Sunday, January 30, 2011

Local Charity Option for Hand-Knitted Items

Because I had a friend ask me for a local charity or ministry that would take knitted baby hats, I did some asking and found out that a wonderful local organization called
Tricounty Family Ministries will gladly take knitted (or crocheted!) items. They also have a current need for clothing, as they have given out all their clothing to the less fortunate in the Tricounty area.

You can also volunteer there in many different capacities as well.

I know there are a multitude of charities that take knitted items, both in this country and around the world, but if you ever want to help folks in your own backyard (and you live in the Charleston, SC area), this is a good option. And think of all the postage you'll save :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Knitting in Public (or How Not to be a Hater)

There are many variables in my life (despite appearances to the contrary). I have many interests and a few true passions, plus there are things that must be done every day or every week to fulfill commitments and obligations. Knitting is one thing that can be described as a constant in my life, though. I've knitted through good times and bad. I've knitted easy things and things that were so challenging that I swore it was going to make me give it all up; lock, stock and yarn stash. I've knit alone and in large crowds and in everything in between. It is a rare day that I leave the house without a project, carried along "just in case" there is a moment that could become knitting time.

And yet...

And yet I sat today in a lovely class at the Charleston Museum (aka one of my favorite places), and witnessed someone, other than myself, knitting during the class. Why is this even worth mentioning? Because, believe it or not, I HAD NO KNITTING WITH ME. Knitting in the car, knitting in several rooms of my house, but not with me. I had just been chatting with a dear fellow Knitter-Mom about how we really should have brought our knitting in with us, chuckle, chuckle. Then not 10 minutes into this class, I catch a glimpse of this other mom, knitting away while listening to the teacher. I am sure this woman is a kind, generous, lovely person, but I found myself being a Hater. As in, I hate that SHE thought to bring her knitting, and I didn't. It was bad, let me tell you. The milk of human kindness had ceased to flow from my heart and I had no one to blame but myself.

I can excuse it all by saying I had no idea what the structure of the morning would be and thereby could not have known I'd have tons of sit-and-listen time to make use of. But really, is that a good excuse? I think not. I purposely carry a handbag large enough for at least a small knitting project (and I don't fill it with things that would take up valuable yarn space), I make sure I always have a small project on the needles to keep handy for excursions, and I know that knitting is an activity that can be done in so many different situations without being considered rude or distracting. (Of course, there are exceptions to this, but that's another story.)

Later, as we toured the Civil War exhibits in the Museum, I saw displays that featured knitting needles and yarn and descriptions of how the women left behind during the war knit ALL THE TIME for the boys on the front. I felt them mocking me, those women of the 19th century. I just know they were always prepared when they went visiting...Parasol? Check. Lace gloves? Check. Knitting? Check.

I claim to be committed to my craft, and I have big plans for all the things I will knit this year. So, if you see me taking a few moments to knit in public somewhere, please know it can mean only one thing: I'm trying not to be a Hater.

Monday, January 24, 2011

8 Things to love about Ravelry

Ravelry is an online knitting/crocheting community, a social-networking site for fiber enthusiasts. Whether you're new to knitting or a seasoned pro, Ravelry can help you connect, learn, and make the most of your knitting.

Here are 8 random reasons why Ravelry is so awesome:

1) Online "Brag" Book: Ever want to organize all your projects, show them off to others, keep track of what you knit when and for whom? With Ravelry, you have "My Notebook", a place to organize your projects and keep track of such details as how long it took you to make something, whether you followed the pattern word for word or deviated to suit your tastes, and the exact yarn and needles you used. Plus a picture! Or several pictures!
2) Organize your yarn and needles. And your books and patterns and future projects.
3) Get to know other knitters through the forums, through the patterns and projects, through the whole site. Knitters are really nice people, if I do say so myself.
4) If you're looking for a pattern, say a scarf pattern that's just a shade beyond garter stitch, and you don't have a knitting book handy and you don't want to go get one, Ravelry has pages and pages of scarf patterns (and other patterns, too). Many are free and available instantly.
5) If you're considering the purchase of a knitting book, but wonder if the patterns are all that great, look it up on Ravelry. See the patterns, find out what other knitters have to say about it, take the guess work out of it. This is also true of yarn, needles and knitting accessories. If it has something to do with knitting, you can bet it's been discussed on Ravelry.
6) Ravelry is like a lot of things on the can be a bit of a time sucker. You log in at 8 a.m. to look at Log Cabin blanket patterns, you look up, and suddenly it's 4:30 the next day and you're really hungry. But hey, you've gotten some amazing inspiration and done research on your hobby (even though research that is this lengthy pushes it away from "hobby" and into "obsession."). (And this is only a hypothetical example. Really.)
7) Are you ready to market your original knitting designs to others? Ravelry is just what you need. They'll walk you step by step through the process of setting up a designer account and putting your patterns before your soon-to-be adoring public.
8) It's free. Seriously. All this fabulous resource needs from you is a user name and log in, and you'll have a well of knitting info at your fingertips, day or night.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monday Morning Knitting Returns

After a lengthy hiatus, Monday morning knitting group returns tomorrow. Join us at the Atlanta Bread near CSU from 10-11:30. I can't wait!!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Our Monday morning knitting group will begin the new year with a little break. We will take Jan. 3 off and meet again on Jan. 10.

Did you get new yarn or needles for Christmas? Want to learn some new knitting skills as part of your New Year's Resolutions? Come join us for a great time of knitting and chatting--Mondays starting Jan. 10 at Atlanta Bread near CSU, 10 am until 11:30ish.

Also, with the new year comes new opportunities...
**We are working with the Dorchester Road branch of the Charleston County Public Library to host a knitting group in the evening.
**This year we will attempt some charity knitting projects that anyone can participate in.
**Mark your calendars now for the weekend of June 11/12, 2011 for
World Wide Knit in Public Day. We plan to host an event this year and will be looking for potential venues in the next few months.

New Year's Blessings to you all!