Blogaversary

I just realized that Friday, September 28 was the 6th year anniversary of this blog.  Oh, sure it hasn’t always been at this location.  And sure, I may have gone one of those years and only blogged a couple of times.  But it’s a little hard to believe that Knitting from Outer Space has been in existence for that long, or even that I’ve been knitting for 10 years.

It’s kind of interesting to consider how things have changed in that time.  Some of the knit bloggers that I first started reading back in 2004 are still around.  Sadly, many aren’t; they either simply stopped updating, or in some cases, deleted their blogs all together.  Ravelry sort of had the same effect on knit blogs as Facebook had on Livejournal; everyone abandoned their separate little islands to be part of the bigger whole.  I’ll admit I was one of them.  Ravelry had so much more interaction (especially after they added the Forums), then an average knit blogger like myself saw in their comments section.

I don’t know why I recently decided to try my hand at it again.  I think part of it is trying to reconnect with my own knitting in a way.  I feel like I’ve been spending so much time reading about others’ knitting or searching for patterns that just lengthen my ever-growing queue that I don’t actually sit down and enjoy the feeling of needles and yarn in my own hands.  I recently started taking a spinning class at my LYS, and it’s made me slow down my process and examine what I’m doing rather than dashing off headlong and being disappointed that things don’t work out quite as I was expecting.  It’s made me remember that I feel calmer and more relaxed when I work with wool at least once a day.

I have no idea if anyone out there is still even reading my blog anymore.  I know that as I stopped blogging, I stopped reading other blogs as much (especially when Bloglines was going to go away* and I switched to Google Reader, which only stores the previous month rather than up to 200 posts per feed like Bloglines did).  I’m working at getting back into the habit of checking my blog feeds at least a couple times a week.  Then, I’m going to work at commenting more so that other knit bloggers know there’s someone out there reading them.

Meanwhile, I’m also going to start working on my blog revamping project again.  When I first started blogging at Blogger.com they didn’t have tags or categories, so none of my posts had that information when I transferred over to WordPress.  When I moved my blog, I had to go through and change photo links (because I changed photo services at the same time); after all that work, it seemed hard to go back through and tag things.  But, now the compulsive archivist in me wants everything to be nice and tidy.

 


*Apparently, Bloglines did not go away like they said it would.  It looks like it changed hands.  Unfortunately, it’s been so long they don’t have my information anymore.

Where Did the Time Go?

Somehow it’s a little hard to believe that it’s been over 5 months since I last posted. I really think it’s time for me to get back to it. I’m starting with getting the admin stuff straightened out (there were hundreds of spam comments to delete, and I was behind by a couple of WP updates). So, don’t be surprise if you see some things change over the next few days (that is if anyone out there even reads this thing any more).

Putting on a New Look

One of the recommended security updates for my blog was to get a new theme.  Apparently, older WordPress themes can have weakness that allow attackers to get into the blog.  So, a-hunting I went.  I think I did pretty good, and it was super easy because it was one of the new default themes loaded on my host when I upgraded to the newest version of WordPress.  The header picture I have up is one of the default images, but I kind of like it.  It may stay, or I may decided to finally make my blog a grown-up knitting blog and give it some sort of picture with actual yarn or knitting in it. *shock*

More Trouble in Paradise

Many apologies to anyone who has had trouble accessing my site the last few days.  I was hacked again, and a malicious script was added to my site that would download malware to your machine.  This one was way more of a pain in the ass than the last stupid hack was.  So, please if you visited my site anytime this week, just to be safe and especially if you were using IE (which for some reason didn’t seem to catch the problem as quickly as Firefox and Safari), PLEASE run your antivirus scans.  The malware was downloading some sort of trojan horse, but my virus software found it without too much hassle other than running the scan.

My blog has been upgraded, and I’m in the process of making even more security changes to try to prevent this from happening yet again.

That was loads of fun… not

I apologize right up front to anyone who visited my bog in the last month and found it redirecting them to some stupid, fake “anti-virus” site.  My blog was somehow hijacked, and a script was inserted in every. single. frikken. post.  Thankfully, my server host provided me with a SQL statement to run against my database to clean out the script.  And I wasn’t affected by any of the other hijacking symptoms that were possible.  I’ve backed up and upgraded, so hopefully, this won’t happen again.  I have plans for backing up more often and keeping on top of making sure I upgrade in a timely manner.

In other circles, I completely failed at Tour de Fleece.  I spun for the first three days, then I hurt my back and didn’t get my wheel out for the rest of the tour.  On the upside, I did manage to get the singles for a 3-ply yarn spun, just need to find the time to ply it up and see if my experiment to try getting a specific type of yarn worked.

I’ve been knitting, working on a baby blanket for my niece, who should be joining us in October.  I’m also working on designing a pair of socks.  This isn’t the first time I’ve created my own pattern, but it is the first time I’ve done something more than just stockinette or ribbing.  I’ve actually put some thought into it.  It’s been fun enough that I’m already thinking of a second pattern for the first installment of the Mean Girls Yarn Club, Part Deux that I just received.

Cleaning out the cobwebs

Time flies when life is crazy.  International travel followed by the introduction of a new family member (see right) along with the stress of an archival collection move to prepare for at work has kept the days rolling by without note here.  But, mostly, the addition of a puppy has taken up most of my time.  There hasn’t even been a lot of knitting, and there’s been no spinning since we got her in October.

Her name is Lily, and we got her from a rescue that takes dogs out of kill shelters in SoCal and brings them north for adoption.  Lily’s mom was the one actually rescued and then discovered to be pregnant.  Mom was a white cockapoo, and there have been many guesses as to what dad may have been.  The general consensus is either wire-haired dachshund or some sort of terrier.  Lily’s nickname is Troublebutt — she’s 7 months old as of last week and has been having loads of fun finding news things to make a mess of.

With the Winter Olympics (and thus Ravelympics and the Knitting Olympics) about to commence tonight, I thought it was time to do some spring cleaning in the old blog.  I’ve done away with the large gathering of dust bunnies Russian spam and installed a shiny new post.  Of course, I have no idea if there’s anyone out there still bothering to read.

Now to decide on projects.  For the Ravelympics, I’m on Team Suck Less, and my project is going to be to spin for a complete project.  I just haven’t decided yet if I will be spinning for socks or a lace shawl.  Decisions, decisions. I have some superwash corriedale from Spunky Eclectic in a pretty colorway called Soul Windows that would make nice socks.  But, I also have some Dark BFL also from Spunky Eclectic in a colorway called Myrtle that would make a pretty Bitterroot.

For the Knitting Olympics, I’ve put my name in and said I’d be knitting an Ishbel shawl with some of my handspun shetland romney laceweight yarn.  (Oops, signed up saying it was shetland, oh well.)  I haven’t really done a lot with my handspun yarn because I sometimes upset myself by only seeing the imperfections in the yarn as I’m knitting it rather than the loveliness of the project.  So, my challenge is to knit a project with my handspun… and actually finish it.

Getting back on the wagon

So, I decided that if I was going to get back on the posting wagon, I should try to get back to the posting schedule I had set for myself before the insanity of graduate school dragged me away — Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the very least.

The hard question is where to start.  Things have happened in the last several months, but does anyone care now that they are done and gone.  Doesn’t matter, you’re going to see some of it anyways.  😛

Snow in Ontario

We went to Canada (Eastern Ontario to be precise) in December to visit family and get a chance to actually see Toronto.  The last time we went to Toronto was August 2003.  The few days we had set aside to do things like go to the ROM were a bust when the entire eastern seaboard was blacked out.  Things aren’t open when there’s no power.  We did take a tour of the islands in Lake Ontario cause it was one of the few things running, and it was cooler on the lake. I have a whole set from the visit at http://www.flickr.com/photos/zardra/sets/72157612587406314/.  I took lots of photos at the ROM of dinosaurs and statues.  It was a lot of fun.

It was kind of fun to see snow for the first time in over 10 years.  I thought I was done with cold and snow when we moved out to CA, but being in it I realized it wasn’t as cold as I remembered it being, and I really miss seasons.

In February, there was, of course, Stitches West in Santa Clara. I didn’t sign up for any classes this year, so it was just the market place for me.  I tried to concentrate on things that I can’t usually find in the immediate area and also fibers that I haven’t worked with before.  I got some madder dyed BFL, some plain targhee, and some merino silk laceweight in Chartreuse’s Sister from A Verb for Keeping Warm.  I got some gorgeous baby camel and silk roving from Red Fish Dye Works.  I got a huge thing of dyed BFL from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  Picked up some blue dyed Wensleydale, some blue carded batts, and a skein of sock yarn from Lisa Souza.  Got a small ball of merino, silk and qiviut from Windy Valley Muskox that I think I’ll make into a cowl.  A skein of MadelineTosh sock yarn in Kale from Webs.  And last, but not least, a skein of sock yarn in Opal from Abstract Fiber.  Rather amazed at the amount of fiber I was able to get for my budget this year, all of it wonderfully squooshy.

La’s Boozer was a smash hit.  Got to sit around drinking, knitting, and spinning with La, Didi, Michelle, and Rosemary (and I’m sorry to say several other people who’s name I either didn’t catch or have completley forgotten by now cause I’m horrible with names).

Getting up and running

I hope that everyone is having a good start to their new year.  Me?  If you hadn’t noticed completely unable to managing posting in the month of December.  Now that international trips, family visits, holidays, and drunkeness are behind me I hope to get back on the blogging horse.  Many things to share, too, if I can get around to uploading my photos.

And the winners are…

Happy Halloween!  Many thanks to everyone who came to check out the new digs.  :)

The random number generator just spit out 32, 24, 5, and 26.

So, the winners of the yarny prizes are as follows:

1 skein of Mountain Colors Mountain Goat in the Mountain Twilight colorway – Hanna 

2 skeins of Himalayan Yarn Tibet Wool/Recycled silk in a pretty green color – Gladys

2 skeins of Shibui Knits Sock in Sky – taelixev 

1 skein of Socks that Rock lightweight in Korppi – Adrienne

Yay!

Now that I’ve handed out yarn, it’s time to get ready to hand out candy!

Housewarming

Welcome to my new home! In celebration, I’m hosting a little housewarming party.

I’ve been working on getting my blog up and running here at my own domain, and while things are still not entirely finished, they are tidy enough to invite people over. Don’t be surprised if you see changes over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, please update your RSS feeds:
http://zardra.dimmet.net/?feed=rss2
http://zardra.dimmet.net/?feed=atom

As thanks for checking out my new home, I’m giving away a few prizes — one prize for each year I’ve been blogging at Knitting from Outer Space.

1 skein of Mountain Colors Mountain Goat in the Mountain Twilight colorway

2 skeins of Himalayan Yarn Tibet Wool/Recycled silk in a pretty green color

2 skeins of Shibui Knits Sock in Sky

1 skein of Socks that Rock lightweight in Korppi

All you have to do is leave a comment in this post. You have until 5 pm PDT on Oct 31, 2008, about 2 weeks. I’ll announce winners that night. :)

 
ETA:  Feel free to spread the word… unless you don’t want any possible competition. :)