Friday, March 27, 2020

4 on Friday: recent discoveries

1)  Right now, right here, bobbles are my jam. The twitchy maneuvers and focus are perfectly suiting these twitchy times. Everything about this project is Not My Usual Thing. I think a lot of us can say that describes our lives now. 

The yarns are a treat:  Fig Lace from Once Upon a Corgi , I don't know the colorway name. She's a local to me CT dyer and soooo talented- go look at that link. The deeper intense solid is from Neighborhood Fiber Co., another of my faves. I rarely knit with skinny singles or skinny mohair and silk  yarns so the whole thing is a break from reality.  Even the project bag I'm using is out of character- a cheerful  indulgence purchase from MinnieMoonSewing. --it's made from a feed sack with canvas apple green lining and is so well made... (and reminds me indulgence is not necessarily wrong). 

The pattern is the ShannaJean Cowlette. .  Here I am trying on the sample of it at  TNNA last June when visiting the delightful BFFs designer Shannon Squire and yarn dyer Knittted Wit (LoraJean) in their booth.  Not my usual style or colors but I loved it . The design totally captures their playful spirit. And easier to keep around your neck than a light and floaty shawl.
My blues are a little subtler than the sample colorways. So, as much as wearing bobbles can be subtle, I'm good.

Maybe I should note I am only in my second section of bobbles. When I sent Shannon a message saying how much I was enjoying the bobbles she replied, not very cryptically, wait till you'get to the longer rounds and you're on your 10,000th bobble ....she didn't add BWA_HAH_HAH but I sorta felt it.

2) I can give some love and handwash one handknit a day since I'm not going anywhere. By the end of April my wardrobe will be so clean and fluffy! 
This is my Dangling Conversation, fresh and clean.   I mean, I have a home office. Normally  I'm not near it quite so 24/7 .  The whole secret to home offices is to work in them, not mess up your productivity trying to do personal chores at the same time as working. This is a hard learned truth here for decades.  Since I'm not running out for any other activities, nor doing any  new photo shoots, all work-at-home rules are out the window.  Also--I'm homeschooling of interruptions and a lot less productivity.

3) The one thing we can't live without in our kitchen is a can opener! Guess whose broke? With a huge pot of chili on the stove, 30 minutes before dinner at our full house, the can opener flat out quit just before I got the Ro-Tel into the pot.  After A LOT of swearing and unsuccessful attempts with alt  tools, I called a neighbor and did a socially distanced borrow. We are super well stocked with food here but that broken can opener brought us to a grinding halt.

4) The Fitness Marshall. A great find if you like to dance and don't mind making a fool of yourself pretending to be a pop music video dancer.  He breaks down the moves (kind of like Zumba) . If you walk by at the right time each day (or...maybe it's the wrong time) you might glimpse me and an 8 year old dancing along,  with my phone propped on the kayak rack on the side of the house,  laughing  at ourselves. This week we nailed Poker Face by Lady Gaga.  I hope you're finding some fun way to move-- or to laugh at yourself--because it really helps.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Several on Saturday*: things bts from a collection photoshoot

Sometimes I scout and prep for a photoshoot and then the magic I really really hope for  happens: a triangle of sunlight at the right moment while photographing this angular sweater design. It's Lantana from Shellie Anderson's SP20 Collection from Shibui Knits. Just released!

Full lookbook,  which I'm so happy with and full of fabulous designs,  here .

Shellie commissioned me to shoot her collection about a year ago. Collections need to be photographed with backgrounds that tie all the imagery together, and connect with the designs yet aren't too monotonous. Or too distracting!  Shellie suggested a modern, graphic, architectural, slightly nautical setting.  So, on a chilly day last April, I did some poking around  the new boathouse on New Haven harbor. I'd noticed some nice light on it during quick drivebys.
No nice light the day we scouted!  Lots of potential. My junior associate here is kicking and crunching broken clams that seagulls drop on the cement pier so they can eat the innards.
I returned closer to the August shoot date, with my assistant, to see what the light was like late in the day, and if  there'd be lots of activity.  It was overcast so we still had no clue how shadows would fall but we could hope! Those are the stairs from the top photo, shown here with a different lens.

The shoot day was hazy sticky but not too hot. We have a lot of that weather close to the water in August,  with slices of sunlight coming through at times. We were shooting in the last hours of daylight, so first task  was seeing where the sun might fall if it did peep out. And of course figuring out which pieces to shoot by which backgrounds. The photos above are Yliana, my assistant, in test spots.  Can you tell she does this so much that she is 100% unphased by a lens pointing at her? 

Having so many horizontal and vertical lines in the background has the potential to make me crazy. Here, I love it with the sophisticated simplicity of Shellie's designs.
This top, Acacia, above,  is halfway between a T and a poncho. LOVE!
Mission accomplished! Until we saw ourselves in the group selfie we hadn't realized all three of us dressed in the exact same shades as the  colors in the collection.Sooooo stylish, we are. (NOT!)


*I am, really trying to do Three on Thursday reliably but this week had a lot of curveballs-- i am sure you had the same!  My friend Beverly claimed the Four on Friday option this week--but I still couldn't get it  together. So here we are with Several on Saturday. Isn't 90% of life about showing up??
Also BTS= Behind the Scenes :-)

Friday, March 06, 2020

3 recos for March projects

So here we are in March. It's s really not spring...but we're really tired of winter. And winter clothes, and winter projects and winter-looking gray trees.  Not to mention the news and  public health challenges. So what's a knitter gonna do? Put down that project that's become a slog and live a little. Cast on.  What to knit, you ask? I've got three good ideas for what we want--no NEED- in our March knits!  (all photos by me, in case you wonder)

 1) We want a fabulous new sweater. A March sweater project has to be quick, for the satisfaction of wearing it this season. And it must be stylish yet comfy like fabulous pajamas, because after months of wearing sturdy pullovers, we need some swish.   I nominate Keeler, made in this Ultra Chunky Wool.   

I have wanted to knit one since we did this photo shoot last fall.
The pocket and deep split curved hem remind me of a dearly departed vintage handknit of my great grandmother's, that I wore through college and into my 20's, till it was in tatters. I've dreamed of replacing it and have never seen a simlar pattern, This one comes close.

2)We want something lightweight-chic  to wrap around our neck now AND to wear over our shoulders with a sundress in May.    So  Hazelbrook in Quinoa does the trick. (sidenote: aaagh! look at the color options from that yarn link--it's a mostly cotton thick and thin pebbly yarn that's worsted weight) 
I knit a Clapotis in a linen-y blend a mere 15 years ago (really?), and it has gotten more outings in more seasons than almost anything else I've knit. Hazelbrook could  to do the same. Plus--that stitch?! So pretty.

3)We want new hats, fast hats!   Because it'll cheer us up right away. I wouldn't  necessarily go for the grey yarn shown but that chunky yarn and style are straight from the Let's Make the Best of March playbook  Added  bonus, it's a free pattern from Berroco newlsetter.   It's Yawl, in Catena, which is bulky and soft and luxurious feeling but most importantly, the bulky . 
 NOTE:  These are all Berroco yarn patterns, and it just happens two are deisgned by Amy Christoffers. I am a huge fan of her style. I photograph these knits months ahead of release, and often fall for some of the 80 or so patterns that flash before my eyes as we move rom one yarn line to another, and various locations, over 4-5 days.  It's fun to see them release and fall in love with them again.

This is secretly a Three on Thursday post (I know, day late) and you can find more of them linked to Carole's post every week as in that link. Also  Beverly Army Williams and Cal Patch are in on this too. Drop over and give them a gander!