Wednesday, March 27, 2013

anatomy of a knitwear photoshoot

 I was blabbing with a friend about my activities leading up to a photo shoot for Green Mountain Spinnery last week, and she was surprised at all the stuff going into it. I thought maybe you'd like to know, too?  We haven't done the final editing, so consider these a peek.
Looks like a simple photo, right? Here're all the parts:
•  The design itself:  the Gulfoss sweater, by Cap Sease.  (The sweater link is to their existing image, on Ravelry.  I am updating their look.)
• The rest of her wardrobe. I shopped for the shirt (borrowed & returned after the shoot). I was a teeny bit obsessed with finding plum & white gingham. The jeans & boots belong to the model, who brought 4 pair of each that day,  at my request.
•  Karen, my model, is a real person.  Yes, she looks like this. I know, it is unfair.  She's an acquaintance I've been keeping in mind in case the right sweater came along for her.  I recruited her and her hubby for the shoot.  (It took a bit of persuasion).
• Her hair & makeup, by Jill, my super talented makeup/hair/groomer wizard. She knows what she is doing. Everyone looks like a best version of themselves-  fabulously natural. 
• Her hairstyle--in the weeks leading up to the shoot, I collected images on a Pinterest board with the feel, or detail, or  textural combination, or pose, that related to this shoot in my imagination. A styling moodboard.  I sent a link to the board to Jill, who figured out how to do the fishtail braid just right for sweater modeling (stylish, outdoorsy , and doesn't block the sweater yoke!).
• The location: I spent a day (plus some)  driving and stomping around sites that were close to each other, had good colors or textures for the background, fit the theme I was imagining, checking where the light was falling, and not too far from our homebase where changes and makeup (and warming up) were happening. Scouting is more time consuming than you'd think.
•  Posing- well, you need to direct the scene. Otherwise the most important details of a sweater might get lost.  I was trying to get the yoke to appear against the upper color of the boat, to sort of frame it.
Pretty sure this won't be the select for the scarves, but it's good for my post. Love these two!
The shopping and wardrobe can be the hardest for me . What you put together, and the little details,  can totally change the look of the knitwear. Which is why it is called styling. I like coming up with the ideas or the themes,  but I just don't like shopping that much.  If there is budget, a photo stylist does this important task. I love photo stylists. Like, here, both models are wearing pairs of my boots. I shopped for the shirts, and the bracelets and earrings were a combo of borrowed & shopped for.  Giuliana (on the left) is wearing a  pair of vanilla jeans that belong to Yliana, on the right. Both are freeeeeeezzzzzzing.
You can tell  the temperature by how the client, Margaret from Green Mountain, is dressed. And she is a Vermonter! The shawl went to my queue, stat.
So, when I scouted, there was a beautiful sleek horse next to one location,  who just wanted to be petted and nuzzle me. When we were shooting, instead of my loveydovey, there was a grizzled older horse in the pasture--and I'm not so sure he's into knitwear fashion.
• • • • • • • • •
Two comments about links and a (literal) footnote:
If you click on the Green Mountain Spinnery link in the first 'graph, you'll find some really excellent stretching /PT advice for sore wrists and handstress on their front page.

Cap Sease, who designed that Icelandic influenced cardi,  is the author of the best selling Cast On, Bind Off, which is linked to her name, You ought to own this book!

and finally, the boots on the left that Giuliana are wearing, are mine courtesy of Ann of Purling Swine and The Village Knitter. Ask her for the story behind them, it's a good one.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

green on the brain

If it's possible to be less than 0% Irish, that's me. St Patrick's Day doesn't have any heritage resonance but OHMYGOD it's the right time of year to be seeing green. So sick of dull winter skies and leafless trees.
Any glimpse of green is a joy. 
Smooth segue warning...Two of my favorite knitter friends, the talented designers Mary Lou Egan and Theresa Gaffey , are leading a knitter's trip to Ireland later this year. Plenty of green glimpses guaranteed.  Check out the itinerary. To die for. They are part of the team that brought you the book  Wear With All. This is going to be an amazing experience for the small group touring with them. Don't wait too long to sign up.0867_GaleZuckerWeWA1111This adorable sweater and tunic is one of Mary Lou's patterns from the book. Theresa is responsible for the breathtaking stole that's been flying off of needles at my LYS.

Lately the FB posts from my friends in California and Arkansas just slay me. They're sitting outside having drinks !  And gardening! I, on the other hand, am doing an outdoor photo shoot tomorrow, on a day with a high of 37 degrees--and grateful the snow/freezing rain predicted should hold  off till nightfall. Glad we're shooting sweaters.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the circle game

I left that bleak last post up a long time, didn't I? How about some color? 052_GaleZucker0313FV
I've had potholder envy, ever since photos like this one, and this one  from Potholder Swaps  Adrian/Hello Yarn and Maryse masterminded. I declared I'd jump in this year (you should! Still time!). I figured it'd use up some blue cotton yarn leftovers, from Craft Activism projects. I hate to let leftover skeins hang around unloved. 041_GaleZucker0313FVBut as soon as I started crocheting, I felt I needed more colors to make it work...and crochet gobbles yarn like nobody's business, surely I would run out before completing 3 double-sided potholders? Two skeins of Seedling later, I was good to go. 045_GaleZucker0313FVExcept you know what? I forgot what I don't like: crocheting cotton. crafting deadlines. making things you can't wear. I don't know why but that is the truth. Another truth? I need to enjoy the process, no matter how much I want that product. So you might say, I wasn't a happy hooker.
063_GaleZucker0313FV I was forcing myself to stay on task when (dingdingding) I was alerted to a knitting urgency: Zoe needs a new sweater! She's traveling to Peru to meet her other side of the family for the first time. It'll be Fall there and..ohmygod how will anyone know we love her if she doesn't have a brand new handknit sweater on her back???
zoe knit blanket
the blanket and Zoe a few months back
I'd been saving the leftover yarn from the Zoe baby blanket. Have I mentioned that I hate to let leftover skeins bits go unloved? My plan was to make a striped hoodie to go with the blanket.057_GaleZucker0313FV A plan that would have been perfect had I followed it when she wore a size 12 mos sweater...but now? Now I quickly realized I am running out of leftovers, just a few stripes in. 061_GaleZucker0313FV You guessed it, I bought 2 more skeins to round out the stripes. I started with the leftover & discontinued Cleckheaton and needed more superwash-. My LYS came to the rescue with Dalegarn Falk that matches up  and is also 100%wool and washing machine friendly. End score: 1 potholder almost done, most likely staying here.Striped sweater underway, likely to fly way south next week, on this cutie.DSC_5008. Some leftovers used up. 4 new skeins here, destined to have leftovers. Circle of life.