My Three Top Tools for taking Better Project Photos (plus 50% off!)

Back before the holidays, you may remember that I wrote a series of blog posts sharing some ideas and tips to improve your project photography (if you haven’t read them yet, check them out here, here, and here).  Then the holidays hit and…  well, here we are in February and I’ve still got one last juicy post to share with you.  And this one is loads of fun because it’s all about shiny new tools that you can start using right now.

The SpaceCadet's Three Top Tools for taking Better Project Photos



Tool #1: Take the Best Selfie Project Shots with CamMe

Just like the previous photography posts, let’s start with one of my pet peeves:  there you are in the photo you just posted on Ravelry to show off your fabulous new hand-knit sweater — it’s gorgeous, every stitch is perfect, you are so proud — and right there just behind your smiling face and fabulous sweater is…  your toilet.  Or your unmade bed.  Maybe even with a pair of dirty socks in the corner.  Ohhhh noooo…

Because, of course, to get a good shot of your sweater, you have to take the picture in a mirror, and most people’s mirrors are in either their bathrooms or bedrooms, so that background is pretty unavoidable.  I’ve seen countless images like this on Ravelry and, while I totally understand, it just never makes that finished object look as good as it should.

But there’s an app for that and it solves the problem so well (and is so much fun!) that you’re going to be stunned you haven’t been using it all along.  With CamMe, you set your iPhone at a distance and then hold up a hand to tell it that you want it to take a selfie.  When it sees your hand signal, it gives you a three second countdown and snaps a picture — setting you free to take finished object selfies anywhere!  Try it next to a sunny window in your house, or outside in the dappled shade of a tree.  Get adventurous and set it up on a shelf in the library while you leaf through a book, or prop it up in a shop window and snap yourself walking down the sidewalk in your lovely new sweater.

Sounds kind of amazing, right?  It is!  Here, check out their awesome little video showing exactly how it works:

CamMe video still
If you can’t see the embedded video, just click here

Best of all?  It’s FREE!

(Also, while I think this app is perfect for the knitting and crochet community — exactly what we need to show off our projects ourselves — I don’t think the folks at CamMe have realised that at all.  It’s is available only for iPhones, but if a bunch of us contacted the company to tell them we need it for other phones too, we might be able to wake them up to a whole community of customers they never even knew were there.  Click here to send them a quick message.)


Tool #2: Make your Images Gorgeous with Snapseed

When it comes to quick, on-the-go photo editing, I really don’t think you can beat Snapseed.  I know other apps have filters and editing options, but Snapseed’s controls go deeper than anything I’ve seen in its price range.   The cropping is more advanced, the colour correction is more precise and, together with all the other tools in its arsenal, I am able to take the most hastily-snapped phone images and turn them into something really spectacular.  I often even use it before I upload a photo to Instagram — it’s just too powerful to ignore.



Use Snapseed to crop your project photos right in to the most important details.  Adust the Saturation and Ambiance to get the colour just right (look under “Tune Image”) .  Or change the Structure and Sharpening options (under “Details”) to really bring out your stitchwork.   You’ll be blown away by how stunning your project photos become!

Oh, and what is its price range?  Well, that’d be…  free.  Plus, it’s available for both iPhone and Android.  Brilliant!


Tool #3: Learn from a Pro


I think the one thing I did that improved my photography the most was to take Caro Sheridan’s fantastic class on Craftsy, “Shoot It!“.  Caro is a professional photographer (you’ve seen her work allll over Ravelry, snapping for some of the biggest designers out there), knitter, sewist, and the co-author of Knitting It Old School, a collection of designs inspired by the 40s, 50s, 60, and 70s.

And why is Shoot It! fantastic?  Because it’s a photography class that is designed entirely around photographing knit and crocheted finished objects.  Seriously.  There’s no taking photos of food, or jewelry, or kids, or pets…  This class is all about the fiber arts and only about the fiber arts.  What could be more perfect?!?

Caro Sheridan

Caro walks you through everything you need to know to make your projects look stunning on Ravelry: how to frame your photos, how capture project details, how to work with a model.  She covers the best backgrounds, great tips for editing, how to put your model (and yourself) at ease during a shoot …and, if my memory serves, she even dips into choosing the right underwear (it’s important, people!).  Taking Shoot It! opened my eyes to a ton of easy fixes I could make to the way I took photos and I was amazed by how quickly my photography improved.

BONUS: Get Shoot It! for 50% Off!

Now, this is something just fantastic…  When I told Caro I was going to feature her Craftsy class on the blog, she graciously offered to give all of you 50% off the regular price of Shoot It!  Just click here to go to the class page, and you’ll see the discount is automatically applied.  Isn’t that just terrific of her?!?  So go on, take her up on the offer — your finished objects will thank you!

Caro Sheridan shooting


Five Fabulous At-The-Very-Last-Minute Yarny Holiday Gifts

The holidays always sneak up on me. Always.  Are you the same?  And here we are, the shopping days slipping away alarmingly fast, and  suddenly realising that it’s really, really late to be starting that gift shopping.  What to do?!?  Well, as I’m in that same boat trying to think of last minute gifts, let me share what I’ve come up with…

Five At-The-Very-Last-Minute Yarny Holiday Gifts

(to save your bacon!)

craftsySpotLogo 200Choose a Craftsy Class

For any knitter or crocheter who enjoys learning new skills, Craftsy has a class to suit every skill level.  And it’s not just yarny pursuits: Craftsy has classes on sewing, photography, cooking, woodworking, and tons more.  With instantaneous delivery, this is a gift you can order on Christmas Eve and still be in the good books, but why would you wait?  There’s a sale running right now, so grab a gift quick and save a little extra for yourself!

Click here to give a Craftsy class

KnitEdge Magazine

Gift a Knit Edge Magazine Subscription

A subscription to Coop Press’s Knit Edge magazine is a delight for any knitter.  Not just for the beautiful patterns they’ll receive, but for the all trend-watching and fascinating articles that delve deeper into the fiber arts world we all love so much.  Published three times a year, you can give a gift subscription right at the very last minute and the recipient will never be any the wiser.  Even better, click here to order, enter the gift recipient’s name and email address at the top, and enter the code LASTMINUTE14 at the bottom of the screen to get a one-year, non-renewing subscription to KnitEdge for the price of one issue. Who can resist a deal like that?!?

Click here to give Knit Edge magazine



SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club closes on Dec 21Give a SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club Gift Subscription

Know a knitter or crocheter who just loves big, smooshy yarn in glorious hand-dyed colours?  We have the perfect, easy, last-minute gift!  The SpaceCadet’s SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club is designed all around those lovely squishy bulky and worsted weight yarns, with 6 month or 12 month subscription options, the chance to buy more skeins for larger projects, and an awesome gift in every third parcel (we seriously love picking the gifts!).   The SpaceMonster Club is open for subscriptions only until Dec 21 so you’ll have to hurry, but we’ll make everything about this gift super easy.  Just click here to set up your gift subscription, be sure to note during check out that it’s a gift and who it’s for, and we’ll take care of the rest!

Click here to give a SpaceMonster gift subscription


CurlsSend Curls, the Book that Arrives Now and… Later

Hunter Hammersen’s designs are intricate, intriguing, and incredibly beautiful.  And her latest book of patterns, Curls, focuses on an innovative wrap design curls around the body with a flattering drape.  How does this make a great last minute gift?  Well, unlike a regular book purchase, if you buy Curls at the last minute (or, right now!), your recipient will get an electronic copy of the book that they can start reading immediately, plus a beautiful hard-copy in the post that they can enjoy all through the new year.  Perfect!

Click here to order Curls


SpaceCadet Sweater Kits 200Give a SpaceCadet Sweater Kit

Our Sweater Kits have been flying out the door this holiday season, but we have a few left and, if you order them quickly, we’ll get them in the post to your recipient straight away.  Choose a kit in either fingering or sport weight, in colours ranging from the elegant Dark Skies Ombre to the sublime South China Sea kit to the eye-catching When Life Gives You Lavender Gradient Kit.  What knitter or crocheter wouldn’t go mad to receive a whole sweater’s worth of gorgeous hand-dyed yarn this holiday season?!?

Click here to shop for SpaceCadet Sweater Kits.


So there you are — five great gift ideas that will make your last minute holiday shopping a little easier.  And hopefully allow you to relax a bit in these last crazy days and get back to the things that really matter on these snowy winter days…  curling up with your knitting and crochet!