Sticks & String

A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits.

Show 2 – Set it free

Welcome to show 2, I’d like to start with some questions. Why is it that we give away so much of what we knit? Is it love?

The needle system I reviewed was the Boye Needlemaster System.

The socks are from Paton’s Patonyle pattern book and the yarn Supersocke 100 is from ONline.

The essay is available here.

What’s happening
Courthouse stitch’n’bitch – Sundays 1:30
Sydney Sity Klickers Every second Saturday afternoon
NSW Knitter’s Guild – Blue Mountains – 3rd Saturday of each month
Sydney Royal Easter Show 5 – 18 April 2007– Competition details

This show’s music
All the music on this show comes from the Podsafe music network
(Except for the little bit of Bach at the beginning and end, that’s me on a synthesiser.)
Jonathan Coulton I feel fantastic (link)
Saro Tribastone Fanusa (Agua Mix) (link)
Geoff Smith Not on the radio (link)

From the bottom of the knitting bag:
Wil Anderson’s new book Survival of the dumbest

Link to the show file
Show 2 – Set it free

You can contact me at: podcast at sticksandstring dot com dot au (I’m sure you know to replace the at with @ and the dot with . but perhaps the spam bots won’t.)

If you’d like to contribute to Sticks & String, guest essays, reviews, suggestions of music, people to interview, please just let me know. And please let me know about your knitting group I’d love to have to start a whole separate page because the list is too long.

Or please leave a comment. I’ve got comments set to need moderation, this isn’t to censor anyone, but to stop spam,. You’ll only get moderated once, then you’ll be free to post and with luck none of us will have to read about “enhancement” pills.


4 November 2006 - Posted by | knitting, Podcasting


  1. Hi David. I’m really looking forward to hearing a fellow Aussie’s knitting podcast (I found you via the Cast-On blog).

    Comment by OzKnitter | 4 November 2006

  2. Great podcast, David,
    Brenda sent me here, too! Your voice is made for podcasting and I really enjoy the essays. If you want to know what is going on in the world of wool, there is a book available from Daniel at called The Wool Pages (or something like that!) for around $5-$6. This contains many of the festivals, exhibitions etc.. And Daniel is extremely helpful. Looking forward to your next episode 🙂

    Comment by Fitknit | 4 November 2006

  3. Go David !

    Fantastic, I’m downloading now, and will listen before pub knitting tomorrow. Congratulations on getting the first one out there, and I look forward to many more 🙂

    Comment by Lara | 4 November 2006

  4. I just listened to Podcast Show # 2 and enjoyed it very much. It was informative and interesting. You have gained a listener !! Looking forward to your next show.

    Comment by scrunchyy | 4 November 2006

  5. David I love your podcast. Brenda got me hooked on hers and now I will be waiting anxiously for yours every week also. Thanks! meg

    Comment by Meg | 4 November 2006

  6. Wonderful show, David, looking forward to hearing more!

    Comment by Antoinette | 5 November 2006

  7. Great job David… I love your podcast and hearing about knitting down under. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by kit | 5 November 2006

  8. Hi David, well done! I, too, am here by way of Cast-On (via the US).
    Your essay was touching. And, you’re right – we do it to make people happy. I (and probably most other knitters) always knew it, but I could never articluate it. Thanks for spelling it out for me. I loved the first song and was dancing around the house during the last song (and it’s still stuck in my head, so I may be cursing you later). It’s loads of fun to accompany you on the beginning (again) of your knitting journey.
    Looking forward to the next show.

    Comment by posie | 5 November 2006

  9. Great show, David, you’re a good addition to the world of knitting podcasts and I’m looking forward to my weekly dose. One of my brothers is out in Australia right now. He moved over there to be with his Australian girlfriend and we all miss him. He’s just down the road from you in Manley, so it’s nice to hear an Australian voice talking about Syndey since it makes me think of him.

    I really enjoyed the essay. Although I agree that we do knit for others because of love and happiness I think there are also a couple of selfish reasons for knitting for others. I know that sometimes I’ll knit patterns for others that I really want to knit but which I know would look totally awful on me. Also, there are only so many jumpers, cardigans, hats, scarves and gloves that one person needs. If we didn’t gift to others we’d all end up being the Imelda Marcos of knitwear!

    Comment by Kirsty | 5 November 2006

  10. Hi David,

    I like your essay very much. It will be interesting to watch your show develop, in particular from the POV of a knitter who is also a man and a scientist. After ten years of married bliss to an engineer, it’s refreshing to remember that men and women are atill alike at the core — we love to give to whom we love, however that gift is manifested.

    Godd luck!

    Denelle, near Nashville, Tennessee

    Comment by Denelle | 5 November 2006

  11. Well, it appears that you’ve gotten quite a bit of mileage out of the plug on Cast On. Doesn’t hurt that Americans love Aussie accents, either. 🙂

    I’ve very much enjoyed the first two episodes, and I’m hoping that at some point we’ll get to hear a bit about how you got from astrophysicist to local telly to teaching high school to knitting podcaster. Sounds like quite the career path.

    Comment by Mel | 5 November 2006

  12. David – Well done! Just finished listeneing to both podcasts. Love the format. I just finished a workshop yesterday where we discussed the same issues you based your essay’s on and we had the same conclusions!
    A tip for working with mohair – put it in the freezer first. That will help control the shedding. Of course I only found out about it after I knit a shawl that used 2 pounds of the stuff!
    I look forward to your next podcast.
    PS-Re: patterns for ‘blokes’. Guido has made the same comments regarding patterns. And I can’t get him to articulate what he wants for wearables. He just says that he’ll know it when he see’s it. Which is very frustrating for me as a designer! I would love to be able to design patterns for men that they would wear! I’ve surveyed the guys I work with as well as my husband but they can’t or won’t give me a concrete answere. How about you?

    Comment by Kimberly | 5 November 2006

  13. The podcast is great, I really enjoyed the essay and music. I look forward to listening to you on a regular basis.

    Comment by Jackie | 5 November 2006

  14. I thoroughly enjoyed your show, David. It’s a very classy production and quite interesting. I look forward to your next show!

    Comment by Steven | 6 November 2006

  15. Well done David, I’ve just heard your first podcast and enjoyed the content and presentation very much.

    Comment by Kerry | 6 November 2006

  16. I heard the cat! Heaven, knitting and cats. Lovely.

    Comment by Marjorie | 6 November 2006

  17. Hi from the USA, David.
    I, too, heard the Cast-On plug for your podcast and followed the link. And I also enjoy my Boye set. I look forward to hearing more.
    It’s fun to hear the accent again. I’ve been to Blue Mountains years ago on a road trip with friends from Sydney; lived 6 months on Gymea Bay. I wonder: does Bernard King still do that TV cooking show from Woolongong?

    Comment by Deborah | 6 November 2006

  18. Hi David – you mentioned that you’d seen Aussie shops stocking the Boye Needlemaster – after seeing your kit I think I need one. Can you point me to an Aussie stockist ?

    BTW – not sure if you mentioned it or not, but to this chick, the colour of the needles is a HUGE drawcard. Yeah, they also look like great needles, but they come in COLOURS !

    Comment by Lara | 6 November 2006

  19. Looks like there’s a few people answering your request!
    Just listened to Show 2 – good length , good topics and lots of lovely local references. BTW you know that the Glasshouse has been cancelled don’t you? Must have been cutting too close to the bone methinks. That woolen mill wouldn’t happen to be near Tamworth would it? They make a nice range of felted bags as well if it is.

    Comment by Kate | 6 November 2006

  20. Yarns online carry the Boye Needlemaster (but I notice they are out of stock at the moment). I didn’t think to mention that the needles are coloured, probably a bloke thing.

    Comment by David Reidy | 7 November 2006

  21. This is great! Love your casts! I do have two questions:
    How on earth did the cat break it’s leg?
    How did you get started knitting 35 years ago? I know how it happened now but 35 ago?

    Comment by Laritza | 7 November 2006

  22. David… beware, socks are addictive!! You are about to be sucked into the bermuda triangle of knitting 🙂 They are easy to carry, open to a wide variety of self expression and who doesn’t love a pair of handmade socks! Great podcast! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. Thanks for sharing, Brenda.

    Comment by Lori | 7 November 2006

  23. David, thanks for the great podcasts! I think that 10 episodes is going to go really quickly for your listeners.

    Comment by candace | 7 November 2006

  24. Excellent episode David! I really enjoyed the essay. Most of the things I knit are for others, however, once in while, I don’t want to experiment on a new technique for someone else and I knit these for me…..what does that say, I wonder…..

    Comment by CAT | 8 November 2006

  25. Hi David! I’ve just finished listening to the first 2 episodes, and am looking forward to more. Keep up the great work.

    Comment by Leonie | 8 November 2006

  26. Hi – great podcast, and fabulous to hear the antipodean accent. I’m in NZ. I found you by searching on i-tunes and only later heard the promos on Cast-On and L&V. I especially liked the comments on how we give our knits away – often even things that didn’t start out to be gifts – part way through they sort of become for “someone”. It’s like the knit wants to go there – I know that sounds weird but it’s happened too many times for me not to notice.

    Really looking forward to your next podcast, and extremely envious of your home in the mountains.

    Comment by Sally | 8 November 2006

  27. Really like your podcast, especially your music choices. Found it through Cast-on

    Comment by Stephanie | 9 November 2006

  28. Great to hear a new knitting podcast – you held my interest all the way through – very enjoyable, keep them coming!

    Comment by Lizzy | 10 November 2006

  29. Great podcast. Thanks for taking the time to do it. Even my husband liked it and he doesn’t knit!

    Comment by Kendra | 10 November 2006

  30. Welcome to the world of knitty podcasting! I love your show. Your essays are lovely and stories very entertaining. I especially liked the essay in this show. It’s great that you pointed out that knitting gets you things, like love, that you can’t buy.

    Comment by Lara | 12 November 2006

  31. absolutely enjoyed your podcast.
    i will look forward to your essays;
    and book suggestions!

    Comment by profbookwurmknits | 13 November 2006

  32. I listened to your first two podcasts on my comute to work this morning. I absolutely love them. Keep up the good work and will look forward to the next episodes on my way home.

    Comment by Donna | 14 November 2006

  33. This is a great podcast! I usually dislike the music in knitting podcasts, but even the music was great! I’m looking forward to listening to your other podcasts. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Maleah | 17 November 2006

  34. I was laughing out loud over the bit about the customer service number= credit card balance!
    Good work, keep it up!

    Comment by Sherry W | 18 November 2006

  35. Love the podcast. I love the music as well – I’m a big fan of classical music, so love the opening, and the rest of it is great!

    Comment by Em | 19 November 2006

  36. Hi David; I’m a newcomer to your podcast, having listened to episode 1 and most of 2 on my walk to work this morning. (Like you, I listen while commuting. I, however, haven’t mastered knitting while on the journey.) I love it! I’m a huge Cast On fan, so downloaded yours on Brenda’s recommendation.

    Your essay on giving out happiness when we knit for others really struck a chord with me: My boyfriend of 10 years and I just broke up a week ago. During our breakup talk, I was horrified to remember that I’d spent the last 8 months knitting socks for each of this three sisters and his mother, as Christmas gifts. I had put so much into those socks–been particular about the yarn, invented the patterns myself–all because I’d hoped it would bring them happiness. I don’t think he truly understood why I was so upset about the socks. Sure, he knew I’d put effort into them, but never truly “getting” the knitting thing, he couldn’t see how they were representative of my hope for happiness for my family.

    Sorry for being such a downer. But your essay was great. I can’t wait to listen to more tomorrow!

    Comment by Mintyfresh | 6 December 2006

  37. Loved this episode, too! BTW, I came to your ‘cast via Guido of itsapurlman.

    Comment by Toni | 11 April 2007

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