Friday, March 4, 2011

Special Olympics and Making Videos

I am busy uploading new videos, but while I wait I thought I'd talk about other things.

Firstly, the Louisiana Special Olympics office has been flooded with wonderful scarves. The goal is 1400.  922 received is the last count I saw. I'm sure they will have more when they open those boxes. You can see a photo on their Facebook page.

They received scarves from over 135 cities in 37 states and some from Canada as well. Friday was the last official mailing day for that office, and on Monday  they received 53 packages containing 237 scarves. Go, crocheters! Everyone must have waited to send their scarves at the last minute. Some of these may also have been passed on from other SO offices who received more than needed.

I don't know about other offices, but when I've contacted the Louisiana office, I've received a very prompt reply with the information I asked for. I hope they meet their goal and are able to post photos of the sweet smiling faces wearing the scarves. I'm sure there are privacy issues so not sure if that is allowed.

How about a quick glimpse into the world of making videos at the Petits.

First I have to decide on a topic, the yarn, the hook and anything else I need. Everything has to be compact because my space is limited to the length of my arm. LOL

I sit in the black chair with the video camera right in front of me. My arm has to go between the video camera and the "green screen" which is a cloth that came with the program I'm using.

When you hear a clicking sound in the video that is because my hook hit the camera. heh

I am thinking of getting a table tripod at some point, but not really sure if that will help or not really.

In any case, I record, view, back up, re-record and so on, until I've accomplished more or less what I set out to do.

Then I bring the whole setup into the living room and start Pinnacle Studio 12, which is the program I use to edit the video. Great program. I upload the video to my computer using the "capture" function. You know - give it a name, create a working project file etc. The video plays as it is being captured, so a 40 minute video would take approximately 40 minutes to upload.

When the upload is complete, I then start editing it. That take hours and hours because I am still learning. :-) I put the little opening and closing sequence and add the titles before each section if needed, any fade ins and outs necessary. That's all really just personal preference and not actually NEEDED. Sometimes there is a small flub. Like I call a single crochet a chain. I can't change that so I either have to live with it or do it over. In some cases the offending piece can be deleted or silenced, depending on how much leeway I have. I try to leave a bit of "blank space" between sections so I can have that leeway, but if I'm talking and mess up, well, that's me. LOL

I have found I really enjoy teaching by video. I'd love to have a real "studio" where I could put the camera behind me focused on my work and a monitor in front so I could see what you see. Sometimes I get involved in the process of crocheting the piece and forget to stay in frame. I'm getting better at it though. :-)

After the project is edited, then I have to "make the movie". This puts it into mp4 format so I can upload it to YouTube. Making the movie takes a good while.

Once that is done, I have to upload it to YouTube. This takes I guess about an hour for the videos I've done so far because I now do it in high def. I think they put a little HD by the ones that are in HD. I think the quality is much better on those so I'm willing to take the extra time with them. After uploading, YouTube processes them, which takes another half hour or so.

You think I'm done now, don't you? Well, almost. If there is a small flub that requires additional explanation, I can add a note using the YouTube tools. I've only done that a couple times, but I do need to go through the last videos and see if there is anything that needs fixin'. If YOU find something I miss, please do let me know so I can fix it asap if it's possible to fix.

Part 1 of the upcoming 4 part series of videos will include More Crochet Basics. You will see things like changing color, reverse single crochet, post stitches, extended double crochet, extended triple crochet and the X stitch on this part.

Part 2 will have filet crochet, how to work in a space, how to work between stitches, front loop and back loop of stitches, and front and back of work.

Part 3 will show height of different stitches and teach the extended stitches.

Part 4 will have increase and decrease stitches and more.

That's all for now.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Crochet Basics videos

I've completed a three-part video series on crochet basics like the foundation chain, sc, dc, hdc, tr, etc. If you're reading this you probably already know how to crochet, but perhaps you could pass it on to someone who might need them.

And here is Part 2

And here is Part 3


Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

bulky scarf

Is this yarn not beautiful? I love the deep richness of the color. The photo doesn't do it justice.

It is the Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky Weight Memphis Blues. I had three skeins of it and was hoping to get two scarves out of it, which I did though the second one is much smaller.

Finished size of the first scarf is 6 1/2 x 62. The second is 4 1/2" x 47.

The yarn is soft and cushy, a pleasure to work with.

Then I picked up another bulky yarn. It is Loops & Threads Charisma. The color is #15 Ashes. This was also a nice yarn, though perhaps not quite as soft as the first. Still nice to work with and I'd buy it again.

I worked one scarf which ended up 7" x 60" and then did a smaller one 4" x 47". It must have been slightly thicker than the Deborah Norville as I used the same hook for both - an M Corian hook. Perhaps a father and son set?

It is straight dc with no edging to get the most out of the yarn.

On a completely different topic, some of you may remember my lone slipper/sock made a couple years ago using a pattern online. That is worsted weight yarn.

Well, I never did make its mate, but just this morning I saw this leaflet which looks promising. It is I Can't Believe I'm Crocheting Socks (Leisure Arts #5263). If I actually do it, the title will be quite appropriate for me.

Happy crocheting!

Monday, February 28, 2011

varied projects that are NOT Turqua and Blue LOL

You will be happy to note that I'm done with the Turqua and Blue scarves! On to different color schemes.

First up is a plain dc scarf which is dressed up in the beautiful ombre shades of color.I used this photo in yesterday's post. ;-) The yarn is called Sage Butter. It's a Loops and Thread Impeccable yarn.

Finished size is 7" x 63 1/2". It feels a bit strange to be making wider scarves again. heh This one is headed to Knit Your Bit.

Next up is a hat for a special request at Bev's Charity Challenge. (You can read about that group at Bev's blog.) The hat is just a simple dc and sc hat. The rounds are 12 dcs, 24, 36, 36, 48, 48, 60, 60, 72, then work even to however many rounds (about 7 1/2"), then four rounds of single crochet.

On that same group we were talking about wash cloths for Volunteer Angels so I worked up a few of those. I haven't worked with cotton in a while and this pretty variegated was nice to work with. The cloths are varied sizes.

Presently, I'm working on a scarf made with bulky Charisma yarn. More on that when it's done I'm using an M hook and straight dc so it should be quick.

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flashing and Pooling

Some time ago, I discussed flashing and pooling at Crafty Corral. I wanted that info here so I could link to it at Crochet Cabana, so here I am revisiting that issue.

So just what IS flashing and pooling?

Going back in time, I am happily working away on an afghan done with variegated yarn. It will take many skeins of variegated yarn to finish but it goes quickly and I am enjoying the process. About halfway through I pick up the afghan to have a look and to my horror, the second of three skeins has made a zigzag pattern in the afghan. It is very obvious. The first and third skeins work fine. Now had the pattern appeared throughout, no problem. But this was a problem.

At that point, there were only a couple of options. One was to continue, ignoring the flashing. The other was to rip it back and rework it.

What might one do if you catch this early? You could cut out a section of yarn to disrupt the color pattern - but don't just cut out the strip that contains all the colors or you'll be right back where you started. You could also pull the skein from the opposite end. Another option is to alternate skeins, but keeping the same color sequence.

The scarf from yesterday  demonstrates Color Flashing. Color Flashing is when you get an unintentional pattern when using variegated or ombre yarns. The above mentioned scarf from yesterday had flashing and here is another with a very similar case of flashing. It didn't matter in these cases as I rather liked the pattern it made.

Color Pooling is similar. It is when the same colors "pool" near one another, creating a sort of splotch or spot in various areas as you work. A "cow" sort of look would be an example of pooling. If that's the look you're going for, no problem. If not, you need to mix it up. (In flashing you may also have pooling and you could possibly consider pooling to be an "unintentional pattern".)

The afghan below which I made for my son shows pooling. You can particularly notice how the black is gathered in spots. He didn't care so this one worked for us.

The hats at left use a similar camo yarn and show pooling of the colors which also makes a pattern, so I guess it has a bit of both. Note the cream colors all on top of one another and the greens and browns in the same spots. Sort of makes a vertical striping pattern.

Pooling is easier to spot because you will see that you always seem to end up working dark brown over dark brown, for example. You will see this pretty early on and can decide to either continue or rip back or change at that point.

In doing a bit of research I found that some people use these terms interchangeably, though you don't see them thrown around much.

One additional note. I mention variegated and ombre yarns. These are NOT the same. Ombre means that the skein contains shades of the same color - like shades of brown or shades of blue, whereas variegated contains entirely different colors - like red, white and blue for example. 

Variegated and ombre yarns are wonderful and can add a bit of color and innovation to your projects. You just need to be aware of the pitfalls as well. These yarns are particularly wonderful for small projects where pooling and flashing aren't a big concern, like butterflies, potholders and dishcloths, placemats, granny and sampler squares, and such. If you can find a matching solid color that appears in the variegated yarn, you can make a lovely afghan.

Happy crocheting!