Thursday, 31 July 2008

knitting is, sadly, not all there is in life

This week knitting has been bumped from the number one spot* in my life to be replaced by sickness.

I'm rather less fond of sickness I can tell you. I'll spare you the major moan and the gory details and just give you the readers digest version. In 24 hours I washed every towel in the house (some of them twice), a number of sheets, doona covers, pairs of pyjamas and assorted clothes. And still I looked down yesterday in the doctor's waiting room and noticed my (just laundered) jeans had little vomit splashes on them. I laughed when the receptionist at the doctor's asked me if I know where a late night chemist was in the area. She's new and can't be blamed for not knowing. I had forgotten how much an ear infection hurts and now understand why Wil spent yesterday afternoon curled up on the far side of the bed screaming and not wanting to be touched. And I think I barfed up a lung.

But I have some altogether more interesting things to blog about so let's just pretend none of that happened.

I finished the doll. Brenda the passionate knitter from AK Textiles. Just in case you missed it, I've moaned a lot about this project over the near 18 months I've been working on it. The pattern was unclear, had errors a plenty (true, a few less in one version than the other - why oh why did they give me both versions with no explanation?) and in places unnecessarily complicated. Plus, the wool was really splitty. For the sum they charge for this kit I find those issues very disappointing.

But on the plus side, this is a beautifully conceived doll with some really great detailing. The colours are just divine and very well combined and from what I have seen from the new and improved range of kits and accessories AK are now producing, this is a doll for life. I could keep knitting and sewing bits and pieces to add to her for many years. And now that I have been through it and am a little more confident about ignoring some of the more confusing and obscure instructions, I think I could face doing it all again.

And as D said as he turned her over in his hands last night it's just amazing that you can make all this just with string. Indeed, let us not overlook the essential magic here. Especially when it is squeezed in between moments of abject sickness misery.

I also dyed the camel yarn. While I loved the authenticity of the yarn colour (too obvious but camel coloured camel really amused me there for a while. Must have been the painkillers) I knew I wouldn't wear it. With only one 50gm skein to knit I had planned a pair of fingerless mitts and thus wanted them to go with everything. So I started out thinking about something variegated, but since all the mitts patterns I've been drawn to have a degree of lace or patterning I decided to go for something relatively solid.

So here's the result. Two little 25gm balls of mostly black camel yarn. There's little fleck highlights of browny gray where I didn't let the dye saturate and a very few little spots of blue-green where the dye fragmented and the yarn only took on part of the black spectrum. Can't wait to see it knitted up into something like this or this (in a short form) or this (knit double strand).

I have been a bit frustrated through my dye experiments as to how hard it is to really capture accurate colours in photographs. I use a Fuij finepix which is very unglamorous and inexpensive camera which I love and which serves me well in most regards, but in the whole colour thing it leaves a lot to be desired. So I'm including here all four shots I took of the camel in this morning's light.

The top two used a manual white balance setting. The top one captures the overall tone of the yarn best, but the black is much blacker and less brown and the green is much bluer. Overall these two err on the side of brown. The bottom two use entirely automatic settings, the first of them (that's the third photo from the top) captures the depth of the black best, but not the lightness of the highlights. The bottom one doesn't capture anything particularly well. Overall they err on the side of blue. All of which is to say, whew, no two photos are alike and isn't it annoying that we can't take photos like our eyes can see?

* Before anyone goes thinking how wrong wrong wrong my priorities are that I would put knitting up above the really important stuff like, yeah right, the kids, the man, my mum, good food, a hot shower or a nice cup of tea...well... I can't even be bothered explaining.


Violet & Rose said...

No need to explain. I think we all get it. And besides, yarn provides a pleasant diversion from the vomit, right?
I just love your doll, she is gorgeous. Well done.

trashalou said...

Your doll is truly beautiful - bugger about the pattern being so pants.

Am sorry you have been subject to the horrors of D&V, hope someone else was able to do some of the washing, etc.

Not wising to sound like the voice of doom but Fuji? They have different set-ups for colour capture to Kodak/Canon/etc, it has a more green bias. Do you have access to someone else's camera you can test shoot against?

CD said...

Your dolls is adorable. I found the AK website a few days ago and absolutely fell in love with the dolls and their extensive wardrobe. I live in Texas so getting everything here is going to be very expensive. Of course I want it all!
However, since you've made a doll and clothes, I would really like to talk with you about the patterns, etc. Would you email me privately?
Thanks so much!