Unlike many more veteran knitters I have never been a knitter "without" Ravelry, and honestly I don't know if I would love it as much without having such an amazing source of information and inspiration constantly available to me. It's so fantastic that if I'm struggling with a pattern I can instantly find tons of other people who have worked through it before and help me out. I can choose a pattern and instantly know if there are errata. Wonderful.
Here is my 100th project.
This is Sharktooth. It's the first pattern from the Stephen West Westknits Shawl Club. Have I mentioned before that I have the most amazing boyfriend in the world? For Christmas and my birthday (which fall way to close together for my personal enjoyment) he splurged and signed me up for a membership in the club. For 5 months (starting in December) I will receive one pattern every month along with the yarn required to make the pattern. Overall there will be 9 skeins of yarn meaning some of the shawls will take more than one skein. All of the patterns AND the yarns have been designed by Stephen exclusively for the club. I have always loved Stephen West's designs and his color sense has always appealed to me so I'm super excited to be in the club.
The yarn for the first installment was Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light in a colorway aptly named "Stephen loves Tosh." It's impossible to capture the subtle nature of the colors of this yarn. The predominate color is sort of a rust or bronze color but there is blue ranging from very dark navy-black to cobalt in some places. Of course, being Tosh Merino Light it's buttery soft. However, it does kink back up on itself a lot making it a pain to work with at times. It's a problem common to single ply yarns and it's so soft and so beautiful that I mostly forgave it for the hassel.
The club installments are shipped on the 14th of every month and I have given myself permission to tear into the packages and cast on immediately as each one arrives even though on of my goals for the new year is to finish up as many of the projects that have been lingering on the needles as I can.
I have my reservations about the way the club is being run. I feel that the yarn store Stephen West has chosen to coordinate the club (because he is living in Europe) is not necessarily dealing fairly with the club members. They have come out and said that there have been "mistakes" on their end and that it's all due to the fact that the club is large and hard to coordinate. I will wait until the end of the club, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, before I make a full evaluation of their level of service. I do hope they have managed to work the "kinks" out and that it really was just a matter of organizing a large shipment for the first time.