04 Apr 2013

Episode 126: Bedcast


In this episode: I get to talk about about my knitting to a real, live person! Such a treat. We are in my guest room with refreshing bevvies and Amy Singer for a P3 wrap up, some sweater fixing, shawl knitting, and shameless self promotion.


Always one of the highlights of P3, our Tiny Perfect Marketplace this year featured two utterly amazing Welsh dyers. Caerthan from Triskelion Yarn, who works and lives in Carmarthen, brought a beautiful selection of yarns and batts. He has a great write up of the marketplace on his blog. (Caerthan is also dyeing some special BFL sock yarn for the final pattern to be knit for Welsh for Rainbow.) ((I know it’s been a long time, but it really is nearly done! There will be much rejoicing when it’s completed.))

Mark and Estelle, of Squeaky Elliot, made Amy very happy with their range of hand dyed linen and Gower Wool, a lovely DK weight blend of BFL and Welsh Black wool from their family-owned flocks.(You won’t find the pink yarn, pictured left, in the shop though. I went there to find the shop URL, got distracted by the pretty, and bought both skeins!) Estelle also wrote about the marketplace in her blog.

P3 has a new name! Gwlana, you may recall, means “woolgathering” in Welsh. We think it’s the perfect name for our little knitting retreat business that began here in Wales back in 2010.

Our next Gwlana Retreat will be held from 11 – 14 October 2013, in Pembrokeshire. Visit us on Ravelry and Facebook to stay in the loop.

Yes, we do wax poetic about Tom Bihn bags. This is because Tom Bihn project bags are wonderful. They are wonderful because Tom Bihn listens to what knitters say they want in a project bag, and designs his bags accordingly. Would that more manufactures were like Tom Bihn.

We talked at great length about these projects:
Amy’s Henslowe is being knit in 100% silk mystery yarn that looks like the sea.

My Color Affection was knit using one skein each of Tanis Blue Label and Red Label, and one skein of Maidenhair, by Handmaiden. If it sounds familiar, that’s because I’ve talked about this project quite a bit already. Here it is, in motion:

Be sure to click the sound link in the upper left corner of the video.

Mesmerising, isn’t it?

The book that made Amy fall in love with garter stitch is The Knitting Experience, by Sally Melville.

On the needles at Ty ((It occurred to me recently that referring to my home in Wales as “Casa del Cast On” was, in a word, stupid. Ty means “house” in Welsh, and I’ll be using that instead in the future.)) Cast On, the Lune Shawl, by Mirium Felton, in my own Shetland handspun. Only one small mod: I knit the edging from Simmer Dim. If I sound underwhelmed by the yarn, it’s because I am. I rather ruined it by adding to much alum to the dyebath, way back when. I can’t NOT use my own handspun, and it’s not terribly scratchy. That said, if there’s a way to add softness back to alum-stripped yarn, I’d love to hear about it.

Amy has already arrived at Whitebarn Farm, where she’ll be teaching Sweater Success. Do sign up if you can make it. It’s going to be a great weekend.

Later this year you can join Amy in Iceland.

I’m currently putting together a new tour for this summer. You’ll find me at FibreTrain, in Nampa, ID (that’s near Boise) over Memorial Day weekend, and in Atlanta 14 – 15 June, with the North Georgia Knitting Guild. I have the weekend of June 1-2, and June 8-9 free to teach, and am looking for a yarn shop or guild on the east coast who might be interested. If you’d like me to teach near you, please drop me an email with the details.

Amy’s Audible pick this week is (unsurprisingly, to those who know her) Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. Click the enormous logo below to sign up for Audible today.

Music by Brian Mazzaferri, Silly Song.



  1. Barb Smith wrote:

    I’ve been waiting for another podcast. WOW this will be great to listen to as I “try” to clean and organize my quilting/knitting stuff. Thank you!

    Posted on 4.4.13 ·
  2. Vanessa wrote:

    Oh Brenda, you’re back, you’re back! Welcome back, we missed you so!!! I shall download the ‘cast for some knitting and listening over my workplace lunch, but just wanted to express my glee/bliss at seeing your new podcast appear 🙂 xx

    Posted on 4.5.13 ·
  3. Debra G. wrote:

    Brenda! You’re back! Everything stopped, I pulled out my knitting and listened. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Posted on 4.5.13 ·
  4. linda wrote:

    Absolutely fantastic! I was getting worried and now I feel much much better. Thank you sooooooooooo much! Linda

    Posted on 4.5.13 ·
  5. Wilma wrote:

    Couldnt find your vine video. What are the tags?

    Posted on 4.5.13 ·
  6. Wilma, I embedded the video, but I can see that now it’s not working. Bummer. I’ll see if I can figure out what’s up.

    Posted on 4.5.13 ·
  7. Wilma wrote:

    Great thanks, its working now! I gifted mine so I’ll pass on the tip

    Posted on 4.6.13 ·
  8. Anne wrote:

    Good to hear from you, Brenda!
    When I read the title, I was worried that you were ill, but I’m pleased to know that that is not the case 🙂
    I’m reading The Graveyard Book at the moment and will hurry over to Audible to get Neverwhere 🙂

    Posted on 4.6.13 ·
  9. Diane wrote:

    I don’t know how much alum you used. 7% cream of tartar is often added to a mordant bath to soften the wool – it may help after the fact.

    Hair conditioner will help. I have also used dissolved hide glue – about 2 tbs to a gallon – it acts like hair conditioner but protects the wool in an indigo bath so will help to soften the wool.

    Good luck.

    Posted on 4.6.13 ·
  10. Doreen wrote:

    Hi Brenda- lovely to hear your voice again and a bonus with Amy. I enjoyed meeting you in the flesh at Madrona, which makes listening to your podcast extra special. In your hiatus, I tried a few others, but nothing compares!

    Posted on 4.6.13 ·
  11. Kathleen wrote:

    Hurrah! The video of how to wear the scarf! Of course, I am going to have to watch it in slo-mo about one hundred times to figure this out. But once again you have saved my fashion sense. Thank you!

    Posted on 4.8.13 ·
  12. Isabelle wrote:

    Wonderful ukulele song at the end. What is it?

    Posted on 4.8.13 ·
  13. Kate wrote:

    1. I keep re-watching that vine video instead of working on my dissertation. I’m mesmerized.

    2. Also, I love the colors of your color affection! It makes me want to cast on a second one!

    Posted on 4.9.13 ·
  14. I agree with Diane – The only dyes I use on wool are natural dyes, so I, unfortunately, have had some experience with this. I’d try the hide glue. I’ve seen it do wonders for softening sticky or harness caused by dyeing. If you need some, let me know.

    Posted on 4.9.13 ·
  15. Okay, I’m only on episode 11, back in 2006, but when I saw that video just now, I HAD to click on the sound… and then I watched you rock that shawl about 15 times in a row. FUNNY! I loved it.

    Posted on 4.10.13 ·
  16. YAY I missed you brenda!

    Posted on 4.11.13 ·
  17. Jean wrote:

    Did I hear Pacific Northwest for a future gathering? Where do I sign up?!!! Great episode as always. Loved the video and the ukulele. Thank you.

    Posted on 4.12.13 ·
  18. Liz Bollmann wrote:

    Lovely to hear the two of you together and glad to hear about a successful Gwlana. I will be waiting to hear if your Pacific Northwest thoughts take hold. Count me in!

    Posted on 4.14.13 ·
  19. Wyn Jones wrote:

    Great to hear you again!

    The notification isn’t working, so might be a little late. Since you are going to TNNA, would you want to stop by Cincinnati and teach a workshop?

    Posted on 4.15.13 ·
  20. Linda wrote:

    Why not hold your retreat in the Toronto area? Everything seems to be on the west coast or places too far from Toronto

    Posted on 4.16.13 ·
  21. Ulrica wrote:

    Yes! And she is back! Great to hear your voice (and Amys :-)) Trying to get my friend to sign up for your retreat in oct.. That would be such a treat!

    Posted on 4.16.13 ·
  22. Jason wrote:

    I would love to see her come to south florida an visit us at ace sew vac..Great to hear you again..

    Posted on 4.24.13 ·
  23. Mij wrote:

    Awesome welcome back!! I wish there were workshops in the South ;o;!

    Posted on 4.27.13 ·
  24. Anne wrote:

    Loved to hear the two of you in conversation. As I am now in a wheelchair and still knitting I wanted to find out whether the retreat will be suitable for physically challenged knitters.

    Posted on 5.5.13 ·
  25. Cyndia Gerner wrote:

    You are keeping me sane! I developed bilateral optic neuritis and went completely blind in the middle of March. No quilting, sewing, reading, TV, driving, game playing or color in my life! Your voice and the process of teaching myself to knit by feel has helped to keep my manic roided up brain from exploding. That aNd sitting is all I could do! I have about 40% vision now ( little to no color) so I just wanted to say THANKS! It is quite a life lesson and When finished I will wear my little garter stitch shawl with pride–dropped and twisted stitches and all. And I will remember your voice with me in the darkness! You did a good thing!

    Posted on 5.7.13 ·
  26. Jenna wrote:

    Thanks for coming to Nampa! It was a great class and getting my hands into my knitting is just what I needed to make everything click. I’m so excited to knit myself and then my family sweaters! Yay!

    Posted on 5.28.13 ·
  27. Londa wrote:

    Brenda – I was so sad yesterday when I checked your blog and it didn’t load. Today it did! Hooray! Any chance you will be podcasting again? I so miss hearing about your adventures.

    Posted on 9.28.13 ·

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