Tuesday, 1 July 2014

An Honourary Liebster Award

Kaiya of Winterlime Knits has very graciously nominated me for a Liebster Award!  Thank you so much!

  1. Post 11 random facts about myself
  2. Answer 11 questions the awarding blogger has asked
  3. [Nominate 11 blogs with less than 200 followers, add their links to this post, and let them know that they have been nominated]
  4. [Create 11 questions the nominated blogs have to answer]
These are the rules, but I'm going to change them somewhat.  The thing is, while I'm deeply pleased and gratified that I was nominated for such an award, the current structure feels a little too much like a chain letter.  So, in keeping with the spirit of the award - of introducing you to blogs which I like and which may be new to you - I am going to suggest a few that you might want to look at, but I'm not going to come up with questions for the owners to answer.  As such, this is an honourary Liebster Award, and not the full blown thing.

Eleven Random Facts about Me
  1. I'm a military child so as a result of moving every four to six years I have no "childhood home".
  2. I'm a military spouse which means I also did a lot of moving as an adult.  In six months, I will have lived in this house for four years and two months, longer than I've lived anywhere else in my life. To put that in perspective, I'm almost 44.
  3. In real life, I'm a software localization engineer for a company that makes auditing and financial analysis software.
  4. My mother taught me to knit when I was about seven years old.  One of my aunts was pregnant with her first child so mom had me make a baby bonnet in garter stitch.  It was yellow with a ribbon tie that she sewed on when I was finished.
  5. I met my husband when I was learning to scuba dive.  He was the instructor.
  6. I first learned to spin on a drop spindle when I took a class with a friend.
  7. I have a scattered educational background.  I have a degree in Historical Musicology with a minor in history, a post-graduate diploma in Applied Information Technology, two years of formal language training from the Canadian Military Foreign Language Institute (Mandarin Chinese), and a college diploma in Drinking Water and Waste Water Treatment (my provincial certification has expired as I didn't get a job in this field fast enough)
  8. I spent three years living in Beijing, China as a diplomat.  At the time, I could speak quite good Mandarin and read enough that I could get the gist of a story in a newspaper.
  9. The artistic / crafting gene runs very strongly in my family on my mother's side.  There are musicians, artists, quilters, authors and actors.
  10. My favourite flower is the cabbage rose (followed closely by peonies). They will be incorporated when the south side of the house is landscaped.
  11. I have a kayak, for those rare daylight moments when I'm not knitting, spinning or dealing with the vegetable garden.

Kaiya's Questions
  1. When did you really start getting hooked on crafting? Was there a particular project or technique that sparked the hunger?
    I got hooked in 2000 when I was pregnant.  I was home alone with nothing to do and had this idea in my head that pregnant ladies knit.  But I hadn't done much knitting since I was a kid.  So I went to Zeller's and bought a ball of dishcloth cotton, some needles and a booklet called How To Knit.  I cast on a handful of stitches, and knit a square, then ripped it out again and did that over and over until I had some confidence in my stitches. The first thing I made was a little hat for my son to wear.  Incidentally, I still have the booklet.
  2. What's the most challenging project you've faced down so far? Did you conquer it or did it vanquish you?
    There are two things that come to mind here.  One is a sweater I made for my SIL for Christmas several years ago.  This was pre-ravelry so I don't have pictures.  It was a hooded cabled pullover with two separate cable patterns worked at the same time.  That was tough, but I learned how to manage multiple patterns at once. The second was a stole designed by Anne Hansen (Autumn Arbor Stole).  This was challenging simply because of it's size and the fact that the yarn was like thread, it was so fine.
  3. Do you like to have something going on in the background while you craft, or do you need stillness and concentration?
    Depends what I'm making.  If its a complicated pattern, or I'm trying to do something new or involves counting to more than four I prefer quiet.  For something like plain vanilla socks, I'm happy to have noise.
  4. What is(/are) the dream tool(s) you would get if you had the money and opportunity?
    Hmm.  This is a changeable list; depending on what I'm doing.  For the most part, I'm happy with the tools I've got and fall into the camp of "the skill of the craftsman trumps good tools".  That being said, I like having quality tools.  Viking wool combs are certainly on my "I want it" list
  5. What's one skill or hobby you've always wanted to pick up?
    Sewing.  I learned the basics of pattern reading and how to sew a simple item when I was in elementary school (when all girls did Home Economics) but I didn't continue with it and rather regret it now.  I have a machine, it's now a case of getting on with it.
  6. What are your favorite colors? Least favorite?
    I don't really have favourite colours, per se.  I do have preferred palettes for different projects.  I know that if I'm making something for me, then darker jewel tones work well.  But that isn't so good for baby clothes where I prefer lighter colours.  For socks, I tend to make them in fairly neutral colours so I can pair them with anything.
  7. What are your favorite foods?
    Hmm.  Another tough question.  This changes with the season I think.  Right now, it's high summer and stinking hot outside so cold meats, hard cooked eggs, pasta salad, fresh tomatoes with a sprinkle of chopped basil - that sort of thing sounds divine.  In the winter, nothing beats a good stew that's been in the slow cooker all day.
  8. How has technology impacted your crafting?
    This is a great question.  Technology has had a huge impact on my crafting in that it has made the global community smaller.  I find myself talking to people from all over the world about knitting, and spinning.  I also use video tutorials to learn new techniques - something that wasn't really available when I was learning. Curiously though, it has really solidified my desire to purchase locally.
  9. Is there anyone for whom you will Never Make Anything Again?
    Umm.  Yes, yes there is.
  10. What literary character would you most want to be like?
    I'm going to sidestep this question.  I think we spend so much time trying to imitate other people that we lose sight of who we are.  I'm in the process of trying to re-define and rel-learn who I am so honestly, I'd rather be me.
  11. Finally, do you have any exciting plans for the future of your blog?
    This is another great question and I honestly hadn't given the future of my blog much thought until I was asked.  I think the next phase is going to be about getting my blog out there and increasing the number of people who are actually reading it.  I also want to improve my photography skills to make it that much nicer to look at.
The Blogs I'd like to Introduce You To
Here, in no particular order, are the blogs I'd like to share with you.  There are lots of really well known blogs, many of which I follow but since the whole point of this is to find new things to read, these are some of the smaller blogs, or blogs outside the sphere of knitting/spinning which I follow.


  1. Wow, this was fascinating to read - it sounds like you've led quite a colorful life! And I like your modifications very much; I agree that they seem to preserve the spirit of the award better than the current format does.

  2. Thank you so much for the mention of my blog. It's an honor! I'll definitely be checking out the other blogs mentioned.
    I love how broad your educational background is! It's great to know a little of everything.