Interview: 5 minutes with Louise Hunt of Caithness Craft
“When I started podcasting there were no Scottish voices in knitting podcasts…”
We sat down with Louise Hunt, the Caithness Craft Collective podcast, who is flying the flag for Scotland.
Can you tell us how your passion for knitting first began?
I was taught by my mum and also at school when I was 6 and still have my wee set of plastic needles and Barbie jumpers. When fuzzy yarn made a comeback my friend Linda from Islay made me a scarf, I thought she had bought it and asked her about it which unleashed Pandora’s box and I thank her every day. I was just before the crest of the wave started in new knitting magazines and Ravelry and YouTube was my friend.
When did you come up with the idea to create a podcast?
Cast your mind back to the winter of 2010 when The Hurt Locker won best Oscar and Eddie Izzard ran 43 marathons – I had been listening to Electric Sheep and Tales from the Plain and thought, there is no voice from Scotland, I want to hear a Scottish voice and oh, I should do that. So I did. It started with a Knitting and Textile Art theme and over the years has covered various crafts including spinning, crochet and needlework and now I mainly focus on knitting.
The podcast has a very Scottish identity – why do you feel this important to maintain?
When I started podcasting there were no Scottish voices in knitting podcasts and I wanted to fly the flag for Scotland and my County of Caithness which is not very well represented in any media. I like to tell local listeners what is happening in their area whilst enticing listeners further away to visit my beautiful part of the world. I focus on Scottish events because I can access and support them easier. I have a worldwide audience who ask about Scotland and Caithness which I have over the years answered by including things like Scottish History and Tartan and Whisky tasting. I want you to feel you are whisked away north to the big open skies of Caithness. I like to encourage all areas of the UK to podcast to hear the wonderful mirage of regional accents.
How do you decide what you’re going to talk about in each episode?
There are standard sections, such as ‘Me, Me, Me’ where I talk about what crafting I have been up to. It seemed narcissistic to be talking about myself, but I love to listen to others crafty journeys and the listeners want to hear mine. I try to have interesting interviews, yarn reviews and crafty people from the events I’ve been to. I often have a ‘blether’ or essay which is serendipitous for something that keeps cropping up but I feel can relate to craft. I do a lot of running and thinking about the podcast gets me through marathon training. As I live in the country I can get away with talking to sheep in passing, practising how it sounds. I try to think what I would like to hear more about and talk about it whilst listening to my wonderful audience whom I love to involve.
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