Geeks Being Cool… With Knitting!

Sometimes life is a little surreal. I started knitting several years back and from that, started designing. Now I find myself in Los Angeles, sitting in John Carpenter’s guest house getting ready to shoot pictures of him and his wife for my new knitting book, Geek Knits.

Coming from a rock and roll background I never thought that out of all the ways I could possibly go to L.A. and meet celebrities, knitting would be any part of the equation. It goes to show that if you just roll with the flow, life can take you some pretty awesome places.

The plan for Geek Knits is ambitious. Not only do I want to create an awesome knitting book filled with cool designs, I want all of those designs to be inspired by the things I love; with ties to science, gaming, sci-fi, fantasy and comic books. Then to make things even more interesting, I decided the coolest thing ever would be to have celebrities in those fields model all the knit items from the book! After the book is released, each item a celebrity modeled with will be auctioned off to the charity of his or her choice.

Kyle Cassidy Toni Carr Geek Knits

Kyle shoots while I look on

Kyle Cassidy is my partner in crime for this project. His amazing works include Who Killed Amanda Palmer, Armed in America, and War Paint. He’s being a really good sport as I make plans to drag him to L.A., Indianapolis, New York and, well, anyplace else a geek celebrity says, “Sure, I’ll be in the book!”

Our first stop in L.A. was to shoot two amazing women. Miracle Laurie, who I adored on the television show Dollhouse, and Leah Cevoli, known for her work on Robot Chicken and these amazing panels she hosts at conventions about body image in the entertainment industry.

Miracle Laurie Geek Knits

My husband Dill setting up the lighting for Miracle

I was a little nervous, as this was our first big shoot of the week and we’d already run into a few snags. A really major name canceled on us three days before we flew out, causing us to scramble to try and still get enough shots to keep us on track. (This isn’t a cheap undertaking and our budget is fairly small.)

I relaxed as soon as Kyle took the first few pictures. Both Miracle and Leah would probably have to work very hard to take a bad photo. Each shoot took about ten minutes, we changed outfits, hair and make up, played fetch with a dog, and took more pictures. Easy, easy shooting!

Geek Knits Leah Cevoli

Leah Cevoli was a dream to shoot

The following day was buggy. Our subject thought the shoot was scheduled for another day and wasn’t at the studio when we showed up. There was a film crew that is working on a Neil Gaiman documentary that was supposed to film the photo shoot because our subject is working with Neil, Kyle and I are friends with Neil, and Neil is also going to appear in Geek Knits—perfect tie in! But since the subject didn’t show, Kyle and I got on the other side of the camera and were interviewed instead!

Kyle Cassidy Geek Knits

Kyle being interviewed

We told many sordid tales and did our best Neil Gaiman impersonations. It was a blast.

Toni Carr Geek Knits

Me being interviewed

Next up we shoot Roman Dirge (My inner self is going OMG), Whitney Avalon, then John and Sandy Carpenter. Then back home to the real world of working in my coffee shop and cuddling my dogs, before we do it all over again Thanksgiving weekend, this time in Indianapolis!


Joan of Dark is sometimes called Toni Carr, though not very often these days. Former roller girl, current silks aerialist, knitter, nerd and coffee shop owner,  she can always be found at www.joanofdark.com. She is the author of Knits for Nerds as well as Geek Knits, coming soon from St. Martin’s Press.

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