Thursday, March 29, 2007

Behind the Scenes

(Or, Even more excuses about why there’s no new spinning or knitting content …)

Just a quick shot to show you how I spent my last ‘Entrepreneurial Fridays’ day.

Here’s what I learned last Friday, in no particular order:

  • One can fit a rather amazing amount of yarn, props and small furniture into a Honda Civic. This was all the more amazing because the person packing it was me and not, say, Lisa’s amazing husband with the Tetris-like spatial skills. I really wish I’d gotten a photo of the car packed to the top!

  • Photographs without live models are actually much more challenging than those with live models. Who knew?

  • Photo setup will take longer than you think. (well, maybe just for me…)

  • Four hours at a go is too long. Both party’s interest and creative energy were flagging a bit at the end of the session.

  • I am not going to be quitting my day job for employment as a photo-stylist anytime soon (okay, admittedly I knew this one already, but let’s just say it was brilliantly clear after this session)

  • If you schedule a photo session (or anything) in Washington hoping for a bit of good natural light, it will rain like the proverbial cow/flat rock interaction.

  • Some good ‘on location’ places to shoot photos are going to be needed, because studio shots in the same studio will all have a similar look.

  • It’s not a good idea to schedule an important business meeting in the afternoon immediately following the conclusion of the photo session when one has been on the go since 6:00 am and has had nothing but coffee and water all day
    (Also? You’d think this sort of activity schedule would result in weight loss but you’d be wrong. ::sigh:: Evidently my metabolism is made of sterner, stubborn-er stuff than that! It just laughs at constant activity and zero-calorie intake.)

  • Trying to limit coffee intake for health reasons and working 70-hour weeks seem to be mutually exclusive situations.

The post title refers not just to the photo above but also to some rather stressful business-related situations that have been going on in the background consuming much of my time and pretty much eliminating any creative energy on my part. Let’s just say that I’m big on contracts now. Really big. A lot.

Anyway, I think I may be close to resolving most of these issues soon. It’s not an ideal resolution for me business-wise but it’s at least workable and mutually acceptable.

PS – if anyone in the Puget Sound area knows of any great locations where I could shoot photos let me know! Private houses, historical houses, museums, farm locations it’s all up for consideration. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spin to Knit Swap Pal Revealed

If you hadn’t guessed by the lack of posting here at Yin & Yarn, Casa del Chaos has definitely been living up to it’s name the last few weeks and I’m a bit behind with nearly everything; emails, blog posts, laundry, housework*, etc. you name it and it’s probably not getting done right now.

I mention that by way of explanation as to why I’m so remiss in posting a well-deserved thank you to my great Spin to Knit swap pal, Faun.

Faun gifted me with not one but two lovely skeins of her wonderfully soft handspun merino yarn in my final swap package! And as if that were not enough, she included one of the beautiful pendants that she makes, some of her art cards, fun fiber samples and some cute bunny picks.

I couldn’t really capture the pendant’s opal-like glow with my camera. This was the best close-up shot I could get, but as usual my marginal photography skills don’t do it justice.

I tried to get a better, natural light photo of the skeins, but the grey oyster-light of the PNW did not allow me to capture the true color. I think the color is more accurate in the flash photo above.

The Acolytes of the Handspun display their new treasures

You can see more of Faun’s creative work at her Etsy store.

Thank you so much, Faun for being such a terrific swap pal! I have never done a swap before and I had a lot of fun. I will do my best to come up with a project that is worthy of your handspun.

* I wouldn’t really mind as much about those last two if it weren’t for the fact that my place of paid employment is not yet clothing optional (nor do they look kindly upon those who might be tempted to roll into work in their jammies and slippers in lieu of real clothing) and that the amount of clutter around the house has reached critical mass. The only fiber I’ve contemplated in the last two weeks has been the frighteningly large dust bunnies rolling around the wood floors in the bedrooms like giant tumbling tumbleweeds.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Selbu Mittens: The Untold Story

What with my full-time employment at ACME Giant Government Bureaucracy Inc and running my little entrepreneurial venture evenings and weekends, there’s not much time to knit and I don’t finish too many knitting projects these days.

But when my friend Terri Shea announced that she needed test knitters for a book project she was working it sounded so interesting that I volunteered right away.

I’m so glad that I did because this was a really enjoyable project. The only hard part was not being able to show anyone my finished mittens!

Now that Terri’s book, Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition, has gone to press I am free to share the mittens that I knit for her:

Even harder to send away than the Spin to Knit skein!

I was really happy with how the mittens turned out and I can’t wait to make another pair for myself. After seeing the beautiful samples Angela and Vanessa knit for Terri, I have a feeling these won’t be the only pair that I’ll want to make from this book!

Thank you, Terri, for letting me be a part of your Selbu mitten project, it was great fun. You are a mitten maven! I hope you sell a million copies!

What? You’re still here?
You should go already and buy a book from Teri!

Such a nice girl! Such a nice book!

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Skein and I

My new and improved longer daily schedule has a 30 minute lunch break instead of my previous hour long lunch. Which is nice for getting home a bit earlier but not as handy for running lunch time errands since 30 minutes is only enough time to navigate out to my car in the cavernous underground garage, drive out, and get approximately halfway to any desired destination before needing to return and reverse the process in order to be back at my desk on time.

This inability to run errands at lunchtime during weekdays means that a skein finished mid-week would not be able to ship off to its new owner until Friday.

Now a more disciplined person would have boxed up the skein immediately. Primarily to be prepared to ship the skein first thing Friday morning, but also to avoid the established temptation of the skein.

I am not that person.

Instead the skein and I spent some time bonding preparing to say goodbye.

I decided that the first of March was International Take Your Skein to Work Day and so the skein took the brief commute with me to ACME Giant Government Bureaucracy Inc. to witness an exciting day in the life of a cubicle dweller.

The skein endures basks in the glow of the florescent cube lighting

The skein observes the daily email ritual

At lunch time the skein traveled down to visit my friends in graphic design who regularly are compelled to admire my purchases from fiber festivals and my spinning and knitting works-in-progress.

The Adoration of the Skein

All too soon our day ended and it was time for the trip home and our final goodbyes. Somehow I got the impression that the skein was taking it much better than I was and after our day together was definitely perhaps looking forward to its new, exciting life in New York.

(** Note to anyone concerned about workplace efficiency: No paid work hours were used in the making of these photos. )

Addendum to Sarah (from previous post comments): Sarah, I couldn't access your profile via blogger to leave you a reply comment. My main wheel (I have three total) is a Jensen Tina II and I adore it. You can find more detailed technical information here.