Why has Ravelry never gotten its own post on my website!? It’s been an institution online for the Knitting and Crochet community since its inception. And something that is such a given sometimes people forget to mention it! I’d been knitting for years but only found out about it around 2010. I guess I was knitting in my own bubble without many friends who shared my hobby and oblivious to such a thriving community. So perhaps a post like this may help other ninja bubble knitters (and crocheters!).
There’s lots of groups and networks for whatever your knitting or crocheting heart desires. Ask questions in the forum, look for pattern help, plug in and make some new friends, share your expertise, or simply post your completed projects for the whole community to see. Trolling the groups is also a great way to get a birds eye view into the knitting and crochet subculture.
There are lots of great tools too like a project tracker, stash manager, needles and hooks manager, you can favorite your favorite projects, place them in a queue, keep track of works in progress, and check out what others have to say about the pattern you’re working on. And the tools don’t suck. All the yarns actually link to the manufacturer, colorway, etc. You can even include when you bought it and the price. They’ve really thought of everything.
For crafters who also sell their handmades online, it’s a great way to maximize your exposure. Kind of like Facebook but for Knitting or Crochet only!
What I Like Best
The really advanced pattern finder. You can search for very specific things from hats for kids in worsted weight yarn only to all free patterns for skirts to only projects using Size I9 hooks or US SIze 5 Needles. It’s really handy. For crafters looking for just the right pattern or some inspiration it’s really one of the best pattern finders out there. Simply because it’s crowd sourced!
You can also find lots of helpful pattern insight. For example, if someone or some people have already worked on your pattern and posted it up, you can find it there, check out their comments and errata to see if they’ve stumbled across the same problems you have! There are so many projects and patterns, especially free ones found online, that it’s probably been done by someone on Ravelry! Yup, it’s that great.
The only cons are you must be logged in to see anything. So someone cannot simply link to a page, me on Ravelry, and just see some content. Which I find really restrictive. They should make some pages public or at least partially public like on Facebook! It would at least give people a taste of what they might be signing up for before they sign up. Other than that I hope they never change how well it works or how many great features they offer!
Ravelry now has 3 million users! So it’s popular and definitely a powerful resource. 3 million knitters and crocheters from all over the world is in itself a cool concept. It’s really a knitter or crocheter’s dream online buddy. For those who are especially organized, it’s got everything you need to satisfy your obsession. Really. If you’re not already on there, check it out. It’s free to join, and you’ll find there’s something on there to suit every fiber need from dabblers to die hards!
I’m on Kindle Blogs! Now you can download my blog right onto your Kindle. It’s a handy way to carry around the free patterns I post on my site anywhere without Internet. Say on vacation relaxing in the sun while knitting your next creation? If you have a Kindle, you’ll most likely already have it on you anyway. So why not use it to tote around some patterns?
Download OMG! Heart on Kindle Blogs right from Amazon just like you would any Kindle book.
I love the Kindle too! I love to read but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I finally caved and decided to try a Kindle. It took me awhile to give Kindle a try, mostly because I not only like books, I like real books.
Real books have a sense of character and history. Cover design, book bindings, paper, fonts and layouts, and smell! Especially used books and books my friends lend me. I wonder, who’s read this book before me? Where’s it been? This one’s surely been hanging out pool-side or been a coffee cup coaster at some point in its life. What has it seen? The weary business traveler awaiting his next connection? The grade school wallflower head buried in a book all by his lonesome during recess? Frazzled career woman relaxing in a hut by the beach? The newly imported runway model who goes to my gym? Grandma sitting by the fire with her fave cup of tea? The 30-something curled up in her favorite chair? Prison cell, highway motel…
Yup! St. Louis, Missouri. It was my first time in the true Midwest! I’ve been to Chicago, Ann Arbor, even drove through Indiana briefly! But that’s pretty much it. I was excited to get the chance to visit and stay with my friend, Marlene, who had moved out there a couple of years ago to help open a coffee shop. Although I didn’t get to check out the “yarn scene”, the trip is worth a mention because how many people write about their trip to St. Louis? This not so popular travel destination has some quintessential American Culture that makes it really worth visiting. In short, I loved it. Here’s a rundown of all the wonderful places I visited!
Sump Coffee, South City
This is my friend and her boyfriend’s artisan coffee shop! A short hop from Cherokee Street, they roast and brew their own coffee in-house. The shop had a modern feel, with some industrial undertones, and a hint of steam punk. Open and airy, it featured handcrafted tabletops and is great for bringing a good book, chatting with friends, or surfing the internet.
I’m not much of a coffee drinker (I like tea!!) and thought that this coffee might be too fancy for me. But even I liked the coffee! I had the same “roast” every day, some sort of blonde roast, that had a really complex flavor I couldn’t figure out. The beans were light brown. I had the same roast in both “black” brewed by Marlene and as a latte pulled by Scott! It was delicious! In the back of the shop there is another shop! A bike shop run by their friend Matt also under the same name “Sump” where he offers motorcycle restoration services. Thanks Scott and Marlene!
Moolah Movie Theater, Lounge, and Bowling Alley, Midtown St. Louis
Not only does this movie theater have a bowling alley too but it also has a full bar! And instead of regular seats, you sit on couches! So you can have a drink while lounging on a comfy couch while watching your movie! We saw Oz, The Great and Powerful in 3D (It was meh but fun)! The theater had an old fashioned atmosphere. Located in an old Masonic building with matching architecture. Think NY City Center here in NYC, just slightly less grand plus decor from “yesteryear” in a way.
Courtesy Diner, Tower Grove
3153 S Kingshighway, St. Louis, MO 63139, (314) 776-9059
This roadside diner had a really great local feel. A place for “regulars” that serves solid honest comfort food. They are famous for their “slingers” which is a dish made of a hamburger patty, hash browns, eggs, chili, cheese, and onions. And other wonderful things like Frito Pie, which I always wanted to try but never have, and tons of pie pies!
I loved the food at this greasy spoon so much we went twice. MMMmmm. Everyone from the counter ladies to the short order cook were really friendly. The short-order cook, Dan, made us a pancake shaped like a mushroom! It’s Toad! A Super Mario Bros. mushroom to be exact. Pancake art! I had just the simple bacon and eggs breakfast. I dunno what they do to the bacon, eggs, and hash browns but it’s soooo good. Bacon, eggs, hash brown, and toast about $5.
Look at these cute little crochet bows by Adaiha. They remind me of Hello Kitty bows! The pattern is easy and comes with really nice detailed photos too.
She provides step-by-step photos, the pattern, and even a downloadable PDF for your convenience. She’s also been working on a “Granny Square A Day” project since 2011! Her page also includes a list of great resources and books for crocheting granny squares.
Original Pattern by Adaiha – [pdf]
Materials: Worsted Weight Yarn
Crochet Hook: US Size H [5.00mm]
Approximate Size: 2.5” X 1.5”
Make a magic ring.
Ch 5, 3 tr in ring, ch 5, sl st in ring, ch 5, 3tr in ring, ch5, sl st in ring.
Cut yarn leaving a tail at least a few inches long. Weave yarn tail through the first ch stitch at the very beginning and fasten off.
Create the center of the bow by wrapping the two ends under and then back over the bow a few times until satisfied. Create a chain of stitches to wrap around the bow if desired. Fasten off and weave in ends. Done!
Note: Leave an extra long yarn tail and do not trim if attaching the bow onto something else.
Variations: Increase or decrease the (tr) stitches to make the bow fatter or skinnier as seen in Photo #2.
e.g. Substitute “3 tr” for “2 tr” or “4 tr”.
Here’s a random list of handmade marketplaces online I’ve been compiling for awhile. Perhaps they will provide artisans some options and/or give shoppers more places to shop!
Bonanza (1000 Markets) http://www.bonanza.com/
Uncommon Goods http://www.uncommongoods.com/
Goodsmiths (Craft.ly) https://www.goodsmiths.com/
Lily Shop http://www.lilyshop.com/
Silk Fair http://www.silkfair.com/
Made It Myself http://www.madeitmyself.com/
Shop Handmade http://www.shophandmade.com/
Not Mass Produced http://www.notmassproduced.com/
Indie Public http://www.indiepublic.com/
Craft Juice http://www.craftjuice.com/
Ravelry (Patterns Only) https://www.ravelry.com/
Big Cartel http://directory.bigcartel.com/#handmade
Blue Caravan Australia http://www.bluecaravan.net/
Made It Australia http://www.madeit.com.au/
Indie Australia http://www.indie.com.au/
Artis & Grove Australia http://www.artisandgrove.com/
Felt New Zealand http://felt.co.nz/
Toggle New Zealand http://www.toggle.co.nz/
Paper N Stitch http://papernstitch.com/
Poppy Talk http://www.poppytalkhandmade.com/
Firefly Handmade http://fireflyhandmade.com/
OMG! Heart these photo-realistic sweaters by Mr. Gugu & Miss Go. It’s not knit but it’s great inspiration. They make t-shirts and leggings too. Soo many wonderful things. Aughghgh. From reading their website, it looks like they’re based in Bielsko-Biala, Poland.
Happy 2013! Here’s PANTONE Emerald 17-5641, Pantone’s Color of the Year. Last year was a bad year. From Colorado to Sandy Hook; Hurricane Sandy to Typhoon Boha; Syria to Pakistan; Collapsing of countries, governments, societies; Leading many to believe it was indeed the Apocalypse.
But Dec 21, 2012 came and went. The world did not end as predicted by the Mayan Calendar yet it sure seemed like dark days. Making it officially: The. Worst. Apocalypse. Ever. Not so much in magnitude but in substance…
It wasn’t all bad though. The 2012 Elections here in the U.S. rang in another “Four More Years” for President Barack Obama; Fiscal cliffs were averted; The apocalypse did NOT happen; Etc. Etc. So this year’s a new year. And new hope means new beginnings! Verdant, Prosperous, Rejuvenating, Healing, Energizing, Inspiring. Making this year’s Pantone Color of the Year especially fitting.
“Emerald, a vivid verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony.” – Pantone.com
2 Balls Lion Brand Yarn Lion Wool, Color 187 Goldenrod, 158 yards, $5.99
US Size 5 [3.75mm] Addi Turbo Circular Knitting Needles, 16inch
US Size 5 [3.75mm] Double Pointed Knitting Needles (dpns)
8″ inches high
4.5 Stitches per Inch
5 Rows per Inch
Skill Level: Intermediate
This pattern is meant to make a reversible hat with 2 colors. If using only one color, simply ignore color changes.
Cast On 162 stitches.
Round 1: Color A [K1, bring yarn forward, slip next stitch purlwise, bring yarn back]. Repeat from [...] until end of round.
Round 2: Color B [slip next stitch purlwise, bring yarn forward, P1, bring yarn back]. Repeat from [...] until end of round.
Round 3 – 80: Repeat Rounds 1-2 for 39 more times. Or until hat measure 6.5 inches tall. Make sure to end on Round 2.
Begin Decrease Rounds:
Decrease Round 1: Color A: *[K1, bring yarn forward, slip 1, bring yarn back] 7 times, slip next stitch (color A) purlwise, place next stitch (color B) on cable needle and hold at back, place first stitch back on left needle and knit it together with next stitch (both stitches should be color A), bring yarn to front, place color B stitch back from cable needle onto left needle, slip both color B stitches purlwise, bring yarn back*. Repeat from * to * until end of round.
Decrease Round 2: Color B: *[slip next stitch purlwise, bring yarn forward, P1, bring yarn back] 7 times, slip next stitch purlwise (should be the stitch you decreased above), bring yarn forward, P2tog (both stitches should be color B), bring yarn back*. Repeat from * to * until end of round. (144 stitches)
Decrease Round 3: Repeat Round 1 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 4: Repeat Round 2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 5: Repeat Decrease Round 1 but substitute “7 times” for “6 times”.
Decrease Round 6: Repeat Decrease Round 2 but substitute “7 times” for “6 times”. (126 stitches)
Decrease Round 7-8: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 9-10: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “5 times”. (108 stitches)
Decrease Round 11-12: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 13-14: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “4 times”. (90 stitches)
Decrease Round 15-16: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 17-18: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “3 times”. (72 stitches)
Decrease Round 19-20: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 21-22: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “2 times”. (54 stitches)
Decrease Round 23-24: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “1 times”. (36 stitches)
Decrease Round 25-26: K2tog/P2tog around (slipping stitches only to rearrange them). (18 stitches)
Cut yarn ends leaving 8″ tail. Thread each yarn end onto tapestry needle and through like-colored stitches. Cinch yarn end to close the top of each side of the hat. Weave ends in on each side by following the path of the stitches (like duplicate stitch) so they are not visible.
Make oversized pompom. Approx. 3 inches wide. Make sure to leave ample tail for attaching. Attach pompom.
Weave in ends.
How to Make a Perfect Pompom
I wanted a good fat puffy GIANT POMPOM! I also wanted to make make sure it was about 2.5 to 3 inches wide. But i didnt want to spend money or buy extra junk like a pompom maker, so I came up with an easy way to make a pompom template.
All you need is some scrap cardboard, scissors, a mug and a quarter or an old CD to use as stencils.
Make 2 rings (like a donut shape), cut a slit through the rings making the donut shape into a C-shape. Widen the slit by trimming some more off the ends so it’s easy to pass the yarn through.
Take yarn, wrap around the C-shape as if you’re trying to make a yarn covered “C”. No need for needles or pre-cutting yarn. Just slip yarn through the slit to wrap. This way there’s no wasted yarn, the working end of the yarn is coming straight from the ball and you’ll never run out.
To make sure the pompom comes out the size needed: e.g. If you need a 3 inch pompom, the rings have to be about 1.5 inches thick (plus a little extra for trimming).
When full enough, snip edges, pull yarn tail through, cinch, and tie. Fluff and trim making sure to not trim off yarn tail. You’ll need that to attach the pompom.
Knitmare on Elm Street by Hannah Simpson ~ Price $11.56
My BF got this for me from Forbidden Planet and OMG! HEART the patterns in this book. The book has great illustrated and easy to understand instructions and the diagrams feature “werewolf” hands demonstrating the knitting techniques. Fun! A pun on Freddie Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Knitmare on Elm Street is filled with AWESOME knit patterns like:
Circus Monkey (with mini cymbals)
Freddie Krueger Hand Puppet
Necronomicon iPad Cozy
Kraken Tentacle (yes it’s just one giant tentacle!)
Haunted House Diorama (my fave!)
Freakshow Finger Puppets
If you’re in NYC, Forbidden Planet sells them! So you can pop into their store and check out the freakishly fun gems in this book in person. Forbidden Planet is located right across from the Union Square Movie Theater and a block away from The Strand Bookstore.
Forbidden Planet has been a popular haunt for comic book nerds for as long as I can remember. It’s chock full of graphic novels to mangas, collectibles from G-Force figurines to Hulk Hogan busts, t-shirts to keychains, tote bags to candy, and of course the oddball knitting book!
Regal Union Square Stadium 14 Movie Theater is right in that area and is one of my fave mainstream theaters to go to. Sunshine is my fave indie theater. (They have great movie snacks and if you buy popcorn there, they have a popcorn flavor bar where you can sprinkle your popcorn with assorted “cheese powders” like nacho cheese or apple cinnamon.) Among other notableslike IFC where Crispin Glover screened his “What Is It?” and Anthology where they always play a wonderfully curated selection of films on the big screen! Like everything from John Cassavetes to Point Blank to Big Trouble in Little China … WIN!
The Strand Bookstore is one of my fave bookstores in the entire city (all 5 boroughs included). I go to Strand for it’s huge selection of books at great prices. e.g. I got my Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities there eons ago. And can also get anything from 100 Years of Cholera to Great Gatsby to cookbooks.
St. Mark’s Bookshop is also brilliant and one of my faves. I go to St. Mark’s for the best curated selection, indie and mainstream. You can’t ever go wrong with anything you pick up in this little book store. It’s a treasury of the best to read now and/or what’s noteworthy and worthy of reading now even if it’s not new! Of course the prices here are never as good as Amazon, however it’s just so chock full of exquisitely selected books, it’s more than worth the (very) slight markups you’d pay compared to Amazon.
New York, NY 10003
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue New York, NY 10003
Regal Union Square Cinema
New York, NY 10003
St. Mark’s Bookshop
31 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10003
New York, NY 10003
IFC Film Center
323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street
Fabric of the Day: Hawaiian Print Fabrics
My mom and brother just got back from a fabulous Hawaii trip! They picked out the fabrics themselves and brought it all the way back to NY. The fabric was purchased at what they describe as a “huge fabric warehouse filled with giant spools of fabric” in Maui. I believe it’s this place:
Fabric Mart Maui
55 E Kaahumanu Ave Ste D
Kahului, HI 96732
❤ Thanks Mom and De!