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Belated Blogiversary

I missed it! Things have been busy and keeping me on the run, but all week I was thinking that my 1-year blogiversary was on the 30th. I just checked, and I was wrong. I started the blog on April 25, 2004. So, happy blogiversary to Threaded Thoughts. It's been a great year. I've loved hearing from many of you and making connections with a few of you. I hear regularly from a few of you, in fact, and I love that. I love knowing you are all out there, checking in, and that we're similar kinds of people with similar thoughts, ideas, and a passion for good yarn and the process of knitting. This blog has kept me anchored in many ways this past year. I started it shortly after the birth of our second baby, and the blog has grown up alongside of him. I know the blog keeps me knitting and productive, and I look forward to more great projects, yarns, knitalongs, and exchanges this year.

Getting Personal

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A week or so back, I picked up a monthly writer's magazine, one to which I used to subscribe. My subscription lapsed somewhere between babies, but as always happens in the months leading up to my birthday, my "who-the-heck-am-I-now-and-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life" crisis begins, and so I was out scouting mags and realizing I need to resubscribe and try and get things back in gear (which, um, probably also means less blog reading and more writing).

So, I am flipping through the mag, trying to decide if I really want to buy it, and I see a short (and I do mean short) article on blogging. Buy it I must.

When I read the article later at home, I am struck by this section:

    "But here's a warning: The quality of the writing in your blog has to be as good as your essays, articles and books. There's a noticeable tendency among bloggers to ramble and produce sream-of-consciousness musings. Your random thoughts and insights may be of interest to you, but few others care."

Wow. Pretty narrow-minded, don't you think? What happened to the entire field of non-fiction writing? Creative non-fiction? Memoir? Personal essay? Susan Howe and Rachel blau DuPlessis are names that jump in my head immediately).

Depending on "what" kind of writing gigs you are hoping your blog will help you land (which is the basic premise of the article), personal information may or may not be appropriate, but in many cases, the blogs we are most drawn to may be precisely ones in which strands of "daily" life are interwoven with other content, the ones which demonstrate a compelling blend of content and a strong personal voice.

I read an assortment of knit blogs, and some of them really are "knitting-only." Others have much more personal content. All bloggers approach the issue of how much to share and how much non-knitting to include differently, and blog readers all respond differently to varying levels of personal information. Some of us like "just-the-facts" blogs, and some of us really are looking for a bit of reality-TV in our blogs.

That's why we see such different lists of "blogs we read" on bloggers' sidebars. Do you look at those? I do. I often randomly follow a link or two in hopes of stumbling upon a blog that really resonates for and with me. I'm always amazed at how many different blog names I see that I've never noticed before. There are thousands of us. It's wonderful, but it's sort of crazy.

It's also sad when a favorite blogger shuts things down. A blogger who was one of my daily reads pulled the plug on her blog this week feeling, according to her final post, like she'd revealed too much at times and feeling she just wasn't interested in talking about knitting any more. It's easy to think we "know" people because of their blogs. We just have to respect the lines people draw and remember that we're privy to what someone posts in a blog entry, but that doesn't necessarily mean we have the right to know, ask, or presume more.

To those of us who continue knitting and blogging and being a part of the ongoing definition and re-definition of what it means to blog, may we continue to turn our daily knitting and non-knitting (when approrpriate) endeavors into good content. May we find interested readers (or may they find us). May we persevere.

Have a good weekend. Back here Monday with, hopefully, some progress on the back of the Must Have.

Blog Spam

Checked email today to find over a dozen spam comments. So frustrating. So time-consuming to clear them out. Following a tip from The Keyboard Biologist, I had been looking into MT-Blacklist recently. I even had the directions for installation still up on my screen this morning, so I finally got on the stick and installed it. If you're a Movable Type user and don't have MT-Blacklist running, you might check it out. Here is to spam-free blogging... hopefully.

Comment on Comments

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Don't really have time for a full entry. Final edits on a white paper are calling me since I've got to get it out the door today so a Bristol-based team can take a look. But, I was in my blog clearing out yet more spam comments (anyone else beleaguered by them?), so I thought I'd check in just quickly.

By the way, I also took time to respond to a few comments that had come in recently. I always read them right away and am so excited to get them - and amazed that these women found my blog in the first place since I didn't start blogging with a network of friend knitters who would be pointing to my blog. I guess in each case, I found their blog and left a note, and then they popped into my blog, and we made a knit connection. It's wonderful. But I don't always email back to let them know I'm glad to hear from them. And I don't always leave comments even when I think I should or when a post they write strikes a chord. I should, and Sharon's post today was a gentle reminder to all of us. Part of the beauty of blogging is the community we're building and the friends we're making - friends who know something about us because they understand the pull of knit and purl. So take time to check in every once in a while. It's easy to get sucked into the silence and feel you're blogging (and knitting) in a vacuum.


Cloverleaf Socks
In 6 Sox Knitalong news, I'm now well into the second sock. A restless night last night allowed me to finished the cloverleaf ribbing and start the heel, so things are moving along smoothly, and I totally am ready to be done with these. They just look enormous to me. The first sock does fit - but it's not a tight-has-to-stretch fit. It's much looser - not necessarily bad, but the sock along will give me good opportunity and excuse to really figure out sizing for my socks (and I love the chart in The Purl Stitch for variable sizes/gauges/needles). It could be that I'm seeing a lot of stretch and not a lot of rebound in the Sockotta cotton. So, I'll be interested to see how they look after washing.

At any rate, hopefully they'll be finished soon.

I've got my mother coming in for a visit tomorrow (from Kentucky), so lots of cleaning on the agenda -- after those white paper edits.

Scarves and Galleries

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I am working on a little-boy design using Pronto, and I was out checking the Berroco site to make sure the colors I'm using are still in circulation. From the front page, I was accosted by enticements to check out "scarves" on their site in the Scarf Central section. If you're into scarves, like giving scarves, like working with fun and funky yarns, or just like to feast your eyes occasionally on some digitally rendered fiber color, it's well worth a visit.

Scarf Central has, not surprisingly, links to free scarf patterns that use Berroco yarns. But the main page is a smorgasbord of swatches showing different Berroco yarns used in combination. So, you get to see a closeup of how the two yarns knit up together. Clicking through on any swatch takes you to additional info on the swatch (e.g., needle size) and shows you alternate color combinations of the yarns. It's a visual treat and a good resource.

Maybe it's just me, but I like seeing this kind of repository. I know dye lots vary for Koigu, so that one skein of KPPM might look different than another, but still, I would love to see a repository of all the color combinations the guys at ThreadBear have offered for Charlotte's Web. Since the sets (which use wonderful and creative names) don't list individual colors by number, it wouldn't (really) take away from them in terms of business. But it would give someone considering starting (another) Charlotte a visual look at what kinds of combinations work. Then, someone could write them and say, "hey, I'd like to make something in purples and reds with a touch of lime similar to the way XXX!X looks."

Of course, I'd like to see a repository of "finished" Charolotte images, too. I love the gallery of finished Kureyon bags at BoogaJ.

Maybe it points to my intrinsic love of clutter that I respond so strongly to these galleries, who knows. I like to think, instead, it points to my love of color and variety!

Knitalongs...

Was out at Fluffa's blog and saw mention of the Harry Potter Azkaban knitalong. We are a totally Harry Potter household, so it was cool to see so many other knitters jumping on the scarf wagon.

I also saw that Fluffa linked to this compilation of knitalongs. That's a great URL to have. I'd been thinking recently that some kind of system would be good for cataloging them in a central place. (I'm a developer, so I was thinking through a database-driven system where everyone could go to log knitalongs as they come up.) It's cool to see that some repository exists already.

BlackDog Addiction

I think I'm becoming addicted to Rob's Black Dog site. At first, it was just an obsession (still going) with the idea of Charlotte's Web. (I'm still waiting for a colorway to show up similar to the ones I liked originally.) But, now I find I just love reading Rob's blog. Not only does he always have great discussion (and photos) of new yarns, but he's always making something interesting. For example, I like Tasia's Cardigan that's he is working on now. (And I fired off the url for the Sophie bag he mentions to both my partner and mom. It's very cute.)

WIP Meters

I'm still in progress setting up house here on the blog. And I'm definitely not sure I'm liking "pink" overall. Traditionally, pink is so not me, but I got in a real pink rut when pregnant, and I haven't jolted out of it yet. So, I thought maybe a pink site. But I doubt it will last!

At any rate, I've added in the dynamic progress bars from Anna Knits. They're very cool. I noticed them on a blog a week or so. When I was setting up my own files, however, it took me forever to find them again. Searching on "progress meters," "WIP meters," and so on didn't turn anything up. I just happened to be on yet another blog yesterday that used them and had a link to her site.

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