Sunday, November 18, 2007

Second Time Around

I recently added ScribeFire to Firefox; nice tool, it really is, but it ate the post I wrote for today. So here's a warning to anyone using ScribeFire with Blogger - manually configure the account access. Otherwise, it won't talk to Blogger and you'll lose what you've typed! You'll get an error message telling you to go to the performancing page or some such thing, but what you'll want to do is delete your blog and add it again. The first menu you get after selecting "Configure Manually" doesn't list Blogger - select "Custom" or "Other" or whatever is at the bottom. The second menu will list Blogger; select that one and you'll get a link with a bunch of stuff in it - just replace your blog name where it should be in the link, do not replace the entire link. You need that other stuff to make the tool work.

Yes, I'm not much of a geek; notice I don't know any of the proper jargon.

I've been knitting - Dracula's Bride aka The Halloween Mystery shawl, Swan Lake aka Mystery Stole 3, and the Lace Party Scarf, my boss's xmas gift from last year.

Lots of drama on Ravelry around Dracula's Bride. Yes, the designer (Renee of Goddessknits) did overreact a bit, but I can understand why she felt attacked. I thought some of the remarks were, well, a personal attack. I don't know Renee, nor do I know the folks making the remarks; I can only say how the remarks seemed to me. The ones I found particularly appalling were the accusations that she was using the KAL members as test knitters (the KAL cost $5) because there was an error on the first chart and some confusion about interpreting the first clue. I'd say 70% of the KALs I've joined have had at least one chart error in the process of the KAL. (I also know someone whose mother is a professional test knitter, and the crap she gets is nothing like getting a chart with an error on one or two rows.) This is an extremely challenging project (even for experienced lace knitters); I think many were frustrated at the difficulty of the first clue (which was the hardest) and took it out on the designer. Having gotten past the worst of it, the biggest problem now is that there's lots and lots of knitting. I look forward to finishing this someday and having my own beautiful shawl to wear; I'm not posting photos until I'm through with clue 2 (it will be awhile, folks).

I'm working on Swan Lake, too. Same goes for photos; when I'm finished with clue 2 (that's how far behind I am).

I've been chatting with a few groups on Ravelry, too. I found groups with some funny, smart, witty but not unnecessarily mean folks. I try to stay away from the snarky groups; cranky snark people make me someone I don't really care to be. I do think that everyone should have standards; I don't think that everything is good, that it's impossible for a project to be bad or ugly (go to Ravelry, look at my unblocked half-finished projects - ugly). I've spent much of my adult life thinking about why I like the things I like - books, music, movies, etc. We live in a world where cultural product is shovelled out like fries at a McDonalds. Critical thinking of all kinds is a good thing. Having said that...Yes, there are ugly patterns out there. I ask myself why someone would knit that; but someone did, and my making fun of them and being cruel on a blog or online chat will not improve the quality of knitting in the world. Yes, I have seen products (patterns, accessories, yarns) I consider waaaay overpriced (in fact, I've commented on that sort of thing below); but what I consider too dear to purchase may be the treasure someone considers priceless. Yes, even if it's only the creator's mother. It's only my opinion and my budget that says, "Whoa, that's not worth it!" It's fine for me to say that, but I let everyone know I consider it an opinion, not a diktat. And yes, I've seen questions from knitters who have me thinking, "That person shouldn't be on a lace KAL if they can barely knit and purl." But instead of substituting cruelty for wit, someone will usually send them a link with the information/instruction they need. Yes, that knitter might actually be a dumber than a box of hair, but they don't stand a chance of learning if someone doesn't help them out. And generally, once shown where to learn what they need to know, they rarely continue to write the group for basic instruction. Oh sure, I can be as mean as any bitchy man or woman; but I save that for private conversations with friends. If given the chance to provide feedback, I make it constructive (that doesn't mean I only say good things, mind you), telling someone what works for me and why, and what doesn't work and why.

Different topic - I ordered some Bloody Mary lace weight yarn from My cunning plan is to use it for the 'Saigon' scarf from Andrea J/BadCatDesigns. She is posting the pattern information on her blog for free. And if you are knitting any of her designs consider joining her Yahoo! group. She's very responsive to questions and requests. I figure if the yarn isn't what I want for that project, I'll find another use for it. I'm too poor to buy expensive yarns all the time, and Knitpicks or Elann or Malabrigo doesn't always have the color I want (if anyone is inclined to buy me some expensive hand-dyed lace yarn from Etsy or some other site, let me know - I'll put it to good use, guaranteed!).

Okay, here's my test post part 2 from ScribeFire. I'm going to update my Ravelry projects and stash now (I'm feraljane there, just as I am here, if any members care to check me out there). I lost a fight with my stove today and so no knitting tonight.

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