[sticky post]Hello!
bookworm
motorharp
My journal now mostly consists of monthly summary posts, which I don't make public.  You can, however, respond to this post if you want to be included in my friends group to read those entries.  And please let me know how you found me. Thanks!
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Camera tutorial
bookworm
motorharp
The new camera I got has a ton of features, many of which I have no idea how to use, because I don't really know how photography works. F-stop stands for aperture? Whuuut.

So I decided to try a weekly tutorial of sorts where I am going through the manual and using each section to play with my camera.

It has an "Aperture" setting. I am still confused. So I'm going to throw up some photos here with the settings and maybe come back to it next week.


f1.8 1/30 ISO 320                                                  f/11.0 1/8 ISO 3200

A larger aperture (1.8) will make the foreground things sharp and background fuzzy. Is there a mathy diagram that explains this?

f/4.9 0.5" ISO 3200                                              f/11 0.8" ISO 3200

A larger aperture will let more light in, but a smaller aperture gives you diffraction spikes around lights. Again, confused as the smaller aperture seemed to produce a more "starry" effect. Also, I was shuddering because I was cold and the photos are blurry.

And then one picture because despite being freezing cold, I wanted to stay out side and take night photos of the sky because I could. The old camera, not so much.

f/4.9 0.8" ISO3200
And why do some photo settings have inches and other have fractions?  ETA! I found out the fractions and "inches" are the shutter speed.  The shutter speed is shown as fractions from 2000 up to 3 (ie 1/2000 to 1/3), then switch over to decimals where the ' " ' indicates 'seconds'. So the shutter speed was different in all the photos and was adjusted automatically by the camera.

Things I liked in 2015
bookworm
motorharp
Music
I'm swinging wildly back and forth between liking and cringing at what we've managed to record for my album so far.  Right now I'm in the "sounds good" camp, so yay!

I found two music websites that are particularly helpful.  For harp, I discovered Harp Mastery by Anne Sullivan. She sends out very practical tips to improve your playing and technique and thought-provoking ideas for improving your musicality. Maybe not for harpists only? The other website is fiddlehed which is super organized into beginning, intermediate and advanced course outlines. He has a ton of videos, the most helpful of which are how to practice. I know how to practice the harp, but fiddle is completely different.  Both are enthusiastically, yet gently encouraging.

I found Girl Band, a band that hails from Ireland, has no girls in it, and do cool harmonics on the bass. A strong indicator of how much I like them is I thought they were good enough to buy their album. I also couldn't stop listening to Missy Elliot's album preview "WTF". I'm so glad she's back.  Both should be listened to super loud.

Books
My two favorite books of 2015 were ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John  Mendel and ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell’ by Susanna Clarke. ‘Station Eleven’ is a post-apocalyptic tale of a frightening pandemic, a traveling symphony, and Shakespeare. Mendel deftly weaves a small group of people together back and forth through time in a brilliant and beautiful way. I didn't want this one to end.

'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell’ is a hefty tome, anonymously and wittily narrated, and starts in the mid-1800s with two characters attempting to answer the question: “Why is there is no magic in England anymore?” It would not be out of place as a serial story told in monthly installments in a Victorian magazine. I was content to come along for a leisurely and delightful ride - then it got really thrilling.  And it has fantastic footnotes.

Movies
Mad Max: Fury Road - I loved this so much I don't even really know what to say about it. What We Do In the Shadows was hilarious and I can't wait for the werewolves (not swearwolves!) sequel. The two movies that surprised me were Trainwreck and Magic Mike XXL. Trainwreck had way more substance than I expected. I laughed, I cried. Despite that most of what was in the trailer was not in the movie. XXL was way more feminist than I expected and I really appreciated that.

ETA: Eep! I forgot I saw Girl Walks Home Alone At Night - it's one of the best vampire films I've seen in addition to WWDitS and Only Lovers Left Alive. And Love at First Bite.

Miscellaneous
The Blood Eclipse Moon was magical, the Pacific Ocean was dizzyingly cold, and the TSD Road Rally was tiring but sensational.

New Blue Sweater!
bookworm
motorharp

The sweater is done! The stand-in sweater was promptly stuffed in the donation box! I really want to knit something on big needles with no cables now! And I have a new camera that takes pictures in which you can see stitch definition!

If you are on ravelry, you can see more of it here.

It's a pattern from the first of Vogue Knitting's vintage reprint books "Knitting in Vogue" called Round-Necked Cable Cardigan from 1951.  After an arduous search for a heathered light blue yarn (why is light blue so rarely a heather-y color?), I settled on Jamieson's Double Knitting in Sky Blue and for the trim used Prussian Blue. I went down one needle size on both the ribbing and body.

This is the second time I've made this sweater - the first one wore out, and I liked it so much and it went with so many things already in my wardrobe, that I had to make it again.  The first one was on even smaller needles. Maybe by the time this one wears out, I'll be able to find yarn with the correct gauge. And I'll be 63.

And my knitting basket is almost empty for the first time in probably a decade! I just need to mend some gloves and then it will be truly empty!*

* I think I'm using the exclamation points to make up for not getting the same sense of relief as after I finished my replacement brown cardigan.

Footnote: My hair (which you can't really see) is in a "messy bun" based on instructions in the Babes In Hairland book.  It's really easy, however the style in the book is for shorter hair.  I used almost the entire box of bobby pins.

For those of you that missed the Super Blood Pox-Eclipse Moon thingy, I totes got you covered
bookworm
motorharp


So.... I still haven't gotten a new camera. :P
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The slowest sewing project
bookworm
motorharp
I am still working on the muslin for a dress to play the harp in.  My excuse for not being done with that, and the final dress, and have already purchased shoes to go with it (and a whole other host of harp-related things), is how unbelievably hot it was this summer, but it's more a combination of that and minimal internal encouragement.  So much so that I've been repeating one of my favorite quotes while sewing this morning more than usual: "There are no experimental failures - there's only more data." -Bryce Lynch in Max Headroom. It has kept me sewing this morning. Seriously.

The muslin doesn't fit and look exactly like I want, but I'm unable to adjust it further because I have no seam allowance left, and I started with 1" SA!

I also read through my Deconstructed Dress post to see if I wanted to add any stabilizers.  The type of stabilizing on that dress won't work with a dress that's underlined.

Off to collect more data!

Why I listen to so much music
bookworm
motorharp
This is a quote from an All Songs Considered podcast with Sylvan Esso talking about why they listen to music that sounds nothing like the music they make, and pretty much nails why I listen to so much music. And the quote was too long for twitter.

"It's a record that's just so perfectly representative of the artist that made it, and it feels like such a pure missive or expression from that person and it doesn't sound like anybody else could make it. My favorite part about records like that ... is that they don't make you want to make music like that, what they make you want to do is make an even better record that sounds like you." ~Nick Sanborn http://n.pr/1HSjKZH
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I just couldn't wait for the end of the month
bookworm
motorharp
Yesterday, since it was cool, I did a bunch of hot stuff:

- made zucchini chips, tomato chewies, roasted sweet potatoes in the oven
- dyed two sweaters on the stovetop with dye that I managed to order so it arrived yesterday, the one cool day this summer
- laundry
- harp
- fiddle
- rode my bike to leather store to get suede to make slipper soles to turn felted wool socks with holes in the soles into slippers
- went to fabric store to replace leather needles and get buttons for one of the sweaters.
- Cut and sewed the leather, punched holes around the edge, and crocheted around the soles of the slippers

The amount of stuff in my knitting basket is now level with the top as opposed to a foot above it.

And this sweater came out great!



On the list for today is buy new camera! So I can stop having to use my ipod!

As well as get motivated to rewire my headphones so I can move forward with critial listening and editing of harp music and maybe not be depressed about that anymore.

Eyelet muslin
bookworm
motorharp
I've got the muslin for my harp dress more or less all pinned up.
So far:
- I've had to adjust the shoulders to be more square (no surprise)

- I put darts in the back V neck because my back is so flat.

- the skirt is hard to draft - is it a-line? is it straight? how are the darts folded?

lucluc-skater-dress-white.jpg
- I don't think I have enough fabric in the skirt - it's maybe not as full as I'd like? I think I need another 10 inches in width all around, at least. It definitely doesn't look like the above picture. Right now it's 60" in circumference. I will have to muslin with the brocade, too. I may not have a choice in fabric design placement, ulp.

- the underarm gusset definitely needs to be two pieces as Gertie has you draft in her book "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing".

- I was going to put a side zip in, but that would interfere with pockets and I don't want to try to do that with a gusset, either - too much bulk. But putting an invisible zip in the back in a v-neck is making me leery.

Also, this dress is really hot. Not as in "I look awesome" but as in the fabric is heavy. This could be a problem if I suddenly develop the ability to sweat. Right now, it's just uncomfortable.

But wow are kimono sleeves the most comfortable thing to play harp in ever. Even better than raglan sleeves.

ETA: Whoa. I just figured out the darts, and measured, and I need about 50" for the front and back panels, ie 100" (~2.75 yds) circumference. That's 40" more than what I have in the muslin.  I have 4 yards of the brocade, and it's only 30" wide. That means the skirt will be cut on the lengthwise grain. Unless I piece it. Which could present some interesting design opportunities.

But what to do with the muslin skirt? I could just put a normal waistline on it and gather it? Ho hum.

I also had a thought about what to line the muslin with. Since it's eyelet, I thought putting a dark fabric underneath could be interesting, but then I thought I'd want it to "pop" and wondered if I could find something fluorescent. THEN I thought: REFLECTIVE FABRIC. Now that would sparkle on stage.

Things to do when it's too hot to move
bookworm
motorharp
The mid-90° weather is suppose to last through next Thursday, so I'm going to commit a list of things to do that don't require a lot of movement to lj, so that when I feel I'm too hot to do anything but sit at my computer and drool into my cereal bowl, I'll have an immediate reminder1:

- quarterly planning
- putting quarterly planning on calendar
- knitting (did quite a bit yesterday)
- hand sewing rolled hem on scarf
- take apart Chinese frogs to see how they're made
- shop for new camera, dangit


1 And keep the list around for the 2nd (currently), and, I'm assuming, 3rd and 4th heat waves.
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