Monday, January 25, 2010

Silence Is Golden

I haven’t meant to be so quiet lately but either I haven’t had time or I haven’t had the inclination to post. I’m sure you would like photos but this is going to be one of those boring wordy things instead. Fair warning!

So what’s been happening in Damselfly’s Pond? On Thursday I went to my weavers & spinners guild meeting. We had a talk about social media from fellow guild member Felicia Lo (aka Sweet Georgia Yarns). In spite of her thoughtful presentation, I think a few in the audience didn’t quite get why you would want to post blogs, record podcasts, tweet away on Twitter and put up a Facebook page in order to further your textile art business. Personally, I pick and choose which ones appeal to me but then I’m not trying to promote myself or my non-existent business. I’ve been blogging here for nearly 5 years so obviously that works for me. But I have no plans to start podcasting (though I listen to lots of them), never look at Facebook and find Twitter much too speedy (and banal) to spend time on. Ravelry is, of course, another matter! BIG Time Suck. Just saying.

Since her focus was on self-promotion and the social aspects, Felicia didn’t talk about using the Internet for textile arts education. I think this is where the interwebs really shine. For one thing, consider good old YouTube. Besides the obvious entertainment (both excellent and questionable), it has become a wonderful resource for how-to videos. Want to know how to do the Old Norwegian Cast-On? Plug that in the search box and several versions come up. Or how about how to warp a loom? Floor loom, inkle, card, rigid heddle, pick your specific type and somebody has probably recorded the steps for you. See it in action. So wish I’d had this resource when I was learning to weave in the Dark Ages! I admit the production quality varies from professional to um…quirky. But if you don’t have a teacher handy at all times of the day and night, your questions can find some answers right away.

One thing we discussed at the meeting was Weavolution and why it might not be as popular for weavers as Ravelry is for knitters (and weavers, spinners, crocheters etc.). The consensus is that the interface just isn’t as easy to use. I think also there were some hassles with copyright issues which squashed a lot of enthusiasm. Personally, I’m an early member of Weavolution but haven’t checked it out in months, whereas I’m on Ravelry almost daily. But then I’ve been more excited by knitting and crocheting than weaving recently. However I did put my most recent weaving projects on Ravelry instead of Weavolution. Take that as you may.

On Friday T-Man and I went for a good long walk. I got the latest issue of Knitter’s magazine which for once had some rather nice patterns in it. It’s hands-down the best issue I’ve seen in ages. Perhaps the inclusion of a number of patterns by the queen of cables, Kathy Zimmerman, might have something to do with it? And Kenny Chua’s helical hat and Victoria Zygas’ elegant striped scarf too. There’s a couple of vests which are my favourite sweater shape, including a mosaic-pattern one by Katharine Hunt sized for men. But I want it for me! In different colours though. Hope they keep up this newfound taste.

Saturday was quite mild and although it wasn’t sunny it was a lovely day for gardening. We got about 1/3 of the front garden pruned and weeded out. Robert’s wort (aka Herb Robert or Geranium robertianum) is rampant and there’s even a few baby woad plants poking up. Oops. Oh well, it’ll save me from planting them and they’ll have a head start. There’s an interesting article from Australia on medicinal uses for Robert’s wort. It’s also a noxious weed! Always a little bad with the good, eh? In my garden it’s becoming quite annoying. Kind of like the feverfew that I planted once and am still pulling out everywhere. (Yes, I tried it for migraines and no, it didn’t work.) Is the woad going to be a problem now too? We shall see. I can be pretty aggressive in weeding when I want to be. Both T-Man and I enjoy gardening. He does the big pruning and raking and I do the fiddly weeding and planting. Quite a team.

On Sunday, The Ninja brought the grandbeasties over early so he and The White Lady could go see the noon showing of Avatar which is playing only 3 blocks away from our house. I had already planned to go knitting with my Ravelry group and cheerfully left Grampa playing with the Beasties. When I got back they were watching Wallace & Gromit’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Later on we all went over to The White Lady’s mom’s house for dinner and The Ninja’s slightly belated birthday cake. It was nice to see Milord SIL & Milady Daughter there too. Though Judith gives me a hard time about it, she seems to enjoy throwing a family birthday party for her son-in-law. (I think this is the 4th or 5th time!) So I figure the kids are all adults and unless it’s a significant milestone, they might get a phone call or e-card from me. And a pair of handknit socks. What else do they expect? Guess I’m not a huge birthday celebrant, huh? Bad damselfly mommy.

Today I finished Stargazer’s second pair of socks from the same ball of yarn. I put the first pair on him yesterday and they fit with a little less spare growing room than I thought. I kind of expected them to be huge but they are quite wearable. Now I just need to block and photograph this pair since I didn’t take time to do either of those things with the first ones. Grampa-T did take a photo with his cell phone but neglected to give it to me yet. So I’ll have to show them off later.

Off to work on my lecture. I’m quickly running low on time and I’m not really a procrastinator. I prefer to plug away a little at a time to get it done. Kind of the way I weed the garden.

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