I think I mentioned that I was working on something at work and once it was public I’d share it. Well, Friday my little thing went public. I was offered the chance to do a blog post for Ohio Memory and of course I said yes.
I decided to pick something that I was interested in, rather than trying to find something that linked up to a particular event or person that has significance this time of year or this year. I like the posts that do that (the person I’ve been working with did one a couple weeks ago on Shakespeare’s 400th), but it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I chose knitting! Surprised? 😉 Since I was writing for Ohio Memory, it was hoped/expected that I would tie it in to Ohio history in some way. I decided to start with Chronicling America, the Library of Congress’s digital newspaper database, and filter for Ohio papers.
Initially I looked at post-1900, since that’s most of what I like and the post-1900 papers usually have more and better illustrations and photos. Once I did that I just started note taking. For the 500-word post I actually had taken about four pages, front and back, of notes. Clearly this was too much, so I narrowed it down.
Most of what I had found hovered around the First World War, so it seemed like a natural focus. From there it was really just choosing the topics I found interesting. I focused on knitting as fashion and its influences on fashion (because, honestly, it’s just so silly and fun), and then moved on to the war work women were doing at the time. I found basic patterns written out in the paper, lists of times and places women were meeting, where you could drop off your knitting… It was amazing!
So I wrote my little blog post. I included links to the articles where I found the quotes and links for the images I wanted to use. I didn’t really know how to close the post, so I left that a bit vague to start. I sent what I had to the person I’ve been working with, and we went over it all together. On her computer she has the software for cropping the images and formatting the posts, and all that jazz, so she did all of that. She edited the post so it would sound a bit more like the other posts on Ohio Memory, and helped write the conclusion. She also didn’t know what to call me for the footer (my position with her is temporary and doesn’t have a specific title), so we left that blank ’til she could find an appropriate title.
And then I waited. She found out what to call me, added that in, and then sent the post to the person in the department who actually does the posting for Ohio Memory, who gave it another once over. And then Friday it went live.
It was such a great chance to share something I love with other people. No one had thought of knitting as a topic before, and everyone really liked that that’s what I had chosen.
All of this is to say, that’s a bit of where I’ve been, a bit of what I’ve been doing. I hope you all enjoy my post on Ohio Memory, and I hope the small insight into some of how I do what I do might help you to do it too. 🙂