Thursday, December 6, 2012

Episode 20 - Jane of the Island

In today’s episode, I’m pleased to bring you an encore interview with Jane Richmond, here to talk about her new collection of knits, inspired by Vancouver Island. Plus, in the Kitchen I’ll talk about my new way of cooking and eating.

Shownotes (links to follow):

News & Noteworthy:

The contest is now closed and there will be a drawing for it soon.  Thanks!
The contest for this month: a copy of Jane Richmond's new knitting collection "Island".  Also, a skein of Madelinetosh "Vintage" worsted, in either "logwood" (purple) or "mourning dove" (blue). The deadline for this contest draw is December 31st, 2012, around 9pm Pacific/12midnight Eastern. Leave a comment with your contact info (Ravelry id is great!)

Jane Richmond's new book "Island".

Madelinetosh "Vintage" worsted (200yards/4oz), "Logwood" colourway.

Madelinetosh "Vintage" worsted, "Mourning Dove" colourway.

For “On and Off the Needles”:

Interview with Jane Richmond.

Song - Ludovico Einaudi, “Nightbook”

In the Kitchen:

The Paleo/Primal diet/lifestyle:
Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution
Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint  
Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook 
Diane Sanfilippo's Practical Paleo
Julie & Charles Mayfields's Paleo Comfort Food

Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations (Paleo cooking/baking)
Elena's Pantry (gluten-free, but with some Paleo options)
Mark Sisson's "Mark's Daily Apple"
(more to be added soon)


Today I want to acknowledge the loss of one of our own.  A fellow podcaster, knitter and much loved lady in the knitting and Ravelry community - Karrie, also known as KnitPurlGurl (podcast by the same name), passed away suddenly on Monday, November 26th, 2012.  Please join me in sending your thoughts of strength, love and peace to her family. To honour her today, in this closing, I wanted to play a song by Torley on Piano called “Remember Melody”.  To our sweet KnitPurlGurl, this is for you.

Song: Torley on Piano - Remember Melody

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Episode 19 - Ancestors of Yarn

In today’s episode, it’s time to catch up on the knitted projects. Plus, an essay by British writer and Druid, Nimue Brown.


News & Noteworthy:
-contest draw (yarn or spinning fibre) winner - Jennifer, Naamah13.

For “On and Off the Needles”:

“Off” Projects only today:

Irish Coffee, by Thea Colman
Yarn: Madelinetosh Chunky, 100% SW merino, aran weight, colourway “Rambler”.

Telemark Pullover, by Erika Flory
Yarn: Gaia’s Colours, Pales Twisty DK, colourway “Azur-Ava”.

Rae scarf, by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Purple Label MCN fingering by Tanis Fiber Arts, in the “Autumn Sun” colourway (September 2011 sock club yarn).

Diagonal Lace socks, by Wendy Johnson
Yarn: Skinny Bugga, 80/10/10 true fingering, by Sanguine Gryphon, in muted rainbow colourway “Frog-legged Leaf Beetle”.

Sedum cardigan, by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Bernat Roving (single-ply bulky, 80% acrylic/20% wool) in “putty” colourway.

A Test knit unnamed cardigan by Carol Feller, to be released next year. Made the one-year size
Yarn: Berocco Vintage Chunky in a pale bright green.

Ameliorate fingerless mitts, by Hunter Hammersen
Yarn: Gaia’s Colours Fibre Arts, Silkie Sock in the colourway “Lolita”.

Hacky Sack Hoodie, by Stef Pulford from the Son of Stitch n’ Bitch book
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool, deep charcoal gray, 100% wool.

Color Affection, by Vera Valimaki
Yarn: Fiberphile yarns, MCN luxe sock, 375yards/343metres, in “Stardust” and “Honey Amber”, and Earthly Hues Seedlings sock yarn (MCN), 375yards/343metres) in “Sunshine”.

Song - Sora, “Heartwood”

The Pagan Corner:

Nimue Brown’s essay - “Ancestors of Yarn”

"I’m not sure when humans started spinning wool from fleece, but it goes back a long way into our history as a species, I assume to our first settling as farmers rather than being nomadic hunter gatherers. Yarn has played a significant part of life since then, as clothing and bedding, decoration, comfort, and art form. It’s also traditionally a very female activity, in the western world, although I believe in South America knitting is one of those hard core macho things that men get together to do. Which goes to show that like most gender things it actually has more to do with culture than physicality.

Our female ancestors then, for most of human history, were involved with yarn. A woman might be buried with her distaff even. Spinning, weaving, making and mending are traditional women’s work. The methods we have, from the spindle and spinning wheels to knitting and crochet also connect us to the people who invented, developed and perfected them. Like so many of our ancestors, the yarn innovators are largely unknown, and there were probably a great many of them.
Every woman who passes down this skill to a girl, is part of a huge web of weaving tradition. I learned knitting from my mother, crotchet from the mother of a boyfriend, spinning from several friends, although I’m not very good at it! I learned naalbinding (which might not be how you spell it!) to make traditional Viking socks, which take forever but are stunningly substantial. The wool work doesn’t come alone though. Alongside it come the tales of other knitters and crafters, family myths and anecdotes. While the hands are busy, the mind has plenty of room to wander.

I find wool work incredibly soothing. If I’m rattled, my mind in chaos and my body weary, then to sit down with wool is one of the best therapies. The rhythm of it is innately soothing. Watching small pieces of creativity form between my fingers is affirming, settling. The stories and inspiration of other wool workers are very much with me, and I feel part of something much bigger than I am. There’s a power in weaving, knitting, spinning – the power to take the raw materials of nature and fashion them into something essential for life in a cold climate. Wool for our ancestors must have contributed to survival, a vital part of culture that made human life viable in tough locations.
I heard a story once, that Arran sweaters have complex designs because each family had its own pattern. The women made them so that if a drowned sailor washed ashore, they could figure out who he was, who his people were. I can’t imagine making a jumper for my man that would mark him as mine in case he died, that must take a certain kind of pragmatic courage.

Modern life is full of things that claim to be convenient, but that take far more from us than they give. I know a lot of women who are returning to wool, or learning it anew, because it makes sense to them on an emotional level as well as a practical one. Being able to do the essential things of life matters and in turn makes your life feel more real. Ancestral pursuits like this bring a sense of stability, rootedness and belonging. We need that. In cultures full of uprooted people, in times where continuity and certainty are hard to come by, reaching back into the past makes a lot of sense. The ancestors are all there, behind us. A sense of belonging is a precious thing to have when everything else feels a bit fragile and uncertain. Between climate change and the world economies, and the insane priorities of politicians, life for any aware person is not comfortable, even in our relatively insulated western world.

The wool tribe is there, for anyone willing to pick up the threads and find out how to make them. Your grandmothers will have done it, and your great grandmothers. The odds are you had some distant grandfathers who kept or sheared sheep, too. Go back far enough and most of us have that, in fact. The threads of wool can also be threads of continuity, safety lines to remind us of where we came from and how we connect to the other creatures, and to the earth. We can bind our own stories into the wool."

Anyone interested in a deeper look at ancestry, from an overtly Druid perspective, is invited to pick up a copy of Nimue's new book, Druidry and the Ancestors.  She blogs most days at Druidlife

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jane Richmond's new "Island" collection

Some of you may recall an interview that I did with local Victoria designer Jane Richmond in episode six.  I am happy to share this video promoting a new collection of designs that Jane is about to release. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Episode 18 - Celebrating cables with Carol

In today’s episode, the one year anniversary of the podcast, I chat with Irish designer Carol Feller about her new Craftsy online class - Celtic Cables.

                                          Image from


News & Noteworthy:
-Draw for spinning fibre - “LittleCaptina” - Sarah
-Teo Bishop, our lovely Druid from episode 16 is American musician Matt Morris.

New draw/contest for the month of August:
Yarn - Gaia's Colours Fibre Arts, 3 skeins of Silkie Sock (50% SW Merino/50% Silk, 2ply, heavy fingering, 383yards/350metres per 4oz/115grams) in the colourway "Tammuz".

Spinning Fibre - Wooly Treasure, 1 batt (Merino, BFL, SW Merino & Silk, Silk Noil, Angelina, 3.6oz/100grams) in the colourway "Earth Sing", still sealed in bag (as seen below).

The Knitter's Needles:

- My interview with Carol Feller, of, here on a "blog tour" to promote her classes "Celtic Cables" and a free one, "Short Rows".

Song: Great Big Sea, “Old Polina", courtesy of Music Alley.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Almost one year!

Yes, indeed.  The first anniversary for the podcast is fast approaching.  I am pleased to tell you that this episode coming up will include an interview with a wonderful European designer, so please say tuned!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where is that girl?

I haven't disappeared!

Hi everyone,

I've been meaning to update you all.  Life is full and busy and podcasting has had to take a backseat.  The brief lowdown:

- May saw me sick with two colds, a mystery sore throat, planning/building a chicken coop/run (with lots of digging!) and travelling with family.
- June saw me with a sinus infection & hayfever & mild cold.  Also very busy with my two sons' last month of school (crazy amount of activities), and then they were home for the summer.
- July so far has me home with my boys during the day, during the week. 
- Plus, as of early June, we now have chickens, who also keep me busy.  My day starts around 7 or 7:30am and doesn't let me have time to myself until around 9:30pm.  I barely have energy for knitting or reading or writing, let alone podcasting.  Argh. 
- I've started a new screenplay writing course, as I really need to finish my script, so that's going to take up the little evening time I have. 

So what does this mean for the podcast over the next month or two?  I'm hoping to be able to record a show soon, even if I have to do it over two or three evenings to make the time workable.  The 1-year anniversary show is also looming on the horizon, at the end of this month.  I know things will lighten up come mid-September, but I do want to get some shows out before then. 

I'm sorry for being quiet - life gets in the way of podcasting, but then, I need to be able to live fully to have content for the podcast!  Funny that :-)

I hope you all are having a great summer so far, and perhaps will be participating in the Ravellenic (!!) events.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Episode 18 delayed

I certainly hope that I'm not sounding like a broken record.  Some of you may have noticed that the mid-month episode hasn't emerged.  I was knocked down by a bad and prolonged cold.  I'm finally feeling better, after a week, but am still snuffly, and sound rather gruff.  Things will be back to normal for June 1st, when episode 18 will come out.

ETA: update:
No, I’m not lost at sea. I haven’t fallen off the edge of the Earth either. After getting over being sick, things have been pretty insane around here, what with preparing for and then getting our new gals (chickens!), and numorous last-month-of-school event for my boys. Even knitting has taken a back seat.
Anyhoo, I have a show all set up, but I need to find the time to sit down to record it. As the Summer Solstice is coming up next week, I’ll likely do a two parter, or do two shows back to back for early next week.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Episode 17 - The Lusty Month of May!

In today’s episode, reviews for row-counter apps and some hand-dyed yarn, in “The Knitter’s Needles”.  “The Pagan Corner” brings us Beltaine, where we will dance the May pole and gather the morning dew.


- Winner of April Springtree Road yarn is: RoseEnRose
- ScriptFrenzy
- Backyard Chickens website
- The Loopy Ewe

The Knitter's Needles:
- MadelineTosh - Tosh Chunky, 100% Merino Yarn - review
- Row Counter apps (for iPad & iPhone, available through iTunes):
  1. Knitting Counter HD
  2. Knitting
  3. StitchMinder
Monthly draw:

Yarn or a Tale, Merino Roving, "Growing" colourway.

The Sanguine Gryphon, Merino, Merino/Silk batt, "Robin of Loxeley" colourway.

To enter, leave a comment in the comments section below, including a way to contact you (Ravelry ID, email address, etc).  Deadline for entry: Wednesday, May 30th, 9pm Pacific, 12midnight Eastern.

Jolie Holland, "Springtime can kill you"
ax, "Pure Romance - Spring Feelings"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Episode 17 delayed

Hello all,

Some of you might be wondering where the mid-month podcast episode is at. I am pretty busy right now, with a bunch of things, but mostly working on my screenplay. April is ”Script Frenzy” (the screenplay version of NaNoWriMo - the novel writing month in November), so my focus has been more on that. I didn’t have as full of a show as I had wanted, so I put that content aside to wait for the May 1st/Beltaine episode.

Don’t forget that the KAL finishes at the end of this month. Also, there is the draw for the SpringTree Road yarn - enter at the shownotes for episode 16, if you haven’t already.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Episode 16 - The Druids

Today’s episode is all about the Druids!  Alright, so it’s an introduction to modern Druidry, with an interview in “The Pagan Corner”.  Plus, a bodice-ripping good time that has the occasional Druid and Immortal thrown in for good measure.



- winner of the Miso Crafty Knits project bag and a skein of yarn is: Anjanette (explodingpinecone on Ravelry)
- new contest for April - see photos/details below.

Eyes and Ears:

Karen Marie Moning's Highlander Romance novels (the "bodice-rippers"!) (Wiki page)

The Pagan Corner:

An interview with modern-day Druid Teo Bishop.  

Books & Authors recommended by Teo:

Issac Bonewits
Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism

John Michael Greer (not recommended directly on the podcast, but a great read)
The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth

Phillip Carr-Gomm (Chosen Chief Druid of OBOD)
Druid Mysteries: Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century

Links to Druid Organizations

OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids)

ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship)

Bits I mentioned during/after the interview:
- Knitted Morse code - a CBC radio interview with Kristin Haring on the show "Spark" (scroll down the the section called "The Beauty of Binary".
- DJ Conway's book "Magick of the Gods & Goddesses"
- Joseph Campbell, writer of books on myth, religion and archetype.

Green Druid, "Dignity", from

Yarn to win this month - Springtree Road, Emeline sock (50% Merino/50% Silk, 434yards per 100grams) in "Anenome" colourway.
Muscadine sock (75% SW Merino/25% Nylon, 460yards per 100grams) in "Bramble" colourway.
To enter to win one of these lovely skeins, please leave a comment in the shownotes with a Ravelry ID or another way to contact you.  Deadline is Monday, April 30th, around 9pm Pacific, midnight Eastern time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Episode 15 - Good Morning Eostare!

In today’s episode, it’s all about the sweater love as I update you on my projects.   And it is the Spring Equinox, when the world warms and prepares for the growing season...


- Enter to win a project bag by Miso Crafty Knits, and one of three skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn.  

The Knitter's Needles
Off the Needles:

Arco Cowl:
Arco Cowl” by Sara Sprung.
Yarn: MalabrigoRasta” super bulky, in “Arco Iris” colourway.

Moonstone Sweater:
My favorite sweater” - basic top-down raglan formula pattern, by Amber Corcoran (Fancy Tiger Crafts).
Yarn: Fleece Artist Big Blue” BFL chunky, “Moonstone” colourway.

Ripley Cardigan:
Favorite Cardigan” by Wendy Bernard, from the “Custom Knits” book.
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon “QED” BFL worsted, in silver-gray “The Ripley Scrowle

 My Chelsea Market Slouch:
Chelsea Market Hat” by Caryl Pierre (test knit)
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon “QED” BFL worsted, in deep turquoise “Organelle

On the Needles:

Fluffy Cardi:
Sedum” cardigan by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Bernat “Roving” - single ply bulky, 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool, in “Putty” gray colour.

Doha Cardigan:
Calligraphy Cardigan” by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon “Traveller” DK (100% SW Merino), in “Doha”.

Ben’s Warthog:
Warthog” by Sarah Keen, from the “Knitted Wild Animals” book.
Yarn: "Cascade 220", 100% Peruvian wool (not superwash), in colours “Rust” and “Cream”

David Baumgarten, "Your Spring Will Come Along"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Episode 14 - Me So Crafty!

In today’s episode, I have an interview with fellow knitter and seamstress extraordinaire Miso Crafty Knits.  “In the Kitchen” brings you a bunless burger recipe.  And I’ll share my newfound respect for the Dowsing Rod, in “The Pagan Corner”.


- Twisted River Clayworks (Etsy seller)
- Chocolate Zucchini loaf/cupcakes (at
- Go Into The Story (screenwriting site), with Scott Myers

The Knitter's Needles:
- Miso Crafty Knits (Esty seller)
- Sundara Yarns
- The Plucky Knitter
- Squoosh Fiber Arts

In the Kitchen:
 - Bunless Burger recipe (at my personal blog)

The Pagan Corner:
- Doswing Rods
- Pendelums

- 3 Blind Mice, "Emily has Compassion Fatigue"
- Caladonix, "The Water is Wide"

To win the craft project bag and yarn below, please leave a comment with a name/contact info (Ravelry ID is often best) in the shownotes.

The project bag by Miso Crafty Knits:
Shot of the inside with yarn:

Yarn choices for giveaway - left to right - The Plucky Knitter "Grand Central Station" (semi-solid shades of light and dark wheat gold), Squoosh "Bluebird" (medium-pale smokey demin blue), Sundara Yarn "End of Day" (deep orange with undertones of egg yolk yellow).
Deadline for contest is March 31st, 2012, 9pm Pacific, 12 midnight Eastern.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Episode 13 - Our Lady of the Gauge Swatch

In today’s episode, love it or loathe it - it’s the gauge swatch!  Plus, a couple of television shows I'm loving!  And in “The Pagan Corner”, it’s better late than never at looking at Imbolc.

**Please note: if you downloaded/listened to the episode today (Thursday, February 16th, between 11:30am Pacific and 4:30pm Pacific), you will likely have the episode with a couple of blanks spots around minutes 33 - 35.  I have uploaded a corrected one.  Please try downloading it again - it should work fine now.  Thanks!**


-Snowdrops Wiki page w/photos

- TPK Early Spring 2012 KAL/CAL/SpAL/WAL (Ravelry group link)
- no contest/draw until early March.

The Knitter's Needles:
- showing my love for the gauge swatch

Eyes & Ears:
- Downton Abbey (wiki page) (also, Gosford Park, 2001, film, written by Julian Fellowes (also in Monarch of the Glen)
- BombGirls (wiki page)

The Pagan Corner:
- Imbolc (wiki page)

Benjamin Francis - Prelude to the Creative Process
Carles Bellot - L-O-V-E (Nat King Cole song, provided through

Monday, February 6, 2012

Episode 13 delayed

Hello my lovely listeners!

You may have noticed that the latest episode isn't up in the usual first day or two of the month.  I've landed a cold, and am still snuffly.  I hope to have episode 13 up in the next couple of days.

I hope you are all keeping well :-)

Update, Thursday, Feb 9th: this cold has knocked down my whole family.  Mine has now moved into my lungs.  Since we are so close to the mid-month episode time, I am going to record and release episode 13 in this mid-month slot instead.  It should be out around the 14/15 of February. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Episode 12 - Clean Sweep

In today’s episode, the trials and tribulations of knitting for my husband. “In the Kitchen” is about the detox cleanse. And in “The Pagan Corner”, I’ll talk about being a Pagan parent and share some Pagan Parenting books.


- The draw for December/January has been made.  Post #10 - SabraB aka Sabrina is the winner.
- The KAL/CAL/SpAL/WAL starting February 1st, until April 1st. Details in a thread over at The Pagan Knitter Ravelry group.

The Knitter's Needles:

- Smokin' Jacket by Jared Flood.  Yarn: Cascade 128 Chunky Solid/Tweed
- Professor's Scarf by Gina Waters.  Yarn: Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky

In the Kitchen:

- Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox

The Pagan Corner: 

Pagan Parenting books
- Pagan Homeschooling, A Guide to Adding Spirituality to Your Child's Education by Kristin Madden.
- Raising Witches, Teaching The Wiccan Faith To Children, by Ashleen O'Gaea.
- The Family Wicca Book, The Craft for Parents & Children, by Ashleen O'Gaea.
- Celebrating The Great Mother, A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.
- Circle Round, Raising Children in Goddess Traditions, by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill.

Music provided by Music Alley
- Matt Caplan, "Favorite Puppet"
- Brunswick Duo, "Sonata in B Flat by Handel"