Saturday, February 10, 2007

Why Must Things Change?

Try as I may, I am slowly being forced into upgrading to the 'newest latest' version of Blogger. I don't want to, I don't need to. I'm quite happy having figured out the current version. But tonight I got a warning that I can only use this format once more. After that I have to go with the diktat. It's exasperating and I can't see the need for it. We get built-in obsolescence in so many parts of our lives - fashion especially, but cars too, food fads, paint colours, furniture, decor - if it's this year's must-have that means it will be next year's forget-it. Even yarns have to be re-issued in new colourways, new textures, new blends, every year, so if you want just one more ball of something you bought longer ago than last week, you aren't likely to have much luck.

And now two of my KALs are inaccessible to me because they've both moved to 'new' Blogger and I'm not allowed in there. Honestly, if Blogger cost anything I'd be thinking of changing. As it is, I feel I don't have the right to complain, since it's free. But I wish they'd leave me be. Surely there must be others who had to struggle to get competent on weblogging and are only now feeling fairly secure? How do you feel about having to change to something new yet again?

If you don't hear from me EVER AGAIN, you'll know I'm lost and wandering desperately in the mines of Moria, alias New Blogger, and you'll also know to whom you should send hate mail.

Anyway, to the issues of the day. Vicki in California wanted to know what Celtic braid pattern I'd used for my alpaca headband. It's in the Harmony Guide to Aran stitches, Vicki, and if you've any trouble hunting that down, email me and I'll see if I can help. You can contact me via Knitter's Review Forum where I'm Celtic Memory. That is one great site to belong on - you pick up so much useful information. Must go over there later this evening and see what's new.

Did you all stock up on beautiful wooden hairpin looms and crochet hooks and circulars from Ed Jenkins when Stitch Diva had that special offer running? It's finished now, but you can still get orders in to Ed at Jenkins Woodworking as far as I know. Ed is of course the other half of Wanda at Fiberjoy and they do wonderful things by their creek in Oregon - wood turning and spinning and weaving and dyeing and all sorts. I love my Ladakhi drop spindle that Ed made, and I have a most beautiful wooden crochet hook of his right in front of me on my desk as I type. I'm going to get one of their hairpin looms next - haven't made hairpin crochet in a few years but it gives such delicate results I want to try it again. Oh and broomstick crochet - that's great fun. And Tunisian crochet too. So many things to do, so little time!

Tan was saying that Prague reminded her of Don Giovanni. Oh I wish you'd been with me, Tan - at least two of the marionette theatres were staging Don G, and if we'd had time I'd have been in there enjoying it thoroughly. But yes, we did manage to get to Guldenstrasse or Golden Lane, Angeluna. Isn't it the most incredible little place? This is a winding steep lane behind the cathedral and castle up at the top of the town, where the alchemists strove day and night to discover the secret of transmuting base metal into precious gold. I can just imagine the king striding down every now and again and saying, 'Come on, come on, I'm beginning to think your hearts aren't in this. I'm really going to be rather irritated if I don't have a big bag of the readies to pay the army tomorrow...' Here are a couple of pictures of Golden Lane for you.

You wouldn't think it, but we had to wait ages to take this shot, until all the groups of chattering schoolchildren had rushed into the tiny shops to spend their pocket money and the street was briefly clear.

I loved this one. It's like a doll's house, isn't it?

And you are right, Angeluna, all of Prague is like an opera set. You keep expecting Dr. Coppelius to come hobbling out of one of the ancient buildings, or Don Giovanni beckon to a young girl from his upstairs window. I wouldn't have been surprised if an entire opera chorus had burst into song on Charles Bridge when I was passing.

I got this lovely surprise in the post.

It's a stunning CD of harp music and song from my friend Rita Naumann. I christened one of her stunning hand-dyed yarn skeins, and in return she sent me this beautiful gift! I love the harp and this is going to afford me hours of pleasure. I shall take it in the car when I go out tomorrow. Thank you Rita. May your hands create ever more beauty.

I've just listed a whole lot of yarns on eBay. Most of them stash treasures like the cashmere/silk and some mohairs, but I had one new Celtic Memory creation I wanted to list which gave me a lot of trouble. It's called Celtic Forest and it's a lovely blend of soft mousse merinos, a fine kid mohair and a strand of green and silver glitter.

Does that look like a soft and glittery yarn to you? Nope, me neither. And that's Picture No. 112 or thereabouts. I just can't get the colours, much less the texture, to show up properly. And the glitter might as well not be there at all.

I even designed a new shawl in this yarn, so excited was I about creating it. (That was why I took time off from the Celtic Vest and the socks last night - I wanted to make this while it was still in my mind. Got fed up with how long it was taking, and cut it short into a small shoulder shawl rather than the long dramatic sweep it should by rights be, but it looks nice anyway.

Well... in real life it does, but not in the picture. You really wouldn't know there were threads of mystic silver flashing throughout this shawl. I can't list it on eBay. People would think I was colour blind or altogether blind. The cute little points on the sides show up OK, but not the overall soft and magical effect.

Huh? Oh it's my own design - I call it Butterfly Wing because the little scalloped points look like the wings of a peacock butterfly. No, it's really really easy - you wouldn't believe how easy. But I do wish I could get those colours and glittery bits to show up.

(Yes, DH had a go too, bouncing flashes all over the place, but to no good effect. We'll try again tomorrow morning, in the unlikely event of some sunshine.)

And so the new designer yarn hasn't made it onto eBay yet. You're the only ones to see it, and I wouldn't blame you at all if you thought I was losing my touch. Believe me, it is utterly beautiful. I just can't show its beauty to anyone - and how frustrating is that?

Wanda had a lovely picture on a recent posting - a tree which she said looked like a sea lion. It reminded me of some mossy beasties we found the other day when walking through a forestry plantation on Mullaghanish mountain close to home.

Isn't that amazingly like an owl perched on the wire?

This one takes a little more effort, but I think it's like a small Muffy dog standing up with her paws against a treetrunk and looking at the camera. It even has her bouffant tail.

Gosh a shocking omission from the last posting. The Kenmare shop has Noro too. Yes, Silk Garden and all the other glorious kinds. They even have throws on their sofas in the shop knitted in Noro. How cool is that? Shall I organise trips to Kenmare? Shall we hold an International SnB there this summer? With a class A cafe and a class A* yarn store in the same tiny town, what's keeping you?


Denise said...

We're going to be in Cork and Kerry Counties for two weeks in May and I have added the Kenmare yarn shop to my list of places to see on our trip. It's a short list because we're not really itinerary type vacationers - we prefer to just let our vacation unfold on its own. But I must do my part to support new knitting stores!

Is the class A cafe that you're referring to the scone shop that you mentioned in your previous post?

Denise said...

I forgot to add:
Best of luck on your move over to the new Blogger. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the transition is an easy one.

Tan said...

So happy you enjoyed the trip to Prague. We are at least going to Austria this summer, so maybe we'll catch a Marionettenspiel in Salzburg. My dear, don't worry about the change to blogger 2. It's not painless at all. It seems to me that when I changed, all I had to do was pick my format, and they transferred everything for me. And if you switch over and then can't get into old blogs, you can set up a second persona; I'm "telynau" ("harps" in Welsh, so you know I'm excited for your new harp CD) on old blogger.

Tan said...

Oh dear, was that a Freudian slip? I mean NOT PAINFUL!

KimK said...

Jo, I'll second Tan's comment. The hardest part of the switch for me was getting used to signing in with my e-mail address instead of my username. All the basics of posting are exactly the same. I know you'll be okay.

Fiberjoy said...

After a week of being buried in processing orders, I've come up for a quick breath of air to see what my favorite Irish person is up to and find you've been here, there and everywhere. (Ha, couldn't resist that, our band played tonight and that was one of the songs we did.)

Prague looks like a fairytale town, especially the crooked lane with the brighty painted, small shops.

And the mossy wood beings! Yes, I could see Muffy.

Thanks dear Jo for your wonderful support. We feel blessed by so many super fiber artists!

Yes, it's sobering how everything has to be promoted then quickly changed keeping us off balance by new bells,whistles and colors. But cheer up Jo, move on over to the new blogger, once you're there, it's familiar. As Kim mentioned, it's remembering to sign in with your email address that's the tricky part. (Why it's called a username when it wants your email address is baffling.)And sign in before leaving comments, or copy what you write before hitting the publish button.

Ms. Knitingale said...

I resisted the new blogger as well...but honestly, the only change I've had to make is how I sign in. Beyond that, you can change as much or as little as you like. Plus, I don't know about anyone else's experience, but my pictures are suddenly loading better and the darned thing has stopped cutting me off if I type for too long! The yarn sounds heavenly...can't wait to see if you get a truer photo!

Kelly said...

I second that ms. knitingale. I made the change, and it took no time. Unless you decide to use some of the new features for organizing your display features, there's really no change. And if like me, you try out those new features and it messes everything up on you sidebar, it's really easy to revert back to the way things are. But if ou jut switch and don't touch anything, you really won't notice any significant differences.

Anonymous said...

Do not fear Jo will be led through and I think it is far better . My site is really much improved. Holly x

Roggey said...

What lovely photos, dearheart!

As for Blogger, I actually like it worlds better than the old one - all the new gadgets. Then I again, I run several blogs for myself and several more for a few groups and a shop.

Don't give up, I'd miss reading you!

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

I agree, Jo. What is it with Blogger? I am thinking seriously of moving to Typepad. I also cannot get into some of the KAL blogs!
What a beautiful little street in Prague you look to be having fun in front of the little 'doll house'.
Will check out your ebay yarns!

rho said...

Looks like everything changed over perfectly - no trouble or hair pulling was there??

Anonymous said...

Just got back from a three day international festival of guitar. Of course, flicked on the computer to see what Jo was up to and Holy SH**, no internet connection. After much unplugging and replugging and waiting and restarting, finally got in to see that indeed you had new adventures posted. Looking for my passport as simply must check out Kenmare with you. How LYS is Kenmare? 30 minutes? Less? More? The drive is so beautiful, who much cares? So we can't take pity on our Irish friend any longer...she has Noro...and Colinette...and good scones (which we don't have). BTW, I'm very happy for you that you get to TOUCH things before buying now. Can you believe, I haven't knitted in four days? Not a stitch. Must address that now. Bye! Aaargh, my security now considers new Blogger's comments frame an insecure site, so I have to click several boxes to bring it up when I get those bloody letters wrong. Great!

Dez Crawford said...

The new Blogger is very easy and if you don't wish to change anything, you don't have to, except the way you sign in. The menu to access your posts is somewhat different, but easy to figure out. I've noticed my pictures load faster, too, and as soon as I have a little spare time I plan to fiddle around with the new features.

You didn't tell us what was IN the doll's house! Breathtaking charm, that.

I love both your yarn concept and the moss-people. Moss green is one of my very favorite colors; I have been enchanted with moss since I was a small child.

Unknown said...

so glad the CD finally arrived and you like it.
rita n/

Cindy/Snid said...

I will second (or third... or fourth..!) what others have said about the new Blogger. I also had to switch, begrudgingly, but.... I actually like it better (shhh, don't tell!) It is actually much easier to use once you become familiar with it. I don't have to bother with any computer "code" and I can customize my site far more.

I enjoy your blog and your photos so I hope you will be back!

Jan said...

Jo, I'm assuming that your move was succesful. I moved but kept my old template coz I'm lazy. I haven't been around much since I've had some life issues going on so don't worry about the TCC. I may make another with better yarn since I just don't like the feel of mine. I saw your Celtic vest on the Red Sweater KAL and it is looking good! Stop making things I want, its hard enough finishing what I've all ready started. I'll check back in a few days to see how it looks.

Jan said...

And hopefully when I check back, I will reread my entry to I can correct my spelling errors!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I found the pattern. Thanks again.

Charity said...

Blogger can be a real pain - I finally "had it", and made the move over to Typepad. :0) I hope the transition is smooth for you!

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