Updates from September, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 10:43 am on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arts, Digital photography, Digital single-lens reflex camera, Photography, Street photography, Techniques and Styles   

    Street Photography 

    I am taking a digital photography class.  It is about time that I learn to better use a camera, and I recently purchased a new, very fancy digital SLR so that we could take better photographs of our work (and my knitting of course!).  I can no longer slog along and pretend that I sort of know how to use this camera.  Unless just using the automatic setting, I had no clue what my camera was saying or trying to do.

    I am loving this class.

    This assignment was to do Street Photography.  Over a two-week period I took 700+ photos, really trying to focus on people in the environment, not just buildings.  We had to present our top 5-10, and these are the 3 that my class liked the most.

     

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    • Mimi 11:35 pm on October 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      These are great shots, Frances! I took a one-session crash course in digital photography. This definitely inspires me to take a longer course.

      Like

  • knitting1105 3:59 pm on September 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Op-Art Socks, sock knitting, Stephanie Van Der Linden   

    Op-Art Socks 

     

     

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    I am seldom so excited about a new knitting book published (let’s be fair, I have a LOT), that I feel the need to blog about it right away.

    This book is one of the few exceptions!  

    This morning, an email arrived from Knitting Daily, I usually give them a cursory glance and delete them, most posts are simply advertisements for one of their books, or irrelevant postings.  Yes, this is a book, but a new one, and one I am very excited to have.  The deal until October 24th is that you will get an eBook instantly, and a pre-order for the hard copy.  This is my favorite way to get patterns.  When necessary, I will take a PDF, but much prefer a hard copy.  Too many media delivery systems have become obsolete, and you are stuck repurchasing something over.  Books never go out of date. Now I have the best of both, quick access and portability, and long-term use on my shelf.

    If you can resist the cover, just look at some of the patterns inside.  It will be difficult to decide what to knit first.  These patterns literally knocked my socks off!!

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    Not all of the patterns are colorwork.  There are a whopping 19 different sock patterns in this book, 13 are stranded colorwork, and 6 are solid color patterned socks.  So, even if you do not currently knit Fair Isle, buy the book for the day that you will.

    I have another book that Stephanie published previously, which also has some great patterns.

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    • leovlad 11:54 am on September 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I would never wear shoes again. These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

      Like

    • Diane 12:32 am on September 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I can see why you had to have this book–the socks are gorgeous and I know you will have fun making them. I too still like having a book to feel the paper beneath my fingers as I turn the pages whether it is a novel or a quilt book.

      Like

  • knitting1105 9:54 am on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    With a little help from my friends… 


    I have been working on this baby sweater:

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    Finally I arrived at the fun part, where the sleeves attach and I get to knit the wonderful Fair Isle.  That seems that keeps me excited and motivated.  I was stuck however with which accent colors to choose.  In came my knitting group, and the vote was unanimous from these 4 choices.

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    What is your choice?  I will unveil the winner when I have a good portion of the colorwork knit up.

     

     

     

     

     
    • nothingbutknit2 10:00 am on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I really like number 1!

      Like

    • A Tangled Yarn 10:25 am on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      3!!

      Like

    • Mimi 11:49 am on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I vote for #1

      Like

    • Janice 2:23 pm on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hard to decide, I am sure any of them will look great, my vote #4

      Like

    • Sarah @ ASunnyDayInReykjavik 2:14 am on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure but I think I like 3 best. I love Fair Isle, can’t wait to see it finished!

      Like

    • Michelle 8:30 am on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I like the cranberry to compliment the pink, & the lavender to partner w/ purple, then a pop of yellow. All very nice together – then the “funky” orange for that bohemian flair 🙂 #4 gets my vote. Frances, you are on a roll!!

      Like

  • knitting1105 4:18 pm on September 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s Knitting! 

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    Thanks to Tricotreat!

     
  • knitting1105 8:56 pm on September 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Sheep and Wool Classes 

    My husband and I both took all day classes at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last Friday.  Both of us enjoy going to the wool festivals, and finding him classes helps to keep up his interests (he neither knits or spins, nor does he wish to learn), I love his company on these outings.

    The class that I took was An Introduction Rare Wools with Deb Robson.  Fabulous class.  I could give long accolades about her preparation, knowledge of the subject of sheep, wool and spinning, and how absolutely nice she is.  Great teacher, take any class that you can from her.

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    Deb gave out cards that were used to make notes on the various breeds that we were spinning, and to attach samples.  Each breed was discussed with history, peculiarities about the wool, and instruction on how to prepare the fleece for spinning.  We flicked some locks apart and spun them, carded some, and used a comb for others.

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    The fiber samples were from Soay, Black Welsh Mountain, Cotswold, Lincoln Longwool, Wensleydale, Navajo-Churro, Karakul, Santa Cruz, Romeldale/CMV and Gulf Coast Native.  All of these sheep (and many more) are on the rare or endangered list for either The Livestock Conservancy (US) or the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (UK) for 2013.  Some of these I have spun already, most were new to me.  The variety of texture, length, color, luster, softness, is amazing.  My favorite was the CMV.  Wool is not just wool!!!

    The large Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook I already owned, and was the reason that I knew that I wanted to take this class.  Hot off the presses was the Field Guide to Fleeces, which was the 4th thing that I picked up at the market.  Here is the review from Goodreads for this new compact book, which will have a place in the pocket of my knitting and spinning bags when I am out:

    “With this compact, portable reference in hand, crafters can quickly and easily look up any of 100 sheep breeds, the characteristics of their fleece, and the kinds of projects for which their fleece is best suited. Each breed profile includes a photo of the animal and information about its origin and conservation status, as well as the weight, staple length, fiber diameter, and natural colors of its fleece. This is a great primer for beginners, and a handy guide for anyone who loves working with fleece!”

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    I have to also make a plug for the Dreaming of Shetland Project.  Several designers donated patterns to comprise an eBook, with the proceeds being given to Deb to allow her to spend the next year researching and delving into Shetland Sheep and their wool.  Approximately 40 patterns accompany this eBook, from all the great names in knitting and spinning.  The cost?  Just $20, what a great deal, it is in 7 sections, the first 2 have already been released.  I had only heard of this the day prior to taking this class.  Purchased this, worth the money many times over, and supports a great cause!!

    “Shetlands connect to the earliest sheep, and they demonstrate what happens when humans influence a breed to fit alternate environments and to respond to economic pressures.”

    –Deborah Robson

    • And while I was taking this class, Dan was taking a class on making whisk brooms.  I am so tickled by the results that he achieved.  A favorite of both of us is the broom on the right, a “Turkey Tail”.  The small bound item on the left is a pot scrubber.

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    • Stefanie 9:37 am on September 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Oh wow, you are so lucky! I am obsessed with The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook right now. Deb’s free Craftsy class (Know Your Wool) is so fantastic, I can imagine her classes are even more so. Thank you for sharing!

      Like

  • knitting1105 1:56 pm on September 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fiber festival, Hmong people, Old World Wisconsin, , Wisconsin Sheep, wisconsin sheep and wool festival, Wool Festival   

    Wisconsin, Again! 

    This past weekend, I went with my husband to Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, and to tour around the area.  We stayed in Whitewater at one of our favorite B&B’s,  The Hamilton House.  Dinner every night was at another favorite restaurant featuring organic and Wisconsin local foods, The Black Sheep.  We had a very fun-filled weekend, and packed a lot into it.

    Day 1, Friday, we got up very early and drove straight to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival.  We both took an all day class, I will show photos of that tomorrow.  I did a bit of shopping at lunchtime, heading first to Jennie the Potter to get myself another of my favorite mug (matches the design of last year, but different colored yarn and sheep):

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    My second Jennie the Potter purchase was a yarn bowl. Most of my yarn is wound into a cake, and this would not be necessary, but for the occasional ball of yarn, I wanted this bowl with the cute cow with a knitted scarf.

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    Cleaning out and sorting through stash prior to attending a fiber festival is highly recommended.  Looking at all of the yarn and fiber that I currently own greatly tempered my purchasing at the vendors halls.  I did have to go and see Carol from Rivers Edge Fiber Arts, she always remembers my sister Marilyn, and wrote a very nice note in my mother’s obituary this summer.  From her I got this beautiful roving, 70% Merino, 30% Silk.  It will make a gorgeous shawl when spun and knitted up.

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    Day 2, Saturday, was very busy.  We first drove into Madison to attend the famous Farmer’s Market.  We parked in the midst of the registration for the Ironman competition at the Monona Terrace Convention center.  Needless to say, we felt out-of-place, so quickly hurried up to the market.  The colors and variety were amazing.  Currently I am taking a digital photography class to learn how to use my new camera.  This was a great area for exploring subjects.

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    Our favorite were the Hmong vendors who had very interesting and different vegetables for sale.  We purchased these tiny potatoes, Japanese eggplant, Thai eggplant (round green ones), and purple carrots.  I never knew that all carrots were purple 100’s of years ago.  We are very anxious to try cooking these up this week.

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    Got some popcorn…

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    And some great local cheeses that we ate that night. Next we headed off to see some Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan buildings.

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    And in the afternoon we visited the Aztalan mounds.  They were filming a bit for The History Channel, and invited us to watch the end of the filming.  Got to talk with the former head Archeologist for the state, and learned a lot about these mounds in particular.  Dan had recently finished reading a book on Cahokia mounds, so was keenly interested.

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    Back to the B&B, dinner and retiring early.

    Day 3.  We went to one of our favorite place, Old World Wisconsin, a historic site representing the ethnic groups that settled parts of Wisconsin, showing the farms and a typical village from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s.  While we were on the trolley to the first stop, our driver mentioned that there were 32 different kinds of fencing.   We searched out and I tried to photograph as many as possible, I will leave you with a few examples.

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    • maureen15 3:28 pm on September 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely photos of the farmers market! I go to school in WI and love to journey to that market. I hope you bought some of that popcorn as it is THE best I have ever had!

      Like

      • knitting1105 4:04 pm on September 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! You are so lucky to live near such a market, we fell in love with it. And the popcorn in the photo is what I purchased for us, so we are anxious to try it.

        Like

    • Diane 11:35 pm on September 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      WOW–you sure packed a lot in but looks like you had a great time. Great pictures, looks like you are learning your camera quite well. I am glad you were able to find Carol and say “Hi”. What a very special relationship you and Carol have.

      Like

    • Stefanie 7:50 am on September 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, I love all of your photos! Looks like you had an awesome weekend!

      Like

  • knitting1105 2:00 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Progressing 

     

    My knitting/spinning is a bit all over the place at the moment.  I have been feverishly working on organizing all of my crafting (knitting/sewing/spinning) into one room and a storage closet.  That is coming along nicely, I have been purging some things, finding projects that have been lost or languishing, and feeling very ashamed of the amount of yarn and fiber that I already own.  I want to just knit and spin from what I have for a very long time…

    Working away on my regular size braided wool rug.  This is wool that I was ready to give away, as it was not worth the time and effort to spin.  I am anxious to see how a large amount felts up, almost finished with the braiding.

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    On the knitting front I have a couple of finished projects to show.  The first is the Brioche Swirl hat from the Vogue hat knitting book that came out last year.  I used handspun yarn, and it is completely reversible.  The side with mainly purple is more effective in my opinion. This has been completed for quite some time, just needed to weave in a couple of ends.  It was a beneficiary of my clean-up.

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    And here are the latest pair of socks from the CookieA sock club, Ernie, saving these for Dan for Christmas.  These took quite awhile to make, as I made a mistake on the second sock heel, so they sat forever as this bothered me.  When I finally decided to rip them out and reknit that section, they went much faster.  I was short on yarn so had to have different colored toes, and I added a ribbing to the top of the sock which was not in the pattern.

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