Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BTS: Versaci Knits Kids Photo Shoot

Welcome to another Behind the Scenes. This time,  with Lori Versaci of Versaci Knits.  I am a huge fan of Lori's designs for grownups- I mean, Modern Tunic? Pour Moi? .When she said she wanted me to shoot a collection of kids' sweaters for a book,  I knew the little knits would be spot on, too.
Photo above , captioned later by the mom as "Please, put on the sweater, please. I will buy you a pony tonight if you just. put. on.the. sweater." 

 The photo shoot was in Princeton NJ. I always set up a joint secret Pinterest mood board as we plan, to get the photo juices rolling and define the look. Sometimes you can't articulate what you want--but you know it when you see it. Pinterest is genius for this.
Lori's Pins revealed a love for classic but updated kids' imagery- just like her designs. We chose a historic stone building for the background, kept everything understated and neutral except the knits themselves (oh those saturated Madeline Tosh colors!) and gathered classic kids'toys, and accessories made form natural materials-  leather and straw.
The weather served up a sticky, drizzly day with rumbling clouds and threatening thunderstorm, and our  little 3 year old model wasn't feeling great-- up until the last minute we kind of wondered if the whole shebang was going to be a bust--but then, Boom, it came together. Luckily the building had a wide protected  porch, and the skies opened up (biggger BOOM) in torrents just as we completed the photo shoot. 

VersaciKnits is doing  series of trunk shows and appearances, if you want to catch her. I'm planning to see her at my LYS Knit New Haven next week (yay!). She's teaching a short rows tutorial, which I hope will staunch that feeling I always have on short rows, that I am quite possibly doing them wrong. Or, there's a Better Way.
Lest you think all my photos turn out well--here's an alternative set-up that shows why the background choice matters!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Postcards from Rhinebeck 2014

A thing one can count on in life:the NY Sheep & Wool Festival  is always a good time.
 Babydoll Southdown Sheep. Want. I'll tell my neighbors they are Shoodles.

 It's all about the people, and the making community. So many talented, creative, fun friends in one place! Clockwise from upper left: Jill DraperCal Patch, Ariana McLean- my festival partner in crime,  Laura Nelkin, Sam from A Gathering of Stitches (and Mr AGOS, Don), Sonya Philip and that's Amy Lou's head.
Two of my darling housemates* Misa Erder & Kim Andersen, proving that yoga and roller derby, respectively, make for good posture while knitting. And fabulous smiles. The rest? No captions needed.
There was shopping**. Hanging with Kirsten Kapur/Through the Loops was delightful, as always. Good company and I love her eye. That's her new basket filled with purchases. Right? I bought from my fave soap /body lotion vendor, and Ariana, who matches me in the Indecisive Shopper Club, chose a handmade wool coat***.
The festival requires visiting faves: Nanne Kennedy at her SeaColors booth, the apple cider donuts hut (that is at the very closing minute, no lines) and THAT tree.
Lest you think it was all peaceful and bucolic: an overview looking towards the foodstands/ABCD buildings, and the scrum of friends in big, noisy, largely unphotographed meetup: Beverly Army Williams, Kay Gardiner and Sarah Sprung.
Parting shot. From Kiki Luscious, an IG friend I got to meet in person!

Just a few notes:
While prepping to teach the Photo Editing for Knitters webinar yesterday, I got waaay into making collages in the software I demo'ed.  So much so that Interweave has asked me to teach a photo collage webinar next month. I used it to do this post. Not bad, eh?
* I stayed at the big eccentric house again, shared with a dozen or so wonderful folks--and it was joyous. Lots of hanging out and knitting in the kitchen, laughter, and a banging potluck.
** I bought yarn! I was decisive! I'll share in another post.
***the coat was made by a vendor with the name Ursula in it. Regretfully I can't recall the proper title.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Rhinebeck coming back around

My biggest WIP - or maybe my grandest plan WIP- is my Rhinebeck Style Project. Maybe you remember it? Maybe you are one of the 323 +/- people who so kindly posed in their fabulous fibery finest in it?  I'd hoped to whip this WIP into a book by now. Not yet.  I still adore..A.D.O.R.E. this project though.

I'll share the video again to get us all in the mood for the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, happening this weekend in Rhinebeck NY.  See you there?

And in other WIP news, my Audrey sweater is bolero sized. With a super busy and social long weekend,  I knew by Sunday there was no way no how  it'd be a sweater in time for Rhinebeck. Which is predicted to be balmy, anyway.   Let's cheer for the procrastinating knitters! Catch me in a shawlette or maybe, early in the morning, in my Shellseeker.  (and as an aside, maybe someone will get a decent photo of me wearing it. I mean, really, those are awful at that link).

Finally in this Wednesday's WIP roundup-:  I'm  putting the final  touches on a Photo Editing  for Knitters webinar that'll debut live, next week, from Interweave. It's taught using a free online software,no PhotoShop necessary at all. I am having so much fun putting it together.  We'll go from basic editing--cropping, straightening, adjusting color and contrast and opening up shadows, that kind of thing to really touching up a photo to change the emphasis on what it's about, to retouching people, to adding text and graphics and making a collage.

 Sign up here to watch it live on Oct 22, 2014  at 1 pm eastern, you get access to download the recorded version if you watch it live. Or you can order it recorded. It is going to be packed with demos, tips and ideas, so I suspect the "watch a bit, pause, try something on your computer, watch a little more" factor is going to be very useful.

PS. The mittens shown in the promotional photo are Lodestar, by Amy Christoffers, from Green Mountain Spinnery. In case you were wondering!

Friday, October 10, 2014

FOUND on Friday: infographics don't lie

Of course I cast on for a sweater, if you read my last post and had any doubts* .
 Which lead to me to the llustrated revelation** as I searched for materials.  Which led to this fun website for making pie charts . I adore assigning random percentages to things, don't you? 

* It's unlikely that it'll be done for Rhinebeck--maybe if I had a car driver and a different work & social schedule for this week. Glad I started it though...and, you never know. I bet it gets finished on Election Day when I'll be a Polling Official and have all those knitting hours .

**Yeah, well, there aren't cocktails or gelato at my LYS either but a girl can dream, right?

Toot toot! I am teaching another Interweave Webinar, this one will be Photo Editing For Knitters & Fiber Artists and it will be broadcast live October 22nd, you can join in and ask questions via chatmail. 
Or, enjoy it pre-recorded to watch at your leisure over and over.  Webinars are live recordings of instruction on your monitor--it is not a video of me talking to you, it is akin to a live PowerPoin t presentation. With lots of pretty pictures and relatively few dry bullet points.
Link here.
FYI my earlier Interweave webinar is also still available   Basic Photography for Knitters.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

what's going on: to sweater or not to sweater?

AKA WIP Wednesday
Until a couple of days ago, I was in the Just Say No to The Rhinebeck Sweater camp.  a) I have enough projects going on and b) my life is full of deadlines, especially work deadlines, I don't need any "fun" deadlines thankyouverymuch and c) I might be the teensiest bit contrarian.
I could just finish this Monster Cowl, to wear to the fair. The yarn was my Rhinebeck purchase last year.  It  just needs a few more inches and a kitchener. 
I've just finished knitting and blocking my swap sweater, it requires merely a fitting,  buttons, and end weaving. Not to mention a good photo, ahem.  I like to have a sweater going on.  I started thinking it might actually to to power through a sweater by mid October.
And there's my  precious Starcroft Nash Island Light yarn.  I am  teetering on the edge of never finding a pattern good enough for it.  That's crazy time. Yarn you like so much you won't let yourself enjoy knitting it? ummm, should not go there. Time to cut bait or fish (or as my mother colorfully puts it in  yiddish: Tuchas Offen Tish! Get Your Ass Off the Table). Aside: aren't there any colorful sayings about making a leap that are knitting metaphors? Why always fishing and sports?
  I came across Audrey Cardigan (the sweater formerly known as SeaSmoke).  While a broad band of color on my widest body part isn't exctly advisable, the design lends itself to other colorblocking and striped sleeves so....

Back to the top photo:  I'm all wound and ready to go. It may not be a Rhinebeck* sweater. Or it might. But it's underway.
*Rhinebeck is knitter's shorthand for the New York Sheep & Wool Festival. Which takes place in the town of Rhinebeck NY, and sounds like a folksy small timey thing, but attracts tens of thousands of visitors for the weekend. It's the Woolly DisneyWorld . An dthe sheep are real, not animatronics. You should come.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Found on Friday*

aka Share All the Things Friday a la Truly Myrtle.

It's hat season. Or heading into it. Pardon the pun.
Trig by Mary Lou Egan, That's the Ravelry link. Shown in Frog Tree Llambrosia, which is soft and slightly halo-y.  I have been waiting for the season to roll around  to  knit it.
I love that it has no ribbing, and is neither a tight little beanie nor a slouchy topper. I keep trying the slouchies, and looking like I'm waiting for my turn with the officials on Ellis Island. 
My only problem with Trig .....what colors, what colors, what colors? 

Modeled by the lovely and talented Laura Nelkin. Have you seen her new book Knockout Knits?
*When I got on board with my editorial calendar, I claimed Friday as a blogging commitment day. If I keep writing about this, it'll happen, true? Fake it till you make it and all that?.  I love a FO Friday, and I love blogs that list some good finds, ala Abby Glassenberg's podcast, in which she and her guests recommend 3 things they are loving- business tips,  cool services or new apps. So that's what this is all about, and then I found Truly Myrtle, who's on the same wavelength.
Want to join in on Sharing All the Things or Found on Friday? Link to it in the comments!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

what's going on: itchin' to be stitchin'

aka WIP Wednesday Three knitting projects come to mind as well underway/ high on my enjoyment list. But today? We shall not look at them . We shall look at these:
50/50 silk /cotton, hand dyed in the jar technique and some Perle cotton. It's like embroidery thread, but better.  I never knew it existed till July. That's another WIP story.
The utmost in impulse project. I was in the best new little fabric/maker/handmade supplies shop ever- Clementine in Rockland Maine, with a group of Fiber College teacher friends. Someone said she wanted to play with dyeing this fabric. We egged each other on.  The next thing you know boom boom boom, each of us is out the door with yardage to  dye/ overydye. 

As expected, the silk took the dye but the cotton barely did, and the technique allows you to intentionally create splotches and color shifts--at least that's what I was aiming for. The fabric started as greyish/taupe. I wanted to stay on just this side of tie-dye, if you know what I mean
I was thrilled with how they turned out. Each will be a scarf,  splitting it in half lengthwise, hand sewing a nice felled seam in the middle. So do-able, so simple. Then I thought... sashiko! The running stitch rows I've been Pinning like crazy.  Crazy because I do not need to make this a bigger project. Plus,  I am not known for straight lines, I am a naturally veer-off-course kinda gal. But I can just see it,  I can't resist, and this summer I realized how much I enjoy the handstitching. (that;s another WIP story). I couldn't settle on one color for each scarf, I had to go with two and three...and then I returned home to reality and limited time.  Happily, taking this out to shoot and show you made me realize, it's not that big a deal, and I can't wait to get my hands going on them agan. This may be a FO Friday sooner than I thought. 
A couple more impulse items that came home with me from Maine that week. Can.not.resist. little smooth stones. 
Are you showing WIP Wednesday? Leave a link in my comments!