Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Photo Developments

The title is a pun. Get it? Ha, ha.

I'm going through the 1,000 Knitters messages in a more organized fashion, trying to figure out how we're going to make this work. You perhaps are thinking I should have considered this before announcing the project. However, my life to this point has included far too much thinking and far too little doing. Had I imagined what my mailbox would look like stuffed with hundreds of excited messages waiting to be sorted, I would have retired, shaking, into a dim corner and sat there until the vision faded.

Until I can answer all individually, I'd like to address a few common concerns collectively.
  1. Please rest assured that it is not possible to break a camera merely by sitting in front of it.

  2. No, I will not need my wide-angle lens to fit you into the frame.

  3. You are not the ugliest person I will ever have photographed. That honor belongs to a prominent socialite, a twig-thin product of goodness knows how many expensive spa treatments, who earned the title by continuing to call me "Manuel" after she had been introduced to me by name and reminded of my correct name several times. Ugly is as ugly does.

  4. Everyone is photogenic while they're knitting.

  5. Indulgence in self-deprecation during your shoot will result in my giving you That Look, which I inherited from my mother. Believe me when I say that you do not want to be on the receiving end of That Look.
And what will you be knitting? Well, here's what I've decided.

The image of a common thread–or yarn, in our case–is too potent to resist. So I've decided that when it's your turn to sit, you'll pick up and work on a scarf, one scarf, in which all 1,000 of you will have a hand. The first knitter will cast on 22 stitches. The final knitter will bind off. If you're in the middle, you'll knit rows, join a new ball, fix dropped stitches or do whatever happens to be needed at that point before passing the scarf along.

(Don't ask what'll happen to the scarf when it's finished. I haven't thought that far ahead yet.)

Knitting Update


So close. So close. Four more rows to the end of the center of the christening shawl, and two of those are plain.

Almost There

I tried so hard, so very hard, to make this look like anything other than used cheesecloth. Perhaps, some day, the shawl will look at this pre-blocking photograph as I do my eighth-grade school portrait: a dreadful mess of acne, too-large glasses and impossible hair waiting to blossom into the sprightly, long-limbed Adonis you all know today.

Shut up.

I do have to set it aside briefly this week to finish up my final Dulaan pieces, of which there are two in progress. I will not have been the most prolific Dulaan knitter by a longshot, but I'll have met my modest goal.

Hey, Konchog–is there anything particularly Mongolian I should drink to celebrate?

70 comments:

Beth said...

Mongolian drink? Kumis. But be prepared to shave your tongue afterwards.

Knit-Knot said...

Reading about your surprise at the overwhelming response to your photography project reminded me of the Yarnharlot's reaction to the response to the Knitting Olympics. And I laughed.

Nic

Mary said...

I like the idea of everyone knitting the same thing! Perhaps when it's finished, everyone could reassemle with the giant scarf wrapping them up.

Sarah said...

I can already see the beauty of the lace in its pre-blocked state. This is going to be so gorgeous. I like the idea you have formed for your photography project.

Mel said...

Kumis. I knew there was some fermented milk something-or-other. Maybe you could use the shawl to strain out the curd. :-)

Helen said...

While I'm eagerly awaiting the date for my appointment to sit with the scarf in front of your camera... let me say this:
Proportionally, you are a long limbed Adonis. Those other people who are freakishly tall only wish they had bodies proportioned like yours. Some day, they'll get over it.

La Cabeza Grande said...

But what gorgeous "cheesecloth!" Give yourself a break, Franklin. All works of art begin as lumps of clay.

So, you refuse to indulge our self-deprecating chatter? Good. I'm willing to give my self-loathing a holiday.

JoVE said...

I really like it when people go with half a plan. Most of the time that is enough to get you started. The common thread scarf sounds like a great idea.

Do you have access to a foundations database at work? Or do you have friends in the development/advancement office who do? There might be someone out there that is interested in funding this sort of project. Cover travel costs, film and developing...

marie in florida said...

a teenager is an unblocked shawl.
very zen thinking

Leslie said...

ahem... I thought I read a rather self-deprecating comment there, Adonis-to-those-who-know-you (if only through this blog). Please go to the mirror now and give yourself "That Look".

Eva said...

I'm sooo jealous of the photo participants :) Wish I were on the same continent so that I could participate :)

How about raffling the scarf off in the end and donating the money to some good cause?

Cheers Eva

Rebecca former CWer said...

You forgot mile-high hair on #3. Oh dear do I remember that horror. She came and went in a storm of bitch.

Liz said...

Aren't we already all knitting the same thing? I've been knitting on the same baby shawl forever, and I look at your photos, and think, yup... that's the one... Good luck with your heap of crumpled washing and I'm sure it'll be completely gorgeous; I'm only 54.6% of the way through mine, according to the Shawl Calculator...

Cherice said...

The shawl is stunning unblocked, I am sure that blocked it will be impossibly beautiful, like your dear niece.

And I am sure that proportionally you are a long limbed Adonis. Being tall is grossly overrated (or so I hear). So no self-deprecating remarks about yourself or you'll have to give yourself "the look".

mary e said...

I wish i lived in the Chicago area. As it is can i hope for some sort of coffee table book fashioned from the result of all those photogenic knitters? I like the idea of everyone knitting on the scarf so much! Hang in there on the shawl...it is truly stunning even now! If only I had the ability to zoom ahead 18 years from now for a peek at Herself proudly wearing her shawl to complete her ensemble for prom!!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

I inherited "That Look" too. Maybe we're related. BTW, that's a piece of cheesecloth anyone here would love to wear.

Gina said...

I have lurked for some time and enjoyed your willingness to share your gifts for writing, photography, and of course, the knitting. Thank you for refusing to listen to the self-deprecation and please continue to let us know that we are each lovely and worthy people, regardless of our clothing size or that enormous mole on our chins or the comparison to what used to be.

Lynne said...

I LOVE the idea of everyone knitting on the same piece. I can't wait until this gets underway.

Lee Ann said...

"She came and went in a storm of bitch." Rebecca has just completely made my day with that one.

And I'm with those who have told you to go look in the mirror and give yourself The Look. Because sugar, you may not be long-limbed, but the limbs you got are mighty fine. And don't you forget it.

Emy said...

Heh, I'll second what Knit-Knot said - my first thought at reading this was "oh come on, man...you've met Stephanie, and SURELY you remember the Knitting Olympics, right?"

I just looked back at Bloglines, and you've got 1265 subscribers there. I know there are other whatchamacallits that organize RSS feeds (feed aggregators? That seems too simple), and then there are the people who just click every day, hoping for new purls of wisdom. So yeah, there had to be a ton of people who read you and like you, and would be interested in a project that you come up with.

Represent, indeed. ;)

Judy G. said...

Your used cheesecloth looks better than my new cheesecloth. Wanna trade?

dale-harriet said...

{wiping tears out of eyes} Beth - "shave your tongue" - any tips for getting tea out of a keyboard? Got it out of the nose easy enough. Can I send a deposit for this coffee table book now, please? Oh - I'm with Mary E, Abigail will wear that shawl to her prom and again on her wedding day. The Jewish Mother has spoken. And I'm 4'11", you ARE an Adonis.

Thorny said...

Oh, what a fabulous idea! I love the notion of having us all work on the same scarf. That's great!

alala said...

I wish I was in Chicago too, so I could do this. I would go to Chicago to sit for your project, if it didn't involve crossing an ocean. I really would. Do keep up outlanders updated on the project, please: the coffee table book sounds like a good idea.

Flan said...

Mongolian Drink? Kumis/Airag (fermented mare's milk) is the specialty. But I'm with Beth. Be prepared to shave your tongue.

Kathleen said...

Could we wrap the scarf around the Bean? Or lasso the AIC lions together? Love Mary's idea of a group photo with the scarf wrapped around them. I'm in the Chicago area, knit, and am a momentarily out-of-work Art Director, so if I can help in any way, let me know!

KnitNana said...

I love the idea - a common, simple knitting project.
Should we all wear basic black so as not to detract from the scarf?

I love that you're surprised by our excitement!

Cheesecloth? Please tell me you're kidding?
That lace is freakin' gorgeous!
(((hugs)))

Dorathy said...

Hello, Franklin. I have a suggestion for the final disposition of the scarf. I work for a domestic violence project in Maine, and I have this nagging desire to do a fundraiser/awarness campaign around the knitting of a mammoth purple scarf. (I'm not all that fond of purple, but it is the "offical" color of the anti-domestic-violence movement.) We could have people sponsor a foot, or an inch, or a row of the thing, and then we could drape it across however many miles of our county it would cover, and the press would come and we could talk about how important it is to refuse to tolerate violence, and everyone would go, "oh, yeah!," and the world would be changed.

Just a thought.

I am sadly blogless, but if you're interested I'll send you my e-mail address.--Dorathy

amy said...

I, too, love the common scarf idea. Genius.

Anna-Liza said...

Adonis? Not so cool. You? Both cool and hot. Yeah, baby!

marcia in austin said...

Okay, so I'm doing some math. A thousand knitters. Figure within the 15 minute time frame you have in mind for the sittings that on average each knitter will get in one row. Posit a five row per inch gauge. And the finished product will be about five and a half yards, or sixteen and a half feet. Not nearly enough to wrap around the bean.

However I'm sure some poetic, appropriate use will present itself.

Scott said...

Hey, how come you get to do the self-deprecation stuff? In my book Adonis may very well be short, bald, hairy and able to bench-press 80% of his body weight.

Shooting you That Look, and then This One, which your mama never gave you!

Mary Lynn said...

Crap. Once again, I had coffee in my mouth while reading your blog.

I think the plan for the 1000 knitters project is incredibly doable, ummmmm, just one little question, 1000 knitters at 1 row each = 1000 rows . . . that is one heck of a scarf!

The shawl is wonderful and I only wish that I draped cheesecloth that well!

Jacquie said...

If everyone only acted on an idea once they had all the problems thought through and every possible consequence catered for then I think we would probably all still be sitting in caves wondering what would happen if we rubbed two sticks together!

Eldronius said...

Even in its unblocked state, the lace looks lovely. I want to just grab it and sqeeze its softness...only I wouldn't because that might elicit more than "the Look."

And I love the idea of everyone knitting the same scarf. How fun would it be to the last person trying to bind off a hundred foot scarf! I hope you have enough yarn.

Lucia said...

If I could knit used cheesecloth that beautiful, my name would be knitterly legend.

The scarf idea is brilliant, and a lot more sensible than some of the ideas that were rushing through my fevered brain.

I too am playing Dulaan catch-up.

Janet said...

Yak butter tea. Don't forget to blow the butter away from you before you sip! Yum!

Kate said...

Tea with yak milk butter?

I'm a little obsessed with blocking at the moment. Is the shawl round? How do you block round???

Pink said...

I love that 1000 knitters will create a giant scarf, this is turning into a unique and exciting endeavour.

The shawl is the best piece of cheesecloth I've ever seen!!

Carson said...

Great idea about the scarf tieing the concept together Franklin

Kristy said...

Some of the most interesting results come from half-assed planning. (And really, I mean that in the NICEST possible way!)

I am so excited at the mere possibility of being included.

I think the single scarf is a beautiful idea.

nancyneverswept said...

That yak-milk-butter tea should also have a little salt in it, to be authentic; and the butter is just a little rancid. Really. I've actually had it. But the spirit in which it was offered was sublime, so one drinks it anyway! I can't speak to the kumiss, but I do know it's pretty tough to milk the mare.

Rabbitch said...

I disagree with your other readers. You don't look a bit like Adonis. He had hair.

Anonymous said...

That's so gorgeous unblocked that I'm afraid to see it blocked. Really. The sight of that gorgeous work of art blocked may render me unable to ever knit again. I'm not worthy...

Lauren said...

Hey, I have that eighth grade school picture, too! Some of my classmates never went through that, damn them. I was fugly until I hit my late teens, then suddenly they all wanted me and those cute blonds who never went through their awkward stage ended up breeding way too young and losing any pretense of cheek bones. Meow.

You can sleep at night now because I found a Spanish christening shawl in the folk shawls book and I love it! I ordered a full Merino fleece and plan on dyeing the locks the palest yellow and spinning it lace weight before I knit what could be my masterpiece.

Of course, I will never be worthy of you (bowing and gesticulating accordingly) but I can try, can't I? Also, I saw what the Mongolians drank on "Long Way Round" (with yummy Ewan MacGregor) and I'll stick to my Scottish ale.

I love your blog!

Christine Olea said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is one of the coolest ideas I've heard of in a long time. I am so excited to see the whole process (and participate if geography allows), or as much as you share on your blog. And the end product can be nothing but fabulous and enduring, because knitters are fabulous and enduring.

Brooke said...

The shawl is beeeeuuuuuteeeful! I wish I lived closer to volunteer for the photo shoot - let me know if you ever want to include California. We can just get 1000 knitters in one big picture!! (and a few spinners couldn't hurt).

brenda said...

I love, love, love the idea of knitting a common project. How perfect!

And the shawl is beautiful. I'm knitting some ecru-colored cheesecloth right now, can't wait to block it to really see the design.

Trope said...

Everyone is photogenic while they're knitting.

Damn straight!

I know this is NOT your job, Franklin, but if you could drop more hints as to this year's Dulaan deadline, I'd be far more likely to get my mittens and hats and stuff out on time. For instance, today's reminder is a lovely little push to keep me going.

Twilight said...

What about auctioning the scarf off? The proceeds can go to a charity-Knitters Without Borders perhaps?

Or you can take the scarf around the country on your Panopticon coast to coast tour and photograph yourself with it ala Yarn Harlot's sock.

If NM woos you back for another visit I'm totally jumping into this 1,000 knitters project.

Kristen said...

{rolling eyes at #3} Some people's children!

I see someone already beat me to the kumis (fermented mare's milk). Though the Russians introducted them to vodka as well.

I'm very excited to see the shawl--trust me it doesn't look like cheesecloth.

And, honey, you are Adonis! If I were a gay man, I'd be drooling unashamedly in your general direction. Oh, hell, let's admit it, shall we? I'm a straight woman and I'm drooling--brains, beauty, kindness and wit, what more could a girl want? ;)

Terri said...

I love the idea of everyone working on the same scarf, and I particularly like your opinion that "everyone is photogenic while knitting". The shawl is going to be just beautiful, even in its unblocked state is pretty impressive.

Lynn said...

Love you, dear!

Knitters are so sane. Aside from the obvious insanity, of course.

As for your alleged non-Adonisity, well, all I can say is it's too bad I'm not a gay man near Chicago.

But I could work on that.

Aidan said...

Dear Manuel:

Love the cheesecloth. Have some Kool Aid.

Love,

Trixie.

Richard B de DC said...

"long-limbed Adonis you all know today.

Shut up"

I like you best when you are at your most self deprecating.

Working on:
Orange; 6/2 unmercerized cotton; size 1 (US) needles; gauge: 8 st./in; 14.5 rows inch; V neck long sleeved pullover; worked from the top down; stitch: Fascene braid (B. Walker, Second treasury)with modifications.

Nora in CY said...

Hey Franklin, we've never met except thru Panopticon, but I must confess that I love you. I love you for your wit and charm, your bitchiness when appropriate, your tenderness, your imagination, the world you create that we all get to live in, your cartoons, Dolores, Harry, Mrs. T, your zen efforts, your knit, your photography, the uniqueness that is you. The world is so much richer because you share your beautiful mind and soul and spirit with us. Why I had to say this today, I don't know. But your web moves me, entertains me, challenges me at times, inspires me, and makes me want to be a better me. Thank you. Thank you so much. We now return to regular non-stalking type comments.

Tracey, in MI said...

not ugly- not messy. in progress.. thought so close to finished it's killing us ALL! looks like a furled flower bud. (with just a hint of cheese-cloth) so there.

WE won't self-deprecate, if YOU won't knit in-progress-deprecate! Fair?

the scarf idea is perfect. just. perfect.

Kara said...

Oh, this project sounds more and more wonderful all the time! I'm sending up little prayers, keeping my fingers crossed, etc., that you somehow decide to come to Kentucky!

Gretch said...

So much to remark on... where to start? That lace. Isn't that what you love about knitting lace? The sheer homliness of it's just knitted stage, the futile exercise of stretching it out with your fingers to show unbelievers how fab it will be (honest!), the long, slow torture of the last few rows, the muttering to yourself and swearing when you accidently lean or kneel on a blocking pin, the long routes to anywhere else in the house as you detour to check on the lace stretched out drying wherever it is. And the the unpinning. That is what I call the big Lace Knitting Orgasm. You're just that close, Manuel!

The 1000 knitters thing is still the best concept I've heard of. Love the scarf we'll all have our piece of. Somehow we won't be ugly while knitting - you've thought it through enough for my taste.

Can I be a provacatuer-ish for a moment? What if you didn't donate the scarf? what if it was part of the exhibit? What if the exhibition was mounted somewhere (stop thinking that way...)? What if there were books that accompanied the show? What if the show traveled around the country? What if, for just a while, everyone got a chance to see it all? Don't be too quick to give it away, auction it, whatever the cause (call me what you will...) - it can be just what it is, and do as much for the world as being sold to the highest bidder. Just a thought.

Adonis. You are. No kidding. Nuff said.

And leave the kumis and rancid butter to the professionals. We need you healthy and strong to do the whole knitting-portrait thing...

Konchog said...

Yes, that's right, airag -- fermented mare's milk -- is authentically Mongol, but the disparagement of it will cease right this minute. Clearly you philistines have never had the legendary brew from Bulgan province. And if you have a really sophisticated palate, try it made from the milk of a Gobi Bactrian Camel. What? No, I'm not kidding. It also comes in the form of aarts, a kind of hot, thick yoghurt. I'd walk a barefot mile across the burning sands just for a wee taste. It's that good.

Ann said...

Your used cheesecloth is gorgeous. BTW, your Cast On contribution was just brilliant!

Sneaksleep said...

1000 knitters project: Amazing idea that's getting better everyday. I can't wait to knit my row!

Self-deprecation: What is this, do as I say and not as I do?

Shawl: If it looks this good as cheesecloth, it will cause mass hysteria when blocked and wrapped around your niece. So you might want to give the roit police a heads-up on the christening date...

Mary said...

I can see the potential beauty in that shawl. The last one I did looked like hell. I kept telling everyone it would be beautiful. And now it is :)

I think you should talk to publishers about your 1000 knitters idea, I'd buy a book like that. Especially if it weren't full of Barbie-clones in stupid-clothes, but one that celebrates the beauty of individuals.

Twilight said...

Gretch-that's a great idea. If the scarf were part of the exhibit more knitters could participate by seeing the scarf. Cool beans.

Nat said...

Oh! I love the common knitting idea. Fabulous idea, Adonis.

FiberQat said...

Only one row per knitter? That's a warmup, hon. Make it two and you'll have a more substantial scarf to display.

Adonis would be jealous of you and your chiseled loveliness capable of making designer cheesecloth.

That Laurie said...

Your shawl looks gorgeous to me; you just have to "read" unblocked lace!

As for the scarf idea, brilliant, but you do realize that you will be schlepping an ever longer scarf around all over the place, right?

Anonymous said...

>>into the sprightly, long-limbed Adonis you all know today.

Shut up.<<

(giving you That Look)

Jena the yarn harpy said...

The "Manuel" thing reminds me of a particularly lovely customer I encountered once...
I was working at the Trader Joe's in Acton, MA. An upper-middle-class to upper-class town, as you may or may not know. When you work at TJs, everyone does everything - ringing, bagging, stocking shelves, swabbing the deck. I was ringing up a woman's order - a woman with a very dignified proper London accent who had thus far been very polite - and another crew member came over to start bagging her order.
She remarked "Oh dear! You're a cashier, not a bagger! At the Trader Joe's I went to in California, they have Mexicans to do that."

That accent rarely strikes my ears as so undignified, but she made it happen.

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