Your messages about the arrival of Abigail have been icing on the cake, a delight to me and to my entire family. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write words of encouragement and congratulations.
I can't wait to record my impressions of the new arrival after our first opportunity to meet in person, which is scheduled for next week. (Note to Susan and Phil: Auntie Dolores is coming with me. Please tie up the dogs so we don't have a repeat of the Christmas Eve incident.)
Oh–And a Word About the Shawl
I've tried four or five approaches to writing a nice, fat entry about the christening shawl and admit defeat. The fact is, even if I had hours to style a good photograph it would still only look like a pile of string. Since it's on a circular needle, I can't spread it out to show you details.
So, a mere slip of an update. I've nearly finished the main portion of the border, which is worked in the diamonds-and-mesh pattern I showed you last time. Then there will be a narrow strip of buttercups on a stockinette ground. Then, and I can scarcely imagine it, I will work the edging.
At the moment, it feels as though I were born knitting this piece, and that in my next incarnation I will emerge still clutching it.
Now, the Idea
Ages ago a photographer who was acting as my mentor encouraged me to take on a large project, something that:
- could not be completed in a month;
- was outside the normal scope of my work; and
- that pushed one or more of my fear buttons.
- consider themselves model material and feel I should pay them a sitting fee plus royalties,
- are really looking to live out a sex-with-the-photographer fantasy, or
- back out at the last minute because, suddenly, they feel fat.
But I'm still fascinated with the idea of capturing concretely something as nebulous and ephemeral as a community. And last week, as I was lying in bed contemplating mortality, the ill-fated portrait project intersected with an essay I've just recorded for Brenda Dayne's podcast, and a new idea emerged.
Why 1,000 gay men? They're not my only community. Why not honor 1,000 knitters?
Announcing: The Thousand Knitters Project
Beginning today, I'm seeking anyone who self-identifies as a knitter to become part of The Thousand Knitters Project. Here are the particulars:
- Subjects will be photographed anywhere from half- to full-length, displaying a work-in-progress or finished object.
- There will be no payment for sitting, but subjects will be given either an electronic file or a finished 8"x10" print.
- Individual sittings will take no longer than 15 minutes.
- The portraits will be assembled for display in at least an electronic venue (i.e., Web site), and other formats depending on how the project evolves.
- All subjects will be asked to sign a standard model release, giving me permission to use the images in my work and waiving the right to compensation.
- Subjects can (and I hope, will) be any and every age, shape, size, race, religion, gender, orientation, nationality. The only thing that matters is that you knit and/or crochet.
- For the time being, sittings will take place in Chicago, so you'd need to be able to get here. If this takes off, we'll see about shooting in other cities.
- Yes, if you crochet or spin, you're welcome to join in. But I have to draw the line somewhere, so let's wait see how this goes and then maybe I can get to the quilters and the cross-stitchers and...
Interested? Write to me at portraits at franklinhabit daht cahm with the subject line "1,000." That's it, just "1,000." I'll be using the subject line to pre-sort the messages, so please be sure to use the correct subject. Give me some idea of when you might be available and we'll go from there.
And one more thing: If possible, I'd love to tap into the crowds coming in for Stitches Midwest. If you'll be a vendor at the market, and are willing to discuss the possibility of allowing me space to set up a chair and small backdrop–about as much as you'd need for a book signing–contact me at franklin at franklinhabit daht cahm. In return, I could offer advertising, photography, and possibly some monetary compensation.
*Not a ground-breaking idea; Richard Avedon's American West series is my inspiration.