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September 2020

Craftsy rebootNorthern Isles cruise, 2021 editionGrafting in pattern, againICYMIGranny squaresTake time to play

Craftsy reboot

Craftsy.com is up and running again, under new management.


 
When you get right down to it, they’ve done an amazing job of getting the site up and running in relatively short order. No doubt, some kinks remain to be worked out. To stay informed, I’ve signed up for their weekly newsletter, via the form at the bottom of every page. (I figure it’s “safe.” They promise not to “sell, rent, or give away” email addresses.)

Want to know more? Check out their FAQ. Or better yet, check out the selection of classes. As before, you can either purchase individual classes outright to own forever – like my Socks My Way: Stitch Pattern Savvy class – or you can purchase a monthly or annual membership that gives you access to everything for the duration of your membership.
Visit the new site

Northern Isles cruise, 2021 edition

Speaking of teaching... I’m tentatively scheduled to teach on a Northern Isles cruise next year. (I say “tentatively” because, as with everything else right now, who knows?) It’s more-or-less a replacement for the Northern Isles cruise that didn’t happen this past July, in that the itinerary is slightly different – but still awesome:
  • Amsterdam! Home of Stephen and Penelope.
  • Two stops in Norway, with options for visiting the Oleana Sweater factory, a Dale of Norway store, and the Rauma Yarn Mill.
  • Three stops in Iceland, with yet more fantastic shopping opportunities.
  • Three stops in Scotland, including Lerwick (yippee!)

Oh, let’s hope travel opens up by then, eh?

Side note: as far as I know, the Southeast Asia and China and Japan knitting cruises are still scheduled for this coming January – but that’s just four months away, so who knows?
Read about the cruise

Grafting in pattern, again

Last month I asked how y’all approach grafting. The consensus was: “I read my knitting when I graft in pattern.” Not a real surprise, eh?

Myself, I’m still playing with different approaches for grafting in pattern – specifically, for joining a strip of lace edging into a round. Here’s the one that appeals to me the most right now:
  • Pick which row of the pattern you want to graft. Use your head: make it a relatively short, simple row. Let’s say it’s row 4.
  • Cast on with waste yarn and knit a few rows in stockinette.
  • Switch to project yarn, and begin knitting with row 5.
  • When you’ve knit the edging to the appropriate length, end having worked row 3. (See? Row 4 is missing.)
  • Switch to WY, and knit row 4 of the pattern before knitting a few rows in stockinette.
  • Using the WY sections as guides, graft the two ends together, creating row 4 in the process.
  • Remove the WY.

It’s like the approach that Lucy Neatby teaches, except for knitting that one WY row in pattern. Doing so means you’ll have the guide you’ll need to graft that bit correctly in pattern. Knitting the rest of the WY sections in stockinette (rather than in pattern, like I used to do) means those sections are simpler, and less of a distraction as you’re grafting.

Or so it seems to me today. I’ll let you know if I discover anything new in future explorations!

ICYMI

In case you missed it, I added a bunch of new symbols to Stitch-Maps.com.


 
Whenever I add new symbols to the site, I like to knit up samples of their use. Of this most recent set of symbols, I think the center crosses were my favorites.


This pattern came from Janet Szabo’s Cables, Volume 1: The Basics. Do check that book out if you’re into cables!
See more samples

Granny squares

Did you see this Instagram post?


 
I’ve crocheted since I was a kid, but I don’t teach crochet because I want to keep it as a hobby. And my favorite thing to crochet are motifs: I’ll flip through my stitch dictionaries, pick a motif that looks promising, and stitch it up just to see how the pattern turns out.


Pretty little things, created just for yuks

But lately I’ve been drawn to crocheting ultra-basic granny squares out of scraps, for a couple reasons: One, I needed some more coasters. Two, granny squares are super quick and – if you’ve ever done one before – utterly mindless. The pattern is completely predictable; you’re not tied to printed instructions. In short, granny squares are just the thing, when you want to play with yarn without having to think too much.


 
That said, in making these coasters I made use of a tip I got recently from Edie Eckman. When going from one round to the next in the same color, you can avoid having to slip-stitch to the next chain space if you end the round by working a single crochet into the first stitch of the round rather than a slip stitch. Nifty, eh?

Do you crochet? Give this trick a try, the next time you sit down with a granny square. Or if you’re new to granny squares, check out Edie’s instructional video, which contains more great tips.
Watch Edie’s video

Take time to play

Do you need a little stress relief? (Who doesn’t??) Maybe you need to get in touch with your inner kid and remember how to play. This article has excellent tips for figuring out the how, what, and when.
Read the whole thing
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