Making Things review and some WIPs

November 04, 2018


Good morning! I have a few new things on the needles I wanted to share, plus I'd like to share with you my early opinion of the Making Things App. If you haven't heard of Making Things, it is a new knitting website (not an app exactly as it's really a website although I imagine they are developing a phone app) that is a monthly subscription service where you rent patterns. Interesting, right? First, it's important to know that it does not compete with Ravelry, the database of all yarns and all patterns and all knitwear designers under the sun, and a website that no knitter could live without. So far, Ravelry has no rival. On the Making Things website you will find patterns to rent. And because there is no database of yarns, no yarn reviews, no forums or chit chat, etc.; it's a very clean and easy website to navigate. If you want to knit a shawl, you'll click on that category and all the shawl patterns will appear with a picture, name and designer. Scroll through, and if you find one you like, click on it and you'll find more pictures, a description and the details such as yardage, gauge, etc. Here is the best part: if you like the pattern, you can click on the "make it" button to read through the pattern and decide if you want to make it. This is especially helpful to me as so many times I've purchased and downloaded a pattern only to realize I either don't like the writing style, techniques, or whatever. With this service, you can read through the pattern before you commit to knitting it. I love that! The patterns are interactive with digital tools for highlighting, counting rows and stitches, plus 24/7 online help. I have not used the help service yet, but the tools are easy enough to use. There are thousands of patterns on the site, with more coming each day as more designers sign on. Plenty of designers I love have added their patterns to the site: Alicia Plummer, Lisa Hannes, and Isabell Kraemer are three that come to mind. They have not offered all of their patterns so I imagine the designers decide what they want and don't want to offer. I've faved plenty and just knitting them would keep me going for a few years.

Of course there are downsides too. The site is slow, or at least was the first day or so. I have been trying to go on it at different times of the day and night to see how it's going, and it does seem to be getting faster. But remember how slow and wonky Ravelry was in the beginning? I have faith that Making Things will speed up. The Making Things patterns are not downloadable or printable--they are for your use on the site only, while you are a subscriber. If you knit slowly, or knit multiple projects that take months to complete, like to knit from a printed pattern, or just like to own your pattern, this site is probably not for you. It's $12 a month and I signed up for one month and may try it a few more months before I decide whether or not it's for me. Perhaps this is the way of the future and we'll all end up loving it. Remember when we used to go to the shop and rent VCRs or rent CDs through the mail? It's hard for me to remember that yet it wasn't that long ago. I have a feeling that in a few years we'll never print out a pattern again and I don't mind that. I wish them luck and I wish me luck too as this old dog tries to learn a new trick. You can view the thousands of patterns for free and learn all about Making Things here. I'd like to know if you've signed up and what you think?

Today's knitting includes Boyland Knits Whitehorse sweater pictured above. It's an addictive knit and while it may look complicated, it's not--more of an intermediate lace project I'd say. I'm knitting it with that gorgeous Cotton Cashmere by Rowan. This project and all the other projects I'm knitting right now are from patterns I've purchased and downloaded, not from the Making Things site. There is a toddler dress pattern I'm going to start next week, and while I do have the printed pattern already, I see it's also on the Making Things site so I'm going to knit it from the site and see how I like knitting from my laptop/phone.

Below is the yarn I bought in Newfoundland--Mineville Works. This is totally out of my color comfort zone but it is knitting up well, don't you think? No crazy pooling thank heaven, and I think it will make a nice pullover for my baby grandson. I'll take it with me to church this morning. Yes, I knit in church. I visited a Rav forum where people had such strong opinions about knitting in church! But I do knit in church and my pastor knows I do. I bring the mindless projects like the ones I bring to the movies that need no concentration nor even a glance.  The second to last picture is Cotton Cashmere again for a test I'll be making for Truly Mrytle (who is also on the Making Things App). I'll be getting the test pattern in a day or two and I may decide the use the Amelie I purchased in Canada instead. It's lovely to have options!





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9 comments

  1. I have friends who knit in church too! They tend to sit in the choir loft but are well accepted down below too. I don't think it would work at a Catholic Mass though. It's a different kind of service. Your Mineville Works project is going great guns! How did they space the colors to keep them from pooling? Although sometimes there is an argyle pattern pooling with some yarns that I actually like in a small blanket or a scarf. Sort of a happy accident if it turns out to look good. Chloe

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    1. Yes, I've heard you can do planned pooling, but I don't like the look of that either! I don't know why this project is not pooling, but if it starts too, I'm going to cut the yarn and restart to avoid it.

      People who knit in church, or meetings or movies say (like me) that it helps them to concentrate. In a Presbyterian church there's not a lot of hopping up and down, so that helps. I wish I had the inclination to go back in Rav. and find that fiery debate about knitting in church. It seemed silly to me. Knit if you want to, don't knit if you don't.

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  2. It seems very pricey to me. For $12 a month I can buy the two patterns I could conceivably knit in a month and own and print them. I use my iPad a lot but for anything complicated that I will be altering or keeping row counts on I really need to have a printed copy to work from.
    Love all the grey yarns. Lately all I want to wear is grey, with a scarf to change the look according to my mood.

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    1. Yes, you make valid points that I thought of too. For me, I would have to subscribe for a full year to make it worth my while as I knit several items at once and sometimes take a year or two to finish. So in that way it seems expensive. But still I cannot help but think that this is the way of the future. The way we get our music, books, movies, tv, photos, correspondence, it’s all changed so much over such a short time and most, (probably all) of the changes have become normal to me now. I am starting a pattern today from the site. I purchased it a year ago and have it printed but will not rely on the printed pattern, just the site, just to see if I can appreciate it.

      Grey. I love grey all day.

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  3. I agree about the silliness of the knit-in-church debate and it certainly does help with concentration so a pastor should be very happy! I mentioned the Mass because I am envious that it wouldn't work, and upon re-reading I was rather horrified that I used the term "down below" in the context of religion. Should have said "nave". Or "main body of the church". I love grey too and have a lot of it in my closet. Also love it on walls with white woodwork. So crisp and upbeat. Really looking forward to your finished projects, Kristin. Chloe

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  4. I looked at the Making Things and don't think there is enough there for me to spend $12 dollars a month! I don't think it's a good idea at all. I want to like the idea but I think it should be $12 a year! Also, no crochet patterns!! I prefer Ravelry.

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    1. I hear you and I agree that $12 a month seemed too pricey. I do want to like it, so am planning to knit a pattern from the site next week. I'm a little worried about eye strain and how I will actually like looking at a screen. I didn't notice that they had no crochet items, but I think they plan on adding them as well. Hopefully more baby, children and men's knits too.

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  5. Kristen, thanks for the heads up on Making Things. I've just come back from the site and think I'll try it as you are trying it. What a great concept. Also, I love the look of the White Horse sweater. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. The Whitehorse sweater has been a blast to make. I have finished the lace section, now it's just stockinette to the end so I have set it aside while I make a Christmas baby sweater for Carter and a Thanksgiving dress for a little friend. I'll be so curious to see what you think of the site after a month. I plan to knit the baby dress using the MT site so I'll come back and let you know if I thought it was easy or no. I really want to like it but like the reader above, I wish it were less expensive.

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