Jacqui Walker, designer of Flowers in the Rain, writes about the online phenomenon of knitting and knitalongs!
Knitting used to be a solitary activity. You bought the pattern, chose your yarn and off you went. The only feedback you would get was from the recipient of the finished design and, if you were lucky, maybe you could ask your mum or gran for help if you got stuck and didn’t understand something in the pattern.
Not anymore! The internet and the rise of knitting forums like Ravelry have changed all that. Knitting is now a social activity. Not just on line but in the non-virtual world too. Knitters meet in cafes and bars to share their knitting and fondle each others yarn.
They also Knitalong!
A ‘knitalong’ turns a new knitting adventure into a shared journey. Lots of knitters all working on the same pattern at the same time means lots of help and companionship. Knitalongs are especially helpful if you are attempting a new knitting technique like lace knitting for example.
The first pattern donated to the MSF p/hop project is a lace scarf or stole. Many people find lace knitting intimidating. Knitting with very fine yarn on small needles and using charts for the first time can seem daunting. If you knit the pattern with someone with more experience you can pick up useful tips and tricks to help you master the skill necessary to successfully complete your first project. Knitters share their experiences and receive encouragement to keep trying and to overcome the initial set backs that learning a new technique often involves. Additionally there’s a ready made audience who appreciates the time and dedication needed to complete a long project and who will offer the feedback and praise the novice lace knitter needs and the experienced lace knitter deserves Often a knitalong makes the difference between an unfinished project languishing unloved and a jubilantly completed one.