23 Mar 2007

Episode 46: Back in The Saddle

In this episode Amy R. Singer, editrix of Knitty.com, and author of the new book, No Sheep For You, is our cast away for Desert Island Knits. I’m going to Wonderwool Wales! The Knit Wiki is now open for business. Check out ChristaKnits, the new knitting design-focused podcast. Decipher your knitting dreams or let Zabet do it for you. Many thanks to Ruth Homrighaus for this week’s fabulous Today’s Sweater. As always, more indie music than you can shake a pointy stick at. We got Steel drums AND Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, and … I feel human again! It’s good to be back.


Additional Tracks:
Intro – Back in the Saddle Again by Gene Autry
Zabet’s Dream – Baja Taxi by Brain Buckit
Desert Island Knits Theme – Brown Skin Girl by Steel Groove, from their cd Islands


  1. Jen wrote:

    Hooray! I can’t wait to get home (from work) and download. 🙂

    Posted on 3.23.07 ·
  2. Yeah! A new podcast! And yeah! You used my cousin’s band! Yeah! I’m excited! Yeah! Can’t wait to listen! Yeah, it’s Friday! Woo hoo! Yeah!
    Yeah Brenda!
    Yeah Knitting!

    Posted on 3.23.07 ·
  3. Emmy wrote:

    So glad to hear your voice again, Brenda! I’ve missed you, hope the Thyroid stuff is getting better (My dad has the same thing, so I know that it can be a pain).
    Keep up all the good work, on the podcast and Thyroid issues. We’re behind you 150%!

    Your Knitsnip

    Posted on 3.23.07 ·
  4. Robin wrote:


    Posted on 3.23.07 ·
  5. We missed you too, Brenda!

    Great to hear you are on the mend. whew!

    Posted on 3.23.07 ·
  6. Hey gal!! What an awesome week this has turned out to be, first the Yarn Harlot Represent event here in NYC, and now a podcast from my favorite friend across to pond. So glad to hear you!! 🙂

    I’m almost at my optimum dosage of thyroid meds too now. Woo! Yay for little touches of more energy here and there!

    Thanks for the awesome show!


    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  7. Jenna wrote:

    Brenda is feeling better!
    AND a podcast to savor
    Good news indeed.

    Thank you!!!!

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  8. nutmeg wrote:

    Great show, thanks Brenda!

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  9. Valerie wrote:

    I am so happy to have a new episode. Nothing gets me through a long day at work like one of your shows. Keep it up your the best!

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  10. Jennifer wrote:

    I’m SO glad you’re back.

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  11. phoenix wrote:

    Thanks for a bright end to a meh week. Glad you are feeeling better!

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  12. sally wrote:

    What a lovely treat to wake up to Brenda. You are the only thing that gets me into my workroom to create these days. When Cast On is in the headphones, all kinds of works of art result! Yesterday I listened to the episode with the sweater where you bought the bargain mustard wool and dyed it black – eventually. Such an encouraging story! More power to both your elbows.

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  13. Denise wrote:

    I just started downloading, but it’s great to see a podcast up. I haven’t bought Singer’s book yet, (I’m waiting for it to get to stores) but I’m really excited about it.

    Glad you’re feeling better. 🙂

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  14. Andrea wrote:

    Loved the new episode! I’m relatively new to your podcast, so I’ve been catching up on the earlier episodes.

    Time to eat my pink cupcake now and pluck some cashmere off a tree. Yes, I live in the magical land of Toronto. I wish knitters ran the transit here.

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  15. Hydra Matins wrote:

    Fantastic episode, Brenda! I’m new to your podcast too and am having a blast cathcing up on your earlier episodes!

    Great music and excellent interview with Amy Singer (I’m allergic to wool too!). I’m so happy you’re feeling better!

    Knit On, Love!

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  16. Anne wrote:

    Thank you Brenda. I was so excited to see the pretty blue dot next to Cast on in my itunes. All things are right with the world again. I now will sleep easy tonight…lol

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  17. Tan wrote:

    Wow! You scored a comment from the Yarn Harlot! Well, not too surprising. Yours is the best podcast, so of course she listens. I’m just glad you’re feeling better. I’ve been down the thorny thyroid path myself, so I know how bad you can feel.

    Re your question about farflung Welsh communities and interest, I know there is a very active Welsh community in Denver and I can probably get you some contact information on it.

    My mother raised us to be very proud of our Welsh heritage. Her great-grandfather and his brother emigrated to Utah from Wales in the mid-19th century and started a sheep ranch. It had grown huge by the 1920’s when my grandfather herded sheep for the family business. He loved sheep so much that he kept a few as pets until he was too feeble to remain in his own home. The love of sheep was passed down to my mother and me, but sadly we didn’t know what to do with the wool other than pack it in bales and sell it.

    Then a few years ago I slipped on ice and fractured my skull. During the period of enforced rest that followed it seemed as if my Welsh heritage was trying to get through. I started knitting, in particular socks, and spinning. And then I learned to play the harp. One of my harps is carved with a design by the Welsh artist Rhiannon, based on the work of a medieval Welsh monk named Rhygiffarch (spelling anyone?). When she sent the design for my approval it was labelled “Telyn Tan.” So that’s the name of the harp, a pun since Telyn Tan means not only “Tan’s harp” but “Harp of fire.” While we have no record of our Welsh ancestors playing the harp, they did come from the north coast of Wales near Anglesey Island where harping rules, so I can only assume that the harping comes out of my past, too.

    My mother’s indoctrination about our Welsh heritage affects my siblings and their children as well. A few years ago my then-15-year-old niece was lurking around her house in a blue velvet cloak, speaking only Welsh she was learning from software.

    You can see Rhiannon’s harp art at http://www.aros.net/~tan/bray.html

    Keep up the good work.

    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  18. Jocelyn wrote:


    What a lovely surprise for a Saturday! Somehow I’ve got to wait to savor this until the week, where it always brightens my walk to school. Thanks for all of your hard work!


    Posted on 3.24.07 ·
  19. Ruth wrote:

    Brenda, you sound great, and the show is as wonderful as always. Loved the dream, and the Harlot comment! And I can’t wait to hear Franklin’s piece, even though it means the end…at least for now.

    Thanks for all the great shows. You are the best!


    Posted on 3.25.07 ·
  20. Hi Brenda.. great episode, and thanks so much for the mention!

    Loved the interview with Amy.. and I was drooling over her book as soon as it came in at the yarn shop where I’m working p/t (around all the artsy gigs!) I’m knitting with linen right now, and contemplating teaching myself more crochet so I can do something fancy along the bottom edge, so I’m really looking forward to Series 5!

    For Series 6.. well… I’m part Irish, part Scottish, and part Welsh.. not sure what percentages, but that’s what I’ve been told. And, aside from knowing that Vancouver has a WISE hall (Wales/Ireland/Scotland/England) that showcases some GREAT bands and parties, I don’t know much about Wales, Welsh folk, etc.. (except that I LOVE the Wales anthem, as you played on an earlier series!! I was singing it for months..) I’ll do some research and see what I can come up with as a submission for that series!

    What else? Oh, when you were singing the praises of Toronto, I was sorely tempted to say that in Vancouver, not only do skeins of cashmere AND Hand Maiden Sea Silk hang from the trees, but we also have green grass year-round… of course, I was going to conveniently leave out the mention of the rain. 🙂

    Great to hear your voice again! Take care, spend your energy wisely doing things that make you happy!

    Posted on 3.25.07 ·
  21. Peta wrote:

    Hiya just wanted to say i just listerns to your podcast and it was the first podcast i have every heard and it was totally cool
    well i hope you are feeling better now

    Big Crafty hugs

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  22. vivian wrote:

    Yipee! Can’t wait to listen to the latest episode!

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  23. KnitKim wrote:

    I really look forward to your podcasts. I am a new listener… i got my nano for Christmas 2006. My reason for commenting is to let you know about a book called “Knitting Loves Crochet” by Candi Jensen. You mibht know about this book already. I thought it is yummy.

    New listener Kim 😉

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  24. Petra wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I’m so glad to hear your beautiful voice again!

    Greetings from Germany ;-)!

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  25. Sara wrote:

    So thrilled to see a new ‘cast on. Missed you tons! I have’nt listened to it yet, but I hope you are feeling much better.
    Yarny hugs from Seattle,


    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  26. Terrie wrote:

    Wonderful episode; it’s great to hear you podcasting again! I just got No Sheep For You on Friday, so it was really nice to hear your interview with Amy Singer! Can’t wait for the next episode 🙂

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  27. Hi Brenda!
    My name is Rachele Beck, and while I have been knitting for quite some time, I have only recently (like, two weeks ago) discovered podcasts.
    Your podcast was the first one to which I subscribed, and I love it!
    I haven’t heard this latest episode yet because I am currently listening to your old episodes, but I am sure that it is great!
    I wanted to mention that I LOVE the boob fairy song (I know that that was a long time ago, but I just love it, and your taste in music).
    You have made me want to start my own podcast, so, watch out for my promo!
    Rachele Beck

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  28. Welsh Pride!

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  29. filambulle wrote:

    What a good day! You are back, the knit wiki is great, and I just discovered that I am in it!! (with my clapomitaines pattern, on the clapotis page!!!
    I am soo happy today. Thank you Brenda, for making my evening so bright.
    And now I return to your voice. Usually, I would have waited for tomorrow morning’s trip to work, but I am very impatient to listen to you.

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  30. Sunidesus wrote:


    I’m only about half-way through listening to it, but I wanted to stop by and say that I’m very happy that you’re starting to feel better! Horrah for that!

    Posted on 3.26.07 ·
  31. Oh, it’s a happy day when I download a new Cast On! So glad you’re back in the saddle. Please tell me what problem the thyroid has with tea? I’m not a big tea drinker but thyroid problems are a facet of my life. Soy and my meds don’t play well together, but I don’t know about tea.

    Stay in that saddle!

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  32. Emily wrote:

    I can’t help but help you with your search for Welsh people and tell you that there are Welsh communities in Argentina! I lived there several years ago and heard about some rural communities where people still spoke Welsh and took afternoon tea. I don’t know where you’ll find more, but it’s a lead to follow, nonetheless.

    A new but loyal listener.

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  33. Emily wrote:

    A quick web search reveled many websites in Spanish about Welsh cities in Patagonian Argentina, such as Trelew and Chubut. Apparently 153 Welsh immigrants arrived in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, in 1865, on the ship “Mimosa.” They founded a city which they called “Rawson” In 1874 and 1876 additional groups of Welsh colonists joined them in the region.

    If you are interested in getting a translation of such sites, please let me know, as none of them seem to be in English. I got this info from the following site: http://www.patagonia.com.ar/chubut/galeses.php

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  34. filambulle wrote:

    Well I am back again in the comments section. I saved half of the podcast for today morning’s commute… and it was even better than I hoped it would be. What a great episode. I must congratulate you for the quality of the sound, in particular in the interview with amy. It seems particularly difficult to obtain a good sound with interviews, but this one was a total pleasure to listen to. Not withstanding the content. Now I am very much tempted to buy all of amy’s books. I was already admiring her, and I love knitty, but now I have gained a higher level of respect and understanding of her, and I like her all the more.
    It was sooo great to hear Stephanie’s voice!
    Today’s sweater was great too (and I liked the fact I could actually see it, thanks you ruth), and of course the music (you are right about that last song), and…
    I liked it all. THANK YOU VERY MUCH
    You are the best.
    Take good care of you,

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  35. sarah wrote:

    I’ve just finished listening to ‘SSK’ while a) plying the ugliest yarn ever (my first serious wheelspun), then getting back to work. I simply wanted to second your anger/annoyance at those who denigrate aged knitters. I don’t know any old knitters running yarn shops (vintage acrylic yellowed by age falling away to powder when unwound from the ball, crazed plastic needles?) but I’ve recently had the pleasure of discovering local groups of knitters/spinners/weavers holding regular meetings in quiet corners of village halls. Many of the members are older than me… or at least they look older than me. So far that’s meant they have the patience to spot my errors and help me to correct them; they’re almost as excited by new yarns and patterns as I am, and that’s very excited indeed. Embarrassing, it can be.

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  36. Caroline wrote:

    Yay another hour with Brenda! You sound healthy and energetic!

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  37. Erin wrote:

    Yay, a new podcast! I’ll listen to it as soon as I get it copied onto my iPod.
    Also, I LOVE Enter The Haggis, so thank you for playing them.

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  38. Sunidesus wrote:

    Finished listening on my way in to work today. The music was wonderful. You’ve now added another band to my collection (you’re also responsible for the Lascivious Biddies, Dierdre Flint, Allison Crowe, and Adrina Thorpe. Clearly you influence more than my knitting!

    Thanks again for such an amazing podcast.

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  39. Zarah wrote:

    Brenda – I just finished the Retro Rib socks for my husband in dark brown – try using shiny metal needles, maybe you will be able to see it better?

    Here’s the link to my finished socks, for a little motivation: http://www.beautyschooldropout.net/archives/2007/03/fo_retro_rib_so.html

    Posted on 3.27.07 ·
  40. Kirsten wrote:

    Not sure if you would want to open up all your feather pillows, but you might want to do one for this project……

    Posted on 3.28.07 ·
  41. Sonia wrote:

    Brenda, long time listener, first time caller…

    I love your show, I have missed you a-lot, I hope that you are getting better, and not just for my own selfish reasons.

    I haven’t listened to your latest yet, I’m storing it like a fine wine. I’m hoping to listen to it tonight on my flight home from the US to Melbourne. Can’t wait!

    Posted on 3.28.07 ·
  42. Amber wrote:

    Hi Brenda! Welcome back! I sure did miss your podcast. I listened to the first half at the gym this morning and will save the second half for tomorrow. It is so nice to listen to your podcast while exercising because I feel like I can still do something knit-related and the time flies by! Thanks again! 🙂

    Posted on 3.28.07 ·
  43. Sam wrote:


    Sam, so happy to hear your voice again

    Posted on 3.28.07 ·
  44. Elizabeth wrote:

    I’m so excited that there will be a new episode awaiting me when I get home! Also, I just finished listening to your recording of “Age of Innocence” for LibriVox and it was beautiful. Thanks for hipping your listeners to that site – I’m not only enjoying their downloads, but have started recording for them, too. Welcome back, Brenda!

    Posted on 3.28.07 ·
  45. Hi Brenda!

    I was thrilled to see a new podcast up and couldn’t even wait until my walk the next day to listen. Must. Listen. To Cast On Right Away.
    Glad to hear you are feeling much better, and very, very glad to hear you contemplating Series 5 . . and 6!

    Posted on 3.29.07 ·
  46. Annette wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    So glad your saddle is filled again. Missed your witty and interesting chats. Keep well and remember to take your own advice and pace yourself. We’ll wait for you!


    Posted on 3.29.07 ·
  47. Pure Bliss wrote:

    “Back In the Saddle Again” is one of my favorite songs. Welcome back, Brenda. I always get excited when I download my subscriptions and you’re there, followed by immediate listening. Your podcast is top-quality. Thanks for the good work.

    Posted on 3.29.07 ·
  48. Glad to have your voice back in my iPod again!

    Posted on 3.30.07 ·
  49. Rachel wrote:


    I’m late to the party here, but I’ve enjoyed listening to your podcasts for some time now, and I’m glad you’re back. I hope you continue to feel better!

    I have one simple trick for knitting with a very dark-colored yarn. If you wear black or dark pants or skirts a lot, part of what makes knitting with dark yarn so hard is the lack of contrast between the work and the background. So what I do is just lay a white pillowcase (or hand towel, or whatever) across my lap. Ta-da! Contrast! It’s much easier to see what you’re doing.

    Thanks again for your podcasts! Here’s to more really good days.

    Posted on 4.6.07 ·
  50. chinle wrote:

    Hi, Really glad you are back. I am a beginner knitter and everytime I listen to your podcast I get all excited.
    “No Sheep for you” is also very good for Vegan knitters.
    My ancestors were from Wales and I want to visit SO bad.
    Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

    Posted on 4.6.07 ·
  51. Sandi Lee wrote:

    Normally, I like the talkie bits of Cast On so much that I fast forward through the music. This time, however, though the talkie bits were as wonderful as usual, the music was so good that I didn’t fast forward through one note! Here’s a big clack of the needles to you, Brenda, for your stellar music choices. Clack-Clack-Clack-Clack.

    Posted on 4.7.07 ·
  52. Susan wrote:

    So marvelous to hear your voice-and know that this means you continue to feel better!
    This new show has a very different “feel” to it than earlier ones-a bit like a variety or ensemble show. I think I’ll like it..I liked the background musics set to each piece-it added to giving more variety. I’d been thinking, “heh, maybe if a few of the community could help support Brenda, the show could keep coming out”-looks like others had that same great thought.
    love it, love it, love it
    Susan, in Wisconsin

    Posted on 4.8.07 ·
  53. Jeremy wrote:

    Brenda, darling dear FABULOUS woman… It truly shocks me every time I hear your podcasts, because you have SUCH eclectic tastes in music and, happily enough, my own eclectic music tastes are greatly enriched by yours. I just got done listening to this ‘cast, and OMG, Enter The Haggis is CRAZY amazing! I may have to beg my partner to let me download the two albums they have on iTunes, and then beg MORE to buy the other three albums of theirs that aren’t on there! We also, evidently, share a luff of Jonathan Coulton as well, and I giggled like a madman when you played Skullcrusher Mountain (though, I would suggest First of May, but probably never on-air). 🙂

    I’ve been listening to you (though I’ve never commented) for about nine months; you were my first podcast ever, and I’m seriously not anywhere near looking back! I’m deliriously happy every time I see that iTunes is downloading a new Cast On for me to enjoy. Thank you thank you thank you for all the hard work you put into this podcast. It makes my day go so much better when I have a new Cast On to get me through it. 🙂

    Posted on 4.20.07 ·
  54. Mandy wrote:

    Thanks for a wonderful, lively podcast. This is the first of your podcasts that I have heard, but I shall be going back to listen to all of them.
    I was very sorry to hear that you had been ill. I do hope that you are much better now.
    Sadly, I do think I have any Welsh in me. I live over the border in Cheshire. But both my daughters have been to University in Wales (Aberystwyth and Glamorgan), and both have a wide circle of friends there.
    I love your choice of music.
    Thanks yet again,

    Posted on 5.14.07 ·
  55. Kim Forsman wrote:

    Brenda, Am I to understand that you reside in seattle ? If so I am looking for a shop that carries traditional Irish woolen cloaks/capes, and linen in the seattle area. do you know of any and could you please refer? Thanks in advance for you reply, Kim

    Posted on 6.15.07 ·
  56. Meresa wrote:

    Just listened to the final song in episode 46 and LOVED it. You might like Poi Dog Pondering. You can check them out at http://www.poidogpondering.com/ Poi Dog is what I listen to when I want to feel good….

    Another band that I loves is The Samples http://www.thesamples.com/

    I found podcasts about two months ago and I love your podcast! Keep up the great work.


    Posted on 7.17.07 ·

Comments are closed.