Fibre crafts / Honesty / Knitting / Music / Photography / Violin


Today I had my day off from work, and while that day is mainly intended for resting, it doesn’t mean that I’m just sitting on the couch. My husband had also taken the day off, and the weather was nice. We’ve had snow and ice for over a week, but it has melted away already. So we decided that we could safely cycle a bit without it being slippery, and explore the area.

A close up of a blooming purple crocus

We saw quite a few crocuses. These flowers are tough! They must have been covered in snow for over a week, and still they managed to bloom today. The birds were singing, and generally, everything felt very alive. Spring is coming!

Three soft boxes filled to the brim with hand knit items.

Back home, I decided to rearrange my hand knits. I store them in some soft IKEA boxes, and ever since I discovered moth holes in one of my tops (in my wardrobe), I have been anxious to take a look and see if anything in these boxes has been damaged as well. I ordered some large ziplocs and today I was going to sort through the hand knits and put each one in their own bag. Woolly quarantine, so to speak.

A green hand knit shawl inside a zip loc bag.

I put my precious hand spun hand knits in bags first. The bags are quite large, so I didn’t have to make many folds. But the bags contained some extra air, of course, and also added some bulk, so not everything fitted back into the storage boxes. That was fine. I took out some hand knits that I didn’t love that much anymore, and put them aside to give away at some point.

A pile of zip locs containing hand knit items.

I did find one silk shawl that was badly damaged by moths. I threw it out immediately. Fortunately, the items surrounding it were not damaged, so I guess that this moth must have really loved silk… I didn’t have the heart to take a picture, it was awful. I also threw out a blanket that had seen better days. Some handknits did have a little bit of damage – a broken thread here or there, so I’ll have to fix those someday. But I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find that most items were still okay.

I’ve been working on another rearranging exercise too. Since Ravelry will retire their Classic style by the end of March (which is very soon!), I’m moving all of my content away from there. Sure, I could use the new design and stick around, but I can’t in good faith do that when Ravelry has showed such an ugly side by silencing criticism however mildly worded, being unresponsive to e-mail (their only avenue for communication about this), and just doing whatever the hell they want to do with no regard for people they trample along the way (mostly neurodivergent people and people with a visual disability). So in solidarity with those who cannot use the site anymore, I’m leaving.

My knitting designs have already moved to my own shop on this website, and I’m moving my projects and stash to Airtable. Airtable is basically an online spreadsheet with bells and whistles, and it works quite well for keeping track of your projects and stash.

Grid view of the Airtable application.
Airtable – Grid view

You can also add photos to your entries and display your data in gallery mode.

Gallery view of the Airtable application.
Airtable – Gallery view

Getting all my content into Airtable is quite a lot of work. You can download everything from Ravelry, but the download format of your projects, for example, is json, not the most user-friendly filetype if you are not computer-savvy. And it contains a separate json file for each project! Very cumbersome to work with… unless you or your partner are a programmer, of course! I’m lucky that way, and my husband wrote a small program that can combine all the jsons in a directory into one file (go ahead and contact me if you need it). You can also do that with PowerShell, for example.

Once you have that big json file with all your projects, you can import them into Excel. Go to the Data tab and select Get Data > From File > From JSON and you will be able to get your data into a sheet (see also this tutorial). Then you can move your columns around and remove whatever you don’t need. Airtable can import your Excel file.

Victoria Marchant has set up a nice template for Ravelry data to use in Airtable. You do have to jump through some hoops to get the Ravelry data in there, though, because her tabs are connected and it’s quite complex to prepare your Excel sheet to follow that format. I think that most people who use her template add all the entries manually. I didn’t feel like that, so I have just created my own (less fancy) sheet. Victoria’s sheet also doesn’t cover spinning projects, which are important to me.

The gallery view of the Spindles tab in Airtable.
Spindles tab in Airtable

My sheet contains tabs for spinning fibre, spindles, spinning projects, yarn stash, and knitting projects so far. I’m hoping that I can at some point connect items, for example, add the spindles that I used to a spinning project, and include the flow from fibre to finished knitting project. But that will take a while. First I want to get everything in there. And once it’s in there, I’m going to remove it all from Ravelry. I don’t want to delete my account because then I won’t have access to pattern updates anymore, and I won’t be able to manage my own knitting designs. But I will no longer supply any other content for Ravelry to profit from.

Georg Philipp Telemann – Fantasia 7 in E flat major TWV 40:20 – Part 1: Dolce

I also took out my violin and played a bit this afternoon. I started playing again last week when it was cold, and it has been surprisingly enjoyable. Of course, at first I really had to get used to playing again, because it had been years. I started playing when I was five, and took lessons until I was 16, but after that I have hardly played at all. So it had been a while…

I’m playing one of the 12 Fantasien by Georg Philipp Telemann. These fantasies have been composed for violin solo, without basso continuo or other accompaniments. They’re not easy to play, but very beautiful. I’m still learning to play them as you can hear, and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.

Musically, I know what I want to achieve, but technically I can’t do it yet. Still, that is so different from back when I still had violin lessons, and was quite passive about them. I just did whatever the teacher would tell me and didn’t really know where things were going. It’s interesting to observe this kind of change. Without actively changing anything regarding playing the violin, my priorities and intentions have been rearranged and it impacts my playing the violin.

In hindsight, I’ve rearranged a lot today. Time to rest. Good night!

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