31 Oct 2008

Episode 70: All the Chocolates in the Box

There is no chasing daylight when the tenth month rolls around. It’s time for the annual airing of the sweaters, for fixing things, arranging the house, and getting ready for winter projects. The pattern for the Red Edge can be found here. The Gaia Jacket is in this book.

Thanks to contributing writers Jasmin Canty, and Franklin Habit.

Plus, Cast On is three years old! Thank you, my knitsibs, for a most excellent ride.

Inspired by Heather, and Snowangels, I have pens at the ready. The beautiful lettering is based on the work of Adolf Bernd, and the book featuring his work, The Painted Letters of Adolph Bernd, I am already on the lookout for. (Also on my radar, English calligrapher, Peter Thorton, who teaches a class based on Bernd’s work. Maybe the next time I go to London…)

My new Singer Featherweight looks like this. Is cute, yes?

Knit and give to the Red Scarf Project and Fund
Knit a Mystery Hat with Woolly Wormhead (Ravelry account needed)
Go Passionately Pink for the Cure.

KniTunes were provided by and used with the permission of:

Additional music, Aunt Louise, by John Williams, courtesy of Magnatune, and The Dream Witch, by Brandon Moore.

Thank you, Maria McKee, where ever you are.


  1. sandy l wrote:

    Brenda, this episode wouldn’t download. Is this a Halloween trick? 🙂

    Posted on 10.31.08 ·
  2. I remember when you started and said maybe you had a year’s worth in you…at least enough “today’s sweaters” for a year. Happy Podday and thanks

    Posted on 10.31.08 ·
  3. sandy l wrote:

    It must’ve been a trick, because it finally downloaded. Sorry for the message.

    Posted on 10.31.08 ·
  4. Liz T. wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    Happy 3rd Podiversary. I’m saving the show to listen to on my train journey up north tomorrow morning. Lovely scenery, a great sock pattern and Cast-On to listen to – perfect.

    Best Wishes

    Liz x

    Posted on 10.31.08 ·
  5. Rebecca wrote:

    Greetings from Arizona USA!

    Wonderful episode Brenda (the zombie song is awesome) and a very happy 3 year Pod-iversary! I just found Cast On last month and flew through 1-69 while knitting on the bus.

    One of the many interesting things have been how topical some of the episodes have been for what is going on in my ‘fiber life’. I listened to the one where you talked about the looms just before going to a Fiber to Shawl event at my LYS. I instantly recognized that the weavers were using a rigid heddle loom! I listened to the Cat Bohrdi episode not long before a friend told me she signed us up for a moebius class.

    Thank you so much for all of the hours of enjoyment and it great to hear that you still enjoy podcasting.

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  6. Jessica Dion wrote:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I am downloading now, but thank you for publishing another episode!

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  7. Kim in IA wrote:

    The BEST Halloween treat ever…..a new Cast On!!!!!

    Thank you Brenda!!!!!!!

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  8. Jenna wrote:

    Congratulations on the occasion of your pod-aversary!
    Thank you for all your hard work; for sharing your joys, your sorrows and the occasional MoRH, and for the hours delight you bring to my days! I am truly grateful!

    Thank you so very much!

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  9. LittleWit wrote:

    Congratulations on three years! 🙂 I hope there are many more in the future.

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  10. Bonnee wrote:

    I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already. I guess the old adage is correct when they say, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” Happy Pod-iversary and I hope to hear at least another 3… /wry g/

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  11. Karoline wrote:

    Happy podiversary!!!

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  12. megan wrote:

    Happy Podiversary Brenda! Thanks so much for all your hard work. I’ve listened to every single cast & am so glad you’re out here sharing your voice with all of us. Also, I love the watercolor lettering too… I’ve seen work done by a german artist named Thomas Hoyer with ruling pens that use watercolor that are to die for. Lastly, hurrah for a return of Jonathan Coulton to the music list. His music makes me smile, so thanks for including him!

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  13. Martha wrote:

    Happy 3rd podiversary!! I found you a year ago and you are my favorite. Also congrads on getting a Featherweight, you have a real treasure there, I know I have one. I really appreciate all your work for getting the podcast out. I hope you continue podcasting for along time.

    Posted on 11.1.08 ·
  14. Mel wrote:

    I may not comment, but in three years I have not missed a single episode. I may not listen to it right away, but I do always listen. Since you’re way across The Pond and I can’t just pop in for tea, how else am I supposed to get my Brenda fix?

    Posted on 11.2.08 ·
  15. Magpie Ima wrote:

    Happy podiversary from rainy Portland! As someone who can rarely find time for all my crafty interests, I found the box of chocolates analogy right on. I often feel guilty about all the different things I have going but I won’t anymore–thanks for that! Thanks for all your great work!

    Posted on 11.2.08 ·
  16. Barbro wrote:

    Yesterday I listened to the first episode and I laughed again at the Clapotis disaster! I have listened to all episodes and sometimes more than once. In the sock knitting pentathlon I have had Cast on in my ears every time and I think it is one of the things that made me win the competition.

    Posted on 11.2.08 ·
  17. Congratulations on three years, and thank you so much for making such an entertaining and informative podcast.

    Posted on 11.2.08 ·
  18. dawn wrote:

    Thanks for it all!
    Especially loving the Halloween episode…and a big supporter of more spinning content!

    Posted on 11.2.08 ·
  19. Gerry wrote:

    I love you podcast and have been listening for about 2 years. Happy Anniversary
    Aunt Gerry in Columbus Ohio

    Posted on 11.2.08 ·
  20. Celeritas wrote:

    I would not be a knitter without you and you got me through a few months living a long distance relationship. I am onto my second socks and I have definitly found myself to be happier and more relaxed since I started knitting. Thank you so much!

    Posted on 11.3.08 ·
  21. Kate wrote:

    Thank you for three years of interest and entertainment. I may not comment very often but I appreciate all the effort you put into the podcast. Happy Anniversary from across the globe in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

    Posted on 11.3.08 ·
  22. Sandy wrote:

    Thanks for another wonderful episode! Happy 3rd anniversary 🙂

    Posted on 11.3.08 ·
  23. Brooke wrote:

    Hi Brenda. LOVE your podcast. My husband gave me an ipod for Christmas a year or so ago. I listen to podcasts on it at night. You’re a breath of fresh air. I missed the ad in the podcast, but living in California, maybe my download did not contain the ad. My thought is this: So far, your quicky “this episode sponored by xxx” is fine, I don’t think I’d object to an insert ad voice over (so long as it did not cut you off!!) and so long as ads did not comsume a great portion of the podcast. perhaps just one per?? I’ve been trying to get my very busy friend to start a podcast with me, so I applaud your efforts to actualy DO it.

    Posted on 11.3.08 ·
  24. Marcy K. wrote:

    Happy anniversary! I have enjoyed each episode since I first discovered your podcast from listening to LnV’s podcast.

    Posted on 11.3.08 ·
  25. Alex wrote:


    Are you ever revealing where your new blog is? Or maybe I’m dense and missed the link. It’s possible that it’s the latter and not the former.

    Your loyal listener,

    Posted on 11.3.08 ·
  26. Joan wrote:

    Yay!!! You’re back:) So glad to hear you this morning:) and thank you thank you thank you so very very much for your shout out again for the Red Scarf Project! Go foster kids:)!!!
    Thank you also for recommending the Wormy Woollheads Hats group on ravelry – I just joined and will be doing the mystery hat (eventually, LOL!)
    As usual, I gave your podcast a quick listen, stopping and rewinding many times and will probably sit down later this evening to give it a serious listen as I knit.
    Happy Anniversary:)!!
    Joan in Ellicott City, “merlin” USA

    Posted on 11.4.08 ·
  27. JayKay wrote:

    Hi and a wave.
    Really, thanks for plowing through your fat times and lean, and keeping going with this podcast. You are the mother of all knitting podcasts.

    Posted on 11.4.08 ·
  28. Maryjo wrote:

    Happy anniversary, and thanks for the “variety” of topics in the podcast, including Franklin’s wonderful tale. But what I loved was the description of your newly organized bookshelf of “promises” — I will now call all my (many) WIPs works of promises! 🙂

    Posted on 11.4.08 ·
  29. Cassandra wrote:

    I don’t usually comment, I confess to being a lurker. I was saving your latest podcast for today, the day after the election, thinking I might need the cheering up. While much of the world rejoices at Obama’s election, I find the victory bittersweet, with the emphasis on the former. Because, in the aftermath of that wave of hope, there came to California a cruel undertow. Proposition 8, which eliminates any right to marriage by non-heterosexual couples, has been called as passed by a margin of 4%. So I’m glad I saved this podcast, in the end. I needed it. Today, you have helped me mourn, and cope, and try to remember that creation is possible in a world with so much destruction. I spin and I listen to your voice, and I try to find solace in the things I can control, and hope that change is possible. So thank you, my knitsib, for being with me, with all of us, in this time of deep trouble, on so many fronts.

    Posted on 11.5.08 ·
  30. AnnDS wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    Hearing Lone Justice took me back to my young-adult days in the 80s as well. What awesome music there was (if you were willing to dig a little to find it)! If you’d like to see Maria McKee in action in another way, check out the video for Robbie Robertson’s “Somewhere Down the Crazy River” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ3LOu9IK7Y). RR’s album is full of guests, with backing vocals from one of the BoDeans, and Daniel Lanois, and Peter Gabriel in there, and even Bono & the Boys contributing. I still have my cassette of that album…

    But “Somewhere Down the Crazy River” was always a standout for me — a must-listen on a hot summer night. And look who’s there in the video with RR? Ms. Maria herself.

    Posted on 11.6.08 ·
  31. Marlene wrote:

    I love this episode! Do you or Franklin have a text version of that lovely story?? It’s *perfect* for my civil war re-enactment story time!

    Posted on 11.6.08 ·
  32. I love your podcast and have listened to every one of them.

    Posted on 11.7.08 ·
  33. Andrea wrote:

    Hi Brenda, I love your podcast, I listen to you as soon as they come out.
    I never feel I have a lot to say, but hey, here I am to tell you I listen and appreciate what you do.
    Andrea in Buenos Aires.

    Posted on 11.7.08 ·
  34. RobinM wrote:

    So… I listen to your podcasts & I learn about the Modern Quilt Wrap. Interesting. I listened to more podcasts and heard an interview with Mags Kandis. Also interesting.

    One day at my knitting group, people were moaning about how expensive the yarn is for the wrap. One person asked rather disgustedly why THESE designers do this sort of stuff. Create patterns with expensive yarns.

    I piped up immediately saying I had heard an interview with designer Mags Kandis. She’s designed all kinds of stuffz taking economic considerations into account. This time she created something just for the fun of it, and it was a hit.

    That’s the story of how I impressed everyone with how knowledgeable I am. Thanks, Cast-On for making it happen! I didn’t mind knowing enough to defend the designer either. Very satisfying all in all.

    Oh, did I mention? I wouldn’t be listening if I didn’t enjoy it.

    Posted on 11.7.08 ·
  35. Marce wrote:

    Brenda you never, ever disappoint. Great music, tidbits and information as usual.
    This was another very well put together episode (Franklin’s a genius! Clearly you keep good company).

    Thanks especially for the tip about the Wooly Wormhead’s KAL. I am allll over that 🙂 If you’re going to participate I look forward to seeing your version.

    Thank you!

    Posted on 11.8.08 ·
  36. Camille wrote:

    Happy Podiversary, Brenda! Always a *SQUEE!* when I see a new Cast On episode downloading in iTunes. You’re the best.

    Posted on 11.9.08 ·
  37. Annie, Sydney, Australia wrote:

    You really nailed it with this episode, Brenda. It was technically perfect, brilliantly structured and the content superb, as always. Thank you for three great years of knitting, yarn, music and your fabulous voice. I’ve said it before in this forum – you have found your niche in broadcasting. We celebrated our daughter’s 3rd birthday this weekend, and I quietly raised a glass for you, too. Well done girl. xxoo

    Posted on 11.9.08 ·
  38. Diane wrote:

    Congratulations and thanks for 3 wonderful years of podcasts. Can’t seem to download the current podcast–don’t know what’s up 🙁 Diane/Bloomington,IN.

    Posted on 11.9.08 ·
  39. glittrgirl wrote:

    Great 3rd anniversary podcast! And Thank You SO much for playing a Lone Justice song. They were part of my eighties soundtrack to my life too – along with Husker Du….

    Posted on 11.10.08 ·
  40. glittrgirl wrote:

    Oh and I forgot to say – love the website new look!

    Posted on 11.10.08 ·
  41. Jersey wrote:

    Brenda! Congrats on 3 years of Potcasting. I don’t know what I’d do with out you. You’ve inspired me more than anyone could ever imagine. Thank-you!

    Also, I love the new web layout!


    Posted on 11.12.08 ·
  42. Brenda Castiel wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I am another Brenda (waves). I found your podcast a few months ago, and I started from beginning; at the same time I listened to the newest ones too. Eventually I met myself in the middle (!) and now I have no more in the backlog, and I am like everyone else — anxiously awaiting each new podcast,
    Each one is like a hand crafted piece of jewellery, sparkling with different coloured gems and new facets that glint in the light, varying depending on the angle and one’s mood, and the time of day. And all the components are gently yet firmly held together by golden strands, just as your mellifluous voice ties the podcast together.

    Pretty good, huh ?

    Anyway I did want to thank you for the comfort and inspiration to try new things in my knitting life, and for giving me lots to think about. I especially enjoyed your discussions of the Campfire girls (or was it Girl Scouts?) and I a;ways love any discussion of your actual knitting projects.

    Best wishes,

    Posted on 11.13.08 ·
  43. Josie wrote:

    I’m so very glad you are back! Three years is amazing and I love every single episode and the new site looks interesting.

    You are an inspiration and I hope you are feeling better.

    And, just so you know, I am finally knitting a clapotis thanks to your influence 😉

    Posted on 11.14.08 ·
  44. Eva wrote:

    3 years already?! Happy belated podiversary and thank you so much, Brenda, for the last 3 years! Episode 70 was a great episode – thanks also to Jasmin and Franklin for their fabulous contributions!

    BTW, your comment about not using the airbrush near your yarn made me giggle – my friend (www.das-schneeschaf.com – sorry, only in German) uses exactly this technique for dyeing her yarns… 🙂

    Best wishes,

    Posted on 11.15.08 ·
  45. sarah wrote:

    I just wanted to tell you that the site looks BEAUTIFUL! i think you’ve really improved the look and i am happy to see the cute little knitting matters line up top. after taking a bunch of graphic design/web design classes i can truly appreciate the changes and how good it looks. keep up the amazing podcasts. we love you dearly!

    Posted on 11.17.08 ·
  46. Karen wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    Happy Podiversary! I want to thank you for some truly lovely, truly inspiring content over the years, as well as for feeding my greedy need to hear more vicarious observations of Wales. Today, though, i especially want to thank you for talking of your lettering professor. It reminded me of my grandfather. He was a professional sign-painter, in the way you described; he hand-lettered every sign, and painted them for billboards, for storefronts, even painting the signs on the sides of tow-trucks and vehicles advertising their businesses (tasteful bright rectangles of text and design, not airbrushed all over everywhere signs). When he died, we were allowed to pick something from his very small apartment to remember him by. I chose his portfolio, a small black three-ring binder with 4×6 photographs of his work on every page, a few even including my father as a young man (driving one or another of the trucks). You brought him and his work back to me today. Thank you!

    Posted on 11.18.08 ·
  47. E-J wrote:

    Dear Brenda

    As a sketcher/painter who took up knitting and crochet two and a half years ago as an alternative means of creativity while pregnant with my daughter, I was smiling as I listened to this episode. The fact that I came into possession of a vintage Singer sewing machine just three months ago just added to the smiles! Your featherweight looks, uncannily, like a Mini-Me of my own Black Beauty: http://rose-anglaise.blogspot.com/2008/08/initials-bb.html

    What I have noticed since I’ve become interested in all kinds of art and craft (not just the media I was into in my pre-parent days) is that a) these things go in waves and you just have to go with them, and b) though at first the different media seem to be taking time away from each other, in fact, they end up feeding off and informing one another, making one’s creative output richer overall. It can be a shock – not so much to oneself as to one’s readers and listeners – when one (less familiar) medium appears suddenly to be supplanting another, but in the words of Janis: It’s all the same fuckin’ day, man!

    Congratulations on reaching your 3-year podiversary!!

    Posted on 11.20.08 ·
  48. Jessi wrote:

    Happy Anniversary – may you have many more! I just discovered your podcast and am “hooked.” I especially liked “October Light.” Thank you for the work that you do!

    Posted on 11.24.08 ·
  49. Brooke wrote:

    Johanthan C is the same guy that did Code Monkey right? He’s great….enjoying the pod casts.

    Posted on 11.26.08 ·
  50. Marian wrote:

    Thank you for three years of podcasting. I discovered CAST ON about two years ago and listened through the earlier episodes. I recently listened and heard you had passed the one million download point. This made me think that your podcast has been truly valued and enjoyed by so many!!!! Your comments, stories and interviews about knitting and making things by hand have inspired me and I have tackled socks, (toe up and down) and begun to be more creative and experimental than I ever used to be. So thank you thank you thank you for doing what you do and for being there to remind me of why I knit and the many good things I get from knitting. I know there have been times when you have questioned continuing and whether you still have something to say but you always manage to take the podcast onwards and upwards. I am glad you took the decision to podcast less often because at least we still have you around. The disappearance of CAST ON would leave a very large hole in a lot of knitter’s lives. Hope you are recovering from the op and will be back to full strength soon.

    Posted on 11.28.08 ·
  51. Barbara wrote:

    Thanks so much for your encouraging words about making time for creative hobbies other than knitting. Ever since I started designing full-time, I’ve hardly allowed myself time to do anything but knit for work. A year later, I find I really miss the feel of a brush in my hand and a clean canvas in front of me. I’ve also been so curious about spinning, but thought I couldn’t take the time away from knitting to learn. But even my mother, after a lifetime of knitting, has taken up spinning, starting right from a raw fleece! After listening to your podcast, I feel inspired to take more time for other things, no matter how much I love knitting.

    Posted on 12.2.08 ·
  52. Liz wrote:

    your new website is so pretty and shiney! Great podcast as well, by the way.

    Posted on 12.4.08 ·
  53. Monica wrote:

    Wow, the new layout is gorgeous, suddenly it looks much less like a blog and more like the refined, professional production that cast-on obviously is *grin* I’m stoked to see the baby hat book on your site, I hvae a copy and agree – it’s pretty awesome! 🙂

    Posted on 12.4.08 ·
  54. mychawd wrote:

    Loved the Zombie song! Great job with the podcast. You rock as always!

    Posted on 12.15.08 ·
  55. ana wrote:

    Thank you so much for the link. Getting to study for a few days with Peter Thornton (I have pics of the event on my Flickr page if you want to see all the amazing work created, not my work of course but the other participants) was such a treat and so inspirational. Best advice I can give you is buy good paper. The watercolors literally tripped off our brushes onto the sumptuous paper we were using. Best of luck!

    Posted on 12.31.08 ·
  56. Nicole wrote:

    Great episode Brenda! Just finished listening to it as I did my workout on the elliptical machine at the gym. Helped distract me from how much longer I had until I was done! 🙂

    Posted on 1.12.09 ·
  57. Kristyn in Wisconsin wrote:

    I’m so happy that you got Tonia’s mother’s Singer. My mother got one as a wedding gift from my father around the same time that Tonia’s mother got hers. My grandmother also had a Singer… not the featherweight, but also a nice model. My grandmother lived with us when I was small, so when she died, my mother had two machines.

    She kept those two machines until two years ago when she FINALLY thought that I would like one. This, after years of me screaming at machines that wouldn’t work consistently and then tossing them out. Thank you, mom! I dreamed of bringing that featherweight home with me. They are SO CUTE!

    Well… my mom gave me my grandmother’s machine. Yeah, not the featherweight. I should have been happier, but I was so, well, I was just so sad. When I told her that I thought that she would be giving me her featherweight because she hasn’t been quilting or sewing for quite awhile, she was shocked. “What?” she asked me, “are you nuts? I’m not giving that one up until I’m dead!”

    When we took my grandmother’s machine in to be tuned up, I told the man at the shop just how mean my mother was because she wasn’t giving me that featherweight. He told us that we should NEVER sell that machine. It is worth more than US$500 and is considered a collector’s item as well as one of the best Singers ever made. He thought that she was smart to keep it for herself. Some help he was. “They don’t make them like that anymore. Those things run and run and run… and never break down.”

    I hope that this is true so that when the emotional day comes that my mother dies, and I finally get my machine, it will still work 🙂

    I hope that you enjoy your machine – said through clenched teeth– really. Enjoy.

    I’m catching up on my Cast-On. I’ve been away for awhile because of life – I know that you get that. I hope that this message pops up after being posted so many months after the episode.

    Posted on 4.5.09 ·
  58. Kit wrote:

    My mother has a Singer featherweight. I learned to sew on it. At one point, long after we grew up, Mom took a quilting class. The other students were giving her looks for her elderly sewing machine. All of them had very high tech models. When the instructor walked in she ooed and ahed over Mom’s machine, asked where she got it, and insisted it’s the best machine out there. She told the other students that if they ever saw one for sale they should grab it at any price.

    Posted on 7.26.10 ·

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