Monday, August 28, 2006

ER Armwarmers

Here is the story of a pair of cabled armwarmers and how they came to be. They are knit from 2 balls of GGH Linova, (74% cotton/26% linen) color: black.

I was called to work as an extra on the set of ER last Friday. I brought with me some yarn and this pattern. An extra often gets downtime to read or play cards or knit, etc. and I hoped this would be no exception.

Our call time was 11:30 am and I was cast as a "parent with car" which means I would be driving my car in the scene, and I get a little bump in pay for that. After I checked in and wardrobe approved my clothes, I sat down in the junior high school cafeteria that was our location and started in on some knitting action.

We were all told repeatedly not to use the changing rooms designated for the minors. It was creepy that we had to be told that, but there was a guy in a blue shirt I suspect would have done it if he could. We were also told it would be a long day, and not to ask if we could leave early. I didn't like the sound of that one bit.

That's about when the 40 or so junior high school kids showed up for their scene. And the high decibel chaos ensued!

After casting on and working some ribbing into the cuff, I decided to take a quick break and assess the craft services. (This is the catering for you non-industry people) I worked ER once before, years ago when I first tried doing the extra work. I remember platters of chocolate covered strawberries and that's specifically what I set out to find.

Let me just say that this was no longer the ER of old, with the lobster salad and chateau briand. We're talking fruit loops and warm milk, and a basket of grapefruit. I can't think of anything I wanted to do less than peel and eat a grapefruit while knitting. Is nothing sacred? I skipped it and waited for lunch.

That's about when I overhead the guy in the blue shirt and some career extras talking, "I wonder if John Stamos will be here. I worked with him three years ago and we talked. I want to see if he'll remember my face." (Yeah right!) The guy in the blue shirt was seen eating a grapefruit.

So Clooney had something Stamos doesn't. Mainly, craft services. But no worries, we broke for lunch at 2:30. By this point the 12 "parents with cars" and the 40 kids have been hanging out, napping, reading, and not working. Three hours on set and no word about what we're doing or when we're working.

Lunch was awesome and I was being good, so I ate a big salad and steamed veggies. Yes, I was a good girl. And one hour later I was hungry again. In fact, I was still hungry at 5 pm, when I looked up from my knitting at the clock. Still no work, and I was almost done with the second armwarmer. I was starting to get concerned, would I finish and have nothing left to do? Exactly how long was this day meant to be?

As the kids finished their umpteenth round of simon says, we were called to action. The sun was setting in 30 minutes, and we had to get the shot in before then. We hustled our cars to the designated point and drove in circles a while. When it got too dark to shoot, they turned on the really bright lights and kept going. They released the "parents with cars" at this point and I got lost somewhere south of downtown at night trying to find the freeway.

The cabled armwarmers are now on their way to Canada for a craft swap I'm in. I'm to receive some headbands in return.

(If you like stories about knitting while being an extra, check out the story of the Alias socks.)


KnitXcorE said...

wow! at least you have something productive to show for all that time sitting around...

AR said...

I like your extra stories. Did you tell the person who gets them their great history?

Harlem Purl said...

I always enjoy your extra knitting stories.So entertaining and enlightning.

kimberly said...

Great knitting story! Of course, I love the cabled fingerless too!

Star said...

Thanks all! I sort of told her but I don't think she's gotten them yet.

I kinda wanted to keep them!