Author Archives: beccabadger

Experimental Photography – 5KCBWDAY3

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Day Three (Wednesday 14th May): Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers. – 5KCBWDAY3

I’m aware that I need a better heading image for my blog, Twitter, etc. and so decided this would be the perfect time to do some experimenting for that. I’ve taken a few photos and am going to play around with them, documenting what I do.

First, I took one of my favourite cakes of yarn (to look at, to knit with is a different story…) and took a photo of it as I usually would. In case anyone is interested it’s Easyknits DW Toughie in ‘Who’. This is on a white background, with plenty of light and not much else. This is the raw image, no cropping, no brightness altering, nothing.

Original Image 1

It’s perfectly good for documenting in my Ravelry stash, but it’s not very interesting. So then I remembered my fabric with cakes on it and thought that would be a good background, as it’s a cake of yarn.

Cake on Cakes

The colours of the cakes are a bit vibrant for my liking and take away from the lovely colours of the yarn. Now is when I begin to play around with the image. I’m using The Gimp for this, as it’s free.

First, I tried taking all the colour out of the background. (I used this tutorial)

Selective Colourisation


I like it, but I’m not sure about the fabric as a background. I took a close up of the yarn.Closeup

This shows the colours off really well. But how about using a stripe of colour? This time I also cropped it so that there is no background.Colour Stripe

The colours stand out really well. This gave me an idea. The main reason of doing this was for a new blog header. What if I had a band of coloured yarn at the top and bottom, with the grey scale in the middle where the text goes?

Colour Stripe 2

I really like this look. I think the middle may be a bit too dark though. How would it look if I used really pale colour instead of grey?

Pale Stripe

I like that more. I think that’s what I’ll go with. The next problem is making the rest of my blog fit!

To see more posts on experimental photography, Google 5KCBWDAY3.

Dating Profile – 5KCBWDAY2

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Day Two (Tuesday 13th May): Dating Profile. (5KCBWDAY2)
Write a dating profile for one of your past finished projects

Half Hour to Spring Shawl

Name: I’m Half Hour to Spring.
Age: Just under 1 year. (I was begun on 15th June 2012 and finished about a year after on 8th June 2013)

Physical Description: I’m a lace shawl, made with a silk, cashmere and alpaca laceweight yarn called Lace Cashsilk 1200 by Tri’Coterie. I’m a pale blue with subtle stripes of lilac and mint. I’m soft, light and nearly weightless. It’s very hard to tell, but my delicate lace pattern is not entirely flawless as I was one of the first lace projects made by my creator. I don’t let this bother me as it’s pretty hard to spot.

Interests: I love pretty dresses and fancy clothes. I would love to be worn to summer tea parties, keeping the chill off my owner’s shoulders during the cool evenings.

Things I Hate: I hate anything that could catch on me. Nails, rough wood, velcro and buckles are all my enemies.

Currently I haven’t been out much. Most of my time is spent folded carefully in a drawer, awaiting the right moment to be worn. I hope that this summer I will get my wish to go to at least one tea party, and be worn on various occasions. I hope that in the future my owner will continue to look after me as well as she does now, although I do hope to be able to get out more.

You can find a little more about me here on Ravelry.

A Day in the Life – 5KCBWDAY1

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

This week is the annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and I’ve decided to join in. If you want to see more posts along the same theme, Google 5KCBWDAY1.

Day One (Monday 12th May): A Day In The Life. (5KCBWDAY1)
Describe a day in the life of a project that you have made, or are in the process of making.

My offering for today is a little odd, but when I saw my Serpentine scarf sat on the corner of my desk, this is what happened.

A day in the life of the Serpentine scarf

For the past two weeks I’ve been sat on her desk, ignored, while she works on other things. Most recently that’s been her new shawl for her concert band ball, and her newest round of sock madness socks. Those are finished now, and I feel that, as one of her oldest remaining works in progress, she might pick me up again soon. Apparently I wasn’t good enough to be finished for the ball because I was the wrong colour. I try not to take that personally, but to see something finished so quickly when I was begun so long ago seems a little unfair.

I hope she wears me when I’m finished. When I was just a skein of yarn, I saw her finish a lace shawl, but as pretty as it was, I’ve never known it to be worn. I hope I don’t get put in that drawer, to wait forever for a time to be worn.

I was started last July. She gave me life from a skein of fancy yarn, and I hoped she’d finish me quickly so I could be worn and seen. Alas, it was not to be. My intricate lace detail meant she could only knit me when she could concentrate. She put me away for a while, when I was still small, but I think she finally wants to finish me now.

I’ve been taken to so many places before. Visiting her family and her boyfriend’s family, carefully put away out of the reach of dogs. Today I think, I hope, she’s going to take me to her knitting group. I’ve been several times before and the knitters there always admire my shiny, vibrant colours and intricate lace work.

Even when she puts me away for a while, she never takes my needles to use on other things. She’s done that to a lot of other projects, but never me.

I can’t wait to be finished so I can be worn. Then I’ll get to see many more places, and many more people will get to see me. Right now though, from my curled up pile in the corner of the desk, it’s all just a dream.

Serpentine Scarf

Sock Madness Round 4 and the Ball Shawl

So, I’m on to Sock Madness Round 4. The pattern came out Tuesday which was pretty inconvenient as I was trying to finish my shawl that has to be done by Friday. The shawl is one of the variants of Cold Mountain by Keiran Foley. It’s now blocking, and I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. The image is just a section of it as it’s so long. I can get a better photo once it’s finished blocking. I tried pinning it on a towel but the towel was no where near long enough, hence the change in background colour.Cold Mountain

So now I’m knitting very fast to try and catch up on Sock Madness. This pattern is Shakertown Fences. Here’s what I have so far.

Sock Madness Round 4

Sock Madness Round 3


Last week I said that I’d go into a bit more detail about my newest socks, made for Sock Madness Round 3.

When I first got the materials list for Sock Madness Round 3, I was surprised to see that I needed a solid colour and 7 10g scraps of colours. I had enough yarn, but I wasn’t too convinced about the colours. I expected the pattern to come out the next morning, so I (driven by Nick) went to find some yarn I could dye, and some food colourings to dye it with. Well, the only yarn remotely suitable that I could find was King Cole Zig Zag in a variegated pale blue with small dashes of dark blue. And the only food dye I could find were the gel Dr Oetker ones. So I bought them and hoped.

When I got home, the pattern had already been released. When I saw it, Rainbow Pipes and Linen Stitch Socks, I realised that I would have to continue with my dyeing plan because the scraps I had weren’t suitable at all. I had said I’d make pizza for dinner, so in between stages for that (I’m surprised we didn’t end up with multicoloured dough!), I dyed the yarn.

I should mention that at this point we were dog sitting at Nick‘s parents’ house, so had to be VERY careful not to stain anything. I also bought a cheap bowl so I didn’t damage any of theirs.

The first step was to divide the yarn into seven small skeins, then soak these in a water and vinegar mix for at least 30 minutes.Undyed Yarn

Then I added some food colouring to some warm water, put in the yarn and made sure it was covered. This then went into the microwave for 2 minute bursts until the water was clear.Dyeing

I hung up the skeins to dry, and they turned into this (with the black I’m using as the main colour):Round 3 Yarn

Not bad for a rushed and unprepared dyeing experiment!

I started knitting the next morning when all the yarn was dry. I tried to take advantage of the beautiful weather, but kept getting distracted by the two dogs.Distractions

A couple of days later we had to finish dog sitting and come home, but the next day I was off to visit my parents. So I knitted on the train, and I knitted while I was there, and I finally finished a couple of hours before I got on the train to come home again. They are some pretty well travelled socks!

When I submitted the socks, one of the organisers pointed out that I had used very Easter coloured yarn. I wasn’t even thinking that when I was dyeing them, but I think she’s right. That works out well considering I knitted most of them during the Easter weekend.

Sock Madness Round 3 Finished

I’ve ordered some better dyes and some undyed yarn and am looking forward to experimenting with it to get the exact colours I want. Keep an eye on this site, and soon you might find it for sale!


Work in Progress Wednesday 16th April

This is only  a really quick one as I’m in the middle of a round on Sock Madness and I need all the time I can get to knit. So here are my socks! The pattern for this round (Round 3) is Rainbow Pipes and Linen. I dyed my own yarn for the colours, and I’m loving how it’s coming out. More on that once I’ve actually finished knitting them. Here’s what I have so far:

Sock Madness 8 Round 3