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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Good-bye old friend...thanks for the memories

So this sad pile of camera parts are the remains of my beloved Fuji Finepix 5000. Bought in 2004 right before my first trip to Ireland, it has served me well. I even had a few pocket point and shoot cameras in addition to it, but I always came back to this camera. The zoom and macro were wonderful and the camera was well before its time when I bought it in 2004. It's been to Ireland twice, India, Germany twice, Aruba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and all over the 48 states I've visited at some point or another. The ccd finally bit the dust and could not be repaired, according to professionals. This is what is left after salvaging parts.
I loved this piece of electronics, but it was time to say good-bye and bring in the predecessor.
Not being able to break from the clarity and macro of Fuji, I bought its upgraded cousin, the Fuji Finepix 2000HD. It has a lot of nifty features such as face recognition and a 33 frame continuous shoot. Mainly, I chose not to go with the Sony counterpart for a few reasons. I don't like rechargeable battery cards. I prefer using rechargeable AA batteries. You can rescue yourself in a snap with batteries purchased on a whim should the others die and require some alone time with the outlet charger. I also prefer the SD cards to a memory stick. Lastly, I love the one-grip feature that has provided me with a one-hand steady shot. Although I love the features of my new camera, my old one served me well. *insert horns playing "Taps".Oh and I promised to show you the results of my little yarn dyeing experiment with Wilton's dyes. So I took some Zitron Trekking and some Wilton's icing dyes I had laying around the house and came up with a fun colorway. I made some of the areas of blue darker on purpose with a more concentrated blue, in case you were wondering. I used the standard dyeing techniques used with acid dyes to see if I enjoyed playing with the dyeing part. Surprisingly, I did.
Here's the result though. Isn't it fun? I went through all these names and finally decided on "John's Hawaiian Shirt", an ode to my brother-in-law and his happy, colorful shirts. I adore Hawaiian shirts and the louder the better.
Hope everyone had a good weekend. I'm off to finish knitting a sock and watch Caddyshack. I was glued to the TV earlier watching "Top Gear" on BBC America. Next to Alton Brown's "Good Eats", this is my next favorite show. You can't beat playing ice hockey with Suzuki Swifts and an over-sized puck or shooting a rocket-propelled old Mini Cooper down the ski jump at Lillihammer. Priceless.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends....

So at time when you inwardly feel your life is in shambles in so many ways, unbeknownst to the outside world, your friends manage to pull you through without even knowing they've done anything at all but just simply be your friend. Sometimes that's all that really matters. Whether it be on Plurk, Ravelry, or in person, friends are simply amazing that way.
This past weekend started with a much-needed fiber day out at Zarzuela's for a February Fibery Goodness Gathering last Saturday. That's me tucked in the back left corner behind my little red-wheeled Ladybug. Oh, the food nom noms were tasty too! I didn't think to snap a photo, unlike me. That's why there's a nice linky to her site there.
We did manage to raid the fiber basement. It was a feeding frenzy short of sharks on bait fish. I swear I am a "fiber-magpie". I purchased two rovings, of which I had my eye on this one below. It's 6oz of merino in "Mauve Mayhem".

The second was something I'm just meaning to try to improve my spinning skill set. I've never spun from a batt before so I picked up this Corriedale batt in "Sherbert".

This is half of the first single all spun up. I need to spin up the other half and then I plan to 2-ply the yarn. I'm not sure what it wants to be, but I'm sure it will tell me when it's finished. BTW, her shop was mentioned on Lime and Violet's Episode #80! Congratulations Jessica!
Then onto an outing with my SnB group to Woolbearers and then brunch at the Robin's Nest in Mount Holly. I grabbed an undyed skein of Zitron Trekking to have a little hand-painting experiment with some Wilton's gel food colorings. I will present the results in the next post. The yarn be dryin' so I'll show you when it's all pretty and skeined up. I must say it went well, much to my own surprise. (That's me in front of the stained glass window).

I did promise to show you some more stash enhancements that occurred since the January post and it was all fiber. I'm on a major spinning kick and this one lured me in with its Falkland goodness. This is Spindlefrog Falkland roving in colorway, "Venice".
I needed to organize my circular needle mess so I picked this up off of an etsy shop. What a relief to have them contained in one tidy spot.

Lastly, FreckleFaceFibers updated her site and I went weak. This is merino roving in "Peony"...

...and BFL roving in "Jacaranda. I am also one of the moderators for the newly formed Ravelry group.

So I promise to show you my yarn dyeing experiment in the next post. All the weekend, I got worse with this sinus thing I've had lingering since last week. I've taken two days off from work now without much of a voice. The yarn experiment was a crazy fun cheer-up. TTFN.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Zombie Blogger

Oh Hai, have you missed me? I've missed you. What can I say? Old habits die hard. Between work travel, several personal meltdowns, for reasons I won't bore you, I just really have cocooned myself without a whole lot to say. But anyhoo, so it's been awhile and I apologize for that. I do have a lot to show for myself, which is typical when I resurface from a blog hiatus.
First up, the first finished object of the year, is my Leyburn Socks. I am no longer a Socks that Rock virgin. Boy, do I love this yarn. This is a mill end I picked up at Rhinebeck in colorway "Lettuce Knit". I joined the Leyburn KAL for the Socks that Rawk! Group on Ravelry.
Pattern: Leyburn Socks by Pepperknit

Started: December 30, 2008

Finished: January 31, 2008
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lighweight in "Lettuce Knit"
Needles: Size 1 Addi Turbos
Mods: A few. The numbers had to be fudged because the pattern is written for Size 2 needles. Also, upon advice from a sock guru, did an "eye of partridge" heel. I like short row heels that do not involved wrap/turns. This one was ssk and p2tog. Glorious. Also, this is my very first toe-up sock and I love them. I *heart* Judy's Magic Cast-on and Magic Loop also!
My cuffs are a wee shorter than I like them because I discovered I had a severe loss of yardage on this particular mill end. Thank goodness it was a toe-up sock!
And since I can't seem to stop knitting socks right now, I finally wound up that ginormous skein of Knitivity Down Home Sock yarn in colorway, "Rodentia", you know for that Mickey Mouse lover in your life. Mentioned a little while ago, these are for socks for my SIL, KubusKrafts. The 920 yd skein was so massive, I couldn't help poking fun at its size prior to dividing it up into 4 individual skeins.

Not wanting to come off my Leyburn high, I used the pattern for these socks also. So, do you think you can see these socks through her Mickey Crocs? I do.
When I'm depressed, I shop. I shop for fibery goodness and this next picture is a result of when I tripped and fell on my face at Yarnissima's online shop. She puts together the nicest kits I've ever seen. It comes complete with a skein of Wollmiese in the "Spina di Pesce" colorway (bone of the fish in Italian), that was specifically dyed for this pattern.
I have been doing a lot of spinning in the last month also. Last post, I was spinning Zarzuela's Fibers "Stormy Dawn" merino. For our spin-a-long in the Ravelry group, the challenge was to learn to Navajo-ply and then knit something with the yarn you made. This is my first Navajo-plied skein and I don't think it's too bad at all. I am rather proud. This is definitely my new favorite technique and since you are plying a single onto itself 3-fold, there is no waste. The skein below is the first 2 oz out of a 4 oz braid.

I received my first installment of the Zarzuela's Fiber Club too. Now that everyone has received their shipment, I can blog about it. This is a 6 oz braid of Corriedale wool, a new fiber for me to spin. The colorway is called "Snowy Wood in January". Isn't it gorgeous? We kind of all agreed this would be a beautiful Clapotis.

I was oogling over this one for about 3 months now at Numma Numma's etsy shop and finally gave in. This is a 50/50 merino/alpaca blend and it's heavenly. The colorway, totally up my alley, is part of the baby food inspired colorways, "Peas and Carrots". OMG I love it.

Oh in case you caught the snark in my title, yes, it does totally poke fun at the whole "yarn dyer back from the dead" controversy going on right now on Ravelry. Note to self, if you ever want to fake your own death and live off of the charity of good-hearted knitters, pay the extra $8 a year to have a private IP address because we do know how to ping you, don't show up on flickr with your identifiable tattoos that your devoted pattern fans can pick out of a line-up, and finally, don't post from your Ravelry ID (changed 3 times since your death), and change your homepage to say, "Please leave me alone." Hi, guilty much? Don't f*ck with a bunch of good-hearted crafters. We are nice until you take advantage of our good will. Let that be a lesson to anyone considering faking their death and capitalizing on the donations. Am I opionated on this one? Yep. Is there enough proof to be opionated. Yep, check the LSG group on Ravelry under post, "She's NOT Dead". The title should be aptly renamed to "Warning: Shitstorm Ahead". Until the dead dyer speaketh, I have no choice but to decide on "guilty" in my head based on the surmountable evidence to prove she breathes...and lives on Ravelry with a now defunct pattern store (Rav pulled the plug) to which the funds were supposedly going to support her widowed husband and children. I do not like a fake. Period. Until there is evidence to prove otherwise, say exhume the dead dyer, I'm pretty certain to not be swayed on how I feel about this one. If you really want to read that whole thread and have a whole day of your life to get sucked into to it, let me save you the trouble and say go to page 100, round about where Casey puts the cabash on it.
Well, I just wanted to pop in, but I do have a sweater or two in progress to speak of and more stash enhancement. It was also a weekend of fiber-tastic proportions and there are pictures to prove it. Oh I was also given a blog award I'll talk about too. I haven't done much blog reading so if I wasn't emailed, I would have never known. I know I am a sucky blogger. Maybe tomorrow.....