Addicted to Statistics

There is a website called that I am addicted to. It takes statistics from your account and pits you against others on your server, ranking you. It’s silly and fun, and for people like me who absolutely love statistics, it is a neat way to find motivation and inspiration when it comes to finding ‘stuff’ to do. Especially at the end of an expansion, like we’re facing right now.

You can see I lead the ranks on Winterhoof for alts at level 60 (I have 21 of them, soon to be 22 I hope). I’m also pretty far ahead on pets, but I know there’s still a lot I haven’t done. What surprised me was the high score on recipes (for Winterhoof at least, we’re joined with Kilrogg, and they have far more). This motivated me to work on my blacksmith and collect some recipes that she was lacking. Now that crafting has their own ranks per expansion, it’s much more difficult to level, and much more expensive. Finding Outlands materials cost me around 50k. Next? Northrend. It takes a lot of materials to level through that one, so I’ll be a while.

I like having these little goals and blips of things to do. That’s what keeps me playing (psst, Blizzard, add player housing, that’ll keep me playing too) when we’re at the tail end of things to do. Of course I’m also working on making gold in between all of these things, but they sort of go hand in hand. Are you a statistic buff in your game of choice? Let me know in comments, and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Season 4 Musings

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Season 4, I rarely ever check out the PTR to test things out unless they’re gold making related, and we’ve been so focused on the auction house merge (9.2.7) that most of the changes were a pleasant surprise. The first thing I did was queue for LFR – they’re fated, so we did Castle Nathria. At the start, they were also under tuned, and VERY simple. We were clearing the LFR versions within 5 minutes of entering (this has since been fixed). My paladin (who was healing) managed to pick up a handful of 265 gear, and completed the requirements for vault. Then I took those pieces over to ZM, placed them in the giant machine, and turned them into set gear. I had no idea I could even do this.

Next it was time to take down the world boss, who apparently has a higher chance at dropping loot now – just not for my characters. I’ve completed it on almost all 12 of my alts and the loot has so far evaded me. On the plus side it was nice anima, something I can always use more of.

Blizzard also recently mentioned they’ll be changing how /follow works in the future and into Dragonflight. This is another step in preventing / slowing boosting. Right now, if two people use a weak aura one can send a /follow command and the second account will follow. I use something similar when I multibox. Blizzard will be disabling this feature so that you have to manually type follow or hit your macro or whatever other means that has a physical input from the follower rather than the person being followed. This is both good and bad. Bad because it does harm visually impaired gamers who use the follow API as it was intended, especially in raids. Good, because it does target boosters. The thing is, I think Blizzard is taking the easy way out, again. Instead of targeting boosters directly, they’ve found yet another ‘easier’ solution that makes it LOOK like they’re targeting the right people. You can read all about it in this thread, and why it’s an important accessibility issue.

Streaming with Anxiety

I started streaming after a 3 year hiatus back in June, playing World of Warcraft and doing gold making. The problem is I have incredible anxiety and it’s easy to talk myself out of streaming when at the end of the day I’m exhausted and I just have nothing left to give an audience.

I want to stream. I enjoy it. I think it could help with my anxiety issues – but taking the plunge and sticking with a schedule is something that I just have such a difficult time with. I recently set up an AirPlay server on my PC so that I can stream my Procreate art to OBS and perhaps do some art streams in the future too. I keep meaning to get some sort of system set up to stream my spinning, or my sock knitting machine, but end up doubting myself and just end up doing nothing instead. It’s frustrating. I’m frustrated.

I had written out this enormous post about navigating depression and anxiety but deleted it because what is the point. People don’t like to hear about that stuff, and I don’t like to promote it. Blah blah blah words and stuff the end.

Making Yarn with my Daedalus Starling e-spinner

Three years ago I bought a kiwi2 spinning wheel from someone who was looking to get rid of theirs. I paid $100+ shipping, and it was probably one of my better fiber hobby purchases. The kiwi2 is a double treadle wheel, so you need two feet to peddle it. After some time, I was having physical issues with this part of it. Some days my feet were in so much pain I just couldn’t bring myself to use the wheel. I started looking into pricing out an e-spinner, and did a bunch of research into the different models available out there. I had a few requirements, but nothing unreasonable. I wanted my e-spinner to be quiet, have a battery, be able to handle lace to worsted weight yarn, and have an OK sized bobbin. Companies like Ashford (who make my kiwi wheel) also have e-spinners, but what I eventually settled on is the Starling, by Daedalus. They’re pretty expensive as far as e-spinners go, but having owned mine for a few weeks now I have to say, it is an absolutely incredible machine. I have nothing but good to say about it. Right now the waiting list is a year, but mine arrived in 6 months (I ordered it in December, and finally received it in July). Still worth it.

I have an entire bin filled with different fibers just waiting to be spun. I bought alpaca fleece (so.much.alpaca), and I have some merino/nylon, and just bits and bobs from subscription crates like Paradise Fibers. The act of spinning (to me at least) is incredibly therapeutic, and I really love knowing that I worked the yarn from fiber to something useable in a project. It takes practice. You have to draft the fiber out into the thickness you’re looking for, and then feed it into the wheel once you’ve applied spin to it. On the e-spinner, applying spin to a strand of fiber is incredibly easy because you manually set the control / speed. On my wheel, I’d have to peddle my feet at the same time as drafting and at the same time as applying that spin. Now I just have to pay attention to my hand movements. It really becomes like second nature, especially if you have nicely prepared fiber.

Lots of people ask if this is cheaper than buying yarn, and honestly – not really. BUT it does take time to spin the yarn and then knit with the yarn, so it’s almost like you’re getting two hobbies for the cost of one. You can also source out some lovely wool for a great price if you’re friends with some Sheppard’s. I prefer to buy natural coloured fleece, roving, and combed top. I do also have a drum carder so I can prepare the fiber myself.

The goal is to get good enough / consistent enough to be able to use my yarn on my circular sock knitting machine (that ancient hand crank machine I have from 1895 that I absolutely adore). It will only take fingering weight yarn, and I’m not quite there yet. I think with a bit more practice on my e-spinner that this will absolutely be an obtainable goal. Then the whole world better watch out, I’ll be cranking socks for everyone. It’s been a while since I wrote about the sock machine, so maybe that one will be next. I’d also love to start streaming as I crank socks, but I need to figure out some sort of camera set up for that one.

How is the Drawing Going?

Last year I attempted digital art for the first time in 20+ years (after trying traditional art first, but my hands were having none of it). I completed roughly 50 pieces, and in December I set a challenge for myself to do at least 1 piece a week, or 52 pieces for the year in 2022. Of course then a cross country move happened, then my son broke his iPad so I gave him mine (and eventually got mine replaced), and dealing with life and all the rest. Still, I’m currently sitting at 26/31 completed so far, and that’s not too shabby. I’ve seen my skills growing with lots of room for improvement too but I’m proud. I appreciate the quiet time I spend with my iPad.

There are a ton of creative projects I enjoy. I knit, I spin my own yarn, and I cross stitch, to name a few. The problem is of course I also enjoy gaming and I have a family with two littles, so I finding the time to fit things in becomes an issue. I actively have to make time or else the project will just be neglected until I pick it up again for half a day.

When it came do drawing, I made sure I was setting aside time just for that. I usually draw when my husband is working nights, after the kids are in bed. Less distractions that way. It takes me anywhere from 1-3 hours to finish a piece, though some would argue that you’re never really ‘finished’ anything. I post most of my pieces on DeviantART but I’d love an alternative. There just hasn’t been anything that has popped out to me over the years. I know there’s ArtStation (I think?) but I believe that one also has a cost. I want to make sure I can apply watermarks to my work since I’ve already had some of my photography pieces stolen for NFT on DeviantART (they were older pieces where I had forgotten to add the watermark. I went back and fixed them after).

Anyway. Rambling post about creative endevours in the hopes that I feel motivated to draw sometime this week. We’ll see.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Switching Mains, Again..

One of the biggest reasons that I’m never able to settle on a main is that I truly honestly enjoy playing all of the characters that I have. There are 4-5 that I play on a ‘regular’ basis, and I have a hard time trying to decide which of those characters I’d prefer to play more. Yesterday I thought that the druid was a good choice, and I was trying to figure out which professions I wanted to settle on (she has always just been a harvesting character, which I don’t know that I want to pursue once the AH merges region wide in 9.2.7) – and while contemplating that, I started falling in love (again) with my paladin. My paladin has been my ‘main’ (I use the term here simply as the character I have played the most) through most of Shadowlands. I enjoy how plate looks, and the class is a lot of fun. She’s also my blacksmith/alchemist, so that makes things interesting. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to swap out the druid, and try to pursue things as my paladin.

That meant doing two LFR (as a healer, no less!) and completing the timewalking dungeons (I still have two more to go at the time of this post, but I’m confident I can make it) and spending some time actually playing the game.

The thing is, there’s also my monk, waiting in the wings. I love the monk, I love classes that have options (tank, dps, healer) and the only downside to that character is I’m a bit bored of always playing leather wearers. Plate would actually be a change, for me. I tend to cycle through a demon hunter, a monk, and a druid. Go figure.

Next? Well, I haven’t finished working up blacksmithing (or alchemy) and I’m always looking to do some farming, and I need to finish my covenant quests (I’m 80, but that doesn’t mean much). I do already have the legendary boots (291) and the belt, so that is taken care of at least. I suppose the rest will come with time – if I decide to actually stick this out. We’ll just have to see.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Trying to Find the Elusive ‘Main’

For years now, I’ve always envied people who were able to settle down and just stick with one character – therefor actually accomplishing things in game because their attention isn’t on 24 characters spread between two servers. My husband is a great example of this. He has a warrior, and has played that single character for years. He has no-longer-available gear and recipes, meanwhile I can barely settle on who to play for a single day, let alone any length of time. With my limited play time, this is frustrating. It means I finish things very slowly, if ever at all. I still haven’t even unlocked all of the allied races because that would mean completing the story lines. I also don’t have any of my class mounts.

I have 24 level 60 characters in various stages of completion all over the place.

I’d like to change that. I’d like to settle down, and play just one character. At least until Dragonflight releases and then we’re presented with not only a new race, but a new class. A new healer/ranged DPS class. Sounds fun, right?

I did LFR this week, so that I could get a vault option. I did timewalking for an upgraded piece of gear (I got boots), and next is to work through the ZM storyline so I can unlock the 2nd legendary (and maybe think about getting my first legednary. For the druid, that means a ring). Will this hyper-focus on one character last? Probably not. I’ve tried this a few times, and it never lasts. I’m never able to make it stick, for whatever reason. Ever since my EQ2 days I’ve never had a ‘main’ instead trying to play what everyone else wanted me to play.

If it doesn’t work, then no big deal, I’ll go back to getting some stuff done on everyone and nothing done on just one character. I am hoping this time will be different, but the community I joined in WoW has dissipated for now and it makes for lonely times. Still, I have to try!

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

Alpaca, Merino, & Finn (3)

It’s finally done, all chain plied and made into a skein, ready for when I decide to use it. I didn’t particularly enjoy spinning this fiber, it was a batt, and those are prone to neps (lumps) and it makes drafting quite difficult. Over the three years that I’ve been spinning yarn I’ve learned what sort of fibers I enjoy, and how I like them prepared. I do have a drum carder but I didn’t want to ‘ruin’ the batt that I had purchased from a vendor. Next time I might just prepare it the way that I prefer anyway.

I’m glad to have completed it, I’m incredibly thankful to finally have an e-spinner, and I am excited about all of the future spinning I’m going to be doing. I have an entire bin of fiber just waiting to be made into yarn. Of course then I’ll also have to figure out what I’m going to spin with it all.

Alpaca, Merino, & Finn (2)

In a single evening I managed to finish spinning the singles of the alpaca, merino, & finn fiber that I had. It was 3.5oz, which on my kiwi would have taken me a few weeks, at best. The fiber wasn’t the easiest to draft (as I already mentioned) and was quite filled with neps, but I’m hoping to learn how to chain ply using it. Chain plying is perfect for when you want to keep colours together, or for when you don’t have 2-3 bobbins of yarn to ply it with. In this case, I only have the one bobbin. I’ve never tried chain plying before, but it has been on my to-learn list for a number of years. It’s just a nice skill to have. I think using my Starling will be a good way to learn, I can keep the speed very low, and I can forcus on the hand motions required rather than focusing on my treadling. Hopefully the next update on this yarn will be the completed version.

Cardigan (1)

The yarn is just Lion Brand Pound of Love in worsted weight – but this cardigan is coming along nicely. Unfortunately I’m on the most boring part now – 14 inches of plain knitting. I’m hoping to do a row or two every day so I can actually see some progress, but it’s pretty slow. Especially now that I have the new spinning wheel to play with. The idea was to have this finished for fall, and I’m not confident I’ll even have it ready for then. We’ll just have to see!

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