Wendy Bernard, master of all things knitting, came to film with us this week. So one day we bought her a salad and made her sit down and answer a bunch of questions. Because we’re really nice hosts.
Behind the Scenes with Wendy Bernard
Where do you live?
I live in Southern California.
Do you have any adorable pets/kids/life partners we need to know about?
I have a daughter and a husband, and two dogs:
Rock-O, who’s a dachshund mix and Loretta, a Jack-a-huahua. That’s obviously a Jack Russell mixed with a Chihuahua.
How (and when) did you get into knitting?
My grandmother taught me when I was 10, but I didn’t start knitting seriously until I was pregnant with my daughter. My first project was a baby hat that looked like a strawberry.
What’s the toughest part of knitting?
It can be very lonely.
What advice would you give beginners in this field?
It’s okay to break the rules.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I look at what people are wearing – a lot of street fashion. I think about what I would like to wear and because I live in Southern California, I don’t always design for warmth. That’s a major difference between knits I make and knits East Coast people make; theirs all have high necks and are made to keep you warm in the snow.
How do you make time to knit?
Well, since this is what I do professionally, it’s not hard to find time to knit things. It’s my job. That being said, I rarely knit just for myself. My hobby-hobby is sewing. (ed. note: Wendy wore the most amazing handmade tunic on the first day of our shoot with her. This woman has serious sewing skills).
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I adore Sonya Philip and her 100 Acts of Sewing. A lot of them are Creativebug artists! I’ve been taking Rebecca Ringquist‘s classes and Lisa Congdon‘s doodling class, and I love Liesl Gibson‘s patterns, too. Another of my favorite artists is Olga Buraya-Kafelian – most knitters know her as Olga Jazzy. She’s a knitwear designer living in Japan, and she is able to create really amazing textures.
What are your favorite materials to work with?
Linen and linen blends, hemp, Blue Sky alpacas, and I tend to prefer wood to metal knitting needles, but I just try to use the right needles for the project.
What is your most favorite thing you’ve ever made?
Okay, there are only a few hundred I have to choose from here. Okay – I made a Royal Cable vest vest from my newest book, Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary that I absolutely love.
Be honest – how much fun is it to film these Creativebug classes?
Truthfully? I get pretty homesick. I miss my family and my dogs. I’m a real homebody. But now that we’re halfway through and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I’m having a good time. The crew is great, and I actually grew up in the Bay Area, visiting San Francisco, so it’s fun to be back.
Best and worst/hardest parts of filming a class:
Best: The idea that I can pass all this knitting knowledge on to other people.
Worst: Finding that zen place in front of the camera where I’m not nervous.
Do you like being in front of the camera?
You know, it’s a lot like teaching a class. And yes, I enjoy being in front of the camera but it’s not like I crave it. The main goal for me is to teach people things, and this definitely accomplishes that.
Okay, last question: Where can we stalk you online?
Definitely on my website, http://www.knitandtonic.net/. And Twitter: @KnitTonicWendy.