WIPWed #96: Waxing Poetic

Dear socks, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Your slipped stitches gracefully pop out of a field of blues and greys. Your simple pattern brings me joy and you’ve grown so much in only days. What more could I ask for? When you’re finished, you will amaze.

My Favorite Socks Ever:

WIPWed #96: Waxing Poetic | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock LW, colorway Gran’s Kitchen. Click for project page.

I call that Ode to My Favorite Socks Ever because hot damn, I love these socks. The yarn is from the March kit of the Rockin’ Sock Club and I’m so glad I traded my May skein for another of this colorway because I could knit with this and only this for the rest of my life and not be sad. That aqua is just the right aqua and that grey is just the right grey and I love how it all looks mixed together with white. It took a little trial and error to find a pattern that looked good with the pooling inherent in hand-dyed yarn of short color repeats, but the stitch pattern in Dalekanium did the trick. I am really just using the stitch pattern, knitting my sock top-down with whatever heel and toe I choose. (That free pattern is very similar to the paid Atlantic Current pattern, as well.) The slipped stitches are simple yet effective and I am really loving this knit.

Colinton Cowl:

WIPWed #96: Waxing Poetic | Woolen Diversions

Colinton Australia Lace, colorway Dove. Click for project page.

I’m also madly in love with my mohair laceweight Myra cowl. The mistake I wrote about last week wasn’t too difficult to fix, it actually wasn’t a dropped stitch but a completely wrong row so a little careful tinking got me back on track with minimal fuss. The fabric this yarn is making doesn’t look like much (yet) but it feels absolutely incredible. I think sometimes mohair gets a bad rap and this yarn in particular feels very much like silk. I’m loving it.

I’m also loving the project bag I keep my cowl in. A friend of mine from the spinner’s guild made it for me and I absolutely adore it. She said it was very simple to make, just a couple of squares sewn together cleverly, but I love how it opens upĀ  nice and wide and fits my straight needles easily. Thanks again, Christine!

Finally, I’m totally loving the show I’m watching while I knit my cowl: The Vampire Diaries. The Fiasco can make fun of me all he wants for watching a show about teenage supernaturals (When do shows about high school kids get old, really? Shouldn’t they be old already? High school wasn’t that exciting!) but that man is one sexy vampire and I can watch him all night long. Ahem. Sorry. I just… sigh.

Reading:

I finished Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety and think that it was a really insightful, important read. Yes, a little depressing, but not in the “this can never be fixed!” way, more in the “why do people allow themselves to get bogged down like this?” way. Have hope! Keep trying! Sign petitions! Write your lawmaker! Don’t lose sight of what’s right! I think it was overall a hopeful book, although it’s full of depressing facts and history. Books that open one’s eyes to ‘why’ and ‘how’ of certain realities of society are really important, even if they aren’t an answer in and of themselves.

I came across a blog post with an excerpt from Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute Of It by Andrea Buchanan. (There’s also a whole Literary Mama blog I just discovered, too. Good break time reading!) The book is a collection of heartfelt/humorous/smart essays written throughout the first 3 years of the author’s daughter’s life. It sets out to chronicle her reaction to motherhood and compares it to culture shock. I thought it was really well done and read the thing in 3 days. Worth it!

Have you read any good books lately? I think it might be time for me to take a break from the motherhood-related books and read something a bit more light-hearted and fictional.

Linking with Yarnalong and Stitch Along Wednesdays.

 

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Camelot Socks and Other WIPs

Since I missed blogging on Wednesday and we’re halfway to Friday, I’ll post both my finished socks and my works-in-progress today!

Camelot Socks:

Camelot Socks and Other WIPs

Finished, huzzah!

I have finished another pair of socks, huzzah! (I hesitate to claim to be on a roll, but with 4 pairs of socks finished since January, I think I can officially say that my sock slump is broken.) I used a new-to-me yarn for these (from Barking Dog Yarns) that is dyed in colorways that are basically the inverse of each other. I love their coordinating mis-matchedness.

The pattern is Monkey by Cookie A., which I modified to add a purl stitch between repeats for a 68 stitch cast on. These socks are actually quite roomy, I could’ve either left the purl stitch out (although I like the extra bit of sculpting it gives the stitch pattern) or used 2.0 mm needles for a tighter gauge. However, I was unsure how sizing would work out using a 2-ply yarn that’s a bit thinner than my typical 3-ply Socks That Rock and I wanted to make sure they weren’t too tight. Overall, I’m quite pleased with these and glad to have them off the needles, since I began them 6 months ago (!) in December.

Aqua Sock Experiment:

Camelot Socks and Other WIPs

A sock that is no more.

I was itching to finish my Camelot Socks so I could cast on with the gorgeous yarn I received in my Rockin’ Sock Club March shipment. The colorway, Gran’s Kitchen, is basically the color of my soul. However, it pooled something awful in the first pattern I tried with it, the Turritella Socks from the May shipment. I was seriously not a fan, so I’ve frogged what you see above and am going try the Jaywalker pattern. I’m hoping for some nice stripey action with a different cast on and stitch pattern.

Colinton Mohair Cowl:

Camelot Socks and Other WIPs

Colinton Cowl. Click for project page.

I got into a nice rhythm on my Myra cowl and was really enjoying the mohair lace yarn, until I dropped a couple of stitches. Normally I’m pretty good at fixing lace mistakes but this is a garter-based lace and garter stitch is always a bit trickier to fix. So this project will have to wait until I have time to focus on it when there’s good light (hopefully this weekend).

Other fun things:

I had a fun mail day recently so I thought I’d share. I’m one of the moderators of the Etsy Shops Ravelry group (come join!) and noticed that there was a sweet sale running in JulieSpins shop, so I treated myself to a skein of Glimmer Lace: 75% SW Merino wool, 20% silk, and 5% stellina (sparkle!). It’s a lovely, deep green/grey mix of shades that should make a dramatic lace wrap. I also received a perfect project bag that I custom ordered from Christine of Third Floor Studios when I vended at the RI Fiber Festival this year. It’s the large size bag in cheerful blue prints that I adore. She was super sweet in person, too, and I highly recommend her bags.

Finally, I’m about halfway through reading Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety by Judith Warner. This, friends, is a super interesting book. At first, I thought I was going to hate it. The intro talked a lot about upper middle-class mothers with wealthy husbands and lovely homes who were able to stay home from work to raise their children and were anxious, miserable, and unhealthily obsessive over incredibly small details of their children’s lives. There is almost nothing that irritates me more than a lack of reasonable perspective and I feared this book was going to try to validate the plight of these mothers. In a way, it does, but it creates its case by describing the history of behavioral science and society’s views of motherhood in America and how it’s changed over the decades. From the 1920s when mothers were told they’d damage their children by cuddling them too much to the 1970s when mothers celebrated the ability to go back to work to the millennial mothers who are devoted to attachment parenting and a vision of perfect domesticity. It’s truly fascinating to read how the research has changed over the years and often horrifying to read how the media interpreted its messages. And of course, through all of it, feminism and its issues are deeply entwined. (Not once in any of the mother judgement is a father deemed the cause of a child’s problems.) It’s a fascinating read that I can’t put down. If you’re interested in issues of social justice, feminism, or understanding the real societal drivers behind the so-called ‘mommy wars’ (hint, it’s not the moms) you should check it out. Fair warning: it’s pretty depressing, and a bit pessimistic. However, I’m taking it as an example of what not to do, how not to be, what negative thinking traps to avoid, and what societal influences to look out for whenever I become a mom. So, there’s that going for it… a little bit of perspective after all.

Linking up a bit late with Yarnlong and Stitch Along Wednesday.

IS #86: Simple Socks That Rock

Today’s post is inspired by my favorite sock yarn of all time: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock. It will involve spoiler photos for the first shipment of the 10th Anniversay Rockin’ Sock Club, so I suggest you click away if you don’t want to see the color.

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Spoiler protection photo.

The first shipment is in the sport weight base (called Mediumweight) and the colorway is Feelin’ Groovy. It reminds me of tropical Starburst candies and its brightness is a welcome contrast to the white snow-covered world outside. I love STR because it is unlike most of the other sock yarns out there. Many of the typical, indie-dyed sock yarns are made up of a 2-ply superwash Merino/nylon base. The other common sock yarn base is a loosely-plied 3-ply with Merino/chasmere/nylon. In contrast, STR is a very tightly-plied 3-ply yarn that is composed entirely of superwash Merino wool. This gives it lots of energy while knitting and makes a really snug, plump fabric with excellent stitch definition.

IS #86: Simple Socks That Rock

January shipment of the 2015 RSC.

The shipment came with a couple of fun little Floops stitch markers. I can’t access the accompanying pattern just yet because my dear mom signed up as herself when she bought the membership for me as a gift, and the passwords aren’t working. However, you can peruse other people’s projects here. It’s a basic, toe-up sock pattern knit in rib and modified linen stitch. Its simple stitch combination makes good use of the frequent and relatively short color changes in the yarn. It has inspired me to highlight some other good, simple sock patterns that would work well for the crazy variegated colorways so lovingly dyed by BMFA. (It turns out I’ve discussed sock inspiration before, click here for some sock patterns I’d been dreaming about (and still need to knit!) and here for details about my own free, simple sock pattern.)

Photo copyright dutchcolorqueen. Click for pattern page.

This pattern, Intrepid Traveller by Gail Marracci, was part of the Rockin’ Sock Club the last time I was in it in 2011. Its straightforward ribbed design with the elongated stitch detail is perfectly-suited to very colorful yarns. It was written for Lightweight (fingering) but could easily be modified for thicker yarns, as well, and might be what I end up using for my shipment.

Photo copyright Sarah Ronchetti. Click for pattern page.

The strong vertical lines of the Scott Base pattern, designed by Sarah Ronchetti, look lovely in a semi-solid but would work nicely in a multi-colored yarn as well. You might lose some of the stitch detail, but the texture would add an interesting effect to a striping or pooling yarn.

Photo copyright Laura Kicey. Click for pattern page.

The Monkey socks, designed by Cookie A, are another pattern that look wonderful in both semi-solid and variegated yarns. The lace is simple and bold enough that it still shines through a colorful yarn, and the lace stitches slightly change the angle of the fabric which gives an interesting chevron effect to any stripe details.

Photo copyright Hunter Hammersen. Click for pattern page.

And finally, Marooned by Hunter Hammersen is another example of good use of slipped/elongated stitches with multi-color yarn. I love the way the vertical columns and horizontal slipped stitches play with color, it really can’t be beat.

So, in sum, any pattern with all-over repeated texture, a chevron-like effect on the fabric, strong vertical lines, or regularly slipped stitches will likely work well with highly variegated yarns like Socks That Rock. Do you have a favorite simple, fun sock pattern that would work well in colorful yarn? Share with us in the comments below!

IS

WIPWed #80: Finally, French Cancan

I’m pretty sure I went ga-ga over the French Cancan shawl (designed by Mademoiselle C) from the moment I first saw it sometime in 2013.

Photo copyright SusanneS-vV. Click for pattern page.

The simple, semi-circular garter stitch body paired with a gorgeous lace and cable edging is right up my alley, style-wise. Plus, it’s written for DK weight yarn, which will make a moderately quick and quite snuggly shawl. I coveted it fiercely… but I waited. I had other things to knit, and I needed the right yarn anyway.

WIPWed #80: Finally, French Cancan | Woolen Diversions

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi DK, colorway Shoqua.

Then last Christmas (over a year ago?!) my darling Fiasco gave me two skeins of the incredible Yaksi yarn from BMFA. It’s a DK weight blend of 60% Merino wool, 20% yak, and 20% silk, and it really is heavenly. (Yak, by the way, is quickly becoming one of my favorite fibers.) I don’t believe Blue Moon carries the DK weight anymore, but they do have it in fingering and you can still get some of the DK at Eat.Sleep.Knit. I knew the yarn would be perfect for the pattern and still, I waited. So many WIPs, so little time, and all that jazz… but I just couldn’t wait any more.

WIPWed #80: Finally, French Cancan | Woolen Diversions

If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Somehow, I’ve interpreted ‘I’m nearly done with my vest’ as ‘I’ve finished a project, I can cast on a new one!’ Clearly, my brain operates with some sort of WIP preservation mechanism in place to prevent me from ever finishing anything and to keep my number of ongoing projects ridiculously high… Oh well. The yarn is making a gorgeous fabric and the garter stitch is nice and soothing so it certainly feels worth it.

How do you justify your startitis? Are you a dedicated knitter or hopelessly distract-able?

So Close, Yet…

… still so far. Folks, I did my darnedest, but this vest is just not going to be complete by tomorrow.

The shoulders and sides are seamed, but the armhole and neckline edgings still remain. While that’s not really a lot of knitting, it is an awful lot of fiddly knitting involving 3 different needle sizes, tubular bind-offs, and copious amounts of kitechener stitch. That’s all well-and-good for a quiet evening at home, but not so great for traveling or for when a bunch of your out-of-state friends are about to come visit. I was a bit of a madwoman last night filling orders for Sweet Sheep, seaming up the sweater, and writing and printing knitting instructions to use when I teach some Girl Scouts how to knit tonight. (Thanks for your helpful suggestions, I ended up putting together my own little booklet with text hat I wrote and with illustrations borrowed from the TechKnitter’s blog. She’s amazing, btw.) I’m glad I was able to get the vest more-or-less assembled, but I’m accepting that it just won’t be ready to wear in time.

Woolen Diversions

Swatches for teaching.

I also had to do a little swatching to demonstrate to the kiddos their two Harry Potter scarf options: garter stitch or 1×1 rib. I’m really looking forward to my evening of teaching, I just wish it didn’t coincide with this particularly busy weekend and a host of other things I need to be doing. Ah well, deadlines wait for no one, am I right? That reminds me of one of my favorite (and ever-relevant) quotes:

European-Paper-Company-Douglas-Adams-Whooshing-Deadlines

Yes.

 

Douglas Adams totally gets me, man.

Merry & Bright

I hope those of you who celebrate it have had a Merry Christmas and a happy Boxing Day! I am back from my holiday travels and am very happy to be home. My trip involved drinks and debauchery with some very lovely friends in Brooklyn, a visit to a yarn store (of course), copious amounts of cookie decorating with my nephews, and plenty of gift-giving and receiving. It always feels like it goes by in a blink and all you’re left with is an aftermath of boxes to unpack and things to put away, doesn’t it?

I received some lovely knitting and spinning books, skeins of yarn, and piles of fiber so I’m pretty sure my hobbies are all set for a while! I found the Peace Fleece yarn at a yarn store in Brooklyn, it’s a nice sheep-y yarn with gorgeous tweed flecks in the blue. The giant balls of undyed Romney (29 oz combined!) were a gift from the Fiasco’s uncle that he purchased at a local farm. I love that he goes there every year to buy me roving, although I need to find a way to let him know that 29 oz is quite a lot of wool to work through, before my fiber stash takes over! Then Santa brought me the remaining goodies: a braid of Falkland wool from Three Waters Farm, 3 skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted which will be perfect for a sweater, and some very cool Opposites Attract sock yarn that was dyed to make two coordinating-but-not-matching socks.

Adding all of the above to my stash has reminded me how few of the skeins that I received last year have been knit up. (Hint: zero.) I’ve nearly finished spinning the braid of fiber I received, I’m working up the gradients into a shawl, and I’ve wound up the Yaksi… but yeah. I need to get moving. My goal for the weekend is to start some socks with my new sock yarn AND finally begin a shawl with my delightful Yaksi yarn (which they don’t even offer anymore in DK weight, only fingering).

Speaking of socks, check these beauties out:

Woolen Diversions

Gorgeous socks NOT knit by me!

Megan (a.k.a. wahoo10 on Ravelry) knits so many socks that she just can’t make use of them all, so she sells some of them for a very reasonable price. Even though I have a million pairs of socks in progress, I’ve had a really hard time finishing any lately and all the ones I own have blown holes. So, even though it felt a little like cheating, I purchased the Waffle Creams knit with Eidos yarn (left) and the Marlene socks knit with Sundara sock yarn (right) and I do not regret it one little bit. The socks are gorgeous, fit well, and are made from patterns that I like the look of but would probably never finish knitting (so many twisted stitches!), so cheating be damned–I’m glad to have them!

Woolen Diversions

Alchemy socks for the Fiasco.

Lest my dear Fiasco think he’s forgotten, I also plan to put some serious work this weekend into the socks show above. They were intended to be a Christmas gift, I even started them way back in October, but, alas, is is difficult to find time for sneaky sock knitting in my busy schedule. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I hope to finish these sooner than later. The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Heavyweight in Tea & Alchemy and the pattern is out of my head. I hope to write it up at some point, also sooner than later.

For those of you still merry-making, enjoy it! There is knitting and a movie with my name on it while the Fiasco geeks it up on a new computer game. #home

 

 

WIPWed #73: Preoccupied

My crafty thoughts this week have been all caught up with spinning. Between internal wheel debates, a new spindle in the mail, and some brilliantly tropical fiber, my poor #NaKniSweMo sweater has been a little bit neglected, but I’m still knocking out at least a few rows a day and am nearing the end of the back piece. Just a couple of inches of shoulder shaping left to do before I bind off!

Overdyed Cypress. Click for project page.

I’m not super hopeful that I’ll finish before the end of the month, but to tell you the truth, I’m just happy I’ve gotten this far and that it’s all going well!

Wooldancer 19.5 micron Merino

That’s the lovely tropical-looking Merino fiber I picked up from Madison Wool when I went to try out wheels. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m not usually a pink person but this is just so vibrant and gorgeous that I couldn’t resist. I guess my eyes were craving color after a string of grey days, and I wanted something new to spin on this little guy after I finish the sample it came with:

I was super duper excited when the Jenkins ran their most recent Finch spindle lottery and allowed the runner ups to purchase a spindle, because I was a runner up! I believe with their new website that the lotteries might be a thing of the past, so I feel especially lucky to have gotten this little guy. It’s itty bitty, weighs only 12 g, and is made of a gorgeous two-toned granadillo wood. I’m officially a tiny spindle convert. It spins effortlessly, I can use it easily in the car or curled up on the couch, and when you remove the shaft it fits within a sunglass case for storage!

That’s all I’ve got going this week. How about you? (And does anyone know what’s happened to Tami? She hasn’t posted in quite a while!)

WIPWed #66: Taking the Plunge

All that dyeing over the weekend paid off, because I swatched for my Cypress vest and I LOVE IT!

Overdyed Cypress:

Woolen Diversions

BMFA Twisted, colorway Aurora Borealis, overdyed by me.

It’s dark and moody, still colorful but more subdued, and from a distance it appears to be a neutral shade that I think will make a really nice garment. I’ve yet to become a sweater knitter, but I have no fewer than 3 different sweaters on my MUST KNIT NOW mental list, so we’ll see what this season brings! I think Cypress is a good one to begin with since the shaping is simple, the texture is fun to work, and the sleeves are short — which should all lead to relatively quick turnaround (fingers crossed).

Fiasco Deconstructed:

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BMFA Sock that Rock Lightwright, colorway Sigur Ros.

Some time spent in the DMV this week means that I am now on the toe of my Fiasco Deconstructed socks! My knitting on these socks has been rather leisurely, a little here, a little there, they’ll get done when they get done… but fall is here, and my toes are cold, so I’m going to need to step it up!

Honey Cowl:

Woolen Diversions

Cephalopod Yarns Traveller, colorway Hobart, IN.

I’m still completely in love with the slipped stitch patterning on this cowl. So simple, yet so effective! I’ve somehow misplaced the other half of the yarn intended for this cowl, which I better find soon since I’m nearly done with the first half.

Earthy Bubble Crepe Handspun:

Woolen Diversions

Miss Babs Merino/Bamboo/Silk.

I didn’t have a whole ton of time to sit down and spin this week but I snagged a few moments to work on this handspun. (Also, can we just take a second to admire that photograph? Yay, new camera! *happy sigh*) I can’t believe it took me so long to attempt the little trick shown in the photo: if the take up of your wheel is too strong (which it almost always is on my Babe) you can thread your yarn across two hooks on opposite sides of the flyer to reduce the pull and allow you to draft more easily without fighting the wheel. This fiber is a little slippery and I am spinning fairly fine so it kept flying out of my hands, but with it threaded as shown, the take up is much less forceful, so that trick really works!

Super Duper Extra Mysterious and Subtle:

Woolen Diversions

IT’S A MYSTERY!!!

(I call that photo Fun With Filters, btw). The above project that was on and off my needles in a jiffy! I will reveal what it was on Friday, when I will also review the yarn and pattern I used and host a giveaway. Do come back in a couple of days, I promise you’ll be extra glad you did, especially if you love alpaca!

Check out more WIPs at Tamis Amis!

Dye Results

It appears that yarn dyeing, like yoga, is one of those exercises designed to teach me patience, acceptance, and observation without judgement. (These, by the way, are not easy things for me.) It frustrates me when I have a vision of what I want and can’t predict the best way to achieve that vision. At the same time, it’s kind of fun to say “screw it!” and just see what happens. That’s what went on in my kitchen this weekend.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

I call this Splattered Turquoise.

If you remember from Friday’s post, I dyed this skein twisted up in the hank, more or less just to see what would happen. When I took it out of the pot, the whole thing was bright blue and I thought my little experiment had failed. But, when I unwound the hank, the undyed bits of natural grey/brown yak/silk were visible.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Glamor shot.

I had been hoping to use this technique to achieve a gently variegated, speckled look… which I did not achieve. The turquoise was far brighter than I had anticipated (even at a depth-of-shade of only .25) and the variegation is not subtle at all. I think I will eventually overdye this with a pale green or a solid blue to get a lower contrast variegation and use it in a cowl or hat or something. Still not sure what I’ll do with the rest of the sweater quantity, perhaps just a DOS 0.10 solid overdye to give it some color, we’ll see.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Silver Grey overdye… barely changed it at all.

My next plan was to overdye 2 skeins of BMFA Twisted (2 plies of Merino wool plied with 1 of superwash Merino (the darker strand)) to achieve a more subtle variegation for use in a sweater. The photo above shows a skein after using up my entire stock of Silver Grey. It barely made a difference! In fact, it really only seemed to affect the superwash strand strongly (superwash yarns take up dye at a faster rate than non-superwash). Turns out that a DOS of 1.5 is not very strong for such a light color dye.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Back in the dyepot…

Back in the pot it went, this time with Midnight Black at a DOS of 0.25. I was hesitant to use a LOT of dye at once, because you can’t undye things, so the process took forever as I tried something, added more dye, checked results, added more dye, etc. The poor Faisco was getting a headache from suffering through basically an entire dye of vinegar/citric acid/dye mixtures simmering away on the stove.

Dye Results | Woolen Diversions

Dye results with DOS 0.25 black.

I think I’m happy enough with these results. The initial overdye with Silver Grey sort of dampened the colors a bit and changed their tone, and then the Midnight Black darkened them up overall. The yarn is still quite variegated, you can see the green/purple/pink/blue sections fairly clearly, but I think the overdye did make them more cohesive and hopefully more garment-appropriate. I don’t want to subject these skeins to any more dye, a couple strands are already starting to felt up a bit from all the boiling, so hopefully I’ll like it well enough when I swatch!

Have you tried dyeing your own yarn? How do you get to what you envision, or do you just throw caution to the wind and see what happens?

WIPWed #65: New Toy Joy

While the blog’s been a little quiet lately, I’ve been quite busy with Sweet Sheep shows, work, and grownup things like buying a new car (since ours was totaled) and official name changes (since the Fiasco and I got married and are combining our last names into one). In the midst of all the Important Things To Do, I’ve been riding a wave of creativity that has had my head going in a million directions at once: swatching! designing! new lotion scents! new product lines! dyeing! sweater-cast-on-ing! and last but not least, photography!

WIPWed #64: New Toy Joy | Woolen Diversions

Meet my new toy! Canon Rebel T3i

You might have noticed that the quality of photos on the blog has dropped since August, due to my Canon point-and-shoot dying a slow and agonizing death all summer that ended unfortunately while we were away in Costa Rica. Since good photos are such an integral part of blogging, designing, and selling products online, I figured it was finally time to spend the extra money and invest in a for-serious SLR camera.

WIPWed #65: New Toy Joy | Woolen Diversions

Darwin, looking sulky.

I’ve spent spare moments over the last couple of weeks doing some research and trying to figure out what I wanted in a camera, whether used or new was a better deal, and just what all those abbreviations and numbers really meant (still working on that bit).

WIPWed #65: New Toy Joy | Woolen Diversions

The tip of Calypso’s nose.

I found Audry’s knitwear photography blog series to be extremely helpful in providing some context and examples for what all the numbers mean and what a good camera is. I also read lots (and lots) of CNET reviews and spent far too much time on tech sites like bhphotovideo.com and Adorama.com, where I ultimately placed my order. Adorama had a great deal on what is essentially the entry level version of the higher quality camera that Audry uses, that also included a bag, an extra battery, a remote trigger, a basic 18 – 55 mm lens, a lens filter, screen protector, SD card, and a couple other things I can’t remember at the moment.

WIPWed #65: New Toy Joy | Woolen Diversions

My crazy-eyed-super-psyched face.

Basically, it was a new-hobby-in-a-box for cheaper than I could put together buying a used camera and the lens and accessories separately. To top it off, it arrived in 2 days, yay instant gratification! I’m really looking forward to getting to know all the ins and outs of this whole thing. I’ve loved photography forever (my first job was working in the photo lab at CVS) and have always wanted to improve my skills. Photography is one of my favorite art forms and I can’t wait to see what I can create with a decent piece of equipment!

Anyway, I’ve also been knitting (cue crappy photos again).

WIPWed #65: New Toy Joy | Woolen Diversions

BMFA De-Vine in Pond Scum. Click for project page.

I randomly decided to revive my hibernating Cedar Grove Shawl. It’s dropped down into the 50s and 60s here so it’s about that time where I’m too cold in short sleeves but not yet ready to commit to wearing jackets again. That’s when a big bulky shawl comes in handy as outerwear. I’m about 60% done with this and just broke into the second skein.

WIPWed #64: New Toy Joy | Woolen Diversions

CY Traveller in Hobart, IN. Click for project page.

I’ve also finally started my Honey Cowl. I’m a few more inches in than this now and it’s going quite swimmingly. The slipped stitch pattern is a real comfort to work, especially in a fun rainbow-y yarn. I’ve used the same stitch on a design in the works (sneak peak below) and plan to incorporate it into some socks, as well.

WIPWed #65: New Toy Joy | Woolen Diversions

Oh, the gorgeous up-close rainbow.

What have you been working on lately? Any new hobbies vying for your attention? Check out more WIPs at Tamis Amis!