Friday, January 06, 2006

Podcasts In Review

The list of knitting and craft related podcasts are growing. As I go through my day caring for my little guys and doing stuff around the house, I often have one on. I've noticed, though, that not all podcasts are created equal. You would think that if someone took the time to launch a show, they must have something worthwhile to say. This is not always so. Here, I review the craft related podcasts I have found so far.

KnitCast, by Marie Irshad. The original knitting podcast. Marie's voice is bright and soothing with a fantastic British accent (I'm a sucker for accents). She travels all over Europe interviewing interesting people about their part in the fiber arts community. I'm not a huge Bliss fan, but her interview with Debbie was well thought out, and it's always interesting to hear about the design process that each designer goes thorough. All in all, I would have to say that this is a great show, and probably my favorite.

CastOn, by Brenda Dayne. I said that KnitCast is probably my favorite only because this one is also vying for that top spot. At first I wasn't sure if I liked Brenda, but halfway through the first show, I felt like we were old friends. It's like having your best knitty friend over for a cup of hot chocolate anytime you want. She gets to pick the tunes, entertained you with her knit related ventures, and has the occasional essay. A good time is had by all. This podcast is designed to be an audio magazine. Very cool idea, and well executed.

Stacia's Place by Stacia. So far, she only has one episode. It's about mushrooms. Didn't really hold my interest, although if I was bored enough, I'd go back and try to listen through it again. Hopefully she'll come up with a fiber related show sometime in the future. I've subscribed so that I'll be the first to know.

ZibCast
by Wendy (I think). I can't seem to access the feed, so I can't tell you anything about this one except that it supposedly exists.

unraveled, by Shannon Chower (I think that's her last name). It took me a few minutes to get used to her speech style and accent, but then I started really enjoying it. The show is essentially an audio blog. This is cool, because often I don't get to spend as much time as I would like reading everything in my Bloglines, but I can listen to this while doing something else. Multi-tasking! I love her irreverence. She's funny, although she may not mean to be. She tells of a Christmas knitting project in which she bought all the yarn needed to make afghans for her family, mass produced on a knitting machine. Also, she bought some "crap fun fur" and banged this out on her knitting machine for everyone she knew. She has no shame and tells it like it is. I like this show and will continue to subscribe to her feed.

Secret Knitting, by Daniela. I think that she's Norwegian. Her English is a little halting, which adds to the charm of the show. In each episode she guides you through a pattern verbally. You knit to the sound of her voice, and when you are done, your discover what exactly it was that you were knitting (thus the name "Secret Knitting"). Very fun idea. Unfortunately, with all of my Christmas knitting (which is still not done!) I haven't been able to do this yet, but I plan on making the Secret Lace Socks as soon as possible.

FiberCast by Caroline. Her most recent episode is about raising silk worms. She interviews a silk worm farmer Michael Cook, and it sounds labor intensive but fascinating. I would never want to do it myself (so gross to have worms in the house!) but it made me appreciate silk so much more. Check out Michaels site, WormSpit.com.

CraftyChica by Kathy Cano Murillo. Maybe it's a personal problem. Brenda Dayne likes her. I really didn't "get" this podcast. But then, no one's forcing me to listen. I'll leave this one alone. Listen in if you want to hear all about glitter from someone who sounds like they really like glitter.

Knitting Newscast by Rhonda Bell. The website looks a little dry, but the show notes promise a pretty cool show. I applaud her efforts and motivation to actually start up this podcast, but I think she leaves room for improvement.

There are some other craft related podcasts that I haven't listened to yet, but they don't seem to be very fiber related, so I'm not too interested in them at the moment.

In case anyone has noticed, I'm becoming kind of fascinated with the whole podcasting thing. And I begin to wonder...Would I like to start one too? What would I need for this? Can my computer (an iBook) support it? What kind of mic do I use? Is there even an "in" on my computer for it? How much RSS source code do I really need to know? Do I have the time for any of this? Hmm. I do already have an idea for a show that hasn't been used yet. If anyone has any links that would help me in my quest for more info on this, please share!

8 comments:

Sarah said...

i just wanted to add that Rhonda Bell was not so good... I had to turn it off. Sorry Rhonda, but I agree with faith, you should work a bit harder if you want to take up some of my time by listening.

Amy said...

Thanks for writing these reviews. There were a couple I hadn't heard before, and it's always fun to check out new podcasts.

Erica said...

Thanks for the review I started off listening to podcasts a month or so ago with Knit Cast and found Cast On the other day. I like both, but feel the same as you about Brenda being like an old friend. It's just so relaxing to listen to her voice. It makes the day easier when I have to spend it by myself.
I was curious about Crafty Chica, but it's probably not my thing from what I've heard. I have a feeling our tastes are similar.

Sandra said...

I tried to download three of the Podcasts mentioned, but Itunes couldn't locate any of them, although I copied the URLs faithfully. Anyone else have this problem?

Rhonda said...

Sorry y'all aren't enjoying my podcast. It is a labor of love and I'm trying to get better with each podcast. I'll take your feedback in consideration for future episodes. And hope you don't give up on me too soon.

Happy Knitting!
Rhonda
Knitting News Cast
http://www.KnittingNewsCast.com

Rhonda said...

Opps, didn't see your request for info on podcasting. Your best bet is try Podcast411.com. They have some great tutorials at:
http://www.podcast411.com/page5.html

Also, there is a great Yahoo! group on podcasting. All the folks there are very helpful and a lot of the pioneers in podcast regularly post there. You can join at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/podcasters/
But expect alot of traffic. Sometimes I get 4 digest of 25 messages a day!

There is a book by Todd, the creator of Geek News Central (http://www.geeknewscentral.com) that is good too. I used it to get me started.

Good luck with your podcast! The more knitting podcasts the better!

Also, if you need anymore help, let me know. I've got the technical part of the whole creating podcasts down with RSS feeds, etc.

Rhonda
Knitting News Cast
http://www.KnittingNewsCast.com

Whit said...

Just wanted to let you know that Shannon will be joining me on my podcast this week. We are joining forces to have a better show for both of us! She cracks me up!

Whit

Whit said...

AND since part of my format of my show is going to include segments from other people - I'd love to see a submission from YOU!!

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