Now for many of you who are knitters/crocheters/crafters perhaps don’t need to read this, but many of the people I know think that watching/listening to podcasts is a waste of time. Well, let’s reframe that: they think that watching knitting podcasts is a wast of time. They think it’s stupid, something you should be ashamed of. I would simply like to speak my peace (rant alert.).
When I first discovered podcasts a few years ago, it was exciting. I live in a college town (home to both an engineering university and a private uniersity). With that amount of young people you might think that there was a major yarn shop around the corner, at least for hipsters. Well alas, that is not the case. As of last year we had one small yarn and fabric shop downtown and a small shop that focused on spinning and weaving. This year we have that same small yarn and fabric shop minus the spinning shop. If you drive 20 minutes north, there is a small yarn shop home to an indie dyer. She has branched out her products and has more of a social approach to her business (both online and in person) but this hadn’t existed until late last year. To be fair, all of the shops up here are lovely and the people are helpful. It’s just that the local community caters more to artsy fiber arts rather than knitting/crochet fiber arts. The indie dyer definitely fills a void, but it’s new to the area. Thus, most of my fiber life I have been going it on my own. As I got more into fiber, I realized how a lot of people thought I was crazy. As I continue to grow in my work I am still reminded of that. I don’t know many people close to me who carve out chunks of time to knit lace shawls, cabled swaeters, and sock, socks, socks. These are things that take too much time for a small hobby that includes knitting stockinette scarfs for everyone they know (which is great, it’s just not the experience level I am at…I guess I’m taking it farther than a hobby, it’s a side project). Thus, I am a loner. I went searching for a community.
Cue Ravelry. It is amazing; check it out and make an account. I’d pay a subscription fee if I had to. Ravelry began to open my eyes to people like me, who love the craft enough to get into it, to learn the difficult techniques and knit that sweater or shawl. It was exciting. Yet, through Ravelry and a random search on Youtube, I found podcasts. It was a world I didn’t know exsisted in the fiber community. Sure, I had listened to design podcasts for over a year. I just didn’t think that fiber breached that category. Well, it did and it was amazing.
What is so special about podcasts to me (especially video podcasts, those are my favorite)? Well, in a place where just about every major yarn out there would have to be ordered, where every book you want has to be ordered, where needles have to be ordered…well, you get the picture. Where I live, I live off of reviews on Amazon. I get orders from KnitPicks. I subscribe to magazines and have a book list because I don’t have a major source for books. I don’t have instant access to the tools of the fiber community. With podcasts, especially video, they can show you a book, discuss in detail a yarn’s qualities, and highlight a new pattern or Ravelry that I hadn’t seen. They open up doors to friendly knitters and crocheters who want to share as much as I do, and have kindly recorded it so that I can enjoy it from my living room. I love it.
So, what am I listening/watching you ask? Here’s a breif list of the podcasts I keep up with at this point (there are so many more I want to get into, but I have this nasty habit of wanting to watch all of the episodes before I watch the latest one, so I get woefully behind, haha).
- The Knit Girllls: Seriously, these gals are amazing. I love how they clearly know what they are about in the fiber world and are willing to share it complete with the silliness and sadness. (Now, this is one podcast I started at episode one and am only on episode 167. 223 came out this week…eek!)
- Suburban Stitcher: I found out about her through Penguin Soup (more on that in a moment) and love her projects and style of sharing. She is open, funny, and I always feel like I am sitting in her craft room chatting.
- Penguin Soup: This podcast was one of the first that I found out about. I loved her style and within a week had binge watched all of the episodes. Her podcast isn’t regular, but I don’t mind. I enjoy it so it’s worth the wait.
- JennLikesYarn: She has done various versions of podcasts over some time, but I always try to watch them as she puts videos up. Right now she has started the Beer Knits podcast. Although I hate beer, I still enjoy watching what she is up to.
Podcasts on the Docket:
- Round the Twist
- Stockinette Zombies
- Sword of a Knitter
- Whatever else I find, and do share your favorites. I am always looking for more good podcasts…
Podcasts bring a group of friends. Allbeit that these people have no idea who I am, and they probably never will (unless one of my dreams of going to a major fiber festival comes true, more on that later), but that doesn’t matter. They bring community to me. They share what they love, something that I love too. Podcasts create a connection, a connection that reaches people all over the world, in metropolises and in small college towns like mine, where little old me just wants to find a knitting buddy. Thanks podcasters, keep it up. It makes a lot of people’s lives brighter.