Blog Lust & Podcasts

Some of my favorite new discoveries come in the form of blogs. I have recently discovered knitting podcast. I prefer listening to podcasts as I work rather than music.
A Playful Day– Ravelry Group***
I completed my first successful blog challenge for 4 weeks. An accomplishment is an understatement. Kate at A Playful Day podcaster gave an excellent ‘sock science’ episode filled with juicy tidbits of sock yarn and brilliant designers. My Amazon/Ravelry carts are full.
I am blown away by this smart woman sharing her story about raising three children and one with special needs. I am humbled by her journey and resilience as she shares her experience with the world.
I have enjoyed listening to the last three podcast episodes. From the most recent yarn purchases and fabulous pattern choices. Her suggestions to the perfect yarn purchase will definitely keep me in trouble. It is never a dull moment with Hello Knitty.
I am a sucker for clean and smart websites. Ms. Clare has a nice and seamless (no pun intended…hahaha) web presence. I am drooling at her recent sock design called Skua. She is also a knit designer who’s design sense speaks to me deeply.
**Exhaustive list for Knitting Podcast (click link)
*** These groups have blog, podcast, and Ravelry Group
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Love Your Blog : Gratitude

Hi Knitting friends,

This is a fabulous and final week of the Love Your Blog by Kate (A Playful Day). The theme this week is Gratitude. I will say that gratitude is a difficult attribute for me to experience and display. I tend to wear my emotions under my sleeves so this week I will try to intentionally experience/express gratitude. I have a running list…

  1. Thankful for my health and continued commitment to maintain a healthy regimen
  2. Volunteer my time — details to come
  3. Ravelry– thankful for the connections and people that I have met through the website
  4. Five minutes spent with a moment of silence and appreciating my life
  5. Finding an opportunity to express my gratitude to someone without expectations for reciprocated behavior
  6. Enjoying over 100+ participants of the Love Your Blog challenge
  7. Enjoying the process of making and completing a pair of socks that I am satisfied with.

Thanks Kate (A Playful Day) for this wonderful experience.

I H E A R T KALs

Hi Knitting Friends,

kokos2015I never thought that I had a competitive bone in my body. UNTIL knitting. I am happy to report that I found another KAL project to get myself in trouble. Trouble = Buying more yarn. I found Angela’s blog aka Delusional Knitter this week and thought it would be a good thing to do. I am in the mist of making 3 pairs of socks so what better way to motivate myself than to join a KAL to finish. Who doesn’t like joining contest to win prizes? I am not shame about admitting to it. One great thing about the KAL is that it runs from April to June 2015.

DiagonalRibbedSocks2
Diagonal Ribbed Socks by Ann Budd
Yarn: Neighborhood Fibers
Colorway: DelRay
Started 4-18-2015
Are you looking to join with me? Come on over to Ravelry…join the group here.

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