Reading that long ago post, I have to laugh at some of the things I thought then. For one, I had figured the two groups I’d found and joined (one for Knotty Girl and one for knitting quilters) would be more than enough for me. Today, I belong to 57 groups: blogging, knitting for children, NASCAR, reading, my favorite independent yarn dyers, spinning, military spouses, lace… I also spend a lot more time in the Big 6 forums (Patterns, Yarn, Techniques, For the Love of Ravelry, Needlework on the Net, Remnants) than I expected to, and Ravelry has become my go to place for questions and concerns with my knitting.
I spent part of today thinking about where I would be today if not for Ravelry. To say that this site has expanded my knitting horizons is cliched but true. One of my first projects was a baby cardigan knit with cheap, fuzzy yarn. I used a free pattern that called for knitting 5 rectangles (one for the back, 2 for the fronts, and 2 for the sleeves) and then sewing them together. It looked pretty awkward with no shaping, and I had no idea how to properly sew seams together (the good news is that the fuzzy yarn hid most of my ugly seams). The lack of shaping also made for sleeves that, once I’d sewn them to the rest of the cardigan, I couldn’t fit Lexie’s arms through.
One of my most recently finished projects was a hat for me. It was my own design (one of eight I’ve released), put together to meet a specific need, using only a stitch pattern found in a stitchionary and a basic understand of hat design. Not only does it work perfectly for what I need–keeping all of my hair from blowing into my face in the Texas wind–but it’s pretty…and it was knit with some luscious silk blend yarn I found at an LYS I learned about through Ravelry.
Another recently finished project was my first handspun yarn. A year ago, I certainly never would have thought that I could spin yarn. Heck, a year ago, I didn’t know you could spin yarn on anything less than some big bulky wheel. I’d certainly never heard of drop spindles. Now I own two.
And not only do I own spindles, I’ve used one of them. I’ve spun yarn, and will (eventually) be knitting something with it (most likely a hat, once I’ve designed it).
I tried to figure out the appropriate gift to myself to celebrate my Ravelversary. It occured to me that the traditional gift for a first anniversary is paper…so what could be more appropriate than a knitting pattern?
So I decided to “splurge” on a for-sale pattern on Ravelry. It seemed right, to buy through Ravelry and help another designer who supports the site I’ve enjoyed so much for the last year. At first, I found myself paging through the children’s patterns, before I reminded myself that this is my anniversary–so I was getting something for me. My first thought was a shirt pattern, but I didn’t see one I fell in love with, so I checked out the cardigans…and found the Arrowhead Lace Cardigan (on Ravelry here). I love the pattern, and I love even more than it was shown on a woman with curves a lot like mine–so I actually have an idea of how it fits. Perfect!
Happy Ravelversary to me…and here’s to many more!