Ravelry Tips to Use Up Your Stash

I guess I could also have titled this post, “Ravelry Tips to Find Purpose for That Yarn You Needed an Excuse to Buy”, because that’s a large part of why I use Ravelry. You know how it goes: You’re in the yarn shop, minding your own business, when suddenly a skein of yarn winks at you from the shelf. “Pssst. Psssst! Take me home! Make something beautiful with me!” Before you know it, you’re turning the skein over in your hands, pressing it to your cheek, desperately trying to find a reason why you SIMPLY MUST buy it. Ravelry can help.

When I really need an excuse to buy a specific yarn have a yarn languishing in my stash, sadly purposeless and adrift, I go look it up on Ravelry. I then click on the “pattern ideas” tab. Oh, “pattern ideas” tab, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

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I love the drop down menus that allow me to choose knitting or crochet, and/or narrow it down by type of project. When I’m in the mood for fingerless mitts, these menus save me from having to scroll through 52 pages worth of shawls/hats/cowls/socks, and simply show me the 3 pages of relevant projects.

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And say that I had only purchased one skein of yarn, or ended up with one lonely skein at the end of a sweater. The “pattern ideas” page has got me covered, by letting me select how many skeins my potential project can require. That cuts out the heartbreak of falling in love with a pattern, only to realize that you don’t have enough yardage in that one-of-a-kind indie-dyed beauty you bought last year. This is also great when you’re dreaming about a new yarn purchase — you can input either the maximum number of skeins on the shelf, or the upper limit of skeins your wallet will currently permit, and trust that Ravelry will work within your yardage.

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My final favorite feature of this Ravelry gem is the way it displays the projects. It shows me which ones are free, gives me a photo of the original item on the left, and then shows me examples of the project completed in my yarn on the right. It also gives me typical yardage (by fractions of skeins, at times), the rating of the original project, and a link to helpful notes by knitters who have already boldly gone where I would like to go. If I’m pondering color choice, this can also sometimes allow me to see specific colorways in context.

 

So the next time some yarn is calling your name or you’ve decided that an item in the stash can’t wait any longer, and you aren’t quite sure what its destiny should be, look it up on Ravelry and click the ” pattern ideas” tab. Enjoy!

 

 

 

My Not-So-Secret Love

It may not do me any favors in the hot Summer months, but I love love love wearing black. I will wear it from head to toe if I can help it.  Alas, it isn’t a particularly popular color to knit or crochet with, and for good reason. Depending on what you’re working on, the stitches can be difficult to see; However, in this post I’m going to give a few reasons why I adore these yarns because they deserve love too.

 1) There are many different shades, and they go with just about everything.

2) I adore how the textures of the yarn can seemingly fade in and out depending on the lighting. Seriously, look how gorgeous the Findley lace is on the bottom left! In addition, I really appreciate how light can compliment subtle texture changes in the fabric of a finished piece– particularly lace shawls (especially if it’s layered over the same or similar shade of black clothing) .

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3) This third reasons is one I implement as often as I can, and that’s to use it as a contrast in order to call attention to a small detail or details that may otherwise go unnoticed. For example, the brass necklace I wear every day can be difficult to spot when against my skin, but put it in front of something black and it really pops!

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How about you lovelies? Is there a particular color you always gravitate towards when knitting or crocheting?

 

Ode to Berroco Noble

A haiku for Berroco Noble, our new super bulky yarn:

Fluffy as a cloud

Even softer than cashmere

Get on my needles.

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© Berroco, Inc.

You had no idea I was such a poet, did you?

But seriously, this yarn is divine. I fell in love at first touch, and I encourage all of you to come in and feel it for yourselves. Each skein is 98 glorious yards of 98% extrafine merino/2% nylon. Noble is the ultimate in cozy, the companion you want to have with you through brisk fall days and icy winter nights. (Noble never has freezing-cold feet in bed, you guys.) With a gauge of 2 stitches per inch on a #17 needle, this is instant-gratification, quick-knit yarn at its best. It’s light, lofty, and just plain lovely.

 

 

 

It’s no secret that Over The Rainbow Yarn loves Berroco. There’s good reason for that: they consistently create quality products, and they have excellent pattern support. They’ve brought out a pattern booklet to go with Noble, and because they love us back, they have also made each of the patterns available online through your local yarn shop (Hey, that’s us!). They even sent us a sample garment, which I kidnapped borrowed yesterday in order to survive the frigid air conditioning.

I think the first item I want to make for myself is Coffeehouse. Yummmm….

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© Berroco, Inc.