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Knitting Olympics – 1/2 Done! February 21, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, wip.
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Thought I’d post a photo of the finished mitten.  I am a little more than half-way through the second – gotta say, I’m quite pleased.  I really do feel confident now that I can get a handle on bigger and more complicated patterns.  The other day I also bought myself a big pair of giant needles (giant for me, anyway) so that in future I should be able to get scarves out fairly quickly with some chunky yarn – it’s nice to have options, y’know.

Anyhow, here is the first mitten laying across my iBook’s keyboard.

I should have the other one finished by tomorrow 🙂  Then my ‘silver medal’ goal will be to finish this brown scarf I’ve had on my bamboo needles for what feels like an eternity – I don’t like the yarn.  I mean, it’s fine when it’s knit up but I don’t like to knit with it.

Despite today’s grey weather, I woke up with a feeling that I just might be really productive today.  Let’s see how that goes.

Last.fm & more. February 14, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in Admin Messages, music.
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So I’m having more issues with this thing – for some reason my About page has disappeared, it is a “draft” and won’t change the status to “published.” Dunno how it changed in the first place, dunno how to put it back – ugh. Maybe it’ll fix itself the way the links problem did.

In other news, I’ve signed up with last.fm finally. Have been trying to post my chart, but that’s also problematic. So when that’s ready I’ll edit this post.

Music; Knitting Olympics; Photography. February 13, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, music, photography, wip.
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I’ve been listening to the iTunes exclusive EP Live Sessions from Iron & Wine. Definitely worth the purchase for the beautiful version of “The Trapeze Swinger” and a great cover of New Order’s “Love Vigilantes.” Not to mention the fact that “Cinder & Smoke” is one of my all time favorite songs.

If you’re in the mood for something way mellow, way soothing, and way pretty – check out Sam Beam’s great music. It sounds like summer rain feels.

Clicking the photo there will open the iTunes page for the EP. Also check out Iron&Wine.com.

There’s a bit of everything going on today – have just uploaded a couple of photos to my flickr account and am about to have lunch and get back to working on my knitting olympics project – the first WIP photo is below!

train – view more – jessica @ flickr

I’ve gone with a straightforward basic mitten pattern for my knitting olympics project and here is the progress so far.

So far the only thing I have to really work on is making my stitches tighter between needles. It is definitely something that you notice, so I’ll have to work on that for my next mitten. With the exception of not getting the increases right at first the progress so far is much better than expected, though I expect the thumb to be rather tricky as it is so bloody small.

Knitting Olympics – II February 12, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, wip.
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This is Day 2 at the Winter Olympic Games in Italy, but was day one for me – the day I cast-on for my Knitting Olympic project.

I never got an e-mail back from the Team Canada blog, but am considering myself a part of Team Canada anyway. Very overwhelming I’m sure for all the people organizing this kind of thing, what a response – very cool.

So I’ve been watching our women’s hockey team – missed the game against Italy yesterday, in which we won 16-0, but watched the game against Russia in its entirety (in which we won 12-0). Tuesday’s game should be a good one – the downside to the Olympics being held in another part of the world is that you have to watch things at goofy times to catch it live – like Tuesday’s 9:30AM Eastern game.

I’ve gone with mittens as my Olympic challenge – following a pattern, increasing and decreasing, and knitting in the round. While I figured out some of this stuff before, I haven’t done it all together and haven’t finished a project this way yet. So it’s all very new. I’m doing a basic mitten pattern out of a book my aunt has let me borrow. Assuming all goes well, I’ll be able to make all kinds of little alterations after this. Checked my guage, and was off during the first period.

To match my pink 2×2 rib scarf I am making pink mittens in Bernat Denim cotton/acrylic blend in weathered rose. So far it is going well, I am using the only set of DPNs I have to date which I believe are 3.25mm. Lukcily, it was just the right guage when I did my swatch. *Whew!* – I’ve knit up the cuff and I’m starting to get ready for the thumb which is the most challenging bit for me. If I can master mittens – I will next knit a hat just for fun and then I will start to really think big – sweaters.

That’s the progress so far – the first cuff of my first mitten. I have had several requests from people wanting to learn to knit, now, which is also very exciting to me. 🙂 Back to the knitting, with SnB to help instruct me through the increases I should have this down in no time!

Rasterbating – Tutorial February 7, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in photography, tutorial.
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In the fall as I was working on getting through the last of my university courses I decided to take a little bit of a break for a a photo project. I had seen these types of images before and had always wanted to try one. I rasterbated one of my photographs.  Here’s how!
Step One: Pick a photo, any photo.

I took this photo of my grandfather’s camera, an Agfa Ambi Silette, using my Casio EX-Z30 point n’ shoot digital and then converted the photo to black & white using iPhoto; also made a few minor touch-ups.

Step Two: Upload the picture to your computer.

It is now ready to be rasterbated. Go to the site linked to above, upload your picture, and wait for the PDF file result. You can choose something really huge or something really small – I went with a 3×3 image.

Step Three: Print. Go to Staples or whatever company you would like, you can even do this at home – have the PDF file printed.

I had mine done in black and white and printed on card stock, though as you upload the file you can choose other colours or you can rasterbate and print in full colour.

Step Four: Cut out the borders if you forgot to tell the people at Staples to center things or if you just prefer your image without borders.

This step was kind of a pain, but what can you do. I would suggest you have a snack before you get started ’cause once you start you just want to finish.

Step Five: Come up with a way to mount it. I chose two thick pieces of mounting board stuck together as the backing. I wanted to hang the images individually on the wall but that would have cost far too much money so I went with this – a quick & dirty solution.

Step Six: Time to lay it all out and prepare to stick it all together. This isn’t so bad if you do something small like 3×3 but I’m sure it is rather tedious if you do something HUGE (check the Rasterbator site for examples of full walls being done like this – pretty cool stuff).

This is when you decide on things like whether or not you want pages to have space between them or not. I went with space.

Step Seven: Stick it all together! You’re almost done. I did this initially with double-sided tape but it wasn’t sticky enough so I went and picked up some spray-adhesive. Worked much better, so you should probably go right to that.

Ta da!

Hang ‘er up on the wall, and that’s it!  You’re done.

Knitting Olympics – I February 6, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, why.
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I decided that I would join the Knitting Olympics and sign up for Team Canada. This is a great year to be a sports fan (what with my Ottawa Senators being amazing, the 2006 Turino Olympics, and later the World Cup in Germany) and it looks like it’s shaping up to be a great year for knitters, too. Lots of buzz everywhere about the Yarn Harlot‘s idea for a great knitting challenge, wonderful for knitters at all skill levels: The Knitting Olympics.
To date, the knitting projects I have worked on have been either scarves (five of them) or fingerless mittens (three of them) with a lone exception from several years ago when I first learned to knit and tried my hand at a ribbed hat (a UFO hiding in my closet). One of the scarves I’m working on, the Irish Hiking Scarf, is my first attempt at cables, a pattern, and natural fiber (I say first pattern as I deviated from the pattern of the OhMyStars fingerless mittens).

knitting olympics

So for the Knitting Olympics, I’m really stepping out here – I’m going to knit in the round using DPNs. While I have tried this before, I screwed it up and wound up frogging through the frustration and moved on to the OhMyStars mittens and yet more scarves. So, I’m going back to the DPNs – and I’ll try my hand at a little increase and decrease action as I make my very first pair of mittens – WITH FINGERS! Mittens, I say, and not gloves – I’m just not a fan of gloves.

So now the search for a pattern begins – I believe I will use yarn already in my stash.

Here’s what’s great about knitting, for me – I get to learn something new. With virtually every project I’ve started, even scarves, I’ve learned to do something new. I learn as I go, and I learn by reading and sharing. I’m just blown away by the knitting community, too, so far I have yet to come across anyone who is a complete snob and unwilling to help you to learn. Knitters, even and often especially the seasoned fantastic ones, are excited about their craft and excited about interest in it – it’s very cool.

Blogroll Shmogroll. February 3, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in Admin Messages.
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I’m having some serious issues with the Blogroll there.  Okay, they’re not serious issues they’re minor irritants but STILL.  Trying to edit, change, and even delete links and it isn’t happening.  Very strange, I’m not impressed.

So that there’s some craftiness, I’d like to announce that I started up the ol’ sewing machine and tried to re-size a t-shirt.  Limited success there.  Wouldn’t be a bad job if the sleeves weren’t now inside out.  It happens – will have to fix that, and I’m going to have to make the shirt shorter ’cause it’s just far too long.  Will post a little written instruction thing and the result once I get the hang of this.  It’s easy, takes no time, just have to pay attention and not put the sleeves on inside out.  I don’t feel like a total craft superstar, but my scarves are still awesome.  So there.