>Scary. Mighty scary. The Knit & Crochet Today episode 213: Lovely Lace that contains my segment has just aired and I am afraid to watch it because doing so will only make me wish I could have a do-over.
Although I have plenty of experience and no qualms at all talking into a microphone, I’ve hardly ever appeared on camera. So last year when show producer designer/author Candi Jensen asked me if I would do an interview for season two I was hoping I said no, was totally sure I said no, but I actually said yes. How can anyone not say yes to Candi? The shoot was set for early March. All I had to do was trek to New York City, find the location, get grilled about myself and my work and remember to breathe. Seemed harmless enough. Yeah, right.
If the trip is doable in a day I prefer to drive. Danbury, Connecticut, Manchester, New Hampshire, Columbus, Ohio, Rhinebeck, New York, probably Buffalo, New York this summer… it’s all the same, an excuse for a road trip. This is coming from a life-long suburbanite who feels naked and vulnerable without her car. However, New York City is a different story. What, you’ve never noticed the sign at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel: “Here there be monsters”? And then there’s parking, a shudderingly nasty nightmare. So I opted to take the train from Philadelphia and the subway downtown to the Point Cafe, the location for the shoot. I had every expectation that this would be the less stressful way to travel and that I would arrive relaxed but perky, ready to do a brilliant interview. Yeah, right.
In order to make the transit connections I had to leave my house before dawn. Those who know me are now gasping in horror and disbelief because I rarely get up before 9. But I didn’t want to cut it too close. Wouldn’t you know it, Amtrak was running slow and the delay ate up my precious half-hour pad. That March morning was fair but blustery, so in my hurry and confusion when I miscalculated and climbed out at the wrong subway station and was obliged to jog the last few blocks to the location, I was a wind-blasted, runny-nosed mess.
I peered through the window of the cafe and was waved off because an interview with the delightful Mari Lynn Patrick was in progress. I had to pace back and forth on the sidewalk as nonchalantly as I could manage until the camera stopped. So much for arriving relaxed but perky. I desperately needed coffee or a few hours sleep. Although the cafe was closed to the public that day in order to host the shoot, the coffee was flowing and it was good. It took a few gulps, a few swipes with a brush at my unruly mane and a quick pat-down of my now shiny face before I deemed myself presentable enough for TV. Yeah, right.
Candi was happy to see me. Perhaps she sensed how little it might have taken to send me screaming out the door. Thank goodness for Brett Bara. A major factor in how painlessly an interview goes is the skill of the interviewer and her ability to put the interviewee at ease. I had already met Brett at CGOA conference in King of Prussia two years ago during the Professional Development Day luncheon when she spoke to about the launch of Crochet Today magazine. So I didn’t have to pretend I was just sitting at a cafe table chatting with a friend. I totally was. Brett was going to feed me the questions off camera with her side of the conversation to be edited out in post. I was instructed to begin my answers by partly reiterating the question so it would make sense. No problem, huh?
Problem one: the microphone. It had to be clipped to my clothes close to my face. The crochet vest I had worn to the shoot was not going to work, so I went with Plan B, an open front cardigan. Even so, it took a considerable amount of fussing to get the thing to stay in place. I think the sound tech was more embarrassed/annoyed than I was about the ordeal. Finally I just took the mic and arranged it myself. But I was warned not to move around so it wouldn’t fall off or pick up rustling noises. HOKEY SMOKES! I talk with my hands. This was never a problem in radio announcing (except that time I smacked the mic). I had to physically restrain my motions by sitting on my hands the entire time.
Problem two: the camera. A few minutes into the interview I could hear the camera tech telling the segment producer that I was looking at the camera. Well, yeah. I was working to camera. I thought I was supposed to be looking at it. Nope. I was asked to focus on Brett and direct my answers to her. So I decided to ignore the camera and pretend I was just sitting at a cafe table chatting with a friend. Am I having a deja-vu?
Problem three: my hair. In radio nobody can see your hair or anything else objectionable about you for that matter. Another time I will tell the stories about doing shifts in pajamas on bad hair days or why most radio announcers are unsightly. Don’t you know they had to stop the interview when the wind-tossed hair at the back of my head (perhaps a desired effect for a fashion spread but not for an interview) was too much for anyone to bear. Someone came over and smooshed it down, since I could not see for myself which were the offending hairs.
Problem four: the interview itself. Brett and I sat and talked for nearly half and hour, with the camera rolling part of the time. I never know when to shut up. The segment would be edited to a few minutes. It was never clear exactly when the chitchat with Brett ended and the proper questions began. For the life of me I can’t remember what I said in friendly banter and what was being preserved for posterity.
You must be the judge, now that I’ve spilled my guts about that day. In retrospect I know I could have done better. But it was a hugely valuable learning experience I would not trade. Here are my eternal thanks to Candi, Brett and the crew for making the segment possible and ultimately successful.
Hey, I’m ready for my close-up now.
PS. Knit & Crochet Today is a syndicated program and may be seen on PBS stations around the country. Check your local listings. Or visit the site to purchase DVDs of the show.
>Hi. Stranger here, but wanted to tell you I saw your interview today and was totally re-enthralled with crochet. I had totally lost my enthusiasm for crochet. In fact, my New Year’s resolution this year was to teach myself to knit. This wasn’t the first time I’ve tried over the years, but this time seems to be working…what a difference between learning English and Continental knitting. Who knew? Then I saw your interview. Your words were a confirmation of why I liked crochet and ultimately why I lost my enthusiasm for crochet. Yours is the first and only interview I’ve seen in either season of the show that makes me want to go back to crochet. For that, thank you!You looked fine, your words were inspirational and your designs are so stylish and appealing. Again, thank for the interview and thank you for the inspiration! Now I’m off to look up http://www.crochet.org.
>I watched your interview yesterday and I was totally enchanted by you and your work. I’m off to buy one of your books right now!
>I just wanted to say “thank you”; your work is beautiful and I loved your frankness. THANK!!!!!!!
>I couldn’t read this post past the words “Buffalo NY” in the same sentence as “driving” and “this summer”. I’m a HUGE fan of yours- and I live pretty close to Buffalo, so what’s the scoop? Thanks so much for your honest and fun blog, it makes your work even more special. I haven’t seen the TV show yet but I hope I can see you in Buffalo 🙂
>Hey mom2three, The CGOA national conference and KnitandCrochet Market will be at the convention center in Buffalo, NY, August 6-9. Follow the link for CGOA and get more info about the organization and this event. See you?
>But D you are so adorable! You rocked the catwalk in Portland! I bet you did great (and comments here confirm it) — although I am not TV-enabled I might have to figure out how to get this episode. You are totally the Ambassador of Crochet. — Teresa a.k.a. Skeinfest
>Sounds like quite the day! I haven’t seen the interview ~ how do I find it? I am nutso about your book “Everyday Crochet”! I brought home a copy from my local library but have decided I must own a copy of my own right away. I can’t decide which garment to crochet first. Hmmm…. maybe the “Mei-Mei” from the cover or the “Galena”. Either way, I’M LOVIN IT!
>I am a knitter and after watching your interview and seeing your beautiful lace vest demonstrated on the show, I feel that I must learn to crochet. Now. This week. I have to learn to make those delicate pieces that you design. If you think you were a disaster, you are very wrong. You have inspired me to learn to crochet.
>Just watched this episode and your interview. Thank you so much for sharing your work. I learned how to crochet and knit about 8 also, but knitting and I don’t get along. (Think dropping stitches every chance I got.)Bottom line: Thanks for the inspiration!
>Hello Doris, I too am a crocheter, although I’ve been too stuborn to even try knitting and of course give those in our meetup a bad time when they pull out their needles instead of their hooks. They call me a crochet snob, but it’s just for fun. I tell them whatever you think you can knit you can crochet faster. Anyway, I loved your interview. You have given me so much inspiration. I have met Rita Weis and Jean ohmygoshdontknowherlastname at a couple of meetups down here in San Diego. They are so much fun. After watching your interview this morning, I decided to join the crochet guild. Seeing your pattern for the tank top on there really inpired me to try my hand at some lace. I’ve done lace but not pineapples. Part of me thinks of them as old fashioned and part of me is really intimidated. I have been crocheting since I was a kid too but for some reason its just overwhelming. After seeing you, I bought two of your books on Amazon and will be getting them next week sometime. I Can’t wait to get them so I can decide which project to start on next. I emailed your blog to the owner of the little yarn store here “Daily Fiber” and told her about the books. I usually give her ideas as to what crochet books that people might be interested. I also teach crochet there once a week. I’m trying so hard to get it popular here. There aren’t a lot of crocheters and most are fussy knitters. They don’t stay to fussy when I tell them that they need crocheting a lot more than we need knitters, especially when they pull out their little hooks to pull up a stitch they dropped or crochet an edging around their afghan. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!! I know the possibilities are endless but you just jump started my motivation even more.
>Thank you all for your kind words. Now I am convinced, more than ever, that I do NOT want to see the segment! 🙂
>I recorded K&CT 213 while working out of town. When I say one of the sweaters you brought for the show … a blue, short-sleeve, cowl-neck, tunic-lenghth sweater I almost fell off the bed! That's exactly what I've been looking for and would love to know which book / site it is publishet in so I can purchase it!Thanks so much … dbPS … Loved your work! Will be checking out all of your published work ASAP!
>Hey Donna, from your description I’d say you are talking about the Eve’s Rib Tunic from my book Everyday Crochet. Please join us at Ravelry if you’d care to interact with others who are making or have made this design. Love to see you there.
>Thanks Doris … got the book and am loving it. Already have a couple picked out for my “to do” list!See ya on Ravelry. :~D
>I was just watching the show and saw your design and I love it! I love it all and am now attempting to make one! Wish me luck! But I hope to be able to make some of your beautiful articles of clothing