EPISODE THIRTY THREE :: Nate of Loop'nThreads - An Unexpected Introduction to Knitting & Co-facilitating 'Our Maker Life'

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The Close Knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation to be had about working with fibre in its many forms, within our selves and our wider communities.

A huge thank you to this week's epsiode sponsors : Threads of Peru & 100 Acts of Sewing. 

Threads of Peru is a social enterprise that connects the world to handcrafted treasures of Peru, helping to strengthen ancient craft techniques and empower artisans.

image provided by Threads of Peru 

image provided by Threads of Peru 

By marketing the work produced by weavers in remote Andean communities and by sourcing products from like-minded organizations across Peru, Threads of Peru is providing an opportunity for artisans, particularly women, to earn an income while continuing to live a traditional lifestyle and care for their children. Something I’m particularly excited about sharing is Threads of Peru’s trips to visit Peru, tours designed for those who are passionate about culture and who want to experience the Andean weaving tradition first-hand. You can join the Threads of Peru team as they take you behind the scenes to visit some of their weaving partners and experiment with weaving and natural dye techniques. 

See Peru through the eyes of people who live and breathe this country every day, and who are working to keep traditions alive and make a better life for those who live here. This is an experience not to be missed – an exclusive and very special introduction to the vastly rich culture of Peru!

You can find out more about these tours by visiting their website threadsofperu.com 

As a special offer for close knit listeners, Threads of Peru is offering 20% off anything in their online shop (except Clearance items)! Just go to threadsofperu.com, and enter coupon code CLOSEKNIT at checkout. 

And a huge thank you to 100 Acts of Sewing for sponsoring this episode! 

image provided by 100 acts of sewing

image provided by 100 acts of sewing

100 Acts of Sewing is a pattern company making simple sewing patterns for a handmade wardrobe,   designed by Sonya Philip. The patterns are geared towards beginners with pieces that are easy to wear and modify. I have personally sewn the dress No2 from 100 acts of sewing and every time I see a new pattern by Sonya I get so excited because of their ease of construction and versatility. Reading Sonya’s instructions was like having a seasoned sewer in the room with me, walking me through the process step by step, something I feel is often missing from sewing patterns and online tutorials.If you’re interested in hand making your clothes and aren’t sure where to start, or even if you’re a really good sewist, I can’t recommend 100 acts of sewing patterns highly enough! You can find 100 acts of sewing online and follow Sonya’s handmade wardrobe chronicles on instagram at @sonyaphilip

Thanks again to this week's episode sponsors! 

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This week I spoke to Nate Bryant of Loop N Threads, and Our Maker Life. Nate shares with us the story of how he found his way to knitting, rather unexpectedly and how that love of knitting became something more than a side hobby for him, at first out of necessity, and then out of love. 

We discuss some of the details of how he chooses to run his business alongside a day job, and how he manages  his time between these things. Nate also helps to run an organisation called Our Maker Life, alongside other makers, who get together yearly to share experiences and ideas and work together on their craft. Nate describes for me his experience of working in the knitting world as a man and how his expression of his gender shapes his work and how others might view his work as a result of gender expression.  Nate has this really calming voice, and it was a treat to get to chat to him about the many things that make him uniquely him. 

photo provided by nate bryant

photo provided by nate bryant

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

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Find Nate: instagram  | website

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE THIRTY TWO :: Kinknit - Unexpected Parallels between the Kink and Fibre Community

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The Close Knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation to be had about working with fibre in its many forms, within our selves and our communities.

 In Episode 32 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Kinknit. Kinknit combines two things that you might not have thought about combining before (or maybe you have - like many folks who’ve gotten in touch with them on the internet) - kink and fibre. Which, when you think about it, kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? interest in fibres and interest in ropes, interest in the tying of intricate knots. Afterall, knitting is just a series of knots, isn't it? We talk about how kinking uses kink, yoga and an active fibre practice in their management of their chronic illnesses, and how even when their body wouldn’t cooperate, they were still so fundamentally a spinner and a knitter. 

Rope and photo by @dwlphoto

Rope and photo by @dwlphoto

What i love so much about this chat is how we’re talking about something that is kind of taboo and not often talked about, especially in the fibre arts community -  but it makes so much sense when kinking explains the parallels between these communities that they’ve noticed. 

image by @magnessvondoom 

image by @magnessvondoom 

 My intention with the podcast is present people as their whole selves - and I love that we got to talk about all the ways that Kinknint shows up to the world as themselves - unashamed and proud of all the elements that make them uniquely them. 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Kinknit: instagram

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE THIRTY ONE :: Marlee Grace - Hiring Your Friends & Navigating Boundaries Between Projects and Self

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The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

A huge thank you to this week's episode sponsor, Sunflower Knit. 

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A huge thank you to this week's episode sponsor: Sunflower Knit. ash alberg is a queer femme and fibre witch who seeks to create beautiful and practical designs using sustainable methods. equally importantly, they seek to nurture the skills, knowledge, and creativity of fellow fibre witches to achieve their goals. ash's second book of designs, in collaboration with yoth yarns and samson photography, will be published in september 2017 and will be available in hard copy and on ravelry. visit ashalberg.com for information about booking in-person classes or to join the creative coven, ash's online shawl design course. you can find ash on instagram and facebook as @sunflowerknit. 

Thanks again to Sunflower Knit for sponsoring this episode of the Close Knit podcast! 

 In Episode 31 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Marlee Grace. Marlee is a person whose work I’ve been following for a long time - something like 3 years, actually, and she was one of the people I remember putting down as a “stretch goal” when I first conceptualized of making the podcast. Marlee talks to me about how she uses knitting to process being sober, how she learned to quilt, how she identifies as an improvisational quilter, and how her dance practice and training informs her way of working and being in this world. 

photo by Mae Steir 

photo by Mae Steir 

We talk about the space and project she ran in Grand Rapids, Have Company, and how she navigated and continues to navigate the complexities of growing a project and business and hiring team members (pro tip: hiring your friends feels good) We also talk about the dynamics of sharing personal details on the internet versus IRL and the ways in which this has led to friendships and opportunities for Marlee. There’s a whole lot of good Marlee content that exists on the internet and I’m really excited to get to share with you this chat that we had. 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Fringe Association: Karen gets mentioned on basically every podcast episode i make. Marlee and Karen are IRL friends and Karen helped Marlee at the very beginning of her knitting journey. They had a shopkeeper's retreat together (which sounds like the best thing ever btw) 

  • Eliza Fernand - marlee's quilting teacher and badass quilter

  • Secret Holiday and Co - It's OK banner

  • Lisa Congdon - illustrator. said something along the lines of 'don't email a person asking to pick their brain' (amen!) 

  • Serpent and Bow  - friend and maker of naturally dyed intimates

  • Faith Levine - friend and documentary maker 

  • Alejandra Leon - lioness oracle tarot deck maker 

  • Katie Crutchfield - waxahatchee, music maker

Find Marlee: website | instagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE THIRTY :: Hanna Lisa Haferkamp & Verena Cohrs - Running Values - Aligned Businesses

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The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

A huge thank you to this week's episode sponsor, Made In Tasmania

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Made in Tasmania is a small, family owned and mostly family run business operating out of Tasmania. They work with Australia’s oldest wool mill, Waverley Woolen Mills, to weave colorful bed throws from Tasmanian sourced and processed superfine merino. I personally got a chance earlier this year to tour the factory and see how it’s all made - and it’s bloody cool. The wool comes in greasy bales and gets processed up at Waverely right down to the dyeing and weaving. Made In Tasmania also works with Hobart- based not for profit Tastex, who employ folks with barriers to employment, where they add finishing touches to machine knit scarves made from merino yarn. You can find Made In Tasmania at their bricks and mortar in Salamanca Place, Hobart and online at madeintasmania.com  and on instagram as @madeintasmania. They ship worldwide! 

As a special gift to close knit podcast listeners, Made In Tasmania are offering 10% off your first purchase - use the code close knit at checkout. 

Thanks again to Made In Tasmania for sponsoring this episode of the Close Knit podcast! 

 In Episode 30 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Hanna Lisa Haferkamp and Verena Cohrs. Hanna Lisa and Verena are feminist knitters living in Berlin who work together on a project called Making Stories and separately on their own solo projects, as well.

 Hanna Lisa and Verena came up with the concept for Making Stories, an independent knitwear design publishing company, after getting together for knitting hang outs and running a yarn crawl with local knitters in Berlin. We talk about how they navigate the dynamics of working on a project together, in addition to their separate companies and what this looks like on a day to day basis - the necessity of having a similar long term and bigger vision for the project, but the beauty of having differing opinions on the smaller details.

Hanna Lisa explains the turning point for her in her business in 2016 to make a decision to very openly identify as feminist and keep her core values of supporting womxn owned businesses in the running of her own business. Both tell us about their routines around self care and how they work together to keep each other accountable. 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Fringe Association: basically we just all love Karen a lot. 

  • Vivian kvitka - thegoodviv.com - the graphic designer that Hanna and Verena use/love. 

  • Caroline Frett - surface pattern designer

  • Gather here - feminist business based in boston that we love (and ani visited in 2015) 

Find Hanna Lisa: website | instagram 

Find Verena: website | instagram

Find Hanna Lisa & Verena (as Making Stories)  : websiteinstagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE TWENTY NINE :: PILLOW TALK with Claire & Ashton of Wax and Wane Fiber

image by Emma Weiss

image by Emma Weiss

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

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A huge thank you to this week's episode sponsor, Millpost Merino. Millpost is an ethical family farm on NSW Southern Tablelands near Canberra.  It’s been in the family since 1922, and Judith (aka Mum) and David (aka Dad) took over in 1979.

The family is now making really lush superfine merino yarn that’s single source (just from their flock). I got a shade card in the mail the other day and guys, this stuff is good. the colours are really considered and they’ve got heaps of choice - 8 different colours that all looks pretty damn good together and undyed hanks for indie dyers. Millpost is run according to the principles of Permaculture, so you can rest easy knowing that your yarn come from a biodiverse, productive, healthy farm. You can find Millpost Merino online, and on instagram

Thanks again to Millpost for sponsoring this episode of the Close Knit Podcast! 

Claire and Ashton of Wax and Wane Fiber are a queer and feminist fibre art operation based in Baltimore. 

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We talk about the ways in which claire and ashton make space for each other and navigate the dynamics of running a business together, the realities of having day jobs in addition to a creative business and doing taxes. (pro tip - do your taxes). We talk about how fibre art is a political tool and how their work and business has changed as a result of the political climate in the US. 

This chat was a funny one, with a lot of editing because the internet connection from Tasmania to baltimore was shaky, so if you notice a couple moments of weirdness, that’s what that was. We also have a few little inside jokes that formed over the course of this conversation, which (side note) was also the first time we’d ever spoken. we get deep into some tender chats about how we all just need some loving, and how earlier wewatched rhianna and jennfier lopes music videos. 

There’s no other way to describe this chat than ~pillow talk~ really really good pillow talk. 

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People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

 

Find Claire and Ashton: websiteinstagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

 

EPISODE TWENTY EIGHT :: Emma Peters - Permission to Make Mistakes & Teaching from an Honest Place

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

A huge thank you to this week's episode sponsor: 100 Acts of Sewing

100 Acts of Sewing is a pattern company making simple sewing patterns for a handmade wardrobe,   designed by Sonya Philip. The patterns are geared towards beginners with pieces that are easy to wear and modify. I have personally sewn the dress no2 from 100 acts of sewing and every time I see a new pattern by Sonya I get so excited because of their ease of construction and versatility. Reading Sonya’s instructions was like having a seasoned sewer in the room with me, walking me through the process step by step, something I feel is often missing from sewing patterns and online tutorials.If you’re interested in hand making your clothes and aren’t sure where to start, or even if you’re a really good sewist, I can’t recommend 100 acts of sewing patterns highly enough! You can find 100 acts of sewing on Etsy and follow Sonya’s handmade wardrobe chronicles on instagram at @sonyaphilip

As a special treat For Close Knit Podcast Listeners, Sonya is offering US$5 off orders placed until 30/6/2017 with the code CLOSEKNIT at checkout. 

Thanks again to Sonya at 100 Acts of Sewing for this generous offer and for sponsoring the Close Knit Podcast! 

Emma is a textile artist and lecturer based in Sydney.We chat about emma’s childhood and her strong tactile and olfactory memories of textiles as a child on the wool farm with her family. 

Emma has spent the last few years exploring wet felting and has incorporated this into her personal and professional work. We speak about how Emma has processed her life experiences through her work, sometimes unconsciously and we discuss how powerful fibre as a medium can be. As a lecturer in auniversity setting, Emma brings her whole self to the classroom and is encouraging of her students to explore many elements of themselves in their work with fibre.We speak about the necessity of bringing and acknowledging the role of self in research and talk about the ways in which spaces displaying art can facilitate safe space for truth telling about ourselves. 

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Find Emma: websiteinstagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE TWENTY SEVEN :: Anna Barberio of For Flynn Protest Art - Art as Self-Care and an Act of Resistance

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

In Episode 27 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Anna Barberio of For Flynn Protest Art. 

Anna is a cross stitcher, mixed media protest artist and a student of psychology. We talk about anna’s approach to craft, how much of her work has come from a place of necessity, and particularly how her work has come from a place of necessity during the election season and presently, under the new presidential administration in the US. Anna raises some really important points about craft and self care, and we both have a great big chat about the ways in which we look after ourselves (or more often than not, fail at doing that) 

 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Anna: websiteinstagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

Movin' to Monthly + A Call for Sponsors <3

so earlier this year I was calling myself "joyfully over-committed" but let's be real, that's kinda shit. It was true - I was trying to do too much, but they were all things I really really wanted to do, there was joy, but I also wasn't really sleeping (and by not really sleeping I just mean that I was getting less than 8 hrs a night, which for me doesn't work) 

and it's not necessarily shit for me, until it becomes shit for me. you know? it was actually probably really shit for people in my life because i often ran late to things and had to reschedule because i have a lot of feelings and i can't ignore those feelings and had my google calendar soooo packed that i didn't give any time for just feeling of those feelings (which I'm gonna be honest about, I kinda even schedule on my google calendar, like not really, but also I leave blocks of time that say things like "free time/free knit/just hang out", and that's usually when I find myself settling into what i'm feeling, if that makes any sense) 

all this is to say that as a person with a lot of feelings (and also a lot of frenetic energy a lot of the time) i am working on being less over-committed (see how i'm going easy on myself there by saying just less over-committed instead of not over-committed? that's cuz i think it's all a big fat work-in-progress - me, this life, the whole thing), and in the interest of continuing to keep the JOY in the work that I do, I'm going to go ahead and formally say that the Close Knit Podcast will be a monthly podcast instead of this erratic, semi-bi-monthly thing I've been trying to do lately. 

My intention with moving it to monthly is this: keep the joy and the quality high and the stress loowww (lower?). Learning as I go here, and learning to set expectations both for the audience and myself (the expectations for self thing is damn hard) 

Also, in the interest of keeping the podcast a sustainable part of the patchwork way in which I monetise my labour, I'm seeking sponsorship for the podcast, which I have done in the past, but would like to continue to grow this actively as a part of the podcast. Community and connection are at the core of why I do this work, and I want to foster these connections with other makers and producers, and I genuinely feel there is space for wonderful partnerships to grow with the podcast and other small businesses. 

Now that the podcast is 1 year old (woah!), I have a good sense of where my audience is and I'm committed to making a quality show that continues to challenge the typical role of craft in the world. This means that I'll be really actively focusing on the intersection of craft and social justice, the realities of small business ownership, intersectional feminism, amongst other timely and important issues as they arise. 

Interested in chatting about a potential sponsorship? 

Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • the Close Knit podcast aims to hold safe and inclusive space for conversations about craft/art within a larger context of current sociopolitical issues, social justice issues, amongst other topics (we might touch on some topics that other craft/fibre art podcasts don't)
  • we're open to working with brands of many sizes and can adjust our pricing model accordingly. not sure you're in a space to sponsor financially? get in touch about collaboration or sponsorship of a giveaway. let's work something out. 
  • the Close Knit podcast is available thru iTunes and has over 15 reviews to date (worldwide), all 5 stars (yay!) 
  • the Close Knit Podcast (as of April 2017) has been downloaded over 20k times (!) 

Some praise for the Close Knit Podcast (taken from iTunes reviews) 

love!! inspiring for all of the fiber students out there

 in iTunes by natoci from USA on January 31, 2017

"I've been listening to this podcast all week while doing fiber art projects for school and it's kept me inspired and hopeful and energized by all of the lovely souls that Ani has brought into her Close Knit community. thank you for this!! "

Kudos!

 in iTunes by Hemasan from USA on May 27, 2016

"Ani does a great job of finding and interviewing people with a strong passion for their craft. As I listen, I find myself looking up arts and crafts people from the 19th century to the present day, and I am wowed by them all. Being of the radio rather than the internet generation, I also love the fact that I can tune in and listen whilst going about my day… Love that feeling of having Ani and her guest in my kitchen as I make myself a cuppa! "

Fresh and relaxing...

 in iTunes by Ocean_Xoxoxo from UK on March 29, 2016

"A positively delightful podcast, I was fully immersed whilst listening to Ani Lee and guest Caitlin Murray talking about fibre, life, business, art, books, and speaking yarn ;) Felt like a friend sitting in a garden, having an engaging and light discussion about the arts. It gave me a much needed wave of inspiration and motivation, by reminding me about connecting to this humble fibre community. I can honestly say that the Close Knit podcast will continue to be an authentic and essential part of my routine. Check it out, you'll love it! "

A varied collection of fiber artists' inside stories

 in iTunes by wendlandcd from USA on August 25, 2016

"As a fiber artist myself, I feel like it's always inspiring to hear how others came to the craft and connect with the similarities and differences in our stories and mediums. Ani is an American based in Australia, so I'm finding we are getting a lot of views from both Oceania and North America - so I'm appreciating learning about what life is like down under! I always leave the podcast feeling inspired and appreciating a new perspective. Thank you, Ani for the work you do and for bringing people together! "

 

GET IN TOUCH via email: hello@closeknit.com.au 

xx

ani 

EPISODE TWENTY SIX :: Shannon Downey of Badass Cross Stitch - Subversive Embroidery, Craftivism & Processing through Stitching

Photo by Gloria Araya

Photo by Gloria Araya

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

In Episode 26 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke toShannon Downey of Badass Cross stitch. Shannon is a subversive cross stitcher and weaver based in Chicago. We cover some really incredible topics in this episode. Shannon explains how she sees her role in craftivism and the role of craftivism at large. She walks me through her process of creating Feminist War Flags, and tells us about a project on gun violence that prompted her to create an incredible fundraiser for an arts therapy project in Chicago. 

A huge thank you to this week's episode sponsor: Phaedra Clothing.

Phaedra Clothing seeks a balance between elegance of form and functionality. The collection is inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian design which combines attention to detail with practical, every day wear. To Phaedra, a garment is a narrative, a piece that changes over time. The linen becomes softer and more supple, the colours lighten subtly, a piece becomes imbued with memories; signifying a long and happy relationship between garment and wearer. You can find Phaedra Clothing on Etsy and on instagram as @phaedraclothing

Thanks again to Phaedra for sponsoring this episode of the Close Knit Podcast! 

Shannon learnt to weave 4 years ago, and her grandmother was a master weaver, who wove at The Lowell Mill - the first industrial place that women were allowed to work (!) 

For Shannon, the act of stitching is a way for her to process. After a major shooting in the US, she found herself stitching a gun. She then called out for people to stitch them and send them to her. Eventually, she gathered these pieces to make an auction to sell for Project Fire, and once they had a project they were funding, the art just started pouring in). In the end, the fundraiser took in around $6000 to help keep that program going. 

Shannon's biggest bit of advice: (note I didn't actually ask this question, but she did give some great craftivism advice)

"[for a craftivism project] give a hard deadline, with 2 weeks in between the hard deadline and the moment [of action, ie the auction]... give people a lot of lead time" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Shannon: website instagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

EPISODE TWENTY FIVE :: Deva O'neill of Phaedra Clothing - On Being Self-Taught & Exploring Indigo Dyeing

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

A huge thank you to this week’s episode sponsor: Pickle and Co Fibres. 

Pickle and Co Fibres is a small fibre business built on years of love of yarn and craft, based in Australia. Marnie, who runs Pickle and Co, handyes beautiful australian grown fibre and yarn, as well as handspinning her own art yarns. Marnie supports other aussie producers like White Gum Wool, a personal favorite of hers (and mine, as I’m sure you know) , to keep her carbon footprint minimized. You can find pickle and co fibres on etsy: search Pickle and Co Fibres (pickle like the cucumber and fibres spelled the australian way) and on instagram:  @pickleandcofibres

As a special offer for close knit podcast listeners, Marnie is offering 15% off her webshop. Use the code CLOSEKNITS15 for 15% off. 

In Episode 25, I spoke to Deva O’Neill of Phaedra Clothing. Deva is a clothing maker and indigo dyer based in Cornwall. Her interest in linen started at a young age, as she watched her mother and her mother’s friends engage with linen and beautiful, oversizes silhouettes. 

As a teenager, Deva altered her own clothing and over the past few years, has moved into drafting her own patterns, sort of a mishmash of other patterns and garments she’s made, to achieve the aesthetic she imagines in her mind. 

Deva and I talk about how she’s taught herself to sew and dye, and how the infinite world of fibre has entranced her. We discuss how she’s grown Phaedra and keeps it going alongside day work, and how she plans to grow it over time. 

Deva's Biggest Bit of Advice: 

"try to gain as much inspiration as you can from the world around you, but try not to compare yourself to anyone else... there's a lot of people doing amazing things and it's easy to feel like you're not doing enough... it's so important to stay true to what you want to create" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • tony chestnut : very cool clothing, combining art and clothing (in still a very wearable way)

  • as petals fall - Deva has collaborated Kate on a few projects, she's a natural dyer who sells her dyed linen meterage. 

  • cabbage blue - incredible clothing maker (indigo, quilted,etc - do yourself a favour and check her out) 

Find Deva: websiteinstagram | facebook  

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

MINI EPISODE :: THANK YOU + AN INTRODUCTION - JOY IN THE STRUGGLE

THE JOY IN THE STRUGGLE: an homage to Victoria Safford ('the place from which you glimpse not only the struggle, but the joy in the struggle'). 

Instagram: Joy In The Struggle - an account dedicated to raising funds for a new not-for-profit every 2 months - the first project is dedicated to raising funds for Planned Parenthood. 

Facebook : Tasmania-based Craftivism Group - a group for folk to discuss things that are on their minds, and for us to have events that are centred around craft/making/showing up and working to create positive change. 

WHAT I PLAN TO DO: Manage the instagram account, use it to host fundraisers every 2 months, contribute my own work/knitting when I can, manage the Facebook group to create and host local events in Tasmania that are social-justice/craftivism themed. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

  • KNITTERS: The first project is a "pussyhat" knitting fundraiser (open to your interpretation - reminder that it's not about sex organs, and womxn come in all forms), if you want to knit one to sell to raise funds for Planned Parenthood, please email me: hello@closeknit.com.au
  • YARN PRODUCERS: can you donate some wool to one of our pussy hat knitting people? If so, get in touch: hello@closeknit.com.au 
  • NOT A KNITTER OR YARN PRODUCER? GET IN TOUCH AND LET'S FIND A WAY TO WORK TOGETHER - hello@closeknit.com.au

EPISODE TWENTY FOUR :: Olive Riley of Spinning A Yarn - Keeping the Business in the Family + Balancing Full Time Work and Creative Projects

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

This week I spoke to Olive Riley of Spinning A Yarn. Olive is a hand-dyer based in New Zealand. We talk about how a visit to the Massey University Open Day took her from wanting to study nursing to studying textiles, and how her schooling has influenced her work. Olive took over the business, Spinning A Yarn, from her sister Jess, and we talk about what it’s like to take over a business from a family member, and how they’ve worked together to grow the business. 

Olive is generously sponsoring a giveaway of 3 skeins of her handdyed silk/merino yarn, here's how to enter: 

1. Follow @spinningayarnnz on instagram

2. Follow @close_knit on instagram

3. Comment on this blog post with your instagram handle and name

GIVEAWAY CLOSES FRIDAY, 10th Feb, 2017 8am AEST. 

Olive and I discuss how her education at Massey influenced her work. Whilst at uni, she took a natural dye course, but over time she has changed to acid reactive dyes, which she learned from Jess in their garage. 

In addition to Spinning A Yarn, Olive works full time - for Wool Yarns, a yarn making factory, where she works on apparel yarns that are possum merino blends. She particularly loves getting to see the whole process of making a yarn from start to finish. 

A major motivation that keeps Olive going: people giving positive feedback about the yarn. Sometimes she feels like she's not doing enough or it's not good enough, but meeting people who love the yarn is motivating. She walks me through the financial logistics of her business, and finds that it's a great way to pay for a hobby (and gives her yarn to play with). She's really happy with the size that it is, and that she doesn't rely on it for income - instead she finds that it pays for itself and for her to travel to 3-4 markets around NZ throughout the year. 

Olive's biggest bit of advice: 

"keep going, and enjoy it....do what you want to do. A tip for people learning a new fibre craft: try and do projects that teach you a new thing each time you're making something... choose patterns that challenge yourself" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Olive: websiteinstagram | facebook  

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

EPISODE TWENTY THREE :: Emma Lehan of The Fleece and Wheel - Having and Go + Thoughts on Sourcing Locally

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

In Episode 23 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Emma Lehan of The Fleece and Wheel.Emma is a knitter and spinner based in Queensland. We chat about how Emma’s interest in knitting eventually led her to spinning, and how her thoughtful partner gave her a drop spindle as a christmas present a few years ago, leading her down the path she’s on now. Last year, Emma got involved in an Etsy Local market, which was a huge motivator for her to get her business up and running. We talk about how she’s managed her business and why she’s chosen to source locally. Emma walks me through how she has found her sources of fibre and how she’s developed these relationships over time.

Emma's Handspun Alpaca for the giveaway! 

Emma's Handspun Alpaca for the giveaway! 

Emma is generously sponsoring a giveaway of 3 luscious skeins of her handspun alpaca! Here's how to enter: 

1. Follow @thefleeceandwheel on instagram

2. Follow @close_knit on instagram

3. Comment on this blog post with your instagram handle and name

GIVEAWAY CLOSES FRIDAY, 27TH JAN 2017 8am AEST. 

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Emma's biggest bit of advice:

"Have a go. Because a lot of people think 'I can't possibly do that'. and that's wrong, of course you can, you just have to try... Just start, and don't get discouraged" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Emma: websiteinstagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

EPISODE TWENTY TWO :: Brandi Harper of purlBknit - The "Happy Hustle" of working in Fibre + Notes on Ethnicity in Craft

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The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

In episode 22 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Brandi Harper of purlBknit. Brandi is a knitter and lover of natural fibers who lives in Brooklyn. We cover the usual podcast topics, but Brandi and I took a little bit of a different angle with this podcast episode. It occurred to me recently that my podcast guests, whilst varied in their craft forms, mainly have come from a similar ethnic background. I want to use the podcast as a way to hold space for people of all backgrounds, and especially voices that are not typically heard from in the craft community.  

I loved getting to hear Brandi's thoughts on the topics that are not usually vocalised in this community - and I'm going to leave it at that and let this podcast episode speak for itself - I'd highly recommend giving it a listen! 

Brandi's biggest bit of advice:

"find people on youtube that you really connect with in terms of their teaching style, their video aesthetic. 

Rent books from the library, buying books can get super expensive and you don’t know that the book will answer the questions you have. if you can use natural fibers, if you can use wool." 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Purl soho
  • verypinkknits
  • karen templar - she gives away so much knowledge, she’s talented, always creating new work
  • stephen west

Find Brandi: website instagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

EPISODE TWENTY ONE :: Lisa Anderson Shaffer of Zelma Rose - The "Chaotic Crisis Pregnancy Business Plan", and Building a Creative Practice Alongside Motherhood

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

A huge thanks to this week's episode sponsor - Gradient Yarn Australia

Gradient Yarn Australia is an independent yarn dyeing business started by Briony Mannering. Briony is an Independent yarn colourist, teacher and knitwear designer based in South East Melbourne.  Her passion for craft lead her to yarn dyeing in 2012.  A few years later started working on her knitwear design. Now, she’s known for her yarn line of smooth graduated colours, and her knitwear designs that artfully display these colour schemes. 

A typical day will find Briony dyeing and experimenting with dye techniques in the mornings, and knitting in the afternoons.  Her latest yarn evolution is utilising local yarn and combining with natural dyes.

When she was younger, Briony nearly ran away with the local circus!  The only clowning around she has time for now is with her two young boys.

You can find Gradient Yarn Australia at www.gradientyarnaustralia.com  and on instagram @gradientaus

This week I spoke to Lisa Anderson Shaffer of Zelma Rose. Lisa is a fine artist and sculptural jewellery maker living in the Bay area in California. We talk about her grandmothers (Zelma and Rose, respectively), who introduced her to needlework and crochet as a child, and how she's used these crafts to inform her art practice today. Lisa tells me about her fibre of choice in her jewellery making practice and how when she works with these fibres, it's like a dance to her, it just feels right in her body. When we get into how Zelma Rose came to be and how she approaches it present day, Lisa opens up about her experience transitioning from her career to making art and jewellery full time, and how her experience as a mother has shaped how she has shaped her business. 

We discuss how fibre arts is such an ancient practice, but how presently its popularity is growing, but at the same time how it's under the radar enough that Lisa doesn’t feel the pressure to have the traditional production calendar like some of her friends in metalsmithing or leatherwork or the fashion world. 

Lisa tells me about how she started zelma rose in 2010 and what she referred to as her  "life in chaotic crisis pregnancy business plan", which she remarks that she wouldn't necessarily recommend. She was fed up with her day job and had to leave, and so Zelma Rose was born. She found that she had tons of creative energy whilst pregnant and a desire to make product, before that she had always made fine art.  As her business grows, she has to pull the break a bit to be able to be the mother she wants to be. it’s been a steady climb for the last 6 years - a steady slow burn. 

Lisa's biggest bit of advice:

"there’s this thing called time. We don’t get it back. So, no matter how scary something is… there is no dead time, no matter how crazy or chaotic life gets… you can’t freeze time… it just keeps going. Stay present with that and reflect on that. “ 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Carrie Crawford - @mineral workshop - Lisa loves her work so much, has a “wish I thought of that” moment wth her a lot. canvasses on cotton that are handdyed, interpretations of aerial landscapes.
  • Lisa also loves following skateboarders, just something about them makes her so stoked. 

Find Lisa: website instagram | facebook

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

 

EPISODE TWENTY :: Sophe Probst of Urban Roots Handmade - Moving Toward Zero Waste + Asking For What You Want

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

A huge thank you to this week's episode sponsor - Hanna Lisa Haferkamp

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Hanna Lisa is a creative maker and business coach who works with other small business owners to help them achieve their goals. In addition to coaching, she runs her very own video podcast where she talks about her experience making and running a creative business. You can find that on Youtube at Hannaontheroad (all one word - no second “H” in hanna).

In her spare time, Hanna makes gorgeous project bags for the modern knitter. Frustrated with the project bags on offer, she set about designing her own to meet her minimalist aesthetic and her needs as a knitter - like yarn not getting tangled up! She does a shop update once or twice a month, and you can find out about those via her instagram or her podcast. 

As a special treat For Close Knit Podcast Listeners, Hanna is offer a discount on her project bags! Enter the code CLOSEKNIT at checkout to get 10% off her project bags! 

Thanks again to Hanna Lisa for this generous offer and for sponsoring the Close Knit Podcast. 

This week I spoke to Sophe Probst of Urban Roots Handmade. Sophe is a zero-waste advocate living in Louisiana, making and selling minimally packaged linen and hemp linen products for the home and the body. She discovered hemp when she was looking for environmentally-friendly options to make herself dresses, after seeing Sonya Philip's 100 Acts of Sewing patterns and getting hooked. Before starting her shop, Sophe worked for a number of environmental organisations that fuelled her desire to run a business in a thoughtful way. She then started learning about the zero waste movement from the likes of Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home, and she began looking for ways to incorporate minimalism into her life. 

After becoming a mother, Sophe began questioning the legacy she would leave for her children, and this led her to starting Urban Roots Handmade. We talk about the realities of running a business as a mother - this means a lot of time spent in the wee hours of the morning sewing - and how she plans to handles business growth without compromising on her ethics. We also get into some of the nitty gritty of how she learnt to price her work, and how she handles the finances of her business. 

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In her former working life, Sophe worked for a number of environmental organisations, and worked as an environmental educator. When she had her children, it made her question things, and she became emotionally tied to her children’s legacy. She started by sewing their cloth diapers, then got into zero waste reading like Bea Johnson, which led her to start refusing plastic and being more minimalist in her lifestyle. She often struggled to reconcile the idea that she was making new stuff with a minimalist/zero waste lifestyle, so she decided to do it plastic free. She asked her suppliers to ship plastic free, and she changed the way she made things to be less wasteful to fit into her ethos. 

Sophe learnt to sew as a child, her grandmother taught her to sew at age 10, and she made her first quilt in high school (she hand quilted it!). She reckons that introduction to sewing on a machine made her much less intimidated by using the machine as an adult. Her grandmother also taught her to knit, but Sophe reckons she's a bit slower at knitting (than sewing). 

Something Sophe cherishes about being a small business is the personal contact she has with her customers. She always includes a handwritten note in her packages, and we talk about how this informs her decisions with wholesaling and growing her business. 

Sophe's biggest bit of advice:

"I’m a big believer in buying quality. I bought the nice sewing machine, the one that was built to last, and I think that has made me want to sew more than if I was sewing on a plastic piece of crap.

And asking for things that you want. That’s been hard for me because I’m shy. Asking for what you want, and if you don’t get it, then move on, but if you do, it’s because you asked. “ 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Sophe: website instagram | facebook

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

EPISODE NINETEEN :: Julie of Little Loom - Interpreting Fibre In a Free Form Way & Navigating the Complexities of Making and Selling Work

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

 A very special thank you to this week's episode sponsor, Wool Gathering,  a four day wool crafts based retreat being held in Victoria in May 2017. During the Gathering you will participate in three wool based classes, with options in knitting, crochet, spinning, tapestry weaving, Saori weaving, needle felting, wool embroidery and yarn dyeing.  

Wool Gathering teachers have many, many years of experience between them, and include Sue Grandfield (Riotous Assembly); Clare Devine (Knit Share Love), Briony Singleton (Gradient Yarns Australia & Briony Knits), Prue Simmons (Dyeing to Weave) to name just a few. Classes have been designed to suit all levels of experience so you have the option to take all your classes within the same well loved craft or you can try something completely new as beginners are well respected at Wool Gathering!

Participants of Wool Gathering will get to enjoy the incredible Tarndie Farm. Tom Dennis, the current (6th generation) owner, will entertain you with his History of Tarndie tour where you will learn all about the pioneers who settled the property and then the Fleece to Yarn tour will see you walk with the sheep from the paddocks to the shearing shed where you will learn all about Polwarth fleece.

Tickets are currently on sale and you can find all the nitty gritty details at www.woolgathering.com.au and follow along on instagram - woolgatheringaustralia and facebook - wool gatheringaustralia.

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Julie is a free form fibre artist, utilizing weaving and macrame techniques to create her unique wall hangings. She and I discuss a mutual love affair with all things linen, and how she made a transition from using whatever materials she found to thinking more consciously about where her materials came from and how they were made. We talk about navigating the complex space of pricing and selling handmade work, and how she keeps up the motivation to continue making work regularly. Julie tells me about her love of teaching free form workshops as a form of art therapy for herself and her students, and how she has used this style of making to lighten her own state of being when going through some tough times. 

Julie teaches workshops in free form - intuitively creating using beauitful materials and a few simple knotting and weaving techniques. She recounts how people often struggle with this at first and find it confronting, the fact that they're not being told what to make, but once they drop in, and let go, it's such a special feeling. Julie tells me she gets goosebumps just talking about it. 

 

Julie first picked up weaving when she was struggling with post natal depression. It was a meditative escape for her, and somewhere she found some peace. At first, she reckons she tried too hard, tried to be what she thought a weaver should be, and that just wasn't working for her.  Then she bought some handspun yarn and decided to not try so hard and to let go. It was at that point that she created the first piece she really loved, and that was a really pivotal moment for her. She started listening to Woolful, and started learning about fibres and then moved exclusively to high quality, ethically-source, and rare and vintage fibres.

 

Julie's biggest bit of advice:

"...don' be afraid to try. There is no right way, there is no wrong way, just try. If you have an idea for something, don't not do it because you think it won't be well received, or because you think it's not the right way to do something, just try. That's how we learn, evolve, grow. And the fibre community is so encouraging and supportive"

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Julie:  instagram 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

EPISODE EIGHTEEN :: Georgie Nicolson of Tikki Knits - Supporting Local Producers, Large Scale Community Textile Art, Becoming a Knitwear Designer

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

In Episode 18 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Georgie Nicolson of Tikki Knits, a knitwear designer and lover of local Australian wool. Georgie takes me through her journey of sourcing wool, a serendipitous stop at the birthplace of Polworth sheep - Tarndie farm, and what types of fibre she particularly enjoys working with. We discuss her work with SEAM - (Sustainable Environmental Art Movement) on WARM - a large scale collaborative community knitting project making a statement about climate change, and what a unique and interesting challenge it was to create a textile representation of a painted landscape. Georgie and I talk about her transition into knitwear design and how her children influence her design aesthetics. 

A huge thanks to this week's episode sponsor - Wool Gathering. Wool Gathering is an incredibly special event happening Thursday 4th May-Sunday 7th May 2017 in Victoria, Australia - held at the historic and scenic Tarndwarncoort (birthplace of the breed Polworth). At Wool Gathering, participants will have the chance to take classes in wool based crafts like knitting, crochet, spinning, tapestry weaving, Saori weaving, needle felting, wool embroidery, and yarn dyeing. For more information, check out Wool Gathering's website here - tickets for this event go on sale on the 12th Nov 2016 .

Georgie schools me on some of the history behind the Australian wool scence. We discuss the CSIRO wool mill that closed down in around the 80s (? we weren't sure of the exact timing) that used to spin wool for lots of local producers, but was defunded. Georgie also informs me that Nundle is the only commercial mill creating wool yarn that's completely sourced and made in Australia.

We go on to talk about her involvement in WARM - a large scale collaborative community knitting project making a statement about climate change. Georgie had the incredible task of translating a painting into a functional artwork made of knitted objects. Incredibly, and beautifully - everything in the project is a useful object, everything has a life beyond the project. 

Georgie really got back into craft with the birth of her first child, and though she's been designing for a while, she's only recently felt comfortable calling herself a "designer". She does a lot of designing for her children, and as they grow, her patterns also change. 

 

Georgie's biggest bit of advice:

"don't be afraid to just do what you want to do, and take your own approach, don't be afraid to make mistakes... Don't be afraid to be yourself... There is so much honesty and integrity that comes through when you are yourself" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • White Gum Wool : documenting her shepherding on instagram now - Georgie highly recommends a follow

  • Tarndie : birthplace of polworth, amazing farm, location of Wool Gathering 2017! 

Find Georgie: website | instagram | facebook 

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

Ani

 

 

 

We're taking a little break... See you in Nov!

a few patterns I've been meaning to release - one of these days! 

a few patterns I've been meaning to release - one of these days! 

Hey friends and listeners of the Close Knit Podcast.

Firstly, thank you so much for listening, reviewing, and just generally being kind about the podcast. It's been an exciting and challenging journey - learning how to make a podcast from scratch - and I can't thank all of you enough for hanging in there with me, even when episodes are too quiet, or they're running late, or links don't work.

I switched over to a weekly schedule a few months ago, and that's really starting to take its toll on me. Because I do every element of creating the podcast, it's a biggie in terms of time and commitment, and it's in addition to the full time day jobs I have. 

I announced a few weeks ago that the Close Knit Podcast is seeking sponsorship, and I am very keen to continue pursuing this as a way to enable me to spend more time on the podcast. If you're interested in speaking about sponsorship - drop me a line at hello [at] closeknit.com.au - or use my contact form.

For the month of October, I'll continue to interview new guests and edit episodes, flesh out the sponsorship model, and keep finding ways to spread the fibre arts love. 

Thanks again for the continual support -I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such talented, kind, and supportive folks in the fibre community.

If you haven't listened to all the 17 episodes already, you can do so from here - and while you're there, if you haven'y already reviewed the podcast, please feel free to do that, too! :) 

xx

Ani