Saturday, February 16, 2008

Guinness is good for you

Originally uploaded by annmcclure2000

Ravelry, if you don't know, is like a social networking site for knitters and crocheters. But really, it's so much more. At the moment they are trying to control growth as they work the bugs out, so you need a password to get in. You have to submit your name and wait for an invitation. I received my invitation back in, oh, November, I had to wait about three weeks.

Anyway, once you get in you can post your projects and what yarn you used and modifications you made, like an online knitting/crochet journal. And we're all suppose to keep one of those like good little fiber enthusiasts, aren't we? At the same time you can see what other people are working on and comments/notes they made. For instance, I want to make Iris from Rowan 35. I was able to see how much yarn other people used and what they used for closures and trouble they hit sewing the sleeves on. Now I have my eyes open to all that. Oh, and you can have a project queue, too. As you wander around seeing cool stuff you click a button and it is added to your list so you can keep track of what you want to make and it what order.

And you can organize your stash, what yarn, color, how much. But who has time for that?

The place is massive. It's like the Louvre, or a hall of mirrors, or the King of Prussia Mall. Some place you can wander aimlessly for a long time, ending up nowhere near where you started and not sure how you got there. You get in and start clinking links, you search for a project and click on one someone posted. You decide to check out their profile. Then you start looking at their other projects because something is pretty, which leads you to someone else's profile. And before you know it you are looking at socks when you started on cardigans and you have totally blown your yarn budget (mentally at least). (and yes, I did just compare one of the world's great art museums to a big mall in Pennsylvania. I considered throwing Versailles in there, but I don't remember the palace being all that confusing, even if it is big.)

But the part that really sucks up time is the group boards. Messages boards for information, fun and nonsense. That's were the real danger is. If you just go in and update a project you can be done in minutes. But if you wander over to the boards, well, an hour later your puppy will be pointing out it's midnight and asking if you're ever going to come to bed. (Really this happened on a recent weekend. Hubby was away chaperoning a ski trip at Okemo in Vermont. I got on Ravelry at around 11. Pups had just been out. Knowing it was bedtime they had gone straight to the bedroom when we got upstairs. An hour later I was still playing and Samson came into the office and whined at me.)

One group I ended up joining is the Crochet Liberation Front. A group intending to raise the profile of crochet and free it from the shadow of knitting. Although I haven't been crocheting much since I learned to knit, I have been crocheting since I was little so I qualified.

I read in my current issue of Crochet! that the Crochet Guild of America had declared March National Crochet Month. The current CLF activity is planning a (virtual) party in honor of it. During the early planning stages I was snickering over the posts. One person was declared the head of the drinks subcommittee and she said she could handle handing out cups. So I pointed out we have to write everyones' name on their cup to avoid confusion. Which landed me on the drinks subcommittee, too. For some reason that inspired me and I dug out some black and white yarn and crocheted a pint of Guinness. (So now I'm in charge of the beer subcommittee of the drinks subcommittee. Me. The designated driver before it was cool to be the designated driver. I'm on the drinks subcommittee. Good thing this party is virtual.)

I see now that I should have increased a bit toward the top to keep the pint shape, but it didn't occur to me at the time because I was testing the height against a pint glass. The fabric was, as you would expect, following the line of the glass and looked pint shaped. Oh well. I stuffed it and gave it to Samson.

He was not impressed.

But the next day, a Sunday, when I got home he had it in his mouth when he came to greet me. They continued to play with it all week. I woke up with it on my head, I found it in various rooms of the house. They randomly carried it around and fought over it. All in all it was a hit. We were all happy.

And then yesterday Samson gutted it. Drilled a hole in the the middle of the black and pulled all the stuffing out. Then came and told me about it. The might hunter with his kill--on my bed. Sigh. I knew it wouldn't last, but figured it would last longer than six days.

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