Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I am a Knit Geek

Luckily, I don't have to worry about writers block after two posts yesterday. Another Kate has provided the following questionnaire. This other Kate appears to be of Norwegian descent and yet doesn't live here in Little Scandinavia. How's that possible. I'm sure she must have relatives here at the very least. So let's consider her an honorary MN knitter and go visit her blog.

The Knit-Geek Questionnaire (unrelated to any swaps or secret pal exchanges)

1. What's your worst habit relating to your knitting? I lose gauge swatches. Sometimes I even throw them away. This is not the habit of a serious knitter.

2. In what specific ways does your knitting make you a better person? It calms me. It is the greatest de-stresser ever.

3. How might you or your life be different if you were suddenly unable to knit? I would be a fidgety, annoying, witch with a b.

4. If money were no object, what one yarn, and what one tool or gadget would you run out and buy first? Enough really good cashmere to make a sweater.

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? Lace. It seems fussy. All those little stitch markers hanging there clanging at me. "You'll never finish, you'll never finish" (Stitch markers are nasty that way). I'm afraid that I will get halfway through a project see a monster error and never have the nerve to rip back and correct it.

6. Who is/are your knitting hero(es), and why? EZ of course because she didn't make a big deal out of making your own things with your own patterns. Eunny because her patterns are beautiful and complex without having that "see how clever I am" look. Everything she makes is very now and wearable.

7. Do you consider knitting, for you personally, a mostly social activity, or a mostly solitary activity? Both. I'm not in a SnB so I don't knit with other knitters, but I knit everywhere. (although I'm going to my very first knitter's gathering tonight thanks to Renee) Out to dinner, at the ballpark, at the lunch table, in the office, on planes. Everywhere!

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? I love the idea of doing a really great Scandinavian sweater, but I know I would never, ever, in a million years, wear one.

9. If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be? I'd be a nice superwash wool. Practical.

10. Some statistics:(a) How many years have passed since you FIRST learned to knit? 32. My grandma taught me when I was 9.
(b) How many total years have you been actively, regularly knitting (i.e., they don't have to have been in a row)? I've been knitting constantly for nearly 4 years. (c) how many people have you taught to knit? 20 or so. I'm a total knitting evangelist. I always have some extra needles and yarn on me in case someone wants to learn. (d) Roughly what percentage of your FOs do you give away (to anyone besides yourself, i.e., including your immediate family) About 80% of my knitting has been for other people. I love giving handknit gifts. My entire family has always knit, crocheted, sewed, crafted, etc. so they understand the amount of work involved. They are always super appreciative of handknit gifts and that makes it easy to give.

11. How often do you KIP (knit in public)? i.e., once a week, once a month, etc. Where do you do it? Nearly every day. EVERYWHERE!

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? Laurie. There would be wine and she would never critique in a negative way.

13. What aspect or task in knitting makes you most impatient? Casting on. I use a long tail cast on and there is nothing more frustrating that casting on 150 stitches only to find you are short on the tail with 30 more stitches to cast on. It's weird, but I actually enjoy weaving in ends.

14. What is it about knitting that never lets you get bored with it? There are always new ways to challenge yourself. There are so many techniques I haven't tried. There is always a project I want to knit.

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 really like knitting on the sofa with my feet up while watching t.v. We have this giant leather ottoman that I can spread stuff out on (this is how the BHFH makes off with the yarn) and it's all very cozy comfy. I have all my stitch markers, needle gauge, row counters, stitch holders, cable needles, etc in a little denim make up case. I sometimes lose it and the whole family has to rush around trying to find the case.

16. Which one person is the recipient of more of your knitting than any other? My niece Abby. She's still only 4 and a tiny little elf so I can really churn stuff out for her. I've knit her a hat, mittens, a little bag, a sweater and a poncho.

17. What's the oddest thing about your knitting, or yourself as a knitter? I have no shame about knitting. I am completely comfortable knitting in public. There is a whole group of people that call me G-Ma (short for grandma) because I knit. I don't care. I think it is cool and I refuse to acknowledge that anyone else might think differently. I was quite honestly surprised by the whole Knit in Public day. Doesn't everyone knit in public?

18. What do you see yourself knitting - if anything - twenty years from now? I'll always knit sweaters.

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? It would have to be a really big skein and hold up to frogging because I'd have to unravel and knit again and again until rescued.

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) Elizabeth Zimmermans' "Knitting Without Tears". Everyone should have it.

21. Is knitting the new yoga? Why or why not? Whatever. It is a centering, calming activity for me MOST of the time. There are moments that it makes me crazy too. The whole trying to find spirituality in knitting seems like a pretensious way of making yourself feel comfortable with your knitting. The new yoga theory is for people who are secretly embarrassed that they knit. Besides I have clear evidence that it is not the new yoga. A)It has done nothing to lift my butt or give me upper arm definition, B)there is way too much math involved in knitting for it to be any kind of yoga.

EDIT: This last question added by Caroline:22. What important thing are you trying to put off doing whenever you knit?" Cleaning the house. Dusting the wooden blinds and cleaning floors most specifically. I think that is why I'm always knitting for other people. "I can't clean the house, I have to finish this before ______'s birthday!"

I'd be a Knit Geek too if she'd only give me some damn yarn.


Chris said...

#22 - That is so me! Although I don't really have to excuse myself to anybody...

Great picture! Hee hee - are you getting some attitude there?

renee said...

SUCH a cute picture of the BHFH! I really like that carpet in the background too - and no dog hair, so you must be doing SOME housework!

You are very lucky that your family appreciates the handknit goods. My family, not so much. Though they're definitely getting better.

It was so great to meet up with you tonight! I hope you'll join us again - I know it's a pretty long drive for you, but hopefully you'll be able to make it once in a while at least. And thank you SO MUCH for the books! I'm really excited to have them and will DEFINITELY be knitting something from them!

Tam said...

This is really a comment on your previous entry-
Amen to what you said. I, in fact, DO say controversial things on my blog and I cannot believe the GALL of people who comment sometimes. I can take pretty much any argument that is stated in a civil manner and even ones which are not civil if made by regular commenters. What I can't stand is some snotball who just surfed in for the first time who wants to take me to task on some topic. I'm thinking, "Who the heck are you??" I know I ask for it by opening Pandora's box all the time but, hey, if you click on a blog called "Reactionary Knitter" you should know you aren't going to get political correctness!
I love your blog and I can't imagine anyone but a lunchroom lady finding anything to get their panties in a wad about. (now you'll get guff from the actual lunchroom ladies who are, OF COURSE, not nearly as snotty as you make them out to be. ha)

Kate A. said...

What fun! I totally enjoyed your answers...(especially 21-B, which almost made me snort my wine)

For the record, I'm not Scandinavian (though I am Dutch, which is close), but I lived in Norway for a year as a high school exchange student, and that's where I learned to knit for real. And I do have relatives who live near you, though across the river in Wisconsin...

Eat some lefse for me!

-Another Kate