Hello to all of the early bloggers, would be bloggers and readers for Blog Week.
I am sadly not around to take part myself this year, due to health reasons, which is a big shame as this event is very close to my heart, but for this year only I have to put other considerations first, and Baby Awesome and I are concentrating on being well.
I shall try and read along as much as I can through the event when I am able, and I know the event will provide lots of reading over the coming weeks and months, but for now I just wanted to wish all bloggers lots of inspiration and fun.
Please see the previous post for any information needed as I am unable to re-post pictures at the moment (technology limitations, posting this from my phone… get me!) And most importantly, have fun.
These are the post topics for the 6th Annual Knitting And Crochet Blog Week. This year we will have a great time focusing on finding creative and inventive ways to enjoy writing fresh content for knitting And Crochet Blogs and explore a few ways of adding to that other important area of a blog – the photography!
Day One (Monday 11th May): If You Were Yarn.
If you were a type or brand of yarn, which would you be? Are you a classic pure wool? Is there extra tension but a bit of bounce in you because of your high twist? Would you be more like a high-maintainance, strictly hand-wash fluffy angora or a ‘bring it on’ acrylic, bravely heading into the world of possible baby-sick laundering disasters knowing that you will always come out bright and unharmed?
Spend some time browsing yarns and getting to know their qualities, and decide which yarn you think best matches your personality.
Day Two (Tuesday 12th May): It’s All About You.
Cast your hooks and needles aside!
This year you are challenged with one of those tasks that some bloggers can find quite daunting: but there’s never a better time then when we’re all in it together, so let’s shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us.
The important thing here is to remember that you don’t have to go into great personal detail and certainly do not have to reveal anything too personal. You can be as candid or as private as you like, but you can also give your readers a feel for those things that you like to do outside of your crafting.
Do you like to walk or keep fit
Do you read or enjoy movies – are there any personal favourite books or films that you would recommend?
What is your dream holiday destination, job, dinner party guest list?
This post can be about your reality, your aspirations, past, present or future. Enjoy talking about you. If you really don’t want to write about yourself, though, use your creative license and invent yourself an alternative persona, whether you are a spy, deep-sea diver or astronaut (who just happens to love yarn).
Day Three (Wednesday 13th May): Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers.
Every Year Knitting & Crochet Blog Week tries to feature at least one day where photography takes a key role, because it has been proven many times that what captures reader’s attention for the first few seconds to hopefully hold them long enough to invest the time to read your words is your pictures, and so this topic crops up each year, but every year it yields such different results!
It is easy enough to fall into a routine of photographing your finished projects as is – clearly displayed, maybe from a few varying angles, and for a large part of the time these are what blog readers will expect to see, but every now and again it is good to throw in a picture that causes people to linger.
Refresh your skills at creating attention-grabbing pictures. Take your own creativity and run to your camera with your own ideas, or use these few easy ideas as a starting point:
Use a few background props – you will be amazed at what you can find around the house if you just pick a few items up without thinking too hard about it. These can be props that either add to the ‘story’ of the photograph or just chime well with the colours and style of the finished object. You can take this one step further by creating a ‘picture’ with your project, materials, WIP, etc.
Alternatively, you may wish to experiment with past photographs. One way of doing this is to use various filters and photo-editing software. With the prevalence of smart-phones many people now have access to many free and inexpensive apps that can change the look of their photography. There are also a number of websites such as Pixlr and BigHugeLabs that let you edit and manipulate your photos for free.
If used intelligently, filters can sometimes be used to highlight specific elements of a project. Using the filter below, for example, highlights the pop of colour that the bright buttons have against the neutral background and what this adds to the design in comparison to the de-saturated areas of the photograph.
Another way to add a new element to your photographs is to overlay them with text or doodles. This can be purely decorative, or to serve as a graphic ‘post title image’, or it can contain helpful information, particularly useful when making things such as tutorials:
Day Four (Thursday 14th May): Bags Of Fun.
Time to delve into that most treasured collection of tools, notions and oddments as you are asked to spill the contents of your knitting or crochet bag, caddy or other method of organisation and put your crafting unmentionables on display.
You may wish to talk about your bag of crocheting tools as a whole, or delve deep into the contents of your knitting caddy and talk about the contents each in turn. Good, clear photography can help readers familiarise with your tools, and you might just help someone find a new item for their wish-list if they are awe-struck by your pom-pom maker.
If you are looking for inspiration check out this post from 2010 to see what a crazy lady’s knitting bag looked like five years ago as I’ll be updating with new additions in this topic this year… see how the collection has grown!
Day Five (Friday 15th May): Something A Bit Different
It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post, a beautiful infographic or write in verse. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation. There’s not too much guidance for this one simply because the more varied the posts are on this day, the wider the sources of information for other bloggers will be.
Day Six (Saturday 16th May): Polls Apart.
Almost every blogging platform offers a way to easily put together and host a poll, and polls, surveys and questionnaires can be a great way of engaging with your audience and readership. There are times when readers do not feel that they want or have time to think, compose and post an answer or response to a post, but short polls can often be completed with just a few clicks.
Importantly, survey findings and poll results can give bloggers an absolutely wonderful source of information to blog about. Whether you are looking at basic statistics of the percentage of knitters, crocheters and those who enjoy both or the results of a more opinion-led set of questions, you will be gathering a greater understanding of your readers and may find out some surprising results.
Think of a knitting or crochet related question (it can be literally anything from favourite yarn weight or colour to which month readers believe they complete most projects) and host a simple survey. Hopefully once Knitting And Crochet Blog Week is over this year you’ll have that information as inspiration for yet another blog post when you are ready to write about your findings.
TIP: If you are stuck trying to embed or host a survey, Survey Monkey are a well-known and respected host of free survey and poll tools, and very easy to use.
Day Seven (Sunday 17th May): Your Time, Your Place.
Where and how do you take time out to knit and/or crochet? Maybe you don’t take time out at all and instead have your needles twirling as you try to juggle a multitude of other tasks with no ‘spare’ time to think of. Maybe you enjoy nothing more than to crochet whilst winding down from a yoga session, chatting with some friends in a nearby cafe.
Whether social or solitary, tell readers about your crafting time and space, and where you either most enjoy (or can simply find a few snatched moments) to turn yarn into something even more beautiful.
Below you will find the post tags for Knitting And Crochet Blog Week 2015.
Blog tags have been part of Knitting And Crochet Blog Week since the first outing in 2010 and have proven to be a fantastic way of discovering new blogs and getting your blog discovered.
They work by creating a string of characters that have never before been used on the internet. The word ‘yarn’, for example, yields about 652,000,000 results when used to perform a google search. The string of characters ‘y12a23r34n45′ however, yields none (though it should actually link back to this page once this page has been indexed by Google) – and that is precisely how the Post Tags work.
I have created eight strings of characters (which we shall call ‘post tags’) that have never been used before on the internet. Each tag related to a different blogging topic for Knitting and Crochet blog week. You can see these tags below:
Please note that I have very specifically published these tags in the form of an image rather than typed them onto my page, as otherwise these would then be indexed by Google and make the whole exercise pointless. For this reason I ask you to do the same thing. If you would like to display the post tags on your site before Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, please feel free to use the above graphic, but do not type the codes directly onto your blog posts.
When And How To Use The Post Tags
On the day that you write your first blog post for Knitting And Crochet Blog Week, use the appropriate post tag in your post. You can put this tag either somewhere in your post (usually at the beginning or end) or you can add it using the post tags feature if your blog has one (called ‘labels’ in Blogger). Make sure that you are using the correct post tag for that day’s topic.
Thank you to absolutely everyone who took a moment to share our good news the other day! It’s an exciting time, and recently we were able to celebrate making it to 40% of the way to parenthood.
To try and help to spread the joy a little further (and also to celebrate the once-again quick and easy process of Ravelry checkouts being available to everyone worldwide including everyone in the EU!) I thought it would be nice to share the joy of 40% with a simple one week offer of 40% off all single patterns and eBooks in the Pattern Store. To take advantage of this offer, simply head to My Knitting Patterns or Eskimimi Makes’ Pattern Store On Ravelry and add your chosen patterns to the cart. When you check out the 40% discount will be automatically applied before payment. The offer ends in one week, at 11:59pm GMT on April 8th 2015.
Thank you also for everyone on the site, twitter and Facebook who commented on the slightly more rotund-bellied banner that now heads Eskimimi Makes. Every now and again I update the header to reflect a pattern or project, event or holiday, though I often assume that it is mostly for my own amusement and didn’t really think that anyone else ever noticed, so the fact that someone even sent me a quick note of congratulations having spotted it before I made my last post made me feel very warm and happy inside!
I have taken delivery of two balls of white superwash wool and will no doubt soon be making a few very small things. Many thank again for everyone’s kindness and well wishes, and happy knitting and pattern bargain hunting to all, and welcome back to Ravelry checkouts EU shoppers!