a few favorite video podcasts

Things are still weird in this time of home isolation and I continue to oscillate between gratitude for my situation and anxiety/sadness over the state of the world. Nonetheless, I’m trying to find everyday joys where I can. One of the places I find joy is knitting podcasts on YouTube, and while I haven’t been able to keep up with very many since starting my PhD, I’ve been catching up on some episodes in the past weeks when I have extra time on my hands / want some company / would like something to watch while I’m knitting. So I thought I’d share a few favorites here on the blog, for those who are also interested in these sorts of videos!

Now, narrowing it down to six to share was kind of tough (I just counted in my list of subscriptions, and I’m subscribed to 24 knitting podcast channels in total) but I figured I’d share a few of my perennial favorites, all of which I’ve been enjoying recently. Even if some of these names might be familiar to you, I hope a few are new and you might discover a new podcast you really enjoy.

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Top row left: Inside Number 23

I was always going to have to include Katie here. Inside Number 23 was the first knitting podcast on YouTube I really started watching regularly, after I stumbled into her channel while searching for Edinburgh Yarn Festival vlogs in 2017 (I attended the festival in 2016 and was sad not to be there in 2017, hence seeking out vlogs). Katie relaunched her podcast this past January after taking a break when she had her daughter, and her new format is lovely and comes in the form of a monthly video. She puts a lot of effort into her podcast, which I think always makes a difference – thoughtfully planned episodes, good editing, and her lovely on-screen personal all make for a really lovely viewing experience, and I appreciate it.

Top row right: The Crimson Stitchery

Anushka became a favorite last year, as I really appreciate her approach to crafting. She’s a fellow PhD student, and living in a small flat in London on a budget, she often tends to focus on doing a lot with a little or with what she has on hand (she’s running an initiative this year called Stashless 2020 in which she and others are trying to knit through – or make a dent in – their yarn stashes). Her podcast includes regular segments on mending and keeping a larder of sorts, and I found it really refreshing when I started watching her podcast to see someone who wasn’t constantly sharing new yarn purchases (although that can be fun too). I love the space she’s carved out in the podcasting world. She’s also a designer and I happen to have one of her patterns on my needles at the moment! Her podcast episodes are typically every two weeks (or fortnightly, as she puts it) but there are often bonus videos in the off-weeks.

Middle row left: Hey BrownBerry

Marce is someone I was lucky enough to meet at last year’s Edinburgh Yarn Festival, and she’s a wonderful person and a truly inspiring maker. I always enjoy her videos, whether she’s sharing what she’s knitting, taking us along the ride for some natural dyeing experiments, or giving us a few moments of calm footage of her home environment in Florida. I grew up in North Carolina and my family would visit Florida just about every summer, so I have to admit I’m really partial to the footage of her surroundings because of the nostalgia it brings on. Her more recent episodes have also featured some Norway footage because Marce recently attended the Knitography retreat that Patricia held right here in my corner of Norway, so I was also lucky to get to hang with her in person again (along with a whole bunch of other wonderful folks)! This was right before everything got very serious very quickly with the coronavirus situation, which makes me feel even luckier. And I can’t forget to mention that Marce is also a designer.

Middle row right: Marina Skua

I also met Marina at Edinburgh Yarn Festival last year, and over the past year I’ve come to know what a delightful human she is. I find her podcast really soothing – she shares her makes, both knitting (and she also designs) and sewing, plus she’s another who likes playing with natural dyeing and shares some of those experiments on the podcast. She also has a line of yarn which shares her name and dyes repeatable colorways using acid dyes as well. Her episodes have included all kinds of snippets: spinning, carding batts, mending, garden updates, and pasta-making have all featured and I’ve enjoyed them all. Marina’s podcast always brings a little bit of calm to my day when I sit down to hang out and watch it, which I can really get behind. Her podcast episodes go up once a month!

Bottom row left: SweetGeorgia

SweetGeorgia is one of the first hand-dyed yarn companies I can remember learning about when I started becoming interested in hand-dyed yarn nearly a decade ago. And for good reason! Felicia, the force behind SweetGeorgia, has an incredible sense of color and both in her yarn company and her own makes she creates beautiful things. Her weekly podcast/video series is called Taking Back Friday, and it’s about carving out some time for yourself to be creative in the midst of life. She’s incredibly accomplished in a number of different fiber crafts and you’ll see them all pop up in her videos – knitting, dyeing, spinning, weaving. I appreciate her discussions and I feel like even when she’s just sharing things she’s been making, her videos feel educational and I always come away having learned something.

Bottom row right: Tea & Possibilities

Nikki’s podcast is another I started watching back in 2017, and I find it a real joy. I love Nikki’s personality and her approach not just to her making, but also to life. She shares knitting and crochet projects, but you’ll also always hear about whatever tea she’s drinking that day and occasionally about books she’s reading or movies/films she’s been watching (which I enjoy because I like her taste – and her passion for history). Nikki was also one of the first people I can remember talking about a different kind of approach to self care than the really commercialized version which has become prevalent these days – sure, a bubble bath or a cup of hot chocolate or pampering yourself can be forms of self care, but so are things like paying the bills you’ve been putting off or tidying up a corner of the house or just taking care of yourself and your life in everyday ways. Having someone put it so plainly helped me realize that sometimes buckling down and doing the things I’ve been putting off will make me feel a hundred times better than any comforting treat I give myself in the meantime can do.

What are your favorite podcasts, knitting-related or otherwise?

l’hiver est arrivé

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Montreal has already had two snowstorms this month, so winter has definitely arrived in this corner of the world. It feels early here, and even though I love winter I admittedly love it less in this city than I did in Norway, so there is a small sigh along with winter’s arrival. Nonetheless, I will aim to make the best of it. December is nearly upon us (tomorrow!), so we’re entering the season of twinkling lights and joy and love and that is something to celebrate.

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I do love the transformational power of fresh snow, and will go out of my way to seek it out in this city of millions. (I’m very grateful for parks.)

At any rate, I wanted to pop in to tell you about a couple of exciting things that happened in the month of November. The first is that I was finally able to unveil a pattern I’ve been very excited about since I first knit it last December – I have a hat design in the new book from Kate DaviesMilarrochy Heids.

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My hat (or heid, a Scots word for “head”) is called Caithness, and it uses five shades of Kate’s lovely yarn Milarrochy Tweed. Unlike most of Kate’s books, which are full of her own lovely designs, Milarrochy Heids features 15 hat patterns from 13 designers, all worked up in Milarrochy Tweed, a fingering weight blend of 70% wool and 30% mohair in a palette of 15 shades. I actually purchased the initial pack of 12 shades that was available when the yarn was introduced, and that is what I used to knit my Caithness. The yarn comes in 25 g balls, and the pack had one ball of each color, so it was absolutely perfect for colorwork. I had first planned to self-publish this design, but then Kate asked about including it in a book of hat patterns she was planning at the time and I was over the moon. And so here we are!

Some of you will know I’ve been a huge fan of Kate’s for a very long time, and I’ve followed her forays into yarn production (and ready-to-wear) with great enthusiasm. It means a great deal to me to be included in this book alongside so many other wonderfully creative designers. I highly encourage you to go check out the other patterns here on Ravelry – it’s hard to pick a favorite but I might have to make myself a Tarradale at some point.

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The response to Milarrochy Heids has been phenomenal, and team KDD have unexpectedly already sold out of hard copies of the book in the pre-order period. More copies are on the way, but in the meantime, many local yarn stores will be receiving copies from the first print run, so if you didn’t pre-order but you’d like a copy before Christmas, I’d suggest checking with local stores, or those that ship orders! I should also mention that the KDD shop has put together yarn kits for every pattern in the book – you can find the yarn kit for Caithness here, and the others are all listed in the “yarn” section of Kate’s shop. Note that the yarn kits are the yarn only – you still need the book (or e-book) for the patterns.

I’ve been wearing my Caithness all autumn long and while Milarrochy Tweed is a relatively fine yarn, it’s a surprisingly warm hat, probably in part thanks to the mohair in it. It’s been such a joy to finally share it with you all.

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The other exciting bit of information is that I was featured as a guest on the “Knitters of the World” segment of the Fruity Knitting video podcast in their most recent episode (66: Uradale Yarns & Taatit Rugs). If you’re not familiar with Fruity Knitting, it’s an incredibly well-produced video podcast on YouTube, featuring heaps of fascinating interviews and information. Andrea and Andrew are wonderful hosts and I always learn something watching their show. Being a guest on this segment means I got to talk about a few of my favorite pieces I’ve knit, and in my case, it’s a mix of my own designs (like my Ebba, which I’m holding up in the screenshot above) as well as things I’ve knit from other people’s patterns. It was a treat to be included! You can check out the show notes for the episode here to get a sense of everything this episode included, and you can watch the full episode here (my segment starts around the 41:00 mark, but I do encourage you to watch the whole thing!).

I hope you’re all doing well as we move into the busy tail end of the year. Remember to breathe deeply, and to take a moment for yourself now and then.

a youtube channel and a ravelry group

I’ve been a little busy for blogging lately (there’s something about this time of year, isn’t there?), but I did want to pop over here to let you all know that I recently started a YouTube channel for Paper Tiger. I started watching knitting content on YouTube early this year, and I’ve enjoyed the way I’ve gotten to know some of the members of our fiber community a little better through the video format. I’m also hoping to start filming video tutorials in the coming year for certain techniques, and so the channel will be home to those, too.

I’ve only put up a little introductory video so far, but I’m in the process of putting together the first proper video at the moment (about Norwegian wool – see this Instagram post if you’d like to leave comments about what you’re interested in hearing about). You can watch the introductory video below.

This intro is just a shortie, at not quite three minutes long. I expect future videos to be longer than that, of course, but this won’t be a knitting podcast in the style you might be familiar with (with a weekly format, sharing WIPs and FOs and new yarn acquisitions and that kind of thing), and so I don’t expect that my videos will be an hour long either. I’m hoping for a happy medium! I would love for the Norwegian wool video to go live before Christmas, but I’m not exactly sure when it will go up yet, so to keep up to date with that you can subscribe to the channel, which can be found at www.youtube.com/c/PaperTiger. Thank you so much to everyone who has already subscribed (!), and to those of you who’ve left comments on the intro video! I appreciate that so much.

In a similar vein, I’ve also started a Ravelry group for Paper Tiger, which can be found at ravelry.com/groups/paper-tiger. I hope the group will be a place for questions and discussion about my patterns, or colorwork in general, but I also plan to post some testing calls in the group in the coming months, because I’d like to have some of my upcoming designs test knit before I publish the patterns. So do join the group if any of that sounds interesting to you!

I’ll be back very soon with some more posts. We have entered winter in Montréal this week with the season’s first proper snowstorm, and so I anticipate a lot more time being spent indoors in the near future…

video: cat camera likes to travel

First, a little bit of background. A year and a half ago I got a camera for my birthday, and it just so happens that this camera looks like a cat:

Seriously. It’s the Necono Digital Camera, and not surprisingly it’s a Japanese product. Cat camera has four modes: it takes still photos, still photos with a self timer, it shoots video, and it has a time lapse feature.There’s a mode button to switch between the four modes. The cat’s right eye is the lens, while the left eye is the self timer sensor. The microphone (yeah, the video records audio, too) is just below the cat’s nose. All your photos and video are stored on a microSD card, and you can connect it to your computer via a micro USB cable to transfer its contents. Oh, and its feet are magnetic, which is how it’s perched on that pipe up there. It’s a pretty remarkable little piece of technology.

The first question people usually have is what the photos look like. I typically describe them as pretty lo-fi, a little bit like a cheap cell phone camera. But it can be all over the map. Some photos are better quality, some are totally terrible. Sometimes in focus, but not always; it’s a little bit of a gamble. Sometimes the colors are crazy and totally blown out. You never totally know what you’re going to get. In general though, cat camera does well outdoors with daylight, and less well indoors and at night. Here’s a photo I took in Budapest to give you an example:

Cat camera has a tumblr, if you’d like to see more photos: cat-camera.tumblr.com

I was given cat camera while I was living in Hungary, and I’ve taken it on all my travels in the last year and a half. I’ve been collecting short video clips along the way, not knowing exactly what I’d do with them. I’ve always thought it’d be fun to compile them somehow, though.

Enter my dear friend John Vanderslice. John’s gearing up to release his new record, Dagger Beach, next Tuesday. I kind of fell in love with one of the in-between tracks, “Interlude #1,” and thought it would complement the cat camera clips really nicely. So I put them all together and here’s where I ended up:

https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js Interlude #1 from Dianna on Vimeo.

Thanks to JV for permission to use the song! The record (which is totally great) is available at daggerbeach.com, and if you’d like to follow the travels of cat camera you can do so here.