Finally (re)launched!

It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post. Where have I been? I was working on my website, err…make that ‘our (Indonesian knitting-crocheting community) website’.

The website merajut.com (merajut means knitting in Indonesian) was first launched in July 2006, following the launching of the mailing list Mari Merajut (Let’s Knit) a few weeks earlier. They’re both one package. The website was first hosted on a free hosting account, but then I decided it needed more freedom so it was moved to a paid hosting account in 2008.

The website is in Indonesian (of course), dedicated for Indonesian knitters and crocheters, contains lots ofarticles, book reviews, some tutorials and patterns, members stories, informations about where to buy yarn supplies, monthly theme galleries, and knitting and crocheting news from around the world. It is mostly written and maintained by me, but a lot of the members also contributed to the site.

It has gone through tough times, with lots of spam, and hacked twice. Last month the automatic hosting renewal failed and I lost the site, I had to build it again from scratch. Luckily I have the files in my computer, and this time I tried to build it with WordPress (it used to be in Joomla CMS). The last 3 weeks I was busy building it again, sneaking time between caring for 2 small kids and house chores.

It used to look like the picture on the left. I used the template for almost 3 years. Now with moving it to WordPress, the appearance changed a lot. Well, I got bored with the previous one. Now it looks like this.

The site was relaunched today, even though it’s not 100% done.

Now I need some rest.

On knitting books

Ever since I set my foot on the 3rd floor of the New York Public Library Mid-Manhattan branch, I have read hundreds of knitting (and crochet) books from their collection. Pattern books, technique books, history books, stitch dictionaries. As a beginner 5 years ago, I usually borrowed beginner all over how-to books like Debbie Bliss’ “How to Knit” or Katharina Buss’ “Big Book of Knitting” (I finally bought the latter) and pattern books.

After a while, I prefer to read mostly knitting techniques books and stitch dictionaries, than pattern books. Why? Because technical books teach me to understand the principles of knitting, how it works, and gave me confidence to free myself from patterns and design my own. Such books are Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book, Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook, Threads’ knitting articles compilations, and of course Elizabeth Zimmermann’s and Barbara Walker’s. They are my prized possesions.

some of my collections

Since I read Mary Thomas’ Knitting Book 4 years ago, I rarely knit others’ patterns. I still read pattern books and magazines, but only for inspirations. I grew fond of lace, stranded, and sock knitting. I grew fond of Shirley Paden’s meticulously designed knitwears, Annie Modesitt’s designs’ structure which usually celebrate women’s curves, and Cookie A’s sock knitting philosophy.

Books on knitting history and traditions fascinate me, too. Nancy Bush, Melanie Fallick, and Donna Druchunas’ books gave that to me.

In my eyes, those books stand out among thousands and thousands of knitting books, and will remain so, because they’re talking principles and visions, surpassing trends, and give knitters confidence to believe in themselves and follow their own way. It’s like giving a person a fishing rod and skills, instead of the fish itself.

And now I want JC Briar’s book Charts Made Simple: understanding knitting charts visually. I would love to read a book which came from a self declared ‘technical (knitting) junkie’ :).

I don’t know how to bind off..

Not knowing how to bind off is a real problem among new knitters. That makes it a fun topic for knitting cartoons. I’ve seen the same theme used by Franklin Habit in his book “It Itches”. This is my version :Originally I have another idea for bind-off cartoon, but earlier today I saw this news…and gasped :

Oh. My. God.

This is exactly my idea for my next bind-off cartoon. Needles dangling from unfinished knitwear. Yet it’s now a fashion ‘trend’…my goodness!

My son tried to ‘knit’

When I was knitting some seed stitch squares, my 4.5 yo son came and said “I want to make that, too!”. He didn’t let me show him the right knitting moves, and did the ‘knitting’ his way : wrap the yarn around and around and around…

It was so fun to see how serious he was, doing…whatever he was doing…:D