28 Jul 2007

Episode 52: Finding My Mojo

Announcements, announcements, announcements… (do you remember that song from camp?)…

Sorry I’ve been away so long. I fell down and lost my mojo. Thanks to Tonia, and Sage, who helped me find it again. Thanks to Heather Ordover for being prepared, to and Zabet Stewart for making me laugh. Special thanks to Annie Modesitt, for putting it all into perspective.

Music for the podcast was provided by, and used with the permission of these artists:

Edited to add: This episode contains NO Harry Potter spoilers! (What kind of Dursley do you think I am?)


  1. glittrgirl wrote:

    Brenda! You are back! That makes me sooooooooooooooo happy.
    My weekend will now be complete.
    Thank you!

    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  2. Aarlene wrote:

    I was hoping to find a podcast when I heard you cavorting at Quirky Nomads. Eek! I stopped the cast when you mentioned Harry Potter. Before I resume please no spoilers! That aside, so glad you are back in the, erm, saddle. You sound more rested and perky.

    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  3. Jordan wrote:

    I’ve been listening for a long time, but this is the *first* time I’ve listened while actually knitting!

    Although I definitely appreciate all the work and thought that goes into every episode of the podcast, and although this work and thought is a big reason why I listen immediately after each ‘cast comes out (usually on my commute, before I have time to get home and start knitting), it’s far from the main reason why I listen. What’s the main reason? Your distinct voice about knitting, creativity, life, family, and such. It’s more your voice–the fact that you’re saying it–than what you say or how eloquently you say it. Again, I appreciate the eloquence, but it’s just not the main point! Feelings of perfectionism or not, of mojo or not, your voice always comes through. There’s no way it couldn’t.

    Can’t wait for the sock pattern! I’m poised to donate, download, and cast on.

    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  4. Kent wrote:

    Brenda I love the music you selected in this episode!

    & one more thing….

    I say “Ahhhhh Zabet”, her essay brought a smile to a sad saturday face.



    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  5. Jessica wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    I’m another listener who just finished listening to all the back episodes and I’m so glad to hear you’re back! It was quite a shock to go from being able to listen to two or three episodes in a day if I wanted to, to waiting for the next one to come out. I really appreciate all the work you do in bringing this podcast to us, and I hope your mojo is here to stay! Now the only decision is whether to listen to this rightthisminute or save it for my commute on Monday.

    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  6. Bobbi wrote:

    Just this morning I was looking at our deck and thinking, “What a waste…we never sit outside…should’ve built a 3-season “porch” where we could look out at nature instead of being in it!”, and then WHAM!!! Zabet’s essay made me laugh and feel better that I’m not the only one. It also made me think that I should introduce her to my brother…;-) Too funny.
    Welcome back…we’ll take you whenever we can get you. As to Brother Amos…I obsess over creating a “perfect” sock pattern as well. A external deadline always seems to help!

    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  7. Natalie wrote:

    Cheers to Tonia! It’s always nice to have a better half who gives one incentive/grounding and an occasional kick in the ___. Thank you, thank you, Tonia. I missed hearing your podcast dearly, and I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  8. Nita wrote:

    Greetings Brenda,
    In order to qualify for free shipping, I needed to add $10 to the shopping cart in the on-line order for my copy of Harry Potter. I have been inspired and informed by you in many ways, so…I ordered a copy of Cold Comfort Farm. Omigosh! What a delightful predicament you have inspired for me. I want to read them both…NOW! I believe I am just about to meet Amos Starkadder…for that I am grateful.
    Peace be,
    ‘Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all Lifes crises’ -Elizabeth Zimmermann

    Posted on 7.28.07 ·
  9. Dear Brenda,,

    I, too, frequently suffer from the quest for perfectionism that leads to creative paralysis. So many opportunities I’ve missed over the years because I was afraid to put words to a page, finish a layout in time, jump in and do–whatever–or, believe it or not, just cast on. I have been knitting for about four years and my fear of gauge has prevented me from knitting anything that is really supposed to _fit_ anyone… and just imagine all of the sweaters, cute baby things, and yes, even SOCKS that I have missed out on knitting. I love to knit felted hats because they are so forgiving. But I so REALLY want to move on!

    Know that from here I almost don’t care WHAT the podcast is about. it doesn’t have to be perfect, I just like that it’s there. I don’t get to be in the company of other knitters much due to work, and life’s errands, and young children with whom the hours I spend are precious few enough as it is… and so I knit in solitude, with only the internet as my community and only the podcasts where I get to actually hear other people talk about knitting. Thanks to you for being among the first and the best. Thanks for also being kind enough to embrace the community of knitting podcasters that has allowed me to find a few others I also enjoy. But please know that it does not have to be perfect. Being “there” is just enough. Thank you.

    And now, I must be brave. When you finish your sock pattern I promise I’ll try it.

    Wishing for just a few drops of your rain from drought-ridden Maryland,


    Posted on 7.29.07 ·
  10. Dianne wrote:

    I enjoy your podcast so much, I’m glad you found your mojo. My mother
    used to tell me “stop whining and just do it!” I think that is the Midwest US’s
    version of a British stiff upper lip. Love the summer camp series.

    Posted on 7.29.07 ·
  11. Kathleen wrote:

    Thanks–I just listened while knitting. Loved hearing from you from where you really are instead of where one “ought” to be. Loved the essays–wonderful counterpoint.

    Also, just finished reading Cold Comfort Farm. Thank you for the lead to that, too. Guess we all need to cultivate our “inner Flora Postes” –she’s a mojo finder par excellence.


    Posted on 7.29.07 ·
  12. Kristin wrote:

    Well you know, some of my favorite episodes of yours are when you just pick up the mic and talk talk talk. Glad to hear from you again; I’ve missed this podcast ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted on 7.29.07 ·
  13. amelia wrote:

    swesome feel better…Take some of my MoJo if you need it.

    I don’t mind.


    Posted on 7.29.07 ·
  14. Cathy wrote:

    So glad you’re back with the mojo!!!! Glad your feeling better from your fall. It sounded quite scary!!!! Loved Mama Os essay. I’m a CraftLit listener too and knew exactly who you were reading as soon as you mentioned Bismark!!!

    Can’t wait for the next episode!

    Posted on 7.30.07 ·
  15. Carolyn wrote:

    After listening to your podcast for a while I realized that one of the little-known musicians that I listen to is someone you might really enjoy. Her name is Jess McDonough and she writes her own songs and plays the guitar. Her lyrics are amazing and her voice is folk-inspired. Her myspace page has some samples, http://www.myspace.com/jessmcdonough I don’t want to sound like an advertiser, but I really think you would enjoy her.

    I love to spin and knit while listening to your podcast!

    Posted on 7.30.07 ·
  16. Rachele wrote:

    Loved the latest podcast!
    Thanks for doing what you do, and being you (oh dear, that rhymed).

    Posted on 7.30.07 ·
  17. Lorri wrote:

    Brenda, welcome back. I missed you!

    Thanks again for another great podcast. I especially enjoyed the shout-out to Annie Modesitt. She is a wonderful knitter who just happens to live here in the Twin Cities – St. Paul to be exact. Just one more reason, besides your sister Pam, to visit.

    Posted on 7.30.07 ·
  18. Thank you!!! Thank you!! and please let me say it again, THANK YOU! I just saw my beautiful 18 year old daughter get on the shuttle to start her life in the Army! While I cried most of the way thru the 7 episodes I listened to today.. Your music and humor has brought me thru this day!!!! I’m glad my mother tuned me in to you… (32 episodes to go till im all caught up!!)

    And Thank You Again!

    Posted on 7.31.07 ·
  19. scout wrote:

    Oh it put the biggest smile on my face today to hear you talk about the package! I laughed aloud when you talked about the digestives. EWWW! Did it ever stop raining so you couldh ave your s’mores?

    Posted on 7.31.07 ·
  20. Dear Brenda,

    As a member of the perfectionist or never club, I too, have allowed my creativity to suffer. It has been almost a year since I lamented (okay, whined) on this very comment section about left-handed knitting. No response from you. Various encouragements from many sectors and I have finallly comitted to a website. The DVD is still being tweaked. My own mother said “publish it already”, but the producer agrees, better to put the best product out there than release it and forever regret it. So while it is hard for others to wait (I missed the podcasts horribly and might have uttered a critical word), we have to follow our own perfectionist muse until we kick our own fears and move on. Visit the website, publish my essay, make me happy? http://www.leftoutknitter.com

    Posted on 7.31.07 ·
  21. Erin wrote:

    You, my friend, are a fabulously human creature. We are none of us perfectly poised on a consistent basis… thank goodness. How boring would that be? It would be pretty difficult to relate to someone who had everything 100% together 100% of the time… in fact, it would be pretty damn irritating.

    I enjoy the podcast immensely, particularly your inclusion of knitting into the whole of your life. Thank you for making me nod in sympathy with your bad days (I am a massive klutz so I had a clear understanding of the suckiness of falling down the stairs), smile in comfort with the essays, and rub my hands together in joy at the thought of all the projects yet to do.

    Posted on 7.31.07 ·
  22. Renee wrote:

    Glad that you are back. Keep on the horse, girl, you don’t have to hit a home run every week, a base hit will do nicely! I just found Cast On a few weeks ago, and still going through the archive episodes, but I’ll confess to worrying that you had given up before I had gotten to listen to them all.

    Take care, and find ways to keep those creative juices flowing.


    Posted on 8.1.07 ·
  23. Hi Brenda,

    What was the website of the free knitting software that you talked about on your podcast this week? I thought you said “Knitting Fool” but I can’t seem to find the right web address. Thanks for the help


    Posted on 8.1.07 ·
  24. Kelsi wrote:

    WoHeLo Brenda,

    I finally had the chance to listen to the last couple episodes. I was so excited to hear that you were once a Campfire girl. This evening in fact, I am headed to Camp Hantesa where I will be attending the inquisition for Vagabond wannabes as I am finishing knitting a purse for a friend who is up for her Vaga. Camp is one of the few places I feel at peace, college years can be rough.

    Thanks for inspiring me again!


    Posted on 8.3.07 ·
  25. First time poster, catching up on old episodes. But I’m glad you’re back, I was getting worried! Luckily, your absence coincided not only with the Harry Potter release, but a family vacation, so I was able to get by. Thanks for all of your thoughts.

    Posted on 8.3.07 ·
  26. Trish in MA wrote:

    I heard an NPR report from a thuroughly flooded town in Wales recently and wondered how you were faring. Thanks for the podcast, but also for the honesty. It’s nice to know that even the people who seem to have it all together have their off days too.

    Since you’re a Potter fan, have you seen the latest movie and all the delicious knits in it?

    Posted on 8.4.07 ·
  27. Madeleine wrote:

    Thanks for mentioning your troubles with Jitterbug. I too ran out of yarn just as I reached the toe of the second sock. Damnit! I feel your pain.

    Posted on 8.4.07 ·
  28. Stephen wrote:


    I just finished listening to this episode, and thank you. Thank you for living in moment and sharing your mojo struggles. It resonated in this San Francisco gay man’s life. The fact that you are creating, connecting and sharing is perfect. We all are imperfectly perfect.

    Posted on 8.4.07 ·
  29. Geogrrl wrote:

    I just got around to listening to episode 50 and your remarks on scouting. They reminded me (a Canadian) of my own days as a Girl Guide. As you say, it taught us to be resourceful, but also taught us a sense of organization and duty–doing things for the common good.

    It also reminded me of this story from the 1988 Olympics. I don’t know if Lawrence Lemieux was ever a Scout, but surely his actions embody the best of what scouting tries to teach its members:


    Posted on 8.7.07 ·
  30. Johnny wrote:

    I finally had an uninterrupted hour to enjoy the podcast today. As always, it was wonderful! I think we should make it a tradition to have a drink before each podcast (unless you listen to the podcast in your car…) Keep it up!

    Posted on 8.7.07 ·
  31. Christina wrote:

    I’ve been trying to finish my MA thesis for over a year now and after falling off my horse, landing on my face, rolling down a hill, into a stream, and finally washing up on shore to realize what an arse I was being I came to one ultimate conclusion: Sometimes the only way to find your Mojo is to fall off the horse. The journey till you get back on it is the only thing that will bring your mojo. Of course, the whiskey helps…

    Posted on 8.8.07 ·
  32. Laura wrote:

    Oh Brenda Brenda BRENDA!! I listened to your last three casts today intermittently as the day would allow. At one point mid-day I was talking to a knitting friend who said she found podcasts boring and never could get into them. I said “do you listen to Cast-On?” She said she hadn’t. I told her there are no other knitting podcasts like Cast-On. It’s not just knitting. Cast-On enriches my LIFE. Cast-On enriches me as a person. Thank you so much for the hard work you put into the production and preparation and recording. Thank you for your voice. And your easy casual comfortable conversations with us as listeners. Thank you for your guests and music selections and interviews and every last thing that makes Cast-On what it is. I’m here searching but not finding what I thought I might see…. some kind of guidelines for the writing you’re hoping to see from listeners about the seven… rules? I need to go back and re-listen and make a list. I wasn’t a Campfire Girl but what a fun little surprise to hear you say “Be Happy”. A few days ago I wrote those words on the post-it note that I use to mark the page in my planner. I’m looking forward to writing and posting on my blog about each of the rules. Time to go back for another listen to write them all down. Thank you again so much for what you give to us through your podcasts. I’m looking forward to the pattern being ready so I can click the donation button!!! xoxox

    Posted on 8.11.07 ·
  33. Franklin wrote:

    Hey, thanks for the shout out about the shawl! I can tell you it buoyed me through some rough patches, so lace knitting may be just what you need. Hugs!

    Posted on 8.13.07 ·
  34. Dianne wrote:

    Camp Song – We love you Brenda, Oh yes we do – We Love you Brenda and we’ll be true, when you’re not with us – WE’RE BLUE!
    Oh Brenda we love you! (hint, hint!)

    Posted on 8.13.07 ·
  35. Kristen wrote:

    I haven’t listened to this episode yet, but I wanted to take the time to let you know another wacky knitter is making her way through all the “back issues” of Cast-On and loving every minute of it! While I’m sad your podcasting has slowed down, I’m very glad you are taking the time you need to heal yourself and podcasting as you are able. I also have to let you know that one of my cats hates the Addi Turbo sound effect. I find it hilarious that every time she hears it she growls (she’ll snap her head up and growl if she’s been snoozing) even though I’m up to episode 46 and she’s heard it dozens of times, but I imagine she’s not so amused. Thanks for all the informative, funny, poignant, inspiring, tranquil, ikrsome, rousing and joyous moments you’ve shared with us. May there be many more!

    Posted on 8.14.07 ·
  36. Annette wrote:

    Thanks for a beautiful podcast. I’m new to listening. I saw them reviewed by about.com: knitting. This is the first one episode of yours I have listened to so far…really fun!!! Thank for sharing yourself with us!

    Posted on 8.16.07 ·
  37. boodely wrote:

    I’m at a loss for how to thank you for what you do. Your podcasts are the best, and honestly I would much prefer an irregular schedule and your honest voice than anything else. Thank you so so much.

    Posted on 8.28.07 ·
  38. Dom wrote:

    I was thinking how to say this without appearing to disrespect you and other podcasters. I really haven’t found a way to do it and I appologize up front for being, well, crass. So here goes…

    Brenda – I hate you. There I said it! My heart aches now.

    So it’s not a *real* hate. You see, it’s the sorta hate you feel when you can’t get enough of something, less one should fall victum to one or more of the seven deadly sins. I found your podcast only a few short weeks ago, and I have now listened to each and every one of your podcasts from the birth of episode one, to the present. And well, I’m hooked. I can’t get enough. Somewhere between episode 10 and 13 I started to wonder “What is one to do when I run out of Cast-On?” I know – Look for other knitting podcasts.

    But, again, I hate you. There are many knitting podcasts out there and – in my humble opinion – very few can even dream of compairing to yours. Now don’t get me wrong I have not listened to *every* episode of *every* knitting podcast out there ( just yet ), but few even come close to the quality of your content, the easy flow of your voice, the surperb quality of your audio, or the sincerity in the conversation that you bring to us each and every time you create your podcast.

    My wife and children look at me with that “Poor, poor, man” look when I’m knitting or crocheting while listening to you in the evenings – laughing, smiling, grinning, getting verklempt, raising an eyebrow and sometimes even tisk-ing….. Even the dog has taken to placing his paw on my leg at times as he snuggles up against me searching out the warmth found in the projects I’m working on, giving me a look that can only say “I don’t think your crazy – now can I have another cookie?”

    Then to top it off, somewhere in the middle of listening to your podcasts – you really did it to me…

    Like it wasn’t going to be enough that I HAD to listen to every single podcast you ever made, hanging on to your every word… you had to bring H E R to the podcast. And not just once, but over and over and over again. You know who I’m talking about, I’m talkng about HER – yes her. Her voice adds that certan spice to your ‘casts.. That certan sense of, well, Sage… There – I said her name….

    I’m sure that I can ramble on and on about how much I adore your podcasts, but in all seriousness I really, really want to say “Thank you”! I truely enjoy the time I get to spend with you and your guests. Thank you for inviting me into your home and into your life each and every time that you do. It is both an honor and a privilege to be in your circle of knitsibs….

    Stay well. Stay happy. And keep on podcasting!


    Posted on 8.31.07 ·
  39. Becca wrote:

    Just found your podcast and have been browsing “back issues”… cannot resist commenting on the “Announcements, announcements, annouuuuuncements” song! I think a lot of people I know never went to summer camp (or went to a camp that doesn’t sing that song) because people usually give me a blank stare whenever I refer to it. Now I love the podcast even more, since I know it’s from a person who just “gets me” *giggle*!

    Posted on 1.27.08 ·
  40. You fell? You’d better be careful next time. =) My friend had an injured knee due to a fall while playing baseball. Now we lost a player ๐Ÿ™

    Posted on 2.4.09 ·

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