Movin' to Monthly + A Call for Sponsors <3

so earlier this year I was calling myself "joyfully over-committed" but let's be real, that's kinda shit. It was true - I was trying to do too much, but they were all things I really really wanted to do, there was joy, but I also wasn't really sleeping (and by not really sleeping I just mean that I was getting less than 8 hrs a night, which for me doesn't work) 

and it's not necessarily shit for me, until it becomes shit for me. you know? it was actually probably really shit for people in my life because i often ran late to things and had to reschedule because i have a lot of feelings and i can't ignore those feelings and had my google calendar soooo packed that i didn't give any time for just feeling of those feelings (which I'm gonna be honest about, I kinda even schedule on my google calendar, like not really, but also I leave blocks of time that say things like "free time/free knit/just hang out", and that's usually when I find myself settling into what i'm feeling, if that makes any sense) 

all this is to say that as a person with a lot of feelings (and also a lot of frenetic energy a lot of the time) i am working on being less over-committed (see how i'm going easy on myself there by saying just less over-committed instead of not over-committed? that's cuz i think it's all a big fat work-in-progress - me, this life, the whole thing), and in the interest of continuing to keep the JOY in the work that I do, I'm going to go ahead and formally say that the Close Knit Podcast will be a monthly podcast instead of this erratic, semi-bi-monthly thing I've been trying to do lately. 

My intention with moving it to monthly is this: keep the joy and the quality high and the stress loowww (lower?). Learning as I go here, and learning to set expectations both for the audience and myself (the expectations for self thing is damn hard) 

Also, in the interest of keeping the podcast a sustainable part of the patchwork way in which I monetise my labour, I'm seeking sponsorship for the podcast, which I have done in the past, but would like to continue to grow this actively as a part of the podcast. Community and connection are at the core of why I do this work, and I want to foster these connections with other makers and producers, and I genuinely feel there is space for wonderful partnerships to grow with the podcast and other small businesses. 

Now that the podcast is 1 year old (woah!), I have a good sense of where my audience is and I'm committed to making a quality show that continues to challenge the typical role of craft in the world. This means that I'll be really actively focusing on the intersection of craft and social justice, the realities of small business ownership, intersectional feminism, amongst other timely and important issues as they arise. 

Interested in chatting about a potential sponsorship? 

Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • the Close Knit podcast aims to hold safe and inclusive space for conversations about craft/art within a larger context of current sociopolitical issues, social justice issues, amongst other topics (we might touch on some topics that other craft/fibre art podcasts don't)
  • we're open to working with brands of many sizes and can adjust our pricing model accordingly. not sure you're in a space to sponsor financially? get in touch about collaboration or sponsorship of a giveaway. let's work something out. 
  • the Close Knit podcast is available thru iTunes and has over 15 reviews to date (worldwide), all 5 stars (yay!) 
  • the Close Knit Podcast (as of April 2017) has been downloaded over 20k times (!) 

Some praise for the Close Knit Podcast (taken from iTunes reviews) 

love!! inspiring for all of the fiber students out there

 in iTunes by natoci from USA on January 31, 2017

"I've been listening to this podcast all week while doing fiber art projects for school and it's kept me inspired and hopeful and energized by all of the lovely souls that Ani has brought into her Close Knit community. thank you for this!! "


 in iTunes by Hemasan from USA on May 27, 2016

"Ani does a great job of finding and interviewing people with a strong passion for their craft. As I listen, I find myself looking up arts and crafts people from the 19th century to the present day, and I am wowed by them all. Being of the radio rather than the internet generation, I also love the fact that I can tune in and listen whilst going about my day… Love that feeling of having Ani and her guest in my kitchen as I make myself a cuppa! "

Fresh and relaxing...

 in iTunes by Ocean_Xoxoxo from UK on March 29, 2016

"A positively delightful podcast, I was fully immersed whilst listening to Ani Lee and guest Caitlin Murray talking about fibre, life, business, art, books, and speaking yarn ;) Felt like a friend sitting in a garden, having an engaging and light discussion about the arts. It gave me a much needed wave of inspiration and motivation, by reminding me about connecting to this humble fibre community. I can honestly say that the Close Knit podcast will continue to be an authentic and essential part of my routine. Check it out, you'll love it! "

A varied collection of fiber artists' inside stories

 in iTunes by wendlandcd from USA on August 25, 2016

"As a fiber artist myself, I feel like it's always inspiring to hear how others came to the craft and connect with the similarities and differences in our stories and mediums. Ani is an American based in Australia, so I'm finding we are getting a lot of views from both Oceania and North America - so I'm appreciating learning about what life is like down under! I always leave the podcast feeling inspired and appreciating a new perspective. Thank you, Ani for the work you do and for bringing people together! "


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EPISODE SEVENTEEN :: Emily Michetti of Your Daily Dose of Fiber - Finding a Love of Alpaca in Peru, Working on Turning a Passion into a Business

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 17 of the Close Knit Podcast, I speak to Emily Michetti of Your Daily Dose of Fiber. Emily is an alpaca lover, who discovered spinning at a young age. She's since delved deeper into the field of spinning and is working toward building her dream business creating locally grown and spun yarns. We talk about her trip to Peru as a 9-year-old and how that started her down this path, and how she has grown from there. Emily is passionate about soft and luxurious fibres as she has sensitive skin, and plans to keep her fibre sourcing local and her yarns American made. 

As a 9 year old, her mother took her to Peru on a mission visit. She remembers visiting Puno, a really beautiful part of Peru as well as Lake Titicaca. Looking back on it, she tell of the textiles that she encountered but didn't really take notice of as a child. Instead, she fell in love with the alpacas because she found them really adorable. 

A couple years later, she decided she needed a job and was pretty adiment that it have something to do with alpacas. She set about researching and ended up finding an alpaca farm in Texas to work on, a couple hour's drive from her home. The woman who ran the farm taught her to knit with angora goat yarn and DPNs - this was her first introduction to knitting. 

Later in her youth, she bought a drop spindle on Amazon without really knowing what it was. She rediscovered it a few years later and started teaching herself how to spin via Youtube videos. 

Fast forward to the last couple of years - she moved to oregon to marry her husband, and was having trouble finding a job. She picked her knitting back up and ended up knitting a bunch of scarves and rekindling her love of knitting. Shortly after, she was given her first wheel - it was handmade and very unusual but really beautiful. She got into spinning and eventually  bought a new wheel, giving away first wheel to a little girl she knew who was getting into fibre. 

Emily's biggest bit of advice:

"practice. keep doing it. If you really love it, you'll always keep coming back to it. trying and knit a whole thing, instead of two inches of a thing" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Emily: 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! 








EPISODE SIXTEEN :: Sarah Belcher of Blue Highway Hand Dyes - 'Comparison is the thief of joy', creating a local yarn, and exploring natural dyes

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 16, I spoke to Sarah Belcher of Blue Highway Handdyes. Sarah lives in Texas, where she creates naturally dyed yarns from locally raised animals. We talk about her journey into dyeing, and how she couldn’t imagine acid dyes in her home around her family so she looked for an alternative and found natural dyes. She then went on to create her own yarn bases for her natural dyes fromTexas -raised merino and mohair. 


Sarah is a a self-described "yarn sniffer"  - which of course we bonded over instantly. She wanted to make her own wool and realised that there was a ton of merino and mohair in Texas and most of it was being sent abroad in bales. That led her to create her Tex Ranch yarn base - from Texas, and spun in Penn. 

When I asked her about how she went from the idea to make a local yarn to actually doing the thing, she told me that she  first just googled american mills, she knew about green mountain spinnery from when she lived in vermont, and mountain meadow mills, and coincidentally there is someone very close by making a small mill. Those guys would take a smaller minimum of fibre so that meant she could get small amounts processed more easily. She was able to figure it out by asking and the fibre community has been so open to sharing knowledge.

We also discussed many of the larger mills are often not aware that there is a huge market for farm to needle and lament the mass textile market that all of the wool goes overseas automatically. 

Sarah is a process knitter - she just knits to knit for the sake of it. it quiets her mind,  and she knits a little bit every night to wind down. It's like meditation. 

Sarah's biggest bit of advice:

"comparison is the thief of joy. look long enough to get inspired, but not so long to feel less about your own efforts." 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

Find Sarah: 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!