#28 Finding Fellow Knitters While Snowbirding – Ravelry

One of the things I love about my life is my knitting group.  We meet weekly either at our LYS or at our favorite local coffee shop.  That’s in addition to knitting classes and a monthly gathering of knitters at a microbrewery.  So at a minimum, I have a social outing to look forward to every week.  Some weeks I have three knitting sessions.  Snowbirding is isolating for me. My husband doesn’t require the social interaction.  He sits at home reading everyday.  I’m the one that needs the social interaction.

So I was thrilled when I looked for knitting groups using Ravelry.  There was a knitting group that meets in a nearby town.  Fortunately it was still active.  The ladies were very friendly when I came to my first “meeting” despite bring a very temporary attendee.  I am here for four weeks.  They have been getting together for 12 years.  Thus I’m pretty confident they will sit be meeting if we come back next winter.  So at least I have something to look forward to once a week.

So once again Ravelry has been helpful, even in ways I hadn’t expected.

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#27. Knitting Challenge 2019

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This year my knitting group is trying a knitting challenge.  We have each made a plan for 2019; setting goals for how many and what type of projects we want to knit thus year.  Some have also included goals like not buying any new yarn this year or learning new knitting techniques.

Being a little OCD, I feel much more in control of my knitting by having my knitting projects planned for the year rather than just reacting to offered knitting classes and buying pretty yarn.  Also, I can lay out my projects so that I don’t overload some months and under plan others.  Also I’m preplanning some knitted birthday gifts.  I hope to track how long it takes me to knit various projects so that I can again better plan my projects.

The plan can of course be modified as new opportunities arise or projects take longer than planned.  But I’m hoping to have fewer projects on needles but instead focus on getting projects done!!  So far I have finished two pairs of socks that got carried over from ’18.

Unfortunately I still have too many projects on needles!!   I’m still working on a third carryover pair of socks (watermelon) and a sweater I started for Sara.  Plus I plan to frog a scarf and instead make a shrug.  So that’s 3 projects on needles from ’18.  I took a sock class in Jan so I have to finish the second sock to complete the project.  Then my knitting group is doing a fingerless glove KAL so those are on needles too.  I’m trying to do them as two at a time.  So that’s 5 projects on needles.  Ahhh!!!  Hopefully I’ll get a lot of knitting done while we are in Florida.  😉

#26. Yarn Cozys

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Yarn cozys are a wonderful discovery.  They are terrific when making 2 at a time socks to hold the two 50g balls of yarn.  The yarn does have to be wound so that the working yarn is pulled from the middle.  I tried using elastic headbands but they don’t work that well.  And they definitely aren’t as cute.  If you are going to do something, you might as well have fun with the pieces.  That’s why at work I always had colorful gel pens and brightly colored post-it notes.

Teresa first put me on to them.  She bought them from the yarn store in Mason.  I couldn’t find them online and finally drove out to Mason last summer to get my first set.  Then I finally found a yarn shop that sold the cozys online.  Several did but only one, Markers Mercantile, was the only one that let you order the version you wanted.  Thus I can mix colors and patterns.  Now twice I’ve been able to put together an order with my fellow knitters to avoid shipping charges.

I guess in theory I’d only need one set but I seem to always have multiple projects going despite my intentions.  So I have white bears, green lattice, blue stripes, and have ordered red paw prints.  That’s actually 12 yarn cozys.  Guess I shouldn’t be supporting my tendency to start projects rather than finish them but it’s too late.  😁

#25. Knitting Retreat – Nov ’18

Been a long time since last post but doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing new things with knitting.  Went on my first knitting retreat/ girls weekend back at the end of November.  4 of my fellow knitters drove to Univ of Illinois to visit a fifth fellow knitter who spent the summer and fall on sabbatical with her husband.  She hosted us for the weekend while we visited 3 yarn shops in the area, a craft fair, and had fun lunches.  We of course spent the evenings knitting together.

It was indeed a lot of fun so we are planning to do a road trip again in 2019.  At a minimum, we will go to Yellowsprings for a yarn fair in September.  I feel so lucky to have made so many nice friends through taking knitting classes at Silk Road Textiles.  We share pattern ideas and of course encourage each other as we knit projects.  Knitting has turnit on oked out to be a wonderful new hobby in retirement.

#24 Not Following The Pattern

IMG_20181105_1752120_rewindEither I’m getting more confident in my knitting or more adventurous in my old age.  I’m making a sweater but not in the yarn weight the pattern calls for.  I searched on Ravelry but unfortunately no one had made the sweater in the yarn I wanted to use.  The thinner yarn is creating challenges as I need many more rows and stitches.  I was expecting it to be a simple math conversion based on my gauge.

It hasn’t exactly worked that way.  Casting on my calculated stitches turned out to be way too many.  So I just removed stitches until I had the desired neck width of the sweater.  When I reached the number of rows even the XXL sweater called for, I still was only halfway to the desired length before splitting to make the sleeves.  This time I used math to figure our how many rows were still needed to get the length and how many stitches were needed to get the body width.

Adding to the difficulty, the sweater is for my daughter who lives 10 hrs away.  So I’ll knit past the sleeve break and a little into the body before Thanksgiving when I’ll see her.  Then she can try it on and I can adjust (rip out) as needed. 😋

I do love the yarn and thinner stripes it makes in the sweater.  I actually don’t like the thicker stripes of my fellow knitters sweaters.  My version looks like what I thought the sweater was going to look when I bought the pattern.  Fortunately since it’s lighter weight, I don’t really need to have it done until spring.

#23. Ravelry Contests

IMG_20181007_1400484_rewindI’m not usually a contest person but my LYS (Silk Road Textiles) made we aware of two contests on Ravelry recently.  One by a yarn company, Berroco, simply asked me to post a photo of a project I had made with their yarn.  Since I had just finished a sweater for my daughter with Berroco yarn, I posted it.

The second was by a knitting needle and accessories company, Knitters Pride.  I just had to write a post about my favorite LYS.  That was easy.  I really like Silk Road Textiles.

Well surprise, surprise!!  My posts got picked in both contests!!  I won a book of patterns from Berroco and a “knitting necklace” from Knitters Pride.  I had my eye on the necklace so I was thrilled to win it!  It’s perfect for me, the stitch marker queen.  It’s a handy way to keep markers ready to use instead of accidentally knocking them off the table.

Winning these contests follows on the heels of winning a beautiful wooden swift this summer from Silk Road Textiles as part of their anniversary celebration.  I suspect I’ve used up my luck but I’ll keep entering contests, especially when the only effort required is making a post.

#22. Catching Up

I started a bunch of knitting projects due to taking classes in the spring.  This resulted in some stress this summer as I had all these partial projects.  I was feeling out of control.  So I decided no new classes until I got some completed.  I finished three pairs of socks, one pair of footies, and a sweater for my daughter.  I also had fun making project bags out of cute fabrics that I picked up at Silk Road Textiles summer anniversary sale.  I started and finished a shawl with yarn I gotten back in April and restarted a scarf that I was unhappy with how it was knitting up.

The result of all this knitting is that I feel more back in control.  I still have a few uncompleted projects but I’m not as stressed over these.  The restarted scarf doesn’t really have a completion date and is just something to knit when I need to take a break with some easy knitting.  I’m working on a pair of socks for me so that I can learn the Fish Lips Kiss heel so again it doesn’t really have a completion date.  Since it’s a watermelon pattern, they don’t really need to be finished till next spring.  I’ve also started another pair of footies for me but these knit up fast and again don’t have to be done anytime soon.

So I’m back in class again.  The shell seeker sweater class started while I was on vacation but I hope to get some guage help today and then start knitting.  I know sock classes will start up again in January when Colleen gets back in town.  It’s only 12 weeks until Christmas and I have a bunch of projects I’d like to get done.  Oops, I’m starting to get stressed again.  Better get back to knitting.