11 Feb 2007

Episode 45: SSK

You know you want to. Knit a Snatchel, I mean. Check The Anticraft’s Not Safe For Work Issue. Got stash looking for a good home? Interem House needs your unwanted yarn. Please contact Kathy Duffy for more information. If giving yarn to a good home feels good, just imagine how great you’ll feel when you unload the rest of your unused stuff! See how it’s done at The Seven Things Project – a year-long experiment with getting rid of stuff. Unload swatches, at The Walker Treasury Project, if you’re so inclined. They are gathering high-quality, color photos of all the patterns in all the Treasury books (including Mosaic Knitting) and making the photos available on the internet as a visual aide to Walker’s wonderful collection. If you can knit a square or three to help out, do get in touch. Special thanks this week to writer Judith Kelley, reader Heather Ordover, and guest designer Lily Chin. Buy Lily’s new book, and stalk her for an autograph at these public appearances. My apologies to those unable to download Episode 44. If you’re on dial up, and missed the last episode, you’ll find a smaller file of Epi 44 here.

Finally, thyroid information is available from these resources:

Broda O Barnes, MD Research Foundation – Dr Barnes dedicated more than 50 years of his life to researching, teaching and treating thyroid and related endocrine dysfunctions in the US and abroad.
Stop The Thyroid Madness – An international patient to patient support and information website, with a busy community forum.
Thyroid UK – a non-profit organisation campaigning for, and providing information and support to those with Thyroid or related disease. You’ll find a full list of symptoms in the sidebar, under “Thyroid Conditions”.
Your Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy, by Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield. Clearly presented information that you don’t need a medical degree in order to understand.


  1. Ooooh! New episode…iTune’s downloading!!!

    Posted on 2.11.07 ·
  2. Tania A wrote:

    I had a bit of a problem with this week’s episode, and couldn’t listen to it off the web, but had no problem after I downloaded it.

    Hope you continue to feel better and better!

    Posted on 2.11.07 ·
  3. purlpower wrote:

    Thanks for reviewing the Guardian article from last week’s rather dire ‘craft’ supplement. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who found the tone of the article patronising and the content of the article both irritating and factually inaccurate. No funky knitting patterns?! Has she never seen Knitty?! And the dissing of older women simply for being older is so widespread, it’s depressing.

    Posted on 2.11.07 ·
  4. Patricia H wrote:

    Regarding the attribution of knitting to granny types, I have hit upon the reason for this. The reason why you don’t often find young mothers knitting is that they simply DON’T HAVE TIME! I didn’t start crocheting and knitting until my only child had grown up and left the house. I needed something with which to fill my time. Previously it had been occupied with working and raising a daughter.

    Posted on 2.11.07 ·
  5. Eileen wrote:

    Great podcast. As always, you hit the nail on the head with your comments on the newspaper article. I am delighted with the idea of young people discovering knitting, but I don’t like the way the craft is imagined as something that is being reinvented or reinvigorated by a new generation. I just hope when they age, these young knitters continue to take pleasure in the work of their hands…just as I do.

    Posted on 2.11.07 ·
  6. Laritza wrote:

    Thanks for a great show! Glad you are feeling better. The review of the Guardian article was great. Right up there!
    I did have to laugh at the very end of the podcast, after the last song you left a piece when Tannya interrupted the interview with Lily Chin! I guess few people listen right to the end, I do 🙂 plus I was spinning and could not let go of the yarn till now. Too funny!

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  7. well done,great pod cast, feel better,cheers from chilly
    Toronto.At our (lettuce knit’s) stitch and bitch on Wed. I’m going to raise a glass and drink to your health girl.

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  8. Christina wrote:

    As a knitter and a rather rabid Beatles fan, I’m a bit preturbed by the likening of anything knitting or Beatles songs to being “boring”.

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  9. Syrenmuse wrote:

    Downloading now… saving it for morning on the commute. It’s comforting to hear your voice with the lights low on the bus into Seattle. It’s a smooth enjoyment I savor. Sweet too, like warm chocolate chip cookies when the chips are still gooey. There’s a hidden incentive to rise early and make it to my favorite commuting seat. My hands will busily work away at another sock and I’ll smile.

    Thank you knitsib.

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  10. Mollie wrote:

    I couldn’t agree more about the article. I made exactly the same “whaaaaat….??” as you at the comment about no good knitting patterns being available.

    I was also totally shocked about the DVD comment.

    Thanks for another great podcast, and I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  11. Kirsten wrote:

    Unfortunately, there are many people within our community that could be termed ‘knittier-than-thou’. Those are the people who can’t understand why anyone would knit a scarf, knit with only organic wool and on bamboo needles, and don’t take the time to welcome new members of a snb group. The article in Guardian seems to epitomize this type of person, who sees knitting as a high art and not an expression of creativity. I loved your response to this article Brenda, you hit the nail on the head.

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  12. Caelidh wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    Thanks for the new episode. Hope you continue to be on the mend.

    As requested here is a link to some music I think THINK you might like. It’s my friends band THE GREGORY MORRIS GROUP out of Cincinnati.

    You can find out about them here with some music samples. If you like what you hear I can probably obtain a CD and send it to you ! :>)



    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  13. Caelidh wrote:

    Oh Wait! Here is another direct link to more of his music!



    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  14. Melissa wrote:

    I can’t download your podcast until I get home from work, but how exciting to see that you’ve mentioned one of my “pet” charities: Interim House! I can’t wait to listen!

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  15. Andy Bq wrote:

    So glad to hear you’re diagnosed and feeling optimistic. Everytime I come to your website and see that nothing has changed, I say a little prayer. Glad you’ve informed all of us what’s going on. A great sigh goes out from the knitting community of the world. Looking forward to listening to something new.

    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  16. Karoline wrote:

    I remember your anniversary actually as i was re-listening to the podcast where you explained ground hogs day, but somehow for got to comment you until now. Forgive me. Happy belated anniversary to you and Tanya!!!! I also hope that you feel better. My mom has thyroid problems too. It’s nice to hear your voice again and hope to hear you soon!

    Happy knitting and much more!


    Posted on 2.12.07 ·
  17. Diana wrote:

    Hi there Knitsib –
    That is a compliment as I have five other “real-life” sibs! But I listen to your voice some times with more regularity! I just wanted to let you know that I too have hypo-thyroidism. I have for about the past 7 years. But I wouldn’t even know it know. After about four weeks on a very slight dose of synthroid I bounced back without breaking! My husband told our family priest (in jest) that I was know taking a Rx to boost my metabolism — he replied, “what did the Dr. give you? Tranquilizers? As you can see — I’m known for boundless energy. But after I turned 40 — I was taking two naps a day and could barely keep my eyes open past 8 PM. But I’m delighted to say — I feel great.

    I wish you a year of boundless energy! Happy ’07 knitsib. You were very much missed and I’m glad you’re back!

    Also, just thought you’d like to know…I don’t post to websites. That’s how much I enjoy your podcast!

    🙂 D

    Posted on 2.13.07 ·
  18. Adeline wrote:

    Hi Brenda!

    Finally got round to downloading my first podcast…and boy am I glad I picked yours…it’s such an entertaining hour.

    I now have 44 hours to catch up on, but looking forward to it.

    All the best getting better, with lots of warm wishes,


    Posted on 2.13.07 ·
  19. valeria wrote:

    Hi brenda,

    great podcast, enjoyed it very much and thank you for your input and efforts.

    take care.

    Posted on 2.13.07 ·
  20. Leslie wrote:

    Oh, it’s a devilish organ that thyroid. Affects almost everything. And it goes wrong in so many of us. Makes one wonder why we haven’t evolved beyond it. My sympathies.

    Posted on 2.13.07 ·
  21. Vera wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    I’m a newbie to your podcasts. I’ve just listened to my 3rd episode, and I love the stories and music as well as the knitting news.

    Amen to your review of the Guardian article. As a long time crocheter and relatively new knitter, I’m SO TIRED of articles that start with “this isn’t your Grandma’s knitting/crocheting.”

    Groan!!!!What’s wrong with older women knittng or crocheting? What’s wrong with being a granny? It’s sad that the media only seems to value what younger women to.

    While I’m totally down and happy when younger people learn knitting or crocheting, we don’t need to to dismiss the history of these crafts–or the people who made it possible–in order to celebrate its future.

    This is an exciting time for these arts, and everyone can contribute. There’s room for all–men and women, old and young, hip and non hip. That’s the way it should be.

    Posted on 2.13.07 ·
  22. Sherry W wrote:

    When I can craft as well as my Granny, I’ll be a happy woman.

    Posted on 2.13.07 ·
  23. bells wrote:

    hey, if it’s your one year anniversary with Tonya, then it’s a year since I started listening. What a great year it’s been with Cast On! I’m so happy I found your show.

    And congrats on your anniversary!


    Posted on 2.14.07 ·
  24. Leanne wrote:

    I’m a new listener, and you have me totally hooked. I’m now trying to catch up on all the episodes I missed by alternating between listening to more recent ones with the earliest ones.

    I particular loved the today’s sweater segment in the current episode. That story brought tears to my eyes.

    Posted on 2.14.07 ·
  25. Ana wrote:

    It will be nice when the knitting “resurgence” becomes old news, so that articles about knitting can start containing actual patterns– like recipes in the food section. I think a lot more people would be turned on to knitting that way, by seeing really cool designs they want to be able to knit.

    I looked up Tracy’s book on Amazon and found that it (yawn!) featured a herringbone purse and FUZZY APRON. Why do publishers throw their money around at boring knitwear designers like this? How many trees must die to give us the same old crap? Tracy is right– there are a lot of crappy designs out there in books, and she’s just added her lot to the bunch.

    Why don’t they approach Eunny Jang to do a book (someone with phenomenal creativity and knitting talent).

    Posted on 2.14.07 ·
  26. Whskr wrote:


    Lovely to hear you are feeling better.

    Astonished by the Grauniad article you read bits from. How desperately, utterly embarassing. I blame Sir Joshua Reynolds and his consigning ‘craft’ to deepest oblivion.

    Re : Lily Chin – could not resist the book. Wow, and I thought crochet was a bit dull (wrong, wrong, wrong!!) Not only must I learn to knit, I must leran to crochet too!

    Take your time, get well, and knit, knit, knit!!!

    Posted on 2.14.07 ·
  27. Linda wrote:

    I stumbled on your podcast by accident. I didn’t know podcasts even existed. Somehow I discovered them, searched for knitting and yours was the first one I came to. I was hooked! I downloaded each and every back episode and have listened over and over. So, I looked for other knitting podcasts…and I gotta tell you… yours is by far the very best. So if I have to tell anybody what my “favorites” are they would be: knitting, reading, audio books, Grey’s Anatomy, 24 and Cast-On. Keep up the great work. Take care and keep knitting. Thank you for your great work!

    Posted on 2.15.07 ·
  28. Adeline wrote:

    I know I know, I posted this week already…but this morning something happened that put a smile on my face, and I think it will do the same for you.

    I knit (duh) but i knit mostly on my way to work.
    At the moment I knit 35 little card holders as a promotionnal item for the launch of 2007 Delftpas, and we are going to the launch on Saturday, and I am very excited (http://www.delft.nl/content.jsp?objectid=34069). Any way I digress, as the purpose was just to highlight the fact that at the moment I knit this bright red yarn, so I am pretty noticeable on the train in the morning.

    I also use my journey to listen to your podcast…so I get in to work happy and relaxed…

    This morning I had my usual share of little kids (primary school age) taking an avid yet silent interest in what I can possibly be doing on the tube, and as I missed my train I sat myself on a bench on the platform waiting for the next one…10 minutes of stolen knitting time…10 minutes of me time…10 minutes of almost day-dream as the little red rectangle knits itself.

    And then I realise I am being watched…and as I look up I find myself investigated by a sweet little old lady…she’s probably 70, maybe older…and she smiles at me…not that awkward smile of ‘oh you caught me looking at you’, but that knowing smile of the fellow nostalgic knitter who nods and approves silently of what is going on. And then it hit me: So WHAT if some journalist/ editing assistant thinks knitting is still a granny activity…I don’t care! I have never seen anyone frown at me when faced with my knitting…only smiles, and I am very proud to contribute to the continuation of a craft that has cultural roots in -i guess- every country in the world! The craft revolution is happening and I feel sorry for those who are left behind…they don’t know what they are missing!

    So take a moment and think of all the times when someone smiled at your knitting (or laughed…although that’s a different matter) and give yourself a pat on the back for putting a smile on their face…and be honnest, I bet by now you are smiling too…

    Have a good day, and Brenda please please please keep up the good work and bringing us good music to knit to!

    Posted on 2.15.07 ·
  29. Marsha wrote:

    Brenda, thank you for a wonderful podcast! Podcasts are helping me with my New Year’s walking program. It helps keep the boredom at bay!

    I’m glad you are having more good days than bad. Take it easy and by all means BLOG! Will your blog be on the same page as your show notes?

    Someday I hope you will comment on pattern “language”. As a newer knitter, I need for patterns to be crystal clear because I have no innate knowledge about how an item should be constructed. I have recently been trying to knit a sweater from a Rowan pattern, one of those chunky yarn…should be simple patterns. I’ve wanted to do terrible things to the booklet, tear it to shreads, etc, due to complete frustration over pattern directions.

    sigh….wish I were a better knitter. Maybe someday!!

    Thanks again for a great podcast. Do not fear writing your blog…you can’t miss. Everyone loves you!


    Posted on 2.15.07 ·
  30. Candace wrote:

    Brenda, welcome back! Great podcast, as always.
    Your review of the Guardian article made me stand up and cheer.
    While I, too, am a fan of T.U., I think the context in which her comments appeared seemed like a perverse gentrification – knitting is only validated for the young, non-scarf-knitting, expensive-cashmere-buying crowd.
    Well, ta for now. I’ve got to peruse the mountain of creative patterns available FREE to the public via the web.

    Posted on 2.15.07 ·
  31. Hey friend. Hope today is one of the better days. 🙂 I’ve had a couple good ones in a row now (woo!) and am hoping it extends into the weekend. It was really nice to hear your voice again. Happy (late) Valentines Day to you and Tonia!


    Posted on 2.16.07 ·
  32. I haven’t listened to the show yet, but I wanted to say that I love your new banner. It’s awesome and so appropriate. 🙂

    Posted on 2.16.07 ·
  33. Bonnie wrote:

    Oh my. When I heard you say in a previos podcast you had a metabolic disorder that made you tired, right away I thought–hypothyroid? I was diagnosed just over a year ago. I don’t think anyone but a fellow sufferer can really understand what it feels like–the sense of aging before one’s time, the inexplicable fatigue, the huge effort required to get through a day.

    I am so glad you are feeling better. Go for your blood tests regularly and if you need to, ask for a higher dosage even if they say you are in the “normal” range. My dosage was adjusted 4 times until it hit the right level. It took a whole year to get there.

    Hang in there. And thank you for a truly wonderful podcast.

    Posted on 2.16.07 ·
  34. Carol wrote:

    Glad you’re feeling better and on the road to recovery!

    Is it just me or do you get antsy just listening to Lily Chin? Does she drink loads of coffee, is massive genius dying to say all her ideas or both??

    Posted on 2.16.07 ·
  35. Beverly wrote:

    LOVE the new artwork!

    Posted on 2.16.07 ·
  36. Teresa wrote:

    Great show, as usual.
    Great header on the ‘cast site!

    Posted on 2.16.07 ·
  37. Kris wrote:

    Hey Brenda, I loved the podcast!!!

    I have a question. You used to have a little button up top about advertising and I can’t find where the info was moved to. Can you send me info about your sponsorship levels?

    Thank you!!!!

    Posted on 2.17.07 ·
  38. Kirsty wrote:

    Great podcast, Brenda. I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on the Tracey Ullman article, I snorted a lot when I first read it too. There are stacks of amazing patterns out there – far more than I’ll ever have time to knit. And while we don’t have the range of yarns that are available in the States, there are still lovely yarn shops in the UK. If your local yarn store isn’t that great, well you can always order online.

    I’m also getting heartily sick of everyone dissing grannies: my granny was a wonderful needlewoman and her memory is an inspiration to me still. I think this attitude reflects a general dismissal of women’s art – in my own art I’ve noticed that if I use craft based techniques, especially if they’re traditionally female ones, then people often take the work less seriously.

    In addition, I think that older women are often considered valueless and rendered invisible in our society. Well, they can bite me – if I’m still around in 40 years time then I intend to be a kick-ass, tattooed, pierced knitting granny!

    Oh, and congrats to you and Tonia on another year together.

    Posted on 2.19.07 ·
  39. Ginny wrote:

    My MawMaw (the one that knits, BTW) has hypothyroidism, my mom is on the verge, and my sister has it, also.

    Keep on truckin’ (as they say where I’m from) and do what you gotta do when it comes to getting the treatment you need.

    We need your podcast! Thank you so much for the inspiration that comes with each one. My stash reorg (Epi. 44?) starts this week.

    Take care of yourself…

    Posted on 2.19.07 ·
  40. Christine wrote:


    I just returned from a 45 minute walk and while walking I listened to episode 45. Your eloquent monologue about the newspaper article in The Guardian was most enjoyable and so intelligently written. Thank you!

    Posted on 2.19.07 ·
  41. Steph wrote:

    Thanks so much for all your hard work – I just found you and although I have taken about a month to catch up, it has been a lot of fun!

    With regards to your music, I was really glad to hear Slackstring. They have been one of my favorites ever since they showed up on one of my brother’s mountain biking movies. May I suggest Sunday Jen – it is the best one in my opinion! I don’t know if the band Tiger Army is available to you – but they are a LOT of fun!!

    Thanks again, hope you feel better soon!


    Posted on 2.23.07 ·
  42. AnnaMarie wrote:

    Brenda, It has taken me about two months of listening at work, at home and it’s amazing, the podcast that is. So are you. I have finally caught up on all episodes and eagerly await new ones.

    I am astounded that you managed to do this with untreated thyroid disorder. I have taken Armour for 5 years and have a care provider who treats my *symptoms* rather than the ratty old dont work test results. The difference in my stamina after starting this was a gradual slope up and then one day, I felt good. Really good. Good enough to Cry because I realized how bad I had been feeling.

    I can only hope that you bypass the sobbing and *just feel good*.


    Posted on 2.25.07 ·
  43. Knit Nurse wrote:

    First time I’ve heard your podcast, and I will definitely be back for more! Glad to hear your comments about the Guardian piece, really struck a chord. It was a really wasted opportunity. I also thought the ‘instructions’ on how to knit were guaranteed to frighten newbies off!

    Posted on 2.27.07 ·
  44. Mary E. wrote:

    Brenda, How ironic that I heard about Interim House from you! You are across The Pond from us and Philly is just across the river from South Jersey. In any case, we were able to gather up several bundles of yarn and supplies and hope to donate more on an on-going basis. Love your podcast.
    Mary E. of South Jersey Knitters

    Posted on 3.31.07 ·
  45. Devon wrote:

    Hi Brenda! I know I’m a little late commenting on this podcast but I wanted to tell you a few things–

    1) LOVE the show, always! I have been using your “It’s an underground sort of thing and I’m not surprised you didn’t get the manifesto” line and it’s perfect!

    2) Another New Jersey girl packing up a bunch of yarn to take to the Interim House! Thanks so much for the info!

    3) WHERE can I find that Kimo Watanabe song to download?? I love it but it doesn’t seem to be on his site!

    Can’t wait for the next episode, feel good!


    Posted on 5.1.07 ·
  46. Jennifer wrote:


    I am also late in listening to this podcast, as I just discovered knitting ones and am newly hooked, but I too wanted to comment on the knitting-granny issue. I cheered while listening in my car to your statement that there is nothing to be ashamed of in knitting’s roots. My mother taught me to crochet at 5 or 6 and to knit when I was in high school, but I really was a crocheter until this year, when I decided it was really time to learn to knit better and to be able to follow knitting patterns because of the finer fabrics that can be achieved with knitting. I’m rambling a bit, I realize, but my point is my mother learned to knit and crochet from her grandmother and great aunt, and then she taught me, and I love feeling like I am connected to my maternal ancestors through this craft that has changed little since they taught my mom. How many creative endeavors can we say that about? It’s definitely something I’m very proud of knowing how to do, and I’m prouder still that my mother was the one to teach me how. If I have kids, I will definitely teach them to knit and crochet, so that they can enjoy the satisfaction and wonder that comes from creating objects with one’s own hands.

    Thanks for standing up for our craft!

    Posted on 5.2.07 ·
  47. Linda Schwartz wrote:

    Am brand new to listening to pod casts and I LOVE YOURS! Am recommending it to everyone who knits. Questions: On the first episode I listened to (and then lost somehow), you mentioned a bookstore in Wales where you went to at least once a year, one with shelves of knitting books. I’m making my first trip to Wales in September and want to visit the store – could you let me know again where it is and what it’s called? We will be in Wales from about 9/13 – 9/20. Are you making any personal appearances during that time? Knitting “things” I should not miss? Would appreciate ANY suggestions. Thanks so much for your podcast! LINDA

    Posted on 5.2.07 ·

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