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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vamping and Revamping

With a title like this one, I hope the new layout and extra features live up to expectations!

If you've been here before, you'll notice many changes in both the layout and the sidebar content. Spring is a good time for a new color scheme, and I've found that I really like the updated features Blogger is offering. [grin] I'll be labeling new posts, and adding accessibility features like "skip to main content" links and "skip to sidebar" links over the next few days.

The content is changing a bit, as I've expanded the sidebar content to include more of my interests. In addition to the "Poetry Mondays," I'll be taking part in "Booking Through Thursday" and other planned features as I come across them. I'll be doing a bit of writing about disability studies and activism, as well as increasing the "fiber content" by checking in on a more regular basis and by getting more pictures up!

Of the new features, I particularly like the ease with which I could copy feeds and html or active content from other sites from the old template into the new template modules if I chose. The plain "Add HTML" unit made some of this much easier than it might have been. I'm all for cut and splice when it comes to coding, even if I have to take off for it when grading papers! Adjusting some of the "wrapper" features and sizes within the template html code was also very straight forward. If you are willing to code by hand, you can still "tweak" many things quite easily this way.

The new "list" modules for regular lists and lists of links will undoubtedly prove very worthwhile in the long run -- UNLESS I decide to divide a list into two separate ones -- that would require deleting items from the original list, a task the module makes VERY easy, and then starting over and having to input each item one-by-one into a new list, no cross over or divide functions available. For the moment, though, some careful planning should keep this from being much of a problem.

Here's where the "vamping" comes in. No, I'm not adding modern Gothic elements to the blog -- it wouldn't suit the earth-tones I've chosen for the color scheme [smile]. But I did spend much of the afternoon "revamping" the site, so now I'm just filling in with chatter where I'd love to be posting pictures of finished knitting projects! I coded for too long and lost the light I'd need for good pictures. Those will have to wait until tomorrow.

First on the list to discuss are the socks I made from the lilac Wildefoot yarn. This superwash merino is wonderfully soft, and I managed to get a full knee sock out of each skein -- a good deal for adult socks! While my next pair -- from some red Wildefoot -- will be shorter socks for summer, this lilac pair will serve for spring and fall, as well as winter. It's a nice heavy fingering weight, and just great for someone like me who likes worsted weight socks in the winter, and cushy socks overall. The Wildefoot makes a nice compromise for summer and compares very well with the Opal sock yarns.

In other news, I wish I was able to spin. [of course!] Each summer, as the husky and the shepherd start to shed, and I spend hour after hour with the undercoat rake, pacifying the pooches with Pounce chicken treats while I comb out all the fluff, I wonder about those who have spun dog fur into yarn. I wouldn't dream of making a garment of it -- what if it got wet? The risks of smelling like a half-drowned dog are just too much for me! [laughing] But their fur is so soft that I often wish I could do something else with the "product" of all these hours of dog grooming. And if you check out the pictures in the flicker badge, you'll see what lovely colors I would get! The husky, Kala, is a red and white husky, and her undercoat is a creamy white. The shepherd, Sally, has a jet black top coat, but the undercoat that she sheds is a soft faun color fading into a rich gold at times.

This, I think, is just one of the side effects of being a fiber addict. A person just naturally starts contemplating what type of fiber, project, and technique to try whenever confronted with material with a spinning potential. I will resist, however. I will resist. When I start to spin with a spindle, I want to pick something I might like to wear in some way!

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