August Highlights

You probably hear this a lot, but how in the double heck kitty sticks did it get to halfway through August already?

Actually, never mind that. How are we only four months away from Christmas 2020?

Update on Ravelry

I had a long post drafted about my response to the behaviour and actions of Ravelry’s staff in the past two months. Jess’s apology letter just didn’t cut it for me.

But I don’t want my blog to be about things that stress me out. I sometimes post tips I find useful, but this is ultimately an escape from real life for me. And while Ravelry was a great escape in itself and a very useful tool, and while I will greatly miss their massive database… I just don’t want to give them any more headspace than they already have.

I’m officially deleting my account as soon as I’ve got everything transferred, because I can no longer support a team that has, deliberately or accidentally, allowed and even encouraged a disgusting level of ableism on their own forums and in the greater social media world.

I still have a pinned warning here for those the new look still affects, but there are better advocates than I hosting discussions on Instagram and Twitter. More and more people are speaking out in the #ravelryaccessibility hashtag.

Transferring my stuff

So, last month I talked about backing up my projects and stash here to my blog. It kind of works, and I especially like that I can then share my projects in my new highlight posts.

But it’s also clunky and doesn’t allow for cross-referencing, so I took a look at the most recommended platform for a Ravelry alternative and decided that Airtable, a browser- and app-based database management system, works much better for some things like stash and needle inventory.

Screenshot of my stash gallery in Airtable

Airtable is tricky to figure out if you don’t have a background in databases, It’s also more complicated than a Numbers spreadsheet (which is what I started with) and more limited (as far as my understanding of the platform goes). But it also allows you to cross-reference in a way that spreadsheets don’t. (For instance, in the screenshot above, you can see that I have “Projects” listed under each yarn. If you click on “Orange Something” it will open up that project so you can see further details.)

I’ve, of course, since found a base made by Victoria Marchant that I could have copied instead of making my own. Oh well. I learn things better by doing, anyway.

I’m still figuring things out over there, and I’ve actually added tables since I took the screenshot, but I’m happy enough that I’ve moved my stash and needle inventory off my blog entirely. I’ll keep a copy of my portfolio of projects here because it’s much easier to post updates, but it’ll only be the stuff I really want to show off.

Yarn Projects

Speaking of showing off:

My Cosmic Pop! from leftover Bernat Pop! yarn is hibernating while I focus on other things for the moment — one of which is a second and third version of Labby the Angry Cat to see if he can be knitted in the round, which I (usually) find easier than knitting flat and sewing up.

The short answer is: yes, he can. The long answer is: I’m not convinced it’s actually easier this way, I need practice embroidering faces (and casting off feet), and does he really need clothes or can he just stay naked?

Spoiler: I decided he can have clothes. Then, I decided he needed a girlfriend named Labette, on whom I’m experimenting with height because I preferred how wide the original Labby was compared to Labby II.

Other Projects

I’ve also been knitting sweaters for one of my teddy bears, Mowbray. His big brother has a drawer full of clothes from Bear Factory, but Mowbray is an awkward size to buy for. Bear Factory (no longer available in the UK anyway) and Build a Bear both only offer t-shirts for their 8-inch bears (which Mowbray generally fits into), so I’ve known for a while I’d have to make him something if I wanted to expand his drawer.

Mowbray has been getting somewhat… well, I hate to say “jealous”, but his requests for clothing have definitely become more strident of late. Especially when I had the idea that I actually knew what I was doing and thus no longer had an excuse…

(Spoiler: I only kind of know what I’m doing.)

Mowbray proudly wearing his new sweater!
Yes, he’s wearing a sweater under his winter pyjamas. In the middle of a heatwave. I can’t even.

It occurs to me at this point that I’ve never introduced you guys to my boys. Maybe I’ll do that one day. Or maybe I won’t since it probably brings my sanity into question and there’s already enough of my crazy on the internet. Who knows.

I want to make him trousers, too. I have no idea how, but I want to.

From My Shop

As it’s still summer (and we Brits must relish the sun whenever we can), I was going to just highlight the same summer-themed goodies from my shop as I did last month. (Well, it’s not like I have much in the way of summer-themed goodies there, anyway. I do adore the little heart-butted turtles, though!)

But that seemed kind of boring, so here are some other goodies instead:

I’m actually running out of stock in some areas, but I’ve been on a knitting kick lately and haven’t felt inspired to make any dingle-dangles. I have plans, though. I recently bought the most adorable ladybird charms. They are so cute, y’all.

August On Our Instagram

I weirdly don’t have anything from my own Instagram that I want to show off right now, but KitKat is being as cute as ever:

I need a thesaurus. What’s another word for cute/adorable? I want to squee and squeeze the ever-lovin’ life out of her every time I look at her.

Oh, and here’s a picture of yarn barf for your enjoyment, just because I really did not enjoy it and someone really should:

The good news is: I untangled the lot. (Pretty unheard of for me, to be honest. I normally just lob it out the door and hope someone will dispose of it, but this was £20 hand-dyed yarn so that was really not an option this time.)

The bad news is: it took me six bloody hours. I don’t even know how it got that tangled. Yeesh.

That’s what I get for trying to wind yarn without a swift, I guess.

Sneak Peek

For those of you who made it this far, here’s a sneak peek of something I’ve got up my sleeve. Or, well, not actually up my sleeve because it’s too bloody hot at the time of writing to be wearing them (and also it wouldn’t fit if I was even wearing sleeves in the first place).

Sneak peek of something I've made

I’ll let you guess what it’s for.

What’s been going on in your August so far?

6 Comments Add yours

  1. IdleEmma says:

    I’m glad you got that yarn untangled! I’m the same, normally I’d just chuck it out or stuff it into some amigurumi as filling but when it’s a pricey hand dyed yarn, you have to save it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emma says:

      Me too! It’s my own fault in a way; I didn’t use a swift. /shock horror/ But the way I’m set up means a swift actually is harder (impossible for me alone and I haven’t had time with carers to get them to help because the pandemic’s meant extra chores for them like grocery shopping). The thing is, I’ve wound hanks without a swift before no problem, and I’ve wound one since this mess with no problem (though I was extra cautious this time just in case). I have no idea how this one got so freaking tangled, I really don’t. O_O

      But yeah, if you have a swift and can use it, use it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. IdleEmma says:

        Not gonna lie – I have two swifts (wanted a second to help with re-skeining yarn after dying) and I still find myself not winding balls of yarn by hand (even though I have a yarn winder), sitting awkwardly, hunched over with my knees up and the skein wrapped around them.
        At least you have an excuse for not using the swift 😀
        It is funny though, you can wind so many balls of yarn no problem and then one skein comes along and makes you question why you keep buying yarn in skein format!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Emma says:

          I wonder if I can blame the dyer for it 🤔 (Just kidding lol. Both hanks I’ve recently wound are from the same dyer, and one didn’t become a tangled mess so…)

          Are your swifts wooden or plastic? I got a wooden one because I’m trying to be more ecologically conscious and generally avoid plastic where I can, but it creaks and groans and could probably do with oiling. It’s so stiff. I’ve been thinking of getting a plastic+metal one instead, see if that helps any. What I really need is a side-mounted one, though, so I can access it myself instead of having to wait around for my carers. (I did think the swift I bought would be able to do that but then turns out that nah.)

          But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? If it’s easier and faster to do it around your knees, why not? xD

          Liked by 1 person

          1. IdleEmma says:

            Both mine are plastic – and cheap ones at that. They do work fine though, I’ve not had any issues with either of them. Well, other than the problem I have of not really having anywhere suitable to clamp them down to use without having to move a bunch of stuff, but that’s a fault with my room decor, not the swifts! I’d love a swift I could sit in the middle of room but those are usually fixed and wooden and I don’t really have anywhere to store something like that when it’s not in place.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Emma says:

              Oh to have enough money and space for the perfect craft room of our dreams ❤️

              Liked by 1 person

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