Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Photo Finals

Thanks to everyone who voted in my Photo Query post a few weeks ago. As I probably should have expected, there was a diversity of opinion, which meant no clear winners. But I was at least reassured that there were no "wrong" choices.

My final class, where a gallery owner will be present to review our work, is tomorrow night. Here are the final six:

I'm thinking of making photo cards to sell on Etsy or CafePress, or both. But it will probably take a while for me to get things together.

Also, if you are in the Seattle area, some of the above images will be in a show at the UW Medical Center between June 13 and July 14. There will be an opening reception on June 13th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and you are certainly welcome to attend!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cast On: Birch

I realized I never did a post re casting on the Birch Shawl, just one about swatching for it. So here it goes (but, be forewarned, it gets angsty):

I wanted to make the shawl a little on the big size, but as a top-down shawl, you have to figure out how many stitches to cast on in the very beginning, and I had trouble doing so. I asked for math advice here and on the Ravelry Lace Knitters group forum, to no avail. I don't want to knit Kiri (I want the shawl knit straight down, as opposed to sideways down with a dividing line of two yarnovers down the middle). I don't want to knit bottom-up, because that turned the lace pattern on its head, and I prefer it with the leaves hanging down rather than pointing up. Yes, I'm picky, but I'm knitting it so I can make it exactly what I want.

In the end I decided to cast on 319 stitches, which is two more repeats than the pattern calls for. I figured that if I used up more than half a skein in those first two repeats, I could frog and cast back on with fewer stitches.

You see where this is going, right? I'm about a repeat and a half in (which has been at least six hours of work, probably more like eight), and my gut tells me I've used more than half of the first ball of yarn. I don't have a scale to weigh it and know for sure. (I suppose I could take it to my LYS and get it weighed.) And, of course, I don't actually want to rip out all that work that looks so lovely now that I'm here.

I could order another skein of yarn, most of which I wouldn't end up using. I could rip and cast back on with 10 fewer stitches - I'm pretty sure I have enough yarn for that. Or, you know, I could pick an entirely different yarn. (Yup, here's the angsty bit).

I really like how it is knitting up. I've never used yarn this fine on needles this large, so it's much more "holey" than I'm used to, and it looks lovely. It's going to be an airy, light, wonderful shawl. But, as Project Spectrum Earth project, and one that I'm calling "Rustic," the truth is I envisioned something much earthier and heavier. Look at this Birch knit in Felted Tweed. Or wouldn't it be lovely in Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light? (Although they don't have the dark evergreen color I have in mind.) But I don't really want to go out and buy new yarn when I already bought some specifically for this shawl.

In any case, this lovely shawl is now in time out while I ponder my options. (And, um, if you'd recommend a nice DK-or-sport-weight rustic, earthy, tweedy, evergreen green yarn, I'm open to suggestions.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cast On: Icy Shetland Triangle

I've cast on another shawl, a second Shetland Triangle. I'm calling this one the "Icy Shetland Triangle" because of the icy blue color:

Pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Sundara Sock Yarn in Blue Sky over Sugared Violet
Needles: US size 6

The yarn is like buttah. I'm so knitting lace with the other Sundara Sock Yarn skeins I've collected as part of her Seasons Club. A cowl, a scarf, a shawl for someone more petite than I?

I started this shawl as part of a Shetland Triangle Knitalong group on Ravelry. I am totally not keeping with the other knitters, though, because this makes the fourth shawl I've got on the needles right now. (It's really not my style to have so many projects OTN at the same time, especially so many similar projects. I do enjoy the process of knitting, but I'm enough of a product knitter that a lot of knitting without a finished object makes me ancy.) I have a deadline to get this one finished, though, so I used the KAL as an excuse to cast it on.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Photo Query

Since last fall, I've been enrolled in photography certificate course at the UW here in Seattle. It's been a really good course for me. I've been a photographer for more than 20 years, but never was very technical. And I'm still not especially technical - to me, photographs are about images and art rather than technology - but I've learned a lot, especially about how to use Photoshop much better. And I've also learned a lot about how one might make a living as a photographer, which has been very exciting.

For two of the three quarters of the program, we've been working on individual projects. Somehow, mine ended up being on knitting and yarn. I started with this idea that a dream photo job for me would be to shoot for a knitting book, and so started trying to do product shots. But my teacher pushed me into a more fine-art kind of place, where the pictures ended up being semi-abstract, more about color and line, pattern and texture.

I'm just a few weeks away from the final project being due. I've narrowed images down to 13, but have to pick a final six. I'd appreciate you're input if you're willing to weigh in. You can see all images on my Photo Class set on Flickr, but I'll post small images below too.

Here are three that I've decided will be in the final set:

I'd like to include one of these. Which do you like better? (Red/Kimono Shawl or Grey/Shetland Triangle.)

I'd like to include one of these too. Which do you like better? (Green/Morehouse Farm Merino or Blue/Sundara Yarn.)

And one last one from these 6 choices:
Chevron Scarf
Feather & Fan
Dropping Away
Scarf Folded
Lace Leaf Shawl
Tuscany Shawl

I'd be most appreciative of comments left here with your opinions.