I have been knitting for about seven years (I learned from my mom when I was about 10 years old, but didn’t pick it back up until I could afford to buy my own yarn). I’ve made scarves, mittens and hats for friends and family over the years, and have enjoyed collecting instructional books and stitch dictionaries to learn new patterns. During the pandemic, it has been a way for me to stay safe (by having something productive to focus on while maintaining social distancing), and has also connected me with others who are curious about knitting and sharing techniques.
Technology has been a miracle in helping me expand my techniques, organize my stash (yarn collection), make connections with other fiber art enthusiasts around the world and plan my projects for Christmas and birthdays. Ravelry is one of my favorite websites because it helps me keep track of so much of this information, and I can view/interact with others around the world who have created projects I’m interested in or have questions about. There are forums, paid and free patterns, yarns, and tools to use for managing yarn inventory, patterns, needles, projects and more.
Another one of my favorite knitting-related websites is Stitch Fiddle, a free website you can use to create graphic charts for knitting, crochet, cross stitch and more. The chart seen above is a quick sample I made for a scarf my niece had requested for Christmas a couple years ago:
As long as you don’t need written instructions created (that will cost you), you can design all sorts of pictures and graphic designs for your own projects or to sell.
Shopping at local yarn shops over the years has helped me feel more connected to a larger global fiber arts community; it’s easy to talk to staff and owners about what I’m working on, what they’ve been working on, and many of them also feature classes on techniques I haven’t been able to master just by watching YouTube videos.
I love making things for my family not just because it saves money I would otherwise spend on other gifts, it also makes me feel happy to see something I worked hard on be admired by the people I’m closest to. I especially love making things for my mom, since she is the one that first taught me!