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Episode 107: The Stockings Were Hung

by Brenda on December 16, 2011

In this episode:
Baby, it’s cold outside. With a week to go it’s time for some serious, purposeful, no messing around, get-it-done knitting. On the needles or in the queue this week:


    • by Jenn Jarvis, knit in Estelle fingering weight cashmere merino, from

Space Cadet Creations

    • in colourway “Candy Apple”. 


Windschief, by Steven West, in Rowan Pure Wool Aran in “Praline”.

The name of the pattern by Ann Hanson is actually Leafprints, not the unattractively named “leaf spot” as I mistakenly called it. I’m knitting the mitts in Wired for Fibre in “Lava”. Sadly, the web address on the ball band no longer works. But trust me. It’s pretty. 

For toddler, Julian… socks? Or Ellie? Help me out here.

Massive thanks to Huw Jones, and Margaret, from Corgi.

This week’s Favourite at Casa del Cast On is A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, read by Mr Curry, for whom the English language has not enough superlatives with which to describe.

I do the Facebooks. Also the g+ and, of course, I’m still doing the twitter. Come find me!

Music by Daniel Link with Chelle MurrayBaby, It’s Cold Outside. Production music by Jeff Wahl, Linus and Lucy, from the CD Guinevere

1 AnnP December 17, 2011 at 2:06 am

Just wanted to say I like your shorter, more frequent podcasts. With the longer ones, many times I would have to stop halfway thru and then never went back to listen to the rest, sorry to say.
I wish you a very happy Christmas.

2 eskimofinn December 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Merry Christmas Brenda,

I am really glad that you have started podcasting again…you were missed.

Wishing a happy New Year to you and your wife.

3 MelD December 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

What a nice way to spend a rainy, stormy Saturday morning – thanks! I, too, am enjoying the more frequent and especially the reliably weekly podcasts 😉
I really enjoyed your time in the Corgi factory – you should get in touch with Rob Brydon about long socks!! If you saw the QI about the subject you’ll know exactly what I mean… he’d be tickled (literally?!) by long stockings LOL

4 Susan in Northern CA December 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm

It’s such a pleasure to know there will be a new Cast-On each week (with the holiday hiatus, of course). Thanks for realizing one can lighten up in the podcasting world and have, I hope, fun.

Merry, merry and happy, happy to you & Tanya and all the family, friends and critters with whom you share your holidays. May your nimble fingers fly!

5 Julia December 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I just wanted to say I think sock tops would be neat cut into squares and made into coasters. You could bind the edges with some pretty ribbon and get to look at the patterns even more than with a sock.

I also would love to have some kind of meet up in Minneapolis when you’re here, and so would my mom!

6 Rebekah December 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Sorry! I have only just caught up with the podcasts!
I LOVE Pyjama socks! I have two pairs which I like to match with my pyjamas… you are not alone! 😛

7 Bee December 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Just popped in to say I’m really enjoying listening to your weekly podcasts and it’s great having you “back”.

8 daisie December 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

I see your pyjama socks and raise you day and night pyjama socks! Day ones for the lounging around in pyjamas and then night ones just for in bed, more cosy and in general cleaner!

Thanks for the link to the leafprint neck warmer, I had some Skein Queen Opulent which I bought with the view of something very soft around my neck but hadn’t up to now found The Right Thing.

have a lovely Christmas…

9 Milla December 19, 2011 at 12:33 am

darn. I was looking for your button, but can’t find it. Am I blind?

10 Milla December 19, 2011 at 12:37 am

I was sort of blind. Found it, but the link is blind.

11 Deb in San Diego December 19, 2011 at 2:07 am

I love bed pj socks. Being in So California I don’t often need them but they MUST match what I’m wearing.
I really enjoy your sound-seeing episodes. Thank you for bringing us along on your adventures.
Most of all I love listening to your voice. The new short format is great. Keep on talking and I’ll keep listening.

12 Bee December 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

Hi Brenda. Me again, I’ve listened to your current podcast now. I wear what I call “bed socks” all winter long. So far I haven’t knitted myself a pair but that is a very good idea!

13 sarah-marie December 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Hello Brenda,

(1) Usually one knits short-row heels, not mitered heels, on circular sock knitting machines.

(2) Loved the working CSM visit. Have posted about this episode of the podcast on the CSM group on ravelry.

(3) People on your fan group on ravelry are chomping at the bit to see pictures of your Fibonacci hat, which you claimed you’d posted on ravelry a couple of podcasts ago but still haven’t. Just sayin’.

14 Jan December 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I too wear out my socks at the ball of the foot. Do you have any good ideas for preventing this? I’ve gotten quite good at darning – have even tried darning before the hole goes through. All in all, not very satisfactory.

Also, LOVED the A&V on my trip to London in October 2010. Unfortunately, the fiber rooms I most wanted to see were down for maintenance at the time. We did see much of the ceramic area and I too love the mending the best 🙂

15 sarah-marie December 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm

aaaaand I forgot to say earlier,

(4) While I do not knit socks to match my pjs, I have knitted a matching bed-socks-and-nightcap combination. (Not for me. I don’t do hats.) It is regularly used.

16 Therese December 21, 2011 at 1:37 am

I’ve had issues with insomnia in the past, and yeah, for a little while, you can be productive at all hours.
Mine is due to anemia, and it can go on for months and months and I end up so exhausted that I CAN’T knit even though I can’t sleep.
Not saying that’s your problem because I don’t know the extent of your insomnia ( I will sleep for 1 hour, and then be awake for 4 or 5 hours ) but how’s your iron?
Other than that, great show as usual. Merry Christmas! See you next year.

17 Felix December 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

I am listening to the sock factory machinery and the wonderful folks you interviewed there. What a lovely piece! I am in awe of your Christmas Knitting… what an impressive pile of gifts!

18 Lydia December 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

Hi Brenda – What a great podcast this week. I loved hearing all about sock machines – I have often thought of getting one myself. The sound effects really add to the whole audio image too – I really felt I was there with you. I am really enjoying hearing all about life in Wales. Merry Christmas to you, Tonia and all your loved ones – Have A Happy Time. Sending lots of sunshine from Western Australia….

19 Linda December 22, 2011 at 3:33 am

I also match my handknit socks to my pjs. Just so you know, you are not alone.

20 Susanne December 22, 2011 at 9:21 am

First of all, thanks for doing regular podcasts again, you always brighten my day. (And I’m happy that the theme music is back, too.)

And I’m another one with matching socks to her pajamas. These days I wear hand knit socks exclusively, and I have two pairs that are for bed only, a burgundy pair to go with my burgundy pajamas, and a moss green one that I wear with my brown pajamas. (I used to have green pajamas but had to replace them. I’m not matchy-matchy enough to knit brown socks, though.)

21 Felix December 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm

PS –

While I have not knitted socks to match my PJs ever, I have knit a hat copying a Scottish Cairn so I could “disappear” in the Highlands; I have knit a squash to match my actual squashes, growing in the garden, and ditto with knitting apples to join the real ones in the trees.

We all have our secret knitting thing. Feel no shame!

22 Kristi ~ Artsea December 25, 2011 at 1:31 am

Ya know, I’m feeling kinda left out now… I’m thinking you are SO right!? Why have I not thought to knit myself socks to match my PJ’s!? I knit my “bed socks” made from very, very exspensive, hand dyed, pure cashmere, which are HEAVEN on my feet, and the kinda match my pjs. But not perfectly…BUT I do think they qualify as “socks knit specifically for my pjs” (if that makes you feel any better). So thank you Brenda, I now have an excuse to purchase multiple skeins of pink sock yarn (because all my pjs are pink patterned). Oh and if you’d like to see said cashmere socks, you can find them on my ravelry page: Artsea83. Have a lovely rest of the year Brenda!

23 Monique December 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

[raises her hand] I also knit socks to wear to bed. I don’t wear pajamas, but a nightgown and yes, my socks match. And mine are also pink.

24 Jeremy December 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Hi, my name is Jeremy, and I’m evidently a Cast On addict. As I was listening this morning, something seemed “off” during the opening music. You know the light-saber sound effect in there? If you listen with headphones, it’s obvious that it’s in stereo; it goes from one side to the other. I must not have been paying attention to how I put my earbuds in, because I could tell, just by the music and that sound, that I had them in the wrong ears. *sigh*

25 Tracy Flinders December 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Several years ago, I started an exercise program by walking around the neighborhood listening to Cast-On. Then I graduated to full workouts indoors. Now I am adding a daily walk to the workouts and listening to Brenda read “The Age of Innocence” via Librivox.

Many thanks for your contributions to my healthier lifestyle!

26 Devon January 3, 2012 at 3:28 am

Just dropping by to tell you how much I love listening to the podcast while knitting away. I’m working on a lovely little pattern for a headkerchief called Lichen in a lavender purple yarn I just bought on a visit to San Francisco. Keep up the wonderful work.

27 Eleanor January 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I’m so sorry for not speaking out about my pyjama sock opinions – I haven’t knit any socks for myself yet, but you can be sure I will co-ordinate them with my pj’s when I do.

Happy New Year!

28 Suz January 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Loved the song in this episode. Did anyone else think that the female singer sounds a tab bit like you, Brenda. I played it three times…….

29 Chris James & Jenny Tee February 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

We were separately listening to this, one on the bus and one on the train, on the way home to Leicester and just really enjoyed it, especially the part about socks. We need to plan a visit to the Abbey Pumping Station, our local industrial museum to see sock machines.
Thank you, Brenda.

30 Elaine H May 1, 2012 at 3:32 am

I disagree! I love long podcasts!!! I hate it when they are short and am left wanting more!!! Do all you want and know that you are appreciated.

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