Tag Archives: ramble post

Don’t Get Between Me and Knit Night

craft night0007- header

For me Knit Night is Thursday Night. Its more than knitting of course. I was crocheting on my poncho.  Cyn, aka The Sweater Maker, was embroidering a teeny-tiny dress for a little girl that will be taking her first breath in about three weeks. Oldcrazyhooks was hooking her Picnic Basket Shawl. And Sheep Fluffer was doing some hand stitching that I didn’t understand on her next 16th century SCA costume. So Knit Night is kind of a misnomer but that’s what I call it.

(I don’t have a cool nickname, by the way. I’ve asked for one. I’ve begged and prodded and I’ve made several suggestions. But nothing has stuck and for certain inscrutable reasons, you are not allowed to pick your own. Maybe I’m too dull to merit a nickname but if I ever get one, I’ll be sure to run straight back here and tell ya’ll what it is.)

Now its true that pretty much every night is “Knit Night” for me because I’m working on something all the time. Also, I get paid to sit around with stitchers and talk yarn and patterns… I call them knitting and crochet classes… three days a week. But even so, Knit Night is pretty important to me. This week it was especially important since I’m going a bit crazy waiting for my (stupid) website transfer to go through. I needed my fellow crafters to talk me out of hunting up some (stupid) website manager types and scalping them.

When I got divorced I realized that I didn’t have any true friendships. I had people I called friends but they were just coworkers and neighbors. They were people that life had thrown me together with and I got along with them. It didn’t go any deeper than that. I had no real friends. It was a painful realization and I took it pretty hard.

So when I moved to a new town, Austin, one of my priorities was to make friends, real ones. I did that and I’m kind of proud of myself for it. I made all of my friends (with one exception), my first real adult friends, after the age of 35 and I did it at Knit Night. The exception was someone that I bonded with over books. Then I learned she was a crocheter. Then I started taking her to Knit Night.

All of that is to say… don’t get between me and Knit Night. Thursday nights is more than just an excuse to get together and play with yarn. Its how I maintain my precious network of friends. How precious is that network? Well, the very first person who came last night walked up and asked “How is the website? Still impatiently waiting?” Right away I got to pour out my frustrations and complaints and my website-manager-scalping plans. That was just what I needed.

Here is an assortment of other useful and somewhat informative discussions I had at last night’s Knit Night:

  • If you need to hide your chocolate from your husband, buy bags of frozen vegetables, the kind that are resealable. Toss out (or eat) all the vegetables. Load the bag up with your chocolate and then put it back in the freezer. He will NEVER look for your chocolate in a frozen broccoli bag.
  • Ragdoll Cats have been specially bred to treat humans with affection instead of their normal thinly veiled condescension. Apparently in order to get cats to like us, we have to modify their freaking DNA.
  • I make sarcastic comments all the time (like “we have to modify their freaking DNA”). These comments are are filed under Sh*t Jenn Says and them promptly forgotten.
  • Its so hot in Texas right now that everyone is claiming to have seen two hobbits wandering around looking for a place to toss their ring.
  • Speaking of Texas, that bluebonnet post I wrote a zillion years ago was pretty good and I should do more like that. I’m not precisely sure what “that” means but I’ll see if I can come up with something.
  • If When my blog settles down and I can make real posts (that won’t get disappeared on me) again, I need to do more Spinning In Cowgirl Boots. They like those.

And how is the blog doing? Oh gee, I’m so glad you asked. From what I can tell its not doing anything. We are still waiting. I have received one of those automated emails from my future website home letting me know that they are aware of the delay and that my ticket/issue has been auto-escalated. I think they just don’t want me to call and complain again. I think they are running scared. I think they know I’m ready to cut off the tops of their heads and pin them to my bedroom wall.


* My Knit Night group is a great group but they hate to have pictures taken. I have tried to get some pictures from around the table once or twice but not at all recently. They broke me of that I guess. The picture above is an old one from several months ago. You can see just how anxious they all are to show their smiling faces. Not.


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Those Evil Spammers are… Kind Of Pitiful

There are Evil Spammers all over this blog. They come everyday, sometimes every hour, and leave the digital equivalent of a flaming bag of dog poo on my front step. When I first started blogging I had more spammers than readers. It blew me away. I was not at all prepared to deal with that sort of attack on my itty-bitty yarn blog.

A typical month’s worth of comments around here

That’s about there the numbers stand today. Spam = bad. Ham = good. About half of those Ham comments are from me since I try to reply to everyone.


You don’t see the Spam because WordPress, the company I use to host this blog, does a bang-up job of blocking almost all of it. Even I don’t have to see most of it. A dozen times a day some computer in China/Russia/Romania/New Jersey will send one of those “My grandmother makes $867 a day playing solitaire on her computer! Click here to find out how!” comments and the computer at WordPress catches it and locks it in a cage. No human interaction requited.

I’ll admit it makes me a little uneasy to think about all those computers, the evil ones and the not-as-evil ones, playing their games out there without us to keep an eye on them. It seems a little to Skynet-ish to me.

But that’s the way it works. If WordPress knows a comment is Spam, it gets wiped out. However, if WordPress thinks its Spam but isn’t completely certain, it lands in my Spam box and I have to go and wipe it out myself. I usually do that two or three times a day but last week I didn’t. I was too busy.  Here is what my inbox looks like after one week:

Are you curious as to what an Evil Spammer would send someone who writes about yarn day in and day out?

  • A lot of it contains helpful wellness information.

typical Spam comment left on my blog

  • There is quite a bit on how to get better at your favorite video game

  • Some of it is very complementary, in a completely generic sort of way.
(I didn’t know I had an rss feed…)
  • Some of the Evil Spammers think I’m a slacker

  • And some of it is just random. Those are my favorites i think.

Well Dori, I didn’t ask them either but they did it anyway.


Why do the Evil Spammers spam their evil on my blog (and all the others)? It has to do with building links to their websites and Google and getting their site ranked up in the search engines. Wired has a very dull and very boring article about the history of comment spam that I didn’t bother to finish reading.

I have indulged in the fantasy of tracking those spammers back to their lairs and spamming them with pictures of gorgeous handspun yarn but

a) I don’t know how to do that, and

b) it would seriously eat into my crafting time, and

c) what if they liked the pictures and came for my handspun???

FYI, If you ever left a comment here and it never posted then you got lumped in with the evil ones. Sorry about that. WordPress tells me that our handling of spam is 99.1% effective. I’m not sure how it knows that. I’m not sure what happened to the 0.9%. I’m almost completely sure that when WordPress achieves 100% effectiveness it becomes self-aware and turns into Skynet and starts building Terminators.

But if it keeps the Evil Spam off my blog I’m willing to risk it.



On Being a Hoader of Needles

I hoard knitting needles. I admit it and I’m not even a little bit ashamed.

a pile of circular knitting needles

This isn’t a plea for help or a promise to purge. I’m keeping them. All of them, including those cheapie Boyles you see in that picture which I probably haven’t used in, well, maybe ever.  I don’t like Boyle needles, the cords are too stiff. But I’m not getting rid of them. Why would you even suggest that?

Continue reading On Being a Hoader of Needles

Are They Worthy???

Today I attempt to combat a problem that not very many people care about in the least. But I care! From the response to yesterday’s post about heirlooms, it seems at least few readers out there care too. I must take advantage of that! So in order to strike while the iron is hot, I’ve thrown together a rigorous screening method to determine who is truly worthy of your next big knit (or crochet, or quilt, or what have you). If you decide to use this to also determine who is worth cooking dinner for, or whose laundry you will do this week, that is of course, entirely up to you.

Continue reading Are They Worthy???

Don’t Look Over There. She is Doing Math.

I do love math. Its predictable and dependable. I’m pretty good at everything from factoring a number into its primes to mid-level calculus. A lot of my thinking is in math and I apologize for that.

From an old math textbook that I can’t bear to throw out. I loved that class.

Its like the open secret in my life. Not a dirty, hidden, or shameful secret. I’ve never been beaten for knowing the answer or socially shunned for sketching out a graph. Everyone who knows me seems to know I’m good at math. They tolerate this about me as long as I, you know, keep it to myself and don’t inflict it on them.

Continue reading Don’t Look Over There. She is Doing Math.

The Weekly Rec – Make Handknits for Crocheters

Happen to know someone who crochets but doesn’t knit? Let me tell you what I’ve learned: that person is the perfect target for your next give-away knitting. Perfect. 

I really enjoy making a handknit something-something and giving to a person who only crochets. The only-crocheter understands the value of what you are giving them.

Continue reading The Weekly Rec – Make Handknits for Crocheters

A Break in the Gloom

Yesterday the sun paid us a visit. It had taken a Christmas vacation I suppose because no one around here could remember when we had seen it last.  It finally came around, showing its sheepish yellow face. Good thing too because folks were starting to act a little strange.

grass

Not me of course. I was totally unaffected by being plunged into perma-gloom.   Continue reading A Break in the Gloom

Sunday Round-Up

The weather was yucky and so I got lots and lots done!

The weather here in Austin has been pretty cruddy recently but not so cruddy that we’ve earned the right to complain. Much. For huge swaths of North America its been bad. It’s been so bad that the news people were using words like “snowmageddon”.

We didn’t have snowmageddon in my little corner of the universe. We just had a long string of cold, dark, wet days with some righteous flash flooding.  It was the kind of weather that makes a person stay indoors and watch re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and play with yarn. Which I did.

Today the sun came out and so I hauled my stuff outside, blinking like a cave dweller in the bright light, and took some pictures. Some of these projects will get posts of their own, real posts that they don’t have to share with the other projects. I promise.

 

A pointless crocheted rock sweater made for one of my craft group. They support me in all my craziness up to and including making sweaters for rocks.

 

 

A blue scarf made double-quick for a friend who was not prepared for the yucky weather to roll in. There is no pattern for this one… yet. But I made the mistake of

a) showing the scarf off a few friends

and

b) showing the scarf off to my goggle circles.

 

The result of all that careless bragging was that I agreed to make another scarf for a friend …

… and write up the pattern. I’ll get that done and post it this week. Pinkie-swear!

 

I finished ten whole rows on My Mary Lennox. Ten. Whole. Rows.

Then I wasted at least half on hour trying to convince myself that I didn’t really need to do the last ten which the pattern calls for. But I do. No, really I do. I tried to bully one of my knit students into giving me permission to just be done and bind off. Sadly I’m not very good at bullying and I now I have to do every row of the last section.  Life is hard sometimes.

 

Last but not least, I finished off the capelet in Violets.

I love it. Love, love, love it. Could not be happier. It’s made from the yarn I spun and described in Spinning Violets. This baby will definitely be getting her own post. It’s made using top-down raglan sleeve construction and so easy I’m not sure you can even call it a pattern. But even so, I did take notes while I was knitting it (the members of my craft group fuss at me when I don’t) and I’ll be including instructions on how to make one of your own for anyone who loves it too and wants one.

Also… I made a leaf. Again. I’m still on a leaf kick. You can’t ever have too many knitted leaves, right?

 

That’s all of it! Not a bad bit of progress. And if we get another week or so of miserable weather I betcha I even get Mary Lennox finished and done.

 

Maybe.