Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Personal Websites

Hmm, this post from Zeldman is a perfect echo of what I've been thinking, both while redesigning my website (no, it's not finished/visible yet) and musing on the overwhelming number of web channels we possess.

Or perhaps I should say that my thoughts echo what Zeldman was thinking almost a year ago.

I may be late to his particular party, but I'm certainly not the only one. As I've been scouting other people's sites I've been feeling like everyone is still putting their blog front and center. I've chosen not to, and this makes me feel better about it. Almost as if I knew where things were going.

Most of my links will point OUT, to web apps, sites, and projects that I'm involved with. That's the nature of the web these days. My site will only be a collection point. Whether or not I feel comfortable being scattered all over the internet, that's how it IS. And I think it's right for the site to reflect that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wool Deliberations

It is time to face it - my Calorimetry, like so many other people's, is too large. This point, sadly, is not under debate or deliberation. What to DO about it, is the question.

I am really happy with the combination of yarn I used (seen at right, with Loki), and the way the final project appeared (below). It's just that... it ended up too wide. Lots of people have had issues with the hugeness of this pattern, so there are revised versions to be found. The question is... do I a) try to felt the existing project to shrink it up some, or b) pull it out and re-knit the whole thing?

Re-knitting is obviously not a very happy sounding solution, but it is the most secure. I am positive that this yarn will felt, so felting IS an option. Except... I don't know exactly how it will affect the dimensions of the final result. And I'm not sure what the process will do to my wooden button, so I should probably pull that off first and re-sew it afterward. Which points out the larger issue - if I felt this, I am likely to lose the built-in button holes. So I will have to sew a loop or something to be able to fasten it. And I am not completely sure that will work.

And all of this has taken on some urgency, because the Calorimetry is WARM and AWESOME and allows me to wear my hear up and keep my ears warm, all at once. And I would like to be wearing it instead of worrying about it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Too many channels?

In the car last night, I was composing a blog post in my head about the gorgeous sunset and fog-rainbow that I experienced last night driving over the Santa Cruz mountains. The mood was somewhat jarred by the fact that there was a car on FIRE at the summit - not smoke, actual flames.

And when I got home, instead of blogging about it, I updated my Facebook status.

Instead of blogging my concern about California's water situation and the wish for rain, and my disappointment when it fails to come and my happiness that we're finally getting some this week - that all went into my Twitter and Facebook statuses too.

The only thing I've been using the blog for with any real consistency is for my knitting projects. And then I joined Ravelry. I find I'm using my project notes sections on Ravelry like a mini blog! For example, here is part of my project page for my Calorimetry:

(Click for a bigger image.) You'll see that I made some notes when I started the project, and then made dated updates as I knit the pattern. Excerpt follows:

I’ve been meaning to make one of these for a while. Shockingly, I did the full gauge swatch as indicated and am exactly on. I actually would prefer to be a bit under, so I’m going down a needle size...

Jan 16
Done, except for finding a button for a fastener. I actually went down 2 needle sizes, and while the length ended up right, it’s wider than I’d like. I think I’ll leave it, though - it definitely fits, it’s just more hatlike than I’d anticipated. At some point, I’ll probably knit another and eliminate some of the rows for a more headband-ish look.

Jan 19
Buttons purchased & sewn on. The wood matches just the way I thought it would. Pity the weather is so warm, I have no cause to wear this for now…

There is the relevant information, targeted to those specifically interested (any member of Ravelry who is interested in me, the yarn involved, or the pattern can find this page). And it's not on my blog. Because face it, not very many of my friends knit (and those who do, I encourage to join Ravelry!), and therefore are most likely not interested in the minutia of how I created a given project. They might be interested in the pictures, but those can be found on Flickr.

I can't decide if this is a good thing. My blog is starting to feel a bit obsolete. Reserved for only the things not targeted to a specific (knitting) audience or more than 140 characters long, I find I am not often drawn to make entries.

I find myself wondering if engaging in all the various social media outlets, we are spreading ourselves too thin? I certainly feel like my blogging efforts in this incarnation are nothing like what I was creating in 2001. Part of that is maturity, both of personality and internet savvy, but some of it was that blogging was the only way I had to communicate with the internet world. Now I am flooded with options, and it feels like there are too many channels available to do all of them justice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy to be American

Yesterday was a great day - the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States. Better still, for the first time in some while, the President is someone for whom I actually voted.

I've never watched an Inauguration before. I remember staying up late, glued to the screen of the Student Union tv in 1992, waiting for the final voting tally to come in and confirm the election of soon-to-be President Clinton. But even though I surely had at least some time that January 20th to watch the Inauguration proceedings, the thought didn't occurr to me that it was important to do so.

This time, I wanted to see it happen. I wanted to see Barack Obama sworn in. Maybe I needed that confirmation that it was real.

We had a little party at our house, where we munched bagels in front of the television, and toasted with mimosas the departure of the Bush clan in the official helicopter. It feels like a new era. I hope that we can harness these positive feelings into positive action. I feel, for a change, like it might be possible.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Gauge

Casting on for Calorimetry (from Knitty), and did the proper swatching to the deminsions specified - highly unusual. Even more unusual... I appear to be EXACTLY on gauge.

The funny thing about that is that many people have complained that Calorimetry is too large - certainly the 24" finished project would be too big for my 21" head. So I was hoping NOT to be dead on. Guess I'm going to have to go down a needle size, and see what that does.

In other news, Loki finally discovered the narcissus which is just starting to bloom on the kitchen windowsill. So far he has neither eaten it nor knocked it over. Let us pray for his continued restraint.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why am I doing this with my time?

You Scored as Ravenclaw

From Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz at Quiz Farm

(Pity the image doesn't work. Harrumph. Here, I shall yoink the one from even though their quiz is lame:

Want to Get Sorted?

I'm a Ravenclaw!

Actually I know why I'm doing this - I'm still thinking about knitting myself another HP scarf, this time for Ravenclaw. What? I have a master's degree in Library Science. Can YOU think of anything more Ravenclaw than that?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy 2009

A bit after the fact, but this is what we did on new year's day: hike to the top of Twin Peaks!

After that I promptly got sick, and am still sniffling, 9 days later. But otherwise it was a great way to kick off the year.

I'm showing off Eddie's new thermos. Taking tea was a great idea - it was cold and dry. The caffeine was welcome, too.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cataloging Yarn

It can be held as proof of both my knitterliness and my librarian bent that I am passing the time while I am home sick by entering my yarn stash into Ravelry

I have learned some things: 
1. Yarn store going out of business sales are dangerous as well as sad. And there have been a lot of them recently. 
2. I am a sucker for Alchemy yarns.
2a. I have some crazy expensive yarn in my stash (much of it purchased on sale, I hasten to add) and it is a crime that it is sitting there unseen by anyone but me.
3. My favorite fibers are alpaca, wool, and silk, in approximately that order. 

More observations may be added as I continue.