Monthly Archives: February 2010

Cocoa Swap 3: Questionnaire

I’m really happy to be in this year’s Hot Cocoa swap, even if it’s a tiny group! I will, however, cheat and mostly use last year’s answers, with new commentary [in brackets]!

The Yarn…

1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both?
Just knit.
[Mostly. I can crochet, I just don’t use it for anything other than edges and dishcloths!]

2. What is your favorite one-skein project? What item do you find you knit the most of?
Probably socks — I love sock yarn for a one-skein hit! I do think I knit a lot of hats, though, too, but most of those get given away!
[Yep – love me some socks!]

3. Do you like using a particular type of needle or hook? (wood, metal, straight, circular) Is there something you’ve been wanting to try, or a particular size you always seem to be short on?
I have come around to be a total circular-needle-lover! Addis are, of course, primo needles, but I’ve also had a taste of the KnitPicks Harmony wooden ones and they’re pretty sweet too. As for sizes, I love 2.25 for socks, which sadly Addi doesn’t make! I tend to buy all my circs. in 34″ or longer, too, since I magic loop most things.
[Am starting to get into the little circs, too, like 16″ ones. Good for the aforementioned hats.]

4. What’s on your needles\hook right now? What’s your oldest UFO (unfinished object)?
Right now I have a hat and a lace shawl in progress, and a February Lady Sweater languishing in the wings. [a sock and a twice-ripped “hat” on the go. Soon will be casting-on for my 1Y1B projects!] As far as UFOs go, I’m not sure which is the eldest but I’d bet it’s a lone sock…

5. What are your favorite types of yarns? Are you allergic to any yarns, or just hate working with something? Anything type/brand of yarn you’ve been dying to try?
I’m all about little luxuries these days! (With the baby I have little knitting time, so when I take up yarn I want it to be lovely.) Pretty, soft, natural fibers are my #1 choice, hands down — life’s too short for acrylic! I am interested in branching into working with plant fibers (hemp, linen, even soft cottons?), and as far as “brands” go I’m a huge fan of Handmaiden/Fleece Artist, would love to someday try the mythical Wollmise, and am always interested in local/indie yarns!!

Shouldn’t there be a question #6??
[Where is this question?]

7. What are your favorite colors? Brights? Pastels? More muted colors? Variegated? Are there that make you want to stab yourself in the eye with your needles?
Love jewel tones (purples, burgundies, greens) and autumnal reds/browns. Hate fluorescents and not usually fond of pastels. Am not a blue or yellow girl.
[Lately I’ve been more into the semi-solids than the variegates. Don’t really know why, but noticed it when looking through the stash yesterday.]

8. What is your favorite knit accessory, your fancy needles? stitch markers? your yarn cutter? What do you have TOO many of? What do you wish you had?
Probably fancy needles (e.g. Addis). I enjoy using my hand-made stitch markers from previous swap-pals, but otherwise don’t actually use/have many knitting accessories. I’ve seen some really nice yarn cutters & cable “needles” as necklaces, though…

The Chocolate

1. Do you prefer boxed/packets, or something homemade?
I’m always up for handmade treats! I don’t have much attachment to any one brand, but organic chocolate is almost always way better than non when it comes to bars, so I’d assume the same for cocoa (but haven’t tested any yet!).

2. Marshmallows or whipped cream?
Mmmmmarshmallows! :)

3. Do you use any ‘add ins’
Not really. Maybe a splash of Kaluah or Frangelico on rare occasions.

4. Are you a year round cocoa drinker or just in the winter months?
Year round, but still usually on colder days. Nothing like a hot cup of cocoa on a cold night’s camping, even in August!

5. Do you like flavored cocoas or are you just a ’straight chocolate’ kind of person?
Straight up.

6. Do you enjoy cocoa from restaurants or shops like Starbucks? What are some of your favorites?
I have a strong addiction to the Starbucks “Signature Hot Chocolate” these days. It’s reminiscent of their long-defunct Drinking Chocolate.
[Oh, Drinking Chocolate, how I miss you so!]

7. You’ve just made the perfect cup of cocoa – is it in a thick mug, or a thinner cup? Where would you sit to drink it?
Oversized thick mug! Time to curl up in an armchair with a book :)

8. You’re enjoying that perfect cup, what treats will you enjoy with it? Are they sweet or salty? Crunchy? Soft and flaky?
Probably sweet and crunchy (i.e. cookies!!)

It’s all YOU!

1. Do you have other hobbies like spinning or scrapbooking?
I spin, both spindle and wheel.

2. Do you collect anything?
Other than yarn and fluff? ;) Spindles. Books with faerie art (e.g. Brian Froud). Pretty blank journals; also stationary and non-refillable (read:cheap) fountain pens.

3. What is your favorite part of Winter?
Quiet nighttime walks in fluffy snowfalls.

4. What sort of scents do you enjoy? Any difference in what you like for your house versus what you like for your body?
I like woodsy, musky scents and bright citrusy ones. I don’t usually scent myself (sensitive skin and asthmatic husband) but sometimes indulge in light scented creams or quality incenses.

5. Are you allergic to anything?
Just dust/smoke/etc.

6. Are you on Ravelry? What’s your ID?

7. How would you spend an ideal winter afternoon/day?
Snuggled down in warm PJs with good books and lots of treats, watching the snow.

8. What’s your favorite animal?
Foxes, cats, and ferrets.


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1 year, 1 book

“All Aboard the Crazy Train!”

That was what Jennifer said to me at the Purple Purl‘s knitnight on Tuesday. Now, I hadn’t been to the Purl in a long time, so I’d missed out on the beginnings of this new madness, but it didn’t take long to fill me in (or get me aboard).

Miko has dreamed up a new challenge: can you, in one year (Feb. 1, 2010 to Jan. 31, 2011) knit each and every pattern from a single book or magazine?

A few brave souls have chose The Knitter’s Book of Wool. Others are picking an issue of Interweave Knits, or an e-book like Whimsical Little Knits.

And for me? I’m going with a classic: Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Apart from just loving the was that woman wrote, it’s got a good mix of patterns, from little things like mittens to large projects such as blankets and shawls. I might cheat a bit, and make the sweaters all toddler-sized. I might not make it at all. But I’m up for the challenge!

So, anyone else joining us on the Crazy Train? 1 book, 1 year, all the patterns. We can do it.


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A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading

La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Frank Cadogan Cowper, 1926

La Belle Dame Sans Merci
John Keats (1795-1821)

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
So haggard and so woe-begone
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheek a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful, a faery’s child:
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
A faery’s song.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
“I love thee true!”

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she gazed and sighed deep,
And there I shut her wild, sad eyes–
So kissed to sleep.

And there we slumbered on the moss,
And there I dreamed, ah! woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dreamed
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings, and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who cried–“La belle Dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!”

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill side.

And that is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

* * * *

The Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading invitation/information can be found here. This year I offer a ballad, my personal favorite poetic form. Thanks, Jodi, for reminding me of it today.

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