Knit Love

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I am sure everyone has a source for great knitting links and blogs but I’ve found over the years — with Ravelry and Instagram and whatnot —  fewer people are blogging. I like to read about other people’s knitting ideas, successes and where they overcome those horrid knitting hurdles so I thought you might too.

Here’s some of the people I’ve been following lately:

What are some of the knitting blogs you read?

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How to make a blog happen, or not

 

I know this seems like a silly post but humor me, okay? A couple weeks ago I decided to move my other blog, The Well-Appointed Desk, from Tumblr to WordPress.

First, let me explain my rationale for moving the site. First, Tumblr stores all your content on their servers. So, if they ever changed their policies, went out of business or some other strategic move, I could theoretically lose all 1500+ posts. Second, the service can be a bit sketchy. Have you ever visited Tumblr to get a “service temporarily unavailable” message? Yeah, annoying. And finally, I wanted to have more control over the design and content of the overall site. For example, Tumblr’s search feature is terrible and I need to be able to look up old posts as well as provide a way for readers to look for posts that actually worked. So…

It doesn’t seem like it should be all that big of a deal to switch services, right? Wrong. First, I’m not a web guru. My experience with CSS and all the other facets of building a blog are rudimentary at best so I needed to find a template that got me at 75-85% of the way to where I wanted to be. I purchased a template from one of the myriad of online services (type in “WordPress templates” into your favorite search engine to get what I mean) and plopped down about $35 or so for a template. Then I needed to figure out how to export the content from Tumblr to WordPress while maintaining all links and photographs. Let’s just say that’s not as easy as it sounds. After several days and multiple attempts, I got all the posts moved and probably 75% of the images. Some, I’ve discovered, have come in enormous so my next challenge will be to go back through all 1500+ posts and try to remedy that. Cry….

Then there is a few features that are imbedded into Tumblr by default that I needed to recreate over on WordPress, specifically the queue for future and the auto-post to Twitter/Facebook. Thus far, I have had to manually schedule posts to queue which is a bit of a challenge since I often bulk post on the weekend and then trickle the content out throughout the week. I do this so there aren’t 40 posts on Monday and nothing the rest of the week and also because my day job often leaves me no time to generate posts during the day, and no energy to try to do posts every evening. Then the other hurdle was the ability to have the posts automagically publish a tweet and status update on Facebook for those who choose to follow The Well-Appointed Desk through their favorite media stream. I don’t auto-tweet to be an ass, but to provide a quick clue that a new post is available. I actually appreciate it when other sites I love do that so I wanted to provide the same courtesy. So far, finding a solution for auto-tweeting from within WordPress has proven to be an utter failure and I have tried a bevvy of plug-ins. None of which will play nicely with scheduled posts.I’ve ended up resorting to an online service called su.pr, a division of Stumble Upon which has the added bonus of shortening my URL, scheduling my tweet AND letting me know how many people actually click through to the site so that’s been very handy.

Finally, I wanted to be able to back-post to Tumblr for people who prefer to read The Well-Appointed Desk there. This was one instance where there was a plug-in that works fairly well called Tumblrize. I just have to make sure that the right Tumblr blog is selected when I save my posts and schedule them, otherwise the post gets sent to the wrong feed and the almost 1000 people following on Tumblr don’t get their daily post.

A week or so after picking a template, the vendor decided it would be a fine time to upgrade the template and that more or less ate my blog. SO…. it was back to the digital drawing board. In the end, I settled on a “vanilla template” that was pre-installed with WordPress and its met most of my criteria, most importantly, it has not made me cry in frustration. Yet.

In the end, moving a blog is a challenging, convoluted process and I can’t honestly say that I am happier on WordPress for The Well-Appointed Desk than I was with Tumblr. I just have fewer outages. If I had it to do all over again, would I move the site? I don’t really know. Its certainly resulted in more work for me which is making maintaining the blog more time-consuming. For something that I do “for fun” that’s not necessarily good news.

If anyone has tips for streamlining or improving my one-woman blogging factory, please leave a comment. I could clearly use all the help I can get.

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Wrapping my head around leaving Tumblr

I have been sick this week which has left me just enough energy and the single-minded focus to consider moving The Well-Appointed Desk from the lovely, if wonky, Tumblr. This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that I have over 1200+ posts currently living on the Tumblr version of the site.I’ve been trying different “export from Tumblr” methods in an effort to keep tags, photos, categories, etc. to minimize having to correct posts one-at-a-time.

I am also tremendously reliant on the queue feature to allow me to rapidly collect posts for the coming week without having to specifically assign times and dates for the posts to appear. Because my work schedule can get crazy, this is the only way I can stay on top of the blog regularly.

At present, I have almost 1000 followers on Tumblr which is quite impressive considering the first year I had about 10 followers for the whole year. So, I also want to make sure that the blog will continue to service those readers who prefer Tumblr to an RSS or visiting the site directly.

Any web developers, WordPress afficiandos or tech-heads with any advice for me? Keep in mind, I’m a pen nerd not a code nerd.

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Tumbling around

sugaroni.tumblr.com

I want to redesign my blog. I installed the current template a couple years ago and now there are so many cool things I can add but I can’t seem to find a template I want to use.They are all too complicated, or too gimicky or too writer-centric, or too much work to re-code. I am a lazy coder because I do it so seldom.

In the meantime I’ve been playing around with Tumblr which syncs with Facebook and Twitter, which is nice since no one bothers to visit my blog anymore… except for you, of course!And for that, I thank you.

Maybe I’ll just migrate my tumblog over to my server and call it done?

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A moment to gloat

blog statisticsI’ve been casually blogging since 2000 and today I feel like I have finally arrived. My best pal Kirsten and I have been maintaining our design blog, Pica + Pixel, for several months now and have been averaging 100 hits or so per weekday so this was a big peak for us. It got almost 500 hits yesterday! I’m sure for sites like Boing Boing and WhipUp, this would be a bad day, but for us, this is the big time.

Gloating is done. You can now go about your business.

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Test post from Mac Journal

I’m testing to see if I can post to my blog using an external editor. I am using MacJournal 4.0.4 for Mac OSX. I tried to get WordPress to play nicely with Journler 2.5.3 but I instantly got an error message that made no sense to me. MacJournal seemed to handle everything quickly and efficiently except the photo upload and that was clearly a user error and not the software.

I will also try to upload a photo of the icon. Still trying to upload image. If it works, you will see a little leatherbound book with a compass rose above this line.

(The most challenging part of using Mac Journal for offline posting is the image upload. I tried to use Journlr again but the connection to the blog keeps causing as error. Journlr has a beautiful interface and its donation-ware but since I’ve already bought a serial number for MacJournal, I suppose if I can work out the image uploading MacJournal will be a fine solution.)

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Keeping busy: new blog!

PnpSorry for my noticable absence lately. I’ve been busy doing lots of things to share with everyone.

My good friend Kirsten and I have been busy creating and collecting content for our newest online
venture: Pica + Pixel. It is a graphic design blog we hope to fill with lots of cool design, typography, photography and illustration. Its been a lot of fun to work on a collaborative blog. With two of us posting, the content is fresh and frequent and I get as excited to read it as anyone else.

Thanks to everyone who’s been supportive of all of my online ventures. It means a lot to me!

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