I'm celebrating my 10th Blogiversary on the First Day of Spring! To mark the occasion, which totally blows my mind, I thought I'd share TEN for TEN.
EIGHT - BLOG FRIENDS & TRAVEL
One of the best things to happen in 10 years of blogging is connecting with other like-minded people. I discovered a small (& growing) group of people blogging about knitting 10 years ago. Knitting initially drew us together, of course, but as time has passed and life happened, some of those people are blogging about other things (instead of or in addition to knitting), they're occupied by caring for their families or busy at work, they aren't blogging at all, or maybe they're more often found on less time-intensive social media such as Twitter or Facebook or Instagram -- more or less (like, I'm on Twitter, but I'm hardly ever on Twitter). Some people have dropped out altogether over the years and, sadly, some have passed.
And blogging has exploded... there's a whole galaxy of blogs out there beyond the knit-blog system. There are new and interesting blogs on all kinds of subjects to discover all the time.
I've often felt that the curse of the internet is that we are able to make connections with all these people that we'd love to maybe sit down and have coffee & knit with... except that they live 1000 miles away, in another country, or over an ocean! It's only natural that there would be a desire to connect one-on-one with some of those like-minded people and I have been fortunate to do so, with knitters both near and far.
I like to think that I'd be a Quitter by now, no matter what, but I know that I'm 9 years Quit right now because of Ann & Cara. I'd never met them -- they hadn't met each other yet -- we barely even knew what each other looked like when Ann & I decided to quit smoking together in March of 2005! I think most people were still in the "shy" stages of blogging back then.
My recollection is that a few weeks in, Ann & I briefly mentioned taking a celebratory trip where we would actually meet each other -- maybe half-way, like someplace in Ohio -- and maybe after a year.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK!
Lo, my husband had an opportunity to participate in a New York show just three months after the Quit and I jumped at the chance to go along! New York 2005. It was only my second time visiting in NYC, and one of the best little get-aways ever! I met Cara, Ann, Katy, Nancy, Cassie, and others.
We stayed at The Benjamin and I had fun making choice from the pillow menu!
We shopped for buttons and at yarn stores galore; knit at the library; ate bagels, NY pizza, and burgers in the park; had so much fun making virtual friends real.
If that wasn't enough, I found myself in NY again in the Autumn of 2005 (and 2006 & 2007) to visit Ann & Cara and go to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck!
Sheep & Wool Festivals merit a post of their own (coming up), but here's a teaser photo -- Peggy, Cara & Ann at The Fold's booth, Rhinebeck 2005.
YARN HARLOT IN EAU CLAIRE
In September 2006, I helped Dixie at Yellow Dog Knitting spread the word that Stephanie would be spending A Sunday in Eau Claire on a book tour stop.
It was a fun day and I met face-to-face with even more knit-blog friends from Wisconsin & Minnesota.
One of the many highlights of that day was meeting Joyce Williams again. I'd taken a class about a year and a half earlier that she'd given with Lizbeth Upitis. I just loved her spirit! I love this KNIT POWER photo of Joyce, Dixie & I wearing our knitting rings!
In December 2006, after seeing an amazing Elizabeth Zimmermann exhibit in Madison, I waxed poetic about how wonderful Wisconsin is... for knitters.
1st meet up with Angie - 2007
A few undocumented meet-ups before and since this photo - 2012
Knitting (looks like a Parcheesi square) in Luck with Kathy - May 2010
I've met/met up with numerous knit-bloggers around the state -- Madison & surrounding area, Marshfield, Luck, and locally -- both on purpose and accidentally (Bobbi - as our daughters began college at the same school!), and of course knitting almost weekly with my local knitting groups! I've visited blog friends/campers at Knitting Camp, and at the Knit-In.
March 2008. After about a year delay, I hitched a ride with Katie and finally made it to Minneapolis for a visit with Deb! I also met (for the first time or again) Kathy, Chris, Brenda, CursingMama, and Renee; visited a couple of wonderful yarn shops and, really, just had the most wonderful time.
NJ/NY - MoMA - LONG ISLAND
An exhibit at MoMA that Katie wanted to see was the spark that led to another fun trip in August 2008 with Maddy, too! We visited with Cara in NJ, Ann in NY, drove out to Montauk, and also were able to meet up with Terry & her family, Katy, and Claire.
A mutual interest in both knitting and photography, not to mention some other similarities in our lives, led to a most enjoyable trip to Berkeley and the San Francisco area to visit Celia in October 2010.
Among the many highlights of that trip was dinner and a Parcheesi mash up (mine still in pieces) with Janine (pattern info here), Rachael and Lala, and more!
I was able to meet up with Celia again in November 2012 when I traveled to San Francisco to meet Rusty for a long birthday weekend.
In September 2011, I flew out to Salt Lake City for the Rocky Mountain Knitters' Retreat at Alta. But, of course, the real reason the opportunity to spend time with Margene (we'd previously met at Rhinebeck) and visit Silver Lake. I also met Cheryl at the retreat, and a chance meeting with Mim later!
Those are most of the highlights -- I'm sure I've missed something! I've not been spending a ton of time nor exhaustively researching any of these topics... it's all been by the seat of my pants, just the way I've always blogged! (I have learned that I could make better use of Categories in my blog posts. Heh.)
Anyway, it's unlikely I'd have met most, if not all, of these people had I not started blogging 10 years ago, much less traveled to meet with them, knit with them, laugh and drink and take pictures and make merry with them!! The $21K I've saved by not buying cigarettes over the past 9 years has certainly helped to fund some of this travel... it's all connected. It's all pretty wonderful. And I am definitely looking forward to more.
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There's plenty more to come... Two to go!
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I'm hosting a Craftsy giveaway. Follow the link below and you could win a class of your choice, up to $59.99 in value -- only 2 more days to enter.
Enter to win a Craftsy class!
*Giveaway has ended*
You will need to either log in or create an account to enter the giveaway. Entries will be accepted through midnight CST on Thursday, March 20th -- the First Day of Spring and also my 10th Blogiversary! The winner will be chosen (using Random.org) and directly notified (via email with the free-class link) by Craftsy!
Some of the Craftsy classes I've enjoyed include Natalie Chanin's Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Appliqué, Beading and Embroidery, Angela Tong's Rigid Heddle Weaving, and Amy Herzog's Knit To Flatter. There's much to choose from!
If you just can't wait, there's a sale! Save up to 50% off all classes during Craftsy's Endless Creativity Sale -- sale extended through midnight (MT) TODAY.