Archive for the ‘Ravelry’ Category

I’ve spent the weekend with the lovely people from the Ravelry Yarn Yard group, who very conveniently decided to have their annual get-together at the Bar Convent here in York, about two miles from my house. I missed last year’s because I didn’t find out about it until afterwards, but this year I got my name down in plenty of time. My friend Lucy came up to stay with me on Thursday night, and on Friday lunchtime we wandered into town to find a lovely scene in the cafe at the convent.


A few of us wandered into town in the afternoon, and we met up with Whitehart, who I’ve known online for about six years but haven’t managed to meet in person before now, so that was lovely.

We visited yarn shops, and Lakeland, but then I had to leave them as I was double-booked with a work night out. Sadly I drank far more wine than was good for me, and I was suffering a little on Saturday, but it didn’t stop me spending the day with the knitters (I think there were about 50 of us on the Saturday). We’d booked the conference room at the convent for the afternoon, which also included the yarn swap.



Lots of fun was had. I may have come home with a little of this lot. Just possibly. But I resisted the magazine which had this gem in it. Surely a strong contender for the most useless knitted item ever.


Saturday night and Sunday were spent upstairs in the recreation room, knitting and chatting.


There was spinning too, but I was too lazy to take my wheel in, so I just had a go on a couple of the wheels there. The Ashford Joy was nice to use, but it looks too functional for my tastes, and the bobbins are too small. But I completely fell in love with the Majacraft Little Gem. It looks lovely, and is a pleasure to use. And has enormous bobbins. I’m very tempted, but it’s £525, so I think I’d better start saving up!

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There was some lovely colourwork being shown off – AnnaT’s modular squares I could cope with, but just looking at the intarsia tumbling blocks made my head hurt when I thought about all those balls. And seeing Terri trying to untangle them was just scary. Lovely blanket though!

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And Natalie set up her yarn shop on the pool table.

So – my spoils.


I bought this gorgeous skein of Yarn Yard Leith (merino and silk, with a lovely shine, although you can’t see it in the photo) from Natalie on Saturday.


And scored this little lot in the yarn swap. There’s a couple of balls of what I think is RYC Natural Silk Aran, six balls of 4ply soft in dark navy, a Duet sock yarn set, a skein of Yarn Yard sock yarn, 50g of KnitPicks baby alpaca laceweight, two balls of kidsilk spray, 100 of Yarn Yarn merino and tencel fibre (this was my first choice, it’s so hard to find a merino tencel blend that’s properly blended, not just with streaks of tencel in it, and this one’s lovely), two batts of fibre, and a cone of cotton cashmere. A suitable donation to p/hop has been made.

Some people were still around yesterday, but Lucy wanted to go to Whitby, so we drove across the moors.


We ate fish and chips at the Magpie (and there wasn’t a queue, possibly the first time I’ve ever seen it that way!)

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Then wandered round a bit.


Before collapsing at Sanders Yard for tea and cake. And impressively good cake it was too. I couldn’t decide between the various ones on offer, so the man said I could have two half slices.

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White chocolate cheesecake, and raspberry torte, both absolutely delicious. They have comfy sofas, and large pots of tea, I’d highly recommend it!

So all in all, a lovely four days with old friends and new, but I’m exhausted now – I keep forgetting how recently I’ve had flu, and how much energy it takes out of you. So we’re having a lazy day today, before I take L to the station later this afternoon. Then I’ll catch up on Dancing on Ice from the weekend, as for some reason L doesn’t seem to want to watch it…

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Okay, I promise this will be my last KN post, but I had to mention some of the best bits –

Meeting lots of lovely knitters. It’s so nice to be in an environment where you can strike up conversations with complete strangers based on their knitwear. I also put some faces to Ravelry names, which is always good. I spent a good portion of the party on Saturday night wandering round and chatting to people, some of them may have thought I was a bit bonkers (I had drunk a little wine…) but most were friendly.

The marketplace. It was awesome, and all the stalls looked fabulous. I tried to restrain my spending to stuff that is hard or impossible to get online (Wollmeise and the Artist Palette merino tencel fibre), although I did slip at the Juno Fibre Arts stand, I just couldn’t resist. But I could have easily spent my overspent budget again with very little problem.

The organisation. Everything ran like clockwork, and all the staff and volunteers were friendly and helpful.

Meeting Ysolda, and Jess and Casey. And not forgetting Ysolda’s glamorous assistant, the lovely Sarah.

The Ravelry party. Awesome.

Being recognised by LilySunshine because I was wearing my red skirt Amy Butler and t-shirt.

Seeing all that Wollmeise together.

Velvet’s wonderful Evenstar shawl. I watched it being spun then knitted on my Ravelry friends feed, but nothing prepared me for the reality. Probably the most awesome knitted item I’ve ever seen.

Meeting my online friend Mim for the first time – I’ve known her on livejournal for years. It’s a pity she had to leave the party early though.

Seeing four amazing Anne Hanson shawls knitted in Wollmeise lace at the Ravelry party, made by a party of very talented German knitters.

Meeting lots of other old friends and new, including ProbablyJane, Heather/Cybil, Natalie from the Yarn Yard, AnnaT, Diane, Jac, CarolL, Fridica, the girls from The Knitter, Yuvee, Ali, Mel, Nora, GuinevereStar, Asti from Juno, Velvet, Chantelle, MandyCharlie, Juliet from Artist’s Palette, and probably lots more I’ve forgotten. Shout if I’ve missed you!

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Three Years Ago Today

Rav profile

Just over three years ago, I started picking up a new word on the knitting forums I used to use. It was murmured at first, then slowly it picked up momentum – it was going to be a new and different knitting website, with a database and forums. I had a quick look, but you had to register to join a queue for an invite, and for whatever reason, I didn’t bother at the time. It took me a few weeks to pick up the vibe again, by that time people were starting to get their invites, and chatter away about how fantastic it was, so I mentally slapped myself for not registering the first time, and put my email address in the box.

Then started the fun which was ‘how far along the queue are you?’ – there was a page you could look at to see how many people were in front of you in the queue, how many were behind, and how many invites had been sent out today. These statistics were excitedly posted in forums and sent in emails, and approximate dates worked out. The word filtered through that photos should be hosted on flickr, so we all opened accounts and uploaded photos, to be as ready as possible for the big day.

Then finally it happened, just as I was about to go to bed, my email pinged –

Hey there,
frecklegirl has invited you to Ravelry!
“Here you go! Thanks for your interest in our little site.
Let me know if you have any questions or problems!

Needless to say I was up late that night. Kerri was staying, and next day I shared my login with her (I’m generous like that, and besides, I wanted to keep her quiet) and I uploaded details of all my projects to date (thankfully they’d all been blogged on livejournal) and hauled out boxes of stash and uploaded that too.

Rav projects

The site has gone from strength to strength since then, it’s definitely the best one I’ve ever used – I joined Facebook recently, and was sadly disappointed that it is nowhere near as well-designed as Ravelry (there’s no disagree button!!!) I’m in lots of groups, some more actively than others, and I’ve met some lovely people through the site. The pattern/project and stash databases are worth their weight in gold, I check something most days, and I love watching my friends’ projects go by in my Google Reader RSS feed, I get lots of inspiration from there.

And not long ago I found that you can sort your stash by colour! How awesome is that?

Rav stash

So here’s a big thank-you to Jess and Casey for thinking of it in the first place, and for making it the place it is today. It seems fitting that tomorrow I leave for KnitNation, where I’ll meet them and many more people from that wonderful site.

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