Sticks & String

A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits.

Show 16- Go your own way

In this show: Why not to follow instructions, the problems involved with letting the grass grow too tall.

Blue TongueBlue Tongue Lizards are here. And I just realised that I said the biggest one in the yard is 20cm, she’s 60cm (but it’s too late to go back and re-record).
The Knitta Please Flickr is here.

What’s happening
121st Hawkesbury Show   Get your entries in for this year’s show by 5 April.
Courthouse Stitch’n’Bitch   Every Sunday at the Courthouse Hotel Newtown 1:30pm
Knitters Connection   A knitting event that features Sally Melville, Cat Bordhi and 10 other knitting teachers teaching 35 classes June 6 – 10 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus
NSW Knitters Guild (Blue Mountains Division)   3rd Saturday of each month at the Blaxland Community Centre
Sydney Royal Easter Show   Sydney’s most prestigious knitting competition.
Sydney Sity Klickers   Every second Saturday at Barmuda, Australia Street Newtown

This show’s music
Suzanne Teng Loltun ( Magnatune)

From the bottom of the knitting bag
Victorian Lace Today  by Jane Sowerby  (link)

The Book Depository in the UK can be found here. Free shipping to Australia!

You can contact me at david AT sticksandstring DOT com DOT au or
podcast AT sticksandstring DOT com DOT au
I’m sure that you know to replace the at with AT with @ and DOT with . but maybe the spam bots won’t.

Click here to play the show using your computer’s audio player.


11 March 2007 - Posted by | knitting


  1. I really enjoyed the show this week. It did take me quite a while after a few strange looks from my daughter…to realize that the bells I was hearing in my headphones were YOUR cats and not mine! I just received my copy of Victorian Lace Today and am in love with it. Now I just have to pick a pattern and dive in. Your comments on designing knitwear really touched a nerve with me, for I do have trouble following patterns to the tee! I tend to regard them like cooking recipes…a serving suggestion of sorts. For example, if I were to make a meal that called for broccoli, I could certainly substitute with string beans if that’s what I like or have on hand, so many of us start with color to begin changing…and then yarn choices…then we go on to changing the edging on the sweater bottom or not making the sweater a crew neck but a v-neck! Or on a sock, switching out the short row heel for the eye of partridge! A serving suggestion. And so many times I like a pattern but just not one part of it! So perhaps 2007 is my time to break out and start designing! Thanks for the wonderful podcast each week.

    Comment by Kathy | 12 March 2007

  2. For my first sweater, I chose a pattern from Vogue Knitting Quick Knits. It was a nice, bloke-ish pullover with a V-Neck in a 3 color stripe pattern and a drop shoulder construction.

    The first thing I altered was the yarn choice: from I can’t remember what to Prairie Silk. Then I altered the yarn color: black, silver, and green (not quite teal) rather than gold, orange and burgundy. The last alteration (the big one): I knit a crew neck rather than the V-neck because the recipient had a rather pointed chin and V-necks are not so flattering on him.

    I thought it came out beautifully.

    Maybe it’s because my first knitting lessons involved a bias knit baby blanket with no pattern, but I’ve always treated patterns like guidelines. And substitutions are what make the end result mine and not the pattern’s.

    Ironically, the first pattern I’ve followed exactly (it came with the yarn and stitch markers and needles) was for the socks I just finished, and as I blogged, I am not perfectly pleased with them but I still love them. I still need to photograph them though.

    And now I’m off to Amazon to bag a copy of Victorian Lace Today. wheee!

    Comment by JenMuse | 13 March 2007

  3. Thanks for the podcast, David. I’ve been catching up on all the episodes over the past few weeks. This week, I was cleaning the floors and kept hearing noises that startled me, realizing it was your cats, going back to listening, and doing it all over again! I like the cat noises, though, and think you ought to keep them in. 😉

    Comment by Ruth | 13 March 2007

  4. Great show this week. I was in the car this morning while listening and had no idea what blue-tongued lizards looked like and couldn’t wait to get home and see the show notes. You guys certainly have the reptile variety down there!

    Comment by Susan | 13 March 2007

  5. Thank you so much David Reidy for joining me on my ride in to work on Monday morning. I loved hearing about the lizards, I say you should just quit mowing the grass and let the jungle grow 🙂

    Looking forward to the next show!

    Comment by brandilion | 13 March 2007

  6. David – I LOVE listening to your podcast. I’ve listened to others’ on & off, but get bored with the long tangents/rambles. You do a great job with interesting comments and observations, yet maintain a thoughtful approach to content. I listened to 9 episodes on a flight across the US and looked forward to the next chance to download the rest! Great job!!

    Comment by Debra | 13 March 2007

  7. I’m a new listener, but I am really enjoying your show and it will become a weekly must! Thank you for taking the time to podcast.

    Comment by marti | 15 March 2007

  8. I listened to your show on an almost-empty train coming home tonight, and had to keep looking round to find out where the bells were coming from! Made me laugh when I realised. I am a relatively new listener, but I like your style and the good sound quality on the blog; it’s also great hearing a different accent!

    You mentioned your plans for a theme of ‘local’ knitting in the next series. It made me think about my natural style of tucking the right needle under my arm and moving only the left needle; in the UK this is mostly practised by northerners, I wonder if it is common elsewhere and if it is also a regional habit?

    Comment by Knit Nurse | 15 March 2007

  9. I really enjoy reading your blog and I listen to your podcasts while knitting on my projects. I knit mostly lace these days though I have enjoyed knitting cables in the past. I also have the Victorian Lace book and got to see the author at Stitches West 2007. She is a lovely woman who is very articulate in person. She had lots of her shawls there on display and they are even lovelier in in person than they were in the book. I know you will enjoy knitting from her book. I however, have to wait a bit before I knit from it. I have too many irons in the fire at present to start yet another lace shawl. Keep up the knitting and your wonderful podcasts. I find your voice very soothing and you have excellent topics!

    Comment by Jane | 16 March 2007

  10. I’m a new listener to your lovely podcast, I found it as I was browsing hobby podcasts to accompany me to the gym. You made me wish I had brought my knitting. I adore your podcast, please keep podcasting forever.

    Comment by Skepticknitter | 17 March 2007

  11. Hi from San Francisco, California, USA! I love your podcast, your voice is so soothing and interesting and lovely (and your content is awesome too!) Wanted to tell you that I was at the stitches west show some weeks back and I actually had a very nice conversation with jane Sowerby about lace knitting. I’ve never tried it and have a laceweight yarn I can’t decide what to do with. She walked me through a number of her samples and we talked about which yarn works best with which patterns. She was very generous with her time and not pretentious at all. And I agree, the book is gorgeous to look at and marvel at the knitting. Also, do try and keep the grass mowed at some point so you don’t get the dreaded funnel webs out there. you aussies have the craziest creatures! Cheers – Kathleen

    Comment by kathleen | 18 March 2007

  12. Really enjoying all of the podcasts, even the cat noises that made me jump up, look around, and check to see what my innocent (this time only!) large poodle was getting into. Subject matter always interests me, and the time you devote to each is good – enough to cover the topic, not enough to cause us to start yawning! I particularly enjoy the music, something I’ve not said about any other podcast; it’s unusual, and soothing, not jarring the senses. I knit while I listen, and it fits the mood that knitting puts me in. Thanks again for all your efforts; they are appreciated and enjoyed.

    Comment by Petunia | 18 March 2007

  13. There was a presentation by Jane Sowerby at Stitches West which incorporated a fashion show of many of the shawls in her book. Although they look impressive in the photos, they are absolutely stunning in person. Hearing about her experience researching the book and seeing how the shawls move and flow convinced me that this was a must-buy. I’m looking forward to seeing your Myrtle Lace shawl.

    Comment by Janice | 28 March 2007

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