The Internet is amazing!

Thank you everyone for the kind comments re: my brief Radio 4 appearance on Questions, Questions yesterday. It was very exciting to listen to my very own jingle playing on Radio 4 and to hear the washing up recordings getting a mention on National Radio. Furthermore, I was very excited to learn of the origins of the washing up from the knowledgeable and entertaining historian with his explanation of plastic factories and the origins of the washing up basin.

If you didn’t get a chance to listen yesterday on actual Radio 4, thanks to the amazing Internet, you can still listen again via a link on the Questions, Questions page!

And now on to further Internet is amazing rapture. A moment, please, of love for Etsy: in this year’s budget I have decided that all the money I make selling items on ebay and through my Etsy store will be ploughed back into the handmade cause and spent in Etsy or on ebay on items which relate somehow to handmaking. So after selling the much beloved but sadly impractical woordburning stove that I bought for my studio, I invested some of the proceeds in these signature items from Etsy. All the items arrived swiftly and in wonderful condition and I would like to commend the makers of these things for making such loveliness.

First up, we have this stunning pea necklace from Sudlow’s Etsy store. As many of you will know, my signature piece of jewelry is my hand-felted pea-necklace. I have very few pieces of silver/stone jewelry that I adore, but this one is so awesome that I felt almost duty-bound to have it. It shipped very quickly and came beautifully wrapped and I am in love with it.


Next up, we have these needle-felted toadstools which immediately inspired me when I saw them. As well as feeding into a general mushroom theme that I am currently feeling, (check out Kathryn Ivy’s Myriad Mushrooms for felted, knitted, mushroomy goodness) I love the possibility for making your workspace inspirational that this pincushon provides. As well as being stunningly beautiful as an object in its own right, the lovely cluster of mushrooms is a great pincushion and I love how one can theme a workspace for constant inspiration by having items like this. The needle felted toadstool cluster pincushion was made by the gifted bigsister whose needle-felting has inspired me to revisit this way of turning wool into objects…

…and finally, we have the incredibly beautiful Gocco-printed postcard from Blue22’s Etsy shop.

This beautiful print provides a rare insight into which things become ‘everyday’ for a foreigner living in London. Its material loveliness has almost inspired me to invest in a gocco printing press of my own. I love that I was able to get this small celebration of things that are everyday in London, and I am delighted to have made the online acquaintance of this artist who has done a lot of interesting research involving postcards, which you can read about here:

…that’s the most amazing thing about the Internet; the way that you can connect to people in so many ways, either through trade or through exchanging ideas, or whatever. I love that I can directly support talented people who are making great things via Etsy; it is really great that a way of doing this exists. It is so expensive to run a physical shop that the Internet really provides an affordable context for artists to sell their work without massive overheads. To me, that is amazing.

In with the Etsy goodness that came in the post today, there was a further piece of Internet-related joy waiting for me:

Betsy Greer’s much awaited book, ‘Knitting for Good’ will be available for sale from 11th November. My copy arrived today from the publishers because of page 44:

…many months ago the inimitable and inspiring Betsy Greer got in touch with me about the Knitted Walking Stick Cosy Competition, asking if I would write something for the book. The Internet is amazing at providing links between people and projects such as this, and when I took up the opportunity and drafted Betsy some words, I didn’t imagine to see them so carefully reproduced in a page of her book this many months later. Seeing the words on the page bought a lump to my throat as I was reminded of all the passion and energy that drove the Missability Radio Show forward in the first place, and which did somewhat burn itself out several months ago. It is very hard to keep the energy for a project up completely by yourself, over months of time; the truth is, you can’t do it by yourself.

By a strange coincidence, the knitted walking stick cosy competition – which almost died a very quiet death earlier this year when I received too few cosies to make any second competition worth hosting – seems to be enjoying a little bit of a resurgence on Ravelry, where prolific and enthusiastic Raveller – HollowOakFarm – is working hard to rouse interest once again in the idea of customising equipment. I do still get emails from people re: the walking stick cosy competition and I am wondering about how to reinvent the idea into something more user-friendly, like a photo gallery for completed cosies with ephemera and blog fame for submitters, rather than large cash prizes I can’t afford to stump up and a competition format which robs people of their handiwork at the end.

I would really appreciate any activity on the forum, I like very much that other people (Betsy Greer – amazing innovator of Craftivism) and raveller HollowOakFarm – have been able to resurrect a project that I had begun to lose heart in. To me that is the very soul of community; it is one of the ways that the Internet can be amazing.

I want to commend Betsy Greer on putting together what looks like an incredible book. I will read it in coming days and post a thorough review; for now, from me it’s just a massive thank you and a giant well done.

The Internet is amazing because so many amazing people use it.

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