Friday, May 23, 2008


I haven’t been spinning much lately but the siren song of the wheel has been calling me. I finally got this out the other day and started spinning it on one of my homemade drop spindles. The fiber is pretty wonderful – it’s an alpaca(from Carlisle)/silk/merino mix in a cloud roving from Kickapoo Creek Alpacas. I spun about 4 oz of this in white a couple of years ago and made a scarf with it. It’s the softest, cozies stuff you can imagine. It doesn’t show so well here but the color is a deep, rich gray with highlights and it is gorgeous beyond belief.

I’ve got a new pattern in mind for this but I’ll have to see how much I get from it. I think I’ve got about 3 ½ - 4 oz. I do still have one small skein of the white so maybe I could work that in. It really does make the most gorgeous yarn you’ve ever felt.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My thistle is beginning to show...

The Balmoral coffee cloth from the Marianne Kinzel “Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting” is coming along, not quickly but it’s coming. In fact, last night I thought I was in trouble when I dropped a stitch along the side of one of the thistles. I was able to pick it up but it doesn’t look great. I also made a mistake along the top part of a couple of the thistles but I can live with it, especially since I know this isn’t the final product. I really don’t think many people will even notice the issues and, like I said, I can live with it.

I did find a mistake in the pattern on round 53. Round 51 ends up with 42 stitches but the pattern only uses 41 stitches for round 53. To be honest, I can’t remember where I added the stitch but I will post again when I get to that point with the next version.

Here are some views of it so far…

Monday, May 19, 2008


Before I go work on my project for my watercolor class (which is tomorrow) (yeah, right, that’s always the way I’ve done my homework) I just wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve been coming across on the photography front.

First of all, I was looking for a book that would simply cover some of the basics of the manual settings for the camera to learn what things like aperture and shutter speeds and the like mean. I went down to our local library and found a couple of books that looked promising. The best one was one called, creatively enough, “Digital Photography” by a man called Scott Kelby. Now to those of us who are not photography or Adobe Photoshop connoisseurs, the name means nothing. But I liked the fact that it wasn’t a bunch of techno-babble. His premise was that this would be like he was out on a shoot with the reader and the reader asks him a question like, “So, what do I do here?” and he would just answer the question – do this, that and the other thing. I liked that, it made sense. (There's also a volume 2 that I haven't seen yet but I'm sure it's full of good stuff, too.)

In fact, I liked it so well that I went out today and bought it. Not only did I buy the book but I found Scott’s blog that lead me to a lot of other fun. The reality is that in the world of photography and Photoshop he’s a big noise but he seems to be hugely generous to others playing in the playground. His
blog is a great mixture of teachable moments and sharing what others are doing. Out of clicking through links from his links I came across this – a guy who posts a photo a day. As a friend said today, “Oh, for the time to take, process and post a photograph a day!” I feel like that so much of the time.

I’m enjoying it. Indeedy do.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Knitting in the park

I think I mentioned before that I’m not doing so well with my watercolor class this time but I was rather pleased with this. It looks a little wonky just because it’s from a photograph, not a scan. The exercise was to do the whole painting using just 2 colors.

Today at our fiber arts guild meeting we’re going to have a lovely lady who owns a shop in Urbana, IL. She’s going to get us started on a shawlet project that we’re going to finish together as a knitalong. Since, theoretically, it’s supposed to be warm this time of year, we’re going to have the knitalongs in area parks. One of our board members, Cindy, did a great job getting this organized and I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Don’t know if they’ve decided on a specific park or if we’re going to move around but it sounds fun anyway. Our local spinning guild has our monthly meetings in a park and we had a lot of fun meeting local people last year.

Of course, all is subject to change since just a few nights ago the low was 42 degrees and we were back into our winter sweaters. But we’ve had several days of 70 degrees so maybe we really will have summer. (You know it’s bad when I’m ready for warm weather!)