Hmm.. just found out that I will be on TV again, this is the 2nd segment that was taped last spring in Detroit for Shay Pendray’s Needle Arts Studio. This airs on PBS, sadly, I won’t be able to watch
me make a fool of myself it as I don’t get digital cable (which is what this airs on in my area).
This project is actually a really fun one. I made two versions of a simple trinity stitch scarf, in different lengths. One I used two skeins of Cascade Cloud 9 yarn in black, the other version is just one skein, but with a keyhole through which to insert the flower and hold the scarf to your neck (Shay’s wearing it in the photo in another color).
The flower is felted and a little unusual and it’s sewn into a pretty 3D shape, rather than just lying flat as many other flower pins do. That is worked in four colors, 2 shades of one color for the petals, one color for the center, and a green for the leaves. The keyhole scarf requires a larger flower, the 2 skein version has instead multiple smaller flowers. The flowers are felted for stability, which adds a nice contrast to the textured stitch scarf.
Cascade paid for my appearance on the show, it’s sort of a weird thing, where the guests have to pay for their airtime (by the minute!). On both projects (here’s info on the first one) we went over the alloted time, but Shay was having so much fun, that she let the clock run. Cascade got their money’s worth! So, because Cascade paid for me to be there I picked the Cascade Cloud 9 which is a lovely soft wool and angora mix that felts beautifully.
I think my experience of being on Knitty Gritty really helped doing this show. Knitty Gritty is very differently structured. In my case, a friend emailed the production company and told them they had to have me on the show..then she sent me an email and told me what she’d done, and I just about had a heart attack (thanks Sandy!) Within minutes of her email to them, I was contacted by a producer and they asked me to do a bikini. I said.. OK, sure, .. but what am I getting myself into?! In the end, it all must have gone fine as they called me back the following year for another show, and this time I brainstormed with Stephanie (one of the producers) and we came up with the Backgammon set idea together. Once you have an idea of what the project will be, it has to be approved by the network, which was a little trickier in the case of the bikini as the network (Scripps) is apparently quite conservative, but no problems in either case. Then prior to the show, you have to work out your step-outs (sort of like a cooking show, where the onions are already chopped and the cake is half-baked!) and knit all the little bits beforehand, which means a lot of knitting if it’s a complicated or large project! I think I made that bikini 6 or more times! Same for the backgammon set, all the different steps over and over again. That being said, it’s worth it as it makes the show run smoothly and the instructions clear both in your head and on screen.
Each little step-out segment for Knitty Gritty is taped pretty much nonstop, ie, no 2nd takes. You have a lot of rehearsal time with your producer off the set beforehand, but you get one or two run throughs on the set before taping. Of course if you really screw up, you get to do it over, but there was a few times I wish I’d said differently that they left in. Thankfully it didn’t sound as bad in the final edit as it did to me in my head!
So, back to Shay’s show, a completely different setup. I had met Shay at the TNNA shows and I think also at various Stitches shows. At the last San Diego show, she approached me again about doing it, saying she’d like to do something felted, maybe some flowers. Since Cascade is the yarn that I use in my felted designs, I walked her straight to the Cascade booth to talk to Jean, one of the owners of Cascade, who agreed to do it on the spot! All very exciting, I was going to do another show. Shay told me it would be one of the shorter segments, two minutes long, and that she knew I’d be great, then she walked away. Yipes! Then, half an hour later, she came back and said, “oh, you know it’s two segments” “oh, so I get four minutes – with a break in between – for one project?” “No, it’s two projects” and walked away again. Double Yipes! Now I had to come up with two quick projects. With this show, there is no going back and forth on your project, no required step outs, you are pretty much left alone to do whatever it is you have planned. Scary. I’d only seen a few bits of the show, so really didn’t have the best idea of what I would be doing, so I just followed the same sort of pathway as for the Knitty Gritty shows. The other big difference of course is that for Knitty Gritty you have up to about 18 minutes for your project. For Shay’s show, I had two.. count ’em.. two… Really Scary! Same deal here again, no 2nd takes, and only one taping! You also don’t really get any rehearsal time, just a brief run through of what you’d like to present with the director and with Shay.
It’s really impressive how it all comes together so amazingly smoothly in the end. You are there working with real pros of their field, and they certainly aren’t going to let you look dumb! They too want the best show possible, of course.
This is not a deliberate sales pitch, but here’s info on the different projects you can find on the Knitwhits site:
- Tess Trinity Scarf with flower (pattern available for purchase)
- Primrose Felted Crochet Bucket Hat with Flowers (pattern available for purchase)
- Lanikai Bikini (pattern and kit available for purchase)
- Backgammon Set (pattern and kit available for purchase)
Patterns and kits are also available for these from many of the Knitwhits Stockists