Monthly Archives: August 2009

Recession Special Swap Questions

These are the Swap questions for the Ravelry Recession Special Swap.

1. Do you knit or crochet, or both? How long have you been at the craft?
I knit constantly, but have no real interest in crocheting, just knitting.

2. Do you spin?
No, although it would be fun to learn someday.

3. What yarns/fibers are your favorites?
My favorites yarns are:
Soft – I hate scratchy!
DK, fingering, or laceweight.
Natural animal fibers, such as merino, alpaca, other four legged creatures. Or, luxury fibers like cashmere and silk, innovative fibers like linen, and bamboo.

4. What yarns/fibers do you not like?
I confess to yarn snobbery.
I don’t like synthetic fibers, acrylic, etc., or anything that might be characterized as a “novelty” yarn, and anything made of ribbon, festooned with metallic thread, decorated with glitter, or otherwise tarted up.
I hate chunky yarns and scratchy yarns and yarns that give you shivers like fingernails on a blackboard.

5. What yarns/fibers would you like to try but haven’t?
The yarns I haven’t tried tend to be ones that don’t fit in with a recession swap! So, if you have a buffalo, llama, or quivit in the backyard, you could surprise me!

6. What are your favorite colors? Colors that you don’t like?
I’m starting to feel like the world’s pickiest swapee, but here goes:
Colors I absolutely never use/wear/look good in:
black — white — navy — royal blue — kelly green — magenta
grey — baby blue or baby pink — neon colors — harsh colors.

Colors I really like:
medium dark forest green
deep teal
periwinkle lavender
most shades of brown
rich yellow-y cream
generally, I like orange, red, yellow, greens, violets, brown, deep cream, taupe, and burgundy.

7. What are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet?
I’m currently infatuated with lace. I’m also trying to finish a pile of UFOs, with some success. And, I have several not-yet-started sweaters. Plus, I aspire to actually finish a pair of socks!

8. What are you currently working on?
Todos Scarf, Secret Garden Shawl, a silk scarf of my own pattern, an “Assmat” for the Ravelry Kitty Toy Swap, and a pair of socks for my daughter.

9. What is your favorite FO? (Please post a picture if you have one.)
It will be the Secret Garden Shawl, just as soon as I finish it!

10. Are there any techniques that you want to learn?
I would like to know how to work with different colors. Not the geometric fair isle, but the modular and intarsia and the glorious Kaffe Fasset knits. I books on these subjects, but haven’t been able to figure it out yet.

11. Do you have a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but they sound useful.

12. How do you store your needles/hooks?
I have a lovely silk case that kind of works. I’m trying to design one that works even better!

13. Do you collect anything?
Um, besides Koigu rainbow yarn? And laceweight yarn? I collect smooth, non-snagging baskets for yarn holding, glass paperweights, pottery, handmade soaps, hooks to hang things on, and gimcracks in general.

14. Do you like sweets?
No. I have to monitor my blood sugar, so I try to avoid sweets.

15. What are your favorite scents?
earthy, patchouli, unexpected scents, I actually love perfume!

16. Are you having a birthday during this swap?
My birthday is September 13.

17. Do you have any online wish lists? (Amazon, Loopy Ewe, etc.) Please include a link for your pal.
I will start such a list and then come back and post a link.

18. What is your living situation (Are you married? Do you have kids, pets, or both?)
I have been married for 27 years, and we have two “kids” ages 22 and 25. We have 2 dogs that we like, and 3 cats that we love.

19. Are you allergic to anything?

20. Is there anything else that you would like your pal to know?
Two things.
First, I don’t join swaps for the yarn, but as a fun way to get to know other knitters, and the “making friends” part means more to me than the yarn.
Secondly, (and I realize this contradicts what I just said) I really appreciate in advance any bit of “spoiling” right now. It’s kind of a rough patch for me, because I’m a month into a year-long medical treatment with difficult side-effects, and I also have to find a new job by the end of the year. I’m generally staying cheerful and positive. But, I must admit that, even though I don’t join swaps to get things (I hardly have room for the yarn I already have!) , at this moment a few little surprises wouldn’t go amiss!


Chapter One
In which I decide to write the book I can’t find anywhere.

I’ve been looking for a book that would provide guidance on what to do next. Since I can’t find one, I’ll have to write it myself!
Oh, lest I forget, this is Copywrited by me.

Chapters, neither organized nor in final order just thrown out there.
These are just chapter descriptions, to be actually written later. And, if there doesn’t turn out to be that much to say, then this will start out as a magazine article not a book.

1. A tidal wave is just soooo disruptive.
Something has happened to throw everything off track. It might be divorce, illness, job loss, kids moving out, kids moving in, death, birth, it doesn’t matter what, but something has just messed things up.
In my case, it’s the need to find a new job in the next few months.

2. A time to wallow.
Go on, take a little time to feel sorry for yourself, whine, pout, be irrational, indulge in your vices of choice, bore your friends, delight your enemies, blog about it, whatever. Why am I such a loser? Why do bad things always happen to me? Exaggerate, get it out of your system.
In fact, why not exaggerate to a ludicrous extreme?
“This is so awful, and it’s just my luck. Nothing good has ever happened to me, nothing ever will, it’s all awful, and it’s all my fault. ____ was right when they said I was nothing but a ____ .”

3. But, I liked my old life!
And, why not idealize what’s lost, as long as it’s lost. Romanticize that job, person, friend, lover, town, partner, vacation, house, occupation, that is lost forever. Airbrush over the complaints you had, and mourn it.
In my case, I really did like my job. And now is the time to only think about what I loved about it … and forget the commute, the awkward fit between me and the job description, the essential lonliness of being 35 years older the other people in my position.

4. It’s not fair!
Really, it’s not fair, is it?
But, you do know what Jimmy Carter said, don’t you?

5. It’s NEVER the right time.
Of course, this has happened at the absolutely worst time, right? Here’s a tip – it’s always going to be the worst time.
In my case, I am figuring out a new job and/or career at the worst possible time. The economy is awful, I’m dealing with medical issues, and I’m having a bad hair day.

6. It’s a big project.
This is what I need to do:
Identify what I would like to do next.
Figure out how to get there.
Get there (into a new job)
In order to accomplish this, I will have to
Dream big, but, keep it realistic.
This will involve, first of all:

7. Get to know myself a bit better
What kind of fool am I?
What are my gifts and graces? What are my faults?
What are my essential values?
I don’t know about you, but when I see these lists in self-help books, I always have the same answer: “I dunno.”
Followed by a spiral loop back into self-recrimination and self-pity.
I picture all these other people decisively knowing themselves, and briskly circling the answers to “know yourself” quizzes, while the only answer I can really relate to is the last question in the quiz:
Circle A if you wish you could explain all your answers.

More later! Don’t worry that this is starting out negative. Once I sort out my psyche, heal all unresolved emotional issues, identify my Core Values, figure out my Best Life, and then synthesize my personal vision with the current economic climate – well, Bob’s your uncle, I’ll be sitting pretty!

Summertime Blues

I’m one month into a year long medical treatment with obnoxious side effects.

Yesterday I learned that my present employment will end effective 31 December 2009.

So, yes, I’m allowing myself to wallow for 36 hours before regrouping.