I joined Ravelry.com all the way back in the summer of 2007, having heard about it on Brenda Dayne’s Cast On podcast. I’m apparently Raveler #5154 out of more than a couple of million account holders today. You could say I was an early adopter (for once)! Although by that point I had found a local knitting circle and yarn store, and learned about on-line knitting resources such as the free online knitting magazine Knitty, the creation of Ravelry truly has changed my knitting life for good.
Through Ravelry I have met wonderful people in person as a result of Ravelry, discovered amazing projects, finally created a knitting project notebook to track what I knit, and become part of a community that spans
It also makes my current projects possible, things that would not have happened at all in the pre-Ravelry era.
Take my latest project, a lace shawl called Linken. It began with the purchase of the yarn – a lace yarn called Ombre Lace by Freia Handpainted Yarns in the Lichen colorway. I bought it in August while I was in Western North Carolina. See?
I just love the yellow with the gray!
I had this yarn in my mind for a Christmas present, but I didn’t have a pattern. So I went looking on Ravelry – first in my library of patterns for shawls and scarves. I found some possibilities, but wasn’t sure, so then I searched on the yarn, and that particular colorway, and there were many different good choices, including this, this and this.
Then I saw that the Linken pattern had been test-knit in my yarn, and I already owned the pattern – a double plus. The reason I own the pattern is because the designer, Romi Designs (Rosemary Hill) has been able to create many pattern and pattern and kit clubs through Ravelry to build her independent knitting design business.
That was just the beginning – it turns out that this particular shawl has a repeatable section, so that one can repeat a particular section more (or less) times depending on the amount of yarn you have. And here I managed to score another Ravelry win – two people, including the test knitter, had not only knit the pattern in my yarn, they had also kept track of their yarn usage as they knit, so I could track my knitting and yarn usage against theirs, in order to maximize my use of the beautiful gradient.
In the old, pre-Ravelry days, I would never had access to this information, and been able to figure out that I could squeak in two more repeats into the shawl. The amount of yarn leftover after casting off — 2 grams of a total of 75! Yes, it was cutting it close, and I could only do so with the information provided by the knitting hive-mind of Ravelry.
In addition, when I discovered some small glitches in the pattern (one chart symbol not explained, for example), I searched in the community forum thread for this pattern, and got an answer to my question. In the end, a wonderful shawl, previewed and researched by the community before I even started. For more details, check out my project notes.
And most importantly, Izzie, who noticed that the yarn matches both her fur and her eyes, has given her feline approval:
So, Ravelry, thanks for continuing to be my Knitting Bestie, I trust we’ll have many years ahead of us!
I have always made horrible pompons with that McGyver technique of using a piece of cardboard and then tying string and cutting them up. Horrible, they turn out, at least for me.
Then, when I was working a few hours here and there in a yarn store, I learned about Pompon makers – like these:
Apparently they come in many sizes – I picked a set of two in the middle sizes (they’re not really large in my opinion). It turns out that even a newbie like me, can, with a bit trimming, make a first pompon like this:
which makes a great cat toy:
and you can even use the second one you make on an actual knitwear item, and have it go through the dryer too!
We’re at that point in the year when knitters either breathe easy or start scrambling madly through their stashes of yarn and patterns.
For me this year, well, it’s a mixed bag, to be honest. My usual schedule of knitting in July and August for Christmas was disrupted by having just moved (even though the stash was one of the first things unpacked) and doing two trainings. Then I made all those necklaces for the worthy Presbyterian Women’s Boutique but not a gift for anyone. And then those Knitted Knockers were fun, but again, not gifts for people I know.
Some gift knitting has occurred with participation in a shawl club by Ysolda and me just wanting to knit shawls (hint: if you are female and on my gift list, be warned). In the past week, I pulled out my copy of Dishcloth Diva, and made a bunch of them:
So quick, each one is like a swatch, and a couple of the patterns would make lovely scarves. The circular ones are a free pattern called Citrus Slice, a fun change!
And there are a couple of guys getting socks for Christmas:
Well, I guess I still have half a sock to go there. Which is all good. But even so, I’m finding with having to cancel a trip to England this month (I know!) because of a health issue I couldn’t resolve in time, my plan of buying fun things in England for Christmas got thwarted. So now I’m digging in the stash to see what might get done in the next month or so, because when you are at a larger church in December, things get busy and the knitting some
Fortunately, today I paired this lovely Freia lace yarn with the Linken shawl pattern (rav link), and most of it is pretty mindless knitting, so I should be able to finish that in a bit.
Aside from the knitting there’s the Limoncello from last winter waiting to be finished up – hey, more Christmas gifts in process. Whew!