Podcast

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This podcast has gone on indefinite hiatus. To watch back episodes, please visit my YouTube channel.


Welcome to the Dark Matter Knits Podcast! Each episode of my bi-weekly video podcast focuses on a particular theme. During each episode, I’ll tie into that theme stories, my knitting, spinning, design, and a learning video at the end.

Watch episodes here or subscribe to them via iTunes or YouTube (links below)—and please come join our group on Ravelry!

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:

  • To subscribe to my YouTube channel, click here and then click the subscribe button on that page.
  • To subscribe via iTunes, click here.
  • If you would like to subscribe directly to episodes, here’s the RSS feed to cut and paste into your favorite RSS reader (Feedly is a good one): http://www.podcastgarden.com/podcast/podcast-rss.php?id=2673

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Episode 31: Knit on through All Crises

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-31-knit-on-through-all-crises_48593

Elizabeth Zimmermann famously encouraged us to “knit on through all crises.” I’m trying, folks, with mixed success. Today, we talk about when even knitting fails to be therapeutic. Spoiler alert: everything turns out OK.

Today’s technique tip: how to create a pocket on your sweater without having to sew it on!

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 30: Close to My Heart

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-30-close-to-my-heart_46080

In this episode I talk about a couple of skeins of yarn that have a special significance to me, and I’ll review a new collection of lace designs that have a unique heart motif. The technique segment talks about the importance of re-checking gauge in the middle of a project, even when you’re just switching from one type of knitting in the round to another.

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Giveaways
  • What I’m knitting
    • FO: Honey Cowl pattern by Antonia Shankland, knit in White Bear Fibers Sport, Mother Earth colorway
    • WIP: Ka’ana Shawlette by Jennifer Weissman, knit in Miss Babs Yowza, Verrassing colorway
  • John C. Campbell Folk School: where I took the week-long dyeing and spinning class with Martha Owen
  • Our group on Ravelry—come join us for fun discussions about fiber crafts and to enter for giveaways.
  • Receive the Dark Matter Knits monthly email newsletter: exclusive coupon codes, news about patterns and the podcast, and more!
  • If you’d like to make a donation to the podcast (which helps immensely with hosting fees and prize mailing costs), you can do so using the button below:Donate Button

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Episode 29: More Behind-the-Scenes Design

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-29-more-behind-the-scenes-design_44828

Today we spend some more time looking behind the scenes at how knitting designs are made. I review the new PatternGenius app (by the same cool developers who made knitCompanion), and talk about what I learned from organizing the photo shoot for the book Defarge Does Shakespeare.

The technique segment gives some tips for how to approach charts when they’re worked back and forth and you find reading the wrong side confusing.

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Giveaways:
  • What I’m knitting
    • Honey Cowl pattern by Antonia Shankland; I’m knitting it in White Bear Fibers Sport, Mother Earth colorway
  • KAL: Bloccare Cap (March 1–April 15, 2015)
    • information about the pattern available on the Knit Picks site and on Ravelry (pattern available as individual download or as part of a 26-pattern collection)
  • PatternGenius: charting app for your iPad
  • Defarge Does Shakespeare, edited by Heather Ordover (available in digital and print format from Cooperative Press)
  • Our group on Ravelry—come join us for fun discussions about fiber crafts and to enter for giveaways.
  • Receive the Dark Matter Knits monthly email newsletter: exclusive coupon codes, news about patterns and the podcast, and more!
  • If you’d like to make a donation to the podcast (which helps immensely with hosting fees and prize mailing costs), you can do so using the button below:Donate Button

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Episode 28: Vive la Différence

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-28-vive-la-diffrence_43814

Today I’ll focus on knitting outside the U.S.: we’ll look at some international podcasts that I love plus look through a glorious sampling of 1980s French knitting magazines that were gifted to me recently. I’ll also talk about my recent trip to DFW Fiber Fest, the new book Defarge Does Shakespeare, and other recent events.

The technique segment looks at when and why you should use a ruler to measure gauge instead of a retractable tape measure.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 27: What’s Your Bag?

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-27-whats-your-bag_42286

In this episode we dive into the bowels of our notions bag. I show you what I keep in mine and tell you how I use them. We also have a preview of Natalie Servant’s stunning subscription-based collection of patterns Canadian Art Deco Knits. The technique segment in this episode is folded into the notions bag discussion, and offers a tip for running lifelines through your work.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 26: The Design Process

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-26-the-design-process_39960

As I’ve been spending more time on my own knitting designs lately, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the process that goes into creating a pattern. For me, that process is slightly different each time, so I’ll talk about both how wildly things can vary and about the steps that I always visit when I’m designing. The process is both invigorating (really gets the creative juices flowing!) and challenging (grading for different sizes is HARD).

The technique segment in this episode gives you some tips for joining into the round without twisting your stitches.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 25: Knittas for Life!

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-25-knittas-for-life_38626

A viewer (Joanne) asked me once, “if you’ve been knitting for 30 years, what do you DO will all that knitted stuff?” Such a great question. Today join me as I undertake an archaeological dig into my old knits, designs, books, magazines, and patterns.

The technique segment in this episode walks through how to use a yarn meter.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 24: Branding

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-24-branding_36754

Let’s talk about branding—about the subtle ways that a yarn’s packaging works on us to either increase or diminish or pleasure of knitting or crocheting with the stuff. In the process of talking about this, I’ll review a new Australian yarn.

Today’s technique segment shows how to keep yarnovers from closing up on themselves after you’ve knit them.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 23: Stepping Up the Game

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-23-stepping-up-the-game_35742

Happy new year, everyone! As I commemorate my first year of podcasting—and give away lots of prizes to celebrate—I’m also reflecting on what I’d like to accomplish this year. And while we’re thinking about stretching and growing as knitters, I review Margaret Radcliffe’s essential, excellent new book The Knowledgeable Knitter.

Today’s technique segment shows how to avoid getting stairstep jogs when you are binding off stitches on successive rows, such as on a crewneck or scoop neck, or on an armhole.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 22: Design on with Confidence

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-22-design-on-with-confidence_34146

My all-time-favorite knitting hero (perhaps yours, too?), Elizabeth Zimmermann, famously exhorted us to “Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.” I felt like I needed a little EZ Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder this week, telling me to design on with confidence. We’ll talk about a designing disaster—hopefully finally averted—and a great new book by Kate Atherley that can help you design on with confidence.

Today’s technique segment explains the two most important measurements to pay attention to when choosing a sweater pattern and which size to make.

Mentioned in this episode:


Episode 21: Wanderlust

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-21-wanderlust_33205

Ever get that itch to wander, to try something new? Or are you the more the type to settle in to the comforts of the familiar? Or maybe you feel a tug of war inside between these two competing tendencies? In today’s episode, I start with a TED talk that a friend shared with me and then see where the urges to wander and settle lead us in the knitting world.

Today’s technique segment shows how to use a crochet hook to pick up dropped stitches … wandering little buggers that they are.

Mentioned in this episode:


Episode 20: Alternating Skeins

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-20-alternating-skeins_31916

Sometimes you just need to switch things up. Doing the same thing over and over again—even if it’s the gloriously humble knit stitch—can get tiresome. Today, we’ll talk about changing things up, trying something new.

The technique segment shows how to alternate skeins, whether it’s because you’re striping two colors, or because you’re using a hand-dyed yarn and want to blend the colors.

Mentioned in this episode:


Episode 19: Give the People What They Want

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-19-give-the-people-what-they-want_30671

Knitting can produce so many cool things, but sometimes I wonder whether we’ve boxed ourselves into a corner taste-wise. I love a good fingering-weight, simple cardigan or a geometric shawl as much as the next girl, but there are so many other possibilities that we’re not exploring! On today’s podcast, I review Bijou Spun Sport Weight, a 100% yak down yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch. It’s luxurious, but at the same time has qualities that beg to be made into something utilitarian … something outdoorsy ….

Today’s technique segment gives a tip on how to use your smartphone to help you choose yarns for a multi-color project.

Mentioned in this episode:


Episode 18: Fish out of Water

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-18-fish-out-of-water-fixed-hopefully_29662

Ever feel like a fish out of water? Watch me draw a loose parallel between myself and Anne of Green Gables in this episode, where I detail my adventures taping a segment for Knitting Daily TV and traveling to Rhinebeck for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. I also review the Green Gables Shawl Kit.

Today’s technique segment shares some tips for how to sew in a zipper.

Mentioned in this episode:


Episode 17: Pull Yourself Together

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-17-pull-yourself-together_28349

Fall is always crazy-busy when you work in the yarn industry. In this episode, I’m talking about gearing myself up (logistically and psychologically!) for the next week. I’ve got a book signing, a TV taping, and Rhinebeck coming up—all in the next seven days. Wheeee!

Today’s technique segment shows how to wind a center-pull ball when you don’t have a ball winder—and how to make a butterfly-type yarn bobbin.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 16: Yarn Memory

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-16-yarn-memory_27200

Yarn has a memory: memory of what it once was, what you’ve knit it into, and even where you bought it. Today’s discussion focuses on several kinds of memories tied up in yarn: I review SilverSpun yarn, talk about my trip to Arkansas Fiberarts Extravaganza, and marvel at the incredible gift given to me by the now-defunct Yarn Harvest company.

For the technique segment at the end, I talk about how to get a skein of yarn back into near-mint condition if you’ve already knit with it, need to frog it, and want to knit with it again.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 15: Keeping It Interesting

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-15-keeping-it-interesting_25788

Sometimes your knitting can just get a little … boring. Maybe you’re not a fan of long stretches of stockinette; maybe you’re knitting for someone who only likes to wear neutrals (no texture, please)—I can’t really fix this problem for you completely, but in today’s episode we’ll talk about some ways that you can make dull knitting more fun for yourself.

For the technique segment at the end, I show how to determine the ply structure of a yarn and discuss why you want to pay attention to it.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 14: Taking Stock

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-14-taking-stock_24665

We’ve pretty much all been there: for a while you keep careful track of your stash—probably on Ravelry—and then slowly it slips away from you, and you have no idea what you’ve got anymore. I just re-cataloged my entire stash, and in this episode talk about what I learned from it.

For the technique segment at the end, I explain several ways to measure and keep track of partial skeins.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 13: Yarn Over

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-13-yarn-over_23628

Yarn overs: they are both the intentional holes we put in our knitting in order to create lace—and the mistakes we make when we’re new knitters or just not paying attention. This week’s episode focuses on mistakes, and particularly when mistakes matter and when they don’t. It’s a fine, holey line, friends.

This episode’s technique tip: a trick for making better yarn overs, and how to deal with a double yarn over.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 12: Re-entry

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/ep-12-re-entry_23129

I’ve been out of the country for quite a while, so this episode focuses on the theme of re-entry: what happens when you pull yourself completely out of context (one answer: I found it quite inspiring!) and then come back home to regular life (one answer: start re-thinking regular life a bit!). Some details about my trip to France and Italy and we catch up on some projects that have finally gotten finished.

This episode’s technique tip: how to pick up the right number of stitches along a vertical or diagonal edge.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 11: Back to Basics

Episode 11 of the Dark Matter Knits podcast is now up on YouTube! (Sorry, can’t manage iTunes or show notes from here.) http://youtu.be/c70QHqBdVZY

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Video postcards from France

While I was out of the country, I recorded three mini-episodes highlighting some unusual sights that I visited in the Loire Valley.

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Episode 10: Fiber and Fabric

WATCH NOW: http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/fiber-and-fabric_18013

This has actually been up for a few days, but I only just had time to type up the show notes!

Have you ever substituted in a different yarn than was called for in the pattern—only to find that your finished object looked NOTHING like the original, and in fact was a complete flop? Today, we focus on the different qualities of some of the major fibers that yarns are made out of. We’ll also talk about how yarns are constructed. Using this information, you can make more informed choices when substituting yarns … which means happier knitting!

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 9: Adventure Time!

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/adventure-time_17155

Summer is a great time for adventures, and wow, will I be having one this summer! In June and most of July I’ll be in Angers, France (pictured above) and Arezzo, Italy (in the Tuscany region). I’ll tell you about what I’m planning knitting- and podcast-wise while I’m there. Plus, a technique video about how to do the provisional cast on using a crochet hook.

(This is also the episode where you get to see how red-faced I look after a run in 80-degree weather!)

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 8: Bind Off Loosely

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/bind-off-loosely_16265

We’re often exhorted to “bind off loosely,” but sometimes that can be hard. Today, I talk about how knitting helped stay calm and loose through some alarming medical news; how I almost completely blew it while having a shawl that I designed test-knit; and how to work Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off without it ruffling at the edges.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 7: To the Moon and Back

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/to-the-moon-and-back_15365

What makes a good knitting pattern or kit? I review the Over the Moon sock kit as an example of how to do it up right. Also in this episode: how do you go about making the transition to a career in the fiber arts? By request from a couple of viewers, I talk about my own story and what I’ve learned about the joys and perils of making that change. The technique video today shows two ways to create a smooth join when joining your knitting into the round.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 6: Pass It On

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/pass-it-on_14625

In this episode I talk about teaching other people to knit; launch a fun new project on the Ravelry group where we’ll pass along to each other yarn, books, notions, and other goodies that we’re no longer using; and gush about DFW Fiber Fest. The technique video shows you how to change over to a longer (or shorter) needle length when you’re using an interchangeable needle set.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 5: The Humble Hat

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/the-humble-hat_13492

The humble hat: today, it’s our canvas for exploring experimental knitting, fun constructions, charitable giving, and the therapeutic benefits of our craft.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 4: Without a Net 

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/without-a-net_12346

Today we’ll be talking about being brave and taking risks with our knitting: I talk about a steeking class I taught recently, the spectrum of knitting from the mainstream and functional to the off-the-hook, and how to cable without a cable needle.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 3: Quiet 

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/quiet_11429

This episode focuses on the theme of quiet. The fiber community encompasses both extroverts and introverts, and I fall into the latter camp. As I was listening to Susan Cain’s book about introversion on the long drive up to a fiber retreat, I began to think about how retreats are and are not refuges of quiet—and about how fiber crafts help us achieve a place of quiet even when a lot is going on around us.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 2: Resting Singles 

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/resting-singles_11425

This episode focuses on the advantages and heartaches of “resting singles,” a term I’m borrowing from spinning to mean those projects that are hibernating for a bit—or maybe a veerrrrryy long time—for better or for worse. What makes a project go into hibernation? What happens to do it during its rest period? Why do we feel so bad about having some projects on sabbatical?

I show-and-tell some of my own “resting singles”—my spinning, knitting, and designing projects that have been in time out for a while. The technique segment at the end shows you how to wind a cake of yarn so that, if it ends up resting for a while in your stash, it won’t end up stretching out of shape.

Mentioned in this episode:

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Episode 1: Beginnings

Beginnings of the podcast and my knitting career; teaching kids to knit; a great cast-on for ribbing.

WATCH NOW:
http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/beginnings_10616

Mentioned in this episode:

9 thoughts on “Podcast

  1. Nephew #3 does not want to knit or crochet (yet?) but he is always raiding my project bag for yarn. He tried to make a sort of truck hitch with it so he could turn his toy cars into a car-train, so you know I’ve been thinking of ways to knit up something – say a chain of knit straps that could wrap around the cars – to help him out with that 😉

  2. Pingback: Episode 43- FO Frenzy | Down Cellar Studio

  3. Pingback: Rhinebeck Meetup: darkmatterknits (aka Elizabeth Green Musselman) | Natalie Servant Designs

  4. Pingback: The SpaceCadet's Pattern Picks: 3 Fab Patterns from Dark Matter Knits - SpaceCadet Inc: Hand-dyed Yarns for Knitters and Crocheters

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