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Learning to See

November 20th, 2011

Last time I was in St. Charles, just last weekend, I spent an afternoon teaching my Photography for Knitters class to a willing group of students at Wool and Company.

This is the only class I teach that doesn’t directly involve the actual knitting or crocheting of yarn, but even so, it’s one of the most satisfying in my portfolio. I like to say that this is a class about learning to see, more than about learning the technical steps behind a photograph.

And truly, it’s a class of using eyes and ideas to document the beautiful work we all do.

The lovely gal in the photo at the left is Kate. She works at Wool and Company and was ‘voluntold’ to help us out by modeling for a half hour or so, and what a lovely model she made. Being able to work with Kate gave a lot of excitement to the class, but I’ve taught this one so many other ways as well; inside, outside, with models, without models, and with every kind of project and subject matter on hand to use as inspiration.

Part of what I love about teaching photography for knitters is being able to work with the students’ finished objects, works in progress, and stash, and to be delighted by what they’ve created. Many budding (and established) designers end up in my classes as well, to learn how to better market the work they do.


I’ve had a busy fall. I honestly don’t know where it went. The LA trip, Santa Barbara, visiting mom at the end of September, Stephanie and Mel’s visit to Toronto in October, going back to St. Charles at the beginning of this month, and getting ready to go back there for Thanksgiving this coming weekend.

In a way, it’s a really great thing that time has been passing like this.

Mom’s having her fourth chemo treatment next Monday the 28th. After that, they’re going to assess how she’s doing and make the decision to either continue chemo or go for an autologous bone marrow transplant.

At the same time, and this seems so grossly unfair, it’s coming up quickly on the anniversary of Dad’s stroke and death and funeral. Am I wrong for just wanting to fast-forward past all of that? To just focus on the next steps for mom?

I’m torn about my decision to go to St. Charles for Thanksgiving. That’s where I was last year, if you remember. And it was a brutal Thanksgiving – spent at our neighbor’s after a rough day with dad, followed up by his major stroke the next morning. Part of me would just want to stay at work, try to forget.

But on the other hand, I don’t want mom to be going through that time on her own, either. So this, like last year’s, is the right decision. And I’ll be able to go to her doctor’s appointment on Monday and discuss the next steps, her prognosis, and her treatment, in person, and without a filter.

I’ve grown up so much in the last year. I’m learning to look at life a little differently, that it’s not all good, or all bad, or even a simple mix of the two. It’s about timing, and blessings that need to be sought out. Like the fact that I was able to be with Dad for his last few days. Like the fact that we weren’t dealing with mom’s cancer while Dad was needing so much support.

So, that’s where I am right now. I’m kind of quiet, but I’m ok. Just dealing with life, day by day by day.

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5 Responses to “Learning to See”

  1. Meredith Says:

    Oh, how I would love to take a knitting photography class! My knitting photos definitely need some inspiration. Do you have any online resources worth checking out?

  2. Trisha Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom.

  3. Marilyn Nance Says:

    Parents are very precious; spend the time with your Mom, help her. Try to enjoy the moment as life is so fragile.

  4. Carrie Says:

    Do spend time with your mom. You’ll treasure it in the future. The first anniversary of the passing of a parent is very hard. It’s now three years since my dad passed (pre Thanksgiving). It gets easier, not easy, but easier.
    I don’t comment often,but check in regularly. Love your patterns. Silver Birches is still in queue for when I have extended time to devote to it.

  5. Amanda Says:

    The photography class was great! I’ve started to look at things differently when I take pictures. Now I just need to find a good natural light source in my condo building and I’ll be set!

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I hope Thanksgiving did turn out to be a good trip for you and her.

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