Interview: A Playful Day

Green Triangle Girl of ‘A Playful Day’ Podcast
 
 
Behold! Another interview with one of my favorite knitting podcasters, Green Triangle Girl of A Playful Day! Like the name suggests, her show evokes an incredible sense of playfulness. Her voice is charming and always upbeat. I just love her enthusiasm for knitting; each episode leaves you ready to tackle the world with their knitting needles. Did I mention, she’s also a mega foodie? The girl loves to cook and bake– rest assured, you will be inspired not only to keep on knitting, but to get busy with your kitchen.

For those who have never heard about A Playful Day Podcast, please tell us a little about it:

A Playful Day is a podcast from the UK about knitting, food and all things practical and playful. It’s hosted by a fairy with a desire for fun, laughter and lust for using words such as ‘tomfoolery’.

Who or what inspired you to pick up the microphone?

I actually didn’t mean to make a podcast! I was taking part in ‘Blog Week’ that was hosted by Eskimimi last year and the last day was a challenge of ‘do something different’. I’ve always had great admiration for podcasters such as Brenda Dayne, The Knitmore Girls and Alana Dakos and thought I might give it a whirl just this once. Before I knew it I was sitting in front of a mic and putting up a fortnightly podcast on iTunes.

How and when did you learn to knit?

It’s kind of a sad story as I only took up knitting after ruining my hips dancing. I tore some pretty major muscles in my hips and was unable to dance and run and do all the sports I’d spent my whole life doing. It was driving me crazy as I’m just not a TV person and at the time I read while I commuted for hours every day so the last thing I wanted to do was read again in my spare time. I was so bored!

I’d commented on how I’d love to learn to crochet those cute little flower corsages to my mum so for my birthday she bought me a hook and a ‘Learn to Knit’ bunny toy as a bit of a joke. I was ill one day and going wild for something to do and picked up the knit kit (I CANNOT crochet, I’m dreadful, truly) and taught myself via the internet. I don’t think I’ve stopped knitting since.

What is your favorite thing about podcasting?

The community, without a doubt. You inherit a crowd of other podcasters who are so supportive and a group of listeners who just leave you in awe. This year has been full of new people to meet, interview, giggle with and I’ve loved it! My Ravelry group for the podcast is my happy place, there’s always something fun going on.

… and the most challenging?

The worst thing is trickier. I am prone to self doubt and get desperately upset if I’ve made a mistake or feel I’ve let someone down. I also am very uncomfortable with my real name being used, I feel like ‘Aplayfulday’ affords me the luxury of being truly playful; I don’t know why but seeing my name out there on the internet makes me cower. I’ve had to be honest and say ‘I don’t like that’ so that I can continue to be a whimsical little fairy instead of thinking ‘Oh Lord I hope my Mum doesn’t read what I said about wanting a bath tub of gin for my birthday’ (which is in March if anyone wants to make this happen by the way).

I love your ‘Munch, Burp, Slurp’ segment, which is all about food! What is one cook book everyone should have on-hand in the kitchen?

Just about anything by Nigel Slater. I love the way he writes about food, describing the flavours that make each ingredient distinctive so that you’re not just following a recipe, you’re learning WHY the hazelnuts are better toasted in one recipe but not in another. He is my food hero, hands down.




What is it about a pattern that inspires you to knit it?

That’s tricky to define. I think there’s 3 things at play: a known pattern style, wanting to bury my face in the end product and great photography. I love it when I get to know a designer and can just trust the quality of the pattern writing and that the end product will look how I wanted, maybe even better. I also love textured, beautifully rendered fabrics that suit a yarn’s characteristics and make me itch to feel it on the needles. As for the photography I do not need it to be artsy but I do need to a) see the knitting and b) be swept away by it. Jared Flood has absolutely nailed this in my humble opinion.

Do you have any favorite ‘go-to’ patterns?

I have a weakness for hats and handwarmers as I just love the instant gratification. I have also knit two Cedar Leaf Shawlettes by Alana Dakos and I can see my mum receiving one for Christmas; the leaves on the border are so pleasing and addictive.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
 

Who in this world (dead or alive) do you think would benefit from learning to knit?

Knit recipients. If you understood the love that went into it you would never utter words such as ‘I would love this in brown’ or ‘Where did you buy this?’

In terms of someone famous? Can it be fictional? I would love to teach the new Sherlock Holmes to knit. I think he’d get all cross and grumpy and yes, picturing Benedict Cumberbatch knitting makes me very happy. Actually, picturing Benedict Cumberbatch enerally makes me happy any given day of the week. As does saying and typing his name in full, could he be anymore British?!?!

When knitting in public, what is the silliest thing someone ever said to you?

‘Is that Crochet?’ NO!

When at home, where is it that you knit and what is it about the space that makes it yours?

I knit in the corner of my sofa; we have one of those sofas that is an L shape and I have learned since I stopped moving so fast that I’m actually quite dormouse like and like to burrow into corners. I curl up, get the best of the lamps (I hate overhead light) and can gaze out the window and spy on the neighbours.

Please describe your dream knitting nook and / or room.


Can I have the knitting barn? The barn is a magical place where we hide designers we like to knit for us. A knit friend and I once dreamed it up. We’d sit at the bar drinking gin while they churned out sweaters, afghans and all the things we’ve yet to knit and there’d be an endless supply of gin.


For those knitters thinking about starting their own show, what are a few dos and don’ts for podcasting?

Do:

  • Be yourself. No one else is going to
  • Invest in a good mic and acquaint yourself with editing before you get carried away. I didn’t do this and now I cringe at early episodes and the bad sound quality.
  • Engage with your audience, they’ll be your best source of inspiration.

Don’t

  • Be afraid to delay an episode. Better to put up something of quality that rewards your listener’s for waiting than rush out something half baked.
  • Be afraid to experiment with the medium- podcaster’s such as Craftlife have really made audio work for them and I love that commitment.
  • Feel afraid to share decisions about the podcast with your audience, they’ll thank you for it in the long term.
Any exciting plans for A Playful Day podcast, in 2012?

I have lots of exciting new interviews and giveaways planned and guest features. I am hoping to attend more events this year and take recording on the road again as this has been very popular in the past. I also have my pod-i-versary coming up in April so I have lots of fun planned for that too.

The stage is yours… Is there anything you’d like to add?

I am not really a fairy and I love KnitNook unconditionally.

Super big thanks to A Playful Day! She blogs over here, is GreenTriangleGirl on Ravelry, and you can also follow her on Twitter.