Video making and editing

After a weekend of blood, sweat and near tears, I can now report I've finished the Jools video ready for the start of the KAL on Easter Monday (interestingly also April Fools Day!). It's never going to win any prizes but I hope it will do the job of demonstrating all the techniques used to knit the beret.

It was a massive learning curve for me. Before we started I had zilch experience with editing video and a couple of days later, I've somehow acquired the basics. Huge respect to all those generous souls who take the trouble to share their expertise on YouTube, without whom I'd still be floundering.
I can't tell you what a huge relief it is for me to actually have the video in the can. My next book, Great Little Gifts to Knit, will be published by the Taunton Press in September, and, like Sweet Shawlettes, offers many different techniques, showcased within a collection of small projects. With this in mind I'd decided to make a series of short how-to tutorials to support both books.

Typically, I sent off the info to my editor six months ago, asking for it to be included in the book. As there was nearly a year before the book was to be published, this seemed like a good idea at the time, thinking I'd have more than enough time to learn how to do it.  But being me, I never got round to it - there were a million other projects vying for my time, so when I saw the new book recently on Amazon ready for pre-sales, this put me in panic station mode.

Meanwhile I was planning to launch my first knitalong (KAL) and a friend whom I knew to be an experienced KAL joiner happened to mention that the best KALs are sometimes accompanied by a short video. Well... never one to shirk a challenge, I decided that now was the time to take the plunge, and use the KAL as an opportunity to practise for the book tutorials later in the year.
Whenever I'd thought about making videos before, I imagined the actual shooting would be the problem. In the event, providing you have a half-decent camera, the video itself is child's play. With P shooting it on my trusty little point-and-shoot Canon S90 using a tripod borrowed from a neighbour, the only difficult thing was finding a neutral location with good, but not glaring light.

After the third take I decided there was no way I was ever going to deliver it any better - I often find the first time I do something is the best and it's all downhill from there - so we decided to call it a day and see what could be done in the editing.

I used iMovie, which is part of the iLife package and came with my laptop, but I have to admit I'd never opened it before.  After sitting at my laptop all day with much tearing out of the hair, I actually got to the point where I had the final edit. However, in trying to finalise it, I didn't realise that the internet connection wasn't stable enough and lost the whole project - the blood, sweat and tears part of the exercise! Time to sleep on it and try again in the morning hopefully refreshed and retaining all the knowledge I'd amassed the day before.

This time I was more careful and managed to get it safely onto the desktop. However, I hadn't anticipated the next problem - how to store it in cyberspace and integrate it into my website. A little more digging on YouTube thankfully produced the answer. I could share it on YouTube privately, then use the embed code on my website.
By this time you're probably wondering when I'm going to reveal the fruits of my labours.  I have to say again, it's not as slick as many tutorials, but I'm pleased with it for a first attempt and am planning to follow it up pretty quickly with more for my new book... while it's all fresh in my mind and I can still remember how to do it.
Amazing how the front and back always look
like different colourways
Fresh green trim to welcome the spring
So there it is, my maiden voyage into video-making - if you've joined the KAL, you'll find everything you need to know to knit the Jools beret. Not long now before I'll be sending out the second part of the pattern so you can start knitting. Meanwhile I've just finished another colourway in Rowan's old 4-ply botany, it's becoming something of an addiction, watching each new colour combination develop. I'm  SO looking forward to seeing those that you create from your own unique stashes.

Off to put up our Easter tree now, have a fun holiday weekend!


  1. Jean, thanks for the fabulous tutorial. Can't wait to start knitting!


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