Saturday, August 04, 2007

Foot and mouth. That’s bad news. Amongst other things, it means that Dolores will be turned back at the border, if she hopes to join us for the Games.

Here we are, briefly, in Edinburgh. We came down on Thursday to receive the Beijing Mileses, so that James wouldn’t have to drive all the way from Cheltenham to Strathardle in one go. Helen nipped down yesterday to do some shopping. So there were lots of children. Then my husband and I realised that we could wave goodbye to them all and spend a second evening here, re-grouping. We’ll join them today.

I’ve hardly knit since we left – haven’t even taken Ketki’s gansey out of the drawer. I did get a bit further with the Princess insertion last night – I’ve started the antepenultimate row.

But that’s not to say there isn’t any knitting news.

My friend Helen introduced me to Kaffe's new sock yarn and I am consumed with yearning. A child’s sweater, with “landscape” stripey sleeves and “mirage” body in the same colourway, perhaps. Helen suggests Astrid's Dutch Obsessions as a source for European-based purchasers.

And I’m greatly taken with the Tulip Baby Sweater that Franklin is knitting, little as I approve of bandwagons (this seems to be one).

And Franklin has told me how to find out where one is in the Ravelry queue. I discover that not only am I moving along nicely, but that I’ve made progress since yesterday. I don’t understand what’s going on – why don’t they just throw it open? I would consider it a brilliant marketing ploy, except that membership is free when one reaches the head of the queue.

Another thing: there are 13219 people behind me in line, plus others who have already joined, plus others ahead of me. Who are all these people? Only about 3000 of them read the Panopticon, a tenth of that number look in here. That leaves thousands of knitters with computer access who are missing a lot


  1. Well, being one of the beta ravelers, I *can* tell you that there are some bugs and whatnot that Casey & Jess are working on sorting out. The amount of work that has gone into it is quite staggering. Another issue is that of bandwidth availability, as they're still in the process of getting and setting up dedicated servers sufficient to handle the onslaught. 'Twould do no good to fling the doors wide if it resulted in an immediate server crash.

    I saw the FMD report earlier this evening and my heart sank. I've attended talks by colleagues who helped deal with the last outbreak and know very well how devastating it can be. I do hope they get this under control before there's a repeat of last time, but it spreads so readily - much like a wildfire.

  2. That Foot and Mouth case is alarming. Such agony when the farmers had to slaughter their animals. Let's hope this current scare does not escalate. At least Sam the Ram should not be affected by it.

    By the way, did you see the winning knitting entries for the Great British Village finals at Highgrove last Sunday?

  3. p.s. I checked where I am in the queue for Ravelry - I seem to be about in the middle with 8,000 people ahead of me and 6,000 behind.

  4. I'm completely uninvolved with Ravelry (except for having my name on the list), but I actually hope they will continue to let people in a few at a time after they work the bugs out. Imagine letting twenty THOUSAND people onto a web site, all at once, all of them trying to network and upload photos and create profiles and who knows what else. I'm not sure there's a server in the world that could survive that without crashing. And I'm sure if such a server DID exist, it would cost a lot of money. It's a pain, but in the end it really does mean better service for all of us.

    PS. Would they quarrantine Dolores? That might be entertaining to watch from a safe distance. Like, oh, North America.

  5. Anonymous9:52 PM

    I'm on Ravelry, and as Jess and Casey keep pointing out, although it seems trendy these days for companies to refer to products as "beta" even after a full release to indicate they're still improving them, Ravelry is truly still in beta. They are still adding features, fixing bugs, etc. as fast as a two-person team can. Throwing open the doors at this point would not only mean added bandwidth now, but added strain on the system for every new feature they add in the future. They are, in fact, still adding some fundamental features, and Casey is writing all of the code from scratch; this is not a site being hacked together from various tools available from one source or another. (Also, they did not intend to have this many beta testers; response was much greater than they expected, so they set up the waiting list as an alternative to just telling most people they had to wait for the full release.)

  6. thank you jean (and franklin). i checked and it appears they sent me my invitation a month ago. so i have spent the whole day.....

  7. Anonymous5:45 PM

    I agree, they miss a lot. But if we will try to read all those knitting blogs (and here we don't count all of the blogless kntitters) we will have little time to do anything else and we may be able to give up most other things but not our knitting, right?

    Also, I found out that sometimes it is cheaper to buy in European online outlets even with the shipping to the US, in some cases the difference is quite amazing!

  8. Dolores says she's going to cheer from this side of the pond, rather than flirt with the possibility of quarantine or worse.

    Even under the best of circumstances getting through customs can be an issue for her. Coming home from Italy last summer they tried to search her gown, and we were lucky to escape with our lives.

  9. oh and here is a link for the kaffe yarn from a danish supplier she carries loads of different sock yarns. i have never bought anything from her but i am sure she is allright.

  10. Anonymous1:21 AM

    Given the iffiness of my net connection, I'm glad I didn't try to get on Ravelry. I hope all is well with you.

  11. I just love that Kaffe yarn you spotted. Any news on what his new book will be like? What would be great would be a yarn in those colours dyed so as to self-stripe a child's jumper.
    It never ceases to amazeme how fragmented the blogging world actually is, with little cliques and coteries everywhere. Then, I guess, something like Ravelry catches the imagination across these divides.

  12. You can buy the Kaffe Fassett sock yan in the K from