It’s good to step outside your comfort zone every once in a while.
It’s maybe not so clever to leap naked from a speeding comfort zone, yelling ‘geronimo!’ and brandishing the Antarctic flag. But hey.
It would be fair to say that last weekend, I ventured a very, very, long way from my comfort zone. (Just for the record, my comfort zone is located in front of the fire, post-run, with friends, wine, books, and knitting/crochet. )
My comfort zone is definitely not to be found in a television studio, being interviewed about the yarny objects I’ve designed. To put things into context: I don’t even own a television. But last Saturday, I drove down to London with the chair, to be interviewed for a programme that’s due to be broadcast on one of the BBC channels next March. Yes, I’m talking about this chair:-
Allow me to explain. (I can only say so much, though, because I signed a hefty confidentiality agreement.) It all happened suddenly – so suddenly that it took scarcely a week to go from being a carefree TV-virgin to being the sort of person who drives Londonwards with a chair, and a bottle of hot green tea, ready to carpe the diem and hopefully not die a wilting death on national television.
May I give you some advice at this point? If you’re busy preparing to be on TV, don’t write your pre-filming to-do list on your hand in pen, especially not if you’re due to appear on a craft-related programme where your hands are going to be on show for pretty much the whole time. There y’are, folks: free media training from The Twisted Yarn. You’re welcome.
(Still, even that error of judgement wasn’t as bad as the time I sleepily penned a few reminders on my hand last thing at night… before going to sleep with my cheek resting on my hand. It’s down to rare good fortune that I glanced in the mirror as I was getting ready for work the next morning, so I did at least notice the shopping list on my face before I left for the hospital. Professional gravitas? I have none.)
Clotheswise, TV people encourage you to wear something with no pattern, ideally bright block colours, and no reds, blacks, or whites. I do not do plain. At all. The very idea of plain brings me out in a rash… and that would count as a pattern. Seriously, though, I’m all about detailed patterns and fancy colour combinations and… definitely not plain. I even resorted to going shopping, but guess what? All the racks were filled with glorious reds and blacks and patterns… and also this:-
But let’s not stray any further off-topic. I found a dress, I loaded the chair into the car, and I headed off.
I arrived uncharacteristically early…
…And did what any self-respecting yarn-blogger would do to pass the time:-
And then, a mere ten rows later, it was time to put down the knitting and go in. gulp
I’m sorry that there is much that I can’t reveal until after the programme has aired next year. But I can tell you that it was all surprisingly fun. And the very best thing was not the filming itself – it was waiting in the green room with several other crafty people and seeing the awesome things that they had made. Once the prosecco had been brought out, it all began to feel like a rather wonderful, too-early-to-be-drinking-but-maybe-I’ll-just-have-a-small-one party.
I met some very talented people. There was Silvina De Vita, Brighton-based paper artist and thoroughly lovely person. (You know when you just get a good feeling about someone when you meet them?) This hasty phone-snap doesn’t do her work justice, because it doesn’t show that there’s a light inside that makes the whole ensemble glow, highlighting the exquisite details in her work:-
Look at her paper garden, right here. Maybe it’s not obvious from the photo, but these flowers are tiny. And perfect. And tiny. And perfect. Also, tiny. She’s currently selling miniature paper houses under glass domes in aid of people affected by Hurricane Irma (via Oxfam / the Disaster Emergency Committee). I ordered one, and I’m a little too excited about its arrival. You can find her work for sale here.
There was Andrew MacDermott, much of whose pottery is inspired by the landscapes of Iceland. Instead of working coloured glazes onto a pot, he makes his pieces out of differently-hued clays, blended and layered to create the seascapes and other designs in his mind. It’s fair to say that he’s a genius with clay.
There were others, too, but suddenly it was time to go and face the cameras (with the chair). And I was on such a high after meeting these inspiring people that I completely forgot to be appropriately terrified of being interviewed for national television… which probably means that I’ve utterly disgraced myself, but I won’t find out about that until the programme airs in March. And in the meantime, let’s just pretend that I was brilliant and erudite, OK?
And that, my friends, is one way to spend your Saturday.