Friday, June 19, 2015

Sweet Success!

One of my goals for 2015 was improving my web page. So far, I am happy with the progress I am making towards that goal.

There have been a number of behind the scenes changes (and more to come) I have linking my Google accounts.. So that Oftroys Golden Apples, (web page) is perfectly linked with Golden Apples(blog), and with Oftroy's YouTube Channel, and with and my G+ page and all these link up nicely with my Golden ApplesFaceBook page. The idea is to have seamless link up—making information sharing between them easier, and to help establish my “brand”.

Also going on behind the scenes were the creation of NEW shorter URLs. The length of a URL doesn't matter much if you are already on the internet—it's easy to make click-able links. But sharing in person? Short and snappy are good attributes. My new names aren't that short—but they are short enough for me to remember—and take up half a line, not a line and half on my business cards—So definitely a big improvement! I've upgrading each of the Google accounts, too, to make them mobile phone ready, too. I am definitely proud of the fact my web page shows up on Page 1 of a search. OK not if you just Google Helen Griffin (there is a famous UK actress who heads the list) but these improvements help (try helen griffin + knitting, or golden apple knitting.)

There have also been some hardware changes going on that have nothing to do with the software, but they are time consuming, too I really wish “Plug and Play” didn't always involve rerouting wires, and yet another transformer

I have upgraded my power strips twice, (in the past 10 years) but I think I need a new upgrade (again!) I want might also want a sets of short extension cords, that allows you to plug bulky transformers into them, and then plug simple standard plugs into the power strips. I think a 10 or 12 inch extension cords would be better—then all the transformers can be hidden out of sight, under that desk! I might make a trip to Home Depot and spend a small fortune on parts (sockets and receptacles) and make exactly what I want.

The next power strip is going to be one with 2 USB power ports—some things require 1 amp, others 1.5 amps—because that will really be useful. As it right now, I have one power stripe piggy backed into another—(transformer plugs are bulky and often blog sockets!) Both are rated for 20 amps (as is the circuit) and I have fewer than 10 amp combined on the two of them. So I am not overly worried about overpowering the circuit—but in neater organization. A saving grace is labels—every transformer and plug is labeled—So I always know what is what. It really is a smart move to label the cords (both ends sometimes!)

A few years ago, I added portholes to the desk top, to make it easier to route wires out of sight—That helped—but not enough! Oh Tesla, give me a wireless world! Where my phone is connect to my computer the same way my printer is, SANS Wires!

Getting back to software changes, some of the upfront changes I have been making are new indexes, on major pages. Breaking a long page like the List of Cast Ons, into several sub groups (single yarn cast on, double yarn cast ons, et al). No more scrolling the whole way down a long page to get to “Cast Ons good for ribbing”--now you can click on an Index list, jump to the section you want, and jump back to the Index list.

I have also been working on improving and refining style—making sure each tutorial page has forward and backward links—and that each page has the same style and lay out. Fine details, but nice ones. There are still more changes to be made—But I have made a good start, to better organization and a more uniform layout—both of which will make navigating the web site easier. Plus I have been editing out the typo's. There are always typo's!

I have been making and posting links to new videos, too. I've made 10 new videos so far this year. There are still some cast on methods that are listed and don't have a video (neither one of mine, or one from another source.) Each month though, there fewer. My goal was at least one new video each month, and I have exceeded my goal. I really needed to do this--since the list of cast on methods keeps growing!

It a Red Queen problem—(from Alice in Wonderland) –At one point, (when Alice and the Red Queen are caught on the chess board) the Red Queen keeps telling Alice to run faster and faster—Alice complains, she is running fast, but they don't seen to be getting anywhere. They are stuck in the same place. The Red Queen tell Alice, "You must run as fast as you can, just to stay in the same place and even faster than that to make progress!"  Isn't that the truth? With out constant work, you lose your place, and getting ahead? Faster than you think you can run!

The newest video, is not even a new cast on, just a new version of a cast on that has several videos already! It's the Double Chain (aka the Chinese Waitress) cast on—A cast on that has (now) 5 different methods of construction.

Yes, after doing this for years, (the list started back in 2009 on my blog, and moved to web page in 2011) I am still learning about new and different ways to cast on in knitting! I remember when I thought it was complete—at 35 methods. I've stopped counting now—but, at last count back in February, it was over 60 items on the list.

Later this year, I will be making some videos for existing tutorials—the other ones, besides the Cast on (and bind off, and selvage) tutorials. And I will be adding some new tutorials. I want my web page to be a full service Knitting site, not just one for cast ons, bind offs, and selvages—even if that is what it is most famous for.

I am determined to learn how to podcast—and do one a month, too—That might not start till next year...but soon. That will require yet another upgrade to the hardware! I don't have a headset/microphone combo (and my new computer doesn't have a place to just plug in microphone—that I do have.) It does have a built in mike and web cam, but I think I will be better off with an external mike.

Finally  after several months of a lack of interest, I am  knitting again, too.
I would show you the progress i've made with the Blue Beaded socks--with a random scattering of beads just below the cuff –and all the beading done, and a few rounds of stocking knit—but the batteries in my camera are dead—and I need to purchase more! Another case of , Running running running—as fast as I can just to stay in place!

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