Sunday, 18 September 2011

Lurked much lately?

I have been blogging fairly regularly since 2007, when Swooze first got me into it.  Most of the time I really enjoy it, it's a bit like writing a diary - if I were writing a diary for friends to read.  I like the discipline of recording what I've been up to each week craft-wise, plus the blog serves as a palliative record for those darker days when I start feeling like I never get anything done.

Blogger now shows you simple statistics on how many page views you are getting (I never used to remember to go into Google Analytics to see how many visitors were coming, so this is an improvement).  I was a bit afraid to look in case I am talking to myself here, but it turns out that page views peak at a little over 100 on a weekly basis after I have posted.

That's great news, and you are all very welcome here and I hope you like what you see.  I'm just a bit surprised as my number of followers is relatively low, and I don't get too many comments.  Perhaps I am just being visited by 85 search engines once a week?    Perhaps 65 people looking for 'kit' are really bad typists and are accidentally sneaking an 'n' into the word? Although I suppose that couldn't happen every week.  Must be the search engines.... :)

This week I had a finish:  my Summer Flies Shawl in Patons Linen Touch.  I finally finished the bind off at knitting club last Sunday, and then got it blocked this week.  The Linen Touch is fairly sturdy so didn't stretch out much in blocking, compared to the picture on the pattern where you can see that their knitting has been hard blocked and has really opened up.  Mine drapes well and has a much more ruffled edge which I like, but it has come out a bit more like a shawlette than a shawl.  I like the way the crisp yarn shows off the texture of the stitches in this pattern.

I've also been having a lot of fun making hats for the Innocent Big Knit charity campaign.  I put my basket of DK acrylic balls onto the sofa and just sort of 'doodled' every night.  None of these are particularly original ideas, but I did make up my own patterns for them all apart from the fuschia.  I particularly like the animal head which was meant to be a teddy bear but has come out a dead ringer for Rowlf, the pianist from the Muppet Show.  Quite enjoyable to just knit something for fun, and I have packaged up all the hats now to send off to Innocent.

On the quilting front, I decided I was doing fairly well on the flowery panto so I loaded up my Vintage Lone Star doublesided quilt.  This is the first time I've tried to line up a pieced backing, so hopefully it will work out.  I measured the vertical and horizontal centres in order to start the top in the right place on the back.  The quilting is going fairly well:  I think doing that Baptist Fan pattern on the last two quilts has really improved my panto skills.

Saturday was the monthly meeting for my sewing guild.  My feline random number generator (who now has diabetes so we have had to learn how to inject him with insulin twice a day) picked the piece of food on top of the number six, so we are working on project number six in our UFO challenge for the next two months. 

Project number six for me is a quilt from the Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Fans and Flutterbys  book.  I bought the book about 10 years ago when it was published, and at the time I thought the designs were wonderful.  I had great plans to make myself a big bed quilt, and I bought some suitable fabric from eQuilter online.  The years passed, and my tastes have changed, and I no longer want a big bed quilt that is so girly.  So I am going to make a small cot size quilt, possibly in both patterns.  Yesterday I cut out and put together the Fan strips (they're a bit wrinkled from being packed for the drive home).  The base of the fan is fussy cut from the fabric that I will use for the border, and the curved edges are finished with ric-rac.

I have to confess something now.  I have jumped on the Ipad bandwagon. I know, I know, everyone and their auntie has got one and they all like to brag about them and seem to be surgically attached to them.  I resisted for a long time, even when my netbook got stolen in the burglary. But I started looking at what I wanted to do online, and a tablet just seemed to make sense.  I definitely didn't want an Ipad because of the whole Stepford Wife vibe, and the lack of Flash, so I was looking at the HP Touchpad (crashed and burned on launch in July and HP have now gone out of the tablet business) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab (reviews universally damn it with faint praise for not being an Ipad).  But eventually my resolve crumbled, and I found myself looking at the Ipad forums on Ravelry and at all the neat things people were talking about doing with theirs.  So I did it.  I sold out.  I went to the Apple Store on Regent Street and eventually worked out how to buy one (this is a shop designed to make you feel old and out of touch:  there are no prices on anything, there is no sales literature, there are no cash tills, there is no obvious way to actually buy anything), and I bought a cool case on Amazon (the Stilgut white case, works fabulously.  There, see, I'm boasting already...)

I still don't really know what I am doing with it but I am gradually figuring things out, and I've signed up for some free classes back at the Apple store next week. I can listen to podcasts, I've been watching vidcasts, I watched some catchup TV on the Iplayer, I synced my music to the Ipad (although I have to say the speaker is very tinny, even though it can be turned up fairly loud which is good for listening to podcasts when you are sewing on the machine), and I even tried my hand at some games - much to my son's amusement.  On the whole, it works far better for all that type of online entertainment that my desktop PC.

If you are a crafter and have an Ipad, are there any good apps you would recommend?


loulee said...

One very regular lurker reporting in. XX

Marthaamay O_o said...

Is this a blog post made on the ipad? Statistics are interesting, the things people search and arrive by! Sometimes I'm at work when I read blogs, and don't log in, so can't comment, I might be a lurker!

Tee2 said...

I'm a lurker and love your blog. Keeps me motivated. I am both a knitter and quilter, and have tried my hand at weaving and spinning. Back to lurking.

Linda W said...

Love your blog. I'm a knitter, quilter and dabbler in midarm quilting, so I appreciate all you do--just a lazy commenter!

Daisy said...

I'm still amused by my Google Analytics (when I remember to look at them) as apparently people all over the place are reading my blog, but not commenting! No idea about apps I'm afraid, I'm still just on an old-fashioned laptop.

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