Wednesday, 29 December 2010

By Jove, I Think He's Got It!

My mother asked the other day why the bottom shelf of our airing cupboard had nothing on it.

"Because that's where Christine dries her knitted things after she's washed them in the bath" came hubby's reply.  "She also wraps them in a towel and jumps on them - no idea what that's about" he added.

I think he's finally 'getting it'!

Christmas here was not too hectic, but still tiring.  Lots of cooking and we had three roast dinners on the trot last week (we asked Daughter #1 what she wanted to have for dinner for her birthday on the 23rd when two sets of grandparents came for the evening and she said roast pork.  We were hoping she'd say spag bol or lasagne!  So, it was roast pork on 23rd, roast turkey on Christmas Eve (so hubby could have his traditional turkey on toast with ketchup for breakfast on Christmas Day) and roast beef on Christmas Day.  We've managed three roast-potato-free days since the 25th though and tonight it might be pasta.

There's been some knitting going on around here as well.  I've finished off both the James C Brett chunky sweater, and my Volna scarf.  This is mainly thanks to the world Darts championship, which hubby insists on watching at every opportunity.  As he's busy watching probably the least attractive men to grace the TV screen throw 3 pointy things at a round thing (I actually do enjoy the odd game of darts, but it's not really a spectator sport) and therefore doesn't need to have a conversation with me, it means I get to knit for a couple of hours, which is a rarity unless the girls are at school, hubby's at work and there are no cats in the garden to mock and upset the dogs.

Volna needs soaking and blocking, but I put the sweater in the washing machine on a wool cycle, then laid it out in the airing cupboard.  I'll put up some photos here and on my Ravelry page next week once the girls are back at school, especially as Daughter #2 has taken a shine to my camera and wants to use it whenever she sees it, or wants to dance around singing loudly while I video her.

Until then, Happy New Year and may 2011 be either stash-reducing or stash-enhancing, depending on how you look on knitterly life.  Me?  I'm going for the reduction option, especially as I've now taken to stowing my stash in the en-suite bathroom (the shower's broken, so we don't use it but use the main bathroom instead).  Heaven help me if hubby decides that this spring is going to be the one where he decides to get it fixed as I'll have to find somewhere else.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Mainly a Progress Report

I haven't done a huge amount of knitting this week.  There always seems to be so much to do in the run-up to Christmas.  Not just the shopping (although that's definitely time-consuming whether it's going out to the shops, or ordering over the Internet) but card-writing and other activities, especially where children are concerned.  Last week, C's school choir was singing in the annual carol concert at a local church so, as well as attending the lunchtime performance, I had to drop her off and then pick her up again that evening.  This week, it was R's school play on Tuesday morning.

A few hours have been taken up with decorating the Christmas tree (I don't think a single bauble or piece of tinsel was left in the box) and the lounge/dining room (all manner of brightly-coloured hanging foil decorations, shiny garlands and paper chains).

But, I have been doing some knitting and since last week I've finished off the body of my Marble sweater:

I have no idea how many rows I did for the body, but it comes to lower hip level.  I just kept knitting round and round until I finished the first 200g ball of  yarn.

I also knitted a sleeve.
Using EZ's percentage system, I cast on 31 stitches and joined them in the round (I always cast on one extra stitch than I need and then knit the first and last together at the end of the first round), and then used her increase methodology of two stitches increased every five rows.  This makes it easy to remember when to increase - basically, on every row that ends in a 5 or 0.  I increased up to 50 stitches and then worked straight until the sleeve was long enough.  This was 90 rows.  12 stitches put on waste yarn for the under-arm and the rest on another piece of waste yarn, ready to be joined onto the body once the second sleeve's finished (as you can see from the photo, I've made a start on it - I think I've done 20 rows or so).

I can't decide if I prefer making seamless sweaters and cardigans from the bottom up or top down.  Both have their advantages.  With top down, if you knit the sleeves before the body, you can make the body as long as you want, or until your yarn runs out.  With bottom up, you get the bulk of the knitting out of the way before doing the decreasing part of the yoke.  Plus, decreasing the stitches up to the neck (on a raglan or round yoke) means you're working on fewer and fewer stitches, which means the rows knit up more quickly.

Anyway, that's about it.  It's the end of school for both girls today and I think both of them are feeling the effects of a long and busy term and will appreciate not having to get up so early (except on Christmas Day!).  Cara will be 11 next week and is definitely a pre-teen.  She suddenly seems to have gone from being an early-riser (6am-ish) to having to be roused in the morning to get up and ready for school.  Rianna's a different kettle of fish.  Autistic people often have skewed sleep patterns and she certainly fits the mould, not going to sleep until 10pm-ish at the earliest and then not wanting to get up in the morning, plus often being up in the middle of the night.

I also need to visit my parents today.  I bought the birthday present they're giving Cara so need to drop it off so they (well, Mum) can wrap it up.  It's a beginner weaving loom, which I hope she'll like.  She's tried knitting and crochet and can do both, but patience is thin on the ground for children of her age and the results weren't quick enough for her so I hope she gets on better with the loom.  I also need to deliver the two pairs of trousers I shortened for Dad yesterday and the socks I knitted for Mum.  She bought the sock yarn in Lidl and I made up the pattern myself.  They're toe-up with a plain foot, gusset heel and a k4 p2 ribbed cuff, which I staggered so it forms a sort of V.  For the cuff, I did k1, p2.
The colour's not that exciting but at £3.99 for 4 x 50g balls of sock yarn, you can't expect too much I suppose.  I'll probably make her another pair in something prettier for her birthday in May.

Not sure if I'll find the time to make another blog post next Friday as it's Christmas Eve and, as well as Cara's birthday on 23rd, it's hubby's on 22nd, so if I don't, may I taken this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Friday, 10 December 2010

WIP and FO Round-Up

It's been one of those weeks where I seem to have been busy, but with nothing to show at the end of it - I'm sure you all know what I mean.  I often feel this when I've had a week where I've had to do more shopping than usual.  Living in the smallest town in England means that if I want more than just the basics, I have to travel to another town - usually Colchester or Harwich/Dovercourt.  Hubby asked me the other day if I'd drop off his suit at the dry cleaner.  Fine.  Not a problem.  Except the dry cleaner we use is in Dovercourt, which is 11 miles away.  By the time I've driven there, parked, gone to the dry cleaner and then back to the car, at least an hour has passed, usually longer as I try to fit in other things to make the journey worthwhile (there's a Lidl in Harwich - mmm Christmas Gingerbread etc).  Such is life, but I don't mind as it's a nice place to live.

On the crafting front, I didn't think I'd made much progress with anything, but having taken some photos this morning, I've proved myself wrong.

First off, with the Volna scarf, I've progressed a bit.  I'm find this a time-consuming scarf to knit.  The pattern needs attention and the yarn's a bit slippery, but the end result will be worth it, and that's the main thing.

Three full repeats to date and I'm hoping to get 8 or 9 repeats in total. 

I also cast on for the James C Brett Marble Chunky sweaters, using Elizabeth Zimmermann's 'percentage' recipe from "Knitting Without Tears".  At a tension/gauge of 15sts per 4", I've cast on 150 stitches for the body, which will give me a sweater of 40".  So far, I've done 30-odd rounds and it's easy TV knitting although I have to take care to keep an eye as it's easy to split this plied yarn.

A closer-up pic of the way the yarn's striping and marbling (I'm rather pleased with the effect):

I've also been doing some spinning and here are some FOs (I'm calling them FOs because it takes me less time to knit a pair of socks than it does to spin 100g of fibre into something resembling yarn).  Hubby bought me an Ashford Traveller (which I named Betty) for Christmas last year and I've slowly been learning how to spin with it.  I'm a very slow spinner and there are days when I end up despairing that I'll ever get the hang of it, especially if I get distracted and break the strand so I have to attach a new bit of 'fluff'.  However, a couple of weeks ago I finished Navajo plying some pretty peach fibre that I got from my friend Lucy (Bearium on Ravelry).  It's 102g and made (from memory as my notebook's upstairs and I've been up and down the stairs all morning) approx 200 metres, which I think makes it a worsted weight.  Not sure what I'll make from it - maybe a feather & fan neckwarmer/cowl.

I also finished spinning some merino/silk mix which I bought months ago from The Alpaca Spinner, plied it earlier this week and it's now been soaked this morning and is hanging up to dry.  It's the Peppercorn shade and I'm very pleased with how it's turned out.  This is more of a light DK weight.  Just under 250m and about 94g (I don't think I weighed the two halves of the fibre correctly, so there's still some on one of the bobbins).  I two-plied this.

Do you like my Niddy-Noddy?  I made it from some waste pipe and t-connectors I got in B&Q.  Cost me a few £ and about half-an-hour of my time (I didn't even try to find the hacksaw from the garage - I use the bread knife!).

So, nothing exciting really, but I want to keep the momentum going and make a post once a week or so otherwise I'll never get round to it.

Ooh - nearly forgot.  I ordered and received in the post yesterday a copy of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "Free-Range Knitter" and started reading it yesterday evening.  Enjoying it very much so far - I enjoy reading Stephanie's blog and the book's written in the same friendly, chatty style.

Friday, 3 December 2010

I learned to knit when I was 6.....

.... and I'm now 45, so you'd think that I'd have learned to read a chart, check the symbols, etc, etc.

Or perhaps not.  I was halfway up the first of a pair of Grove Mittens (from Jared Flood's "Made in Brooklyn" booklet) when it dawned on me that I'd done the cuff wrong.  Admittedly, I'm used to a . to denote a purl stitch on a chart and, on this particular one, purls were represented by a blank square, but I'd made a mental note of that.  Obviously it went straight out of my head.  Anyway, on every other row, I was supposed to do k1tbl, p1.  I did k1tbl, k1.  I had a look at the cuff and tried on the mitten (I was Magic Looping so that wasn't difficult to do once I'd pushed the stitches onto the cable) and thought it looked ok, so carried on and did the same on the second mitten.

Anyway, they were a quick knit (only 50 rounds per mitten, plus cuff and thumb) and are finished.

The yarn is King Cole Merino Blend Superwash DK in Emerald Green.  It's a yarn I can see myself using again.  Nice and springy; soft and smooth to knit with.  I used my 4mm KnitPro Harmony tips for these, but it may be the last outing for them as they've got a bit scratched with use and aren't as smooth as they were.  Not sure whether or not to get another set, or to use the Spectra (acrylic) or Nova (metal) 4mm tips I've got.

I've also got another Jared Flood FO to show off!  This is the Guernsey Wrap.  Mr F designed this pattern to be made with his Shelter yarn (worsted weight and I'd love some, but can't justify the cost, plus postage costs, plus customs and PO charges).  I made mine using some yarn that's spun in Cornwall from the fleeces of a local flock of sheep (local as in the next village along from us - about 3 miles away).  The yarn's DK, so I knew the wrap wouldn't be as wide as the original, or as long, so I modified the pattern, doing three full repeats of the first and third charts, which also meant that the scarf's mirrored which the original isn't.

The yarn's a bit hairy, but I blocked it after giving it a soak in some water to which I'd added hair conditioner and I think it'll be fine.  Nice and warm for this current cold spell of weather.  I'm hoping that no cold winds are going to get past this one!

I'm now back to knitting on my Volna scarf and trying to not cast on the James C Brett chunky for my 'sloppy Joe' sweater.  Well.... maybe I should just knit a swatch so I can work out tension and then do the calculations for it.

Until next time..

Friday, 26 November 2010

I used to be a Yarn Snob.....

.... but I'm all cured now.

When I first started knitting at the age of 6, I used whatever left-overs my Mum or Nan gave me and made rectangles which would be sewn into tubes, then had pencils poked through either side to make sleeveless dresses for my Pippa dolls.  Once I progressed to making jumpers (my first proper knit was an aran waistcoat when I was about 12) my Mum would buy the yarn for me after I'd chosen a pattern, which was often from Women's Weekly, Woman's Own or Woman.  Once I was in sixth form, I'd go down to the local yarn shop on my moped and choose a pattern and yarn and pay for them out of my own money (I had a Saturday job).  Note how I say 'yarn' and not 'wool'.  'Yarn' because the range in our local yarn shop wasn't what you'd call extensive, especially the colours.  But.... it was the early '80s and, well, if you're a knitter, you'll know exactly what I mean.

Then, I moved to London and went to college.  Again, the department stores didn't have a great deal more to offer than my LYS.  I did, however, find out that Harrods sold  yarn, went there in my lunch hour at college (in South Kensington, so walking distance) and made a soft orange cotton jumper with a cabled yoke (and dropped sleeves - we're still talking 1980s here!).

Move on a couple of years and I'm now working in Bloomsbury.  A walk of about 3 minutes from Ries Wools of Holborn and a short bus ride from Oxford Street and Liberty.  I'd also read about Kaffe Fassett.  "Oh dear" I can hear you thinking.  For the next, ooh, probably ten years all my knitting was done using Rowan yarns.  The hours I spent browsing the huge selection, especially the 25g skeins of their lighter-weight DK (and I still miss the Designer DK - why they stopped making it I have no idea).  I even made a cardigan for DD1 when she was a toddler using Rowan yarns.  Not that she wore it a great deal - I never seemed to have the time to hand-wash it and she outgrew it long before it was past its best.

That's all changed now though.  The yarn market has changed enormously in recent years.  From turning up my nose at acrylic in a "proper knitters only use pure wool or cotton" way, I now find myself oohing and aahing at some of the yarns that are now available.  Even the budget yarns.  I've made several school cardigans for DD1 from Sirdar Bonus DK (so easy to wash - bung it in the machine with the spin turned down then lay in the airing cupboard), plus a few cardigans for both my daughters using Hayfield Bonus Fantasy DK and Stylecraft Special Twirl DK (it's lovely and soft and the colour variegation is very pretty).  I've got some James C Brett DK in variegated pink to make another cardigan for DD2 and this morning I took delivery of this from Texere:

5 x 200g of James C Brett Marble Chunky in blue/green/purple.  It's destined to be a Sloppy Joe type sweater for me.  I'm going to use Elizabeth Zimmermann's 'percentage' sweater pattern from "Knitting Without Tears".

Don't get me wrong - I still have lots of very nice yarns in my stash (as any of you who have seen my stash page on Ravelry will know).

But.... I don't think I can call myself a yarn snob any more.

I've been cured!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Sometimes a pattern just grabs me...

... and I have a 'Must Knit Now' moment.

This happened to me a couple of days ago. I was catching up on other blogs (ironic really when I neglect this one so shamefully) and saw Grumperina's post about her new pattern, Volna and new that it was something I had/needed to knit. Straight Away. Despite all the other WIPs. I even knew which yarn I'd be using - the Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Sea Silk that my husband bought me for my birthday. It's in the Pansy colourway and is a glorious mix of rich, jewel-like purple, blue and green. The pattern was purchased on Weds evening and the yarn wound with my Sunflower swift (birthday present from hubby). Yesterday morning had me rushing to feed the dogs as soon as the girls had gone off to school, make a cup of tea and sit down with pattern, needle (using my 4mm KnitPro Spectra Flair tips - the pink ones!!) and yarn.

The pattern's not difficult as such, but it does need a bit of concentration. Not because of any difficult stitches (it's garter stitch, with k2tog yo eyelets and short rows), but because there's a main pattern and then two wave or wedge patterns (the main pattern separates each wave) and the repeats of each section don't start at row 1 either. So, I took some time yesterday to make a spreadsheet of each step of the pattern so that I can keep track.

Anyone else planning on making this I'd advise to read through the pattern first and use both the written instructions as well as the charts, at least for the first pattern repeat. Once you get going, everything falls into place - a bit like with socks after you've turned your first heel.

Anyway, I'm having to limit my time on this as a. I have a household to run and b. I have other WIPs on the go that I want to finish, especially the socks I'm knitting for my Mum. She paid for the yarn, so I really should get on with them. Normally a pair of socks wouldn't be a problem, but I decided to do these in a k4, p2 rib on the leg and, quite frankly, they're a pain. Still - I think I've got 35 rounds of the leg to go, then 15 rows of k1, p2 ribbing for the cuff on the second sock and then I'll be free to concentrate on my other WIPs (although there's always the possibility that I'll cast on something else).

I'm also being very firm with myself about stash-busting. I bought 5 x 200g balls of James C Brett Marble Chunky this week (which I'm hoping the postman will deliver today) as I want to make myself a Sloppy Joe type sweater using Elizabeth Zimmerman's 'percentage' sweater from Knitting Without Tears, but then that's it.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Update and Ally Pally

So, carrying on from last week's entry, an update on progress on my WIPs.

Burridge Lake Afghan - haven't worked on this as firstly I had #1 child off sick for a couple of days as a precautionary measure so the sniffles she had didn't develop into the full-blown coldy virus I went down with the week before. As she had her school's music concert on Weds evening and plays the clarinet and treble recorder, she was at home Monday and Tuesday. Secondly, the weather's got hot, so knitting aran-weight yarn into cables is hot work.

Child Surprise Jacket - finished, except for finishing off and buttons. Not going to worry too much about this as the end of the school year's in a couple of weeks and it's too hot for cardigans anyway.

Tempest Cardigan - finished the back and left front of this and am getting used to the skinny yarn on 4mm needles. Trying to match the way the contrast yarn's pooling in the stripes on each front, but not going to beat myself up about it if they don't.

Granny Square blanket - one more 'patch' or block made. Need another couple of colours of yarn to make 8 blocks before I crochet them together and do a border (unless I decide to make it bigger than that).

Last week I mentioned the 4-ply silk yarn I've got. I cast on for a Clapotis. First off, used circulars, but the non-stretchy nature of the yarn made this hard work, so I switched to bamboo straights. I'm just not in like with this yarn, let alone love. Still, I think I'm going to carry on until I get to the part of the pattern where the dropping-of-stitches occurs and then see if I like it. If not, it'll get frogged and I'll probably admit defeat with the yarn and see if anyone else wants it.

In the meantime, I've cast on a pair of socks. Last year I knitted something like 16 pairs of socks and became a bit socked out. This year, I think I've knitted two pairs. The first pair was Wendy Johnson's Sunrise socks, using the Wendy Sunrise yarn from Lorna's Laces dyed to match up with the pattern. I love these socks. They fit well, wash well and the yarn behaved nicely so there wasn't any weird pooling. The second pair I knit was out of Natural Dye Studio Unicorn yarn in a pretty pale green/pink colourway. I made it into a pair of toe-up vanilla socks for #1 child, who likes them (but may not get another pair if she continues to shuffle along the carpet wearing only socks, thus felting the soles a little bit). So, I went into my Ravelry queue and saw that the next sock pattern I'd got in there (I'm trying to be well-behaved when it comes to my queue) was Jules by Kate Blackburn. The pattern's a sort-of waffle/slip stitch rib, worked over 14 rows. Written for a cuff-down construction, I'm making them toe-up as I prefer to knit socks this way. I went through my stash of sock yarn and decided on the pink/purple colourway of Koigu I bought on sale at Get Knitted at least a year ago and cast on. I've got 8 rounds to go before I start the gusset increases and am really enjoying knitting these. The pattern works with the yarn and they're pink and pretty.

In other news, having booked the weekend off work to go to Ally Pally in the autumn, I'm now not sure if I'm going to go after all. I've got yarn coming out of my ears, including at least enough sock yarn for 15 pairs (possibly 20 if I'm honest), plus yarn enough to make five cardigans/jumpers, plus several balls of acrylic (which will probably become scarves and hats for various charities). There are also quite a few balls of cotton, destined to become market-type bags and/or wash cloths, plus some eyelash yarn (including some that's been OTN for ages to make a cushion cover for #1 child) and various left-over balls which are, again, destined for charity knits. In short, I've got enough yarn to keep me going for a good while (and the above doesn't include the 1200g I've still got knit up for the aran blanket) and I know that if I go to Ally Pally I'll probably end up coming back with more skeins of sock yarn which, although I know will be pretty, I can buy online. There's also my mitred square blanket, which is coming along very slowly (it's a project I knit on while #2 child is in the bath, or last thing at night when I want to do a few rows before I switch out the light). I've been saving up money for Ally Pally since last October by putting £1 in a tin for each 50g of yarn (or 25g of laceweight) and it's amassing (hubby put £10 in there as well, which was lovely of him), but I'm just not sure I want to pay the travel costs for me and #1child just to end up with a few skeins of sock yarn that I don't need. Anyway, I broke the news to #1child today that we might not go after all, so she's miffed with me. Maybe if she actually gets out her knitting rather than gluing herself to the PC at every possible moment, I'll change my mind. In the meantime, there's a good chance that I'll use my stash-busting money to pay for either new shoes, swimming lessons or music lessons for her, all of which seem to creep up on me and catch me unawares in an 'oh bugger' kind of way. Maybe if I leave Ally Pally another year, I'll have knitted up some of my stash, #1child will be a more proficient and enthusiastic knitter and we'll enjoy it more than we will this year.

Monday, 21 June 2010

I am a bad blogger

I started this blog with the intention of contributing to it regularly. I shouldn't have made that commitment in my mind as I always seem to rebel against such things. No idea why - I just do. It's like setting myself knitting deadlines of the x rows per day on y project variety so I get things done. It just doesn't happen - I think I resent the formalising of my knitting in such a way.

Anyhow - it's been months and months and months since I last updated this. On my birthday, in fact. So, what have I been up to knitting-wise?

Well, quite a lot really, but some things are still hanging around from last year.

Such as, the Burridge Lake Aran Afghan. I finally finished the first panel last week and cast on for the second one. I had a look around Ravelry at some of the other versions of this lovely pattern to have a look at the middle section cables in more detail, if there were any closer-up shots than on the pattern site. I noticed that one Ravelry member had written a chart for the this section, so I though 'woohoo' and had a look. I then saw that this chart was an amended chart to the one that the designer had added to the pattern page, so I went and had a look. That's when it all started to go a bit pear-shaped. I spent almost the entire morning trying to fathom out why the chart didn't seem to work compared to the one I'd written out for myself when I first started knitting this (I used the new chart for the first couple of rows before something didn't seem to be Quite Right). I think I worked out that the new charted pattern is reversed from the written instructions (which had an error in them that wasn't difficult to spot if you're familiar with the way cables work). Unfortunately, it wasn't until I got up to about row 19 that I realised that it wasn't Quite Right. Anyway, I went back to my own chart, changed one thing and am hoping that the mistake in the first row won't be noticeable once the border's on (the cables cross the wrong way on the outside sections). Anyway, I've now done 2 x 24-row repeats on this with another 14 to go for this section!

Other things on the needles at the moment are:

- Child's Surprise Jacket. I'm making this in Sirdar Bonus DK in royal blue as it's intended to be for DD1 as a school cardigan and royal blue is her school's colour. Hit a glitch as I ran out of yarn so had to buy a new ball for the sleeves and it's a different dye lot, so there's a slight variation in colour. DD1 says she doesn't mind as a. no-one else will probably notice and b. it's only for school anyway!

- Tempest cardigan. This is a funny one - well, for me anyway. It's 4-ply/fingering yarn knitted up at a DK tension (20sts/4" once blocked), so the fabric's very drapey and it's a bit outside my comfort zone. I'm using two colourways of Unicorn yarn from the Natural Dye Studio. One colour is semi-solid light green and the other is pink/mauve/light green. The pattern's striped and with the colours I'm using, the striping is subtle due to the light green in the pink/mauve colourway blending in with the other colour. I quite like it though and the more I do of this, the more I like it. The yarn's beautiful (70% baby llama, 20% cashmere, 10% silk). I've finished the back and have started on one of the fronts. As the fronts are (obviously) knitted on fewer stitches - 50 for the size I'm making - the yarn's pooling. On the first pink/mauve/green stripe, it pooled at the side where the button band will be, so for the second stripe with this skein, I've joined the yarn at a place where it will pool on the opposite side, to balance the pooling. Just got the remember to make sure I do the same with the other front now!

- Crocheted Granny Square blanket. Using a mix of Patons Diploma DK and Wendy Mode DK. I'm aiming for a block effect, a bit like a patchwork quilt and have done four blocks so far. Not sure at the moment how big I'm going to make it. I'll see how heavy it gets.

That's it. Four projects - just four. Although...... I've got some 4-ply 100% silk which was going to be an Ishbel, but got frogged as it just wasn't working out. It's a tricky yarn as it's quite splitty (tried crocheting with it but very quickly realised that was not one of my best ideas) and it's quite a thin 4-ply. It's something like 700 metres per 100g skein (I've got just the one) so I'm now thinking Clapotis. Doesn't need proper blocking (I gather that silk doesn't have much memory) and the amount of yarn I've got should make a decent-sized scarf.

Will try not to leave it so long next time. Will also try to find my camera (I think I know where it is) and my camera charger (no idea on the location for that) and fathom uploading pictures!