Friday, July 29, 2011

Fiber College giveaway, blog tour stop #5

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Welcome Fiber College blog tourists to your final stop. If you're feeling bad for me for being last, worry not. I've spent my whole life as a Z. I am used to being last. It builds character.
 In that spirit , I am going to make you wait till the end of the post for the giveaway. (OK, if you must skim ahead,  I'm giving away a spot in one of my classes at Fiber College, just scroll down).
10 Reasons You Should Join Us at Fiber College
1- Fiber College takes place on the ocean in Searsport Maine. Sept 8-11th. I don't think you really need 9 more reasons. If you have ever been in coastal Maine in early September, you know what I'm talking about.The light. The smells. Peaceful & spectacular.

2- Did you notice the words on the ocean? I don't mean in a town that is on the coast but at this place. You can camp there (I am! primo spot! oceanfront!). Camping with beautiful flower gardens and adirondack chairs and hot showers,  near town for espresso runs and other, ahem, necessities of civilization. Like ice cream. If you don't want to sleep in a tent or fire up your RV, there are inns and hotels nearby.

3, 4, 5 - OK I will  be egocentric, the next three reasons are my classes. Friday morning is Photography for Knitters, Crafters & Bloggers- Styling your FO's general photography techniques and tricks and ideas for shooting your work. We'll play with color & light & choosing backgrounds. Saturday morning is Photography for Knitters: Working wth Real Life Models - we'll work on photographing people, especially to show off your knits. It is part technique, part psychology, lots of hands on. Very fun. If you're a designer who wants to have great shots of people wearing the patterns you're selling on ravelry, this is the class for you. On Sunday, for the 1st time ever, I am psyched to teach a more advanced class of Photography for Knitters/Crafters: Working with Light. It'll be all about sun and the lack of it, direct & indirect light sources, shadow, indoor lights, using cheapish artificial light sources and working too with electronic flash (strobes), both large & small - the full monty of lighting, with the focus of making fiber look great.

6- All the other classes. OMG the classes. The teachers & subjects are mind boggling. Just go look. You can go traditional techniques in knitting, spinning, or weaving. You can try something new with wool like dyeing with indigo and woad, or felting 3 dimensionally . Or something new, like hula hooping or silkscreening or book making.

7- Artist in residence! I love when there's a special person who's presence gives a shape to the gathering and who can do a Saturday night presentation that'll capture us all. It's Mary Jane Mucklestone. I've never met her but I am looking forward to, because I so admire her work. Check out her Saturday night presentation, especially.

8- Vendors. If just sitting by the surf, knitting,and soaking in all the free-floating creativity  isn't enough, you can shop. Like a mini Rhinebeck but no traffic and easier access to the fiber critters.

9- That's right, I said fiber animals. I guess you know how I feel about sheep, goats and alpaca. I'll skip the baaaaaa-d puns.

10- Above all, community. The spirit of the gathering is so on the mark to me, it is making me look forward to September. (I hate when summer ends, hate it).But here's what I mean, right from the Fiber College website:
"What is Fiber College?
It's all about doing...and it's more than classes: it's community, sharing and evening events.
We hold the following statements to be true: September is the most beautiful month on the coast of Maine. Surrounded by the sea and bordered by gardens you can relax, revitalize and daydream~ you know that you need this. "

Giveaway! If you'd like to win a seat in one of my classes (your choice but if it's for the lighting class, just be sure you want to geek out ,photographically, that much).
Leave a comment below saying what non-photo class most piques your interest. I'll take comments till 3 pm east coast time on Wed August 3rd, and I'll do a random number for the winner.

See you there?

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Friday, July 22, 2011

yo tambien

099_GaleZucker0711wkshopMitered Cross  and the design  inspiration in quilt form flappin' in the breeze
Although Kay did a stellar post complete with awesome photos she made- I tell you I am positively ferklempt looking at them- I still want to report on that one-of-a kind class I taught in Southampton LI a couple of weekends ago.012_GaleZucker0711wkshop Teaching at a private home gave  a whole 'nother vibe to the class. Where else could a student be seen with a camera, a cellphone and her small dog under the same arm while photographing a woman lounging on velvet on a lovely shaded patio.
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You wanted a closer look, am I right? It's not really on my list of "Ten Top Tips To Take Terrific Tightshots" but on the other hand,and I mean literally on the other hand, we're talking Olive. (love that Olive)
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We went all out on the refreshments, in a way one might not at a shop or library or other educational venue. Because afterall, G&T's make a very good prop, and I heartily endorse good props. BTW this is Phyllis Rowley's design.
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A constant at all of the Photography for Knitters classes is the presence of brilliant knits. Will you look at this Volt in Kidsilk Haze? Can you practically feel it? It's by Susan, here's her Ravelry link.  Karin, a freind of Kay's,  was there to model. I'm not sure she knew in advance that would be her role. 
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But I don't think she minded too much.
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Last night at Webs ended the summer series of classes I've been teaching. It was SO hot, I didn't even take photos myself. That is a real heat indicator, because it was a very very good time. When the heat got to us, we decided to use " WEBS, Yarn Store of Your DreamsWhich  is Very Well Air Conditioned & Colorful"" as our setting for the photography, instead of the  hellish sauna great outdoors where posing in wool felt downright punitive.
In September I am THRILLED to be teaching at two events, you really should check them out
Fiber College- a gathering of knitters, artists & vendors  in Searsport Maine Sept 8-11 and
The Creative Connection Event, a gathering with the emphasis on craft entrepreuneurship and empowering women Sept 15-17th in St Paul MN - I teach Friday as part of the Vogue Knitting lineup.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

the right question

Still a space or two at Photographing Your Knits: FO's on Real People at WEBS this Thursday July 21 4:30-7:30. Join us! Did I mention it's at WEBS?!
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Earlier this summer I knew what I wanted. Needed. Must knit. It was a long, wide, lightweight, sheer shawl that I could also wear as a huge scarf. I cast on to make Gossamer Stars with my big cone of Colrain lace. But alas, it was not making me happy.  Working off a chart wasn't my mood, because most of my summer knitting takes place on a porch or beach while chatting. Plus,  I'd forgotten that I already had this Be Sweet big wide shawl underway.
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I decided to start over in razor shell, a favorite stitch, and was reinforced by Dunes in First Fall Knitty (don't you love it in handspun over there?)  But, I still wasn't feeling it. Know what I mean?
Volt, knit bySusanM Volt shot at the Photographing Your Knits class in LI
Then last Saturday at the Photographing Your Knits workshop, Sara asked me the simple question "What do you like to knit most?". I stumbled, saying "umm, uhhh, I guess I like knitting animal fibers best, in worsted weight". 
And then she said "No, I mean what do you like to knit?"  and I stumbled more, replying "l, ummm, well, I like sweaters, and ummm, everything. Small things, hats, scarves.... but not lace so much. I don't enjoy the fiddly stitches so much". (Clearly I'm not a big self-examiner type).
Later that night, when we were socializing,  she glanced over at me with my laceweight merino/tencel blend. There I was  looking annoyed at my YO's and counting stitches while trying to drink wine & chat and she said "But..I thought you didn't like lace?".
Enlightenment! Headslap! Thanks, Sara, for asking the right question at the exact right moment.  I'm casting on again with the Colrain, which is, after all, a very nice yarn. This time for Miley. I'm feeling happier already.
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(more photos from that LI day next post, it was so inspiring. Not just because it got me back on track: the knitters and setting and the whole.....gestalt).

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Friday, July 08, 2011

july. you gotta love july.

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That's right, it's that bigass granny square getting another few rounds. I'd put it aside once the allure of having a mountain of wool in my lap faded.  But we had a chilly evening, so it got back in action. Here's the thing: I'd almost run out of odd skeins to use, when my enabler friend Mary Lou surprised me with a big box of almost-full skeins in just the kind of colors I use. And get this: she herself does not feel the granny square thing. That's a friend. So I kept on going and now  it's about 5 feet square and might  be close to just right. At first I felt compelled  to use all the yarn on it but a 15 foot square lap blanket is....a LOT of lap. I mean, I can use some of the yarn on another project, right? 
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Meanwhile the colors at the farmers market have been inspiring, I'm thinking maybe a garlic scape sweater next?
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