01 Dec 2006

Episode 43: Granny’s Book

Special thanks to this week’s guest writers, Maria Therese Carrington and Kirsty Hall, and readers Kristen Lamoyne and Kara Shallenberg. Hear the original agricultural storyline, six days a week. How artists use Creative Commons Licensing, a report from Open Business and the Arts Council of England. Knitting Pattern a Day Contest deadline approaches. Did You Dulaan? Check out these photos on Ryan’s blog! These will warm your heart. These will break it. Special thanks to Nancy Woodhouse, for showing me how to use knitting as art. Great idea!



  1. sarah wrote:

    Saving this episode until tomorrow. I did Dulaan and I am so glad I did.

    Posted on 12.2.06 ·
  2. Tom Cruise scares me, too!

    Wonderful episode.
    As usual.


    Posted on 12.2.06 ·
  3. Elisabeth wrote:

    Brenda, I’ve been wanting to write for a few months now, but kept putting it off. Just now, as I’m downloading your latest episode, I thought…”what am I waiting for?”. So, here I am. I SO look forward to hearing each of your weekly episodes. I just discovered podcasts about 6 months ago. And yours is, by far, THE BEST knitting podcast out there! You have such a great voice and way of opening up. I really do feel like your “knit sib”. 🙂 Since I missed about a year of your podcasts before discovering ‘Cast-On’, I didn’t have all of the history and often felt ‘out of the loop’ on things. So I very methodically downloaded all previous episodes and worked by way through them on the way to and from work for about a month. It was great! But now having to wait a whole week for a new episode is often frustrating. Though I know each week it’ll be a great one. Thank you so much! I hope you know how much you are appreciated! God Bless & Happy Holidays!

    Garden Grove, California

    Posted on 12.2.06 ·
  4. Hilda wrote:

    Wow. Great granny story. I’d been wondering what my children might think of my own saved sketchbooks with the cryptic notes and thoughts. And I was remembering my own mother’s notebooks I found after she died as I listened to this podcast. This story reminded me that kids may remember a lecture or speech, later in life, but the little strands of memos and writings will haunt them with your love and life. Thank you for sharing it.

    Posted on 12.2.06 ·
  5. Kirsten wrote:

    Another wonderful episode Brenda! My son and I cracked up at the “Tom Cruise Scares Me” song.

    As the mom of a 15 year old son, I often think about trust. There is a fine balance at his age. I feel it is very important to allow him the space to make decisions on his own, and perhaps even make a few mistakes. Now, while he still lives at home is a much safer time for him to learn to trust himself. All too soon, he will venture off on his own. Hopefully he will be equipped to be wise in his choices. So far he has made me proud. I will give him a “dollar” any time he asks.

    I have been happily knitting for Dulaan. If you would like to see the product of my most recent obsessive knitting binge you may see them here; http://throughtheloops.typepad.com/through_the_loops/2006/12/hats_unto_other.html

    Posted on 12.2.06 ·
  6. bells wrote:

    the granny book story was beautiful. I listened to it twice over the weekend and am determined to start my own knitting notebook!

    I was listening to the story of your friend ross, Brenda, and thinking how your show is really growing to include all sorts of wonderful things. I love how you’re developing the breadth and depth of the show. There’s always room for a little more ‘non-knitting’ stuff and I think you get the balance just right. So thanks.

    Posted on 12.3.06 ·
  7. Leslie wrote:

    I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your show naming/numbering conventions. I am catching up on my ‘Cast-on’s (three behind, so I haven’t heard this latest one) but appreciate how easy it is to determine whether or not I need to download the show, or if I already have that one. I wish other podcasters made it as easy to tell. Thanks!

    Posted on 12.4.06 ·
  8. Tricia wrote:

    I was wandering the quintessential New England town of Lexington, enjoying the Christmas lights, your podcast and full moon when I was so busy laughing at “Tom Cruise scares me” that I turned down a street I’d never been on before. And there it was – an undiscovered yarn store with an adorable name and two floors of the most gorgeous, original yarn I’ve ever seen. Oh and the owner was wearing Clapotis! If that’s not the muses in action I don’t know what is.

    Posted on 12.5.06 ·
  9. Becky wrote:

    Another great podcast. Loved the music and the stories were touching. I listened to this podcast while spending some time in the library, and had a hard time containing my laughter during the Tom Cruise song! I’m sewing up the 4th of 7 sweaters for my grandkids,nieces and nephew. I do have more time than you since a mailing deadline is not staring me in the face! I used to listen to the Archers back in the early 90’s when I lived in London for a short time. I think I can get the episodes online now…I can play the “find the public service announcement”, too!
    Thanks again for your great shows.

    Posted on 12.5.06 ·
  10. Joyce wrote:

    Hi, Brenda — I have been enjoying your podcasts enormously. Keep up the good work!

    I especially love your tag line, “If you’re cold, put on a sweater. That’s what they’re for.” I hope you don’t mind, but I quoted you on my blog, and amended it to say “If you’re cold and already wearing a sweater, put on a shawl. That’s what they’re for.”

    Posted on 12.6.06 ·
  11. siscat Oregon wrote:

    Loved the show, especially Granny’s Book, can’t wait to see those socks! Tom Cruse scares me too, and Oprah, Dr. Phil & Dr. Laura!
    Love you,

    Posted on 12.6.06 ·
  12. Michelle wrote:

    OH Brenda I love your podcasts! I’ve been catching up on them for awhile, and now I’m listening to this one. I about peed my pants when I listened to the Tom Cruise scares me song. SOOOO funny!

    Your podcast is one of my favorites and I really enjoy listening to your podcasts as I drive to work!

    Thanks for all you do and have a great holiday season and Merry Christmas!

    Posted on 12.6.06 ·
  13. Sara in WI wrote:

    Oh, Brenda. I never had a sister. I love my brother….but will you be my sister? I just keep playing your podcasts over and over. We think so much alike at times that I feel like you are saying what is going on in my mind. And your choices of music and essays are just perfect. Please be my very long distance sister. Pretty please?

    Posted on 12.6.06 ·
  14. Rita wrote:

    Hi Brenda, I recently found Cast-on via the Panoptican, and have spent the last month catching up on previous episodes. I listend to many of them back to back as I grouted the tiles in our bathroom, but I knew it was time to slow down when my ‘headvoice’ turned into yours!! I laugh and cry, hearing ‘Granny’s Book’ read aloud was so much more powerful than just reading it would have been. As an expat Brit living in northern France I love to hear your take on life in the UK, I’m just getting very homesick.

    Posted on 12.7.06 ·
  15. nutmeg wrote:

    Another wonderful podcast Brenda! I love the Tom Cruise song. I’m forwarding that band’s site around.

    You make working out at the gym so much more fun! I sit with my knitting at the stationary bike while listening and knitting.

    Thank you so much.

    Meg aka nutmeg

    Posted on 12.7.06 ·
  16. scout wrote:

    I listened to this episode today while dyeing some orders and you made me cry TWICE. I loved the Kirsty Hall piece.

    Posted on 12.8.06 ·
  17. Caelidh wrote:

    I just discovered your podcast last week and I wanted to say that I really have enjoyed it!

    I have been a crocheter? and on and off knitter.. until Tuesday night (December 5?).. when I taught myself how to knit a hat on double pointed needles.. I got the official “bug”…

    So Thirsty for the meditative aspects that goes with knitting .. I found your podcast and have been listening to it and learning much about knitting….

    I go to a local knitting group that has just started and it combines spiritual practice with knitting.. We do our thing and then knit and bitch afterwards… it is all good.

    I have passed the word on about your podcast to my fellow knitters..

    btw.. where is that Bush song? Sounds like I would like it ;>P


    Posted on 12.8.06 ·
  18. Caelidh wrote:

    I just have to mention something else.

    I just heard your podcast story about you working in the architectural firm where your boss handed out paychecks personally and said thank you!.. I broke down into tears. Right now, I am working in a job where sometimes I don’t feel appreciated for the work i do. I notice I become frustrated and lazy in my job.. Passive aggresive to my job.. I am conscious of this and it makes me feel bad.

    I have a habit of starting something and never finishing it. Or learning something new and getting frustrated and not being able to do it perfectly or even adequately. I find myself envious of others who have gone on to realise their dreams while I sit and do the same thing. Afraid to try. Afraid that I won’t get the recognition I feel I may deserve..

    That “bug” I got the other night while knitting was a sort of peace. To be mindful in all that I do. That even if I knit just to knit.. to rip something apart after screwing it up royally.. to count each stich as I cast on for the 5th time…(88 stitches… ) or whatever… It is a reminder . Life shouldn’t be a race. I can put myself into something now and give it. but even if it isn’t appreciated.. I must remember It was a process. I have to learn to let go of expectations.. It is hard. It is painful. And yet, while everyone should be thanked at some time for the work they have done, big or small. That we should be conscious and compassionate with others and ourselves…. Knitting, I am discovering is a fine way to work on that.


    Posted on 12.8.06 ·
  19. Kim wrote:

    wow, episode 43 fantastic! (as they all are); thanks, Brenda, and to all your contributors! meant alot to me, am just returning from 7 wks away from home, fortunately I did make it back in time for Thanksgiving….I agree, Brenda, a very warm and meaningful holiday; but the Aussies and Kiwis I was around the week preceding had not a clue….’the pilgrims?’ anyway, the weekend following 43 I xcountry skiied each day, listening to 43 each time….sometimes I find I miss things the first time, so much to absorb! so picture, a white landscape, I’m seeing all the fair isle ideas pop into my view as the landscape of snow-covered spruce glides by….’tree avalanches’ the ‘woomph’ when heavy snow falls in a steady cascade from uppermost limbs…..and feeling so thankful to be home…..thank you Marie Therese Carrington, tears in my eyes, lump in my throat, as I read of your sweater adventures, and most particularly when you eyed your new mother-in-law wearing your sweater in her classroom…….and then of course Kristen Laymoyne’s poignant granny’s book…..made me think of not my granny but my mom who is a granny, I’m pretty sure she has such a book, I’ll have to ask; I started one a few years ago, it goes along in fits and starts, but does reflect the threads that carry through my life, my family, friends……thanks so much! And was really good to hear Kara Shallenberg’s voice! Kara, while far away from home, missing home, I listened to A Secret Garden (Librivox; thanks Brenda for turning us on to this!) and loved your reading and voice!

    Like Maria Therese, I too have a spouse that does understand the power of knitting to me, and to my family of 3 sisters and mom that share this passion; although a non-knitter, my partner has obviously absorbed Brenda’s pod-cast…..many times he’s said to me, ‘remember, if you’re cold, put on a sweater, that’s what they’re for!’

    sorry you’ve been out Brenda, quite the dvd-fest……til next week!


    Posted on 12.9.06 ·
  20. Jenny wrote:


    I think you mentioned someone was looking for some software (for socks) around 29.00 US??

    If so, check this link – http://www.knittingzone.com/catalog/product_info.php?pName=the-sole-solution-download&cName=knitting-software-and-dvds-downloadable-software

    Posted on 12.14.06 ·
  21. Suzie wrote:

    Just listened to this cast, my first one from caston and just thought it great, the mixture of creativity, music and emotion was just right for a rainy day. Many thanks

    Posted on 12.30.06 ·
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  23. Jake wrote:

    Hello Brenda! Hello knitters!

    Somehow, I have become involved in the knitting community, and I don’t even knit. Isn’t that cool? People tell me it’s because Dave from Chub Creek mentioned me in his show. Others tell me it’s because Dana from Wanker Girl played my audio comment. I don’t know who to thank, so I will just thank Dave and Dana both on show #39. (Thanks!)

    I also want to thank YOU, the knitters, for tuning in. You seem like a great crowd, and I’m honored to be a part of the community.

    Somehow, Christa from Christa Knits convinced me to do a non-knitting interview for her podcast. Remember, I don’t knit, but I do love interviews. Check it out! It should be up soon.

    I hope you’re feeling better, Brenda. I listened to your latest cast. What a cool blend of everything! It almost makes me want to think about starting to read a book on knitting. (Well, not really, but I thought that would be the polite thing to say.)

    Take care.

    I love you.

    Posted on 1.9.07 ·
  24. Anne Parrish wrote:

    I just wrote the following e-mail and then found out I can’t just e-mail you! I had to figure out how to send it so this seems like one way. Meanwhile, I saw the notes about you being ill. I’m so sorry. Sure hope you are back to 100% very soon. And now my “e-mail” message:

    Hi Brenda:

    I’m not a knitter, but have been enjoying your podcasts very much. I guess maybe I am somewhat of a knitter as I self-taught myself when I was young and made little projects (e.g., doll blankets) that didn’t require an accurate gauge. I’ve now been collecting patterns for hotpads and dish rags and I may attempt a tea cozy, but so far it’s just something I’m considering doing. I even have a pattern saved to make a fabric needle case, but I guess I’ll need some needles first.

    I have downloaded all of your podcasts and am now subscribed to them so I’ll get them downloaded automatically when I update my iPod. I am listening to them in order as I walk on my treadmill everyday. I’m now on #14 and can’t wait to get to “The Muggle” broadcast. Anyway, the reason I’m writing is because I wanted to share this site with you as Groundhog Day is again fast approaching: http://www.groundhog.org/faq/history.shtml Imagine – your first anniversary is just around the corner! It seems like yesterday that you and Tanya were joined in civil partnership. Actually, in my mind’s eye, it was last Friday when I listened to the podcast reporting about your special day and celebration. So a very Happy Anniversary to you both.

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your podcasts. Even a kind of non-knitter is enjoying them immensely. It makes treadmilling almost effortless.

    Most sincerely,
    Anne Parrish
    Ionia NY – USA

    Posted on 1.16.07 ·
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  27. Sharon wrote:

    I have caught up with the podcasts in the last two weeks of listening to your podcast daily at work. This is one of three episodes that has touched me so deeply. Perhaps it is the helpless romantic in me but the story by Maria Therese had me knitting in tears.

    I have enjoyed each and every podcast and thank you for all your efforts in building such a wonderful community.

    So very well done.

    Posted on 3.10.07 ·
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