Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

How To Make Rubber Band Bracelets – No Rainbow Loom

So apparently rubber-band bracelets are all the rage at our local elementary school. My nephews must have begged their mom for some and when she text’d me about it I quickly asked her to buy some packs for the girls as well. $1.99 at Michaels craft stores (Don’t ask me where, I walked around that place for an hour yesterday looking for halloween decorations and never once saw them).

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Photography for Knitters – Part 4 Photographing Yarn

Getting the correct exposure when working in Auto (more accurate color representation)

For those of you photographing yarn, all of the same applies from the previous tutorials except your getting more of a product shot and it’s more important to pay direct attention to what you are placing your yarn on. Lots of people use white light boxes. I don’t so I don’t have much to say about them except I think they are great. If you don’t want to go that route a pretty stone boulder, or wooden step can be a nice backdrop for your yarn. Avoid distracting things like mesh iron tables, flat plastic plain green table tops (the out door variety) or glass (reflects light badly sometimes). Try photographing your yarn on several surfaces and see what turns out best when you get back to the computer. If you are photographing a dark yarn you may need to place it on a medium toned surface so the yarn color does not photograph too darkly. Avoid a sheet, its wrinkles will show up. If you insist though, iron it out very well and find a bright spot in the corner of your kitchen so you can smooth the sheet out perfectly on your table. A wrinkly background is always very distracting. Maybe try the back of wrapping paper, most of us have some stashed in our closet someplace. The best would be some poster board from a local big box store or even better, a crafts supplies store.

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Photography for Knitters – Part 3 Using Natural Light Effectively

A reminder for those working in Auto, to HOLD DOWN THE POP-UP FLASH on your fancy DSLR so the flash doesn’t go off, the camera will automatically adjust the settings to work without the flash, but if you don’t do this it will be very lazy and use the flash which almost always makes for a flat picture. For point-and-shoot camera’s turn the flash auto mode to OFF. Some may even have a no-flash-but-still-auto setting but I don’t know your camera. Holding it down works on most DSLR cameras.

Natural Light Outside

If you are taking photos outside, the absolute worst time to take pictures is mid-day. Instead you should be taking photos just after sunrise or 1-2 hours before sun-set. Overcast days do make it easier to photograph mid-day but you can’t always count on that.

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I was swatching something with stranded/two-color knitting the other day and I felt, well there is no other words that can describe how I felt except very bad ass. knitting with two hands is intimidating, scarey even. The mere thought of it is enough to make a person avoid anything with two colors on 1 row. But the truth is its really easy, its EXACTLY like riding a bike. Give yourself 10 minutes to half an hour and it’s set in your brain and your good to go. The best way to learn is to knit a hat, probably a kids hat and on circular needles. Find a small circular, a 16″ and cast on enough stitches that you know you won’t have to be pulling and tugging to get around in a circle. This wound up with a hat that fit my head (sorry I can’t show it because its got some book stuff integrated into it).

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Photography for Knitters – Camera Modes

I recommend you at least read this part of the tutorial to get your brain thinking, Part 3 will still totally apply to you if you are using your DSLR in Auto mode, or if you are using a point and shoot camera. Let me get this stuff out of the way here before getting into the meaty beats about how to use light most effectively.

DSLR Camera Modes (Auto vs Manual etc)

Lets take a moment to talk about using a semi-pro or pro camera like the Nikon D80/90. When I first got my fancy camera nearly 3 years ago, I was using it in Auto mode, and sometimes when I am very tired I still do. The scary truth is I’ve used my camera in Auto for many of my published photos, and they not only turned out well, but really amazing sometimes. I felt when I first started using the camera, that it was far more important for me to focus on my use of natural light, composition and styling then it was to stress about how in the world to have the photo come out properly exposed. Proper exposure is a beast, it’s confusing and intimidating. At-least it was to me. All those numbers on all those dials. I had just had a baby, I was sleep deprived, lets just keep it simple shall we? Maybe this helps you not be so intimated by those “pro” cameras, truth is due to technology they are not very scary at all.

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