W is for Willie Nelson

Another productive day for the documentary! Magda let it slip on Thursday that she and her crew would be yarn bombing the Ws W sign on Sunday in celebration of Willie Nelson playing at the new ACL studio. They had knitted a headband and some braids to be fitted on the W. Magda said we might have to shoot it guerrilla style because she wasn’t sure how her project would be received. She was worried that the piece would have to be taken down right after it was put up. Oh, the life of a knittin’ graffiti artist!


John and I drove back from San Antonio at noon after a weekend of Hanna’s wedding stuff.It was a
relaxing afternoon, until I got a text from Magda saying that they were going to start the installation at 4pm (she had told me on Thursday it would probably be 6pm). We grabbed our camera and spider brace and headed downtown.

We were greeted by Moody (who works for the ACL studio) and his camera guy .
John got to shooting the process while I chatted with John-Paul, the other camera guy. Luckily, they were very happy to share their footage for my doc. Moody asked us to be respectful of
Magda’s crew and try to stay out of their way. This was a given but we made a special effort to be a fly on the wall. It was super bright outside which made it hard to shoot with our 60D.

After some discussion, John went to the car to grab the tripod and move the car (we had parked in a valet spot). I took over shooting. I couldn’t make up my mind which lens to use. I put on the 28mm and got some stuff but then got anxious and switched to the 75-300mm. Then the 50mm and the 18-55mm etc. I got some good stuff but I feel better knowing that John-Paul was also getting some coverage. John came back with the tripod just as they were finishing up the W-band and getting ready to drop the braids.

The whole time this was going on, people on the street were watching, which was awesome. Magda says that’s one of the best parts, was watching people look at the project. Thankfully the project was received well and no one asked them to take it down. One thing about Austin, people love their Willie Nelson!

Preparing for the Interview

Tomorrow is my big interview with Magda. This is the first of many, but I want to get as much footage as possible. Natural light would be best. I’ve been sitting here for God knows how long, trying to work out the order and wording of my interview questions. Here’s what I have so far:

Magda Sayeg aka Knitta

-First off what do you call it: knitting graffiti, yarn bombing, fiber art???
-When did you first learn how to knit and crochet? At what age? Do you like to knit or crochet more?
-Describe what your life was like before all that, the knitting graffiti? What did you do for a living, for fun?
-How did you get into knit graffiti?
-Describe what your “girls night out” was like, what would you do?
-Why did you do it?
-What were you trying to accomplish?
-What does your family think about this? your siblings? your kids?

-Talk about PolyCotN and the other code names, why did you do it?
-How do you get your supplies, yarn needles and hooks?
-Did and do you knit and crochet by hand or do you get help from a machine?

-When did it “explode”?
-Was there a moment when you surprised yourself?
-Talk about the bus in Mexico…
-What was your proudest moment? – why
-Was there ever a project you weren’t as proud of? – why

-Do you consider knit graffiti in the same league as street art/graffiti?
-Why do you think women gravitate to something like yarn bombing rather than tagging?

-Describe when it transitions from being a thing you did for fun to a profession?
-Did you ever feel like a “sell out”?
-Since you’ve taking on knitting as your day job, was there ever a moment you were worried about paying your bills?
-How much would a large installation cost coming from you and your group?
-How many employees do you have?
-What would you say is your signature or personalized style in the fiber art world? What do you do that’s better than anyone else?
-How have your goals changed from when you started until now?
-Do you ever feel competitive with the other women doing similar things?