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In this month’s bumper episode I talk sock knitting, my wool pantry, dyeing and kitchen gardening but the thread that ties these topics together is a desire to make with as many local materials, breeds and varieties as possible.

The podcasts is also available iTunesPlayerFM and other podcast catchers.

As always, I can be found on Instagram and Ravelry. There is also a Ravelry Group for the Mrs M’s Curiosity Cabinet podcast.

This podcast kicks off with an update on my sock experiment. I am working with 100% Poll Dorset Lambswool from Northern Yarn but it tooks some trial and error to find the right pattern.

Patterns and books referenced in this section:

Future possible yarns for this experiment include:

I then introduce one aspect of my wool pantry: its bioregional nature.

A selection of my locally sourced Wool Pantry

While I choose to source as much of my wool from the British Isles, I am curious about local breeds in other countries, farmers elsewhere working to preserve heritage breeds and independent mills.

The following are good sources of information on local fibre champions in the US and Canada:

I also introduce a Norwegian micro-mill called Telespinn introduced by Lynne (aka YarnDream on Ravelry and @Bryggergus_Fiber_Stua on Instagram)

And for more ideas about natural and local resources, do check out Handmade and Woolen’s NaturalWardrobeMAL: Materials thread.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the dye pots in recent weeks. I talk at length about my reasons for dyeing cotton and mention the following resources:

I didn’t mention this in the podcast but if you decide to try dyeing, make sure you use gloves as well as a mask if you handle dyes or chemicals in powder form.

Finally, I welcome you into my kitchen garden, i.e. abundant patio veg plot, and introduce you to some herititage vegetable varieties, traditional herbs and edible wildflowers you’ll not find in the supermarket.

  • Legend Bush Tomato;
  • Lipstick Early Sweet Pepper;
  • Champion of England Peas;
  • Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor);
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis); and
  • Bladder Campion or Maidenstears (Silene Vulgaris).

I source most of my vegetable seeds from The Real Seed Catalogue.

Salad burnet



Music: Springish by Gillicuddy on FreeMusicArchive and shared under Creative Commons Attribution license.


  • Annmarie June 19, 2017, 4:51 pm

    As always, a pleasure to listen to your thought-provoking and informative podcast. Thank you for the show notes with so many interesting links.

  • Louise June 28, 2017, 7:01 am

    Hello Meg
    For dyeing recipes for cotton and linen I recommend The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use by J.N.Liles – he provides recipes across the colour spectrum for cotton, linen, wool and silk. I also love the Craft of the Dyer: Colour from Plants and Lichens by Karen Leigh Casselman (one of my heroines) – there is a page about old and modern mordant substitutes – happy to send you a scan if you would like me to. Also by Casselman: Lichen Dyes: The New Source Book also has a fabulous bibliography.

  • Johanna July 7, 2017, 5:41 pm

    Dear Meg,

    I just listened to your podcast (while putting in pins into my sewing project) and liked it quite a lot. I think, it is very needed to think about the things you´ve brought up – the environmental and social impact of our crafting and everyday shoping. It is of importance to me to add the financial aspect, which in my opinion is a critical point. It is a thing of “the upper classes” or at least upper middle class to define a standard for environmental concious living and sometimes, it is easy to forget the economic reality of the majority of people (budget-wise and time-wise). So it would be of the utmost interest to me to hear what you have to say about concious “consumption”, of the possibility to support community, local value-chains and environmental friendly behaviour regarding the topic you have brought up.

    Keep it up, Meg. I would love to be hearing more of you in the future.
    Johanna (revelinyarn on IG)

  • jen August 26, 2017, 7:13 am

    We spoke previously in your comments about the “Beehive” replaceable sock-heel (bright coloured single strand that can be snipped to pick up live heel stitches after sock-blow-out). Thought I’d share that since I wear out my worsted marino socks at the center of the ball of the heel, as it turns out, that I’m now figuring out a double-padded heel-ball that’s knitted in place during construction. Just thought I’d share that, as mending Merino worsted socks can be a lumpy affair. :>) Still working on it. Hope you have a new show soon, so I can find out how your socks are holding up.

  • LouiseBoudoirStitches August 29, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Dear Meg,
    I just happen to hear episode 4 and think maube you could be interested by this blog for different reasons :http://clothogancho.canalblog.com/.
    On the main page you will also find some links to other blogs about natural dye.


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