Sunday, 21 June 2015

Everything Going On

So here we are, at the official start of summer. Just over a week to July, folks, and the time's been going fast. This weekend seems to be my first breathing space in a while. A nice quiet Sunday with a little mizzle in the air, and a chance to sit down at the computer for more than the time to check e-mail or do work. At least for a little while, before I have to see about lunches for the week, and tidying the place for a friend's visit, and getting some work done on Liz's garden plan, a few changes to be made following a chat with her last weekend...

It's been busy in the gardens this year. We've had more clients at work, more jobs coming in, than last year for sure. No early finishes to the days. Little chance of getting rainy days off. More Saturdays worked than before. And then our head gardener let us know she was leaving, so the next little while will be more fun than ever. Thankfully Emily (the other gardener remaining) and I work well together, and the organizing of jobs we've been doing this week seems to be getting a good amount done. But if you know of an experienced gardener looking for work (a slim hope, but whatever), send them our way!

Actual knitting content has been happening also, no fear. I mentioned that I was doing one for the boss for his fundraiser, right? It got done, working on it right to the last minute. Under 4 weeks, dudes, and I am not trying that again. There are changes I would make another time, but it turned out well, the boss liked it, and he was happy with the auction results, and said it got a lot of positive comments. Phew. This was the final product (although you can't see the cables very well; they're on both red and grey stripes:

Please note the cat is helping. She's usually very good about not touching my work, so I don't know what got into her, but every time I had the afghan pieces out to pin and arrange for sewing, she was there rolling on my work, and I was panicking that she would coat it in cat hair or snag it. I ended up putting a tablecloth over whatever parts I wasn't actually working on.

The logo is from their website, and I will note that Photoshop or a similar image manipulation program is your friend if you want to copy/adapt something like this for knitting, especially if you're like me and can't draw. If you want to know how I did it, the process goes like this:
1) I grabbed the image from the website, then in Photoshop, I cropped it to the area with just the logo I needed.

 2) I did a gauge swatch of my yarn, figured out how big a panel I wanted to make with the logo, and used that info to get an approximate stitch and row count for the panel.
3) Back in Photoshop, I changed the image size width in pixels to match my stitch count desired for the panel (I wasn't too fussed about row count, as I figured I could just make the shorter strips below it whatever length I needed, and I didn't want to distort the image.)
4) Then I magnified the image until I could see the individual pixels well.
5) I opened up a page of electronic graph paper (I found it as a free download somewhere a few years ago) in Photoshop as well, and copied the image outlines to the graph paper.

Since the original image had pixels in multiple colours and intensities, and I wanted essentially a black and white version, I had to decide for the in-between shades whether a square should be graphed as black or white, and I adjusted the lettering to be more regular than it would be by using strictly dark/light decisions. But the idea worked wonderfully on the whole, and I love the idea that it means there doesn't have to be a graphed image out there for something I want to do, because I can create one fairly easily in whatever size I want. (Of course, be respectful of copyright, if you are going to try this at home. I wasn't worrying about it because of it being done by request for the actual organization in question.)

Sort of funny that I had been working so hard on this afghan for a cancer fundraiser, when one of the other recent happenings has been that this week Kim, a knitting friend with cancer, got moved to hospice and subsequently passed away. It's not like we all didn't know this would happen at some point, short of a miracle occurring. And I'm glad for her sake that when she started going downhill, she went pretty fast, so didn't suffer as long. But it's still a hard notion to get used to, that she's gone, and she won't be at knit-outs or on Rav anymore, and I will be glad to be busy for a while and not think about it. She was a nice person, and will be missed around here.

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