Questions and Answers

So, my Fall Felted Bag Exchange pal has questions.

Questions: what is your preferred sock knitting method and what needles do you use? Also, favorite sock yarn or one you want to try?

Well pal o’ mine, I like anything BUT Magic Loop. Which is to say, I like dpns a lot, but two circs are so easy to travel with that I guess they are in the #1 slot. Needles? Addis and KnitPicks. I thought I was all about metal, but of late, I’ve been into wood and bamboo. ANYTHING bamboo appeals to me, because it’s the ultimate renewable resource. The stuff makes Virginia Creeper (read: kudzu) look like a slow grower. I’m also really liking the toe-up approach to socks, just for the record.

Favorite sock yarn. Okay gentle reader, I know I’ve professed my love for about ten different sock yarns, but honestly, Tofutsies has to get the #1 slot. For merino/superwash, I’d go with Lorna’s Laces or the local Misty Mountain, both available at the Loopy Ewe. Heck, if all else fails, if you can buy it there, I’ll like it. Wick is the only worsted weight sock yarn for me, although I might be trying some others in the holiday knitting rush, which I do believe is upon us. The simple fact is, I love wee little skinny sock yarns. I want to try them all.

Lace is also working its way into my heart, but we have a problem; I’m fickle and want a fast, but passionate fling with my works in progress. Lace? She’s a demanding mistress. She wants my full attention, my time, and to Mugsy’s chagrin, a lot of my lap space too. She’s what the boys call high maintenance, and ask my bigger than a wallet felted bags and baby blankies where that will get ya’. I’m high rent but not high maintenance, so lace is happening on my terms. (Read: Some of you will be getting pictures of your intended holiday gifts instead of the items.)

I have questions too. Why did my new-found joy in one LYS get dosed with cold water today? Do they really not want to sell me more yarn because I haven’t brought in a finished project from their stock yet? (I swear. I wouldn’t lie to you. That’s about word for word what the lady said, in the 14 seconds she took away from her friends at the table in the back. I need to finish up something(s) with the yarn I’ve purchased there so I can buy more. ‘Scuse me? Me and my yarn appetite walked out without even a good-bye. There’s a Fiber Festival this weekend, you know!)

Do you (specifically, Anne) know how hard it is for me to not to share a cool work in progress with y’all? I’m learning new skills, trying a new yarn, and keeping it to myself is killing me. I know you’ll love the bag, because I’m already thinking maybe I need one for me too…

And now, I have to walk away from this idiot box, so that knitting can actually take place.

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No Pictures

I’m in a bind here, folks. I’m knitting, I promise, but it’s for Anne and as she is the sole hostess for the Felted Bag swap, she knows I’m her pal. So, pattern and yarn selections are the only secrets I can have. That means not even a shot for you. I toyed with the idea of a sepia shot, but that wouldn’t tell you much and would tell her too much. I feel like a mean department chief, writing rules and regs to punish everyone just because one idiot firefighter can’t behave, but those are the breaks. I can tell you it’s an awesome pattern and I know she’ll love it and the colors I selected. I tried to figure out how to post it on Ravelry without giving away too much, but trust me, she’s know, even if I just put it on my queue.

In other no picture news, we are supposed to run with the topic of the week for the Felted Bag swap…

As of this weekend, the season has officially changed on the calendar – but what makes Autumn feel like Autumn to you, and why?

It’s all about the toes. As y’all know, ask me the same question, two minutes apart, and you’ll get different answers. I’m fickle, but I can live with that. I’m still impressionable, and my moods and what’s going on around me impact my opinions strongly. Today, it’s about the toes. A local friend and I have a running joke about our toes, because we both live in flipflops and the like all summer. This year, I’m enjoying my knitted socks, so I’ve given in to conventional wisdom and if my feet are cold in the morning, I wear at least enclosed-toe shoes, but I’ve really enjoyed the couple of truly chilly mornings where socks were in order. (LOVE the way Lorna’s Laces feel on my feet. Must have more.) In the past, typing “Toes covered” in my email to my friend has been a lament, but this year, not so much. And yes folks, she *IS* on my list to receive handknit socks for Christmas. I just have to get a mutual friend to confirm size…

Now, for the conventional answer. Everything. I love the whole autumnal package. While I relish the four distinct seasons here in Central Virginia, and you’ll find me calling each my favorite as it arrives, autumn is the real, true favorite. I love a crisp, cool morning. I love watching the leaves change. There’s nothing like wrapping up in my favorite old corduroy shirt of my Dad’s on a Sunday afternoon. Apples. All things pumpkin. You get the point.

Hands down, this year, the upcoming tenth anniversary with the Knight is the biggest part of autumn. Both of us had brief first marriages, and I know that there were plenty of folks whispering that we wouldn’t last. Picture me smug, and happy. To celebrate, I’m finally ordering wedding photos. Maybe I’ll scan one or two for you. I especially love my highly controversial bridal portrait proofs. I had two done; one of just me, for my stepmom and my mother inlaw, both of whom scoffed at my primary poses, which were with my boys – Fred and Mugsy – and then my father inlaw and I have that one, with me and the dogs.

Sweet Cherry Bag

Can you see the cute little cherries on the ribbon? Squee! I hope my pal will enjoy that little touch. The package is ready to ship out tomorrow, save a note and some tissue paper. But let me tell you, CotLin is the only linen of any blended sort for me. Sigh. It slides on through, comparable to any of the ” – & dairy product” cottons, and I bet one wash would find it snuggly soft. I see a fitted item for me in this very color, maybe, next spring. Try it for the extra-special cloths you might be giving as gifts, or treat yourself; you deserve it! I am amazed at how it costs less and feels worlds better, but don’t take my word for it. Order some and try it for yourself.
In case you missed it the first time, this is Amanda’s “Mandy’s Candy Bag” pattern. You can also find it on Ravelry.
So, a little accountability check here. Tea swap – ready to ship out tomorrow. Sock it to Me – half way there on the socks, some shopping left to do, and really should ship by next Saturday to arrive before October 5th. Vegan swap – Do thoughts count? I’ve thought a lot about what to get my friendly pal, and I do have some yarn for her, and it needs to ship before October 15th. SP11 – Package #1 shipped out earlier this week. I already have one item for the final package, and have “commissioned” something for her with one of my truly artistic/crafty friends, to be a Halloween themed package. Should ship before the 15th too. My Felted Bag package has a personal deadline which the pal should be able to guess, but I think I’ve already told you I’m not talking about that swap here, right? 😉
Whew. Wow. I’m shocked. After Monkey #2, which should be done within the next week, I will have time to cast on for the Knight’s birthday (or Christmas if I miss the first deadline) surprise, my felted bag pal’s bag, finish my Summer Daze Tofutsies, and begin holiday knitting. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train!
Now, to cast on for that #2.

Fall Felted Bag, Contest #2

I love a contest. However, I’m practicing some rebellion skills here, as the sole hostess knows she’s my pal, so she’s getting NOTHING for #1, even if it does disqualify me. I’ve picked out the pattern and know what colors I’m using, and that’s the only hint she’s getting.

As for #2, well, the same hostess noted that I cheated and picked people I already knew for the answers to contest #1, so… Michelle and I remain as in touch as her crazy life allows! 😉

I’m sure I’ve somehow cheated today, but whatever…

Felted Bag Contest

There’s a contest, so here’s my “entry.”

1. What is your favorite yarn for felting, and why?

Grins. Regular readers can answer that. Patons SWS, because it felts quickly and beautifully, comes in great colors, and is a soy-wool blend.

2. Name one person in the swap who is not from the U.S. and tell us where they are from, and link to their blog.

Chrissie, Singapore

3. Find one person in the swap who has a dog, and let us know the name of their dog(s) and link to their blog.

Michelle has Murphy and Chewy!

4. Find one person in the swap who has a child or grandchild and link to their blog.

Mary has children and grandchildren. (Funny how that works, isn’t it?)

5. And finally, tell us if you like October or November more, and why!

October holds all kinds of goodness. The dear Mugsy has a birthday. One of my brother inlaws has a birthday. Our anniversary is in October. Anne’s birthday is in October. Love those changing leaves! It’s cool, but not COLD yet, for the most part.

Fall Felted Bag Questionnaire

How long have you been knitting or crocheting? How did you learn? or from whom?

Well, we’re up to about nine months right now of serious knitting. I learned as a youngster, but never did a single project, save a dog blanket that was too small for any of our dogs. Anne piqued my interest last Thanksgiving, and the rest is history.

What was your first felted object, and why did you decide to try felting?

My felted needle case. You can see my first felting projects (and Mugsy) here.

What are your favorite colors? Any you hate?

I’d love to go back and see how this changes from one questionnaire to another, but I really don’t have time right now. At this moment, I’m blue, so a sharp turquoise or a Williamsburg blue would be my favorite. (Sniff. Dang. I’m such an emotional sap.)

In general, reds, pinks, blues, greens, browns, teals… Heck, let’s just say anything but orange and road sign yellow, okay?

What are your favorite styles\types of bags? (Long straps? Short handles? Handbags? Totes? Embellished? Plain? Include links to patterns or photos if you’d like – give your pal an idea of what you enjoy!)

Oh my. For daily use, a wee handbag, with a strap just short enough to shove my shoulder through, but for totes, anything goes! If you peruse my blog, you’ll see quite an assortment. I’d say the one thing they all have in common is that they’re colorful. (By the way, my Booga, which turned out to be smaller than I thought and WAY too orange is now enjoying life in Alaska, with Anne’s fabulous mom, who sincerely liked it!) Basically, I like wee bags for regular and out on the town use, and big bags of any shape for toting projects and more around.

What handbag or bag are you carrying today? Do you use a separate bag to carry your knitting?

I’m still carrying my Sidekick. I used my bag from the first exchange to carry my books and knitting to the beach, and it’s perfect for my baby blankie in progress at the moment. I also have my new Total Tote, and that’s loaded with my next sock project, ready for wherever I ride next.

What other things do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?

Socks. Small projects. I just found a sweater I want to do though, and while I’m not very far along, I’m enjoying the baby blanket I just started.

What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum)

Metal circs., although it depends on the project. I don’t mind dpns at all, but they too must be metal. I do use my Bryspun straights for dishcloths though. No bamboo or plastic. Snap, crackle, pop!

What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make?

Felted bag or otherwise? Bag, I want to do the B4 bag, but have to get a better grip on bobbles first. Then there’s the Bar Harbor Shell bag… Projects in general? I have several sweaters, a yoga mat bag (or is that a bag?), a baby kimono, and so much more.

What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with?

Again, felting or otherwise? Felting, my life won’t be complete until I try Malabrigo. Otherwise? Bamboozle is my big desire at the moment, but check my blog, because I’m likely to buy some post-haste.

What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden?

Yoga, stamping, scrapbooking, my dogs… I do not spin and have no inclination. I wish I could sew, but Anne won’t stay long enough to teach me. I used to garden, but my back doesn’t like the bending and such.

Besides yarn, do you collect anything?

Roosters. Bags. Stitchmarkers…

What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you hate or are allergic to?

I’m much more inclined towards sweet than salty. I don’t care for hard candies, except for mints. And I mean mint mints.

Do you have any kiddos? (Furry kind count!)

Indeed, there’s Mugsy the Jack Russell Terror, aka: the Crup, and Fred the Basset Hound. Our home revolves around keeping the princes happy.

What kind of project best personifies you and why?

As cheesy as it sounds, a sock. I love diversity, and knitted socks definitely personify diversity. They’re portable, adaptable, functional and sometimes warm and cute. (Hey, I have my moments!)

What is your favorite part of Autumn? You can also share a special Autumn memory if you’d prefer!

Well, as each season arrives, it is my favorite, but Autumn means cooler weather, beautiful leaves, more walks with Mugsy, and this year, our 10th anniversary. There are also lots of birthdays and anniversaries for friends and family, and that’s special too. I love pumpkin and fresh cranberries, and they’re much easier to find in fall and winter…

Tell us 3 things you would do if you won 10 million dollars in the lottery.

Just three? Well, there’s the somewhat standard bit about the perfect yarn shop with some friends, but I’m going to give you three new things this time, not that hanging out with my favorite knitters every day wouldn’t be heaven.

Buy a BIG farm somewhere, maybe in the Northern Neck, near my aunt and uncle’s big farm. Mark and I both love the country, and he’d be happy as a pig in poop on a tractor…

Travel. I’m talking yarn crawls with you guys, at your favorite spots, mine, and those must-sees. Nascar races galore, a knitters cruise, seeing Europe with my favorite cousin, Africa with a couple of special folks, etc.

I’d also set up a foundation for training and educating fire fighters, especially volunteers. The world is changing, and training and knowledge will keep them safe, and allow them to perform more efficiently. Mark and I both have invested a lot of time in training, both our own and in training others, and it’s something I’m passionate about.

Meme and Swapswap

Dearest Anne tagged me a while back, but was kind enough not to hit me over the head while I was on vacation. I’m also aware that I never tapped any other Rockin’ Girls for that award, but my time has been a bit thin, so forgive me, okay?
Instructions:Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot:

Next, select 5 people to tag: (If you’ve been tagged already, my apologies!)

1. Stacey

2. Cass

3. Holly

4. Paula

5. Sue

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Um… My serious back problems were just beginning. I felt a twinge, argued with the brand, spankin’ new personal trainer about what I should and shouldn’t be doing, given my known back issues (from my teens), but listened to Mr. Expert and pinched a nerve, again. I was also just a few weeks away from marrying my best friend, and let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you try to put the finishing touches on a wedding for 250+ of your closest friends and distant relations while on narcotic pain killers!

What were you doing one year ago?

LOL… Alzheimer’s already!? Ten years ago was easy. One year ago, not so much. Mourning the first summer vacation without Randy, my stepson. He opted to stay with his mom rather than do the beach thing with us. Ouch.

Five snacks you enjoy:

1. Dark Chocolate

2. Fruit of most any sort

3. Nuts

4. Popcorn

5. Cheese

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:

1. Amazing Grace

2. How Great Thou Art

3. Bat Out of Hell – Meatloaf (how’s that for transition?!)

4. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

5. Old the Good Die Young – Billy Joel

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1. Open a Yarn Store/Bookstore Combo with a Coffee & Pastry Cafe attached. (Yep, that is exactly how Anne wrote it too, but friends can share a dream, right?!)

2. Sponsor a house for Habitat’s Women Build

3. Tour the world with my cousin Sherri

4. Finish College

5. Buy a house in Sedona, AZ

Five bad habits

1. I sometimes have a potty mouth. (I blame the fire service for that.)

2. I interrupt when Mark is talking.

3. I have “safe places” which means I put things away and can’t find them later.

4. I am moody. It’s not a habit, but it’s something I’d like to change.

5. I am a rotten housekeeper.

Five things you like doing:

1. Knitting

2. Blogging

3. Reading

4. Listening to music and singing along.

5. Cooking

Five things you would never wear again:

1. Those floppy, big bows Madonna inspired me to put in my hair in 1985.

2. A string bikini

3. Stirrup pants

4. A big, pouffy wedding dress or other formal gown

5. The Guess jeans with the zippers at the ankles – not that I could get into them now anyway!

Five favorite toys:

1. My Laptop

2. My clicky stitch counter

3. My Pampered Chef Food Chopper

4. My Moonlight Knitter row counter that looks like a bracelet

5. The Garmin GPS thingee

And now, more joining has happened. I don’t have a button yet for SP11, but I’m in and waiting on my match.
I’ve be remiss in noting that there’s another felted bag exchange!

Y’all know about the Colors of Tea Swap (it’s my swap; I can call it something slightly different each time if I want!) which at this moment, is still open.

Then, there’s the Vegan Pal 2 Swap, which is also still open. I can’t decide which option I want. I hate orange the color, but totally LOVE pumpkin, the food, so…??

That’s enough for now. I’m supposed to be working on the tea blog site, and I have more vacation excitement to share, and a BIG THANK YOU to make too, but… later.