22.10.12

73 Simply red


I was invited to a book launch, but North Wales to The London College of Fashion is rather a long way to travel for a press junket, so I didn't go. I was promised a review copy of the book. Nothing came. Review copies, it seems, were only available at the launch party, to be purchased (!) at a 30% discount. But no matter, the Mr. bought me the book for my recent birthday, from Amazon, for less than I'd have paid at the launch.

Sandy Black's Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft: a curious hybrid, too wordy to be a coffee table tome, too chunky to be much else - it weighs 3½ lbs, no wonder none were posted out! This is a wide ranging, informative, and fun read, just don't mistake it for a rigorous, exhaustive history. The academic in me keeps wanting to shout at it, but the knitter is silenced by the sumptuous images of knitted fashions and artefacts from the V&A's extensive collection. The pics alone justify the cover price. Bonuses are a decent 'further reading' list and a useful index. But there's not a single mention of a muffatee!

I've written about muffatees before. And of course I designed a muffatee pattern, a free muffatee pattern! Just click on the updated link in the sidebar to download the PDF directly. The hot off the needles pair you can see in the photo above have since been posted off to Gillian, who won them in my last giveaway.

These muffatees are begun with a provisional cast on, as is the Demne baby jacket, and I've been asked more than once to detail my favourite method. I cheat I'm afraid! I cast on just as I normally would but with contrasting waste yarn, knit a few rows before switching to the garment yarn, knit a row with the garment yarn after the switch (that's important), and then proceed with the pattern. When I'm ready to release the garment stitches from the provisional cast on I simply unravel the latter, catching those garment stitches on my needle as I go - a small pair of scissors comes in handy here if used with care. There will be a last loop of garment yarn, not a stitch, through which the waste yarn passes. Pick that up too, to compensate for the stitch you lose to the offset. And hey presto, you'll have the same number of stitches you cast on, ready to go. Not the most commonly recommended method perhaps but one of the tidiest I know.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you so much for all your comments on my recent posts, truly appreciated m'dears.

I've been following a fascinating debate about commenting, over at Fizzle. It seems not everyone thinks comments are a good thing. And I know some folk are totally befuddled by their 'commenting etiquette' concerns. If you have a blog how do you acknowledge the comments readers leave? I visit the blogs of the bloggers who join the conversation here - and you are mostly bloggers - rather than email my appreciation or comment on your comments. You've taken time out of your day to pop by and visit me where I hang out and I like to return the compliment. And of course if you don't have a blog I'll respond by other means, as I will if you've asked a question. But I guess we should all do whatever works for us, this commenting thing should be a pleasure not a pain in the proverbial. I've never expected, still don't, a single comment here, so every last one is a delight.

Quick edit: we're having a natter about this in the comments, everyone's two pennorth more than welcome, and for once it might be worth popping back to see the comments on the comments.

I shall be calling on these kind folk as soon as I have time. Jessica at Rusty Duck, Lizzie and Clare at The Vintage Bazaar, and Anna at Beep Beep, welcome!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I've been asked about the post's title. In the immortal words of Terry Pratchett, it's "a pune, or play on words".

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73 comments :

  1. I never heard them called muffatees -- what a great word!

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  2. I like to leave a comment after visiting a blog. I've noticed that I don't leave comments only when I'm not really interested in the subject of the day (it's not nice to leave a note as "boring" or "honestly I don't like your colours combo that you are so crazy about" or whatever!!!) or when you are thinking "cute" and a dozen of readers before yourself left that comment, too.....
    xxxx Alessandra

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  3. Hi Annie,

    The new Knitting book looks interesting and must be a big book.
    Thanks for sharing the muffatees pattern, love the burgundy colour.
    Interesting to read, your casting on method and will remember this next time I do some knitting, thanks for sharing this.

    Happy week
    Carolyn

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  4. Muffatees are on my 'to do' list for next winter. Doesn't that apple look scrumptious too, I could reach in and grab it...yumm. I feel a very bad blog friend at the moment, too much to do and too little time. I love to leave a comment now and then just to let you know I am still here and reading your posts, albeit in a hurry at times :)
    xoxo Sandi

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  5. I love that red and yellow stripy apple as part of the picture above with the muffatees (a new word for me!)I'm wondering when one wears muffatees? Don't the fingers get cold? I know they are fashionable as I see them a lot on photos.
    As for leaving comments on blogs, I tend to agree with you and also with Alessandra. I know that some people take the trouble of writing a personal note every time I leave a comment, I'm afraid that I don't do that... it really is too time-consuming. However, I do sometimes write to someone (if an email contact address is given) and if there is something specific I would like to say, or even to ask. I rarely answer people on my own blog... how do I know if they will come back?! I don't treat my blog as a place to exchange chatter, though I know that lots of people do. I don't mind this at all, but it isn't usually my habit.
    If visitors have been kind enough to leave a little comment, I like to visit them back. As Alessandra mentions, if the subject of the day does not speak to me, then I may not leave a comment, or I may just say hello! I know that others do the same, as we all leave a trace of our visits when the blog owner glances at 'traffic sources'!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your experience with the provisional cast on, Annie. The first few rows of any project are such a challenge for me, perhaps this method would help me be more productive. As for comments, I have been blogging for a little over a year and am thrilled when anyone takes the time to comment(: [Thank you for your visits and comments.] I have not replied to comments consistently on my blog because I think that Blogger does not send the commenter notification that I have done so. I end up checking blogs that I have made comments on to see if the blogger has left me a reply, but it seems more efficient to me to visit the other person's blog and converse with them there, or send them an email rather than posting a reply back to them my blog. xx from Gracie

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  7. Dear Annie,

    I love your book review, beautifully written in that enviable style of yours. 'The academic in my keeps wanting to shout at it'! So true. Each and every time I read garden history book I wave my hands in the air in dispair and think 'is that it?'

    The novice knitter within me though is stilll balking at provisional cast-ons. There's one for a pattern I simply adore in Loop's latest book which came out during the deep freeze early this year. It's a question of time before I pluck up the courage.

    Stephanie

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  8. I think leaving comments is and should remain a purely personal choice. If 'rules' are made and 'etiquette' expected then they lose their spontaneity and joy for me. I like people to leave a comment not because they think I expect it but just 'cos they want to..they like something I've said or shown or they just want to say gidday...hello in non-Australian terms! I want the freedom to do the same. If I comment on your blog it's 'cos I want to you to know I was here and appreciate you and your efforts.

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    1. I couldn't agree more Carol, I comment elsewhere to say hello, to join the conversation, or maybe to say thank you. Maybe we should find a 'no obligation, no expectation' badge to display on our blogs.

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  9. Thanks for that provisional cast-on recommendation. When I made the Demne cardigan I watched you-tube videos over and over again to try and grasp some of the methods - without any success. So I ended up doing a crochet cast on, but think I will try yours next time.
    Responding to blog comments is a tricky one that I'm still trying to work out. I don't have the feature of responding to each comment that seems to exist on Wordpress and no way of knowing if commenters will return to the scene, but sometimes a comment seems to need a response that doesn't fit in a visit to his/her blog. In this respect facebook comments are good because a conversation can develop.

    Moira

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    1. Moira, blogger does allow you to reply to individual comments (they're called threaded comments) but you need to go to your comment settings and select embedded comments.

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  10. I didn't know there was comment etiquette. I don't comment on every post I read as sometimes I don't have anything specific to add to what has already been said, or because that post does not interest me. Likewise I don't respond to every single comment I receive unless a specific question has been asked or there is something particular I want to say. I respond directly to the comment and assume the commenter will check back to see if I've answered. I check beck on posts I've commented on to see how the conversation is developing.

    Comments are part of what makes a blog live. I lost interest completely in one well-known blog when the comments were removed and when I blogged recently about an unpleasant email I had received the overwhelming response in the form of supportive comments made all the difference to how I felt about what I was doing.

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    1. I suspect the only etiquette is an imagined one Sue, perhaps I should reword my sentence. But I'm repeating there what I have read elsewhere. For me, comments are absolutely the best bit! And yes, agreed, they are the life blood of a blog.

      I wonder if the blog you have lost interest in is the same long running one I've moved on from too now there's only the author's voice to hear.

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    2. I do agree about comments making a blog live - I tend to read them with as much interest as I would a post, for their humour and experience. A good set of comments is almost a party!

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    3. The comments you get Mise are so funny and always worth returning to.

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    4. Mise brings out the comedienne in us all, I don't how she does it but I wish I had the skill!

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    5. Now I have to go and visit Mise's blog! :)

      And this is what I love about comments - you often find new blogs and learn new things and can have a jolly good laugh too.

      (Hi Annie - am making my way down the comments and stopped here to add my tuppence worth.)

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    6. me too! Now I really must get on with the shopping list!

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  11. Hi I was wondering what frizzle was! I also tend to visit back and leave a comment. I don't think any replies made back on comments from blogger actually are sent back to the person. I can only return a comment through email. Is this right? I have been wondering about this for a while! Comments are nice, but I am feeling a bit like it's hard to keep up with the rounds! So sometimes I will have a quick read and other times I will leave a comment if I feel a connection to what the post is about. Heather x

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    1. Hi Heather :) It's Fizzle, which is a members only learning platform and forum focussed on becoming a better blogger and/or online business person. I was lucky enough to get in on the alpha release but it will open to all at some point. It won't be free though.

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  12. I have all comments come into my email box, if I feel I want to reply privately it can be done by clicking on the reply button this way the reply is not published, but if I want to reply publicly click on the word "reply" under the comment.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxxx

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  13. I always enjoy your musings, I read lots of blogs, perhaps too many, but what do you do, there ar some great blogs out there! I'm inspired by them! I don't always have time to comment, but do when I can! I love your individual slant on life, there usually some little gem in there to turn the old cogs, they are getting a bit rusty you know! Ada :)

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  14. Hi Annie & many thanks for the link to my blog.

    Love the muffatees! I've had a pair for a while (from Joules) and they are so useful in the winter. I feel the cold, even indoors, and have been known to type in them! I will have a go at your pattern, get myself back into knitting and (hopefully!) acquire another pair all at the same time.

    The debate about comments is really useful for me, as a new blogger. I love to get comments and, at the moment anyway, respond to each one. But I also really love to read other blogs. If people leave a comment they are letting me know who they are so I can easily return the visit.

    Jessica

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  15. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to comment on my Blog and agree that's part of the fun. It's also been the main way I have 'met' fellow bloggers because I will then visit their Blogs if I've received a comment from them for the very first time.

    But I still haven't worked out the best way to 'reply' to a comment and it really bugs me because I've been a bit inconsistent.

    There are generally 3 ways I go - reply under individual comments if I feel it adds to the conversation, or reply personally by e-mail if it's a specific question or I feel I want to say more about other things, or I visit their Blogs to show my appreciation although I would generally visit their Blogs anyway and it is not out of obligation at all. I do wonder whether people check back to see if I've responded to their comments though so not sure if this is a good way to go or not?

    Personally, I don't expect people to reply to my comments but it's nice to get some acknowledgement and I do find that if I never hear back from a Blogger at all by any means then I don't tend to comment on their Posts anymore as I lose interest when there is no interaction at all. Some people have a simple sentence in a Post acknowledging readers for their comments which I think is nice when they may not be able to reply to everyone, which would be the case for some with a huge following.

    Anyway thanks for this Post Annie! Looking forward to popping back to read what others think.

    Mel xx

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  16. Thanks for the provisional cast-on, Annie. It's very similar to the one my daughter taught me (yes, she's much the better knitter of us two) for sock-knitting.

    Like you, I think comments are the life-blood of a blog and would never read a blog which didn't allow them. I leave one most of the time when I read a post, though I don't do "Me, too" one-liners. I always acknowledge all the comments I get and am surprised how often someone will come back with a response to my reply or to someone else's comment, so that a real conversation develops. That's the main reason I switched to the threaded comments format, and really love the effect it's had on my blog.I often think the comments thread is more fun and more interesting than the post I wrote which sparked it off.:D

    I follow a number of blogs whose authors do as you do and visit the blogs of those who comment and that's great. As it happens most of the blogs I follow have authors who respond to comments and in this case I always tick the box to get follow-up comments emailed to me so that I don't miss their reply. If my inbox gets too full, I can easily unsubscribe. In short, blogging without comments - no thanks!

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  17. I think you and I discussed the subject of comments before and I agree it is nice to acknowledge the kind person who left the comment by visiting them at their place. I used to reply to my comments on the blog but I don't know how many people return to a post they have already read. Also if a question was asked it is only good manners to email a reply.
    I also think I know the blog that Sue and yourself mentioned and I too have gone off it now that it's only the author 'speaking'. I have also gone off quite a few blogs where the blog is just about them and they have no connection with the people who visit them and quite frankly ignore them.
    I really must knit some muffatees, if I could put my crochet hook down for long enough! ;)
    Vivienne x

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  18. Your "Quick Edit" comment drew me in...

    If you're on my favourite blog list (now there's another blogging can of worms that could do with poking!) I read every blog update. I comment on some but not others. Like Alessandra if the topic interests I will comment, if it doesn't or if what I'd like to say has already been said several times, I probably won't.

    Personally I don't see the point of replying to comments directly on one's own blog - much nicer to visit the commenter's blog and comment there.

    As to "one well-known blog when the comments were removed" would that blog be Yarnstorm? If so I stopped following it too a while back and the main reason was that "there's only the author's voice to hear" as you so eloquently put it.

    So there you go...

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    1. Well I can't speak for Sue, but yes I was talking about Yarnstorm. Arguably a blog without comments is a mere website don't you think, and that's a very different animal!

      I kinda' gave the blog list thing a poke a while back - there's a post called The Care and Feeding of Blogrolls knocking about in the archives, and the Coffeehouse followed on from that. It would be an interesting subject to revisit.

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    2. Yes, that was the one I had in mind ;)

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  19. Thank you for the hello!

    I'm a bit lazy about leaving comments, I'm trying to be better, but only when I actually have something to say. I'm really rubbish about going back to see if I had a reply! I don't reply to all the comments on my blog, but
    I try and go to the commenters blogs and see what they're up to.

    And that way of doing a provisional cast-on is genius, I'll remember that. Seems a lot easier than faffing about with crochet chains, I always pick up on the wrong bit and then can't undo it neatly.

    Oh, and also, thank you to the person above who told me how to add the 'reply' link to comments on my blog, spent ages on the Blogger settings page the other day and couldn't find it! 'Embedded', who knew.

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  20. Hi Annie,

    Another interesting and diverse post as ever. Although I am not really a knitter more a dabbler? the book sounds like it has a wide appeal. Although maybe not for the feeble armed perhaps? lol.

    As for comments I find the subject endlessly facinating. I have noticed on mine and a lot of more popular blogs that there dosen't seem to be as many comments as there used to be. I don't if this is the upshot of instagram and the many other social network sites available that maybe to some blogs have had their day? It wouldn't work for me though. I think if you write a blog the interaction is the most important thing. Otherwise why make it a public blog? I keep meaning to put the embedded reply thingy on my blog as I would like to think I interact as much as possible with any readers that drift my way. I try to comment on the blogs on all those lovely people that regularly and not so regularly comment on my blog because I know myself that I lose interest in commenting on someones blog if you feel its all a little one sided time and time again.

    The replying by e-mail thing although is lovely I have found those bloggers rarely actually comment on your blog though. I think it all has to feed it's self otherwise I think as the author you start to lose interest in your blog. Speaking from experience there as I had been really thinking about packing it in not so long ago.

    I agree with the above comments too about the no comments thing on blogs it seems really pointless to me. And know of another uber popular blog that has stopped them too. It seems like it has lost a little of its spirit to me.

    P x

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    1. I would hazard a guess that some of the reply by email bloggers don't visit your blog at all, they reply to the email notifying them of your comment. Of course if a person is very busy that is probably the quickest method of responding to folk, but personally I find it a bit like talking to someone with my eyes shut ... all I know of them is the few words they wrote, even their chosen avatar is hidden. Which is not to suggest I don't appreciate the emails I get from those whose blogs I visit, I do, very much, but that way of doing things just doesn't work for me.

      On the other hand there are some lovely people who comment on commenter's blogs and email them and I can only admire their dedication.

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  21. Wow, what a debate you've created but the response seesm unanimous. It's personal choice whether to leave a comment but it is nice to be acknowledged! I don't understand the reply thing. I'd much rather go to the persons blog and leave a comment there. Once I've read a post and left a comment I don't go back to see if there's been a reply. LOvely photo at the beginning of this post, by the way!
    June

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  22. I usually visit the blog of the person who comments. If I follow their blog then I comment when I feel like it. If a comment poses a specific question I reply within the comments section. I like getting comments and I like meeting new blogs/people :)

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  23. 1. I never ever ever HEARD of a mufatee until your post. Went back to the prior one and love it; it does look doable in a short while.

    2. Comment on comments: I just visit back on the commenter's blog. Will read what others say about their etiquette practices.

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  24. My mind boggles with the depths of blogging etiquette :) I always try and visit people if the comment on my blog and often comment on their blog also. Loving your muffatees really need to learn to knit now! :)
    Victoria xx

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  25. Hi Annie, I don't always manage to read your blogs but am glad when I do as I learn so much with each one (whether its on your blog or the comments)! It hanks for the pattern. I must try making them when I've finished the new project I'm making! I think it was you who said to me when I was learning how to crochet, that I'd never be able to put it down,...and that's proving so true!
    As to commenting....I'm never sure what is right. I get notified by email when someone comments and I often reply. Personally, I try to comment whenever I visit a blog as I feel it's nice for the person to know that people are visiting. I don't tend to reply to a comment on the blog as I, personally, don't tent to go back to blogs to see if there's a repl.....who knows...I might have missed something really important!! Joan

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  26. Oh--ouch!!! you are making me thing again this morning!! I'm still mulling over why I blog---from, how many weeks ago?????

    A friend and I are going to be in London in the spring---neither of us have had the pleasure of a day at V&A before, but this time it's a must!!! Just making me ever more anxious for the trip!!

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  27. Dear Annie
    A very thought provoking post. I like to comment if I feel I have something to say about the post. I really like it when people take the time to comment on my posts too - I feel that I am not just talking to myself. I agree about Yarnstorm, as although the photos are just as gorgeous, something is missing. However, I know that she chose to remove the comments (probably for many other reasons too) due to some particularly unpleasant ones she received after daring to cut up embroidered tablecloths to use as patchworks. Some people seem to think that sometimes a comment on a computer means they can be really nasty, when in real life, they probably wouldn't say anything like that. I think the best thing is to concentrate on all the lovely people out there and their supportive/interesting/kind comments, and ignore the others.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  28. Annie, I love receiving comments on my posts, and leaving comments on others' posts, too. It's a fine way to have a little conversation, allowing writers and readers to trade info, opinions, and just get to know each other a little bit.

    Your provisional cast on method is fabulous...must less finicky that the crochet chain method. I am going to pass it on to a knitting friend with whom I've recently shared your stylish muffatee pattern.

    Many thanks! xo

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  29. Hi Annie, and anyone who might be reading! I agree, no RULES for comments as that would take all the spontaneity out of the process, but how about some suggested guidelines? No, I'm not doing a .....by any other name. Just think aminute. We regulars know the general etiquette, but some one commenting for the fisrt time might not. My own thing is to blog, answer any comments as soon as I can and I do like to do this as it makes a conversation - I love it if people get involved. When I read other blogs I like to leave a comment and I always read the other comments too - as that way I can include my take on what's been said. I check back, too incase there's been a response. I know everyone doesn't answer comments all the time and I'm cool with that - we have busy lives; but it is really nice to be acknowledged. Heaven help you 'strs' who have umpteen comments!
    So, newbies, do leave a comment, and it doesn't have to be fulsome praise, your opinion o the general theme of the post if most welcome. And do check back, in many cases your comment will have been answered.
    And thank you Annie for your regular and interesting comments, they are always a delight to read. As is your blog!

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    1. Why thank you Lynne, and likewise.

      I hear what you say but I worry that if one mentions what one hopes to do - in this case comment on some comments - it will create an expectation, and cause disappointment if for whatever reason that expectation isn't met. As you say, the sheer number of comments can sometimes make it difficult to follow through.

      And yes, all responses are always welcome, be they fulsome praise or contrary opinion!

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  30. Very interesting ideas on comments.... I love commenting on people's blogs, and I love it when people comment on mine. For myself, I always respond to comments - er, except for the seriously deranged, well more deranged than I am - and have on occasion started a completely mad riff amongst people on a subject.

    (I've been told that I like doing this because I'm a gobby little madam who never shuts up. Someone isn't getting any tea tonight.)

    Seriously, when I'm very busy my blog commenting does tend to drop off - I like to leave a sensible comment and that takes time. My blog visiting doesn't drop off, just the participating. Then I feel guilty!

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  31. Love your muffattee pattern! - though am completely boggled by all the talk of waste yarn. Not sufficiently experienced a knitter to understand what all of that means. Never mind. I'm sure I'll find out. Not heard the word 'muffatee' before either, and appreciate its addition to my garment lexicon.

    Commenting etiquette. I don't get hung up on it. Too busy to routinely return the favour to every visitor who is sweet enough to pause on my blog and comment. Just one of those things, I'm afraid. LIfe's too short for yet more angst...! ;)

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    1. Eirlys, waste yarn is exactly that, a scrap from a previous project that you won't want again. Approximately the same weight is fine, but a contrasting colour to your project yarn is essential.

      And yes, life is far too short! I find folks commenting habits fascinating in their variety but would be sorry to discover anyone thought that by focussing on them here the suggestion was somehow that they're important. There is a right way to handle them, and that's in whichever way suits each of us best :)

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    2. Your beautiful pattern really caught my imagination, Annie. I'm going to dive in with it and gradually discover the role of waste yarn, I hope, along the way - it is still a little foggy to me. But thanks for your images of such accomplished knitting - it's so inspiring.

      Back to comments, I don't even find time to blog regularly these days. For shame...!

      But do keep up your blogging. Wonderful stuff.

      xx


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  32. Hi Annie,
    I agree with you comments are one of the best bits of blogging! I didn't use to read comments on any blogs until I started blogging. You get to know new blogging friends much better when it is a two way communication - whether that is on your site or on theirs.
    I have finished making my muffatees they weren't too bad after the long knitting break. Thank you for your help and advice, I have now started on a scarf too. sarah x
    Sarah x

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    1. I was more than happy to help Sarah, and happy for you that the knitting bug is biting you again :)

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  33. This just gave me some moments of guilt - I have a half finished muffattee from you pattern sitting on my desk somewhere under some papers. Sigh.

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  34. Hello Annie
    Regarding provisional casting on, well I still remain confused. I really need a one to one with an experienced knitter. Someone I can ask silly questions without feeling coy (or an idiot!) about it. I also love reading book reviews on my favourite blogs as it all helps me to hone down my rather extensive list of crafty book lust. Lust? Did I just refer to a book on knitting as lustful?! My goodness, my creative obsession is getting out of hand :o) haha!
    I just love reading comments and all the comments on posts that I want to comment on to "join in the conversation". I often feel tempted to reply to comments but feel it may be too much of a commitment and I don't really have the time to do this for everyone. I haven't decided whether I will or not. We'll see. I really appreciate all your comments Annie and love that you come and visit me xox Penelope

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  35. I don't know how many commenters on my blog actually check if I've replied but nonetheless I do try to reply to every comment - because I like to do it. If it became a chore I wouldn't. And I also visit a new commenter's blog and say hello.

    But I definitely cannot comment on every blog I read - that would be madness - I'd spend most of my day doing it. So I only comment if I have something I really want to say. Usually I'm late coming to any party though and what I would like to say has often been said in the other comments so then I say nothing. :)

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  36. Amazingly I have popped in again and have enjoyed reading everyone's point of view! I visit the blogs I find interesting even when the owners of that particular blog don't visit me or never leave comments. Though I agree that it's my habit of visiting people who have been kind enough to leave comments at my place, I may not become a regular visitor if the subject does not hold a special interest for me. There has to be freedom about how we like to spend our time and where we like to put our energies! I really do enjoy comments on my own blog, but understand when people just pop in without leaving a word... Just their footprints in the sand as it were!

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  37. As an old lady blogger and one who inhabits a small space, I do love comments and always try to respond in kind. I have "met" some wonders and am always grateful. You, Annie are a wonder to me.
    It is scary to me to put myself out there and to be so ignorant about so many blogging issues and protocol. (and, damn..spelling too) and how to do so many "moves" on my blog. I am proud, somewhat, that I have been able to do this without help, being a Rotary Dial Girl. It is a daily challenge, but I have been rewarded tenfold with the lovely people whom I have met..and who have encouraged me both in my attempts at writing and my photos.
    And, A BIG AND..who have shared a love of poetry..
    "If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way..."
    S.H.
    Much love, E.

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  38. Love your red muffatees alongside the red apple! Just the word muffatees makes one feel cosy! I'm sure Beatrix Potter refers to "muffatees" - must check where! Like you, I try to visit the blogs of commenters and leave a comment there as I don't expect people to go back again and see if I've replied to their original comment although sometimes I do reply anyway. Partly it's a time thing - sometimes there are simply not enough hours in the day to respond as quickly or as extensively as I would like. I try but often fail, I fear! E x

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    1. "That wood was full of rabbit holes; and in the neatest, sandiest hole of all lived Benjamin's aunt and his cousins - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. Old Mrs. Rabbit was a widow; she earned her living by knitting rabbit-wool mittens and muffatees"

      ... it's in the earlier Muffatee post that I linked to :) It is the most satisfying word isn't it!

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    2. Oh, goodness! A Potter citation too! You've made my day...

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  39. I was surprised to read that some bloggers that don't think comments are a good thing. I wonder, does that mean they disable comments on their blogs? As a reader I have to say I love reading through the comment section, and don't have any commentless blogs on my favourites list. And speaking as a blogger (that would be blogger with a small b!), I can't imagine blogging without being able to hear from my readers.

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  40. I have some muffatees in mind for the project following the one I have just started. Annie, with all your hadn't wisdom I wish you were here to hold my hand as it is giving me a headache already and it's supposed to be the simplest of patterns!
    My blogging is very sporadic at the moment, I have such a lot of other 'real lufe' happenings at the moment but I love comments and would feel lonely without them.
    What a wonderful book review, it sounds 'interesting' to say the least.
    Kate xo

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    1. Oh great, iPad's maverick mind strikes again. I am referring to your yarny wisdom, shame on you Apple! X

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  41. I found your blog via your wonderful muffatees pattern and they've remained one of my favourite things to knit when I have only a little lovely yarn.
    Comments - I love comments, like to leave them, love to read them, try to always answer them, but then I don't have anything like the readership you do. I really value your visits to my blog and feel sure we've walked the same streets and seen the same things, if not at the same time.
    And I suspect, that if you decided to write a knitting book - however hefty or light the volume - I would LOVE every word, every picture and every pattern. Annie, I am a fan. Axxx

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  42. Gosh, what a fascinating comment thread! Everyone has their own way of doing things, it seems. Blogging is so very personal and this is reflected in the "etiquette", for want of a better word. I stopped replying to comments simply for time reasons (ie not enough hours in the day!) and prefer instead to visit the blogs of those who come to me so that I can say hello. It feels more reciprocal that way. Also, I've found that I am much less inclined to leave a comment on a hugely popular blog where I have nothing new to add to the conversation, and the blogger never visits me. I like it to feel like an exchange.

    Annie, i am BEYOND excited by the peek at the muffatees...thank you. xx

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  43. I love the comments sections and don't tend to revisit those who have none. On the other hand, if there are lots of comments which already express what I would have said, I tend to not comment. This does not mean I don't care!!! It just means I would have time issues if I left comments everywhere and I would forget just where I had left them too.

    I always leave a comment where there is not much traffic just because it is nice to be acknowledged for whatever you have written. I always read and respond to any comments on my own blog (unless there is nothing more to be said :) but mine is a small concern mostly just because I can.

    viv in nz

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  44. Annie, I love these dainty little muffatees (did I spell that right?) that color is just gorgeous. I havent knitted any 'mitten-like' things yet, but I'm getting better at the double pointed needles, and I'm gonna try it!

    Oh, comments. Well, I LOVE comments. I don't see the point of not having them. To be honest, blogs that don't give readers the option of having them irritate me a bit. To met blogging is a social endeavor. If I didn't want others to see it, I wouldn't share it. And there seems to be something a little...I don't know...don't want to step on any toes, but if I'm going to take valuable time out of my day to read a post, I want to let the author know I stopped by and perhaps have an exchange with them or learn something more within the comments. To me, a blog with comments off gives the impression "I want you to hear me go on and on about something, but I don't really care what you think." Lol!

    I don't think there's any special guidelines for blogging and commenting, its just common courtesy. When someone leaves me a comment, I feel like they've left me a little notes of hello and the polite thing to do is return the compliment. It doesnt have to be a source of stress, I'll do it when I have the time, but I will do it eventually!

    However, to each their own! To comment or not to comment shouldnt be something one frets about too much ;)

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    1. Heather, the Runrig Muffatees are knitted flat, that's the joy of them, no dpns!!

      Love what you said about no comment blogs, exactly!

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  45. I've never done a provisional cast-on, but honestly your description of it makes perfect sense. (Is there some other way to do it?)

    Comments ARE the best bit, by far. Why would anyone turn them off? I've gone back and forth on whether and how and how often to answer them, and have decided to answer each one right on the blog screen - so as not to clutter up anyone's inbox, and to keep the conversation open to all. (If I have something important or private to say I'll e-mail the commenter.) Regarding checking back: I don't expect anyone to. But I know that I regularly check back with other bloggers who answer comments on-screen as I do, so if anyone wants to see my (usually brief and unimportant) reply, they know where to find it! :)

    Once I decided to reply regularly on the screen, I felt I ought to reply to every comment, because I didn't want anyone to feel left out. (Quite silly of me, I know. See "Watching the English" for a fuller discussion of this "fairness rule" - also the "polite egalitarianism rule" - both are quite strong in the American Midwest as well as in England. I should add that I don't AT ALL expect other bloggers to reply wholesale in this way, nor do I feel left out if they don't respond to my comment.)

    It's always fun to visit the sites of new commenters. The only thing I can't abide is when they come right out and say "I'm following you. Please follow me too." That just makes me squirm with embarrassment. :)

    P.S. One more pet peeve: captchas. If you want to screen your comments, use comment moderation for goodness sake. Don't make these aging eyes try to decipher some woolly numbers on the screen!

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    1. I loath captchas if I'm honest, but I'm stubborn enough to keep trying if I don't get it right first time!

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    2. Oh, me too. I never give up on it - and usually by the 3rd or 4th try a really large, clear one will pop up. Two captchas I will never forget: one was in Greek lettering, the other in Hebrew. (Neither was on a foreign blog - go figure.)

      P.S. And as you can see I checked back to follow the conversation. :)

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  46. Comments are in many ways the lifeblood of a blog, the source of debate, ideas and inspiration. I find some comments move me to think in different ways and through comments I have forged friendships. I must confess to being tardy at leaving them (as in this case, my comment is at the bottom of a long list of others who were far more prompt) but I try to get around all my favourite blogs each week, the ones that hold meaning and interest for me. I'm even more tardy at responding to comments on my own blog though I do make a special effort if a question has been asked or if I want to respond to something specific that someone has written. I think it should be a matter of personal choice rather than prescribed etiquette, but it stands to reason that keeping in touch with people who comment and visiting them in turn leads to deeper connections and friendships.

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    1. I think you have hit the proverbial nail on the head there Julie, some of us appreciate those deeper connections where others perhaps don't care for them.

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  47. Hi Annie

    The whole issue of commenting is, as so many others in this conversation have already said, the lifeblood of a public blog. I have always struggled with the whole dilemma of saying hello back. I truly would love to always get back to everyone who leaves me a comment, I'd love to have the time to visit more blogs, but there just aren't the hours in the day. This has often left me wondering if people then think as a result I'm arrogantly accepting comments, but not giving back. I love blogging and the connections I have made with people. I always hope that others enjoy reading my blog as much as I do writing it and understand that there's nothing personal in it if I don't respond. Sometimes I manage to reply on the post and hope that they will read it, sometimes I email and sometimes I comment on the blog. It all just depends on whether it's a mad busy day, my brain is still awake when I get in and I've given all my lot enough attention. Like all relationships blogging requires time and effort, but I do genuinely find it all rather overwhelming at times.

    As always Annie you write a thought provoking post and I have to join in even though my head is nodding off so off the stairs to bed I must go.

    Night night X

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  48. Feel a bit of a straggler here. I try to leave comments that add something to the conversation and find it rather boring when there's just lots of gushing 'wonderful' comments. If I just want to say how much I enjoyed the post I prefer to use Twitter as I find that more conversational and also means different people might see the link and follow.
    I find it difficult if I think the blogger has misled with false information - do I just let it pass or should I point it out? Never of course the case with Knitsofacto!

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  49. Love receiving comments myself so assume others do too! I try to respond to each comment but am variable as to whether I have time. I have to hope that the fact that I am not consistent doesn't matter too much. Like others, I read more blogs than I can comment on although that too is variable. When I am really busy I might not get round any blogs at all for a few days. I do try to make sure that I comment from time to time on every blog which is a favourite of mine. That will be likely to be sparked off by a post which particularly interests me or by having half an hour to spare! I have made a particular effort to cut down on reading and writing blogs after about 9pm. I was finding that I could easily be still going at midnight and that I wasn't sleeping as well as usual. Funnily enough it has brought better sleep to give myself a breathing space away from the computer before going to bed. Is this just me? Might blog about it!

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Comments are the best bit! And I always read them, every one, so do please say hello! Use your own URL, Google, Yahoo, Flickr, or any OpenID to join the conversation . Read how here. Or email me, I'll always reply.

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