Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bought a Kindle!

I bought a Kindle e-book reader (Paperweight). I had to have it!

Sometimes I get obsessed with things and have to go out and buy them. These are the reasons why I bought it:

- Ebooks are cheaper than paperpacks! Granted, I haven't been reading as much as before (ever since I got into knitting and selling on Etsy), but I'm dying to read the new Jeffrey Archer chronicles and wanted to order from amazon.co.uk, and the e-books are so much cheaper! Most kindle books are cheaper than paperbooks now. When I got my sony reader in 2008 or 2009, e-books cost just as much as regular books. 

- I want to be able to read while also knit (simple things), so just knit blindly, look at the screen, pause the knitting while touching the screen for the next page. I'm happy to say this works wonderfully! It's just a bit more exhausting to do both things together, it's more relaxing to do the one or the other. But it's a good alternative to the TV or watching something online. 

- Apparently the new kindles have built-in lights, or adjustable screen brightness, which is so much more convenient than having a clip-on light or no light at all. The clip-on lights cost almost as much as the cheapest kindle. That's a good enough reason for me, my sony reader didn't have a light!

I have already finished my first book on the kindle, a very pleasant experience! What I enjoyed most about reading on the kindle:
- Great for reading lying on your side: It's lightweight and small enough to hold it up for a while
- Love the adjustable screen brightness: low brightness in the dark is good on the eyes. It's such a contrast to my mobile phone, for example: when I check my phone first thing in the morning it's way too bright, hurts my eyes a lot. The kindle's brightness can be adjusted easily within seconds.
- The kindle store is great, lots of book, all sorts of categories, buy with one click. I'm just a bit worried my debit card will charge fees because of the different currency, but the kindle books are still cheaper than regular books.

The book I read was The Magpies by Mark Edwards 
I enjoyed it very much, it was suspenseful throughout, very quick paced, the horror that could happen to anyone. Just a few details didn't make sense to me and were never really explained, like how come everyone has a similar dream? I would give this book 4 stars! 
 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

High productivity!

Quite a few projects got finished recently:

A Christmas stocking for my friend's new baby.

I knitted these during the first two attempts at time lapse videos.

This is my most popular pair of socks on Etsy

This one will be swapped for something from another Etsy seller

I like this color, and the pattern is very easy, a mistake rip

I'll probably have this in my Etsy shop later in the year.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Trip to the Park of Wild Animals...

Roar roar, we are the wild animals of Franconia:










It was a lovely day yesterday in the zoo with my friends. Sadly, my holidays are almost over, I'll be flying back to Dublin tomorrow. 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time lapse knitting video

I made a time lapse video of me knitting a chunky sock! It's so cool! I'm showing my face on youtube, who would have thought?! Not my voice, though, not yet anyway. 

Time lapse videos are a technique where you take lots of photos over a long period of time of something that is changing slowly and then the pictures are displayed in quick succession to show the progress of it. This can be done for lots of things, maybe the most popular is inner-city traffic, or movement of clouds, how a flower blooms, or remember the one with the pregnant woman? 



It was made with an app called Lapse it which allows you to take photos from your phone at certain intervals, i.e. every 20 seconds (like mine). All you need is a tripod or something to hold your phone while shooting the video (= the photos). Then you have a few choices to make, such as select how many photos per second you want displayed. Then the video is rendered. 

This was the third video I made of me knitting a sock. I made some more, to test settings, how I look, etc.

For the first attempt I used the free version of the app which has a lower picture size thing and you can't ad music, and apparently you can't change the direction of the video, once it's taken. So you will have to hold your head or your screen sideways now, here it is:

video
I took one picture every 5 minutes (I figured that would be enough, not much progress to make when knitting a sock), but I got only 21 frames. So the video is very short. 

For the second video, I decided to get the Pro-App, which is $1.99. I also got a haircut, I removed the stocking in the background (overkill?), and I turned my phone around. A big improvement, I think:

video
On the second video I went for 1 photo per minute and then displaying them as 10 pictures per second. The second and third video have music which I got from a composer who provides royalty-free songs (credit is given in my video on youtube). Unfortunately, the clock got cut off a little at the top. I had my phone (=the camera) in a sat nav holder which I balanced on top of a high table, a low table and some books. I wanted to get an angle that makes me look slimmer...

This is the third video again:


I decided to show some more hair in the third video and cross my legs more to make them seem thinner and more elegant ;) I forgot to wear my knitted socks and I forgot to plug the charger into my phone, but the battery held for these 2.5 hours.

Every video has a toilet break in it, after I drink the colorful juice and I'm turning my head to the right because I'm watching season 4 of 24 (the tv show). Mostly, this is how I knit.

By the way, this is the sock again (the first two videos were a different color):


For sale (some colors) in my Etsy shop: Chunky socks


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Crochet Baby Blanket finished!

Today I finished a baby blanket in this modern chevron pattern. The crochet pattern is very easy, this is my second blanket (though the first one isn't actually finished yet). Originally, I intended (and started) a granny square blanket for this new baby, but it turned out to be a dreaded project that I just didn't like picking up. There are so many threads to sew...


So just a few weeks ago I started this blanket. I tried to get one colour-change done every day (or every day that I wasn't busy with something else). Still I just finished it in time for meeting baby Annika for the first time tonight. I hope she'll like it. 
Crochet blanket in my mother's garden.
 I'm on holidays this week, visiting my family in Germany. Hopefully, I'll get lots of projects done, books read, friends visited, food eaten...





Wednesday, May 1, 2013

10 facts about Ireland

1 - Fries are chips and chips are crisps, i.e. fish and chips, pack of crisps

Kylemore Abbey
2 - Getting around on a bus is way cheaper than train, luas, taxi.

3 - Good fast food: Supermacs, try tacco chips

4 - Public holidays are always set on Mondays (except Paddy's Day and Christmas, but should these fall on a Saturday/Sunday, then Monday/Tuesday are given as a day off)

5 - People go to the local shops in pyjamas.

6 - A visit to the doctor costs between 40 and 60 euro.

7 - The weather: In winter it's cold and wet, in summer it's slightly warmer and wet.

8 - Don't miss the one day of summer

9 - Tana French writes great crime novels

10 - Imelda May is a popular Irish singer who also looks very stylish. 
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