Eye Candy: Natural

May 16th, 2017

I’ve been trying to decide on a natural colored yarn for an upcoming baby project lately. I’m usually all about color, but sometimes you just need a nice natural yarn to really make a project stand out. Today I’d like to share some with you.


First off, some great natural sweaters. From left to right: foxonline’s bright sweater, stefandstuff’s March Basic (which, as an aside, she made for a cosplay of Molly Weasley!) and cocorina’s a fresh start sweater.


Next up, here are some natural accessories that will go with just about anything: ChordSpinner’s Mandarin Orange Shawlette, supergra’s Baby blanket and krismbeal’s Urban gypsy boho bag.


Finally, a natural yarn really sets off the colors you use in your projects when you combine the two together as is the case with IvaKnitsCZ’s Outing Shawl, crochet-hello’s LITTLE DOTS and neetsey’s Gentle Fade.

Sometimes less is more, and in the case of natural colored yarn, a little less color can sometimes show off more of the design elements of your creations. These made me look outside of my color box a bit and I hope they inspire you, as well.

Tip: May 11 Q+A

May 11th, 2017

Hello! It is another month and another Q+A!

Today, May 11, I will be running a Q+A from 9:00 – 9:15pm eastern time. You can join in here to watch me narrate my screen and ask me your questions! I’m going to start with a tip on setting a default craft for your advanced searches.

I hope to see you there! The video will remain on our YouTube channel so you can watch it later if you can’t join us live!

made with handspun 1

mushinweaving’s beautiful Naturally Dyed Striped Silk Tsumugi

I just love browsing projects that were made with handspun yarn. Today I looked at recently completed handspun projects and pulled just a few of the many beautiful items for this post. I wish I could squish them all!

made with handspun 2

pholling’s Scottish Memento Cardigan is a total stunner, FearlessFA’s Summer Sword Lily is so gorgeous it inspired me to make “handspun” the theme of today’s Eye Candy, and I just love the way LaurieM striped her colorful and black handspun in her Rainbows in Winter cardigan – it reminds me of stained glass!

made with handspun 3

kaystir’s San Serif fits so perfectly and looks wonderfully cozy! pallasathena23’s Kjole til Victoria is just charming – it is for a very lucky baby! Dimples74’s Chains of Love socks would cheer anyone up on a cold winter day. Handspun, handknit socks are my kind of luxury!

10 Years of Ravelry

May 3rd, 2017

frecklegirl, casey, maryheatherb, & a lot of Ravelers at New York Sheep and Wool, 2008

In the Spring of 2005, Jess blogged about an idea that we had for an online knitting community. Our idea was to “create an encyclopedia of cool patterns (and yarn too??) and mix in blogging and other social aspects”. A place where people could “share their completed creations, get help for works in progress, and get ideas for future projects”.

Internet friends liked the idea and after a lot of prodding and friendly encouragement and a little tinkering with the idea, our New Year’s resolution in 2007 was to seriously work on the site.

Things progressed quickly after that and our idea grew and grew. Jess and I were completely engrossed in building Ravelry and we barely left our apartment. In February, we had something that functioned and the first couple projects were added. By April, we had 30 friends and friends of friends testing the site. We added the forums and message box so that people could communicate with each other. Somewhere along the way, we decided that our goal was to be able to invite people to try the site during the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May. 10 years ago yesterday, the secret was out and we started sending out beta invitations.

The first wave of Ravelers were full of ideas and eager to help and we realized that this project was going to be much bigger than we originally thought. That summer, it became our full time job. By the end of 2007, more than 55,000 people were using Ravelry and many more were waiting to try it. To the 2 of us, it felt like a billion people. It was unreal.

Now there are 5 of us. We’ve been working on Rav for 10 years, which seems like a lifetime on the Internet. We’ve only been able to do this because of all of you. You have generously given your time to moderate the main boards, help people in the forums, edit and maintain the pattern and yarn databases, or run a Ravelry group for others. You have shared information about your projects and yarn, making Ravelry more valuable for everyone else. You have directly paid for Ravelry by advertising selling patterns, or buying a shirt and you have supported those designers and advertisers.

I have no idea what the next 10 years will hold. I’m sure that we’ll have fun. Technology is probably going to get a little weird. I’d love to see more people-centered sites sprout and cooperate and connect with ours. We are going to keep giving our all to this community. We will never stop working in a way that respectful of you: your data, your time, and your contributions to Ravelry.

Thank you for a wonderful 10 years!

❤ Casey, Jess, Mary-Heather, Sarah and Christina

Boston Globe, 2007.
I’m pretty sure our parents were less impressed and more “a website about what now?”

Bobsolda and Ravelers, New York Sheep and Wool, October 2009

[ Picture a group shot of the 5 of us, smiling and waving at you, now a little older and wiser. The next time we are all together in real life we will have to take one! ]

Eye Candy: Speckles

April 25th, 2017

A yarn trend I am loving lately is speckled yarn. It looks so enticing in the skein and is so fun to work up and see how the color is splashed around. Today’s eye candy is focused on recently completed projects made with speckled yarn.

CherryHeart’s Faded Stripes, amymiller’s Mashup, and JRoKnits’ Fuss Free Festival Shawl.

bbatting’s Tadpoles, tanyaev’s Honey, I Mowed the Marigolds, and apiluk’s Andromeda Speckle Socks.

ErinKJ’s Pixelated, LauraPNW’s Monet Sky, and audebl’s Point de blé.

I hope you enjoyed these dotted beauties! I found them by searching the terms “speckle”, “speckles”, and “speckled” in our advanced project search. It’s still a work in progress, but we also allow you to search for speckled yarns in our advanced yarn search.

 

Eye Candy: Scrappy!

April 18th, 2017

We all end up with scraps after projects, and I love seeing the creative ways people combine them later to make new things. I searched for “scrappy” in the project search and found so many great projects. Some of the projects use scraps, and some of them saved some scraps from their project to be made into something else later. Here are a just a few of them.


A shawl with several colors will go with lots of different outfits! From left to right we have tunia98’s Scrappy Granny Shawl, TWcrochet-knit83’s My Mrs. Reynolds and Gingersnap’s Marled Faded Scrappy Thing.


I love all of the colors in these scrappy projects for around the house. Here we have Darn-Knit’s Scrappy Blocks, wieberike’s Helga and annettle’s Scrappy Fair Isle Cushion.


Finally, I found some great garments and accessories. From left to right we have yarnbeth’s Summer Stripes Part Deux, CTChris’ Happy Scrappy Socks and ehalf’s Jess and Taylor.

Keep saving those scraps – someday you can make something awesome out of them!

Tip: Another Live Q+A!

April 13th, 2017

Our last Q+A was a big hit, so we’re doing another one! Join me today, Thursday April 13, from 4:30-4:45pm eastern time (see that in your local time here) and watch and ask questions right here.

I’m going to start with a tip on how to search these front page blog posts and then I’ll open up the discussion to your questions. You’ll be able to watch my screen and hear me narrate how I use the site, with a live chat section for you to leave your questions.

I hope you’ll join me! Once the chat is over it will be saved to our YouTube channel, so you can catch it even if you cannot join us live.

Eye Candy: Birds!

April 11th, 2017

flamingo

MaryAnne65’s Sanibel Island Flamingo

It’s possible I was under the influence of the nonstop cheeping and chirping coming from the birds that have taken up residence in my yard this Spring, but when I looked at recently completed projects for this post I couldn’t help but notice all the adorable birds in the list! Here are some of my favorites.

birds 1

Napoli88’s Arturo, OffsetMedulla’s Blue Bar, madstitchinghag’s Swan – I love the scale and details of these birds!

birds 2

A few adorable flocks: alternate’s Easter chicks, 24Sam’s chicken gang, and Hemama’s Birds.

Tweet tweet!

Tip: Forum Activity Tab

April 6th, 2017

You may have noticed a recent addition to the tabs in your forums – the activity tab!

When you click that tab, you will find the activity for your forums including replies to you, replies to your threads, new topics in your groups, replies to threads you are watching and threads that have a question you might be able to answer because you made the pattern or used the yarn.

If you would like to adjust the activity you see in the activity tab, you can do so by clicking the little drop down beside one of the posts. In that drop down you will see these options and you can choose whichever option you prefer.

If you accidentally hide something that you would still like to see in your activity tab, you can click “undo hidden forums & users”. On the page that follows, click the little “x” next to anything you would like to unhide (no offense to any groups listed there, I just hid a few as an example).

The forum activity tab is a great way to quickly catch up with what is going on in the forums that you follow. This also looks great on tablets and mobile devices. If you aren’t currently participating in the forums, I encourage you to find some groups that might interest you. This blog post has some great tips on how to locate your new favorite group.

Eye Candy: Terrible Lizards

April 5th, 2017

I bet that you know a kid who loves dinosaurs. I live with one. This morning we listened to one of her favorite songs, “Dinosaur Stomp”. The singer wears a shiny gold fanny pack and rhymes: “I hang with Littlefoot, he gives me great input, we eat at Pizza Hut”. My daughter doesn’t remember those pizza ads because she is 5 but she loves the song anyway, because anything that involves dinosaurs is awesome. Here are some awesome projects that involve dinosaurs.

Above, on the left, is SpinKnitUp’s CavySaurus Rex. This little squeaker is very cute in his dino costume. More importantly, his name is Pete the Cat kavisagi invented an amazing Dino Cowl and TendonitisSuitsMe made this baby a Triceratops hat.

Above: dendrobe’s Cera Tops Baby Blanket will captivate this baby for years, kjayneb made the cutest Stegosaurus, and kamidake created an artful modification that isn’t quite a dinosaur but that is so cool that I had to include it: Laly Thunderbird