Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I first became aware of podcasts after reading an article about them by Amy Singer in an issue of Interweave Knits awhile back. I went online and searched around for those mentioned. I found the websites and clicked on an episode. At the time, I didn't have an iPod. Sitting and listening in front of the computer for an hour didn't interest me much. Maybe if I had a comfy chair in the room where the computer is where I could knit and listen, it would have been more appealing. But I don't, so my attention moved on to other things. I can sit and read my favorite blogs for long periods of time. I can even listen to music while doing so. But listening to a podcast about knitting and reading a blog about knitting at the same time doesn't work for me. I want to give each my full attention.

I received an iPod for Christmas, so I downloaded some podcasts. I listened to my first episode while working out at the gym. I thought that this would motivate me to work out more if I had something interesting to listen to. Not so much. Not that it wasn't interesting, it just didn't provide the run faster/push yourself harder kind of energy I was looking for. It was more of the when-will-this-be-over-so-I-can-get-home-and-knit kind of energy.

I finally found the perfect venue for listening. During my commute. It sometimes takes me an hour to get to work (30 minutes at the very least). And since I can't knit while I'm driving or at work, this makes me feel like I've spent a little time each day thinking about my knitting and sharing it (indirectly) with those who are talking.

So far, my favorite is Cast On with host Brenda Dayne. There are 46 episodes now and I'm about halfway through. Brenda has a format that she sticks to, sound bytes for different segments,guests who contribute essays or are interviewed and three or four songs interspersed throughout. Sometimes I'll fast-forward through the music if I'm not in the mood for it. The combination of her soothing voice and the sound quality of her equipment makes for a very professional product. Some of the guests who have participated are Nancy Bush, Leigh Radford, and Franklin, whose blog is The Panopticon. My favorite episode is no. 13 titled "On Gauge". In this episode Brenda writes a thought provoking essay in which she uses being on gauge as a metaphor for living. If you listen to only one, this is the one I recommend.

I've also listened to Pointy Sticks and Lime & Violet, however, since I've only listened to one episode of each, I don't think it's fair to give a review at this time. I'll listen to more of each in the future and then share what I think. What I did find interesting is that both episodes had 2 people talking. I don't know if Pointy Sticks always has 2 people...Lime & Violet does obviously. What I found interesting, is that I prefer one person vs. two. When there are two, I feel like I'm listening in on someone else's conversation. When there is one, I feel like that person is talking directly to me. It's more intimate, mor structured and less chaotic. But I will give them a chance. They all have good information, links to sites I might not have known about, yarn that I haven't knit with yet, designers, etc.

All can be downloaded on iTunes. So if you have a commute or just want something interesting to listen to while knitting, try listening to a knitting podcast.


mary said...

I am so behind in that technology race but that's the main reason why I want an iPod. Hopefully, Mother's Day will bring me such a goodie. Thanks for the review.

Glenna C said...

My current favourite podcast is Stash and Burn (www.stashandburn.com), and also It's a Purl, Man. I started out with Cast On but I am finding I'm really enjoying other podcasts that have that back-and-forth with regular interviews or two principal podcasters! ;)

Madge said...

Thanks for the great info. Since I'm now all about the 'pod (har), I gotta start listening to some of this knitty goodness! Yes, I do.

mehitabel said...

I've also thought that come summer, the iPod would be a good companion for sitting outdoors and knitting. Or for taking to the park. I think peppy music is the way to go for walking or for the gym, and podcasts are good knitting or driving companions!