Love Your Blog: U G L Y [Part 2]

Hi Knitting friends,

I am enjoying reading the different interpretations of U G L Y theme from the Love Your Blog challenge. Knit + Grits shares a fabulous twist about U G L Y. regarding knit related issues. I thought I would respond with my top 2 personal U G L Y knit related issues:

1. YARN BARFS: Yes this is a thing. On one occasion, I returned some defective yarn. At the LYS, the salesperson gave me the replacement skein and turned me loose with the yarn winder. 1.5 hours later, the yarn barf was unraveled and it took me another year to trust myself alone with a ball winder.

Yarn Barf on transit before 7 am.

Yarn Barf on transit before 7 am.

2.  GAUGE: Five years into knitting and I have finally started to understand the meaning behind gauge. Hope this isn’t shocking to others. Does this mean that I wasn’t doing it (knitting) right? I guess it means that I have spent the last few years making accessories and other projects where gauge wasn’t an important factor. I am working on my second pair of socks and I have discovered that beer & knitting is a good combination.

BeerKnitWhat’s your UGLY knit issue?

Love Your Blog: U G L Y [Part 1]

Hi Knitting friends,

This week’s Love Your Blog Challenge topic is U G L Y. Okay– so not many people get warm and fuzzes when we talk about ugliness.  In fact I have avoidance down to a science. I don’t normally initiate truth telling because the older I get the more I pray for grace. Grace that when I am not at my best that my friends and family will exercise patience and not take offense to my absence. The picture below of ‘House’ is related to UGLY photo that came up when I Googled the word ugly.

HouseTruthIn sticking with the topic of U G L Y. I wasn’t sure that I was spot-on with the definition of ugly relating to blogging. Google handed me a ton of commentary about the ‘ugly truth’ to blogging. Lots of people make a living as a blogger. Several challenges I discover while reading about the ugliness of blogging is that 1) bloggers become frustrated when they run out of ideas; 2) competing with limited time; 3) jealousy because of perceived popularity of others.

Although I have been blogging for two years, it has been within the last nine months that I have done so consistently. Have I experienced any ‘ugly issues’?  E X P E C T A T I O N S are the biggest pitfall when it comes to ugliness. I started blogging out of selfishness. I wanted a space to share my experience, but not necessarily to get something out of it. I am a natural loner, but a researcher at heart. I might have an unhealthy expectation when my stats don’t ping high daily, but I don’t allow that negative feelings to dictate how I treat people.

inspirational-quotesI started using my blog as a ‘dream space’. Knitting has been a comforter through a lot of my recent personal struggles that I have identified as failures. I like Kate’s idea that inspiration should be the driving force behind blogging. Inspiration is the key component that allows for a better journey when supporting or co-anchoring a podcast or blogging challenge. How do I turn a negative blogging experience into positivity?

  1. TAKE A DEEP BREATHE: I try not to take things personally. Whenever I see something that makes me upset, I just walk away.
  2. SELF-PRESERVATION: I’m all about #TeamGeGe. I choose places, people, blogs that keep me in a state of serenity. I don’t like discord and I don’t fool with people/situation that cause drama.
  3. STICK WITH WYK: ‘Sticking with what I know’ is a clear and driving force when I blog. My blog is a mix of discovery, self-help/instructional guides, and bloglust goodies.
  4. PARTICIPATE: This year I am making a conscious effort to try challenges such as the Love Your Blog, Goodreads Reading Challenge, KAL at local LYS, and re-instagram images for a chance to win freebees.

So friends…what are some driving forces behind your blogging? How do you combat negativity? What are some of the ugly barriers that keep you from blogging?

Community in Action

Hi Knitting Friends,

Last weekend we had very nice weather. I wore a light jacket and shades. I even treated myself to Ritas (Gelato, Italian ice store). Community among the knitting community is something that I found myself thinking a lot about lately. I consider myself a blended introvert. I made the word up, blended-introvert means that I am in the middle of the spectrum of introvert and extrovert. I enjoy having alone time to relax as most introverts will admit. However, there are rare occasions that I enjoy being around a large group of people. The beauty of knitting is that it is an activity for both introverts and extroverts.

Last week I started the Love Your Blog challenge (see last post) and wanted to share a neat story if how community and interactions occur my knitting community. Cloverhill Yarn Shop, my LYS has open knit night on Thursdays. Normally I attend Thursday nights, but we are sharing a car so my Thursday night knitting is on hold. As a surprise,  on of my knitting friends offered to pick me up from the train station to bring me to the shop. And my friends were fighting over who was taking me home. It’s nice to develop a friend circle and knitting groups are a great way to make lasting friendships.

Hitofude_3The thing I enjoy most about my LYS is the laughter and learning that we experience. Knitting is always talked about, but wisdom and courage is charged as well. I am starting my first cardigan project called Hitofude at my LYS. I sat near one person who has extensive crochet experience, but the cardigan will be her second knit project. Across from me sat an experienced knitter who has almost finished one Hitofude cardigan for her mother. We all are at different places in our knitting journey, but the great thing about this cardigan experience is that I know that I am not alone. I helped one knitter with the cast-on crochet set-up because she kept getting frustrated. I’m looking forward to walking through this cardigan project.

Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu

Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu

Love Your Blog: Beginnings

Hi Knitting Friends,

First socks & cat Punky

First socks & cat Punky

This week the focus of ‘Love Your Blog’ is beginnings. My analytical mind cringes when I look at my first blog posts…back in June 2013. My birthday is in June so perhaps I was in a birthday high when I decided to try again at a new blog. I have surprised myself these last two years by only missing 6 months. I prefer solitude activities, but blogging for me is a way for me to shake out of my introverted state. Too much quiet time can be dangerous. I am so happy to look back at my beginnings. It is awesome to see that I documented my first blocking session. And still, I have yet to Kitchener this sad little cowl— colorful I might add

Multi-colored Netty on the blocks

Multi-colored Netty on the blocks

In some of my older posts, I share random recipes and knitting projects. Several things that help me to continue blogging is my ability to laugh at myself. I can make fun of myself and it doesn’t bother me. I like that this blog has changed and expanded. It is no longer just my digital podium to share my latest project. It is a place to connect with like minded people. I will be forever thankful for sock knitters who have given me so much encouragement. Others have provided support during my challenging times. When I go back to my old post, I realize that I am right where I am supposed to be. On this blog I can share small stories, knitting projects, and obsess about the latest designer/yarn. It is in these beginnings that I will make more friends and contribute to the knitting community. These are the things that make me smile.

upper: (multicolor Netty; Holden Shawl)lower: (Autumn leaves; Stockholm Scarf; Brown-eyed Susan)

upper: (multicolor Netty; Holden Shawl)
lower: (Autumn leaves; Stockholm Scarf; Brown-eyed Susan)

Conversations by Train

Hi Knitting friends,

One of the small benefits of commuting to work 2 hours daily is the opportunity to squeeze in some mindless knitting. I have continued my sock knitting journey by starting a new sock project. I purchased Tempting Ewe yarn initially to do sock knitting. It is the perfect texture of merino/nylon blend. I chose to knit Petty Harbour from KnittingSarah’s blog. It is a wonderful vanilla sock pattern that plays well with the color work of Graffiti that I am currently using.

Petty Harbour using Tempting Ewe

Petty Harbour using Tempting Ewe

On my way home this week, a lady watched me knitting and we started talking. She said that she always wanted to learn and that her grandmother tried to teach when she was younger but it didn’t pan out. I told her that I knit as a meditative act. It is soothing and it helps me focus on myself rather than the unease of doing nothing while riding transit. I was very glad to have a short conversation with an admiring stranger. She was amused by me describing the joy of knitting is more about the process and less about the end goal. I am not a selfish knitter and I enjoy gifting things to others. However, if these socks pan out— I might have to become stingy.

Purchase car sticker on Webs.com

Purchase car sticker on Webs.com

The Love Your Blog Challenge

Interactions and Community  image Hi Knitting Friends, I started reading a blog about Susan B. Anderson, a sock knitting celebrity on A Playful Day blog written by Kate. She (Kate) has created a new challenge to motivate crafters to fall back in love with their blog. I will honest that there have been times in the past where I have been ‘ghost’ with blogging. Not because I hated my blog, but because I didn’t feel like I had anything of significance to write about.

Luckily, Jenna (KnitHardLife) shared her 100 Reasons to Love to Blog. It has inspired me and I decided to join with others. I need to develop more virtual friendships and who doesn’t like to see notes from lovely crafters from time to time. For the past 3 months, I have been diligent and posted at least 5 different times. Looking back on my post, I am proud to say that I am watching my knit journey with satisfaction.

On Kate’s blog she gives several suggestions on how to engage readers and avoiding copying the same content on various social media platforms. How do I engage my readers? This past year I have tried to change my writing voice as if I am speaking to an audience. I try to create a friendly atmosphere. I have finally ended my statistics obsession. My focus for blogging is to capture my knitting journey rather than gain popularity. I have made several virtual friendship through blogging and I count it as a bonus. What are ways that you choose to engage with the blogging community? What pearls of wisdom can you share about creating seamless virtual dialogue in the crafting community?

Additional Notes:

Love Your Blog Challenge-a Rav forum group in aplayfulday Podcast