Wednesday 13 July 2011

Crafty Cogitating

This last week has been more about thinking about craft than actually crafting.  The shawl I am in the process of designing is waiting one last push before I can cast on.  That push is awaiting the postal services.  After many months of trying to score a reasonably priced Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G Walker, I have succeeded.  It's quite hard to locate this book and not have to pay over the odds in the UK, but I have heard it is the book that designers seem to like the most for the detailed lace patterns that are included.  I decided that I really wanted this book as the lace dictionaries I have are quite limited in scope, and seem to duplicate each other.  I finally found this book at iKnit London for the princely sum of £21.99.  While I was at the site I had a peek at the yarn.  And I found Fyberspates Scrumptious Laceweight in a delicious colour called Midnight.  I had to buy it, as you know how much I enjoyed knitting with this yarn, and I wanted my newly designed shawl to be knit in the nicest laceweight yarn I have yet knit with.  As I was waiting for the book before planning the final section of the shawl, I thought there would be no harm in waiting for the yarn either!

While I wait for my new yarn and book to arrive I have left the design to dance around in my subconscious.  I think it has been seeping through as I have cast on another shawl!  It's a very different shawl, thought, and it is one I've knit before.  It is a Daybreak, by Stephen West.  You may remember my previous attempt at this shawl.  I love it so much, and it gets worn an awful lot.  The yarn is slightly finer than a 4ply or fingering weight, so it is nice and light.  It sits perfectly on my elbow crease and just provides the perfect amount of warmth on a Summer evening.  As I love it so much I bought the yarn for another version, in different colours.

I wanted this shawl to be from a completely different colour group to the other one, so I can wear it with different outfits.

I've actually got quite a long way with it.  I have knit the large size and got to the 5th border repeat, when I ran out of grey yarn.  This happened with the last one, but not until the end of the 6th repeat.  I think my gauge must have been looser.  I have switched to the pink for the last repeats.  I don't know if I'll do all 7 border repeats, I'll have to judge how it looks.  At the moment it is a pile of pink and grey.

As well as cogitating on my shawl, I am reading my new book.  Little Red in the City, by Ysolda Teague.  I'm not an out and out Ysolda fan, but I do like her style.  I wasn't going to buy the book as it only has 7 patterns, but when she posted exerts on her blog, I was sold.  I love the artwork and the clear graphics and really like that if you buy the book you also get the book in a digital format.  I am so glad that I bought this book, a beautiful piece of art, which stands alone, separate from the contents. The contents are wonderful though!  I'll talk about it more in a future post.

In other news, I have purchased a proper grown up sized camera tripod.  Taking the photo above was much easier than normal as I had no camera shake.  I also took the current Weekly Photo Challenge 2011 photo with it.  The subject was Surprise.

Nothing says suprise like a party blower!  I have recently discovered Scenes on my camera - thanks CountryFile, I never thought I would get such helpful information while you discussed your annual calendar contest!  I first used the Scenes setting last week, for the subject Nighttime.

I used the same "scene" which was Night Landscapes for both of the above photos.  Last week's photo is what prompted me to buy the tripod.  I took the Nighttime photo by leaning against the window, but it's hard to keep the camera steady while the aperture stays open for 8 seconds.  The Surprise photo was much easier with a tripod.

With this new method of using my point and click camera, I'm learning how to manipulate it to give me the effect I am reaching for.  Maybe one day I'll work out how to translate that to other cameras.


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