Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Travelling

I will be away from the shop for the next week on a short trip so I've been packing and cleaning the car today. As I wait for the last load of laundry to finish drying I'm contemplating what knitting projects to take with me. As tempted as I am to take something new to work on I've decided to only take wips (works in progress) because I have so many projects that I need to finish.

Let see... I have 3 ravelry KAL projects... a Gail Shawl (which is a free ravelry download pattern) in a dk weight rayon from my stash that I just have the border chart left to do. Then there is an Apres Surf Hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio from Interweave Knits Summer 2008 in a fingering weight in an old gold, colored wool. I'm working it in the round instead of flat and I'm up to the separation for the neck opening. And my newest KAL cast on, a Henley Perfected also by Connie Chang Chinchio (she is one of my favorite designers, can you tell?) from Interweave Knits Winter 2007 that I'm working in Blue Sky Alpacas Silk #131 Kiwi. I am also still working on the Ann Norling Short row Multi-directional scarf I talked about in my post last Wednesday. Do you think these will be enough to work on? Hmmmm, maybe I should take my lace book and start that shawl design with the Helen's Lace in Purple Mojito I've been contemplating... as usual hopelessly over committed!!! At least I'm not over packing clothes this time... I hope. By next Wednesday I hope to have some progress pictures to share with you.

So, some of you are probably wondering what Ravelry is and what KALs are. Ravelry is a great free networking site for knitters and crocheters. You can do all sorts of things like keep a project log, an inventory of your stash, lists of favorite patterns, a queue of projects to do and you can chat with other fiber enthusiasts from all over the world! I just checked and I see that there are now over 450,000 members! I would have to say it is the single greatest resource for finding patterns from almost any source and it has a great search engine to help sort through them all. If you aren't already a member I highly recommend joining. When you do join you can join our JBW chat group called The Beaners. If you can't tell I just love Ravelry and have made friends in Europe, Australia, Central and South America in addition to ones I've made in the US and Canada. There are chat groups for many languages too, not just English.

One of the things you can do on Ravelry as well as with any other group of knitters or crocheters is to form a KAL (Knit Alongs) or CAL (Crochet Alongs). These are projects that a group of people are all interested in working on and then they arrange a time frame when everyone who can, works on them at the same time. I really like KALs because they help to keep me on track to get things finished, maybe not always in the allotted time but much sooner than I might otherwise. A great benefit of an Along is that you get lots of moral support by having other people to talk to about the project and help you sort out problems or make modifications. People share their frustrations at working on something they find difficult and their joy of triumph when they accomplish a goal. All this helps keep enthusiasm for the project fresh.

I would love to do some KAL and CAL both in person and online. What kind of projects are you interested in working on? Let us know in the comments or when you stop by the store and we'll see what we can put together.

Also, do check out our October class list, just out this week. You can find the schedule by following the link or finding Classes near the bottom of any page on the website under the How To section. We've added new classes and times. Please let us know if there is a class you would like to take but don't see listed.


I'll leave you with a bit of fall color from last year.

The best of success in your projects this week!
(The handsome fellow in the top picture is my dog whose been staying with a family member and I'm going to get to see him again!)

Terry


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