Monday, November 23, 2015

november post 14: aristida shawl

To distract from the daily blogging month fail last week, I'll show my Aristida Shawl.
Finished since May--and yet, somehow, never a good shot of it. I adore it, I wear it often, but it remains a photo enigma. This attempt, above, photo credit to  Ellen Mason, when we were on Nash Island for the sheep roundup in early June. Wet weather delayed shearing, so we spent the day just being there. It was heavenly. And...windy. You can see two delightful aspects of this shawl: bobble and fringe. In fact, these are the  two reasons I had to knit it.
I'm a lousy model,and pairing my drapey, lovely, watery blue shawl with several layers of loose fitting shirts and a baggy, sheep-drooly sweater is crazy. But I have the best reason- it was chilly and the day started at dawn in the rain, on a lobster boat. The lambs are adorable, though. I think we can all agree on that. The shawl was knit in Manos Fino, a 70/30 wool /silk single spun yarn that made every stitch of this a joy. It's a two skein shawl, it took well into the 2nd skein to complete the fringe. Fringe, I love you, but you're a yardage hog.
Another odd styling view of my Aristida Shawl, this shot from Kirsten Kapur Through the Loops. When temperatures plummeted while in Ohio for the TNNA show, Kirsten offered me a skein of The Fibre Company Cumbria to warm my neck. I kind of love this look, to be honest. So effortless! Also , take this moment to once again admire my bobbles.
Nash  sheep parade around the island in first light of the day, before 5 am. It's magical.

Monday, November 16, 2015

november post 13: circular reasoning saves the day

I am only barely scraping by my NaPoBloMo  attempt with a post today,  by the good grace of designer Elizabeth Elliott aka The Cusser Knits  releasing her wonderful new pattern Circular Reasoning.  It's the same geometrics that I love in her Contrariwise hat, but in a cushy cowl,  knit as a tube. 

When I photographed it for her in late August, I went out scouting for a location with no hint of the season...aka an urban plaza that was light on the nature. My good luck to find this bench, thoughtfully painted and then distressed by time and weather, to match the cowl's colorway.
It's  knit in   Spincycle Dyed in the Wool yarn, and it feels pretty amazing. The shifting colorways of the contrast color--well, I'm just going to warn you now that if you click over to their page, it is going  to be hardto leave without a purchase. Don't say I didn't warn you. 
OTOH--your holiday shopping for a knitter you love might get accomplished. Silver lining! One skein for them, one for you!
You can really see how the yarn plays here. The design features both texture and colorwork, which means it'll require some attention but won't be boring.  The stranding and ends all end up inside the tube, so not much to finish. That's a win all around.
Thanks to the brains & beauty of Josephine, my model, who once again made it all look effortless.

november post 12: old town alexandria VA

As you might have noticed, I get around. It's not like I'm well traveled globally, I have missed Marrakesh and Tuscany and England and many of the places you'd expect me to have been.  But I'm excellent in the Nook & Cranny Travel Department. Through working on photo assignments for magazines or business, or by my own curious wandering, I've spent time in so many  charming/beautiful/fascinating or quirky pockets of our continent. Add Old Town Alexandria,Virginia to the list.

I was there to teach at Fibre Space, the wonderful yarn shop in the lower left, above. It's just across the river from Washington DC, an easy Metro ride and well worth it. The neighborhood is colorful and so stroll-worthy Also...delicious. Hard to choose where to take snack breaks.  I had a roasted fall vegetable salad with brown butter vinaigrette. Need I say more?  Well, yeah actually I do:

All these photos were taken with my phone on Thursday, the day I taught two rounds of Phone Camera Workshops. The first was to a group of Old Town boutique owners/managers, and the second was to a group of knitters. That's a little stack of Miss Babs yarn held by a local jewelry designer, in the upper right.  Fibre Space is an incredibly well-run and well-stocked--aka TEMPTING and lovely place to hang out for a couple of days, it took extreme self-disclipline not to spend all my earnings on the spot. I held it to a tote bag and a couple of skeins of yarn for my mom. And many many new ideas.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

november post 11: modern lopi one launches

Two days of teaching at Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria was a blast Great store and great students. I am already plotting a return. But, nary moment to blog. Or even knit. Oh, the irony.
Fortunately I have some good hearty Knitting News to share with you:
 The release of this new book, Modern Lopi.  Do yourself a favor and pre-order now. Lopapeysas (and more) for all. Info and just a few more photos on Lars' site, about the book and patterns.

You can see my name on the cover. This was a memorable photo shoot, on a jungle steamy hot summer day last year. The lag time-- or as it is known in the publishing world, production- makes an instant gratification-type person like me  twitchy. And then one day, there it is, all put together and beautiful, like a little party bursting out. All the particular challenges of the work are faded from memory and all the very best parts are shining there in the photos. I'm looking forward to having my nice fresh copy soon.


*I really hope this means see you later in Icelandic. I mean, I looked it up on the internets, it has to be true...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nov post 10: TRIP MITTS sneak peek

See you tomorrow night or Friday at Fibre Space? Hope so!
I brought these mitts with me,in fact I brought a ton of knits with me for my trip to teach at Fibre Space. Next to a fiber festival, teaching at a yarn shop is THE place to wear multiple handknits, right? It was chilly when I left Connecticut. So happy to get off the train in DC in warmer weather! The mitts are perfect in the early morning but my sweaters and cowls may not get much of an outing, after all. Anyway,  these are the Trip Mitts, a new pattern that I'll publish next week. Blogging every day and publishing a pattern? who am I????
The Trip Mitts, knit in Anzula Oasis. Details to come!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

november post 9: phone photos phorever

I resisted my phone camera for a long time, but when I finally fell for it, I fell hard.  The basic quality is quite good, and I don't need to tell you how easy it is to just hold it in your palm, take a picture and slide it back into your pocket.  Add some free and powerful apps and I'm amazed at what photos I can create.  You can, too. Join me at Fibre Space in Alexandria VA  on Thursday night 6-9 and we'll make iphone/smartphone masterpieces, together. Go grab one of the last seats, now!*
My Instagram looks like this. The class will cover making images that jump out on the social media. You can see I included work, play, family, knit-related  I pretty much stay away from looking down at my lunch plate and shooting it although if you like to, we can cover that too. I won't judge ;-)  We'll talk about how to make the best , strongest images, how to quickly edit them in your phone, and some apps that help you create a signature look, or add depth of field to mimic a DSLR shot ( as in my fortune cookie image,  and in the shot of Zoe with the dog--you can see how the chairs are defocussed--by me).

* this is a fun class to bring along a friend , whether they are knitters or not. Who knows. they may succumb to the charms of Fibre Space and become one of us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

november post 8: when in doubt, show sheep shots

an old favorite, from Autumn House Farm

• • •  Teaching at Fibre Space in Alexandria VA in just a couple of days! 
 The workshops are close to full- jump on in!• • • •
Thursday Evening 6-9 Smartphone Masterpieces - hands on & fun class to take with a non-knitter  

• Friday - 10-5 Photography for Knitters & Makers- soup to nuts, Shooting to Editing & review - get up close and personal with your camera. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

november post 7: who knows where the time goes?

I was too busy doodling the day away on Saturday to remember to do a post. ooops! Perfection is boring, right? I'll keep plugging away for the month of November.

Time - or the lack of it--is serious business around here. And I mean that, literally. When you are self-employed, it's all one big blob of time- there's not timesheet to fill out, no hours you are expected to keep. On the one hand, there's ultimate freedom. I'm not complaining!  On the other hand: no work=no pay.  I've been working as a freelance photographer full-time most of my adult life. It suits me.  But it means my job depends on me figuring out how to make the most of my time , whether I'm on a photo shoot somewhere, editing images and  doing paperwork in my office, or planning an afternoon outing with my family. Or knitting and making stuff. If I wait to fit in, it ain't happening. The best thing is to make time for making. 

Wait, does that sound like a bumper sticker & t-shirt?

I got into working for myself because I wanted to avoid corporate/institutionalized structure--but guess what? Joke's on me! Time management theory, that organizational tool dear to the hearts of corporations, is now one of my favorite subjects. Have I found the ultimate fit-all theory? Nope, I don;t think there is one. But I had already worked out my own little semi-effective system when I heard this interview with Jule Sheranosher on the Beyond the To Do List  business podcast.  I don't listen to biz podcasts often, once in a while I remember it may be good for me-and I had this one in a set of links I'd saved.  After I heard it, I started following her Time Hackers blog & podcast snips. That link gives you some idea of her approach.Even if you just use one or two of her ideas, you'll be doing yourself a favor.

Warning: There's no woowoo factor. You won't see any hands gently cupping a seedling on her website, or little flowery curlicues. But that's what I like. Get'er done and you have plenty of time to find your own woowoo. Wait--is that a bumper sticker?..........