Sticks & String

A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits.

Show 29 – My Local

This week was eventful, as usual. Wednesday saw me on the NSW Knitters’ Guild stand at the Craft and Quilt show (no photos, I forgot my camera, but there are some here). I was good with not buying yarn until I walked past Touch Yarns from New Zealand.
Ginger Nut’s blog is here.
Thanks to Bev of Belisa Cashmere for the interview (and the yarn).

What’s happening
Courthouse Stitch’n’Bitch   Every Sunday at the Courthouse Hotel Newtown 1:30pm
NSW Knitters Guild (Blue Mountains Division)   3rd Saturday of each month at the Blaxland Community Centre
Studio 49 Fibre Retreat   A fibre arts retreat that Old Oak Ranch Sonora 16 to 18 November 2007 (pendria AT sbcglobal DOT net)
Sydney Sity Klickers   Every second Saturday at Barmuda, Australia Street Newtown

Touch YarnsAlpaca Fibre from MarnieJumper from 127 Yarn (In progress)

From the bottom of the knitting bag
Latvian Mittens (Latviesu Cimdi)  by Lizbeth Upitis (link)
‘Suzie’ Spinning Wheel  from Majacraft (link)

Series 4, which will start on 4 August, will look at design and creativity, I’ve got lots of ideas, but if you’ve got more, please let me know as we are all creative.

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.


1 July 2007 - Posted by | knitting


  1. I mentioned this on the “new” website before I got word of the bugs, so…
    In one of your early shows you mention that cable knitting is not travel-friendly because the cable needle escapes to the floor or someone else’s seat. I just wanted to share that I sometimes use small stitch holders (blunt safety pin-like) or stitch markers (look like plastic locks) to cable. One has to move the cabled stitches back to the left needle from the holder in order to knit them, but it’s worked very well for me. The holder fastens securely onto the knitting when not in use, and you can even fasten it when cabling if you’re particularly worried the stitches will escape.
    Love your podcast. Sharon

    Comment by Sharon Carleton | 2 July 2007

  2. I enjoy listening to your show. The sweater (jumper) is really nice. I was trying to envision the striping when you would talk about it but seeing a picture is great. Thanks for a great podcast. Jackie

    Comment by Jackie Sas | 2 July 2007

  3. I think I inadvertently posted my comments on the Show 26 page ……

    * falls on floor with a dull thud *

    Comment by Whskr | 4 July 2007

  4. Enjoy the Belisa cashmere! I look forward to seeing Bev every February at Stitches West. I made a lace Faroese shawl for my mother with a cone of their yarn and it turned out quite lovely. Here’s a photo:

    Comment by Janice | 5 July 2007

  5. David,
    I enjoy listening to your podcast very much. I’m not one who would normally jump right in and leave a note. Still, your comments about the Craft & Quilt show, the NSW Guild stand, and the status of knitting with respect to other craft medium prompted a response.

    I think that knitting is not as popular or attractive a ‘craft’ (to some) because unlike beading & scrapbooking, knitting takes time and dedication. Both beading and scrapbooking can result in ‘instant gratification’ at a relatively low cost. It doesn’t take much time to ‘cannibalize’ grandma’s old necklace and reuse the beads to put together a pair of earrings or a bracelet. Nor does it take much time to cut and paste cute pieces of paper giving new life to an old photo album. I don’t mean to insinuate that these crafts don’t require some thought and advance planning, I know that they do.

    I believe our society moves far too quickly and because of that there is the constant need to see results quickly. Did you know that board games – like Monopoly and Parchese have been reworked, reformatted, and packaged into games which require only twenty minutes to play? Twenty minutes is considered a ‘block’ of spare time. Making a pair of earrings or pasting paper into a scrapbook can fulfill the need for a quick project in little more than the average block of spare time.

    It takes time to be a knitter. A knitter will take time to plan the project, carefully choosing the pattern and the yarn. A knitter will take the time for swatching to achieve just the right gauge. All this is done before the project is even started. Finally started, it takes a great deal of time to do the knitting, and a long time before first opportunity to see the progress of the project in the works. How long after casting on a sock, does the sock take shape? How long for mitten, or a sweater? It takes dedication to be a knitter.

    Perhaps it is the cost issue which is keeping new knitters away. Why knit a pair of socks when you can buy a pair for a couple of bucks? Why knit a sweater? What if it doesn’t fit? And there is still the ‘I can’t do that !’ factor. I am a new knitter, and still have the fear factor. Still I find I enjoy the challenge, and look forward to the times when I can knit.

    I think the knitting world is working hard to keep up with other crafts by the one-skein wonder projects – like socks and scarves. Projects which can be carried around and worked on in the ‘waiting time’ – at the Doctor’s office, the soccer field, and, as you well know, the work-day commute on the train. Knitting needs to be more visible to the population at large.

    DIY network is a good outlet offering the likes of Knitty Gritty and An Uncommon Thread, but these are cable shows and not available to ‘regular TV’. Perhaps Public TV could pull out the old Elizabeth Zimmerman knitting shows and rerun those as Public TV did with Julia Child shows.

    The WWKIP last month was another good example of what should continue to be done to bolster the craft. Google had lots of hits for the WWKIP and there were notes, links, and comments on podcasts and blogspots, however, there didn’t seem to be a lot of other public announcements. Nor did I see anything on the local media. Instead, they covered the same tragedies they always do. Wouldn’t it have been nicer if there had been ‘film at 11’ of knitters sitting on the steps of the public library (in Boston) or at the Sidney Opera House?

    Coming up on September 30th is the Boston Knit Out & Crochet too. The website is already up and I hope there will be some active press involvement.

    David, perhaps this is why I don’t offer comments often. I get off on a bit of tirade, and then ramble on and on.

    Your podcast is great. Thanks for all you do to keep it interesting, informative, and fun.

    Comment by Tracy | 5 July 2007

  6. Thanks for the mention of Ginger_Nut’s mental health awareness campaign. It’s a little late for a post tonight, but I’ve started working on one for next Friday.

    And thanks, as always, for a quality show. I listen in spurts, but I download each show knowing that whenever I have 30 minutes to spend with you it will be time well spent.

    Comment by sprite | 7 July 2007

  7. Tracy’s comment was long, well-said, and right on, every word of it. I was taught both knitting and crochet as a child (a long time ago!) and through all the years I rarely knit. Barely enough to retain the knowledge. I think, at that time, crochet had more appeal simply because it works up faster. Progress was readily noticeable, unlike knitting where it seemed that you could work for hours and barely see the change. Lack of patience was a factor, as was lack of time, 3 children to raise, a home to care for, later on a job added to it all.

    But life evolves and now the children are grown, and we’re into a smaller house. Several years ago, I picked up the needles again; it was at a time when my elderly mother was failing – and was she ever a knitter in her day! I now knit every day, plan projects in my mind while I’m doing household chores, ordering yarn off the internet, carrying a tote bag of projects with me all the time. Maybe it’s because I have more time, maybe it’s the connection to my mother who is now gone. It just feels right.

    But it does take time to learn and to do. Today, many young ones work at learning for an hour, and the results are uneven and lumpy. And many give up at that point, and go to other craft areas that are more quickly learned skills. But enough will stick with it to keep it going.

    And on Saturday, I spun yarn for the first time, and made an uneven, lumpy mess of it. But I’m going back for more, and I’ll get better at it.

    Comment by Petunia | 9 July 2007

  8. Congratulations on the new wheel. The Suzie is one I’d want for myself (when I can afford it– just got a raise, so maybe). Hurray for the end of the financial year 😉

    Comment by Roceal | 11 July 2007

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