Episode 55 : Sewing to Save the Planet with Stitched Up!

The team at Stitched Up! HQ

Disposable fast fashion is a huge cause of pollution and damage to the environment, but one community benefit society in Manchester has been doing its bit to help for the past decade. Stitched Up! which is now based in Stretford Mall in Greater Manchester has been rescuing unwanted fabric and teaching sewing skills in a bid to help people get more out of their clothes and slow down the damage being done to the planet.

Stitched Up! Shop in Stretford

The organisation takes donations of unwanted fabric and sells it on to sewists at a discounted rate as well as offering workshops on everything from basic sewing skills, repurposing garments, make do and mend sessions and dressmaking techniques. Their pop up shop in Stretford also hosts a regular Repair Cafe where experts in other fields come along to help people get more life out of their belongings rather than simply throwing them away.

A Stitched Up! Workshop underway

I went along to Stitched Up! to meet their events co-ordinator Sarah Revington, she told me all about the organisation’s roots and its interesting plans for the future.

Pre-loved yarn at Stitched Up!

You can find out more about Stitched Up! through their website and YouTube channel.

**Listen to the Stitched Up! Episode here**

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.


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.

Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite & Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom amigurumi patterns are available in the Making Stitches Shop

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

Episode 54 : Amoami : a symbol of crochet resistance with Rafael Alcaide

Amoami bears

A chance experience at an airport back in March left its mark on Rafael Alcaide. On returning home to Madrid, Rafael saw a large group of Ukrainian women and children who had just arrived from fleeing the invasion in their homeland.

Some of the Ukrainian women who have been helped by Amoami

Wanting to do something to help, Rafael turned to his friend Rita, a crochet designer, and together they came up with a design for a small amigurumi bear which has become a symbol of resistance for the refugees. Within weeks, Amoami, a social enterprise was born and they began training the Ukrainian women in how to create the amigurumi bears – some of which had never crocheted before.

Soon other groups opened up across Spain and later in Switzerland too. To date, 40 women have been helped through Amoami. The organisation is able to help the women with the therapy of making the bears, it helps them settle into their new communities and pays them an income. People are able to support the group by buying the bears and so far bears have been sent far and wide, from the USA to Hong Kong as well as across Europe and the UK.

You can find out more about Amoami here, through their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

**LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE**

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

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.

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

Episode 53 : The Great Northern Textiles Show 2022

Last Sunday, the first ever Great Northern Textile Show opened its doors to the public, welcoming crafters to mingle with artists and craftspeople from a wide range of disciplines and enjoy a celebration of creativity.

The event was Tracy Fox’s idea – my guest for the previous episode of Making Stitches – as an artist, print maker and dyer of fabric herself, she felt there was a gap in the market for a show celebrating local talent in Manchester and the wider area. As a city built on textiles during the industrial revolution, Tracy believed there should be a showcase for talent from the world of textiles, and so, after much thought and meticulous planning, the Great Northern Textile Show was born.

One of Leah Higgins’ Art Quilts called Cadence 7

I went along to experience it for myself and took my microphone with me to capture some of the atmosphere. I hope you enjoy listening to the conversations I had with some of the people I met there.

Louise from Sincerely Louise

Thank you to everyone who spoke to me for this episode including:
Tracy Fox, the event organiser
Leah Higgins, artist
Louise from Sincerely Louise

Holly Palmer from Planet Quilts


Holly Palmer from Planet Quilts
Ian Fothergill from The Knitting Gift Shop
Tanya from the Woolly Tangle
Julie from Tilly Flop Designs

Ally Rose from the International Feltmakers Association with her penguin head


Christine and Ally from the International Feltmakers Association

Caroline from Montague Patchers in Sale

Members of the North Cheshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers

Liz Carrington from the North Cheshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers

Carrie (l) & Helen (r) from Yarn Addicts Manchester


Helen & Carrie from the Yarn Addicts of Manchester
Great Northern Textile Show

Listen to the episode here!

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

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.
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.

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

Episode 52: FROM RUSTY METAL TO WORKS OF ART with Tracy Fox ~ Dyer, Print Maker & Artist

Tracy Fox

There are many strings to Tracy Fox’s bow, she describes herself as a dyer, print maker and artist creating the most beautiful art fabrics in her home studio in Manchester. She also uses her fabric to make stunning art quilts and has exhibited her work and sold her cloth at various craft shows over the years. It was at one of those shows, the Nantwich Quilters Exhibition and Fabric Sale that she was approached to take over the management and running of the show, which she has done ever since. Five years on, she’s now launching another show, this time in Manchester – The Great Northern Textile Show will take place later this month.

The Great Northern Textile Show will showcase crafts people and artists from the worlds of textiles, quilting, yarn crafts, embroidery, felting, spinning and other disciplines. There will also be craft guilds and organisations on hand to help visitors learn new skills if they want to add to their own repertoires.

One of Tracy’s scarves dyed using leaves & rust

I went along to Tracy’s home studio to hear about her own creative journey, the way she creates her beautiful fabrics and what she uses them for along with her hopes for The Great Northern Textile Show too.

Fabric being dyed

You can listen to the Episode here

You can find Tracy’s website here.

Tracy’s ‘Fire’ dyed cloth
Tracy’s finished Lockdown art quilt project using some of her ‘fire’ dyed cloth

More information about the Great Northern Textile Show can be found here.

One of Tracy’s Shibori cloths



To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.


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.

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

Episode 51 : Yarndale 2022 A Festival of Yarn & Friendship

Tristen – Yarndale’s mascot for this year – to celebrate 10 years of the festival

It hardly seems a year ago that I last followed the Yarn Walk to Skipton Auction Mart for Yarndale 2021. Last year saw the yarn festival based in North Yorkshire return after Covid, and this year it’s celebrating it’s 10th birthday. Seeing as I had such fun on my last visit, I had to return – not just to squish some gorgeous yarn – but to meet more lovely crafty folk.

Yarndale Festival entrance last Saturday
Crochet designer Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet gave a talk about her blanket design process

This episode, the first of the sixth series of Making Stitches Podcast, is a snapshot of the fabulous day I spent at Yarndale 2022 last Saturday. You will hear from stall-holders and a chat I had with Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet who was on the workforce at the festival this year running workshops and giving a couple of talks.

The highlight of my day was meeting Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet!

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

Janet Browne from Janet Browne Textile Art

Cuddlebums hand dyed yarns

Jodi from Cuddlebums Hand Dyed Yarns

Tanya Bentham

Tanya Bentham from Opus Anglicanum Embroidery

Hannah Cross from Hanjan Crochet

Trava & Wool

Zuzana from Trava & Wool

Matt Farci from Scheepjes & Crojo.life

Sue Kimber from Farm Crafts Art Yarn

Sue Kimber from Farm Crafts

Jacki Bogg from Hot Butter Yarn

Jaki Bogg from Hot Butter Yarns

Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet

Hooked by Design

Carole Rennison from Hooked by Design

Yarndale Festival

Approaching Yarndale 2022 at Skipton Auction Mart along the Yarn Walk

**LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE OR BY SEARCHING FOR MAKING STITCHES ON YOUR FAVOURITE PODCAST APP**



To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

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.

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

Episode 50 : Colourful Socks & Jumbo Crochet Hooks with Winwick Mum & Juey Jumbo Craft Tools

Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools (left) & Christine Perry AKA Winwick Mum (right)

Hello and welcome to Episode 50 of Making Stitches and the last episode in this series. As it’s the end of the current series, I thought I’d reconnect with a couple of friends of the podcast and catch up with their latest news. My guests for this episode are Sock Knitting Champion; Christine Perry or Winwick Mum as she’s known online and Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools who I met at Yarndale in September last year.

Jumbo crochet hooks in burned wood & natural finishes

When I first met Juey, I was stopped in my tracks as I walked past her stall at Yarndale 2021 (you can hear our first meeting Episode 32) . She was crocheting with the biggest Tunisian crochet hook I have ever seen. At the time I spoke to her for the podcast about her business and how it all got started. This time, she went into more detail about how her father first made her a pair of giant knitting needles using a broom handle and how things progressed from there.

Jumbo accessory needles

I first spoke to Christine Perry last year when she featured in Episode 31 speaking about her mission to teach the world to knit socks (Christine can now lay claim to more than 15,000 pairs of socks being knitted around the world using her patterns). Since that first chat, we have been able to meet in person a few times and on our most recent catch up, I took my microphone along to hear all about her latest sock news – her ‘Happy Feet’ project with West Yorkshire Spinners.

**Listen to this episode by clicking onto this link or searching for Making Stitches Podcast on your favourite podcast app**

Hive Socks from WYS Happy Feet designed by Christine Perry
Roar socks from WYS Happy Feet designed by Christine Perry

Guest links:
Juey Jumbo Craft Tools website
Winwick Mum website
West Yorkshire Spinners Happy Feet Pattern Book

T-shirt yarn Tunisian crochet design by Juey


To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.


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.



If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

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

Episode 49 : Knitting, Crochet & the Online Craft Community with Emmaknitty

Emma Munn AKA Emmaknitty

Hello and welcome to this, the penultimate episode of this current series of Making Stitches Podcast! This time, Emma Munn AKA Emmaknitty is my guest sharing the story of her creative journey into knit & crochet design.

Originally from the South of England, Emma and her family now call Oviedo in Northern Spain home and it’s from there she manages her small craft business alongside her job as an adult education teacher. Emma specialises in homeware & accessory designs and has seen her work published in a number of craft magazines including Mollie Makes.

During our chat, Emma spoke about her journey to knit and crochet designer, the trials and tribulations of managing a solo craft business and has useful advice for anyone thinking of following her lead.

*LISTEN TO EMMA’S EPISODE HERE!*

You can find Emma at her website, Etsy shop, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter.

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

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.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

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

Episode 48 : Yarn, Food Nature & the Universe with Kitey from the Yarn Whisperer

The last couple of years have seen many of us take a step back and reconsider what it is we want to do with our lives. The pandemic gave us a new perspective and forced many of us to change paths. Kitey from the Yarn Whisperer is no different. After a 30 year-long career in teaching in various countries around the world, he found inspiration in a plate of Padron Peppers whilst on holiday in Spain and decided yarn was the way forwards for him.

Kitey’s first attempts at dying his own yarns were inspired by the green peppers and white sangria from his holiday. He now has a thriving online indie yarn dying business and lives a life filled with colour. He says his main inspirations are food (as I’ve already mentioned), nature and the universe – so he’ll never run out of ideas! He’s joined forces with designers and collaborated on a number of projects – his next one being the Dragonfly River make-along with Heather from Keep Calm and Crochet on UK which launches later this month.

A self-professed “stash enabler”, Kitey’s enthusiasm for creativity and ensuring the crafting community is an open and welcoming space for everyone is at the very heart of his work. I hope you enjoy listening to our chat, as much as I enjoyed chatting with Kitey himself.

LISTEN TO KITEY’S EPISODE HERE.

You can find Kitey at the Yarn Whisperer website, on FacebookInstagramPinterest, & YouTube.

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.


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.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

Episode 47 : From Law to Cross Stitch with Sally Wilson from Caterpillar Cross Stitch

Sally Wilson

Like so many makers, despite loving all the creative subjects at school, Sally Wilson took a traditional route of study and then a ‘conventional’ career which for her was as a lawyer. However, whilst on maternity leave, she began to question whether a return to law was really what she wanted at the end of her family time away from her job.

Sally found time to shoe-horn in an e-commerce course and to build a website around caring for her young daughter before breaking the news to her friends and family (and her boss) that instead of pursuing law, she would be selling a range of cross stitch kits she had designed.

Despite a few raised eyebrows, seven years, and a lot of hard work later, Caterpillar Cross stitch now supplies kits to thousands of embroiderers around the world operating out of a warehouse and with a staff of colleagues helping Sally with her business. Sally says the secret to her success is persistence and not having a ‘Plan B’. Caterpillar Cross Stitch now holds regular stitch-alongs with crafters across the globe and has recently launched its own software allowing users to design their own cross stitch patterns.

LISTEN TO SALLY’S EPISODE HERE.

You can find the Caterpillar Cross Stitch website here, Caterpillar Cross Stitch on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & YouTube.

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

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.

Up the Garden Path Daisy pattern now in the Making Stitches Shop

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

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

Episode 46 : A New Venture for The Crochet Project with Joanne Scrace

Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project

This time on Making Stitches Podcast, crochet is under the spotlight and Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project in particular.

The Crochet Project was set up to design and write beautiful crochet patterns using natural yarns and with inclusivity high on the agenda. Crochet Project patterns come in a wide range of sizes to fit all bodies, avoid gender assumptions and even come with directions for left-handed crocheters where necessary. Once a partnership between Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin, Kat has now stepped away and left Joanne at the helm.

Image from The Shawl Project book by Joanne Scrace & Kat Goldin

Joanne, who got into crochet out of necessity when her children were small, used her experience in computer programming to help her grasp tech editing patterns. She now shares her expertise through her website and social media tutorials and is on the cusp of a new chapter with the launch of The Crochet Project Hub.

Listen to this episode here



You can find The Crochet Project website here, Facebook & Instagram.

For the special Making Stitches listener offer of 3 months membership to the Hub at just £2 per month, use the code HUBINFO on the Crochet Project website.

The above link is an affiliate link to the Crochet Project.

To join the mailing list for the new Making Stitches Newsletter, please click onto this link.

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.
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.

If you would like to buy a PDF crochet pattern for Sophia the Sunflower, (£5 from the sale of every pattern will be donated to the UNHCR Refugee aid effort supporting Ukrainian refugees) you can find the link here.

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