Thumbnail for knitting podcast episode 56, showing a woman smiling holding a red knitting project and wearing a black knitted bamboo vest

Episode 56: rum & knitting plants

Do you like plant yarns? I’ve been knitting bamboo, cotton and ramie yarns in my recent projects – and I’ve learnt so much! In this episode of my knitting podcast, I share recent summer knitting projects, and the different fabric characteristics of plant fibres.

I’m doing an artist residency and research placement at the botanical gardens at Kew, working with their archival materials about collecting botanical specimens of textile and fibre plants. I chat about the placement and my hopes for the future in learning, making and sharing. Looking at this 150-year-old material is pretty exciting, although quite weird at times, especially as a person of colour coming from a post-colonial viewpoint!

Featured projects

I finished a black singlet vest using King Cole Bamboo Cotton 4-ply, and have started a knitted polo t-shirt. Both designs are from old patterns published in Rowan 31.

I’m improvising a sock using cotton ramie blend yarn by The Little Knitting Company.

Honourable mentions

Read a general-interest article about rayon textiles in The Guardian.

Read more about ramie fibre from a spinning point-of view, and with some information on its sustainability.

My approach to researching colonial-era archives is inspired by Dr. Onyeka Igwe. Her essay ‘Being close to, with or amongst‘ (2020) published by Feminist Review issue 125, p.44-53. (There is currently a free link to download this article here.)

This video was funded by my wonderful supporters on Patreon, helping me cover equipment and recording expenses. If you like my videos, become a Patron at

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