On Blogs, Crafting, and Other Things

I’ve struggled a lot with what I want to do with my digital space(s).  I’ve had this domain since, oh, 1996? 1997?  Something like that.  So, it’s a part of me.  The name “danakate” is a part of me, too, but identity is difficult and dynamic, you know?

I don’t talk about work too much, mostly because I shouldn’t and it’s fundamentally boring.  Also, military defense is sometimes controversial.  The nutshell version is that I work on submarine software.  So, if you follow me in other online spaces, that’s why I sometimes suddenly post things related to submarines.  That, too, is now a part of my life since I’ve worked in that space for the past 15 years (has it already been that long?).  Currently I’m more of a people handler.  I didn’t think I’d want to be, but these days, I’d rather help design the software than write it.  I suppose that’s why I’m “in charge” of junior engineers, now.  I’m not a manager, but a tech lead/subject matter expert, and that’s exactly where I want to be…for now.

Video games and I have an inconsistent relationship, so I probably won’t ramble about that too much. I like games a lot, I don’t play them nearly enough, but sometimes I do. I have way too  many games in my Steam library that I’ll never play, mostly because I’d bought them as a bundle or they were gifted to me and I thought I’d play them but didn’t. Many I’ve played for just a few minutes.  Others I will play for many hours, but never finish (Fallout 4 is the most recent of that line).  I have a lot of games for PS/PS2/PS3/Xbox/N(3)DS that I’ll probably never get to, but I did my time with consoles a while ago (it’s a miracle I made it through the first 3 Gears of War games, to be honest, but I had a good group of friends to co-op with and co-op is awesome).  These days, the one game I consistently keep up with, albeit very slowly, is Final Fantasy XIV.  I’m currently making my way through the 3.0 main story quest line.

Side note: It’s always amusing to me when my fandoms collide.  I started my online life with a group of people who loved id software’s Quake games (I wasn’t around for the popularity of Doom).  I found some fellow fans of The X-Files around the same time, which is where “danakate” comes from.  At one point, multiplayer was in the works for Quake and the dev team needed testers to ensure the 32-player limit would hold up and I’d been part of that group.  They took a screenshot of all of us in one of the rooms for some magazine or another (after which, of course someone ran to grab a quad and fragged all of us at once, who wouldn’t?) and a friend on The X-Files side of things contacted me and said he’d seen me mentioned in the magazine. Ha!

I have an emerging interesting in bicycling, born mostly because my husband is a huge bicyclist (both in size and interest) and I would like to get more exercise and it’s a good way to do so.  It’s been fun discovering the area via bike, too.  We have a big ride event coming up in early-May that we’ve been training for, but cycling in general is really boring to talk about on its own.  I’m not at the phase where I really feel like geeking out on the mechanics and parts, so talking about just riding a lot and how my butt sometimes hurts isn’t really all that compelling for me. ;)

So, what does that leave me with to blog about? Crafts!  It’s sort of a broad category.

I’d tried to do a baking blog before, cataloging the things I’ve done, but circumstances have changed (i.e. I moved across the country and work from home, so I can no longer take my baking to work where other people’s waistlines can increase in conjunction with mine), so that’s spotty.  Also, I really don’t change up recipes all that much because that’s not why I got into baking, so posting recipes isn’t really appropriate.

I also have more crafts that I dabble in…probably more than is really “healthy” in that I don’t seem to spend much time on them (see: the video games stuff above).  Sewing, crochet, yarn spinning, cross-stitch, calligraphy, coloring, drawing, etc.  I’d like to do more pottery, maybe learn woodworking, etc.

But, the one craft I’ve been keeping up with the most for years?  Knitting.  My mother taught me to knit (and crochet) when I was in middle or high school, but I never really picked it up until university (which was mostly crochet) and then after graduation.  I’ve put down my crochet hook for the most part, though I still do some from time to time.  Knitting is more my thing, though.

For a long time, I was a starter and not a finisher.  Then, I found a designer that I liked, Laura Nelkin, and I started paying attention when she posted about knit alongs (KAL) and mystery knit alongs (MKAL).  I did a couple and I had fun, learned new things, and, most importantly, finished projects.  Then, she started a KAL club.  It was mostly a MKAL club, so I was wary, but I’d liked the previous ones I’d done so I trusted her to not steer us wrong.  I did it for 2 years.  There were 4 patterns per year and she’d mail out kits.  That helped me a lot because I get a lot of decision paralysis if there are too many things to choose from.  The MKALs were my favorite because the clues would come out every 1-2 weeks and I had sort of a mini-deadline that wasn’t too time intensive.  Sometimes it was miles of knit stitches, but usually it was at least interesting, if a bit repetitive.  Doing those patterns seems to have kicked me into a better mindset to finish things.

Of course, I also have a Ravelry queue of things I’d like to knit a bajillion items long. ;) I opted not to do the club this year, partly because I felt like I was only doing those patterns and not doing other things.  The queue helps me focus, in a way, because now I am more compelled to work off the queue and not just do random things that may or may not get finished.  Also? I don’t impulse buy yarn nearly as much as I used to. I had so much yarn that was just “WTF did I buy this?” in my stash.  I still do, but not as much since I’ve de-stashed a bit.  I try to  have discrete projects in mind when I buy yarn, now, or I buy yarn specifically for a project.  Now, of course, I just have to do them.  I am pretty proud of how many items are complete, though.  My Ravelry projects page may not look like much (you have to be a member to see the full list), but it’s a far sight better than it used to be.

The only real “problem” I have, though, is that I would rather knit something but not actually wear it.  Crazy, I know!  I guess I’m more of a maker than a user?  I’ve gifted a few things I’ve made to other people, but I’m slowly learning how to incorporate some of them into my wardrobe.

Also, I totally can’t knit and do a lot of other things at the same time (like play video games!), so other things fall by the wayside.  Oh, well. D:

As I work more with yarns and stitch patterns, though, the more that part interests me, so maybe I’ll blog more about that.  Or just about projects in general.  I guess I’ll just see what happens.  It might be boring for other people, but this space is mine, after all. :D

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2 Responses to On Blogs, Crafting, and Other Things

  1. KG says:

    If I could knit, I would probably give the products away too. Unless they were blankets. I love me some cuddly blankets.

    • danakate says:

      Blankets are almost always useful, much like the tote bags I sometimes sew. Blankets are also really big. The only ones I really knit these days are baby blankets for friends who are having babies. I had one in my WIP list a while ago, but I decided I was never going to do it and took it all apart. Oddly enough, it was in red, which would have totally been great for you. :D

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