EPISODE 48 :: Erin M. Riley - Exploring identity, pleasure, and family structure through weaving

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

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In episode 48 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Erin M. Riley. Erin is someone whose work I’ve followed and admired for literal years, and if I’m being completely honest, I was so psyched when they agreed to come on the podcast. Erin’s work has always deeply intrigued me, and their internet presence was always focused on their work, so I was especially excited to get to talk to them and hear more about how they make their incredible, gigantic tapestries, and how their life experiences have informed their work.

Erin takes me all the way back to middle school, when they were a restless teen sewing seed beads onto clothing and winning sewing machine threading competitions at school. We talk about how their family dynamics, and how their family’s journey with addiction has impacted them and the type of work they’ve created. We discuss the early internet and how it’s changed, how their work engages with various forms of pleasure, and themes that are not often talked about publicly. And we discuss the ways that people have engaged with their work online and off and the importance of making work that can be engaged with in person.

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Erin was so deeply candid with me in this episode, and I so deeply appreciated their perspective on their own art and its interaction with the world.

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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 Lindsay Lyle Marta Morgan Natalie Natasha Niki Ocean Rachel Sandy Sarah B Sarah H Shelby Shelly shivani - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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Find Erin: Instagram | Website

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 47 :: Jewell Christine of North Knits & Our Maker Life

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

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Jewell is a knitter, designer, and founder of Our Maker Life. We talk about Jewell’s family history - her grandmother’s amazing crochet legacy and how that’s informed her own work.

She’s super ambitious and strong-willed- she always has been, and has always had a lot of clarity around what she wants in life. Studying journalism, Jewell found the strong voice she has today, and uses that skill set to inform her work through her social media and maker meet ups with Our Maker Life.

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We talk about the place that spirituality and faith have in her knitting, and how she’s used knitting to quiet her mind and ease her through periods of difficulty and sometimes depression.

Jewell speaks so candidly and openly about her own journey and her experiences and that was part of what really drew me to her, I love the way she sees the world - through this lens of goodness - and it really shows in her 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 Lindsay Lyle Marta Morgan Natalie Natasha Niki Ocean Rachel Sandy Sarah B Sarah H Shelby Shelly shivani - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Find Jewell: NorthKnits | Our Maker Life  

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 46 :: Sara Trail of the Social Justice Sewing Academy - Intergenerational Textile Art Activism

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

sara trail

In Episode 46 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Sara Trail of the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Sara is incredible - a complete powerhouse of passion and ambition, she’s been sewing since age 4, making quilts under her grandmother’s direction, and teaching quilt making from the age of 12 - just let that sink in for a moment. Teaching sewing classes, she started to notice how monochromatic her students were, and how there were many issues of access and affordability existed and perpetuated this student make up.

Sara’s Trayvon Martin Quilt

Sara’s Trayvon Martin Quilt

She started SJSA as a response to this - a way to teach quilting and social justice topics through textiles for free to youth. Sara talks me through the nuts and bolts of how the organization operates, and how its grown over the last few years. We discuss the incredible things that happen both in the classroom with the students she works with and in Quilt exhibits like QuiltCon, which she recently attended in Nashville. 

Exit Wound - Audrey Bernier (17 years old)

Exit Wound - Audrey Bernier (17 years old)

I just constantly found myself remarking at how deeply inspired I am by Sara and her commitment to this work - on a personal and professional level. Running this not for profit on the weekends in addition to working with incarcerated adults to earn their high school diplomas. Sara schooled me in this episode, and it was awesome. 

I’m really excited for you all to listen to Sara and the SJSA’s incredible story.

HERstory Youth Quilt

HERstory Youth Quilt

Justice Youth Quilt

Justice Youth Quilt

And don’t forget to check out her instagram, because seeing these quilts, seeing this work is what really makes it all hit home, I think. 

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 Lindsay Lyle Marta Morgan Natalie Natasha Niki Ocean Rachel Sandy Sarah B Sarah H Shelby Shelly shivani - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Find Sara and SJSA: 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 45 :: Adrienne Antonson of State the Label - Scrappiness, making mistakes, and scaling a business

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

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In Episode 45, I spoke to Adrienne Antonson of State the Label. Following on my interest in production and where that’s led me in terms of guest  lately, I wanted to speak to Adrienne about how she began and continues to run her clothing label, State. 
So part of this curiosity for me is how a person gets interested in and finds themselves working in fiber and clothing production. Adrienne talks me through her entire journey of working with fiber and clothing-making - beginning as a middle schooler sewing simple clothing, to working on an alpaca farm and sewing garments and felting by night, to putting into place some of the bones of State as we know it today.
Adrienne shares the process of growing and scaling the business, from figuring out how to work with a factory to hiring a small team to support production, locally. Her approach is and has always been scrappy, and many parts of her process are not scalable. She revels in the small details and talks me through what it’s like to design and produce a collection of surface-designed goods (spoiler: it’s a lot more logistically complex than you might imagine) 
Adrienne reveals an exciting upcoming launch for state, which I imagine a LOT of listeners will be very excited about. I love the arc of Adrienne’s story - how really genuine and approachable it all feels - how the pieces of State have come together over time and with a lot of effort, but also with a lot of just sticking to your gut.

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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!

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People & Things We Mentioned

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Find Adrienne: 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

Revisiting The Close Knit Podcast Mission

I wanted to take a minute to share the mission of the close knit podcast.

photography by  Nina Hamilton

photography by Nina Hamilton


The close knit podcast aims to hold space for conversation to be had about the ways we use fiber to process life and world events.
What I meant when I wrote that was that this podcast is the vessel, and the guest brings the story - the connecting thread between all guests is fiber in some form. Intentionally broad, this enabled me to speak to all kinds of people about all manner of things.
In practical terms, it has looked like a majority white, majority women-identified line up. When it was entirely this - early on, I paused, readjusted, and tried to publicly challenge myself to do better. I shared this process publicly because I believe in transparency of process, whenever possible. Owning mistakes, instead of letting them own you, and moving forward. 
Over the course of the life of this podcast, I hope to speak to as many people from as many backgrounds as possible - whose stories may be connected only insofar as their interest in fiber, and I hope that each listener finds themselves represented here, in some way. Whether that is a person whose ethnic identity resembles your own, or gender identity, or approach to making, or ethics on living their lives. 
I hope that you find someone who feels like ‘home’ to you here. 
I know that I can always do better - and though I spend more time than your average person researching people in the fiber community to interview, those interviews don’t always pull through, or they don’t happen in the way I imagine they will. I am constantly learning the process of letting go of the outcome as a podcast maker - I can only ask the guest in, and hold as safe a space as I am able - I cannot falsely create stories or force a conversation in a direction it’s not able to go. More so, I cannot expect a certain type of conversation to happen simply because of a common narrative around assumptions I’m no doubt making about my guest.

I want to keep at this. I want to make this podcast for a long ass time - maybe even for the entire time I’m on this planet. so it’s gonna take time, and the guest list will evolve. and I hope, as the knitting and wider fiber community begins to take more seriously issues of representation - we may more easily be able to find a diverse body of people to speak to and hear from.

This being said, know that I am always scouring the internet for new stories, following along on instagram and trying to track down the voices of people who don’t look like me. Sometimes, I do okay it, and other times, not as much. I don’t expect anyone to do that work for me, but I am open to suggestions - I am open to feedback. If there’s someone that you love or YOU are that someone - who is doing interesting work with fiber, who maybe doesn’t have the type of stage that makes it easy to find them, by all means - please let me know. 

I’m here to listen, to keep working on creating a really safe space for people to share. 

I’m processing - in my own private life, sometimes quietly - through hours of conversation with people that I know, and hours of knitting. I’m working on a sock right now - which of course, what else would I be working on, and I don’t know if I’m doing it ‘right’ this whole thing, but I know that I’m giving it what I’ve got. & at the very least, I feel hopeful that we have this vessel - our making, our place for quiet internal reflection, and our connection of fiber. Our place to find each other - our thing to connect over. I’m glad that there is this soft vessel to perhaps help us find each other.