Behind the Scenes On Sweater Gallery Day

The final count for the Spring Gallery garments is in—and the results are very telling: Everyone wanted to see those little cardigans, the ones that caused so many comments last week, both positive and negative. Here's the lineup you chose for our Gallery Gals to model for you:

Me, fussing over the Holly on Sarah

Pam Allen's Flutter Sleeve Cardigan

Connie Chang Chinchio's Printed Silk Cardigan

Jennifer Tallapaneni's Mirabella Cardigan

Theresa Schabes' Holly Jacket

Robin Melanson's Sylph Cardigan

Chrissy Gardiner's Auburn Camp Shirt

View the Knits Spring 2008 Preview

Why are there six sweaters when the instructions said to vote for your "top five"? Because the Sylph and the Auburn Camp Shirt came within THREE votes of one another (out of thousands!). So I called it a tie. 🙂

Peek Behind The Scenes: The Gallery Photoshoots

We started shooting the photos on Thursday with the first group of Gallery Gals—originally, I wanted to do the shoot outside, so the light would be better…but it was 25 degrees yesterday here in Colorado. Short-sleeved tops plus thin silky fabrics plus below freezing weather equals blue-skinned models, generally a fashion no-no (at least on this planet). So we gathered in the lunchroom, raised the blinds, turned on all the lights, and had a blast.

Annie is a supermodel!

The days when we shoot these gallery photos have become something to look forward to, for many of us who work here in the Loveland office. Even the folks who aren't modelling find an excuse to wander past the bright corner where we are shooting and add their two cents' worth to the banter. We ooh and ahh over each garment, we admire the drape, the feel, the stitches. We praise, we covet, and each model adds her own creative commentary along the way: "If I were to make this, I'd have to make the waist a bit lower, and do less bust shaping." Thus, it becomes a learning experience for all of us about fit and flatter.

Each time I do a new Gallery, I try to coax some new models into the mix. This time, I was very mindful of the commenters who complained that the garments would look silly on older women—and so this time, we have a couple of gals with silver in their hair. Granted, we could not put these particular sample sweaters on a wide range of models—the biggest sample, the Mirabella, was 37", and there wasn't time to make a larger garment. We'll talk about the issues of sizing and shaping next week, when all the Galleries are ready for you.

Trish, ready to model the Flutter

It's always fun to watch the new models gain confidence in front of the camera. Like most folks, our Gallery Galz are initially a bit camera-shy. But those of us taking the photos, as well as our little "studio audience," encourage, make jokes, talk like stereotypical photographers ("Work it for me, baby, c'mon, give me all you've got!") and laugh our heads off. I've never had a Gallery Gal say she never wanted to do it again. In fact, I've got a waiting list!

Part of the growth in confidence comes from trying on garments they might otherwise never have been talked into wearing. (I can be very persuasive, in a charming sort of way.) Trying on unfamiliar styles leads to some pleasant discoveries for these women: "Wow, I never would have thought I could wear something like this!" We all learn so much about ourselves and what looks good on each of us by doing the Galleries…and then comes the best part: Sharing what we have learned with you!

We have a few more photos to take, and then some webpages to build, so check back next week when we proudly present The 2008 Spring Knits Gallery!

Past Sweater Galleries

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Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Secret Project Sleeves…well, the first one, anyway.

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