10 years of blogging

Ten years ago today, I published my very first post on this blog. A lot of things happen in ten years – I have grown and changed in ways I never would have imagined, and the world around me is almost unrecognisable at times – and yet this blog is still here with me. I still sit down, nearly every weekend, and pour some thoughts onto the (virtual) page. I spend countless hours planning, plotting, photographing, styling, writing, editing, posing, and yes, most of all, knitting.

When I began, I worried that I would not have anything to say. This post, this one right here, is my 550th post. At times, I have been brimming with creativity and new ideas, and projects are jumping up and down in my brain and off my needles. Other times, I have been so busy that knitting and blogging is a fought-for luxury in my week. Sometimes, the mojo is gone and I creak along waiting for it to return. Throughout it all, this blog has been here, providing a bit of sanity and creativity and fun; it is both my platform and my retreat.

I went back today to look at that first post, and it makes me laugh. My very first sentence, on the very first post says: “Last weekend,  I finally managed to block my Stripe Study Shawl.” I started as if I was in the middle of a conversation! So funny! I remember arguing with my family that I didn’t want to start by saying “Hi. I’m Kelly. This is my blog.” So I just started as I meant to go on. I never meant it to go on for ten years.

This blog is me – my thoughts, my knitting, my writing – but it is also in many ways a family affair. My daughter Emma spent a few years wearing me down, convincing me to start a knitting blog. Doug and Emma and Leah and I spent an entire day trying to come up with a name. We must have tried out hundreds before coming up with Knitigating Circumstances. I still think that the name is one of the best things about the blog; I smile every time I see it. (Although every time I have to write it, I wish I had picked something really short and sweet.)

For the first two years, this blog was a joint effort between Emma and myself, with a huge amount of work being put in behind the scenes by Emma, who did all of the photography and style editing, and technical editing, and proof reading, as well as being a sounding board and originator of ideas. I’ve written every post but one, which was written by Emma and is still one of my favourites. (I have a funny story to tell about that post. It is called “Move over Mom!”, as Emma was pushing me aside to write a post. We originally thought that she would write a series of occasional posts and wanted a name to tag her posts. We tagged it “Emma butts in!” and created a new column on the blog menu for these posts. A few weeks later, I noticed that I was getting a lot of referrals from, shall we say, dodgy-looking search terms. A little research and we discovered that there was a porn star whose first name was Emma and last name was Butts. We quietly removed the tags, and eventually the search engines gave up.) When Emma moved to Canada, it became harder and harder for her to participate in the every day running of the blog, and I learned to do more of it myself, although I still bug her at least once a week about blog-related things. I never would have done this without her. I have also knitted her lots of fabulous things; many patterns which I wouldn’t make for myself but which look smashing on her.

Leah has also proof-read countless posts, posed for innumerable photos, and has served as a muse for some of my more interesting projects over the years (like the Tolkien pillow, or the sweater I knitted her based on Anglo-Saxon gold and garnet cloisonné jewellery, finished project here). In the meantime, Doug has taken over nearly all of the photography for the blog, as well as reading most every post before I hit the publish button. Doug also provides inspiration for some of my favourite posts, which detail funny conversations between us. I often hear knitters complain that they can’t get their spouse to take a project photo for them. I can ask Doug to take a photo of a new skein of yarn, and he will come back with a hundred of them, all of them interesting (and in focus).

When I started this blog, I had just turned 50. I had two teenagers at home. I worked a 9-5 job as a manager of a research facility (having put my first academic teaching job – as a linguist – to rest when the girls were born). Every week, I ferried the girls, and a carful of instruments, to school, saxophone lessons, piano lessons, cello lessons, band practice, orchestra practice. I had my knitting with me everywhere and got tons done. Since then, the girls left home, I went back to school (for an MBA), took up a second academic career in a second academic discipline, travelled heavily both for my job and for pleasure, and still the blog kept going.

This is a time of transitions and milestones for me. In the past ten weeks, I have turned 60, had my 30th wedding anniversary, and been promoted (I am now an Associate Professor of Leadership – who would have imagined such a thing 10 years ago?). And today, I celebrate my 10th anniversary as a blogger.

Part of the joy of this blog is that I have you along for the ride. To those of you who keep coming back and reading, who put comments here and send me messages on Ravelry, who get inspired and inspire me, and who share my love of knitting and community, thank you.

32 thoughts on “10 years of blogging

  1. Congrats, Kelly on 10 years of blogging! And, the other milestones you are celebrating this year, your 30th Anniversary, your 60th birthday, a promotion! I can honestly say that I have loved every minute following your writings and travelling along with you on this journey for a number of years. Your blog is my most favourite, even as YouTube and Instagram have entered the Realm. Thanks for taking the time to share so much of yourself over the years in this thought-provoking and entertaining journal! And, thanks to Doug, Emma and Leah for their encouragement and support to you and Knitigating Circumstances over the years, as well! From one knitter to another, take care and Happy Knitting!

  2. Congratulations. I wonder how many people will have been blogging as long. I love the Emma Butts line – how amusing(!) that must have been. I also love that you didn’t start with ‘hello, my name is…’, yes we all like to know a name, etc but diving into someone’s crafty world mid flow is fab – like joining a group of crafters and being able to not stop yourself admiring out loud something someone is working on.

  3. I too have continued to enjoy your posts and your knitting smarts. Congrats on your promotion, turning 60, and on 10 year’s blogging! Consistency has its rewards. Your admirable tenacity, which I’ve seen often as you’ve problem-solved your knitting issues, deserves a shout out too, imho. You’ve taught me some things, for which I thank you!

  4. Happy Blogversary, Kelly! Very many congratulations on your ten years of blogging and everything you have achieved in that time. 👏🏻🎉🥂

  5. Congratulations. I hope there has been some celebrating. I first found you around6 years ago when I made the stripy gramps for my new grandson and then one for his father. I have been in inspired and entertained by you ever since .

  6. Congratulations Kelly! Yours is the only blog I am reading and I have enjoyed it from the start. Lots of love from Jelma.

  7. Congratulations! I’ve been enjoying your blog for years – your stories, your detailed descriptions (and photos) of knitting progress, problems and solutions. It’s wonderful that your whole family is involved. Looking forward to the next 10 years!

  8. Congratulations on your anniversaries and belated birthday best wishes. That made me chuckle about the name of Emma’s section, I hope now you have recounted the tale it doesn’t happen again 😂 I forget how I found your blog a few years ago, but I’m glad I did.

    • Thank you so much, Liz! I think that you have been blogging as long as I have, and being super creative in multiple ways. I almost didn’t tell the story about Emma’s section for this very reason, and then decided it was too funny not to tell.

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