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Episode 16: Steel Hooks

by Brenda on March 17, 2006

This week’s episode is dedicated to crochet. I don’t crochet, but Sage, from Quirky Nomads is an expert at it. Lucky for us then that Sage is this week’s guest host. Sage likes to crochet small things. Very small things. She’ll suggest ways to do that without going blind, say a big howdy to the latest member of the fiber arts podcast family, the Crochet Cast and play some kick-ass… um, CroTunes? And don’t forget to send Sage cookies!


1 Brandy March 17, 2006 at 5:50 pm

Great job Sage. I loved it. The ending made me tear up. You deserve lots and lots of cookies! It was also nice to hear from a thread crocheter too. Threadies got to stick together woo!

2 Aarlene March 17, 2006 at 6:49 pm

I liked the podcast too. Instead of cookies how about a volcano roll or two? tee hee
You know, I just realized how these guest casts remind me of the Love Boat. Remember that? Different folks each week, same boat. Cool.

3 Cheryl March 17, 2006 at 8:45 pm

Sage – I love quirky nomads… and I was so glad to hear that you were going to be guest host on Cast on – (although I do miss the caramel smooth voice of Brenda..) I have to tell you I just loved your story of your mom – and sitting here at work, listening to you tell it had tears running, like an unexpected flood, down my cheeks – knowing that I will never find my birthmother and hear of those first few months when she still held me close; before she made that hard decision to relinquish me to the state. Thanks for reminding me that my mom was able to love me in person – if only for awhile…. Blessings to you Sage!

4 Paula March 17, 2006 at 9:10 pm

Wonderful job! I appreciate that you share such personal stories with us.
I love listening to Quirky Nomads. As a matter of fact, your show and Cast on are my two absolute favorite podcasts and it was wonderful having them both come together.
I grew up crocheting and it has always had a place in my heart.

5 Kathy March 17, 2006 at 11:04 pm

What a story. And what a connection you and your mom have. I can’t fathom how people can keep parents away from their children and children away from their parents. My grandparents did a similar thing, I’ve always wondered how they felt they had the right?

Sounds like you and your mom have a great relationship now. And great memories.

6 Dave from Chub Creek March 17, 2006 at 11:11 pm

Okay, I read the above comments so I was prepared. I’m a tough guy after all. A MAN. Manly man. Alright I was weeping like a baby, Sage. Like a baby. Damn you! Seriously though, great stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You crocheted like the wind.

7 Jeanie March 18, 2006 at 12:28 am

Great job Sage! Is there a place we can view some of your work? It sounds amazing.

8 susoolu March 18, 2006 at 1:05 am

Sage, as always, your honesty and sincerity shines through, as well as your wicked imagination (a tiny goat head crochet sweater!). Funny, informative, moving, and great music too.

9 Christa March 18, 2006 at 4:28 am

Sage! What a lovely episode.. I really enjoy listening to your voice as much as I enjoy listening to Brenda’s.. very different qualities, but just as appealing.. yours seems somehow more like a shared whisper sitting on a bus, talking about an overheard conversation, while Brenda’s voice is that of a friend across a coffee table ready to share her opinion and get into a mighty discussion with anyone willing to enter the fray!

Thanks so much for sharing the story about your mom… no tears, but a definite upswell of emotion occurred 🙂

And, where do we see pics of your tiny crochet??


10 Nancy March 18, 2006 at 5:04 am

Yes! I’d love to see your miniature crochet. Now even when I was a wild teenager, the smallest I ever got was size 80 DMC crochet cotton on a size 14 hook. I had no idea they even went up to 16! Lovely story about how you were able to connect with your mom.

If you ever find yourself in Berkeley, you MUST stop by Lacis ( It’s the lace-making mecca.

11 Sage Tyrtle March 18, 2006 at 12:18 pm

And thank you all, so much, for your very kind comments. I’m blushing over here.

I found a few photos of my tiny crochet for those who are interested.

blue afghan and rug underneath

multicolored afghan

Seventies: avocado green and chocolate brown afghan

Seventies: the brown afghan I mention in the podcast

But these days I give away the hats and bags I make. You can find my most recent beret-style hat here. It’s free. If you’d like to have it, just drop me an email.

12 Christa March 18, 2006 at 3:01 pm

Can we see the witchy dollhouse too? 🙂 That’s amazing work, thanks for sharing! (I’d be jumping on the hat offer if I was a beret-type of person, its pretty!)


13 Pensguys March 18, 2006 at 3:18 pm

WOW!!! MARVELOUS work!!!! Nice podcast! 😉

14 Jennifer March 18, 2006 at 10:07 pm

Thank you Sage! The story about your mom made me well up. Great show.

15 may March 18, 2006 at 10:25 pm

Sage, thank you for a terrific show. I’m so moved by the story about your mom. Makes me cry for my mom whom I’m missing terribly.

16 Candace March 18, 2006 at 11:28 pm

Well done Sage! Thanks for hosting the show. You always leave your listener with so much to think about!

17 Baigneuse March 19, 2006 at 2:51 am

Great podcast! The stories you shared where moving and the works you posted are amazing. Excellent job.

18 Nancy March 19, 2006 at 4:39 am

Sage… one word – Wow! That is amazing work. Thanks for sharing!

19 mia March 19, 2006 at 1:50 pm

Sage, I loved your stories, they made me cry. I’m so glad you and your mom have found a way to make up for some of that lost time!

20 Elemmaciltur March 19, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Sage, your story with your mum really touched me…amazing! Thanks for jumping in for Brenda, it was a great fill-in! I still need to go over and comment sometimes at Quirky Nomads. 🙂

21 Liz T March 19, 2006 at 8:53 pm

Hi Sage, I loved your story and the pictures of your tiny crocheted pieces. How do you manager to work so small and not suffer from the dreaded crochet “claw”?

22 teresa March 19, 2006 at 9:36 pm

Hi Sage, and congratulations on a jon well done! Loved the show, and the music!

23 Syne Mitchell March 20, 2006 at 5:16 am

OMFG! What a great podcast! I have to go subscribe to Quirky Nomads–right now!

Okay, I’m back. I haven’t crocheted during college (a couple of 100% acrylic afghans of dubious proportions that my husband won’t let me get rid of.) and nothing approaching the lilliputian sizes Sage described–but for a moment, I actually considered it. I have DMC floss. I inherited some of those mind-blowingly small needles from an insane great-aunt…but no! I will resist.

Truly great stuff. Thanks for filling in for Brenda while she’s on holiday.

(My only complaint was I wanted the secret details of how to split DMC 6-strand floss onto three spools without creating a tangled mess. Sounded like there was some deep, dark, fiber-mojo involved. Inquiring minds want to know…)

All best,

Syne Mitchell

24 Sage Tyrtle March 20, 2006 at 9:24 am

Seriously, you guys made all that work more than worth it. Thank you again.

Originally my “Sweater of the Day” was going to be how to separate threads, but after sitting there forever trying to describe it without photos I gave up. I did find a tutorial that I put together ages ago, though, so I’ve resurrected it here.

Oh – and the hat’s been claimed, but I do post give-away hats and bags on my site when I finish them.

25 Sage Tyrtle March 20, 2006 at 9:57 am

Oops – sorry, Liz, I forgot to answer your question. Aside from eye strain, I’ve never had any troubles with crocheting – I wonder if that’s because my mom taught me to hold my hands differently than I’ve seen other people do it? I spent the ENTIRE TIME watching “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with my kid trying to figure out what the grandmother was always doing with her hands and it wasn’t until the last 10 minutes that I realized she was crocheting.

26 Nancy March 20, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Eye strain is what caused me to give up tiny crochet too. (Although not as tiny as yours!)

It also made me go to an eye doctor, who told me that, although I was 20/20, I had a slight astigmatism, which is what really causes the eye strain. When I got glasses to correct the astigmatism, the eye strain went away.

27 lkmanitou March 21, 2006 at 3:02 pm


Thank you for sharing your mother-daughter story with us; it took a lot of bravery to put yourself out there in that manner. I’m glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one to be moved to tears. Excellent cast and very impressive crochet!

28 Judy March 21, 2006 at 5:42 pm

When I try to listen, I’m getting a 404 error (and am unable to download from iTunes). Having technical difficulties? Or am I?

29 Reed March 21, 2006 at 5:42 pm

Right, I am going to fish out my hooks THIS VERY EVENING and start crocheting again. Thank you, Sage, for an inspiring and moving ‘cast.

30 Roe March 21, 2006 at 7:25 pm

Your voice is very easy to listen to. It has a musical quality.
I consider myself a crocheter who knits so I think I got a special enjoyment from your crochet talk. I would love to hear more!!

31 Brenda Dayne March 21, 2006 at 9:10 pm

Judith, I just downloaded the latest podcast using the “Listen To” button, and the download began right away, just as it should have. Is it this episode you having trouble with?

32 kathleen March 22, 2006 at 2:54 am

Sage, I love your lyric voice. Really interesting podcast too! I’m just learning to crochet so your teeny tiny work just blows me away. I’ve got this great shop by my house – Discount Fabrics on Haight – and they sell a LOT of cheap DMC. Woud you like me to send you some?

33 Mary-Kay March 22, 2006 at 3:41 pm

Hello there all the way over there,
I LOVE that I am listening to a person tell me about knitting and “stuff” from accross the pond. I’ve just discovered podcasts for knitting and I’m ADDICTED to yours. Thanks for making it fun. For some reason, I feel like I’m listening to a great radio show, but with NO breaks! LOVE it!

The only thing….. And I want this changed right away, cuz’ it’s really bugging me. You need to do this podcast more often! I need MORE, MORE, MORE!!!!

Again, thanks. You make my day!
Mary-Kay in San Diego, CA

34 Kimberly March 23, 2006 at 6:18 pm

I couldn’t have imagined someone doing a better job filling in those big shoe’s of Brenda’s besides Sage. This was a true treat and just wanted to say a very big thank you to both Brenda and Sage. An amazing podcast! Just loved your heartwarming story and its so nice to have spent the last 38 minutes in your world.

Lovely to say the least!

35 Sage Tyrtle March 23, 2006 at 9:25 pm

You guys, my head is officially so big I can’t even walk through the door anymore. Thank you. Again. Really.

Kathleen – I appreciate the offer, but I lucked into an email from someone who has a lot of DMC floss they don’t want anymore. Thanks for asking, though.

36 Duffy March 24, 2006 at 4:18 am

Sage, the hours you spent with your mother and the tape recorder making radio shows paid off. You have a marvelous voice and style. The only thing I would ask is don’t be afraid of a little dead air between sections. It’s kind of like the rests in music; it gives you a chance to breathe and think.

Judith, I download my episodes directly from the website, then use iTunes as my default media software. When I double-click on the file after it is saved on my hard drive, it downloads into iTunes. It’s a little more cumbersome than having it download directly through iTunes, but I was having so many modem hiccups using that method that I opted to go the long way.

37 Anna March 26, 2006 at 5:21 am

Oh, Sage,
Thank you for the wonderful Cast-On podcast. It got me through part of a flight home from Miami while I crocheted my first project–a scarf. I’m normally a knitter, and I’ve just come into the wonderful world of crochet. Your Quirky Nomads podcasts also got me through the first two lonely nights of my first business trip without my husband by my side. I listened to your soothing voice while lying in the bed, trying to fall asleep. 🙂

Your story of your relationship with your mother was incredibly touching and reflects what kind of wonderful individuals you both have become. Thanks so much for sharing the story, and all of your stories.

38 Ali March 26, 2006 at 9:26 am

This episode was wonderful. Thank you Sage for making me happy and sad at the same time! I cried while at work with my co-workers looking at me strangly but I didn’t care as they didn’t know how wonderful your story was (or how wonderful you told it!). Thanks and lots of cookies coming your way

39 Rebecca March 26, 2006 at 2:02 pm

I finally got a chance to catch up on my downloaded podcsts. Sage, this was such a wonderful episode. And I envy you for your crochet skills. Your voice was wonderful, your stories were fun, and like everyone else I teared up at the end.

40 Jeanne March 26, 2006 at 11:20 pm

Sage – amazing podcast. Your story about your mother really touched me, and made me want to go visit my own mother.

41 Nicole March 28, 2006 at 7:50 pm

Great show! I hope Sage will guest-cast in the future if/when Brenda goes on hiatus again.

42 the Procrastinatrix March 30, 2006 at 6:42 pm

I just had to pause my mp3 player and write a note about how you cracked me up!! It’s my birthday, I’ve left the baby with Gramma and escaped to a coffee shop with all my knitting projects and a gigabyte of podcasts and the whole day stretching out in front of me. So here I sit and you get to the part about size 16 hook and tiny invisible thread and your eyes say Fuck. That. Noise. And I just started laughing hysterically. Out loud. In public. For no reason that anyone could see. And I couldn’t stop. Holy moly. That was the best laugh I’ve had in a week. Thanks Sage! Love your show. I’ve been working through your archives and your voice has really become a lovely part of my day.

43 Franklin March 30, 2006 at 10:14 pm

Hey Sage –

I waited until after my episode was done to listen to yours…to keep from being too initimidated to speak into the microphone. Really enjoyable show with beautiful memories and lots of humor. Just what I expected. Thank you!

44 J-Bug April 7, 2006 at 3:58 am

Thanks for the great cast! You did Brenda proud. Your content was wonderfully surprising. I know your mom will love it. Thanks for sharing such an awesome tribute.
You’re missed but your friends have done a great job in your absence. Dave had me laughing out loud, Sage made me cry…I can’t wait to listen to Franklin!

45 Jon April 9, 2006 at 12:32 am

Hi Sage,

Thanks for filling in for Brenda for this episode. You’ve certainly piqued my curiosity about crocheting. The picture of the sun hat made me say “I want to make one like that!”

46 pat August 25, 2006 at 1:07 am

I just found your podcast this week. It’s very enjoyable.

47 Mama Cat August 30, 2006 at 9:49 pm

I’ve only recently started listening to Cast-On, and just now got through Episode 16. I hope you’re still monitoring comments and will see this.

May I say – Wow! Cast-On is amazing, so professional and interesting and warm and wonderful. It knits and rocks and makes me laugh and think and relax and feel good.

At first, I felt a little worried about the guest casters. 10 seconds into Dave’s cast and I was thinking, “Oh this is terrible. I need BRENDA!” but 30 seconds into it I was laughing my a&& off and 45 minutes into it I was thinking – “Damn! that was great!” and now I want to subscribe to Chub Creek too.

Ditto with Sage – first one or two minutes, I was having my doubts – but by the time you got to the story about your mom I was already so rapt that I had sort of forgotten where I was (on Rte 1 outside Philadelphia, a very busy road that really should demand complete attention). Sage’s essay about her mom was one of the most moving pieces of audio I’ve ever heard. (along with Brenda’s essay about being On Gauge, which also had me weeping by the end. So, so wonderful.) So now I need to get Quirky Nomads, too.

I am still working my way slowly through the back episodes – a wonderful treat. I will probably go into withdrawal when I get to the current episode. But then – hey I like audiobooks a lot too, and Edith Wharton is a particular fave …. so! we’re set for a while.

Brenda, you are awesome and you have great friends. And I bet you knit better than me, too. 😉 Thanks for being there.

48 Sharon February 24, 2007 at 2:09 am

I am new to the knitting podcasts and have expanded my stash of podcasts to quite a few. I listen to them all day at work and just love your show Brenda. Chub Creek is now on my subscribe list and now Sage will be too. This is a fantastic show! I am patiently working my way through the lot of them. I started listening about two weeks ago.

Sage, the piece about your mother was absolutely beautiful. You had me trying to knit through the tears and a call to my mother reminding her how much I love her. While my grandmother was more like your mother, it reminds me that I have the power to give my daughter these special memories and it makes me see how I can use the time we do take to work on projects and make them more meaningful and everlasting.

Thank you both so much for the touching stories. You both paint life so clearly that there is no need for a picture .. it is already so very clear.

49 Laura July 12, 2007 at 5:17 am

I LOVE the Stress song. I’m embarrassed to say it describes me quite well. I’m trying to learn to relax, but I just seem happier when I’m busy! I just purchased the song from Jim’s Big Ego. Thanks for turning me on to them!

50 Mosa Mimi Baczewska February 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm

FYI, Mosa Mimi Baczewska, represented here in the ‘knitunes’, also loves to knit socks and crochet keepsake bags. One of the loves of her creative life….

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