The Story Behind Hops and Hanks
Hops and Hanks came about because of one knitter's frustration with how frequently she quit knitting. No, really. Even though I technically began knitting during high school (and am now twenty-six), I have really only been knitting for about three or four years. Over the course of high school and college, I knit for a total of about 6 months (3 Christmas seasons), and then picked up the needles again when I started graduate school. Once more, I decided in October of 2012 to knit for Christmas presents, re-taught myself again things like the long tail cast on and exactly how cabling worked, knit furiously for three months and then quit.
Determined not to let the cycle continue, in October 2013 when it was time to start that gift knitting I did something I had never even thought to do: I clicked that weird "Forums" tab in Ravelry. Turns out there's this whole community of knitters out there! There were groups for scientists, for residents of Chicago, even for people who follow various fandoms. And then... there were podcasts. I don't remember quite how it happened but I stumbled upon the Knitting in Circles Podcast with Darren and Aimee and fell in love with the medium. I had run blogs before but never quite felt connected to my readers. This felt like exactly the way to get that connection I craved.
So what could I provide to the knitting community that wasn't already there? I wasn't quite a newbie knitter, so I couldn't shed much light on that situation, and I was certainly not a knitting professional, so I didn't feel comfortable touting my musings as solid advice. But, I do live in the midwest, I do come across and drink plenty of craft beer, and dang it, Hops and Hanks is a great name for a podcast! Before I had even recorded an episode people were joining the brand new group on Ravelry and I knew that I was on to something.
And thus, Hops and Hanks was born. The first episode went live on January 17th, 2014 and the podcast began it's long and slow growth. I've never been the calculating type, so once I decided on having a podcast it was so! Because of my requirement for instant gratification, Hops and Hanks had a bumpy first year full of wrestling matches with iTunes, unreliable servers, shifting formatting and a drastic change in cast. Despite all of this Hops and Hanks has maintained an amazing viewership that has kept me afloat with their positivity and willingness to participate in my wild ideas, and for that I am eternally thankful.
What started out as a simple bi(ish)-weekly podcast where I ramble on about my knitting escapades has grown into a forum for discussion about knitting tips and tricks, a source for reviews of high-quality knitting supplies, a place for me to share my love of the fiber world and, most importantly, a community of people who adore knitting, occasionally with a side of beer.
Perpetual student nd emerging teacher
Physics and materials science geek
Knitter, spinner, fiber nerd
Native Northern Virginian
Mount Holyoke College Alumna (one of the Seven Sisters, a women's college)