Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Structure of Shawls DVD and Creative Pin-Loom Designs Video

Since it's Thursday, I thought I would write a Throw Back Thursday post. Exactly one year ago today, I was in Loveland, CO filming a dvd and video at the Interweave/ F+W Media headquarters. Here are some behind the scenes look of the filming studio.
This is the filming studio, which is located across the street from the Interweave/ F+W Media office.

Downstairs is where the set is located. When I arrived on the first day, Anne Merrow (Video Content Producer) was there to meet me and help me set up. It makes the filming go a lot smoother when everything is organized and in order according to my video outline.The trays are set up to easily swap out my knitted swatches and shawl samples as is needed for each segment.

Me on the set. 
After a night to rest up, I arrived bright and early at the studio to have my makeup done.The makeup artist had fun with me and gave me fake lashes. Here I am, fully made up, on the set. Can you tell I am 6 months pregnant? My big baby belly is behind the table. I think it's funny that this pregnancy is forever immortalized digitally on a dvd.

The producer and film crew were so nice and easy to work with. I felt very comfortable and we all had fun during the shoot. Just so you know, everything is unscripted so I am not reading off the teleprompter. Anne Merrow was my focus point and I pretended I was teaching her. Since it's digital, I can just pause and start over if I fumbled or needed to explain something further. The only hiccup we had was towards the end when the camera above me broke. It was during a break so we didn't know what happened. They quickly improvised using another camera and we were able wrap up the shoot.

Structure of Shawls 
The bulk of the day was spent filming The Structure of Shawls. The dvd starts with the basics of shawl construction and I walk you through all the steps and techniques you may encounter when knitting a shawl. The shawl showcased on the cover of the dvd is my Colfax Shawl

Creative Pin-Loom Designs 
The remaining studio time was spent filming Creative Pin-Loom Designs. I teach you to warp and weave on a Zoom Loom, which works on those vintage 4 x 4 pin looms like a Weavette or Weave-it. I also teach you several ways to seam or join your squares. This is meant to be a short video (47 min), but I could of went on and on about these pin looms.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look of how these videos are filmed. It has been so lovely getting messages from knitters and weavers who have purchased and watched my videos. I feel so passionate about what I do so I think it's wonderful that I can share my knowledge with all of you whether it's at in person classes or via online videos.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Quince & Co Scarves, etc 4: Pathway

Pathway Scarf (Quince & Co photo) 
 Photo from Quince & Co.

I have long admired Quince & Co.'s style and aesthetics. Their yarns, patterns and photography have always appealed to me. So I consider it a high honor to have one of my designs included in this year's scarves collection, Scarves, etc 4. This year, the collection has 13 scarves from 13 designers. I can't even imagine how they were able to narrow down 13 designs from hundreds of submissions. The collection is not just rectangular scarves, but also includes cowls and shawls in a variety of shapes with interesting stitch patterns, color work, and construction techniques. Pam Allen did an amazing job of picking the color palette for this collection. As an added bonus, Quince & Co. decided to make this collection into a printed book. You can still get a virtual copy of individual patterns or the collection, but if you love paper and hold-in-your-hand pattern books, you can pre-order Scarves, Etc. 4, The Book.
Quince Lark
My scarf design is called Pathway and it is knit with Lark in the color Poppy. Lark is a smooth, round, wool yarn, designed to showcase all manner of stitch patterns. This is not a typical design style for me. I usually love designing with lace patterns and I like symmetrical designs. But this time I decided to challenge myself and break out of my comfort zone. Pathway has a asymmetrical design of cables and classic knit/purl patterns. I am really quite pleased with the results. It's a 10 row repeat that is easy to knit and you can knit it as long or as short as you want.
Pathway Sub
 When I received the yarn to knit the sample, I further refined and tweaked the stitch patterns. If you look closely, you can see that the swatch is a little different than the final scarf. I tightened up the spaces between the stitch patterns and changed the diagonal section. I think all designers obsess over every little detail and is always trying to make the final design look better.
 Pathway Scarf (Quince & Co photo)
Photo from Quince & Co.

Another thing worthy of mentioning here is how I blocked the scarf. I like blocking with wires because wires make it easy to achieve straight lines. In the pattern, I added a garter stitch in the beginning and at the end of the scarf. The garter stitch will make little bumps that will make it easy for you to see where to put your wires through. I block pretty hard and Lark still held the cable and stitch definition perfectly when I took it off the blocking board. The result is a warm, squishy and cozy scarf with a multi-textured pattern that is a unisex design. You can see it on Ravelry and look at the different colors other knitters have used for the scarf. Be sure to favorite it or add it to your queue.