NaBloPoMo – the month in review

It’s now 14 months since I started blogging. I started just before the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. That got me started on blogging daily, until I was traveling for a longer stretch. Blogging fell by the wayside since it was just too difficult to manage. Then I started up again, until life interfered and so on. I finally got back into the groove with the daily posts of this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.

I found out about National Blog Posting Month directly after that. NaBloPoMo is organized around a monthly blogging theme and May’s theme is. They provide writing prompts to help you get going, although I wasn’t particularly inspired by them. But you can also go your own way – which is what I did. After all, I find crafting and creating to be a form of ‘play.’ I have fun and I experiment, which is a kind of definition. In fact, let’s look at a few of the definitions of play:

Play
verb [no object]

  • to exercise or employ oneself in diversion, amusement, or recreation
  • to do something in sport that is not to be taken seriously
  • to amuse oneself; toy; trifle (often followed by with)
  • to take part or engage in a game
  • to take part in a game for stakes; gamble
  • to conduct oneself or act in a specified way: to play fair
  • to act on or as if on the stage; perform
  • to perform on a musical instrument
  • […]

See, I think blogging, knitting, photographing, cooking, crafting can all apply. I managed to meet the monthly goal in my own way. I actually managed to set a blogging rhythm for myself and maintain it. And since it worked so well, I’m now going to participate in the WordPress “a post a day for 2012” goal. I’m managing pretty well so far, also because I’m scheduling posts. I’m actually traveling a good part of June, so my I’m writing posts ahead of time so you guys will have regular, daily content. I’ll do my best to answer your comments quickly, and if I have time I can always add new content.

But if you need some reminders when to blog, then this idea is genius: Create a calendar to keep track of when to put up new content on social networking websites. Plus it’s easy to make on your own!

felt blogging calendar

Felt Social Networking Calendar via What Did We Learn

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Something different – but it’s still Wednesday

Another Wednesday! It’s once again time for a yarn along, but I also want to talk about last week’s Knitting and Crochet Blog week.

I’m still working on my Erin Go Bragh shawl. I know, I’m almost done, and I should have finished this project before the end of the month, but I’ve been so busy blogging this past week that I really haven’t made any progress. But, I have a new wip! Yes, even though I already have plenty of projects on my needles (I think I need to make a collage of my wips!).

But actually, I’m not the one who decided to cast on for a new project. Noooo, my knitting needles decided. In fact, my knitting needles decided to cast on a Windward scarf and have a little battle over the yarn for this project (Wollmeise 100% in Indisch Rot). Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

There is a good reason why I made this video. Remember the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week? Well, Friday’s topic was all about creativity:

Day 5: April 27, 2012. Something A Bit Different It’s back, and this time it has the most amazing of prizes (look for the prize for ‘most creative post’). This was a massive success last year, and for many it was the highlight of the Blog Week, so this year you are challenged, again, to find a new way of blogging. This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.

Wednesdays are the days with the most traffic for me, so I thought I should spread the love and share some of the other awesome creative posts out there. Here are my favorites:

  • A Pile of Sheep created a Yarn Personality Test! I’m Madeline Tosh Vintage – I’m an “easygoing person with just a touch of wild child for spice!” What are you?
  • PumpkinSpins used mind mapping to draw up a chart to answer “Why I create” – really interesting, and now I want to think more about why I myself create
  • Knit One, Stitch One, Save One drew a series of images, and created a quick animation out of the gif images to show what her hands look like while knitting. So creative – and the drawing are just beautiful.
  • Stitched Together is planning to knit a shawl with stripes, and the color of the stripes will be based on the comments that people have left on the blog, and in the end she’ll hold a random drawing where the winner will get the finished shawl. Awesome!
  • All She Wants to Do Is… created a knit/crochet version of The Onion website, call Crafting News Network. How hilarious!
  • When Did I Become a Knitter: It’s a post from the perspective of her Roan sweater, a wip of hers, at a self-help group called Unloved Knits Group. I have a few nominations from my wips for that group too.
  • Sanday Spinners put up a Knitting Riddle – I’m still trying to figure out the answer on my own. And you can win a knitted item from her!
  • Wickedly Artsy created a visual knitting timeline with images of the different stops in her knitting life
  • Fidlstix has a great post titled Something You Should Know About Me (no, I’m not going to tell you what it is, you need to play the video yourself)
  • Laylock‘s animated gifs of her knitting techniques (cast on, knitting, purling and cast off) are really interesting – my version of those techniques look different. Plus they should be really helpful to new knitters
  • KellPattsBlog‘s contribution is a crytoquote. How cool!
  • AStashAddict made a Hexipuff Evolution vlog. I haven’t made a Hexipuff yet, but I foresee a Hexipuff blanket in my future.
  • Frog-Soup‘s funny drawing (naked sheep in need!) made me giggle
  • and a ton more more…

And then there’s of course my stop motion animation – I’m ridiculously proud of this video. The family is already discussing whether we should do a video for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.

I hope you liked all of these different, creative takes on the something a bit different topics. I had to stop adding posts to the list or it would have been unendingly long. You can find more posts on this topic by googling 3KCBWDAY5. If you’d like to nominate any of these posts (or any others!) for the creative award, click here to go to Eskimimi’s nomination post. Of course, if you’d like to, you can also nominate my post too 🙂 If you cannot submit your nomination even though you’ve filled out all the fields correctly, then that means that someone else has already put in a nomination for that post. Nominations close on May4th, at midnight British Standard Time.

That’s it for this Wednesday. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series.

February = Fail

Oh hello! Are you wondering where I’ve been this past month? I’ve been around – it’s just that I’ve been knitting so much that I haven’t really taken the time to blog. Even though I’ve been taking lots of photographs – mostly of knitting projects and of food. I’ve just been a slacker with regards to uploading photos and blogging about stuff. And I don’t just want to put up videos to pass the time for you guys.

The thing is, one of my stash down goals was to blog more regularly about knitting projects. Yes, I know it’s not really a stash reducing goal – but I just want to get myself on some kind of regular knitting schedule. February = Fail. But hey, it’s a new month, and my blogiversary is this month, so let’s look forward.

I’m doing pretty well with my stashdown goals – I’ve finished 9 projects and I have 3 current wips going on, one of them a KAL, and we’re in week 10 of the new year (right?), so I’ve been pretty much keeping pace with the 52 projects in 52 weeks goal. As to my yarn purchase goal: I bought a bit of yarn to finish the project, plus an extra skein for free shipping, and then I purchased two skeins of yarn that’s really hard to get a hold off (more on that another time). Though I’m not to sure if that purchase has actually gone through – I have a confirmation email, both from the vendor and Paypal, but my order status still says processing (I bought this over a week ago – maybe I’m just too used to quick responses by vendors).

I’ve knit more than I have acquired this year, so that’s a good thing. My queue is full of projects I want to knit – both for myself as well as for gifts, as well as a few requests. Those projects are mostly wraps and stole projects, and that’ll take some time. I just counted – I have 20 must knit in 2012 projects in my queue including three big wraps, 3 garments, and I haven’t even thought about holiday and birthday gifts yet. Oh and 3 old wips. I wish I could knit faster.

And of course I won’t have as much knitting time as I’d like – I’ll be job hunting and maybe even planning a cross-country move, as well as some other personal stuff, and that will reduce my knitting time significantly. Plus my stash will probably have to be reduced (sniff, sniff) to make moving ‘easier.’

Other stashdown goals? 6 pairs of socks, 2 sweaters (probably for my Mom and my sister), a wedding gift blanket (one of my current wips), and aim for 12 shawls in 2012. And I’m participating in the 12 Wollmeise in 12 months – the goal is to knit up some of the old favorites, instead of them lingering in one’s stash. So far I’ve been keeping pace, even though I finished my January project late. Oops.

So I’d better get going. Bye for today, and I’ll have a post about some of my recent going-ons up in a few days. See you then!

2011

Let’s look back at last year’s knitting:

My goals were 11 shawls in 2011, 12 pairs of socks, 5 WIPs, and 3 larger items (over 500 yds at least). And I wanted to attempt to knit 52 projects in 52 weeks.

My results:

  • I knit 5 pairs of baby socks/booties, and not a single pair of adult socks. Fail.
  • 3 pairs of shawls. Fail. (Oh, and a really pretty long cowl that’s more of a wrap). Fail.
  • 5 WIPs. Yay, goal completed!
  • 6 projects with over 500 yards. Yay, goal completed!
  • 31 projects plus one new WIP. Fail.

I really wanted to reduce my stash last year, and I did manage a big sale last year, but I also added to my stash. Sigh.

So this year I’m determined to stashdown, and I’m only allowed to add to my stash if I need yarn for a current project, or if I plan to cast on for the project immediately (ok, within two days). Here are my 2012 goals:

  • Photograph remaining yarn and add to Ravelry
  • Sell some yarn. No buying unless an emergency: I’m about to CO for a gift, and giftee present requires yarn I don’t have (Ha!) Project must be CO immediately.
  • Assign yarn in stash to projects (so I don’t go buying yarn when I already have something in stash). Currently I have 26 specific projects with matching yarn mapped out.
  • Reduce number 2011 WIPs before adding 2012 projects. Currently I have one WIP, and four WIPs that’ll be frogged and recast on.
  • 6 pairs of socks, 2 sweaters (at least), wedding gift blanket, and aim for 12 shawls in 2012.
  • Aim for  52 projects in 52 goals, although this’ll be tough since I have a bunch of high yardage projects planned
  • Blog regularly, about current projects as well as old ones, including 2011 projects not yet added to Rav
  • Try to knit more than 10,000 yards
  • Knit up 12 skeins of Wollmeise, one per each month – the plan is to knit up some of the treasured skeins instead of letting them linger in their box.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

and I’m feeling good

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edwsf-8F3sI

I’ve been in the New Year’s Resolution camp – unsuccessfully – for so many times over the past few years that I’ve pretty much given up on making new resolutions. In the end I manage to keep my good intentions for only so long, and the new year just serves as a reminder of failed resolutions and whether I should take up the old resolutions once again.

I have some things that I do want to accomplish, but I’m not going to stress myself out over that. This year will be more of a “Let’s play things by the ear” year. I am looking forward to this year which will hopefully be a better one, better than 2011 with all of its ups and downs. There’ll be a big 90th birthday, a big wedding (not mine!), time with my little nephews, a potential move, a new internship and maybe even a new job, health improvements, and hopefully lots and lots of fun to look forward to.

So – you can look forward for me to blog more about knitting and other crafts, food adventures, improving photography skills, everything that tickles my interest and general life. I know I still need to catch up from last year, so you’ll see some of those posts over the next few weeks, but I’ll be putting up some new stuff as well. I’m looking forward to 2012!

Your knitting and crochet time

Today is the last day of the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. *sniff, sniff* It’s been a ton of fun, especially for me as a new blogger. I got the chance to share my knitting, my crafting processes (or the lack thereof), and the best part of all is of course to connect to all the other crafty bloggers out there. There are just so many blogs that I couldn’t read them all, but I made a valiant effort.

To round up all the posts, today’s topic tackles a favorite of all knitters and crocheters:

Day seven: 3rd April. Your knitting and crochet time.

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

To be perfectly honest, there’s never enough knitting time. I wish there I had more knitting time (and that everyday life would just manage on its own), or otherwise that I could knit faster. Imagine being able to knit a lace stole in just a few days! Or a sweater over a weekend! There are people on Ravelry that knit that fast – I just don’t know how they do it.

Anyway, my knitting environment. I really like curling up on the couch, watching TV or a movie (LOTR! Star Wars!), with a blanket if it’s really cold outside, my pattern on the arm of the couch, and something nice and warm to drink. Heaven. (No food though, or nothing that could cause sticky or greasy fingers). Or when it’s warm and sunny sit out on the balcony, wiggle my toes in the sunshine and enjoy the birds chirping. And maybe plan an ice cream excursion as a break. This is the perfect environment for me if I’m knitting something complicated – my pattern notes are close enough to check and recheck the instructions, and I have the time and the leisure to count the stitches without annoying distractions.

But I also like knitting when I’m on the go (yup, public knitter here). I’ve knit on the train, on the plane, on the tram, waiting for the bus, at the doctors office, in the car (not while I’m driving!), during informal meetings or dinners – basically anywhere where I have to wait long enough that I can pull out my knitting and get more than a few stitches done. I usually have a easy peasy project on the needles that doesn’t require too much counting or attention, but is still challenging enough to be fun. Plus they need to be small enough that I’m not constantly elbowing my neighbors while I’m trying to knit a ginormous blanket. No thank you, I’d rather knit socks (or scarves, cowls etc).

I’ve gotten all kinds of comments while knitting in public, anything from funny or puzzled looks, comments on how people like the yarn or color, questions as to what I’m knitting, comments on how they used to knit, or how their mom/grandma/other relative used to knit and taught them how to knit, stories on horrible knitting mishaps, the pulling out of their own knitting projects or wips, and so on…

What was my point again? Oh yeah, knitting comments. The most unusual and worst comment I’ve received so far was when I was knitting on the tram, when a ticket inspector came over to me and asked me if I knew that my knitting is dangerous. No really. Because I could endanger myself, or worse fellow passengers if the tram had to stop suddenly. WTF? So does that mean I can’t knit on the plane, or on the train etc, because a sudden stop could bring problems with it? And what does that mean for the food and beverage carts on the plane? Or heavy shopping bags? Or suitcases on the train? Or what if a book I was reading were to fall on another passenger and accidentally caused them injury? And what if I knit at home and an earthquake were to occur? Or if I tripped and fell on my knitting bag? I mean really, the dangers are endless! Grrrrrr…. Anyway, I dutifully packed away my knitting since I didn’t feel like arguing with a blockhead and I ended up reading (which I’ve been neglecting recently anyway).

Well, that’s it! Goodbye Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, and thank you Eskimimi for the awesome event! It’s been lots of fun. And finally, if you want to keep following me along, you can as always continue reading this blog, or find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you want to read more on the topic “Knitting and Crochet Time” from other bloggers blogging on this topic today, run a search on 2KCBWDAY7, or on Twitter #2KCBW.