Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants On December - 12 - 2006   ShareThis

Ok, more of a minor celestial body. Maybe a smallish gas planet.

The Magical Mystery Knitty Gritty Extravaganza is complete, I lived, and roundabout this time next year, we can all see how I did. Yep. It was the holiday episode – the Kitschmas episode, to be exact, so it’ll be on just in time for you to look back on 2007 and wonder where the year went. Duuuuude – did I just blow your mind? No? Oh.

Anyhoo, Marnie was a good camera doobee and she did a really good wrap-up of the time we spent together at the studio. I also got some good shots which I will share with you as they fit into the post.

First, check out my new nails! Marnie and I met at one of the many malls in Burbank. It’s Malltopia over there. And nestled between these Houses of Retail Worship is Burbank High School. I’m pretty sure it was a real high school, although now that I think of it, maybe it’s a new concept store from Abercrombie and Fitch . . .

Thanks to everyone who offered all their advice and help about the whole nail thing. I think I’m going to use this as a starting point to quit biting my nails. I ended up getting acrylic nails with a very neutral polish. I didn’t actually choose acrylic, the ladies in the shop just sort of whisked me off and did them. To be honest, I couldn’t really understand them very well because they had very heavy accents, I believe they were Vietnamese. But no matter, they seemed to know what I needed and I had nails before I knew it. They were a bit long, so I clipped and filed them a bit myself. They’re still a little hard to type with, but I really do like them. They make me feel like a lady, dammit.

Do you want to see what we did for our projects? I think I can show you because you’ll have forgotten them by next year. Does that seem ok? Let’s make a deal, I’ll show you, then you forget I ever showed you. Then in, like, June, you can say “Deb, how come you never showed us what you did for Knitty Gritty next Christmas?€ and I’ll say “I dunno.€ And then you’ll be all surprised when you see it on the tee vee. Cool? OK.

We did sort of an homage to the Granny Square with knitting. Marnie figured out a way to knit an openwork Granny Square. Kellee test-knitted it and made some improvements to the process. It’s still easier to just crochet the damned thing, but it came out pretty cool. Here is the bag Kellee made for me. I loved that I was able to enslave my friends to help with this whole process.

And I came up with a fair isle chart for a granny square (you’ll notice I call it intarsia once on the show because I just kept mixing the two up). I used it on this here turtleneck tissue cozy. Maryse helped me out by fiddling with the decreases and knit an entire cozy for me. I needed to do a bunch of step-outs, so I basically needed to knit three almost complete ones and some others in process. They make the tissues look very handsome. These Puffs Plus are ready to hit the slopes!

And here is Marnie demonstrating its use beautifully.

But do you know what was the hugest hit of everything we brought? Maryse’s Christmas trees.

Everyone was ooh-ing and ah-ing over them for both days that we were there. I think she’s going to write up a pattern, but I’m not sure when. I brought them for decoration, so you’ll see them on the table in front of the Knitsters. The Knitsters (Penni, Nicole, and Teresa) were awesome. They were part of the San Diego Craft Mafia. Check out how cool they are! Can you say Hotsy Totsy? They’re also Knitstering for the Domiknitrix!

I also met some cool knitters just hanging out on the set. Ha, what a crazy sentence! When I first arrived on rehearsal day, Marie was already there doing Knitster duty for Lily Chin. Yes, that Lily Chin. THE Lily Chin. So she was there when I got there. As I approached her to say hi, she jumped up and ran over to me saying she loves the MOKS. Can you stand it? Lily is in da hizzy!! Very cool. Look around, she could be reading right next to you!

There was also Cookie from Knitters Anonymous, who was doing a series of gorgeous socks. I felt a little weird having this goofy tissue cozy thing and there she was with a table full of these intricate socks. I had a small, internal Wayne and Garth moment where I felt I was not worthy, but I overcame it.

There was also a woman named Arbelle, I believe, who had a numerous knitting looms, mostly made of wood. She had this adorable hat with a fair isle pattern on it that she had made using a loom, which I had no idea could be done, but there it was. She was wearing Rhinebeck Bingo sweatshirt, which totally threw me for a loop. It was the last thing I expected to see. She was very sweet and explained how to use the looms, and I forgot to find out if she had a blog. I don’t see her name on the Blogger Bingo list, so if you’re her, let me know.

On Thursday night, Lily asked us to dinner with her and Cookie. I really wanted to go, but we ended up stuck at the studio until the end of the day and then I had to go shopping because the shirts I brought weren’t going to work. Too light. So I totally missed out, I really wish I could have made it. Fortunately for me, I got a second opportunity for an amazing dinner later that night! Turns out that the one and only Annie Modesitt was actually staying in the room directly above me at the Safari Inn in Burbank! The producer of the show (who I will gush about in a minute) told me she was staying there and let Annie know I was there, too. So when I got back from shopping, there was a message from her on my room phone. We met for dinner and had a lovely time. She’s very simply one of those amazing people you like from the second you meet her. She even showed me her database. To me, that is very special. I also got to look through her upcoming book, which I can’t wait to buy. AND, I showed her my trunk show and she showed me hers. Heee! I lurve me some Annie!

As for the show itself, the experience was great. I don’t recall being all that nervous, mostly because I flatly refused to think about it. The producers we worked with were Lorelei and Stefanie and they were so nice and helpful, they really did keep it from being really stressful. Or maybe I was just having an out-of-body issue and didn’t notice that I was a nervous wreck. We didn’t actually spend a whole lot of time rehearsing and shooting, but we did seem to hang out a lot just talking and laughing, which made it really enjoyable. There were snacks and everything, so it was a bit like a knitting party. I had a great time hanging out with the producers and the other guests.

The one thing I totally stressed about, and I’m sure Marnie is still shaking her head in wonderment, was what I was going to wear on the show. I originally brought a vintage-looking sweater in light pink, but it was way too light. I also had a simple long-sleeved t-shirt, but it was too casual, so I went out Thursday night to get something else. I got two great sweaters. But it turns out one would have “buzzed” on camera because of the marled yarn (very cute, though, I’m wearing it right now), and the other was brown. Marnie was already wearing brown (*still shaking fist at Marnie*).

The wardrobe lady said she’d go to Target and I felt bad that she had to do that. Then she came into the dressing room with a shirt she had from another show. Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but it was so not something I’d ever wear in a million years. It was a fitted t-shirt with boob gathering and short puffy sleeves. It also had five or so colorful plastic buttons that were all different – a flower, a sun, a peace sign, a smiley face . . . you get the idea. Now, I’m no fashion maven, but I’m really particular about my clothes. If I don’t like what I’m wearing, it triggers my fight or flight instinct. So I flew. To Target. While we were waiting for our turn to shoot. Yeah. It’s always hit or miss there, and this time was a miss. But I had to have something and quick, so I bought a bunch of stuff that I could return later. I ended up with light blue top that fit pretty well and I didn’t totally hate. Then they steamed it to get the wrinkles out. Then I totally hated it. It stretched out a couple of sizes and didn’t have that nice fitted look it did minutes before and I was suddenly and irreversibly frumpy. In the end, the sound guy who hooked up our mikes and battery packs helped me tape the shirt to my chest and pinned it in the back so it wouldn’t flop open. He was really cool about it and I felt a little better once he had me all trussed up.

We had a make-up lady who did us up, too, which was nice because I have no clue how to apply it myself. She usually takes care of Vickie Howell, but I think she realized I couldn’t possibly go out there as-is. And speaking of Vickie Howell, she was darling. So teeny and cute, killer highlights, and a good sense of humor about shat she’s doing. She definitely doesn’t take herself too seriously and cracked her share of good jokes.

After we filmed, Marie and I had the extreme pleasure of going out with Jen, the Domiknitrix herself. She’s filming on Monday, I believe, and she has got this thing tied up. (wink wink) But seriously, she had all her step outs organized and we heard her rehearsing and it’s as though she’d done it a thousand times. We went for Indian and had yet another great time. Why are knitters just so cool? I don’t know, but I like it.

All in all, it was a positive experience and I would totally do it again. The entire crew was friendly and helpful and genuinely funny, which is a big deal to me. In fact, one of the producers came to my signing at Unwind on Saturday. Not many people came, but it was actually really nice because we all just hung out, looked at old pattern magazines and knit together. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon. One of the women who came has a blog called Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles. Her name is Lyssa, pop by and say hello. You’ll like her. And because I’m a loser, I forgot everyone else’s name. I’m pretty sure the woman in the white shawl was Cheryl, there was another woman who is on the verge of getting a loom, and another with gorgeous tattoos and a foxy friend who has white go-go boots. See? I remember details, but not so much with the names. Hi Ladies! It was a pleasure hanging out with you!

13 Responses

  1. maryse says:

    dude! i’m so glad it went well. and marnie’s granny squares are so cool looking. i’d give the pattern a try except that i know that crocheting is so much easier. that picture of marnie sneezing is really hitting my funny bone.

  2. Carole says:

    Sounds like a wonderful time. You described it so well I feel like I was right there with you. I promise to forget everything by the time the show airs next year. Knowing me, that shouldn’t be difficult. 😉

  3. Cheryl says:

    An old pick up line was “come up to my room and I’ll show you my etchings” –is that anything like a “trunk show”? LOL!!

    I just got your book by the way!! :)

    I have a set of LeeWards Illustrated Library of Arts and Crafts I’d like to send you if you’d email me an address to do so!

    Love your stuff!!!

  4. Jackie says:

    Sounds like you had a great time – what an awesome experience. :) And yes, even an overstretched, wrinkled shirt from target is better than a shirty with puffy sleeves and happy face/peace sign buttons. Every time.

  5. melanie says:

    I’m with Jackie, that puff shirt sounded kind of hideous. Fashion issues aside, it sounds like it couldn’t have gone better. And how cool is it that you got to hang out with so many other knit-stars!? You rock.

    but then, I knew that all along. 😉

  6. Martha says:

    I already forgot it all.

    So these things are filmed a year in advance? That seems kind of, well, reckless.

  7. Laurie says:

    That sounds like a stunning knitterly experience. Wow. I loved all the gory details…Target shirt, tape job, makeup.

  8. elisa says:


    I am already looking forward to Christmas 07, I can tell you that. I am sure you were super fabby.

    I also love the fact that your shirt was taped to you. That’s just…well, awesome.

  9. lyssa says:

    I had a lot of fun hanging out at Unwind! Come back and visit us in Burbank soon.

  10. Marnie says:

    Can you even believe how much we crammed into 3 days? Seriously, I feel like it was done in a flash but also lasted for weeks. Crazy.
    I can’t believe you put my devil eyes on the interweb *shakes fist* and I’m sad the tree boobies didn’t make the cut.
    Oh well, save it for the blackmail when I run for president of the universe.

  11. cookie says:

    You are a much better blogger than me! You remembered names, took pictures, and knit the awesomest cutest tissue box cover ever! I’m sad I missed dinner with you and Marnie. And holy crap this entire time I wondered what had happened to your blog because I’ve been reading the MOKS blog, not this one. Duh.

    I think your episode is going to be ginormous hit. Seriously. I mean the trees and the raglan!

  12. caro says:

    Awesome! Lorelei was our producer for Uncommon Threads. She rocks.
    Sounds like good times! Can’t wait for next Xmess to see the episode.

  13. Laurie says:

    I didn’t forget. I was on call. And they wouldn’t LET ME OUT. *sigh*

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