Crochet Photography 101

Crochet without a hook and yarn.

Kitty on crocheted blanket, Shells of Love pattern by Darleen Hopkins

My kitty with Shells of Love baby blanket.

It’s mid-March.  Wow! Have you heard time goes by faster the older you get? It is so true.  It is hard to believe 2015 is almost 1/4 over.  Not only is this year flying by but I’ve hardly had any crocheting time in 2015.  I’ve been busy, really busy, just not with crochet.  The beginning of the year is always hectic.  Because I do all the bookkeeping and tax filing for my husband’s business, the first couple of months of the year are full of year-end processing and payroll, corporate and personal tax filing.  On top of this more than average work-at-home paperwork, my real job had significant deadlines last month and just to make it all a little more crazy, Mother Nature threw in an ice storm (no power for far too long), and some snow to the mix.  Add two active boys and a husband and it’s been hectic.  Last, and because I believe I’m superwoman, I decided to take a photography class.  All my free time has been dedicated to this class and I’m loving it.

I purchased my first DSLR camera last fall.  It was time to step up from the point and shoot as I just wasn’t getting the photos I wanted for my crochet patterns.  Yup, that’s right.  I bought a camera for my crochet.  Sounds like another “you know you are addicted to crochet when…” but it is true.

The Nikon D3200 is great.  It’s an entry-level DSLR and so far I’ve been really pleased.  Up until this photography class, camera operations were a mystery to me.  I stuck to the pre-programmed settings as aperture, f-stop, ISO and shutter speeds were recognizable words but were so confusing to me.   But why have a camera that can do all sorts of tricks and not use them?  So I enrolled in a beginner photography class and when it completed last week, enrolled in the intermediate class.  I’m hoping to continue on to the advanced class.  If not next month, maybe this summer.

Because I purchased the camera to take photos of my crochet, I decided to have all my class photos crochet related.  THIS is how I’m working on my crochet.   Not with a hook and yarn but with a camera.  In the beginning this wasn’t too bad.  The assignments were basic; use your shutter speed to show motion or adjust the aperture to vary your depth of field.  But the homework is getting a little harder and a little more abstract in the intermediate class.  It might be a little easier for me if I took photos of flowers or scenic landscapes.  Having to work crochet into each photo is starting to prove a bit of a challenge.  However, this is a challenge I welcome.  Although I don’t have any current hats or other designs to share with you, I’d like to share some of my favorite photos from the beginner class.

Shells of Love Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Shells of Love Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern modeled by my kitten 🙂

Piranha Monster Fish Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Black Piranha Monster Fish Hat modeled by my oldest 🙂

Charmed Shawl Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Charmed Shawl Crochet Pattern

Cubed Slouch Hat Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Cubed Hat modeled by my husband 🙂

Picture Perfect Crochet Baby Banket Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Picture Perfect Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern

Glacier Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Glacier Crochet Hat Pattern modeled by my youngest 🙂

I’m taking the class at the local university through the continuing education program.  The instructor is great and it is a great group of students-even a couple of crocheters in the bunch!  I’ve learned a lot but have so much more to learn.  If you have any interest in photography or have a DSLR camera but haven’t made it beyond full green auto, check out a class.  You will be glad you did.  I know I am.

Black Raspberry Shawl Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Pattern Re-Launch: Happy Pets, Kitty and Puppy

Cat and Dog Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen HopkinsThe adorable Happy Pets hats was one of my earlier patterns.  The original recommended yarn had been discontinued so I reworked the pattern with the awesome Vanna’s Choice yarn by Lion Brand.  In addition to the new yarn, and photos, I reformatted the pattern presentation.  The original pattern is still the same, just presented a little bit prettier now.  I hope you like it!  In celebration, I’m offering it at 50% off (Ravelry only) from now until Jan. 18, 2015 midnight EST.  Just make sure you use coupon code “HappyPets50percent”.

Buy Now Link with coupon code already applied or learn more about this adorable pattern.

SillyHatsSillyKids (800x99)

Christmas and the Kitty

Christmas and the Kitty

www.CrochetByDarleenHopkins.comI’m not a fan of Christmas and more than a little bit of a Grinchy Scrooge.  There are a number of reasons why Christmas isn’t one of my favorite holidays, actually, it is not even in my top 10, but I try to have some Christmas spirit for my husband and kids.  And for the kitty.  Our cat LOVES Christmas or at least the Christmas tree.  She’s an indoor cat who has the full reign of the house and our screened-in-porch.  During the hot summer months she’s out on our porch listening to the beautiful melodies of the cicadas and the birds.  In the cooler months she goes out there to watch the squirrels play in the leaves.  But when it is real cold, she only goes out when nature calls (her litter box is out there) and keeps to the warm house the majority of the time.  Once, a door was left ajar and she escaped into the great outdoors for a couple of hours.  I combed the neighborhood (lots of wooded acres) and thought we had lost her.  But thankfully,  she found her way back home.  She’s tried to venture out a couple other times but never made it very far.

One year when I was feeling less Grinchy than others, I crocheted a tree skirt.  I was pretty new to crochet at the time and found a free pattern somewhere.  I don’t know if it was the pattern or me (likely me) but the skirt turned out huge and really wonky!  It wraps around the tree one and half times and the edges are uneven.  I got my increases wrong and miscounted a lot.  But it is pretty and I made it so it comes out every year when ‘the great outdoors’ is brought inside.  Of course, because I’m a Grinchy Scrooge, ‘the great outdoors’ consists of a fake 6′ skinny tree, but to the kitty, it’s paradise.  As soon as the tree goes up and that crazy cozy crocheted tree skirt hits the floor, she’s on it and she stays there until December 26 when the tree comes down.

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