Thursday, September 24, 2009

how smudge become a hat

Here is my latest pet hair spinning project. A lovely cat named Smudge. He is the cat of Dave, the boyfriend of my friend Dawna. Nice picture Dave -- love the black and white photo! Dawna wanted to crochet Dave a hat so I told her I'd be happy to spin some cat hair for her. This was my first attempt at spinning cat hair and I must say, I liked it. It is much softer than the dog hair that I did and I think that it will be something wearable and not scratchy.

When I got the bag of hair, it turned out that it was quite grey and not black like the cat. Apparently Smudge has a grey belly and that is where all of the hair comes from. He sheds a lot so it didn't take too much time. I like to think of Dave brushing out all of the hair and how nice it is for them to bond over that activity.

I ended up with something that I quite liked. Two ply that I hope will knit up as bulky. I have asked Dawna to give me a picture of Dave wearing the hat, so I hope that I can show it to you soon.

I thought that I was going to have to blend it with a lot of black romney wool that I want to spin but it turns out that was not necessary. It is a nice grey and black concoction that I hope will keep Dave warm in January!

By the way, I choose the title of this blog post because it reminded me of a children's book I like. "How Smudge Came" is the title of an award winning children's book by Nan Gregory about a girl named Cindy who secretly adopts a puppy. She has Down's Syndrome and lives in a group home and wants to keep Smudge but the beauracracy of the group home will not let her and he gets whisked off to the animal shelter. I don't want to tell you everything in case you want to read the book, but Cindy's love for Smudge ends up winning out. I will leave it to you to read the book and not shed a tear!

Friday, September 4, 2009

a ravelry tale

I had an adventure on Ravelry that is still evolving. For those of you who are non-knitters, this is a social networking sight for us fibre obsessed people -- kind of like facebook but with less spam, annoying quizzes and tons of practical information to help you complete your fibre projects.

The adventure started out when I tried to help someone -- after all, who doesn't like to do that? Someone I had never even met, only spoken to online -- a very nice lady named Sasha who runs fibre tours to Peru from her company called Puchka Peru. I am taking one of these tours in late April of 2010. She had never heard of Ravelry, so I told her about it and that it would be a good advertising place for her. When she said that she was technology challenged, I thought it would be super easy to put something together from the electronic samples of her advertising that she sent me. Was I wrong, wrong, wrong.

For starters, the ads are self serve and then there is the matter of getting the pixel measurements just right so they can fit into the pages where people look. I had to read what seemed like a lot of information and wasn't sure that I understood. I created something that looked like this....

I really thought that it would work. I wrong, yet again. For starters, I didn't realize that I was supposed to create an ad that was taller than it was wider. I was trying to create a "notebook" ad and I created a "banner" ad. Uh oh.

Then there was the matter of the pixels. It was supposed to be a certain size, 140 pixels wide x 200 pixels high. I am not a big technology person so that was a bit of a mystery to me. Anyway, this ad was the wrong size and the very nice person at Ravelry told me should could not read the ad. She kindly suggested that I try the Designer Group for some much needed assistance. I must say that the whole art of internet design is something I take for granted. Those ads that you click on when you are surfing the net need to be created by someone, right? It turns out my someone was a very nice person named Susana from Portugal who re-worked the ad and made it fit...
Oh Susana. Thank you for that....

Talk about the global village -- first person from Victoria, British Columbia wants to create an ad but cannot, she is assisted by second person in Oshawa, Ontario, and when second person cannot create ad, she gets help from third person in Sintra, Portugal, so the ad can be placed on a website that resides in Portland, Oregon owned by three other persons. WOW!

Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for people to click on the ad. I hope they will click through too!