Tag Archives: audio


Woo!  You guys!  I just had a super fun weekend with my husband at the first annual (hopefully) PODCON in Seattle.  It was a great weekend of podcasts, podcasters, and podcast listeners.We got to watch live tapings of several of my favorite shows, and podcasts I’d never heard about before.  It was so much fun!

And I got a lot of knitting done.

Because what’s better than a fantastic podcast?  Knitting while listening to your favorite podcast.

They’re basically made for each other.

If you’re not on the podcast bandwagon yet, they’re essentially independently-produced radio shows that you can sign up for with an app on your phone or computer.  Some are from bigger names (NPR has a huge collection of podcasts, as well as some podcast “networks” like Earwolf, and Maximum Fun), but a bunch are just made by people who are passionate about something, know how to use a microphone, and want to share their excitement.

Think about them as on-demand, specific radio shows.  News, fiction, comedy, science- it’s all there!

I want to share a couple of my current favorites, if you’re looking for something new to listen to.

Every weekday morning, I start my day by listening to Up First from NPR.  It’s a 10 to 15 minute little synopsis of the important news of the day.  It’s a great, succinct, wrap up from a reputable source of news every morning, hosted by the folks that put on Morning Editon.Another podcast I listen to as soon as it goes live is My Favorite Murder.  Now, I realize this might be a little dark or grizzly for some people, but I gotta admit, I love a true crime story.  The hosts of MFM share interesting stories of crime (usually murder, but not always), with a weirdly positive spin- they talk about mental health, personal safety and other positive things between all that death.  (And it’s really funny… I know I’m not selling it correctly, but I promise, it’s good.)If My Favorite Murder is too dark for you, then Wonderful! might be just what you’re looking for. It’s hosted by a very charming husband and wife team, and the concept’s so simple, I wish I had come up with it myself!  They literally spend their hour each week talking about things they think are wonderful.  You’ll get music recommendations, you’ll learn about cool animals and non-profits, and you’ll be reminded of great TV shows and board games from when you were a kid.  (It’s silly, but Wonderful! is really wonderful.)

Do you listen to any podcasts?  What’s your favorite?

Podcasts, Knitting, and Knitting Podcasts

Of course, I love my audio books, but about half the time, I’d rather listen to a podcast as I knit.  They’re less formal, usually require less devoted attention, and make me feel like I have a  friend hanging out in my ear while I’m working through a particularly tricky cable row.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a big fan of a bunch of shows produced by Maximum FunMy Brother, My Brother, and Me (a silly advice show) and Sawbones (a show about weird medical history) are two of my favorite.  And I’m loving one of their newest shows, Getting Curious (an interesting interview show with a very charming host).

I love big, funny show like The Flop House (where they watch bad movies and talk about them), and Throwing Shade (where two comedians talk about LGBT and women’s issues).  And I love quiet, weird shows like Lore (a podcast about the historical origins of old ghost stories) and Welcome to Nightvale (a radio play about a very weird and creepy (fictional) town called Nightvale).

But one thing conspicuously absent from my podcast routine is knitting.  I’ve probably tried a dozen different shows, but they haven’t stuck for one reason or another.  I listened to the Knit Picks Podcast for a while a few years back, but dropped it when they changed the format (I should probably give it another go).  And, I really liked the Cast On podcast from Brenda Dayne, but she stopped making new episodes last summer.

I guess it’s something about knitting that doesn’t lend itself too well to radio.  After all, knitting is a very visual and tactile art, and it’s hard to get that across over audio.  Heck, sometimes I have trouble getting knitting ideas across on my blog, and I can include pictures!

So, I guess I’ll keep trying out new knitting podcasts… I’m sure I’ll find one eventually!

Do you listen to podcasts?  Which ones?  Any favorite knitting shows?

While you knit: Overdrive

Let’s keep the celebration of novels going!  I love reading a good book, and I love knitting.  But, surely there must be a way to enjoy a good story without putting down my needles.  This is the 21st century, after all.

In fact, there is!  Audiobooks.  I always have an audiobook or two (or twelve) on my phone, ready for me to listen to at a moment’s notice.  They’re great for driving, doing yard-work, cooking, and of course, knitting.

But how do you get Audiobooks onto your phone without spending an arm and a leg at Amazon or on iTunes?  (Or, if you’re a cheapskate like me, the question is: how do you get audiobooks for free?)  The library!  And, you probably don’t even have to leave your house.

Most libraries these days have started online collections of digital media (audiobooks, e-books, and Kindle books) accessible through the library website.  You sign up in person at the library, and get a pin number, which you can then use to get digital media through the library’s Overdrive account.  (Think of Overdrive as an iTunes-like download service for libraries).

Overdrive%20Media[1]My library lets me check out 24 books at a time, and they automatically are returned when my loan is up (no late fees!).  There’s nothing better than discovering a new, great book.  Especially one that’s free!

So, if you haven’t already, take some time on your next trip to the library and ask about their audiobooks.  Then, spend some time curled up with your knitting and a good book.

Listening and Knitting

Sometimes, I need my eyeballs while I knit.  I can usually get away with watching TV, but sometimes I have a project that needs more of my attention (especially if I’m working up a new pattern, or I’m working on something with a lot of counting).

When that happens, I like to turn on my podcasts.  Podcasts are great. They’re basically radio shows that you can have your smart phone download automatically (like magic!).  You can listen to them whenever you have the time, and can pause them whenever you need.  It’s as if there was a radio station that only aired the shows you liked, and followed your schedule.  Genius!  (And, if you don’t have a smart phone, you can find them online, and listen to them through your computer.)

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Sawbones500_35[1]Sawbones is a podcast about the weird things that people have done to try and cure disease throughout history, presented by the totally hilarious Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroy.  (Did you know that tying a frog to your forehead is supposed to cure headaches?  Now you know.)

pchhblogrect1_custom-ac140c703215b507ceb79d3edbff1eb73ae6011d-s3-c85[1]Pop Culture Happy Hour is produced by NPR, and is an hour-long intelligent discussion of pop-culture-related topics.  That makes it sound totally dry and nerdy, but it’s actually really interesting.  And, the hosts give really great suggestions for books, TV shows, and other media.  I’ve discovered lots of cool things by listening to these guys.

mza_3767929519462584539.600x600-75[1]The Knit Picks’ Podcast is (surprise!) put out by the staff of Knit Picks.  They just updaged their format, and now pick a single topic for each episode.  They interview each other, knitting designers, and local knitters about that topic.  Sometimes it gets a little commercial-y, but I enjoy listening to what’s going on at my favorite online yarn store.

What do you listen to while you knit?