OK, I've been working on this post on and off for weeks, but never got the photos or managed to post it. In fact, I just updated it again because the date showed Nov 30 - the date I started it! If you've read this already nothing new below this point...
Since it's turned out long, I'll provide a quick list for those of you with a lot of blog reading to do:
- cracked tooth (bad)
- root canal (bad)
- jaw infection (bad)
- temporary crown (painful, but good after)
- bought a house (good)
- selling this house (good, but very stressful)
- puppy kindergarten every week (good - she's a fantastic dog)
- kid sick (bad, thankfully brief)
- charity and classroom events (good)
- slipped on wet pavement while running - very bloody and bent nose and bruised hip (bad)
- nose not broken (good)
- Christmas (very good)
- me and my nose not in any Christmas photos (good)
- In-laws (good)
- kids out of school for over two weeks (honestly?)
So, here's the long version:
Wow, this month has become surprising! Had a very nice family Thanksgiving (seems so long ago doesn't it?) except for that pain in my tooth. Pain got better. Pain got worse. Cracked tooth. Root Canal. Pain got worse. Infection in jaw. Temporary crown. Antibiotics. Enough said.
So, what does one do while seeing in the dentists' chairs? Well, edging is a good option. Miles and miles of edging.
Love this little pattern. Very easy, but continuously amusing. Good thing as I need about 75" of it!
This is what my space looks like right now. Why? December 1st, the day after the root canal, I went to see Harry Potter with a friend to take my mind off my mouth. Didn't know about the infection at that time, so I was accepting my intense pain as par for the course. Wanted to forget that all I'd eaten for two days was soup. And that soup was going to be my lunch afterward. Harry came through. But only for a few hours. Afterward, on a whim, I drove by a new home development near here that had advertised a builder's closeout. We decided to help them meet their year-end goals and close next Friday. Yep, from first look to close in five weeks! We start moving next weekend. We'll live here at least until the end of February so the house shows better, but I'm packing up all the mountains of stuff that will not add to the impression of spaciousness. Renting one u-haul just for yarn (joking folks, just joking).
Now to sell this house. Yeah, I'm not one for doing things in order. Heck, I'm making Deli's edging and I've not even cast on the sleeves. What can I say, I'm a maverick (of the boring suburban housewife variety), and mavericks are known to be nutcases. (There's an obscure Tom Cruise joke/reference there, sorry.)
Last few weeks have been consumed by choosing flooring (the only thing left to be chosen, this was a home where the initial buyer fell out), interviewing and hiring a real estate agent for this house, securing financing for the new house (also known as borrowing from Peter to pay Paul), organizing the contracts and all the other reams of documentation involved with buying a new build and cleaning and packing to show this mid-Jan. Oh, and Christmas and visiting relatives. That was fantastic. We needed a break for a few days.
No knitting - not a stitch, has been done since mid-Dec. My fingers are literally itching, more from cleaning supplies than emotional need mind you, but I do want to dive back into my projects after the house is brought to show-ready. I need to pick some projects and set them aside so I can keep knitting. Feels just like picking projects for travel - you know you'll forget one you really want.
For lack of more knitting content I'll share this response I wrote to answer a question about my photography. I've received lots of really nice feedback from readers about the photos on this blog, so I want to share. I've never studied photography and use the auto features on my camera, so there's nothing technical here. I'll start with another shot of the yummy Rowan Cashcotton.
My technique is pretty simple. First, whenever possible photograph yarn close-up in natural light to show off texture and capture the natural colors. Assuming you have a digital camera, take lots of photos fast, changing the angle, lighting direction, distance etc with each shot. Sometimes just a flick of the yarn can change the whole photo. Whenever possible use the AV setting, or whichever setting on your camera that turns off the auto flash, but keeps auto focus, etc. Use a tripod or set the camera on a solid surface to eliminate movement while the shutter is open. In medium to low natural light it will stay open too long to be a handheld shot, but the colors will be richer. On the shot above I didn't do that and there's a touch of blur. Sorry. But at least I'm posting!
Don’t think too hard because you can’t see what’s best on the camera display – just take them and move on. Just do your best fashion photographer impression by dancing around the object with the camera at all angles saying "Yes darling! That's beautiful darling! Oooh, how sexy you are!" ('cause we all know just how sexy fiber can be).
Download all the photos without bothering to review them on the camera, then use Explorer or some other tool to do a slideshow. Quickly kill the obvious duds on the first go around - bad is bad and they won't look better - ever. After a couple of rounds you’ll have narrowed it down to the best one for each pose, or at least the top three. At this point I crop if required. Then I go back again and flip quickly between the top contenders and one will almost always jump forward as the best. The whole job's done in just a few minutes. I love that for the blog I don't have to maintain a print ratio (4x6 etc), so if there's something distracting off to one side I just crop it out.
I scrapbook too, and IMHO one of the biggest hurtles people have is that they love their subjects so much they aren't looking at the technical qualities of the photos. Of course sometimes all you have is a cruddy photo of someone or something you love - well certainly keep it - I've got plenty of those myself. But often people can't give up any of the photos and end up weakening their layouts with way too many bland or redundant pics. I'm pretty ruthless on the front end (right after downloading) with deleting bad or redundant photos so I don't print them or let them suck up disk space. I've found that once I've printed a photo it's almost impossible to throw it away. I suspect I'm not unique in that.
Happy Holidays. For my friends celebrating Christmas, I hope yours was wonderful. For my friends celebration Hanukkah right now, enjoy. Happy New Year to everyone!