Discover more from Nourishing Things
Why I document what I make
plus shopping days in July for Kittenish Tank kits
Thanks so much for your warm reception to last week’s newsletter! You have made my heart so happy and full — and, wow, you clearly love the idea of “all sizes-one price” garment kits as much as I do. I love that, in this small corner of the internet, we are doing business together in a different way. Smaller, more thoughtfully, and more inclusively.
I was supposed to close my shop today (not forever; just for this particular shopping period). But, the day snuck up on me, so I’m extending the shopping period by 24 hours. I’ll close the shop tomorrow, sometime around the end of the working day here in California.
If you’ve had your eye on something, now’s the time to:
Preorder a kit to make your own Kittenish tank (as shown on me, above)
Preorder my beautiful Harvest Sport yarn in any of a dozen of my favorite colorways
Order ready-to-ship yarn
Order ready-to-ship Beatrix accessory kits.
Documenting what we make
I’ve been thinking lately about how much I love documenting what I make.
Taking photographs for my shop used to be a chore. I didn’t know my way around my camera; I wasn’t sure of my style; and I would have stacks and stacks of things to photograph. I’ve been learning on all of these fronts for years, now, and I was reflecting this past week on how much has changed.
My photos now help tell some of the story of my making, what I’ve learned, and what I hope you will feel when knit with my yarn. For example:
This stack of yarn (plus mini-skeins) is Flower Crown (I still have 3 skeins + minis available in the shop). 👆🏻
It’s photographed in a corner of my San Francisco backyard where slowly decaying wood stumps are placed. I rescued them from the city’s landscaping debris yard over 12 years ago. I had brought the stumps home for my then-toddler to practice balancing, stepping, and generally fun outdoor play. The stumps now sit in an area of my backyard that gets gorgeous golden hour light (on our intermittent sunny days), and the story they tell is this:
Beauty: Simple, unadorned yarn can be the most beautiful thing of all; there’s no need for flowers or frills or props
Calm: Being in nature is soothing
Simplicity: Old things have magic to them
They are photographed on my actual desk. I usually take photos with a shallow depth of field so that just one point is in focus and the rest of the photo blurs out dreamily, but this is one of my favorite, more crisp flat-lay photos. The fabric, yarn, swatch — even the beeswax hexagon — were gathered from recent projects.
I love using actual bits of ephemera from my making practice in my shop photographs. It is authentic (yes, the things I offer to you are the ones I use daily) and it helps me see what I’ve learned. Documenting what I make, how I make it, and the small moments of beauty that are inside every step — this is the joy.
While I have a practice of taking self-photos (especially to document my personal makes, like the Kittenish Tank), I love being behind the camera. This photo, of Marjorie, a knitterly colleague and model for my shop, is one of my favorites. This was taken near the end of our photo session together, when we were both comfortable and laughing. I’m pretty sure Marjorie’s adorable daughter was just out of the frame, as she and I had been laughing and playing together as I took photos of her mom. This photo shows the beautiful shawl that’s offered in my Nourish Shawl kit (design by the talented Dawn Henderson), and it also reflects a feeling of comfort and sun-dappled ease — exactly what making this shawl is like.
The shawl is also the wrong side out, which is a newbie mistake on my part, but I love this photo so much that I feel like it kind of doesn’t matter.
Here’s the shawl texture when worn the right way👇🏻
Thoughts about Instagram
Most of my photographs and writing have been on Instagram, documenting my personal making practice and my yarn business since I started it in 2013.
I’ve seen many posts on Instagram lately, though, that express a sadness and frustration at some of the changes to the app — that it’s too busy, too much video, too noisy, and that you miss the days of quiet, beautiful photographs. I feel the same.
This is one reason why I am increasingly excited about this platform, Substack. A newsletter doesn’t replace a central gathering app, like Instagram, but it does connect us, me and you. You can like a newsletter (just click the ❤️ at the bottom). You can comment, and I can answer you back! You can read previous editions. And it gets delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post, and it comes to you ad-free.
Thank you for being here.
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