Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm baaack

For just a brief post. For some reason my life seems hectic ... a state of being brought about by a major major computer crash two weeks ago. Two things never happen to me: I've never lost anything in snail mail (either coming or going); and my computers never crash. Well, the cyberfairies must have wanted to bring me down a notch or two, because while debating whether to open a particular email, the whole silly thing went black on me ... never to return. Off to the computer ER for a data dump; ship the machine to authorized service center, and borrow a computer for interim use. I've not wanted to abuse the kindness of my host (my daughter) by spending too much time on her machine, hence no blog entry for several several days.

And not much of a post today: the diva daughter has her big recital (four costume changes!!) and a houseful of aunts, uncles, cousins ... after they all leave tomorrow, we need to organize our contribution to fourth grade picnic in the park on Monday and finish the last last last homework assignment.

My own computer should return from intensive care soon; who knows how long rehab and recovery will take? But I should be swinging into a real knitting and blogging routine by the middle of the summer.

I hope to see y'all soon; I will be posting a few more pics of FOs and discussing my own knitting projects and plans. In the meantime, I'm still cedarstrings on Ravelry; I occasionally post on a few Yahoo groups.

Friday, May 9, 2008

KALs and Nikon

Left FO: Wedding Bands (Yahoo Groups Monthly Dishcloth KAL, May 2008)

FO on the Right: Coffeemaker (Yahoo Groups Shirley's Knitting Knook May 2008)

When I was a knitter in my previous life, I never thought to keep a "knitting journal" or memorialize any of my creations. Occasionally somebody took a snapshot of one of the nieces wearing a sweater or hat that I knitted, but other than that, there is no memory.

I never was a scrapbooker; all of the family snaps get tossed into a shoebox. The digital photography revolution has changed my view on that topic ... well, at least I make digital scrapbooks and mail them on disk to all of the relevant people. But combining the convenience of digital photo with a "knitting journal" is really a nifty idea. For once in my life, I have something like a physical record of the knitting that I am doing. It's rather an exciting idea, in a quaint new age/middle age sort of way.

My DH was a better-than-average pro-am photographer: if you've attended any sprint car races around the midwest, you've probably seen his pictures. From the early 80s through the mid-90s he photographed weddings, local little league games and other special events. I never put my name on the work, but I carried along the back-up camera (and lights and spare lenses and battery packs and filters and so on and so forth). And I was known to take more than one great photo and snapped several that were at least good. But since DH went to that great darkroom in the sky, I've barely been able to remember to charge batteries, let alone how to set the camera for "automatic" and let the latest in digital gear do the work.

So I'm not going to apologize for the lousy photos: I spent yesterday filling the memory card with "Crazy Hair Day" at fourth grade, and snapped the quick pics of the latest KALs ... before blocking (for all of you perfectionists, sorry. The cloths will be blocked before going into the gift bags for wedding showers coming up next month). Otherwise, I knew it would be another week before I would remember to swap out batteries for the freshly charged ones and be ready for the next event.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dishcloth KALs -- Thanks!

For the first time since I discovered KAL (KnitALong) groups on Yahoo, I was actually able to start the KALs on the day they debuted. First up is Shirley's Knitting Knook (the Knook Knanny is in another time zone, so I am assured of a fresh day's assignment when I get up around 5:00 am); I've completed day 3 of a mystery cloth using size 6 US needles and Sugar 'n Creme worsted weight cotton in softly taupe. The second cloth is from Monthly Dishcloth group, with a May 1 cast-on; size 7 US needles and Honeysuckle worsted weight cotton in shrimp. Both of these are mystery picture cloths, a concept that is still new to me. Fun to knit, fun to block and torture into a clear picture, these projects produce a cloth that is nice in the kitchen sink (enough texture to obtain scrubbiness without tell-tale scratches on the glassware) and very nice in the bathroom. Truly soft enough for the baby's face, with enough texture to lightly exfoliate those elbows and heels.

Mostly I lurk on the groups, having been away from knitting for so long that I feel like I'm learning something new again. But I enjoy hanging out and listening to the other knitters discuss the pattern, ask questions about the technique for the current month's cloth, and sharing expertise about materials, patterns, and knitting in general.

I probably haven't said so on the many groups I'm hanging out in, so I'll use the blog to say "thanks for allowing me to hang out with y'all. I really enjoy the atmosphere, and I hope to contribute something helpful some day soon.