The Lazy Photographer

I know, I know, I was supposed to post yesterday. I do have WIPs, but they either haven’t been very exciting to look at or I haven’t had the time or energy to photograph them properly. I would have to actually clean off my table so I could set up the light box and right now I feel like my time is better spent actually working on my WIPs rather than photographing them. That doesn’t mean I haven’t taken any photos though…

For the past couple months I’ve been participating in a craft-along thread in the Lazy, Stupid, and Godless group on Ravelry (warning: if you click the link prepare for foul language and such). The basic premise it to do something crafty (anything, really) every day and post a picture of your progress. If you’ve been bad and haven’t done anything you can post cute animal pictures instead. However, as I stated earlier, light-box photography has been a bit too much work for me lately, so in order to post my daily progress I’ve had to lower my standards a bit.

One day, I was so lazy I didn’t even want to get up from my armchair to find a decently lit spot to shoot my WIP, so I just stuck it on my laptop keyboard. I’m sure I’m not the first person who’s ever discovered this, but I was surprised to find that the light from my laptop screen is a pretty nice little light box substitute! Behold, the laziest photography:

IMG_4378 IMG_4251 IMG_4127

 

Step 1: stick whatever thing you can’t be bothered to shoot properly on your laptop keyboard.

Step 2: make sure you’re screen is showing something relatively white.

Step 3: tilt the laptop screen down slightly to aim the light at your object and snap a few photos.

Step 4: crop out your PJs and make slight adjustments to the color in a photo editing program (I usually need to make my photos more blue and less yellow).

It only take about 5 minutes to get the best, laziest photographs of your projects posted to the internet!

 

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Resting

I just wanted to interrupt my silence to say I’m not dead! I do have things I want to post about, but typing kinda hurts right now. I suspect the computer is at fault. Something is going horribly wrong with the ergonomics of this new laptop and I’m still working on figuring it out. I’m going to take a few days to rest my hands and then I will have loads of gratitude to express for my Indiegogo contributors and I will have pictures of my hand posture to show you. Perhaps someone can tell me what I’m doing wrong.

How Yarnologist Got Her Groove Back

Yesterday my mother finally got sick of seeing me moping around the house and randomly bursting into tears and took me to the Apple store to see if we could get me a new computer. I had an estimated cost in mind based on poking around the Apple site and guesstimating what I would need in a laptop. That estimated cost was almost $5,000 after I configured the laptop to what I thoughtmight need.

Now, I know very little about Macs. I’ve been a PC user all my life, but my life has changed quite a bit. I was once on a science career track and now most of my activities are more artsy. Supposedly Macs are better for creative pursuits than PCs. I’ve also heard rumors that the displays are more true to color than most PCs, which is something I was constantly struggling with on my previous laptop (and don’t even get me started on my sister’s computer – trying to color correct photos on her display was an exercise in futility). Many of the creative professionals I know are Mac users. Everyone I’ve ever known who has owned a Mac has LOVED it. I also know from personal experience that PCs, especially laptops, tend to only last 3 years or so before they start getting so buggy they’re unusable (see my sister’s computer) or just crash, while I’ve heard Macs tend to last much longer. When I got an iPod this summer and saw the way Apple products work first-hand that sealed the deal for me – my next computer would be a Mac. It would HAVE to be. To get another PC knowing I’d have to struggle with displays and using more visually based programs, not be able to sync anything from my iPod (or future iPhone?) with my computer, and that it would only be a few years before I had to get buy a brand new one would just be stupid.

Of course when I made this decision I was counting on my PC sticking around for another year or so. I was NOT counting on it being stolen, leaving me in a technological bind.

So back to my mom being awesome, she suggested that since I really was just guessing at what I would need for a Mac we should just go to the Apple store and get a professional to help us figure it out. THEN we would know exactly how much it would cost and can plan accordingly.

So we did. A very nice man named Chad helped us out and listened to all of my inane questions about computers and a detailed accounting of precisely what I need a computer to do for me. It turns out I really don’t need a lot of the add-ons I originally thought and the actual cost was more like $1,400. Mom had already set aside some money to loan me after everything was taken and was able to buy it right then and there!

Here comes my PSA for the day…one thing I learned from having to file a police report for stolen property is that serial numbers are very useful. You know where you can find those? On the things that were stolen. So, the first thing I did with my new computer is write down the serial number and all of the specs and file them away, just in case. If you have any technology that could potentially go missing – laptops, phones, MP3 players, etc. – I would encourage you all to find those serial numbers and write them down! If they ever turn up that’s the only way the police will be able to tell they’re yours.

Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t need help raising money anymore. Actually it means I need even more help, because now I have to pay back my mom. So please, if you have anything to spare, donate to my Knotty Narwhal campaign on Indiegogo. Even if you can’t contribute you can still help by telling others about my plight. I have a computer and can move on with my life, but now I’m in debt. To my own mother. I also would like to get some applications to make this computer work smoothly for me, like Pages, a task management program, photo editing software, antivirus, and definitely LoJack.

The Case of the Stolen Blog Post

I had a lot to blog about. I had notes typed up, outlines made, pictures saved and the whole bit. I was going to tell you all about how I rearranged my room and about how awesome Knit City was. I was going to show you loads of pictures from Vancouver, BC and tell you all about this cool new knitting technique I learned. Then my laptop was stolen.

All of the notes and outlines I had saved, and all of the pictures I took in Vancouver were on that laptop, and it’s all gone now.

We were all packed up and on our way out of town when we stopped to get something to eat. While we were gone someone broke into our car and stole my laptop bag. That bag contained:

  • my laptop
  • my iPod, which I bought 3 months ago and was right in the middle of a good audio book
  • all of my DPNs from size #1-#6 including 4 sets of Signatures (knitters will know what this is and scream in horror)
  • ALL of my knitting notions, including the 100+ unique stitch markers I got in the stitch marker swap at the Sock Summit
  • Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns (the first book in a series of THE BEST stitch dictionaries out there – a must-have for designers)
  • my graphing calculator – granted I don’t really use it for graphing these days, but it was really nice to see everything I was typing in long calculations and to be able to go back and edit if there was an error instead of having to type the whole damn thing over again.
  • Small Time Operator – the book I was reading to get a sense of what all I needed to do to set up my business (I went out and got a new copy of that IMMEDIATELY)
  • and the real kick to the gut…my blue ribbon winning fingerless gloves, Barmaids Are Tasty

RIP – I really hope someone found you and you aren’t lying in a dumpster somewhere

I’ve ordered yarn from indigodragonfly to make another pair, but it still won’t be the gloves that earned a blue ribbon.

Aside from that sadness, I am now missing a computer and a crapload of my knitting tools. This makes starting an online knitting business…tricky. I’m limping along on my sister’s computer, but it’s so old and buggy it’s practically impossible to use. Some interesting things I’ve learned about my sister’s computer in the last week:

  • YouTube videos are a no-go. They just won’t play. Weird.
  • PDF files are also a no-go. It simply refuses to open them. This means I can’t look at any knitting patterns or online forms for business applications, or ANYTHING.
  • Sometimes (frequently, really) the keyboard likes to lag, making typing extremely painful. It’s doing it right now. If there are typos in this post, I’m not backing up to fix them. It’s just not worth it.
  • If you want to save anything, like a document or a picture, you HAVE to save it to the desktop first. The computer will not file it anywhere else until it has been stored on the desktop. Guess how many things are on the desktop?

I need a new computer NAO. Basically every asset I had to start this business with was in that bag, so I’m desperate. I have spent the last week scrambling to get a business plan together ASAP.

I now have a name! Knotty Narwhal

My sister designed a logo! Here it is:

That’s as far as I can get right now without your help!

I have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to replace my stolen computer and tools and start my business. There are many amazing perks for you to claim in return for your contributions. You could get cute kitty thank-you emails, or buttons, stickers and t-shirts with the Knotty Narwhal logo! I could needlefelt you anything you would like, and since I am a Brony (I refuse to be called a Pegasister, that’s just silly), that thing could totally be a pony – any pony at all! You could get an exclusive color copy of the concept sketch of my first design, and a free copy of the pattern! If you’re extremely awesome and donate a lot of money, I’ll even knit for you! More perks may appear if I reach certain milestones in my funding too, so keep spreading the word!

You can contribute to the Indiegogo campaign here: Knotty Narwhal needs YOU!

You can “like” Knotty Narwhal on Facebook here: Knotty Narwhal has a cute face

You can follow Knotty Narwhal on Twitter here: Betcha didn’t know a narwhal could tweet

Please help me spread the word! I will try to recreate some of the lost blog posts in the following weeks, so stay tuned!