Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

The Perils of Yarn Photography April 30, 2011

Filed under: General Musings,Yarn — happystitches @ 16:32

Thus far, our new website has only books, patterns and DVDs for sale. (Thank you to all of you who have registered and shopped with us.) The Yarn section is to follow as soon as we have completed the photography. We had been trying to complete this project in-house over the last several months, but despite our best endeavors, the results were uninspiring. Something like: luscious yarn comes out more closely resembling baler twine. Not likely to have you reaching out to pat it, never mind allowing it into your house.

So, finally we’ve done what we should have thought of in the first place:  export sample skeins of each colour and type of yarn that we have in stock over to Big Tancook Island for Hillary’s ministrations.

This in itself is not quite as straightforward as might be imagined. Firstly the yarn has to be pulled from the shelves and packed. We decided that old suitcases (no longer air-line resistant) would make suitable containers.
These then have to be packed into my little car and driven to the ferry dock, about an hour’s drive from here. Now they have to be off-loaded into an awaiting cargo box. Just before the ferry sails, this box is loaded aboard the ferry by crane and placed on the after-deck. Few yarns have such sea-going adventures!

Then ensues a jolly little hour on the ferry. On arriving at Big Tancook, the cargo box is unloaded onto the quayside and thence into Hillary’s waiting car trunk. All is set for photography to commence. From here I’ll leave it to Hillary to continue the tale in the form of her graphic email:

“Hi Lucy.
Just thought I’d send a 3-part message to you today:
part 1 – I’ve completed the yarn and Lighthouse bags photos
part 2 – a story to explain the need for an apology
part 3 – an apology …..

Here goes ….

We’ve had some pretty wet and wild weather here the past few days, but yesterday the skies brightened and, though it was still quite windy, I took advantage of the sunshine and decided to get all the yarn and bag photos done. I found a lovely and sheltered patch of sand between the 3-foot seaweed mounds along the breastwork at Southeast Cove Beach and set up to photograph the Kauni.

After sorting all the yarns according to their colourways, I got them all photographed and then packed the yarn back into the bags, bins and boxes I brought along. Turning around, I realized that the tide had fallen whilst I was shooting the Kauni and the sandflats beckoned me to pop home and grab the Omo for a few more shots.

When you were here last week, you probably remember me telling you about the strange phenomenon that occurs when I take the bag of Omo to the beach … that for some reason it intrigues my feathered friends. Well, this time was no different.

I started to arrange the Omo and suddenly I had a captive audience — I found myself in the centre of a ring of seagulls, all eyeballing the Omo with greedy intent. I, too, was intrigued by their fascination and couldn’t help but smile to myself as I wondered what they thought the Omo was … fish livers or something equally delicious to a seagull?

Anyhow, as I mentioned earlier, the sun was out but the day was quite windy and this is where everything started to go downhill … rapidly!

Given the shape of the skeins of Omo and the relatively level surface of the sandflats, a gust of wind blew one of the luxurious little yarn cylinders away from the spot I’d chosen to photograph it. As the wind blew, the skein rolled further away from me and closer to the perimeter of gulls. In a panic, I sprinted after the yarn but one of the more alert seagulls decided that now was perfect time to get a closer look at the delicious offering being delivered by the wind.

With my camera still around my neck I thought I’d get a few shots of the seagull investigating the Omo. I knew the bird wouldn’t eat it, as it wouldn’t smell or taste of food. I was right … the gull simply picked the yarn up a couple of times and then dropped it. No worries.

However, forgetting the nature of these opportunistic and cheeky scavengers, whether something is edible or not they are too greedy to share with their friends and this is when things really spiraled.

Just as the Omo-pecking seagull lost interest in the yarn, about 30 other gulls started closing in. The first gull then resumed interest in the Omo, simply because the other gulls were now focussed on it. The first gull snatched the skein up in his beak and started to fly away with the other 30 gulls in hot pursuit.

They were flying toward the beach, where I figured the yarn would once again be dropped and forgotten about, so I took a few more photos of the airborne Omo. Indeed, the yarn was dropped so I sprinted toward it hoping to retrieve it and put it back into the bag (which I had thrown over my shoulder and was running across the sandflats with like Santa in a marathon).

As I neared the dropped Omo, the crazy gulls swooped down once again, grabbed the yarn and this time headed out toward the open cove. I was hopeless and helpless now to do anything, so I stood and watched (and, yes, took photos) of the Omo flying away*. There was a bit of a struggle amongst the seagulls mid-cove and the yarn was finally dropped into the sea, where I’m sure got saturated and sank.

So, Lucy, I am truly sorry for the loss of the Omo and I will gladly pay for it. I did get some pretty interesting photos, however!

We had friends over for supper last night and I told them all about the Omo incident and P’s comment was “Well, won’t the fishermen be surprised when they catch a lobster wearing a sweater!”

We’ll let you know when the yarn finally makes it to the site – the pictures are gorgeous and worth the sacrifice, even of a skein of Omo! Seagulls apparently have exquisite taste.

For more of Hillary’s photography check out: Wishing Stones Gallery.

*See all the photos of the Omo Yarn Heist here.

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14 Responses to “The Perils of Yarn Photography”

  1. Lobster? No its fish in wooly sweaters, that they will be catching!

    fun story–and obviously–even the gulls LOVED the yarn!

  2. lauragayle Says:

    Oh, I’m laughing and crying at the same time. Thankfully Omo was NOT our friend Franklin’s Harry!!

  3. emaclean Says:

    I think the story was worth the sacrifice of a skein of yarn!

  4. stashdragon Says:

    This story and these pictures are worth the loss of a (small) skein of yarn!

  5. The sorts of great photos that can’t be planned. I’d say they were worth the cost of a skein of yarn! The first two would actually work for marketing. That isn’t baler twine, for sure.

  6. Oh dear, that was sad and very funny! I had no idea that photographing yarn was so fraught. I will better appreciate photographs of yarn from now on, even if the yarn is mid-air in the beak of a seagull!

  7. Pam Everitt Says:

    Brilliant. You couldn’t make it up! Must be wonderful stuff. We’ll all be wanting some…

  8. Melissa Says:

    This is hilarious! I wonder what they thought it was? And you got such wonderful photos of it all… Maybe the fish are fighting over it now.

  9. […] Gulls are some of the funniest birds in the world, judging from the number of times their antics have left me laughing so hard I endded up in tears. Apparently, I’m not the only one who has witnessed their wily, sneaky, thieving ways. […]

  10. Joyce boudreau Says:

    I can see this as the bones of an excellent children’s book! Perhaps Hillary should turn illustrator/author. Bet it would be a best seller, especially with maritime kiddies.

  11. Janice Says:

    I’ve seen gulls respond like that to salmon roe on the beach after cleaning a salmon. That skein of Omo looked suspiciously like salmon roe!

  12. Roberta Corey Says:

    What a wonderful story and pictures of the peril of photographing Omo! I couldn’t help but chuckle through looking at the pictures, and imagine the helpless feeling as you watched it ‘fly’ away.

  13. Genevieve Wimp-McCann Says:

    superb storytelling with pictures no less, thanks for putting the positive into a mishap. Blessings!

  14. pziemlewicz Says:

    Reblogged this on CONFESSIONS OF A YARN-A-HOLIC and commented:
    Don’t look at me. The seagull did it!


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