Some of you Lovelies have been following my adventure very closely at the store, but for those of you who don’t know yet — My fiancé and I finally finally FINALLY were able to close on a house this past week! Our very first house, in fact. (Which, thankfully was unscathed after the storm. The mailbox was not so lucky, but I’ll take it.) After 6 months of torturous ups and downs, it’s finally over, and do you know what that means?
Yes, that’s right.
I have my stash back, and it doesn’t even have moths in it (knock on wood).
Moving Pro Tip: Use your yarn and bags of roving as filler for your delicate Halloweentime Spooky Mask that you thought you’d have back in time to wear for Halloween, and then drastically miscalculate how much time it actually takes to buy a house.
My first project in the new house?
Blaze orange hats and wraps, because it’s been about 2.5 years since I lived in the middle of the woods, and I forgot that hunting season existed. Whoops! Stay safe, Lovelies.
Ah, the knitting bag. We stuff them full to the brim with fiber goodies, and sometimes we can’t help having more than one. They’re just too pretty, right? You know what I’m talking about. Yes, you.
I’ve seen quite a few “What’s in my Knitting Bag” posts floating around, and if I remember correctly there may be a few from employees here, but I’ve never done one! No doubt the many, many deep, dark pockets of this bag hold a few treasures. No seriously. This bag has like… 18 pockets. Old Bagzz knows what they’re doing. Gotta’ love Maine artists!
So, what is in this behemoth, anyway? Well…
The first things I grab when I stick my hand in there are (sharp!) pipe cleaners that will be used for today’s needle felting with armatures class. Then there’s chapstick, pens, pencils, highlighters, and an old sketchbook I use for draftsmanship exercises before I work on any coloring page (warming up is important!).
Another armful reveals Malabrigo Rasta and Caracol scraps (you can use these in felting, guys, save them!), tapestry needles, a metal bookmark I was gifted from England, stitch markers, a tape measure, a stitch counter, one of those cool pendant cutters, and Quince&Co. Lark in Egret and Bark.
And finally in the largest middle compartment, we have Essex the felted doll who will be assisting me in today’s class, a skein of Quince&Co. Tern in Oyster, a bar of lemongrass Lavishea, and a notebook I use to make thumbnails for my book during lunch when I remember to… Which I forget to do a lot. Sorry, book.
Normally I also have all of my double points scattered amongst the pockets, but it looks like I was smart at some point and took them out so I don’t lose any more!
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.
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.
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.
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!