Behind The Scenes: On Set At Craftsy

Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Knitting | Comments


Hi Everybody!

So, I just realized that I’ve been posting here for a few days with no real introduction!

My name’s Stefanie Japel, I’m a craft author, longtime knit blogger, knitting teacher, and mom to two darling little girls….AND I’m the instructor of the online knitting classes here at Craftsy.com.   I just finished filming two new Knit Lab courses and I thought it’d be fun for you guys to see what goes on behind the scenes when we’re filming a new class.

Leading up to filming, we plan out the lessons and the knits are all prepped (by me) and ready to go  so that when I arrive we can just jump right in with everything we need.  This process takes a few weeks, but it’s so worth it to have everything prepped ahead of time.

The first thing that happens every morning is hair and makeup (our makeup artist), and then I head over to the set. No, I won’t be posting before and after makeup shots! (wink) The set is a large room at Craftsy HQ with several different areas that can be “propped out” (set up with different props, curtains, and backgrounds) so that each course has its won individual look.  My classes are always in this green corner with exposed brick on one side, because the brick and paint go well with my hair & coloring (isn’t that thoughtful?)

The first class that we filmed is called “Circular Knit Lab: Fit Your Knits” and focuses on how to add custom shaping to any knit garment pattern.  Here’s our model and friend, Mathilda, in her Craftsy tee and somewhat wonky measuring lines (don’t worry, I straightened them out to measure her!):

In the class, I use Mathilda (and several real people, too) to show how to take proper figure measurements and then use them to adjust any knitting pattern.  Those are Mathilda’s measurements on the white board.

Here’s a pic of all of the people whose measurements we use and adapt sweaters for in the class:

We were able to get quite a range of women together with really different heights and sizes, and then to go right out the door and get some really nice photos.

And here’s me on set with Emily, the director of production.   She’s obviously telling me something reeeally important here! I’ve got a whole bunch of garments laid out and am about to talk through all the different ways that you run into shaping in knitting patterns (side seam, full-fashioned shaping, front darts, change in stitch pattern, etc.) and I think that Emily is just giving me the rundown on how that will go.

That’s one of two HD cameras that the crew used to film the course…there’s also a big boom mic and LOTS of lights. I’ve taught online courses before, but never with this much equipment or this much attention to production.  It really feels like being on the set of a TV show.

The second class we did was called “Circular Knit Lab: Hats Four Ways.”  In that class, I teach how to knit in the round using four different knitting styles: Double-pointed needles, a short circular needle, two circulars together, and one long circular.  The class works through several hat patterns and I give lots of customization and design tips along the way.

Here I am with my two daughters, who helped me show how to measure the heads of toddlers on the run!  My oldest daughter, Mazie, is SO excited to be in what’s she calls “Mommy’s Movie.”  Olive just had fun playing with the tape measure and eating cookies.

After we finished filming the hats class, we hit the street to take some action shots of us and the Craftsy team in some of the hats.  We walked around LoDo in Denver, looking for interesting spots to stop and take pics.  I think that’s one great advantage to being in a city…lots of photo shoot possibilities!

The Craftsy people are SO fun and cute…and REALLY good sports.  Who else would dress in wool in the middle of May at an ice cream parlor!?

After this last photo shoot, it was time for me to pack up and head home.  It was such fun experience, Denver’s a great city, and the Craftsy team really worked hard to make two great classes!

I hope that you guys will think so, too.