Sunday, September 09, 2012

Swap Likes and Dislikes!

Since I'm participating in so many swaps these days, I figure it's time to make a definitive post on what I like and don't like, so I don't have to keep typing it over and over again. :)

last update: March 1, 2014, 12:00 p.m.

Name/Ravelry name: Merin/nekkidknitter

Favorite colors: Primarily cool jewel tones: purple (heavier on blue than red), blue, some blue-greens, deep red, deep pink, ice blue, grey/silver. You can get a pretty good idea of what I use for myself by checking out projects I've made for myself and stash tagged with mine on Ravelry. I prefer solids, semi-solids, tonals, and gradients. I would love you forever if you sent me yarn with a gradient from royal to light blue, dark-to-light blue-green, or royal purple to grey (non-heathered) to black (or black to grey - whatever ;).

Colors I don't like: Anything yellow or yellow-based, orange, green that's more olive-y or yellow than blue, brown, anything neon, most pastels, anything that would be described as "dusty" or "country." I'm also not wild about crazy variegated stuff.

Favorite fibers: Pretty much anything that's smooth, soft, and natural (some nylon content is fine in, say, sock yarn). My favorite yarns are a good starting point. If you know of something luscious that I haven't heard of, I'd love to try it! I don't see me ever using cobweb weight, and I seldom use lace weight, but virtually everything else is fine as long as it's not dramatically thick/thin.

Fibers I don't like: Anything that's overly fuzzy, halo-y, nubby, or scratchy. I don't like mohair, alpaca, or angora, and I seldom use acrylic except when making toys. I'm not wild about recycled sari silk, and I don't like Noro.

Favorite projects to make and wear: Cowls, shawlettes, hats, occasionally fingerless gloves. I prefer the fingerless gloves where there's just a tube for your fingers, rather than the kind with individual tip-less fingers. Convertible mitts would be great, too. I don't really like making socks, but I love sock yarn for other stuff. I don't like bobbles or entrelac, and fringe and nupps are debatable. 

Notes on neckwarmers: I seldom wear rectangular scarves. I greatly prefer to wear shawls/shawlettes for this purpose - I like to wear the point to the front so it covers up the spot that's normally exposed by the neckline of my coat. And I definitely prefer shallower triangles, like Baktus, 22.5 Degrees, Age of Brass and Steam, etc. When working top-down, this generally means six increases per two rows instead of just four like a standard triangle shawl. I also like shallow crescents, shoulder-hugging shapes like Herbivore, or capelets. Basically, I don't want it to feel like it has more depth than the width of my shoulders (unless it's really large overall), and I don't want to have to fuss with it falling off my shoulders all the time! If I have to wear a shawl pin to keep it on my shoulders, I am probably just not going to mess with it.

Allergies: I'm allergic to most synthetic fragrances. I specifically can't tolerate lavender, sweet food-type scents (think baked goods), strong florals, spearmint/wintergreen, virtually anything with floral undertones, or any "water" or "ocean" scents. I'm also terribly allergic to Kookaburra, so I'm totally fine with receiving things unwashed if that happens to be all you have on hand. The only food allergy I am aware of is MSG. No pet allergies that I am aware of.

Scents I like: Keeping in mind the above, I like citrusy essential oil scents, like lemon, lime, and grapefruit (as long as there aren't any floral notes included). Peppermint, eucalyptus, and menthol are also nice. As far as wool washes go, I like Soak Lacey, Soak Citrus, and Soak Ravelry, as well as Eucalan Original & Grapefruit scents. (I use these to wash my delicates, so I can ALWAYS use more.)

Treats I like: I love milk and mild dark chocolate. My favorite chocolate additives are caramel (particularly sea salt caramel), hazelnut, marshmallow, crispy rice (like a Krackel bar), and mint (like Andes mints). I love milk chocolate Lindor balls, milk chocolate Dove Promises, Rolos, Turtles (particularly with sea salt), chocolates with marshmallow (but no nuts), mint or plain M&Ms, and Ferrero Rocher hazelnut balls. I also love Land ‘o Lakes peppermint hot chocolate, chocolate-covered pretzels, cherry flavored Twizzlers Nibs, caramel and coffee flavored Nestle Nips, and Jelly Belly Blackberries & Raspberries. We love gummy fruit snacks (the ones that are frequently shaped like cartoon characters) and wife loves gummy bears/worms. Also: PUMPKIN-FLAVORED EVERYTHING. I think my favorite non-sweet snack is the original Gardetto's snack mix. If there were ever such a thing as a package of just the pretzels from that, I would be in heaven.

Treats I don't like: White chocolate, intense dark chocolate, plain Hershey's chocolate. I’m also not wild about fruit + chocolate (like chocolate bars with raspberry filling, etc.) (exception: chocolate-covered strawberries). I despise black licorice, and I don’t like coconut, banana, walnut, or most other nuts (roasted & salted peanuts and almonds are good, as are hazelnuts). I don't like maple-flavored candies and such, although I do like real maple syrup.

Notions: I love pretty stitch markers, particularly this style (not necessarily those exactly, but the thin, soft loop, snag-free type). Lady Danio is my favorite etsy stitch marker maker, and heck, if you tell her it’s for me she can probably tell you what I’d like, because I buy from her so much. :) I also like removable stitch markers, particularly the ones mounted on lever-back earring hooks. (The lobster claw type is difficult for me to use, and I don't like the plastic ones at all.) I love TessaAnn’s textured, solid-colored buttons, as well as large, cute buttons that can be used as accents on, say, a hat brim.

Notions I don't need: I'm pretty set on things like tapestry needles, tape measures, needles, row counters, etc.

Books I like: I'll read virtually any fiction, from smutty historical romances to paranormal to political thrillers. I don't like contemporary romance unless there's something else to the plot to make it more interesting. I'm not a Nora Roberts fan but I do like her J. D. Robb books. I also don't like much pure fantasy...they're really hit or miss with me. I have a nook and love to read in the B&N cafe, so a B&N gift card would never go unused. Also, when it comes to books (or DVDs, etc.), gently used is always fine.

Suggestions for small items: I love bath puffs (like this). Any color at all is fine - my bathroom is grey, red, cream, AND gold, so nothing can clash worse than it already does!

I would love a cozy, washable cover for my hot water bottle. It's the standard size Fashy, and most of the patterns on Ravelry are written for this size.

Recipes! I'd love to get more use out of my crock pot. My wife is vegetarian, so it's good if a recipe is easily adaptable (like, we can substitute ground soy burger for hamburger, veggie broth for chicken broth, etc.) because no way can I eat a whole batch of something myself. :) Cookbook recommendations would be great too. I just can't improvise - I have NO idea what to mix together to make something that tastes good, and I hate wasting ingredients trying things out.

I would also appreciate a dust bag for one of my purses. These don't have to be fancy - they're basically just simple drawstring or zipper bags made out of soft, breathable fabric, used to store purses when they're not being used. They can be lined or not. Suggested sizes are 13" x 16", 15" x 19", or 17" x 23". I have several purses in various sizes so really anything in that general range would be fine.

Fridge magnets! I love fridge magnets, particularly ones with funny/snarky sayings on them. I have a few that are one with a pediatrician's office scene, and the caption is, "Mrs. Jones, your boy is acting like a boy. I'm prescribing Paxil." I also have "Zombies are crap at knitting," and a few from Mincing Mockingbird, including "Sober," "Help," "Herding Cats," "3 Outlets," "Fine," and "Modus."

I'd like to try some fancy honey if you know of something wonderful. No lavender, please.

I. Love. Gift. Cards. LOVE THEM. I love them because I can mentally spend them dozens of times before actually spending them, and to me that's just as fun. I would be thrilled to receive GCs in any amount from one of the following stores:
  • Coldwater Creek
  • Lane Bryant
  • Ulta
  • Barnes & Noble (I have a nook and love to sit in the cafe and read and drink coffee)
  • Knit Picks
  • Eat.Sleep.Knit
  • Target
  • Amazon
Suggestions (potentially) under $5:
  • peppermint lip balm (pref Burt's Bees)
  • purse size hand lotion (pref gold bond ultimate softening with shea butter or healing with aloe)
  • small bottle of wool wash (PLEASE no Kookaburra)
  • cute post-its
  • dove milk chocolates or any other yummy chocolates
  • kp/amazon/b&n/sbux/target gift card (feel free to send me “leftovers”)
  • cookies (pref soft, not crunchy): choc chip, choc chip w/oatmeal, sugar, lemon, oatmeal raisin
  • interesting spice blends (pref salt & MSG-free and not too spicy hot - this can totally be something you make)
  • earl grey tea bags
  • original flavor life savers
  • land o’ lakes hot chocolate packets (any flavor)
  • k-cups (except "wild blueberry")
women's sz 9.5 shoe
9.75" foot length
7" wrist
6" hand length
22" head circumference

Miscellaneous: I prefer to receive patterns as Ravelry downloads. If this means waiting till I get my box and then receiving a pattern later, that's totally fine.

Although I would be happy to receive leftovers from an FO in case of repairs, etc., I’m not the type of person who can take a pile of scraps and turn it into something beautiful. If it’s not enough to make another project - or at least enough to use as an accent - I’m not likely to ever get any use out of it. Not trying to be a snob…I just don’t have an eye for that sort of thing. Usually when I do have scraps, I wait till I have enough to justify mailing them, and then gift them to someone who’s doing a scrappy project.

I have pierced ears and I wear delicate dangly earrings on occasion. Long is fine, but not too big or heavy (for instance, I have and LOVE these, but I wouldn't want anything bulkier than that). I prefer 20-22" necklaces, and I look better in silver tones than gold or copper.

I have a wife and a cat. Wife loves coffee, and we have a Keurig K-Cup machine (as well as one of those things that lets us use regular coffee in it). She prefers to receive whole bean coffee. She also loves really weird stuff (like odd snacks from the Asian market, wasabi peas, etc.) and, well, although I hate black licorice, she loves it. :) Cat adores catnip and occasionally deigns to play with a toy or eat a treat, but her favorite thing is her “I Scratch” (sometimes marketed as “Scratch Pod”)...and our dirty clothes!

Please do not send me: I prefer not to receive knick knacks, decorative items, or anything else that will just collect dust. I'm trying really hard to declutter my house and my life and we already have way more stuff than we have room for! Also, please no candles or air-freshener-esque things of any kind.

Wishlist links:
Links to previous swap questionnaires: