Craft Your Perfect Day

Yes, the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week is over, sniff sniff. But really, look at that topic. Isn’t it perfect?

Wildcard Topic: Craft Your Perfect Day
Plan your fantasy day with your craft, It might just take up one hour of your day or be the entire focus of the day, but tell your readers where you’d love to craft, whether you’d craft alone or with friends, knitting or crocheting something simple or spending a day learning new skills.

I’m getting back to normal, getting back to more crafting, and Tuesday is a holiday (yay for May 1st!), so really truly can make it my perfect crafting day. So let’s get to it!

OMG, how awesome - a knitting basket cake!

Well, Tuesday is going to be a beautiful day – sunny, not too warm, spring is in full bloom, and everybody is enjoying the lovely weather. That just calls for a long lovely walk, with a few breaks at park benches along the way. The perfect place for a break, and to pull out my knitting and knit along for a bit while listening to the birds, and the children laughing. And at the end of my walk, I’ll find a coffee shop or a bakery, or maybe even an ice cream shop and treat myself to something sweet – and then knit again for a while. That’ll probably take up quite a few hours right then and there. Since this is my perfect craft day, I’ll just ignore that I should probably take care of some everyday things like, oh, household stuff and so on. And in the evening I’ll curl up on the couch with a cup of tea, find a good movie to watch and get in some quality crafting time – and if there isn’t anything good to watch, then I might just rewatch one of the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars movies for the gazillionth time. Yup, nerd here.

And just in case that the weather gods decide that we should get rain, well, there’s not much better than sitting inside, listening to the rain while you’re all cozy and warm. And hey, I might even go to one of my favorite yarn stores – it’s more of a trek going there, but it’s so amazing. I could indulge in looking at color and fiber combinations and daydream of new yarn purchases and the patterns I’d knit up. No actual yarn buying though, I’m on a yarn diet right now…

Yay! I’m already looking forward to tomorrow!

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Crafting Balance

Day 7: April 29, 2012. Crafting Balance 
Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both? If you are monogamous in your yarn-based crafting, is it because you do not enjoy the other craft or have you simply never given yourself the push to learn it? Is it because the items that you best enjoy crafting are more suited to the needles or the hook? Do you plan on ever trying to take up and fully learn the other craft? If you are equally comfortable knitting as you are crocheting, how do you balance both crafts? Do you always have projects of each on the go, or do you go through periods of favouring one over the other? How did you come to learn and love your craft(s)?

Today is about balance. Crafting balance, yes – but I could also talk about the balance between knitting and blogging or about life balance and finding time to fit in crafting and so on. For me, this week has been more about blogging rather than knitting. For the most part, I spend quite some time crafting my posts, rewriting and editing and putting in pictures and so on. I try to make sure that I don’t infodump or write paragraphs that are too long (to avoid tl;dr) or too many paragraphs without some kind of visual interest to break them up. So I guess blogging is a kind of craft for me as well. And the balance between the different crafts, that’s the challenge for me.

When it comes to knitting and blogging, I usually go in spurts. I’ll blog very frequently for a bit while my knitting is neglected, and then I’ll get caught up on my knitting and then I’ll be so busy getting projects done that my blogging is rather sporadic. If I am more structured about it then I prewrite posts and schedule them – sometime they only require a few pictures and they’re good to go. I’m also trying to figure out what frequency of blogging works best for me, and for my readers. I mean, if I put up new content every day, then that’s pretty challenging for me, plus I’m not sure you guys enjoy that – it’s hard to catch up on what’s going on. Let me know what you guys think – what do you prefer?

So, let’s talk about the balance between my knitting and my crocheting. I actually started out as a crocheter. I learned to crochet in school when I was, oh, maybe 11 or 12? No, I must have been younger. I have to ask my parents. Anyway, I think my skill level hovered at single crochet stitch, maybe going as far as double crochet stitch. I went to buy yarn with my parents, and I remember coming into the arts & craft section of our department store (when they still had one), and being overwhelmed by all the colors, and the different types of fibers. I had no idea how to decide what to select. We ended up picking this light blue acrylic yarn – nothing special, I don’t remember much about it apart from the fact that it was scratchy, especially after working with it for a while. I plugged away at the scarf for a while.

Why yes, that is a Christmas ornament with a pacifier in it! Making Christmas extra special for my nephew.

And once we moved on to another project in class, I tried to continue crocheting the scarf at home – and tried to motivate myself by labeling it my Christmas present to my Mom. I think it ended up being the shortest scarf ever. Mom still has it, somewhere. ETA: And I apparently started to make gloves for her out of that same yarn. I’ll have to ask her to dig them out.

Well, that was the progress my crafting work made for a while. Over the following years I was more occupied with other hobbys like reading (a lot!), singing, all kinds of sports… I learned to embroider from Mami. Plus there was school, of course, and then college and life and so on. Fast-forward to 2008. I hadn’t been crafting much, and then, and then my sister and brother-in-law announced that were expecting their first child. Yay!

Our family has always placed a great emphasis on handmade gifts. It doesn’t matter if they were big or small, they were all appreciated. Handmade gifts were – and are – more valued than purchased ones, no matter how big. It is the thought and the effort that counts – and when you make a gift, you think about the person you are making  it for, what they would like, what would suit them, and what you can offer. Putting up our Christmas tree always means to look back on our life as a family, where we pull out all the Christmas ornaments, so many of which have been made by us, with all of their little imperfections and cracks.

Now that my sister was pregnant, I really wanted to make something for the baby, something that they would get use out of. I thought about a baby blanket, and I figured out that I could pick up crochet pretty easily, even though I’d forgotten all of the stitches. I decided to make this pretty baby blanket, which I had found through the Lion Brand Yarn website. It was a great way to get back into the groove. While browsing around the Lion Brand Yarn pattern page, I came across a pattern for a baby mobile – and an idea was born. And then I found this awesome Alan Dart Shaun the Sheep mobile, which was perfect, apart from the fact that it’s a knitting pattern. So, with the help of YouTube, the Knitting Help website, and a few library books, I learned how to knit. And fortunately my great-aunt, Mami, my knitting hero, was in town so I could get help from her. That started my love affair with knitting, and since then crochet has been pretty much neglected. Yeah, so much for balance. Oops.

Looking back at my crochet, most of them have been amigurumi projects. Amigurumi projects, hats, and that baby blanket. And everything else – scarves, shawls, socks, hats, cowls, gloves, baby items, toys (uhm, what’s left?) – has been knit. But all the Day 7 posts on this topic have reminded me that I really do like crochet. There are so many amazing designs out there, and I love knitting amigurumi toys. I mean, how can you not love amigurumi? Just look at Geek Central Station’s geeky Amigurumi patternsStar Wars amigurumi! The Lord of the Rings characters as amigurumi! Captain Jack Sparrow, the Firefly Crew, Star Trek, Indiana Jones!  Full of Win! Though there are also amazing knitted toy options, just look at MochiMochiland or the Hansigurumi patterns!

I forsee crochet in my future 🙂 And then there is spinning and weaving. I know it’s not Annual Spinning and Weaving Blog Week, but hey, they’re also fiber crafts, and neither are skills that I have. A friend of mine has a loom that she’s offered to let me borrow, so I’ll hopefully get to play with this year. But the craft that I really really really want to learn is spinning. I mean creating thread out a a fiber braid, how amazing is that? It takes us back to the very beginning of fiber crafts – that’s what we need for all the other crafts that follow out of it. It connects us to our ancestors, to the beginning of creating garments, clothing to take us through the seasons and makes us able to adapt to our environment (once garment creation was based on humans having domesticated animals and not being as dependent on our skills as hunters and gatherers and the resultant availability of materials. And if I’m off with my representation of fiber crafts here, I really haven’t researched this, this is off the top of my head, so let me know if I’m wrong).

I’m sorry that this post was so long! I really hadn’t planned on it… but I guess I had a story to tell. I’m sorry to say that this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week is over. It really has been a lot of fun. Sometimes it was more challenging than other days to figure out what to write – hello Day 5! – but it definitely was good to topic on a specific topic. I think I’ll do that more often. If you have a topic you’d like me to blog something about, let me know.

I’ll be blogging more frequently than in the last few months, definitely. I’ll also get back to putting up posts about food and photography, as stated in the blog’s header (well, I mentioned reading there, too, but I tend to post more about food), which have been missing. But all in all, it’ll be good to get back to my knitting – I’ve been neglecting it with all this blogging. I have a day to finish up my April project, so hopefully I’ll make it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. If you’d like to see all my posts for this week, go here. And if you’re interested in seeing the posts on the individual days, just run a search for the different short codes to see posts on the different topics: Day 1 – Color Lovers (3KCBWDAY1), Day 2 – Photography Challenge (3KCBWDAY2), Day 3 – Your Knitting or Crochet Hero (3KCBWDAY3), Day 4 – A Knitter or Crocheter for All Seasons (3KCBWDAY4), Day 5 – Something a Bit Different (3KCBWDAY5), Day 6 – Improving your Skillset (3KCBWDAY6), today’s topic, Day 7 – Crafting Balance (3KCBWDAY7), and the Wildcard topic – Craft your Perfect Day (3KCBWWC). I may even put up a a post on the Wild Card topic tomorrow or Tuesday, that topic is just so intriguing.

I’m looking forward to next year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week!

Improving Your Skillset

Day 6: April 28, 2012. Improving Your Skillset
How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how’s your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you’d like to have tried them by.

Phew! After the amount of work that was Day 5, Day 6 should be comparatively easy. I mean, I don’t have to hunch over my photo setup, making minute adjustments – I shot at least 1400 frames, plus a few still, plus all that time music editing – so I ‘just’ have to take a few pictures, and write. I first thought that blogging really takes a lot of time, particularly blogging about a specific topic. I tend to take a lot of time taking photographs and crafting my posts… but this, this has been the most challenging part of any blog post that I’ve put up since I’ve had this blog (granted, this blog is just over a year old, but still)…

So, today talks about skills. I kind of talked about skills I’d like to acquire in last year’s post, so lets review how my goals measure up to my actual achievements. Hmmmm…..

I definitely want to want to try my hand at colorwork (I’m thinking of Spillyjane’s Swedish socks here), improve my sweater fitting skills, try beaded lace knitting, and maybe even dare to tackle my first steek (yikes!).

Well, I have certainly knit  a whole bunch of projects since last year – 39 to be exact. That includes 11 hats, 8 shawls, 4 pairs of baby booties and 5 different children’s toys. There are three items of clothing in there:

Yup, all three items of clothing are for kids. Not a one for an adult. But apart from the cardigan for a girl, they were already in the planning last year – I had already ordered the buttons and showed them off in last year Knitting and Crochet Blog Week’s embellishment’s post. I did make a few modifications to the dress and the baby cardigan – you’ll find more information on those on the individual pattern pages.

See? I did do some shaping work! I’m planning to knit a cardigan for my Mom, and for my sister (both Connie Chang Chinchio patterns), so there are two opportunities for garment shaping right there (plus I can knit a matching baby Austin hoodie for my sister’s kiddo!).

As for colorwork – well, I still haven’t knit the Swedish Fish socks – yet. Maybe I’ll knit them during this summer’s Ravelympics. For all of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the 2012 Ravelympics games where people knit/crochet simultaneously along to the Olympics, competing in our own categories. Really, it’s lots of fun. Anyway, I’ve seen awesome versions of the Swedish Fish socks where the fish charts are used to make awesome versions as sweaters or vests, too. So that’s on my to do list, but I have made a pair of fingerless mitts that have been well received.

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On to the next goal: Beaded lace knitting. Yeah, that hasn’t happened. It’s in the plans, but other wips have been intruding. You know, people having babies. People needing birthday gifts. People getting married. That kind of stuff that interfers with your wip list. Plus the occasional knitalong, and if there’s a pattern that catches your attention and you just HAVE to knit it right then and there yes, Color Affection, I’m looking at you!) I do have beads, and the matching yarn, plus the pattern – Haruni – or maybe Simurgh? – already planned out…

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Steeking. Eeek!!!! Yeah, I haven’t yet done that yet. I mean, who would feel good about cutting their knitting? But it’s such a great skill – makes it way easier to knit cardigans, or you can steek armholes and so on and on. It’s a skill I definitely want to acquire, and I think I have a good idea how to acquire it. I came across this awesome Missoni inspired chevron blanket pattern. Well, I’d originally bought Wollmeise Lace in a few different shades of red to create an ombre effect blanket, but now I’m thinking I’ll make the blanket with those different shades of red, plus black and white and grey thrown in too. And to make my life easier, I think I’ll knit the blanket in the round, and then just steek it in the end. That way I’ll hopefully be finished this decade. Now I just have to decide whether to hold the lace single or double….

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Given that I have enough on my plate – my queue is 43 pages long – I really don’t need to add other goals. Sooner or later I’ll come across a pattern or design that requires a new skill or a new technique, and I guess I’ll have to decide whether to sink or swim.

So that’s it for today. It’s almost tomorrow, and then I’ll have a post on my crafting balance. And then this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week will be over. Wow, this week has flown by!

Something a bit different

Day 5: April 27, 2012. Something A Bit Different It’s back, and this time it has the most amazing of prizes (look for the prize for ‘most creative post’). This was a massive success last year, and for many it was the highlight of the Blog Week, so this year you are challenged, again, to find a new way of blogging. This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.

During last year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, I came across this awesome stop motion post by gluecksfisch. When the creative post topic reappeared this year I decided to create a stop motion animation video, too. I know I should have thought a bit more about this ahead of time, because I didn’t prepare, and so I’ve spent most of today working on this video. I’m ridiculously proud of this video – it required many hours of work (and sweat!), a whole bunch of props, and a lot of patience. This has been my first time puttering around with iMovie – the editing functions are really are pretty neat, even though it took me nearly forever (auto-didact here). And thanks to my parents for their creative input, and especially my Dad who came up with the idea to my photographing set-up:

This won’t be the last time that I’ll be doing a stop motion project! Maybe I’ll put up some of the other plot ideas I’ve had – after all, there is much more mischief that knitting needles can get into. As for today’s post, I’ll leave this one up for a while so Day 6 will probably be posted late tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the other creative posts out there, by googling today’s code 3KCBWDAY5. Until tomorrow!

A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons?

Day 4: April 26, 2012. A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons?
As spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and those in the southern hemisphere start setting their sights for the arrival of winter, a lot of crocheters and knitters find that their crafting changes along with their wardrobe. Have a look through your finished projects and explain the seasonality of your craft to your readers. Do you make warm woollens the whole year through in preparation for the colder months, or do you live somewhere that never feels the chill and so invest your time in beautiful homewares and delicate lace items. How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?

I’m glad I’m living in an area where you have actual seasons – winter is cold, summer is warm, spring and fall fit in somewhere inbetween. Ok, that’s simplifying things – we might not get snow in winter at all, or we might get a snowpocalypse, spring and fall sometimes are very cold, totally rained out, or unseasonably warm, and summer can be anything from pleasant to stiflingly humid. But still, we have seasons. I can’t quite imagine not living in a place with seasons. Actually, that’s not true. I spent half a year in Tanzania, which has its own weather rhythms. The weather was everything between pleasantly warm to increadibly hot, rainy season with monsoon like rains or short showers, and sometimes the evenings and nights were pretty darn cold. We camped at the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater once and boy, we were wearing plenty layers in our sleeping bags and we were still cold. But the sunrise totally made up for it.

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All of these seasons make it possible to knit up all kinds of projects in various yarn weights. I’ll get good use out of blankets as well as lacy shawls. I love my Girasole blanket which I knit out of 1500+ yards of worsted weight. And despite its laciness it’s very warm and cuddly – I originally thought that it wouldn’t be that warm due to the lace pattern but I was totally wrong. Normally I like to knit those kinds of projects when it’s colder outside so I don’t have a huge pile of worsted weight yarn on my lap while the weather is in the 90s Fahrenheit (above 30 Celsius). But this was a KAL project so I knit this in July – but thankfully I had airconditioning or this would not have been pleasant.

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But really, I choose my projects depending on who needs what and when – especially when it comes to Christmas gifts! I always have a few projects that I try to knit up last minute, and sometimes I succeed, and sometimes not. Oh, and I’ve learned the hard way that handknit gifts should only go to people who will really appreciate them. Otherwise I feel like an idiot when I put so much hard work into something that they really don’t care for. People who craft themselves seem to be the people who appreciate handmade things most – they really know how much work goes into making something yourself.

I don't think this Ishbel ever made it out of the closet... And I even used Wollmeise for it!

So, my crafting seems to be more of a reflection of my knitting skills rather than seasonal changes. I’ve enjoyed knitting most of my projects – there are a few that I just couldn’t wait to finish them, but mostly, I’ve enjoyed creating them.  I’ve knit a bunch of shawls, scarves and cowls, and bunch of baby items – both toys and garments. I’m pretty new to knitting garments – I’ve knit a sweater and two cardigans, and there are a bunch more in my queue. But I’ll talk about my knitting skills on Saturday, in the “Improving Your Skillset” post. Until then I’ll leave you with (another) collage of seasonal knitting projects. The seasons are (per row): winter, spring, summer, fall. Then you’ll have more unsual ‘seasons’ – the individual pictures are: monsoon season, anytime season, rainy season, Easter, soccer season, and Christmas.

The projects are:

That’s it from my end for today. Check out some of the other awesome posts on today’s topic by googling for today’s code, 3KCBWDAY4. Or even better, join in! It really is a lot of fun. I’ll see you tomorrow – I’m still figuring out what my creative post will be, but I’ll do my very best. Til then!

My knitting or crochet hero

Day 3: April 25, 2012. Your Knitting Or Crochet Hero
Blog about someone in the fibre crafts who truly inspires you. There are not too many guidelines for this, it’s really about introducing your readers to someone who they might not know who is an inspiration to you. It might be a family member or friend, a specific designer or writer, indie dyer or another blogger. If you are writing about a knitting designer and you have knitted some of their designs, don’t forget to show them off. Remember to get permission from the owner if you wish to use another person’s pictures.

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This is Mami. Mami is my great-aunt and totally rocks. She’s 85 years old and still fit as a fiddle – she obviously suffers from of the pains and aches that you get as you get older, but mentally she’s really fit. She putters around on her computer and has figured out how to Skype on her own and regularly calls us, sends us emails and so on. She’s full of stories which she tells with that humor that’s so much a part of her personality. She loves all of us so much and gets worried any time she hears that we’re not well. And how can you not love someone who still makes you Mickey Mouse or bunny pancakes (with a fluffy little bunny tail!) pancakes even though you’re an adult. Ok, they look more like mutated bunny pancakes, but still! Mami is just full of awesome. I think she just signed up for Ravelry, so I look forward to see her on there two.

Mami telling us puppet stories that she used to tell us when we were kiddos

Mami learned how to knit in India – South India – which I always thought was strange since I think it’s pretty much too warm to knit lovely wool items. But apparently many in that generation learned how to knit, and I’ve seen plenty of babies there packed up in layers of wool, despite the weather. Anyway, Mami can really craft. She taught me how to embroider when I was younger. I have a few pillow cases and table cloths that I’ve made, and a few that are still waiting to be finished. I’m the one who really enjoyed it – the rest of the family wasn’t so thrilled. When I started to knit, my family’s response was “Finally, something more useful than embroidery!” So when I originally decided to learn how to knit in order to knit the Shaun the Sheep mobile for nephew #1, I was so glad I could ask Mami for advice. She has been knitting and crocheting since she was a little girl, and has created many many lovely projects, including beautiful blankets for the family.

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Mami taught me some of the techniques that she’d been taught, passing on her knowledge. For example, after casting on – she prefers the knitted cast on – she then knits the stitches through the back loop on the following row. She says it creates a neater look. I haven’t used the technique much though – I usually use the long-tail cast on. But still, as I was getting started on my first knitted project, a scarf with a bunch of different stitch patterns, I could ask her all kinds of questions, about the tensioning of my yarn, how to keep the stitches even, whether I was knitting and purling properly, and so on. They’re all those questions that you have as a newbie, where it’s so good to have someone to help you out in person. Online videos only get you so far when you’re starting with a new craft. And Mami mostly knits without a pattern, basing her projects on the recipient’s measures and desired design. That takes some serious skill in my opinion.

Mami meditates every day, and goes for regular walk - she really keeps herself fit, even at her age

Mami however would probably be shocked by my yarn snobbishness. She probably would be horrified by the thought of paying upwards of $20 for a skein of yarn. She’s always used what’s at hand, and her yarn stores were Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc – not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t think she’s ever been in a local yarn store or has knit with indie dyer yarn. She’d probably be amazed by all the types of yarn, and the different fiber combinations that are out there. In fact, I know she’d be interested in the yarn that I’m using for my current wip.

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The yarn is Habu, which is known for its unusual yarn bases. The two yarns are Habu superfine merino, and Habu silk stainless steel, and the pattern is the ubiquitous Kusha Kusha scarf (you can buy this as a kit and they can also do custom color combinations for you, or you buy the yarns individually). This is my new endless project – plain stockingette, with a few interesting elements here and there. It is a bit harder to knit than my provence shawl since the yarn is so much finer and you need to make sure to catch both strands. Then again, the project is pretty forgiving of any errors since I’ll be felting the part with both strands of yarn. The texture will be quite interesting and it’s already quite scrunchable, as you can see, due to the steel in it.

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The book btw is a German book, ‘Jim Knopf und Lukas the Lokomotivfuehrer‘ (Jim Knopf and Lukas the train conductor). The author is Michael Ende, the author of the ‘Neverending Story’ – but this book is waaaay better. It’s a childhood favorite – I have fond memories of the story being read to us, in bits and pieces as a bedtime story. There’s also an excellent puppet theater version of the book, a toddler version with short stories based on the book, and the audiobook version is really good, too. And the best part is that there’s a second story, too, ‘Jim Knopf und die Wilde 13’ (Jim Knopf and the wild 13), where the 13 are pirates. Unfortunately I haven’t found an English translation of the books which is really quite a pity.

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So, that’s it for today’s blog post. If you’re interested in more of my knitting shenanigans, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘My Knitting or Crochet Hero from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 3KCBWDAY3 or Twitter for hashtag #3KCBW. And for all of you Yarn Alongers, I’m still participating in this week’s Yarn Along. If you’re interested, check it out – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis,through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series. Happy crafting!

Photography Challenge Day

On to day #2:

Day 2: April 24, 2012. Photography Challenge Day!
Today challenges you to be creative with your photography, and get yourself in with the chance to win the photography prize. Taking interesting photographs in this instance isn’t about flashy cameras or a great deal of technical know-how, it’s about setting up a story or scene in a photograph and capturing something imaginative. Your photograph(s) should feature something related to your craft, so that might be either a knitted or crocheted item, yarn, or one of your craft tools. One example of setting a scene would be to photograph a girl in a knitted red cape walking through the woodlands with a basket of goodies, as in the Red Riding Hood tale, or you might photograph a knitted gnome hiding among the flowers in your garden. Photo editing is permitted for competition photos. Here are a few examples of my own photographs to illustrate an imaginative use of photography, but you can do much better than these…

Among the reasons I started to fiddle around more with my camera were the beautiful photographs of finished objects by other Ravellers. You get a much better impression of what a finished object looks like when the photography is good – plus you’re more likely to favorite the projects. And good yarn pictures make life easier too – if you’re destashing the yarn at any point, you already have good pictures, and good yarn pictures are also helpful when trying to figure out what yarn will look good for your upcoming project.

My photography equipment used to include a little Canon Ixus, and my iPhone (3GS). But lately I really haven’t used my little Canon. The iPhone gets heavy usage – you always have a camera with you, and you can take very nice pictures with it. Plus you can place your focus where you’d like to, and it’s easy to adjust the brightness. I miss the zoom though – where did it go? Aaaaaaand I just googled that – and found out that I have to pinch to zoom instead of tapping the screen. Ugh. I really should have googled that before. I feel very very silly.

My current favorite camera to take better pictures is a Canon Eos 20D. It’s not the coolest and the latest, but it works just fine. It has plenty of functions that I’m still playing with, and I’ve gotten some really lovely pictures. My only quibble is that it uses CompactFlash cards instead of SD cards. This is the camera I use when I know I’m planning to take pictures around a certain topic or I’m going on a photography expedition, or when I’m trying to stage a shoot – nothing fancy, but whenever I want to concentrate on a specific topic/presentation. So this is the camera that I used for today’s photography challenge.

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The project is one that you’ve already seen as a Wip in past yarn along posts. It’s the Melody scarf that I knit out of Sundara fingering merino cashmere in French Lavender (as seen in yesterday’s post). I almost managed to make it to the South of France over Easter, but that plan was rained out (yup, literally as well). But maybe I’ll make it to the Provence in September – one of my (myriad) cousins is getting married in Nice and hopefully I’ll have enough time for a side trip. Til then I’ll be dreaming of the South of France – with a cup of tea, a few petit fours, a good book and some lavender to plant. Oh, and apparently this type of lavender is called butterfly lavender for the shape of its flowers.

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Ok, to be honest, this photograph is staged specifically for today’s challenge. I originally thought to use my Color Affection shawl, with an Erin Go Bragh theme, since the shades of green in that shawl are pretty strong. I’ll still implement an shoot around that theme another time. But the lavender theme just offered itself up after I visited today’s farmer’s market. A stop at the local bakery was supposed to yield an eclair but instead led to petit fours instead. I was actually hoping for a pain de chocolat (chocolate croissant) or a chausson aux pommes (apple turnovers), but those, and those lovely miniature pastries that they have in France are probably only found in French bakeries…

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So there you have my French themed photoshoot. If you’ve liked the photographs, and would like to nominate me for the photography challenge, here’s more information. As to my photoshoots, I’ve tried to stage more photography  involving my Impavido shawl or the orange scarf that you’ve seen in my past Yarn Along posts, and those photographs came out nicely. And in the past I’ve also tried to be creative when photographing older projects with a little theme, using my iPhone or little Canon Ixus, and some of those have come out quite nicely. I’ll leave you with a little collage of those projects for today:

The projects are:

so gosh darn cute baby booties; shroom, shroom baby rattle

Hatched! Easter egg; Otto

Azzuro shawl; pocket owl

Little Robin; Bunny!