Episode 33 : The Patchwork Girls with novelist Elaine Everest

Elaine Everest

For many of us, our crafts take a back seat as we concentrate on our careers and creativity can be stifled by everyday life. For novelist, Elaine Everest, a childhood growing up with a mother who made clothes and sewed for friends and family, that creativity stayed with her. From dressmaking as a young girl to making designer garments on a knitting machine for London boutiques to then setting up her own business sewing raincoats for dogs, Elaine achieved a lot before she embarked on yet another creative career as a novelist.

Sewing is a theme which runs through Elaine’s series ‘The Woolworths Girls’ and is centre stage in her latest book; The Patchwork Girls. The story, set in World War II, sees a group of women form a sewing circle making patchwork quilts and other items for the war effort. Elaine drew on her own experience of crafts to write the story which shows the healing effects of both friendships and creativity.

Elaine says that although her interest in crafting had waned over the years, the events of the past 18 months have reacquainted her with sewing, crochet and other crafts and that they have ‘saved’ her during lockdown. She spoke to me about her life, her love of creativity and how she ended up writing a string of novels.

You can listen to Elaine’s episode here.

The Patchwork Girls is published by Pan MacMillan.

You can find out more about Elaine on her website, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches  Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Episode 32 : Yarndale 2021 : A festival of yarn, creativity & community

After a hiatus due to the pandemic last year, Yarndale returned to Skipton Auction Mart on 25th & 26th September and I was thrilled to be able to go along! As well as my mask and hand sanitizer I took my microphone and met so many truly lovely people.

Me (on the left) with Yvonne (R) from Bonnie’s Little Crafts in front of the charity shop Yarndale blanket mentioned in this episode.

This episode is my experience of Yarndale 2021, which in a nutshell was wonderful, friendly, colourful and utterly uplifting. In it you will hear from yarn dyers, craftspeople and business owners who were exhibiting their wares along with Matt Farci from Crojo.Life and Alyson Chu from Moorit Magazine as well as friend of Making Stitches, Carole Rennison from Hooked by Design who is also one of the festival’s organisers. I hope you enjoy listening to it as I enjoyed my Yarndale experience – it was a blast!

Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools
Niki from Allium Threads
Part of the Bigwigs Angora stand
Kate from Kate’s Kloths
Alyson Chu from Moorit Magazine
The Buttoned Up stand
Carole Rennison from Hooked by Design and one of the Yarndale organisers in her gorgeous granny square cardigan

Here are the people & businesses who feature in this episode – my thanks to everyone who spoke to me.

Yarndale Festival
Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools
Matt Farci from Crojo.Life
Niki from Allium Threads
Sarah Paul from Bigwigs Angora
Kate from Kate’s Kloths
Jenny & Ruth from Ammonite Yarns
Michelle Lewis from Woolly Wumpkins
Alyson Chu from Moorit Magazine
Judith from Buttoned Up
Carole Rennison from Hooked by Design

Looking down towards Yarndale at the Skipton Auction Mart from the Yarn Walk where I recorded at the end of the day


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches  Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Episode 31 : Teaching the world to knit socks with Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum

Hello and welcome to the first episode of series four of Making Stitches Podcast. It has been a very busy summer for me researching stories and makers to share with you on the podcast as well as working on my own creative projects too. It’s a real joy to be back with you! 

Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum

In this episode we hear from Christine Perry, who you may know better as Winwick Mum, a champion of sock knitting who has made it her life’s work to simplify the sock-knitting process so anyone can achieve success and knit their own socks. Christine’s knitting journey began in earnest at the age of 18 when she saw a jumper she simply had to have and her mother told her to knit it herself. It wasn’t until several years later though, that her obsession with knitting socks began.

After being told that knitting socks was too difficult too many times at a knit and natter group, Christine decided to make her own tutorial to demystify the process and published it on her blog; Winwick Mum. That was when the ‘Sockalong’ was born and in the six years since, over 15,000 pairs of socks have been knitted around the world using Christine’s tutorials – and those are just the ones she knows about! She went on to write two books with sock patterns in and has her own YouTube channel in which she shows the process of creating socks. Christine has also designed a range of sock yarns for West Yorkshire Spinners.

Christine was a joy to talk to and her enthusiasm for her craft is truly infectious. I can imagine an awful lot of new sock projects will be cast on after listening to this! You can find Christine and her work via her blog Winwick Mum.

Listen to Christine’s episode here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Photo credit: Christine Perry, Winwick Mum.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston

A Flock of Canary Craftivists – Bonus Episode

The Manchester Flock at Manchester’s Central Library

Hello there! Although Making Stitches is supposedly on a summer break, here’s a little bonus episode all about a project I’ve been involved with recently which began with a previous episode of this podcast. Back in May, I released Episode 25 of Making Stitches which featured a chat I had with Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective. In it, she told me about her plan for a summer of ‘craftivism’ featuring flocks of Canary Craftivists staging public displays of crafting to raise awareness of environmental issues ahead of this year’s Cop 26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Galvanized by Sarah’s infectious enthusiasm, I found myself co-ordinating a small flock of canary craftivists in Manchester. This episode is the story of how it came about and how it went. Blighted by the ‘pingdemic’ our flock was small but, dare I say it(?), perfectly formed and we were able to engage passers-by in our craft and the message behind it. I do hope you enjoy listening!

You can listen to the episode here.

The Manchester Flock stitching at the Emmeline Pankhurst statue

If you would like to find out more about the Canary Craftivists and the Craftivist Collective please visit the Craftivist Collective website, Instagram or Twitter.


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay Weston.

Evie & Gemma from the Manchester Flock

Episode 30 : Sew on the Go with Mary Jane Baxter

Mary Jane with her new book in ‘Bambi’
Photo credit: Thomas Skovsende

Back in the days before Covid, when the notion of being able to pack up a camper van and do a road trip of Europe was a thing, former BBC Brussels Correspondent Mary Jane Baxter did just that. She did it in style in a 1986 Bedford Bambi van adorned with vintage wallpaper. Taking just a few possessions with her, including her hand-crank sewing machine and a collection of her own hand-made hats, she set off on a voyage of creativity and adventure calling in on former work colleagues and discovering new textile inspired destinations.

A picturesque meal by Lake Annecy

On her return from her tour of France, Belgium, Italy and Scotland, Mary Jane set about recording her travels in the form of a book; Sew on the Go. In it you find a travel journal, a number of creative craft projects you can have a go at as well as a searingly honest document of the highs and, at times, painfully lonely lows of solo traveling. From driving down a black run in the Alps (during summer) and camping next to a Cathedral in France to browsing flea markets and hosting craft pop-ups to help fund the trip, Mary Jane’s account of her travels is warm, emotional and utterly inspiring.

Bambi on the road

My grateful thanks to Mary Jane for sharing her adventures with me for Making Stitches.

Crossing into Italy

You can listen to Mary Jane on Making Stitches here.

Mary Jane looking for bargains at a brocante (flea market)

You can find Mary Jane’s website, where you can order her book; Sew on the Go here and her Instagram account here.

Sewing on the go in Britain


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

Bambi at Applecross in Scotland

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Episode 29 : From sewing scrubs to Sewing Bee 🐝

Adam Brooks

I don’t know about you but this year’s Great British Sewing Bee was just what the doctor ordered for me. After a spring of lockdowns, isolation, burst bubbles and home schooling, the creativity, colour and humour of GBSB was so uplifting.

The standard of the contestants this year was really high, and many of them could have gone all the way to final had it not been for one bad day when things didn’t go exactly according to plan. The camaraderie of the 12 sewing competitors, the friendships you were able to witness developing and the fabulous garments that were created made it a fantastic series.

Adam in one of his own sewn outfits

One of those contestants was Adam Brooks, an Entertainments Director on a cruise ship, who used his time during the pandemic while stuck on dry land, to get creative and reacquaint himself with his sewing machine. He created beautiful garments on the show from a stunning 1950s style button down dress to a Frida Kahlo inspired playsuit and won the transformation challenge twice! Unfortunately a child’s raincoat got the better of him in week 5 and saw him saying goodbye to his fellow contestants.

Another of Adam’s passions is knitting by hand & machine

You can listen to Adam’s episode here.

I’m absolutely thrilled that Adam agreed to speak to me for Making Stitches and really grateful he shared some of his behind the scenes experiences from Sewing Bee. I hope you enjoy listening to our chat as much as I did recording it. You can find Adam on Instagram.

A poem Adam wrote about his time on GBSB


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Episode 28 : Hooking a brighter future with Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou

Louise in one of her crochet creations

So many of my guests on the podcast so far have spoken about the healing properties of their crafts, the mindfulness of repetitive stitching, be that with a sewing needle or machine, a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook. For my latest guest; Louise Murray, crochet and other crafts have helped her in her journey since losing her brother suddenly four years ago.

Louise with her brother Martyn

Back on 22nd May 2017, a terrorist attack on an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena left more than 800 people injured and twenty two people lost their lives. One of those who died was Louise’s brother Martyn Hett. At the time, Louise was nearing the end of her foundation year studies ahead of plans to study for a degree in Fashion Design. All that was put on hold when the tragedy struck her family so suddenly and so publicly.

Hooked by Lou ‘Mixed Emotions’ bag, bralette & earrings

Since then, Louise’s love of crafts and creating helped her find a new direction and she’s now crocheting full time with her business ‘Hooked by Lou’ designing and making clothing and accessories. I’m so grateful to Louise for agreeing to share her story and for speaking so openly about her experiences.

Hooked by Lou bralette tops

You can hear Louise’s episode here.

Hooked by Lou top & skirt set

You can find Louise’s work through the following links:
Hooked by Lou website
Hooked by Lou on Instagram
Hooked by Lou on Facebook

Hooked by Lou ‘Patchwork’ vest top


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 27: Crochet, Cherry Blossom & Friendship – A Day Out at The Crochet Sanctuary

I’m so happy that I’ve been able to bring you this latest episode of Making Stitches. Back in the spring of 2020 when I was recording my first episode of Making Stitches, I imagined that before too long, I would be able to travel to meet inspiring makers and record their stories in person. Thanks to Covid lockdowns and restrictions, that hasn’t been able to happen until now.

Lisa Hesketh & Lynda-Rose Simonini from The Crochet Sanctuary

That first episode of the podcast featured two ladies, Lisa Hesketh & Lynda-Rose Simonini, the creators of The Crochet Sanctuary, and the brains behind the Pandemonium Blanket Crochet-along (or CAL) which helped hundreds of crocheters cope through that first lockdown. That interview was recorded remotely as the vast majority of the Making Stitches episodes have been, but I hoped that one day, we would get the chance to meet in person. That day came two weeks ago at the first Crochet Sanctuary day of 2021.

The Crochet Sanctuary was first launched back in 2018, after Lisa and Lynda-Rose decided they wanted to create the kind of crochet get-away that they would like to attend themselves. They focus on inclusion and making sure everyone is welcomed and feels part of the group and there is help on hand if you are usure of stitches or techniques. The reason for the sanctuary is crochet, but from my experience on the day, the true message is friendship.

The Crochet Sanctuary May 2021

I took my microphone along with my crochet hooks and met some lovely ladies. I hope this epsiode gives you a flavour of the great time I had at my first ever Crochet Sanctuary!

You can hear the episode here.

Amanda aka Mrs G with her tea Cosy

My thanks to Lisa & Lynda-Rose, Amanda from Mrs G Makes, Diane & Sam for speaking to me for the podcast and to all the other lovely ladies I met that day.

Diane working on her tea cosy
Sam with her first ever finished Crochet Sanctuary item – a cherry blossom tea cosy


You can find out all about The Crochet Sanctuary here and do give their podcast a listen too!


If you would like to vote for Making Stitches Podcast in the ‘Specialist Interest’ category of the Quite the Thing Media 2021 Podcast Awards, voting is open until 19th June 2021. You can vote here. You can also vote for Making Stitches in the Listener’s Choice Category of the British Podcast Awards here.

My very own cherry blossom tea cosy & napkin rings


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 26 : Granny Square Appreciation with Heather Griffith from HG Designs Crochet

Heather Griffith of HG Designs Crochet

Crochet can be a form of therapy for so many of us, but for Heather Griffith of HG Designs Crochet, it was through using the craft as rehabilitation after an injury, which set her off on a whole new adventure. At the time, Heather was training to be a lawyer and the repetitive movements of making granny squares helped her physically and mentally throughout her training.

It was last year though, during a period of ill health that she appealed for help to the online crochet community to buy her granny square patterns (to sustain her financially) that she decided to make the leap to crochet full-time.

Heather with some of her crochet patterns

Now, Heather runs a crochet design business (HG Designs Crochet) and online tuition for wannabe crochet designers (HGDC Hub) publishing work books to help designers grade their patterns and produce work which can be sold.

HGDC Hub

Heather says that far from being an overnight success, her design work has been a slow burn with her publishing YouTube videos and Instagram posts since 2017. She believes there is room in the market for plenty more crochet designers to join her, sharing their own niche of the crochet world.

Heather modeling her ‘Example’ jumper

**LISTEN TO HEATHER’S EPISODE HERE**

You can find out more about Heather’s work and her social media and YouTube channels through her website.

My sincere thanks to Heather Griffith for speaking to me for Making Stitches Podcast.

If you would like to vote for Making Stitches Podcast in the ‘Specialist Interest’ category of the Quite the Thing Media 2021 Podcast Awards, voting is open until 19th June 2021. You can vote here.

For full show notes for this episode, please visit the Making Stitches website.
The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.

Episode 25 : The Art of Gentle Protest with Sarah Corbett from The Craftivist Collective

Sarah Corbett
photo by Gary Morrisroe

A chance conversation about a small embroidery project while on a long train journey led Sarah Corbett to unite her interest in craft with her passion for activism. Sarah says that at the time of that conversation, while working on a cross-stitch kit during a 5-hour-long train trip, she was feeling burned out by her job as an activist. But she realised there was a way to marry the mindfulness of stitching and other crafts with getting important messages across and supporting the under represented in society.

A Craftivist Collective mini banner in situ
photo by Robin Prime

Sarah now single-handedly runs The Craftivist Collective and has engaged thousands of crafters from around the world (including the inspirational change-maker Malala Yousafzai) in creating their own acts of gentle protest on a range of issues from climate change to gender equality and the campaign for a living wage.

Malala Yousafzai engaging in slow & mindful activism at a Crochet Collective workshop photo credit : Craftivist Collective

You can hear Sarah’s episode here alternatively search for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app.

Craftivist Sarah Corbett
photo by Jonathan Cherry

My sincere thanks to Sarah Corbett for speaking to me for Making Stitches Podcast.

Graceful activism: bespoke hankerchiefs for retail company board members to encourage their company to be as ethical as possible
photo by Sarah Corbett

You can find out more about The Craftivist Collective and sign up to The Craftivist Collective newsletter here.

Jenny Eclair with Sarah Corbett
still from BBC4 Craftivism show January 2021

Craftivist Collective on Instagram
Craftivist Collective on Twitter

How to be a Craftivist by Sarah Corbett
photo by Jonathan Cherry
Craftivist Collective mini fashion statement workshop 2017
Photo by Elliott James


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.

Making Stitches Podcast is presented, recorded and edited by Lindsay from Postcard from Gibraltar.