Thing I Love Today: the magic of blocking!
The baby blanket is done. I’ll have better pictures by Friday, but I thought a walk through my blocking process might be interesting.
I use these foam mats I bought at the hardware store to block everything. They were cheap and they do the job. The only problem is that they have some kind of magnetic attraction for one of my cats, so after two years they all look pretty much like this:
Here’s the blanket as it came off the needles: crumpled and narrow. This pattern (my own) includes quite a bit of 1×1 ribbing, so this was to be expected.
Then I measured carefully and spent waaay too much time using every pin I own to stretch it to size.
I got a nifty new steam iron a few weeks ago. It does vertical steaming as well as horizontal, which is awesome for quick sweater touchups before photoshoots.
Steaming/spraying in progress:
And here’s the finished blanket drying. See how well the pattern opened up?
Non-iPhone pics coming soon!
Things I love today: pictures taken with my brand-spankin-new DSLR camera!
I sold off some yarn I wasn’t going to use, and hubby and I dug deep for the rest of the $. I am SO IN LOVE with this camera. We went for a walk in our neighborhood yesterday, and I literally stopped every ten seconds to take a new picture. I am now officially the most annoying person to take a walk with ever.
The camera body is a Canon Rebel T3. We could have spent $100-$200 more to get the version that’s a little newer–but the major difference seemed to be the number of megapixels, and for my purposes, 12.1 is quite enough, thank you very much.
The 18-55mm lens that came with the camera is amazing, much better than I thought it was going to be, actually. We also ordered a 50mm f/1.8 lens, which is what I used to take these yarn pictures. It does an amazing short depth of field, as you can see:
We’re going to take the camera out to the beach on Thursday and do a photoshoot for a few of my new designs. I can’t wait to see what they look like!
Thing I Love Today: Downloadable Photoshop Actions!
How did I not even know this tool existed? You can download (free, mostly!) sequences of layers and filters that automatically apply themselves to photos… and they come out AWESOME. I can do basic stuff in Photoshop (lighten, darken, blur backgrounds, change saturation, that kind of thing), but these tricks are way beyond me. Being able to drastically alter the mood of a photo by clicking one button is huge.
I’ve been messing with the photos of my new sweater (see last post for details on the sweater). Here are some examples, using my favorite set of actions so far, the Timecapsule Set by Nelly Nero (I found the download here):
Of course, I immediately want to go through my entire photo collection and futz with every one, haha. Such is the danger of learning new Photoshop tricks. But I think the challenge will be to keep the effects subtle. The timing on figuring this out is really good, though… I will be releasing a new hat and mitten set in about a week that has a very vintage-y feel, so some of the actions are going to work really well for those photos!
Things I Love Today:
How amazing it feels to knit chunky wool with chunky needles.
In the last three days, I’ve knit something like 1200 yards of cotton/linen blend on #5 and #6 needles. My hands are killing me. So while the pieces of the sweater were blocking this afternoon… I couldn’t resist whipping out a few swatches.
I love swatching. So little commitment, but somehow so satisfying. I didn’t keep my swatches before I started designing (okay, full disclosure–sometimes I didn’t even swatch at all…), but since I actually have to make sure things fit now, things have changed. I currently keep all my swatches, tagged with the needle size and yarn info, in this little plastic bag I got from the last Stitch N’ Pitch at Dodger Stadium.
Truthfully, I think I’m going to outgrow it soon:
And while I had it out, I felt the need to take all the swatches out for a photo op (cause I’m weird like that, I guess–I want my swatches to get some love!). Remember, these are only since I started designing last summer… that should give you an idea of how much I swatch these days.
Isn’t that beautiful?