Monday, July 26, 2004

How's this for an obnoxious animated graphic? Bouncing balls.

Yeah, baby.

Best Quote I Heard All Day

Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event.—Oscar Wilde

It suddenly occurred to me on the weekend that the blog is officially two years old at the end of this month—this week, in fact. I wish I could resurrect the old archives but they seem to have been lost when I changed web hosts in February. However, as near as I can recollect, I started the blog around July 27th. At least, that was a Saturday and I know I did this blogging thing on the last weekend of July.

2002 was my “annus horribilis.” I lost my beloved husband, Jimmy, to acute myelogenous leukemia in January. His death was very sudden, one day after his diagnosis: read into that what you will. We had been married almost 33 years and then ::poof:: he was gone. Somehow, you manage. You rise past the grief, past the tears, past the void, and you carry on. And so I did, although not without many, many bumps along the way.

When the fog began to lift, around the end of July, I needed an outlet, something to keep me focused and happier.  I had heard about this new online publishing deal, blogging. I don’t even remember how I found Blogger. But once I did, I was off and running and blogging. I’d had a web site between 1997 and 1998, also called The Knitting Curmudgeon, but it was fairly static, with links to snarky essays about knitting that I’d written and pictures of my projects. The web site was my reaction to the suffocating nonsense that was beginning to infiltrate the Knit List. However, blogging appealed far more—it was fluid, immediate, and eminently easy to do. Writing the blog became more than simply grief therapy; it gave me the opportunity to combine my two loves, knitting and writing. And sounding off. Sorry, that makes three. Heh.

You, my readers, have been there for me. You’ve given me support when I got torpedoed by erstwhile boyfriends. (Who can forget Achim? Um, me.) You’ve listened to me opine about the state of knitting, rant about warshcloths and KnitDweebs, and kick the Purling Puppies (God and Allah be willing, may they never come here again). And finally, you were there when I met John last year, my döppelgänger, my Johnny Action.

If I didn’t have readers, would I continue writing? No doubt about it. I could no more stop writing than I could stop knitting. I know many of you just read, silently, and continue on your journey without leaving a comment. That’s fine. However, I’m always glad to hear from the Great Unspoken, you know.

Thanks, gang. It’s been a great two years. And there’ll be many more.

How I Blog
I thought you’d like to know how I put each blog entry together. Very carefully, although you might not realize it. Now you will.

Often, ideas for the blog come to me in the car. I have no idea why. Probably because it’s the one time I can think without interruption—unless, of course, my cell phone rings. Sometimes something I read or see on the internet prompts an entry segment. Sometimes I’ll be knitting and doing a particular technique and want to write about it. Sometimes Loopy will send me something from the lists that she’s found particularly egregious and wants to share.

Once I have a vague idea of what I will write, I generally do an initial post on Word, editing as I go. I do this as a precaution, having written a whole post on Blogger only to lose it to the vagaries of the publishing app they use. While I’m writing on Word, I will double-check any references, such as book titles, name spellings, etc. for accuracy.

Then the whole shebang is copied and pasted into the Blogger post window. I do any linking and photo downloading there. The blog is actually on my web site—Blogger simply provides the publishing tool. Once the initial draft is published, I fine-tune it by reading and re-editing until it suits my purposes.

The entire process can take up to two hours or more, from start to finish. The actual writing goes fast once I know what I want to write about—it’s the other crap that takes time. (And naturally, tonight I screwed up the text color, so what can I say?)
IK In Hand
Finally got my copy at Borders on the way home tonight. Joe's already done an excellent review of this issue, so I can only add my dollah-three-eighty to what he's already said.

My two favorite designs are most definitely Annie's Spencer jacket and Veronik Avery's Three-Penny Pullover. And no, I don't like Annie's stuff just because she's my friend. My friends who design, Annie and Joe and Kathy, are all first-rate designers.  The issue, as a whole, is much more appealing than previous issues.  I can definitely see doing the Three-Penny PO in Cashmereno.

However, the Touch-Me Cardigan, also by Avery? Has anyone costed that sucker out? Besides having no desire to knit a Touch-Me anything (although I do have 4 balls of it for a scarf for Johnny because he wants one--shoot me now), I'm not willing to sell the ranch. At $14.50US a ball, I'd have to spend $333.00 to make the 44.5" size. I don't think so. This jacket will go over big with the AC Moore crowd, no doubt.  Anyone want to figure out the price in Lion Brand?

The photography in IK is still abysmal.  Besides the hideous picture of Annie's jacket, the Tartan Jacket photo is blurry. Or my eyes are shot to shit. Printing on matte paper will always cost you color clarity but damn! too many of these pictures are dark. IK pictures are almost always too dark. 

I’ve managed to play catch-up with my list digests, although Knit U seems to be down again with a virus (not surprising, since they clearly don’t have a clue as to how to protect their server—this is at least the second and possibly the third time they’ve been hit).

The Knit List’s “Moms” (what an awful title—I didn’t ask anyone else to be my “Mom” other than Elly) see fit to censor indiscriminately, as does Knit U, so that they can avoid any “unpleasantness.” I don’t post to the Knit List for that reason and others too numerous to discuss. Of course, I am sure that in their eyes I would be most “unpleasant.” And according to their definition, they’d be right. There are few large lists that don’t blossom into bogs of sweetness and light, general inanities, and long discussions about personal topics such as hubby’s fractured hip that masquerade as Obligatory Knitting Content. (“I took DH to the doctor’s and knit while we waited for the results of his MRI.”)

Someone on the KF list suggested that perhaps some of the KnitDweebs might take their trash to Blogdom. I, for one, think that's a swell idea, although I don't harbor any hopes of the Knit List returning to its 1997 self. But at least some of these knuckleheads will entertain their friends on their blogs and perhaps the list will become quasi-useful again. Perhaps.

I mean, I really don’t see where a knitted frou-frou poncho is rare and handy. I really don’t.

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