As mentioned, Neil and I are now the proud owners of a very well rounded vintage/retro camera collection. The Baby Brownie requires a lot of modifications to bring it into the 21st century without losing any of its charm or causing a major dent in my household’s finances ($50 to get film to Australia! $50!!) and I am a little bit intimidated of the Minolta, with all its buttons and settings. However, the Voigtlander VF101 seemed like an approachable camera.
First things first — batteries. There were batteries stored with it, but because we had no idea how old they were, we felt it was best to replace everything. Neil and I took it down to Vanbar Imaging in Carlton to seek their advice. I understood that it took four 625 batteries, which used to be made with mercury. Naturally those aren’t available anymore, and it seems that non-mercury equivalents are few and far between, Vanbar certainly didn’t sell any. Nevermind, the Internet had been talking about using a lithium battery once a small modification had been made, but I couldn’t figure it out. I was loathed to experiment and hope for the best, but with my Dad’s help (a lot of these entries are possible With My Dad’s Help) we got to the bottom of it. This is awesome:
I won’t put mine back together for the sake of a tutorial but here is a picture of it from the manual. With some good light, a couple of very small screwdrivers, my glasses (oh, okay, yes, and a beer, I was at my parents’ for dinner), I unscrewed everything. The bit that you really need to remove is the red plastic casing from the bottom part that eventually screws back into the camera, but I found it easier to wield my screwdriver with the other parts removed.
I’ve stored all the tiny screws and pieces in an old 35mm film cannister container, except for one screw, which I dropped through the hole on the remaining battery pack part. I then picked up a CR-123 lithium battery and with the positive polarity facing into the camera, screwed the battery pack on. That tiny little screw helps the battery maintain contact so that the circuit completes, although you may find it unnecessary.
This is what you’ll have left after your handiwork.
After that, there’s nothing left to do but load it with film and fire off some shots! I did some reading up on Rangefinder cameras and how they work, before proceeding to get silly. My first roll of film (the colour film) yielded six great shots out of 24, but once I had some practice, my sucess rate increased!
Running across errata in knitting — where the printed pattern is incorrect — it seems, at least in the world of Ravelry, is either slightly annoying, or a reason to frog work in progress and choose something new, depending on skill level. I’ve never run across it, because I’ve often worked from free internet patterns, which means any errors were fixed long before I knew there were any there. Today, I casted on an “Amusing Cap for Under Twenties”, which is from a vintage Stitchcraft magazine (I pitch it at perhaps 50’s?). See if you can spot the error:
“… TENSION: 7 sts. and 9 rows to an inch on No. 11 needles…
… With No.11 needles and dark shade, cast on 32 sts…”
I wish I had thought about this earlier, when I was doing the insane thing of making a gauge swatch, that 32 stitches would mean my head was roughly around 4 inches round. I counted up how much pattern went into a stitch and looked at the accompanying photograph to see that this kind of cast on was impossible.
I’m not sure where one gets errata for Stitchcraft numer 212, but I’m letting you know now, for an “average” size head, you’d want to be casting on around 140 stitches, plus any more you needed to make pattern.
In other news, I have exams this week and my brain has already decided to wig out on me. Previously, I have baked like a crazed woman. Seems I’m finding vintage errata instead.
They’re controversial, but I wanted a “sack” dress… err, tunic dress. I got to try one on while mystery shopping a month or two ago and was so excited to see it fit my frame so neatly (unlike other trends, such as low rise jeans), but due to budget contraints, I was out of luck when it came to buying it.
This number was made up of an on-sale Vogue pattern, $10 worth of fabric from Brunswick Fabrics, and some quick notions like a zip. $34 later… swish!
It’s so wild! I crossed the river in this baby to Revolver to see the Skybombers. They were trying to impress some big wigs and called on all their gansterettes and dandies to cheer, sing a long, and look good. A combintion of those things, as scientifically proven, creates rock music so fun, all the variables increase exponetionally. Pictures speak louder than words, so here’s some riffs:
These were so much fun. After dyeing the yarn with Queen’s Food Colouring (remember these?) I decided I needed a sweet, one-ball-o’-yarn project to display the fun. And what’s better than slippers? (Nothing, quite frankly, I love anything vaguely related to pyjamas).
They are meant to be worn while you turn clumsy pirouettes in front of your bedroom mirror while listening to classical music, or, perhaps if you’re me, maybe Josh Pyke or Matt Walters or John Mayer… any one of those boys with acoustic guitars and romantic sing-a-longs.
It took a bit of working to squeeze them out of one ball, and if you’re feet are bigger than a 36 or so, a second ball would be required. My original plan was to have them cover the top of my feet, but I’m glad I perservered, otherwise, I would’ve lost that sweet, tie-up effect of ballet slippers. The ribbon came from a fantastic shop here in Brunswick called Anne’s Fabrics, it’s such a gem. It’s a tiny, pokey shop, with lots of everything. It’s run by a husband and wife, where the husband is often found eating toasted sandwiches by the buttons while she does long hand maths to calculate your total. It’s a bit crazy but I love it. I just had to mention it.
I wrote a pattern up for them if anyone is interested. They’re quite simple if you’re familiar with toe-up socks and short row heels, even though there is not a lot of working in the round involved. It can’t hurt to put it up on Ralvery anyway.
Neil and I are watching the Top 1000 Songs of all Time on Max and discussing favourite songs of our own, along with expensive, and groundbreaking videos. Being Australian, there’s a lot of music and videos that I take for granted as being a part of my life that Neil just doesn’t appreciate, not only why are they included in countdowns, but why do I love them? The best example of this is when we were at Splendour in the Grass in 2007 and Spiderbait played. Me and the rest of the ground are going mental, while Neil stood there with his arms crossed, asking what was all the fuss about? Just recently, we were at a Boy + Girl gig, and they covered ‘Song Formerly Known As !’ by Regurgitator, and my friends and I went spastic while Neil watched on bemused. It definitely reminds you that you’re ages away from anywhere, but that making your own culture is still fun.
To celebrate that, here’s Machine Gun Fellatio’s ‘Girl of My Dreams’, just to share some of that music that makes you ask “WTF, mate?” that Australia created so much of in the 90’s.
This is my My Little Pony from when I was a little girl. Well, I probably wasn’t that little, everyone loves toys. Anyway, I’m clearing my stuff out of my Mum and Dad’s house because they’ve finally done it and turned my old bedroom into a guest room (it had to happen eventually), and I found her again. She had a name, I don’t remember what it was, but because there’s only one of her, she can just be My Little Pony.
After the May dye-a-long challenge on Ravelry, where the theme was flowers, working with an inspiration piece when it came to dyeing yarn made a lot of sense. I chose My Little Pony as my inspiration piece this time around, and not only did I get a giddy and lovely colourway, but it made my work my coherent and a lot more rewarding. Especially since I got the colours bang on! I used Queen’s food colouring again, but bought an eye-dropper to mix colours and paint the yarn. A much longer process, but the colours aren’t as muddy as last time, in fact, the transitions between the colours is flawless. There’s only one splodge from where the yarn escaped from the glad wrap when I microwaved it to set it.
This is the Eucalyptus yarn, done with Patons Jet. I’m calling it Gilpin Park #1 because that’s the name of the park I collected the leaves from.
This is my handpainted yarn for the dye-a-long on Ravelry.
They were all graciously modelled by my cat who is sitting on Neil’s lap. I’m on extreme girlfriend duties since he bunged up his ankle playing football this morning. Making tea and fetching bandages, that kind of thing. Not to be a bad modern lady, but I’m pretty good at it.
My computer, on the eve of my mid-year intake application at RMIT, is breaking down. The powersource is shot and seriously, what is the point of two 20G harddrives? I think it’s nervous. Lucky my application is handwritten! I hand it in on Tuesday, which is my personal little deadline. I’m borrowing the boy’s laptop, as he is addicted to his iPhone, and it’s a little awkward. It’s like when you stay with a relative or a friend, and they clear a drawer for you and their house, but it’s a bit weird to put your pants in there.
I have been doing lots of crafty things. Two of them are gifts, so they can’t be debuted yet, but I’ve got to tell you about the yarn. I’ve dyed yarn with jelly (jello) before, so now I decided to try natural dyeing with eucalyptus leaves, and also dyeing with food colouring (Queens).
A couple of weeks ago, I walked around the park behind my house, collecting eucalyptus leaves. I collected a bucketful, tipped water on them and forgot about them for two weeks or so. Yesterday, I simmered the leaves down and simmered the yarn, and it’s currently drying outside. It’s come out a lovely rust colour, so when it’s dry tomorrow, there will be shots snapped!
I also dyed with food colour, practicing my handpainting. Hard work! I managed to burn two of my fingers because, being a bit clumsy, forgot that steam is hot. There is a a dye-a-long happening on Ravelry in the group A Kool Way to Dye and the theme is flowers. I saw some flowers in a dream, so had to search the internet for a live example. This comes close, but the flowers in my mind are far more wild and crazy.
The flower yarn and this next yarn are drying peacefully outside. It is chilly though. Just as well I’m inside, obsessing over ‘Gossip Girl’. Did anyone see Blair’s hat the other week in the episode, ‘The Remains of the J’?
(from Leighton Meester Web. Word up, their gallery is awesome. I think I also need the hat on the main page of said gallery. Next project.)
I need that hat. Now that I have some Cleckheaton Kalaidascope that’s been dyed port wine x blue drying outside, so I will experiment with felting for this hat. I’ll keep you posted.
And I drew this picture of my dad for drawyourdad.com. It’s my favourite website right now.
EDIT: I accidentally deleted some legitimate comments while trying to shovel the spam out of my inbox. But I still know I love you.
I have been cranking out the FO’s lately, guys. I think I almost gave my dad a heart attack when I said that I only had one project on the needles at the moment, which are the Subconcious tights (ignore the Curly Curler’s, they will never be finished). These are mostly small projects, which is why they’ve come out so quickly, but it’s still immensely satisfying.
Jared’s Scarf (Bass Lite)
Jared wanted a really long scarf. We went to my favourite LYS, Wool Baa in Albert Park, where he picked out some fine Jo Sharp tweed, paid for it (my favourite part) and then I put in the hard yards to make this epic scarf happen! I named the scarf after Chuck Bass and his many scarfs, however, it is not as colourful as his, hence the Lite. Diet scarf anyone? I think he liked it, I did catch him just out of bed.
Lynn’s Bag (The Secret Garden)
My mum’s friend Lynn saw the bag I made for my mum and wanted one for herself. While the Knitty pattern is fun, it wasn’t very me and I wanted to do something that was more practical and a little more challenging. Plus, Lynn loved the Flurry yarn it was made out of, so I went out of my way to use as much of it as possible. I did okay! Hopefully she likes it, I have no idea yet.
Bella’s Hat (Bella Panda)
Bella requested a hat, that had panda ears, excpet she’d like it in pink. That I can do for you m’lady! It’s also got little flecks of colour through it, as I double stranded the pink yarn with some white yarn. I put it in the post yesterday, and it arrived safely in Bendigo today, which I was excited and surprised by.
Neil’s Hoodie (Boogie Hoodie)
As mentioned in a previous post, Neil went away for Easter to a music festival. I made him a hoodie to keep him warm. It was a little bit silly, I lined it with fleece that had pictures of lions on it. He loved it so much, he turned it inside out and wore it like that for the major night of the festival. The photo I’ve got here is one his friend took while at the festival. Ignore the seams, please.
One last thing, I needed new shoes for a wedding I’m going to on Friday. I really wanted heels, but to get them cheap from a place like Target, I need to buy girls’ sized shoes, because my feet are too small. Girls’ shoes don’t have high heels because that’s… stupid. Well, not the done thing really. I found these sweet flats in Best and Less, which were everything I didn’t want, but I pimped my shoes and now I think they’re perfect. Here’s a before and after.
I pulled out the sewing machine today and spent the day finishing up a dress I started and was meant to wear at New Year’s. There’s nothing quite like the slump you feel when you finish a garment and it doesn’t fit, in the most hideous of ways. Ravelry would call it an UGH! and I think it’s a suitable name right now. Unfortunately, frogging sewing is not quite the same, but there’s no way I’m throwing out the yellow polka dots! I’m thinking headbands. Lots of ’em.
Meanwhile, I have been finishing fun things too!
On the left is a bag I started for my mum last year for Mother’s Day and on the right is a crochet version of my Dad’s ’52 Customer. For shits and giggles, why not? I think it’s funny.
I started knitting this months ago, before New York, waaaay back in 2008. And it wasn’t that I wasn’t dedicated to it. I was. For awhile there, it seemed like I was dedicated to frogging it, each part was started several times at least. When it felt like I was on the home stretch, I start to run out of yarn, the type of yarn that Spotlight no longer stocks, so I had to frog an entire sleeve and a half to make them shorter. It really felt like it just didn’t want to be finished and with my track record of starting things and not finishing them, I think it felt like it could get away with that.
Well, not any longer, stash! I overcame yarn issues, what I swear is a missing button, and a complete lack of shape, and turned it into a Dainty Bed Jacket (AKA my Indie Nana Chic Cardi).
The pattern is the Dainty Bed Jacket from Vintage Purls, a wonderful source of vintage patterns, in particular hot 40’s numbers. I used a Spotlight yarn, Moda Vera Trinity, which I have to say looks pretty from a distance, but up close and in your hand feels a bit crunchy and cheap (it was cheap, I can’t dispute that). Nevermind, it stood up to the task, and once blocked, actually looks quite delicate. I believe the only bit that stands out is the crochet edge, but I had made a pledge to remain faithful to the pattern, plus I’m a sucker for ruffles.
the dainty bed jacket
The only things that I’m disappointed by, but should’ve seen coming, is that there is no shape to the garment, it’s as wide as my bust and remains so all the way down to the bottom. I picked up some embroidery floss in the same colour as my buttons and knitted an icord. I also sewed some belt loops at the side seams, and it can be tied around the waist, although you’ll see that in the picture I’ve tied it at the back so that it creates its own temporary pleat of sorts. It also pulls the seams the seams so that they sit in the correct place on the waist. And it rounds out any bum nicely, if I do say so myself.
I resigned from the call centre, yesterday was my last day. I spent most of the day crying because I didn’t want to leave my crew, who I might write about later, but I was going to have to make a bit decision of sorts or I’d never get myself back to uni and into a career. They couldn’t offer me part time, so we agreed that this would be the way forward. So I’m back on the job hunt for something more casual. Foolish, I know, scary as hell, but kind of thrilling.