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Winter Whites
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Winter Whites

The Presidents’ Day holiday allowed me to spend time finishing up some projects. It also afforded me the time to pull out all the stops and snap some special photographs of said knits:

Winter Whites: Santiago Shawl

Winter Whites: Santiago Shawl

Santiago Shawl
Pattern based on the Verona Shawl by Morehouse Farms
Yarn: Handspun single ply wool from Santiago, Chile – a gift from my dad
Needles: Size US 9s
Measurements: Length – 5′ 5″  / Width – 2′

Stockinette stitches for inches and inches.  Every moment was welcome and savored.  I truly enjoy the simplicity of stockinette, and this will not be my last shawl in this fashion.  My Verona shawl is my most wearable knit – at least once a week in three seasons of the year – and this new Santiago shawl (named after the city where my dad purchased the yarn) is sure to follow in the same footsteps.

Like Verona, this shawl also has a story.  I started this shawl last summer, just a week or two after I contracted Lyme disease.  It had not hit me full force yet, but as I got sicker and sicker in late July and early August, this shawl was one of the only things that I could work on… the simple stockinette was comfort when my mind and my heart couldn’t handle anything else, and when I was scared about what the next day would bring with it.   My knitting was slow, but I pressed on with the shawl.  When I got healthier, I set the shawl aside – and it sat in my knitting basket for many months untouched.  In January, I picked it up again.  And now, it has a new purpose.

It tells the story that I need to remember about sickness and health and about the importance of being mindful in everything I do.  Mindful of each breath in and each breath out – every knit stitch and every purl stitch.

Winter Whites: Santiago Shawl

Winter Whites: Santiago Shawl

The yarn was wonderful to knit.  It was raw and over spun in sections and crunchy and flubby and perfect.  I love to be reminded of the source when I am knitting.  In this case, the source was some lovely ivory fleeced Chilean cordero.  My dad bought this yarn for me when I was a new knitter – back in 2004 – and it sat in my stash for a long time.  I am so happy that it is now this amazing shawl.  Thanks so much for making this possible, dad :)

As I bound off on the shawl yesterday, I had the inspiration to focus on the natural ivory of the yarn, pairing it with some white clothing.  From there, I wanted to experiment with some photographic elements, and I asked Kris to help me put together a photoshoot.  We picked up a Strobist Kit with remote flashes last year.  Kris uses it a lot for his aquarium photography and I have used it occasionally for both light box photography and FO shoots.

There are different kits available for different kinds of DSLR cameras; we chose the one that works well with the Canon Rebel series for my Canon Rebel XTi.  It includes the remote flash, the stand, the umbrella, as well as the hardware needed to hook it all up.  Since the initial purchase, we also picked up another remote flash secondhand, and bought a second umbrella.  So, when I chose the corner of the stairway landing for the photography shoot, I knew it was going to be a good spot with lots of light.  White walls, space for the umbrellas and stands, and lots of walls for the light to reflect.  All I had to do was style the photograph… white tee, shimmery lip gloss and a hair clip!

Winter Whites: Santiago Shawl

Winter Whites: Santiago Shawl

The overexposure of the photos was the key.  We turned the flashes on the highest brightness level and the umbrellas really reflected the light.  After the shots were complete, I processed my photos (as I do for *all* of my photos) through Adobe Lightroom software.  Very minimal processing on the shots because they really turned out better than I expected.  I increased the clarity of the shot so that you could see the stitch definition on the shawl, as well as the distinction between my skin and the wall behind me (ahem… I have been called an albino before…) Other than these small modifications, the photos are natural and raw…

…just like the yarn of the shawl!

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56 Responses

  1. gleek

    such gorgeous photos lolly! thanks for the info on the strobist kits! now, of course, i want to upgrade badly :)

  2. mamie

    really stunning, the shawl and the photos and the woman.

    making me want umbrellas and remote flashes and more….

  3. Kamicha

    Beautiful pics and what a lovely shawl!

  4. theresa/t does wool

    I adore what you have done with the photography…very nice expression of the winter whites!!

  5. Jennifer

    Lolly – I wanted to say that you are simply glowing. I’m so thrilled to watch you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. It is apparent in all you’re doing – the weaving, yoga, scrumptious meals, knitting, photography, and you. You’ve always been an inspiration, but this is truly taking it to a new level. Congrats and thanks for sharing with all of us. Wish me luck on my personal journey to a healthier lifestyle, too. Thanks again, Jennifer

  6. Misty

    That first picture and the story behind this simple shawl are so intertwined, and absolutely gorgeous. I actually have tears in my eyes. My best wishes go to you and your continued recovery and growth. Thank you so very much for sharing.

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