FO in Focus: Rainton Hat

Today’s FO (Finished Object) is the Rainton Hat by Katya Frankel from Head to Toe: Kids’ Knit Accessories

Rainton Hat knit by Boston Jen of the Down Cellar Studio Podcast50mm lens at f2.0 1/40 ISO 320

My Project Notes:

  • Needles: US 6 (4mm)
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in the Mystic Purple Colorway (used 36g)
  • Cast on: July 31, 2014
  • Cast off: August 2, 2014

Blocking |

I didn’t have time to block the entire hat for fear it wouldn’t dry in time. Instead I wet my fingers and used them to dampen the bind off edges of the hat. I then laid it out on a blocking mat and used T pins to pin down the brim. I staggered each layer so I could pin down each edge separately. I knew there would be some rolling because of the stockinette fabric, but I wanted it to look a little more polished. I’m happy with the result.

Photographing the FO

The Model | Photographing a baby hat without an actual child to model it is a tricky proposition. In order to see the real detail of the pattern the hat should be worn, filled out, not just lying flat. As you can see here, while its nice to capture the actual shape of the hat, its a bit lack luster.

Rainton Hat knit by BostonJen of the Down Cellar Studio Podcast

50mm lens at f2.0 1/40 ISO 320

Again, there are no children in our house, much less a newborn, though we do often have little ones coming to visit and so our supply of teddy bears, beanie babies and other toys runneth over.  With that in mind I got to searching. It was just this past Sunday morning (before the party where the hat would be gifted), and after a puzzled look from Dan about what on earth I was doing, and a quick explanation where he’d stored the “excess” of toys (down cellar AKA out of his way), I got to looking for a suitable model.

Did I mention we have a lot of toys for a house with no kids? Well, we do…. but it took awhile to find just the right one. An orange tiger? Not the right sized head and the color definitely clashed. Some already had hats on. Others had colors that were just jarring with this purple. But this teal teddy was just the man (woman? child?) for the job!

The Set-up | I like to use my armchair in the studio for photographing hand knits in certain situations. This seemed to be a perfect opportunity. Teddies are often placed in the crook of the chair (as are babies). I also like that while the chair is neutral and provides a background free of distraction, its also not pure white and has a little texture which adds visual interest.

Rainton Hat knit by BostonJen of the Down Cellar Studio Podcast






50mm lens at f2.0 1/30 ISO 320

The Angle | I like to take photographs of FOs (finished objects) from various angles because there are often little details you can capture from one direction that may not be visible from another. You may not think to point the camera down from above and shoot the top of a hat but there’s a lot of detail there that you may miss if you just take shots from head on.

Rainton Hat knit by BostonJen of the Down Cellar Studio Podcast






50mm lens at f2.0 1/30 ISO 320

The Settings | I’ve listed the camera settings under each image for your reference. I shot these using my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 [Affiliate Link]. I love that it can get down to an aperture of 1.4 though that wasn’t necessary for this shot as I would lose too much detail.  With a 2.0 f-stop I was able to get some clear details on the top of the hat for example, and then the rest of the bear faded away to let the eye focus on the subject (the hat).

Tip | If you’d like to start playing around with manual settings on your camera, try the AV or Aperture Priority Mode. It’s hands-down my favorite of the modes on a dSLR that will help do some of the work and make some of the hard decisions for you. (I still use this more than Manual settings for everyday use)

  • If you want a shallow depth of field, like we have here with the top of the hat, set your           f-stop (your aperture) to the lowest number possible with your lens. The camera will automatically determine the right shutter speed to match.
  • However you’ll also want to set your ISO (lower if you have a lot of existing light or higher if you have less available light).
  • You can also set your White Balance if the light in the room is casting a specific color on your subject (using the Tungsten white balance setting, for example, can help correct light that’s overly yellow). Sometimes this isn’t necessary. In many situations the Auto White Balance setting will work just fine.

One thought on “FO in Focus: Rainton Hat

  1. Michelle B

    Love, love, LOVE your awesome new website! Looking forward to your daily (well, 5 times a week) posts…and seeing you on Wednesdays! Congratulations Jen…things look great!


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