Go to Knitting School with Malabrigo Junkies

This entry was posted on 20th August, 2017 by Barbara .

One of the Admins of the super fun, Ravelry based Malabrigo Junkies group was kind enough to agree to the following interview about all of the fun things that go on in this vibrant collection of Malabrigo lovers. Kateclysm is her Ravelry ID and she keeps things moving right along in this fast paced group.

Could you tell us a bit about the Malabrigo Junkies Ravelry group? When did it start? How many members does it have? How did you become an admin?

The Malabrigo Junkies Ravelry group was started a bajillion years ago by member Simplethings. In August 2007. I didn’t join until the next August but the first year was a rolling-rollicking group looking for their next big fix. Most of the oldest threads are asking where to find certain colorways, or reporting sales or asking how to use the colorway they just bought. A truly fun a chaotic group! We’ve accrued 16,180 members, but only about 300 are active at any given time. When a group has been around this long I think that’s par for the course.

I became one of three Admins maybe 4 or 5 years ago when one of our previous Admins had to take a break. We try to never have fewer than three because we all lean on each other and sort of tag-team certain duties. My cohort is made up of myself, the wonderful Gwenschweitzer and the incomparable RiverPoet, we also have a dedicated team of mods who step up to the plate for each event and really do a great job. Truly wonderful people!

This sock by Raveler victoriasews is knit in Malabrigo Sock, colorway Primavera as her participation in the Junkie U sock class.

I know you have quite a few events over the course of the year, what and when are they?

I think we’re most known for Malabrigo March. Simplethings decided that we needed a special event to celebrate our Mal love and Malabrigo March was started! There were KALs for particular patterns or mal bases, contests and random prizes. We still run the event basically the same way and are very fortunate that the always-generous Malabrigo Company is able to donate prize yarn each year! Mal March is always something we look forward to, the camaraderie and competition is awesome and we all enjoy it.

For the Brioche class Raveler momfortytwo combined Sabiduria and Ivy in Rios to stunning effect.

This past year we also started very casual “color alongs”. The members were starting to do little kals where they all happened to have the same colorway and wanted to work it up, others would get inspired (I mean, who wouldn’t get inspired by the gorgeous Malabrigo colors??) and drop what they were doing to cast on something in the same or similar colorway. So we decided it would be fun to make those mini-vents a little more “official” and set aside threads so anyone could play along that wanted to (also making it easier to find the content! The Junkie threads are moving very fast every day and little bits of information can definitely get lost).

At one time, we had an annual event for encouraging members to get their Holiday knitting started early and that was October Stockpile… but other groups have been doing such a fabulous job with that same concept that we decided it was time to let that one go.

And then in summer we have Junkie University…

Of course there is a crochet class and Raveler ChrissieM made this adorable owl using Mechita in a variety of colors including Eggplant, Hollychock, Sand Bank, Anniversario, and Manzanilla Olive. What a great way to use up scraps.

OK, Junkies University! Please tell us all about it? I know that there are different categories and contests and well, a load of fun stuff that I’d love to hear about.

A couple of years ago I proposed a new event that was more related to what inspired me about our group (as opposed to being inspired by the yarn) which was the supportiveness of the members, and my love of learning. I decided to reinforce my credo that there’s nothing you can’t do when it comes to knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning/dying, by encouraging the members to choose a technique they have always been wanting to learn, or have been too intimidated to start, and pick a project and start it. I called it Junkie University and made it a three month event running from July to September.

In the modular knitting class Raveler carolsumie learned how to do entrelac using Rios in Piedras. She also learned she didn't want it to be a hat so an entrelac cowl is now in the works.

The way it works is self-run learning with peer help. We have mentors in-group who are there to recommend methods, provide clarity, root for results and cheer for the FOs. Since everyone has different levels of interest, we also allow participants to decide how “into it” they want to go: you can choose to Audit the “class” by making a decent sized swatch using the chosen technique, “Normal” level students will generally create something accessory-sized, and then “Master” students work up a proposal and plan for a much larger project that will be worked on through the three month term of the event. At the end of it all, we encourage students to write up a “What I learned this summer” essay which are lots of fun to read and very rewarding! We give out loads of prizes for both participation and finishing… it’s all about adding to your skill set and learning something new!

Sabiduria on Rios knit up beautifully in this pair of mitts by Raveler JavaDressage! Her entry into the gloves class is fabulous.

Finally, a totally unfair question. What is your favorite Malabrigo yarn base and color?

Truly like asking which of my children I love best (this is why I only have one). I think my go-to colorway has been Lettuce for a long time, I have it in just about every base! I love just about all the blues that come out of Mal’s dye pots, and some of the variegated colors make me swoon whenever I see them (Indiecita, Pocion, Vaa). I’m excited about the new speckled colors on Mechita and look forward to playing with some in the near future! As far as bases, Merino Worsted is always my first love, but I adore Twist and Rios as well as Mechita and Mora (the sheen of that silk!). Truly a Junkie, I could go on and on about our beloved Mal!

Not part of Junkies University, but I couldn't resist this beautiful vest that kateclysm knit up in Chunky using her favorite color Lettuce.

Thank you so much Kate for the interview and insight into Junkies University. The Junkies group is always a ton of fun and if you want to hang out with a whole bunch of crafters who share your love of Malabrigo yarn it is a great place to be.

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