Yarn Anyone?

2629461357_6d8f37c115_mMaybe you have a relative who is a fanatical knitter or a friend who always has a ball of yarn in his or her knapsack? Or, am I describing you?! For more on this passion, let me share some info with you. Just like so many other crafts, there are web sites and blogs all over the Internet on knitting and crocheting. One of my favorite knitting sites is Knitty.com — a witty, stylized and cute site with patterns, coffeeshop chat and articles with knitting help.

Are you new to knitting or crocheting? The Lion Brand Yarn site includes Learn to Crochet instructions – one needs to keep scrolling to the bottom of the screen but the illustrations are easy to look at. Many knitting and crochet books, no matter what level of patterns covered, include a few pages of beginner’s tips and terminology.

Most local yarn stores – also referred to as your LYS – offer classes for all levels of knitters and crocheters, as well as drop-in gathering times. One can find local stores by googling for Seattle yarn shops or looking for Internet sites like SweaterBabe.com’s listing of Washington yarn shops. The Seattle Knitters Guild, founded in 1985, meets on the third Wednesday of the month and frequently has invited speakers and their web site also lists local shops and events.

Stitch n’ Bitch groups – social knitting and crocheting centered around small groups – meet in homes and coffee shops. The one that I attend includes newbie and experienced knitters, the hostess of most nights makes some yummy veggie thing, and we talk about life and, oh yeah, our yarns stashes. More than 1,000 knitters filled up Mariners’ seats at the first ever Stitch n’ Pitch game in 2005 – this year’s event is on Thursday, August 27th.

Want another reason to visit local yarn stores? The Fourth Annual Puget Sound LYS Tour takes place on May 14 through May 17. Needlework enthusiasts or lurkers, challenge yourself to visit 23 local yarn stores (LYS) – or just a few. Pick up a 2009 LYS Tour Passport at your local LYS and get it stamped at participating shops over these four days. Each shop offers a free one-skein pattern and 10% off the yarn for that pattern. This is a great group activity or one to do for some quality time alone.

simple-style1Here are some hints on finding library books. Using subject or topic words of “knitting patterns” in the library’s catalog shares books like Simple Style: 19 Innovative to Traditional Designs with Simple Knitting Techniques.  Searching “crocheting patterns” leads to several books about making toys or animals like Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More!  And, yes, these books often cover making a test swatch to check on one’s gauge, aka are you knitting or crocheting too tight or loose. If anyone’s curious, I hardly ever do this. Please comment on this blog if you do or do not check your gauge!
Connect with your librarian if you want hints on finding fiction that includes knitting, crocheting or just the mention of yarn – get prepared for recommendations of local author Debbie Macomber who lives here in Washington and several mystery writers.

Happy k2, p2 [knit two, purl 2] and ch8 [chain stitch 8] to all!

One thought on “Yarn Anyone?”

  1. As a yarn fanatic, I’m excited to see this post! I wanted to share a few of my favorite knitting resources.

    For the more experienced needlecrafter, check out ravelry.com – it’s a great social networking site for knitters and crocheters!

    As far as I’m concerned, no knitter of any experience level should be without Margaret Radclifffe’s “The Knitting Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face, Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask.” It’s very compact, so it will fit nicely in your knitting bag or purse. It’s kind of like having your own personal knitting genie.

    Finally, if you’re ready to rip your current project into a million pieces and throw it out the window, take a deep breath and sit down with the Yarn Harlot (aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). Her always-witty books and blog are sure to amuse – and to ease your what-do-you-mean-I-have-to-rip-out-the-last-six-inches frustration.

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