I just returned from the Galax Old Fiddler's Convention (where I did not place in the dance competition -- I dance so differently from the way they do down there, and like the Sparta convention, they seem to favor their own styles). I had a great time, though the weather was freakishly cold. After the last two weeks of hot hot hot, I never in a million years thought the temperature would stay below 60 all day yesterday. I drove down in the morning, pretty early, with my friend Julie, and it wasn't that cold up here. But by the time we arrived in Galax, I was already wearing all of the warm clothes I'd brought and it wasn't even noon. I usually carry a scarf, fingerless gloves, and a down vest in the car for "emergencies" (i.e. cold nights at festivals), but just took them out to wash them and didn't bother to replace them. I was kicking myself for that last night. I could see my breath, it was so cold. And dancing up a storm will only help that for so long. Hopefully, this exhaustion isn't a bout of sickness 2.1.
Anyway, I have pictures and FOs but I'm too tired to dig the camera out of my bag (not ready to unpack the muddy mess that is my festival gear -- Galax got a lot of rain Friday night). In the meantime, I leave you with this. I ganked this from Laura's site. Although I don't often do these questionnaire things, I liked this one... food for thought.
The Knit-Geek Questionnaire (unrelated to any swaps or secret pal exchanges)
1. What's your worst habit relating to your knitting?
I have really bad posture. I sit hunched over my needles with my shoulders pulled forward. I think this might be because I rarely wear my glasses when I knit, but even when I do, I still crouch over the knitting. I also always forget to cut the nails on my right hand (I keep my left well trimmed for banjo playing) and then they cut into my hand. See:
(ignore that cut -- I droped a picture frame and sliced my hand a few weeks ago).
2. In what specific ways does your knitting make you a better person?
I think it has made me more generous -- I love knitting for other people and I'm always planning projects for them. It definitely has made me more thoughtful, in general and specifically with regard to the handcrafts of others. I feel like I have a greater appreciation for how things are made and the time and thought that goes into it.
3. How might you or your life be different if you were suddenly unable to knit?
Wow. I'd have a lot of free time. And more money. But I think I'd be bored. I'd probably have found another (less portable) craft or art to serve as a creative outlet and a meditative force. Or else I'd be crazy and (as Laura said) more than likely a little depressed.
4. If money were no object, what one yarn, and what one tool or gadget would you run out and buy first?
Oh! I'd definitely get myself a pair of hardwood dpn sock needles (does lantern moon make dpns? in ebony or something? That's what I'd want!). And a blocking board. Wait, no! Scrap that. The very first thing I'd buy is a yarn winder and swift. I'm so tired of hand-winding yarn. Then I'd get that other stuff, and only then would I invest in something truly decadent, like enough cashmere yarn to make myself the world's greatest sweater vest (I dream of knitting a sweater vest out of hipknits cashmere sock yarn. Am I crazy?)
5. What knitting technique or project type are you most afraid of (if any)? What, specifically, do you fear will happen when you try it?
Fair Isle. For sure. I am confronting this fear as hopefully the year of the sock with turn into the year of colorwork. I don't know what I'm afraid of... I've tried it before and my tension was all wonky and I've never tried it again. I feel like I'm a stronger knitter now, and I've learned some technique, so maybe that will help.
6. Who is/are your knitting hero(es), and why?
Well, I'm not sure I've "heroes" in knitting, but I greatly admire the work of Eunny -- such detail, precision, and care! I also have always admired my grandmother's knitting. But you all know that.
7. Do you consider knitting, for you personally, a mostly social activity, or a mostly solitary activity?
I really prefer to knit alone. I do enjoy sitting with other people...But I've never really spent time at any kind of stitch-n-bitch and I find that talking while I knit is distracting. I like to listen to talk radio while I knit or, when I have the opportunity, watch TV.
8. Is there a particular regional tradition in knitting that you feel strongly drawn toward (e.g., Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Celtic, Orenburg lace)? Any theories as to why it calls to you?
Oooohhhh... I don't know. I do always feel drawn toward all sorts of Eastern European designs. Maybe because I'm of Ukrainian/German descent? I have no idea. But I love the patterns (this is connected to 2007 - the year of colorwork) and the combination of warmth and function with absolute beauty.
9. If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be?
Hmmm... I'd love to be something soft, beautiful and a joy to knit with (like the Noro Lily -- my favorite yarn right now, though I've never had a chance to knit it. It just seems sooo lovely). But I'm probably something way more practical, pretty but not the first thing you run to when you walk in a yarn store. Maybe a little bit of a pain in the ass to knit with, but totally serviceable.
10. Some statistics:
(a) How many years have passed since you FIRST learned to knit?
(b) How many total years have you been actively, regularly knitting (i.e., they don't have to have been in a row)?
(c) how many people have you taught to knit?
(d) Roughly what percentage of your FOs do you give away (to anyone besides yourself, i.e., including your immediate family)
Oh, wow. I'd say close to 80 -85 %. Most of them. It's fun to knit for other people.
11. How often do you KIP (knit in public)? i.e., once a week, once a month, etc. Where do you do it?
All the time. I knit at festivals a lot. Concerts. While waiting for people, anywhere. Any time I get a chance.
12. If a genie granted you one hour to stitch-n-bitch with any one knitter, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
Definitely, definitely my grandmother. (Not including all the other stuff I'd like to talk to her about, seeing as I never met her...) I'd really want to get lessons -- learn how she learned to knit, what techniques she used, did she ever knit socks?, figure out how to line a sweater the way she did, find out if she used patterns or created her own, see when she learned how to knit and who taught her, what her inspiraitons were, and, well, basically ask all the same questions that are here. I want to know my "knitting genes".
13. What aspect or task in knitting makes you most impatient?
Weaving in ends. Period.
14. What is it about knitting that never lets you get bored with it?
I love to watch the project develop in my hands. With variegated yarn, I love to watch the colors shift. I love the feel of (most) yarn in my hands, the sense that I am creating something.
15. Describe how and where you most often do your knitting - where do you sit, what is going on around you, what tools do you use and how are they (dis)organized?
I most often sit at either my computer or on the couch. When I still had television, there was an indentation in my couch where I sat in the middle and watched/listened to the TV while I knit. Now I sit mostly at my desk. So I'm mostly surrounded by work and then whatever project I'm working on at the time. The desk is convenient because it's hard for the little kitties to eat the yarn I'm working with. I have a yarn table where I keep whatever I'm not working on. My yarn is pretty organized, but my WIPS and needles are always kind of a mess on top.
16. Which one person is the recipient of more of your knitting than any other?
My mommy... or she will be as soon as I finish T-SALP and mail her that last pair of socks (it's coming mom, i promise!)
17. What's the oddest thing about your knitting, or yourself as a knitter?
Hmmm.... I don't know. You mean, outside of my general oddities? I guess that I'm not a very patient person in other aspects of my life, yet I can sit for hours and work on a sock on size 0 needles.
18. What do you see yourself knitting - if anything - twenty years from now?
God, hopefully something other than socks! I'd really like to knit a beautiful, fair isle cardigan. Sometime warm, delicate, and with beautiful colors, embellished silver buttons, some shape, that definitely manages not to look even remotely frumpy (something with a nice 1930's flair).
19. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only ONE SKEIN of yarn, which yarn would it be and what would you do with it?
Practicality aside (length of said skein, durability, machine washability, or practicality in terms of the weather on a desert island), if I were stuck knitting one thing for the rest of my life, I'd have to say that I'd knit Blue Sky alpaca until my days were through. wow. what a lovely yarn.
20. If you were allowed to own only one knitting-related book, which would it be? (you'd be free to browse others, but you couldn't keep them)
You know, I just don't use knitting books all that much. I consult for patterns and stuff, but I never had a "knitting bible" that I've consulted for stitches or techniques. I've always wanted one, but never gotten it, so... I do without.
21. Is knitting the new yoga? Why or why not?
Man, I don't know. Maybe it's the "trend-bucker" in me that hates how popular knitting is (I feel like it encourages the use of eyelash and other novelty yarns that I hate. I'm soooo snobby). I do find it relaxing and frequently use it to focus and redirect my thoughts, but... It isn't necessarily good for your body, and I never feel taller, stretchier, or healthier when I finish. I usually feel cramped and disoriented (like I said, I have bad knitting posture).
22. What important thing are you trying to put off doing whenever you knit?
Transcribing. Always transcribing. Sometimes reading. Occasionally writing or making phone calls. But transcribing is definitely #1.