My Favorite Independent Designer Photos

Some of my favorite days at work are photo shoot days. Every catalog cycle we log anywhere between 1-4 location shoots and 2-5 in-house studio days where we shoot tools, garments, yarn, books and all sorts of other things that crop up along the way. Each kind of shoot has this moment when everything just clicks and Amy and I can get that “perfect shot” that was exactly what we had in mind. Every once in a while we have a shot that totally exceeds our expectations and makes me actually clap my hands and gasp when I see the image on the screen.

I wanted to take a minute and shine the spotlight on some of my favorite photos that we’ve taken recently that maybe didn’t make it into the catalog or are Independent Designer’s patterns that I’m especially proud of. Enjoy!

This is the Fir Cone Cardigan by Marousa Gallagher. I LOVE THIS IMAGE. This is hands down my favorite image of all time (well, since I started working here). The model was excellent and so sweet, the light was gorgeous, the cardigan is cute and it all came together in this perfect moment. We shot this one at Kelley Point Park at sunset, the golden light here made staying late and hauling buckets of clothing into the woods through mosquitos totally worth it!


Luise O’Neill’s Southwind Shawl is super cute and pops so beautifully in front of this background full of lush greenery. This one was also at Kelley Point Park, just before the cardigan above. I love shooting outside when the weather cooperates and we have a pretty location. Finding the perfect setting for each garment takes a little research and a bit of luck once we’re out of the car and walking around with the model.

The wonderful combination of a great model and really awesome rental house made this shoot particularly memorable. We shot the Geometric Pattern Collection at the same location and while I love how the collection garments turned out, the Independent Designer patterns were equally wonderful. The bright natural light in this shot of the Flower Basket Stitch Mobius Crochet Wrap by Amy Kulesza highlights the chunky fabric in this wrap.

When we shoot each project I always take a minute to put myself in the scene. I tell myself a little story about who would wear this piece, what they’re doing and I imagine that this is their favorite garment. Is it the weekend? Are we going out for the morning or are we just settling in to read a book on the couch? Maybe we’re in college and getting ready for class, or about to pick up the kids from day care. I love the little narratives and it helps me think about each project in a different way and I think it gives each photo a slightly different flavor.

The Jemma Crochet Shawl was the very first project we got in from a designer (Brenda Bourg) made with our brand new Curio Crochet Thread. I remember being thrilled that we had such an excellent project to work with for the very first pattern. I wanted to make sure this shawl got some special attention because I liked it so much and I knew it was probably going to get a little more attention than usual because it was one of the few projects featuring this new yarn. This turned out to be such a nice, clean shot that really features the shawl.


I love a good challenge. I like taking projects that have an “assumed environment” (for example dish cloths: you’d automatically think of a kitchen) and putting them in an unexpected space to give them a different feel. the Dishie Crochet Bath Mat, for example doesn’t need to be in a bathroom. Especially since it tends to be a little tricky to shoot in bathrooms (or even to find a bathroom with enough room to squeeze two people into) so I decided to take Camille Chang’s project along with use to a location shoot for the Reclaimed pattern collection at Union/Pine in Portland and photograph it during a break between models. The rustic wood floor compliments the chunky Dishie fabric beautifully and the natural light in this space was just gorgeous. Much better than any bathroom I could have gotten my hands on.

I get really excited when I turn around and the model has put the garment on and it just looks so perfect! When the model is comfortable and it feels like she’s just hanging out with us instead of ON and WORKING it shows so clearly in the photos. The Misty Morning Sweater by Christina Loman suited this model to the point that I almost forgot that we were shooting an actual pattern. The model was especially appreciative because Heidi’s beach house (where we also shot Windswept) was so so cold because the heat had been off for the winter and we weren’t shooting long enough for things to really heat up. This cozy, comfy sweater was a welcome break from the summery knits we’d been shooting earlier in the day.

Each photo is meant to inspire you as the crafty person that you are to make something beautiful and fun. At the end of every day here at Knit Picks, I want to kindle that creative spark and have you reaching for your needles/hooks, excited about the prospect of working on something that has caught your eye and your imagination. I love seeing the projects you’ve made on Ravelry and hearing the occasional feedback on our lighting/models/locations. Keep those comments and suggestions coming!


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