Wednesday, November 19, 2014

not so random

stones on Nash Island in Maine , with Trig, a hat pattern by Mary Lou Egan
This started as a Random Stuff post, blabbing about work, what I've been making and knitting and I'm traveling this weekend and what I'm teaching, and what I'll knit on the train and bus, and oh, you know, the weather and how I want to knit all the hats. And CRAFT FRIDAY .....
But it's never really random, just like there aren't really coincidences. Enough time or enough thought always reveals the connection.
Example: I've been putting together presentations. I was listening to a webinar about vision-based portfolios. Love the concept. I trained and worked as a photojournalist. Man oh man do I adore a narrative, so I tend to default to one as I present images.  It is so hard to edit my own work.  I tried letting my brain go loose-y goose-y and guess what? Seemingly random images went together.
This pairing is dyed fiber at a farm in 2006, and on the right, my own Decibella Cowl pattern. 
I'll probably demo making these photo pairings, and how to embellish them further,  and of course,  collages with many more images and graphics, even circular images, when I teach the Making Collages with PicMonkey  Interweave webinar on Monday, 11/24/14  at 1pm eastern live. Join me, please?  Or get it recorded to listen to on-demand. I am telling you, the above show restraint, you can go CRAZY with the tools on that free software.  I think we'll start all buttoned down and simple like this,  and then just continue on and on with loads of options.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

iphone photo love

I am amazed how much I use my phonecam, when I am not officially on a job. It's so freeing.  If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't , why not? oh comeon.  I'm galezucker) you'd maybe have seen these two images this week.  With a couple of phone apps, I can make photoediting/processing changes that, not so long ago, took hours of photoshop.  I am not exaggerating here.
Also not so long ago, a knitter jokingly said "You know, you should  teach a  phonecam Photo for Knitters class because I am too lazy to use my real camera" and we all laughed.  At the time, the cameras weren't so good, the controls weren't there. But now? Absolutely.  Is it the same as shooting with a DSLR ? Nope. But can you make images you'll love,  that capture your life and your craft and your world? And can enliven your FB and fill your Ravelry projects page ? Oh yes.

Which is why I am thrilled to be teach SmartPhone Masterpieces at The YarnSpot in Wheaton/ Silver Spring Maryland next weekend.  Saturday morning, November 22, 10:30-1:30. I am also thrilled that Sivia Harding is teaching there too next weekend, so I get to meet her. Join us! It's going to be fun. I guarantee you'll learn some new tricks.
Isn't the world a grand and colorful place? You probably won't be surprised to learn my standard reply to the question "what's the best camera? "  is : the one you have on you.

Friday, November 07, 2014

FOUND on Friday: a perfect plan AND a fine idea

(Actually they are both fine ideas and perfect plans.)

A PERFECT PLAN  Behold my purchases from Rhinebeck,  as reported. Up by Bobo's paws,  Paintbox Gradients set from Fiber Optic.  When I taught at SSK the summer before last, I had the perq of shopping the marketplace early. A perq so wasted on me. There I stood, stumped by the beautiful gradients at Fiber Optics. What would I knit? What colors did I want? Bright and cheerful ? Subtle and earthy? Darn that talented dyer Kimber for her artfulness! The chocolate brown to light aqua transition totally spoke to me - but I guess it was mumbling. Took me till a couple of weeks ago, when I learned she was vending at Rhinebeck, to hear it clearly.  I only had to decide on yarn base.  Kashmir yarn with its 10% cashmere was it.
To offset my squirminess of owning a special yarn without a special plan, I sought a skein of natural to go with it, something with a halo. I had no pattern but a twinkle of a shawl idea.  Icelandics are feeling near to my heart this season, I've been working with Lars Rains on his  Modern Lopi collection.  When I bumped into Lars Himself at the Frelsi Farm Icelandics booth, I knew I had my 2nd yarn:  a  skein of fingering weight singles, in natural Bark.
Yesterday Kirsten Kapur released her Abingdon shawl pattern. The missing piece fell in place. A perfect plan for my  pairing. I can hardly wait to cast on.*

A FINE IDEA: I'll start blabbing about this now!  Beverly Army Williams is leading the charge for  CRAFT FRIDAY: a CraftActivist handmade alternative to the consumer-crass-ugly-day-after-Thanksgiving-glop that overlays the holiday weekend. First step: read her post and join the Pinterest Craft Friday page .  Second step: post about it yourself.  Spread the word. Plan a party. Third step: make a list of what you want to make that day.
More to come.

* the first commenter below will be my 5000th comment on this blog. 5000!  That seems so...I don't know, worthy of recognition! I love that you come by to read this, and taking the time to comment is icing on the cake. Very wonderful icing. I means seriously, you have no idea how great it is to hear from you. I'm going to gift the first commenter a copy of Kirsten's Abingdon shawl pattern, so you can knit one, too.