Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Side projects

Part of the reason I love this doing this documentary is because I'm a knitter. Ever night, after dinner is made and eaten, emails are sent, my boyfriend and I curl up on the couch and either watch movies or tv and I knit. I've only been knitting for the last 3 years or so and I'm honesty not every good. I only started purling a year and half in. I mostly taught myself through books (I wonder if I plug my favorite knitting books if they plug my documentary?) and through the encouragement of some of my more crafty friends.

I'm still trying to get crocheting down. My mom is a huge crocheter. She made my baby blanket while I was an infant in her arms. She said she never got into knitting. She's tried to help me with crochet but I just can't get into those hooks.

Here's what I've been working on recently:

Last summer I heard that I should expect to have a new nephew by the spring of this year. Once I heard the good news I started to make my first baby blanket. Since I'm really good at knitting squares and rectangles, I figured I would make a checkerboard square blanket. I cast on 40 knits then I alternated knitting one row then purling the next for 80 rows (classic stockinette stitch). My good friend Julia advised me to knit all the ends so that the ends of each square won't curl up too much. After 10 months, Jackson Douglas Gonzalez has arrived to the world and he has a new blanket...
My mom crocheted the edges to give it that more polished look. It's probably not the best blanket ever made, but it was my first blanket and is Jack's first (special) blanket.

After this huge task I really didn't have much inspiration to do anything. I had hit a wall with my knitting. During International Yarn Bombing Day I was hanging out with the Yarn Dawgz and Billy was making a little knitted pouch while we were sitting and hanging out. He ended up giving the pouch to David which David continued to gush about for the rest of our shoot. It really inspired me to try to make one myself.

I randomly switched between knitting and purling. I made it the size of an ipod/iphone and then I gave it to Amanda to cheer up her day. I made it in one sitting but I thought I could do a better job. So then I did this...

Again, it didn't take me long to do and it turned out ok. I still wasn't satisfied. I thought it was time to learn to knit with circular needles and double-sided needles. I took me several tries but ...and what I made was...

A much nicer ipod pouch! I'm pretty proud of myself for accomplishing this.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

International Yarn Bombing Day

2011 has been a big year so far; a lot of great things have happened, especially for the fiber arts. Saturday June 11th, 2011 was the first International Yarn Bombing Day. It started off as a half-hearted idea to help spread the joy of yarn graffiti but became a huge world-wide sensation. It's really amazing. Thank goodness for the internet.

In this early stage of the documentary, this new holiday snuck up on me but I did not lose hope. John (my producer) and I got together to figure out this best way to utilize our resources. We were only going to be able to be in one place to film. I had to be in San Antonio for the weekend for another obligation so we found some San Antonio knitters/yarn bombers to follow. Brandy B.Link Garcia had contacted me a couple weeks ago about a project was doing with a Texas flag she was knitting that she was going to put over the Riverwalk. The Yarn Dawgz, which is a male knitting group, were also doing a project that they were inviting us to film. After our shoot was pretty scheduled, we decided we needed more: We did a call for footage which is a crazy idea that craft groups around the world could submit there home footage of their projects to us for the documentary. As the day comes to a close we already have 15 submission! I'm sure we'll get more.

Any excuse to come to San Antonio for a weekend is a good excuse but it's especially nice when I'm coming to SA-town for yarn graffiti. Friday was a long, productive day. John and I recruited friend and fellow filmmaker David Bukstein to help us film this weekend. We left Austin around 1:30 and got to San Antonio with just enough time to eat, regroup and leave to meet up with the Yarn Dawgz at the Pearl Brewery. We were greeted with hugs and smiles. Dino Foxx, Billy Munoz, Sasha Zeilig and Karen Arredondo were already busy installing there knitted piece. John miked them and David and I hopped on shooting all the activity and color. We were instantly at home with this group.
We couldn't stay with the Yarn Dawgz all night because we needed to me
et up with B.Link but we could have easily done so; they were a lot of fun. After lots of whip stitches, interviews, yarn, anecdotes, and Dino doing a quick freestyle while Billy keeps the beat with the knitting needles on the pipe (see photo on right), we left the Yarn Dawgz.

Our next destination was to meet Brandy at the DIY Factory. The DIY Factory is a wonderful little store and community craft education center. They were having a party of Etsy's Birthday which created a bundle of activity. We were a little more relaxed with our shooting since Brandy was just preparing for her late night installations. We charged some batteries, got some footage of Brandy getting ready, did an interview and got ready to go out on the Riverwalk with Brandy to install her knitted and crocheted pieces. John and I had a little trouble finding parking near where she was going to install the knitted Texas flag, so David came to the rescue and popped out to capture the moment while it was happening. We found parking and met up with David and Brandy and started doing our thing. Because Brandy was installing her pieces after midnight, in the shadows, on the Riverwalk, near the Pearl, she was a little nervous. As filmmakers, we respected this and backed off and took extra steps to not draw attention to what she was doing. We didn't have any problems other than some sprinklers and some drunk passerbys. After a long day, we got some late-night sustenance from Mi Terra.

Today we met back up with Dino and Billy from the Yarn Dawgz and just hang out and knit. We got some shots of all the pieces, including Brandy's, in the daylight, and just hung out. Overall I had a really amazing International Yarn Bombing Day. We learned a lot and had a good time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Give us your International Yarn Bombing Day footage!

Hi! Sarah here, director of the feature length Yarn Graffiti Documentary. As many of you know, This Saturday, June 11, is International Yarn Bombing Day (Woo Hoo!). All around the world, hundreds of crews will simultaneously carry out knitted and crocheted projects. I'm so excited, as a knitter and as a filmmaker.

My crew will be in San Antonio, TX filming a group as they knit a giant Texas flag over the River Walk. While we're really excited about this my producer, John Moore, and I have been trying to figure out how we can best utilize our resources to capture this awesome event.

WE WANT YOUR IYBD FOOTAGE! My crew and I can only be in one place at a time, but we want to gather as much footage as possible for an elaborate montage of bombers around the world. If you plan on taking part of any project and plan to have video, pictures, or any other documentation, please send it to us. Use your IPhone, old Handicam, Flipcam, 16mm, MiniDV, or whatever. We know that most of you are not professional filmmakers or camera-people but that's okay. We just want to make sure we get this world wide event captured! This is an imperative part of the film because it will show the international community of yarn bombers.

Here's how it works:

-- You can upload any materials you have to (up to 2 GB) or (up to 5GB).
-- When upload is complete it will give a link to the file.
-- Email this link to

PLEASE NOTE that even though you retain ownership of all media uploaded, by submitting materials you give the filmmakers full permission to use the media in the film, without compensation. Though we can not pay you for your footage, credit will be given for the work done in the end credits of the film.

Again, this is a call to ANYONE doing some sort of fiber art project on this day. This is your chance to feature your work to the world!

Thanks and keep crafting!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Texas Filmmaker Production Fund

Well I just mailed off my Texas Filmmaker Production Fund application. It feels good. This is the first in a series of grants that I'm applying for. I'm a prime candidate for this award, not only because I'm a Texas resident, but mostly because I'm a first-time feature film director and I'm doing a feature-length documentary. Plus my documentary subject is pretty frickin' cool.

It's not my best work but it works. Here's what I submitted as my work sample.

TFPF 2011 Work Sample from sarah gonzography on Vimeo.

I'm not going to get my hopes up about the TFPF grant. A lot super talented people apply to it every year so I know the competition is stiff. If I don't get it, I will just try again next year and hope for the best. Getting this grant would be amazing because it would be the catalyst to all the other grants. Grants are funny like that, they usually want to give to you if another grant has already awarded you a grant.

I should feel really good but I can't help but feel like I forgot something. I keep reminding myself that there is no use worrying about something I can't do anything about now.

We're still doing our Indiegogo Campaign and it's going well; I appreciate all the contributions but we're not where I would have liked to be. I hope that the next 60 is goes well.