Thursday, April 30, 2015

smartphone photo workshops in NJ this weekend

JOIN ME in a workshop this weekend- click on the shop name to register

Saturday at Pins & Needles in Princeton NJ   1:30-4:30 pm    almost full

Sunday at Trillium Yarns in Morristown NJ  1-4 pm   just 2 spaces left

If you follow my Instagram feed, you know I use my iPhone camera a lot.
No need to feel guilty if you're using a phonecam instead of a "real" camera. These days our smartphone cameras are  crazy good quality, and almost always handy.
above, my recent  IG feed, all iPhone photos with the exception of the reposted malabrigo yarn photo in the middle left column, , which I shot for Kirsten's book
That's why I'll be teaching hands on smartphone photography workshops this weekend.
both of these were quick phone photo grab shots to show some yarn-y projects on the blog
They are fun classes. Whether you shoot your knits, your travels, your sunnyside up eggs (oh come on who doesn't?), I promise you'll learn new tricks to make your phone cam images soar.  We'll use  free or inexpensive apps to quickly make your good photos great, right in the phone. Small adjustments, little shifts, controlling the cropping  and adding depth of field are my favorites, but we'll run the gamut--and then have a group slideshow at the end.

Click on the shops at the top of the post to grab your seats, space is limited.  This is a workshop a knitter can share with a non-knitting friend. We know that doesn't happen often, ina yarn shop.  Who knows, once there, they might could succumb to wool fumes.
An iPhone photo Befre and After, taken at my peak sheep moment at the Ct Sheep & Wool Fest last weekend.
Before, on the left , courtesy of an 8 year old   and After, on the right. We'll cover adding type on the image, during the workshops.

I'll gladly teach this Smartphone Photo workshop  in your community--at a yarn shop, workplace, retreat, whatever--shoot me an email.

Monday, April 13, 2015

fo (not) friday: a little funny bunny doll

I knit a lot of little under-the-radar things that never make it to this space.  For example, on the recent holiday extravaganza weekend (Passover/Easter/Snow Melting Lovefest) I had the sudden wants to knit a bunny for Zoe.  
In case you lost count, Zoe is 3 now. Can you see why, despite my long history of having no interest in knitting dolls, I was seized by this impulse?  I could have downloaded a pattern for any of these irresistible softies:  Bunny Nuggets from Rebecca Danger, Beau the Bunny from Woolful, Susan B. Anderson's Bunny fact go search bunny on Ravelry and you'll find plenty of wonderful patterns. 
Instead, I made it up as I went along, using yarn that last saw action as baby booties for Zoe. I thought the angora was a nice nod, like a fiber private in-joke.
Say hello  to Funny Bunny, as we call him. I was aiming for something in between the Bunny Nuggets and a more realistic doll. I maybe{cough}{pretty much} missed my mark, but Zoe loves him. Although she told me his eyes are "not right" and requested button replacements. It is, in all truth, amazing what the face stitches do for a doll. Refer to my last knit doll foray, 10 years ago (!) when I coerced my favorite friends into knitting bears for the Mother Bear Project
(and how the heck is that 10 years ago, anyway??)
Anyway, Zoe's comment  gave us a good excuse to dump out the button tin and sort buttons--an activity I seriously love.

It does leave me with some questions, including....why don't I knit little dolls more often? and, what do you all stuff your knit dolls with? I used to have some of that acrylic fluff I use when making Halloween costumes but couldn't find it, and anyway, it seemed so wrong inside the wool. Do you use batting? Washed fleece? I ended up using some old, clean, well darned and still holey wool socks- -a lumpy solution, which added to Funny Bunny's odd  demeanour. 

Psssst- Kirsten Kapur's brand spankin' new book: Ten Best Loved Shawls Book 1 is out! Order it directly .  Or request at your LYS. I did the photos and I am super proud of this collaboration.
 Par-tay at Trillium Yarns in Morristown NJ this weekend. See you there?

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

wip Wednesday Aristida shawl

Late February, it was like this: I see snow flying in the umpteenth storm, then the invitation to my cousins' beach wedding in Key Largo on the fridge catches my eye, I go online, I buy tickets. On an impulsive roll, I go back online and buy a dress, and a shawl pattern download because I had 3 weeks time and the dress needed something.   Lori had just posted this photo of her Aristida shawl . I fell hard for the whole thing. Her styling.  Especially, especially, the bobbles and fringe.  I should add that I had already called my sisters to find out what "beach formal attire" meant. We concluded "Good Old Fashioned Hippy Party Clothes". Fringe!
A skein of Manos Fino in Peep Bunny Watered Silk later,  I cast on. As it turned out, my dress arrived about 10 pounds (of mine) too tight, so the coordinating shawl was moot. Whatever! I was heading out of the snow!  Although the shawl was pretty far along,  it was not done in time. Whatever, again! The weather was so beautiful, I didn't need a shawl. We danced like maniacs and dined under the stars in celebration of a beautiful couple. Three and a half days of Key Largo was heavenly.
And I totally enjoyed the knitting. This is such satisfying lace--not fussy, not so hard you need to stare at charts...lovely. With a 490  yard skein I figured I could throw in a full extra repeat, no harm.  I was mistaken. Only five rows to go.
My options: less shawl or more yarn.  NO WAY was I ripping, I have felt lately that all my shawls are just a little too small.  Doing without the bobbles and fringe? Out of the question. My LYS was out of the yarn. I posted a search on Ravelry.
How much do I love the world of knitters? Within a day I had 2 responses, and one, Jarah, offered to send me her skein, for me to use as much as I needed-- I'd guesstimated 100
yards, I mean, who knows? Probably less, right? -- and then send it back across the country to her.  Yes, I know, really! How wonderful and generous is that? Knitters are the best.

But I guess you already know that.
Before the wedding. We cleaned up. I even wore glitter 2" high flip flops. So much fun.

New classes on the schedule, teaching in New Jersey, May 2 & 3rd

Fiber College of Maine class signups just launched, for September - and the new website is a beauty. Join us there!