Monday, November 12, 2012

some class

I mean that in the same way that Charlotte said "some pig".

photo 3  
Many thanks to our fabulous model for the day, Jessie.
Holding a Photography for Knitters Workshop day at an historic schoolhouse in Needham Massachusetts makes for some great photo settings.   
helping Having clever & talented students in the class, makes for fun ideas.

Caps for sale anyone? Seriously, these hats by Kathy Zola are for sale, on her soon-to-be-open etsy site. She has the pattern up on Ravelry for free--although if you look at these, you quickly realize the pattern is more of a blueprint and she makes all sorts of added textures and stitches on each hat she creates.

groupose The whole gang. Many thanks to Elissa's Creative Warehouse  for hosting the class. That's Elissa and one of her Kuku Dolls , on the far right.  Afterwards, I met Maryse at the shop and  we found ourselves staying for Saturday Night Knit Club. We didn't mean to,  we were powerless to resist the warm welcome , combined with the plentiful yarn fumes.  So we  plunked down knitting.  If you've never been to Elissa's shop, you need to go. She's got an amazing selection, nice staff  and some crazy fun projects going on.

photo 3 Rules for the day.

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Want me to teach a workshop near you?  Shoot me an email and I'll see if I can find a guild or shop that would like to sponsor me. 

Friday, November 09, 2012

a few quick things

• This Friday night 7 pm Nov 9th, I'm the guest speaker for the Common Cod Fiber Guild. I'll be doing a slidetalk on my favorite subject (or, one of them, anyway); 10 Tips for Fabulous Photography of Knitwear, and Beyond . It's a best hits of ideas from classes I teach. All wrapped up in a bow, with very little jargon. If you're not a Common Cod member no worries, $5. gets you in the door.
So..that's, like, 50¢ a photo tip? Good deal.

 • Where?  In Cambridge Massachusetts, at MIT. Heh, I am giving a talk at MIT. 
You have no idea how dorky I've been,  saying this (over and over and over).

• On Saturday, I'm teaching an all day class in Needham MA, same subject. But hands on, with plenty of shooting time plus time to do a quick edit and review/critique what we shot. We're meeting in an historic school house, which should be an amazing setting for shooting your knits. Thanks to Creative Warehouse for making this happen! There's till room for a few more students , last minute is OK.  This is going to be a special class.
Best use of pompoms that I've seen in ages, right? 
• I've already misplaced my wonderful new mitts. I wore them at Rhinebeck and then they evaporated. I know I brought them home. This is so disheartening. And, my hands are cold.
Pompom style. Only the very few can carry it off. In this case, on a kindergarten field trip to the US capitol. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

postcards from maine: swans island yarn

 Saturday 11/10 : a full day Photo for Knitters Workshop in Needham MA.
A one-of-a-kind class:  meeting in an historic schoolhouse (props! setting!), with enough time to learn, shoot, and to edit, look at work and critique too. Thanks to Elissa at Creative Warehouse for sponsoring this!
If  a hands-on photo workshop might be a bit much,  Friday night 11/9  I'm doing a slidetalk : 10 Tips for Fabulous Photos: Knitwear & Beyond  for the Common Cod Guild in Cambridge at MIT (heh , me teaching at MIT) 7pm.   Info here.
Back in September, one misty morning at Fiber College, I played tourist with  Mary Lou Egan. We set out on a short drive south to Northport.
0941_0912GaleZuckerFC Not on the island anymore.0995_0912GaleZuckerFCThey welcome visitors.0962_0912GaleZuckerFCWe're both crazy about Swans Island yarn, and this is where it comes from. 0964_0912GaleZuckerFCIt's all organic and naturally dyed. The displays show the plants & nature that go into the colors. 0961_0912GaleZuckerFCShowrooms of the stunning wool woven blankets (sliver at left) and the yarns. If I needed to receive to give a special gift, it'd be a Swans Island blanket. So elegant and simple. 0958_0912GaleZuckerFCSide room with irregular colors,  off dyelots. 0959_0912GaleZuckerFCThese are amongst the discounted skeins, from mixed dyes or limited runs. To call them seconds is unfair, they're so beautiful.  I bought one skein of a green, but wish now I'd chosen some of the indigo on the right, as well.0990_0912GaleZuckerFCWe toured behind the scenes too. Natural yarn, waiting to be measured out.0977_0912GaleZuckerFC 
Skeining yarn before dying.0985_0912GaleZuckerFCPre-soaked skeins waiting to go into dye baths.0978_0912GaleZuckerFC 
It was very very warm in the dyerooms. 0981_0912GaleZuckerFCYarn drying. Mary Lou had taken an all day workshop the day before, with head dyer, Jackie Degraff aka DyeMama. I was utterly impressed, as were the dyers working, that Mary Lou called out the name of the nature dye source on these skeins.0947_0912GaleZuckerFCWe visited the weaving rooms too. The looms are so wide, they have an airpump assisted shuttle that makes a satisying whooooooosh.0949_0912GaleZuckerFCWeavers' worktable.0956_0912GaleZuckerFCThe Swans Island woven signature.0969_0912GaleZuckerFCOne of the things I love best about visiting dyers is how their colors and sensibilities reflect the local palette.1015_0912GaleZucker_Camden MaineIn this case, the local palette couldn't be more beautiful. Camden harbor, just down the road.

A few last thoughts, if you're still with me: 
• Swans Island yarn may be available at your LYS. It is at mine :-)

• An oft repeated but wondrously true aspect of naturally dyed yarn is it all goes together. You can't make a bad color combo.

• Yarn like this, from small producers, costs more than commercially produced imported skeins. Choosing it is to vote with your pocketbook (as we like to say around here). To knit with it is a joy, no question.  When you buy it, you're supporting small business and  enabling real jobs in a challenged economy. These are people who put great care into what they create. You can read more about who's behind Swans Island here.

(sorry that was kind of preachy but I just had to say it, stepping off the soapbox now)