Friday, January 4, 2013

Out With the Old

I am sure you have noticed the new blog header and side bar info. What you can't see is the agony I went through in changing it. It wasn't so much that it was a difficult job - time consuming yes, but hard, not really. The truth is I don't like change. The old blog header was a collage of pictures from that memorable trip my cousin Kath and I took to Scotland back in 2011. But that was the thing. That trip was back in 2011 and we are moving into 2013. I have many new readers who weren't along with us on that journey, and I was painfully aware that for them the blog header didn't even make sense. There I was, an eclectic Canadian blogger with a header from Scotland.

To give you an idea of how reluctant I was to let go of that header, I first started having these thoughts late last summer. Every time they would surface I was able to successfully ignore them. Right up to the final days of 2012. That made for almost six months of procrastination, which is a lot even for me.

I am still fixing a few things, and my plan is to change the header on a more frequent basis. I will also try to keep current pictures of our family is the side bar. All of the ones there, with the exception of Jay's, are from 2012. I didn't have a single decent picture of Jay from 2012 on my computer (which explains why he wasn't in our family collage photo in my last post), so his is from a trip we took in 2011. (As a retired fisheries biologist I thought it was fitting that it was taken on a research boat off San Juan Island.) I am thinking about adding a mini-collage of my trips in the side bar, but wonder if it might end up looking too busy if I do that. If you have any feedback/ideas I would love to hear from you!

Also in the blog housekeeping department, I didn't have time to show you my final two knitted items for the year. I started off 2012 knitting Boreal, a sweater design by Kate Davies, so it seemed fitting somehow that I finished the year with two Kate Davies patterns. Here is Neep Heid.




I might not be making any progress with my Chinese, but thanks to Kate Davies I have managed to pick up a few Scots words.

I used the leftovers from the Neep Heid, along with a deep purple skein I found in my stash, to finish off the year with wwwww#1, possibly the most oddly named knitting project ever.



This is the warmest headband I have ever knit! It is made from Jamieson & Smith Shetland wool, and lined with a soft sock yarn. I figure by the time I get over my Kate Davies knitting binge I should have enough leftover J&S yarn to knit a dozen or so more of these. Any guesses as to what was the first project I cast on in 2013?



41 comments:

  1. Your new blog is looking very pretty along with all the lovely fairisle!

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    1. Thanks! Fair Isle is my new addiction. It is probably much healthier than my salted caramel addiction! :-)

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  2. Love the new header and look. I am far to lazy to undertake changes, although I think about it. Happy New Year.

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    1. Thank you Mary Lou! Happy New Year to you!

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  3. It's a perfect header and a perfect reminder that I should change mine more frequently as well. For me, it's more the hassle and the time it takes but we shouldn't let things get stagnate. I also love that you put images of your family (and you!) on the right...really enjoyed that.

    Both knits are beautiful...I have many Kate designs on my list but the one I want to do the most is the rams and ewe blanket (and hat actually). So I'm hoping maybe it's one of those that you just started.

    BTW -- I saw a picture of a finished sky scarf and wondered if you finished yours up? I remember that was a 2012 knitting goal?

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. I was worried that because there are so many of us Hammonds the side bar might look too busy. :-)

      The Rams and Ewes blanket is gorgeous, as is the hat, but that isn't what I cast on. I have actually already made the hat (in different colours than Kate's).

      I am still knitting away on my Sky Scarf. I started it on my birthday in February, so I have another month and a bit to go. I promise there will be a blog post when it's finished!

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  4. I noticed the header, which I found lovely, but I also want to say how much I love the family photos down the side!!

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    1. Thanks for the input, Lori. It is good to hear that so far everyone likes the family pictures. I thought it might be nice to have them for people to match names to faces since I talk so much about all of them.

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  5. I like the header, very cute. If you are worried about the page getting cluttered you could always add an extra page which is accessible through menu buttons. It's pretty easy to do. I found this tutorial pretty quickly just now: http://support.google.com/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=165955 if you fancy giving it a go.

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    1. Thanks for this suggestion! I will have a look at the tutorial. It's nice to know there is an alternative if I decide the pictures are just too much in the side bar.

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  6. I love your header--and think it is pretty funny that the header to a post titled "Out With the Old" is a pair of old-style snowshoes! Personally I much prefer the old snowshoes to the new ones made with aluminum and plastic decking. The flotation is so much better! It's happy-making for me to see a pair that looks as if it's getting used.

    I just borrowed a friend's cookie press to make your shortbreads. I couldn't bear to slice them after seeing your pretty ones. Looking forward to having them in the oven this weekend!

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    1. Ha! I hadn't even thought about the connection between the post title and the old snowshoes. I have to be honest and tell you that those old snowshoes don't get much use. When I go snowshoeing I use my kids modern ones with aluminum and plastic. Your comment makes me think maybe I should give these another try though. They need a new strapping system first. The old leather one that is on them is not user-friendly.

      Please let me know how the shortbreads turn out, and good luck with that cookie press!

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    2. Yeah, those old rawhide bindings with the old buckles are really a pain when it's cold. Plus you have to bend all over tarnation to get them seated right. You can put new nylon bindings with Fastex buckles (like on a pack) on an old pair of snowshoes, though, and that works great in my experience.

      More news about shortbreads soon--this weekend got a little nuts. :)

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  7. I meant to tell you the other day that I really like the new header. And the family pics on the side too. I see that someone else has already suggested a new page for the trip collages, but I'll second that idea.

    And now you've reminded me that I've been wanting to change my header too. But I'm sure I'll procrastinate about it for a while! ~Kim

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    1. Thanks! And yes, the suggestion to put the trip collages on another page is a good one. Now that I have redesigned the blog page, getting a trip page in the side bar will give me something new to procrastinate about. And it's nice to know I am not the only procrastinator out there! :-)

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  8. Hi Kirstie,
    I thought you new banner was lovely last time you visitied. It's nice to see pictures of all your family too.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah. I realized I often talk about my kids and their spouses, but rarely put up pictures of them. I thought having them in the side bar would give everyone a chance to see what they look like. :-)

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  9. I noticed the new header as well... I love the family pictures on the side...just as all the Kate Davies patters you are knitting... and inspire me to knit them...at the moment I am searching for the perfect yarn to knit a Boreal....

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  10. Oh I wish you had access to Knit Picks! Their City Tweed HW worked perfectly for Boreal. It is so soft and also so warm. Do you know anyone coming over to North America who could pick some up for you? I could buy it and mail it on to you but I am afraid what Canada Post would charge would double the cost of your yarn.

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  11. Let me guess. . . Snawheid?

    I love the snowshoe picture!

    -- stashdragon

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    1. Oh you are so very close with your guess! Here's a hint: I have already knit Snaw Heid. :-)

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    2. What an eejit I am - I'd forgotten you made a Snawheid! Snawpaws must follow, of course.
      -- stashdragon

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    3. Yes, you guessed it! I am happily sitting here knitting away on some Snawpaws to go along with my SnawHeid.

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  12. I love the new look! I always wonder about what to include in my sidebar and what to leave out and what order it should go in, so I can't say I have anything constructive to contribute on that front.

    That headband is just gorgeous. 2013 might have to be the year I finally try colorwork. Everything Kate Davies has designed is amazing but I've only ever made owls.

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    1. Thanks! I was so happy with the way the colours came together in the headband. The pictures aren't as vivid as it is in real life. I really encourage you to try some colourwork this year. It is very addictive. You want to keep knitting "just one more row" to see the emerging pattern. This headband would be a very good place to start. And I love Owls - I think it was the pattern that established Kate Davies as a designer.

      It is good to know I am not the only one who struggles with their blog design!

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  13. always good to have a change. I love your beret and headband great colour work . Also good to see your family photos in the side bar

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    1. Thank you Sue! Yes, once I made the change I was glad I had done it. It is good to have a change, just not easy!

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  14. I really like the new look Kristie, and the Neep Heid, love that!

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    1. Thank you Annie! Your blog is partly what has inspired me to try to make mine look nicer!

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  15. Your colorwork is just beautiful, and I love the new header, although I must say that as a relatively new reader, since I had no idea where the old one came from, it didn't occur to me that I'd missed anything! : ) I love the family pics too!

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    1. The old header was from a trip my cousin and I took in September of 2011. Part of that trip was hiking the Cateran Trail in Scotland, and that is where the old pictures were from.

      Thanks for the compliment on the colourwork. Have you started your sock yet? :-)

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  16. I love the headband, as I may have mentioned already elsewhere ;) Nice fresh look on the blog!

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    1. Thanks Kate! I wore the headband again today. I love how warm it is. I'm sure this would keep my ears warm even if it was -20!

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  17. What a great, clean new look! Very inviting! The pics of the family is also an inspired change.

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    1. Thank you Julie! I think the fact the snowshoes are out in the snow helps it look "clean." :-)

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  18. I know I said it the last time I stopped by here, but the new look is awesome! Your site is a very pleasant place to be :)

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    1. Thank you Susan! And thanks for letting me know this is a pleasant place to be. That made my day!

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  19. Love it! Love it! Love it! I love the new blog header, I love the two 2012 knitted finish......girlfriend, you are one heck of a talented woman! No joking! What an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks Kathy! As far as being talented goes, honestly I'm not. I am Elizabeth Zimmermann's classic "blind follower" knitter. That's why all my attempts at knitting lace have ended in disaster. If I make a mistake I am doomed because I can't figure out how to fix it. When I make a mistake in Fair Isle it is immediately obvious. And trust me, I make lots of mistakes!

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  20. LOVE the new look. It's a very visual signpost that this is a Canadian blog. I am about to start Kate Davie's Snawheid and fear I, too, will soon be on a KD binge. Happy knitting!

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    1. Thanks Diana! Yes, I now look Canadian instead of Scottish (I'm still a little sad about it though.) You are going to love knitting Snawheid. It is totally addictive. I am on my second mitten now of the matching Snawpaws pattern. There are a lot of worse things to binge on than Kate Davies. :-)

      By the way, I gave you a shout out on my blog post yesterday about making lemon curd.

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