Annie Modesitt: A History on Two Needles

We have to keep Marly from jumping on the couch like Tom Cruise on Oprah because one of her favorite people is on the show! Annie Modesitt joins us to talk about her new book, History on Two Needles. Annie learned to knit from her college roommate and then spent down time at an early job working on her technique. Though the way she knits might be knitting from other knitters, it is not wrong! Her story is fascinating and Annie does not hold back! Her website, anniemodesitt.com, has links to all of her work, and she blogs at modeknit.com.


Annie is a big history fan. In her latest book, History on Two Needles, you’ll find modern pieces inspired by historical images.  These are not costume pieces! You can purchase the book through Ravelry or Cooperative Press  but if you can also purchase the patterns individually in Ravelry.

Like this podcast? Be sure to leave a comment/review on iTunes to let other know about it!

This podcast is sponsored by: Knitter’s Magazine, Craftsy.com, Fiesta Yarns, Kollage Yarns, Decade by Drew Emborsky, Love of Knitting, Love of Crochet and Bijou Basin Ranch.


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  1. Kristin says:

    Amazing podcast today! I fell in love with Annie listening to her talk, too. Since I love history, I think this book is for me! I’ll dress the mama hen and my brood in historical pieces!
    -krismi (RavID)

  2. Nancy Liedel says:

    Oh my gosh! I just listened to two podcasts I missed, one about the wonderful book by Classic Elite (I did not catch the guests name, my cat was meowing really loud, because I was in,, ‘his,’ spot) and followed up with this weeks show. I’m in tears. Not sad. 1. Marly, you laugh all the time. I used to be like that. I lost it for a while. You taught me to laugh at life again. I won’t go into why, it’s forever, but you’ve changed my life and Annie is wrong, one person can be as important as religion, or love to the next. It’s not about who you are as a famous knitter/CROCHET GODDESS!!! It’s about just you. I won’t be star-struck to meet you. I will cry. Not loud, but I’m NOT pretty when I cry.

    Annie, you sound like me. Talk too much, have a husband who loves you for it, and by gosh, you snort when you laugh too!! I caught that. I too knit, “wrong.” My local LYS teacher spent ten minutes telling me how wrong it was, but she would not correct me because I made perfect purls. Why she had to shame me about it is lost on me, but at least she admitted I was doing it right and I feel so much better about my knitting. Her comments on my, “perfect tension,” blew me away and I hold those tight.

    I taught myself to knit in October. Yes, October of 2012. Now, I am familiar with Marly because I crochet like a maniac, but my mom knit and In got her old, and chewed (we had St. Bernard’s, probably really chewed), up Afghan she made when I was 13 – 14. Somewhere in the mid-seventies. Mom was a soul-mate of mine. Someone who knew me and my quirks and reveled in them. She wanted a daughter who was not afraid of anything and loved life. I have a note she wrote once. She died when I was sixteen. To receive this afghan was the gift of my life. The yarn was Bernet and they still make it. It’s acrylic, like only things in the seventies were and she had two skeins left. At the end, she got frustrated and whip-stitched, instead of sewing it carefully. The day it was done we celebrated. More than anything else of her’s, this is a treasure to me. It’s pure, “Connie Lindquist,” and it’s mine now. I had to fix it. I got on Youtube and I did. Cables, yarn overs, lace and all. Two panels and stitched it back together. It helped me heal from her long-time loss in a way I never had before.

    Now, I knit. I knit all the time. I am in the middle of the shortest distance, longest move in the history of the universe (across the street, but the place needed some repairs). So, my work is away. I’m a cosmetic chemist when I’m not knitting, crocheting, or sewing, but the machine is in storage. Oh, I have kids. I think one short for a basketball team, four boys. Yes, this is long and boring. I never speak to adults. My darling husband is part computer and that’s wonderful for problems, but not for conversation. 🙂

    Listening to your story, the times I watched the great changes happen on television, how being gay went from a horror to…well, I have a gay son. I want joy for him. I watched that time in the world on TV and it was, groovy. You’re groovy, you both are. You’re not old, I’m about to be fifty and darn it, I feel better now then I did when I was thirty.

    Speaking of which, Miss Marly, I was a very plus size thirty and no one had anything in my size, or told me how to dress. I wish you’d been there then. I figured it out, then I went and lost two people. Which was for me, and not for anyone else. Don’t let the world define your road!!!!!

    This gibberish is all to thank you both. To say that this podcast touched me deeply at a time I need it. I now will face the world with my, “wrong purls,” and say, “I am NOT wrong, I am GROOVY!!!!”

    Eastern Purls are groovy and continental knitting is too. I never could figure out that right handed yarn hold. I’ve been crocheting too long.

    Hugs to you both and the wonderful followers I read comments from here. I don’t’ chat online too much. I’d never get anything done. I am incapable of keeping anything short. Well, without my editor (I’ve written naughty romance that’s been published under a pen name. It pays for some awesome possum yarn). That’s one of my nut-ball sayings. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, I feel free and far less silly now.

  3. Carol says:

    Marly absolutely love your podcast! Annie I can totally relate to being hen pecked about technical knitting style! You are my hero!

  4. Domicroche says:

    This episode, for me, was made even better by the fact that I listened while working on my current crochet project, one of Annie Modesitt’s pattern! (A “vintage” cardigan published in 2005) Completely unrelated is the fact that my next amigurumi project will be a hen!! Thanks for another lovely episode!

  5. Nancy says:

    Just a great podcast. I love hearing you each week. Excited to always learn more about the ole two needles. Hen is a fun one.

  6. Vicki Lynch says:

    I just listened to the podcast while walking my dog through the neighborhood. As it happens, I heard some of the hens cackling that kiddos are raising for 4-H projects I think or it could be the fresh eggs. I loved hearing the stories and can’t wait to check out Annie’s book.

  7. Catherine T. says:

    The podcast made me remember earlier today, when my husband and I went to take care of our niece’s pets while she is gone–two dogs and a hen named Henri. I love the patterns in the book “History on Two Needles”–I love the Egyptian style dress and the Falkland skirt the best.

  8. marimariknit on ravelry says:

    Love all of Annie’s books. Would love to show her my wonderful hen, my little henny penny.
    Great podcast Marly.

  9. Anaid says:

    Am I too late? Just catching up on podcasts, have not had time because I have been running around like a crazy hen without a head.

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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