Wednesday, October 26, 2011

miles to go before I steek

miles to go before I steek 

Finally ready to cut that steek! I crochet reinforced this steek as it wouldn't have been possible to machine reinforce such a long tube. Really I'm a purist and think that a handmade item deserves hand reinforcement, why get a machine involved in all this? The shawl is 80 inches long (and will probably grow some during blocking) so that's 160 inches of chain crochet. The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino and the silk adds some slither which makes it necessary to reinforce that steek. With a nice toothy Shetland type yarn you really don't have to even reinforce the steek, it practically sticks to itself. Some folks get nervous about cutting something that has taken them so long to knit but I actually get excited because it's so close to the finish line and it's not really usable until it's been cut. If you're having the urge to cut your knitting (you know who you are) I say just go for it. Here is a link to a great tutorial on how to crochet reinforce your steek.

My camera got a new lens today and I rushed to use it. I have a micro 4/3 camera, an Olympus Pen E-PL1, which is sort of like a compact digital SLR. I guess it's not technically an SLR but you can change the lenses on it and have many of the same controls that you have on a larger camera. It completely suits my need for better photos without feeling like I'm dragging around paparazzo style equipment. I'm not a techie or a serious photographer so please excuse any misinformation I might be spreading here. Ever since I've started taking photos of my knitting I've been lusting after that in focus/blurry yarny beauty that many of Brooklyn Tweed's photos have. After some research I realized that I needed to be able to really lower my aperture and have a nice lens with a shallow depth of field. You can also achieve an effect that photographers call Bokeh this way, in a portrait the subject would be in focus and the background out of focus. My new lens, 45 mm f/1.8 (though I didn't lower the aperture all the way to 1.8), gave me the above photo. Not too shabby! I am in love. Thanks Mom, I am one lucky gal. xoxo

and... the cut!

and... the cut!

10 comments:

lauren said...

gosh what lovely subtle colorwork! And I'm with you on the crochet reinforcement over machine. For me, cutting my knitting isn't nearly as terrifying as the proposition of putting it near a sewing machine, but that is of course because I am a deeply incompetent sewist. ;)

Erin said...

I am floored by your beautiful colors! And I've never thought of reinforcing with crochet, will you rip it out when you're done with the steek? Can't wait to see the finished product!

craftivore said...

Thanks! The crochet reinforcement will stay, in this case it will covered up by a covered steek. There's a good tutorial on the covered steek here: http://www.kidsknits.com/finish_raw_cut_edges_of_my_steek.html

Oiyi said...

Yay for new camera equipment! Really nice photos. I always love seeing your colorwork. This is going to be fantastic.

Michelle said...

Love it! So glad that you are sort of in the home stretch and I hope your SiL loves it!

Michelle said...

Love it! So glad that you are sort of in the home stretch and I hope your SiL loves it!

nicole said...

I hear ya with your lust for the focus/blurry thing à la BT. He's the reason why I went out and bought my DSLR! Your photos (and knit) are lovely.

And I LOVE cutting my knitting too! It's so satisfying to get to that stage. And there's something so cool about the fact that it doesn't unravel (though a crochet reinforcement is a fail safe I cannot live without, and no, no machine touches my knitting either!)

BeckyinVT said...

Beautiful colors and photography! I have a sweater I just finished that needs steeking and a button band. It's in shetland, so I'm considering steeking without the reinforcement. I'm going to try and be brave!

choo choo knits said...

This is a gorgeous COMMITMENT! and your handknits are always so "go big or go home"...which i adore! congrats on a beautiful design as well - you really should consider publishing it :o)

Deborah-- said...

The love that has gone into this shawl will make it a treasured piece forever! Love your pictures with your new lens.