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Friday, July 17, 2009

Tag You're It


I've been trying to take better photos of my yarn and have found that my pics tend to come out better if I use a white towel as background. You can see this in the photos in my RavStash. The towel background pics look better than the ones with other (carpet, wood table/floor, blanket, etc) backgrounds. I've found that natural daytime light through the window works best. I get the crappiest photos when I try taking pics at night. It doesn't matter which background or what kind of light bulb I use to light up the room.

A while back, Radu & I were discussing photography related stuff and we touched on the light box. I have seen a DIY guide for making one of these but couldn't remember where, so Radu sent me a link to such a guide. I know that some knitters who take spectacular photos of their knits/yarn use these things. I'd love to make one of these someday.

Wanna see what happens when you take this little DIY light box up a notch (or two or three or ... a gazllion)? Check out this photographer's site, look at his 18May2009 entry, and watch the guide to his photo studio video. Now that's quite a setup!


I've discovered this neat little blog by way of Mary Tess, which has lots of tips on doing things the new Old School way. I'll have to try the basil cuttings thing.

I haven't done a meme in awhile...

I don't recall Sam letting me know that she tagged me for this meme, I just happened to stumbled upon it on her blog. (I didn't change one question or add one more question)

The rules are:
1. respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own (don't feel obliged as it's quite long already!)
2. Tag eight other people.

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about who you are and what you do:
I'm Marie. I'm a SAHM with one preschooler who keeps me quite busy. I like to knit a little when I manage to find some "me" time. I guess y'all kinda knew that already. :-)

What is your current obsession?
Reading all the Sookie Stackhouse books (and not getting much sleep as a result). Playing TW10 on the Wii, and trying to master the Wolf Creek (omg, holes 3 & 7 are baaaaad!!!) & Pebble Beach courses. Shopping around for a new mattress and getting ideas for a new bedroom furniture set.

What is your greatest achievement?
Giving birth to my daughter.

Coffee or Tea?
Both. Coffee in the morning with breakfast. Tea the rest of the day. I'm currently stuck on Peet's MajD's blend.

What's for dinner?
It's hot here, so probably something simple like rotisserie chicken over salad, followed by a chilled fruit bowl consisting of honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, and blackberries. I may throw in some mango too.

What are you listening to right now?
The sound of the dryer.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Cherry Vanilla atm, prolly because it was somewhat recently discontinued and then brought back. Feel like I must stock up before they decide to discontinue it again.

What do you think of the person who tagged you?
She's talent and helpful.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Belfast, Maine to see Carolyn.

Which language do you want to learn?
Well, there's more than one.
Least likely to be used: Latin
To refresh my memory: French
Useful in my neck of the woods: Spanish
After that, I'd love to add Mandarin, Gaelic, German, and Italian

What's your favorite quote (for now)?
To ask permisssion is to seek denial. (Scott McNealy)

What is your favorite colour?

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Anything that is non-constrictive, like the blue shirt pictured below.

What is your dream job?
I still haven't figured out what that is. It would have to be something fun, interesting and challenging. It'd have to be a job where I'm not conditioned to dread answering the phone (due to people calling only to nag/complain about stuff).

What is your worst habit?
Procrastinating on tasks that should take higher priority.

Describe your personal style?
I used to be an LL Bean catalog with the polo style shirts and khaki pants. I'm in a transitional phase trying to change this, and have some more modern/stylish pieces. But now that the weather is hot hot hot, you're most likely going to find me looking like an REI catalog now. :-O Today, I'm wearing an ExOfficio shirt (looks like this one, in lapis blue) with North Face shorts.

What are you going to do after this?
Guess I should get off the 'puter and do one of those high priority tasks which I have been procrastinating. :-)

What is your favorite fruit?
Pineapple and strawberries.

What inspires you?
Other people.

Your favorite book?
You want me to pick just ONE? The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (French version: Part I & Part II)

What is your favorite smell?
Lavender is one.

What are you most proud of?
My daughter.

How many times do you press the snooze button before you get up?
None. I don't use an alarm clock.

What's your 'claim to fame'?

Complete the following:

Love is…

like a breath of fresh air.

What would you like to make next?

Knittingwise: a shawl. Cookingwise: braised lamb shanks.

Tag 8 other people:

With so many extraordinary bloggers out there, I find it difficult to single out only 8. So if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged! Please leave a comment with a link to your Meme Post so everyone can take a lookie.


I want to thank my readers and people on Rav for their help in identifying the mystery blue yarn. I've discovered that the fiber content is 70% Acrylic and 30% Cuprammonium Rayon. Tracy mentioned the burn test. I vaguely recall hearing about this before. I'll have to file that into memory for future reference. And Donna came up with a suggestion for getting the yarn to urcurl/relax, something I might have done if I hadn't already rewound them into balls. Yes, I'm excessively lazy. We'll see...

I still have no idea how much yardage there is, which makes it a challenge in thinking up suitable uses for the yarn. I wonder why my friend's MIL decided to use acrylic/nylon yarn to make a lacy shell, because it is my understanding that this fiber content wouldn't block lace very well (not as well as natural fibers would). I'm thinking I'll have to do something with plain stockinette. I suppose I could try to make a small stockinette shell for Miss M, surely there is enough yarn to make a preschooler size garment? Although I'm not sure if Miss M would like the feel of the yarn. It feels a bit scratchy in my hands. Perhaps it'll soften up after washing?

Hmmm... I wonder if I can knit a small shell in the round (cuz I hate hate hate seaming), starting from the bottom hem. Knit up to the underarm. Then... well, I don't know what, but surely I can work it so all I'd need to do is seam two small sections at the shoulder.

Lessee, what else is going on in my neck of the woods. Last time I mentioned having 2 things to show you, but one needed seaming and the other needed ends weaved in. Well, nothing has changed there. :-( I'm so lazy when it comes to finishing.

On the other hand, I did manage to knit 2 rows of this shawl using the purple yarn you saw here. I'm hoping to have it finished (and blocked) by mid-Sept. I'll try to post some photos next time. I find I'm not enjoying knitting this shawl as much as I did the first time because this purple yarn is so splitty and it also snags on the dry spots on my fingers.

Yeah, not much knitting has been happening over here. I'm doing a lot of reading these days, still hooked on the Sookie Stackhouse series. Unfortunately I can't knit and read simultaneously; I know that some people are able to do this. I'm currently reading All Together Dead (book 7). Yes, I'm reading them out of order because I can't get them in my hands in order. I've already finished: Dead Until Dark (book 1), Living Dead in Dallas (book 2), Dead to the World (book 4), and Definitely Dead (book 6). And I'm still chipping away at Acqua Alta by Donna Leon, where I'll advance a few pages in the morning while I'm having by breakfast.

I want to see this movie! I need to refresh my memory on the details, but I remember what happens at the end.

(click on photo to enlarge)

I snapped this photo, back in February, at this LYS in San Mateo. Isn't it pretty?

Alrighty, it's time for me to have some lunch, take a load out of the dryer, put another load into the washer, change the sheets on all the beds, and go return stuff to the library. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

6 stitch(es):

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Loved this! So much fun to read. And go see Harry Potter! I had to be there on opening day, and it did not disappoint!

You are currently my favourite knitting pattern designer. I'm in the middle of your Triumph scarf and it is turning out beautifully!! Thanks!

Claudia said...

I just can't read books out of order! LOL I'm still waiting for the library to get #2 for me, so until then I've found another book to keep me busy. :)

pdxknitterati said...

Yes you can knit a shell in the round, split at the underarms,split for the neck. And you can use three needle bindoff at the shoulders, joining them and finishing them at the same time. So much easier than seaming!

damselindisdress said...

Hey! Thanks for the shoutout. Love your blog.

Georgi said...

Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think?
I find it impossible to enjoy books when I read them out of order. What are you liking best about the Sookie Stackhouse books? I have been pondering starting on them next but. . .

hakucho said...

Glad your mystery was solved!! What would we do without Ravelry and the internet (knitting community)?