Having joined a few online knitting forums, I discovered a few things:
1. There's a very small group of knitters who meet either in Makati or Ortigas. They have a yahoogroup and I've already emailed them. On the other hand, early next year I'm also due to form a small public knitting group with Cyrus and his friend, who might find Makati a bit too far for them. So maybe we'll have our group meet in Ortigas instead...as it is, I live in Quezon City which is a good half-hour away from Ortigas, and 45 minutes to an hour away from Makati.
2. One online forum, knittinghelp.com, has 2 knit-alongs (having a common project/purpose in mind) to which I've signed up for. One is the 2008 Year of the Stash where the aim is to use up one's stash before adding up to it... in short, freeing yarns which have been cooped up in Yarn Jail and avoiding reaching SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy).
My basic solution: go on a yarn diet first, no "reward yarn" until maybe later in 2008 when I should have knitted up enough scarves and squares and whatevers from my current stash. Knowing my Oakland-based brother, he's probably traveling back to the Philippines for another visit in June. I have until May to work on my current stash (and paying off my credit card debt!) so I can reward myself.
In my case, I do have a little Yarn Jail which I had thought I had declogged this year by doing some charity knitting, and even dispatching some wool yarn to the States for a charity group, but in exchange , I ordered more stuff online at elann.com plus more tencel et al at WEBS and Heritage Yarn... in short... whatever space was freed up in Yarn Jail is now alloted to my elann stash plus my incoming yarn (which I hope to be laying my hands on this Friday at the earliest... when my dear brother will have unpacked his luggage...woohoo!).
Sooo... part of the 2008 Year of the Stash effort (although there are no rules to follow, we set our own aims actually) is to be able to put some order in the Yarn Jail. Knowing what one has, how much yards per yarn, colors/fibers available. Kinda like having a yarn dossier. Then it would be ideal if you could match the yarn to an actual project, e.g. a scarf, hat, etc.
Which brings me to the next knit-along I joined, so it can help me with my annual effort to declog my Yarn Jail and at the same time, do some charity knitting.
3. The "Squares of MANY COLORS!" knit-along just asks knitters to knit a 12-inch square to be sent to someone who collects these squares and sews them together for blankets etc. to be donated. There have been many similar projects I've read about online, but I never felt like joining any of them until I saw this at the forum.
I like it because there's no deadline, so I need not rush when to send the square to the US (since I would rely on someone traveling there rather than sending it by postal mail, which may never reach its destination). And I get to practice knitting all sorts of stitches! Plus I get to use up my yarn stash. I can only use yarn that's machine-washable so that rules out my tencel, which is handwash only. But this means I can use up my cotton and acrylics.
The funny thing is, I expect 2008 to be a more busy year work-wise, and for stress relief, I would have to do more knitting too.... he he he. My only consolation is being able to earn more money for my "reward" yarn.