Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine

Almost everyone is familiar with the age-old adage, a stitch in time saves nine.  It's etymology is based in crafting and it advocates expending a little effort sooner to fix a small problem, thus preventing it from becoming a larger problem requiring more effort to fix later.  To a knitter that means: darn it now! because mending a small unraveling stitch saves you mending a larger hole in the future.

It is a sage saying, one that I wholeheartedly agree with. But I think there is another deeper, more philosophical meaning to the saying that is also learned from crafting. Pivotal in this alternate meaning are the definitions of the words time and save. "In time" can mean not late, but it can also mean a point in time or event. Saving can mean preventing future work, but it can also mean storing.  Thus an alternate meaning can be interpreted as "A stitch made at a certain time/event stores nine memories."  Caught in each of the stitches I create with my knitting are my memories and my knitting saves or stores memories.  I remember who I knit with, the finished knitwear I saw, what project I was knitting, and course all of the wonderful memories of purchasing yarn, which then leads to even more knitting memories.

Stitches Midwest 2014

Recently I traveled to Stitches Midwest, a knitting event in Schaumburg, IL, hosted by XRX.  The event is the epitome of this alternate meaning of the saying, as I have so many great memories, all because of knitting. In fact there are so many memories it would be impossible for me to limit the number to just 9!

The People

For me this event was all about the people! I was able to reconnect with old friends, and also meet new friends.  I drove to Illinois with my dear friend Cori, who became a much closer friend when we both took a leap of faith and friendship and traveled together to the same event last year.  It was our knitting friendship anniversary!

I did a horrible job of remembering to take pictures, mostly because I spent so much time talking to people and then later remembered we didn't take a picture. Suffice to say, there are so many people that I got to reconnect with, and also many new friends! A sprinkling of the folks I did get to meet/reconnect with and did remember to take a picture of are:

I got to meet a new friend Amanda of Gnome Acres, who was delightful and so.very.funny!  She had a fantastic booth set-up that perfectly showcased her gorgeous yarn.
I reconnected with the incomparable Sarah of  In a Sknit video podcast.  Just looking at her smiling face makes me hear her infectious giggle and smile from ear to ear.

I meet Julie at the Knitting Pipeline retreat earlier this year, and was happy to see her again at the podcaster meet-up!  She is the very talented dyer behind the aptly named Happy Go Lucky Yarn.

Another new friend was Lucia of the Knitted Paradise video podcast.  Not only is she gorgeous, but she is another geek knitter like me.  She was also sporting a gorgeous Cool Clavicle Cover, which is one of the first times I remember seeing a complete stranger wearing one of my designs.  Of course now she is no longer a stranger!

Knitwear Everywhere

In addition to all the wonderful people at Stitches, I also have memories that soaked into the knitwear I was wearing, and what knitwear everyone else was wearing.  The most noticeable and popular design was the Hitofude cardigan, which were in many marketplace displays and worn by many attendees, including the one I wore.  My cardigan has layer upon layer of memories, as I knit my 2nd Hitofude out of Fibernymph Dyeworks which I bought at the first knitting retreat I ever attended SSK in 2012.

Another popular pattern was the Tan House Brook Shawl. I got to meet the wonderful designer Jennifer Lassonde, who is also a talented audio podcaster.  Check her out at Down Cellar Studio.

I also wore my latest design Literally Over the Top out of Grinning Gargoyle and happened to run into the dyer Lynae in the market.  This garment now has multiple layers of memories too, as I was designing and knitting this top at ZK2014 , and I bought the yarn the previous year at the ZK2013 market.

I also brought along my 2nd Cool Clavicle Cover and was able to lend it to my friend Carla (who shall remain blogless) who was cold because of the air conditioning, and that memory is now carried with that shawl.

Memories In Progress

Also included in my Stitches memories are what project I was knitting.  I worked almost exclusively on a 3rd Cool Clavicle Cover out of handspun.  The yarn was a swap with a very generous spinner, who definitely has memories of all the hard work it took to craft this chain plied Woolgatherings merino bamboo silk. I love how the gradient shows off the construction of the shawl! I recently finished the shawl, and whenever I see it or wear it I will remember Stitches Midwest 2014.

The Yarn

And of course there are tons of memories from the epic and so very tempting marketplace.  I met so many wonderful dyers and bought so much gorgeous yarn!

Pictured are:
Top Left Sophie's Toes MCN Trio   
Top Right Dragonfly Fibers Dance silk noil
Middle Left   Feel Good Yarn Company's Silver Spun                                   
Middle Right Gnome Acres Worsted and House Gnome
Miss Babs Katahdin
Bottom   Kismet Fiber Works Refuge sinfully soft camel silk

And all these lovely yarns are the genesis of more knitting memories.  I will remember that I bought the yarn at Stitches Midwest 2014, that I was knitting them with other people when something else happened, and I will wear whatever I created to a future event to make more memories.

Knitting is so much more than creating a knitted object, it is the preserving of memories in each stitch made and worn.

A stitch in time truly saves so much more than nine memories!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Where in the World Is JustRunKnit?

The easy answer is: obviously not blogging!  I find myself once again apologizing for a prolonged absence from this creative outlet of mine.  I love writing, and obviously I had HUGE hopes of blogging twice a week when I set out on this adventure at the beginning of the year.

Well, as life is wont to do, it got in the way.  I have been very busy with my day job, podcast technical challenges, and retreat planning.  I have also been working on making RUN a bigger part of JustRunKnit.

All of that to say, I am making a concerted effort to make a come back to blogging! And what better way to apologize and gather excitement than with a KAL with prizes!

I have recently published 2 new fingering weight patterns that work well with those pesky highly variegated yarns that are so alluring in the skein, but often mask the stitch patterns and design details.
Let me introduce:

Expanding CommuKnitty

Link to find it on Ravelry

No matter how many knitters I know, and I feel like I know quite a few, I always want to meet more! This sock pattern was inspired by the ever expanding community of knitters I have in my life. For me, knitting is so much more than just a fiber art, needle craft, or hobby. It is a shared interest that connects me with countless other wonderful people, and the starting point to so many dear friendships. So go out and expand your commuKNITTY, by chatting on Ravelry, attending a fiber festival or knitting retreat, visiting a local yarn shop, or knitting in public!

This pattern is written for identical left and right socks, and works well with tonal, highly variegated, and self-striping. This pattern also features the Spacious OMG Heel, which modifies the original heel to have a deeper more spacious heel pocket. This heel more closely mimics a gusset heel rather than a short-row heel, with twice as many gusset rows as the original OMG heel.

Cool Clavicle Cover

Link to find it on Ravelry

Sometimes on even the most scorching days of Summer, your shoulders will get chilled. This crescent shawl is an extremely thin layer that sits nicely on your shoulders. It is light and airy, but provides enough coverage to block blasting air conditioners or combat a slight night time chill.

Using just 1 skein of fingering weight yarn, this shawl works well with those single skeins that are just too gorgeous to put on your feet.  The simple, textured, yet visually interesting stitch pattern knits up beautifully with variegated, tonal, and gradient color ways.

KAL Details

Without further ado, let's get to the KAL and prizes.
* All projects using these 2 patterns are eligible, no matter when they were cast-on, as I know that they had to be started in the last few months.
* KAL ends September 15, 2014.
* To be eligible for prizes, fill out the form below with your Ravelry project page link.  I will draw from that list once I have verified your FO picture in Ravelry by 9/15/2014.
* Winners will be announced on the blog, and I hope to share FO pics on the blog as well.

The prize for the Cool Clavicle Cover is a Stockinette Zombies Couch Bears project bag and a gorgeous skein of Gynx Yarn.
The prize for the Expanding CommuKnitty socks is a Good Looking HO project bag and a beautiful skein of Yarn Vs Zombies.