February 2021

StalledSoftware updates“Did You Know?” tipsLooking on the bright side


In this newsletter issue, I really, really, really wanted to show y’all a finished entrelac stole... but I can’t. That project stalled when I couldn’t decide what edging to apply around the stole. Shoot, I couldn’t even muster the enthusiasm to swatch the options.

(I blame it on the Blursday effect, magnified by soggy gray weather: January just flew right by me.)

But I pulled myself together over this past weekend, swatching, blocking, and – with some help from Photoshop – creating a couple mock-ups. Here’s Basic Lace Edging:

And here’s Tiny Edging:

I’m leaning towards Tiny Edging. What do you think?

Once I decide on an edging, I’ll still need to figure out the logistics of attaching it appropriately, so it doesn’t ruffle along the edges or cup at the corners. But hopefully that won’t take me all of February.

Software updates

The entrelac stole isn’t my only slow-going project. I’m also in the middle of updating – specifically, updating all the software that the site depends on, from Python and Django to Bootstrap and Stripe.

This not-fun task is, sadly, long overdue. I’m embarrassed to admit that the site has been running on outdated software for years. And, yes, it’s been running fine, but in the interest of making sure that it continues to run fine, I’m taking the time to bring everything up to date.

What can you, as a fan of the site, expect from this update extravaganza? Not much, really: the goal is to make the update process as invisible as possible. You might see some small fixes here and there, or some cosmetic improvements. And I might be able to offer new subscription options – for instance, monthly payment plans in addition to annual payment plans, or payment methods other than credit cards.

At the moment, this update slog is taking place on my laptop only. When it comes time to update the website itself, I’ll likely need to take it offline for a bit – with any luck, for no more than an hour or two. But I’ll announce that downtime in advance, in the Stitch Maps group on Ravelry and on the Stitch Maps page on Facebook. If you haven’t already, join the group or like the page to stay in touch.

“Did You Know?” tips

Five years ago (yowza, how time flies!), I started posting a “Did You Know?” Tip of the Week for, on both Ravelry and Facebook. That practice faded as I ran out of fresh topics to discuss... but I find that the archives are still super useful.

Each tip detailed some aspect of using the site, providing suggestions for “best practices” with illustrated examples. Here are some of my favorites:

Those discussions are so detailed, I love being able to refer knitters to them, when they come to me with questions.

You might find the archives useful too. Dedicated fans have the option of reading ’em all from start to finish – but if that’s not your thing, here are two ways to zero in on a topic of interest:

On the other hand, if you can think of a tip to share, speak up! Email me your topic suggestions. Or go ahead and add your own tip to the archive – I’d love to see what you have to say!

Looking on the bright side

In-person events are unfortunately still not an option. I’m especially bummed that Black Sheep Gathering – my local fiber festival – has had to cancel for the second year in a row.

But, looking on the bright side, having events move online does have some benefits. For instance, I’ve been enjoying monthly Puddletown guild meetings without having to drive nearly four hours round-trip; yay!

And here’s more bright news: in lieu of an in-person event this year, Red Alder is hosting a series of interviews, with Kate Larson, Franklin Habit, Anne Hanson, and Rebecca Mezoff. I’m especially looking forward to hearing about Rebecca’s tapestry weaving.

The interviews are free, but you have to register in advance.

Register now!
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