Well, dear reader, I have been lax in updating. It’s been all go for the past few weeks, and I’m finally getting time to breathe.
I said I was going to talk about knitting and Google analytics this time around, and I will, less Google more… analytics -and even then, more of what we are analysing than not. But first – knitting!
Knitting has long been a happy place for me, and this year I finally made it to Unwind in Dunedin: to place I called home for several years and shaped much of who I am today. I started knitting in earnest there (the temperature, the procrastination, the ugly acrylic yarn…yeah we’ve all been there). I had learnt to knit many, many moons before, but I started practicing my craft in earnest in Dunedin. Spotlight started to share my money with Scribes.
I’ve been to Dunedin for brief stops since I left in 2006 after graduating with my MA.
This was my longest visit to the city, allowing me to take a trip down memory lane, and be surprised at what has changed, and what is still surviving, many years later. It was a great amble through the university: down Castle street, through the gardens to visit places from my distant past, and benchmark myself.
It’s something I like to do: measure and gauge who I am against who I used to be. How I have grown, and think about what I would say to that younger Self about life. And, of course, whether I would have changed anything. When I really think about all the possibilities (Sliding Doors anybody?) I don’t believe I would want to change a thing. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve gone, what I’ve learnt and experienced… and knowing that there is still so much more to come is a lovely feeling.
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around a few things with the Black Dog having popped along for a visit, and Dunedin certainly put things in perspective. As have several conversations with good friends and people I trust. I’m learning when to check myself, when to slow down and pause. This is good. I’m growing up. I’m too old to be a manic Shelley anymore. So they all deserve great thanks. And knitting. Or baking. But more about the knitting!
Unwind is a more technical yarn retreat than KAN and there were a few roadblock sessions I took to overcome some of my rather irrational fears (colourwork, seaming). To have the time to sit, see, and do was fantastic. I love colours and yarn playing with combos is always so much fun, so overcoming that fear of fair isle (with the Persian Poppy pattern, no less), was a confidence booster like no other. And the secret of good seams. Well. Both will serve me brilliantly when I finally get my current projects ( 4 of them. With 3 more in hibernation. Oops…) off the needles.
It’s the science behind the creation of knitting that I really love. The making with your own hands: the construction, the planning, the coding that comes with lace & fair isle graphs. And the joy of finishing. How it all relates, how each pattern is interpreted and the outcome completely unique to the maker through choice of yarn, tension, size, & emotion put into the piece: the hours of effort that makes the finished object so priceless. Ah! I think it will be a day cooking and knitting in this awful weather.
While knitting was one outcome of my days in Dunedin, my love for order and knowledge also grew there. I started my MLIS while working in the Science Library, and that’s where I fell in love with metadata.
I’ve spent the last couple of months polishing up my SQL (still a long way to go), and through GA and a course on SEO Optimisation, I found myself back in the world of the RDF, FRBR, and triples: the semantics of object relationships and the ways in which data can be catalogued (wow, isn’t that a segue from yarn and thread? Not really – it all joins up in the L-Space after all).
Do you know what really surprised me about slipping back down the rabbit hole – how much I missed it all. The chaos, the order, the raging maelstrom that is raw information in seething data lakes. The neverending quest to instill islands of calm through webs of association. Weaving that piece of yarn through the labyrinth. It is such a delight to wrap myself in that thought process again. Building better mousetraps and making information work. Yes, I do love to create order out of chaos, and information management and retrieval pleases me to no end.
One of the things I find myself repeating time and again in my job is that the search is only as good as the content. And well-crafted content will be popular with both the people reading it, and the search engines trying to crawl it. I could spend all day writing on this topic, but there are those far more knowledgeable than I who have already done so, and even created videos and online courses on these topics – which I am thoroughly enjoying. One day, I’ll tidy up the set of writing for web instructions that I’ve built and presented and join the multitude: but today is not that day.
Today is for knitting and making risotto, and listening to Neil Gaiman retell some of my favourite stories from the Elder and Poetic Edda in his interpretation of Norse Mythology. Today may even see me finish the lace of my Waterlily, so that I can get onto the shaping.
More later. Until then…