Photography Workshop results

This past weekend, I went to a photography workshop run by Scott Church in Lancaster, PA.  I had been to his workshops before and they’re absolutely invaluable for a beginning photographer.  He goes over the basics (f-stop, ISO, shutter speed) and then goes on to explain how he does things and what’s important in his line of work (the model is always right, making people comfortable, framing, etc).  After the basics are covered, the attendees go out around the location with models and shoot as much as they can with help from Scott.  For me, the opportunity to learn new things and be able to work with models and get that first person experience is what really makes the class worth every penny.  I mostly have done photography of flowers, landscapes, architecture and other such immobile things in the past – branching out to portrait and model photography is something entirely different since the subject matter isn’t usually just sitting around, waiting for you to stop by.  Before I get to the picture, I’d like to post here that if you need a portrait, family photo, a little racy photo or two for the significant other, please let me know – while I’m building a portfolio, I work cheap (ie. free) and would be happy to work with you if you’re in the Philadelphia area.  Now, one quick photo of Lorianna from yesterday.

 

ETA 27Jan2009 – One more.. This is Tony Gibble

I Object

I make it no secret that I’m a Liberal Atheist Hippie..  The short version is that I am a gal who voted for Obama, doesn’t believe in any deity, and wants everyone to just get along, man.  🙂

That out of the way, there was a news article I caught this morning that made me incredibly angry.  Livid even.  A nurse accidentally removed a patient’s IUD and then lectured her about how they cause abortions and that the nurse herself was against IUDs.  To make matters worse, the nurse admitted that the other people at the office laugh about how she must be doing this on purpose since she’s against IUDs, but that’s not true since they just come out when she tugs on them.  Let’s go over a few things.  IUDs are Intrauterine Devices that are inserted by a doctor or nurse practitioner as an out patient procedure.  It’s not something you can just go and decide to do one afternoon.  The insertion is usually a little painful since you’re putting a T shaped device through an itty bitty opening.  Likewise, removing the IUD isn’t a picnic since you’re basically pulling an open umbrella through a gutter downspout.  Their primary function is to inhibit fertilization, not to encourage the body to expel a fertilized egg.  How do I know this?  I have one and did a lot of homework before making the decision to get one (Yes, I plan on being open and honest in this blog).

Now, it’s legal for a medical professional to object to doing a procedure (ie. abortion) on grounds that it goes against one’s morals or religious beliefs.  I guess I can understand that (may not agree with it though), but why go into a field where you might have to object to doing the job that you spent years studying for?  Why even put yourself in that situation?  It would be like a mechanic who objected to the oil industry and refused to do oil changes.  What bothers me about the legality of objecting is the right of the patient.  If the patient in the article had known that the nurse disagreed with IUDs, I highly doubt that she would’ve agreed to be seen by the nurse.  What’s scary is that the nurse could have done serious physical damage to the patient by tugging on the strings of the IUD and not removing it properly, possibly perforating the patient’s uterus among other things.  Through my research, I was able to find out that you don’t pull on those strings – you periodically check to make sure that they’re there and that the IUD hasn’t failed or started to expel.  If the nurse is trying to say that she didn’t know not to tug on the strings, she’d have to be lying.  What’s really awful?  The nurse admitted that she joked with her colleagues about having done this before, colleagues who jokingly accused her of doing this on purpose and not by accident as she claims.  This same nurse who thought it was FUNNY to potentially endanger the lives and fertility of her patients was continually employed by people who suspected that she had an agenda and wasn’t removing IUDs by accident.  Personally, I have no doubt in my mind that the nurse did this on purpose – given the inormation in the article, it’s highly unlikely that it was an accident.  If the patient didn’t have good enough (or any) insurance, IUD insertion can run up to or over $1000, and in one swift move by a nurse with an agenda, the patient is out the time, money, and pain involved during the insertion.  It appears that this nurse had a clear agenda and wanted to stop women from using IUDs and was not at all interested in their health and well-being.  Personally, I want my medical professionals to be able to leave their bias at the office door and be more concerned with what is best for me, not what is best for their conscience.

I’m trying here to create an intelligent post, but what I really want to do is rant and scream and be irrational.  I’m glad that the patient has filed a lawsuit and I hope that the court throws the book at the nurse.  I also hope that Obama is able to undo Bush’s new right of conscience regulation and return the health rights of women to their OWN consciences and not put us at the mercy of the consciences and morals of our doctors.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I keep getting the urge to ask the abortion protesters how many times they’ve adopted an unwanted baby.  Making abortion illegal isn’t going to stop women from having unwanted pregnancies and doing what they feel necessary for their own health and well-being.

Okay, stepping off my soap box now.

Clapotis and resolutions

First, I have an FO for you.  Meg, the dyer at Twisted Fiber Art, does such an incredible job dyeing striping yarns and her colorways are so gorgeous.  Plus, the Clapotis pattern is such a great all-purpose scarf pattern and is so easy to adapt to any type of yarn.  This one took a little while to finish since I kept it on the needles as my mindless knitting project.  I tend to try and keep one easy project on the needles as a travel project to take with me everywhere that I don’t really have to think about or need to refer to a pattern much.

Pattern: Clapotis
Designer: Kate Gilbert
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm)
Yarn: Twisted Fiber Art Shiny in colorway “Portal”
Ravelry Project Link

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Now, onto knitting resolutions!  The Selfish knitters group on Ravelry have a thread for New Year’s Resolution knitting and Atomic posted some knitting resolutions on her blog too.  I decided to post a few resolutions since I’ve had them in my head anyway.  I kept it simple on the thread and posted just the first three, but thought about expanding it here and expanding it to include spinning as well.

  1. Clear the WIP queue from last year by the end of the month.
  2. Knit two sweaters this year.
  3. Knit one pair of socks per month – I had thought about doing the 52 pair challenge, but I think that’s a touch too ambitious, especially if I want to work on other projects too.
  4. Spin four ounces of roving per month.
  5. Dye more yarn and roving.
  6. Knit at least one pair of stranded socks.
  7. Finish holiday gift knitting throughout the year instead of all at once in December!
  8. Participate in another test knit.
  9. Work on an original pattern.

I think that gives me plenty to work on.  I also want to be a little more careful with my stash acquisitions and either buy on sale, something unique that cannot be found elsewhere, at festivals, or with a specific project in mind.  When I started knitting this past may I sort of got out of control and bought everything in sight.  It’s time to get a handle on it and knit more, buy less!

Beauty in Repetition

Arguably the easiest knit I’ve ever done and SO beautiful.  This took me a whole two days to knit since I could not put it down.  I didn’t find one knot in any of the four skeins although there was plenty of vegetable matter throughout.  I suppose that’s the big problem I have with Noro – it costs enough that you’d think it would be a quality yarn with no VM.  I’m tempted to go and spin up something similar and make another scarf like this since it’s SO gorgeous and so easy to do.  The ‘base’ skeins I used were mostly black with some dark blue and green mixed in.. I suppose I could’ve picked better companion skeins or maybe started at different points so that I didn’t get the one really dark patch and the one really light patch, but the beauty of the project is that you never know what’s going to happen with Noro colors.  Also, no two scarves can ever EVER be the same since no two skeins of Noro that I’ve ever seen start and end at the same color.  That makes these Noro striped scarves like snowflakes, right?  😉

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf
Designer: Jared Flood
Needles: US 7 (4.5mm)
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden in 264, 246, and 252
Ravelry Project Link

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Socks!

The first two finished objects for the new year!

First, meet a test knit that I was working on for knottygnome.  The pattern is called “Coin Toss“.  This was my first test knit and I am really proud to have been part of testing out such a great pattern – it’s just enough to keep me engaged without being too complicated and was super fun to knit.  The yarn is a new favorite and is delightfully squishy, and that colorway!  It’s like purple chocolate.  Gorgeous.  Specs:
Pattern: Coin Toss
Designer: Knottygnome – Sara Peterson
Needles: US 2.5 (3.0mm)
Yarn: dkKnits technicolor dream toes in colorway “Wilder Wonka”
Ravelry Project Link
Eye Candy:  (Click on any photo to go to flickr)
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Next project!  Handspun socks.  This is the first project that I dyed the roving, spun the yarn and then knit the yarn.  I wasn’t entirely happy with how the colors came out, but it’s a learning process I suppose and maybe next time everything will comply with my will.  Specs for you..
Pattern: Generic top-down sock, from my head
Designer: none
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm)
Yarn: Handspun superwash merino
Ravelry Project Link
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I suppose I should say here that I’ve been bitten by the Noro Striped Scarf bug having seen it all over the blogosphere including the Yarn Harlot‘s blog.  I had seen it a while ago in a yarn store and bought the supplies right then and there to make it.  They’ve been sitting in the stash quietly, but decided to go off and get noisy on me this week.  I know I said I wasn’t going to start any new projects until I cleared out the UFO queue a bit, but two finished socks counts as cleaning house, right?!  Besides, it’s winter and winter means scarves.  Yep.  This is me, hunting for justification to cast on a new project when I already have a bunch of UFOs.  🙂