EPISODE 50 :: Mandy Kordal of Kordal Studio - Knitting on Machines & Local and International Production

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 50 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Mandy Kordal of Kordal Studio. Mandy is someone I have admired for so long - every single collection she’s designed has just made me swoon, and it was such a treat to bring her onto the podcast this month. She walks me all the way back to her earliest memory of working with textiles - influenced by her grandmother and her mother, who are both talented designers and sewists. 

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As has been my line of inquiry lately - this year, actually, I wanted to understand how Mandy went from altering and painting on her clothes as a kid to running a knitwear and now woven-ware clothing line. How her interest was piqued by a neighbor, leading her to study fashion design and taking a class in machine knitting - which informs her garment design and making presently. 

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We discuss the subtleties of machine knitwear design, fiber sourcing, and how being a values-driven brand, as a concept, is an evolution. Mandy talks me through their partnerships with weavers and mills in Peru and Guatemala and how these relationships have evolved over the course of Kordal’s existence. Listen on for our whole chat! Thanks for tuning in! 

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I wanted to pause for a moment to acknowledge that this is the 50th episode of the Close Knit Podcast. 

50 whole episodes! That just feels like a real milestone to me. 

And I just wanted to say thanks. Thank you for listening, and for supporting the podcast. If you’re already pledging on patreon, I so appreciate you. And if you’ve enjoyed the podcast thus far, you can support the podcast to continue to exist by pledging through patreon

Over the course of this last year, your support has helped me pay my bills, hire an editor, and offset website maintenance costs. It’s been an enormous help and it really does enable me to work on this project long term, in a sustainable way. 

Check out my patreon here :)

50 freaking episodes - what a humbling joy it has been to produce this work with and for you. 

Your support means the world to me. 

The Close Knit Podcast is supported by the following people (& more!) through Patreon. If you'd like to support the podcast 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 Rachel Sandy Sarah B Sarah H Shelby Shelly shivani - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Find Mandy : 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 49 :: Charlotte X.C. Sullivan - May West: Leading with Curiosity & Magic of Milkweed  

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 49 of the Close Knit podcast, I spoke to Charlotte X C Sullivan, one of two folks who run May West: a textile innovation collaboration between Charlotte and  Alayna Rasile-Digrindakis. Charlotte walks me through how May West formed, through connection and feeling, and how this has continued to inform their work with milkweed. We discuss the way that clothing, and fashion, can serve as armor, a way to cloak and protect yourself through circumstances in life. 

Charlotte in her backyard in Vermont

Charlotte in her backyard in Vermont

Alayna with milkweed in her studio in Montana

Alayna with milkweed in her studio in Montana

She explains to me how her collaboration with Alayna began, and how their expression of feeling has impacted their process, and how they intend to imbue their clothing with purpose and meaning through each stage of production. 

Harvesting milkweed at Borderview Research farm in Vermont

Harvesting milkweed at Borderview Research farm in Vermont

Charlotte tells me about the evolution of May west’s design studio, from drop spinning of milkweed fibers, to its current iteration: jackets using milkweed batting as insulation, how this iterative process has unfolded over time, through prototypes and experiments. We discuss the importance of local manufacturing and how they’ve managed this production process thus far.

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What I think is most special about this chat is the way that it unfolded from a place of curiosity- something I am realizing is such an important part of my own practice and this podcast, and it was interesting to see that mirrored in the way that Charlotte tends to work. I knew very little of milkweed & its practical uses, and I found it incredibly intriguing to hear Charlotte and Alayna’s collaborative approach towards May West. I feel I need to disclose that the circumstances of this podcast making were a first for me- I recorded it in a friend’s house in Hobart & had little control over the external auditory circumstances, so please bear with me if the audio quality is a little less than you’ve come to expect. 

This was an experiment in dedication for me- seeing if it’s possible to continue creating content as usual, without my safe set up. So thank you for giving me space to try that 

Listen on for my whole chat with Charlotte, thank you so much for tuning in 

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!

Things we Mentioned:

Find May West: 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 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

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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