Sunday, April 1, 2012

Flowers and a lot of Blue Yarn (Image Heavy)

I have been playing with my camera a lot recently. Maybe that's why I can't seem to put a blog post together! So here is a bit of a photo dialog of recent events.

Weaving is going well. I took the next step beyond plain weave and did a houndstooth pattern. The weaving was easy. The warping was a pain in the arse.


I have been getting out a bit more (gasp!). Yea, this one is a bit of a shock. First step out was at the Spotsylvania Courthouse Memorial Battlefield Park.

Saw the requisite cannon.


There were lots of spider webs.


They had just done a controlled burn, so the new growth was pretty interesting to look at.


A runner suggested I swing by the remains of an old house. Pretty neat.


The Dogwood trees were blooming.


I met a pretty accommodating moth, which perched still while I got my camera lens all straight.


And, despite normal horror over spiders, I had no trepidation over getting close to this little guy. And believe me, I did get close.


Just this morning I took a trip to Shenandoah National Park with Jen. I shot these all in RAW format, just to get a bit of practice processing the images. I thought it might give me a better feel over white balance.

I started off the morning looking for a shot like this, and finally found it as we were on our way out.


The angle of this shot intrigues me.


Jen pointed this scene out. I would have missed it totally otherwise. I wonder what the story behind this white tree is?


I did a close crop on this one because I'm pretty proud I got this level of focus when shooting in manual.


We stopped off in Culpeper for a rather unimpressive lunch. The place we wanted to go is closed on Sundays. But it is oh-so-lovely. The place we ended up going had "fresh warm bread," which I believe can be accurately translated as "microwaved croutons."


Oh yes, and the blue yarn. I shot photos of some of my stash again (for fun...I'm a nerd) and noticed the extreme preponderance of blue yarn. And this was in just two brands that I enjoy. It has been three months since I bought yarn, which is lucky. I think I have plenty.


Just to clarify, those are all different skeins. No matter how similar some of them look.  *headdesk*

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's rising!

Unlike my previous attempt at bread, this go-around is actually rising. It will be a couple of hours before I can see if it is successful, but at least I am showing signs of improvement.

I had a pretty nice Christmas. Got some neat gifts (including a Sonic Screwdriver from my cousin!). My cousin also made me this necklace.

IMG_4352 copy
We take artsy photos of her jewelry so she can add the pictures to her portfolio. I wish I had thought to bring my tripod with me. I could have done something a little better with the lighting I think.

Another one of my favorite gifts for the year was a macro lens. I'm still getting a feel for it, but I'm really enjoying it.


ZOMG, close-up shot of yarn!! Gah. I used chatspeak. I feel so dirty.

Some recent highlights in projects include some doubleknit bookmarks I did as a part of a swap with my friends. "Something handmade" was one of the required categories, so I pulled some charts from Alice Starmore's Charts for Color Knitting, and knit something up with tiny needles.


Next up was a Christmas gift for my mom. Her gift this year included a one-pound bag of cinnamon sticks (to stir her coffee with), some cinnamon-infused honey, and this scarf. She used both the cinnamon sticks and honey the next morning for breakfast. I'm not sure if she liked the scarf. She's the type who won't tell you if she doesn't like something. Unless it is my haircut. She doesn't mind referring to that as "Edwardian" (Still bitter about that one. I might dye my hair purple again just to make a point. Apparently, that really annoyed the heck out of her even though I was over 18 at the time. I might be taking my parenthetical bitching too far now.)

Anyway, I was pretty pleased with the scarf. It was my first time doing something other than straight plain weave. This was an extremely simple technique called Brook's Bouquet from the Weaver's Idea Book.*


And finally, a scarf for my friend Scott. The first scarf I ever knitted for someone was an Olive bulky weight creation, which I gave to Scott. Several years later, I wove Ol Olive 2.0.


I would like to do a proper heavy scarf for him within the next year, to complement the lighter woven one. Not much point for a heavy scarf at the moment though (this isn't my attempt to excuse my slow-ass knitting....not at all). It has been a pretty warm winter so far. I miss seeing snow, even if it does make it a pain to get to work.**

Of course, that scarf is just one in a queue of many items I would like to do for others this year. I know some people who need knitted socks. I think I have successfully managed my knitting to a point that it doesn't cause many carpal tunnel issues. I still have issues, but it mostly comes from work-related actions. Ah well, back to knitting. I need to knit some caps for some glittens.***

*I just checked the bread. It's still rising. HELL YES.
**The bread machine just started kneading again. Scared the crap out of me.
***mittens + gloves = glittens. Weren't expecting math on this blog, were you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Knitting in the Fall

I've been particularly chatty this week. Mostly because Monday started well. My car was in the shop, but a most excellent friend, Jen, gave me a ride to work. I had both good conversation and my knitting with me. Chatty isn't something that happens often for me, so it's a bit odd. *looks nervously around at dusty blog*

I love Fall. The colors, the smell, the cooler weather. I got to see a bit of snow this October, although it was mixed in with rain. It reminded me of my first year at Virginia Tech. There was a freak snow storm that dumped several inches of snow. They cancelled classes for a day, I think. That is pretty astounding at that school. Even if it isn't entirely accurate, I have this wonderfully vivid memory of bright, snow-covered ground and autumn-decked trees. Even without difficulty with allergies, I don't have the same feelings about Spring. I'm not sure what it is about Fall. Ultimately, it is prime knitting weather. You see the geese in the sky on the move, the deer in the fields bulking up, and the knitter in her natural habitat.

I finished a couple of projects recently. First up is a wash of garter stitch and ribbed edging.
Mara in madelinetosh tosh dk, colorway burnished


This turned into a bit of a slog, especially the edging, but it used every last bit of yarn. I love projects like that.

I also finished up a hat, Windschief, in madelinetosh 80/10/10 MCN, colorway steam age. (Sorry about my hair. It's always like that.)


I enjoy the detail on this one. Complex enough to be interesting, but simplistic enough for everyday wear.


Back to work now on my current favorite projects.

A sock for the most excellent friend Jen:


And a lap blanket, for me: