I’ve been busy…

Sorry for the long absence, my life mildly blew up for a while. First I tried to go low carb and crashed HARD without the happy carbs in my system and totally lost my crafting mojo. Then we picked up kittens and a mama cat to foster and that took a lot of time and energy. I really only started crafting again last week. Also, I’m eating carbs again, lol. Coincidence?

I also was working on a big project whenever I had the time. I was migrating all my pattern library, stash, and queue from Ravelry to Airtable. It’s a precaution I’m taking in case Ravelry goes down in the future, which is looking more and more likely. At the very least the community will degrade significantly starting April 1 when they remove the Classic Rav option from the site. Many are planning on deleting their accounts either because they can’t use NuRav, or don’t want to. The forums will never be the same. I finished my Airtable work this morning and I have over 1900 pattern entries, both from my library and queue. As I went through the queue I found quite a few patterns that were taken down and are no longer available online. I think many of those were in response to NuRav. It’s sad. At least some designers are expanding their pattern sales beyond Ravelry into other platforms like Payhip.

I haven’t quite committed to an approach to the impending deadline yet. I don’t think I’ll delete my account, as there’s still some value in the database and project management. Though there have been some reports of problems with the database lately and no response from Ravelry about whether they’re fixing it or not…

I’ll probably stick around the forums at least for a little while to see how bad it is, but I expect in the end I’ll be posting a lot less. I followed a bunch of blogs and Instagrams of LSGers when there was a thread around advertising that, but now I don’t know who’s who, lol. In case anyone here is having that problem, my user name on Ravelry is bioartist.

Anyway. To recapture my crafting mojo I did what any self-respecting crafter would do. I started a new project. Never mind all the other projects I have going, I needed something fresh. There’s nothing like the high of winding yarn and casting on to get the juices flowing. I started Cozumel by Justyna Lorkowska using 5 colors of Mirasol Llama Una, a 100% baby llama yarn. It’s so luscious to knit with! It started with a provisional cast on, then 80 rows of garter stitch before starting a mosaic pattern with the second color. Then more garter in the second color, rinse and repeat with new colors. Then at the end you use the first color again for the last mosaic pattern and a few rows of garter stitch, then you graft the ends together. This is how far I got.

Then I realized I had a problem. I didn’t have very much of the first color left. I ripped out the whole mosaic pattern and a few rows garter stitch to correspond to what I needed at the end to weigh the yarn and see how much I’d need. I wasn’t even close. So I figured I could just shorten the garter section, no big deal, right? I ripped out what I’d need to finish the end and was left with only 56 of the required 80 rows of garter. Reading ahead I realized that while most of the colors used less yarn as they had shorter garter blocks, one other color used the same amount of yarn, so I’d have to shorten that section too. That would be too much shortening. It would significantly change the length of the cowl. While it is a long cowl, I was afraid shortening it too much might leave me with an awkward length. Not long enough to loop twice, but too long to sit comfortably.

I had no choice, I needed more yarn. I contacted the owner of the local yarn shop where I got the yarn (on sale) and found out they sold out of it during the big end of year sale. So I went online. I found one color at one site, and the other color at another site, so, sadly, I had to pay shipping twice. What can you do? Meanwhile I couldn’t continue with the project because what if the new yarns were totally different dyelots? I’d have to rip back to the cast on and stripe them to smooth the transition between old yarn and new where the beginning and end would meet. So again, I did what any self-respecting crafter would do. I started a new project.

I wanted something challenging but not super long term. I’d been itching to cast on a pair of socks and in going through my library on Airtable I realized I had a ton of Claire Ellen sock patterns, but had never knit any. She has a whole line of Lord of the Rings themed socks. So I picked out a pattern with cables and lace, the Legolas Socks, and cast on.

Almost right away I ran into a problem with the chart. She represents decreases with a slash \ which is pretty common. So when I saw two slashes next to each other spanning two stitches, I decreased twice in a row. I didn’t think to check the legend for other meanings because I knew what a slash meant. But this had me decreasing almost half the stitches in the round. I know socks are meant to have negative ease, but this was going to shrink it so much it wouldn’t fit over my heel! I stared at the pattern for the longest time. I counted stitches. I looked at the following rounds in the chart. It wasn’t adding up. I looked for pattern notes in other people’s projects to see if anyone else had been confused, but no one mentioned it. Then I glanced at the legend. Now, you have to understand there isn’t really a standardized set of symbols for displaying cables in a chart, but there are common symbols a lot of patterns use. This pattern uses something a little different. Two slashes \\ is meant to represent a cable cross. Not just a cable cross, but a cross with a purl for the first stich and knit for the second. I’m used to that being represented differently, with a dot over the purl stitch in addition to the slash. I also am more used to the two stitches in a cable cross looking like one long stitch on the chart rather than graphed to look like two stitches, with a line between them like any other pair of stitches. It was confusing. But I fixed it. I had only made that mistake for one round, so it was easy enough to tink back. Then it was smooth sailing. I’ve already completed the first pattern repeat on the leg.

Meanwhile, the extra yarn for Cozumel showed up and amazingly, both colors were the same dyelots that I already had! No need to stripe! Unbelievable!

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I still don’t quite feel like taking up my other crafts yet, like spinning, but I’m working up to it. Now that I’m done with setting up Airtable I can focus on other things, like blogging, chores, crafts, gaming, and such. You’ll hear from me again soon, I’m sure.

By yarnologist

I'm a former wannabe scientist turned fiber arts fanatic. Follow me as I attempt to turn my amateur hobby into a professional career!

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