Episode 40 : Forgiveness, Hope & Knitted Bears with Figen Murray

Figen Murray OBE

Figen Murray first took up knitting seriously to help her cope with hearing loss. At the time, she was working as a psychotherapist, and decided to practice what she preached and turned to creativity to help lift her mood. Little did she know then that just a few years later her knitting would help her cope with the dreadful loss of her son, Martyn Hett, who was one of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

Figen’s knitted bears

By the time of the attack, Figen had taken to knitting bears which she sold online and which she used to help people with various mental health issues. In May 2017, her life was (in her words) “turned upside down”, and she left psychotherapy work to look at why people are compelled to commit acts of terrorism and to try to prevent it happening so that other families wouldn’t have to experience what happened to hers.

Figen’s book which was published in 2017

Figen’s bears became ‘Peace Bears’ and not only have they given her a constructive way of coping with her own grief, but she has used them to reach out to the victims of other attacks too. Figen now visits schools to speak about terrorism and the dangers of radicalisation as well as the good and positivity there is in the world in a bid to “break the cycle of hate”. In December 2021, Figen graduated with a Masters Degree in Counter Terrorism from the University of Central Lancashire and was recognised for her work in counter terrorism when she was awarded an OBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

Figen’s Bears doing yoga!

It was utter pleasure to speak to Figen for Making Stitches and I’m incredibly grateful for her time and openness in speaking to me for the podcast.

Jordan Bear whose travels are documented on Facebook

You can find out more about Figen here and to see Jordan Bear’s traveling adventures you can find him here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 39 : Celebrating Freedom & Crafty Resolutions for 2022 : The Making Stitches Podcast Review of the Year 2021 (Part 2)

I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas! I have one last gift for you this year before the clock strikes midnight again and we begin another year. Following on from the Happy Stitchmas episode published on Christmas Eve, this is my Hogmanay offering with a celebration of some of the freedoms I was able to enjoy this year as well as hearing about peoples’ crafty New Year’s Resolutions for 2022.

Among my guests for this trip down Memory Lane are Crochet Sanctuary regulars Diane & Sam who I met on my visit to the Crochet Sanctuary in Cheshire in Spring. There’s the hugely inspiring Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective and Evie & Gemma from the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists which took place in the city centre in July. Former BBC Europe Correspondent, Mary Jane Baxter, spoke to me about her amazing crafty road trip around Europe and Scotland in her camper van – Bambi, plus there was my fabulous trip across the Pennines to the Yarndale Festival in Skipton in September.

You’ll also be able to hear from a couple of the ladies from Black Sheep Wools in Warrington, crafter Kate Blackburn who makes beautiful handstitched cards, Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum and someone who has helped me a great deal this year; Amanada from Mrs G Makes.

You can hear the episode here!

My thanks to everyone who has spoken to me for Making Stitches this year and made it a year to remember for the podcast. My thanks to you too for listening! Happy New Year – I hope 2022 is a good one for you.

My guests on this episode were:
Sam & Diane who I met at The Crochet Sanctuary
Sarah Corbett from The Craftivist Collective
Evie & Gemma from the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists
Tracy & Lucy from Black Sheep Wools
Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK on Etsy & Instagram
Mary Jane Baxter author of Sew on the Go
Yvonne, one of the volunteers from the Yarndale Festival
Juey from Juey Jumbo Crarft Tools
Carole Rennison from Hooked by Design & Yarndale Festival Organiser
Christine Perry from Winwick Mum
Amanda Greenhough from Mrs G Makes Etsy Shop & Mrs G Makes You Tube Videos

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Holly, Ivy, Hope the Snowdrop
& Flora the gardener

Episode 38 : Happy Stitchmas 2021! The Making Stitches Podcast Christmas Special & Review of the Year 2021 (Part 1)

It’s Christmas Eve, so here’s my Christmas gift to you dear listener! This year I’m splitting my Christmas Special into two halves, the first one is here for you today, and the second one will be out one week from today on New Year’s Eve.

In Part 1 I look back at a few of my personal highlights of the year so far on Making Stitches and feature little snippets from interviews with Sara Huntington – Editor of Simply Crochet Magazine, Louise Armitage aka Gini’s Dorset Buttons, Great British Sewing Bee 2021 contestant Adam Brooks, Heather Griffith from HGDC Crochet & Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou. You’ll also hear from Tracy, Julie and Lucy from Black Sheep Wools in Warrington and Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK hand-stitched cards.

You can find links to all my guests below. My thanks to everyone who spoke to me for the Podcast this year – I couldn’t have done it without you!

I hope you enjoy listening to this special festive episode and I very much look forward to sharing Part 2 with you soon! Have a great Christmas! You can listen to it here.

Sara Huntington – Editor Simply Crochet Magazine & @crochetdeli on Instagram
Louise Armitage aka Gini’s Dorset Buttons
Hayley Shelton aka DotCraftStudio
Adam Brooks
Matthew Downham Art
Heather Griffith from HG Designs Crochet
Louise Murray from Hooked by Lou
Tracy, Julie & Lucy from Black Sheep Wools
Kate Blackburn from Katie Did This UK on Etsy & Instagra
The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 37 : Alyson Chu from Moorit & Keep Calm & Carry Yarn

When Alyson Chu spotted a gap in the market for a high-end crochet magazine, she decided to draw on her publishing experience and put one together herself. With Kick-Starter backing of over 600 individuals and the support of a group of crochet designers, Moorit was born this autumn showcasing beautiful crocheted garments to make as well as articles and a very cute sheep project too.

A podcaster herself for more than 4 years along with her mother, Vivian, with Keep Calm and Carry Yarn, Alyson is well used to speaking about her ongoing projects and her love of crochet. I think you’ll really enjoy hearing about how Moorit came into being, as well as Alyson’s hopes for the magazine going forwards and whether she will be won over by the dark side (knitting) or not!

Sivu Jumper designed by Linda Skuja (from Issue 1 of Moorit)

My sincere thanks to Alyson for speaking to me for Making Stitches Podcast. You can hear the episode here.

Spraoi Mittens & Cowl designed by Anne-Michelle Phelan (featured in Issue 1 of Moorit)

You can find out more about Moorit Magazine here and Keep Calm and Carry Yarn Podcast here.

The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 36 : Crafting a Dream Sewing Business with Sarah Wadey & Freya Gilbert of Crafty Sew and So

Sarah Wadey (L) & Freya Gilbert (R)
from Crafty Sew & So

When Freya Gilbert and Sarah Wadey met at a sewing workshop in 2014, they knew they had met a kindred spirit. Within months they followed their dreams of setting up a sewing business and opened their bricks and mortar shop Crafty Sew and So in Leicester selling fabric haberdashery and offering award-winning workshops. They used their skills gained in retail and the fashion industry to build their business which included a variety of craft workshops as well as dressmaking patterns and kits.

When Covid forced the shop to close, undeterred, Freya and Sarah moved to the Crafty Sew and So workshop and put their business online. During the past 18 months they have not only continued to sell sewing essentials but have run online workshops attracting participants from overseas as well as closer to home. Now that Covid restrictions have eased they are beginning to offer in-person workshops too.

I’m thrilled that Freya and Sarah were able to share their story with me for Making Stitches. You can hear their episode here.

If you would like to find out more about Crafty Sew and So, you can do here. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If you would like to take part in the Christmas episode of Making Stitches with your own ‘stitch story’ please get in touch with me via social media or email: makingstitchespodcast@gmail.com
The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

You can support Making Stitches Podcast with running costs through Ko-fi.
Making Stitches Podcast is supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

Episode 35 : The Power of the Craft Community with Sara Mulvey of Black Sheep Wools

Sara Mulvey at the Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn

I have been wanting to share this episode with you for a very long time. Back in the darkest days of Covid and lockdown in the Spring of 2020, one of the things which kept me going was watching the series of videos posted by Sara Mulvey from Black Sheep Wools. They ranged from chats about yarn supplies and things which could be ordered from the shop to projects she and the rest of the team were working on to general chit chat about surviving the mundane routines we all found ourselves in during those long months of lockdown.

A selection of ‘A Day Out’ blankets designed by Sarah Hatton on display at the Craft Barn


Back in April of 2020, when I first began Making Stitches, I had a ‘hit list’ of people I really wanted to get onto the podcast. Sara was one of those people. If nothing else, I wanted to say thank you to her for helping me at a very tricky time. Fast forward to October 2021 and I finally was able to sit down with Sara in her office at the Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn and have a chat about how the past 18 months had been for her and the team, as well as how it all began for her.

Sara Mulvey

You can listen to Sara’s episode here.

If you would like to find out more about Black Sheeps Wools you can find them here.

If you would like to take part in the Christmas episode of Making Stitches with your own ‘stitch story’ please get in touch with me via social media or email: makingstitchespodcast@gmail.com

The Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

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

Making Stitches Podcast is also supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.


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

Episode 34 : Living a colourful crochet life with Emma Leith

Emma Leith

When I sat down to chat with the self-named ‘Queen of Colour’ & crochet designer Emma Leith, I was in for a treat. Emma’s enthusiasm for creativity and colour is infectious and she was a delight to speak to. She started out teaching mosaic but a couple of large scale yarnbombs brought Emma to prominence and two books of crochet patterns soon followed.

Emma’s mindful creations and colour choices are so zingy and uplifting – you can’t help but be filled with optimism when you see them.

I hope you enjoy our chat which covered subjects including how a breast cancer diagnosis gave Emma the time to focus on her crochet without pressure, how her creativity is a conduit for her Buddhist practice and how she has learned to embrace the colours of autumn.

You can hear Emma’s episode here.

You can find Emma’s work on her website & Instagram.
Mary Rose Young Pottery is one of Emma’s inspirations.

One of Emma’s mosaics


The music featured in this episode is Make You Smile by RGMusic from Melody Loops.
The Making Stitches logo was designed by Neil Warburton at iamunknown.

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

Making Stitches Podcast is also supported by the Making Stitches Shop which offers Making Stitches Podcast merchandise for sale as well as Up the Garden Path crochet patterns created by me & illustrated by Emma Jackson.

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

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