Saturday, June 14, 2014

Featured HPKCHC Podcast

Have you ever been interested in the Master Knitter program?  Or do you enjoy listening to other HPKCHC members talk about crafts they're working on?  If you said "yes" to either of these questions, you need to check out the Mastering the Knits podcast, which you can find at  It's hosted by Natalie, who's known as Barknknit on Ravelry,

and Alicia (aka Lish), who's known as KnottyKnitter17 on Ravelry.

They usually post new episodes every 2 weeks and you can find them on their website or on iTunes/Downcast.

Natalie and Alicia were happy to answer a bunch of question for us and here they are ...

When did you start this podcast and what motivated you to start it?
Our first episode went live on March 4th, 2014. The motivation began because Natalie had been wanting to get back into podcasting and one day she was listening to the Twinset Designs podcast talk about the Master Knitter Program. Natalie then came up with the plan to do the Master Knitter Program and podcast about it with Alicia…she shared this plan with Alicia who agreed it was a great idea and the rest is history!

What types of topics do you discuss in your podcast? Do you have a format you usually follow or just go with the flow?
We have specific segments that we discuss each week for example, Master Status and Plan, where we talk about what we’ve done and what we are planning to do in the Master Knitter Program Level 1. We also talk about what’s on and off our needles and projects we are planning in segments called In Our Hands, Masterpieces, and Future Stitches. We include an Adoption story in our segment Happy tails, where people submit stories about their adopted pets for us to share with our listeners. We talk about our life as well in our Simple Selfie segment.

It looks like you two are working on becoming Master Knitters, which sounds really cool! What can you tell us about the program and what is motivating you to do it? 
The Master Hand Knitting Program was created by The Knitting Guild Association. The masters program was created in 1987 as a way for knitting guild members to have their knitting evaluated with specific criteria and guidelines. It was designed as an education process not as a competition or contest. There are 3 levels to the program and knitters work independently through each level while building on techniques.

Lish: I wanted to participate in the program to become a more confident knitter and have more consistency in my knitting. I want to know why my knitting sometimes does not work out and how to fix it. It will help me when I eventually start teaching classes.

Natalie: I’ve always wanted to take the next step in my knitting and I never really knew where or how to do this. I had heard several people talk about the Master Knitter Program and one day I was listening to Twinset Designs and the way she described it helped push me into reaching out to Alicia to join me in taking this challenge. I’d also like to teach knitting classes and more some day, which is what started me thinking about the program in the first place. I am also hoping this will be what I need to set up my designing.

What type(s) of crafting do you normally do and how long have you been doing them? Are there any techniques, fibers, or types of crafts you’d like to try but haven’t yet? 
Natalie: Mostly I’m a Knitter and a Spinner but I know how to sew and crochet. I hope to learn to weave soon but haven’t dove into that yet.

Lish: I am most comfortable, knitting. I dabble in some crochet and some sewing. I spun some wool on a drop spindle once but haven’t really gotten into it just yet. The interest is there but just haven’t been able to commit to learning. I do plan on taking some online sewing courses this summer and I am looking forward to learning how to tailor my own clothes and make some simple skirts. I’d call myself a survival sewer right now, I could sew something to save my life, but it’s not always pretty.

Which HPKCHC house(s) are you in and what year are you? How long have you been in that house? Have you ever been part of one of the other houses? If so, when and for how long?
Natalie: I’m a Gryffindor all the way! I’m currently in my 8th year in Gryffindor. I have thought about doing a term in other houses but I haven’t brought myself to request that from the Sorting Hat yet.

Lish: RRRROOOOOAAAARRRR! I am in the Gryffindor house, pride Canary Creams . Natalie introduced me to the house cup about a year ago. Since I work in the school system, I am about to enter my most productive term because I am going to have some time off!

Do you ever mention anything related to HPKCHC in your podcast? If you do, what types of things do you usually discuss relating to HPKCHC? 
Yes, we started the podcast while we were midterm so we didn’t know where to start. We waited until before the start of this term and then we talked a little about the Cup and how we came to it. We now talk about where we plan to place each project into the cup or where we turned them in.

What are you working on for your OWL, NEWT, BROOM? 
Natalie: For my History of Magic OWL, I’m have completed a skein of yarn spun for Bellatrix, a 50 Rows shawlette by Susan B Anderson for Lily Potter, and I’m working my husband’s colorwork stocking for Auther Weasley. For my BROOM, I’ve proposed spinning a sweater worth of yarn out of some corriedale locks.

Lish: This is my super busy time at work and I needed to cut back in other areas. This term I did not get a chance propose an OWL but I did propose a BROOM. I am working on 2 American Girl dresses and a pair of plain vanilla socks.

What’s your favorite part about being in HPKCHC? 
Natalie: I love the motivation to start and finish projects. I found the House Cup right after I had my first child and I was struggling to find my mojo. The House Cup helped me focus my crafting and really helped my productivity! I get so inspired by all the projects too! I love seeing how others interpret the prompts.

Lish: COLLECT ALL THE BADGES! haha. Like Natalie, I like the motivation and the somewhat of a deadline to start and complete projects. Points and badges are motivation for me. I also love to see the talent of other house cuppers. It’s incredible how much we can craft in one month time. The inspiration and creativity are practically endless. Another thing I love about the cup is the sense of community it promotes. It’s a come as you are environment. Everyone is positive and supportive. Prides almost feel like close friends and family. I love to check in with them daily and learn more about each person in the pride.

What can you tell our blog readers that they may not already know about you?
Lish: I’m an easy scare. I literally can be frightened just by someone walking around the corner. The reaction is usually very animated. It typically involves me clenching my chest and crumbling to the ground. It happens an average of 3-5 times a day. I blame it on having an older brother that was a prankster or the fact that I may not hear them until they are very close to me. Either way, it’s sort of funny.

Natalie: No wonder we get along!! I’m the same as Lish…I can scare myself with no help from others. How funny!

Both Natalie and Alicia finished some awesome projects that you have to see.  Alicia knit all of these beautiful bridesmaids shawls!
Natalie knit this gorgeous cardigan!

Be sure to check out their podcast!

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