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 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 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.