Saturday, May 27, 2006


I didn't realize how infrequently I update. I write a post, and then have something totally different but equally interesting to say, and I try to hold myself off, so I post more evenly. Seems more like I'm a slacker.

I just signed up for a couple of credited summer classes at ccsf (San Francisco City College): Elementary Russian and Beginning Metal Work.

The Russian I chose because I've always liked how it sounds when spoken by natives, and I'm good at picking up accents (but I'm not so good at remembering vocabulary!), and I have a book of Russian swear words (apparently they go for layered/manifold insults). I also like the idea of knowing a little of a whole bunch of languages. You know, like Tourist languages ("Where's the bathroom?", "How much is this?," "What meat is this?," "I'm sick." "That's too expensive." "Get away from me!"). I already know Tourist Mandarin, some Tourist Spanish, and I'm fluent in French, so I'm going to now learn Tourist Russian.

I'm taking the Metal Working class because I really wanted to take an art class, and they only offer weaving during the Fall & Spring semesters. The class is going to deal with soldering, annealing and the likes, and setting gemstones (ooh... handmade jewelry), and making sculpture. There's also going to be fieldtrips and we're going to learn about metallurgy through time. I hope I don't burn myself too badly; I already know how to solder- stained glass classes- but that's just lead, so the soldering irons are probably going to be hotter than what I have experience with.

In other news, I got my Mellow SP2 Downstream Pal, Becca from Conneticut. I know just what yarn I'm going to send her, so I just have to come up with the other goodies. Man, I really do love buying stuff for people (especially gift basket-type stuff). Course, I also got an eCard from my Upstream Pal (unnamed pal, I love you already!), and I totally love getting stuff.

That's the really great thing about SPs: not only are you getting presents in the mail (I love getting mail- it's almost a fetish), but you're also carefully selecting GiftiesTM for an almost-complete stranger.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Toe-Up Cast On

When I started my first pair of socks (a couple weeks ago), I followed the exact instructions in "The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook." The toe-up method involved a provisional cast-on.

When I started the second sock, I decided that there was no point in doing a provisional cast on when I'd figured out (in that blank mental state when knitting stockinette in the round) a way to cast on normally, and make a nice-looking start for the sock.

I know I'm not being very clear (pictures to come soon), but it goes like this: Using DPNs, CO 16 st (exactly what you'd do for provisional CO). Knit the first st. Take a third DPN and knit the second st, making sure to not wrap the yarn around needle #2. Alternate knitting a st on N2 and N3 until you've knit all the st (8 on each needle). Then K the st evenly onto the needles (4 st on each).

I occasionally think, "Why not just CO 16, and k 4 st onto each needle?" Then I remember that that would mean sewing the toe together at the end, and this cast-on is trying to avoid as much finishing as possible. It creates a fabric that is automatically upright; that's not a very good analogy, and I'm really not a good enough knitter to be able to come up with an explanation for the shape of the fabric, but it really does work.

And now, of course, I'm going to get a half-dozen emails telling me the name of this cast-on that some highly renowned knitter invented/discovered/laid claim to. (I immediately thought this when I "discovered" the technique- someone's probably come up with it already.) Anyway, I'm proud of myself, and I don't care if I've re-invented the Alternating Stitch Cast-On.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

LittleKnits Pr0n

Lorna's Laces DK Swirl in Vera

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Flames

Catania Color in sunny colors

Lorna's Laces DK Swirl in Camouflage

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Bittersweet

Arucania Atacama in shades of purple

Lorna's Laces Angel in a color I can't find the name of.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cheap-*ss KoolAid

Albertson's (you know- the huge grocery store chain that used to be Lucky's) has an ongoing sale of KoolAid. Their usual price is 3/$1. I was happily surprised to see a sale for 4/$1, so I snatched up twenty-odd packets to use as dye. As our groceries were being rung up, it turns out that if you buy 20, it's 20/$1. (A nickle per packet!)

I went back to Albertsons the other day with a friend, and spent the entire time she was shopping gathering 10 packets of each flavor they had. Now I have 10 samplers to sell on eBay, and they cost me $6.

I am so happy!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Little Knits Order Has Arrived!

A few weeks ago, I learned of a website that accepts PayPal (which is the only way I buy stuff online) called Little Knits.

I look on their website (all their yarns are listed in the left sidebar), and what do I find but pretty much everything discounted at least a little.

I couldn't help myself. I'd just gone though the Knitty archives to find projects I was interested in doing, so I had a list of yarns and needle sizes all ready.

Unlike my usual yarn purchases, I was going after multiple-balls because I had projects in mind (I don't think I've ever done that before!), so in the end there are only 2 yarns that are unique.

I bought yarn & needles to make Tubey (Cashmerino Aran, which is 55% Merino Wool, 33% Microfiber, 12% Cashmere). I went with black for the body (I've definitely never bought one of those 10-ball bags before), and got two reds that have turned out to be way too similar, and three complimentary colors (terra cotta, sage and coral). I'm usually reticent to buy a) this much yarn (I'm not made of money!), b) cashmere, because it seems overpriced, and it's one of those things that I may have liked before it became popular, but didn't buy, but now that it's the Thing to buy, I don't want to seem like I'm bowing to consumer fads. (Buying afterwards is just as bad- that'd look like I was far behind the curve, and even less cool than if I were buying with the curve.) I got this because it's what the pattern calls for, and I'm sure as hell not good enough at sweaters to replace yarn. In fact, this will be my First Sweater.

I got their last 2 skeins of Lush (1/2 angora, 1/2 wool; mmm...) in white, so I can make Yorick. I learned afterward that Lush takes a little extra effort to felt, but I think I'll be OK.

In with the mix is LL Angel in Iris Garden (70% angora, 30% wool). It's a tiny skein (especially for $9.95), but soooo soft and fabulous. I have no idea what I'll use it for- maybe it's my first skein of it's-way-too-fabulous-I-can't-use-it yarn, or maybe I'll use it in one of my maniyarn scarves. Above the Agel in the photo is a ball of Cascade Ice, which is less like ice, and more like a floral vine. That's definitely going to be used in a multiyarn scarf. The orange/yellow/red yarn is an 100% cotton sock yarn from Catania (a company I've never heard of, but the yarn was cheap, as sock yarn so usually isn't).

Also, I got a skein of Araucania's Atacama (100% alpaca) in shades of purple. I've used the yarn before, and it's great. The skeins aren't presented in the best way- which may be why they often go on sale (mmm... sale...). (All the way to the left in the photo- you can just see it.)

I also got 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Swirl DK (Merino and Silk- seperate plies, so it looks pretty cool) in Vera and 2 in Camouflage. (Right in photo) The only thing I really object to with this yarn is that you need 2 skeins to make a pair of socks. Considering this was touted on the website as a sock yarn, I sort of resent having to buy two. Kudos to LittleKnits for telling the customers, though. And if I were really upset, I just wouldn't have bought the yarn.

I got 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Bittersweet, and 2 in Flames. God, I'm in love! I'm actually not sure what I'll make, but it'll probably be socks. Heh. It'll definitely be socks. I just want to get better at making them before I attempt it with yarn that costs this much, and maybe find a neat pattern to use. (Left in photo)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

OneSkein Secret Pal Questionnaire

1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)? I'm definitely a hand-spun, hand-dyed wool (possibly superwash). Corriedale, maybe? It's a pretty all-purpose wool. In jewel tones (with some light in there for contrast, of course).

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with? I love red, and also greens (but not together). I prefer variegated to solid, because I'm a color-y sort of person. I dislike pink and blue, but they're OK if they're just a part of a greater color scheme.

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns? I love variegated. It's pretty much what I buy, and I know that means I'm not making plain sweaters or anything, but I've done a lot of mixed-yarn scarves, so variegated= interesting visuals.

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns? Protein fibers. Other than that, no. I may not be any good at spinning them, or rich enough to buy them, but it's animal excretions all the way.

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn? I really like getting yarn in skeins. It's not required- that would seem pretty fussy of me- but I really enjoy winding a skein into a ball- I get to run my hands over the yarn and see the colors, it's therapeutic.

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them? You'd think that I'd be all over organic, living in San Francisco, but I'm not. Why pay extra for a title that doesn't usually make any difference with the yarn. If you want really organic yarn? Buy a fleece, and make it up yourself (although I gotta say that I hate washing a fleece).

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year? I have no idea. I've been working on a shawl for months, and I'm partway through another project, but other than that it's been hats and scarves.

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year? Yep- got a pair of socks almost done for Mother's Day, and I think I'm totally going to knit/crochet stuff for Xmas this year.

9. What is your favorite one skein project? I make a lot of hats and scarves that probably only amount to one skein each, but I've now got some cone yarns, so I'm going to say big lace shawls (heheheh). If we're talking what I'd want, I think it'd be cool to have one of those shrugs that don't really keep you warm- they're just pretty.

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it? I have a big yellow cabinet that my dad made me, and that's where I store all my yarn. I have 2+ moving boxes-full of yarn. My roving would fill at least 3 moving boxes all by itself.

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it? No. I sometimes like the look of my finished maniyarn scarves that I don't want to sell them, but I know they'll find good homes. It's too much fun making something to begrudge any of my yarn an opportunity to become something.

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer? No, I don't think so.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)? I belong to a couple of mailing list, the Knitty coffeeshop, and I read a bunch of blogs, but I don't belong to any groups (I can't seem to find them in SF, except the one that meets at a bar- and I'm not 21 yet!).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mellow Secret Pal 2 Questionnaire

(I took out the personal info, cuz having it in would be wrong- you know the drill, I imagine.)

I thought we were supposed to answer as briefly as possible (I find questionnaires are usually like that), so I tried to keep it brief- didn't always succeed, though.

All about you:

1. Do you have skillz? (beginner/adv. beginner/intermediate, etc): advanced beginner

2. How long have you been knitting? 4+ years

3. What are your favorite fiber colors? Warm colors; mostly green combos or red combos

4. Are there any fiber colors that make you want to hurl? If so which? Neon, pastels

5. Other than bran, what are your favorite fibers? Wool.

6. We all know you love your stash children equally but, what is your favorite yarn to knit with and why? Handspun, because it's nice to use something you've made yourself.

7. Do you prefer stripes, solids, heathered, or some other kind of color combo (or lack thereof) that I didn’t think of? Variegated, handpainted.

8. Other than fiber glass, do you have any unwelcome fibers (stuff you just don't need more of or like)? Does acrylic count?

9a. What is your Dream Yarn, the yarn you would marry if only the government would approve of your love? Those really funky hand-made skeins you find on kpixie; I don't even want to make anything, I just want to look.
9b. Is there a yarn that you loathe and despise so much that the very earth may open up and swallow the place where it’s produced? If so by all means, warn us! I really dislike thick-and-thin yarns- make up your mind!

10. Novelty yarns: super cool or blight on the earth? How about the stuff made with them? Novelty yarn is great when used sparingly.

Random Question 1. Other than this, what are you doing right now? Doing? It's 1 am.

11. Do you prefer straight or circular needles (are there any sizes you really need)? How about DPNs? I love them all, because they all have their uses (that's why they were invented).

12. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic, or birch? Have you perhaps found some new needle material to covet? Bamboo is good; it's grabby, and completely airplane-acceptable.

13a. Do you spin or crochet? YES!
13b. If you crochet, do actually enjoy it or is it a means to an end (like for finishing)? Oh no, I'm totally into it.
13c. If you spin do you use a wheel, spindle, or just run around in circles like Ali? Wheel and spindle.

14. What is the next thing you want to learn (techniques etc)? Entrelac. Pretty much because it's a cool word.

15a. What item(s) do you knit the most? Hats. Oh god, the hats!
15b. Anything you’ll never knit again? No, I'm pretty open-ended.

16. What are your favorite items to knit? Socks, though I have yet to complete my first pair.

17. What are you knitting right now? A wrap from Royale Hare.

18. Any projects you haven’t gotten to yet? Stop laughing, regain composure, we’ll wait. Okay seriously, what are you dying to knit that you haven’t gotten to yet? Uh... those socks I've been working on for a year?

Wants and Nots:

19a. Do you have any food, fiber, smoke, pet allergies your SP should be aware of? No.
19b. Do you smoke, have pets, or process peanuts where you store your yarn? If so, please declare them here: I have cats, and I can't guarantee the yarn won't ever be in the same room with nuts/shellfish/wheat/etc.

20. Do you have an or wishlist you'd like to share with your SP (please add URL if applicable)? Two amazon wishlists: and

21. Anything you’ve been longing for or would really love to get (knitting or not)? laceweight mohair, and lace books.

22. What about stuff you don't need at all? cotton.

23. What about knitting accessories? Cable needle, stitch markers.

24. Do you have hobbies other than knitting (tv, sports, collectibles, favorite things)? Girl Scouts, eBay.

RQ2. Did the last question make you start singing Favorite Things from the Sound of music? No; I dislike the "Sound of Music"

25. Carpe bibliotheca! Uh, any books you would like (knitting or not)? Lace books, fantasy (especially tongue-in-cheek stuff).

26. Any magazines you would like (knitting or not)? Wild Fibers, or Rowan.

27. For those of you who live outside the US, is there anything you'd like that you can't get your hands on? n/a

28. In the event your SP lives outside the US, is there a particular yarn ,etc. you can't find in the US? n/a

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (How about now? Are you singing it now?):

29. Who/What is your favorite...
a. Chocolate: See's.
b. Muppet: Swedish Chef or Beeker
c. Cartoon Character: Malificent from "Sleeping Beauty"
d. Flower: Tiny flowers that grow in rock crevasses.
e. Ice Cream flavor: Vermonty Python (it's new!), Cherry Garcia, coffee... actually, pretty much anything.
f. Fragrance: White Shoulders, or White Rabbit from Black Phoenix Alchemy
g. Shoes to wear: Flats that make my feet look Parisian. Or wedges.
h. Type of garden: One that is carefully manicured to look natural.
i. Animal: Horse, and cat.
j. Beverage: Cream soda.
k. Author: Terry Pratchett.
l. Musician: Too many!
m. Holiday: Food holidays (Passover, Christmas, Halloween, etc.)
n. Time of Day: Early evening in the summer, when there's still lots of light, but the ground is warm and the air cool.
o. Bath or Shower: Shower.
p. Country: France? China? Scotland.
q. Number: 19
r. Card game: Casino
s. Candy: My dad's peanut butter fudge.

RQ3. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Chuck as in throw? Well, then obviously until his back gave out.

Getting to know you, getting to know ALL about you:

30a. How did you learn to knit? After a failed attempt at copying the memory of the motions of little old ladies on TV, I learned from "Stitch 'n' Bitch."
30b. What made you into a Knitter? Being able to buy stuff, and having a portable craft.

31a. What is your oldest UFO and how old is it? A scarf or two that are a couple years old, each.
31b. Why haven’t you finished it? Didn't like the yarn, as it turned out.

32. What is the most exciting thing that happened to you this month, year? I withdrew early from my college.

33. What is your favorite thing to do to waste time? Mess about on the internet (browsing, eBay), read or sleep.

34. The things that make me the happiest are: Imagining owning a yarn/fiber/craft store, working on a story (though I doubt I'll ever finish), teaching camp songs.

35: If you were a Wild West outlaw what would you call yourself? The Duchess (cause that sounds so well-educated and classy- I'd probably be a madam- but an outlaw madam!)

36. If you were candy would you be sweet, sour, or cinnamon? Sweet, and probably one of those ones that are so rich that you can only eat a little at a time, or else you get sick (but you really want to keep eating), like tablet.

37. If you were a fruit which would you be? A kumquat (surprise: sweet on the OUTSIDE, sour on the INSIDE) or an artisan apple.

38. Are you a Java Junkie? How about a Tea-totaler? Yeah- chai all the way; spicy style, out of a box or Starbucks, I love chai

39. Your birthday, in case it falls during the swap and your SP wants to send you a card: January 26, 1986

RQ4. If you HAD to be a character from the Walt Disney universe, who would you be? Malificent; I was once watching Sleeping Beauty, and laughing at something, and she laughed- we have the same laugh.

40. Do you have a personal mantra? Sort of: Credendo Vides ("Believing is Seeing")

41. This space is for rent. Really? I hope it's got rent control, because I'm from San Francisco, where the renters are god.

42. How do you feel about holidays? Will you be celebrating any during the SP round? Fourth of July (another eating holiday for us) is during the round. And, yes, I celebrate holidays, mostly because they're a good excuse to have really big dinners with family and/or friends.

43. How do you really feel about socks? I own a lot, and want to make them, and especially like toe socks.

44. What is your shoe size? More specifically, if your SP were to make you some socks, what is your ankle circumference and foot length? My shoe size is 9; my approximate foot length is 9" and ankle circumference is 11".

45. How do you feel about ponchos? No. Ponchos do not look good on fat girls.

46. What kind of music (and/or which artists) do you listen to when you are happy? Dead Can Dance, Mediaeval Baebes, Loreena McKennitt, Lord of the Rings, Sarah MacLachlan

47. Rate yourself on a girly/fruh fruh factor from 1 - 10: 1 being masculine, 10 being an estrogen machine? 6; I'm not really all that girly, but I enjoy some girly stuff, like boned bodices, but I get along much better with guys than girls.

48. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? My family is: my parents, and I have 2 cats.

49. What are a few of your life dreams? Owning my own small business, having a public argument with someone and walking away the victor (that sounds bad, but it's true), having at least one child, travelling a lot.

RQ5. Aliens: Been and gone, coming someday, don’t exist, or living among us (please do not site Monkee as proof of your crackpot theories)? The universe- the galaxy- is expansive enough that there has got to be other intelligent life out there; maybe not like Star Trek or Star Wars (or maybe yes), but out there.

50. What languages do you speak (besides English, Pig Latin counts)? Ok, totally Pig Latin, French, some Mandarin, and an eensie bit of Spanish.

51. Hey baby, what’s your sign? How about the Chinese Zodiac? Do you read your horoscope or do you think it’s all bunk? Anybody think it’s bunk and read it anyway? How many questions was that? Aquarius, Ox, and it's total bunk (could we be more vague?); I'm more of a tarot-card person, although that's pushing it.

52. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? Bourgeoisie in the Renaissance, probably in England, but maybe France. If we're talking 21st century, then right here in San Francisco, but I'd also have to have a defensible castle somewhere.

53. If you could do anything for a living what would it be? Own a fiber store, and have miraculous good luck with it.

54. If you could have any "super power" which would it be? Power to control the weather; hey, I didn't say I wanted to have it be practical.

55. You're given $10,000 for traveling. Where do you go and why? Back to Beijing, India (oh my god the shopping!), New Zealand (Sheep, and Lord of the Rings), back to France (Caen), Antarctica (exept I'd have to go with my parents, and that costs more than 10k).

56. How frequently would you like to hear from your SP, and what kind of contact would you prefer? I'd prefer email for general contact, but I won't say no to some written notes back and forth (I'm such a mail junkie). And the frequency? Whatever- at least let me know you're there.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

West Valley Alpacas Open House Excursion

Today, my father and I went to West Valley Alpacas' open house. (In the pic: shorn baby in front, unshorn adults, and an unshorn yearling.)

The farm/ranch/whatever is in Esparto, which is North-West of Davis (which is South of Sacramento). It's about a 1.5 hour drive there from SF. YahooMaps had no idea where their farm was- didn't even have a record of the road (it's really middle-of-nowhere). Fortunately, they have driving instructions on their website from just about every direction you can come from, so that was helpful, and major points in their favor.

The open house was from 12-4, and we had a dinner to go to at 5, so we knew that if we wanted to go, we'd have to be there when it opened. We left the house at 10:30 (should have left at ten, because we forgot to account for the time we took eating lunch), and headed up there.

We got to the place at 12:15, I think, or not long after, and as we drove down their gravel/dirt driveway, what's the first thing we see? A tour bus. One of those big ones that you can charter- not the little modified-vans that are used as shuttles. And here I was thinking this was going to be some sort of hideaway, and that we'd be able to chat with the owners, and sort of peruse their wares, and hang out with their newly-shorn alpacas. No; it was crowded in the covered area of the pens.

People had brought their children (maybe they were on the bus, but I sort of doubt it), and there was a lot of them. The owners had set up a covered spot to try spinning on a wheel with alpaca, but I didn't try it out- it was all full of little girls! (Good for them, say I. Maybe they'll become obsessed and make their parents buy them wheels and fiber, and they'll become MiniSpinnersTM.)

So, after looking at the adorable, gangly, freshly-shorn babies (and the adults, but it's hard to not love the crias- they look so silly with their pencil-necks and tuft of head-hair), Dad and I went on over to the store.

Oh God, the store!!

First thing you notice: it's ceiling is low and sloped. (It's a fully-finished room on the side of the barn, and I gotta say- their windows were large, and let in a lot of light; it would've been the perfect place for a workroom.) Of course you notice the wall of alpaca yarn (I think they send it away to be processed, at least, but they may also just buy the yarn, and sell their fleeces separately), and if you could see through the crush of women (I said, "Oh. Here's where all the spinners are; I thought it was all kids!"), you'd see the looms in the back, and the other products (like alpaca-pelt alpaca dolls- cute if you've got a South America theme at your house). After a while (and a few more people in the store- the tour bus, presumably), you also notice the heat caused by: insulating fiber, warm day, spot lights for display purposes, a couple dozen people, and a low ceiling with only a wall-mounted air conditioner at one end to cool us off. But, next to the door, in full sunlight so you could appreciate the natural colors, were bags of raw alpaca fiber.

I looked at the price tag and gasped inwardly. Oy! $70-$90 for 1-2 lbs. of alpaca? Craziness!

A woman was dragging away three (three!) bags of this stuff. My dad said he heard her call it "gold." (Not the color- the value/quality.) Later, my dad saw her sampling some fiber from a basket (obviously meant for that purpose) using one of their 1 oz. top whorl drop spindles, and ended up talking to her pretty much the whole time I was browsing. We learned (during a moment when I was participating in the convo) that the reason the fiber by the door was so great is that it's the first shearing- ever- of a baby alpaca (they're called crias).

My dad is such an enabler- he gets into it, probably against his better judgement, and is interested in things that seem a good buy or of particularly good quality. I rushed off to see if there was any cria fiber left (my mom would have told me not to buy it- too expensive- I have too much fiber already- what would I use it for- is the quality really that important to me- etc. because she's a disabler- a new word!); my dad was just as eager as I was- he'd handled the fiber when he came in, and thought it much softer than the black adult roving they were selling.

I bought (as you can see in the sucky pic to the right): four skeins of Forest Green 2-ply baby alpaca lace-weight for Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave Stole (a free pattern, I understand), a skein of the same in Baby Blue (for my best friend Selma) and one in Natural Dark Tan, each for Toni M. Maddox's Tiger Eye Scarf (another free pattern), two snack baggies (1oz each?) of sparkle (either Firestar or Angelina- I can never remember the difference)- one in irridescent and one in red, a 1oz. drop spindle, and- the tour de force- a 1lb. 10.7oz. bag of raw, black*, cria fiber from an alpaca named Spartacus ( I love him! It's probably him in the foreground of the first pic.) for $72.

Not bad. Not bad.

My dad (enabler that he is) suggested that I call right before their annual open house next year, and ask for them to reserve Spartacus' fiber for me. (My dad amended later, that I was to do this only if I liked the fiber.)

I'm so giddy! Nice trip, great shopping experience, beautiful day, my dad and I agreed on car music... wow.

*A black alpaca- much like my cat Star- isn't really black, just a really dark brown. And since yarn color is a little darker than roving, who's to say Spartacus isn't true black?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I have discovered the SP

Ok, I'll admit it: at first, I had no idea what the hell an SP was (that's the problem with abbreviating half the things you say- newbies are left in the dark). KALs were also a foreign abbreviation. I can understand DH, FIL, LOL, IMHO, PO, and many others- the list goes on. (I'll leave the why-don't-we-type-full-words-anymore rant to another post.)

Now, not to leave anyone out of the loop, SP stands for Secret Pal, and KAL for Knit Along.

So, back to what I was talking about: I have joined the One Skein SP Exchange, which, after further "research" into SPs, seems to be a bit more complicated and rigid than the usual kind. That's cool with me; I have no idea what's going on.

Secret Pals appeals to me for several reasons: I get to pick a few skeins from my stash (which is comprised mostly of single-skeins anyway) to send to someone who is happy to get them, I get gifties* from someone (the anonymity doesn't totally do it for me, but- who cares?- it's part of the fun), I get mail (I am a mail junkie, hence my compulsive eBay purchasing), I get to immerse myself in thinking about yarn/fiber/color, I get to fill out those questionnaires (sometimes they're annoying, sometimes they're fun), I am guaranteed to get a response (so much cannot be said of a lot of my friends).

One downside: if my parents knew about it, they'd be very condescending and they'd try to dissuade me from deepening my involvement with the world of craft. So I've got to be at least a little stealthy.

I have also signed up for the Mellow SP2 on the knittyboard. This exchange is a lot more open-ended in terms of gifties, which will be interesting (especially cuz I may get someone a bit more advanced than I am). There's a possibility of books, yarn, items, hardware, and other stuff. It'll be really neat to get stuff for someone else, but there's a limit of $40 in all; I think it's more of a guideline than an actual rule, but the mods (= moderators) were pretty adamant. Also, MSP2 and One Skein are both during the summer.

Man, I am so excited!

*Please to be imagining a greedy finger-twiddle with every iteration of "gifties."