I’m a huge fan of hand knit socks to keep your feet warm. So when I knit my socks a small number of them have longer legs for me to wear under my hiking boots. My latest pair with the longer legs, exactly for this reason, are one of my February socks made out of Regia. Naturally I wore them yesterday when I went out to photograph the sunrise.
Despite everything I’ve said about keeping your feet warm I came home with cold feet, but that’s not fault of the socks! So I curled up on the sofa where Pebbles the dog decided she would make a perfect foot warmer. Fortunately I managed to get this shot on my phone that not only shows how pretty Pebbles is, but also the colours of the sock.
Last year I placed myself on a sock yarn buying ban. My stash was growing rapidly to alarming proportions in this area, and while I personally think it’s impossible to have to much yarn – it is possible to have to much to store! So I went on a yarn diet. No more sock yarn till I used up what I had. This happened by Christmas and during the holidays I bought 2 more balls from a local yarn shop. One I loved and the other I hated, but I’ve already blogged about them here. So I was terrified when I realised about 10 days ago that I was just hours from finishing my last ball of sock yarn. There was the going cold all over and breaking out in a sweat, the gnashing of teeth, and probably a little bit of whimpering until I had another ball safely tucked away in my bag to take home.
Hot Socks Casablanca in colour 55.
So what I have got? Some further internet shopping secured a little bit more as no one wants to see a grown woman cry when she can’t have socks on her needles!
The top shot is of the ‘emergency’ ball that was hastily purchased to avert the lack of socks crisis. The yarn itself is lovely but the colours – not so good. They’ve not come out very well in that shot but they just don’t seem to work together very well.
Wendy Happy Bamboo Colour2519 Fjord
This is my first time knitting with Wendy Happy and also my first sock bamboo yarn. The colours are very pretty pastels and I’m looking forward to seeing how it knits up. I’ll admit to some concerns about stretching once finished though because of the bamboo.
Jawoll Magic Degrade Colour 7310
Still in it’s packed but the colour looks lovely and more red than in this shot.
Schoppel Wolle Zauberball – Can’t remember the colour
I have friends who rave about this yarn so I thought I’d give it a go. My initial feeling is one of disappointment, it’s much pinker than I imagined from the photos online. I’m not really a pink person but I’ll try to reserve judgement till I see how it knits up. Perhaps the white and green bits will win me over.
Finally those shots were taken with my mobile because although my proper camera is in fine working order, the ‘big’ pc isn’t. So while I can take shots, I can’t upload them. New parts are on order and hopefully this problem will be sorted next week! In the meantime I thought I’d leave you with a flower shot from last year.
Anyone who is a regular reader will know how much I love a cup of tea. I even have different cups / mugs for different occasions. I was recently told this is a very ‘British thing’ which is fair enough. So why am I rambling on about this? Well last week while out for lunch (and many cups of tea) with a friend I spotted this in a charity shop window.
Now how could I resist?
The writing reads
Wet nose and twitching paws
Shiny tail and doggie snores
It could have been made with Jake as the model. He even sleeps on the floor in that exact position. Best of all it’s actually china. I’m so enjoying drinking my Ceylon tea out of it. Hmmm….
Yesterday I went out for a ‘Photowalk’ around Ipswich with my good friend Miss H. For ‘Photowalk’ read a meander around the shops with our cameras. The purpose behind this was not just to spend a pleasant afternoon together but to help her get to grips with her first DSLR a very niffty Nikon. Miss H is new to photography but enjoying herself.
Naturally there was much chatting and as we wandered round, cameras in hand, I heard a voice call out asking if I wanted to take a photo. Turning round I saw a man sitting in a door way.
This is Dan. I took his photo and we chatted for a little while. I’m not a great one for street photography and rarely take photos of people. However Dan was happy to pose and I just couldn’t resist. He was a little vague about how he ended up sat in that doorway on the cold floor, but seemed grateful for the money I gave him to get a hot drink. As Miss H and I walked away we started looking round to see what else, and who else, we were just walking past. Dan had been charming and articulate, and I had just been walking past as if he didn’t exist. Food for thought…
Last summer I did some exploring round places I’d not visited before. Top of the list that blew me away was Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire. I keep leaving the shots for a few months and coming back to them. Here are the latest couple of shots which I thought I’d share with you…
If you ever get a chance to visit I’d strongly recommend it. The site is looked after by English Heritage but they were very relaxed about me wandering round with my camera and tripod.
More years ago than I want to count a little tabby kitten came into my life. She was about 8 weeks old and I named her Simba after a cat from my childhood. She’s stayed with me, eventually becoming a very very old lady, but she was still happy and enjoying her life. Yet I knew the time was coming when we would have to say good bye.
I wasn’t looking forward to that day which happened yesterday. Here is a photo I took of her snoozing in one of her cat beds last year and I’m sure there will be lots more photos in the coming weeks and months. We travelled together through 4 house moves, 7 cars, one wedding, one divorce, the loss of my father and more highs and lows than I care to count. She has been the constant in my life for almost 20 years now and watching her fade has torn me apart.
Yesterday I took that final decision. I stroked and spoke to her as the vets took away the pain. Wherever she is now I hope she understands that I did it out of love. As I watched the light fade from her eyes she took a part of me with her. Sleep tight my little one, my world is a darker place without you.
I processed this photo yesterday which I took a few weeks back at a local ruined church. This is a cropped part of a tone mapped composite of 3 bracketed images (processed with Photomatix), but I’ve gone back and the ‘orbs’ are present on the original images. I did an internet search on these things, just for fun, and I was wondering what experience others have of them with their cameras.
For the record the shot was taken just after dawn on a Sunday morning facing towards the sun. No other light sources were used (so the reflection from my flash theory is a none starter). While the church is a ruin the graveyard is still in use but these graves were in the older part of the cemetery. Oh and there was no one else about (except the dogs in the car which was parked a little way off). Myself I’m going to go with moisture on the front of my lens as the explaination as I do remember it was damp, although it wasn’t raining.
Anyway I thought I’d share and ask if anyone else has had any of these things pop up in their images? This is the first time for me.
Following on from my last blog post here are some more shots from the Street Art Photowalk last weekend.
As I mentioned there were over 30 of us so at times it was a little difficult to get the shot you wanted simply because of space and time constraints. While no one was making it into a competition I also felt a bit of pressure to try and find something ‘different’ to photograph. I’ll admit I put this pressure on myself as I simply didn’t want my images to be the same as everyone else’s. Fortunately as we moved round the route this became easier as everyone seemed to get into their stride and we did spread out a little.
The weather in many ways wasn’t kind to us. It was cold (it even snowed in the evening), damp and overcast. Yet if you choose to think of the glass as half full this meant that we didn’t have glaring sunlight to contend with and flare from the sun simply wasn’t possible. I just cranked up the ISO on my camera and decided I simply wasn’t going to worry about if this made my images grainy. I have to say that I don’t think it did, or maybe I’m just not seeing the grain as I’m too busy looking at what is in the images.
As the light began to fade we all headed to Cargo’s for some liquid refreshment and food. I don’t think the guy behind the bar had ever been asked for so many tea’s and coffees! This was a wonderful little stop in the day and a chance to chat and compare photos. Then later on a smaller group of us headed back out to see what night shots we could get. As the snow was starting to fall heavier by this point I decided to call it a night and find a train home. I’m afraid my confidence in our rail network running in bad weather is very low and despite reassurances from the rest of the group I reluctantly called it a night and headed home.
Over the last week it has been wonderful to watch peoples images go up on Google+ and I’ve seen a delightful mix of images that are similar to shots I’ve taken and ones that I didn’t even spot. The greatest diversity seems to have come from when as a group we just mooched about an area.
It was a wonderful day and I had a great time. I’ve pretty much always worked in isolation with my photography so it was fun to be part of a group, to have people to chat with and bounce ideas off.
I also promised some links to other photographers who were on the walk. So here in no particular order are……
Last Saturday I went on a photo walk with 30 odd other photographers in London. The theme was ‘Street Art’ which can be found around the city. We stayed around the Shoreditch and Old Street area and in no time we were all happily snapping away.
I’ve never been on a photo walk with other photographers before so this was a new experience for me, and I loved it! There was a wide range of experience and skills, not to mention cameras being used. Everything from the latest Nikon and Canon models through to iPhones, everyone was welcome. It was all organised through Google+ by the wonderful Helena Martins who was our guide and a font of information on street art. She also turned up with some ‘The Google+ Project’ tee shirts and I’ve been happily wearing mine to work safely out of sight under my jacket.
Having lived in big cities such as London I’ve naturally come across street art before and I have to admit that I’ve been a bit on the fence when it comes to the art vs vandalism debate. I tried to keep an open mind approaching the day and used the internet to do some research beforehand. By the time I got onto the train to head into London I was still undecided. However, I was sure that it would challenge me photographically and that has got to be a good thing.
The challenge came in different forms. When you have 30 or so people all photographing the same thing you don’t want to walk away with images the same as everyone else. But at the same time this is someone else’s art and you want to try and show that.
Also being a weedy girlie I can’t carry all my equipment with me and still take shots. So I needed to decide what to take and what to leave. I opted for my 18 – 50mm Sigma lens and also my sparkly new Canon nifty fifty (50mm prime), tripod and cable release. The rest was spare memory cards, batteries, lens cleaning cloths and so on all wrapped up in my new Crumpler bag. It does make me laugh sometimes when I hear female friends dribbling over designer clothes, they get a goofy look on their faces that I get with Crumpler bags and camera lenses.
Anyway I took loads of shots and it’s going to take me quite a while to work my way through them all. So I decided to make this a double post and spread them out a bit. I’d also like to share some links to many of the amazing people I met, but again they’ll need time to work through all the images and get them up. So I’ll post those links next time. This might not be my normal sort of photography but I certainly did enjoy myself.
Last summer I visited Bylands on the North Yorkshire Moors. Despite being much easier to find than Rievaulx a few miles away this ruin was practically deserted. As a result there was a strange spooky feeling to it. The weather had been variable all day and those black clouds in the sky really were black with impending rain.
As I wandered round with my tripod the sun was peaking in and out. When I came across this composition I set up and waited for the clouds to move and give me some light. When they did I took a series of shots but unfortunately the only other visitor was visible, something I didn’t realise till afterwards. He’s still there if you look carefully and in my mind he’s become a ghostly monk.
I’m not a huge fan of applying loads of filters and post-processing the life out of every image. I frequently see photos that look ‘over processed’ for no reason other than the photographer felt like it. I try to do only as much as I need to and nothing more. This shot of course has a lot more processing than most of my images but again I only did what I felt was warranted. I was aiming for a spooky shot that you could imagine being the image which would flash up on screen during a Hammer House of Horror movie. You know the way some directors show you that there is another world lurking just out of view by flashing between the regular film and an alternate reality. I’m not sure if I managed it, but I like the result anyhow.
I'm Mara and this is the main spot for all my ramblings, musings and occasional rants about whatever crosses my mind. It's mainly crafting oriented but I can't promise that other things won't crop up as well....
There will definitely be stuff on knitting, sewing, photography, gardening, spinning and furry beasts. Probably a lot of spelling mistakes as well....