Why I blog

Last week there was a bit of a kerfuffle over why people blog. If you missed it, see these relevant posts, and read the (hundreds of) comments. One of questions being discussed was “why do people keep blogging if no one ever comments?” From that question sprang the larger question: do we blog for ourselves, or for our “audience?”

I started this blog (and became involved in the Knitty Coffeeshop) for one simple, uninspiring reason. Over the winter that I planned my wedding, I started a bunch of knitting projects and didn’t finish anything. Once the wedding was over and the dust had settled, I decided that I wanted to tie up all the loose ends. There was a WIP along going on at the Knittyboard, and I set up my blog to post pictures of my progress. That was it.

At that point (way back in June 2006) I was shockingly ignorant of the knitting blogosphere. I was pretty ignorant of the online knitting world in general, to be honest. I had been using Knitty patterns for years, but I had never tapped into the community. I had never needed to. I graduated from college in 2005, so until relatively recently I had a large “real-life” community of knitters to talk to. I didn’t feel the need to reach out into cyberspace until I was in a new city, with all of my knitting buddies far away.

Once I started my own little blog, I became more aware of the other blogs out there. The first ones I found were, predictably, those belonging to prodigies and beloved designers. I was considered the “knitting sensei” among my college friends, but this level of skill was something new entirely. In new settings, I rarely speak unless spoken to, or unless I have something very important to say. I sincerely doubted that I would ever have anything useful to add to the conversation.

But I kept plugging away. And yes, I was blogging just for myself at that point. I enjoyed keeping a record of my progress, and being able to do “finished object” posts at the Knittyboard. I tied up my loose ends, and began some new projects. I finished those new projects, and I posted about them. I even whipped up a little free pattern, and posted that. What the heck, right?

Then something happened. I noticed that people started to find me by googling things like “Glasgow Lace modifications” and “Clapotis Noro Silver Thaw.” I do have useful things to say on those topics (add waist shaping, and be prepared to fight with the dropped stitches). I became aware of the fact that a couple of people had actually used my pattern. Maybe I am adding a little something to the conversation after all.  I hope that someday when everything is tallied up, I will have contributed some small fraction of what I have gained.

Anyway, now I’ll share with you yet another remarkable thing out there in the knitblog world. Cara of January One mentioned the fascinating color studies that have been featured at Knitting on Impulse.  She uses photo editors to pixellate photos so she can study the colors that the photos contain.  Her examples are totally stunning. While I am still a color-theory novice, it has been a fun thing to play around with.

IMG_1192IMG_1192 3

Look at all those different blues and purples.  This will be addictive.

And finally, I will mention my very  favorite aspect of the knitblog world: the people.  I’ve “met” the most wonderful people in this cozy little world of ours.  I am excited to say that Ruth and Beth and I have started sharing our designs with one another in a private knitting design workshop.  I had been frustrated that I didn’t have anyone to give feedback on the designs I’m working on, because of course once you post about them it is harder to get them published.  Hopefully by sharing with Ruth and Beth and whoever else may join us I can refine some of my stuff and get it out there.  This will be fun.


10 thoughts on “Why I blog

  1. Hello Emilee,
    I love this post. I missed the kerfluffle (spelling?!*) last week regarding the “why blog?” reflection, but am happy to learn of it here. I’ve been wondering the same things myself. I love your story of becoming part of the knitting blogosphere, too. And how quickly can I start playing with the color pixels in photos?!* Wow!!! Thanks for that, too.

  2. Emilee – I’ve experienced similar sentiments with my blog. – and now that I’m going to NYC this summer, I know it’ll be even more important as a means to the community I know and am comfortable with. Also, I’d love to join this design group think you have going – I know exactly what you mean there too!

  3. Great post! I’ve noticed the same thing about the searches — and I do the same type of searches. It’s an important aspect of knit blogging that doesn’t get quite as much attention.

  4. Thank you for blogging! Seeing what other knitters are thinking, designing and knitting is an amazing source of inspiration for me. I always learn something new, sometimes I see a color or yarn combination I wouldn’t have expected to like, and sometimes, there’s a new technique I need to try. Not to mention that it’s a fabulous way to meet people who live far away or don’t have the time to come visit. I’m glad you have a blog.

  5. Emilee,

    I love this post, and I love that you feel like you’re contributing. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? Sometimes I feel that way, and sometimes not so much, but I keep blogging because it’s like therapy now.

    Love the pixelation of colors too. Photoshop has a stained glass function that works the same way. Always such fun.

  6. Funny – I felt the same way about my colour work – it is terribly gratifying to be able to contribute to the community! I love the mosaic you came up with – I’m still trying to get Photoshop to play nice with Vista – can’t wait to see what other cool things are possible.

  7. Thank you for a thoughtful post. I’ve been blogging for almost a year now. I’m not able to offer any thoughts on design yet, but what I’ve learned from others is tremendous. You have all made me a much better knitter, more willing to experiment, than I ever would have been on my own. I also don’t have a local LYS or knitting group that meets regularly, so the friends I’ve met have been like my own virtual knitting group. Meeting a few in person has been great too!

    Thank you for the knitting website with the pixels. That looks like so much fun!

  8. I started similarly to you – Ito keep track of what I was working on, since keeping that info in written form has been impossible to maintain for lazy me. I guess it has morphed into something where I feel like I’m making an (albeit small) contribution to the grand knitting world.

    I really adore the idea of the private design workshop – what a cool idea!

  9. Great post. I have just started a blog myself and it’s just a means of self-expression and a way to document my knitting. I’ve learned so much from the blogs of others … case in point, your example about colour theory … and it would be great if someday someone learned something from me.

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