princessdeia

Reboot Part 3

August 1st 2014
Filed under General

Socks

The first pair of socks I knitted in 2005

Did you miss the early posts on this subject, you can read them here.

Last post I mentioned a few general ideas to get you started on rebooting your blog, this time I thought I would add some geared more towards getting you to write about knitting, (and hopefully get me to write more too).

1. Remove old posts
There’s a lot of debate about deleting older content from blogs. Some say it’s important to keep old content for continuity other say get rid of weaker content. Before deleting all your old posts – decided do you really want to remove them, can they be re-written or updated or are they no longer relevant. Personally, I have deleted some old posts, back in 2005 my blog was full of questionnaires for Secret Pal Swaps, posts filled with photos of the gifts I received in these swaps or badly taken photos of finished projects. I believe no-one is interested in these posts – so I deleted them, especially as most of these finished objects no longer exist in my wardrobe.

2. Old Project
Which brings me to the next idea – got an old project you still own/use/wear regularly – then write about it. Re-take the photos, talk about the project  - why do you love it? Has it held up well over the years? If you had to re-make the project what would you do differently? Likewise you can write about knitting disasters.

3. Write a review on your favourite yarn or knitting book
Do you seem to always use the same yarn? Have you knitted every pattern from one particular knitting book? Or have a favourite designer. Write about it! Whilst reviews of new books are nice – isn’t it better to have a review from someone who had used the book for the last few years – who has made notes in the margins (or on post it notes I like I have).

4. Start a writing a series of posts
As content is king… One of the most obvious things to do is write a regular series to insure at least one post a week. My favourite example of a series is Knitting Bliss’s Modification Monday, where she showcases a modified version of a pattern – often with amazing results (Most my favourited project in Ravelry come from these posts). Another great example is Ysolda’s Technique Thursday. Whereas these post require a lot of preparation it’s easy for you to start a series something like WIP Wednesday or FO Friday.

First Socks - 9 years on.

First Socks – 9 years on.

5. Don’t make it all about knitting.
Just because you started your blog to talk about your knitting, it isn’t set in stone that it has to be a knitting blog. Talk about your daily life, take photos of your pets/kids/home, review a film or tv programme, Often my posts with the most comments are those where I haven’t talked about knitting.

Got an idea – add it in the comments below.

Reboot Part 2

July 29th 2014
Filed under General

Blogging

Everything I need for blogging – a laptop and coffee

Missed Part One, you can read it here.

I have several ideas to improve this blog as part of my reboot, as a few people mentioned on social media they would also like to start blogging again I figured I would share my plan over the next few posts.

1. Re-design
Give your blog a little facelift, mix it up a little, there are many articles on the web about what makes a good layout, I’m not going to re-hash them here. Alternatively, you can download one of the 100′s of themes available (many for free) for your blogging platform. For me, this theme is old (I designed it back in 2011), since I love my colour scheme, but the header, sidebar and menu look dated to me. If you don’t fancy a whole new layout – change one aspect like the header.

2. Re-organise you Sidebar
When I started blogging, the sidebar seemed to be the place to put all your information, a list of blogs you followed, “link to me” buttons, amazon wish lists, lists of what you were watching or listening too. At one stage I had to have two sidebars just to hold all that information. Now, there is a lot of debate whether we still need sidebars. All I will say is, think about how you read blogs, chances are it’s via a third-party platform like Feedly or Bloglovin’ when the posts are displayed you don’t see the sidebar. I’m not suggesting you drop you sidebar – they are useful to hold information or advertising (if you have paid adverts), just clean it up a little.

3. Add Sharing Buttons – especially a Pinterest “Pin it” button
As I mentioned, we have changed the way we read blogs and find blogs, social media is a major part of that – so get your blog out there. Add “sharing” buttons at the bottom of your posts (your blogging platform will have loads of plugins for this)- there are loads of sharing sites, it’s up to you which ones you add but I recommend, Facebook, Twitter and of course Pinterest. Just a quick note, I would also suggest you make your images pin-able, as I said earlier think about how you read blog posts – I’m sure you have found a tutorial or recipe via Pinterest, you might have even added those blogs to your daily reads, make sure your blog is found my other crafters.

4. Link to Related Posts
Any article you read about websites or blogging will tell you the most import act is to keep your viewers engaged. Once they are reading a post you want them to stay on your blog and read past posts. Thankfully, there’s are several “Related Links” plugins to help you with this (personally, I like Related Posts on WordPress as it’s customizable), the plugin automatically finds older, similar post you have written and add links to them at the bottom of your blog post.

5. Add Pages
Most blogging software has moved on to Content Management Systems, so you can add more information in the form of pages, this can be anything from an archive section, FAQ, or a gallery. The section I would suggest adding is an “about me” page, I’m not suggesting you write your entire auto-biography, just a few lines and a photo. Imagine you are meeting a new reader how would you introduce yourself, let them know when you started knitting, who taught you? Why you knit? Blog about your family or pets – don’t forget to introduce them too.

You can read Part Three of this series here.

Bullet Journaling

July 25th 2014
Filed under General

To Do List

To Do List in outside my local coffee shop.

Long time readers of this blog will know I love lists, over the years I’ve tried to computerize my list – any time I hear about a new app or organisation tool I sign-up and make another list. To the stage where I have lists everywhere, a calendar on my laptop, general lists on my phone, long-term lists on Evernote, places I want to visit on Foursquare, books I want to read on Goodreads – it goes on and on.

This year, I decided to start using my old personal organiser again for dates, appointments and everyday tasks and it’s been going well. Taking this one step further I am going to try Bullet Journalling, reverting back to analogy lists!

I’m not going to attempt to explain Bullet Journals as Ryder Carroll has created an amazing website and video to get you started (you can see it here). I have made a few changes, rather than buy a new notebook, I am using the tools I have to get me started so I am continuing to use my organiser. I’m still using the calender section to keep track of appointments, birthdays and work deadlines.

The to-do section is perfect for the “roots” of bullet journalling, I am adding monthly to-do lists, then organising my lists per job (re-designing the blog, things to be listed on Ebay, projects around the house) and finally I hope to add long-term lists (books to read, places to visit etc).

Reboot

July 22nd 2014
Filed under General

The main problem with having a knitting blog, is if you stop knitting your blog becomes dormant! In recent years my knitting has become very stagnant, toys for new born babies, a beret in the winter (which seems to be Gretel in another colour) and occasionally a shawl.

Sallah Cowl

Sallah Cowl, I’ve been knitting for nearly a year.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy knitting, it’s more my life has got more complicated recently and I doesn’t seem to have a place. I use to knit in the evening whilst watching T.V. Now, I sit with my iPad, catching up on family and friends news via Facebook or Twitter, reading the news of the day or (dare I say it) playing Candy Crush Saga. When we do watch T.V. it tends to be binge watching entire series on Netflix, often staying awake until the early hours – not a time when someone wants to be knitting.

When I started this blog back in 2005 my knitting lifestyle was very different, I would participate in knitalongs, take part in Secret Pal Swaps and it was a useful place for me to keep notes about my knitting projects (this was before Ravelry).Then I joined Sock Clubs and started going to knit nights – all of this gave me something to write about.

Now, it is easier for my to jot down a few notes on my Ravelry project page than write a whole long blog post – it’s also more useful to the knitting community to have the notes there rather on my blog with its few readers. As a photo is worth 1000 words it’s easier to upload a photo to Instagram with a few hashtags, than pull out the camera, edit my photos upload them to the blog and write several hundred words about them.

I know this sounds like a “Social Media has killed my Blog” post, but that’s not necessarily the case. Truthfully, it is more a case of social media has made it easier for me to share my knitting and crafts in other ways. I guess what I am honestly saying is I’m too lazy to blog!

I love this blog, it’s my little place on the web. My husband brought me this domain over 10 years ago to practice my newly developed HTML/php skills. Soon after, I added wordpress to the hosting and my blog was born. Over the years I have played around with layouts, themes, and plugins. I don’t want to give up this blog, I’m looking for ways to incorporated it more into my life and to encourage me to blog more.

You can read Part Two here.

Progress 1B2B

January 23rd 2014
Filed under General

Clue 2 of the Follow Your Arrow was released this week. I again opted for Clue B as I wanted something a little different from a semi-circle shawl

Follow Your Arrow

I have to admit I miss “read” the pattern and thought the short rows would be on both sides – adding wedges to both sides instead of just one, so I was a little disappointed when I finished and it was lop-sided – I am hoping the next clue will even this out – or else I might rip it back and re-think my choices.

Follow Your Arrow

This is the other side, it’s worked in both colours – which isn’t really clear on the finished product – but I love the way the colours work together, as it looks like a variegated yarn and not thin stripes.

Follow Your Arrow

January 17th 2014
Filed under General

Follow Your Arrow

Looking back over my project page, I only completed four projects last year (not including the pumpkins and some Christmas Tree decorations). In an attempt to kick start my knitting this year, I signed up to Ysolda’s mystery KAL.

In case you haven’t heard about it, it’s similar to a choose your own adventure book from when we were younger, each week she releases two clues and you pick which option you want, there is also a choice of single or dual colours – creating 32 possible combinations all from the one pattern.

Yarn

I figured this would also be a great project to stash-bust, I had two dark grey Sokkusu yarns, but they were too similar in colours, so I had a quick word with Ling and she found me a purple-y grey that toned so well with the dark grey and will hopefully make something wearable.

Part of Clue One

I cast on this afternoon, for some light knitting whilst catching up on tv and have nearly finished clue one. I opted for clue B, as I liked the semi-circle shape, similar to the afternoon tea shawl.

Photo A Day_Dec

November 29th 2013
Filed under General

Photo A Day Challenge - Dec

I recommend saving the list to your smartphone (download) or bookmarking this page for reference.

Don’t forget to include the hashtag #YARNPADC to your photos.

Note: WIP is Work in Progress /Your Current Project.

More Treats

November 22nd 2013
Filed under General

Flo the Elephant
Over the last month, I’ve been working on this ‘lil Elephant for Jason’s cousin. Her baby is due early next year, but is having her baby shower early, as it was up North, we couldn’t travel up there,  However I wanted to send her something special. Having brought a an elephant gift set from The White Company, I decided to knit a little Flo the Elephant to match. This was a lovely little knit (it’s mainly garter stitch), however the seaming was not so much fun!

Productive morning!
Also this week, I popped over to Ling’s to a catch up and lunch and we ended up crafting these little Christmas tree decorations, I will be honest, I think Ling made most of them I was just chatting and playing with the pretty buttons.

birthday_randomFinally, congratulations to Magnea Arnar, who was the winner of my little competition earlier this month – your prize is in the post.

Birthday Treats

November 4th 2013
Filed under General

Happy Halloween

This past week marked my favourite holiday, Halloween. We adore this time of year and decorate the house as we would at Christmas… The reason why I love Halloween, because it’s also my birthday!

Cake! @ The Langham

I had an amazing weekend, spend time with my family, got spoilt and ate a ridiculous amount (including two afternoon teas).

Sokkusu-O Fall Foilage

To celebrate my birthday, I am holding a little competition to give away this Sokkusu-O yarn (exclusively dyed for the Lace Club) and some goodies from the Brit Knit Kit, and all you have to do is comment below telling my what’s your favourite holiday – you have until the 15th November and the winner will be chosen at random.

Also I haven’t done a #yarnpadc for November, but I am working on a yarn/winter/Christmas version for December.

Pumpkins

October 21st 2013
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Pumpkin Patch

I am not ashamed to admit I am obsessed with pumpkins, I adore Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, pumpkin pie (and cheesecake) and this weekend I even dragged Jason along to a Pumpkin Patch! I love the idea of decorating our house with pumpkins – not just for Halloween but for the whole of autumn!

Little Pumpkin

When I saw this pattern on pinterest I knew I had to create some knitted pumpkins to mix in with my munchkins from the pumpkin patch. As I managed to knit one of these in an hour, I sat down on over the weekend and watched The Hobbit (again) and created my own mini pumpkin patch.

Little Pumpkins

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