Working in the world of knitwear design means that your calendar is more than a little screwy. Deadlines and lead times require you to be mentally “out of season” pretty much all the time. I’ve modeled heavy alpaca sweaters in July, knit angora in August and sketched summery tanks in September. Perhaps the craziest part is photographing catalogs and pattern booklets for spring in the middle of New England autumn which is COLD! You’ve got to think warm thoughts!
This was pretty easy for the first photoshoot of our spring collection. For Booklet #282 Latitude, we set up shop at a seaside hotel in Galilee, Rhode Island. Brisk October air was indeed whipping around us, but a steady diet of fried clam cakes and great nautical scenery made it feel like we were enjoying a particularly late summer vacation. Have a look:
Be sure to subscribe to KnitBits for plenty more inside info about the Spring/Summer 2009 collection. We’ll be posting pictures, pattern information, audio slideshows and as always, free patterns galore. I have a few more behind the scenes videos to share here as well so stay tuned!
Phew! I can’t believe I’m closing in on one month at Berroco. Yesterday Margery, Norah and I took a trip to Boston so I could learn how to plan photo shoots. We saw many models and a lot of inspiring clothing. As you might imagine a lot of thought goes into styling the pattern books and it really isn’t the sort of thing you can pick up in a university or book, though I’m feeling pretty good about my Project Runway/America’s Next Top Model addictions! I’m picking up a lot simply by watching these two in action:
By the way, the baristas at Starbucks, completely unprompted, christened us with new names. We decided that these were our alter egos, used only when traveling! In fairness to him, I used my shorter nickname Ria when ordering but still…Van? Lauria at least EVOKES Norah =)
In transit we couldn’t contain our geekiness–all three of us are addicted to our gadgets and could barely get any knitting done, we were too busy sharing tech-ish gossip. Norah used FileMagnet to download my Brûlée Scarf pattern which was featured in last week’s Knit Bits, so cute on the tiny screen! Norah also filled us in about Stitch Minder.
Another program that had us in a tizzy was Polyvore. We were REALLY psyched to see that the Knitting Tote designed by our Design Assistant Donna was featured in many collages, including my favorite which is attic themed:
Donna also designed this season’s Quixotic in Peruvia Quick–the woman has a gift with bags!
There are other Berroco garments featured and I think this will be really helpful when we start to style the Spring 2009 booklets…feel free to upload and play! Maybe we can start a Ravelry group…
Yippee, yahoo… the search for an assistant designer is over! I am so very pleased to announce that Cirilia Rose is now working with us in the Berroco design studio. Cirilia jumped right in, multitasking from the start. During her first two days we have had her editing Knitbits, planning future issues, fully participating in design meetings, swatching, and, even though it wasn’t part of the work agreement, we persuaded her to model for a few minutes too. :)
As many of you know already from, the book and from the audio slide show, the NGV3 cover cardigan, Violette-le-duc, was photographed “upside down”. I think it looks truly lovely this way. The flip was due to a flash of brilliance on Margery’s part while acting as stylist for the book – picking all of the clothing and accessories and making it all work on the models. Now, of course, folks would like to see what the cardigan looks like “right side up”.
To the right is Cirilia, styled by Margery, shown in the “right side up” Violette-le-duc. Thank you, Cirilia – and welcome!
P.S. Cirilia will be co-hosting this blog with me. Look for an entry soon.
Berroco’s Johnny Boy sweater in action:
In a clever multitasking move, Margery knit the original Johnny Boy sweater to fit her grandson, Noah. Reports have it that the sweater has seen heavy action ever since, has been washed (and dried) numerous times, and it still looks great. It’s knit in Berroco Sox, our all wool sock yarn in an ever increasing array of multicolor patterns.
Photo credit: Olivia Sauerwein (Noah’s mom)
Margery’s cat Fred assists during our recent photoshoot.
Just last week, a curious reader (Hi Jeni) asked me if I was going to include the requisite cat shots in my blog. W…e…l…l, now that you’ve asked, how can I resist? This has been one of those crazy, outrageously busy few weeks when Margery and I frantically prepare for photography up until the VERY last minute and then the roller coaster ride of 4 days of photo shoot happens. I’m not prepared (nor allowed) to give too much away just yet, but with the assistance of both of our cats you can get a smiggen of a sneak peak into Spring ’08.
You’ve met the elegant and lovable (21 year old!) Fred, at the top of this post. Here is My blur o feline fur, Lena. Yes, yes, I am aware that this is not a great photograph. It is, however, telling. Lena is so very aloof UNTIL I desperately need to work on something. There she was smothering the Suede cardigan I was trying to sew buttons on, when it occurred to me that this was perfect blog fodder! Of course, THE SECOND I got out the camera she became very elusive and impossible to photograph.
…and so he doesn’t feel left out – my other cat Jake:
More of a camera ham, he’s featured in Sabrina Gschwandtner’s book KnitKnit so he may soon be more famous than I am in the knitting community.
During a photoshoot we routinely include a color target in test shots. This helps out our art director. There is something about that card. It seems to bring out hidden personalities. Here are some out-takes from the photography for norah gaughan vol.1
The formerly calm and serene Ashley succombs to the power of the color target. See the calm and serene version here
Worldly Astrid: The color target seems to transform Eleanor into a Bedouin woman from a far away land. Remember that famous cover of National Geographic?