Thursday, November 8, 2007

Two Terrific Shoots!

Accounts of the public shoots with My Sister's Knits (Chicago) and the Camellia City Stockinettes (Sacramento, California) are over at my main blog.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Reminder: My Sister's Knits Public Shoot on October 26

Thank you so much to the forty knitters who sat for the project at Yarn Con on October 13. The total count is now 198...two portraits shy of twenty percent complete.

The event was a delight; notes and photographs are here. I owe a debt of gratitude to organizers Sarah and Natalia (who have now both worked on the scarf) for inviting me to be a part of the action.

If you haven't yet taken part, remember that another public shoot (and probably the final Chicago-area shoot until after the start of the new year) will be happening on Friday, October 26 at My Sister's Knits from 5–8 p.m. See you there!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Public Shoots: 13 and 26 October

I'm pleased as punch to announce not one but two more public shoots. I simply can't get enough.

October 13: Yarn Con Chicago

I'm delighted to have been asked to participate in Yarn Con, a gathering in Pulaski Park for yarn and those who love it. There will be workshops, demonstrations, and of course a vendor's market. The vendor list is interesting; it seems that this will be a chance for a lot of smaller and/or local producers and retailers to get their stuff out there.

For more information about the event, you can visit the Yarn Con Web site.

October 26: My Sister's Knits, Chicago

And then I'll be spending a very cozy Friday evening on October 26 from 5–8 p.m. at My Sister's Knits on the South Side. I'm a north sider, so this will be a great adventure for me. (I consider Hyde Park to be downstate.)These aren't all the shoots in the works, just the two confirmed. I'm hoping take advantage of several offers to travel outside the borders of Illinois soon.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Public Shoot: Loopy Yarns, Sept 7

0041I recently photographed Knitter 0119 for the 1,000 Knitters Project. You may have heard of her: Charlene Schurch, author of Sensational Knitted Socks and More Sensational Knitted Socks, et al. If you've been hanging out in here for a while you know I'm sort of That Way about Charlene, so having her in my living room was quite an event. I gushed and burbled, and we talked, and then at last I did get around to taking her picture. And she kissed me.

Burble. Giggle.

(No, that's not Charlene at right. That's Sheila, Number 0041. Hi, Sheila!)

Those of you who've sat for me (or who are planning to) might be interested to know that in addition to Charlene a number of other noted hands have worked their rows on the scarf, including Karen Frisa, Joan Schrouder, Leslye Solomon, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Sally Melville and Nancy Bush.

I love chatting with the knitters while I photograph; it's one of the best parts of the project. But shooting folks whose work I have admired from afar can be a little daunting. You can't break the ice with Nancy Bush by asking, "So, what do you like to knit?"

There have been several calls for 1,000 Knitters swag (t-shirts, bags and so forth) in the shop. At first I hesitated; but then I realized that I could put money from sales towards the expenses of the project, which are considerable. Watch for news of additions to the shop in the next week or so.

In the meantime, sitters who keep a blog might like to help themselves to a blog button, with my compliments and thanks. It's a mere token, but I hope you will like it.

1000 Button

Shooting at Loopy Yarns

I'm pleased to announce another public shoot in Chicago, this time at Loopy Yarns (719 South State Street). The atmosphere should be akin to Carnival in Venice, as on the same evening (Friday, September 7; hours TBA) they'll be celebrating their second anniversary. I foresee a naked conga line of yarn-wielding hooligans snaking around the block before the party is over. You know what those people at Loopy are like.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Public Shoot: Stitches Midwest, August 12

It's confirmed, kids! I'll be shooting on Sunday, August 12, 2007 in the Marketplace at Stitches Midwest from 10 am-3 pm. I'd like to thank Laura and the other lovely folks at Jimmy Beans Wool for making it possible by acting as my sponsor, and XRX (the organization that runs Stitches) for approving the shoot.

The usual guidelines for models will apply, so if you're interested in participating please read them carefully. Obviously, the window for shooting is limited and I'm sorry that there may be folks who would like to participate, but will have gone home by Sunday. But worry not - we have a long way to go before it's time to cast off and I will be doing this again.

No need to sign up in advance, but we will be using a numbering system on the day if there's a queue.

I plan to hang out around the market quite a bit, even when I'm not shooting, so I hope to meet a lot of you. (That's why I'll be there: to meet people. I won't be shopping. I am not buying any yarn. Absolutely not.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Want to Host a Public Shoot?

Please note: as of this writing (May 22, 2008) it looks like there will be no room on the calendar for additional public shoots. I'm amazed at the response; I never dreamed of such support from the shops and guilds, nor such enthusiasm from the knitters.

I'm leaving this information in place for the benefit of those already on the calendar, but again–it looks as though I'm fully booked. If that changes, you can bet I'll make a note of it here.

Thank you all so much, from the bottom of my heart.


If you run a shop, a festival, a guild, or some other Place Where Knitters Will Congregate and would like to consider hosting a public shoot, I'd like to hear from you.

I'm particularly interested in hearing from potential hosts outside the American midwest. (I've had a lot of requests to visit from individual knitters in New York City; Washington, DC; Seattle; Portland, OR; Atlanta; and London, but as yet no offers to host.)

At the moment, my calendar is full through the end of summer 2008.

Before you write, please read the following carefully.

Scheduling a Public Shoot

In order to make a public shoot happen, we'll need:
  1. Sufficient floor space. The set-up for the portraits requires approximately 50 square feet of open, indoor space (5' x 10') on a level surface, preferably near a good source of natural light.

  2. Electricity. Particularly in instances where natural light is weak or unavailable, there must be at least one grounded electrical outlet into which a studio lamp can be plugged.

  3. One dedicated, assisting staff member. Public shoots can become crowded at times. A numbering system helps to keep things running smoothly. I'll need at least one person to distribute model releases, give and call numbers, and explain the basics of the project to those who might inquire.

  4. A simple chair. A backless stool is fine. Armless is preferable. Knitters come in all shapes and sizes, so it should be sturdy.

  5. Waiting space. Those waiting to be photographed will need somewhere to hang out, knit, and fill in their model releases.
I don't charge a fee for shooting, but also can't pay for the use of your venue. If you're a retail operation or a guild, additional traffic may increase your daily take or your membership, but I can't offer a guarantee.
Shooting Outside Chicago
I want to take this project on the road, and hope to find ways to do so. But it will be tricky, because I'm just a regular guy with a day job that provides limited income and vacation. If I can't get to your venue and back again under my own steam in the course of one day (meaning you're outside Chicago), then we'll have to figure out logistics and funding very carefully.

For an out-of-town shoot, I require compensation for travel, accommodation, and two meals (breakfast and lunch) per day. If I am visiting only to shoot, there is no appearance fee.

For an example of how much fun an out-of-town shoot can be, check out my description of the 1000 Knitters event staged by the Camellia City Stockinettes of Sacramento, California.
How to Contact Me
Send e-mail to portraits [at] franklinhabit [daht] com, with the subject line "1000 Host." Please include basic details such as your name, the name of the venue, the location, and the dates you propose.

And thank you very much for your interest!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What Is the 1,000 Knitters Project?

1,000 Knitters is a long-term photography project undertaken by Chicago photographer (and knitter) Franklin Habit, who blogs at The Panopticon. The goal is to celebrate through portraiture a creative community whose members have historically been either overlooked or sentimentalized, and whose work is often undervalued.

In the series, self-identified knitters are photographed singly while at work on the same wool scarf.

The first knitter cast on in May, 2007. As of July 31, 2008, 946 knitters have taken part.

The final format of the work is yet to be determined. Possibilities include a book and/or a gallery exhibition. Showings of the work-in-progress will likely take place online.

Knitters interested in participating should click here for further information.

Information for Knitters

PLEASE NOTE: As of this writing, all 1,000 spaces have been reserved–though the scarf is still in progress. Many thanks to everyone who expressed an interest!

Until Knitter 1000 casts off, knitters will be needed to add their stitches to the scarf.

Participants need not have previous experience in front of the camera. They need only self-identify as knitters and have a true passion for the craft. Age, race, shape, and gender matter not at all. Please note, however, that children (and adults, for that matter) who sit must be able to work an entire row of approximately 22 stitches without assistance and in a timely fashion.

Shooting will take place either during scheduled public shooting days (notice of which will appear in this blog when details are confirmed); or individual sittings may be scheduled directly with the photographer.

Private shoots will generally take place at the photographer's home studio on Chicago's North Side. To inquire, please write to with the subject line "1,000 Knitters." Be sure to include your desired dates and times for sitting. Driving and/or public transit directions will be provided when a sitting has been confirmed.

All models must agree to complete a standard model release prior to the session. Models under 18 must have their release co-signed by a parent or guardian, and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at a private individual sitting.

There is no charge to participate in the project, and models receive no compensation.