Reverb 10 – part 1

One word
2010 in one word: Honesty. I have tried hard to be honest to myself, and to my family and friends. I’m still trying and I’m getting better and better at it. Next year I hope to describe 2011 with the word balance.

I spend too much time browsing online news instead of writing or working on other projects. I relish the time I spend plowing through my feedreader, on twitter and even on facebook – I seem to have found the way to use it as inspiration, not a waste of time. But news-sites, clicking update, checking the same news on different sites. It has to stop!

Walking with my daughter in Sokcho. First we hit the beach (this was a cool, sunny day in November) to get some fresh air and sun. We walked past gardens and houses, gardens with lots of vegetables, drying chilli peppers, mountains of cabbage for kimchi-making and drying octupus hanging on the roofs. Past the harbour with its little ferry, into the fish market, all while we talked and took pictures and talked some more. I felt very much alive!

I try to appreciate all good things. The wonder of snow in Copenhagen this winter! A bicycle ride along Strandvejen and Øresund. Teaching young Ada to swim. Making new friends. Learning new stuff.

Let Go
It’s a habit of mine to let things go. I regularly carry stuff to the local charity second hand-store, I don’t buy books but use the library, I try not to spend time with people that make me unhappy or grumpy, I only follow 140 tweeps and ‘hide’ a lot of my facebook-‘friends’. Maybe I’m better at filtering than letting go?

A crocheted blanket, knitted scarves, hats, shawls, sweaters. This I do because I love to craft. I make websites for a living and I want to make my dreams come true.

In 2010 I was part of the community that initiated the first Copenhagen Geek Girl Meetup. It was grand! As I’m writing we’re planning the first 2011 event and it feels good.

If you want to be part of Reverb 10, please do!

Reverb 10 (#reverb10) is now an annual event, an inspired response to (and evolution of) #best09. It’s an open online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next. It’s an opportunity to retreat and consider the reverberations of your year past, and those that you’d like to create in the year ahead. We’re connected by the belief that sharing our stories has the power to change us. We look forward to reading yours.


I wasn’t planning on knitting yet another lace scarf but @kariebookish tweeted about her fabulous new shawl. What made me read the whole post and then realize that I too had to cast on for this lovely shawl was the lovely, lovely blue colour and the fact that she had overdyed the yarn with cake paste colouring!

Reasons why the Echo Flower Shawl is such a succes:

  • I learnt something new (nupps & 3into9)
  • The pattern is charted
  • The instructions are very well written
  • It’s pretty
  • It was a stashbuster
  • The bottom of the triangular scarf is not pointed so it gives the scarf a rounded finish

I knit very loosely
I knit the nupps extremely loosely
I substituted the garter border stitches with a 4-stitch icord. It’s prettier and it’s tighter so it gives the scarf a nice shape.

The pattern is free via Ravelry (if you’re a knitter and not a member of Ravelry do sign up now!)

Size before blocking:
Height: 48cm
Width: 78cm

Size after blocking:
Height: 78cm
Width: 112cm

I have not (yet) dyed the shawl.  Might do it, might not. The white colour is a nice contrast to all my black clothes.

Oh, and I named the scarf Echo-echo as this is actually the second attempt because I didn’t actually read all the very well written directions while knitting the first Echo and ended up with something more like a hood than a scarf.
Hoods happen…
So does unravelling.
But hey, I like knitting, so I just knitted it again!

All aSkew!

Mostly I prefer to knit without a pattern or to use a pattern as an inspiration, a starting point. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find patterns that are so uniquely wonderful that I simply have to start knitting them, and this is one of those!

10 days ago I received a newsletter from the editor containing a link to the most wonderful sock pattern, Skew.

The fit is perfect, the knitting fun. What’s not to like? Well, maybe the fight with my mum. She wants those socks…

Using Gmail

Back when I was corporate I quite liked Outlook but these days I use only Gmail. In this post I will describe my setup and how I use it.

The browser
Prism – a distraction free browser – is great for Gmail as my mailbox is separated from all the browser windows and tabs that seem to open as by magic during my work day… Does it happen to you too?

You’ve got mail!
I have no email alerts. I only check new mail when I’m not busy doing other stuff. I even have an icon for Offline Mail on my desktop, if I need to access information while working – without getting sidetracked by new mail.

Inbox Zero
Inbox zero is what keeps me sane. It’s not very complicated – whenever I check my inbox I will read (or skim) the emails it and for each email I will decide wether to delete it or label it, archive it or do some action.
Small tasks I do at once, other tasks may need more time or more information so they have to be postponed.
If this is the case I will label the email, add a star, archive it and forget about it for the time being.

Gmail really isn’t worth using without Labs. Go try it!

Stars & Superstars
A normal, boring, yellow star marks a work task.
A red star is marks lovely things; an invitation, a dinner date
A green star marks voluntary work tasks
A blue star marks….
All these coloured Superstars can be found via Labs.

Multiple Inboxes
Another Labs feature. I have 2 inboxes.
The first is my empty inbox – Inbox Zero.
The second is my all stars inbox where all the emails I have starred are listed. A kind of to-do-list.

Using labels is like tagging. I label almost every email I receive.
Labels are listed alphabetically but I’ve added another layer by labelling my emails with 1 – xxxx for private stuff, 2 – yyyy for email lists, 3 – zzzz for work projects and so on.
Work stuff is low on the list so I can check my private emails at weekends without getting sidetracked by work.
Out of sight is out of mind!

Email from mailings lists are filtered, labelled, archived and in some cases even marked as read.
Email from clients are filtered, labelled, starred and archived so they do not appear in my first inbox, but my second inbox.
Newsletter emails are filtered, labelled and archived and will only be read if I have the time.
I often add new filters as it really helps me organise my email.

Multiple email accounts
I have 5 email accounts and I access all via gmail.
Emails are always answered from the same email account.

Offline access
This is really smart! Sometimes my laptop and I find ourselves in a space without wifi, but I can still access all my email and even compose new mails while offline. I also like having a copy on my own computer and not only in the big google cloud in the sky.

There is a long list of gmail shortcuts. I started by learning a few and then adding a few more every other week. Shortcuts helps to prevent RSI. These are my favourites:
c – Compose
e – Archive
l – Label
? – show keyboard shorcuts help
g then a – takes you to ‘All mail’
g then i – returns you to the inbox

Every emailer should have a signature with contact details, website url, twitter name and other important stuff!

Out of office-message
is not relevant as I do not work in an office, but I do use the Vacation Time feature when I’m offline for more than a day or two.

Other tweaks:
Mark as read
Go-to label
Send and archive
Hide unread counts – no need to get stressed over the huge amount of unread emails, eh?
Navbar drag and drop – I just love costumising!
Flickr previews
Google docs previews

Yeah, and sometimes when I’m bored I look at ‘All mail’ and let myself be overwhelmed…