e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Socks and Photography

I'm knitting another pair of shorty socks, this time using more of my mother's stash of Bernat's "Sesame" yarn (they don't make it anymore: 100% wool, lovely feel, came in "pull skeins" neatly wrapped into narrow plastic sacks with a little device that let you pull the yarn out through the  hole with no tangling, permanently mothproofed.  Some of this yarn was leftover from one of my college cardigans (old-gold), some was leftover from a pair of sock-slippers (Dapple Bronze),  and one small ball was from something else (my mother's own projects--sort of a dark salmon color.)   These yarns were bought in the 1960s.   I combined these three yarns with two Cascade 220 superwash yarns left over from making socks ("Lake Chelan," a green-blue and a purple whose name I've lost), one Cascade 220 yarn (white) bought for striping, one Ella rae Classic superwash yarn (turquoise) and one Ella rae classic yarn left over from making socks (dark teal blue) and one Plymouth Yarns "Galway Nep" (dark rose with yellow, blue, orange-red, and green flecks.)  To me, indoors while knitting, the "Lake Chelan" was definitely green; the socks I'd made from it had become greener (a soft bluish-grayish green) with the years.

So, with one on the toe decreases and one past the first two colored stripes, I took them outside to photograph and show off.


This is not the color relationship I thought I was getting while I was knitting. It's not one I would have tried for.  Granted, the Lake Chelan stripes did look more gray-blue than green-blue in the sunlight, but not quite that gray.  And the "framing" old gold didn't look so much like "free-range eggyolks".  The former dull salmon had become bright orange, really screaming at the rose. The dark teal (narrow stripe within the middle Lake Chelan stripe--next to a purple stripe which hardly shows at all.)

So I brought them back inside and tried again.  This is on the chair in my study, with a combination of strong LED lights in two colors, some green-cast shade daylight coming in the top of the window and the camera's own flash.

May-short-socks-incomplete3Worse egg-yolk yellow "old gold yarn"  but the turquoise better & salmon less garish.  The Lake Chelan shows a little why I think of it as green.  The dark teal looks like a cobalt blue; the purple stripe below it and the dappled bronze below the purple have melted together in color.

So I took them to the kitchen and tried again.  There I had the top light on (LED bulbs inside a white ceiling fixture)  the hood light over the stove, a slight influence of daylight from the kitchen window, and the camera flash.  And when that didn't work much better, fiddled with the color balance and histogram adjustment until I got something remotely right for the old gold color (it's actually a tad brighter.)  But now the turquoise looks more blue and attempts to lighten it overall didn't improve anything much except that the white looked more white.

I have had trouble photographing yarn before, especially greens.  Especially my favorite emerald green, a lovely saturated cool green that comes out looking anemic and bluer than I see it.    This turquoise, which is a good medium turquoise, a color that everyone calls turquoise, photographs bluer than it is, often looking like a robin's egg blue or light sky blue.  But my jeans don't.  That blue towel in the second picture didn't.    I think it must be an effect of the dye used on the wool.   I swear that these socks look better in real life (in terms of colors) than they do in the pictures, any of the pictures, but they'd be better if the Lake Chelan were greener.  In my opinion.  

But now I'm not nearly as happy with the socks as I was.  Maybe I should only wear tham at night or indoors.

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