10 Feb 2006

Episode 11: The Uninvited Guest

Fifty two minutes and forty seconds of Ritual Humiliation Free Podcasting! Plus, Olympic Fever starts now. What am I knitting? What are you knitting? – Don’t forget that Olympic Knitting is Safe Knitting – Do you feel uneasy around your stash? Chicago writer, Franklin Habit, explains why. – Podcasting 101Brokeback Monkeys – Can you help Aidan find Julie? – As ever, eternal grateful thanks to Dave of Chub Creek


Special thanks to The Danny Fong Experience for the acapella version of O Canada.


  1. Alice Few wrote:


    One of the joys of iTunes or any of the aggregators is that we can all stay subscribed and !shazam! you will appear when you come back! It will be like Christmas!

    I love your idea of giving us the pieces of the book and since you are on libsyn you can pre-load and schedule the releases. Have you considered having guests cast for you while you are gone? Scary, yes, I wouldn’t have thought about it except that Mark, from Tartan podcast, does that and it works out fine!

    I want to know what you decided because I am going to have to do something similar with my podcast over the summer and I am just as scared about losing listeners as you are…right now I am considering pre-recording and loading…I will miss all the current news items but that might be where the guest podcaster can take over for me that way I can still feel like I have control! (and that is probably the major issue!)

    Best of luck!
    Alice Few
    Astronomy a Go Go! podcast

    Posted on 2.10.06 ·
  2. Jeri wrote:

    I really enjoyed this episode ! I laughed uproariously about the stash essay–too funny. And i loved your sweater description…As for trying to do it all- you are marvelous but definitely that road can lead to burn out. As a fan I would sorely miss you, but i would wait! I think if you “filled in” with chapters of the book, it would work as a substitute–hey i can still knit to the sound of your voice. Works for me! All the best. Go Team Wales! And thank you so much for all that you do. You are the best, Brenda!

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  3. Kelly wrote:

    Hi Brenda! First of all, I was SO thrilled to hear that you used a big portion of my ‘advice to new knitters’ in your last podcast! I have only one friend who knits, but otherwise, my experience of knitting exists in this sort of neverland — I know there’s a lot of other people who are also passionate…somewhere. So to hear that my thoughts, even though I’ve never shared them with others, are valid – well, it made me feel less nerdy.
    As for stash. I recently moved from Chicago to France for a year to teach English. When moving, I had to consolidate my stash. I’m happy to say it’s not overwhelming, but it’s sizeable enough. I came here to France with some smaller, more futzy projects – lace shawls and socks, specifically. I thought, “This is all of the yarn I’ll have, so I’ll be FORCED to knit all of these things!” The thing I didn’t expect? Phildar. Philllllldaaaaar. Cheap, plentiful yarn, in nearly every town in France. Since coming here, I’ve knit two sweaters, have enough wool for two more, made two wraps for friends, a few hat and mitten sets, two scarves, and… oh, and I just recieved a box of cheap, cheap Jaeger Chamonix to get an early start on an entrelac afghan – a wedding gift for September.
    The only thing that changes when you travel is the ground under your feet.

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  4. Kris wrote:

    Hi Brenda! I’m the creator of the “Brokeback monkeys.” I’m glad you found them so amusing. I have to confess though — these aren’t knitted. They’re $5 knee socks from K-Mart. I do knit socks but they’re much too nice to cut up into toys… 🙂 Thanks for the mention!

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  5. Mia wrote:

    Hi Brenda, I think your idea of taking a break sounds wise and thoughtful etc- I’ll miss you terribly, but of course I don’t want you to burn out! And as the first comment on this entry said, I think many of us (your fans) are sucscribers at itunes, so we will not go away! No way!
    About stash- I love my stash! There is nothing uncomfortable about it at all- except for that it takes up a lot of storing space. But that’s okay. I like it because it reminds me of that I’ve started knitting again and that I really enjoy it. Still loved the essay though. Is it a guy reading? Great voice!
    And the today’s sweater- for the first time I had the book that you were referring to and could look at the sweater while you were describing it- what a beauty!

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  6. Alison wrote:

    Brenda, I love your podcast. Please take a break and have balance in your life. I would far prefer that you take breaks and continue podcasting than that you burn yourself out and stop altogether.
    Thank you for all the hard work that goes into this effort.

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  7. Julia wrote:

    Hey Brenda, this show was wonderful (as they all are) and you’re always putting together such an entertaining piece, THANKS! You keep getting better and better! I end up listening to every show twice- once in all the excitement right when I download it, and again when I get a chance to sit down, pick up my knitting and really focus on it. Your show means a lot to me and I enjoy hearing your incredibly warm voice, laughing with you about knitting gone wrong;-) You’ve mentioned in one of the early episodes that you saw Cast-On as a one-year project, and knowing that keeps worrying me. Seriously. I’m getting so attached to Cast-On. Honestly, I absolutely appreciate you doing a 1-hour show EVERY week (!), but I can see how that can get very tiresome. So do take some time off, cruise around and come back with some fiber-related soundseeing tours. you don’t HAVE to do shows in the meantime to fill the gap, I’ll definitely stay subscribed.
    It’s been a great surprise hearing you on Quirky Nomads as well, nice story:-) Belated congratulations:-) Your loyal listener Julia from Hamburg, Germany

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  8. Becca wrote:

    Chiming in with the others, I think that those of us who already listen to the podcast each week (which is wonderful by the way!) will still be here waiting with our pointy sticks for your return, if that is the case. Another possibility for a mid-season haitus “filler” – would it be difficult to have an hour long podcast of the music to knit by? You have mentioned in previous podcasts about all the good music that is out there and how it’s hard to select the 4 or so selections for each podcast… Just a thought.

    Keep up the good work!

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  9. Chris wrote:

    Brenda – I would hate for you to burn out on the podcast! With bloglines, it’s easy to keep track of updates to your feed, so whenever you do a podcast, bloglines folks will know. So do take a month off or go every other week or whatever you feel your way to doing. I’m enjoying your show and I’ll definitely stay subscribed. Take care and good luck on your Knitting Olympics shawl!

    We had some “Red Dragon” cheese (containing ale and mustard) last night to honor Team Wales while we watched the flame being lit.

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  10. Marianne wrote:

    I have been listening to your podcast since its inception. I really enjoy it! If it becomes too much of a burden then this will come across in the podcast. With that said I would rather wait 3, 4 or even 5 weeks for a new episode then to have you feel obligated to put out one a week that is lacking your spirit.
    Just my $.02.

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  11. Whit wrote:

    Hey Brenda –

    Just wanted to know if you’d seen the news today?

    Also, I’ve been meaning for weeks to show you one of the weirdest subversive knitting stories I’ve ever seen.

    About Time

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  12. Brenda, I agree with everyone else that you must do what is right for you and if you need to take a break, then do it, we will still be here. I will miss my weekly fix though. I listen to other podcasts, but they just don’t hit the right spot.
    On the stash front, it is a dirty word in my house. I too have an uninvited guest, or should that be univited guests. They seem to be creeping in everywhere. The loft is complaining, under the stairs is starting to moan, and the lounge and garage are getting to be no go areas. It’s a little like having your kinds teenage friends coming for the night and staying for ever. You can’t move and you have no privacy anywhere. Wherever you look there is another one starting to emerge. They are expensive and don’t ever clean up after themselves. My friend’s husband said that I’m going to be one of those old ladies who is found dead under a pile of stuff and isn’t found for weeks.

    Posted on 2.11.06 ·
  13. Valorie wrote:

    Loved the show! I just got an Ipod and discovered podcasts — and a knitting podcast was such a blessing to find! I’ve only been knitting a little over a year (just started on my first sweater back in November — almost there!) The essay on stash was a hoot! And as my thoughts on said stash, I’m a little conflicted — such a relief to realize that those irresistible urges to buy and have yarn that is not immediately used is not only not uncommon, but a worldwide commonality– and then to realize that I too have invited into my house, the home where my husband and child sleep, a potential monster that could potentially consume me! Egads!
    Oh well — I love the show — take whatever time you need to be able to keep it up!

    Posted on 2.12.06 ·
  14. Megan wrote:

    Hey Brenda!
    Great show! It got me to thinking about my stash, so I finally got around to organizing it a bit and posted it on my blog.
    Thanks to you and Franklin! It was wonderful!
    Your listener,

    Posted on 2.12.06 ·
  15. carla rey wrote:

    Please don’t burn yourself out and leave us. That would be such a blow. Take some time off, and by all means use The Age of Innocence to fill the gap.

    I’d happily listen to you read the service manual from a ’72 Volvo, but that’s just me.

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  16. Jodie wrote:


    My sister recently taught (I mean addicted me) to knitting and your podcast. I have been catching up on the back episodes and just wanted to thank you so much for this fantastic podcast.

    I have gotten such great advice, laughed a TON and gotten great ideas. Can’t wait to hear your do Age of Innocence and thank you so much for the information on librivox. I just downloaded 5 books that I have been wanting to read! Now I can listen while I knit…could it possibly get any better?

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  17. MaryMR wrote:

    Let’s see, I’ve got a million things I want say after your last FAB show. First, I too am totally uncomfortable with my stash and I’d LOVE to hear more about YOUR discomfort with your stash–an essay perhaps?? I’ve got a LOT of guilt (raised catholic, this of course, is like water to a fish, but I digress) and a TON of desire for more yarn, but I don’t let myself buy more until I knit up and bring the stash down. Finally I can’t stand it and go to the LYS and buy 1 (or 2) skeins of something wonderful, but it’s ONLY A SKEIN. It makes me crazy. I promise myself I won’t do this, that I’ll wait, save my money to buy enough yarn for an actual project, but I get tired of waiting… Anyway, I mostly see folks on the internets being mock horrified by their stash, but really gleeful about it, and I’d like to hear from someone like me who actually is a little bit unsure and tortured. (Thanks. Well, *I* feel better.)

    Something I’d really love when you take a break would be pictures of your sweaters you’ve talked about (and any other lovely things you’ve knit–Mrs. Beeton’s are so wonderful!) Because, though I love that section of your show–because of the details–I really can’t envision the sweater. The episode where you did Rouge was great for me because I knew the sweater and could ‘see’ what you saying.

    Taking a break: Do certainly take a break. And come back, PLEASE. I think we’ll wait–I certainly know I will. And besides taking a break, have you thought about (this may not make me popular) dropping back to say, a podcast every other week? I’d much rather I got you less often and it was easier on you and therefore you could do it more often. Just saying!
    Thanks again for your fabulous podcast.

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  18. Karen wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for the great podcast this week. I really look forward to hearing your take on things knitterly and otherwise. Please, please, as much as yours has become my favorite podcast, please take care of yourself. Take a break. Play with the format. “Best of”s are good; you could phone in two and three minute blurbs from far-away lands and associated barns and yarn shops; guest hosts, perhaps those who know nothing about fiber? I enjoy your show so much, but remember that when you began, the format, length, and content were yours to design–you were like a pod god. Don’t let yourself get mired down, fear of losing your audience keeping you from taking care of yourself. Give us fair warning, and we’ll be there when you get back. There is, after all, only one Brenda, and (say it with me) a Happy Brenda is a Healthy Brenda.

    Also, with regards to stash: I believe I have a very healthy relationship with mine. He lives in a basket in the living room. My cats treat him with respect, and he has first dibs on all yarn that enters the house. Much like the cats, he needs to… um, embrace the yarn, be One with the yarn, for a period before he will let me have it back. This usually works, because oddly enough, by the time he gives it up I a) have found a project to go with it and b) something else needs to go into his yarn embrace, and despite his rumored bottomlessness, I have my doubts. (Oo, brave from the one sending little glances over in his direction…)

    No, we are not going to talk about the stash’s illegitimate cousins, the Purgatory Basket of Unused Weaving Warps and the Bin of Acrylic. (The BoA mutters. It does. I think it’s the chenille I rescued from Goodwill. It doesn’t like the white baby blanket stuff. I don’t deal in turf wars.)

    That said, Go Team Wales! My support staff of one over here has decided to post my progress on his blog: http://www.globalspin.com , so should you like to link it to my name on the list (or visit? Heavens!), there you go.

    And thank you for the mention of Quirky Nomads. I finally visited today. I was so, so touched. I kept thinking, I’ve found another one of my people.

    Thank you!

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  19. Kate wrote:

    It’s not a hard choice – go without your warm voice and witty comment for a month or risk losing this entertaining podcast through burnout or something worse. As Carla Rey says I could listen to you read a service manual but it would have to be a ’65 Chrysler Valiant Safari, preferably an AP6.

    If you do decide to take a break I’ll be here when you come back – promise!

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  20. Samantha wrote:

    A comment on Stash

    I have stash. I have yarn.

    There is a pattern in Loop d loop for a mohair scarf made of links of two colour of La Gran mohair. One of these colours is discontinued. I found a store in the US that had some and to make it economical to ship to the UK I bought all they had – 12 balls – the pattern asks for 2.

    I wait with baited breath for hip knits latest release of sock yarn.

    I have stash. I have stash storage.

    A luxury food hamper from Fortnum and Masons at Christmas bought cries of delight not for the exquisite teas, or luxury marmalade but for the wicker basket which is just the right size for those 12 balls of La Gran mohair.

    The passing of my 92 year old grandmother last month left me with an old wicker laundry basket – perfect for my sock yarn and a large old magazine rack – now home to my knitting pattern/magazine collection.

    I have stash. I am a knitting groupie

    I listen to knitting podcasts religiously. I browse online stores for new yarn, gadgets and gizmos. I know what Clapotis is, I laugh and cry with the Yarn Harlot. I wait with anticipation for the latest Interweave Knits reading the patterns and indexing those I like.

    I have stash. I have yarn. I have stash storage. I am a knitting groupie. I don’t knit.

    I have stash and I love it.

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  21. Although I would be sad if you took a temporary hiatus, I would be more sad if you burned out resulting in a permanent hiatus! You won’t loose me as a listener – I also like the idea of guest podcasters.

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  22. Ann wrote:

    Hey, I just found you, so I’ve got all of the earlier ones to catch up on. And I listen to them more than once because I invariably have to answer the phone or whatever and miss a piece. Thanks for your time and insight. I’m really enjoying your efforts.

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  23. Angie wrote:

    I have stash angst. Like my wardrobe, and my pantry, I have scaled down and priorized. My worst shopping mistakes have been down loaded to the women’s shelter, the elementary school and even our Cultas Lake camp. If I’m honest, I will never again knit with acrylic. Why not let small children make pom pom animals out of my dashed dreams?
    I have kept all the ivory aran from my numerous cabled sweaters. I think I’ll make a mis-matched afghan for my son when he goes to university.
    My chunky stash is turning into tuques- one a month this year for a homeless mens’ shelter in East Vancouver. Good work to apply salve to the guilt of aquisistion.
    Of course we will understand if you take a break. But we listeners are greedy- hence the stash.
    I will keep tuning in!

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  24. Ann wrote:

    Regarding your “Low Blow comment” referring to a certain idiot’s anatomy – *Never* *ever* regret the voicing of your opinion. Great men and women have died for your right to do so. Although your comment may not have been based in fact it definitely voiced the opinion of a lot of bitches who stitch and a lot of stitchers who bitch. I love that you are brave enough to speak the words that are on the minds of many. You rock Ms. Dane! You rock!

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  25. Aidan wrote:

    Yeah! What she said! I’m with Ann!

    Seriously, Brenda. Having never seen the…um…object in question, I can’t say as to the size. But I thought exactly what you said. In a day and age where most people do not get what they deserve, it was refreshing to witness someone getting their comuppance. And it could not have happened to a more deserving fella. I read his press release — bad grammar and all — and I believe him to be guilty of crimes against the English Language.

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  26. Kelly wrote:

    Hi Brenda! First of all I wanted to say, how much I really love your show. I’m relatively new to listening to podcasts and I’m even newer to knitting podcasts. Your show is just about the greatest thing I listen to – it’s as slick and well-timed and spoken as if I was listening to the foremost talk radio show! So I just want to reiterate: absolutely love listening to you.

    That all said, I whole-heartedly agree with Alice, the first commenter. If you decide to take a break I will avidly be awaiting when my little itunes player announces to me that I have a new episode of yours to listen to, and I think a lot of other people will be as well! I’m intrigued by you uploading your book in audio format and I think it would be a great way to satisfy all your crazy listeners in the interim of your break.

    Posted on 2.13.06 ·
  27. Dawna wrote:

    Although I’d miss your podcast terribly if you take your break, I’ll patiently wait for you to get back to it if you need to attend to other things for now. I really do look forward to your podcast and it has moved up to the one I love the most. You have inspired me to keep knitting, and knitting, and knitting. You see, I was only a part time knitter for many years and now with your and Marie Irshard’s inspiration I am truly addicted to the point sticks. In fact, I think I even have a stash now. After listening to one of your podcasts, I became interested in sock knitting. I’m just finishing my second pair of socks and have acquired enough sock patterns and yarns to keep me out of trouble for quite some time. I like your idea of sharing “Age of Innocence” while you take some time off. As I read on another comment, I could listen to you read a text book. You’re just that good!

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  28. Irene wrote:

    I love your podcast. I will listen to your podcast for as long as you want to podcast. I have very limited time, and I have chosen your podcast as the ONE that I always listen to. That having been said, you must find a way to fit this into your life in a healthy and rewarding way, and that always includes taking breaks. What I would really love is if you just spoke for ten minutes or so each week during your break about where you have been, maybe a funny story or ‘teaser’ to look forward to, or a brief comment on current (knitting) news. Just a little something to keep updating your podcast in iTunes. Maybe that would address your concern about ‘losing’ your audience. Like postcards from your vacation to everyone waiting for your return. What do you say?

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  29. Jess wrote:

    Hi Brenda. By all means, take some time off if you need it. Relax, deal with the rest of your life, and come back refreshed. I’m subbed to this podcast, so iTunes will deliver it whenever the next episode is available.

    That said, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT DO A CLIP SHOW! There is nothing so disappointing as sitting down to listen to / watch a program, expecting something new and wonderful, and then getting your hopes dashed. It’s almost as bad as TV shows’ season-ender cliffhangers. Those are just manipulative!

    I’d love to hear chapters of The Age of Innocence in the interim.

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  30. Jess wrote:

    Of course I forgot to mention: I have no stash guilt whatsoever. Granted, my stash isn’t particularly large, but it has gotten to the point where it annoys my husband.

    My stash is like those magnetic poetry sets: it’s an incredible creative resource, completely apart from the fact that it could be used to make stuff in the physical, practical sense. I look at it and think of all the wonderful things I could accomplish with it, and the yarns suggest things to me. And while only some of those ideas would actually work with the yarn in my stash, it’s a wonderful jumping-off point. It’s not just a source of sweater-bones, it’s a source of inspiration.

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  31. Carry wrote:

    I echo the above comments. Please take a break! While I love your weekly shows, I’m also used to having other podcasts less often (KnitCast, for example). I would LOVE it if you would play the Age of Innocence during your hiatus!

    I enjoy your voice and love audio books and the combo (if we have to have a lack of knitting content) would be perfect!

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  32. Seems like a good idea to me, too – and I look forward to Edith Wharton! Thanks for the info about Amy Weber. I’ve just bought one of her exquisite paintings too 🙂 Lastly, did you know that Deirdre Flint now has a podcast full of her latest songs? http://podcastfondue.libsyn.com/
    Well worth a listen 🙂

    Heather xxx

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  33. Karen wrote:

    Hi Brenda! Your voice in ANY FORMAT goes down well with your soothing tones!
    I can fully appreciate the commitment involved with podcasting though. It’s much the same as running a group. I used to run a group that met once a week. Assembling material and inspiration for that group was time consuming and eventually tiring. Like yourself, when workloads got heavy (I too am a freelancer) it became very tiring indeed and over a couple of years there were moments I began to resent not having enough time to myself or, more importantly, having my commitments decide for me how my time was going to be spent!! The way I came to see it is that balance is crucial. For work done for free, out of one’s own personal passions and beliefs, long term balance is key to avoid physical, mental and especially enthusiasm burn out as it is that passion that gets you doing it in the first place!
    I came to understand that some things require consistency, but others don’t. On examination, I felt my group required consistency and so I reduced the frequency of the meetings to once a fortnight instead of once a week, which allowed my focus to broaden through other things in my life. I got every other weekend back, which was a relief and meant I didn’t burn out and could sustain myself by simmering rather than forcing the water to a boil once a week!! The other group members didn’t take that badly at all – indeed, as much as they liked meeting once a week there was full appreciation of the input I wanted to give and the level of commitment I had taken on. Reducing the frequency of the meetings gave me staying power in the long-term and a greater flexibility in my life again. Every task just takes as long as it takes, just like knitting a jumper really. If one’s tasks don’t fit into a week, try a fortnight. if that isn’t enough, take three weeks or more for your Things To Do.
    I am so glad you enjoy doing these podcasts. I do a lot of work in sound and visual media myself and know just how rewarding that can be. However, from a commitment point of view, I know from long experience that it’s very wise to ascertain what balance you require.
    All the best!!

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  34. mia wrote:

    I think I’m echoing what most of your listeners have said by saying that #1: I adore this podcast above all others. I wait for it and love to listen each week. #2: If you went away for one whole month and left us with nothing, I might be very sad. #3: With that said, you should DEFINITELY do what you need to do to maintain balance and sanity.. #4 It would be SO fun to have chapters of your book to tide me over! :o)

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  35. Melissa wrote:

    Happy Valentine’s Day! This past show was great.

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  36. Megan wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    While looking at my stash one day, wondering what to do with it, I came up with the idea for Stash to Treasure. At a high level, it is a giant yarn swap service that collects orphaned skeins of yarn from participants, mixes them all up and then organizes them by fiber type, color, etc. into usable
    lots for redistribution among members (plus provides ideas for what to make with your new yarn). You can find out more at http://www.stashtotreasure.com .
    I invite you and your listeners to come join the fun!

    Once again, I enjoyed your show. While I would miss your weekly shows, I understand that while it sounds backwards sometimes you need to take a break to keep the momentum going — otherwise you’ll burn out. Like others have said, I wouldn’t worry about losing
    listeners, since many folks automatically receive updates as long as they are subscribers.

    Take care of yourself!

    Posted on 2.14.06 ·
  37. Roe wrote:

    In regards to your absence. I think you have built up a listner base that will afford you the opportunity to take some time to get organized. Short term sacrifice for long term gain is well worth it.
    We don’t like to talk about our stash. It is our dirty little secrect. I angled my couch and loveseat in the corners, bought space bags https://www.spacebag.com/spacebag and mangaed to stuff enough yarn back there to supply a small yarn shop. My husband has no idea it’s back there. SSSHHHHH.

    Posted on 2.15.06 ·
  38. Sylvia wrote:

    My friend Annie of http://www.knittygritty.net sent me over to hear your podcast. Thank you for the mention, and thank you especially for brightening my afternoon with your witty commentary.

    When your stash is old enough to vote, it becomes part of the family. I got a head start by buying a friend’s handspinning stash from her twenty years ago. She had Iranian cashmere that pre-dated the ubheaval with the Shah and bombyx so fine it was no longer permitted to leave the country of origin. Gems!

    As for volume, once you have owned a barn full of wool, having a few cupboards crammed with fleece seems paltry, just a drop in the bucket. And yarn, well, it doesn’t count because it’s already nearly finished. The fiber has been washed, dyed, spun, plied, and skeined. All that is left is the knitting, and that part is quick and easy! A delight!

    Perhaps you could practice foisting your guilt on someone else, preferably off planet, like my great-grandmother who taught me how to tat and thus led me down this winding path?

    And while you’re at it, think about how podcasting benefits you. Do you like the weekly ritual? Does it give you a sense of inner peace and accomplishment? Do you dread the deadline or rejoice when a broadcast comes together into a pleasing whole? Can you shrug off any negative feedback (there’s got to be at least one idiot out there who doesn’t appreciate you) since you *know* your podcasts are wonderful, or does it pinch and sow self-doubt? Would sharing the load, having Franklin and a few others on a rota of 20 minute guest segments, one per week, give you that knitting time you’ve been missing? IOW, can you drop the baby off at daycare for a half day, or would you rather tuck him in a carrier and take him on a trek, knowing we’ll still like you when you circle back home?

    In friendship, Sylvia, aka beadlizard

    Posted on 2.15.06 ·
  39. SigridSF wrote:

    I started knitting in January and have yet to complete my first project – a scarf. I’m addicted to knitting, and after my first listen – I’m addicted to your show. I love the humor, the understanding of the globalness of knitting in today’s world, and the feeling that we are all learning this crazy pod world together.

    Posted on 2.15.06 ·
  40. Hi Brenda, I’ve been listening to your podcast since your first promo on marie’s knitcastand meaning to comment all that time. I love it!! I knit, sew, cook, fold clothes etc etc to your dulcet tones. I enjoy how professionally your show is presented in segments and with little intros and snippets or music and sound effects. I really enjoy the funny relationship you have going with Dave and the funny stuff he adds to your show. Frankly I’m surprised at how often you manage to put out a podcast and if you scaled it back a little say fortnightly or monthly you wouldn’t lose me! I’d just look forward to it for longer. Happy Knitting! Sharon in Wollongong Australia, aka the stripey tiger

    Posted on 2.15.06 ·
  41. Brenda,

    no, I won’t give your podcast up just because you go on holidays. However, it’d be nice to keep posting some snippets over your break. No, it doesn’t have to be the whole show, but just to let you know that you’re still there. Because, for example, I used to listen to Andy Grace Talk of Australia. And now I’ve unsubscribed, because about November last year, he took a break to go on a trip. He kept saying that he’ll be podcasting soon and blah blah blah. He came back and was sick for a while. Okay, that’s not to bad. Then he podcasted early on in January saying that he was back and will resume the podcasting again every second day or so. Up to this date, there is still NO NEW EPISODES from him at all. I got pretty hacked off and unsubscribed.

    But I’m sure that you’re waaaaaay more professional and will come back fully re-energised for your podcast!

    As for stash, I don’t think I have that much of a stash comparing to other knitters. But yes, my stash magically grows sometimes. I have to restrain myself in the past couple of weeks not to go on another yarn shopping spree for no reasons. *LOL*

    Posted on 2.15.06 ·
  42. sfmommy99 wrote:

    Hey you fantabulous knitting lady, I was so ecstatic when you went to once a week podcasts, how could I (we) be mad that you need a &*^ sanity break?!? Of course we won’t abandon you! Just give me a date and I’ll be the first to download when you come back from your break. In the meantime, I’ll just listen to your first 11 shows (yes, that is how much I love your show!).

    It would be great if we could get a fix of your dulcet tones with the “age of innocence” too.

    ps – Episode 11 inspired me to increase my stash yesterday, I bought some gorgeous ribbon to double strand a scarf, from Artfibers, which I am blessed to have across the street from my office!

    Best from San Francisco and keep up the amazing, inspiring, stress-reducing (for ME – LOL) work.

    Posted on 2.15.06 ·
  43. Hello there Brenda,

    Am a new listener and as such, can confirm my long term interest in your great Podcast. I will still be listening should you decide to take a break. It seemed you were asking for advice and ideas regarding a break in the episode today, so I offer mine. I would love to hear your soundscapes and go to farms and around the country with you. In the interim, while you are hiatus, why don’t you tease us and promote your return with sound bite previews when you are out on the road. That way, you could upload say only a 5 minute podcast once a week whilst gone and whet our appetites to hear what you come back with.
    I listen in Southern California and enjoy your casts very much!!


    Posted on 2.16.06 ·
  44. Maura wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    Just wanted to let you know how much I love listening to Cast On. Each episode is a treat, I especially love to hear the stories behind your sweaters. I listened to this episode while sitting on the Shinkansen (bullet train) on the way to Tokyo for a yarn crawl/S.E.X. with my knitting pal Angie. Thanks to a headphone splitter we were both able to listen as we knit at 120mph. So, out came the pointy sticks. This was particularly amusing as in our row of 3 seats there was one poor Japanese woman. She was traveling with a group of friends and had the “unfortunate” luck of being the odd gal out, and hence was forced to sit with the scary foreigners. There were many cries of “Daijoubu?” which means, basically.. will you be okay? Are you sure? Angie and I laughed to ourselves wondering how she’d then deal with our pointy sticks!

    So, further into the podcast I felt true fear. The piece about the stash was rather frightening. Not one week previously, I had actually cleaned and organized my stash. This means that I was well acquainted with the horrors that lie within. Now to make matters worse, I was about to break my month-long yarn diet and go shopping. You see, in my bag was the fall 2005 Vogue knitting, with its guide to Tokyo yarn stores, and my atlas of Tokyo to help me actually find them. And boy oh boy, did I hit the mother-lode at the first store I went to. This was yarn mecca. Not much to look at… I mean, wallmart has more style than this store. But, if it’s sold in Japan, it’s sold at this store. Oh, and did I mention… they were having a sale, my dear husband was still at home and hence would have time to forgive and forget before I got back home 5 days later? But, all things considered… I got off well. 13 balls of Noro Silk Garden destined to become a Klaralund, and 13 balls of a worsted deep eggplant angora/wool blend with wonderful colored tweedy flecks.

    After hearing your sweater stories, I’ve been inspired to knit more sweaters and buy memorable yarn in sweater-sized quantities.

    Thanks again for a great pod-cast. As a fellow American ExPat, I sense a true kindred spirit across the globe.

    Maura in Sendai, Japan

    Posted on 2.16.06 ·
  45. anne wrote:

    hi brenda,
    i have lugged stash to 19 different living locations in my adult life (it’s one of the few things i put in my 2 boxes when i moved away from home). i have to admit that as guilty as i am about my own selfishness, i am able to block out stash guilt and happily indulge instead in ritualizing its existence. once or twice a year i take it all out, look it over, make lists, dream, and repack it, all charged up to knit and design anew. and then i took up spinning a couple of years ago. i don’t think i need to elaborate on the ramifications of THAT.
    the few friends i have allowed to peek at it have had reactions ranging from “oh, that’s not NEARLY as bad as i thought” to simply “gaasp”.
    my husband lined a [walk-in] closet with cedar to house it in our present home, stating that a “research library” of this caliber deserves a proper place. i think i’ll go with his take on it for now . . .
    i very much appreciated your sweater last week; i own one of the original cable and rib sweaters which appeared in KIA; my friend heather and i knit samples for the book, and we traded two of them in a friendship pact. i still wear my cable and rib sweater to many compliments; i LOVE it! hearing you talk about it warmed my heart.
    well, as always, thank you for a wonderful program. take a break, give us the age of innocence, go do what you have to do.
    we’ll all be here!

    Posted on 2.16.06 ·
  46. Sarah wrote:

    Hi Brenda – This isn’t related to Episode 11, but it’s a cool bit of knitting technology available on the web. Visiknit (http://sweaterproject.org/?page_id=602) has a cable charting tool. You just enter the written instructions in, and you can even leave out the alternate rows, and viola! Out pops a beautiful chart. For an example, check out Fyberduck’s blog of her Knitting Olympic projects’ charts (www.fyberduck.blogspot.com).

    I live for Friday mornings, I must tell you. Keep up the outstanding work. 🙂

    Posted on 2.16.06 ·
  47. Pensguys wrote:

    Hi, Brenda! Just wanted to tell you that I’m addicted to your podcasts! I just started listening a few days ago and I downloaded from Episode 0.

    Your voice is so smooth and so fitting for “radio”. I will look forward to your new podcast each week.

    Posted on 2.17.06 ·
  48. Suzie wrote:

    Hi Brenda!

    Love the show, but by all means, take a break if you need it. I’d love to hear the book as a filler! (Though it seems mean to the book to call it filler.)

    Congrats on your recent ceremony.

    Funnily enough I ditched wearing a white dress to my own wedding, to get an outfit by sweater pornographers Anthropologie…(who you mentioned in another episode.)

    Posted on 2.17.06 ·
  49. Jenn wrote:

    Hi Brenda!
    I’d hate to see you burn out, so go ahead and take a break. I’ve been listening since November, but I don’t tend to listen every Saturday. Instead I wait for a time when I have a lot of quiet, mindless work to do, or when my public radio station does a pledge drive, etc. Then I listen to several episodes at once and probably some of my cooking podcasts as well. So take the time off — I’ll be here when you come back.

    Congrats on your ceremony two weeks ago now. I wanted to find a cool congratulations e-card with alpaca on it, but never found the time. Plus I doubted you’d open an email like that. 🙂
    Thanks for the talk about stash. You inspired me to put “Sort out stash and get rid of ugly yarn I’ll never use” on the to-do list for the weekend.

    Posted on 2.17.06 ·
  50. Julie wrote:

    I have just discovered your program. I wanted to let you know that I just pinned out my Kiri, and its gorgeous, a smoky blue color. I made it from Madil Kid Seta, instead of Kid Silk Haze – same 70/30 mohair to silk, but might be slightly thicker as it has somewhat less yards per 25mg. I think I had about 4 balls to start with.
    It does take forever, and those last rows are L-O-N-G, but its beautiful. Good luck on yours!

    Posted on 2.18.06 ·
  51. Katerina wrote:

    Having recently found your podcast and being a beginner knitter, I have been hesitant about making any comments, but half-way through Episode 11, Franklin Habit’s essay had me giggling, and being a new Chicagoan (1 year as of Jan.10th) I felt a connection and decided to add my 2¢. (I hope I’m not too late, as I’m playing catch-up with your Episodes!)

    My suggestion is in response to your stash concerns. Loving the idea of the “Secret Pal Exchange”, but not feeling like I know enough to enlighten someone else with my gifts… I thought, how cool would it be to have a Secret Stash Pal? You would find another Stasher and send the a part of your stash, and receive one in return! Now, you could ONLY send from your stash – there could be no buying of yarn to give to another, it would have to come out of your current, personal stash. This could renew your stash, and perhaps inspire you to create something new, while at the same time relieve the guilt of adding to your stash – in fact, it might even deplete it some! I assume it would cause you to really look at what you had, and decide what was worthy of sending off to another person. A purging of the stash you might say, as well as give you that nudge to revisit those projects buried at the bottom.

    So, that was my idea, I also wanted to let you know, I just love all your music and comments. Every episode I learn something new, and find a new website that I just have to check out! Keep it up, and here in Chicago with the cold winter weather finally appearing, I have … put on a sweater – that’s what they’re for. 🙂

    Posted on 2.20.06 ·
  52. Amber wrote:

    Hi Brenda, I LOVE your podcast. I think that you are very witty and always have something interesting to say. You sound so relaxed and comfortable like you have been doing this for years. You had requested feedback concerning a break or hiatus. Of course I will come back! Take all the breaks you need! Please don’t burnout because then we won’t have the pleasure of listening to you. Keep up the great work and thank you for posting the lastest sweater. 🙂

    Posted on 2.22.06 ·
  53. Kristyn wrote:

    What??? A BREAK??? NOW???

    Couldn’t you have warned me BEFORE I spent 3 hours catching up on the shows? I had them all downloaded, but seriously never had an hour free to listen, what with the Olympics on tv, so I got caught up.. only to hear that you need a break. What about me? I could have portioned out your show into 10 weeks of 5 minute segments to get me through this difficult time. Now I’m in crisis!

    Seriously… I will wait forever to hear your show. After all, I can always listen to the old ones for a fifth or sixth time!

    Maybe you could set up “knitting music” shows for us to have your great music while you are recovering? I don’t know if that would be possible to do – record a few shows of only music in advance – or a “guest” host to spin the records (dating myself horribly now!).

    I am and will always be a faithful listener 🙂 After all, I have to listen because my daughter Anna says that you are the one who has made her famous because you shared her “I heard your knitting bag” story!

    Kristyn in Wisconsin

    Posted on 2.22.06 ·
  54. Farmgirlnow wrote:


    I love your podcasts! I think you do a great job. I can only imagine what hard work it is, so please take a break if you need it. May I suggest that you release your podcasts every couple weeks or once a month to slow things down? Whatever you decide will be fine with me as long as you are still out there once in a while.

    Thanks to you there are new knitting podcasts to listen to. It was nice of you to encourage people! Cast on and Knit Cast are still my favorites, but I listen to them all because they are made by people who enjoy knitting and want to talk about it!

    On this episode I especially enjoyed the uninvited guest. Franklin Habit is so cute! His writing style and his voice are perfect!

    Keep up the good work!
    Linesville, PA

    Posted on 2.26.06 ·
  55. Eileen wrote:

    PLEASE!!! Take a break! It will give those of us who are Johnny come latelies to podcasting (in general and your show) a chance to catch up! We’ll be ready when you come back!

    I just started listening to podcasts a week ago and I’m up to you episode 11, and I am so enjoying it. Who would have thought that knitting and the internet could be combined so that I could find a connection to a woman in Wales producing a audio show about knitting. Amazing.

    Posted on 3.4.06 ·
  56. Bruce Williams wrote:

    Brenda, You sent me an e-mail but I couldn’t reply to it. It came back as undeliverable. Said the return address was invalid.
    Just wanted to say thanks for the feedback.

    Posted on 3.13.06 ·
  57. Heidi wrote:

    Hello, Darling. I love your pod cast and really appreciate the donation button, but now that we know you have an Amazon addiction going on, I was wondering if you might consider establishing an Amazon wish list your listeners can voyeuristically browse and send you the occasional offering from. Not that I feel I ought to be asking more of you, seeing as what you laboriously and gloriously gift us with every week. What do you think?

    Best of luck on that front room.

    Posted on 5.9.06 ·
  58. Nys wrote:

    Such a beautiful description of the sweater pattern in this one 😀 (working my way through the archives!)

    Posted on 9.20.10 ·
  59. Hope Aidan has found julie!

    Posted on 4.30.12 ·
  60. I love that story about Aidan and Julie – did they find each other?

    And you’ve included more CANADA too! Are you sure that you aren’t part Canadian?

    I hope you got your grant… since you’re still recording in 2013, I’m guessing that you did!

    Thanks for providing me something awesome to listen to while I’m knitting!

    Posted on 4.10.13 ·

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