You’re probably most familiar with Lindsey’s work out of anyone here at WEBS, you just don’t know it! Lindsey is the Multimedia Coordinator for us, and every image and video you see has been shot, edited, and perfected by her. It seems like Lindsey is constantly moving. If she’s not photographing yarn in her office or editing video, she’s out and about with her camera in hand to document the WEBS experience. She’s constantly looking for new locations and stories to share with our customers. Lindsey has an incredible drive that makes her work well rounded and certainly impressive to say the least. Outside of WEBS, her interests include hiking, running, and documenting some of the amazing stories “regular” people have to tell. She wasn’t always so outgoing, and has found photography the perfect tool to help her come out of her shell.
How long have you been knitting? How did you learn to knit? I learned to knit soon after I started working at WEBS two years ago. I was editing so many learn to knit videos that I started to build enough confidence to try it myself. My coworkers were an incredible help, of course. I likely would not have picked up this craft without their enthusiasm and support. I started with a striped hat knit out of Valley Yarns Northampton.
What is your favorite yarn to work with? Can I say Madelinetosh, or does everyone say that? My winter hat, THE winter hat (Rikke Hat) that I wear for half of the year here in New England is knit out of Madelinetosh Merino DK. So I guess my favorite yarn to work with is Madelinetosh. The colors are beautiful and it feels really good in my hands. My husband also has a favorite hat that happens to be knit out of Madelinetosh Merino light held double.
What’s your favorite fiber project? Last year I knit the Valley Yarns 487 Dappled Shawlette for my mother’s birthday. It was the first triangle shawl I knit and it involved yarn overs and knit two togethers and knit front and backs maybe? It was all new to me and was definitely a challenge and a test to my patience. It came out nice, despite all of the dropped stitches that my coworkers helped me sew down.
What fiber project are you working on right now? Right now I’m trying to knit up all of the random skeins of yarn I’ve acquired in giveaways and yarn swaps as an employee of WEBS. That means, some squares for a baby afghan out of Valley Superwash DK (bottom left) and a cowl out of Noro Kirara and Classic Elite Silk (bottom right).
Tell us about your photography and video! How did you get interested in this art? What do you most enjoy about it? Do you prefer one over the other? I studied film at the University of California in Santa Cruz and worked as a script coordinator on a documentary about Sputnik after I graduated. I had always been interested in Documentary film making and photography, so when I was accepted into the Masters program for Photojournalism at Boston University, I came back to the East Coast to study. After a year as a photographer at a local newspaper, I saw a job opening at a large yarn store in Northampton for a Multimedia Coordinator. I had no idea what WEBS was or what exactly they were looking for but I thought I’d apply and see what happened. I was qualified for the job and it seemed like a new position that I could shape to my skills, so when they offered me the job, I couldn’t say no. When I’m not doing photography or video for WEBS, I shoot a lot of sports, mostly trail running. This year I covered the very first 100 mile ultramarathon in the state of Massachusetts and a slew of other 50 milers scattered about the New England area.
I love how photography and video can be a gateway to meeting new people. I was a really shy kid growing up and it took some time and travelling for me to come out of my shell. Since I started doing photography and video I’ve had to take even bigger steps out of my comfort zone and connect with total strangers. It’s a terrifying thing, but can be very rewarding when you make a solid connection with someone. Photography and video have led to many special experiences from sitting down with Holocaust Survivors to this project about erosion on Plum Island and my work with the ultrarunning community . I don’t really have a preference of photo or video, both are really powerful mediums for expression and storytelling in their own way.
Do you have a favorite non fiber related project you’ve completed? This year has been full of exciting races for me. Every weekend I’m driving somewhere in New England to photograph a trail race and when I have time, run some myself. I paced at the Vermont 100 Endurance Run in July and was fortunate to bring in the last finisher of the race. He was 64 years old and ran 100 miles through the state of Vermont in 29 hours and 50 minutes. It took us 8 hours to go the last 26 miles, but he made it just in time! Last Sunday, I decided to take to the trails without my camera and run my first 50k in New Hampshire. It was a great run and I can’t wait to do more like it.
How do you like to spend your free time? I love to travel. I run and hike a lot with my husband and dog Ginger. We spend a lot of time in the green mountains of Vermont, but have had very memorable hikes in Yosemite, Big Sur, Hawaii, Iceland, Utah, and Costa Rica.
If you could cover any photojournalism story, what would it be? I would love it if I was strong enough and had the endurance to work some of the ultramarathons out West. The Western States Endurance Run in California and the Hardrock 100 in Colorado are legendary races that I would love to photograph.
What’s your favorite video series you’ve shot for WEBS? I love shooting the Valley Yarns video series. It’s fun to shoot on location in Western, Massachusetts with WEBS staff who are excited about our yarn line. These videos have really evolved into a collection that I’m excited about. The videos for Valley Yarns Southwick and Valley Yarns Stockbridge were especially fun.
Lindsey has managed to find a parallel between her knitting and running. “It’s that ‘one more mile, one more row’ mentality, There’s an endurance to knitting that’s really overlooked.”
Lindsey lives in the Pioneer Valley with her husband, Ken and their Redbone Coonhound, Ginger. You can view more of her work at www.lindseytopham.com.