on the plane back tonight I got the sinking feeling that I might have to rip out the sleeve that's 90% done. It just seems like it's going to be waaaaay to big. I think I miscounted rows somewhere and added in one (or ten!) extra. (I've actually taken pictures, but since the sweater is made is black wool is just looks like a blob of material at the moment.) I'm pretty much spot on gauge, so I think I just flat out screwed up the pattern somewhere.

The road trip from Michigan to LA was surprisingly fun. It was nice to spend time with The Boyfriend when he wasn't studying for the bar exam, and when I wasn't trying to read for class. It made us remember why we're together in the first place. We spent three days driving, one day in LA buying him a new car, and the last day we drove up PCH and went to Malibu. He knows the way to my heart is through the beach. Five whole, uninterrupted days with each other was exactly what we needed.

Funniest experience from the road trip: On the second night we stopped in Beaver, Utah at a really nice little hotel that was recently remodeled. There was a soap dispenser in the shower for "Body, Hair, and Bath" soap. I tried to pay The Boyfriend $1 to wash his hair with it, but suddenly he was a shampoo snob & could only use my Pantene.