It has to be said that another one of the factors at play in my sudden uptake of knitting on a "whim" was Cast-On. Well, let me back track a little. The first podcast I ever listened to was my friend Kymm's podcast, Tales of a Brass Hedgehog and it was through her that I discovered Cast-On, under her recommendation that you don't have to have the slightest bit of interest in knitting to enjoy it. And as an at the time non-knitter, it wasn't that I didn't have the slightest interest, but still, I probably wouldn't have listened to a knitting podcast otherwise.
And she was right - Brenda has an amazing voice and quite a way with storytelling. I could listen to her voice all day, no matter what she was talking about, plus the first episode has an absolutely hilarious clip, even though at the time I listened to it, I had absolutely no idea what Clapotis or felting was.
Brenda started podcasting in October 2005 and just uploaded episode 46 so there is plenty to listen to. I started out from the beginning, but then realized it would take me forever to get up to date, so now I listen to the most recent ones and in between, am working my way through the archives (which is handy as the frequency of episodes has slowed down lately due to illness). One of the most amazing things though is just how professional the podcasts are right from the beginning - there is very little difference in production quality between the beginning and now, and I mean that in a good way in that the early podcasts are just as good as the later ones. She's developed themes and structures and techniques and depth but she nailed the quality and feel right from the start.
And now that I actually knit, the podcast has taken on a whole new meaning! I didn't take up knitting because of Cast-On but it certainly made me feel at home right away and that I wasn't entering a complete unknown.
Brenda is a passionate knitter, and comes across as a professional one. I don't think she makes a living knitting, but she does write for knitting magazines and is very knowledgable and well-connected in the field - she has guest writers and guest readers and interviews and everything. Her podcast is filled with philosophies and ideas and beautifully crafted stories and essays that support her belief that knitting is important, yet you also feel like she is so accessible and you are pretty much chatting with her over a cup of tea and some "pointy sticks." Oh yeah, did I mention that she's an American transplant in Wales?
One thing I have definitely come to appreciate since becoming a knitter is her phrase "knit, knit like the wind!"
And then there is Stash and Burn. This podcast is only a couple of months old, hosted by Nicole and Jenny, two avid knitters in, I believe, San Francisco (I haven't checked out their blogs yet actually). So far they are on episode 8 (The Math of Stash, thus the calculator image to the left) and have been posting pretty regularly. This podcast is dangerous because it is chock full of ideas and references to different yarns and patterns and the show notes always have tons of links and basically for a new knitter, or perhaps for any knitter, it's kind of like overload because, argh, I must knit everything they talk about!
My "knitting fantasy life" as they refer to it has been greatly enhanced/enabled by this podcast (that will be another entry entirely to itself, plus many more to come I'm sure).
The concept of Stash and Burn is that both Nicole and Jenny have massive yarn stashes (and by massive, I mean really massive - as a new knitter I was previously unfamiliar with the concept of a stash but wow! and wow!) and they are committed to significantly reducing their stashes. One thing I like is the way they toss the names of different patterns and designers and yarns around like they are well known celebrities ie with little introduction or explanation - I'm not always sure what they are talking about but there are always links in the show notes, or you can do a google search. It feels like a good crash course to getting in the "knitting know" especially in the online world of knitting. Plus they mentioned Purl in the second episode!
I guess because they were bloggers first, Stash and Burn is more like an audio blog where Cast-On is more like an audio magazine. It's hard for me to tell how this podcast would be if you are not a knitter, but Nicole and Jenny are a lot of fun to listen to - they are smart, bubbly, dorky-but-cute (they have excel spreadsheets for their stash!!!). Although it's like comparing apples to oranges, they are sort of like 3 Fast 3 Furious (another non-knitting favorite of mine) but about knitting and with more of an informative bent. But mostly they are just a lot of fun to listen to.
Oh yeah, Stash and Burn also has a flickr group for posting finished objects for others to drool over. This is the first flickr group I have joined!
The other knitting podcast I listen to (what, only three so far?!) is Sticks & String, a podcast by Australian knitter David (there is no Sticks & String image so hopefully David doesn't mind that I nabbed this cute photo of his instead). Yes, that's right, a male, Australian knitter. David is very "blokey" as he would say, and he's been podcasting since about October 2006. He's on episode 18 and has also posted pretty consistently. I would say Sticks & String is more on the audio magazine side of things too, with essays, reviews, interviews, and multi-episode themes. Because there aren't too many episodes, I've been working forward from the start and have not quite caught up yet. Of course it's interesting to get a male and Australian perspective but David is also a good writer with a nice voice and he puts together a well thought out podcast.