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globaltraveler
09-02-2009, 08:03 PM
Hey guys: so, I've finally gotten around to starting up a knitting blog (http://anotherlongyarn.zinalee.net/). It's slanted mainly to knitwear designers, as that's something I want to start doing, but I hope it might interest others who knit or crochet as well.

If anybody has any time, would you be willing to go by the thing and give me some feedback (any and all opinions gratefully accepted) on whether it's readable graphically, the design of the thing, whether you think it's interesting at all, all that stuff? I think I've been looking at it for so long I can't actually see it anymore...:aww:

There's still a few things broken (the text of the menu buttons up top that slop over the edge of the buttons, for instance, as you drill down), I know...must get geek partner to help me with the CSS on that...

Thanks in advance for helping me out!

stitchabit
09-02-2009, 08:19 PM
:yay: :thumbsup: I really like your blog. I love the giant ball of yarn on the rocks. I hope to one day visit Ireland and see where my ancestors lived. I am a Rose- the 5th one down the line -named fer the great great great grandmother, grandmother, mother, then me, and my GD.

I personally know nothing about starting a blog. I like the variety of information and topica and I like the articles. You are my first and only Blog on my favorites now.

globaltraveler
09-02-2009, 08:46 PM
I love the giant ball of yarn on the rocks.

Heeheee. Wasn't that funny? I don't know exactly what happened with my camera there, but the focus was out on the bay enough that it made the ball of yarn on the stone wall directly in front of me look humongous. Never had that happen before. That's Dingle Bay, by the way, which is a lovely place.

farmgirl
09-02-2009, 11:23 PM
:cheering: I like your blog, too! And the big ball of yarn! Well done!

Mirl56
09-03-2009, 07:10 AM
Well, I just had to go check out the big ball of yarn - that really is a great picture!

The blog seems well organized and attractive - Good Job!

ArtLady1981
09-03-2009, 07:16 AM
Hi Zina! :hug:

Very nice! I didn't have the time to read everything, but since you asked for some input, here is one thing that stands out to me:
the 'font' is too small and too light for the intensity of background color. Either lighten the background, or enlarge and darken the font.

That's all for now!

Good luck with your blog! I'll be checking back!

NotreDameFan
09-03-2009, 07:34 AM
Hey Zina...

I just visted your blog and it looks great!!! :yay: :thumbsup: I hope it goes well for you and you have fun with it. :hug:

melmac51
09-03-2009, 08:54 AM
Zina! Great blog! I learned some things there, and think I have a new addiction...spinning the color wheel. What a great reference!

margz3
09-03-2009, 09:08 AM
I like your blog - you have some great resources there!! I've bookmarked it :) I do agree with Art Lady though - a bigger or darker font or lighter page background would make it a tad easier to read. Great job all in all! :thumbsup:

ekgheiy
09-03-2009, 11:51 AM
Nice work so far!!!! And I love that header. I also agree with Artlady. Maybe just making the font bigger will be the "right" answer. Also, when you fix the text issue in the navigation, you may want to also consider making the boxes in the drop-down navigation the same width. I think it will give it a cleaner look. ;)

Other than that, I think the look is great!! :yay: :yay:

One other thing too. It looks like you're embedding images from other sites. For example in the Yarn Harlot post, it looks like you embedded the image (which is dead) from http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/images/YH-mainhead.gif. You really shouldn't be doing it that way because it constitutes bandwidth theft. (Of course this is assuming that 1. Yarn Harlot didn't give you permission and 2. You're not Yarn Harlot :) ). You're using *her* server & bandwidth allowance to display an image on *your* site. Yarn Harlot is essentially paying to display the image on your site. I think it's better developer etiquette to save the image to your own server (with permission of course ;) ) and embed it from there. For example, it looks like you did that in your "Color Fun" post with http://anotherlongyarn.zinalee.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/colorwheel.png.

I hope you're not offended. But I just wanted to point that out because bandwidth isn't free. And when you consider how popular a site is (and visited internationally by millions of people), I imagine bandwidth theft can get expensive. :(

...one more thing ... there's no way to contact you from your site ;)

globaltraveler
09-03-2009, 01:31 PM
You guys rock! Thanks for the compliments and the critiques, especially the critiques, as after a while I have a hard time deciding whether I'm just sick of the sight of the thing or if I need to change it!

CSS is my weak spot. I'll have to go find the text and change the size, although it might be faster for me simply to lighten up the background. :) Once that's done I'll come back to you guys and ask if it's better, if that's okay.

And I'll def have to wait for my geek partner to free up some time to tell me how to figure out the button issues (my least fav part of this theme).

Melanie: that color wheelie thing is hilariously addictive! I've had to firmly keep myself away from it when I have something I should be doing or I just sit there and am altogether way too entertained by it. :)

ekgheiy, you caught me on the graphics -- I have to go back and take care of that, I was taking the easy way out due to time constraints, but I'll go fix that now. :)

Nope, not offended at all. I put this out there to get just this sort of input! :) Would love to hear anything else anyone has to say, as well!

I've been trying to decide about the email thing. New addy just for this? Probably. Then I have to figure out where I want it to go. Email. Curse of the IT classes.

globaltraveler
09-03-2009, 03:37 PM
Okay, I've made some changes in the text size (http://anotherlongyarn.zinalee.net). If y'all are willing to take another look, would you let me know if that's better for you? (One thing I'm idly curious about, does anyone ever use their browser to make text larger when you're out surfing about?)

ekgheiy
09-03-2009, 03:39 PM
Okay, I've made some changes in the text size (http://anotherlongyarn.zinalee.com). If y'all are willing to take another look, would you let me know if that's better for you? (One thing I'm idly curious about, does anyone ever use their browser to make text larger when you're out surfing about?)

It looks like the site is down. I keep getting the "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" error. :?? I very rarely use my webrowers' text sizing option. A lot of times, it throws off the page alignment and brings up the dreaded horizontal scrollbar. Ew! :) ehehhehe

globaltraveler
09-03-2009, 04:16 PM
Hmmm. It SEEMS to be there...

ArtLady1981
09-03-2009, 05:24 PM
Okay, I've made some changes in the text size (http://anotherlongyarn.zinalee.com). If y'all are willing to take another look, would you let me know if that's better for you? (One thing I'm idly curious about, does anyone ever use their browser to make text larger when you're out surfing about?)

I know about making the text size larger, but let's face it...visitors are just not gonna do that for an incidental website with text that's too small. I think elderly folks might permanently enlarge the text as a general aid in surfing...but not most folks of younger years and good eyesight.

globaltraveler
09-03-2009, 05:53 PM
Yeah, it's funny that the browsers all have the ability to do that with the text, but I'm not sure I've ever actually heard of anyone using that ability. Ever. :)

So, is the text better now on your monitor, D?

ArtLady1981
09-04-2009, 01:10 AM
Hi Z!

Yes, I've tinkered around with it (text enlargement from browser), but like ekgheiy said, it does other wonky things to the page.

Is it my imagination, but didn't you lighten up the peachy center panel? Seems a tad lighter! IMHO, it should be lighter again another shade, to 'crisp up' the fonts.

Aren't the fonts a grey? Could you darken them to almost charcoal? Or, perhaps dark navy? Blues and oranges are complementary colors.


:hug:

globaltraveler
09-04-2009, 05:36 AM
Nope, didn't touch the center panel, though I might now if it's still not readable to you. The text is set at black, and shows black on my screen, although the links remain at whatever color you'd call that. Hmmm...

Debkcs
09-04-2009, 06:02 AM
Zina, I like your blog!

Everything from the header on down is fun to read, informative, pleasing to the eye.

While I don't have room for a dress form here, THAT is a great idea.
I've added your blog to the small select group I'll read. Keep up the good work!

globaltraveler
09-04-2009, 09:24 AM
Thanks Deb! Keep in mind on the dress form that if you have a bit of space in a closet, you can skip putting the form on a stand and put it on a heavily padded wooden hanger...and then just hang it in a closet out of the way when you're not using it. :) I once had a friend who would keep hers hanging from a hanging plant hook in the corner of a room -- her form would regularly scare herself and her friends silly when they came into the room! (She also used to dress it up in various costumes.)

Congrats on your new family member!

melmac51
09-04-2009, 09:27 AM
It looks like the site is down. I keep getting the "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" error. :?? I very rarely use my webrowers' text sizing option. A lot of times, it throws off the page alignment and brings up the dreaded horizontal scrollbar. Ew! :) ehehhehe


I'm having the same problem. But, will check again later.

globaltraveler
09-04-2009, 11:03 AM
Drat. Well, could be one of two things: one, Siteground, where this is hosted, often has little outages and you guys may be hitting one; or two, I've noticed a LOT of people from a LOT of different places around the world saying recently that they're having problems with their connections in very small ways, which sounds like another security attack problem (again).

Thanks for checking again though -- I think I've figured out how to do this, involving greyscale PNGs...

Knitting_Guy
09-05-2009, 10:06 PM
Yeah, it's funny that the browsers all have the ability to do that with the text, but I'm not sure I've ever actually heard of anyone using that ability. Ever. :)

So, is the text better now on your monitor, D?

As something of a geek, for me it's just automatic to hit ctrl+ to enlarge text as I need. I don't even think about it.

I think it's a very nice looking site and I also especially like the image you used for the header.

I'm of Irish descent myself, last name is Mullins (I know, that's like Smith here :rofl:) and some day will visit over there to look up distant relatives.

I've bookmarked your site and will try to visit when I can.

.png files can be pesky buggers (I think that's what the "p" stands for :rofl:). If you haven't already, give the free image editing program The Gimp a try. It's all I use and I find it very helpful. Of course it comes from the Linux community but there is a Windoze version.

globaltraveler
09-06-2009, 06:42 AM
Always have to be different, don'cha, Mason?! ;)

Yeah, the geek partner has mentioned Gimp too, Mason -- the problem is that my copy of Photoshop is SO old that I don't think some of this stuff is on there in any kind of automatic way. (It's been a long time, in terms of computer years) since web design was my business.)

I'm trying to keep this old Macbook from dying as long as possible, but when it does, I'm going to also pop for all new versions of all my programs. He's got a new version of PS, but I can hardly go borrowing his laptop every time I need to do a new graphic...so I may well try Gimp out.

ArtLady1981
09-07-2009, 08:40 PM
Hi Zina!

I also want to comment on your generosity of spirit! You have created a wonderful knitting blog, and I know it takes hours and hours of effort and time to do so!

Thank you, Zina! It is a beautiful thing! Very informational, well thought-out, and makes sense, too!

Things like font and colors are small things in comparison to CONTENT! In the end, a perfectly beautiful website with nothing to say is really just nothing! Your website is beautiful, relevant and informational!

Kudos, kiddo! Kudos! :thumbsup:

globaltraveler
09-07-2009, 09:48 PM
Aw, thanks, D! I'll be relieved when I get the writing done on the design primer, though. That's going to be a slog to get through! :)

melmac51
09-08-2009, 11:44 AM
Oh-oh...I found another "toy" on your blog...it's the Random Stripe Maker. Thanks! Had a good time with that. Your blog rocks!

globaltraveler
09-08-2009, 12:29 PM
I know, it's really very difficult for me to actually get anything done these days...I tend to think, "oh, I just need something for the blog" and then end up playing with whatever it is for hours...

ArtLady1981
09-08-2009, 02:22 PM
Tinkered around with a few of the TOYS on your blog, Z!
Fun! Took the 'color/hue' test! Meh. I scored 24.

Lucy78green
09-08-2009, 02:26 PM
The first time you posted the link it ended it .net, the second time you posted it, it ended .com so I think that is the cause of the confusion of it working for some and not for others.

globaltraveler
09-08-2009, 02:45 PM
Oooh, thanks, Lucy! I really need to watch that -- it's supposed to work anyway (I have both .com and .net), but, well...

24 isn't actually that bad, D. It's still in the upper 3rd percentile. :)

globaltraveler
09-21-2009, 12:29 PM
Ummmm...so...I've re-designed the blog (http://anotherlongyarn.zinalee.net). :) Yes, after all that.

I was starting to chafe at the limitations of the in-order-of-post-date nature of the blog: things I really wanted people to see (like the interview with Beata of Hedgehog Fibres) were getting lost as the blizzard of posts on technique and tools and personal thoughts piled on. I did a star rating to see what people wanted to read, and the techniques and tools were top rated, but unless someone clicked on the category archives, it was almost impossible to keep up, as I'm trying to post at least once a day.

So I've brought the category list down to five or six, and gone to a magazine format so the blog can feature the posts in the different categories for a bit longer. I'm going to do three spotlight interviews with different dyers, spinners, designers, and knitters at a time, and leave them each up for at least two weeks each so each person gets a good long time in the spotlight.

And hey, the background is white. :)

I'm still coping with some of the fallout of the transfer (many comments just dropped off the face of the earth, and I'm having to re-input every single one of the pictures, aargh), but it's up enough to get the idea, I think.

If you all have the strength to do it all again, I'd love some feedback, because it really helped me last time. Promise I won't be re-designing again soon - I am and will be making plenty of little tweaks, but this is it for quite some time! (Unless you guys really really hate it. :) )

globaltraveler
09-21-2009, 12:35 PM
P.S. If anyone has any thoughts about using a mobile version of the site, I would REALLY like feedback on that. I would probably go to a completely text regular-blog format for that. I'm wondering if mobile users would prefer a re-direct to a mobile site or whether I should simply provide a link for the mobile version on the main site so people can bookmark it if they want or use the main site (which is far too wide in the magazine spread version for most mobiles to use easily) if they prefer it.

ArtLady1981
09-21-2009, 04:54 PM
MUCH LOVE for the new look and layout!!!!

And I wouldn't need a mobile version.

globaltraveler
09-21-2009, 04:59 PM
Bless you, D! :)

Lucy78green
09-21-2009, 06:54 PM
I think it look WAY better now!

globaltraveler
09-21-2009, 08:07 PM
Oh good, thanks Lucy!

ekgheiy
09-23-2009, 02:05 PM
Wow - looks like I've missed a lot. :) I liked it better the other way :mrgreen: . But still nice work!! :thumbsup: Is anyone else getting a horizontal scrollbar at the bottom? If so, you may want to shrink the width of the site. :wink: ... or perhaps it's the width of the header that's making the horizontal scrollbar? Just thinking out loud...

globaltraveler
09-23-2009, 04:40 PM
I liked it better the other way

LOL -- aargh, now you tell me. :)

Is anyone else getting a horizontal scrollbar at the bottom?

No one's mentioned it, she said, crossing her fingers. Unfortunately, to go with a magazine layout, I had to go wide...so I am just hoping the majority of people will have a fairly widescale monitor...

Irishmam
09-24-2009, 04:40 PM
Slan Zina,

Been off line for a couple of weeks after a board blew in my PC. Have just had a look at your site and I really like it. I love you showing the world how beautiful our home is just on a day to day basis. Forget how it all looks, I find it very readable. Very often when reading a blog I get half way through and lose interest - but not with yours.

Nice work! Irishmam

globaltraveler
09-24-2009, 05:05 PM
O maise! Ta se cosuil le haimsir shamhraidh. (Makes up a bit for not having any summer during the summer. :) )

Maith agat for the compliments -- I'm enjoying it, and it gives me an excuse to go out on the Net and trawl, which I'd be doing anyway. :)

ArtLady1981
09-24-2009, 10:34 PM
....I had to go wide...so I am just hoping the majority of people will have a fairly widescale monitor...

I had the same issue, Zina, when I was building my art website!

I have a widescreen monitor, but I was forced to set up my website for the 'square' monitor that some folks are still hanging onto. Otherwise, I got such negative feedback from folks about having to scroll sideways, in addition to up and down! They barely tolerate scrolling up and down!

KnittingHelp has set up their website for 'square monitors', I think, as evidenced by the 3" empty, colored sidebars on each side of the scripted section.

I can see your widescreen layout just fine, having a widescreen laptop. I finally got rid of my square monitor desktop, but I miss it for 'testing' each type of layout. Your website homepage has 1" empty, grey sidebars...so my screen could even tolerate a wider layout! I need to scroll down a bit, but not far! Very nice, Zina! Kudos to you kiddo! :thumbsup: Everything looks very crisp and logically laid out!

globaltraveler
09-25-2009, 06:46 AM
Thanks, D -- I had a choice...force everyone to scroll down and down (and down!) to see everything, or force people with 800x600 monitors to move sideways. Unfortunately, those still with 800x600 monitors had to lose out...

This is a useful link for people to try out with their web pages to test what it'll look like at different resolutions (http://www.websitesthatfly.com/services/testing/resolution-test.htm).

One thing, I've noticed that this blog is making me into a much better knitter. People have a lot of hints out there, and I get to try them out before bloggng on them.

jomac30
10-01-2009, 09:09 PM
Thanks, D -- I had a choice...force everyone to scroll down and down (and down!) to see everything, or force people with 800x600 monitors to move sideways. Unfortunately, those still with 800x600 monitors had to lose out...

This is a useful link for people to try out with their web pages to test what it'll look like at different resolutions (http://www.websitesthatfly.com/services/testing/resolution-test.htm).

One thing, I've noticed that this blog is making me into a much better knitter. People have a lot of hints out there, and I get to try them out before bloggng on them.

How do I send a message to the blogger if they don't list their e-mail or anything?

globaltraveler
10-02-2009, 09:30 AM
You just did. :D I still haven't decided how to deal with email, I'm afraid...I've just been so swamped recently! Promise to deal with stuff like this next week...

Doodknitwit
10-02-2009, 10:15 AM
love the blog!!!! where are you heaing next!!

globaltraveler
10-02-2009, 11:36 AM
Hoping for the UK for the holidays! Or maybe Belgium. :)

Thanks for the bloglove!

melmac51
10-02-2009, 11:48 AM
I like the new layout much better! (didn't even notice the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom. I can see everything anyway.) Your previous one was attractive, but this one is much easier to read and navigate! :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

globaltraveler
10-02-2009, 11:55 AM
Oh, great, Melanie, thanks! That's just what I was hoping for. :)

globaltraveler
10-05-2009, 10:04 PM
Are you guys totally sick of me yet? I have something else I'd LOVE to get your opinions on...I spent most of today working on the graphic pattern template for my future pattern offerings (free, mostly, at first), and I have two possibles. If anyone has the time, inclination, and bandwidth to check out the pdfs, they're linked at my blog (http://anotherlongyarn.zinalee.net/?p=765) -- I'd truly appreciate any feedback of any sort! (Especially if you don't like something!)

melmac51
10-06-2009, 12:07 PM
The neckwarmer is really cute! For me on this computer at work, option 2 was more clear. (except for the first 2 lines) I also like the layout of the pattern on option 2 better.

Option 1 seemed a little blurry to me throughout. (but, it could be this 'puter.)

At any rate, I'm going to bookmark your blog. It's very informative! :muah:

globaltraveler
10-06-2009, 12:39 PM
Omigosh, the feedback on this has been so good for me! -- thanks for adding your bit in, Melanie! So far Option #2 is a clear winner, but I am taking on all of the bits and pieces people have mentioned and am going to try for a #3 option to see if it gets more universal approval!

What I'm hoping to do with the blog is turn it into a place where people can go to find the best tips and resources out on the Net without having to sift through threads on Rav or here on KnittingHelp, etc. There's so many bits and pieces out on the Web now! Eventually I'd like to go to a magazine/news format that's the paid version of the free theme I'm using now, which covers more categories and has a more extended front page.