Today it’s ten years since I started this blog. Ten years! It wasn’t my first attempt at craft blogging. I’d been writing about knitting in my LiveJournal for a while, but I wanted a separate blog with the sort of functionality that Blogger offered. What prevented me was only having 1 hour of dial-up internet time a day, and at that speed uploading pics was impossible. When I moved in with Paul in 2005 I had access to broadband, which felt so luxurious.
I thought it might be interesting to do a review of the decade in the same way I do a review of the year each year. This has turned out to be epic, so I’ve broken it down into four posts.
My new blog was called Knitting and Chocolate. I only intended to write about fibre crafts, keeping more personal anecdotes on my private LiveJournal, but mentions of the house extension from hell snuck in now and then. It only took until August for me to get blog angst. My friends weren’t reading the blog and I wasn’t getting many comments. I decided that I was doing it more for me and as a record of what I make, and I’ve pretty much stuck to that philosophy since.
It was lucky I did, actually. Later in the year someone started a petition to a US yarn maker to sell their yarn in Australia, which inspired me to write what I thought was a helpful post suggesting Aussie alternatives. It got up some people’s noses. I might have quit blogging at that point, but I kept on for my own enjoyment.
Thankfully, there are more nice people in the online fibre community than nasty. It was a year of blog-based international swaps and challenges. My first Secret Pal was the fabulous Michelle who knit me a pair of socks and sent me thoughtful gifts. I took part in Project Spectrum, in which participants made something in a different colour each month. My first Knit From Your Stash started, too. I’d only been knitting for a few years and I already felt I had too much yarn.
It was a year of trying new things. My second post included photos of yarn I bought to weave on the Ashford Knitters Loom, which arrived a few weeks later. I got a spinning wheel later and had spinning lessons at the Guild. I attempted to podcast. I was terrible at it and I’m glad I didn’t pursue it. The thought of there being awkward rambling and opinion about knitting by me in the world is horrifying!
I’m intrigued to see I suffered from hand pain that year. The first indication of the RSI problems that were to come.
I thought most of these events were spread out over a few years. 2006 was a busy year, especially since I started blogging in March so it was only 10 months long, really.
I took part in Project Spectrum again, only this time I revisited a different craft for each month. This was significant because it inspired me to pursue some of them later, like bookbinding and printing. However, I decided later in the year that spinning really wasn’t for me.
It was also a year for lots of personal knitting challenges, like Knit From Your Books, Bust out of Your Box Sock Challenge (try interesting sock patterns), and Sockless Summer (making things other than socks from sock yarn).
One highlight of the year was that, while staying in Katoomba at a writers centre, I met the blogger David Reidy of Sticks & String.
And I joined Ravelry.
I got a lot of knitting done that year thanks to the house extension from hell – I needed a LOT of stress relief.
A blogger noted that knitters were abandoning blogs for Ravelry. I’m not sure if Ravelry was the reason, in retrospect. I suspect there was a natural fading of enthusiasm for blogs as new distractions like social media came along. But blogging still exists – as does LJ. As Facebook and Twitter probably will long after most people move on to the next big thing.
I knit a voodoo doll of the builder after he tried (summons withdrawn) to sue us after we sacked him. Oddly enough, we never heard from him afterwards!
I’d started a vague challenge to crochet to a pattern, but eventually decided it wasn’t my thing.
I started going to a local stitch’n'bitch. It was fun, but after a few years they moved it from a convenient local site to people’s homes and I made it to fewer and fewer of the meets.
We travelled to New Zealand and I came home with a suitcase full of yarn.
I bought an Ashford 4 shaft Table Loom. A lot more weaving happened in general that year, as I not only tried out the new loom but explored clasped warp and weaver-manipulated structures on the knitters loom.
I started the Personal Sock Club where I put yarn and a pattern in a bag and selected them at random, and the Socks for Others Club, where I knit socks for friends. I knit a lot of socks!
There was a lot of post-Black Saturday blogging. I made SES beanies, and wove a pile of scarves to donate.
Having passed on two old knitting machines that came my way over the previous couple of years, I decided to buy a Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine.
I joined Weavolution. Ravelry wasn’t allowing weaving projects to be added to the site. Weavolution was… well, it had a lot of catching up to do. Still has, unfortunately.
We travelled to Canada! I bought yet more yarn.
I tackled a bookbinding project – the photo album of the Canada trip – and played with paper craft. I started Sketch Sunday.
I turned 40.
At the end of the year I switched to WordPress and changed the blog title to Creative Fidget, deciding to blog about all my creative pursuits rather than just fibre craft.