Behind the Scenes with a Knitting Consultant

Sometimes people are cast into roles in plays or movies that require them to act out knitting even though they are not knitters themselves. There used to be a time when people could just hold the knitting on screen and kind of pretend to knit and get away with it, but I think because so many people knit these days and are aware of it (and would be vocally critical if it weren’t portrayed properly) non-knitters are often coached in the basics so they can act the part properly.

So it was for Georgia Engel, who recently played the role of Marina in a New York City production of Uncle Vanya. It required her to knit, so a consultant –Rita Bobry, owner of Downtown Yarns — was brought in to teach her.

Bobry said in an interview with the Times-Union that she was pegged because her yarn shop is closest to where the play was being rehearsed. She said she only taught Engel the knit stitch, and during the play she worked with Lamb’s Pride Bulky on size 10.5 needles. The actress said the hardest part was knitting and talking at the same time, and though she has no plans to keep up the craft, she is planning to knit something for the director’s new child, with Bobry’s help.

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