014 Fundamentals of Wet Felting with Rosemary Wells

I was introduced to felting last fall when I took a class from Rosemary at the Rabbitstick Rendezvous and made a hat….. It’s a ton of fun!

With shearing season coming up (generally sheep are shorn early spring) I thought it would be fun to do an episode about a craft that would allow you to take advantage of the raw wool that is about to come available. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks and you may be able to get your hands on some wool for your next project!

Rosemary primarily teaches hat making, but we discuss the basic fundamentals of felting in general so that you have a base understanding that you can apply to whatever project you have in mind.

In this episode we cover things like wool selection, storing wool properly, washing (or the lack thereof), straightening out the wool (carding/picking), laying out your pattern, what needs to happen during the felting process and how you know when to move on to the next step, and of course some history of the craft and what types of things it was traditionally used for. Take a listen, I think you’ll enjoy it!

Resources mentioned

Rosemary’s Youtube Channel

The State Hermitage Museum

Scandinavian-Style Feltmaking by Patricia Spark

Gatherings Rosemary teaches at:

013 Building Dry Stone Walls with Bryce Hollingsworth

You know those miles of picturesque stone walls you’ll see in tourism photos from the UK? Ever wondered how they were built?

Today we’re talking construction, dry stone construction! Dry stone masonry is an age old craft, we have examples of it going back centuries‚Ķ. amazingly you can still find a lot of it intact too! If you’re like me, the first examples that pop into mind are the stone walls found throughout the UK. I’ve always been fascinated by the stone walls, I love craft that endures for so long. Plus it’s beautiful!

This week we’re talking with modern craftsman Bryce Hollingsworth about dry stone construction and how he got involved in masonry. Great talk with a great craftsman– I found this to be a fascinating topic, I hope you do as well!

Resources Mentioned

Stonebearhardscapes.com — Bryce’s website (contact info there if you want to talk to him about doing a job for you!)

Bryce’s Instagram

Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain — and here’s a link to their video’s on Youtube that Bryce mentioned.

The Stone Trust — and the link to their Youtube channel

Dry Stone Conservancy

Dry Stone Walling by Paul Webley (published by the Dry Stone Walling Association)

Stone Primer by Charles McRaven

Building with Stone by Charles McRaven

And, if you’re interested in a couple other fascinating videos on the subject, check out this one and this one.

012 Introduction to Human Powered Machines with Tamara Dean

This week’s episode is exciting for me! I’m talking with Tamara Dean (author of The Human-Powered Home) about human power, machines, tools, best practices and why this should interest you.

So what do we mean by human power? Think crank, treadle, and bike power– historic examples you are likely familiar with would be treadle sewing machines, pole lathes, treadle power hammers, or hand crank grain mills. But the ideas and principles can be adapted to so much more!

If you’re interested in self-sufficiency, being off grid, DIY, or just making things that are awesome her book is a must read. It has plans for a number of different human powered projects you can build, but also discusses the principles behind what you’re doing in a way that makes you feel confident you could adapt the ideas to whatever project you needed built.

Most of the methods we talk about (or that are mentioned in the book) are not strictly traditional, but they are modern adaptations of human powered machines used up through the 19th and early 20th centuries. Overall, it was a great conversation to have and I hope it gets you thinking about human powered machinery in a new light!

Resources Mentioned:

Bicimakina.com — & their youtube channel (seems to be inactive at the moment)

Maya Pedal — link is to the English version of their site

Village Tech Solutions

Driftless Writing Center

The Human-Powered Home: Choosing Muscles over Motors by Tamara Dean

Bicycling Science by David Gordon Wilson

011 Native American Flutes with Charlie Mato-Toyela

Great episode with Charlie from over at Blue Bear Flutes!

I discovered Charlie while lost on Youtube distracting myself from actually doing my taxes like I was supposed to be…… He has some great videos that explains and demystifies flute making in a way that makes me feel confident that I could make one (how well it would play is a different question entirely).

In this episode we dive down a few rabbit holes related to flute making and craft in general….. You’ll get an overview on flute making, plus a good chat discussing craft and making in general as well as some of Charlie’s philosophies!

Resources Mentioned

bluebearflutes.com — Charlie’s website

Blue Bear Flutes Facebook

Blue Bear Flutes Instagram

Blue Bear Flutes Youtube Channel — specific videos mentioned are below

The Art of Native American Flute Making by Charlie Mato-Toyela

010 Fingerweaving Basics and History with Kris Daman


Great conversation this week with Kris Daman! We discuss the basic weave and process involved in getting started fingerweaving, as well as the history around it, what it is best used for, and how it was involved in the early tourist trade.

If you’re interested in reenactment, muzzleloading, traditional living skills, and some of the history in the great lakes area you’ll enjoy this episode for sure!

We discuss:

  • Materials used (historical and modern)
  • Estimating yarn length needed
  • Getting set up
  • Doing a basic weave
  • A few notes on different patterns
  • And finishing up your strap

Resources Mentioned

Kris’ Instagram account

Kris’ Facebook page

Braddock’s Sash Youtube video

Carol James’ Youtube Channel

JaggerSpun yarn that Kris likes to use


Finger Weaving: Indian Braiding by Alta Turner

Finger Weaving Basics by Gerald Findley

The Assomption Sash by Marius Barbeau

Twined Bags: an Historic Finger-weaving Craft of the Native Americans by Monica Moore

Fingerweaving Untangled by Carol James

Sprang Unsprung by Carol James

Trading Identities by Ruth Phillips

Patterns of Power by Ruth Phillips

The Book of Buckskinning series by William Scurlock