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WIP – Mom’s Sophisticated Scarf March 30, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in Admin Messages.
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I haven't made much progress on most of my WIP scarves in a while, but I felt like posting a picture of Mom's Sophisticated Scarf that has a minor alteration. Instead of doing the whole thing one colour I added a little stripe. The colours were chosen before the pattern by the scarf recipient so that's where some of that comes from.

I'm really enjoying the look so far, so much so that at some point I will have to make myself one, too! Really, I swear, I promise, at some point I really will make things other than scarves..

Not the greatest photo, but you get the idea. : )

I think when I make it for myself, I may make it a little less wide (it's about 6.5") and I am going to do it either in the grey again, because I love it, or I will do it in a nice bright colour. This is Paton's Classic Wool, black & dark grey.

The Digital Photography Manual March 22, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in Admin Messages.
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One of my favorite things in the world is Chapters’ Bargain Books section. I always find good things there, and on my last trip I picked up a copy of Philip Andrews’ The Digital Photography Manual (Fully Revised and Updated): An Introduction to the Equipment and Creative Techniques of Digital Photography.

$12, not too shabby. I have been reading through it and making notes – that’s something I’m getting back into the habit of doing now, taking real actual notes on paper with a pen. So far I’m liking this book, really great explanation for people who know a little but not too much.

The big draw for me is all the stuff on manipulation – it’s the post-processing thing that I know virtually nothing about. While I’m only just starting to get that info now I’m very pleased with this book.

While I’ve only read about a quarter of it I’d have to say I recommend it for amateur photographers who are comfortable with the composition thing but not so hot necessarily on the technical side of things. Good stuff.

Canon PhotoStitch 3.1 March 6, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in photography, tutorial.
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Ever since I first started seeing images digitally “stitched” together, I’d been way impressed and way intrigued. When I got my Digital Rebel XT it came with PhotoStitch software that is very straightforward and does the job. I thought I would take a few screenshots on my iBook and post the process for anyone not in the know.

First thing you do is open the “photostitch launcher” which is an application that lets you either stitch a new image together or view images that you have stitched together previously.

This is what you get. A big blank screen with big buttons that are easy to follow.

So you import the images you have taken and want to stitch together. Just a quick click of the “Open” button to select your images and away you go. When you bring ’em in, you’ll see something like the following in the middle of all that white space as above.

If you squint, there, you can see that these images all have little overlapping bits. From here, you can select some merge options – such as whether or not your image is horizontal, a matrix, and so on. I just use the default settings, myself.

Once you’re ready, you move on to the next step where everything gets stitched together – you’re out of “1. Selection and Arrangement” and into “2. Merge” – easy as pie. You basically just click a button and it does it – gives you back something like this..

As you can see, I did not use a tripod. I just stood in one spot and turned as I took about five or six pictures looking out over the Ottawa River from a spot on Parliament Hill behind the library. Gorgeous day. Now it’s time to save things.

The green outline there is the part that gets saved. You can stretch that however you would like – you can save things in a way that shows the white space to indicate that this is a series of photos stitched together or you can select a part of the photo inside that space so everything looks like one giant image. I shrunk things down and even then my image was over 5,000 pixels wide. It’s pretty spectacular to scan through these huge panoramas, I must say. Here is the final result, which I posted to my flickr photostream. If you view it there, you will see the photos notes which highlight which significant buildings are easily visible in the image.

“Pont Alexandra Bridge” 2006.03.04

Check out the larger size here.

All in all, a very cool programme.  I still have yet to recreate a high school photo project where this same thing was done in film, with the sun out today perhaps I will head out to recreate the shot digitally this afternoon.  That’s something I’ve been meaning to do and meaning to do and I don’t know what has been stopping me – re-learning that course with my new camera.

Knitting Olympics – GOLD! March 1, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in fo, knitting, knitting olympics.
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How cool is the Knitting Olympics, seriously. I just loved reading the Yarn Harlot’s post today, The Podium. Towards the end of her post she writes, and this is where I fit in, “[…] those of you who finished very quickly…let this be a lesson to you. You are more remarkable than you think you are. Aim high.”

I technically finished my mittens during the mens gold medal hockey game where Sweden took Finland in a tight match, good game. However, I managed to whip through the first mitten and then took a long break, much longer than should have allowed someone doing such a challenge to finish.

Still, I learned so much – followed a pattern again (second time doing that, after the Irish Hiking Scarf) and knit a project on DPNs for the first time. I learned how to increase, and I decreased, and I picked up stitches. I have a few scarves currently on the go that I have to whip through now before I can make something new and even more exciting.

I’m amazed at the kinds of projects I’ve seen and how quickly they’ve been completed and still so well as a part of this challenge. As I said above, how cool.

Also very cool, our athletes in Italy – what an impressive haul, with the only real disappointment being our men’s hockey team. Am I a complete dork for finding the Nelson Mandela commercial where he talks about the athletes living together for seventeen days and spending only a few moments as adversaries – what a world that would be – really touching? Probably – but that’s okay.