Some Thoughts on Online Clutter

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Lately, I have been decluttering. I have sent boxes to goodwill and have donated some books to the local library. As I go through stuff, I also thought about online clutter. I realized that I had a Ravelry queue that went on for 10 pages and a “to read” list on Goodreads that is almost as long. I realized that I was feeling weighed down by all the stuff listed that I wasn’t doing. I wanted to create more room for what I really want to read and make right now.

On Ravelry, I had queued a bunch of patterns I had thought were pretty at one time but didn’t make that many of them. I had over 260 patterns in my queue and would end up looking up new patterns when I was looking for a pattern to make. I went on to Ravelry and looked at some friend’s queues and some of them were much more streamlined. They only had a small number of patterns listed. and it was clearly stuff they planned to make in the immediate future.

I decided to go through my queue and delete any dead links and stuff I didn’t want to make anymore. I want to leave only the patterns I really like and plan to make. So far, I have deleted over 60 patterns (only 193 left). I realized that I go through phases with what I like to make. I will get excited by a particular type or project or technique and then queue a bunch of the same type of pattern. After a while, I lose interest in that particular technique. For example,I went through a period where wanted to make crocheted doilys. I had queued several doily patterns and have only made 1 doily. If I am going to be honest with myself, I would admit that I am not much into doilys anymore and those patterns can be deleted from my queue.

 I ran into the same thing with my Goodreads account only with books. I had a huge list of books to read and didn’t read much from that list. I have deleted a bunch of books on topics that I am not into or don’t want to read anymore. I still want to prune both lists further. So far, I feel better about the lists. It feels more streamlined How about you? Do you make lists of stuff to read and make and then realize you have to edit it? or do you like having a lot of stuff listed and don’t worry about it? Let me know in the comments.

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Knitting in History

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I like history and I had bookmarked some interesting articles on knitting history. I thought I would share them in this post.

 This is a fascinating article about how during  war time, spies would use knitting as an espionage tool

During World War I, knitting for soldiers was seen as a patriotic duty

 A picture of a shawl that Queen Victoria gave to Harriet Tubman.

 The Suffrage in Stitches project celebrates women’s suffrage history through crochet.

 The Salish Tribe in the Pacific Northwest raised dogs for their fiber

The De-Stress Sweater

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” I knit so I don’t kill people.” This is a common humorous saying among knitters. This week, this saying could be revised to say, “I knit so I don’t completely stress out.” I have have been working on the Green Gable Pullover and it has really helped my stress levels. It is a top down sweater. The pattern has a simple lace panel at the top.Once you get past the lace panel , it is row after row of knit stitch. It has been a long week and I am finding working on knit stitch very soothing.

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 I am enjoying seeing the top take shape. I love seeing a ball of string and some sticks turn into an item.  The picture on the top show my  progress so far. Lately, I have been working on this sweater to the exclusion of other projects. I am thinking it may not take as long as I thought to finish it. I am already thinking about what sweater I want to make next. What about you? What is your favorite pattern to knit to relax or de-stress? Do you prefer simple patterns or more complicated patterns?

My Beadwork Projects

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I wrote about my bead crochet projects last week so this week I will be writing about beading projects. Recently I finished this spiral bracelet. This blue and green bracelet is the first beadwork piece I have finished in years. I had a couple of projects that I had started years ago and had let sit for years. Right after I finished my most recent bead crochet rope, I looked at my old beading projects and decided to work on a bracelet pictured above. I looked at it and realized it was long enough for a bangle bracelet and I just needed to join it together. So I went ahead and joined it together.

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 I also have a this pink piece that I haven’t worked on in years that I want to finish. It uses a technique called peyote stitch. I am doing it free-form, I didn’t have a set pattern or plan for this piece when I started it. When I started the project, I wanted to see how it would look to use different sizes of beads together in one piece. I decided to use pastel colors.

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 As I was looking at these pieces I ended up starting a new beadwork project. I had been thinking about a technique called spiral rope. I ended up starting a spiral rope project around the time I finished my latest bead crochet project. I am using a lime green and beige color scheme. 

Summer Knitting and Crochet

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Do you knit or crochet during the summer? Here in the northern hemisphere it is summer and I thought I would share some thoughts and tips on summer knitting and crochet. I have heard that a lot of people stop knitting during the summer and then take it up again in the fall. Even thought summers where I live can be pretty hot, my knitting and crocheting doesn’t stop during the summer months. For fun I did a survey on Twitter asking if people knitted or crocheted in the summer. I only got 4 responses and all of them knit in the summer. That is a very small sampling but it tells me that at least some people knit and crochet in the summer.

I found this article with advice on summer knitting useful. During summer, I usually end up knitting inside under air conditioning in front of a fan at my desk. Summer is a good time to knit smaller, portable projects. I see people I follow on Instagram take a portable projects to the beach. One summer I made cotton sun hats that I wear when I work in the yard. It is also a good time to use lighter yarns such as cotton and linen. One thing I have found is that my local craft store will often put yarn on clearance in the summer. That is something to keep in mind when you are at the craft store. I have gotten some good deals that way.  Do you knit or crochet in the summer? Let me know in the comments.

My Adventures in Bead Crochet

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I recently finished a bead crochet rope and started a new one. I also started some new beading projects. I was going to write about my progress in one post. However,  I have 5 different projects to write about and I felt like it was a lot to write in one post . I decided divide the information into 2 parts. In this post,  I will be writing about my bead crochet ropes. Next week, I will write about my non crochet beading projects.

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I just finished the pastel rope pictured above and I tried a new technique to join it together. I thought that the tutorial I used was confusing and the technique was harder than I thought. I hope that on the next rope, it will make more sense. I also started a new bead crochet rope using a red black and white color scheme. I was going to use a red white and gold color scheme but I ran out of gold beads and had to figure out something else. From doing these bead crochet ropes, I have realized that I am not nearly as confident about choosing color schemes as I used to be. It takes me a long time to decide what colors to use. I may have to brush up on color theory.  Except for those concerns, I am having fun working on the ropes. I find it relaxing and it is easy to pick up and do a few rows when I need to relax.

 

Help Save Net Neutrality.

This post is a departure from what I typically write. I don’t want this to be a political blog. I am making an exception and am writing about net neutrality today. Since I make online content I am very much in favor of net neutrality. I have not been blogging that long; however, if the FCC disbands net neutrality,this blog could be done before it has had a chance to gain any momentum. Today is a national day of action to help save net neutrality. The following text is from the organization who organized this day of action.  It explains net neutrality and provides links that give information on how to take action.

On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/.

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!

Learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12

Useful Knitting Links

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Did you know that if you missed a a yarn over you can fix it on the next row? I didn’t either until I watched Kate Atherley’s video on Knitty. Today, I am posting knitting links I have found useful.

 The first link is Kate Atherley’s column in knitty about lace knitting. This is the video I mentioned in my opening paragraph; it also has advice on lifelines and blocking.

I recently found this blog series on designing patterns that is also written by Kate Atherley. I have read her book on pattern writing and found it useful so I am very excited to find this blog series and read more of the blog posts.

The site I use the most often is Knitting Help.com. Anytime I need to learn a new technique or don’t remember how to do something this is the first place I look.

I ran across this post on how to weave in ends when I had been knitting for at least a few years. Once I read it, I wished I had found this tutorial when I first learned to knit.

I found out about Knitting Fool from a knit design challenge I did. This site has an extensive listing of stitches, a sweater pattern generator and an extensive listing of knitting terms and abbreviations.

Do you have any knitting or crochet links that you find useful that I didn’t post?  Post a link to it in the comments. 

           

My Finished Lace Scarf

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On Monday July 3, I finished knitting this lace scarf; I just need to block it. I started it when I was participating in the Initiate Knit Design Challenge hosted by Aroha Knits.  The challenge walks people through the process of designing a knitting pattern. I didn’t finish it in time for the challenge but I continued to work on it once the challenge ended. I wanted to to use up some yarn I had leftover from a sweater I had knitted earlier. I had a little less than 100 grams of yarn to work with.

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I wanted to design a narrow lace scarf and I really struggled to find a stitch pattern that would work for a narrow scarf. I looked at several stitches but I ended up using a stitch I found in Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Once I found a stitch I liked I really enjoyed working on it. In retrospect, it was not an ideal project for the challenge because I didn’t have much of the yarn. I struggled to find enough yarn to do a swatches. I ended up swatching in another yarn. I ended up finishing it with less than a foot of yarn to spare.  I was pretty nervous near the end of the project but I am very happy with how it turned out.

Additional Stash Busting Resources

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While researching this post, I found a couple of resources for using up scrap yarn that I didn’t include in that blog post because I was worried that it was too long. I decided to share those links along with a few other resources on found on using up scrap yarn.

 This is a book of patterns that use scrap yarn. I like this sweater from that book.

 I found another book about stash busting

 Clara Parkes did a whole Craftsy Class on stash busting. 

This is A blog post by I love knitting with 5 patterns that are good for using up scrap yarn.