Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Neon is the New Black

I could not wait to show you how my linen stitch cowl is turning out.
Ka-pow! Ka-ping!
Watch those neon sparks fly!

I am so excited by this project that I have set everything else aside (except possibly coffee) to work on it.
Linen stitch is incredibly time-consuming.  Each row seems to take an age.
But the effect is of an almost woven fabric:  wonderfully dense and squishy with those pop pop pops of neon colour - I just love it so much!
My knitting has fallen into an entirely new rhythm in response to the slip-and-wrap movement of this pattern.
So it is entirely appropriate that I am storing it in a new knitting bag which I won from Carmen of the Tapgurl podcast, after taking part in her Summer of Socks.
(Tap?  Rhythm?  Get it?)
Thank you so much, Carmen!
If neon is my new black, podcasts may be my new blogs.
I am a notoriously late adopter of new technologies and media.  I definitely do NOT "do" F-book, Tweeter or Instantgram.  My phone is the old-fashioned sort that doesn't even have a camera in it.  I do not have an i-pod, pad, or piddle.
As a result, I move much more slowly through the interwebs than you hip kids with your fancy mobile devices ;)
My consumption of blogs had reached saturation point.  If I had carried on as I was going, I would have stopped knitting and sewing altogether, because I was spending all my free time looking at what other people were doing instead of doing it myself.  And I was trying to read so many blogs, I rarely took the time to leave a comment - mea culpa, guilty as charged.  
It had to end.
Luckily, at about the same time as I was reaching this conclusion, something happened in blog-land.  Sponsorship, branding and monetising all took off in a big way.  The independent and the individual started to be replaced by the bland and repetitive.  Kestrel Makes is hosting a discussion on this topic if you are interested - many of the comments are fascinating.
The upshot is that I have cut my blog-reading time quite severely.
Instead, I have discovered the joy of knitting podcasts.
I can listen to an audio podcast and knit or sew at the same time.
A video podcast has the advantage of gasp moving pictures of other people's knitting!
And while there are a significant number of sponsored podcasts with links to eg indie dyers, I have learned to tolerate the adverts or move on to listen to more independent voices.
It's a whole new world!
At this rate I might have to buy a mobile device so I can listen to even more...


Liz said...

Hi, That linen stitch is astonishing. I'm going to go and dig out all my variegated yarn and look at it in a new way now. Fabulous!

Do you have any podcast recommendations as my favourites have given up the ghost and I need to find replacements.

I'm trying to cut down on my blog reading too, but yours is definitely staying on the list. Thanks

JAG said...

hmm, I probably shouldn't solicit podcast recommendations since I can't keep on top of the two that I subscribe to now (one food and one parenting)...but I agree with Liz, what are you enjoying listening to now?

Also, I've been seeing linen stitch everywhere recently, it is wonderful appearing. Thanks for mentioning how long it takes. I am a very slow knitter. I'll have to put anything linen stitch off until I have at least a few things completed, like the blanket I've been working on for 2+ years now.

Amy Clark said...

Very timely comment on blogs - I just realized how much time I was spending curating the number of blog posts that I didn't have the time and/or inclination to read. I've reduced the number of blogs that I'm following significantly and I feel very much liberated!

wendy said...

Thanks for linking to the discussion happening at Kestrel Makes. Somehow her blog had disappeared from my list, but glad you pinted me in her direction - it's an interesting conversation and clearly resonates with many.
Linen stitch - I love it but it can be tedious,not with the colors you are using though :)

beate grigutsch said...

i´m a late girl too ;-)
since the monetising took so much place in blogland i cut down my readings to ca. 15 blogs. but they i read regularly. yours is one of them.
new neck decoration looks fab, so roo with that colors!

madeinoxford said...

Wow, the cowl looks awesome - I can understand dropping everything else for it! And that's a very cool bag :) Can I ask who made it? I need a 'cheer me up' purchase at the moment.

I've never been able to get into crafting podcasts, I think because for me, it's very much a visual thing, and just listening doesn't quite work for me. Although enough people have talked about them lately that I might have to give them another go.

Thanks for the blog discussion lin [eta:and apologies for the resulting essay!]. It's a rather odd read, because it reflects the kinds of discussions I see going on in other online circles that I move in. The people describing craft blogging as being in its awkward teenage phase have really hit it, I think. Fashion blogging went through the same sort of thing, where people began to do it professionally out of a personal blog, and everything wibbled around for a while before settling.

The other thing that I've seen in the fannish world, is that those of us who are part of it don't always have a full perspective on things that are designed to appeal to a wider audience. I can't quite put it into words right, but... I see it in sci-fi fan groups, where 'online fandom' discusses/argues/is outraged, forgetting that the producers are making things for the 90% of consumers who are not part of those groups. Twitter has blurred those lines a little, but I do wonder if 'we' are forgetting that people monetising their blogs and building businesses are appealing to newcomers, who know nothing about these things and haven't seen it all before.

Not that I haven't done some serious clearing out on Feedly lately :) I don't follow many 'big' blogs, for the same reasons as you, I suspect. I shall hang onto familiar friends and hope the pendulum swings back in the commenting direction :)

Clare said...

I read this post when I woke up at 4 and STUPIDLY checked my blogreader on my bloody smartphone. I then clicked onto Kestrel's post then followed links from there. I didn't get back to sleep and will probably go blind from reading tiny text.
Anyway, I came here to say that yours is one of the few blogs I actually read rather than skim through or ignore. It always feels real here whatever it is you're writing about, and I appreciate that. I rarely post comments now (feel a bit self-conscious not having a blog of my own) but will make more of an effort with the ones I care about.
As far as the neon yarn goes - I wondered how you were going to make that work, not being partial to neon myself, but it looks fantastic!

Kestrel said...

That yarn looks fantastic as linen stitch, so effective. I like the look of linen stitch and I do admire your patience with the nature of it, the end result will be stunning I'm sure.
Thanks for linking to my blog post too, I feel honoured to have survived your cull (see you're not the only one feeling performance anxiety! :) )

Lucy said...

I have reached unread-post-bankruptcy on Bloglovin for not dissimilar reasons. Since, I have just checked a couple of sites manually - yours and Sadie's. I think this might be telling me something.

Totally in agreement with the joy of knitting podcasts though. I have three that I watch/listen to regularly but as one of those is in "time out" for a bit I am considering auditioning for another one. It has to make me actively want to come back - I don't want to fall into the Bloglovin trap again.

Jen Forsythe said...

Your neon cowl looks amazing, will certainly light up a dark winters morning.

Very interesting comments on Kestrel Makes, personally I prefer the blogs that to me are more real-life and authentic, sewing and knitting makes for real peoples lives and also snippets of how they live their lives. I suppose there is something for everyone though.

Might seek out a podcast, definitely an attractive alternative to rubbish winter television.

christinelaennec said...

That is a most amazing cowl! And good for you to win the bag, I love the knitting sheep.

I haven't really managed many podcasts, but perhaps there will come a time in my life when they will fit in for me and I'll enjoy them.

So many of our choices have to do with other seemingly unrelated things. In my case, I don't like using my laptop so would have to sit in a rigid chair in the dining room to knit - and I prefer to lounge on the sofa and watch tv! Also, some tv time together in the evenings is a very important part of our family's routine just now, so I wouldn't want to miss that.

I have never used a reader or Bloglovin to read blogs; I use live bookmarks, so can very quickly check if there are new posts just by scrolling down my live bookmarks. I think I read about 30 blogs regularly. I completely agree that what keeps me going back is an authentic voice. Such as yours!

I can usually only comment if I'm logged into my blog, which more than half the time I'm not, so that I read posts, and then go back and comment on a bunch of them later on when I'm logged in.

One of the reasons I'm not logged in as much as before is that on Wordpress I initiated a two-step sign in, whereby I need to get a code from my phone to log on... good for security but not so easy as before.

And so on!

Keep up the good work.

Ingrid K. said...

Hi Roo!

Seems like you touched on a nerve there with the blog following/reading thing!
I realize that currently I am 'following' way too many blogs, and I just cannot keep up. Add to this that I also started doing my own blog and the time gets even shorter. Last not least I spend time doing crochet and knitting, never mind every day life...

Having said all that, I do love reading your blog, because simply you do inspire me and I can feel a kindred spirit there!

I may not even know how to knit a sock, yet I love reading your accomplishments in that department, I love seeing the wonderful clothes you made, I have sewn very few clothes.
I love seeing your knitted shawls - not made one yet, some of these patterns seriously scare me at the moment!

However, currently my creativity is all centred on my crochet and that is really thriving at the moment - and in part also feeding off the multitude of images, colours and ideas from other people via their blogs. (On the other hand there is also plenty of input from going to knitting/crochet groups and meeting actual people, reading magazines/books/patterns and looking at wool in shops etc).

Your linen stitch cowl - I put trying out this stitch onto my 'i want to do this' list, so seeing it here on your blog has re-inforced my wish to go ahead! Likewise that fluo yarn (someone in our group used it before, it looks awesome!) or the idea to combine a variegated yarn with a single colour yarn, I even started on this: http://brooklyntweed.blogspot.be/2007/04/noro-scarf.html - what I am saying is that sometimes when you post something like this it also helps me to make up my mind whether or not to try this/something similar, because a part of that idea was already there. For that I want to thank you!!! (Sorry for my rambling thoughts but they contain a few heartfelt nuggets of appreciation)

I look forward to continuing to read your posts!! ;)

Ingrid xx

Kaja said...

Hi Roo - I'm a relatively new visitor to your blog (came here via a search for reviews of Merchant and Mills patterns). I don't knit, or crochet, and at the moment only fantasise about making my own clothes, but really enjoy your writing as well as your end projects. Thanks too for the link to Kestrel Makes - the whole conversation was fascinating (and applies to the world of quilting just as much as sewing).