About that Poll…

So last week as part of Knit & Crochet Blog Week I published my first ever poll – it was all very exciting!  And, thanks to the 4 people who voted – each vote made me very happy!  2 votes for the Memory Blanket and 1 each for Dotted Rays and All Color Works Shawl.  I said I would discuss my thought process more after I saw the results.

I’ve been searching since yarn club started for a pattern to incorporate all 12 months and it’s hard to search for something like that on Ravelry.  We all know that Steven West loves to play with colors and I saw a few Dotted Rays that used quite a number of colors which is why that was actually at the top of my list.  The rows were long enough to see all the colors and with a neutral between stripes it would probably work.  The same goes with the All Color Works Shawl.  I really liked the Memory Blanket but was worried the squares would not be large enough to really appreciate the color varigations.  And, I’m already working on my version of it with the yarns I collect when I travel.

Timing is always a weird thing and I believe the day after I published the poll the Outline pattern was in the hot 20 list on Ravelry.  The pattern is by Hedgehog Fibers and was specifically designed to use single skeins of hand dyed sock yarn. They even state in the description that it is perfect for yarn clubs!  And, it’s a FREE pattern!!!  I can hardly wait to cast on!  I was going to wait until I had all 12 colors before I started but I think I can cast on the first color :)

Where and When? #6KCBWDAY7

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It’s the last day of Knit & Crochet Blog Week and, as with the #LoveYourBlog challenge, Eskimimi saved the easiest for last – Your Time, Your Place.  When and where do we take time out to knit.  I’m not one of those people that takes out knitting everywhere they go. I find I don’t need to be knitting all the time, everywhere.

So, when do I knit?  The simple answer – pretty much everyday, but Thursdays are knitting days.  At this point even some of my co-workers know this.  Knit night starts with tea and pastry as the bakery next to the yarn store (River Colors) and ends at a local restaurant with a meal and an adult beverage but this might belong below in the Where section.  The more thoughtful answer – I knit when I’m bored and when I’m stressed.  My favorite saying is “Sometimes all you can do is knit in a circle”.  I recently talked to a friend who found knitting in a circle to be absolute torture so I guess it’s not for everyone but for me, having something on a set of circular needles and just knitting is very relaxing.  It requires almost no concentration so when I’ve had a long, hard work day it is all the mental power I have left in me.

Where do I knit?  At home, each night to relax from evil work days.  On Thursdays, we knit at River Colors Studio. Thursday is open knit night.  The yarn store where I learned to knit did not have open knit days/nights.  I wanted to become a better knitter and a knitter who was able to finish more than one project a year so when I found knit night I decided that would force me to dedicate two hours of my week to knitting.  Funny, now if I only knit two hours a week there is definitely something wrong!  When I started going in 2008 there was a large group that met on Thursday nights and I sort of blended into the crowd and took in the scene.  Slowly, the crowd started to trail off and I was able to actually start meeting other knitters.  I’m sure all knit groups go through an ebb and flow.  We often talk about those who have been part of the group and then mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again.  There was a small amount of time where it really was only the 5-6 of us in my group.  We’re back up in numbers now and new people trickle in and out which always makes things interesting.  I have also been known to pull out a sock at very long, very boring work meetings :)

This year’s blog week was especially fun as there was quite an active group over on Facebook and I “met” many new bloggers this year.  Can’t wait for next year!

Decisions, Decisions

Today’s topic is to create a poll on a knitting topic.  The first thing that popped into my head was my ever burning of question of what I’m going to do with my yarn club yarns once the year is over.  (All of my yarn club posts can be found under the category Yarn Club if you want to take a look).  My plan is to make a giant Cleveland project blending all 12 yarns into one project.  Now, I won’t use all the yarn for the project, I’ve already dived in and used some of January’s yarn for another project but I have enough left over to incorporate into the bigger project.  We all love Ravelry but I really wanted to figure out a way to search for projects that require 12 or more colors.  In the meantime, I’ve been keeping my eye out and marking any projects I think will work.  So, here’s where you can help – I’ve listed my top 3 in the poll and I’ve included Other.  If you vote Other, please leave a suggestion in the comments so I can check out some other options!

In case you are wondering – here are links for the options: 1. Dotted Rays 2. Memory Blanket and 3. All Colors Work Shawl  I’ll discuss my thought process in more detail after I get the poll results.  I don’t want to bias the voting!

Something Different – 6KCBWDAY5

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Day 5 (and this is always my biggest challenge):

Something A Bit Different
It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post, a beautiful infographic or write in verse. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation. There’s not too much guidance for this one simply because the more varied the posts are on this day, the wider the sources of information for other bloggers will be.

I came across these videos thanks to Vogue Knitting and they explain one of my favorite yarns in a very entertaining way so I will let them talk about (and if you want to see what I did with the yarn you can check out this post)

What’s in My Bag? #6KCBWDAY4

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First – big day as I hit 100 followers (most of whom are not related to me!!)!!  Now, on to the Day 4 prompt which is:

Day Four (Thursday 14th May): Bags Of Fun.
Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display.

To be honest (and I’m sure everyone will agree with me) I have many, many knitting bags.  Every project has a bag, and let’s just say I’m definitely not a monogamous knitter…  So, I needed to focus on this one so I decided to go with my notions bag which gets tossed around from bag to bag and all around my house.  I recently replaced it so let’s take a look, shall we?

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This is my notions bag.  I found it in a little gift store on the North Shore of Oahu last year.  I loved the colors and it has the outline of the state of Hawaii on it and the tote I had been using for my notions was a little too small and hard to really see inside if I was searching for something.  This is a great size in that I can open it up and look around and it fits more stuff!  Here’s a peek of the inside:

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Ok, the polka dots on the inside completely sold me!!  How fun is that???  As you can see you can get in there and root around and find the stitch marker that sank to the absolute bottom of the bag.  I took out some of the items inside and here’s what you find.

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Starting on the left – I have a bunch of knitting pins which were given to me and I have used on a few occasions.  My friend’s aunt bought them and knew she would not use them and so thought of me!  Your standard row counter and above that one of those TSA approved (although I think I’ve heard they are not approved any longer but I’ve flown with my as recently as this year) yarn cutters.  I went to MadTosh Crafts in January and picked up this cool triangle ruler/needle measure.  And, of course, a small crochet hook for those oops moments.  The rest are all stitch markers.  The tiny one on the measure is from Wild Yarns in Denver and was part of a set of about 8-10 markers.  I love them because they are so tiny and they don’t get in the way.  The rainbow set I just got from Simply Socks Co. when I went to order my sock ruler and could not pass them up!   The cute sheep marker is from one of my knitting friends – she picked up stitch markers for everyone on her vacation out west last year.  The candy cane and mardi gras mask are from Abbi at Abbi Grosso’s Yarns – she includes them with your order!

My bag, a little like me, is a collection of treasures that I’ve gathered over the years and I love the new polka dot home the treasures live in now!  Can’t wait to see what’s in everyone else’s bag!

Don’t forget if you want to read more posts use the hashtag in my title and put it in a search engine or social media to find more posts!

Photo Day! #6KCBWDAY3

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This is my third year of participating and there is always a photo day.  I want to improve my photo skills but that’s kind of far down the list of pressing things to do so I do appreciate this little challenge each year.

I recently discovered a new blog that I enjoy very much – The Desert Knitter and she wrote a blog about swatching for a new project that was going to use different colors.  In the post she talked about using the black and white filter to check contrast in her choices.  I found it so interesting and it made me think of my yarn club yarn.

My ultimate goal with the 12 skeins of yarn club yarn is to put them all in one project so I have a Colors of Cleveland finished item.  This will be interesting because we have received so many different colorways and all are variegated.  I have a few ideas of projects in mind (and I’ll share more of that later this week – big tease!).  In the meantime, I took the 9 months of colors outside this past sunny Saturday and took some photos and used my black and white filter to see what the contrast looks like in a few different line ups.  Here’s what I have so far.

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What I noticed most was there is very little contrast when you switch to black and white, except for a few pops of very bright or very dark colors there is a pretty even gray going on throughout.  I have a great neutral to use between sections of colors so I think however they end up it will work.  We still have 3 more months to add.  I think I know which one I’m leaning towards but let me know which one you like!

All About Me (not really…) #6KCBWDAY2

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I had more fun with Day 1’s topic last night when I met up with my knitting crew for a movie night and told them about the prompt.  It was so interesting to see the different ways people interpreted the question.  One of my friends said what she would not be and one just focused on what color yarn she would be.  It was a great way to kick off the week!

Now, Day 2’s prompt:

Day Two (Tuesday 12th May): It’s All About You.
Cast your hooks and needles aside!

This year you are challenged with one of those tasks that some bloggers can find quite daunting: but there’s never a better time then when we’re all in it together, so let’s shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us.

From the minute it was posted I knew this one would be a challenge.  My blog focuses on what I knit and where I travel, not so much on me.  I will admit to reading 6-7 other posts on this topic to see what I could write about me.  Number 1 thing about me is I hate being the center of attention (which may be why I’ve not been sad about not being married – I would probably die under all that attention!)

I had been thinking a list would be the best way to approach this post and my research shows I’m not alone in the formatting this as a list.  I’m going to focus on the last part of that prompt: “turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us”  Here, in no particular order, are the things that make me.

  • Family – no explanation needed
  • Friends – many of whom are like family to me
  • Being the cool aunt to my friends’ kids – I love being able to spoil them and leave!
  • Knitting – it’s many times one of the first things I tell people about myself
  • Travel – I get itchy if I haven’t been somewhere, there is something about going out to explore new experiences

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Okay, enough about me!  I forgot a few housekeeping issues in yesterday’s post.  If you want to read more from others participating in Knit & Crochet Blog Week – search here and if you want more info or to check out the prompts go here.