Those of us who dabble in photography consider light both our best friend, and our worst enemy. Truth be told, I have been less than thrilled with my photographs of the 21-25 scarf, or more specifically, the gorgeous yarn from which it’s knit: the colors have been coming out too uniform, too flat. The oomph and pop and interest that I see in real life have not materialized very well in two-dimensional images.

While knitting this weekend, I finally realized the issue: I have been blasting the project with too much light! I’ve been putting the fabric against a light-colored background, and illuminating it with as many lamps as possible. This, I think, creates too much contrast and everything “dark”, no matter how many different tones comprise this “darkness”, comes out looking uniformly black! The expression “harsh lighting” comes to mind.

But look at what I got when I placed the knitting against black fabric, and snapped a photo on a very overcast night, at dusk:

The image has been cropped slightly, but I didn’t find it necessary to do any color corrections with a manual exposure of 1/500 sec, ISO 800.

The color nuances amaze me. Do you see them, too? Grays, purples, browns, blues? So moody and dark! That’s talented dyeing, I tell you!

I specifically worked on getting a few shots of the border for you, because that’s an area where I’ve made some changes to the pattern, and I wanted to share them with you.

As you remember, my mild case of tetraphobia combined with a limited supply of yarn resulted in my decision to make the scarf a bit more narrow than prescribed. Specifically, the pattern’s 4 border repeats result in 58 stitches in the center of the scarf. In contrast, my 3 border repeats evolved into 44 center stitches, 14 fewer. (Yeah, that’s a whole lot of evil fours to battle, I know! Fortunately, 44 stitches are not as immediately obvious as, say, 4 border repeats!)

Where was the nipping ‘n tucking? Unfortunately, VLT doesn’t have a clear photo of this scarf for us to investigate, but with Linda M.’s generous permission to use hers, I can give you an idea.

The eliminated stitches are highlighted in purple. I nixed a column of eyelets on each side, so that the main pattern is surrounded by 3 columns to the left and right instead of 4 (surprised??). I also ditched the garter stitch border, because I felt the fabric had enough stability from those wedge-shaped indentations (also garter stitch). And at the end, my version looks like this:

Pardon the wrinkles: this scarf is far from complete, and certainly not blocked. Not even pinned, just smoothed out with my hands!


31 thoughts on “Nuance

  1. Heather

    Absolutely beautiful. The colorway and the pattern compliment each other so well. I could only dream to be able knit like this.

  2. trek

    I recently learned the background trick from a friend’s college-aged daughter who is in photography school. Makes a world of difference, doesn’t it?

  3. Linda M

    I love seeing the differences between your scarf and mine. In yours the emphasis is totally on the center vines/waves. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  4. Aunt Kathy

    What a beautiful pattern. Glad you figured out the lighting. I struggle too with picture taking I have been considering trying to figure out how to make a light box.

  5. Marilyn

    In large part thanks to your review of VLT, I’m a proud owner. But I’m a novice lace knitter. Well, novice everything knitter really. I really need a scale before I can figure out what to do with my lace yarns and patterns. Do you have a good scale suggestion?

    But my bigger problem is understanding how to do the borders. I have dutifully and carefully read VLT’s instructions on knitting the corners for a border, but frankly they are as clear as mud to me. Do you have any suggestions on where I might find better instructions? I don’t mind buying a separate beautiful pattern that has good instructions on this. I’m sure once I’ve had it explained in a why I can understand, the VLT instructions will become quite clear.

    Once again thanks for writing a great blog. I learn so much from you.

    And thanks for the help on turning those lace corners and buying a scale!! : )

  6. Sally Hillman

    I prefer morning light. I have had a lot of photgraphy issues with too much or too little-I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    Gorgeous scarf! Love the mods.

  7. Laurie

    OK, I know I’m operating slowly today but for a minute I thought the bright scarf was how it looked photographed in too much light like you were talking about. And I was just thinking, “wow, how can that be the same scarf” and I caught myself.

    Time to go get some caffeine!

  8. emily

    If you’re shooting at ISO 800 and a 500th, you can probably drop the ISO down to at least 400 and get much better image quality.

  9. JulieM

    Thank you for the explanation and the pictures of where you made your modifications. It appears to be working out very well — can’t wait to see the finished object! The lighting certainly does make a difference in the way we see the colors. Amazing!

  10. JulieM

    Thank you for the explanation and the pictures of where you made your modifications. It appears to be working out very well — can’t wait to see the finished object! The lighting certainly does make a difference in the way we see the colors. Amazing!

  11. keraven

    Tetraphobia, eh? crazy. I love 4 🙂 I found the wikipedia article interesting. Especially that the picture is of elevator buttons that don’t include floors 13 OR 14. And the idea that 14 is sometimes replaced as “13a”. Crazy in my mind.

    It took me 2 years of working in my hospital to figure out the why we had operating room “12a”. All the rest of the rooms are just “1, 2, 3, etc” without letters. Plus 12a is in a weird location — on the wrong side of the hall for an even number (i.e. with the odd numbered room). Then I finally realized that 12a was really OR 13. It’s amazing how these things permiate society.

    Hope all is well with you & the new “life”.

  12. ana

    Hi.God I want to congratulate you because you have really beautiful works and they’re all perfectly done. If you want do visit me go to

    I’ll come to see new works.Have a nice weekend

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