EPISODE THIRTEEN :: Rhiannon Owens - The Next Step - Finding and Celebrating Sustainability in Craft

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 this Episode of the Close Knit Podcast, I chat to Rhi Owens of The Next Step. Rhi is a versatile crafter who knits, sews, crochets, and more. She's a prolific knitwear designer of clothes for women and children. We talk about Rhi's love of natural fibres and dyes, and how her family lineage of crafters has influence how and why she crafts. As a sewist, Rhi uses the process to create garments that truly fit her, and we discuss how empowering that relationship can be. I cannot recommend Rhi's blog highly enough for resources for sustainable and ethical fibres, as well as some really inspiring blog interviews. 

Rhi tells us about how empowering she finds making her own clothes - having the ability to make shapes that are for your own body and fit you perfectly - and what impact it's had on her own relationship to her body. 

She is really excited about the slow fashion movement and minimalism in craft and how it is gaining momentum. This interest led Rhi to start The Next Step - a directory of fibres and fabrics that are ethically and sustainably made, with price points listed to make it easy for folk to find the fibres that suit their needs.

Her grandmother is an artist and crafter throughout her life, and she taught her daughters who taught their children (rhi included). All of her aunites are creative and work with fibre in some way, she always made her own stuff. Her mother always said to her, "you can make that yourself" and that's become something of a family mantra. 

3 generations of crafters :) 

3 generations of crafters :) 

Rhi mainly sews and knits - though she sews not for the love of the process, but the love of the finished product, and for knitting its both the process and the final outcome. She buys op shopped sheets to make dresses for herself and her daughter. 

Rhi's biggest bit of advice? 

"Buy quality, because when you've got a supply that is really special to you... you really want to do a good job with that so you will put in the extra effort and Google the tutorials that you need, and make sure that you do a really good job with it.... The other this is to surround yourself with as many people who make as possible, whether that's online or in real life, that will be really inspiring, and will get you through those tough beginner times" 

"and with knitting using natural fibres because they hide a multitude of sins" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Knit FM Podcast - Pam Allen and Hannah Fetig's Podcast in which they discuss tons of cool stuff related to knitting, but we referenced the episode about linen fibres. 
  • Andy Sutherland - Agatha Cardigan - Rhi's first knitting project (!!) 
  • Danielle - lunarknits - taught Ani about the magic of blocking 
  • fav blog - the craft sessions, Felicia has excellent practical advice for making quality but also making lots of kids' clothes. Rhi loves the stash less project and her simple sewing posts. Definitely read her post on slow fashion. 
  • Seamwork Podcast - craft as healing, and making clothes that fit your body
  • Pomcast from the makers of PomPom Mag
  • Natural Dyers: Gregoria Fibers and Fern Fiber
  • LollyMolly Sweets - Rhi's aunite who dyes and handspins 

Find Rhi: 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!