Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No-More-Humdrum Mittens Swap

Okay, I've joined my first swap. I never was a big fan of hats or mittens until I started knitting. Now, I'm ticked off when I can't wear my fabulous hat because it's too warm out. So, a mitten swap seemed the perfect place to jump into the on-line swapping world.

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?
I've been knitting for about 5 years. When my sister-in-law told us she was pregnant with the Chickpea, I got it into my head that I had to make something for my soon-to-be niece or nephew. As a librarian, there was only one way to learn...check a book out of the library. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting.

Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Intermediate. I've got most of the techniques down, but I've still got a bit to learn.

What are your favorite colors? Any you dislike?
Red, purple, green...really, I like them all. Deep shades and bright shades most of all. Pastels are okay, but not the first ones I'd go to.

Do you like Latvian type patterns? If so, what are your favorite patterns?
I like them, but don't know them well enough to have a favorite.

Do you desire mittens for yourself, your "special someone else" or your child?
For me, please!

What is the measurement from your wrist to the tip of your longest finger?
8 inches

What is the circumference of your hand at it's widest point?
7.5 inches

What other things do you enjoy knitting?
Socks, hats, sweaters in the round...I hate seaming. But mostly socks and hats.

What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum)
I made the switch to circs early in my knitting career, after losing straights mid-project to my cats. I'd get up to go to the bathroom and come back to a missing needle. There's one that I still never found. I use DPNs for socks and hats. And mostly I use bamboos.

What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make?
Lace. I've got Eunny Jang's Print O' the Wave Stole in my queue, and some gorgeous Cornflower Sundara Silk Yarn. I'm just a little nervous about starting it. I've never done lace, and I've never worked with silk.

What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with?
Silk, see above. And bamboo.

What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden? Cook?
I love to cook. And now that it's winter, I get to do a lot of soups and breads. I'm trying my hand at sewing again (waiting for my copy of Bend The Rules). Does beer count as a hobby?

Besides yarn, do you collect anything?
Geek boy and I collect pint glasses from local breweries. Other than that, not really. I'm trying to beat the clutter.

What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you hate or are allergic to?
I'm lucky enough to live without allergies. I'm definitely a fan of the salty...nuts, pretzels, trail mix, stuff like that. Not a big fan of chocolate (unless it's coating some nice salty pretzels).

Do you have any kids? Pets?
We are owned by two cats. And, while we don't have kids of our own, we time-share four of the five kids next door. This means that they love to "help" the Geek Boy with his outdoor projects. In return, he does things like helping them build a quarter pipe skate ramp for their driveway.

What is your favorite part of Winter?
Soup and bread on cold rainy/snowy days, curled up on the couch with Geek Boy. Wearing hand knit scarves, hats and mittens.

What is your least favorite part of Winter?
Shoveling snow, particularly at work. Driving in the snow.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Things That Warm a Knitting Beer-Geek Girl's Heart

So, when last I posted to this blog, I had just had the meal of my life at Brigid's. Well, on Monday, the Geek Boy went back (without me *sniff* I had a work meeting). On Monday nights they have a beer tasting in their upstairs room, and he stopped in to find out how they did it and if we could arrange an event there. He only stayed at the tasting for a little bit, then it got crowded and hot, so he made his way down to the bar for a little something to eat before heading home.

While sitting at the bar, the guy next to him struck up a conversation, asking what he had tried and what he thought. Geek Boy mentioned a few beers and said he was particularly impressed with an offering from the new Dock Street. Good answer. Apparently Random Guy at the Bar was their brewer. It seems that when Brigid's offers these tastings, many of the brewers hang around. So, not only did I miss a trip to my new favorite place, I missed a chance to meet some well-known local brewers.

So, how did this warm my heart? One of them, who happens to be from the brewery that makes on of my top two favorite Saisons in Philly, commented on the Geek Boy's scarf.

(Pardon the crappy photos...I'm never home when it's light out these days.)

He told him it was custom made for him. Brewer guy thought it was very cool. Brewer Guy thought my knitting was cool!

And this comes just two weeks after another random compliment.

Last spring when we went on our cruise, I made myself a pair of Peekabook Mittens. And they were great. Kept my hands warm on deck, but I could easily pop my fingers out to take pictures. On our way home, Geek Boy asked me to make him a similar pair, but "the kind with fingers and the mitten part over the top." So, I made him a pair back in October out of Socks That Rock mediumweight.

So, a couple weeks back, Geek Boy goes into the coffee shop one morning and the guys there comment on his gloves, wanting to know where he got them. He told them they were custom made (I love the fact that he refers to his hand-knits as "custom-made," one of the 16 gazillion reasons I love him). Apparently, that morning they were having a conversation about convertible mittens, and were trying to decide if they were manly enough to be cool. These were. I wonder if I can work a deal with them to make them all mittens in exchange for a year's worth of free coffee. I think we'd make out in that deal.