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the uncommon threads adventure

14 August 2006 2,019 views 27 Comments

It was only 4 days, but it felt like 80 million.

You know how little kids get overstimulated at parties and then they’re exhausted and hyper and unmanageable? That was me until yesterday when I lazed about and didn’t get out of my PJs for most of the day.




(Yeah, cheap effect, I was in L.A. – What do you want?)

I hardly even know where to start, but let’s go with Day 1, when Jennifer, Marisa and I flew from Texas to California for the taping of Uncommon Threads.

Other than finishing the Crape Myrtle socks before we hit Dallas (proper FO pics later this week,) the flight was uneventful. We arrived at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank where Charming Vince the PA picked us up. You know how when you get off a plane there are often gents in tuxedo’s standing around with signs waiting to whisk you off to your destination? vince was circling the airport with a hand-scrawled sign that read "Uncommon Threads." Once in the car, we quickly determined who he’d picked up before us by the crumpled up sign on the backseat floor. (That sign reads "Artisan Women of Worchester")

In the hotel lobby at the bell desk Jennifer noticed three women with amazing handmade bags. Not one to be shy among my own kind, I leaned in and asked, "Uncommon Threads?" Yup! We’d found Dharia, Sarah and Dayna (the previously mentioned AWW) who had just finished shooting their episodes. We had maybe 10 timid seconds of introduction and were then instantly fast friends, chatting and getting louder and louder and louder. Before you could say Pickalittle Talkalittle, we made plans for dinner and off we went to settle in our rooms.

Our late afternoon rehearsal was postponed, so we cruised out to nosh and goss with Dharia and Sarah. It was a relief to hear the crew were all fantastic and that although at times it was frustrating, there was nothing scary about taping the show. It helped quash some of the butterflies in my stomach (and there were MANY butterflies.) We laughed our way through the evening and although I wish we’d had more time to hang with our new buds, it was a relief to climb into bed at last.

Many more pictures and tales after the cut.

Day 2, First day of taping.
We arrived at the studio at 7AM, camera-ready and excited. The time between rehearsals and shooting zipped by so fast I barely remember what happened. I know Jane the lovely wardrobe queen picked out and pressed our outfits. I know I sat in a make-up chair while Suzie hid my undereye circles. I know I had a microphone strung under my shirt (no comment) and hung from my belt. I know our producer Lorelei ushered me onto the set. I remember Gordon the director sternly telling us "NEVER look at the camera and ALWAYS have fun," but mostly the morning is just a blur. The next thing I knew we were sitting on the couch watching host Allison Whitlock crochet a pincushion. It was hard to reconcile a voice I’d only heard in my living room coming out of the woman with perfect teeth sitting beside me. Surreal.

We were only shooting one episode that afternoon and the project was my craft bucket. Thankfully this was the hardest one and I got it out of the way on the first day. There’s so much to remember while you’re in front of the camera. Was I standing up straight? (Yes) Could the mic pick up my stomach growling? (Yes) Was I looking at the camera? (No)
I had to remember not to lean forward under the overhead camera so I didn’t block the sewing machine shots. I had to remember to move my hands slowly and announce my next move so the camera could follow. I had to remember to smile and look enthralled even though I could hear the camera crew groaning and sighing that "sewing is so boring." Mostly I was happy to just get through without sticking myself with a pin, swearing or burping.

We left the studio before 8PM, had some dinner and a quick beer and crashed. Jennifer and I wanted to try to watch Project Runway, but I knew there was no way I could keep my eyes open past 9:30.

Directors_run_throughDay 3, one episode down, two to go.

The show has had a makeover since last season with a new set and a new method for demonstrations. If you say it, they want to see it. I think the new set-up will be much better even though it meant they cut a project from each of us. We knocked out the 2nd episode (one of my CD cases and Jennifer’s paperback book cover) with nary a hitch. We spent the rest of the midafternoon rehearsing and keeping one eye on the monitors while Drew the Crochet Dude, Pam and Amie were shooting the last of their episodes. We were the last group to shoot Friday afternoon and Jennifer nailed the 3rd episode with her gorgeous craft apron and patchwork apron.

Everyone on the Uncommon Threads crew were fantastic and supportive. We met some damn cool people while we were in Burbank. There wasn’t a single moment when I didn’t think I could get through it. If you ever get the chance to apply for the show, DO IT! I will again, without hesitation.

Whew! That was long and I ran out of steam at the end, so if you’re looking for a few more pics you’ll find mine in the photoset at flickr. I’ve also set up an uncommon threads flickr pool for guests who have appeared on the show. Fun stuff, hey?


  • Susan said:

    That’s so awesome and cool! What a neat and surreal experience!

  • Julie said:

    Very cool! Sounds like it was very fun!

  • Dharia said:

    CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP, talk a lot, talk a little more.
    so glad your filming went ok, even with snipped projects. same happened to us. but YAY. now you can see why i was so hyper and overstimulated when we had dinner! and i’m glad i’m not the only one that happened to. hehe.

  • Erin said:

    Sweet!!! Congrats!! I can hardly wait to see it on the air — woo hoo!!

  • jennifer ramos said:

    Very good summation!! And thanks so much for the supportive words (especially your little note under the door – I needed that!
    How the heck did you get that above-the-head shot?

  • Abbe said:

    Far out Caro! I’m so glad it went well. Can’t wait to see it on the tee vee.

  • Dotty said:

    Wow! It looks like a lot of fun. Too bad I don’t have cable. Do you know when the episode will air? Then I could arrange to be in front of someone else’s TV.

  • S t a c i said:

    So cool! I’m going to set my Tivo to tape every episode right now so that there is no way that I’ll miss it.
    I just took a look at your Flickr photos…they are really nice. I’m sure it felt like a whirlwind trip. Stay in you pjs as long as you need to. :)

  • Rete said:

    Sounds like you had a great time! I’ll keep an eye out for the show.

  • meg said:

    congrats, caro! sounds so exciting. i can’t wait to see you on the show.

  • Kristin said:

    Yay! Now you’re a big TV star! I too am Tivo-ing every episode. I’m glad you had fun and you definitely deserve a rest.

  • Julia said:

    What fun! Can’t wait to hear more and see the episodes?

  • Kellee said:

    Oooooh, look at you being all famous and stuff! Watch out Martha, here come the blogging crafters.

  • Emily said:

    I have been eagerly waiting to hear of your experience! I am so glad you had fun!!!!! It sounds like a blast. Now I can’t wait to see it.

  • Kelli said:

    What a wonderful time you had!

  • ~drew emborsky~ said:

    It was great meeting all y’all, and it sounds like you had a great time shooting! Woohoo! Congrats!
    I joined the flicker pool but for the life of me can’t find a way to upload the photos. Me=cyberdork
    I loved looking at all the other photos too!

  • gina said:

    Wowee! Now I have yet another reason to miss the ol’ boob tube. Sigh.

  • Christine said:

    Seriously, I’m setting the Tivo up tomorrow to record every show so I make sure I don’t miss yours.
    Ironic, I live in Houston and I have not met the infamous Crochet Dude. How sad is that? I think the next knitter lunch/drinkfest needs to be in Houston. And we need to invite the crocheters too. Want to visit Houston?

  • Susan said:

    Wow! You were in the studio in Burbank!
    I’m coming over for the viewing party.

  • Anonymous said:

    So when will you be on?

  • caro (author) said:

    We still don’t know when it’s going to air. We’ve heard everything from January-ish to next July. The producer assured us she’d give us a heads up a few weeks before. As soon as I know, I’ll be spreading the word! For now I almost have to forget about it or it will drive me crazy. I wanna KNOW!

  • ladylinoleum said:

    I am so happy you guys had a good time doing the show. We did too, though we still have one more episode to tape. I envy your getting it over with in one foul swoop.

  • Karen said:

    It all sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to see the episodes!

  • NessieNoodle said:

    Sounds like a really wonderful experience! how cool is that? Now if I only had cable tv I could see the show.. sigh- ahh but it keeps me moving and crafting so that is good.
    very cool my dear, very cool.!

  • Jennifer Perkins said:

    Allison is indeed a sweetie! Jane and Fernanda had nothing but sweet things to say about you ladies. Hooray for Austin crafters!!!!

  • FinnyKnits said:

    Wooooooooo! I love hearing about this SO! I can’t wait to see your episode on teevee! Hey, did you know LadyLinoleum (aka Regina) of Monstercrochet fame was also on an episode?? You’re all celebrities!

  • mandy said:

    hey!!! its me from flickr, I can feel your pain, we have only done one day of filming and we are zonked! We live in San Diego though so we got up at 5:30am to leave by 6 to get here around 8:30. We go back home friday, then come back again monday, for tuesday, crazy stuff!!

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