Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category


Eye Candy Friday

In Photography on March 2, 2007 by Queue

I’m not feelin’ but so great today, but I did bust out the camera to play for a few minutes . . . so enjoy.



I’ve been dyeing to tell you . . .

In Finished 2007,Knitting,Photography on January 29, 2007 by Queue

. . . literally

I used some of my Christmas money to buy some undyed yarn and some real dye (read: not Kool-aid) to try dyeing some yarn myself. It arrived whilst we were house and cat sitting for mom, so all the pictures are from her kitchen. It has nothing to do with the size or equipment difference between the two – for those of you who might feel inspired to try this sometime – I just needed to be there for the cat who’d recently had surgery. So fear not, it’s easy and fun, and if you’re not me, not messy at all. I’m a little messy.

So here’s how it went. My first attempt was “handpainted” merino doubleknit weight. I bought my yarn from Knitpicks, and the dye as well, for that matter.
So, I gathered my tools:

Some acid dyes, plastic wrap, empty pint jars, and a stainless steel pot with a steamer basket. I filled the pot with water and started heating it on the stove. Then I plunked the yarn into a sink full of water.

Once I had worked all of the air out of the yarn, I squeezed enough water out of it to keep it from dripping, and layed it out on some plastic wrap on the counter.

Then I mixed up my dyes: blue, teal, and brown. A tsp of blue and teal, in hot water and 3 tbsp. vinegar. 1/2 tsp of brown, in hot water and vinegar, for a lighter color.

And squirted them onto the yarn in sections, using a small squirt bottle, one color at a time. I left space between the brown and the teal because I didn’t think the color they’d produce together would be one I wanted – the dyes spread during the setting process.

It was in the midst of this process that I began to think that gloves might be smart – acid dyes like these dye protein fibers, skin has protein, ergo they also dye skin. I decided I didn’t really want smurf fingers, so I went and found some gloves, right after this happened:

Then I wrapped the yarn up in the plastic wrap and laid it in the steamer basket over boiling water to set the dye. I lined the basket with a couple paper towels, to spare the plastic wrap some of the heat, I’m not sure I needed to, but it didn’t hurt anything.

Once it cooled a bit, I rinsed it until the water ran clear, and hung it up to dry in the shower. See how the colors spread and deepened?

Once it was dry, I wound it into a ball . . .

. . . so I could knit these – a pair of Knucks, and now I can type at work and not have cold hands.

Now that was a 100 g skein, only 52 g of which I used to make the mitts, so I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest, not sure yet.

Now, there is another way to dye yarn. Which I tried another day. It involves a glass bowl, dye, water, vinegar and a microwave – or if I was doing this at the apartment (sans microwave) a pot on the stove, water, vinegar and dye. But the glass bowl made pretty pictures.

I put the dye powder in the water and vinegar. And thought perhaps that I should stir it, as I didn’t want a more tie-dyed look for this yarn.

Then I added the wet yarn, and popped the bowl in the microwave, nuking it until the dye was “exhausted,” in other words, the water bath was clear, or mostly clear. Then I had to let it rest a long time, because this was also merino, and not superwash. On top of that, it was fingering weight, which is thinner, and more likely to tangle and felt while it was wet. I dyed two skeins, one sort of a peach/salmon color, the second a green/teal mix. These are for lace projects for later. They are dry and sitting on top of the freezer, I haven’t gotten a chance to wind them yet.

I dyed a third skein as well – this one superwash – a deep burgundy, for a pair of socks that I’ve been waiting to make. Aren’t they pretty?

So that’s what I was dyeing to tell you . . . there will be more – I have 4 more skeins of the merino double knit that I want to handpaint (probably socks, maybe a scarf) and two more skeins of the fingering weight to “pot dye” when I decide on colors.


A New Neighbor

In Outdoors,Photography on September 22, 2006 by Queue

We have a new neighbor. She took up residence in our kitchen window the other day, and I intend to leave her there, as long as she wishes to remain. She is a barn spider, araneas cavaticus, and since I was raised in this country as one of the last members of generation X, that means I am compelled to call her Charlotte A. Cavatica, so I do.
Meet Charlotte.

I took the picture, and then scoured the internet to find out what kind of spider she was, before I could decide on a name for her. Charlotte had come to mind at first, but I wanted to know what she was, in hopes of a less cliched name for her. No such luck, once I saw the latin name, I was stuck. But it suits her I think.
Isn’t she pretty? I love the way her legs fade to a redder hue near her body. I wish I could get a picture of what she looks like with the light in the window behind her at night, but the camera wasn’t doing so good at getting a good exposure with a shutter speed fast enough to fight my unsteady hand. But I still think she’s pretty.


A Surprise Today

In Outdoors,Photography on September 20, 2006 by Queue

I decided, that while I was over at mom’s doing laundry, I would take the camera and peruse the garden for interesting things to shoot.
Well, mom’s surprise lilies were up – we’re not positive what they are, or how they got there, but they’re pretty so we don’t complain. See?

Well, this particular surprise lily included an added surprise, you might have noticed it in the last picture, but I managed to snap a better one . . . the lily had a little friend!

And just for flavor, I just want to share . . . A warm, soft, fluffy towel that smells lightly of lavender just makes a day so much better, even if it’s already good.



In Photography on September 5, 2006 by Queue

Ernesto ploughed through Norfolk, the center of the storm passing right over our heads. Sounds scary right? Ernesto was back down to being a tropical depression when he hit us; I drove downtown to work just after he’d passed by – not because I needed to wait for him to leave, but because I didn’t need to go to work that early. There was a little flooding, but we didn’t even lose power. Well, there was a lot of flooding, but we didn’t have much where we were.
Ernesto actually came at Hampton Roads from the best possible direction – over land. But as it continued up the bay, it had more water to push and hit a high pressure system, that compacted it, driving up the wind speeds. By the time he made it to my grandparents on the Norther Neck, he was dealing damage somewhat like Isabel.
We drove up Sunday to help my grandparents dig out of what Ernesto left behind.

We took around 100 bags of debris to the dump, and that still leaves half of the pile of sea grass in front of the cottage (another 50 bags or so). The boat losses were high, because Ernesto wasn’t supposed to be so bad – but no one anticipated what he’d manage to do up in the northern bay – they had 90 mph winds in Baltimore. This was certainly not a Katrina – but I think we underestimated Ernie just a bit.


Cape Charles

In Photography on August 28, 2006 by Queue

Your 3 was on tour in Cape Charles last week . . . we had fun, see?

This is Nathan . . . he works at the station – he’s working hard, can’t ya tell?


Pretty Things

In Photography on August 23, 2006 by Queue

It’s time for something on the lighter side!

So, the S&S Gray 2.0 household has a new camera. Be warned, this means more pictures in upcoming posts, and probably posts solely for the purpose of posting pictures. Now, I firmly believe that it’s not the camera, it’s the operator that makes beautiful pictures . . . but there is a point when the limitations of a point-and-shoot camera limit the posibilities of a person’s skills. Thus the Canon Digital Rebel XT – our first fully functional SLR that can be completely manual. We are (obviously) excited. Tomorrow I’m headed to the eastern shore for a remote newscast “Your 3 On Tour” – I’m taking the camera, so expect one of those aforementioned pictures only posts in the near future.

Anyway, on the theme of pretty things, I was playing with the camera today. I didn’t wander much farther than the fire escape, but I found some fun stuff.

Now, those are all pictures of things that aren’t mine. On the gardening front, I planted a little New Zealand Spinach in one of the pots on the fire escape just to see how it did, and while it’s still small, it’s coming along nicely. I had good luck with some lettuce, but now that we’ve reached the dog days of august, lettuce gets very bitter (inedible, trust me). NZ spinach, on the other hand, doesn’t mind the heat.

Now, the gardening thing is not new news around here . . . most anyone who has been reading my ramblings knows I’ve been playing with green growing things this summer. But in an attempt to find a portable form of entertainment that I could take to work for when I had down time, or long meal breaks, I have turned to . . . Knitting! I’m sticking primarily to small projects that provide a little challenge – the first of which was a pair of socks. I think I’m hooked. My domestic adventures never end!

Now I’m working on socks for the boy (gray w/red heels and toes), and a bunch of possible christmas presents . . . pictures will come, but not until after they’re given to the folks they’re for.

So, that’s what’s up here, at least for now.