Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Felted Octopus

Here is a silly octopus that I needle felted.

If you like the cool colors, the wool roving is from Peace Fleece. I had bought some extra from a friend of mine.

Almost Done Knitting This

I began knitting this in the first week of July. It was intended to be my July project. In reality I finished knitting it last night so it turned out to be a full three month project.

This is all in garter stitch as when I started the project I was having trouble learning the purl stitch.

The plan was to knit a bit rectangle then sew it into a bag such as a tote bag and then felt it.

The yarn is Noro Kureyon, 100% wool, hand painted and made in Japan. I love these colors.

I used #9 needles, first using straight metal needles then, after I bought it, transferring over to my set of interchangable bamboo circular needles.

This is my fourth knitting project since I learned to knit in May.

In the beginning I don't know what I did wrong but you can see holes or stretched spots.

I also somehow made accidential increases and so the beginning is shorter. When I realized that I had made that error I paid special attention to every stitch and the work evened out.

Also when I realized that I had holes in the work I started paying attention to every stitch and the holes stopped happening.

I lost count but I think this has a total of 4.5 skeins of yarn in it, if not, it is 5.5 skeins.

Last night after taking this photo I finished off the row, I then binded it off. Then I took swatches of similar colored yarn and tied the holes closed.

I think what I will do with this is machine or hand felt it as is and then afterwards will decide what to do with it and use the sewing machine to sew it into something.

I was disturbed to read some posts on Ravelry.com that said that the people had sewn pocketbooks and tote bags with this yarn but when it felted up it was thin and not durable or thick enough to withstand being a decent bag to actually use.

I also really loved these colors and working with this yarn. I would like to make a sweater for myself out of this Noro Kureyon yarn. Perhaps when I perfect the purl stitch I will make myself a sweater out of it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Purling, Finally

Last week at the homeschool park day I went with two sets of knitting needles and partial projects. I begged my friend to teach me to purl. She is the only friend I have very close by who knits continental style.

She did teach me. I then spent spare moments over two days purling so I would not forget.

I had the hardest time with books and even videos.

I made sure to let my kids see that I struggled so they can see that learning is hard for adults also. My kids, and I've been told other kids think this too, think that they struggle to learn while adults have no problem. This leads them to sometimes think they are dumb and adults are brilliant. How sad is that?

Other Knitting Updates

I washed three "like new" XL cotton sweaters that belonged to my father-in-law and will frog them and will re-use the yarn. We were going to donate them to Goodwill but I asked myself why am I buying sweaters from Goodwill to frog and then donating other good sweaters to Goodwill? So anyhow three inherited sweaters are ready to frog...

Other Fiber Updates

Last night I pulled out the wool roving for the first time in a few months. The kids and I worked at it while watching the first episode of The Amazing Race season 13. It was fun to needle felt again!

Paper Crafting Notes

I have not paper crafted in so long. I have been concentrating on keeping the house decluttered and also clean. I have been doing homeschooling with the kids. We have been catching up on doctor's appointments and dentist appointments. Younger son is going to have braces put on so consults for that have been happening. Two false blood results, one for me and one for my younger son had to be investigated and retested. We are both normal, thank goodness, and don't have the problems the first blood tests thought we had. All that has been sucking up our time. Oh and in the last four weeks we went on two trips out of state for a total of 10 days. I have been on a whirlwind, it feels like.


I need to find photos of my projects and upload them here. That has been a low priority, sorry.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Can You Not Imagine...

how a painter could literally go mad trying to paint something realistically? I imagine that trying to capture the exact coloration of this morning glory might be a huge challenge that might just make a person certifiably insane. And in a nutshell you now know why I do not paint realistic images. I don't feel that I'm capable.

Photo of morning glory flower that my younger son and I planted from seed in a container on our deck. Photo taken by ChristineMM on September 17, 2008.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Alton Bog

This is the view of the Alton Bog looking to the west from I-95.

Sunrise over the Alton Bog, near Bangor, Maine, looking east while driving down I-95 heading south to home after visiting my grandmother in northern Maine.

I never knew this was a bog and while a teen I wondered why the trees there never grew high. I had no clue, no ideas of why. At about age 20 while driving myself up to visit my grandmother, I pulled to the side of the highway and got out to investigate. I was surprised when I stepped onto the peat bog, to find it squishing under my feet and so wet. I then realized it was a bog.

Years later while reading a book I saw mention of this being the Alton Bog. A few years ago the highway department erected a sign announcing to the passersby that this is the Alton Bog.

I love looking at the Alton Bog as I drive past it, it is one of the highlights of the trip.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Photo Scare

My husband bought me a digital camera for Christmas 2002. He had dreams of no more film processing and printing costs, it was done out of a desire to save money. I had made it clear I wanted no part of a digital camera. Giving to me as my Christmas gift was an affront as it was imposed on me against my will.

I barely took any photos in the beginning, still used to being thrifty with how many pictures I snapped. I also still was using film in that first year. Don’t tell him that though. Back then I didn’t trust digital cameras.

The photos from 2002 and 2003 were put onto CDs and taken off my husband’s hard drive at some point in time.

Two weeks ago my husband installed an update onto his computer. Suddenly he had no space on the disk. He decided to take the photos from 2004-2007 off his hard drive. First he backed them up to our external hard drive. I then told him if anything happened to that thing and all our photos were lost I would kill him. Literally. He then took CDs and put copies of all of those photos onto CDs.

I asked where were the CDs for 2002 and 2003 and for the week we spent in the Outer Banks which was for some odd reason, not on his hard drive. He found the old CDs, popped them into his pretty new PC and found out that, whoops, the newer computer could not read those old CDs. Actually when it happened he didn’t even tell me. I’m skipping forward too quickly, sorry. What happened was he started to act all twitchy and I could see his body language was indicating some problem was happening. At first I ignored it and kept on folding the laundry but out of the corner of my eye I saw him getting more and more antsy. Then he said something in a bad tone of voice. I then said, “Tell me what is going on. Now.”

He then admitted he could not retrieve the old photos from 2002 and 2003. I was about to lose it. Really lose it. I mean, really lose it. I took deep breaths. I walked away and busied myself doing something or other. I needed to get away from him to avoid freaking out.

He then pulled out the old laptop of his and lo and behold that CD could be read on the old laptop. He said something about the speed of the computer being too fast on the new one to read the old slow CD or something technical that I don’t understand.

He then took the oldest photos on the slow CD and put them onto our external hard drive. I asked him to put all the photos onto CDs as a second back up. So he did that. It took a long time because he had to split up the photos in odd ways to get the most photos on each CD.

Then he hit the delete button on all those photos from his hard drive. That made me nervous. Really nervous.

This is what I feared about digital photography. I feared that our technology would change so rapidly that someday we’d not be able to view those old photographs. See, my fears had a foundation; they were not a figment of my imagination.

Here are two other horror stories are that once my father-in-law only had his photos on his hard drive. Then his computer crashed, the hard drive was broken and all those photos were lost. Another time my husband’s uncle did something and lost all his photos. Fortunately my husband was able to retrieve them with a special program called Restorer 2000. The lesson in both cases is that it is a better idea to back up your photos, possibly in two places.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Purl Stitch Video

I am trying yet again to learn the purl stitch.

I have been super busy, traveling, and have not had the time or energy to devote to new knitting projects. I am still working a big rectangle of garter stitch in wool yarn which I'll probably felt then afterward, sew into something.

Tonight after I climb into bed I think I'll try yet again to learn the purl stitch.

(Last week while out of state I tried teaching myself from a book yet again and failed.)