May 2021

Let’s recapUpdate statusYet another languageOn my needlesDistraction is a choice

Let’s recap

Recently, stitch maps have been part of some thought-provoking conversations on Ravelry. Let’s recap a couple of them:

  • What’s the best way of charting a pattern when the stitch count changes from row to row?

    irishlacenet stressed the need to “see where the stitches are going,” and to keep the pattern’s foreground prominent by placing “no stitch” symbols in the background areas. She also pointed out that a stitch map can be a useful guide when creating a grid-based chart for this sort of pattern. Naturally, that nudged me into creating a stitch map for the pattern in question, Nautical Twisted-Rope Cable from Barbara Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

    And that prompted several sample grid-based charts. Do take a moment to check them out. My favorite is the second one in this post, as I think it does the best job of preserving the vertical alignment of the stitches.

Read the whole conversation
Read the whole conversation

Update status

Back in February, I mentioned that I’d started updating the various bits of software that relies on – primarily, Python, Django, and Stripe.

Since then, I’ve made good process. Updating the site’s use of Stripe took longer than expected (I won’t bore you with the details!), but the development version of the website that runs on my laptop is nearly ready for prime time.

Most likely, I’ll be able to update the actual website sometime later this month. When that happens, I’ll need to take offline for a bit... but I’ll announce that downtime in advance on Ravelry and on Facebook. If you haven’t already, join the Ravelry group or like the Facebook page so you can be sure you’ll receive the announcement.

Yet another language

I’m always honored when a volunteer offers to help translate the user interface at to another language. This time, it’s katriina – and she’s translating into Finnish!

Thank you, katriina!

Honestly? I always get a stupid little thrill out of seeing parts of the site in a language I don’t understand, precisely because I know what looks like gobbledegook to me might be utterly crucial to knitters who do speak that language.

Do you understand knitting terms in more than one language? Would you like to help those for whom English is goobledegook? You can! The translate page will get you started. And remember:

  • If you’d like to provide translations for a language not shown in the menu, just let me know! I would just need a few minutes to add that language to the site’s repertoire.

  • As I thank-you, I give $10 in credit towards a subscription payment at for every 100 translations that a volunteer provides.

Learn more

On my needles

I’m still knitting hats for my local guild’s 2021 charity project.

With two hats done, and a third almost done, you’d think I’d be getting sick of ’em by now... but no. I’m still enjoying them, I think in large part because there’s patterning on every row to keep my interest. And because it only takes a few days to get to the gratifying moment when I can start decreasing rapidly for the crown, rushing headlong to the finish line.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be knitting more of these hats, until something else grabs my attention. Which is kind of weird for me, ’cause I rarely knit anything more than once. How about you? Do you have favorite patterns that you return to again and again, or – like me – do you most knit one-offs?

Let me know

Distraction is a choice

You might have noticed that I’ve been a bit absent on social media lately. Not posting much on Facebook or Instagram, not commenting much. Truthfully, it’s largely a matter of my natural introversion running rampant after a year of social distancing. But it’s also partly a matter of trying to minimize the digital distractions that I let into my life, with the goal of building greater focus and productivity.

If you suspect that digital distractions are standing in your way too, you might like Manoush Zomorodi’s book, Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self.

I’m only halfway through it myself, but I can say this: it’s a fun read. Combining compelling anecdotes with the latest neuroscience research, it lays out the problems caused by being connected all the time... and then it lays out a series of challenges that can help you rethink your relationship with your digital devices. My favorite quote: “Distraction is a choice.”

’Nuff said. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put some boundaries around my YouTube-surfing habits...

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