Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Regia Design Line Winners, Update, Sunflowers + Thoughts

I've picked the winners of the new Regia Design Line Sock Yarn and have been in touch with them. Congrats to all six of you who won enough yarn for a pair of handknit socks. I'll be shipping the yarn out when I receive your shipping addresses. 

Just an update on where to buy the new Design Line Kristin Nicholas Ikat Inspired sock yarn. I've discovered that The Web•sters in Oregon has all my sock yarn available on-line including the older Garden Effects colors. You can check them out here. Also, just an FYI - the yarn is a 50 gram ball (230 yards) so you will need 2 balls for a pair of socks. Check it out here. Many local yarnstores have also stocked the yarn so check with them if you are lucky enough to have one in your neck of the woods.

Here at the farm, the autumn garden is happening. Weeds are everywhere. Some annuals are finished doing their thing and have given up. Others keep putting out the blooms, even if they are lying down on the ground sideways. Most of the veggies are over but I've still got beautiful kale and swisschard to enjoy this autumn. 


 

I seeded the sunflowers in two batches (not until late June and then July) and the first seeding is almost kaput. The second seeding, unfortunately, got walloped in a freaky rainstorm 2 Saturdays ago. Some of them fell over. I thought they would pop back up but some are down and out. That's the hazards of farming and gardening. It's amazing though, the plants that fell down - like these -


continue to bloom albeit a bit oddly coming up off the dirt. Makes for some curly stems but the bees and the birds don't care. 


These are Autumn Beauties from the first seeding. They are long season but worth the wait. Some are probably 11 feet tall. Stunning. Here are some other beauties.....




I realized not long ago that I have barely taken a photo of Julia since Christmas. She doesn't like to have her photo taken anymore. Gone are those days of cute little kid shots here on the blog! My baby has grown up. I began this blog in 2006 when she was a mere 8 years old. Now she is 16. Where did the time go? A few weeks ago, she was outside with me cuddling with Tommie and I got some nice shots of her. She is back to her old school - the new one didn't work out. It has been a tumultuous couple of weeks for all of us. But she is happy again now. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


I'm not sure about you but I have noticed the blog world changing. So many of the older original bloggers have either stopped or have turned their blogs into more money-generating sites. The newer bloggers seem to be all about brands and promoting themselves. There is nothing wrong with looking for money because we all have to make a living - me included. As family life and work commitments change, a blog has to change. It has to fit into the blog-writer's life. Jane of Yarnstorm has stopped writing her original blog and is moving into publishing. She has started a new blog which is looking quite great. Find it here. Soulemama is taking advertising and editing a beautiful magazine. Alicia is still faithfully updating even though her life must be super busy with a little one. Gale Zucker is re-committing to blogging as are her friends. Susan's blog keeps getting better.

I am wondering what you all are thinking? Do you read blogs anymore? Do you only read through Facebook? Are you only looking at Pinterest and Instagram these days? I'm trying to figure out where to go with this blog myself. I think about it all the time to tell you the truth. I stepped back in August to see if I wanted to continue. It takes a lot of time and effort and sometimes there is very little reward for the effort. I consider my reward to be comments, readership, purchases of my patterns, yarns, books, and kits. Just when I thought you all had stopped reading, I do a giveaway and get 200+ comments. Wow - thanks for that. At least I know you are out there. I loved reading what you all are planning to knit or stitch this fall. Many hours spent with yarn and needles, sewing machines, and fabrics. Hours spent making gifts for family and friends and new babes. What could be better?

I hope you and yours are enjoying the autumn weather. It is splendid, isn't it? Would love to hear your comments about blog reading if you have time. I'm sure other blog writers will love to hear too. 

p.s. I'm not thinking about stopping this thing - I'm just curious as to your thoughts and where your on-line priorities are now. 

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have the blog on my feed, so when you post I see it. I like what you do and what you write about. I also like to see who you are reading.

I keep hoping I win the lottery. (I'll pass some funds to you!) then I will have free time and be financially secure.

You can still design and I will still buy various designs.I think a partnership with webs should be in your future. You've got the talent and the audience.

don't know if this is that much help... I know lots of people take breaks but I am also surprised that readers really do miss them when they leave.

Patty in Maryland

Sally said...

Hi Kristin-- I've noticed a bit of dwindle in the blogosphere myself. I subscribe to 28 blogs through Bloglovin, which I check daily. A few of the blogs have made an official final post, a few post only very rarely, a few have tapered off, and there are a number of faithful posters.
I still enjoy blogs. but I will admit that sometimes, when I feel I've spent too much time online and not enough time DOING, I'll scan longer posts rather than read and relish them like I used to. :( It seems that more and more and more social media venues compete for our time and attention, and sometimes the "tweets" and "snaps" (although I don't do twitter or snapchat yet) are more easily digested and are therefore becoming more popular.
I've been a fan of many of the bloggers I read since before they were bloggers, having discovered them through their books (you among them). I love your life, your aesthetic, and your passions, and I'm confident that however you choose to share and express yourself, I'll find a way to stay in touch. Thanks for all your hard work and inspiration!

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Part 1: Thanks for linking to me! I do a lot more "liking" and commenting on FB these days, so I had stopped commenting on blogs, even when I was reading them. Part of the problem lies with using blogreaders that don't allow you to comment, esp if on a tablet or iphone, which is how I often see blogs. But I agree with you,othe comments are what make you feel connected, so I am recommitting to commenting as well as blogging.

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Part 2: I am so chatty today! Also, I felt, as you do, that so many old favorite blogs had either become ghost towns or gone commercial, but since I posted about recommiting to bloggng, and also started to add blogs to my feed (I decoided on Bloglovin) I have discovered so many good new blogs- knitting, crafting, DIY fashion, photography, sewing & stitching- it's getting me quite inspired again. I hope you'll stick with it, I have always followed your blog and wouldn't have met you otherwise, even though I had your early book!

RMK said...

My much smaller "public" seems to like a couple of pictures and a short story line. I also do a blog feed, so I see when you post & then I read. I generally check my feed daily unless I'm traveling. Most people who complement me on my posts & pics aren't publicly "following" me. Go figure. I watch my "stats" on Blogger and can see them spike up after I post, even though I don't get many comments. My readers aren't very effusive. :) So, those are my thoughts on the subject ... foks are reading even if they don't comment.
Coincidentially, a blogger that I've been following for several years just announced last week that her life was changing and she would cease posting except to announce patterns. I deleted the blog from my feed and moved on. No need for drama, I'll just find a new enthusiastic replacement who has something to share like one of your earlier commenters mentioned ...

Amy said...

Not sure I've commented before, but I've been reading for years and I always enjoy your posts. I would be sad if you stopped blogging, but I'd understand, as I stopped blogging without really meaning to stop.

Say It In Color said...

Funny, I have wondered the same thing...whether to keep blogging...BUT I still love the blog best!! I do facebook, but NOT a fan of it, more exhausting for some reason, like a lot of people in one room as to a visit with a friend. I look at your blog because I love that you share your beautiful and interesting home, garden, painted walls, flowers and your family, sweet family. I feel that it is getting lost and we should hang on to the family and it's warm values instilled in the walls of a kitchen or art room or living room or barnyard!!! I LOVE your bright colors, your designs, I don't knit but I do embroidery and paint...so you are also a big inspiration!!! It is just always a comfy visit with you, Julia and the cats and farmer and sheep...with all the trimmings...does my heart a world of good!!! I am continuing my blog as well, striving to keep it interesting, although lately because of moving it's been lacking...but it is like MY BOOK,, and I even love to look back aat the other years. God Bless!!

Say It In Color said...

One other thing...people don't comment anymore and that is disappointing...maybe we should challenge each other to comment at least an "I love it!"

Auntie Shan said...

Despite actually taking a few minutes every day to jot down a few notes on my "DAILY" BLOG - [I've got well over 200 *draft* entries!] - I'm seriously about 6 MONTHS behind in "POSTING" my Entries!! -- My "LIFE" has been a tad BUSY... [Although surprisingly, People from around the World do still drop by every day!]

A piece of that "TIME" being spent on *MAKING* the Stuff that I often Post about rather than on the time it TAKES to photograph IT, and Blog about IT *right away*! -- I've also been through some "Tech" upgrades that I'm still Learning-Curve my way around...

Meanwhile, I do however TRY to keep up with my Blog READING! There are a handful that I check for daily. And, a few "LINK-PARTIES" that I contribute to. -- BUT, I really do PREFER to frequent the Advert-*FREE* ones!!

Advertising YOUR OWN Products is one thing - which is pretty much *WHY* most People Blog anyway - however, I tend to shy away from ones that are covered in 3rd-Party-Ads! All of those shiny-bright-*Streaming*-ADs just *suck*-up my Monthly DATA-*USAGE*!! - I get enough of THAT from the COMMERCIAL Sites that I already need to use.

Whenever I do post about something that I've bought or some Store, out of courtesy [and Legality], I often attach a LINK, but it pretty much ends there. And, leaves me free to express whatever opinions that I *personally* might have about said OBJECTS and/or ESTABLISHMENTS. - I Blog to "expose" MY Stuff, NOT to be a "FLYER" [paid for or otherwise] for some *BIG*-COMPANY!

ANYHOO, KRISTIN, *PLEASE* continue to Blog - [You're actually the One who got me Started on IT all if the FIRST place!] - even IF it's monthly! Your Posts are ALWAYS *INSPIRING*, if not "EDUCATIONAL" on numerous levels! -- Besides, it's often good for me to see the *other* side of my BALLS of YARN every now and then!

:-D

Sarah said...

I also use a blogfeed (feedly) to track my blogs and would rarely follow blogs on facebook. Facebook is inconsistent with what content they actually show me and I would hate to lose track of this blog in the shuffle. While the microblogging of pinterest or instagram appeals to some I just don't get the same sense of the author from it. I hope you continue to blog and I sure I will continue to enjoy it.

Suzi Barnes said...

I use Feedly and The Old Reader for my blogs and still follow quite a number of them. I have branched out to health and fitness ones also where at one time it was all knitting ones.

Vickie said...

I still read my list of old-timey blogs using a RSS reader - you, Yarn Harlot, Wendyknits, the Rainey Sisters, and several more. I enjoy them for new ideas and inspiration. I'm on Facebook but it's a shorter form PLUS Facebook decides what I see, not me. With my RSS reader, I don't need to read every day - the posts will be there waiting for me to read when I have time.

Anonymous said...

I don't do Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram but I do read a few select blogs mostly knitting with a bit of gardening and nature thrown in the mix. I was stunned to read how hard you worked to post your blog from the land of iffy internet connections. I also live in a very rural area with spotty internet services. Thank goodness we can get a ok internet but forget cell phones coverage. Not at our house. Thank you for blogging. You have connected me to new ideas and challenged me look at color and design in a fresh way. I grew up on a small farm with a small flock of sheep so I appreciate your hard work tending your large flock. And you reminded me that I need to try harder growing sunflowers. This year I had a nice selection and enough so the few that topple over were not missed as much. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Kathleen C. said...

Life just gets busy sometimes... When I have time I can manage to keep up with my blog reading (I use bloglines still), and I love seeing new posts from my favorites. I don't do facebook much at all (once a week or so), and only catch up there with close friends and family.
I comment on posts occasionally... but sometimes I just don't have much to say about the topic. I'm not saying it's a bad or foolish topic, it's just... I'm blank on it.
And then there are the busy times... I can't read and what I do manage to read I don't have time to comment on. And when I finally have time to catch up on the 700+ posts... well, to say I skim is an understatement.
But I sure would miss the posts if they went away.

Cheryl said...

I love your blog. It's ion my reader so I always know when you post. I have found that I comment much less on blogs now, because of my iPad! II hate to type on it.

Actually, I've come to realize that an iPad is a consumption tool, rather than a participation or creation tool for me. It's to the point that I think I'd rather have a new laptop than get the next iPad. I miss the interaction. I blogged frequently at one point, and enjoyed it even though I had minimal readership. I miss that feeling of participation in the great noise of the internet, you know? Now I just consume.

Anyway, please keep blogging. I run a horse farm, so it is always fun to see how a farmer in a totally different world lives her life.

Jennifer Edwards said...

Keeping up blogging does take time, especially if you are crazy enough to try keeping up two! But I love the "medium" of a blog. I enjoy making it visually appealing, although now with Newsblur I don't get to see the persons entire blog. Many times I'll click over to get the whole blog experience. I enjoy reading blogs so much, but sometimes I don't have time to comment on many of them, if at all. On wordpress, folks can click "like" on my blogs and I am so grsteful for that even of they don't place a comment. Yet I do love the back and forth of the comments and getting to hear others thoughts on whatever I've blogged about. I have taken breaks though. I find I need to just unplug sometimes. Alicia Paulson's is one of my favorites, as well as Susan Anderson and yours. I have no idea how one goes about "mometizing" with their blog. I figured it was where a company would approach you about them being your sponsor...or is it the other way round? It does seem like a lot of effort for little on return, but I still enjoy it and will likely continue for a while longer. I just have to be sure I'm giving plenty of time to drawing and painting as well as knitting and all the other creative endeavors I have going. I do better if I say to myself: I'll blog three times this week only. Or two times, whatever. Thank you for the inspiration you post here! Because of you I have been enriched not only by your own work but by the work of Mark Hearld, all the Good Life interviews, and that marvelous embroidery artist who creates worlds of small embroidered/felted creatures. Let's keep on blogging, if only because we enjoy it ourselves, sharing creativity with the world. :)

Anonymous said...

There is so much noise in the world, I find peace here with you. Thank you for that.

Patt said...

I have your blog on my feed, so get the updates. I have only recently joined facebook as I moved and was asked to keep in touch through that. It can sure take up a lot of time if you are not careful. At one time I started a Pinterest acct., but haven't been on it since the day I started. Don't do Instagram. I like the blogs best. I like the fact that I don't have to wade through all the comments if I don't want to and don't get requests to join things I'm not interested in. I like the simpler things. I enjoy reading your blog, your pictures, thoughts and recipes.

Katherine said...

I do love your blog, Kristin - and I am so impressed that you can manage to give so much time to it with all the other things you do. I live in very north Northumberland in the UK, and I'm always fascinated to see how your farming life mirrors what we are experiencing here, so many many miles away. I get lots of creative inspiration from all the things you've made - and I've got a small treasury of your books and patterns to consult in my "Woolly Room". You write from the heart which is what makes your blog so very special - I'd be very sad if you stopped blogging, but I'd understand how much work it is.

Margo Watkins said...

I still read blogs, yours was one of the first I subscribed to through Google reader, I now use Feedly. I have always enjoyed reading your blog and hope you decide to continue.

I have a Pinterest account but rarely go there and when I do I have a specific reason.

I may read a blog through Facebook but if I comment (which is rare) I will do it on the blog.

I don't do Instagram except to look at links posted on Twitter.

Shing Hsieh said...

I love your blog - one of the first I subscribed to, through email notifications. That way, I'm reminded to go to your site when I have time. I have an RSS feed for a few other bloggers, most of whom don't post that often (except she who shoots sheep!). I don't read blogs on FB, can hardly keep up with friends and family there. I just started on Instagram and though I have a Twitter acct, I don't use it. Kristin, I love seeing photos of the farm, your very adorable animals and family. Lovely seeing your daughter and hearing about your life on the farm. I can only imagine how much time you put into the blog and appreciate it so much. Thanks for all your creativity, words, and generous spirit.

Anonymous said...

I too love your blog and frankly, it's the only one I subscribe to. I love taking photographs of sheep and flowers so your photographs are an inspiration!

bmom said...

I certainly still read blogs and check my feedly multiple times per day to see what's new. I do use twitter, pinterest, and instagram -- but each has a distinct place. I particularly like the ability to tell a story or provide instruction with a blog.

I'm not sure what I use FB for (town news, distant relatives, former classmates?) -- but the "group" aspect of it is off putting for many things.

Anonymous said...

Kristin.....I love your blog and look forward to reading it...but you have to do what you have to do. If you stop I will certainly miss it.

Lisa said...

I read every single post that you publish! Love your discussion prompt about The State of Blogging Today. Recently, I've found Instagram an easier, faster place to 'communicate'; follow and post in FB but not a big fan. Would *like* to get back to the regular blogging of yesteryear, have accumulated a batch of draft posts, but as of yet have not made the dedicated time to follow through. Perhaps, like Gale has done, I should make a public declaration to post regularly! My first thought when I read your post today was that a town meeting of some of us bloggers to discuss The State of Blogging would be fun and informative. Of course, in-person would be the preferred way to meet, but in lieu of that, perhaps one of those Google+ meet-up things? Thanks for raising the discussion, Kristin! Always a fan ...

JackieLemon said...

Yours is the first blog I look for every morning. I dislike Facebook - too much info I am totally not interested in, but I do like Instagram and find your daily pictures beautiful and inspiring. In fact your blog inspires me in so many ways. I love your color choices, your patterns, the honest look at farm life - the hard,hard work involved - the great shots of sheep and working dogs. I could go on and on.
It can be discouraging to send out letters from the heart and not get any response, but from the other comments and my own feelings, just know you are an inspiration. Hope you continue.

Patty said...

Do so enjoy following your blog. I don't live too far from you but as we can't quite chat over the backyard fence I like keeping up with things here:)

from West Brattleboro VT,
Patty M.

Louise Cady-Fernandes said...

You've inspired me to grow more than one variety of sunflower next year. I can't believe how grown up Julie is! Xo

Louise Cady-Fernandes said...

Totally forgot to comment on blogging lol! My hunch is that you might really miss it. I love having my blog. It's coming up on five years and you are the first person I ever talked to who mentioned having a blog. I didn't even know what a blog was! Anyway, I love your blog but I understand the time it takes and the commitment it is to have one. I would really miss you if you stopped but you ultimately have to follow your heart. Xo!

bookagent said...

I read your blog faithfully and love it. I don't tend to comment on any blogs I read other than for contests. But I believe the readership is indeed still out there. I don't do any of the social media, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest Twitter etc. Guess I'm dating myself although mid-50's doesn't seem old to me!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog so much Kristen!
I found my way here several years ago from a link on Susan Anderson's blog.

I use Facebook mostly for animal rescue/charity networking, I just got on Instagram about 2 months ago and am really liking it.

I love reading blogs :) it's my mental break during the day!

Bonnie said...

I read a lot of blogs, primarily knitting ones, and I write my own at www.peaceableliberal.blogspot.com. I am on Facebook, but I find it irritating and don't often look at it. I love Pinterest, but if I had to choose between the two, I'd always choose blogs. They provide a space to really learn about other people and see what they're doing, and I've developed friendships through them that I value.

Savannagal said...

I don't like FB, and don't have or want Twitter or Instagram accounts. I've followed many blogs through the years, and have also found that nowadays many have more advertising than blogging. When that happens I delete them. We are surrounded, inundated with advertising, merchandising, marketing. Buy, buy, buy. I'm certainly not going to go looking for more. Same goes for podcasts. I have listened to many, and one by one I've deleted most of them. I'm basically down to public radio podcasts now. Don't get me wrong. I do want to learn about new products too. Just not every day, in every post.

I am amazed, and thankful, at how much time and effort some people put into their blogs. Many are very entertaining and enjoyable. I see photos of places I will likely never be able to visit. I hear stories that provide new ideas and viewpoints. I learn about books, places, people and things I didn't know existed. For those I am grateful.

Thanks Kristin for letting me be a part of your life via your blog. I enjoy seeing your photos and reading your stories. They enrich my life.

Leigh Wheeler said...

I'm not on instagram, I don't tweet, I've got a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but I love blogs, and I love reading your blog. I live in the city, so really enjoy seeing the country and a yard bigger than 50'x100' with a house in the middle. Not near enough room to grow scads of sunflowers on my lot! Husband has put his foot down regarding sheep, so I read about yours. I'll comment more often. :)

Amy L. said...

I, too, am a long-time reader and absent blogger. I have noticed the blogosphere getting quieter - at least the many blogs I've followed for a long time. For myself, I have a baby now and just don't have the time to gather my thoughts. I want to pick it back up, but the days slip by with no progress. Hopefully as he gets older, I'll find the time (and rediscover my writing voice) again.

As for commenting, I use Feedly to read blogs now, usually on my iPhone. I've had trouble in the past with comments through Blogger getting eaten, which is so frustrating. I rarely comment anymore, even though I know how valuable feedback is. I still read, though. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram, which is such a quick way to keep in touch without too many steps.

Patricia Ritter said...

Kristin, I love your blog and always read it. I love that you tell everything like it is, and don't romanticize the lifestyle that you and your family have chosen. Your photography is lovely! Hope you can keep going! Patty

Brenna Fankell said...

Kristin, I love your blog. I don't comment often although I sometimes write a comment and then decide it sounds wrong and delete it. I enjoy reading about your life, your designs, your farm, the happy things and the sad things. I have purchased almost all of your knitting patterns and your embroidery class on craftsy so I'll probably be purchasing your embroidery products soon, too. I also love all of your books. I am not a huge facebook fan, or instagram or twitter but I have a few blogs that I follow without fail. Blogs are like good books that are being written in real time. They provide a piece of quiet reflection in the middle of a crazy, busy, loud world. :)

Keep writing,
Tricia

tjf said...

Oops! I left my comment under my daughter's account! Sorry!

Tricia

Anonymous said...

I don't do facebook and read few blogs but ALWAYS read yours. I like the way you write and what you discuss-simple and pure. Please continue on.

Anonymous said...

Kristin,
I love blogs. There's more substance to them. I know they take time and effort and it SHOWS. If I'm spending time on something, I appreciate that effort. I've signed up for some of the other things out there (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook). I know a lot of people find Facebook addictive; I'm not one of them. It's fine for keeping up with the relatives you only see at funerals but it's useless for meaningful social interaction. Pinterest is almost overwhelming; it's lovely and I enjoy it but I have limited time so I find myself going back to favorite blogs.

Helen Hart said...

Kristin, I love your blog. I get your email and I enjoy it so much. Please continue. Know it takes time, but I love your photos.
Helen Hart, Cheyenne, WY

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, I check almost every day for an update, i love your photos, your real farm stories, your recipes. I have several of your patterns, and some of your yarn. I still love read blogs, but some I have stopped as they no longer really write like you and the yarn harlot do.

So sorry school didn't work out, change is hard on all teens

Fracksmom

Mary Lou said...

Oh, those sunflowers. Swoon. I think that twitter etc. aside, lots of blog reading is done on tablets and phones. Commenting is then such a bother we don't do it. I find commenting on a blogger blog with my ipad really challenging. The comments often disaapear, so I just wait till I am at the computer. I'm sure you can imagine how that works out. I do love your blog, though. Thanks for sharing so much of your talent.

LannieK said...

Love your sunflowers! Love your blog and the inspiration it provides. Thanks for sharing all you do :-)

Beau said...

Writing a good blog takes an incredible amount of time. In addition, good writing is done by only a few. Hence, I understand why many have opting out of writing blogs. Personally, I have cut done on the blogs I read. I only subscribe to blogs which I either enjoy or am interested in the product. I do not do Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. They take too much time and do not provide the enjoyment.

My favorite blogs: Kristen's, Susan Anderson, Kate Davies, and Deb Robson's The Independent Stitcher. I also love Wovember!!! All of this are fun to read and I learn somethingand get ideas. They have also led to purchases of patterns, yarn, books.

In the early days, I read more. Now, I am selective.

Kristen, thank you for all you do. You are appreciated!!