Intarsia & New Camera Part Two

Gentle reader,

You’ll be pleased to know that there’ll be no cloaca-talk this time (except for just now, whoops!). But, there will be an update on the intarsia sweater I’ve been working on! The pieces are all done, and it’s blocking; all that remains is to make it up and knit the collar ribbing!

Sloooowly finding my feet.

Look, intarsia is not hard. But, I’m finding that – for me at least – it’s one of those things that just comes to you with practice. You’ve just gotta be patient until you find your rhythm, like your tension when you first start knitting. I mean, I was doing it, but I was getting frustrated with uneven stitches, and I tried any number of things to combat that, and yet, I still ended up with some messy bits. I sat down with Judith and got some tips, and they certainly helped from a technical perspective, but… my intarsia still was not perfect, and that frustrated me! I suppose you can’t really expect things to be perfect the first time you do them, but I expected it to be a bit better than what I got! I was ready to rip it out and start over, but everyone told me to keep going and assured me that all of these little imperfections that were bugging the bajiggity outta me would come out in the blocking process. So, I persisted.

I may have gone slightly overboard with the pins.

And so, when I’d finished all the pieces, I soaked them overnight and then started blocking them. And… I guess it looks a bit better than before, but there are still all kinds of uneven bits and odd things happening! Blerg! I’ve always been really pleased that my knitting is usually quite neat and even so this really, really bothers me. On one hand, I think it’s a decent first whack. On the other hand part of me wants to rip it out and knit the front over again. But, I want it finished by tomorrow because I intended it to be a gift, though now I’m not so sure (note to self, a gift is probs not the best project to tackle a new skill on. Not too bright, are we?). I’ll see what it looks like when it’s sewn up and check in with my knitting pals to see if there are anymore tricks I can do.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer about it, though. I really enjoyed making it, and I’m keen to have another crack at it! Whenever I learn something, I have this habit of jumping in the deep end, because it can only get easier, right? And usually I struggle with it until the light bulb goes off and then I feel all giddy with excitement and satisfaction. I think what happened here is I finished this project a little before I got my light bulb moment. If I’d wrestled with it a little longer I might have gotten there. But, I’ll be content with this one for now, because it’s not awful, really. I’ll definitely give intarsia another bash, though!

Speaking of giving things a bash, the other week I took my new camera out for a wander to take some snaps. I’m really happy with how they came out. I haven’t done any post-processing on these except to rotate a few.

Wanderings

I think if I did any adjusting, I’d up the exposure on the statues, but the others I’m happy with. It was so nice also to have a little sticky beak around a part of Melbourne that I’d passed plenty of time but never had a closer look. I had such a wonderful evening wandering around, taking snaps, finding little interesting things here and there. It can be so easy to pass things by these days, and sometimes it’s nice to stop and smell the roses so to speak (or literally, even!).

I am having a few issues with the camera, sometimes the colors aren’t as accurate as I’d like, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out after some experiments and another flip through the destruction manual.

Have you ever tackled something that didn’t quite turn out how you wanted? How did you fix it? Sharezies!

Cameras, Birds (And Their Downstairs Mix-Ups), A Prelude to Intarsia & A Dash of Zombies

Gentle reader,

You may recall that our house was broken into… TWICE, and the second time they took Joel’s camera (which I had somewhat commandeered). While we’ve vowed not to replace any of the game consoles until we move, I was getting very itchy not having a decent camera, though I admit my iPhone does a pretty good job up to a point. So, I did some reading and I decided on the Nikon Coolpix L120 because of the cray-to-the-azy lens, some good reviews and the amazingly good price. You can get them for $198 at Dick Smiths, if you’re in Australia, which was about $60 cheaper than I saw at other places.

Joel and I got some dinner afterward at QV, and I decided to test it out on some birds.

I pointed my camera at these birds and this is what happened.

I love birds! I mean, I really know next to nothing about them like different breeds etc, but gosh I think they’re the cutest things ever. But then I remember they have cloacas which then kinda grosses me out for some reason and it mars my enjoyment of their cuteness for a few seconds, and then I push the idea of a one-stop poopin’, peein’, breedin’ shop from my head and then all is well again.

In fact, let’s do that now and move on from that unsavory thought and just enjoy these mighty adorable little critters. I LOVE that little nugget in the bottom left! Look at his little chest and face! Eeeeeeeeee! I would totally have given him a gentle hug in my hands if he’d let me. HIS. LITTLE. FACE!!!! ^_^     Cloaca. Dammit!  >_<

Meanwhile, I’ve been knitting a bit! I recently discovered the wonders of having a library card after not having one since I left college. I pretty much borrowed every knitting book that wasn’t totally naff from the library on Flinders Lane, and I decided that I’d tackle some intarsia. I’m making a wee bairn’s sweater from Picture Perfect Knits by Laura Birek. The design is called “I ❤ Mom“, and it’s a heart with a banner around it that says “Mom”, but I’m going to switch the chart out for a different design from the appendix at the back. So far, I think the book is awesome and probably worth the purchase. The pattern has been really clear, concise and easy to follow, but, I haven’t gotten to the intarsia yet and there was no shaping on the back piece, so, the wheels may yet fall off (I daresay that would be my own shortcoming and not the books though).

It seems on of my balls of yarn has become irradiated. Whoops.

I started with the back panel to safeguard against my finishing the intarsia and then getting bored with it and never finishing it. Geesh. I pinned it out for the sake of photographing it, I’ve not blocked it yet. I’ll pin the tar outta it when I do, cuz it’s super curly. I haven’t been slipping my first stitch to get a nice edge so it’s mega rough and curly at the edges. I dunno why I didn’t do the slipping thing. I think Marelle told me not to bother, so I’ll see how that goes. I’m using Cleckheaton Basics DK which I got from a sale. It’s a perfectly decent yarn, but I shan’t rave about it. I suppose that’s neither here nor there though, since it’s now discontinued. If you find it cheap though, it’s worth picking up.

I have a few projects on the go – I’m still working on my own sweater and Marelle’s crochet lace dress (which I’ve been taking to work to do on my lunch break) – but they’ve all gotten too big to to be suitable for public transport projects. Sure, the intarsia sweater is small, but since I’ll be starting the chart soon, it will be a sit-quietly-and-concentrate project. Luckily for me, I recently traded in some games and got Resident Evil: Revelations for my Nintendo 3DS (the only game console that wasn’t stolen) to while away my commute time. I don’t know if I can stress this enough: I love me some zombie-killin’. Yes, I do. The very first Resident Evil was one of the first games I got when we first got a computer. I’m fairly sure it gave me nightmares, but they were AWESOME nightmares (my parents may disagree on that fact).

“Resident… Eeevillll”

I played a couple hours of it over the weekend, and it’s pretty off-the-hook cray-to-the-azy. The graphics are super neat and definitely the best I’ve seen on the DS. It’s also compatible with the extra thumb-stick attachment, which I don’t have, but I really haven’t felt that controls are lacking without it. It’s very intuitive and fun. Are you guys even into games? Zombies? Yes? No? Lemme know. If you likey I’ll talk more about it, if no, I’ll keep it to my own nerdy self.

Have you tackled intarsia knitting yet? Have any tips? Share-zies!  ^_^