in their own words: Miriam Felton / YarnStories Podcast

In this post, Miriam Felton discusses her YarnStories Podcast. I’ve known Miriam for over a decade, she was one of the first designers I ever emailed (I’m amazed she still talks to me). Miriam is an talented knit designer, teacher, artist, and friend.

Yarn Stories PodcastI love podcasts and their place in our making lives since we can listen and work at the same time, even when we have to watch what our hands are doing. Podcasts and audiobooks are really the perfect background for our making. I started YarnStories as a way to connect the stories of the people behind the yarns and fibers that we use to the people who use them. So we talk to ranchers and dyers of different types of sheep breeds, and in this second season we’re branching out into some more cellulose fibers and some more technical stuff.

It was a podcast that I wanted to hear in our world, so I made it. In the many years I’ve been in this industry I have loved hearing the stories about how a product comes to market, how a company was formed, or what inspired a book project, so having the opportunity to bring those stories to the people who don’t work in this industry, but benefit from the work OF this industry seemed the perfect use for the knowledge I had gained and the stories I’d heard.

In the first season I was mostly just telling the stories of people I knew. I knew they had something to say, so I just asked them to talk to me on the record. But as the second season has evolved and as I decided where I wanted to take it, I found that I started answering the questions I had. I talked to experts about sericulture (silk) and raising cotton. I’ve talked to people about medical textiles and US based super wash facilities (forthcoming).

I thought I would just be retelling stories I had heard before, but in a different context and I’ve ended up going on deep dives into really technical stuff to answer my own curiosity. I foresee it going further and farther in that direction in the future. It gave me the confidence to be curious and ask smart people my questions.

YarnStories Podcast Episode 210, Alicia Ruthrauff YarnStories Podcast Episode 201, Sally Fox, Part 1

Don’t be afraid to let things evolve to serve you. If you are doing a job that doesn’t fulfill you, change it. Change your goals, change how you approach it, and never stop learning. I’ve learned audio engineering as I’ve been doing the podcast, and the format has changed a bit as I have. But now I make a bit of audio every two weeks that makes me laugh, makes me smile, and brings me closer to a community that I love.

Yarn Stories Podcast

Find Miriam:

In Their Own Words is a series where invited artists, designers, and creators share what drives their big projects. Want to share your story? Please contact me.

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