Archive for the ‘Ravelry’ Category

What was raised

February 1, 2010

Thank you so much for your support during the month of January.  A lot of people chose to buy patterns now rather than wait, and as a result, this morning I was able to donate $838.25 to Save the Children.

I know it’s better to donate directly, but the thing I think worked well about the Help for Haiti program is that it worked in small increments.  A pattern is only $3 to $10, usually, a smaller amount than many people feel comfortable donating, but when it’s part of a larger effort like this, your small amounts join up with other small amounts, adding up to a grand total far greater than one you yourself might have been able to give.  My $838.25 is a tiny part of the larger Ravelry-wide effort.  I know there are mixed feelings, but I’m glad of every chance to combine charity with typical capitalism.  I think giving can be quite daunting, even in just a mental sense, but when it’s combined with something we were going to purchase anyway, it’s a little easier.

I waited until the end of the month to donate the lump sum.  My reasoning, perhaps faulty, was this: as the news cycle starts to move on, and Haiti stops being the lead story every day (on CNN as I type it’s a political story and a historical one) the donations will slow, but will still be needed.  I felt that by waiting, I could not only donate a larger amount, but it would be coming at a time when donations might be slowing.

I appreciate the trust that’s been shown by Ravelers.  Those of us who pledged to donate did just that: pledge, and the trust had to be a two way street, because we’re the ones holding ourselves accountable.  I wanted to reward that trust by sharing my Paypal receipt, with phone numbers and address blurred.  (And the confirmation number, because I wasn’t sure if anything could be done with that.)  It’s not much, but I thought a little accountability wouldn’t hurt.

Yes, my name is misspelled in Paypal.  My surname is Hanley Cardozo, but when I typed it in, I missed a letter and didn’t notice at the time.  Later, I tried to change it and was informed that it’s impossible.  I’m sure there’s got to be a way around that, but since it’s only one letter off, I kept it rather than start an entirely new account.  When I only used Paypal to pay for items I very occasionally bought on Ebay, it was no big deal, and a useful way of being able to tell when my package arrived (“Ah, my name is misspelled!  Must be those widgets I ordered!”) but now it’s become a little bit of an embarrassment.

Thank you so much for your purchases.  I’m going to play around with the math this morning and see if it’s possible for me to extend my pledge into February.  The quake victims will still be needing help as time goes on.

Still kicking

September 12, 2009

Whew.  Surfacing for a moment.  This semester is just crazy for me.  I’m taking Spanish and Statistics, which, if you’re a full time student means you’re sitting there thinking, “And?”  The and for me is that I’m just not that organized.  A mythological SuperMom would be able to parent three children effortless while simultaneously attending school full time and keeping her house spotlessly clean, her mate happy, and herself fulfilled, but I’m unfortunately a terribly human human, and this is just a lot for me.  I can simultaneously attend school part time, keep the kids fed, clean up when the mess becomes especially egregious, have clean clothes ready to wear well over half of the time, and work on my knitting when there’s a spare moment, so I’m going to count myself largely successful.  I’ve become more and more impressed over time with the women I read about who manage somehow to foster marvelously intellectual and brilliant careers at the same time as they are the primary caregivers to small people.  I’m just not made of their stern stuff.

Enough of that, though: I don’t need to feel very sorry for myself, as I’m actually enjoying myself greatly.  Statistics is math that I can really love, so far.  It makes sense, it connects with a tangible, and at the same time, there’s so much of the abstract.  There’s enough room for personal style and decision making to allow for different solutions to the same problem.  Heaven help me, but I’m considering taking more classes in this subject once I’m through with this semester.

The boys are back in school and that’s going very well for them.  While I love spending time with all the kids, the summer becomes pretty stifling after a time when we have all five of us crammed into our small apartment.  Two parents who work from home and three kids in a small space equals the makings of crazytimes.  Having a little space apart is good for the soul, I think.  So the boys are back in school and Eleanor started ballet, which makes her very happy.  Seeing a mess of three to five year olds learning to dance makes me happy.  They’re so babyish still, but also so serious about the dancing.  It’s ridiculously cute.

I’m working on the Entrechat pattern, but with my homework and the boys’ homework, I haven’t yet found as much time as I’d like, so the release date may be moved back a little from early to mid October.  I’m determined to get it out in enough time for people to start knitting before the weather gets very cold, though.

I finished the lovely Herbivore pattern a little while back.  It’s such a fun pattern, and I highly encourage people to give it a shot!  I love how the Trekking looks with the twisted stitch rib.

We’re getting into prime knitting season here, and it’s come upon us all of a sudden.  Today was actually pretty chilly for a long while.  Well, chilly as in Bay Area chilly.  I don’t wish to lay claim to more chill than I have a right to.

There has been such a spate of gorgeous patterns that have been released in the last few months and weeks.  I’m overwhelmed with the desire to knit a whole heckuva lot of them all at once, knowing, of course, that my knitting time is already severely curtailed.  I’ll get to them, though!  In time.

Oh, a last quick thing.  I’ve noticed a jump in interest in Maude Louise in the last couple of days (due, as Ravelry informs me, to a very minor resemblance between Maude and a lovely pattern in the new Knitty) and I wanted to invite people interested in knitting Maude to join the Dangerous With Pointy Sticks group, where there is an ongoing Maude Louise thread for people who want a knitalong.  I’ll be following the thread and jumping in to help out if folks want or need help, and, of course, it’s always nice to knit along with others, since they can offer their own suggestions and modifications.  I’ve started a thread for Clothilde as well, since the Fiber Fix KAL has ended.   If you’re knitting any of my other patterns and want a little help or guidance, or just to share, please go ahead and start a new thread!  I love seeing what people are working on.

Oh, also

August 28, 2009

I started a Ravelry group, Dangerous With Pointy Sticks, for anyone interested in Knitting Kninja patterns, whether as a knitter, test knitter, or just as one of my friends!  I figured that with the number of emails and private messages I get regarding my patterns these days, it might make more sense to run individual threads for each pattern so people can search for tips and ideas there.  I plan on offering test knitting opportunities to the group first, and this way the test knitters will be able to consult and compare with each other as well as with me.

The kids have started back at school, but so have I, so while I have a little more time during the day, it’s still pretty busy around here.  Nonetheless, I hope to keep moving and to have more patterns available on a fairly regular rotation.  Happy knitting, and I hope to see you in my group!

Oh, and here’s a picture of the front of the shrug, as per requests, complete with the slightly strained smile of a woman wearing wet wool in August.

Designy stuff

July 9, 2008

I’m in a weird state right now as a pseudo knitting designer type person.  I have had a lot of ideas lately for new patterns, and I have confidence that I can knit them.  I have no confidence, though, that I can write them down, or that I’ll find time to do it.  I realized recently that I think I need to reknit some of the patterns I’ve created, because my errors are legion, and I don’t seem to be able to catch them on reading my patterns over.  Even when they’re glaring, obvious, and really pathetic, involving very basic math.

I’ve been meaning to edit Maude Louise for ages, but I freeze up when I sit down to it, because I can’t seem to spot the errors on my own, or to see where I’ve gone totally, crazily, weirdly wrong.  It’s odd.  I’m not feeling sorry for myself, because honestly, I’m not the person affected most by these mistakes.  I feel awful to be misleading innocent knitters with my errors, but I’m not thinking I’m an awful person who needs to be flogged or anything.  Mostly just thinking.  I managed to mess up my recipe for Arthemis, too, on the first go round, and that was a case of adding ten over and over.  A first grader could have done it correctly, but I managed to mess up.

Anyway, it’s got me in an introspective state, because, as I said, I’ve had an absolute ton of ideas (and have knit a few new items up that I’d like to write up patterns for at some point) and I want to be better at this whole design thing.  It’s why I haven’t written up the Erin Shrug yet, despite requests, and my own intentions, because damn it, I’d like to release a pattern or more that is entirely error free.

Ysolda, who does not have these problems, often knits two of her prototypes, and I’m thinking that even though the idea is somewhat abborhent to me, I may need to do the same, just to test what I’ve written.  And I think I probably need to get my patterns test knit by others as well, in future.

Anyway, this stems from my finding that other people have found major errors on the finished parts of Maude Louise, which is, anyway, an unfinished pattern.  I knew it was unfinished, and I found errors in rereading it before, but I missed some biggies.  I have been meaning to sit down and finish the whole pattern pretty much since I first posted it, but as I said, I’ve frozen up at writing patterns, the more problems that are exposed.  But with all these ideas exploding in my head lately, it’s probably important for me to get better at this, or to invest in some good software that can help me with the math, because as frustrating as it is for me to find myself in all these mistakes, it’s probably a lot more frustrating for those who are actually trying to knit what I’ve written so poorly.

Items of note

April 27, 2008

* I went to Color today and took a beginning spinners’ class!  Many, many thanks to my friend DarlingFloy for lending me a drop spindle.  I’m still dithering about which kind to buy, but taking the class has taught me that I want a rather lightweight spindle, with a top whorl, and that spinning is a lot easier when you’re not using a CD spindle.  I got some good recommendations for spindles a while back, but I’m slow on the uptake.  Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I got carried away and purchased some fibers to try out.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

There were few vendors, but that made for a cozy, intimate, and unintimidating event.  And all of the vendors had lovely stuff, so all the better!

I’ve long admired the ads for A Verb for Keeping Warm on Ravelry, and their real life products exceed even their creative name and beautiful logo.  The colors are subtle and elegant, and they have some really interesting fibers.

Pigeonroof Studios was also there, and the yarns I saw were very beautiful, though it looks like nearly everything was sold before I arrived.

I’m oddly tempted by the moustache products from Girl on the Rocks.  They also had pretty stitch markers, needle books, and knitting needle cases, but it was the moustaches that nearly claimed my pocketbook.  I’m waiting, though, because I think I need a better reason to buy than, “But they’re moustaches!”

Finally, my actual purchases were from Tactile Fiber Arts.  Brooke taught the class I took, and I really liked the wool we used – Finn wool, which is long staple, and very soft – so I bought more of it.  I also found myself walking away with some irresistibly soft baby camel/silk fiber, which I’ll have to wait until I’m a more capable spinner to use.   No pictures yet, because I can’t get the bloody camera to take pictures that show any hue other than black.  (You may remember that I have had this problem before.  It is a moody camera.)  As cool and gothy as these pictures are, they rather fail as pictures, so we’ll wait until the camera has a change of heart, or until I stop being too cheap to buy a new camera.

* I started a group a little while back on Ravelry.  It’s called Color Coordinated, and it’s about color theory.  If you’re at all interested, I’d love for you to join.  Already, some interesting discussions and ideas have been sparked.  The most interesting idea to me is the link between language and color perception; the idea that how we perceive color is linked to what we name it.  A rose by any other name would not be as pink – that is, if the language in question has not divided color in such a way as to have a separate term for the rose tint.  What this means in relation to the various poetic names that we give to colors of lipstick or yarn or paint is not entirely clear to me, but it’s something I’d like to think on a bit more.

I’m stuck on a color again this season.  Do you remember how last summer, all I could think about was a bright leafy green?  This spring it’s gold.  All hues and shades of gold.  I don’t own much golden yarn, but it’s the color that’s stuck in my head and can’t get out.  I’m thinking that the colors that get stuck in my head are likely influenced by what’s growing.  Last summer, it was the roadside forests that got me stuck on green.  This spring, the new leaves are almost golden in color.  Yellow flowers are everywhere.  The sun is turning everything bright, and it all just screams for something bright to reflect it all back.  Anyone else have seasonal color cravings?

* On a similar note, I’ve been a member of COLOURlovers for some time now, and I wanted to recommend it to other knitters as a good place to see how certain colors work together before buying yarn or beginning a project.  I’m Jejune Ennui on there, should you wish to drop me a line.

* Nancy McCarroll has a really neat article about complementary colors.  Check it out!

* I found this story on the BBC’s website about a man who knits nets to prevent items from being blown out of recycling vans.  Go knitting!

* The Yarn Harlot was right.  Spring is conducive to Starteritis.  More and more projects keep leaping onto my needles.  I don’t think I’m going to finish all of them this season.