Thursday, February 15, 2007

Meg's making videos again!

Schoolhouse Press has a long tradition of publishing the Woolgathering twice a year. In it is news/essay, a project and plugs for things they've found that they like on the back. At some point they started filming the project design/production progress and offer a VHS video for those who want to order it. Simply done, good production values (they know you want to see the hands with the knitting technique being demonstrated, not necessarily the face of the person talking about the technique). Elizabeth started it and Meg picked it up when she started writing the Woolgatherings.

Meg's late husband was the videographer ("Camera Guy" as he was known, who would occasionally be the voice off-camera reminder her to say something, or checking math) and I haven't seen any new videos made since he passed very suddenly.

Schoolhouse Press is in the process of reissuing the videos on DVDs. Back when I first got to know of them, I didn't have the spare income to collect the VHS videos. I have a few, but not many. I thought I was ordering one of the ones I don't have, remastered, when I got the Baby Surprise Jacket DVD with my order of size ones. Instead, it's new! Meg is recording again!

It's a nice video. I've made several BSJs, but reading EZ's instructions is always a matter of her holding certain things to be self-evident and the knitter needing to figure out what is implicit in the instructions. Modern patternwriting includes much more specific hand-holding. Meg reads the instructions as she goes through the project, demonstrates each skill needed as it comes, then comments on what's going on. It's the comments that really brings understanding to make clear what the instructions say, like increasing 10 stitches evenly over the center back stitches, well, how many should there be at that point (56)? I'm always distrusting my math when I do BSJs, but to see Meg do it with you is a welcome confirmation. And Meg has just such wonderful diction, there is no needing to figure out what word she is using. Printed instructions for the BSJ and a bonnet to go with it are included, along with a cheat sheet of what knitted garments Meg is wearing.

There's a tie-in with the Opinionated Knitter Book released in the last couple years. I haven't checked what projects are in there versus the videos already extant, but I'm hoping she will continue the series if there aren't already videos for the projects.

For those interested in the Baby Surprise Jacket, it's an enjoyable $18 spent.

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