08 Jun 2008

Episode 64: The Best Thing Ever

It’s almost like being there… SeaSocks 08 – My flickr photos, and other people’s flickr photos.

Was there anyone on the boat who didn’t have one of these?

Breaking with tradition, an actual image of Today’s Sweater may be found at Weave’zine.com. Knit your own Today’s Sweater in Bambu yarn, from Cotton Clouds.

I used two sources of on
line help for this pattern: Annie Modesitt’s Edge treatment for Alison’s Scarf; and this Japanese Short Row Tutorial at NonaKnits. The safety pin trick comes from Lucy Neatby.

Once you’re done, you might want to secure those ends with a wee drop of Fray Check.

The theme for Series Seven is Roots, where I’ll be exploring how personal heritage informs the work of our hands. If you have a story about your knitting roots, please check the submission guidelines, and do get in touch.

There are two NEW ways to participate in the podcast!

1) Call the Cast On Voicemail Line (coming soon!) and tell me about your Best Thing Ever.

2) Leave a comment or drop me an email and share the bits from past episodes that you’d like to hear again in The Best of Cast On: Listener’s Choice.

PS: In case you’re wondering, “Just what does a private jet cost to rent?” The answer is here, and it’s not pretty.

Upon reflection, I believe it’s time to let go of this particular fantasy.

KniTunes this week were provided by and used with the permission of:



  1. Nina wrote:

    Really looking forward to listening to this, but both the itunes and the download from your website are only 10 mins long and it seems to finish in mid-sentence…

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  2. Thanks for letting me know – I’m not sure what the problem is, the file size reads at 40 megs plus at libsyn, just like it should. Hang tight, I’m troubleshooting.

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  3. Tonia wrote:

    Gah, Gremlins at Libsyn is the initial diagnosis. The file *says* its 40 odd mb but it’s telling porky pies. Please stand by while we re-upload the file to Libsyn and have stern words with it.

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  4. Okay, looks like the problem is sorted. Please let me know if there are any more troubles with this file.

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  5. Beautiful – another great epi. It was a blast to relive SeaSocks again. I especially loved that last tune and the Boxer from #64.

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  6. Francine wrote:

    Happy Birthday. I was revisiting your podcasts yesterday and when I logged in today I was elated to see the new piece was up! Listening now!

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  7. Juliann wrote:

    My maternal great-grandmother began teaching me at age five to do all the things “women are supposed to know”. This meant absolutely nothing to my five-year-old self, and I knew I wanted to be outside playing. But not only did I learn the skill of knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting, etc., I learned discipline, perserverance, pride in doing a good job and how to plan a project. I have continued to do all these things all my life. I just turned 60 and I am so excited that everyone is in the full swing of needle arts. I have added spinning, dyeing, needlepoint, and weaving in my life, but my roots were shaped by my two grandmothers, my two grandmothers, my grandfather, and my parents. Without that daily lesson and all the lessons that were taught by my family, I probably would never finish a project and would just be living in a fantasy of “wanna” do projects. Happy Birthday. Mine was May 24! Just in time for our holiday weekend.

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  8. Darlene wrote:

    Another wonderful episode, you are so good to us …podcasting on your birthday! I hope you had a great day, if the podcast is any indication it must of been great!!!

    I think having a “Best of Cast On” would be fun. I really loved when Dave( how is he by the way we never hear from him any more) did Fred and Ethel..they were toooooo funny! I loved your sound seeing trip to your old barn/house that was very nice. Listening to any of your great stories about you , sweaters, trips, family or just about anything you are a good story teller! Deserted Island Knitting was good too. When you had Sage and Dave and Franklin do guest hosting that was really fun too …oh I guess I just like it all! If you have any bloopers they would be funny too!

    Well I could go on but I’ll let others add their favorites as well!
    Thanks again Brenda for a great podcast!

    Darlene in PEI

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  9. Darlene wrote:

    Oops, Fred and Ethel thats another show hehehhe! I ment Ed and Ethel. I just noticed thats your modern quilt wrap scarf…its beautiful and the way you have it displayed Love it!

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  10. Wen wrote:

    Hi Brenda! Another FAB podcast — THANK YOU! Enjoyed hearing about your vacation, especially how moved you were by the glaciers. Thanks for sharing your photos too. It’s great to put faces to names. I was very interested in hearing you talk about designing the sweater for Weave’zine. Very Cool pattern. Any suggestions for fiber other than bamboo? :0)

    Enjoy the summer & that fun flower garden. Oh yeh…H-Bday too!

    Posted on 6.8.08 ·
  11. Sara in WI wrote:

    Welcome “Home” to podcast land! I’ve missed you! What a fantastic time you must have had. The pictures are great. Your sweater design process was interesting and the sweater is gorgeous!

    Um. The “best of” Cast-On is just re-listening to the old ones! Maybe you could have a few return guest spots. That would be fun!

    Posted on 6.9.08 ·
  12. India Joy wrote:

    I’m thinking that the “Best of” would have to include Franklin’s essay on “Stash”. I replay that from time to time and it makes everyone who has ever even known a knitter roll on the floor with laughter.

    And woot! Looks like we may have some version of high speed internet up in our neck of the woods… er mountains… before very long and we will be able to download podcasts more often than our current annual marathon while traveling!

    Posted on 6.9.08 ·
  13. Sarah wrote:

    Hi Brenda!

    Just wanted to wish you a slightly belated happy birthday and thank you for another wonderful episode!

    Also just wanted to let you know that the WeaveZine.com link is going to Clapotis pattern right now.

    Posted on 6.9.08 ·
  14. Jackie wrote:

    I love the idea of a “Best of” episode or two. My choices would be to include Dave’s Ed and Ethyl sketch on addi turbo needles from episode 15 and the Knitter’s Manifesto essay from one of your earliest episodes. I also think it would be fun if you could do an interview of Dave for an upcoming show (maybe in the next series). We are all wondering what has become of him since he stopped podcasting. It would be fun to hear his voice again and find out what he has been up to. Thanks for episode 64.

    Posted on 6.9.08 ·
  15. Mary wrote:

    If there is one song that needs to go on the Best of Cast On, it’s gotta be the Boob Fairy by Deirdre Flint!!

    Posted on 6.10.08 ·
  16. Jeanie wrote:

    The best Cast-On is Episode 59, Start As You Mean to Go On, because of the story about the old stone barn. It was beautifully written and the outdoor segment was pure heaven. So true and real, spoken from the heart.
    Thank you for this podcast and sharing your dream.

    Posted on 6.10.08 ·
  17. Andrea wrote:

    I second with India Joy, Franklin’s “Poeish” stash essay is wonderfully funny and one of my favorites. I would also love to hear the “Today’s Sweater” song all the way through if possible.

    Thanks you for your podcasts, I always find them thought provoking and inspiring.

    Posted on 6.10.08 ·
  18. Knit Nurse wrote:

    I had to laugh at your comment about the private jet – I just got back from a trip to the States, during which I was invited to fly in a private jet from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh. And it was heaven! I normally hate flying too but during this trip I was able to see what people love about it! You’re right, there are no checks, no lines, no security – we just drove to a small airfield, got out of the car and into the plane, and took off. At the other end, taxied up to the stand and the car was there waiting for us! Journey time on commercial flights (via Chicago): about 5 hours, not counting all the checking in and getting to the airport. Journey time by private jet: just under two hours. I think I have to start buying those lottery tickets on a regular basis……

    Posted on 6.10.08 ·
  19. Julia wrote:

    My favorite episodes are Green and Pulling A Geographic (6 and 12), and the thing I’d like to hear is Zach’s guitar piece. When I wrote that I would purchase a CD of Zach playing guitar I wasn’t kidding or flattering – I love hearing him play.

    Posted on 6.11.08 ·
  20. Andy B wrote:

    I, too, had problems with the initial download, but I tried it again today and was successful. This was really great timing because it’s my birthday and all I really wanted to do was sit on the couch and knit and listen to my favorite things – one of which is your podcast. As I have been a little “reflective” all day, some of that music made me a little misty. You do great music. And it’s always great to hear about your adventures in travel knitting. One of my goals is to eventually go on one of those cruises and sit with you on the lawn and drink tea while we knit and talk. And next week, I’m going to take a train trip somewhere to the north of the country just so I can sit and knit and watch the Netherlands go by. A Brenda inspired idea. Thanks for sharing my birthday in this fibery and virtual world in which we live and connect.

    Posted on 6.12.08 ·
  21. Tracy Hite wrote:

    Is there any way you can re-send the corrected episode through the various RSS feeds? My Zune software shows I’ve already got the episode so it won’t get the updated version because I’ve already listened to it.

    Posted on 6.12.08 ·
  22. Kate wrote:

    The first Cast On episode has a special place in my heart. It was the first I listened to, almost exactly a year after you recorded it. I can still recall where I was and what I was doing when I heard it because I remember being amazed. Amazed that a podcast about knitting didn’t have to be one person sitting in a room going on and on and on about what they were knitting at that moment. It could be thoughtful and thought provoking and well-produced and meaningful. It could make me tear up in public AND make me laugh AND make me want to knit, RIGHT THEN. It could transport me to a different world, where people not only understood the thrall that knitting and all fibres have over me, they went out of their way to understand and accept me, too.

    I also vote for Franklin: anything Franklin, although I personally love Quoth the Romney a whole lot.

    Can you believe it’s been this long?! Thanks for being a fantastic part of all our lives in that time, Brenda! I greatly enjoy our sojourns on the lawn, with our lemonade and our knitting. I would miss them a whole lot if they stopped.

    Posted on 6.15.08 ·
  23. Libby wrote:

    Brenda – Belated Happy Birthday and may all wonderful things come your way. The best part of your new episode was letting everyone know how the name of the “hippopotamus” socks is really pronounced. Thank you for letting us into your life.

    Posted on 6.15.08 ·
  24. Chris wrote:

    Thanks for mentioning Pomatomus the fish. I didn’t know the delicious and not-very-available-unless-you-know-a-fisherman bluefish by that name, but now I have an inspiration for some blue-gray yarn I have in the sock stash box.

    And thanks for the anticipatory shock of recognition — a rare podcast pleasure that has struck me more than once here, and seldom elsewhere (An elsewhere one involved a discussion of badly kerned typefaces in body copy…beat…Gill Sans. Yes!). Today it was the short row shoulders. I waited, and Yes! you descibed that entire shoulder struggle I just lived through. In my case, I knew there had to be a better way, and was enlightened by my standby knitting wise woman, Montse Stanley (Knitter’s Handbook, Readers Digest). Amazingly better way to do short rows in summer-type yarns! But I didn’t know it was Japanese or about the Lucy Neatby safety pin. I’m off to get your pattern, thank you number three.

    Posted on 6.15.08 ·
  25. Laine wrote:

    Hey Brenda! My name is Laine, and I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful podcast! I finally just now got caught up on all of the episodes. (it took a while :D) and I really enjoy listening to Cast On while I’m knitting or crocheting. I listened to at least one episode every day, and now I’m afraid I’m going to actually have to wait on podcasts like everyone else! But thank you so much for your wonderful podcast. It always gives me something to reflect about while I’m working.

    Posted on 6.15.08 ·
  26. Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:

    Button? The web kind, not the wearable kind. Except, of course you could print it, and then wear it I suppose. Anyway, do you have a button I can use for pimpage? Actually, do you have a shop with wearable buttons? I mean, sure, I’d wear one of those too, I guess. By the way, my condolences on Toby. (((hugs)))

    Posted on 6.19.08 ·
  27. Amber wrote:

    Brenda, this is another amazing podcast! One of your best! Please keep up the excellent podcasting and I look forward to listening to your next ones soon. 🙂 It’s always good to just tune out with at work while listening to your cast, whether you’re meant to be working or you’re knitting or even when you have some spare time. I am certainly going to tell all of my friends about this. Thanks again.

    Posted on 6.22.08 ·
  28. Kim wrote:

    Brenda, my request for a “Best of” would be a replay of the song “Fly Fly Fly” by Adrina Thorpe. I had just started listening to your podcasts in the spring of 2006, and I have a lovely memory of taking my then just turned one-year-old daughter to the park. As I pushed her on the swings and she laughed as only a one-year-old can do, this song started playing softly in my headphones. The pairing of the lyrics with the joy we were both feeling was just too beautiful and perfect.

    Posted on 6.26.08 ·
  29. Kimberly wrote:

    Congrats on another great podcast! Blasts from the past must include Dave’s Ed & Ethel (how I wish he would do more of those!), anything from Franklin, the Boob Fairy and Enter The Haggis (I actual order the whole CD from them because of the song you played. I did sacrifice yarn money to do it, but the CD is worth every penny I spent.)
    Thank you for voicing all that we do. Your podcast has made me laugh and cry, jump up from my computer and scream RIGHT ON!, think and dream but most of all be proud of what I do. When recommending podcasts to newbies, your’s is first on the list.
    Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU and many mooooorrrreeeee ……..

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  30. Michele wrote:

    Is it too late to pipe in with a “Best Of” request? I still have Episode 1.5 Snow Day saved in iTunes because I listen to it from time to time, and think that maybe others might enjoy hearing it again, too.

    Thanksgiving is my second favorite day of the year — the cooking day before being my absolute favorite. Last May I left a 20-year career in graphics and publishing last, and moved from Washington DC to the Mississippi Delta to teach English in critical needs schools. I teach in the poorest county in the US, and surrounded by such poverty the luxury of Thanksgiving had a cognitive dissonance it was difficult to process.

    This past year’s Thanksgiving — populated by a table full of other Teacher Corps teachers, most of whom are younger than my own daughter, and “orphaned” for the holiday — was a crazy patchwork of traditions that your essay captures perfectly.

    Thanks for all of the wonderful episodes you’ve brought us over the years. I’ve heard every one of them, and look forward to each new one.

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  31. Christy wrote:

    Like Michele, I have Snow Day saved in iTunes. It is the only episode that I have listened to more than once. It was the first episode I ever heard and I have loved Cast On ever since. There is something so beautiful and still about that episode.

    Posted on 7.5.08 ·
  32. Hello,

    nice to see you enjoy Japanese knitting. I learned the ‘Short Row’ technique at my Nihon Vogue knitting school here in Yokohama. We use it to knit together shoulders of sweaters and cardigans. You get a nice angle, but don’t see where the decrease is. Worth learning.

    If you like Japanese knitting, here is a page with the Japanese knitting codes.

    They come with a tutorial movie.

    Hope it helps.

    Bernd Kestler

    “Knit for Japan”
    Knitting charity to support victims of the Tohoku earthquake

    YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/3cbkhwa

    Posted on 10.10.11 ·

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