EPISODE 43 :: Aaron Sanders Head on Going All In & Daily Practice 

 photography by Grace Boto

photography by Grace Boto

The Close Knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation about the ways we use fiber to process world and life events

A huge thank you to this episode’s sponsor - Craneway Craft Fair. I first learned about Craneway Craft Fair when I moved to the Bay and was searching out craft fairs to attend (as you do). This year is the 48th annual Craneway (formerly known as the KPFA Crafts Fair), and it’s happening on December 22 & 23rd. This last week especially I’ve been reflecting on how important handmade and locally made is to me - especially in light of the wildness of consumer culture in america & Craneway feels like the total antithesis to all of that. From 10am-5pm on Dec 22 & 23, so just in the nick of time if you have any last minute holiday gifts in mind, you can find artisan made goods in the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond, CA. The best part is, Craneway directly supports Berkeley’s KPFA 94.1 public radio. KPFA was the first community supported radio station in the USA. They currently air public news, public affairs, talk, and music programming  & they’ll be broadcasting live from Craneway on the fair days! It feels pretty awesome to be shouting out an organization that’s supporting not only local makers but also progressive public radio. You can find Craneway on instagram at @cranewaycraftfair and online at cranewaycraftfair.com See you on the 22nd! 

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This week I spoke to Aaron Sanders Head. Aaron’s work stood out to me this year when I first noticed his sashiko-informed stitching and really stunning imagery. Aaron walks me through his career from post-college to now, and how fiber art has kind of (excuse the pun) woven it’s way into his life - throughout his career in arts administration. In his work with a local art gallery, he began booking workshops to accompany exhibitions & soon realized he was booking the types of classes he was interested in - quilting, embroidery, sashiko, natural dyeing. It was from here that he really began an active and daily practice. 

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Aaron was remarkably candid with me - we talk about finances, the difficulty and importance of sourcing materials thoughtfully, and the privilege in being able to “slow down”, and how the term ‘self-care’ has been sometimes misused. I appreciated Aaron’s grounded perspective on so many topics and it was really refreshing to hear them articulated in this way! 

This chat really takes you on the journey with Aaron, I feel. So listen on to hear how Aaron went from studying photography in Boston, to touring Texas with his partner, teaching indigo dye workshops and making it work. 

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The Close Knit Podcast is supported by the following people (& more!) through Patreon. If you'd like to support the podcast and get access to sneak peeks + additional content for patrons-only, please check out patreon! 

Aleksandra Alex Alicia Alison C Alison S Amanda Bee Belle Brittany Caitlin Carolina Carolyn Casey Cath Catherine Chantale Chase Elizabeth Ellen Emily B Emily P Emily T Hanna Lisa Heather James Justice Laura Lauren Lawral leah Lyle Marta Morgan Natalie Natasha Niki Ocean Rachel Sandy Sarah B Sarah H Shelby Shelly shivani - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Aaron: website | instagram  

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE 42 :: Jess Mahaney of Muumuu - Wild Beginnings, Changing Directions & Finding Flow  

 photography by Mark Mahaney

photography by Mark Mahaney

The Close Knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation about the ways we use fiber to process world and life events

The Close Knit Podcast is supported by the following people (& more!) through Patreon. If you'd like to support the podcast and get access to sneak peeks + additional content for patrons-only, please check out patreon! 

Aleksandra Alex Alicia Alison C Alison S Amanda Bee Belle Brittany Caitlin Carolina Caroline Carolyn Casey Cath Catherine Chantale Charlotte Chase Elizabeth Ellen Emily B Emily P Emily T Hanna Lisa Heather Jaclyn James Justice Laura Lauren Lawral leah Lyle Marta Morgan Natalie Natasha Niki Ocean Rachel Sandy Sarah B Sarah H Shelby Shelly shivani Tal - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

In episode 42, I spoke to Jess Mahaney of Muumuu. Jess is someone whose designs stood out to me immediately when I saw them online this year. Jess was a little surprised when I asked her to come the podcast- her background and engagement with fiber is different to a lot of folks who’ve previously been on the podcast. What I love about Jess is the breadth of things that she brings to the table- a gumption & scrappiness that is inspiring, a willingness to get to work and a deep interest in design, clothing and getting dressed. Muumuu as a concept for Jess has been around for a long time - she never envisioned being a designer at this time in her life, about 7 years into raising a child-  but as its struck her, she’s followed it and it feels like its “in the flow”, as she describes it. 

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She talks about the parts of herself that she felt went missing when she became a full time caretaker of her baby & how dressing herself was part of this. She sings the praises of linen, how it looks relaxed always and we talk about the ways that women, especially women designers, are changing the narrative around dressing and who we dress “for” and how. 

We discuss her fear of not having the right language for describing what she wants, not thinking of herself truly as a “designer”. We discuss what it means to follow your impulses, to make more things in the world and the ethical quandaries that come up with that. Jess tells us what her ultimate vision for Muu Muu looks like (spoiler - it’s not just about clothing - clothing is really just the vehicle), and what’s on tap for her for the next couple of months.

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People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Jess: website | instagram  

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE 41 :: Anny Crane on Becoming an Art Teacher & Processing Through Art

 photo by Erika Townsley

photo by Erika Townsley

The Close Knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation about the ways we use fiber to process world and life events

This week I spoke to Anny Crane. Anny is a process artist, working mainly in embroidery. Anna’s process struck me visually because she embroiders onto paper, usually that she’s made - so there’s a lot to take in, textures, colors, embellishments. I loved getting to talk to Anny about how she got started with the sort of art she creates, something she found as her grandmother was passing & how her process has changed and stayed the same.We discuss her move to Michigan, her current job situation & how sometimes settling into success can feel intimidating. Be sure to stay tuned to the end - we really get into some big feelings around social media and how our use of it has changed over time. 

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A huge thank you to this episode’s sponsor - Making Things. Last episode, I got to introduce you to Making Things, so for this episode, I wanted to tell you more about their soon-to-launch platform. Making Things is like Netflix- but better, because it’s for knitting & crochet - it’s unlimited access to all your favorite patterns in one place. All the pattern have been tech edited and tested so you know that you’re getting the best quality resources.  Not only that, but there’s a whole digital toolbox to bring these interactive patterns to life - counters, row highlighters, chart grids, editable notes & live pattern support - all designed by and for the knitting and crochet community. You can follow Making Things’ journey as they go live on instagram at @themakingthingsapp and online at makingthingsapp.com 

 liz's knitted self portrait - her first intarsia (!!)

liz's knitted self portrait - her first intarsia (!!)

The Close Knit Podcast is supported by the following people (& more!) through Patreon. If you'd like to support the podcast and get access to sneak peeks + additional content for patrons-only, please check out patreon! 

Alicia Alison Tal Lauren Chase Melanie Ellen Sandy leah James Natalie Chantale Justice Sarah Cath Casey Morgan Natasha Emily Hanna Lisa Carolina Rachel Aleksandra Charlotte Brittany Lyle Alex Alison Ashley Caroline Claire Elizabeth Heather Rachael Shelly shivani Katie Jaclyn

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Anny: website | instagram  

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE 40 :: Liz Spencer of The Dogwood Dyer

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The Close Knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation about the ways we use fiber to process world and life events

This week I spoke to Liz Spencer, The Dogwood Dyer. Liz really walks me through her educational experience relating to fiber art and how it led her to where she is today - from the London College of Fashion to working as a seamstress. Liz had what she refers to as a “backwards approach” to natural dyeing, beginning with gardening natural dye plants before ever dyeing with them. She has experienced many forms of fiber and many ways of relating to the medium, but she feels like natural dyeing is the one that’s really stuck and is one she continues to practice and learn more about every day. Liz explains how she’s made her practice work, from a small apartment in Brooklyn to a family home in Riverside - alongside raising children and teaching in academic institutions. What I really appreciate about talking to Liz is her honesty and sincerity - it’s so clear how much Liz loves and is fascinated by natural dyeing, and I loved how she really tells us about how she’s made it work for her and how she and her family plan to make it work in the future. She’s certainly a person whose work inspires me endlessly, so I’m excited to share with all of you what she had to say! 

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A huge thank you to this episode’s sponsor, Making Things. When I first noticed Making Things on instagram, I was intrigued and curious. It looked like a new way of engaging with patterns that I didn’t totally get at first, but after talking with the founder, Megan, who started and ran Wool Days  - a yarn company whose yarn and ethos I great admire - all the bits and pieces came together for me. Making Things is the digital home for your knitting & crochet. They’ve created a full set of digital tools for interactive patterns - counters, row highlighters, chart grids, editable notes & live pattern support - designed by and for our community. It’s been developed alongside 500 knitters, crocheters & designers, which means that everyone’s desires and needs are being accounted for with Making Things. Launching soon, Making Things is going to be such an improvement on the old way of working with patterns - I know I’m excited to try it first hand (as I am a bit of a queen of notes scrawled on random bits of paper and constantly losing my place in my knitting) You can follow Making Things’ journey as they go live on instagram at @themakingthingsapp and online at makingthingsapp.com 

 liz's knitted self portrait - her first intarsia (!!)

liz's knitted self portrait - her first intarsia (!!)

The Close Knit Podcast is supported by the following people (& more!) through Patreon. If you'd like to support the podcast and get access to sneak peeks + additional content for patrons-only, please check out patreon! 

Alicia Alison Tal Lauren Chase Melanie Ellen Sandy leah James Natalie Chantale Justice Sarah Cath Casey Morgan Natasha Emily Hanna Lisa Carolina Rachel Aleksandra Charlotte Brittany Lyle Alex Alison Ashley Caroline Claire Elizabeth Heather Rachael Shelly shivani Katie Jaclyn

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Liz: website | instagram  

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani

EPISODE 39 :: Mike Reynolds of Everyday Girl Dad : Masculinity, Fatherhood & Listening to Lived Experience

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The Close Knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation about the ways we use fiber to process world and life events

This week I spoke to Mike Reynolds of Everyday Girl Dad. Mike first came across my radar with his feminism-forward parenting and life thoughts and then I noticed that he was cross stitching. After engaging with each other’s content for a while, we finally sat down to talk, and we covered all the ground you might expect from a person like Mike - a father who parents daughters, is outspoken about feminism, masculinity and mental health. We discuss how we got into cross stitch and the way he uses it in his own life, and how he got started with designing his own patterns when folks he wanted to cross stitch weren’t being represented in popular cross stitch. We talk about the importance of being willing to listen to other people’s lived experiences, and how this has been a central part of his learning of feminism. Mike acknowledges the way in which his privilege allows him to have sometimes difficult conversations with other men and masculine folks, and how important this is to him.

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I think a lot about gender and the way that it’s been steeped into every corner of our lives, so it was really gratifying to talk to someone whose lived experience if different to my own, and so wonderful hearing from a man about gentle masculinity and how this can look in real life. 

The Close Knit Podcast is supported by the following people (& more!) through Patreon. If you'd like to support the podcast and get access to sneak peeks + additional content for patrons-only, please check out patreon! 

Debra  Pam  Ranae  Elise  Laura  Amanda  Jaclyn  Emily  Jess  Anna  Tal  Jen  Carolina  Alison Morgan  Chantale  Cath  Casey  James  Sandra  Justice  Brittany  Hanna  Sarah Alicia  Rachel  Natasha  Josie  Lyle A  Lauren Natalie  Charlotte  Leah

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People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • fembroidery - pieces and messaging around the pieces

  • cara handmade

  • fat owl fibers : star trek and harry potter pieces 

Find Mike: website | instagram   | facebook

Want more? 

Like what you're hearing? 

Awesome! I'm glad you've found your way to this podcast. Please feel free to subscribe, leave a review on iTunes (this makes all the difference to reaching more people!) and share with your loved ones. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time! 

xx

ani