Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So You Think You Can Blog/Podcast..




You CAN!  Thinking about becoming a fiber arts blogger or podcaster?  You can easily do it.  All you need is an enthusiasm for what you are writing or talking about and a style.  But before you get started, you need to follow some simple rules:
  1. Obey copyright laws.  Do not insert pictures or music that you do not have permission to use on your blog or in your podcast.  This is a big no-no.  Just like with knitting patterns, you wouldn't want someone to post your design on the internet for all to use without paying for the pattern.  This is illegal and you can get into trouble for it, not to mention, it's just not cool.
    1. If I want to utilize a picture, I get permission in writing from the person who owns the rights to the pic and I include that in my blog post or on my podcast by indicating that the photo is used with permission from Jane Doe.
    2. For animations and graphics, Google images is not the place to snag pics.  Sure there are bazillions of them, but those pics are generated from various places on the internet.  Just because they are on Google Images, does NOT mean you have permission to use them.
    3. The animated pic above is a pic I purchased from iStockphoto.  Yes, it costs some bucks to insert pics that you have permission to use, but it is LEGAL!
    4. If you want to talk about a pattern, LINK to it in your blog post or show notes.  DO NOT show the pattern or give out lines of the pattern on your blog.  
    5. Lots of podcasters love to include music intros and insert music at various places in the podcast.  Make sure it is pod-safe music that is not copyrighted.  This can also cost money.  I like to use Music Alley.
  2. If you review a book that was given to you by a publisher/a yarn or fiber that was given to you by a manufacturer or dyer, you MUST, MUST, MUST disclose your relationship with that company.  You need to let your listeners/viewers know that you you received the item FREE and whether or not you are getting paid for your review.  If you do not, you will be considered non-compliant by the FTC.  You cannot have a blanket disclosure.  You need to disclose with each and every item.
  3. Link to any and all products you thoroughly discuss rather than use photos from that company's website (UNLESS you have written permission to do so).
If you follow these simple rules, you will produce a legal and respectful blog/podcast.  Now the content - that's all you! :)



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Winter is Coming..


I always make a few handmade ornaments for our tree every year.  This year, I decided to focus on snowflakes!  I LOVE snowflakes and snowmen as decor because you can keep them around all winter long.  So yesterday in an attempt to procrastinate on knitting my sweater, shawl, and socks, get started on my ornaments, I decided to crochet some snowflakes!  I quickly pinned these so you can tell what they should look like, but they need a thorough pinning of points & picots and starching before they will be ready for my tree.

Pattern: Chain Link Snowflake by Better Homes and Gardens (FYI: My snowflake as twice as many points as it's supposed to have. Obviously, I wasn't paying attention. LOL! I guess that means my snowflake is TRULY unique.)
Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Celebrate Yarn in Dark Blue
Hook - US D/ 3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Party Yarn in Copper
Hook: US D/3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Celebrate Yarn in Light Blue
Hook: US D/3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Pastels Yarn in White
Hook: US D/3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Pastels in Pale Pink
Hook: US D/3.25mm

I'm not sure how many more I'll crochet, but these have been super fun.  They're quick and easy (right up my alley) and only use a tiny bit of yarn!  To give you an idea, the Bon Bons are all <39 yds and the largest snowflake, used almost 1/2 of that yardage.  These patterns are perfect for scraps and for practicing one's crochet skills!

Hook on!


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Friday, November 16, 2012

KnitPurlGurl Video Podcast, S2, Ep3: Crazy is As Crazy Does





**Click HERE to watch the podcast episode**


Show Notes:

Since Last We Spoke:
  • Missed Fiber Festival of New England & An Afternoon w/ Franklin Habit
  • Got a new webcam & Windows 8 {{Fingers Crossed}}
  • Today's Taste: Breakfast Blend
    • Available in Autodrip, Whole Bean, & K-Cups
    • Tasting Notes - This is our classic, lively and vibrant New England breakfast cup. It offers a snappy, crisp and citrusy Central American coffee matched with the sweetness, body and depth of an Indonesian bean to create a wakeful blend that won’t try to compete with your orange juice in terms of its brightness.
FOs, HOs, & UFOs:
New Additions:
Worth Mentioning:
Book Reviews:


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What To Do When Your LYS Snubs You




It's surprising to me just how many knitters I speak with, whether online or in person, complain about their LYS.  Recently, I had another such conversation with a group of knitters via an online chat.  One knitter expressed how she only has one local yarn shop in her area and is made to feel very uncomfortable when she visits the shop.  Another knitter expressed how there are many shops in her area and how she loves each one for different reasons and different supplies, but that several of them treat her like dirt if they find out that she's bought her yarn elsewhere.  And yet another knitter was bemoaning her LYS questioning her about the needles & yarn she had because they were purchased online and were obviously not from that shop.  Nevermind that this knitter spends quite a bit of money at that shop, apparently they feel she should only buy things from THAT shop.  So what do you do if you find yourself in this predicament? Drop 'em like a hot potato - that's what!

Okay, I hear the gasping and the jaws dropping.. But, KnitPurlGurl, our LYS is our lifeline, our community..  Not anymore.  Here's the thing.  I regularly shop at Target, Kohls, Old Navy, Macy's, et cetera.  At NO time have I had any one of them give me crap about shopping at another store.  And to put this in terms for small business: I've shopped at my local hardware stores, of which we have 3, and no one is whispering at True Value that they heard I'd visited Ace Hardware.  And no one at Ace is giving me the stink eye because I've shopped online for 3/4" bolts.  Let's get real here, people.

Local Yarn Shops are quite the conundrum.  These shops provide something that many online or big box stores cannot: a place to commune with fellow knitters and look at/touch products in person.  They can be the mothership, if you will, or they can be a place that you dread visiting.  Here's my take.  In my area, there are several yarn shops.  I think they all have something unique to offer.  If I have a LYS get mifted, or snub me because I haven't be able to visit (don't get me started on my car issues) or because I visited another LYS, then I can't be bothered with them.  Google+, Twitter, Ravelry, podcasting, & Facebook have given me a knitting community that is always in place online.  I can pop on Plurk and ask if anyone wants to participate in a VKN (Virtual Knit Night) when I have a spare hour, and usually there's someone who is available.  OR I can pop on Plurk and see that someone is hosting a VKN and pop in to chat (on webcam) with them while knitting.  It's wonderful!  As for knitting together in person, in this day and age, all one needs is a computer.  You can Facetime, Skype, or Hangout on Google+ virtually, OR you can search Ravelry, Yahoo Groups, Meetup, or your local guild to find groups that meet at various coffee shops or cafes weekly.

Years ago I wrote a post called, "Advice to Local Yarn Shops."  I had posted it for the very same reason. There were a few LYS that were driving me bananas.  It's been almost 4 yrs since I wrote that post and you know what?  Knitters are still complaining of the same issues.  Sometimes it's CROCHETERS complaining because LYS haven't figured out that crocheters are hungry for a home too AND that they use YARN!  Go figure.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't want this post to come off as a way of bashing all LYS.  BUT I do want knitters to realize that if your LYS treats you like crap - DON'T spend your time and $$ there.  Life is too short!  Time is too short!  And everyone is short on money!  A terrific LYS can be a knitter's best friend; a welcome respite from the housework, endless responsibilities, and the daily grind.  If you have a great LYS, I'm thrilled for you!  If they never make you feel like an intruder, like a criminal for shopping elsewhere on occasion, or snub you for liking several shops, than you should embrace that shop and do what you can to promote a responsible and awesome business owner.  And owners: if you are guilty of these things - get over yourselves.  Instead of trying to guilt customers into being repeat customers, use your time and energy to show them WHY they should be repeat customers.  Don't balk at customers with needles purchased online. Don't pout when a customer is at knit group and mentions she bought a skein of yarn at another LYS.  Treat your customers like royalty and they will naturally seek to visit your establishment most often.

The reality of today is this: Knitters and crocheters can and do meet up for knit groups that are organized online in a variety of locations that are NOT LYS.  Knitters and crocheters can meet up virtually with a webcam, and join knit group in their jammies!  If your LYS snubs you, don't fret over it.  And don't continue to throw money at them.  Find a local group or start hanging out online with your web cam.  You can still be a part of this vast and amazing community with just a click of your mouse! :)

Knit on!



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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fundraiser & Giveaway!


Unfortunately, I forgot to mention yesterday on my podcast that Maria of Subway Knits Podcast is hosting a giveaway as incentive to give to charity in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.  My sincere apologies to Maria for forgetting to mention something so important.  PLEASE head over to Maria's blog, Subway Knits (http://subway-knits.blogspot.com/2012/10/hurrication-day-2-fundraiser-and-update.html), and read her post about the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy on NYC and how to give to a related charity and be entered to win one of many prizes donated by some amazing fiber artists!   AND PLEASE - spread the word!  We've always been a terrific community of caring individuals.  Let's spread the love to those who need it most right now! :)  Thanks, Maria, for hosting this!!


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