It’s starting to get a bit cooler, and I’m starting to feel the itch to pull out my yarn again. But I’m not going to push it yet. The last thing I want to do is get myself burned out on knitting. Which seems a wild thing to be worried about after 20 years of near-daily knitting. But, here we are…
Anyway, I haven’t been too creative lately. Life’s been wild- the big kid is back to school (Pre-K), which has been a wild transition- mostly good, but just a lot of getting used to, and weirdly less time for “me time.”
But one thing I have been able to do (that’s kind of craft-adjacent), is rearrange our craft area.
I didn’t plan to blog about it, so I forgot to take a “before” picture, but trust me when I say this is an improvement. I had my yarn in a half-broken dresser I got from Buy Nothing a few years ago. The kids’ art supplies on an avocado-green cart that I literally pulled off a street corner about a decade ago. And the books were on their own bookshelf, which was nice enough but fairly tip-y and probably not safe to have in a house with an almost-2-year-old who likes to climb.
Anyway, I got 3 big shelf/cabinet combos from Ikea that my 4-year-old helped me put together, and spent a couple evenings organizing everything in bins. And it looks great!
Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of this eyesore… Anyone in Seattle interested in a broken dresser?
Now that I’ve got my DPNs squared away, it’s time I did something (anything) with my circulars.
Right now (and, honestly for the last 15+ years), they’ve lived in one big jumble in this shopping bag. It’s not pretty. From time to time, I go through and try to match them up with their envelopes. It’s a pain and I hate it, so mostly they’re just a big old rats nest hanging at the back of my closet. Don’t judge me.In the backof my mind, I knew that there were circular needle holders out there- my mom even sells them. (She won’t let me buy anything from her shop, but you should buy from her. Her stuff is amazing.) So I pulled out the sewing machine and some fabric scraps and whipped up this bad boy myself.
It’s not the prettiest. (In my defense, I picked my fabrics at night when the light was not great, and I thought the yellow was a better match, but still. Also- rickrack? Really?) But it’s functional and has already saved me a bunch of time. It’s great seeing all the needles I have all laid out. Weirdly, I have a lot more US3s than I expected, and a lot fewer US8s. Funny how that goes. At least now I know, and won’t keep buying 3s…
If you’re into knitting and have been near a computer for more than a hot minute, you’ve probably heard about Ravelry. It’s sort of a Facebook for knitters. But it’s sooo much more useful than that (Facebook is kind of dumb… don’t shoot me).
Ravelry is free to sign up for, and they don’t send spam or anything. If you’re even vaguely interested in knitting or crocheting, you should sign up for an account.
There are about a million things that you can do with Ravelry, but I use it mainly for a couple things:
Keeping track of finished projects. If you’re anything like me, half of what you make goes to friends and family across the country and you never see it again. Taking pictures of your finished and uploading them to Ravelry gives you a nice trip down memory lane and a great sense of accomplishment. Also, filling out the yarn/needles/size info can be helpful if you ever want to make a project again.
Talking to other knitters. This is especially useful if you’re in a small town without a big knitting community, or if you’re teaching yourself by watching YouTube videos (and reading my blog!). Have a problem with a pattern? Questions about learning to spin? Wrestling with a particularly nasty cable pattern? Post your questions to one of the groups, and people will totally help you out. Or, you can use the Ravelry groups as a way to totally geek out about whatever it is that you geek out about. Is it Doctor Who or Harry Potter? Maybe you’re really into gardening? Or stock car racing? There is a group for you.
Finding new patterns. Ravelry has the biggest searchable database of patterns. You can sort by almost anything you want. Want a women’s drop shoulder cardigan on size 3 needles with cables? You can totally search for that. Looking for a toy squirrel that uses short row shaping? You can find that too. (I’ll show you more about searching on Ravelry on Wednesday.)
So, my point is. Ravelry: try it. It’s a great resource. You don’t have to use everything, but I guarantee that there is something that it does that you would appreciate.
(FYI, Ravelry didn’t pay me for this review. But if they wanted to send me some yarn or something, I would totally be ok with that.)
I don’t know about you, but I love seeing what other people have in their purses. Maybe it’s just me being a weirdo, but there’s always something interesting in there. Of course, you always have the usual; keys, wallet, cell phone, spare change, wadded up receipts, random old pens (I have one old purse that I just found that had, I kid you not, 10 pens in it. What was I thinking?). But there is always something weird in there, too. Maybe it’s an old notepad with some cryptic notes scribbled on it, or maybe a tiny plastic hippopotamus that someone got out of one of those 25 cent vending machines at the grocery store, or maybe a single big hoop earring that got left in there after you lost the other one at a new year’s party. Who knows?
Anyway, to satisfy my voyeurism, let’s talk about what you carry around in your knitting bag. Here’s what I have in my bag (I suppose it’s exhibitionism, not voyeurism, but still):
A pen. Always useful!
My knitting toolkit. This is a little wallet-y pouch thing that I received in a swap years ago. I’ve got a couple of these little kits rattling around my knitting things. It’s great to have one of these always loaded up with useful little bits and bobs so that you don’t have to go running around looking for a needle or scissors. So, what’s in mine?
Stitch markers-several kinds, several sizes for all your stitch marking needs.
Scissors-I like these because they are tiny and pretty. I think I got them at JoAnn’s years ago for a couple bucks. They make me feel all fancy-like.
Tapestry needles- organized on the plastic dealy that they came on, so they aren’t just rolling around loose and getting lost.
Diaper pins-I actually got these in a swap, too, and had no idea why someone would send them to me. It seemed dumb. But, I use them all the time. You can use them to mark the beginning of a row when a stitch marker won’t work. You can use them to pin two pieces of knitting together when you’re seaming it. You can use them to organize buttons or stitch markers when are afraid you’re going to lose them before you get home. Also, they’re better than just using safety pins, since they don’t have as many jagged metal bits to cause snags.
A cable needle- Never leave home without it. Easy to loose, not used a lot, but essential when you need to find it.
Buttons that I took off of a sweater when I frogged it months ago. I should put them away…
So, I showed you mine. You show me yours. What’s in your knitting bag?