dusktreader knits

February 7, 2010

Podcasts to knit by

Filed under: Notions — Tags: , , — dusktreader @ 3:52 pm

I owe my love of podcasts to knitting.* I’m a multitasker: I can’t be just knitting and I can’t be just listening to something. And I am always looking for ways to maximize my knitting time: knitting on the bus, knitting in class, knitting while watching TV. If I can possibly read and knit, I’ll do it, although that means finding a book that will stay open and a somewhat awkward configuration so that my hands don’t block the book. Audiobooks are a good solution, because I’m free to look anywhere. It’s even better than watching TV while knitting, because I don’t miss anything when I look down to check where I am or fix a dropped stitch. But I have a bad habit of not finishing audio books: I’ll lose my place and not feel like scanning through to find it, or the sound of the narrator’s voice won’t mesh with my expectation of what a character’s voice should sound like, and I’ll lose interest. The next logical step was podcasts: they’re more compact and episodic than a whole audiobook with the same hands-free, eyes-free benefits.

I haven’t really gotten into knitting podcasts (I’d rather be knitting than hearing about someone else doing it) with one exception: Knitting History. Working as an archivist has turned me into a bit of a casual history geek, and I’ve always been curious about how the idea of taking a long piece of string and making thousands of loops in it ever developed in the first place, let alone how it became the sophisticated craft it is today. There’s 8 episodes of Knitting History so far, and the host, Jen, is building us up slowly with lots of textile history context (and as an archivist, I love context). She just got to spinning in episode 6 and wool in episode 7. Knitting geek love!

Other podcasts I like:

  • Radiolab. If you’re new to podcasts, start with this one. They do an excellent job of telling stories using sound. I have never not learned something when listening to an episode.
  • Life After Radio. Radio is dead, long live radio! I’ve heard it described as the This American Life of East Vancouver. Somehow, Sara makes any topic interesting.
  • The British Postal Museum and Archives podcast. All kinds of geeky things I like together: archives, podcasts, history, posties. British accents speaking authoritatively on a topic.

If anyone has any good podcasts (knitting or otherwise) to share, comment and let me know!


*With a shoutout to my cousin Megan, podcast devotee, who recommended many good podcasts that I now listen to regularly.



  1. The British Postal Museum has a podcast? It’s great that you like podcasts enough now to find ones that I wouldn’t find. I’ve been hoping for a long time that your taste and podcasts would eventually overlap in a way that I could exploit. Also don’t forget about the This American Life not of Vancouver. They have made an astonishing iPhone app with all of the episodes reaching back to 1995 plus all kinds of other bonus things. I am in love with it almost as much as I am comforted by the voice of Ira Glass. And also The Moth (not ever about Moths, I promise) is really good. And The Hooting Yard is a surreal British time (come to think of it, I’m pretty sure you found that one for me).

    Comment by cousin Megan — February 9, 2010 @ 2:06 am

    • I was able to get over the name and I enjoy The Moth. I am thinking about the This American Life iPhone app…

      Comment by dusktreader — February 13, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

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