Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My New Camera

I got a new camera recently. Now, I must say that when it comes to reading directions, I'm not so good. I'm more the kind of person who likes something simple, that I can pretty much intuitively know how to operate. Especially on something like a camera. My pea brain is nearing capacity at the ripe old age of . . . well, never mind. Let's just say that I'd rather cram whatever remaining cells I have with knitting patterns, spinning techniques, or quilt ideas. So when my Dear Hubby went on his shopping expedition he kept that in mind. His new camera is much more complex. He chose a Canon Powershot S2 IS, which, coincidentally, is exactly the same model that his mother chose when she bought her new camera in Arizona at roughly the same time. My camera, he decided, should be something that could make use of the multitude of flash cards that we had left over from our old camera. My camera, I told him, must fit inside of my purse and not take up too much space. I got a Canon Power Shot S410 Digital Elph. While it's not the smallest on the market, it does fit pretty comfortably inside my shoulder bag. It lives inside a small case so is relatively protected from the other debris that floats around in the bag.

There's not too much for me to mess up on this camera . . . except . . . on the backside, just above the little screen, there's a dial . . . which, sometimes, when I put the camera back into its little pouch, inadvertently gets turned. I just learned a little lesson here, because it seems that if the little dial gets turned to the bottom setting, you shoot a movie with this camera. Picture quality then . . . not so good. And when you go to download the photos, they're in a movie format, which my iPhoto program doesn't retrieve. Dear Hubby to the rescue with his secret decoder ring (antique card reader). I was at least able to see the blurry images. Alas, I just tried to load these photos to the blog, but the files would not go through. I can just tell you that they would have been stunning, if only you could have seen them, and if only they had not been so blurry. #-[

So what you see here today, are some of the photos that I managed to take in the proper format. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Beautiful British Columbia

I think the nicest people must live in Canada. Without exception, everybody we encountered there during our recent anniversary getaway was pleasant, helpful & courteous. We started out in Sidney, B.C. near Victoria, on Vancouver Island. We stayed at Miraloma, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We spent one day at Butchart Garden, and found the fall color to be at its peak. Oh My Gosh. Gorgeous.

After a couple of days, we took the ferry to Salt Spring Island. I had long wanted to visit their Saturday Market, known for its many local artists. We took a chance, postponing a visit until this late in the season, but still found plenty to see. I hope we can get back there next year, and earlier.

There was plenty of knitting time on this trip, and I'll post my nearly-complete Vogue Knitting sweater, as soon as it *is* completed.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Faroese Shawl Finished!

The shawl is all done and the hat's finished, too. There's a textural difference - the Giant Squid Hat went to spend some time in the washing machine after stretching so terribly - but I think they'll still work together. I did pick up stitches on the inside of the hat band, and knitted a ribbed wool facing to tighten up the band. At least now it will stay on my head. :-)

The pattern for this shawl is "Catharina" in STAHLMAN'S SHAWLS & SCARVES. The shawls in this book are knit top-down, and have shoulder shaping which hugs the body. It is mostly garter stitch, which, as I *now* remember, stretches significantly. I had planned that the shawl would cover my behind, and yes, I did measure & "guesstimate" where I would need to begin the lace pattern. Now that it's finished & off the needles, it comes down to my knees. Gravity strikes again, but I do love the length. It's surprisingly light weight & warm.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Giant Squid Hat

I finished the Catharina shawl from Myrna Stahlman’st book. Mostly garter stitch, and I had forgotten how very stretchy that can be. . . or maybe it’s the yarn.

When I finished the shawl there was a moderate amount of yarn left over. This is hand spun two-ply, one ply being wool/alpaca, and the other being wool/opossum. I found both of these wonderful rovings while hubby & I were on vacation last October. The alpaca blend has a bit of blue & turquoise along with the natural. . . just the colors I like to wear. So I thought to myself, “Self . . . how about a hat to go along with this lovely shawl??? Maybe a beret or tam?” I got out the lace pattern that I had used for the shawl, which had an 18-stitch repeat, which as it turned out, it was perfect with the number of stitches I had on needles following the increase after the band ribbing. Now that was a very long sentence, but you get the idea. Did I swatch? Of course I did. (I am considering that the blocked shawl was a generous enough swatch.) I measured my head, and consulted three very dependable books to confirm the number of stitches to cast on for the hat. Theoretically, it should have been right-on.

The hat, when finished, looked lovely, other than the fact that the final decreases, rather than yielding a relatively flat top created something closer to a smallish perky boob shape (including nipple) on the top of my hat. Fine, a little blocking should fix that. Let’s get the hat damp, no, maybe a bit wetter. Heck, let’s just wash it & block it. The thing grew. . . and grew. . . and grew. . . until, I do believe, it would have fit a squid. There was no amount of blocking that would cure this problem. The band was completely floppy, as was the rest of the hat, with no more springiness in it. No more band gently hugging my head, but instead, the hat just sat up there, hanging limply down around my nose and ears.

It’s in the washing machine now. . . I’m hoping that with a little fulling, the thing will shrink some & maybe I can salvage it. Wish me luck!