Monday, 16 January 2012

Ravelry Love!

Looking at my Ravelry profile, I saw that I had been a member for a couple of years.  2 years of periodically browsing the free patterns, while I debated projects on my mental wishlist and subsequently forgot them. Okay, so my new year resolution was no more UFOs (unfinished objects), which means I must complete my WIPs (works in progress).  On the other hand, such inspiration!  Even better, if you see something you like, you can add it to your queue, which is a wishlist kept for you.  You can also list your needles and hooks, so that you  know what you have (or not - I have this on a spreadsheet).  You can list your stash.  It's also a social network. You can look for projects and patterns with a stack of search criteria - by yarn, yarn weight, the type of item you're interested in, the yarns in your stash, key words ....  You can record and share your WIPs, UFOs - which are 'hibernating' - and finished projects.

I remember a time when sewing and knitting your own clothes was often cheaper than buying.  Now, I'm not so sure.  I saw a pattern for a jumper using a lovely yarn which was on sale.  Even at the reduced price, it would have cost about £120 to knit!  Being on the large side, it looks as though most jumpers now would cost at least £40-£60 to knit.  No wonder smaller items are popular; hats, gloves, scarves, socks, little dolls and 'cozies' for everything from teapots to coffee cups, water and beer bottles (for those who like their beer warm, I suppose?), mp3 players, phones, iPads and Kindles.  There are patterns for coasters, potholders and panstands (NB, not to be made from synthetics like acrylic and nylon!) and even face- and dishcloths.  The latter are supposed to be more eco-friendly, lasting longer and being cheaper than shop-bought, but given the price of yarn, I wonder if that's true.  For me, it seems like taking the handmade pledge too far, but I've started wondering about using discarded T shirt hems ....

As I looked through the various patterns and projects, I realised there are a lot of holes in my knowledge of knitting and crochet stitches and techniques. One thing Ravelry doesn't have is a set of tutorials, but I expect there are plenty elsewhere on the interweb.  I love the idea that I could get back into this, learn new skills and at some point, give back by posting a free pattern of my own.  As for creating an original pattern good enough to sell, that will have to wait until another year, when I have acquired some expertise and dealt with the current WIPs, UFOs and  wishlist!

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