maandag 12 februari 2007

Hello, Secret Pal! (eng)

Hurray, I subscribed to the new Secret Pal round! Hello, pal... when you read this... nice to meet you :-)
(I really like the list of questions on the Secret Pal 10 blog -- so I'm answering them already. Here you go:)

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

I'm actually interested in trying anything... I'm not against synthetic yarns at all. Of course, I do like wool, mohair, cotton, silk, cashmere... but I also have a soft spot for very glossy colorful synthetic things. I even knit and crochet with plastic bags.
I'm not the biggest fan of variegated/self-striping yarns (unless the colors and stripes are bright and solid, or the variegation is very subtle) or very crazy novelty yarns. But, hey, I like to be surprised :-)

(OK -- there's one thing i do hate: yarn that pills.)

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

Uhm, a very bright pink needle pouch from Phildar and two simple make-up bags that I bought in random Dutch shops. Nothing fancy, but they're handy.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I learned to knit in primary school (a catholic girl school!) when I was 8. I'd call myself a daring intermediate, trying to become advanced.

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

Uhm, yeah, feel free to ask me the URL.

5. What's your favorite scent?

"Natural" smells that I like: fresh bread, roasted coffee, linden blossoms and orange tree blossoms... baked goods, flowers...

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

I love chocolate and good cookies and cakes. I try to restrict myself a bit -- love handles, you know! -- but a modest splurge, every now and then, should be OK :-)

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

I can't / don't spin, but I'm willing and interested to learn (space is a big issue, our apartment is too small for a spinning wheel). I love to crochet, I like plants (no garden, just a balcony), I enjoy working with paper, designing websites...

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 electronica, world music (especially African), jazz, funk, old soul, disco. Yeah, mp3s are very much OK.

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

I prefer either bright colors (red, green, blue, orange) or rich, dark ones (purple, green, blue-green, gray, brown), and black. I'm not into beige, pastels and white (these don't look good on me). If you want to have an idea of the colors I like, have a look at the photos on my blog, or at my favorites in Flickr. Bright stuff, isn't it? ;-)

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

I live with my boyfriend and our 18-month cute son. No pets, though we are true cat lovers. (Hint: our son is a bit small for his age, and his -European- shoe size is 22-23.)

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

Scarves: yes. Hats: yes. Mittens: yes. Ponchos: no. Uhm. I actually don't have any gloves or mittens anymore...

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

Hmmm? Don't know, I enjoy pretty much everything. OK, socks maybe, but I also enjoy knitting large sweaters.

13. What are you knitting right now?

A bolero sweater, my second pair of socks, a pair of mittens, three scarves, a sleeveless sweater for the toddler.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes, absolutely!

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

I have no strict preference. I rarely knit with circulars, mainly because they have such specific sizes.

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

No, although that would be handy. I do love winding center-pull balls by hand... I think they're magic :-)

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Ummmm... six months?

18. What is your favorite holiday?

The Belgian national holiday (21 July) because it's high summer then, and I usually go to the Gentse Feesten (fabulous festivities in Ghent, a lovely city in Belgium) around that time.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

No. Oh, shoes maybe, but not on purpose, they just magically multiply. Ah, and I do like kitschy tableware, but I try to restrict my purchases there :-)

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

Eh. I'm only subscribed to Craft ( The Walker Treasury books are on my wishlist, and perhaps a good book on sock knitting. Maybe I'd like to get a subscription to Interweave Knits, but up till now I never found it exciting enough. I'd love to receive yarns that are "local" to you -- or that would be difficult to find in the Netherlands, where I live. Sock yarn is always good, but other yarn surprises will delight me equally!

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

Machine knitting, but I know that's pretty ambitious and not something for a Secret Pal.
I'd like to learn to knit my first top-down raglan sweater, never did that before.
And perhaps dyeing my own yarn? Learning to design my own sweaters? Spinning?

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

I just finished my first pair, and I loved it so much that I'm addicted already! I have European size 39, my foot is 24 cm long, the width is pretty average, I guess.

23. When is your birthday?

16 April! I'm a mid-thirty girl.

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Hup Truitje Hup!

Weinig gepost de laatste tijd... ik lijd aan WIP-itis. Ken je dat? Een doos vol onafgewerkte breiprojecten, en steeds maar nieuwe dingen beginnen, en niets afwerken?

Ach, ja. Soms is het proces leuker dan het resultaat :-)

In elk geval -- ik heb dringend nieuwe truien nodig. Vooral truien die een beetje elegant zijn, zodat ik ze ook kan dragen bij meer "officiƫle" gelegenheden, zoals presentaties op het werk. Dit weekend heb ik zo ongeveer het hele internet afgeschuimd, op zoek naar gratis patronen (leve Knitting Pattern Central!). Deze grote jachtpartij heeft de volgende wildtrofeeƫn opgeleverd:

Cactus Flower, door Fathom Harvill, in Knitty Fall 2006:
en Minimalist, door Sarah Sutherland, in MagKnits October 2006.

Keuzes, keuzes.

Tatania heeft misschien een te grote halsopening. Eerder een trui om in glad katoen te breien, voor koelere zomerdagen of voor de lente of herfst.

Minimalist is misschien wat te minimalistisch. En, als ik 1x1 rib brei, dan zien die ribben er nooit echt mooi uit. Ben ik de enige die daar last van heeft?

Licorice Whip vind ik erg, erg leuk. (Het model op de foto is wel graatmager... ikke niet. Kuch. Toch denk ik dat het mij ook zal flatteren.) MAAR de omschrijving van de trui is raar. Bij pakweg maat 42 krijg je een biceps-omtrek van 22 inches... dat is absurd breed! En de gauge klopt ook helemaal niet. Hmm.

Cactus Flower vind ik prachtig. Precies het soort trui dat ik graag draag. De combinatie van mohair met katoen-zijde vind ik geweldig. Maar, als ik de trui zou breien met de Rowan-wolletjes uit het patroon, dan zou dat me... euh... 250 euro kosten. Of 300 euro? Ofzo?
(valt flauw)
(krabbelt weer recht)
OK. Het wordt Cactus Flower. Maar dan wel met goedkopere wolletjes. Kleurencombinatie, dat zien we nog wel.

Handwerkbeurs Zwolle, here I come, met veel stashgeld! Hopelijk heeft iemand mooie mohair in z'n kraampje!

zaterdag 3 februari 2007

Gehaakte sjaal in mohair

Double Crochet Mohair Scarf, originally uploaded by Breibeest.

Na de Branching Out sjaal had ik nog een boel mohair over. Niet alleen in hemelsblauw, maar ook nog in twee andere erg mooie kleuren: licht marine en fel blauwgroen.

De restjes waren net voldoende om deze gehaakte sjaal te maken. Eigenlijk hou ik ook heel erg van haken -- je bent niet gebonden aan de lengte van breinaalden, werken met verschillende kleuren is een stuk eenvoudiger, en het gaat ook best snel.

Ik ben trots op het resultaat :-)

O ja -- de Branching Out sjaal heb ik kado gegeven aan mijn eigen moeder, die maandag na een heftige operatie eindelijk ontslagen wordt uit het ziekenhuis. De sjaal ligt thuis op haar te wachten. Als ze 'm zelf niet mooi vindt (dat kan altijd!), dan hoop ik dat ze 'm aan iemand anders doorgeeft...