Knitters You Should Know: PhotoKnitDog

Meet PhotoKnitDog!  Lina is a professional photographer from New York, and a pretty awesome knitter to boot. If it hasn’t become clear yet, I am totally fascinated by photography- I love it!  Lina is amazing at her job, and luckily for her fellow knitters, applies her incredible talent to her knitwear as well.  Make sure to check out the ‘knit’ link on her website to see her amazing knitwear photography, and check out her ravelry page for some really cool two-color shawl patterns.  Also make sure to look at her blog– it’s full of pictures that tell awesome stories about Lina’s travels and her life, and it’s one of my favorites to read!

How did you get into knitting?

My mother and grandmother taught me how to knit when I was very little (maybe 7 years old) and I remember making my Barbie a strapless dress and a blanket – both in garter stitch. The dress my grandmother had to sew closed for me as no way did I know how to knit in the round! That was pretty much the extent of my young knitting career. Seven years ago I moved to Baltimore for grad school and found that they actually had winters there! Big shock for me having spent half my childhood in in Brazil and the other half in Northern California. So I decided to take up my knitting needles once again. I got one of those “Learn How to Knit” books to refresh my memory and made a few of scarves (most of those are since warming the necks of the homeless) and some hats. They weren’t amazing or anything, but they did help me catch the knitting bug once again. My mother (still a VERY proficient knitter – she’s on Rav as RegiRoge but hasn’t updated her projects page in years with all the gorgeous stuff she makes… I complain about this a lot!) told me about Ravelry back in 2007. I signed up and waited to get in (back then there was wait). And the rest is history! :)

Do you have a ‘real world’ job other than design? If so, what do you do?

Yes I do! I’m a professional photographer. I shoot wedddings, pets, kids (adults too!) and knitwear. I enjoy being able to do photos for up-and-coming knitwear designers and I have worked with a couple of those on their designs. I love my job! I’ve only been doing it for a couple of years now, but I find myself so lucky to finally be doing something I truly and fully enjoy after years of being miserable doing something that wasn’t really right for me!

Where are you from? Do you have one or two interesting insider tips or observations about your home or hometown?

I’m originally from São Paulo, Brazil. I moved to Santa Cruz, CA when I was 11 years old and have since lived in Baltimore, MD and now am in New York City – have been here for the last 5 years. I just LOVE living in New York. I don’t think I will ever move away from here but as I hate saying never, I will just say instead that this is the place for me to be at this moment in my life! I’m currently in Brooklyn and we have plans to stay here long-term. It’s a wonderful borough and one that is definitely worth a visit if only to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and eat at Grimaldi’s when you arrive in Brooklyn. It’s one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had! Seriously.

What is your favorite knitting spot? Do you have an ‘artistic process’ when it comes to knitting and design, or do you tote the needles wherever you go?

The couch. I watch movies/TV shows while I knit. My husband and I are both movie buffs and we watch movies a LOT and I always have knitting going during those movies. With the exception of foreign films… I’ve yet to find a good way to knit while watching those, unless I’m doing all stockinette, in which case it’s definitely doable!

I’m not sure about my artistic process… I usually just get an idea in my head and sit down and do it! It’s more like a need to get it out thing. I haven’t been designing long enough to say that’s the way it will always be, but so far that has proven to be true!

Describe your average day.

Oh lord, boring! I pretty much sit in front of the computer most days and write emails to clients, work on my website, process photo shoots, procrastinate by going on Ravelry or writing up blog posts. On my breaks from the computer I’m usually knitting, jogging, or playing with/walking my dogs. At night my hubby comes home and we eat dinner and watch movies/TV or go out to eat dinner and watch a movie! ;)

Tell me about your favorite project.

Wow, favorite project? That’s a really tough one. I’m not sure I have one… it’s hard because I have a favorite for each type of knit! For example, I would probably say my Leaving sweater as I wear that one the most, my Timenoguy shawl as I just love how it came out, my Girasole blanket as it was a gift for my mom, turned out amazing and was a TON of work, and my Rhombus socks as they are gorgeous!

What is your favorite quote?

Not sure I have one favorite quote, but the one on my FB page is “All extremists should be taken out and shot.” It perfectly describes my dark sense of humor. ;)

If you could have one splurge knitting purchase and project, what would it be?

Oh wow… that’s a tough one as I’m not one to hold back if I want to splurge so usually I’ve already splurged! I’m so bad! I guess the one splurge I already made (but have yet to knit up) is 11 skeins of Fiberphile MCN Luxe Worsted for a Girasole blanket for me (I loved the one I gave my mom so much I want to make another)! Now that will definitely be a splurge once I actually cast it on and knit it up!

Who is your favorite knitwear designer and why?

Jared Flood. I love his design asthetic – clean and beautiful. Plus, his photography is amazing. I met him once and he was so nice and chatted with me about photography (at the time I had just gotten started with my business) and knitting. I love it when you meet designers you admire and they turn out to be so nice! I also love the work of many other designers too like Cookie A, Connie Chang Chinchio, Ysolda Teague, Stephen West, Hannah Fettig, Laura Chau and many many more!

Do you have any hobbies other than knitting?

Yes! Photography (hobby and work!), running and my dogs!

What is in your knitting bag right now?

Ummm… everything but the kitchen sink? ha! I have way too many WIPs, but currently I’m mostly working on a pair of Stricken socks. I have loads more things on the needles though!

Do you have any advice for new knitters trying to refine their craft, or trying to design professionally? Any tips about self-publication?

Don’t be afraid of trying new things! It’s so important to feel confident that even if it’s hard or even if it doesn’t turn out the way you want it, it’s only knitting and it’s easy to rip out and redo! Also, practice, practice, practice. The more you do something, the better you get at it!

As for designing, I’m not sure how helpful I will be as I’m just starting out myself and am not famous or extremely successful, but the number one thing I can say is find yourself some awesome test knitters and a tech editor! And be very meticulous about your patterns… read and re-read and then re-read it again. My test knitters always tell me that they love testing for me as my patterns are usually 95% there when they receive it and there are very little mistakes or ambiguity. To me, that’s important… before it leaves your hands put in everything that you can into it – don’t leave all the work for your testers as it can be discouraging for them to have to do everything for you!

What is your favorite item to design?

Shawls for sure! I really want to get into sweaters but am a little intimidated by the sizing aspect of it. I do have a sweater design that’s been dying to get out of my head and onto paper, but I’m a bit scared of sizing it. I will do it, though! I’m not one to ignore a new design waiting to get out. ;)

You’ve detailed on your blog some pointers for knitters looking to improve their photography skills. What would you say is the most important thing for knitters to know if they are looking to improve their photography?

The most important thing is to not be afraid of taking a LOT of pictures during a photo shoot! Even if you are a really bad photographer, I guarantee that if you take 100 shots, at least 1 out of those 100 will give you a decent shot. We live in a digital age, so deleting is SO easy and doesn’t cost you anything! Plus, the more pictures you take the better and better you will get at it as you learn what works and doesn’t work for you.

Do you think the internet is changing knitwear design? If so, how?

Can anyone say that it isn’t changing knitwear design??? I mean, there is no way that the knitting world is the same post-Rav as it was pre-Rav! It’s incredible how different everything is now. I don’t think I would ever have gotten into designing if it wasn’t for Ravelry, and I’m pretty sure even if I had it would have been really difficult for me. Ravelry makes it so easy for you to start out! I love how much the internet has changed knitting and knitters. Knitting during this time is very exciting and I can’t wait to see where it leads us!

What is the weirdest comment you’ve gotten about knitting?

I knit socks a lot and I travel a lot. Thus, I’m usually knitting socks on planes. Once I was seated on the aisle very close to the bathrooms so there was constantly a group of people standing right next to me. I got tons of comments, from “Wow, that’s cool!” to “My mom used to knit, I wish I had learned how” to even “You don’t see people knitting anymore, that’s nice,” but my all-time favorite interaction went like this:

Me: knitting sock while listening to ipod
Lady: mumbles
Me: removes ear set ”I’m sorry, what?”
Lady: “Is that a sock you’re making?”
Me: smiles “Yes, yes it is.”
Lady: “Wouldn’t it be faster to just buy some socks?”
Me: ….

My husband and I got a good chuckle out of this one!

What role, if any, do you think knitting will have in your life in ten years?

Well, in ten years I’m hoping to already have children so I’m guessing that I will be knitting more for them than for me. I love knitting children/baby clothes, so that will be a welcome role.

I also hope to still be designing then. I’m sure that once you start designing it’s hard to stop. Or at least it seems that way now. If I could only find a way to get the design voices in my head to shut up… or maybe not… I love designing too much to stop! :)

3 Responses to “Knitters You Should Know: PhotoKnitDog”
  1. Julie says:

    Wow, she’s knit so many stunning, stunning things!! I’m going to go check out her Ravelry page….

  2. Cheryl says:

    I found her blog a few weeks ago, I love it!

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  1. […] hadn’t had a chance to blog it here (bad bad blogger that I am)! If you’re interested, check out the interview here and make sure to read all the other interviews she’s done so far! I’ve been having fun […]

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