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Knitterview: Kristin of the Yarngasm podcast

Thursday, 20 December, 2012

Some knitters you just connect with. You love their color sense and their taste in patterns. Kristin is one of those people for me. I’ve loved getting to know her through her podcast (now videocast!), Yarngasm, and it’s always fun to see what she’s working on. And since she and her husband, Dennis, live in a super trendy Brooklyn neighborhood, it makes me feel like I might actually be a little bit cool too.

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What is your knitting story?

When I was very young, my Grandmother and Aunt would take me to Germany to visit my Great Grandmother, who was always knitting…mostly socks. I was six years old at the time and didn’t really understand what she was doing with all those needles, but the image of her sitting in a corner, knitting sock after sock is one of my fondest memories of her.

In second grade, I took an after school class called “Needles and Thread,” where we learned to sew and knit. My mother wasn’t sure why I would want to take a class like that but signed me up. To her surprise, I loved knitting!  I remember taking my pot holder-in-progress with me when I visited my grandmother, who would help me switch yarn colors. (It was a stripy pot holder!) Sadly, the class only lasted a semester.

It wasn’t until my senior year in high school, that I caught the knitting bug again. I purchased a “learn to knit” kit at the book store and then, after getting the gist of garter stitch, I purchased the book “Stitch n’ Bitch” by Debbie Stoller, which taught me how to purl — among other handy tips and tricks. I remember how excited I felt when I finally finally learned how to knit stockinette! I got very into knitting from there, but after I started college, I somehow let knitting get away from me.

When I was laid off from my job in 2007, I had lots of free time. It was then, that I stumbled on Ravelry and was inspired to pick up the needles again (I always kept those pink knitting needles from the “learn to knit” kit in my desk drawer). I bought a skein of blue chenille yarn from the local dollar store … and haven’t stopped knitting since! Also, since then, my taste in yarn has changed significantly. 😉

harpswell

Harpswell Pullover

What was your first project?

The potholder I made in second grade, which was naturally full of dropped stitches and holes.

On a typical day how much time to do you spend knitting?

My work schedule is crazy, but I always make time to knit. I try to wake up an hour early, just to get some knitting in before work. Otherwise, I usually have at least an hour or two to knit. Weekends are a different story. I usually wake up at 7am and get 3 to 4 hours of solid knitting in. We also like to go on mini road trips. I don’t have a drivers license, which affords me the ability to knit in the passengers seat for hours on end!

color affection

Color Affection

How big is your stash? What yarn do you have the most of?

I wouldn’t say my stash is out of control. I keep it in a giant IKEA armoire which I lovingly call the “Yarn Fortress.” It’s big, gray, and has glass windows so I can always see my yarn. I love it! Don’t mess with the Yarn Fortress.

When I started knitting again, back in 2007, I fell down the Knit Picks and Malabrigo rabbit hole. I have lots of their yarn languishing in my stash. Otherwise, I have a happy mix of different types of yarn.

brooklet

Brooklet

Where do you do most of your knitting?

I do most of my knitting in our living room. I usually sit in a comfy chair in front of my laptop. I also spend lots of time knitting in the car.

Every knitter I’ve ever met has strong opinions about color. What colors are you most drawn to?

I’m all about color, but I love wearing neutrals. Heather grays and browns are my favorite. I also love green, cyan, and muted shades of purple. When I fall in love with a colorful skein that I MUST knit…it usually becomes a pair of socks. That’s how I get my color fix in. 😉

owls

Owls

What inspires you?

Seeing gorgeous photos of things other people create (on Pinterest for example) are definitely an inspiration. Things that make me think, “I want to make one too!”

What are your favorite types of projects to knit?

I love knitting lace. Watching a lace project grow from your needles is so satisfying.

Socks are my go-to project for when I just want to be knitting something. I usually knit them in the car because they don’t require much attention. I can talk to Dennis, stare out the window…even knit in the dark!

ishbel

Ishbel

You do a podcast/videocast called Yarngasm. Can you tell us a little about it?

YarnGasm, like most pod/vidcasts is me chatting about my knitting. It’s very loosely organized into segments. – on the needles, off the needles…I kind of just go with the flow and talk about whatever knitting-related topics come to mind. My cat, Bella, sometimes makes a guest appearance. 😉

Why did you decide to start a podcast?

The very first podcast I started listening to was KnitPicks. Then the Electric Sheep, Knitmore Girls, Here’s to Ewe…and they seemed like they were so much fun to do. I had a microphone and Garageband, and figured I’d give it a whirl.

When I first started, I tried modeling it after other podcasts but after finding your own voice and getting into your own groove, you find out what works and what doesn’t works. And lately, I’m finding video is working really well for me. 🙂

vinelle

The last several episodes have been available as a videocast as well as a podcast. Are you going to keep it that way?

Definitely! I was inspired to make the transition from audio to video after getting hooked on “‘Round the Twist” vidcast with Carin. I love being able to see what projects people are working on and how they’re progressing week after week. Talking to a camera also comes more natural to me than just talking into a mic.

However, because it started out as an audio podcast, I also make an audio version for listeners who have been with me from the beginning.

What effect has having a podcast had on your knitting life?

A very good one! I’ve met so many wonderful knitters who I probably would have never met had I not picked up the microphone — and I love hearing from listeners! It always makes my day when they tell me about how much they are enjoying the show. It’s because of that that I keep at it. Also, as a generally quiet, and shy person, podcasting/vidcasting has helped me come out of my shell a bit.

pasha

Pasha

Do you listen to a lot of other podcasts? If so, which are your favorites?

Too many to count…Electric Sheep, Knitmore Girls, Subway Knits, TV Knitting Podcast, CraftStash…to name a few. Laura, of Gynx yarns started a video cast recently. I can’t wait to see where it goes! There are so many more I need to catch up on.

This time of year there are a lot of knitters frantically trying to finish up Christmas gifts. Is this you?

Every year I swear I’m not knitting Christmas gifts, but some how I find myself crunching to finish a few projects for special somebodies. Fortunately, the people I’m knitting gifts for this year, I won’t see until after Christmas.  I’m knitting a scarf of my own design for my friend Ashleigh, which I’m half done with, and a pair of Rivercat socks for my grandmother.

pomme

Any knitting disasters you’d like to share?

Last year I joined a KAL for the Echo Flowers – a triangular shawl. It wasn’t until I actually finished knitting the pattern that I realized I had only knit HALF a triangle. I only knit one side of the chart…at no point did It occur to me that I wasn’t adding center stitch increases. HOW does that happen!??!?!

What is on your needles at the moment?

The Christmas projects that I mentioned above, another pair of vanilla socks, a cardigan for my husband. Those are what I’m focusing on right now, but I do have several other UFOs that I need to pay more attention after I’m done with those. 😉

cladonia

Cladonia

What is the best piece of knitting advice you’ve ever gotten?

I can’t remember the exact quote, but something the Yarn Harlot said. It was something to the effect of “If a guy doesn’t mind how much yarn you have…marry him!” 😉

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Thank you so much, Kristin, for allowing me to interview you! If you’re interested in checking out more of Kristin’s projects you can find her on Ravelry here. Her blog and podcast can be found at voolenvine.com.

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