November 28, 2010

Fact #140: Knitting while acting

I've been learning how to knit.

At the top of the show my character, Alice, is supposed to be knitting while she waits for her suitor to arrive at the shop. And if Alice knits, that means I have to knit.

Luckily, the assistant stage manager was president of the knitting club at her high school. So she had all kinds of yarn and knitting needles, and was a great teacher. She gave me a fat red pair of needles (they're so huge I feel like I should be slaying vampires with them) and some thick pink yarn to practice with.

At first I had a strange tendency to add stitches (I guess beginners usually drop them), but I kept practicing until I was able to finish a row with the same number of stitches as when I started. I could even hold a semi-coherent conversation while I knitted.

Then they gave me the needles and yarn I have to use for the show -- the needles are about a hundred times smaller than my practice ones, and the the yarn is a hundred times thinner. Ruh roh...

Rather than trusting me to do all my own knitting, the ASM did several rows ahead of time so I'd have something to start with. But even with all the help from her, this is how it usually goes:
  • I wait in the wings, clutching my knitting needles and yarn.
  • The lights dim and we enter in the blackout.
  • The lights come up. I knit a few stitches (is that what they're called?).
  • My 'sister' enters. We start talking.
  • The knitting needles go haywire. It's like they've become self aware and desperately want to escape my clutches.
  • I keep doing the motions -- but instead of a nice orderly row, I'm now knitting a giant knot.
Come on brain! Two things at once, you can do it! Hands knit, mouth speaks. Get it together!

Til tomorrow.

1 comment:

marianne said...

Great image! And, now you know how to knit, which just might come in very handy.