The lockdowns associated with the current pandemic, while absolutely necessary to save lives and flatten the curve, have undoubtedly taken a toll on small businesses of all kinds. Fortunately, knitting is something easily done from the safety of one’s home. In fact, lockdown has provided some knitters even more time to focus on their craft. The biggest problem for knitwear designers, however, is the ability to photograph their designs. For me, it has been quite an issue. Luckily, because I work at such a small scale, I don’t rely on outside models or photographers. Keep it in the family, I say! My mom is my photographer, and I model the vast majority of my designs myself. But I do have some favorite locations that act as the backdrop for my photographs, and most of those have been off limits until very recently. My favorite indoor location is closed. The outdoor locations not off limits have been absolutely mobbed with people needing a breath of fresh air, and we simply don’t feel safe there. And finally, the weather has been strangely uncooperative. I say “strangely” because the ideal weather for photographing knitwear is cool and overcast with little wind. Normally, we have several overcast days each week here in New England. Not so much the last few weeks! It has been bright and almost obnoxiously sunny every single day, except when we have a torrential downpour, and we’ve had almost constant wind to boot. Alas, to have such problems in life!
This past week I simply couldn’t wait any longer to take photographs of two designs, because the submission deadline was fast approaching for one of them (I can’t share much about it until I see if it has been accepted!) and the other had been languishing on my chair for months. So I decided to take the indoors outdoors and hang a backdrop on a rope in the back yard. Well, that was an unmitigated disaster. Trying to hang the huge roll of photo backdrop paper on a rope was a laughable endeavor. When I finally got the backdrop stationed between two trees, the wind decided to have a little fun, and it proceeded to rip the paper in half, right down the middle.
The paper backdrop is now at the local recycling center.
I was extremely flustered, even more so because I had spent precious time styling my hair and putting on the dreaded makeup to look presentable for the photos. I truly admire those folk out there who can wear makeup well, and wear it for a full day. I ONLY wear makeup when I model, and the entire time I am modelling, part of my brain is counting down the seconds until I can race back into the house and wipe the layers of cream and powder out of my pores. To use an Italian-American expression, it skeeves me out.
So there I was, all dolled up with nowhere to go and no backdrop to be had. I had to improvise. An old sheet for the win! I tacked a white sheet in an inner doorway in our house and hoped for the best. Funnily enough, it worked great. I could photoshop out most of the wrinkles, so my distaste for ironing didn’t ruin the look. I photographed the first design for submission, changed into the second outfit, restyled my hair, and got two photo sessions out of one!
I’ll share this sneak peek of the second design, which I hope to release very shortly. It is called the Visconti Shrug, and it is a vintage-inspired formal shrug made with Knit Picks’ new faux fur line, Fable Fur. It was INSANELY hard to work out the sideways construction on this design, but once I finally got it all right, the shrug knits up extremely quickly with super bulky fur. I’ll post more about this design in the near future, but I thought you’d like to judge the sheet backdrop for yourselves! Not bad for a lockdown photo shoot, eh?