85) C is for…

Coreopsis!  And chrome!


I picked up this skein at the North East Textiles open day in Danby, a couple of weekends ago.  I did significant portions of my growing up in Lealholm, which is next door to Danby, in terms of Yorkshire villages, so it was lovely to go and visit my 'home turf' and be textiley.

I bought this skein at least in part because I'm unlikely ever to use chrome as a mordant myself.  It's nasty, nasty stuff and no fun to dispose of.  And also because it was lovely to see such a vibrant, rich colour from natural dyes.  Note to self: plant Coreopsis tinctoria next year.

I think C might also be for challenge.  I 'did' NaNoBloPoMo a couple of years back, and I'm not that keen on doing it again, but I think I might be up for AlphaBetaBloPoMo.  One post per letter of the alphabet, to finish within one month of starting (so a few days off then).  No need to restrict it to November- pick your own month!  No need to start it on the first of the month, either.  Anyone else joining in?

74) Again with the blending! Also, comments.

Remember the grey?  It's happened again:


But more colourful.

Inspiration for this year's Rampton challenge has finally struck.  We're supposed to be blending this little lot:


Then creating a bag out of it.  And we're supposed to be finished by November.

The inspiration has really been a long time coming.  Last year, I b!tched that I don't really *do* scarves.  Well, I don't really do bags, either.  And the colours??  Ewwww.  OK, I know we're supposed to be blending them, and colour blending is some serious magic, but… not inspiring.

Recently, though, I've been seeing a lot of colour gamps around.  Well, heyyy…

So, the plan is: blend fibre into rainbow hues.  Weave colour-gamp yardage (hence extending the colour blending theme further). Make bag.

This rocks, because weaving is faster than knitting, and I'm seriously late starting.  Also rockin' the show is my drum carder, because it's a heck of a lot faster than hand carders.  A heck of a lot faster.  And it still took me upwards of four hours to card up this lot.

Still, though, it's magic, right? (confession time: the yellowest yellow is a cheat, from another pack, and I haven't used the white at all).


Oh – and Typepad fixed the comment issue!!  It's not back as it was, but it's workable.  I believe TheNorma is almost singlehandedly to blame responsible.  Yayyyy TheNorma!

72) Changing it up

TypePad, apparently, is changing.

There is an all-new TypePad interface, which I am currently using to compose this entry.  There are elements of this I definitely like, and elements which, well, I may not.

There has also been a major change to the comments, which I do not like.  Instead of being sent by private email, any replies I make to my comments are now posted direct to the blog comments – and not sent to the original commenter at all.  I could rant about this for a long time, but Norma has already said it better than I ever could.  I may have found a workaround, but I don't think I like that, either.

In a strange, ironic twist, I actually moved to TypePad because I hated not being able to reply to comments on Blogger.

Even more ironically, the word "TypePad" is not recognised by TypePad's spell checking mechanism.

26) Weaving courses – what would you do? Also, Q for Blogspot people

OK, I have been planning to go on a week-long weaving course in July, but I'm now thinking that it might be a bit too basic even for me.  Here's a synopsis:

"Learn to weave on a four-shaft loom. In this course you will have
the opportunity to sample a variety of different weave structures,
experimenting with colour combinations, yarn qualities, surface
textures and effects. End results can range from braids and fringes
for soft furnishing, to cushion covers and scarves. Looms will be
threaded up ready for beginners. Weavers with previous experience
are also welcome, and are encouraged to discuss their ideas with the tutor before the course."

OK.  I've warped my own looms (4 shaft and rigid heddle) before.  I weave, occasionally.  I've figured out how to do 2/1 twill on a RH loom with two heddles, and 2/2 twill on my little sampling loom.  I'm generally pretty smart, with a good grasp of theoretical things, and a tendency to work stuff out on my own.  What I haven't already done is weave on a floor loom, but the synopsis doesn't state floor or table looms.

Then, there's this course:

"Tapestry weaving is an ancient process so simple in principle that
it may be taken in many directions, from the creation of complex
imagery to bold colour-field pieces. Play with texture and colour
and learn a range of techniques. Bring along ideas for a project
of your own or play with the geometry of the warp. It is suitable
for students of all abilities from beginners to those with some experience."

I've never done any tapestry weaving, but do I really need someone to teach me?  Either course would set me back £200, plus five day's holiday.  On the other hand, I'd get to meet a local teacher, local weavers and have the use of the other facilities (swimming pool!!) after class is over for the day.

£200 seems a bit steep just to play with a floor loom, or learn a bit of tapestry.  Maybe I'd be better off saving for a more complex course?  Or even putting towards a loom of my own?

Maybe I should take the holiday, and set myself a learn-weaving syllabus for the week?  What would you do?  (Feel free to substitute another hobby if you can't get behind the idea of learning to weave…)

But how do I comment? – Blogger people, please let me know!
Right.  Blogger bloggers, blogspot bloggers.  What is the best way for someone like me, who has a blogger profile but doesn't blog there any more, and who has a separate blog, to post a comment?  I remember that blogger is a PITA when it comes to passing on email addresses; it generally doesn't let you reply to your commenters.  It's one of the reasons I switched to Typepad.  But what works best for you?  Should I comment via my blogger profile (which, incidentally, send replies to my comments to the wrong email account)?  Should I use my name and my blog URL, which definitely leaves you with no way to contact me?  Is there a good way to work this thang?  Again, answers in my comments please – whence I shall, really, be able to reply to you.

Well, how interesting…

I was just over at Scarlet’s place, and felt the need to comment.  Grinding my teeth somewhat in irritation (because of the previously-ranted-about Blogger weirdness), I chose to log in with a ‘nickname’.


Oh, hey!  Look at that!  I can enter a URL with my nickname, too.  Well, that’s sure nice of them.  Do you think they’ve been listening?

D*mn you, Blogger/Google!

Leaving comments on blogspot (Blogger) blogs has always been a bit of a pain for people without blogger accounts, and even worse for anyone who wants to *respond* to such a comment.  But recently, I swear it’s gotten worse.

To leave a comment on someone’s blogspot blog, I can sign in using my ‘Google id’, or I can use a ‘nickname’ or be ‘anonymous’.  If I sign in using my Google ID, the recipient of my comment will automatically be directed, via a link, to my blogspot blog.  Which is defunct.  Oh, and I don’t use my Google mail account for blog-related mail, so I really don’t want it linked to my blog, thanks.

I have no option to enter an alternative email address, or an alternative website.

Clearly the Bloogle Hegemony is just trying to force us all onto their system, or become pariahs.  I hate this.  Livejournal manages a similar thing with its ‘friends’ system, though not as aggressively.  I just want to make contact with the people I want, when I want, how I want, dammit, and I do not appreciate the heavy sales tactics.  Especially for a free product!

It makes me very glad I moved to Typepad.  Except no-one with a blogger blog will be able to find me, if I comment on their blog.  Gah!!!

Just two more after this one…

I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed NaBloPoMo, but I will be very pleased when it’s over.  Blogging every day has definitely gotten my past the hurdle I had before – "I should blog that, but it’ll take aaages".  Now, though, I’m struggling with other issues.

Blogging every day is making it hard for me to have time to reply to people who comment.  I hate that.  I think I’ll be alternating ‘blog’ days and ‘reply’ days from now on.  For me, blogging isn’t just about shouting out into the darkness; it’s about contacting other human beans with similar interests to me and sharing stuff with them.  I’m also leaving far fewer comments on other people’s blogs, which isn’t good, either.  So, apologies everyone, but I will get back to you eventually.

I have several draft posts that need extensive photography sessions to finish them off properly – or for which the photographs I have taken have proven inadequate.  The light round here has been lousy recently – even at noon! – and it’s not helping.

I have a couple of weaving posts, too, but I’m very aware that a lot of my readers are not weavers.  I want to put together a ‘rigid heddle 101’ post or page before I post any more weaving stuff.  But to do that, I need to get my current weaving project off the loom so I can photograph it properly (light allowing, see above!) – but the knitting is getting all my time right now.

But one thing I *am* very grateful to NaBloPoMo for – my Bloglines roll has been very busy for the last month.  I have always been assured good reading, morning and evening.  I love reading other people’s blogs, it’s what made me want to get one in the first place.  Don’t y’all go away, now!

…or not

OK, it doesn’t work.  It works fine until I try to publish it in the context of my three-column layout.  It looked fine in the ‘compose’ view, fine in the ‘preview’ view – and for me, it even looked fine in my Bloglines feed.  (Yes, I’m subscribed to my own blog.  Helps me spot problems.  Normally.)

I assume it’s something to do with the layout code for the rest of the page overriding the content I’m putting *in* the page.  Will investigate later, and possibly even learn CSS.


Just testing…

Norma had a wee bitty rant yesterday about how there is no WYSIWYG option for centering anything in Typepad.  I agree; it’s the one big thing that made me consider reverting to Blogger after all.  I like my images to be nice and centred, along with their captions.  I attempted to use the CSS stolen from Blogger at that time, but it didn’t work, and since I don’t actually *know* any CSS (yes, I’m a software engineer.  What?!?), I couldn’t wrestle it into submission.

I’m pretty sure I attempted to use the


tag at that time, but had no joy.

Today, it works for the Norma.  Does it work for me?


Yes, it does.

I don’t know if that’s really embarrassing, or whether Typepad had formerly done somethign funky that messed with regular HTML (Norma was informed that the tag was OBSOLETE a while back), or what.
Anyway, it works now, and I shall be using it.

Falling behind

Conversation from five minutes ago:

Me:  Oh, my gods – I need to blog!
J:    Um.  Why?
Me:  Because I’m supposed to be blogging every day in November!
J:     Ok…

So, this NaNoBloPoMo thing is a bit weird.  You’re not allowed to back-date posts, but the rules say nothing about forward-dating posts, so it’s not necessary that you write every day.  Those of us that blog about our crafts suddenly find ourselves under pressure to have *new* and *different* things to post about, every day.  I suddenly understand that the desire to cast on something new ‘for the blog’ isn’t just an excuse.  On the other hand, it means that the occasional spinning and weaving projects that have been taking a back seat to my Dad’s Christmas Sweater have suddenly found themselves dusted off and attended to again.  And on the third hand (because, really, we all want one of those) that in turn means that Dad’s Christmas Sweater hasn’t quite had *all* of the knitting hours it might.  In the last two days, especially, I haven’t quite kept up to my goal of 1310.4 stitches per day, and I’m starting to eat in to the 5.6 days in hand I had on Thursday evening.  But don’t worry, I’m only down to 4.9 days in hand, so all is not quite lost yet.

We’re only a third of the way in, and already a significant number of the blogs I read have written an entry about how hard it is to blog every day.  Blogging about blogging, if you will.  So I’m elevating things to a further level of abstraction by blogging about blogging about blogging.  And at this point, I’d like to highlight two extremes of the effect the internet can have on humans and the way they interact with people.

At the sad end, we have Jack’s post from November 7 about how a venerable, if not mainstream, web-institution has gone kablooie in a spectacular manner, with much airing of dirty laundry in public and all that that entails.  And it’s not as if this sort of thing is particularly rare.

And at the happy end, we have this heartwarming article about a 95-year-old grandmother who was given a blog by one of her grandsons ("who is very stingy" she says) for her birthday – after she saw him on the Internet and thought, "What’s this? You can find out about anything. I want an Internet!".  Now, she has a regular readership of around SIXTY THOUSAND and says, "I was always talkative, but now I feel more wanted, embraced, because so many people write to me".

For me, that is what the Internet *should* be about.  And, for most of the knit-bloggers out there, I firmly believe that it *is* what it’s about.  Which is why the knitter’s blogosphere is such a wonderful place to be.  Thanks, guys.

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