Thursday, January 30, 2020

3 things on my thumbs up list

1. New sweater, done!
The Little Sock Arms Sweater is done and went to school shortly after this image was grabbed early this morning. Everyone, meaning Zoe and me, is very happy with it.
What? Were you expecting a professional looking photo shoot of the FO  from me? I laugh!  30 seconds with the phone before a quick run to the bus stop. Cobblers children all the way here!

Love this pattern and loved knitting it in Julia Vesper's Knitterly Things yarns. Super soft and great
colors. I knit it a little big on purpose to try to get two winters out of it. I mean, fingering weight sweaters do not grow on trees, right?  The pattern is also available as Sock Arms in adult sizes and, even more temptingly, in worsted weight. I love how the designer uses a picked up from the shoulder short row construction on the sleeves so you get stripes alllll the way down. 

2. More colors !

This scarf tube from the Mason Dixon Knitting Field Guide 13 Kaffe Fassett-palooza continues to get me through this season --along with nightly watching of The Spy.   Sometimes I get caught up inthe espionage and forget to keep knitting. 

No overarching plan for the colors- I am using up leftovers and scraps in Starcroft Fog. I accidentally hit the gray tone button filter in my phone and was amused to see that having strong contrast is not all that important to the success of the stripes--I like these color values. Sometimes it just works.   

I don't have enough knitting time to satisfy my addiction to this exercise- I am thinking  45 stripes of 1.5" will do it, I am on the number twelve.  If I do a stripe a night I'll have a new scarf in the beginning of March.  When we usually get slammed with a couple of snowstorms and ice so maybe that's my plan.

3. International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is this Saturday Feb 1
 Three rules. Eat ice cream for breakfast. Before noon. On the first Saturday in February.
More info here.

I've been traveling for work for the last two years on this holiday but in 2020 we're setting out the ice cream topping buffet and honoring the day with friends the way we should be--I covered it some earlier years on this blog--like here and here

Don't say I didn't give you an advanced warning this year ==go  grab a pint.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

3 things I've found this week

1) More wristrulers.  I've been the wristruler's biggest fan since spying one a few years ago. I may also be the wristruler's biggest loser (heh). They disappear! I go through periods when things, not just bracelets, vanish at an alarming rate. It's usually a sign I'm on overload. Or the planets are askew. But then I go through periods when lost items start reappearing in unexpected places. I accept this as the ebb and flow of my life (and belongings).*

I thought I was down to just one simple brown one. Then, last weekend at Vogue Knitting Live**, I was thrilled to see a denim blue wristruler, handstained by Catherine Clark for her Brooklyn General Store. It looks indigo and improved my wrist jewelry game by 100%.

On Monday while prepping for a photo shoot that required going through a lot of equipment storage bags, my orange wrist ruler reappeared! I was sure this souvenir from Portland OR was gone for good.  The photo above is  from when I bought it at  Twisted ,where I found the full monty of wristrulers on display. Metallics too-just not in this shot. 

2.  The  yarn I'd been seeking  to go with the variegated Once Upon a Corgi ***skein you see uptop.  I had a single yarn goal VKL: find a handdyed, semi solid coordinating skein . The stunning blue is Neighborhood Fiber Company . Magaly of Heart and Spirit in Atlanta was at the booth and led me to the right choice. If she's your LYS in Georgia you are one lucky peach. I plan to make a fun cowl  that has both bobbles in solid and garter stitch fuzzy variegated yarn, something different to amuse me this winter.

3. My feminist outrage . Ok, it was never lost but I rarely need to express it on a job these days. Tuesday, setting up for a corporate photoshoot, my crew and I needed to move a large airplane propeller mounted on wheels.****  I had free rein to set up the space. I also carry excellent business insurance should a mishap occur.  Let's also go with the premise that  I am competent as a location photographer and wouldn't choose to move something that I thought we couldn't handle. 
We realized we needed just one extra set of hands to steer it.  We being myself and my two assistants. They are both strong younger women.  Carla is a former Army sargent who has done things much tougher than rolling a propeller on wheels across a flat cement floor.  We summoned the man in charge of the building, who looked at us and said "well I need help to roll this."  
I replied " Yup! There  are three of us here, let's go". 
He looked back at us and said--"no, I won't move this with you, go get a couple of guys "

 The three of us stared at him in silence for a beat or two. Both assistants needed to take in what they were hearing. I heard it loud and clear. There's absolutely NO WAY I was going to interrupt the film crew dudes setting up in another space to ask for unnecessary help -- and there was also no way I was going to shrug and walk away.  I very very badly wanted to simper " Oh my! Are our vaginas getting in the way of rolling this???" .
 But this is an important gig to me-- I kept my mouth shut. 
Behind the scenes photoshoot  view (not with propeller)-photo by Carla McElroy
I left and explained the problem to the man representing the department I was working for.  He was with the all male film crew.  THEY WERE AS APPALLED AS I WAS!   My client joined us and we ladies all moved the propeller. And cracked jokes on it all day. That is a sea change from when I started working as a photographer so...all good. Allies!
* I still use and recommend  knot tying to find a lost item (tie a knot in something you are wearing, is how I was taught)  and I borrow St Anthony from my friends' faith when needed.

** VKL was packed!  Thrilled to report the knitters economy seem to be holding strong. Real wool and farm sourced yarns showed up big--and while lots of gorgeous hand dying was there, in all hues, I saw less super contrasty magenta and citron with black speckles than in the past couple of years. The sweater I saw in droves was Felix, followed by Love Note and then Ranunculus. 

***Once Upon a Corgi is my LHD (local hand dyer) and a lovely person. Check her out if you haven't come across her yarn at a show or shop.

****This wasn't a handknit or yarn photo shoot. You may have already guessed that ;-).

Thursday, January 16, 2020

3 things on my mind (work related)

 Berries in a Box by Lori Versaci
Hadley by Veronik Avery  as seen on Mason Dixon Knitting (their gorgeous Winterburn Aran yarn!)

1) I photograph many knits on jobs,  that I'd like to (make and) wear --but wouldn't connect on my own.  The two above are just the tip of the iceberg.  Go check out the link for the top one, Berries in a Box. It looks good on so many different body types. Including mine!   Yes--of course I try on samples while they are here with me for photo shoots. Wouldn't you?  I thought this shape would be too much for a shortie but it was so good.

The second one, Hadley, is no surprise style-wise for me . However, I'd only seen the original pattern that was multicolored--and it's a whole'nother  look in dark red and oatmeal. , like this sample I was sent to photograph.

2. Why why why why why am I dragging my feet on getting my new website up?  Even a good sheep shot can only hold a place for so long!  The funny thing is, I had my professional website very early on--in 1999, when relatively few photographers had websites, and most internet activity was still dial up or slow connections. The images on it were tiny!  I've had many webites since then...and a new one has been half designed for months now.
Do you drive yourself crazy not getting things done too? 

Thanks to Nancy of Getting Purly With It, for this photo , she was in the class :-) and caught me making namaste hands without knowing it.

3.  I love teaching iPhonography workshops. Yesterday's in New York at HereNowSpace was especially enjoyable. The participants were so talented and engaged.  It didn't hurt that the venue is stylish, had state of the art projection (love) and we were  surrounded by samples of mYak yarn, as it is also their showroom
At the end I was asked if I have an online video instruction version of my workshop. Nope. I almost always get this question when I teach....usually I just say nope and move on. This time I started pondering. Maybe I should produce one? On the things-to-look-into list! 

Maybe a better title for this is 3 random things...but hey look at me, three blogposts already for 2020! See you next week. or, maybe this weekend wandering around VKL in NY ?

Friday, January 10, 2020

3 things: I'm working on Today

1)The Little Sock Arms Sweater *for my favorite almost-eight-just -twelve days-can you-believe it-really-do -you-know--ONLY-TWELVE-MORE-DAYS-TILL-I'm....8 year old.    This is such a clever and fun knit. 
Zoe spied this pattern on  Ravelry in  July.  Her Rainbow Sweater was outgrown after two years, and I offered to knit a new fave.  I warned her it might take a while for me to find the right yarn.  At the time I hadn't realized that self-striping fingering weight yarn is alive and well and found at any event or festival with lots of indie dyer vendors. 
It was my good luck to be teaching at Knitting At the Estate in rural Illinois in September-and there was Julia Vesper from Knitterly Things-- with this exact sweater on display at her vendor booth next to all her gorgeous striping yarns.  And the  designer, Stephanie Lotven of  Tellybeans was there too, and  taking my class, and I was enjoying her company, so boom, I came home ready to knit it up.Talk about kismet.

2) More color!  I was compelled to cast on for this scarf knit in the round the day I peeped the latest Mason Dixon Knitting Field Guide 13, full of Kaffe Fasset wild abandon. I have a bunch of Starcoft Fiber partial skeins that I've been hoarding saving for I-don't-know-what. So this is it!  -- and it is just pure joy. Also-- two handed colorwork just makes me feel so...balanced. No plan on the colors--I have lots of greens and some yellows too.  It's fingering weight so this may take a while but I do not care. Process,  it's all about process on this on. 

3) Business Untangled -- January 15 in NYC at HereNowSpace.  STILL A FEW SEATS LEFT! I am  honored to be part of this professional development day for Indie Makers of the fiber world. It's going to be fun, it's going to be helpful, it's going to be focused. I am teaching an Iphoneography class with a lot of in-phone photo editing.  I can't wait.   If you are at all tempted, I urge you to join us. I am also excited to learn about newsletters and hear the roundtable discussion. Plus lunch and snacks so... see you there?


* If you're thinking that this pattern would be fun to knit for an adult but, ummm, maybe not in fingering weight yarn because all those stitches...good news she also published Worsted Sock Arms  it for a full range of adult sizes in worsted weight yarn. I am tempted, are you?

Thursday, January 02, 2020

3 things for a new year

1) Blogging, I've missed you!  Start as you mean to go on, etc!   This is a favorite image from last year, from a Berroco yarn photoshoot for Providence yarn, a tweedy soft wool/alpaca/silk  I really loved shooting. We did all the photographs in Providence, RI at an old manufacturing building that's now Hope Artiste Village-- which is a nice touch, right?  

2) I still shoot sheep shots. Any chance I can! These ladies, above, are some of the wild island sheep I return to every year, on Nash Island Maine, to help my friend Jani Estell of Starcroft Yarn with her roundup and shearing. I play a very small role in the annual event, but it holds a large space in my heart.  
Parade on Nash Island.  It's a little misleading-- you only see this kind of scene at roundup for a split second as they are finally brought in by our human chain around the island, and walk briskly into the corral -- usually this tiny island appears to have no sheep at all - they are shy and good at hiding in the hillocks. The only other time is right at dawn, if you are lucky enough to make camp for the night.

I photographed many sheep and goats and farmers and shepherds in 2019, working with the Hudson Valley Textile Project in New York state. I'm looking forward to more adventures with them, and in anything I can do to support  the fibershed movement. This sweet beastie lives on the very wonderful Wing and a Prayer Farm.

3) More open-mindedness. To experiences, ideas and ...anything..even if I think I've already made an informed decision on whatever it is. More on this topic another time. Happy 2020!