One Skein Exchange – Getting to Know Moi

Way back in the pre-historic days of Crochet me, I participated in a secret pal exchange, and it was wicked fun. Then my crafty life got intertwined with my work life and deadlines and the like, and I just didn't want more obligations. Until now. I joined the One Skein Secret Pal Exchange. I love the book, and the exchange is low-key. My secret pal has already popped in to say hello (hello!), and she professed her love for Dylan, so I'm smitten already. Here are my questionnaire responses:

1. Which yarn is most like your personality?
Erm. I hate this question. But I'll run with it. Natural fiber, fer sure. Ok, that's as far as I can get. What do you think, dear readers? Maybe I'm Peace Fleece? Natural, colourful, basic yet unique, with a strong social conscience and some Russian roots. I'll go with that.

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?
This varies. I'm on a rich pinkish binge at the moment, but I also love greens (of the lime-ish or avocado sort) and browns (but not tan). I tend to avoid white, black, and primary colours.

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns?
You betcha. I have some gorgeous Manos del Uruguay waiting to become an afghan. (Ok, it's been waiting for two years. But it's variegated and gorgeous and I had to mention it.) I'm not a big fan of self-patterning yarns, unless they're just basic self-striping.

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?
Natch. Literally – I love natural fibers, specifically animal fibers. I won't knit with 100% cotton but I'll crochet with it. I prefer wools, alpaca, and silk blends.

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn?
I have no preference — I'll rewind it if I need to. I actually enjoy preparing the yarn. A secret I haven't shared yet is that I just got a gorgeous swift. I'll happily wind yarn sans machines, too.

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them?
Yes. I recently went through a spate of crocheting baby hats out of Blue Sky Organic Cotton yarn – so luscious. I'm very much in favour of using products that are made with animal, plant, and human health, and sustainability in mind.

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year?
These fall into two categories: for work and for play. For work I've crocheted about a dozen projects and innumerable swatches. For fun, the question should be more like, “How many projects have you begun in the last year?” That would be many. On the completed end, there are the baby hats, a baby sweater, a baby washcloth, a pair of booties (my friends and family are breeding, people), a few dolls (like Dylan and Miranda), a knitted sweater, and a One Skein Wonder. Listing the unfinished projects is something I've been planning to do with the goal of kicking myself in the butt to finish them, so I'll skip the specifics now. But there are a shocking number of UFOs chez Crochet me. Off the top of my head: beaded crochet lace shawl, knitted lace scarf, knitted Forecast cardigan, crocheted shrug, knitted Fair Isle sweater, knitted pair of socks… And that's without digging around. Sigh.

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year?

9. What is your favorite one skein project?
Can't say I have a favourite. I really enjoyed making the OSW last summer, though I made that with two skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. I definitely prefer small projects both because I have a short attention span and I like instant gratification and because it's likely I won't finish them otherwise (see #7, above).

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it?
My stash is of an unknown quantity. I keep it in clear plastic drawers, in baskets, in boxes, and in an old cabinet. WIPs tend to hang out in plastic bags.

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it?
I've been sitting on a bag of Araucania Nature Wool for about three years. It's gorgeous. Many months ago I decided it would become a Rogue, but since there isn't a Rogue listed in #7, you are correct in deducing I haven't started it yet.

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer?
Nope. Since I'm not all that fond of cotton yarns and synthetics don't breathe well, I stick to my animal fiber favourites. I can safely say, though, that I likely will not be working on Mr Crochet me's gargantuan Fair Isle sweater in the heat of the season.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
I'm on the CGOA professional members email list, and I'm participating (*ahem*) in the Forecast Knit-Along. I played in the Knitting Olympics on Teams Canada and Hooker. I used to attend a stitch 'n ***, but I haven't been in months.

Secret pal, you also asked if I have a yarn weight preference. I'm surprised to discover that I do — sport or DK. There's something about 4mm knitting needles that strikes me as divine, and my favourite hooks to use are 4mm or 5mm. Now that I'm a sock knitter (she says before she's even turned her first heel), I'm also totally enamoured with sock yarn of the fingering weight sort.

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