The Queen has arrived!! But still no Monarchs to be seen in the garden. But these beauties are close relatives and every bit as awesome to see. At one time I had 5 or 6 swarming on this Ageratum but this one was the only one who would stick around for some pictures and be famous. It is almost the end of the season for butterflies and I for one will miss them once the snow starts to fly.
My week in knitting was a productive one. I got my 2nd Jaywalker cast on and down almost to the ankle. I only got to knit on it 3 evenings but it has gone pretty fast. Hopefully at this speed I will be done in just 2 more weeks of evening knitting. And I was able to get quite a bit done on my Adult Tomten. I made it up to where I needed to put in the pockets in just a couple of days of hard knitting. I kind of followed EZ's pocket directions with just a slight CrazyAnn mod. I used a provisional cast-on, knit the pocket in stockinette until the last 5 rows which I did in garter to match the body. I undid the stockinette edge and put it on a dp needle. Then I matched it up with where I wanted in on the body. I did a 3 needle bind off binding off the pocket & sweater edge at once. Then I flipped up the pocket and slipped the stitches off the other needle onto the circular to take the place of the stitches I cast off. I made sure the stockinette went to the inside of the pocket to give a nice feel. I used an uneven # of rows so that there was a loose end of yarn at each pocket side and I used that to strengthen and neaten each pocket edge and then sew the pockets together on the inside. To finish off I very loosely connected the pocket to the body with the yarn still in the needle and wove it in to finish.
Another thing I discovered during this project was a great way to do short rows in garter stitch. First knit to where you are going to turn. Just turn and go back to the next turn. Turn and knit to the last stitch before the gap. Pull the stitch past the gap thru the last stitch before the gap and then knit them one at a time like usual. This is fairly easy to do and the only thing to watch is that when you knit the stitches to make sure you catch the entire strand both in that row and the next until the stitches are back to normal. This is almost invisible as the swapped stitches pull the gap shut and blend right into the garter stitch. I will try this with stockinette someday but I bet it works better in the garter stitch.
Now all I have to do for the next 2 weeks or so is mindless garter stitch until it is time to divide for the fronts and back. Boring but so worth it in the end. I can only hope all my other challenges with this project go as well as these first two have.
I have been spending alot of time on Ravelry but it has been such a good use of my time. I joined a group called Yarnographers whose main focus is learning to better use your camera for photographing yarn and knits. Several members there have a vast array of knowledge and are willingly and gladly passing it on to use amateurs. First thing I learned was how to rig up a quick light box situation and what lighting works the best. Then I learned alot more about F stops and depth of field. Lastly I learned how to manually set my white balance. This has allowed me to make my yarn and knitting "float" to really accentuate the fibers and stitches. So this week all my photos have this affect!! I do want to work with other surfaces but that will come with some more practice. So far the manual setting of white balance seems the most helpful and it is so easy to do. It makes me want to go out and buy the most beautiful fibers just to take great shots of it. And by the way, a foggy morning makes for the best fiber shots!! And that is why the neighbors got to see me in my PJ's dragging out white fabric, camera & tripod, yarn and my camera manual at 8 am the other morning!!