CODA: Equilibrium

by Brenda Dayne on April 2, 2015


Gwlana is happening! Sign up here!

I’m counting on you to help me tell All the Knitters about gwlana. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Tell every knitter you know about this podcast.
  • Write a blog or Facebook post about the retreat, with a link to
  • Stop by the Gwlana Facebook page, and give it like, and share it with your friends so that they can share it with their friends.
  • Follow @brendadayne on twitter and Facebook.
  • Hashtags to remember: #gwlana #MatchYarnMonday #FairIsleFriday
  • Mention the May retreat in your favourite Ravelry group, and link to
  • Help me with my blog and podcast tour this month. I need your ideas. Get in touch.
  • Follow my Mini-Me Sweater progress on Instagram. (This is the stream with the unreasonable numbers of chicken photos. Sorry.)
  • Help me knit! OMG I am so not kidding. If you can knit a Mini-Me sweater for the retreat, I will send yarn, pattern, charts, a special thank you, and my eternal grateful thanks. Get in touch.

In this episode: I’m back at the mic, and spend most of the podcast illustrating, in my own delightful way, exactly why you will find my podcast in the Philosophy section of iTunes. It’s personal, this podcast. If you’re new to the podcast, you can find the early episodes I talked about, A Snow Day and Pulling a Geographic as well as all the rest in the Audio Archive. Here is the amazing TED talk, The Art of Being Yourself.

You can learn more about Mr Rogers in this video, or this one. One of his signature cardigans is in the collection of the National Museum of American History, and can be seen here.

Today’s Sweaters! With charts from The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, by Felicity Ford.


Sloes Mini-Me


The Wonders of Electricity Mini-Me

In the market for a dress form? Kennet & Lindsell Ltd make really good ones.

Thanks to Sally Moss, from the Welsh Wool Museum, for her lovely description of the Welsh tradition of gwlana.

Music: It’s You I Like, written by Fred Rogers, performed by John Costa, the man at the keyboard for Mr Rogers Neighborhood all those years, and a talented pianist in his own right; It’s You I Like, written by Fred Roders, performed by Dan Heidt, used with permission, find more of Dan’s music here and here; Count On Me, by Bruno Mars, performed by Goodnight Fellows, used with permission.

Download Coda:Equilibrium


It’s best not to stare

by Brenda Dayne on March 26, 2015


It’s been a few months. How ya doing? How’s your knitting? I’ve missed you.

In fact, that’s what today’s post is all about. I just thought I’d take a moment to tell you that I’ve missed you since the last ever episode of Cast On hit your earbuds last October. I’ve missed talking with you, and have really missed talking about my knitting. Tonia tries, bless her little woolly socks; she does try to look interested when I talk about my knitting. But it isn’t the same.

We had a solar eclipse last week. Right on the vernal equinox it was. Kind of neat how that happened. We had very fine weather in west Wales, and though I didn’t have the proper glasses with which to view the sun, I sneaked a tiny peek anyway, even though you’re not supposed to do that. Ever. And I saw the predictable after-image of the sun behind my eyelids for ten minutes afterwards. Which is why everyone says don’t do that. I’d tell you the same but, if you’re like me, you wouldn’t listen to me anyway.

It’s best not to stare at the sun during an eclipse. – Jeff Goldblum

I sat outside with the chickens for the whole eclipse, solar after-image notwithstanding, watching to see if the chickens would be fooled into an early roosting. They’re weren’t. Up in northern Scotland they got the whole shebang, a 100% no kidding around complete and total solar eclipse, but here in west Wales we only had 90% darkness. Apparently 90% dark is not dark enough to fool a chicken. I brought my trusty field recorder outside with me to capture the sounds of the eclipse. I didn’t notice much difference between the level of birdsong before, during, or after the eclipse, to be honest, but it was a nice way to spend a morning.

An eclipse is a wonderful thing to experience through a field recorder. I listened to the wind. And the birds. And the sound of passing jets, which is the kind of sound you don’t notice until you turn a recorder on. After a half hour or so of listening it occurred to me that I didn’t know why I was out there recording the eclipse in the first place. It’s not as if I was going to share the audio with anyone. My mother loves birds, but even she would draw the line at 40 minutes of birdsong. I wouldn’t listen again, probably, having been through the experience once already. I had a lovely field recording of birdsong, and chicken noises, and airplanes and, like my knitting, no one to share it with.

On eclipse day, the day of the vernal equinox, I began to think to think again about podcasting, as I have so many times these past six months. And, like all the other times, I couldn’t see a way around the fact that I simply don’t have the time to make podcasts the way I want to. Which is to say, regularly, and with passion. I want them to be something I’m excited about. Something I look forward to, like I did in the early days. I’m not happy making them any other way. And on the day of the vernal equinox I realised that, while I”d considered monthly, and bimonthly podcasts, and rejected the idea, I had never considered making podcasts seasonally. A podcast every three months. On the equinoxes and solstices. Four podcasts a year. And the more I considered this idea, the more I liked it.

Of course, as it happened, I had had the idea on the very day of the vernal equinox. And there’s nothing I can do about the fact that there wasn’t a podcast on that day. But the first of what I hope will be many seasonal podcasts is in production, and will be live soon. Maybe even this weekend. And the next will follow on the Summer Solstice, June 21st, 2015.

It won’t be Cast On, and don’t know what I’m calling it yet. What it will be is me behind the microphone and, I very much hope, you on the other end, listening.

All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul. – Victor Hugo


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