I’ve knitted like a fiend for about 10 years now, but it’s really only in the last 6 months that I fell down into the rabbit hole of the online knitting community. The initial part of this journey began when I started listening to knitting podcasts. I had never really understood the appeal, since knitting and the results are such a visual medium, but then again, I had never tried it. There are a million knitting-themed podcasts out there, many of which are very, very good. There’s no possible way to find all the ones that you want to listen to, and there’s not enough time in the world to listen to all of those, anyway. However, I’ve found that if you start with one, the host(s) will generally refer to another, so you can check that one out, and so on.
Following is a list of my favorite podcasts, loosely ordered in the way that I found them chronologically. In general, I prefer audio podcasts to video, because I can listen and multitask easier than watch and multitask. I’ve tried several other podcasts that weren’t my cup of tea for one reason or another – sometimes something as personal as not caring for the podcaster’s speech mannerisms or focusing too much on non-knitting stuff. Taste is personal, so I encourage anyone looking for quality podcasts to try others beyond this list. Also, podcasters LOVE positive reviews on ITunes and YouTube, so if you find one you like, don’t hesitate to leave a review and let people know. Happy listening!
Why I Like It: Where it all began. My knitting next-door-neighbor told me about this podcast. Jen lives in Connecticut and records her podcast during her very long commute. This means the show is delightfully off-the-cuff, given that she can’t have full show notes and the internet in front of her when she records. One thing that stresses me out is the sheer number of projects she has going at once. Recent episodes have chronicled how she has 30 (30!) WIPs, none of which she plans to abandon. The most I ever have actively going is 2-4. However, she made a good point: people generally listen to knitting podcasts to hear what the podcaster is working on, and a monogamous knitter would be a very boring podcast host indeed.
How It’s Enabled Me: Her discussions of other podcasters led me to several of the other podcasts below!
Where You Can Find It: http://commuterknitter.blogspot.com
The Knitmore Girls
Why I Like It: Jasmin and Gigi are a mother-daughter podcasting team that put out weekly episodes like clockwork. They are very smart about knitting and sewing, and I learn something useful in absolutely every episode. Gigi has a wealth of crafting experience (which especially fuels a regular segment called “Mother Knows Best”), and the first time I heard her refer to one of their contests by saying “Hashtag blah blah blah” in her grandmotherly voice, I burst out laughing and was instantly hooked. The podcast frequently features reviews of books, and the Knitmore Girls do not fail to give honest opinions, good or bad, which I find really refreshing and valuable.
How It’s Enabled Me: This is probably the most enabling podcast I listen to. The Knitmore Girls even purposely did a “25 Days of Enabling” just before Christmas, posting beautiful yarns and accessories on Instagram every day. Because of them, I am knitting the Mystik Spiral Socks and have purchased Lollipop Yarn (still to be knit). I also desperately want a copy of Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture. These women are dangerous, in the best possible way.
Where You Can Find It: http://www.knitmoregirlspodcast.com
Prairie Girls Knit and Spin
Why I Like It: Susie and Danie are probably the funniest duo I listen to (along with In a Sknit, see below). They first charmed me when talking about NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month, held in November) and pointed out that no one was going to come take their sweaters in progress or throw them in jail if they didn’t finish their sweaters within the deadline. I laugh out loud at least a few times an episode – their banter is charming and sweet. They also usually lay out an issue they want to discuss, which provides the podcast with some structure and a theme. The most recent episode, for example, covered WIP management.
How It’s Enabled Me: I knit Danie’s Triangle Thumb Toddler Mittens for my son recently and have Susie’s Zigzagular socks very high in my queue. I also gave away a copy of my Simple Cable Socks as a prize for their LegendPrairie contest, which celebrated people’s most legendary knit of 2014. It didn’t have to be spectacular – it just had to be a moment of pride for the individual knitter. What an uplifting idea!
Where You Can Find It: http://prairiegirlsknitandspin.com
Why I Like It: Claire is a Scottish transplant living in NH. Her podcast is relatively new, but her enthusiasm for knitting and learning new techniques shines. I’ve particularly enjoyed the interviews she’s conducted, including a recent one recorded during a sheep shearing. Additionally, Claire kindly referred to this blog in Episode 6, encouraging people to check it out, and in Episode 12, she surprised me by welcoming my newborn son as the newest member of the NH Knits group! The knitting community really is filled with wonderful people, and I think many of them have flocked (pun intended) to Claire’s podcast and Ravelry group.
How It’s Enabled Me: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the interactions I’ve had with Claire, whether it’s been via Instagram, her Ravelry group, or Ravelry private message. I’m sure the reference to this blog increased traffic, and Claire has recently proposed a sock KAL that I would like to participate in.
Where You Can Find It: http://nhknits.com
Yarn Thing with Marly Bird
Why I Like It: Marly’s podcast is a little different from the others I listen to, in that it’s structured as a live interview with knitting industry leaders. Many I’ve heard of, but even the people who are new to me are fascinating, and I always hear at least one thing in each episode that I want to research further – whether it’s a designer, yarn club, new needles, Fiber Factor, etc. I was instantly hooked on my first episode, which was an interview with Ysolda Teague. Marly, who has an amazing voice, broadcasts live on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 AM Colorado time, but I’ve always listened to the recordings after the fact. My biggest problem is that it’s hard to keep up with her prolific podcast output!
How It’s Enabled Me: Marly always gives out prizes to both live listeners and people who listen to the recordings later, and I lucked out by winning a prize (Ysolda Teague’s wee Ones collection) the very first time I listened!
Where You Can Find It: http://www.marlybird.com/podcast/
Just One More Row
Why I Like It: Ah, the southern accents… I first caught this while one of the hosts, Brittany, was on maternity leave, and Dana was soloing. Dana answered several questions that listeners had asked about spinning and dyeing yarn (she has her own dyeing business, Unwind Yarn Company), and I learned so much in just a few minutes. After Brittany came back, I continued to enjoy the discussions, particularly their knowledge about spinning and realistic but inspiring goals for 2015.
How It’s Enabled Me: I was amazed to find out recently that Dana and I are in the same city currently and frequent the same LYS. She very sweetly checked on me when I was immensely pregnant and impatient to deliver. I’m really looking forward to meeting her in person at a knit night soon and getting my hands on some Unwind products. 🙂
Where You Can Find It: https://justonemorerowpodcast.wordpress.com
Down Cellar Studio
Why I Like It: Boston Jen is incredibly organized and prolific – which means she goes through a million projects that inspire listeners. Her voice is measured and clear and calm and delightful. Jen’s biggest project recently, it seems, was a Pigskin Party KAL, which followed the NFL football season. I didn’t participate, since I caught it a little late, but it seemed like a lot of work that was a lot of fun for a lot of knitters. Jen is also a budding designer (of shawls, so far), and I’m eager to see what she comes up with next.
How It’s Enabled Me: Jen knits a lot for her young nieces and nephews, so I always enjoy looking at the same items and considering knitting them for my kids.
Where You Can Find It: http://www.downcellarstudio.com
In a Sknit
Why I Like It: This is a video podcast, and the fact that I’ve stuck with it, despite my preference for audio podcasts, is significant. The puns extend beyond the podcast title, in that they feature segments like, “Sknit We Love,” and “Oh, Sknit!” – the latter being a recounting of everything that went wrong with their knitting and spinning. Their exuberance when they declare a “FO Show!” makes me laugh, and they’re always knitting and spinning gorgeous things and showing them off.
How It’s Enabled Me: Not much yet, though I have queued some patterns they’ve knit. I mostly just watch for the sheer entertainment value.
Where You Can Find It: http://inasknit.com
Why I Like It: Again, like me some southern accents. Leslie and Laura are yet another pair of really, really smart knitters and spinners. They’ve made me so impatient to get back to my wheel! (which is on another continent at the moment…) The shows also often feature honest book reviews and go beyond just the patterns to commentary on sizing, styling, etc.
How It’s Enabled Me: I used Laura’s Afterthought Heel pattern, a free Ravelry download, to knit my Ornaments Socks. I’ve also gotten some good book recommendations from them. 🙂
Where You Can Find It: http://www.theknitgirllls.com
A Playful Day
Why I Like It: More than most podcast hosts, I think Kate aspires to the goal of inspiring listeners. This is a relatively new podcast for me, so I’m still getting a sense of its overall personality, but I’ve listened to lovely interviews and ideas for an overall more creative life. I also love listening to Kate’s soothing British accent. 🙂
How It’s Enabled Me: A Playful Day hosted a Design-a-long in January and early February, along with Fyberspates and Kate Atherley. Somehow I managed to be chosen as one of the five finalists. While it doesn’t look like I’m going to win (determined by voting on Ravelry), just being chosen as a finalist has been a huge honor and inspiration. I plan to publish the pattern for the Circuits hat soon and have appreciated the extra publicity that the competition has afforded.
Where You Can Find It: http://www.aplayfulday.com
Other Podcasts I’ve Tried
These are the ones that I like so far, but I’ve only listened to an episode or two, so I don’t feel qualified (yet) to comment on them extensively: Stash and Burn, Stockinette Zombies (video), Woolful. As I said before, there are many, many good podcasts out there, and I can’t possibly ever find them all, much less review them, so I’m interested in hearing from you! What are your favorite knitting and spinning podcasts? Why?