Today tastes like lavendar, candied violets, and nasturtiums. With balsamic vinagrette and prosecco. It is indeed the height of summer.
The problem with knitting shawls is displaying your finished objects for the eye candy. Wearing them is no problem at all--the stores and movie theaters and malls--pretty much any public gathering place--keep the air conditioner turned down to 72 F. Which is basically late fall/early winter here. It feels good for a few minutes after stpping in from a high over 100 (109 today, down from 113 yesterday). A shawl functions like a horse blanket, easing the artificial transition between seasons.
But blog display, that's another matter entirely. Blocking shots are good if you use a white/neutral light sheet to block on. My blocking shots tend to show all the various colored towels I use, even the stripes on some. A bit jarring--and that's coming from me!
If I ask DH Gareth to shoot me from behind, he tends to focus on his favorite bits, which are . . . not my favorites. Even if they were, it's the SHAWL I want emphasised. And while Gareth worships the needles I knit with, and is willing to do anything to help, he doesn't wear shawls well. He always looks so stiff and uncomfortable. Maybe it's the shoes.
So I put an ad in the paper, looking to hire a model. I wasn't going to be able to pay a lot, mind, I'm doing this for fun. But perhaps someone who was looking to build a little portfolio might work for pictures, right? Or someone who wasn't built for the runway, but entertained some Snoopyesque fantasies ("Here's the world-famous model getting ready to slink down the runway in Milan, when suddenly, diving out of the sun--O, CURSE YOU RED BARON!!!")(ahem)--entertained some fantasies about modeling might be willing to play along.
I was delighted to get a response directly, and we set up a time and date to meet and do a dry run with Veil of Isis, the shawl I'd just finished knitting.
The doorbell rang, and I opened the door to find . . .
Thorax. No, just Thorax, thank you. Like Madonna, or Cher.
Uhm. Won't you come in, Thorax?
So we sat down in my studio (Thorax said she'd prefer to stand, it had been a long drive) and discussed what we each wanted out of this project. Thorax was happy to work for photos for her portfolio, so off we went to the site, fresh batteries in the camera.
I wanted something sylvan . . .
But Thorax was thinking something edgy. "Urban decay," she said, twirling on the swing. "Very deconstructed, post-apocalypse, chaos creeping in contrast to the grandmotherly order and sweetness associated with lace and knitting. Rust to play off the beads."
"It's all about the existential loneliness of the millenium," she called down from the treehouse. "We buy and consume to fill the void that gnaws us from within. These pictures should reflect that essential emptiness at the core of it all."
I'm not sure how that's going to play for Vogue, but it's nice to meet a model with a good head on her shoulders.
Once she loosened up, we had a good time with it. "Pout for me, Thorax!"
"Give me haughty! Enigmatic!"
"Now the money shot . . ."
"Can you look over your shoulder for me? That's IT!!!"
That Thorax. So expressive, with hands like a Thai temple dancer's. She's going to go far.