Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On the needles

These went up in the reverse order of what I'd planned. Something must have changed in the settings. Oh well.

This is a pair of socks I'm making from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn - Black Watch - 304.
It's from Jimmy Beans Wool in Reno, Nevada. I have bought more than one colorway from Jimmy Beans and their service is fast and accurate. I love this yarn. It has a great finger feel as you're knitting it and it washes well because it's 80 % superwash wool, 20% nylon.

I'd nearly finished the pair and wanted to wear them to a party the Saturday before Christmas. It's a fancy party at a very elegant home built by the owner/architect. The floors are white bamboo so I prefer to take off my snowy boots (and it WAS snowy that evening). These were warm and comfy. I put in a "lifeline" before binding off loosely so that I could un-bind off and begin knitting again. I may end up with knee socks, there's so much yarn left of the two skeins.

I finally consented to make socks for David. Here's the start. I usually knit my own socks on US 2 needles and put in 64 stitches. I'm making David's on US 1 needles and there are just over a hundred stitches in each sock. I prefer to knit two at a time so they match. The yarn is Trekking pro natura. 75% New Wool, 25% bamboo. I hope I have enough to get past his ankles.

This last is a start on another Lacey Keyhole Scarf. I bought the kit from Double Ewe Yarn Shop. They had a table at the Minnesota Knitters Guild meeting in November. I made one is reds/browns that my son wants to use on his photography models. He hasn't taken/posted any yet so I'm interested in what he will do with it.

That's all for now. Gotta get to bed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More of this and that

Brrrrrr. It's -21 F outside with wind chills between -30 and -40 F. I'm glad I park in a heated garage.

Here's my Christmas cactus.

It is more than 30 years old and hasn't bloomed for the last several. It was worth the wait. As you can see in this image, it has bark-covered trunks. There aren't a lot of blooms but, as I said, it's the first time in 12+ years.

Knitting: Yes, I still knit. I've fallen for the Noro 1x1 two skein scarf. The first image is made of Noro Silk Garden in 84L and 245. The colors are very bright. I made this one most recently. 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% wool. I never thought I could wear mohair so I'm glad I tried this one. It doesn't itch at all.

This second one was made first using Noro wool. I didn't keep the wrappers so I can't tell you the numbers. I'm amazed at how soft this one is. It's 100% wool and is very scratchy in the knitting process. The yarn sticks together and that's really annoying.

Friday, January 09, 2009


All the photos used in our spec sheets, catalogs, and brochures are taken by Terry Anderson Photography. These guys have been taking photos in their studios and on locations for years. The photos below, taken with my T-Mobile Slide, show the process of photographing some items we will be selling in the next few months.

The first photo shows Rollie and Nathan attaching the enclosure to the pendant arm. Myron (I'd previously typed his name wrong. Sorry Myron.) is standing to the left waiting for them to finish. As a frame of reference, Nathan is 6' 2" (or is he 6' 4"...?) so this item is very tall.

Jeff has moved into the mix to ask what needs to be the focus (pun intended) of the shot. (Click the image to "embiggen." The image will be surprisingly good when you do that.)

In the back is a sheet of heavy white paper on a rod hanging high enough to block out the background. We're in a warehouse here. There are photo lights in the black umbrella looking things. The one on the right has a 4 x 6 sheet of vellum in a frame to further soften the light. Jeff is holding a black foam-core board behind the object to change the lighting. In this picture the subject is a small wall-hanging device for computers that has been bolted to a shipping crate.

Below is the object of the above photo. The packing crate has a white foam-core board between the crate and the item they are photographing. All our photos are outlined and the background removed so the images can be placed against any background for printing.

Back to the first object to be photographed (sorry, I put them in in the wrong order and don't feel like re-arranging them). Nathan decided he wanted a photograph of the device...from above.

The tripod Jeff's Hasselblad camera is attached to has extensions on its extensions. They ran it up above the pendant arm and Jeff climbed up on a step ladder to peer through the eyepiece.

Having clicked on these photos myself, I'm rather surprised how good they are. The lens is 1/4" in diameter and almost always smeared with gunk. It's not too easy to wipe clean but I tried. So they aren't exactly focused but you get the idea.