What I’m Knitting To: RuPaul’s Drag Race

It’s summer, it’s Friday, no one with any sense is on the internet, so I’m going to talk about RuPaul!

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I started watching (and knitting to) RuPaul’s Drag Race a few years ago after a friend recommended it to me. It took me about three episodes to get hooked, and my love for the show and its creator have only grown stronger as the seasons have continued. (Season six just ended, and the show has been renewed for season seven.) I’m convinced it’s the perfect reality show: drag is all about artifice and drama, after all, so Drag Race is non-guilty pleasure to watch, a joyous winking celebration of show business in its high and low forms.

And RuPaul is a guru under all that glamour—one of his great sayings is “we’re all born naked, and the rest is drag,” meaning that whoever you are, what you project to the world is something constructed by yourself and your culture, so no one can really claim that their style, lifestyle, or gender is more authentic than anyone else’s.

RuPaul is everywhere these days, from NPR to the New York Times to Marc Maron’s podcast, and he now has his own podcast in which he gossips with Michelle Visage, his best lady friend. Amidst the talk about wigs and juicing and other things I can’t relate to at all is a lot of wisdom about being true to yourself and aspiring to create something original and meaningful.

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I don’t generally get too excited about celebrities or even dresses and high heels, but I find myself making an exception for RuPaul and the other talented drag queens that have been on Drag Race. Some full episodes from the latest season are on the Logo website, and you can also purchase (gloriously un-bleeped) episodes via Apple TV.

And now I would love to turn the question to any of you who happen to be on the internet this Friday: What shows, podcasts, audiobooks, etc are you knitting to these days?

Conor Finnegan’s Fear of Flying

Here’s another video I’m loving this week: a short animation called Fear of Flying, made by Dublin-based Conor Finnegan. The animation is fantastic and the characters and sets are adorable!

I was just puzzling over how it was made, with its apparent combination of stop-motion and computer animation, when I found this little “making-of” clip.

Via The Fox is Black.

(The arcade game is coming along—I’ll have an update on that soon!)

Dan Deacon’s Visual Telephone Game

Time for some creative inspiration! One of my favorite music makers, Dan Deacon, made this neat video last year in which a brief scene with props is recreated, telephone-style, by many teams who each had just watched the previous team’s scene once. It’s a crazy, messy creative experiment that I just can’t stop watching.

The music is great too! It’s from Dan Deacon’s 2012 album America.

Mickey Mouse is Back

Did you hear that Disney is making short animations starring Mickey Mouse again? I haven’t seen a new Disney animation in years, but the three-and-a-half-minute Yodelberg (below), with its classic style and emphasis on physical comedy, is right up my alley.

You can see a couple more on the YouTube channel dedicated to the new Mickey shorts and making-of videos. I hope to see lots more Mickey from them!

What I’m Knitting to: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

I just spent the last couple of weeks in Oklahoma, working with my book photographer Brandi Simons by day and hanging out with my parents and sister on nights and weekends. (Sometimes those spheres overlapped when we needed extra helping hands with photo shoots!)

On this trip my parents were eager to introduce me to their latest Netflix favorite: Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which are brief, suspenseful dramas that aired on television in 1955 to 1957. My parents both remember watching the show when they were kids, so it has a high nostalgia factor for them. But the show really holds up as entertaining TV, and I found that it’s perfect to knit to!

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Each episode is about the typical half-hour length, but there’s something about the pacing and the simple conceits of the stories that make them seem shorter than that. That’s not to say that they’re too simplistic—the acting is often brilliant, and the endings all contain wicked twists, which, while often predictable, are usually thoroughly satisfying.

A recent favorite of mine was the man who was suspected of murdering his wife. When he finds out that friends think he has killed her, and they reveal to him her many affairs at the same time, he basically shrugs and says to himself, “might as well murder her then!” And he does. It looses a little of its charm in my retelling, but like many episodes, it’s comedic and dark at the same time.

The single plot line, high-drama acting style, and limited number of characters make this show ideal for couch knitting, when I can’t always be looking at the TV. But it’s also entertaining enough that I would even—get this—watch it without knitting at the same time.

So that’s what I’ve been knitting to lately. What have YOU been knitting to (or stitching to, or otherwise crafting to)? Please share in the comments!

Ravel

Sabina got in touch recently about a yarn-themed short film called Ravel that she’s planning to make. Right now she’s trying to get funds together for production, and her video about it on Kickstarter is super charming, so I thought I’d share it here!

(Did you spot the Tiny Chicken?)

It’s no surprise that Sabina is getting close to her goal of $3,000 to make her short film. If you pledge $75 or more toward her project, you’ll get a copy of the finished DVD and a handknit tiny creature from Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi, among other perks.

Best of luck to Sabina. I can’t wait to see the finished film!

The Tiny Clown caption contest is still open for entries—check back on Tuesday for the winner!