A place for all things knitting related -
help, advice, reviews, techniques & humor.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How To Make Your Items Pop Using Photoshop

This is a frustrating topic for me but NO MORE.... I was surfing etsy trying to find some good tips on taking pictures of my handmade goodies and I happen across this blog "The Sellers Assisting Sellers Blog"  

I have taken photography classes in college and thought that I had a great eye for taking pictures.  I mean, everyone always told me that I did & I believed them.  However, I normally take pictures outside of my flowers (a favorite subject of mine) and the beach.  Lighting was always good and natural.

So, when I started taking still life's of my knitting the light was never right.  Never.  I found this so frustrating.  I read my camera's manual and searched on line for tips on improving my pictures.  I found little that could help me.  I also started to teach myself photoshop.  A program that I found even ore frustrating.  I have no training on it and I find it hard to navigate.  I did figure out a few things and it has helped but yet that elusive perfect still picture(s) eluted me.

I found an online tutorial on making your own light box.  So, I went to the good 'ol Home Depot & AC More for the materials I needed.  Some poster board, lights, daylight bulbs (they are blue) and clear packing tape.  I made the light box.  I was so excited!  Finally, I can take those great pictures that I have been trying to achieve.  I waited until night time and ran upstairs to start.  Big disappointment!  Again this left me frustrated.  I thought what a waste of money and time.

Then, I found the website mentioned above.  I was so excited, again!  I  tried it on a few of the pictures I took using the light box & it worked!  Hallelujah.. 

So, I figured that I would share this secret that I found with all of you.  It has really helped me a great deal.  It makes the background white and you can adjust the lighting to make your items pop!  I am so glad that I found this blog!  Thank you etsy for posting the link!

Now, i just have to retake all of my pictures and repost.. oh joy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Handmade Marketplace...

I was browsing in my local book shop for my usual knitting books and I happen upon this little book instead.
I decided to buy it hoping it will help me get some more traction for my little knitting hobby.  I am always looking for ideas and ways to find and interest more customers.   Lovely book filled with some great ideas that I plan to put into use this summer.

Since, summer is a slow time for knitting purchases think this is a great idea.  Plenty of time to read, research, read some more and experiment.  Ya know, throw some things against the wall and see what sticks.  I read this entire book in one sitting.  A fast read filled with Q & A's from some very talented crafters.  The husband and wife team that began Ravelry.. One of my all time favorite sites..   If you sell your goods online it might be worth your while to pick this little treasure for some light summer reading.

The Handmade Market place piqued my interest so much that I went to the library the next day to find more books to help with pricing, blogs, craft shows, etc.  This is when I found my next book "Crafting A Business, Make Money Doing What You  Love" by Kathie Fitzgerald.  GREAT Book.  Also read this one in an evening.  Very inspirational.  The book is broken down by several successful women who craft.  How they succeeded and their personal journeys that got them where they are today.  I also loved that she asked each crafter what their dreams were for the future.  This book is just great.   I found that it really got my creative juices flowing.  Also, got my hopes up because the market is a tough place to be.  I am not alone.

Each crafter is doing what they love.  They are honest with telling us that it is tough out there but if you are doing what you love and love what you are making.  Chances are there are others out there who will think your crafts are great too!  A few began their business out of need others were lucky to have a supportive husband to help them make their dreams come true.  Each runs their own successful business now.

Here is some of their quotes that I just love and found inspirational.

"There is more to life than making a living"

"Just begin. Start."

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that is most frightening us.  It is not just in some of us, it is in all of us."  Nelson Mandela

"Your success is measured by your confidence, your dependability, by your intellectual curiosity and by your bravery."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Knitter's are the BEST...

I am obsessed with this sweater.  LOVE IT!  Of course, I did not have the pattern for it as it was published when I started knitting.  I refuse to pay $15 for one pattern in a back issue.  So, I put a shout out on a knitter's message board & voila'..  Greta came to my rescue..   A big shout out to GRETA "You are the BEST!!"

The pictures in Vogue do not do this sweater justice - really.  Can you believe it and it's Vogue.  The Premier fashion magazine, Fashion Bible, etc..  crappy color, crappy pictures (in my opinion, of course). Now, I just have to figure out what color to knit it in first.  I want red, burnt orange, taupe, gray, and I am sure there are a few more colors as well.

The sweater pictured was made using Malabrigo.  One of my all time favorite yarns, soft, warm great colors choices and yardage BUT  it pills - pills terribly. On a sweater it would be even worse but I still want that color.  So, I am on the search.  I wonder if Deb at my favorite LYS has any suggestions.  Anyway, I will post my own pics as soon as I knit up my very own but until then here is my inspiration.  Pictures from Veronique.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Conquering Socks..

I have been working hard on my first pair of socks.  I scoured the internet for the perfect pattern and I found it!  Here it is -  

Lifestyle Toe Up Socks - No Swatch Needed by Charisa Martin.  

I love this pattern for a few reasons:

1) no swatching, Yes, that's right no swatching
2) It teaches you the technique rather than just a pattern
3) You can use this technique to make any pair of socks with any type of yarn.

So, I started these a few days ago and after frogging back 3 times I finally figured out how many sts I need make a sock that fits me.   You see my problem with socks was not the turning of the heel (A part I actually find easy) but getting my size right. I tried a few patterns casting on the amount of sts stated in the pattern for my size and gauge but every time  they turned out HUGE.  I mean HUGE.  I was so frustrated.  However, I was determined.   So, I kept plugging along and poof - a lovely sock!  YEAH!!!!  I did it! 


I have to bind off now  :o

I needed a stretchy bind off.  After all, I didn't want to ruin my perfect sock!  Back to the internet I went and discovered  this bind off method .  Great website with pictures that clearly illustrate this fabulous bind off.  Ta da.. done.

Now the only thing that I have to do it make the other one :)

Back to work I go...

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Dublin Wrap

I love this wrap!  Simple, elegant and perfect for March!   I was inspired by the green grass in Dublin, Ireland.  A place I was lucky to have visited many years ago.  I remember all the good times that I had during my fall semester abroad.   I think that I hit every pub in Dublin!  The funny thing is that I don't drink - at all!  So, I had Irish coffee instead, yum! (just a bit of whiskey in each)

I hope that you enjoy knitting this one up as much as I enjoyed designing it for you all.  Please, if you have any question, just send me an email.  I will be happy to help in any way.  I chose a wool blend for this wrap so it can be worn in spring as well.  A bit lighter than straight wool.