Crochet: June 2010 Archives
Stitch N Bitch: Embrace it, come to love it. Yes, it has a curse word in it and for good reason, too. Broken down to its simplest a stitch n bitch, or SnB, is knitting (or crochet) and chatting. Yes, I will grant that a good part of the time is spent, well, bitching but it is not centered on husbands. Who has time for that when your double decrease with a purled YO in between is just not working out on these $@&$! needles for the 100th time! A SnB is a group of like minded people getting together to do something they love in good company while sipping some Joe or vino. You can learn new techniques, compare new techniques, show off techniques-- What is this, you ask. Oh [shrugs shoulders], I am just knitting 2 socks at once. No big whoop [You struggle to close your jaw]. A SnB is a great place to check out new patterns and yarns in person. Reviews are prevalent, as is advice (warranted or not) and persuasion to try this or that. Coveting is also one of the best reasons to attend your local SnB. Casually toss down your new Jordana Paige knitting bag on the table and see the eyes widen and the shopping trips planned. I love checking out all the goodies others have found when I go to SnBs.
Finally, a good Stitch N Bitch is a great place to unwind. You don't have to see your messy house (unless you are hosting), worry about your cat going after your yarn ball again, listen to the kids' favorite movie again. It is just you and your pals, knitting quietly or NOT; having a good time. I can breathe and relax and when I get home I am ready to deal with laundry again (ok not actually but I am willing to consider it).
Finding a Stitch n Bitch in your area can be easy if you know where to look. First place to check are your Rec centers and Churches--any place that regularly hosts groups. Next you can check your local paper for area activates. Online is the easiest by far. You can start with simply googling your city + stitch n bitch and see what comes up. There are also sites dedicated to helping you and a SnB find each other. However, not all SnBs are listed on every site or at all. Check out the forums of your favorite knitting websites. The Knitty Coffeeshop has a string for SnBs.
When all else fails, start your own. Find a comfortable place to host (I often use my front porch) and plan a time and day. Think about the time--after work, you might want to provide food or suggest potluck; in the morning, you will need to offer coffee; lunch time, etc. If you don't want to provide food, try it in the afternoon, midmorning or evening. I prefer evening and ask everyone to bring their favorite wine. Set up a gathering area with some flat surfaces to set down needles, projects or glasses. That is pretty much all your prep time. Don't go overboard; this is not a dinner party. Now get the word out. You can talk to friends, post is on your status or tweet it. You can announce it on any of the mediums discussed in the above paragraph online. Then wait. A SnB is organic. It will not sprout overnight. If you are determined, friendly and open, people will come. It may be one or two to begin but word will spread and the good times will be had.
You can also put a shout out on our Facebook page.
The above picture is a pair of Jaywalker Socks started at my last SnB meeting
If knitting and witty, thoughtful writing were in a Hollywood relationship, their super annoying gossip television couple name (think Bennifer and Brangelina) would be Knitty. This is a perfect introduction to Knitty.com. It is the best of knitting without rehab, dropped stitches (well, not really. Check out their super star Clapotis) and empty coffee pots (check out their forum: the coffeeshop).
Knitty.com is a free online magazine featuring knitting based articles, fun knitting products and patterns. But is it really so much more. In every issue, roughly published 3 times a year (Winter, Spring+Summer, and Fall) are features, patterns, KnittySpin, Covet Central, Stuff to win, letters from the editors and advertising. All this in just one edition! The features, AKA the words-stuffs part of the magazine, usually include Cool Stuff: where you can find the coolest of the cool in products for knitters and crocheters. This can encompass bags, tools, books, patterns or even audio books. This is my first read when the new edition comes out and not just because it is at the top. I look forward to drooling over all the pretty that these editors have gotten to try out before the public. Often you will find solutions to problems that you didn't even consider before, just sort of lived with. Take for example the Ninja Knitting bag. I am constantly attacked by Ninjas whilst knitting but I figured it was part of the lifestyle. Now I can be prepared.
I know for a fact that Patterns is everyone first stop when Knitty hits the presses because page loading is often slow going for about 1-2 weeks after launch. While sometimes sock heavy, Knitty's patterns are never boring. Known for toeing the line, thinking outside the box or just plain fun, you will always find something to love for yourself, your wacky sister and conservative aunt. And don't forget the kids. When in need of a kid friendly project, Knitty patterns are my go-to. Each pattern is rated for difficulty, which is such a blessing. With confidence, I refer beginners of all kinds to Knitty.com to find a first pattern or a new pattern. By checking out the rating, everyone can be sure the pattern is at their level before they invest in yarn. Knitty also sticks to their standard list of abbreviation so once familiar you can tackle every pattern without learning another short-term for knit 2 together. Each pattern is also full of wonderful and descriptive pictures that are infinitely helpful when setting out on a new pattern. Plus, should you find yourself in a difficult situation, you can always depend on the good coffee drinkers in the coffeeshop, Knitty's forum.
The coffeeshop is full of helpful moderators (to keep the peace) and contributors (such as yourself). You can post comments, questions, pictures or just the latest thought in your head. If in need of help, an answer or word of encourage minutes is usually minutes away. I have never posted a question without someone replying within the hour but most times much sooner. It is a fun place to post your finished objects (FO), complain or boast about your loved one (DH), post a yarn sale, check out some new tips, find a LYS on your vacation or just hang with the other newbies or experienced knitters. Many a lunch break has been whiled away at the coffeeshop.
What may be the best feature of Knitty.com is that you can be in Knitty. Whether you want to advertise, write, have your product review or (BEST OF ALL) design a pattern for Knitty, all you must do is contact them. No agents or red tape to break through. There are rules for submission, to make it easier for them to help you, but it is so simple. Like all good things in the knitting world, it is just a bunch of knitters helping knitters. Just the thought that you could be a one design away from being published in one of the most read knitting magazines is so exciting. It is every knitter's goal.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about Knitty.com. I recommend you check out the archives and the coffeeshop, especially. Knitty is so much more than its latest issue. I am sure you will love it as much as I do.
*the picture is Kate, the kitten with britches. One of my faves!