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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

I took a walk around Mountain Lake with my brother today.  We wanted to scout out the best campsite since registration is opening up at Moran State Park for the summer season. Quite possibly the best car camping in San Juan Island, WA is located in campsites #126 though #136.  They all are on an elevated loop looking out onto Mountain Lake.  There’s a boat launch, tiny stretch of rocky beach and a hiking entrance within 500 feet of the loop.  Also, the area is far from the main road so you don’t get the car traffic like you do in the Southend sites

Can you believe this is the view from campsite #130?

 

Read more about why my trees look black on naturephotographers.net.  I’m still learning how to get a blue sky with a point and shoot and not end up with silhouetted trees.  Suggestions are appreciated!

I took more pictures of the campsite loop but, for some reason, they didn’t register on the memory card.  I think it was because I changed the batteries and the memory card was jarred in the process. 

I did get the memory card to save pictures of my Quick Winter Headband.  This free pattern gets an ‘A’ for adaptability.  Not only does any yarn weight work, you can insert any crochet stitch you like for the body of the headband as long as it starts with a base of thirteen stitches.

The headband pattern isn’t beginner friendly though, as the stitch directions for the body are not written with the pattern.  Instead, the reader is directed to the Vanilla Grit Stitch Washcloth.   

I had to frog the first row a couple times before I realized that the stitch pattern should start with row 2.  Since row 2 refers to stitches from the foundation row, it took a little extra work to figure out exactly how many single crochet stitches to skip to account for the unworked foundation.  For this reason I wouldn’t recommend this pattern to crocheters just learning to read a pattern.    

Once I had the first row figured out, the grit stitch went quick.  It’s an easy stitch, but interesting.  Also, the headband is worked entirely in one piece so there’s only two ends to weave.

The pattern calls for worsted, but I used Babysoft in Cream. The headband still came out pretty wide, about three inches. With worsted weight yarn in gauge, I think the final product would end up similar to Christina‘s St. Maurus Headwarmer.

I finally photographed my St Maurus Headwarmers from January with the buttons sewed on. I was really dreading the needle and thread until Christina suggested using buttons with large holes and a tapestry needle.  Worked like a charm!

This striped one looks a little fuzzy since I’ve been wearing it a lot in the past month. It’s great in windy weather since my ears can be easily covered with my hair pulled back.  

I like the style of this headwarmer.  I’d like to try knitting the Calorimetry for the fall.

Also, remember the Jacob’s ladder stitch baby blanket I talked about? I found out the Rainbow Bright pattern is available for free on the Coats and Clark website.

*That’s cool* a random fact

Mosquitos are twice as attracted to blue than any other color.

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Zarah sent me some beautiful crochet gifts for my ‘All About Hearts’ themed Swap Swap Gals package.  This cute little penguin has got a lot of character to him.  Must be the eyes. 

From foot to hat he stands about ten inches tall.   I like his heart-shaped tummy; that is so creative!  Plus, the scarf he’s wearing is really pretty.  Anyone know what yarn it is?   

These heart coasters are really pretty.  They are serving as a center piece on the table right now.

On top of all the crochet goodies, I got a bunch of gummies.  Yum.

Thanks, Zarah, for the fantastic Swap Swap Gals package!

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My Canon PowerShot A530 took a turn for the worst. While attempting to replace the batteries, I dropped my camera (again) and it broke. I was actually surprised, since this point-and-shoot model is really sturdy and has survived some pretty traumatic falls. This time the height of the plunge wasn’t astronomical, but the retractable lens took the brunt of the impact. Apparently, lenses are really integral to camera functions, so I’m dumb out of luck. A new camera is in the mail but, for now, I’m stuck sifting through my Flickr account for old project photos like this baby hat.

There’s no pattern for the newborn beanie since I just made it up as I went along. I used a partly filled party balloon and Bev’s sizing list to determine the number of increases. The hat is half double crocheted with a size G hook and a row cluster stitches. I used some scraps from my Grandma’s old wool stash so I don’t know the yarn brand. Most likely it’s virgin wool from the Mill End store, though.

This Boy Beanie v2.0 was made for my brother. Shh, I haven’t tucked in all the ends! The hat is a revised edition of the Boy Beanie published in Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Happy Hooker. I wasn’t impressed with how the pattern was written. For one, I was never sure which rows were meant to be made in the back loops only. Plus, there’s an odd ch 2 maneuver that I didn’t like since it made the seam stiff and shorter than the rest of the hat.

I do like the color changes and overall style of the hat, though. There’s not a lot of yarn required and with all the double crochet it takes very little time. And free is a very good price for a pattern.

My brother has requested a ‘less holey’ version that fits his head. He does have a big noggin so I can’t blame the pattern for the size issue. One of these days I’ll get around to making him a custom, single crochet version.

Another pattern pattern designed with guys in mind is The Husband Hat, available for free at Crafty Christina with a folded brim and minimal single color trim.

*That’s cool* a random fact

The first passengers to ride a hot air balloon were a sheep, a duck and a rooster in 1783 as a royal demonstration for the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

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The snow is almost gone.  There are little piles of it here and there, but for the most part it’s all melted.  I’m sad to see it go, but it’s nice to take a trip into town without fear of black ice.  Plus, after the second day, everything turned to slush and mud.  Yuck. 

 

Since the roads were clear, I finally had the chance to give away the Crochet Half Moon Shawl.  My friend Ellen had a big smile when she saw it.  Sorry, but I didn’t get a picture.  I forgot the camera in the car (oops).  It really looks great on her though!

Forum-wise, I never did get an answer from the Crochetville CAL about the mismatched corners.  Seems like I caught the very tail end of the Half Moon Shawl craze, since there was only one response.  Maybe it’ll pick up again?

So, now I’ve got shawl fever.  I’m searching for new patterns at the moment, but nothing has caught my eye.  I think I’ll find a vintage pattern or maybe try the Seraphina, but I’m not sure yet. 

*That’s cool* a random fact

Water expands when it freezes, but the majority of other liquids contract. 

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I finished the knit boucle scarf for my mom.  Even though the pattern was very simple it took a lot longer to make than I’m used to.  There are more stitches to the inch compared to crochet and being a slow knitter doesn’t exactly speed things along. 

When I did finally finish the knitting I still wanted to embroider something simple in the corner.  After deciding on a treble clef, I put an image through knitPro to get one of those nifty graphs.  Originally, I intended to try out the duplicate stitch technique but the Caron SS yarn was fatally hidden by the boucle.  Those little tufts of yarn buried my best attempts. 

Since the duplicate stitch didn’t look right, I tried the back stitch.  Even with two strands together all that fuzzy boucle still got in the way, so I finally came to the conclusion that the crochet slip stitch was my only option.   

The slip stitches turned out to be just what I was looking for.  The only downfall is you have to free hand a bit more than the embroidery (exactly the reason I put it off).  The extra effort was worth it, though.  The slip stitch made the curves look much nicer than the embroidery and the raised effect makes the insignia really pop. 

My favorite part of the slip stitch technique is the opposite side.  Since I wove the ends in back through the treble clef, the backside doesn’t look that much different from the front.  See the gray yarn outline through the back?   

This scarf was made just in time, too.  We got four inches of snow yesterday and then a few more today.  What’s weird is that it snows during the night and early morning and then it’s really warm and sunny during the day.

During the day, on account of the warm weather, the snow trapped on tree branches melt off randomly in clumps.  It sounds like it’s raining all around in short, heavy bursts – defintely an auditory experience.  Plus, every once in a while when I was under a tree (hard not to do around here) I got smacked in the head with an ‘organic’ snowball courtesy of Mother Nature.  

*That’s cool* a random fact

The treble clef is also known as the G clef because one end circles around the ‘G line’.

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This is a small sample of the Progressive Pattern Stitch Afghan with Bernat Baby Coordinates Sweet Stripes.  I had some yarn left over from the Chromium Star Blanket and ended up using one full skein before the warping upper left hand corner got to me. 

Maybe a heavy border would help the misshapen corner and plump the size a little.  I guess I could also try blocking it, but I’ll most likely put it in snooze mode and try to find a charity that would take it.  I really don’t feel any drive to improve or finish this particular blanket.   

I do like the way the blanket is worked though, similar to a mitered square.  You crochet a bunch of chain loops on two sides of the square and turn.  The second row uses granny-style shell groups in each chain loop.  Because there are only two different rows the pattern is easily memorized. 

Plus, I personally am partial to exponential blanket construction.  It’s relaxing to watch a blanket grow, knowing that you can use the maximum amount of a skein without worrying that you’ll run out.  Using this pattern in the round would probably hold the shape better, like Robyn‘s  Baby Blanket on Flickr.  I like how her color changes compliment the pattern. 

*That’s cool* a random fact

Yellow roses symbolize friendship and sociability. 

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I have lots of crochet projects finished but have been rather lazy getting them documented so I thought I’d throw you readers a few non-craft related photographs a la Niki.  If you read the blog Knockout Niki Crochets then you’re familiar with her photo randomness posts.  The basic idea is to blog seven or more random photographs vertically in a single post.

Oh and check out Niki’s Etsy shop for prints of her photographs and crochet projects.  I’m especially fond of the crocheted chess clutch.   

I think the last photo would make a good wallpaper.  Don’t you think?   

When it was warmer I’d use my camera on walks and shoot the landscape.  I haven’t been taking the camera out much these days because it rains and if I just stand in one place I get cold.  Then my fingers go numb holding the camera and my toes feel like ice because I wear flip flops.  I realize I could be warmer with ‘real’ shoes but I like my flip flops.   

Speaking of photos, here are some photography pointers I’ve come across on the web.  I have a regular point and shoot camera and I’m not a photo expert but these little tips have helped me a lot, especially with my crochet projects.   

In general: 

Natural sunlight is best.  Use the tungsten setting for artificial light.   

Direct sun on a nice day is too bright for most subjects.  Try the shade.   

Don’t take photos with the light source directly behind the subject.  I’m guilty of not following this one because the window is such an enticing backdrop. 

Turn off the flash or greatly reduce the output for accurate colors.

Reduce camera shake by propping your body and arm against something.

Odd numbers are better than even. 

Use the rule of thirds.

For close up shots:

Use the flower/macro setting.

Don’t use the zoom.  

That’s enough about photography.  I promise an actual craft-related photo in the next post!

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