Spring on the way

Yellow crocus

On Wednesday after a couple of warm days, I noticed more color appearing in my garden. There were a few gorgeous yellow crocus shown above. Then there were Squill:


Some lovely blue-purple crocuses all over the front yard:

Purple crocus

Click on any of the photos and it will take you to my March 2008 collection to see more.

Copyright © 2008 CDavies

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Yarn Yarns – Playing with Color

I never should have got side tracked into looking at the Mason Dixon knitting blog because that lead me to January One and her post about using Adobe Photoshop to select colors. She got the idea from Knitting on Impulse. I decided to try this for my Mother’s Day Afghan.

Using a picture of Ruthy of the Mammals (it was already open in Photoshop as I was using it earlier for Ruth’s Wikipedia page):


I filtered it using the stained glass filter (under Textures in the Filter menu) with the cell size set to 10:

Knitting color

Then, using the the dropper tool, I sucked up some of the colors from the bottom left corner and, in a new document, I made a palette:

playing palette

When I got home last night I chose wool based on the stained glass picture as the palette did not print out well. (If I intend to do this a lot, I need a better printer.)

Yarn selection

This morning, I redid the palette from the picture. Then I added the yarn colors at the bottom:

Final Palette

Not a bad match?

So I started knitting. I am doing it log cabin style as that is very straight forward. I decided to chose the number of garter ridges randomly. As I could not find any dice, I used a spinning top and a wheel drawn on paper with numbers 1 – 8 in the spokes. For each patch, I spun the top twice and added up the numbers, so I could have everything from 2 – 16 ridges of garter stitch. This is how far I’ve got:

Start of Mother’s Day Afghan

The Hodge Scheme

Hodge Mechanism

This is such a cool reaction mechanism. It was designed by John E Hodge in a what is now a citation classic. It sums up the Maillard Reaction, which is as complicated as the reaction scheme above suggests. This is such a classical scheme that it is known as the “Hodge Scheme”. I find that pretty impressive; it would be great if there was ever a “Lab Cat” reaction scheme.

Hodge was an African American who gained an MA from the University of Kansas in 1940 and worked for the USDA for more than 40 years. Sadly, there was no Wikipedia page for this amazing man, so I started one. If any one knows anymore information about him, please, please add to the Wikipedia page.

Hodge, J. E. (1953). “Chemistry of browning reactions in models systems.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 1(15): 928-943.

Citation Classic (pdf)

John E Hodge Bio