Hi there, new Secret Pal! Nice to meet you... I hope we'll have fun together :-) To start, here's my questionnaire. It's different from my Secret Pal 10 questionnaire... this means that I've evolved as a knitter (I like to grow and learn!) and that you definitely do not have to take everything in this questionnaire very literally.
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
There are very few fibers that I don't like. I can appreciate good-quality, cheap, sturdy 100% acrylic for kids, and I can appreciate lovely and exclusive 100% silks or alpacas or cashmeres. If the yarn is well-made, interesting and of good quality, I will probably like it.
I don't mind synthetics; my clothes usually get dirty rather quickly (I have a toddler son) and I like my handknits to be low-maintenance. When I knit for myself, I usually go for synthetic and wool or cotton mixes. Every now and then I spoil myself (or someone else) with something luxurious too.
I'm always interested in local yarn brands, so sending me something from your own country will always make me happy!
That said, I'm usually not a very big fan of crazy novelty yarns. A bit of glimmer can be cool, but I'm not into eyelash yarns or crazy effects. And I deeply hate yarn that pills. Ugh!!
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a simple, 40 cm long plastic needle bag for my long straight needles and two simple pouches for my dpns and my crochet hooks. Nothing fancy, but they're handy and organized enough.
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 and crochet when I was 8, at my Belgian catholic girls' school. Haven't done it continuously, though. I consider myself a good intermediate and I'm willing to try and undertake complex projects.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have an Amazon wish list which is not up-to-date anymore. If you like, I can update it and send you the URL.
5. What's your favorite scent?
My favorite perfume, since my teenage years, has been Eau d'Issey by Issey Miyake: very light and fresh (luckily it's a classic that won't go out of the market).
I love many natural smells; my favorites are probably lime and orange tree blossoms. I also adore the smell of any good food that is on the stove or in the oven, the smell of fresh coffee, of the sea, of freshly-mown grass, of rain and springtime and autumn leaves... mmm... so many good smells.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I love to eat, and I love sweets (probably a bit too much as I tend to being a bit overweight :-). I like good cookies, pastry and chocolate but am not very fond of licorice.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I also crochet (love it!), but not often enough. I can do cross-stitch embroidery, macrame, beadwork. I'm handy and creative with computers in general and I consider myself a decent amateur photographer. I would love to learn to spin with a simple drop spindle and I want to learn to sew. I already own a sewing machine (an old simple Singer that my Mom gave to me) and want to get started with it this Autumn.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I can appreciate almost anything that is good in its own genre and I like to discover new things. I tend to prefer to listen to world music, funk, disco, soul, indie rock (the more experimental kind), electronic music (IDM) and contemporary classical.
My computer does play mp3s.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I prefer darker, saturated and bright colors and am not a very big fan of white, beiges and pastels (these don't flatter me very much, I find).
Some of my favorite colors are petrol blue (saturated dark blue-green), purple, dark and bright blue, dark and bright green, brown, gray, deep orange and "old pink". I wear a lot of black.
I'm usually not a big fan of variegated yarns (although exceptions are possible). I usually buy and knit with solids and semi-solids.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live together with my boyfriend and our sweet and adorable two-year-old son. We are very much cat lovers, but at this moment we don't have a cat because of our small house and the probable toddler&cat incompatibility.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes to everything, except ponchos.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Same as with yarn: I can appreciate a lot of different things. Like many people, I enjoy knitting socks, but I also find it fun to make larger projects such as sweaters and shawls. These take forever, though; my attention span is rather short :-)
13. What are you knitting right now?
On the needles now: a Hanami Stole, a crocheted Reduction Tote Bag, one Pomatomus sock (Second Sock Syndrome!), a bulky Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl and a brown cotton Stargazer summer top.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It all depends on the project; I knit with straight or circular needles equally. I own all kinds of needles, but my favorite ones seem to be very slippery metal ones: Addi Turbo circulars and vintage Atan straight needles.
I'm not very fond of coated aluminum needles; I don't like how they feel when they rub against each other.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I own both. I thought I wouldn't need them, but I was wrong :-)
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Almost a year: a pile of crocheted hexagons that are destined to become an afghan (or maybe not).
18. What is your favorite holiday?
The Belgian national holiday: 21 July. The weather is usually superb and summery then and I often go to the Gentse Feesten (a fantastic city festival in Ghent, Belgium) around that time.
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Shoes and clothing :-)
I'm also very much a fan of beautiful modernist and vintage glass, furniture and tableware (especially Dutch and Scandinavian), but I don't actively collect that.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I only have a subscription to Rowan Magazine and I usually buy the very nice Dutch craft magazine Handwerken Zonder Grenzen. I intend to get a subscription to Interweave Knits as well.
I'd like to buy the Barbara Walker stitch pattern books and some more books by Nancy Bush (haven't decided yet which ones).
If you would have old issues of Interweave Knits or Crochet, then I'd be very interested in photocopies of the following patterns (only if you have them!):
- the Union Square Market Pullover by Kate Gilbert, Interweave Knits, Fall 2005
- the Babette Blanket by Kathy Merrick, Interweave Crochet, Spring 2006
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
- Intarsia / fair isle
- A moebius wrap
- Spinning with a drop spindle
- And I want to start designing patterns.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes! My feet are European size 39; exactly 25 cm long. I like it when my socks are snug-fitting, I usually make them 23 to 24 cms long when I knit them for myself.
23. When is your birthday?
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I'm http://www.ravelry.com/people/Breibeest. If you are on Ravelry too: my stash will give you a very good idea of the kinds of colors that I like.