EPISODE ELEVEN :: Kate Smalley of Tracing Threads - Beginner's Edge + The Joy of Making from Scratch


The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

In Episode Eleven of the Close Knit Podcast, I chat to Kate Smalley of Tracing Threads. Kate and I are email pen pals turned real life friends. I found Kate through her blog, tracing threads, a few years ago when she posted sewing and knitting projects and thoughts on life post-college.I’m so excited to have gotten the chance to chat to Kate in this capacity for the podcast - and fair warning, there’s a fair bit of giggling. 

Kate tells me about how she got into knitting and more recently spinning, and her frustrated relationship to sewing. She finds that sewing stresses her out, it can so rigid and she gets really tense when she sits down at a sewing machine. Her approach to spinning has been completely different, more intuitive, less rigid, and she's found this incredibly rewarding.

Her favourite part about fibre arts is that you can watch something all the way through the process and you have the whole history of the garment in front of you - her ultimate goal would be to spin the fibre, weave it into a cloth and sew it into a garment. 

Kate also tells me about why she started Tracing Threads, and the ups and downs of blogging. I love how she embraces the mistakes and the projects that don't go well, and shares those too, as teachable moments. 

Kate's biggest bit of advice? 

"don't compare, espeically in the world of social media- stick with it and remember that you don't have to love every part of something - you push through those parts" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • goonight day: Canadian knitter and knitwear designer, Tara-lynn Morrison - a favourite of mine and Kate's! 
  • middle gray - maker, doer, generally killer aesthetic and blog 
  • Ute - @ute_ig- sewing and making goddess and the person we have a general love fest over on the podcast. 

Find Kate: 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!