table of contents
February 29, 2004
I'm back from my trip up to L.A. to shoot my episode of Knitty Gritty for the DIY network. The show won't air until July or August. I'm show number 112 if that helps you find me. The whole experience was fun, but kind of exhausting.
I was staying in Woodland Hills which I would characterize as outer-urban. And scattered with all those mega-chain stores you know and love. Actually, this was kind of reassuing as it was easy to find exactly what I needed.
Here's my little photo essay of the trip:
Here I am driving... in traffic. Though I live in Southern California, I really don't drive much and rarely on the freeway. The traffic in Los Angeles is everything you've heard it is.
I did find this gorgeous gift basket in my room at the Holiday Inn of Woodland Hills. Note the Lantern Basket and gorgeous Lantern Moon needles!
My parking spot at the Panavision studio.
And the star on my "dressing room" door. In truth, it was smaller than a bathroom stall, but still...
Here's some of the crew knitting on lunchbreak outside the set.
After lunch, it was time to get ready to shoot my show.... We started shooting about 3:00. Here, the counter is being readied to shoot my first segment on ripping out sweaters to re-use. We actually had a lot of fun with this segment.
Me and a couple of my "knitsters" who were working on projects in the background of the set.
A cue card. Remember though, that this is an "inexpensive" project, not a cheap one.
And finally, me and host, Vickie Howell after we finally finished up around 7:30 on Friday.
Everyone involved with the show was really nice. That made the whole thing good. Ultimately, the shooting is fairly grueling. Ready and on the set at 11:00 and done at 7:30. Plus, they had already shot one show before mine... and two the day before on the same schedule. But the whole crew was pleasant and interesting and I left feeling like it would have been nice to have more time to just hang out with them. I saw a few of the other guests on the show: Shetha Nolke, Vickie Square, Beverly Galeskas, Karen Baumer...
And when I left the hotel, the woman at the counter said, "I love your clothes, are you a designer?" And I got to say, "Yes I am. I design knitwear. I am here doing the TV show." Hee hee. I guess I was dressing the part.
February 24, 2004
How long does it take to unravel the neck of a turtleneck sweater and pick up the stitches? 4 minutes. It's only 2 sts to the inch, and the sts are mostly live, so I just ran a needle through them... but yes, 4 minutes. This, apparently, is still too long to do live on television.
So add re-knitting the neck of sweater B to the list of things to do before Friday. Seems like I have projects everywhere. Everyroom has some wad of clothing with needles sticking out of it. (Well, except the bathroom... it has drying recycled yarn.) The amount of knitting required on these is tiny, an inch on a cuff here, an couple inches of neckline there... So it's not the time constraint that's plaguing me, I think it's having so many balls in the air.
Oh and do the laundry so I can pack along the rest of my wardrobe (the part that isn't black/navy/white/yellow/striped/sleeveless/lowcut/too seasonal) so the TV people can tell me what to wear, learn to apply make-up and get my nails done (get my nails done, hah!).
There's lots going on, but it's all good. And I'm going to arrive in L.A. about 3:00 on Thursday and I don't shoot until noon on Friday, so I'll have lots of time to chill there. Watching cable TV, knitting and evoking something somewhat spa-like from the Holiday Inn. And after the shoot, I'm hooking up with old friends for dinner. Don't have to come home until Saturday.
February 20, 2004
Hey look! The book is already up at Amazon. My name will be on it as "technical editor" and I have a pattern in it. Woo woo. It won't be out until fall, though.
February 19, 2004
Here's a list of the books Dr. Seuss wrote. The bold ones are the ones I still need to read! Maybe I should look at the Geisel Library. They were the recipients of the lion's share of the author's original work. See here. The library itself is marvelous, architecturally. Look here. Two things about it: it wasn't named Geisel Library until about 1995. Before that it was just called Central Library. Around the same time, they did a massive addition. All underground (but with lots of lightwells and mirrored surfaces) as they didn't want to mess with Pereira's design. Pretty clever, really.
February 18, 2004
Admittedly, I've been talking more about my knitting over the last couple of weeks. With all the stuff going on this month, my knitting world is more exciting than actual knitting (to the outside observer at least). But I've had 4 people in less than 48 hours extremely eager for me to teach them to knit. Including my dentist!
I've been contemplating teaching knitting in earnest for a while. Figure a class of about 8 students. 2 hours every week or every other week. I'm thinking about syllabus, hand-outs, lesson plans, etc. Which is also very exciting to me. I love that part of teaching, assuming I don't have to do it at the last minute.
Thinking about extra activities to include like Kool-Aid dyeing, making knitting needles, felting...
But here's a question: What yarn would you use with brand new knitters? Obviously, something easy to work with, but I'd also like something that's pretty and enjoyable. Figure once they get the knit stitch down, we can take a field trip to the LYS, but I want their first yarn to be a good one.
I love dr. seuss. i always have, but now that i have kids i especially love dr. seuss. the 100th anniversary of his birth will be celebrated on march 2nd. in the meantime we're tracking down some of his lesser known works and trying to read all 46 of his children's books.
another reason to love dr. seuss: he lived in my neighborhood. he died before we moved here, but you can definitely see things that inspired him around, particularly some very seussy trees. sometime soon -- pictures.
so read some dr. seuss books this month!
February 15, 2004
still waiting for my yarn to arrive to get started on the TV project...
i did go on a thrift safari and found a fifth light blue turtleneck. i decided which one should represent which "phase" of the sweater and have begun with ripping what needs to be ripped. the ripping is much more fussy and time consuming that the knitting anyway. since i wanted 5 similar sweaters in color, i wasn't as able to be as choosy about other aspects of the sweater, so some are hard to rip out. obviously, i'm ripping those behind the scenes. On TV it'll look easy :)
And trying to figure out what to wear on TV that isn't black, white, dark blue, yellow, striped, shiny, lownecked, sleeveless or too seasonal. oh, and hopefully demonstrates my prowess at re-doing sweaters. heh.
February 12, 2004
I just searched the phrase "thriftstore sweater" to see what would come up. Curious to see if anyone else was doing interesting things with such. I will note that the Domestic Sphere came up a surprising number of times.
February 11, 2004
This sweater was a quick and dirty update. I just hacked off the collar with scissors and sewed a quick hem. To call this a sweater is overstating. It's a knit fabric but not really a sweater; there are visible sts large enough to jam a #3 needle into, so I did. Picked up every other cuff stitch and then worked these snazzy borders in Tahki Poppy.
And this is the black former-turtleneck seen below. I ripped and re-used the yarn from the neck and supplemented with the shades of aqua and more black. Took a bit of hunting to find a yarn of the right gauge, but this worked out great. And the blacks matched really well.
Aside from ripping the neck off this one (which was replaced with a simple crocheted edge to finish it), I cut the ribbing off the bottom and picked up stitches there. I decided to work in the round, even though there were seams on the top half. This is supposed to be quick and easy, right? I measured the top against an existing dress for length, figured out how many rows I would knit and worked out my stripe pattern. The rest was total auto-pilot.
I wasn't sure how this was going to work out, but I like it. The original top had good basic lines and fit well. That was important. I could see using this for other dresses. You need to steer away from too-heavy yarns on the bottom obviously, but I could imagine a neat mosaic pattern or color blocks or wild stash-busting stripes. Knit yourself a matching scarf or pillbox hat and you're fabulously put together.
February 10, 2004
I am finally done with the bulk of my editing responsibility for the book. Lots of great patterns, but it was a lot of work. It's one thing to get things ready for Knitty (which is easy to change and has no space issues) and another to ready patterns for a book. Still, it's a project I'm thrilled to be involved with.
And now I can start fretting in earnest about the TV appearance. What to wear, what to say, etc. I've been working on some show pieces to demonstrate some basics of re-treading your threads.
Here are the befores:
February 3, 2004
stranger things have happened.
This morning shortly after Leo got up, he was heading toward the bathroom. We both heard tinkling and figured Zoe was in the bathroom. Then realized she wasn't. He went into the bathroom and there was Rosa -- the cat -- perched on the toilet, peeing.
February 2, 2004
I made sushi last night. It was yummy and it always looks so pretty. Had to photograph it.
And no, my non-adventurous eater girls did not have sushi. They had tofu and slurpy noodles from the miso soup.
attention retail shoppers! for the TV gig i am re-doing some thrift items, right? except that TV needs before/during/after sweaters to show the "step-outs". so i need five sweaters pretty much the same. i've been poking around at inexpensive retail, but haven't found the thing. help!
the garment of choice in thriftstores is the sleeveless shell with monstrous turtleneck, in bulky yarn. a garment that deserves a make-over anyway. but i haven't found five yet. oh, and they can't be black. or white.
if you are a shopper and you happen to see a turtleneck sweater or top, knit at 4 sts/inch or greater, let me know where. oh, and they can't cost more than about $15 a piece.