What I should be writing about right now is the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair that I went to last weekend with Maria, but I’ll write it up later (checkout her post too).
Instead I’m going to write about ravelry. Now, I’ll go ahead and assume you know all about ravelry and how amazing it is. The projects, the stash, the favorites, the forums, all eleventy-billion patterns. It’s great, and pretty much every time I visit (which is frequent) I notice some new feature they’ve added, or something not-so-new that I’m only just discovering. Designer favorites is one of those things. A while ago I was favoriting some pattern or other and recognized the designer’s name, so I clicked on them to check out what other pattern I knew them from. Lo and behold I had favorited about half of their designs. Then I glance to the top of the page and realized that I could favorite the designer herself! Score! Now I know where to look when I need some new patterns.
This was all well and good until earlier today when I noticed people on twitter making a hubbub about Lady Charming by Veera Välimäki. And she is definitely a designer that’s been in my faves for a while. Now following designers on social media is a great way to find out about newly published patterns, but things can certainly slip through all those numerous posts. So I thought that what better way to keep up on your favorite designers’ new patterns than to have a feed on ravelry? You’ve already favorited the designers, and all ravelry would have to do is list all of their designs together in the order they’ve been published, with newly published patterns on the top. This way you can just check the feed every once in a while and catch up on all the new patterns, but not, y’know, all the new patterns, just the ones you’re predisposed to like.
A little poking around on ravelry after I had my brilliant idea showed me that you can already do this! Just click here, or go to your favorites, click on designers, then click on advanced search, and boom! all of your favorite designers’ patterns organized by publication date.
As always, I bow down to the amazing people behind ravelry, and wonder how they can do so much with so few people. Go give ’em a hug, cause without them, I’m not sure how much of a community this fiber community would be.
Maybe I just have craft-amnesia and don’t remember that every summer I get a little blasé about my knitting, but it’s really kicking me this time. Ty’s socks continue to plod along, as much as I don’t like knitting the cotton bamboo blend at such a tight gauge. I’m also distinctly not looking forward to sewing in all those ends, cotton doesn’t cooperate nearly as well as wool does with those sorts of things.
My Robin Tank is coming along pretty well, except for the part where I’m definitely going to run out of yarn before I finish. So it’s just been sitting on the coffee table untouched this week. And I haven’t even ordered more yarn for it like a logical person would. Hopefully I’ll order yarn and finish the tank before summer’s up. I am actually excited about having the FO, just not as excited about the steps between here and there.
Maybe I’ll scour Ravelry for something cast on and get my knitting mojo back. Or maybe I’ll actually commit and start on some of the designs that have been rattling around my head.
What do you do when you get in a creative funk? Push through? Put it down for a while?
Why hello there! It’s been a very busy week for me here, full of preparing to pack, fun nights at Looped, our going away party and a tiny bit of sleep thrown in for good measure. So in the tradition of several wonderful blogs, including the Yarn Harlot, Random Sunday!
1. Clara Parkes herself commented on my Hedgerow sock blog post. Because, you know, we’re pals.
2. I ordered my Ravelery bag and decided that I’ve been eyeing those clever shot glasses for enough time so why not get them too?
3. The best thing you will make this summer is this black tea – blackberry sorbet. I swear, it’s the best, and so easy, and I’m pretty sure you could make it without an ice cream maker and it would still be delicious. The first time I made it I accidentally did a 1:1 ratio of blackberries and black tea. The second time I followed the recipe properly. I’ve decided now that my accident was in fact fate. I like the stronger flavor of black tea that you get using equal amounts, so that’s what I suggest!
4. The best game you will play this summer is Cards Against Humanity (assuming there are no small children about). Print it out, cut it up, play. It’s ridiculously funny and you’ll start to learn how horrible all of your friends really are.
T minus 9 days til take-off.
With the aid of two test knitters on Ravelry and my friend for the modeling, I have updated the pattern for Rose Tyler’s Fingerless Mittens. I have to admit, they look pretty freaking awesome, and the pattern does too. The pattern is now a smidge simpler and (I think) a lot easier to understand than the previous version.
I’ve been milling around the last few days trying to figure out what my next project will be (monthly socks don’t count). I’ve scoured Ravelry for ideas, searched through my stash and nothing’s hit me. I think with the completion of this pattern update, I’ve found my next project: more pattern updates! They’re not as exciting to do as a brand new design, but watching the transformation of the Ravelry page for Rose’s Mitts was amazing. As many designers much smarter than I have said, quality pictures make all the difference. I hope to take advantage of my friend’s pretty face once more before we move to update the Brigid Larkin hat, which is just waiting for the right day for pictures.
This will be just a quick note today, as there is apartment hunting in Brooklyn to be done. I just wanted to put my two cents in about this whole Ravelympics thing, which if you haven’t heard about, go over to the Yarn Harlot and she’ll sort you out.
I’ve waited until the dust has settled because we all know knitters can be touchy people, and I didn’t want to say anything while so much anger was still in the air. There’s not much that I can really add on top of what the Yarn Harlot has stated, that we all just need to keep breathing and remember that we’re supposed to be knitters because it’s fun, and that we enjoy showing others the power of sticks and string.
If there’s one thing that I think we can all take away from this experience is that knitters are everywhere, and if we really wanted media coverage for one reason or another, we’ve proven that we can get it. I saw articles on us at the New York Times, The Atlantic, About.com, Gawker, and I’m sure there are many others that I missed.
Just remember, there are loads of us, and we can do anything we put our minds to, but be careful how you represent us. We’re just here to have fun, right?
I’ve seen the hubbub several times on Ravelry in previous years, but I’ve never really caught the bug, I probably didn’t quite see the appeal. I think there are two goals to the Ravelympics: challenge yourself, and make new friends. And not to boast, but I think I do a pretty good job of challenging myself on a regular basis, knitting-wise at least. Something I don’t do so well is socialize, I’ve never really taken advantage of the community side of Ravelry.
Now that I’ve been making it a near-weekly habit of sitting at Looped and just having a chat with the people who stop by, I’ve found it addicting. Some nights we’ll only talk about knitting, some nights about politics (it is DC), or our personal lives, and sometimes we’ll all just quietly sit there and knit, enjoying the atmosphere (and the yarn fumes). I’ve met so many amazing people. Just last night I discovered that a woman I’ve seen several times at Looped used to be the president of the EPA. She’s worked with the Obama administration, and now works at a company she created with Madeleine Albright. And she’s been on Colbert! It’s rather bizarre to have been interacting with someone so prominent without knowing it, but I don’t worry about making a fool of myself, because we’re both lovers of yarn, she just happens to know a lot more about the environment than I do.
The whole point of that was to say that you never know who you’ll meet through knitting. Knitting being what it is, it tends to draw in passionate and creative people. The type of people that created the Ravelympics. I’m planning to join Team Wandering Wool and hopefully start and finish a lace shawl during the time of the Olympics. As I’ll be moving cities during that time, I might just keep it at that. But if my pair-of-socks-a-month is anything to go by, I’m always up for a challenge!
Have you thought about doing the Ravelympics this year?
…of my pictures not actually being invisible, I’ll tell you about the wonderful night I had last night when I reorganized some of my stash. Although maybe I shouldn’t say “reorganize” because it was more of a cataloguing adventure.
Over the last year or so I’ve gotten a lot better at adding new purchases to my stash on Ravelry, as well as keeping better track of all of my projects and what/how much yarn they all use. For someone who has occasional bouts of organizational madness, it’s been nice to have everything already catalogued so that I can look at what yarn I have in my stash no matter where I am. However, before I got back to adding things to Ravelry last year, the last time I had done that was 2009. And as I’m sure you can guess, it’s not like I didn’t purchase any yarn in between. Last night I took the time to go through two of my less organized stash boxes and make sure everything was on Ravelry in the proper amounts. This was made a little more difficult by the fact that I had a lot of leftover skeins from big and small projects alike. So I tried to be as accurate as I could, without going too overboard. My little yarn scale from Knit Picks really helped with seeing how much of a skein was left over, and whether it was worth adding to Ravelry or just putting in a bag of odds and ends. I also added my newest procurements from Webs yarn store: sweater quantities of Cascade 220 and Berroco Comfort.
Now that nearly everything is in Ravelry, I can quickly sort by fiber content, yarn weight or yardage. I can also browse through projects that other people have done using the yarn I have, giving me plenty of inspiration.
There’s a great sense of relief having everything virtually organized, but I can tell that soon I’ll have to organize my stash in real life too. When the organization bug bites, it tends to not let go.