I love listening to podcasts. I listen to them on my way to work, whenever I manage a knitting lunch hour, and on my way home from work. On those days, I can get through three hours’ worth of podcasts. So what do I listen to? Well, some are my favourite radio programmes, from BBC Radio 4 or from American public radio. The others, of course, are knitting podcasts.
The main Radio 4 programmes to which I subscribe are: Thinking Allowed, In Our Time and A Point of View.
Thinking Allowed is a programme by sociologist Laurie Taylor that addresses issues from the perspective of social scientists. Which might sound rather dry, but is not at all. It’s fascinating.
In Our Time is a great show, in which forty-five minutes is devoted to just one subject, by experts in that field. It might be to do with science, history, philosophy or just about anything where there is a history of ideas to debate.
A Point of View is a ten-minute essay, written by a historian or social commentator, reflecting on some aspect of that week’s news. It’s always intelligent and interesting, and is always worth listening to.
I discovered the American programme This American Life fairly recently, and I am stunned by it almost every week. The show takes a theme, such as ‘music lessons’, or ‘home alone’, and tells rich, often quirky stories, sometimes simple, sometimes complex, from the lives of everyday people. Listen to it. Really.
A Prairie Home Companion is short, comforting and funny. I’ve loved Garrison Keillor for years, and when we lived in the States this was one of my favourite radio shows. He tells stories from his home town of Lake Wobegone, where ‘all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the kids are above average’. It’s dry, gentle and funny, and takes me back to our time in the US.
And now for the knitting podcasts…
I love Stash and Burn, as I feel very much on the same wavelength as Jenny and Nicole in terms of what they like to knit, but also their whole attitude to what they like. Their posts take the form of the kind of knitting conversation that I would love to have with my best friend – but as none of my friends knit, it’s not going to happen!
Sticks and String is a great podcast by Australian teacher and knitter David Reidy. His recent essay on choosing how to spend money on our hobby in a recession was excellent and thought-provoking.
Never Not Knitting: Alana is a relative newcomer to podcasting, although you wouldn’t know to listen to her. Her show is great, and the title song makes me laugh every time I hear it (the full version comes at the end of each show).
Sharon, of She-Knits, knits, designs knitted bags, podcasts and takes care of her family of seven children. She is very open about what’s going on in her life, and I look forward to hearing what she’s up to.
I’ve tried to find other knitting podcasts that I like, but so far these are the only ones to which I continually return. I was wondering whether you listen to podcasts too? If you do, what are your favourites? And if you make one yourself, please let me know! I’d love to listen!