A model model

Sometimes you go out to shoot a pattern photo, and you pull a sample for a completely different knitted item at the last minute out of your bag that you still haven’t photographed, and hand it to your friend whose dress and tights and eyes and hair all match it perfectly, and whose art school background means wearing wool on a hot day on a busy street to pose for photos is just about the least embarrassing, odd-looking thing she’s ever done on film, so she does it all with unwavering gravity, impressive naturalness and a blessed lack of squinting.

So today I got some really wonderful knitwear shots for one soon-to-be-rereleased pattern and one brand new one. An excellent day!

I know when I’m beat.

You know when you studiously keep knitting on a project, even though your deep misgivings about how much you adjusted for gauge only get stronger with every row?

And you know how you keep powering through, convincing yourself that sure, you’ll wear a rasta-baggy hat even though you hate that style and don’t own a single beret?

Nothing, but nothing, will dissolve those thin excuses quite knitting pure worsted-weight wool on a 85ºF and sunny day in a converted warehouse office with no air conditioning. Eight rows into the crown decreases, I finally saw the light.

I look forward to revisiting this pattern in the exact same yarn, with a less sweltering environment and a saner number of stitches.

Dead Kitty Skull Chart update

After eight years, that free colorwork chart finally got a refresh. It’s the same old chart, on a fresh new PDF that’s bigger, easier to print, easier to read and (thankfully) monochromatic, which makes it easier on your ink cartridges. It’s also available through my Ravelry store which means you can add it to your library. Much better.

Get it on Ravelry.

Yarn is my friend

stash

Photographing my stash for Ravelry is the most ridiculous pastime I’ve indulged in lately. I have a big glass fishbowl full of completed handknits that don’t have photos, and my project page is all gap-toothed and filled with grainy cell phone placeholder images, but my stash page: gorgeous. To my eyes, anyway.

I could justify it by saying that having an accurate, illustrated stash helps me plan out handknits and samples, and paging through yarn photos in my stash stays the impulse to stock up on more skeins, but that would be beside the point.

It’s more about how easy it is to shoot yarn (lay it on the wooden chest by the window; shoot; move to the couch and upload photos) than knit projects (clear an area to shoot in; locate or be a model; shoot a zillion photos that make the handknits look good and the model look even better; if I’m taking photos of me, lose the camera remote down a sleeve or in a pocket and have to stop everything to find it; apologize a zillion times that I insist on shooting at wide-open apertures on an old manual lens so an embarrassingly large percentage of photos end up missing “gorgeous and atmospheric” and land squarely at “hopelessly out of focus”; get the photos off the camera; marvel at how many goofy expressions people make when they try to look model-serious, especially myself; upload photos).

Yarn sits. Yarn looks pretty and full of possibilities. Yarn doesn’t complain about getting the sun in its eyes. Yarn is my friend.

Hello Hi-Lo!

God bless friends and coworkers who will tolerate twenty minutes of having a camera in their face in trade for a handknit item. Especially if it’s a coworker who’d been dropping interested hints about the hat I’d been working on, and who’s worn it every day since I gave it to him, even with loose ends hanging off it before I got a chance to weave them in.

(Thanks to Iron & Steam Espresso and the owner of the Hi-Lo Club, who let us wander in and shoot photos inside. The place is so gorgeous and the drinks are great. Check it out if you’re ever around Nob Hill!)

This is just to say

This is just to say that knitting a hat with bulky wool and size seven needles is one thing, and that knitting the same hat with size one needles and sock yarn is a completely different, vastly slower, hugely more tedious meditative thing. I knit on the train, I knit in front of Netflix, I knit at work in between tasks, and the whole things moves forward at a crawl. This is definitely a product knit, not a process knit; The results will be gorgeous, once I finally get there.

Fortunately, I’ve only got one more Double Dutch sample to knit before I can update the pattern’s yardage and gauge, and that one’s in a super bulky yarn!

I mean, have you ever really, like, looked at your hands?

I can conclusively tell you, after spending hours not long ago shooting reference photos, that hands look completely crazy.

Hands look CRAZY

“Cool, that looks like knitting,” you think, and then you open Lightroom and it’s all weird foreshortened thumbs everywhere that make your knitting look like a fistful of earthworms getting into a fight under a blanket over a particularly fierce round of cat’s cradle.

It’s all for a good cause, though: My Double Dutch hat pattern is back in my hands and I’m going to redesign it so I can self-publish it. It had a great run at Bella Knitting, and I’m all excited about a chance to get my feet wet with design software and photography for it and a couple other patterns that are about ready for testing.