It was precisely nine years and five days ago when I published my first blog post. That was over at TypePad. I had tried out Blogger (or whatever it was called back then) and LiveJournal and WordPress and maybe even MySpace before settling on TP as the easiest to use and the one I heard/read fewest people complaining about.
Here are my stats:
- Upwards of 2,000 posts (hard to get an exact count; there were 2,029 posts at TypePad, and WordPress — which imported only the posts since January 1, 2010 — says there are 1,313 posts. So the real total is 2,029 plus the 37 WP posts since July 27 = 2,066 posts.)
- Perhaps 15,000 comments (14,908 at TP plus the ones here since July 27, which I am not going to count because lazy).
As every blogger before me has said, this gig has been great fun, and I have made many new and unexpected friends. It was the new-friends thingy that really surprised me. I have met Chris, Anne, Kirsten, Vicki, Heather (haven’t actually met her, she lives 1,000 miles away), Jocelyn (not a knitter, but a fabulous blogger / writer / mother / educator / human being). There are those whose blogs have gone dormant but whom I still count as friends: Erica, Cookie, Cathy-Cate, Amy, Annie, beentsy, Ryan. There are others in both categories too numerous to list.
And now, here’s that first post.
Well, I’ve gone and done it. Started me a blog. By the title one could expect it to be about knitting (okay), sewing (okay), or shooting up (not okay). Lets go for Door #1, shall we?
I’m a knitter of a certain age. Well, to be perfectly frank, I’m over 50 (just turned 57 this month — it was the birthday that prompted me to start the blog, which I had been contemplating for a while). I’ve been playing with yarn and needles and such for over 40 years and someday, darn it, I’m gonna get really, really good. In the meantime, though, I’m gonna have fun. Or maybe… screw the really really good, cue the fun.
My favorite blogs are ones with excellent photos and good writing; my goal is make mine one of those. High-res photos of exquisite fibery goodness, writing that makes the reader laugh and cry and Think Deeply About Life. Oh, have I mentioned that I frequently set extremely high goals for myself?
For now, I’ll just describe one of the things currently on the needles and give you some pictures taken with my El Cheapo Kodak digital.
It’s a kids hat for the Dulaan Project. Ryan and Cuzzin Tom and F.I.R.E. are racking up the karma points bigtime. I’ve been using up 20-year-old crappy acrylic stash making hats and a sweater for the Mongolian kids. Now, I know that warm is the name of the game here, and that warm generally means wool. I’ve read Norma’s thoughts on the subject and generally, I concur. She’s right on the money. It’s just that I have all this damned acrylic. So I have Taken Measures to ensure that my crappy acrylic hats are really and truly warm. Having lived all but the first ten years of my life north of the 45th parallel — that’s northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to the geographically challenged — I feel that I know something about warm. My hats follow one of two basic designs: a watch cap style with a 4″-deep cuff, which means there is a double layer of knitting over the ears; or, if the design doesn’t allow for a cuff, I do a provisional cast on, come back when the outer hat is done, and knit a lining. The current hat, unfortunately, is the first one that hasn’t followed that formula. It doesn’t have a cuff, and I didn’t do the provisional cast on. Neither option exactly worked with what I had in mind, so I went with a smaller-than-normal needle and made the fabric fairly dense.
The yarn is from an afghan kit I bought at a yard sale about 15 years ago.
It was a traditional ripple afghan done in eight shades of blue from navy to very pale. Someone, probably a sweet little ol’ granny, had already crocheted about 24″ of the afghan, and I thought, Easy peasy, I’ll just finish it and have an afghan with only half the work. (I was in my afghan stage at the time.) But I soon discovered that, although I had crocheted a number of garments and afghans and shawls that required reading and following a pattern, I was apparently incapable of following this one. The ripple pattern. The single most common crochet pattern in the universe. Couldn’t do it. So the half-finished afghan hung around the house for… a while. Until Dulaan called.
The yarn is 2-ply, approximately sport weight or a little thinner. For the hat I’m holding three strands together and knitting on size 7 needles, which makes a nice, dense fuzzysoft fabric. The initial inch or so of ribbing is dark navy; when I started the stockinette I dropped one strand of the dark navy and picked up a strand of the next shade, a bright navy. Two rows of that, then drop the second strand of dark navy and pick up a second strand of bright navy. Rinse and repeat. I like the way it worked. Incredibly, my seat-of-the-pants calculations, based on how many rows it would take to follow this pattern and intending that the last inch at the top would be all of the lightest blue, worked out perfectly. Sometimes you do something right, who knows how or why?
You may have noticed that in the picture, the yarn was wound into one ball of each color. But knitting three strands together is impossible if the yarn in question is in one ball.
Observe Step 2:
Did I mention that I’m also a wee bit compulsive?
So, here’s the hat, hanging out with its cousins and some random buttons that wandered by:
I quite like it.