May 2015

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FotoFuze

Blanket pre-processing

Blanket photo, pre-processing.

You know how sometimes you come across a solution to a problem and you just have to tell someone about it, because it’s fabulous? I’ve had a morning like that. One of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get around to listing my blankets on Etsy is I was struggling to get good photos of them. This weekend, I got my arse in gear and bought some cheap white sheets to throw over the bead and cover up the stripey duvet cover. The results were better, but not as good as I’d hoped for. The sheets creased and crumpled and the creases were really visible in the photos, even after ironing (well, I ironed the top one; I didn’t want to go mad and ruin my reputation!). I’m sure there are ways for me to deal with it in Paint Shop Pro, but I’ve always had trouble selecting the areas I want to deal with, plus I didn’t want to spend hours faffing about.

Blanket post-processing

Blanket photo, post-processing.

Today I found the answer; a web tool called FotoFuze. You do need to have taken your photo on a light, relatively smooth background, but I’d already done that, so I was good to go. All you do is upload your photo, use the highlight tool to select your object (and shadows), then press a button to process your photo. It almost took longer to type that out than to process a photo and the results are fantastic. It’s so easy to use that even the graphically challenged, like me, can use it and get good results.

My photos looks so much better. I noticed that the colours in the blanket look a lot brighter. I’d had to mess around with the colour saturation on some photos as the colours looked quite dull so, in future, I will just resize and put them through FotoFuze first, then adjust the saturation, if necessary.

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Lava BlanketWhen hell freezes over, I will have the perfect blanket! I used a block stitch and made this one in the round. I started the rounds in the corner and avoided the problem with the step effect I’d had on the Beachcomber Blanket. Aren’t those colours just fabulous? Like the Beachcomber Blanket, this one is made from DROPS Big Delight, this time in the Lava colour way. The colours are so warm, it’s like someone crushed up hot coals and spun them into wool. The DROPS sale is on until the end of the week and I’m having to sit on my hands not to order more. There’s a little devil sitting on one shoulder, whispering ‘Go on, it’s lovely. Get more.‘ The Voice of Reason is on my other shoulder, shouting ‘MORE?!’, like Mr Bumble from Oliver Twist.

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Deramores Runner UpAlmost 2 months ago I posted about the Barely There Rainbow blanket I made for the Deramores competition. This afternoon, I had a lovely surprise in my Inbox; an email informing I’ve been chosen as a runner up in the competition! Chuffed hardly begins to describe it. I enjoyed the whole process, so much that by the time I finished my blanket, the competition had almost become secondary. There have been so many fabulous entries, that I never seriously considered that I would get any prize at all.

I feel like I should do an acceptance speech now 😉 A big thank you to Heather at The Patchwork Heart for what was a truly inspirational post and to Selma, for an inspirational blanket. Thank you to everyone in the Official CCC Social Group on Facebook – I have learned so much in this group and everyone is always so supportive. Last but not least, a big thank you to everyone in the I Love Crochet Afghans Group on Ravelry – a source of much encouragement and enthusiasm. Every blanket’s a winner in this group! I suppose I’d better go and sew the ends in on that blanket now.

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Beachcomber BlanketI’m having a rest from corner-to-corner blankets and the lovely James C Brett Marble Chunky yarn I’ve been using. For the whole of May, most DROPS yarns are on sale, so it seemed like a good time to try out something a little different. I opted for the Big Delight, which has turned out to be just gorgeous. I might have ordered more… lots more! The yarn is aran weight 100% wool. The only slight downside is that it’s only hand washable, but blankets tend not to get washed often, so it’s not a huge problem. The biggest upside for me is that I can use a felted join, so there are no ends to deal with. Read the rest of this entry »

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Knitting BagIt’s been a mixed week. I finally got around to making myself a large knitting bag. I used the same format as the previous bags, except I used a large piece of fabric instead of strips. Knitting Bag As you can see from the second photo, there’s room for a large ball of wool, half of a 5′ square blanket with room to grow! It ended up at 13″ wide, 7″ deep and 16″. This bag also has a large pocket the spans the full width of the bag, with a divider up the middle.

I was beginning to think I’d never get this one done. I started on Monday and it was all going well until I ran out of black thread about 1/3 of the way through the quilting. As it was a bank holiday, I had no choice but to wait until Tuesday for thread. I usually go to my mum’s on a Tuesday so child #1 was given thread-buying insturctions as he was going to Maltby anyway. I got home, all ready to carry on with my bag only to find that the shop was out of black thread, but expecting a delivery at teatime. Foiled again! My knitting bag was finally finished on Wenesday. Read the rest of this entry »

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