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The podcast is here!

Last week I mentioned there would be an addition to the Mrs M’s Curiosity Cabinet blog: a podcast.

I first considered recording a series of podcast several months ago and just assumed they would be videos, bearing in mind the type of content I hoped to cover. However, the more I researched how to record, where to record and how to use my existing equipment, the more I procrastinated. It wasn’t just that I hate being on camera, it went much deeper.

For one, my medium has always been words rather than visuals. I am much happier describing materials, processes and experiences than I am staring at myself showing things. Also, the spoken word lends itself to exploring concepts and perspectives, without looking like some philosophical talking heads programme you might find on French television.

Once I articulated to myself (and the podcaster whose work has influenced me in many ways) that I was planning an audio podcast of my own, things happened pretty quickly. The angle and theme of the podcast pretty much fell into place over the night; I set about figuring out recording software; and I pulled together topics and ideas for the first three episodes.

Obviously the pesky demons caught up with me pretty quickly but as I was determined that this would happened, I started to whisper that there was something coming. At Edinburgh Yarn Festival I took the opportunity that the Podcast Lounge offered to pick the brains of Louise (of KnitBritish), Helen (of Curious Handmade) and Alison and Rachel (of the Yarn in the City) about some of the technical aspects. This week, as I started recording and editing, the niggling voices raised their volume, making me cringe at the sound of voice and fret about all the imperfections that are part of a learning curve. But I drew on all the hugs, kindness and friendship I had experienced in Edinburgh and ploughed on.

Helen had asked me what I was going to call my podcast. I had been playing around with various ideas and thought I would market test them but at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival it struck me how many people said “Oh… you’re Mrs M” or “You’re the lady with the curiosity cabinet” or “And you write a lovely blog”. So, as I and many of the things I talk about are already associated with Mrs M’s Curiosity Cabinet, it seems a bit daft to pick a different title.

So, before self-doubt and perfectionism morph into more procrastination, here is the first episode of Mrs M’s Curiosity Cabinet – A podcast about materials, the making instinct and a craft-full life.

You can also listen on iTunes.

In this podcast I mention the following podcasts:

  • Wool n’ Spinning by Rachel Smith – a podcast about spinning and working with handspun yarn;
  • KnitBritish by Louise Scollay – an informative podcast that encourages a love of local wool;
  • Handmade and Woollen by Jennie and Devon – a husband and wife podcast that focuses on handmade wardrobes, including their Natural Wardrobe Make-along, and all things wool from fleece to yarn; and
  • The Charm of It with Eva – a podcast about the nitty gritty of knitting.

I also mention the following wool businesses, which were at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival – UK’s premier hand knitting festival:

A cosy comforting natural shade

What a difference the natural grey base makes!

Lustrous Gotland for another cardigan

Finally, I refer to:

This episode is focused on wool but just like this blog, the Mrs M’s Curiosity Cabinet podcast is not just for knitters. In future episodes I shall focus on various material and making in many forms. But as I am still riding high on the fumes and camaraderie of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival I hope you will indulge my love of wool in this first episode.

If you want to comment on anything in this podcast, share your experiences or provide feedback, please do so in the comments below; contact me via InstagramTwitter or Ravelry, or email me at megandgosia [at] gmail [dot] com.

I would also like to thank everybody who has offered practical advice and suggestions, and who has encouraged me to share my voice, passions and enthusiasm in this new-to-me medium.

***

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

 

 

22 comments
  • Mairead March 20, 2017, 5:12 pm

    Love, love love your podcast! I love that it going to be about sustainable living, about other forms of craft and making.

    It also sounds as if you had a wonderful time at EYF. I am most definitely going next year!

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 21, 2017, 9:22 am

      Thank you Mairead. I know sustainability issues are not everybody’s cup of tea but it informs my making so I am looking forward to gently touching upon it via materials and making.

      Reply
  • Elouise Kevern March 20, 2017, 5:50 pm

    Hello again Meg, lovely to hear you. It was great to hear you talk about what motivates your making and the materials you use. It was like having you sat in the same room chatting over a cup of tea. Definitely a very enjoyable episode. Elouise

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 21, 2017, 9:23 am

      Thank you Elouise. I was aiming for a “chat over tea at kitchen table” feel so I am glad you experienced it as such.

      Reply
  • Mairead March 20, 2017, 5:57 pm

    Love, love, love your podcast! I love that you will be talking about all sorts of making, about sustainable living and crafts. So much to look forward to!

    Reply
  • Julia March 20, 2017, 10:09 pm

    I enjoyed listening to you talk about your experience and purchases at EYF and I look forward to hearing more about sustainable crafts and lifestyle

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 21, 2017, 9:24 am

      Thank you Julia. It’s lovely to hear there is some interest in the sustainability aspects that inform my making.

      Reply
  • Blithespirit March 21, 2017, 8:31 am

    Meg, just loved your first podcast. You have such a lovely voice for it and as I expected, it was such a thoughtful and articulate podcast, clearly setting out your goals. I enjoyed the wool reviews too – I didn’t get a chance to see woollenflower’s booth at EYF but must check out her wool at the next show she does. I am also a fan of Little Grey Sheep so will look forward to your upcoming project. So pleased you’ve taken the plunge and look forward to upcoming episodes!

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 21, 2017, 9:26 am

      Thank you for your feedback Maylin. Hopefully see you at another event before the next EYF. Happy knitting with the Uist Wool!

      Reply
  • Blithespirit March 21, 2017, 8:33 am

    Oh, and I also bought some of that gorgeous Uist wool at EYF. Love it and it’s extra special as I am visiting Uist in September and climbing the mountain featured on their business postcard.

    Reply
  • Becca March 21, 2017, 4:26 pm

    Hi Meg,
    It was a real pleasure to listen to your first episode! You sound like a veteran podcaster already. You speak slowly and clearly and thoughtfully.
    I thought it was so interesting that you brought up the tension that can exist between ideas of sustainability/minimalism and the love of materials. I have certainly felt that tension, especially when I am buying my materials without any consideration for what I am buying and how it will fit into my life. But I have also found that thoughtful makers tend to have an appreciation for the value of things and thus are less likely to have a disposable attitude to their things which I think is a common destructive tendency for humans.
    Sustainability requires a economic ecosystem that allows producers to survive and be able to continue producing in a responsible way. I can’t make all the clothes, food, paper, materials that my family needs but I can choose where I procure those things and make sure they will last and have a good long life. The more I learn about materials and how to use them the better chance I have of making good choices as well as making and purchasing things that are fit for purpose.
    Thanks so much for your lovely podcast. I’m so excited that you’ve taken that leap. I look forward to the many topics you will cover.

    PS Have you read Colour by Victoria Finlay? It’s a fascinating book about the history of pigments.

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 21, 2017, 5:45 pm

      Becca, Thank you for your thoughtful comment and also sharing your experience of this tension too. I was sure I wasn’t the only one experiencing this so it is really lovely to hear others’ reflections on these things. The reason I use the word sustainability rather than green living/environmentalism/mimimalism is very much linked to the economic point you raise. Sustainable development focuses exactly on that need to balance earth care, social justice and wellbeing, and an economic system that serves a different type of prosperity. And as with you, a better understanding of materials and making is definitely resulting in more considered choices for me. My pursuit of a craft-full life is not just about my own making, it’s about me respecting other people’s making and that includes people being paid a fair living wage for their skills and labour. Oh yes, and I am planning to re-read Colour as part of my podcasting journey. I read it shortly after it first came out but I think it will resonate more deeply now I have first hand experience of using pigments in ceramics and fibres…

      Reply
  • Isla March 21, 2017, 6:33 pm

    I have just spent a very lovely 30 minutes with my knitting and a cuppa listening to you (via iTunes). You were brilliant, sound quality was spot on and I loved hearing you chat about your crafty thoughts. Looking forward to listening to your future episodes.
    Isla x
    p.s. I also bought some of Jules Woollenflower Uradale dyed yarn. I am going to use some of it for my Bousta hat along with some natural grey Uradale I bought last year.

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 22, 2017, 3:58 pm

      Thank you, Isla. It’s lovely to hear that the sound quality was fine. I think Jules’ natural shades will look super with the natural grey Uradle. I’m planning to use some of that for edgings if I should not have enough of the madder dyed yarn for a top.

      Reply
  • Lorna March 22, 2017, 12:48 pm

    Hello – I really enjoyed your first episode. You have a lovely voice and the content was interesting for me as a hobbyist maker. I made a conscious decision not to go to EYF this year so I enjoyed your round up without feeling I had missed out. Looking forward to hearing you again.

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 22, 2017, 3:57 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the first episode. I see from your blog that you decided to celebrate your leftover yarn. I thinks this is fabulous! It is very easy to get excited about the new shiny stuff, but I am also eager to celebrate materials we already have.

      Reply
  • Jane S March 23, 2017, 10:14 am

    Hi there, I so enjoyed your first episode. I found it really thoughtful with lots of interesting feedback on EYF. I love the fact that you will be covering lots of crafts and growing food – another passion of mine. I’ve subscribed on iTunes and look forward to the next one.

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 24, 2017, 9:09 pm

      Thank you for your feedback Jane. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the first episode and am delighted to hear that I’m not the only knitter who has a passion for food, incl. homegrown food. Just today I mentioned an odd parallel between knitting and growing and food. I talked about wool choices in terms of the right plant or ingredient in the right place/for the right purpose. I think my generation is relearning a lot of lost knowledge about plant varieties and wool breeds, things our great grandparents may still have known…

      Reply
  • Barbara S March 24, 2017, 10:04 pm

    Congratulations Meg! I really enjoyed this episode, you’ve got a lovely calming voice which I found very easy to listen to. I’m looking forward to your next episode

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 28, 2017, 10:02 am

      Barbara, I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast. Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.

      Reply
  • Liz March 28, 2017, 7:59 am

    Hi there, nice to hear your voice – you sound like a natural at podcasting, and the sound quality was great. I definitely want to follow your podcasts and hear more of your thoughts. You mentioned that you work at several different crafts out of curiosity, and I’m much the same. I constantly revolve around a set of different crafts (knitting, crochet, sewing, spinning, and occasionally dyeing), and I often find there’s tension between wanting to delve more deeply into one craft and keep revolving around the others out of curiosity too. It results in much procrastination at times about which project to start next. Just as I start to think that I’m a hopeless case, though, the voice of reason tells me that if we didn’t live in a modern world it would be a useful trait. Without shopping centres and the means to buy what we want at the touch of a button we would all have to be adept at ‘making’ in different ways – switching from one craft to another depending on what is needed next. We probably all have the need to ‘make’ written into our DNA and hardwired into our brains.

    And yet, it’s a trait that we seem to accept is being written out of existence. The other day, a friend said that her daughter had a careers class at school which was preparing them for a world where work may be hard to find because of the never ending ‘progress’ in mechanisation and computerisation in the work place. That’s food for thought! Do we need to accept it? Have the policy makers got it wrong in being so accepting?

    You also mentioned food sustainability, heritage varieties of vegetables and traditional food preparation. I’d be interested to hear more. Keeping biodiversity and traditional knowledge alive in the face of monoculture agriculture – it’s another big issue. I’d be happy to join the debate….

    Reply
    • Meg and Gosia March 28, 2017, 10:07 am

      Liz, thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. I love how you use the words biodiversity and traditional knowledge at the end of the comment. Biodiversity is used to denote species diversity and a rich biodiversity creates resilience in the natural world, but I think it is also useful to think of biodiversity in terms of the social and economic systems we rely on. As such I think multiple skills, a wide range of knowledge and multiple support systems are really useful for human and social resilience, even if our education and economic structures seem to push us to specialise all the time…

      Reply

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