I’m having photograph angst again this week. I wish someone would explain to me why it is that some days all the photographs come out perfect, and other days they come out lousy. It doesn’t make sense to me. And also, how come that all my photos look dark and murky on the old laptop, but bright and true to life on the new laptop, and yet everyone else’s photos look just fine and dandy on the old one?!? Is anyone out there shaking their head over how dark and dingy my photos have become, and just haven’t had the heart to say so?

I tried a few different layouts today as well, but ended up shooting the yarn in its usual layout. It doesnt look very artsy, but it does show off the different colours in the skeins to the best advantage. At least, I hope so!

We’re also toying with the idea of rewinding one skein in some of the more variegated colourways, just to give you a better idea of how the colours combine. Extra work, but I think worthwhile. Let me show you an example. This is Sylvia 2ply Broadway, a very variegated and punchy colourway. Here’s the usual shot:

And here’s a skein that has been rewound to redistribute the colours. Beautiful, isn’t it?

My idea is to rewind one skein, but to have the rest of the pile as they are, so that you can easily compare them. I know that some of you prefer to see rewound skeins, and others prefer seeing them with the colours in blocks so that you get a feel for how much of each colour there is in the skeins. So this may be the best of both worlds, don’t you think? I’d love to hear your opinions on it. This is one area of the business that I am constantly trying to improve, and the one that I feel most amateur about. 

After I’d finished photographing this week’s yarn (previews tomorrow!) I took a couple of quick shots of the projects I was telling you about on Monday. Here’s the cable sweater, complete with fluff:

And this is the handspun shawl.


I love how the colours are gently striping. Its a joy to knit up.     

21 thoughts on “Photos

  1. Personally I prefer the way you usually do it, I like to see the colours in blocks and it is those pictures that tempt me to buy the yarn. I am not so excited by the rewound yarn and the colours don’t do it for me that way. What does eveyone else think?

  2. Purely for feedback, you understand, but on a colour point both Winter Moon and Scree are showing as very definitely shades of brown this week, although from the colour descriptions this is completely inaccurate. The rest of the colours look about right, I think.

    As far as the rewound skeins go, I think it’s a great idea – if you could put them in the same picture as the others of the same colourway it would give us the best of both worlds. I haven’t seen any other photos that I am aware of that show the rewound skein, and it does indeed give you a much better idea of how it would knit up. Could we try it for a few weeks?

  3. If you have time to do so, showing the block colour skein and the rewound skein would be very helpful. I tend to avoid the extremely variegated colourways precisely because I can’t see what they are going to look like rewound – seeing this one, I’d’ve admired and passed on the block colour skein and probably purchased the rewound one! They look like totally different yarns.

    Something you haven’t asked about that might be helpful is showing the loose hank before it’s been twisted up. Being able to see the length of the colour stretches is useful when trying to figure out whether the yarn with self-stripe.

  4. I like the way you take pictures of the skeins in a pile, I think it shows all the colours off nicely. I agree with SarahJ that the rewound/balled colours don’t do it for me. I also agree with Jane that Winter Moon and Scree look very brown (kinda coffee-coloured, with cream) to me. I’m viewing them on a brand new Toshiba laptop, btw. The others don’t look particularly dark to me. I can’t remember being disappointed with any yarn I’ve bought from you not being the colour I thought it was, even if I bought it second-hand through Ravelry. I tend to go for safe colours anyway so I know I’ll like it even if it isn’t the exact shade I thought it was :P.

    It’s hard for me to visualise how the colours look knitted up (also, wouldn’t that depend on your row length and pattern? Who knits blocks of stocking stitch with luxury yarn?), so a rewound/balled skein wouldn’t have any meaning for me. So unless you actually knit little swatches of each skein I think just the pile of skeins would do. You could call for volunteer knitters, I’m sure the forum will provide many :P.

  5. that shawl is stunning.

    I’ve finally finished the Eva 2 ply shawl from the yarn I got at Wonderwool over a year ago!

  6. I think seeing both the skein and the rewound is the best – a gold standard as it were.
    If it had to be one or the other then I would want the skeins.

    I really appreciate having the written descriptions of the colours.

    Likewise I agree about the Winter Moon but especially the Scree having a brown hue .
    Viewing on a Mac.
    I normally find that the colours are brighter (more vivid) than in real life but have never been disappointed in a purchase yet!

  7. The past few times I’ve bought Posh, I have to admit I’ve been surprised by the difference in colour between the photos and the yarn. I’ve now discovered that if I colour correct the photos in Photoshop, using the curves function to pick out the white point, that matches the photos to the colour of the yarn almost 100% of the time. Obviously I don’t buy every colourway (oh to be that person!!) so I can only comment on what I’ve bought recently. Example – I was quite surprised by the Embers that I got last week – it was far more purple and far less ‘conker’ (red-brown) than I’d expected, so this week I Photoshopped all the pics of yarn I was interested in, decided on Demanding based on that, and the yarn arrived and matches perfectly to what I was expecting – quite a bit different to the original. The shop photos all seem to have a very warm (golden/yellow) overcast to them – this shows most on the background which doesn’t look white, but has a yellow/gold overcast to it. This will have a more marked effect on some colours than on others. I don’t have a problem with it, as I’m always happy with the colours and I like surprises, but that’s my feedback based on the photos and purchases I’ve made over the past few weeks. My stash pages in Ravelry show the differences if you wanted to have a look.

    I love seeing the rewound skeins as well – I do tend to go for the more semi-solid colours in general as I’m never sure how the multis will knit up! The one shown looks super-dooper. 🙂 As does the shawl.

  8. I feel for you Dee as I’ve just been taking photos of the yarn I bought this week, in the end I’ve nabbed your photos and put them on Rav with mine – the reality is somewhere between the two depending on the daylight I’m looking at the skeins with, I appreciate that you keep trying to improve your photos though I think you have to accept that technology will always be a barrier as well as a tool as far as accuracy goes.

  9. I agree that the rewound skein offers additional info as to how the yarn would work up, and I also agree with Genny who suggested a photo of the loose hank might be an idea. This would allow projects of different sizes to be planned with regards striping etc. Would this add to much to your work-load?

    I don’t think the darkness of the photos is an issue, so long as the yarn itself is shown as accurately as possible, and the descriptions help with that. Scree looks to be coffee shades of brown, and i can’t picture how it actually is as described, but Winter Moon, while looking like greys and browns, I can picture as being how it is described. Hope that makes sense! I think with the varigated yarn the actual shades aren’t so important to accurately describe (as variety is the spice of life!), but may be more important to people with the more solid colours if they are expecting a certain shade.

    Love the cables on the sweater, looks like DNA! Plus that shawl is very pretty with the stripes in waves, gorgeous!

  10. Hi Dee,

    I really prefer seeing the yarns without rewinding – it is as you say, for me it gives a much better feel for the balance of colour and the contrasts in the colour scheme. When I look at the yarn I buy I hardly ever seem to buy rewound skeins even without intending to do this.

    Your pics look fine on my main pc, much darker on my laptop! And different again on my partners pc. Sometimes I find the yarn is a bit darker than I expected – e.g daisy Equestrian this week but that is not a problem. In fact I hesitated about the equestrian then bought it and I like what you sent me better than the picture! Your photographs are far more accurate than pictures from Fleece Artist for example and many other producers and your written descriptions are really helpful. Don’t beat your self up about it!

  11. I’ve got to agree with Mary – the written descriptions really help a lot, and different monitor=different colour. xx

  12. I think the rewound pictures are more helpful. The colors will be distributed in the finished item, they won’t be in big blocks, so I think the distributed colors present a more realistic picture of how the yarn will look knit up. It’s all beautiful though!

  13. well, I can’t add anything more, to me the Winter Moon and Scree look rather brown as well, and I am one of those who would prefer to have pictures both the yarn with and without rewinding 🙂
    I have had colour surprises in the past, but for me the new settings are much better. Even so on my laptop the background colour is quite different between say Frankly, My Dear , Berkley Square and Sunflower. I might try to download the picture and change the colour of the background.and see what is happening.
    I am not sure if this is a soluble problem, as there are so many variables in this….And most of my surprises have been lovely surprises so far, so keep up the good work 🙂

  14. If a choice of only one kind of photo had to be made, I’d opt for the piled skeins. But if rewound photos were also available for the highly variegated colorways, that’d be wonderful. The extra photos would add another level of information, and that might help in the selection process.

    Of course, I want them all, so that’s always an easy choice! 😉

  15. I would love it, if you rewound one skein and kept the others as they are. I usually have a hard time imagining how very variegated skeins look when knit up, and I generally find rewound skeins helpful in doing so.

    I do think your photos may have become a bit more yellow lately…? But maybe that’s just me and my monitor… 🙂

  16. I love the idea of a rewound skein, despite it being extra work for you. I too have noticed a change in the photos of late – the last few skeins I’ve ordered have really been nothing like I thought they would be – sometimes that’s been ok, others less so. I have now learnt though to use your written description rather than the photo as a guide.

    Don’t understand what laliloo means about photoshop – it sounds waaay too complicated for a thickie like me!

  17. The descriptions are absolutely the most useful thing for me – I fall in love with the yarn in your photos, but know that this monitor at home shows the colours radically differently to the one in the tearoom at work. Your descriptions help me decide which monitor is the closest to the real-life colours.

    Getting brown on this monitor on the Scree and Winter Moon but lovely clear descriptions.

    The only time I have taken photos of yarn is for Ravelry and I found it absolutely impossible to get anything approaching the real-life colours, so my hat goes off to you, Dee!

  18. I also enjoy seeing a rewound skein, if it’s not too much bother for you. It’s a really cool idea, and I think we’ll get a better idea of total color that way. BTW, your knitting projects are awesome!

  19. Is that sweater ‘Big Cables and Little Ones Too?’ I’m working on the same one out of a gorgeous shade of blue in Elsebeth Lavold silky wool! It’s a great pattern. 🙂

  20. I would love to see a rewound skein as well as the normal ones, if that works for you. I think it helps me to visualise how the colour runs will look knitted up. I’m also intrigued by what Laliloo says above, i may try that, as i often find the colours are different on arrival to what my monitor suggested. Thank you for your persistence in trying to work with this tricky technical issue Dee X

  21. Hi there. A quick vote for seeing the skeins both ways. I for one can never visualise how they’ll knit up. I do worry for you though, as this sounds ilke a right pain in the b*m to do each week….