One of the first communities I found upon moving to NYC was Ravelry, referred to by many as Facebook-for-Knitters. An online community for connecting with fellow yarnies over the love of craft, Ravelry boasts thousands of Groups where one can connect with those interested in a particular aspect of a joint hobby.
The first group that I joined was Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Knit and Crochet, a fantastic group of knitters, hookers, weavers, dyers, and spinners who meet for a few hours every Wednesday night at a different café in the neighborhood. These women are frightfully talented and immense good company, and I miss them since moving to Little Senegal. (Three hours on a train after the busiest and most stressful day of my week isn’t something I’ve been able to make work.) In particular, Angela (who became my knitting instructor) and Rebecca were constant encouragers as I worked to develop knitting skills; if I ever translate the ideas in my head into finished garments of art, it will be due in large part to their early confidence in me.
When we were first shopping for neighborhoods, one of the things that I loved about the area immediately surrounding Morningside Park was the existence of Yarntopia, a sweet LYS. I had found the shop and the related group through Ravelry prior to house-hunting, and we stopped in on a particularly snowy day in February to meet Dona, the proprietor. While helping me match a ten-year-old sweater badly in need of repair to a terrific yarn for the job, Dona shared her thoughts on the neighborhood (she’s lived in Morningside for years) and invited us to join her weekly Stitch and Bitch gatherings.
Last night, Corrin and I joined the Yarntopia meetup for the first time. There were a few other newbies and a group of long-standing friends around the table, which made for an interesting blend of conversation – a few awkward pauses punctuating a great deal of television recap squeeing and some bookish dialogue. People were working on an interesting blend of projects, too: sweaters, socks, lace, and a few I didn’t ask about. We enjoyed ourselves immensely (despite being completely out of the loop on all things related to Reality TV), and are looking forward to next week — and I’ve already reached out to Dona about the possibility of enrolling in a sock knitting class.
Speaking of socks… the two hours flew by while I worked on my Ravissant sock – which I found last Thursday after a search through all of my nooks and drawers. Whew.
These socks are constructed toe-up with a squashy half-double-crochet stitch forming the toe and sole, and a lovely shell-lace pattern for the top of the foot and leg. The heel is knit as an afterthought, picked up in the lace, so that it can be easily torn out and replaced as it gets worn.
I had serious issues getting the gauge right when I started these socks – which is no surprise, since I’ve had a problem with gauge EVERY time I’ve tried to make socks. This time it was particularly disconcerting, though, since I have very even tension with crochet and am using the yarn recommended for the pattern (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock). I ended up with a hook two sizes smaller than recommended, and am still slightly larger than the recommended gauge; my compensation is that I’m following the pattern for the size small, but added a few rounds for length in the foot, prior to breaking for the heel. If the photos are any indication, I might have FINALLY hit on socks that I will be able to wear — though they’re chunky enough that choosing the right shoes to pair them with will be tough. But really, one problem at a time!
We’ve just started watching the first season of Exes and Ohs and I’m ready to restart my Doctor Who/Torchwood melded marathon, so if the weather report holds true for the weekend (predicting another four days of rain starting tomorrow), I’ll be able to finish this sock and start on its partner by Sunday. I’m finding it hard to hope for rain after the last three days of it, though…