26 February 2011

I Promised You Pictures

This, my friends, is the new skein of Bulldog Blue needed for my Minimalist Cardigan. It appears to match the other dye lot, so I think we're good to go. I don't even think I'm going to have to do the stripey-knitting-to-get-the-sleeves-to-match thing.

This is totally going to work. It's going to be awesome.

Now I just have to pick up the sweater and start working on it again. Easier said than done.

24 February 2011

Adventures with Aubrey

My friend Aubrey and I have a winter CSA share that we split from Lewis Creek Farm, where our friends Hank and Mango live. Mango, being a knitter herself, encourages us to come in and knit by the woodstove in the cozy farmhouse kitchen when we go pick up our monthly bags-O-food, and so CSA day has become kind of a "thing" for us. It's not just a matter of popping down to the farm and then coming back home. It's a day-long (or at least afternoon-long) prospect.

But this weekend, both Mango and Hank were out of town, and it was still a CSA pick-up day. So Aubrey and I threw caution to the wind and hopped in the car for a little adventure. First we stopped by the farm and picked up our food. Aubrey's dog Cisco threw up in the car on the way there (poor puppy gets carsick -- who knew?) so I took him on a little walk around the barn while Aubrey cleaned her backseat in the farm parking area.

Then we hopped back in the car and headed south, which we've never done on that road before. What fun, to see a new part of the state! We stopped in Bristol and got coffee and pastries, next went to Knits and Bolts in New Haven for a little yarn indulgence (very nice store; friendly owners/employees, good selection, good sale room! I don't head south very often with extra time to shop , but I like to support them when I can.).

Then we went down to Middlebury and walked around -- our original plan was to hit the yarn stores there, too, but one is closed-for-business and the other was closed-for-the-day by the time we got there. But we wandered into a few shops (complicated to do with a dog, but one of us stayed with the puppy while the other went in and browsed, and then we switched) and yet another bakery for more pastry goodness, and then hit the road. Next time we do a Vermont yarn adventure, we'll be sure to check store hours before we go. But still--SO FUN! Thanks, Aubrey and Cisco, for a great day!

22 February 2011

Fun with Stats!

There are very few subjects I didn't enjoy studying in school. And, if I'm being frank, there were very few subjects that I wasn't good at when I studied them. I'm pretty sure there's a correlation -- I like doing things I'm good at doing, or I'm good at doing things I like doing, either way. But there was one subject in middle school that I hated so much--and I was so bad at doing--that I actively avoided taking it in high school, and then avoided all subjects that required it as a prerequisite in college: statistics. I was terrible at statistics. Probability, really. I get flipping a coin. I get rolling dice. But that's about it. And I don't even understand those very well: add in margins of error, and I'm confused all over again. Calculating that stuff is just beyond me.

But if someone gives me numbers to look at -- like, polling numbers on election day, something like that -- I do find them fascinating. The real-life application helps.

So when I tell you that Blogger is now showing me a Stats tab, you can maybe anticipate the progression of thoughts that went through my head. First was "OH GOD NO." What can I say? The reptilian fight-or-flight part of my brain is pretty quick. Then I remembered that I would not be tested on these stats, and I thought "well, it might be interesting to see what kind of things Blogger is measuring." It's number of pageviews, what kinds of browser my readers are using, where these readers live in the world, and where they came from to link to my page. I can look at stats broken down by time: stats are listed in terms of "today," "this week," "this month," "this year," and "all time." This is geeky-cool.

So now I know that people are connecting to my blog from Ravelry (which is not really a surprise), but that more people are connecting from my friend Elizabeth's blog than they are from Ravelry. Crazy! And the most-viewed page is my Snail Hat post -- so something I said there was apparently very helpful, and maybe the word has gotten out? In the last week, there have been as many as 10 people reading my blog at the same time. Ten! Who knew I even had ten readers total, much less ten at the same time?

And, not entirely surprisingly, most of my readers are from the United States... but the second-highest population of my readers are in the Netherlands. Not what I'd have thought. At all. If you'd asked me if I thought anyone from the Netherlands was reading my blog, I'd have laughed and said no. Canada, sure. UK, maybe. But the Netherlands? Not likely. (See? I have trouble with probability.)

So I'd like to give a shout out to my Dutch readers. Welcome! I'm glad to have you checking in from time to time! Also, my readers in China, and Australia, and Russia, and Brazil, and Germany, and India, and the United Arab Emirates (!?!?!??!!!!)... y'all, I had no idea you were out there. I'm grateful and humbled, and it makes me want to be a better blogger. I've got to be honest and tell you that it's not likely I'm going to get my blogging act together anytime soon (again with the probabilities... I could be wrong!), but knowing you're actually out there is pretty nice. So thanks for reading.

And if you're a reader from some non-USA country, please drop a line in the comments. I may or may not be able to respond in a timely manner, but I will appreciate knowing where you're from! And I'll try to respond eventually. I have done a bit of world travel (mostly Europe, several times) and it's great fun to learn about new places and new people. So say hello! Bonjour! Dobra dyen!

...And, um, if you are from the Netherlands, can you please tell me how to say "hello" in Dutch? This is apparently a hole in my education.

(Yes, Mom, I'll be sure to show you the stats stuff when I'm home. I know you want to see it.)

19 February 2011

Making Progress

Okay. It's been a while since I posted. I have been knitting, but I have been knitting baby gift things for friends, many of which are surprises. In the interest of not blowing the surprise, I haven't been posting.

Also, I am again stuck by my inability to transfer photos from my Blackberry to my computer. Apparently there is this thing called a "cable" that "plugs in" to connect the two, but... well, it's all the way over in my desk drawer, and that's in a whole 'nother room. Too difficult.

*I have started sewing the labyrinth rug around the filler cord. It's taking for-freaking-ever. It's also been sitting on my living room floor for four months now. Every morning, as I'm getting dressed and standing on my cold bedroom floor in bare feet, I think "man, I wish that rug were finished so I could have something warm to stand on." Motivation. I got it. But apparently not enough.
*Baby Gift #1 is finished, I just have to block and cut ends (which are already woven in, thankyouverymuch.
*Baby Gift #2 is almost finished. There is one seam and a little bit of end-weaving, and then it's done too. A one-seam baby gift? You should know what this is. Mama may or may not read my blog. I see her in 5 weeks, so this will get finished up relatively soon.
*I purchased that one final skein of yarn I needed for my Minimalist Cardigan today! HUZZAH! I was (a) in a store that sells LPW in Bulldog Blue and (b) remembered to buy it! At the same time! Tomorrow I will look at the yarn in the daylight and make sure it actually matches. This is a huge step in finally finishing the darn thing. A year ago I wrote a post in which I admitted to working on the darn thing for "a shamefully long time." A year ago. And since then? No progress. Until today!
*I also purchased the one last skein of yarn I needed for the Lizard Ridge Blanket I've been wanting to do for a while. I shall cast on for this soon. I know, I know, I could have started it without that one last skein, but I want to look at everything I have and do a bit of strategizing with the colors before I cast on. It's a getting-the-big-picture thing, because I know I won't like the finished product if I don't plan it right from the beginning.

Here. A photo from the "archives" because I can't give you anything new. This is Doc deciding he likes the Kiki Mariko rug. And looking kind of undignified at the same time. Poor sweet kitty.

06 February 2011

5?th Blogiversary

Holy knit! I can't believe I've had a knitting blog for 5 years. How in the world can this be? 5 years? 2006 to 2011? Anyway, whatever the number is, happy blogiversary. Thanks for reading. I'm terrible at responding to comments, but I appreciate them anyway!