06 Jan 2012

Episode 108: Stand and stare

In this episode: I swore I wasnโ€™t knitting anyone anything this year, and then I knit seven gifts. Why do I do this every year? I have my reasons, and it turns out theyโ€™re good ones. I had a minor shawl issue this week, and managed to sort it, and I tell you how I did that in an extremely geeky way. Seriously, it’s fascinating. Unless you’ve never in our life knit a top down shawl. But hang in there through the geeky bits anyway. After this podcast you’ll want to re-examine your shawl-less life, and make some changes there. I’m pretty sure about that.

Speaking of shawls, I was stroking this one the whole the time I was podcasting. Wait. That sounds slightly creepy. But if you saw the yarn, you’d totally understand my obsession.

The holiday knitting round up can be seen in its (almost) entirety here. (I feel an obligation to state that you need a Ravelry account to view this page, although who doesn’t know this?) Everything from the Fibonacci hat to the latest pyjama socks have been recently added. The only thing missing is the bear, but Eve has promised me photos this week.

PS: The bear was fun. I wish I had an excuse to knit another one.

Selfish knitting month begins! Tell me all about your selfish projects. Remember, imaginary knitting counts!

The latest edition of Welsh for Rainbow will be available from 7 January. (I had hoped for today, but the podcast ate up more of the afternoon than I’d planned.)

Gerald made a video! About the Artist’s Edition! Go look. He’s adorable.

This week’s audible pick is The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Click that big logo just below to sign up.

I do the Facebooks. Also the g+ and, of course, I’m still doing the twitter. Come find me!

Music by Sarah Bareilles (with Ingrid Michaelson), Winter Song, from the cd Winter Songs.


  1. Melanie wrote:

    Thank you for telling me about the series by Lois Lowry! I read “The Giver” when I was in high school, loved it, but didn’t know there was a series! I just downloaded the next book “Gathering Blue” and will surely be listening as I take my own day to just knit!

    Posted on 1.6.12 ·
  2. robin wrote:

    Another fun, informative episode, thank you. And what a wonderful, amazing surprise to hear you mention one of my awesome test knitters, Gerald – it is a small world it is indeed. Happy New Year wishes to you, for a creative and inspiring 2012!

    Posted on 1.7.12 ·
  3. christina wrote:

    Oh, selfish knitting month! I am all over that…starting with a skirt. Suddenly I can wait not a minute longer to have a knit skirt. The latest Vogue did little to discourage me!

    Posted on 1.7.12 ·
  4. Wyn Jones wrote:

    Selfish knitting month hasn’t started yet for me. I am working on a knitted necktie (January birthday present) to match the sweater vest I gave to my boyfriend’s son for Christmas. And a 4 inch wide tube to a length of 35 feet – ugh, out of acrylic – as part of the next yarn bombing project.

    When I do get time to knit something for myself it will be the Maluka shawl out of the handspun I got for Christmas from my sister-out-law. (My boyfriend’s sister – Martha – is one of the most talented people I know. Glass artist, knitter, spinner, and urban farmer who raises chickens, ‘meat’ rabbits, angora rabbits, bees, worms, and then finds time to make her own wine, vinegar, and grow an organic garden. And just finished her Master’s in Family Therapy. If I can’t grow up to be Brenda, I want to be Martha.)

    You can see the beginning of the Maluka shawl and lovely yarn on my Ravelry project page. I am WynJeanne.

    Posted on 1.7.12 ·
  5. Louise B wrote:

    I am busy knitting Anna Makarovna’s Socks, for me. I’m on my 2nd pair. Yes, it’s geek knitting, but it’s okay. I will never knit socks another way again.

    Posted on 1.7.12 ·
  6. mara wrote:

    dear brenda, thank you for your podcast and your lovely enthusiastic voice, itยดs so nice to listen to you. greetings from germany, mara

    Posted on 1.7.12 ·
  7. Stephanie wrote:

    It is such a pleasure that you are back to podcasting regularly again! I just had a lovely half an hour of knitting with you. Thank you.

    And the song at the end… Mmmmm, delicious. As a synesthete, it was layer on layer of greys, blues, and lavenders. Such a nice ending.

    Posted on 1.9.12 ·
  8. Brenda,
    I can only imagine my selfish knitting, because I’m still in gift knitting purgatory!! I want to knit two Hannah Fetig cardigans: the Rocky Coast Cardigan and the Effortless Cardigan…..I can only hope that Febuary will be my selfish knitting month!!

    Posted on 1.9.12 ·
  9. Heather Lindon wrote:

    I have to agree, The Giver is a book that stays with you. I read it in the 6th grade *mumble* years ago, and it has stuck with me through the years, not just days, after reading. Highly recommended! Nice job on the Christmas knits, enjoyed following you on Ravelry with some new things to look at. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted on 1.9.12 ·
  10. AJ wrote:

    Here’s my first project for selfish knitting month (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/JrzyGrlKnitsInNC/modern-lodge-pullover) bus as you can tell, I’m new to this concept and just had to make this for my daughter (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/JrzyGrlKnitsInNC/puff-beret) which is still drying as I write this. Well that was more of a guilt gift. My daughter bought me 2pks of crochet hooks and my son bought me a 2ton skein (14oz actually) of purple red heart yarn for Christmas. I was scouting for suggestions on what to do with the yarn and she said “well, I bought you hooks so crochet me a hat!” How can you resist such logic? well, I couldn’t so I did. I admit I’ve also done a bit of work on her 2nd sleeve for this project (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/JrzyGrlKnitsInNC/thermal) just because I’m ready to finish this already, but it is selfish knitting month after all so I’m not giving it the attention it deserves. I too had a last minute dash for gifts but mine were not nearly as elaborate as yours, but were still well received by all.

    Thanks for continuing the podcast and for sharing your many talents with us.

    Posted on 1.9.12 ·
  11. Happy New Year Brenda,

    I love the idea of selfish knitting month. I spent most of December finishing up gifts – shawls and scarfs – and since I got all sorts of lovely wool for xmas, I’m brimming with all sorts of project ideas. First up, I’m attempting my first ever sweater! I knit the front while listening to back episodes of Cast-On this weekend. And then, I got two skeins of Kaffe Fasset’s Rowan Colourscape Chunky. The colours are all shades of pink/mauve/purple which I trust will come out looking gorgeous. I’ve fretted over what to knit with it but listening to the episode Ockham’s Knitting was a complete inspiration and I’m going to knit that scarf! Thanks so much for coming to my rescue at just the right moment.

    Posted on 1.9.12 ·
  12. Jo Ann wrote:

    Just finished my second listen of all podcasts. Thanks Brenda you’re the best! I love the sound of your voice! I love knowing that I have a friend (because I think of you as a friend) who also has imaginary knitting and doesn’t think I’m looney for doing so.

    Keep up the great work!

    Posted on 1.9.12 ·
  13. Megan Roberts wrote:

    Interweave Knits Winter came just in time for Selfish Knitting Month, I MUST have the Pan Am Jacket. Of course a few pairs of socks will be in order as I search for the perfect Pan Am Jacket yarn.

    Posted on 1.9.12 ·
  14. Tink wrote:

    My selfish knitting January: Pillow-Puzzle Blanket by Meg Swanson and Monkey socks (Cookie A.)–my 3rd pair! Hooray or selfish knitting!!

    Posted on 1.10.12 ·
  15. Sarah wrote:

    Thanks Brenda for another enjoyable episode. For me, selfish knitting month is finishing up 2 sweaters — a pulli in peacefleece and v-neck cardigan in ultra alpaca light that were started this fall and summer and then perhaps some socks to go with my pajamas! Love your last pair.

    Posted on 1.10.12 ·
  16. Nina wrote:

    I am totally embracing the selfish knitting for January. It’s my birthday month and I never knit anything for myself. I plan to knit some sort of beret-not sure which one yet. I also want to knit the Bayside Pullover in some gorgeous buttermilk risata yarn and a pair of Oak Leaf socks.

    Thanks for another great episode. I’m so glad that you’re back! Congratulations on completing so many Christmas knits.

    Posted on 1.11.12 ·
  17. Yuka Suzuki wrote:

    Thank you for great podcast.
    Every bit of knitting is selfish knitting for me. I really enjoy knitting though it gives me stiff shoulders. In order to enjoy knitting more, I make myself do yoga, walking, and going to work.
    Recently, I find so hard to resist anything you mentioned…I have already purchased shawl patter books from audible….hmmm
    Looking forward to hearing next episode and your book!

    Posted on 1.11.12 ·
  18. Katherine wrote:

    Once I finish this quick bulky neckwarmer for my boyfriend, I’m going to knit myself a pair of mittens and a hat out of Cashmerino Aran in magenta. A nice feminine touch after the past couple projects for the guys in my life!

    Posted on 1.12.12 ·
  19. Kathleen wrote:

    Loved the palpable giddy joy in your post-holiday podcast Brenda! Congrats on such an accomplished gift session.
    I call the busy brain syndrome “monkey mind” (as if swinging from thought to thought like a monkey) and when people consider whether I’m listening to them talk – because how could I be if I’m knitting – I explain about my monkey mind and that knitting actually helps me listen better.
    Hip Hip Hooray for selfish knitting month! I even dreamed about it last night and it was all I could do to keep from calling in “sick and tired” to cast on my new EZ sweater.
    And now I must stop writing and go organize something because that’s what I do when I’m not selfish knitting in January as the decorations are brought down and clear spaces are available for my obsessive creative state.
    Happy New Year to you and Tanya. Be well.

    Posted on 1.12.12 ·
  20. Mel wrote:

    The Giver is a fantastic book! You really should check out Gathering Blue; embroidery, dying, and a good story. I haven’t read the third one in the series. LOVE that you are keeping the theme Knit Like the Wind, and that you have added a song to the end of the pod casts. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ I listened to episode 64 through your last one straight (I was only recently introduced to the wonderful world of pod casts!) and really enjoy them. I really am glad that you have decided to continue making and sharing them. My knitting will never be the same! Now to check out your website…. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Imaginary knitting….. Now why didn’t I think of that great idea for those boring work days ๐Ÿ™‚
    Selfish knitting for me consists of Sylvi by Mari Muinonen (I would link to Ravelry but have NO clue how to), Edwardian boating socks, and many more socks.
    Happy selfish knitting month!

    Posted on 1.12.12 ·
  21. Karoline wrote:

    Happy New Year Brenda!

    I’m so happy to hear your voice again! For January Selfish Knitting Month I am knitting Daybreak by Stephen West in Anzula Squishy a cashmere blend and I plan to knit socks as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted on 1.19.12 ·
  22. Aileen Osias wrote:

    Help! I tried replaying the portion on the mod you did for the Damson, but I still can’t figure out how to correct that bump. Any chance you wrote it down somewhere on Ravelry? Pretty please … =)

    Posted on 1.24.12 ·
  23. Wyn wrote:

    Selfish knitting has begun! I have to tell someone or I will burst!

    My Stitch’n’bitch group did a Secret Santa swap – we each bought a skein of yarn, and the “Santa” was supposed to knit something out of it. I picked Misti Alpaca in a kettle-dyed Hunter Green, and asked for the Nereid mitts. The person who got me decided that that the yarn wouldn’t match the pattern. She knit a plain pair of fingerless mitts, and gave back the remaining yarn.

    So I cast on, and have done one repeat of the pattern stitch. OH MY GOD ! ! ! I love this yarn and this pattern! And I can’t post it to Ravelry because I want to surprise the “Santa” when I show up wearing the mitts.

    Posted on 1.29.12 ·

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