Testing, Testing, 1-2-3

I’ve done a bit of test knitting this month, trying to pay it forward since I was blessed with three great test knitters for my Rievaulx Cowl pattern.

Test knitting is fabulous…I saw two patterns that I loved, the designers were looking for someone to sample them out, and I jumped up and down with my hand up in the air.

The first test knit was of a tam hat, Mel of Stick Chick Knits.  The pattern is Remolino, and should be published soon.  The stitch pattern is fabulous, and I love the finished product.  It was a quick and easy knit!

Rotating Remolino, Malabrigo Worsted, Orchid

Rotating Remolino, Malabrigo Worsted, Orchid

The second test knit is for Lucy of Dimanche Chez Moi.  The pattern is called Nati, and like Remolino, should be released soon.  The sweater (or jumper for my British friends) is knit in one piece with seaming (by my friend Anne) under the arms and at the sides.  The pattern is super easy, and knits up quickly in chunky weight.  I’m planning another, and soon!

Nati, Malabrigo Chunky, Blue Surf

Nati, Malabrigo Chunky, Blue Surf

Close Up of Nati

Close Up of Nati

Way to go designers–these two patterns are sure to be hits.  I anxiously await their release and Ravelry debuts!


Things I’ve Learned about Politics

I made the mistake of getting into a political conversation on Ravelry…my safe place.  What the heck was I thinking?

But, in fact, I’ve learned quite a bit and thought I should share!

1)  Whatever statistics you post, someone will have statistics pointing to the opposite.

2)  If people ask for your opinion, they don’t really want it.  They want to pick it apart and criticize it.

3)  Be careful when posting large quantities of information in one thread.  People like to pick and choose what they see you saying and blend it together into something that completely misses the point.

4)  No matter what you say, what you read, or how willing you are to learn and discuss, there are people who will always think that they are right and you are wrong.  Read what they post and still don’t change your mind?  They get downright nasty sometimes.

5)  I’m never talking politics again.  Seriously.

Well, at least I learned that much.

The thing is, I got involved in the conversation not to change anyone’s mind, but to make other people see my point of view.  They didn’t like that.

It’s funny to me, though, that some people who are so in favor of free thinking only want me to make up my own mind if I agree with them.

Ah, the irony of it all.

Back to knitting I go.


Scaring Muggles, Knitting Socks

The official goal of Worldwide Knit in Public Day is to share the love of knitting and spread the word about this wonderful art form.  Unofficially, it scares the pants off of non-knitters, who often look at people knitting while out and about like they’re crazy.  Non-knitters, often called Muggles, in Harrogate and Knaresborough were probably scared out of their minds by me yesterday.  Not only was I committed to knitting in public, but I also felt the need to participate in a Worldwide Knit in Public Day Scavenger Hunt, hosted by the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry, which meant that I was taking pictures of my sock in some pretty hilarious places.

The day began with the arrival of my new Namaste bag, which I excitedly packed and got ready for the day’s events.  It couldn’t wait to meet my friend Samantha’s new Tom Binh bag and get knitting.

Some Nutty Knitters decided to knit in public while watching The Great Knaresborough Bed Race.  The weather was a bit wonky (as it often is in Yorkshire!) and the two Samantha’s were taking care of one another to make sure no one got too wet when it did rain.

There was, of course, knitting in public at WWKIP Day!

Even baby Noah wanted to get in on the action!

Then, later that night I went out with friends to say goodbye to Hannah (again) before she leaves to return to the states later this week.  Of course, what would WWKIP Day be without knitting at a pub and asking a bachelorette party/hen do if I could join them with my sock (yep…they are drinking out of penis straws…awesome!).

Whew…not to mention pictures of the sock with my waitress, in front of my wool stash, in front of the Royal Pump Room…the list could go on and on.

I must admit, the day was a blast.  Knitting, pictures, family, friends, pubs, the bed race…what more could I ask?  Plus, the faces on some of those Muggles passing by over the course of the day was worth its weight in gold.

Scaring Muggles, knitting socks.  Mission Completed!


Knitting…nothing but knitting

I have been dying to have a post devoted to nothing but knitting lately, but there has been so much else going on that I every time I sit down to write, I get sidetracked with travels, family, friends, writing, and so much more.  I promise…this post is devoted to nothing but knitting.

I have frogged Wicked for the nine millionth time.  For some reason, I just cannot get her right.  And she should be such an easy knit, too.  I may knit her one day, but for now, she (and the Orchid Malabrigo) are relegated to the bottom of the knitting chest.

Speaking of Malabrigo, the Malabrigo Swap group on Ravelry started a thread about your Malabrigo stash.  I decided to whip mine out for a photoshoot in the front garden.  All of my Malabrigo in one place.  Take a look!

And that isn’t all of my wool, either…it’s just the malabrigo!  Holy moly!

I have finished designing my first sock.  Full details to follow once the second sock is completed, but here is a sneak peek at Generations!

I have picked Arwen back up, and am slowly but surely trudging along.  I am almost halfway done sleeve number one now, and am still determined to have the left side completed by the time I leave for Tuscany next week.  Here’s a recent shot of the left side (the back is completed already, the right side hasn’t been started yet).

I am also starting a pair of Endpaper Mitts for a fingerless mitts knit-a-long with the At Home in Harrogate group on Ravelry.  They are my first attempt at colorwork, and I expect them to take a long time and a lot of concentration.  But I think that they’ll be a great learning experience for me, so I am sort of excited at the challenge.  I am using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Solid in Chocolate and in Manzanita.

I still feel like there is something missing.  I don’t know why, but nothing that I am knitting now is driving me, and I am still looking for a project that I won’t be able to put down…something that I am so excited about that I’ll stay up all night trying to finish it up and try it on.

Ahh…a post completely about knitting.  Heavenly.


Blatant Self & Ravelry Promotion

The article that I wrote for Associated Content’s Ultimate Call for Content Contest posted today!  I am so pleased with the piece…I think it’s well written, an interesting, clear, and unique topic, and appeals to consumers and those wondering what’s next. 

The article touches on Ravelry, and what it is doing for the knitting community at large.  In addition, it talks about how some of the design features of Ravelry have the potential to become the next big thing for Internet communites at large. 

I’d love to hear what you think!  You can read my article at Associated Content, by clicking on the link below.  Please leave a comment on the article, or here!

Fingers crossed…is it worthy of $5,000?  I hope so!

Ravelry:  The Real What’s Next for Knitters and the Internet


Feet, Friends, and Fate

Man, oh, man.  Have I got a story for you today.

I drove into nearby Knaresborough to meet my friend Lou for a cup of tea and a pop into the local yarn shop, Sheepish.  While I was there, I got a glimpse of her beautiful Hedera socks, and showed her my own new simply stockinette socks in Yarn Love’s Elizabeth Bennet, the Strawberry Shortcake colorway.  We discussed the intricacies of sock knitting, and I mentioned that some of the yarn I’ve been stashing lately is so beautiful that I almost don’t feel worthy of knitting it!

At any rate, we had a lovely cuppa, and then walked into town (oh the jealousy I felt at the fact that she lives within walking distance of a beautiful wool shop!).  I was drawn to some Mirasol Hacho for myself, some for a swap partner, and then while I was there, I also decided to purchase some new Brittany Birch double pointed sock needles in 2.5 mm.  I already have a set, but decided that I might like to have two socks cast on at a time!  So, what the heck?

I returned home, and while the girls watched Diego, the washing tumbled around in the washer, and Ravelry was down (horrors!), I picked up my sock to get back to it.  I knit around, and after picking up the stitches off the side of the heel, came to knit across the cuff.  That’s when I realized it.  The needle holding those stitches had broken (inevitably happened last night I’m sure, when I thought I could ease my sock over my ankle, needle and all).  As I’d already misplaced one of the needles, and now had one broken, if I hadn’t bought that set this morning, I would have been out of luck!

Here’s what this experience has taught me:

1)  I should make more time to have coffee and tea with friends in the morning.

2)  I should consider moving within walking distance of a yarn shop.

3)  I should never resist the urge to buy yarn or needles…what if it’s a sign?

4)  I should never consider myself not worthy of yarn or needles because my skill level isn’t advanced enough.  The knitting gods might see fit to break a needle.  I’ll never tempt them again!  🙂


Are you a RavelRaiser?

I’m so excited to be a part of RavelRaiser 2008JulieFrick from Ravelry has designed a fundraiser to help raise money for Ravelry.  This online venture by Casey and Jess has grown into an overwhelming success, with over 100,000 Ravelry users.  In order to keep up with all the demands of running a successful website of this magnitude, it’s necessary to upgrade their servers.  RavelRaiser 2008’s goal is just that.

And of course, there’s yarn, too!  Every donation of $10 earns you a chance at some amazing knitting related prizes.

Worth every penny, when you think about it.

Ravelry has taken me, a pretty much self-taught, fly by the seat of my pants scarf knitter and turned me into a knitting machine…an addict if you will.  It seems appropriate to give back.

If you are a Ravelry or knitting addict (or both, as the case is for me) consider donating yourself.  Information is available at Fricknits, Julie’s blog, or on Ravelry in the 10 Lousy Bucks group, for those of you that are members.

And seriously…if you are reading this and you aren’t a member, and you knit like the wind (or more slowly) sign up.  The waiting list moves quickly, and your life will never be the same.

Yay for new servers, Ravelry and Casey and Jess, Julie and her brainchild, and Ravelraisers across the globe!

Photo Courtesy of JulieFrick’s Dad and Gorlitsa from Ravelry!