While I'm here though, I did get a second commission recently, which I actually managed to finish! My lovely friend, Sandy Matzen, who is a professional photographer*, asked me to create a full-body cocoon for a photoshoot she wanted me to model for. Two months to knit it. Considering the last time I'd taken on a commission and I'd said it would be done by summer - almost 6 months ago now - I was a little dubious I could pull off something which sounded fairly simply, but... Anyway, it's hard to say no to Sandy, especially when it involves a free make-over and photo shoot! And they're always fun. Sandy sent me her artist impression of what she wanted:
Terrifying! Somehow I have to knit all that, in two months, to fit me, with a ton of work outstanding, a 60th birthday to organise, etc... Still, I told Sandy it would be easy enough... ;)
I decided to knit in the round and in rib (for stretch), with two balls of DK at the same time, to try and make the whole process as quick and painless as possible (I actually find rib to be a very relaxing and easy stitch). So I ordered four lots of 500g wool, to be on the safe side. I hadn't expected the order to turn up as four HUGE 500g balls:
But how cool are they?! I'll definitely order some of those again! (In the end, I still had half of the first two balls left, so I thoroughly over-estimated! Lots of black knitting to do now... :))
I worked every night in front of House. MD, and with 100 stitches, 3 rows to an inch, 50 inches to knit, amazingly I managed to finish it with two weeks to spare! Which was a relief considering I'd almost given up at 30 inches, as it just felt like it would take forever. I then had the scary moment of sending a (poor quality) photo to Sandy and hoping that she didn't mind the choice of rib, as I didn't think I could start all over again with only two weeks to go!
Luckily, Sandy is such a positive person that she was instantly taken with the rib, and only asked that I knit another few inches to take it past my feet. 56 inches later, and it was as much as I could get done with a day to spare!
Yesterday, I spent the morning being turned into a cracked mannequin by Alessandra Russo (I can't deny, I always love being pampered and beautified with a great make-up job! :)). I then stepped into the minus 1 degree day for a few shots outside, in nothing but the cocoon, knickers, socks and just-hidden boots, for a few pictures. Always a good view for the local men who seem to have something to say every time Sandy and I are on location! After some posing between shivers, we headed off to a mirrored dance studio for the second set of photos. Lots of fun! It was nice to wear something that I'd knitted with relative pride, at least until it was unpicked for the photos... :)
Cracked Mannequin in a cocoon project
Model: Emma Walker
MUA: Alessandra Russo at Ale MUA
Copyright by Sandy Maya's Photography
* and also something of a family photographer now, having photographed by sister's wedding and the recent portraits of my sister and I for my mother's 60th - plus more commissions coming up, I'm sure...! :)