Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fair Isle Scarf and the Dark Side of Ravelry Forums

I am wearing my Osebury Rock Scarf which is the fifth installment of Ysolda's 2015 shawl club and as you can see it's all about celebrating gorgeous autumnal color.  While I generally think of fall leaves when I think of autumn color, it was mounds of hot roasted root vegetables that gave Ysolda the inspiration for the colors in this scarf.  Knowing this you can see the colors of sweet potatoes, yams, beets, and parsnips that inspired this scarf (apparently Ysolda has a fondness for roasted root vegetables).  It makes for a very yummy scarf, no?

This is of course a fair isle project and maybe I've been sleeping during the resurgence of  fair isle (colorwork) knitting but it's only this past year that I've noticed that it seems to have taken designers by storm.  But these patterns have a decidedly more modern flare than the designs I grew up knitting. It's colorwork for a new generation of knitters and is adding bright splashes of color to everything from hats to scarfs and everything in between.  My last fair isle project was a very traditional design by Alice Starmore and that hebe hat post has more technical information and resources about this style of knitting if you are interested.

Instead of getting technical I want to talk about the importance of not sweating the details in knitting and how best to adjust when something does not go according to plan.  Because with knitting there are always variables and things that can go wrong. And it's okay to make adjustments, live with mistakes, or deliberately make changes, but you must always be aware of how those changes affect the overall finished design.

Speaking of which in this case I did not check my gauge (which I often fail to do with scarfs and shawls) and before too long it became clear that I would run out of the neutral colored yarn long before I finished the scarf.  So I compensated for this by substituting a similar shade of neutral colored yarn from stash into the middle of the scarf and holding back enough of the original neutral colored yarn so that my bind off border/edging would match the yarn used for the beginning cast on border/edging. This way the symmetry of the design was preserved and the substituted yarn looks like it is part of the overall design.    

The best way to keep track of whether you are using too much yarn in sufficient time to take corrective action is by weighing your yarn and estimating the yardage you have used and/or remaining. If you don't already have a digital kitchen scale I highly recommend you get one.  Not only is it an essential knitting tool there are many recipes online that use weight versus volume. Getting into the habit of weighing your yarn is the best way to detect a yardage problem in time to make an adjustment so that your finished project will reflect your personal taste and decisions rather than looking like you simply knit until you ran out of yarn.

Particulars:  Osebury Rock (Ysolda's 2015 Shawl Club); US 7 needles; 1 gradient set of EasyKnits yarn in Squidge colorway Osebury Rock.  Post blocking measurements: 11" x 54" (exclusive of fringe). Additional projects from Ysolda's 2015 Shawl Club are: Malton Oolite ScarfStac ShoaighCaer Idris; and Cockern Tor.  I should mention that for those that ran out of yarn Ysolda provided additional yarn at no additional cost.  A class act all around.

It's a Jungle Out There ~

Life is not always a walk in the park, and sometimes you don't even recognize the danger until it's far far too late.  I had that graphically illustrated to me this past week on something as seemingly harmless as the Ravelry knitting forums where you might (as least I did) have the expectation of civility and camaraderie.  Which is anything but the case.  So learn from my experience and have a care if you venture onto the forums because not all is as it should be there.

Not everyone will heed my warning and so, if you are like me, and don't have a social media crisis control consultant on retainer here are my two rules to follow when you unwittingly find yourself wading in shark infested forum waters.

Rule No 1:  Any idea to enlighten others or diffuse a situation that suddenly occurs to you whilst in the midst of a social media crisis is, by definition, a bad idea.

Rule No 2:  Before posting anything whist in the midst of a social media crisis, consult Rule No 1.

Kidding aside, I had become careless and forgotten that just like any forum Ravelry has its share of cyber bullies and those maliciously intended.  And yet, truthfully I'm glad I had this experience (not that I enjoyed it) because it forced me to evaluate how I spend my time online.  Like all of us I have limited time and should use that precious time wisely and that means using social media forums sparingly.  Time should be spent really living by being present with those that you love, enjoying nature, reading, learning, being creative and celebrating that which you enjoy and anchors you in this world. These are the things that create lasting memories, happiness, and a full and rich life well lived. Thank you for the reminder.

Until next time, be well, love well and enjoy this holiday season sharing, spending time with, and celebrating with those you love.


Bridget said...

That is a really cool scarf - I love the modern fairisle look!

Ah yes, Ravelry forums. The most innocent remark or observation can blow up right in front of you in record time. I will admit that I read the forums much more than I write anything to add.

What a lovely bird in your last photo - a beautiful color of blue. :-)

Susan said...

Your scarf looks beautiful, it is making me feel determined to get over my fear of knitting fair isle. I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience, it is so easy to assume that everyone on these forums is on there for all the right reasons. I enjoy your blog and always look forward to seeing the lovely things you have made (and the delicious recipes).

Monika said...

That scarf is lovely! I love roasted root veggies too. :o)

Claudia, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience on Ravelry. I agree with what you are saying about living in the moment and spend your time less online etc.
I've been trying to do that actually for a while now. Ravelry and flickr are the only places I go, but only to a few groups, and thankfully I haven't had a bad experience yet.

Hope to see you there again at some point!

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you Bridget! It's a blue jay that's looking down at the bird feeder :)

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you Susan, I appreciate you popping in to say hi! Do give fair isle a try - it's very addictive and fun to see the pattern emerge.

Claudia Bugh said...

Monika I have eaten more roasted sweet potatoes this year than ever before because of this scarf lol

Willow said...

I'd rather eat sweet potatoes than wear them :)
Thank you for the reminder about cyber bullies even on ravelry. I mostly avoid any of the forums anywhere. Just can't deal with negative people--don't have time. (which is why I visit your blog--you are always thoughtful and kind. And you have awesome photos of knitting and dogs and SoCal flora)

Tanya2 said...

Gorgeous scarf, Claudia - such rich and warm colors! I miss you but fully understand your decision, and am glad you will continue blogging so I can keep up with you and the big guy :-)

Mustakoyra said...

What a gorgeous scarf! Those colors are fantastic and work together wonderfully!

Sorry that there was weirdness on Rav. It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, eh? I agree with Tanya (above) as I too will really miss pics of the big guy. One recent image of him you posted, taken from the side - he's jumping - WOW - every muscle and all his enthusiasm in conveyed. Fantastic!


Anonymous said...

I don't do social media. Privacy is the new money, IMO. It's shame your experience was unpleasant. Going back to your blog to check out any dog pics, as those always lift any blog...even a knitting one!

Allie-oops Designs said...

Ooh that is so pretty, Claudia!!! I just love the colors. I'm sorry you had a bad experience on Ravelry, of all places - but really there are rude people everywhere. Someone who would never say boo to your face will explode on social media. Making our world ruder, one post at a time, sigh....

Anonymous said...

So sorry that happened to you on the forums, Claudia. Why in the world are people like that? I love your tip about finessing the design of your scarf to accommodate the yardage you have on hand in that particular way. Both clever and yet uncomplicated and simple. It leads the mind to all sorts of other little knitterly tricks to disguise yarn substitutions (and thus create an "original."). Very inspirational. Chloe

Carolyn said...

Glad you've carried on blogging anyway, even if we miss you on the forums. I am impressed by the yarn weighing tip - I have never done that but there are times when it would be oh so useful. Gorgeous scarf and pics as ever

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I just discovered your blog. Yay! I adore the lovely scarf you made. I look forward to reading more of your blog and future posts, too. :)

So sorry you were treated so mean on Rav. It would be the last place I would have thought this would happen, but you are the second person who has told me about this sort of thing, so I am now treading lightly.

I am very glad you are going to devote more time to creating and doing this off line. That is my goal in 2016...more "real time" less "on line time".

Wishing you a lovely day. :)

Andi G said...

That scarf is positively beautiful! You have reminded me that I really need to get a digital scale.
Sorry about the bullies, love.

Patti Humbert said...

Aww I just feel I have to leave you a comment! I stumbled upon the GSD group on Ravelry and found it is such a friendly place! So many photos of Simcha just had me awed, they are so beautiful! I am so sorry you found nastiness on Ravelry, I have seen it happen many times which is why I rarely spend much time online. But I am glad I stumbled upon your blog because I just love your pictures and you seem like such a lovely person. I will be sure to bookmark your blog to see more of your beautiful photos!

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you guys for the nice comments! I appreciate hearing that you enjoy the pictures and the blog which isn't quite as whimsical without Mr. Puffy but hopefully still a pleasant place to visit. Wishing everyone a happy holiday and hopefully I'll get my last post of the year up before I take a break from the internet as I always do over the Christmas and New Year period :)