Archives for category: Photography

I’m a bit behind on sharing some of the wonderful experiences I’ve had in the past couple of months — like, oh I don’t know…. the day an original Elizabeth Zimmermann came walking through my door?

EZ's Green Sweater

Many of you have hopefully already read about the surfacing of this historic garment over at Twist Collective and, if you haven’t, don’t worry — I’ll be directing you to the good stuff in just a moment.

EZ's Green Sweater

Back in the spring, the lovely ladies of Twist came a calling with a question: Would I be interested in photographing an Elizabeth Zimmermann sweater that had recently surfaced through an old family friend in New Jersey? I paused momentarily to wonder seriously if I had slipped into one of my many knitting-fantasy-daydreams. When it seemed that, yes, this was actually happening, I mustered all of my self-control in an attempt to respond in a professional manner. “Yes. Yes, that would be fine.”

Juuuuust fine.

EZ's Green Sweater

The sweater, knit with a heathered green, firmly spun, single ply wool, entered the apartment with a palpable silence, and, upon immediate inspection I found myself admiring its industrious, masterful technique. Right away the sheer Integrity with which this sweater was achieved became evident: not just its obvious cleverness, or knitterly construction (EZ’s Hallmark) but rather the serendipitous balance of tenacity and care that is so clearly present as your eyes maneuver over mitered hems, prim buttonholes and directional details.

At that point I muttered to myself something colossally obvious yet seemingly so epiphanous: “Elizabeth could really knit!”

EZ's Green Sweater

Sunday Holm recreated the sweater after it was presented to her at a New Jersey LYS by Joan Morhard Smith, a childhood neighbor and friend of Elizabeth and Arnold. Read Sunday’s account of decoding and re-knitting the original here, and Joan Morhard Smith’s recollections of Elizabeth (“Betty”) here.

What a pleasure to spend an afternoon with this sweater and its re-incarnated version. I was truly grateful for the experience.

EZ's Green Sweater

The original sweater, so well-worn after two generations of love and adoration under Joan’s roof, is a testament to the lasting power of good materials, good technique, and a good home — all the ingredients for Knitting’s finest heirlooms. Elbow holes aside (which I find make the sweater even more endearing, if that’s possible) this garment has taken its ardent wearers through two lifetimes with strength and grace. What could be better than that?

EZ's Green Sweater

Among the other appreciations this garment conjured up that day, it incited me to reflect on one of our loftiest and most noble knitting aspirations — to spend a life making beautiful, lasting, technique-rich garments whose value and worth can never diminish.

Adding to the the thousands of times I’ve uttered these same words before in my life, both privately and publicly: Thank you, Elizabeth.

My all-time favorite jobs as a photographer are those that involve shooting artists’ spaces, and, of course, the artists that they house. So I was completely thrilled when Knit.1 asked me to pay a visit to designer Wenlan Chia’s studio in Manhattan to spend the day with her for a few portraits and studio shots. We had such a great time together – and I thought I’d share some of the shots with you, as I’m sure there are some big Twinkle fans out there.

Wenlan Chia
A Day at Twinkle
 

In the handknitting community, Wenlan is probably best known for her signature super bulky merino yarn – Soft Chunky (pictured below) (kinda looks like cotton candy, doesn’t it?) and the wonderfully chunky fashion knits she conjures up with it.

 

A Day at Twinkle

She carries two other yarn lines, which I hadn’t ever experienced in person – and let me tell you, being surrounded by handknit samples of throws everywhere you turn isn’t a bad way to experience a new yarn either.

A Day at Twinkle

And while of course I had plenty of delicious knits around to keep my lens busy all day… there were certainly a few other things that I had a hard time keeping away from…

A Day at Twinkle

Wenlan’s dog, Milan, has a huge personality and wanted to be a part of the action all day. Aside from being a photogenic little canine, he serves as inspiration for many of Wenlan’s home designs as I soon found out.

A Day at Twinkle
A Day at Twinkle

I think I mentioned in a previous post about my Twinkle Chunky throw (Finished! Photos soon!) that I had come into a small stash of Soft Chunky in a special circumstance – well this is how. I saw these luscious throws in the studio and had to have one. And since Wenlan basically
forced me to take yarn… what was I to do but gracefully oblige?

A Day at Twinkle
A Day at Twinkle
A Day at Twinkle


If you’d like to read up on Wenlan’s inspiring story, check out the article in the current issue of Knit.1 for more. My very own Chia-designer-throw will be featured here in just a few short days… if I can pull myself out from under it long enough for a photoshoot.

Wenlan Chia

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and giving your knitting some extra special face-time. It feels like the first time I’ve been able to take a breath and truly enjoy my knitting for some time. And it’s wonderful.

[If you haven't gotten enough of Ms. Chia, see more photos from Twinkle here]

I’m working on a special location photo shoot, but until then here’s a little peak!

Brooklyn's Got A Brand New Yoke (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

 

More soon!

I’ve had a great time getting acquainted with my wheel and have been rocking the handspun many a late-summer night. I figured this Friday Fiber Flash would focus on the handspun yarns that seem to be accruing in every vacant nook and cranny in sight. Click the images for more details.

Burning Bush
Pulse 2-Ply
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Babs <span class=
My First <span class=

Have a wonderful weekend!
Blocking
Blocking
Blocking
Don’t you just love this part?


Tension
Double Drive Tensioning
On-Board Lazy Kate
Oriface and Bearing
Kromski Minstrel
Small Whorl Storage
Hooks and Flyer
Kromski Minstrel
Mr. Footman
Bobbins
Hand Turned Spokes
Kromski Minstrel
 

pictured: my new Kromski Minstrel

It’s been awhile since I posted any gratuitous yarn shots on a Friday. And boy do I have some beauties to show you today. *Sundara Yarn. I think that’s all there is to be said.

I Die For This Color
(I live in fear that I’ll never find a project worthy of this perfect color)
Sundara Sock "Brown with Red"

Sundara Sock

So Saturated it Hurts

Colorwork!
Did someone say colorwork?

Enjoy your weekend!
[*Yarn pictured is Sundara Sock in unique semi-solid dyelots.]

Just popping in to say hi and wish you a nice long weekend. I’m reserving Monday for knitting. Only.

Rowan Wool Cotton
Rowan Wool Cotton
And a little Friday Fiber to aid in my well-wishing. See you next week!

One Colorcard to Rule Them All
Blue Heaven
The Mother of all Colorcards

Jamieson’s Shetland. So this is what love feels like. 

I know I’ve said it before, but there are some projects that I think I enjoy photographing even more than knitting (we’re splitting hairs here, but there it is). This scarf is surely one of them – and this post is so photo heavy, I doubt the text will be able to hold its own.

Noro Scarf X
 

Pattern: Generic 1×1 Ribbed Striped Scarf (See details below)
Materials: Noro Silk Garden; 45 silk | 45 kid mohair | 10 lambswool
Amount: 4 balls in total in Shades 201 (2 balls), 234, and 86; Approx. 440yds/200g
Needles: US 7/4.5 mm KnitPicks Options
Dimensions: Approximately 5.5 inches in width and just over 6 feet in length, unblocked

Start Date: 6 April 2007
Finish Date: 25 April 2007

Noro Scarf II

Manually striping Noro is a classic trick done by many a knitter before me – just check out all the beauties over on Flickr. I admit to spending a good amount of time appreciating all the interesting variations on the same theme for quite some time before taking the plunge myself. For full disclosure, this one sent me over the edge.

Noro Scarf V

I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails about this scarf so I thought I’d throw out all the details – if it’s too much for you, feel free to gloss over this section and rest your eyes on the hypnotic color changes. Noro is good like that.

The scarf is worked over an odd number of stitches in 1×1 ribbing which, in my opinion has two big benefits: the scarf is reversible and behaves very well (no curling) while also plumping up into a thick fabric that will look suspiciously like stockinette if you leave it unblocked. I cast on 39 stitches using US7/4.5mm needles to get a width of about 5.5 inches. On scarves of this nature I prefer to work a slipped stitch edging which adds a nice, polished touch and perfectly hides the working yarn as you carry it up the sides whilst striping to your heart’s content. I worked two-row stripes using two different colorways of Silk Garden, slipping (purlwise) the first and last stitch on the second row of every stripe.

Noro Scarf IV

Colorways: I can appreciate all the amazing colors that Noro hits out of the ballpark, but in general wouldn’t wear most of them. They’re pretty bold. Lucky for me, Noro makes a few colorways that are toned down a bit but retain their luscious, tasteful, saturated quality that the knitter in me is drawn to. Not to mention the texture, which will slay me every time.

I used a total of 4 balls of Silk Garden (which will land this scarf in the $40-45 price range if you buy full price retail. A bit pricey for a scarf but … so … beautiful… ) in three different shades.

Noro Scarf VI

Two of the four balls of yarn I used were shade #201 which is a nice mix of deep blue-blacks, marine blues, silvery greys with a little purple shock thrown in to keep things interesting. See them pre-knitting here. I striped 201 throughout the entire length of the scarf with Silk Garden #234 and #86, two colorways that to me are rather similar. Main colors in both are understated and elegant crimsons, golds and blues, with lots of cool and warm grey tones in between. In their current configuration you can scarcely tell that they’re from two different color families. Pre-knitted cakes of 234 here and 86 here.

Noro Scarf VIII Noro Scarf I Noro Scarf VII

I’m not sure there’s much else to say about the knitting – it feels a little like cheating working such an easy, mindless process and ending up with such a stunning result. The benefits of a quality fiber (and dye job) have never been more apparent.

Noro Scarf III

With spring upon us and summer approaching, I’ll take what few opportunities I can to throw this thing on, but for the next couple of months I’m happy to call it wall-art in my apartment.

Noro Scarf IX

Happy Monday, one and all.