Skip this bit if you're already wise in the ways of the podcast.
You don't need an iPod or mp3 player, but one of those is good if you want to listen to your podcasts (as well as your music collection) on the move. All you need to enjoy the following podcasts is a computer with speakers - if you simply visit the page in question and click an episode, you should hear it.
You can use free software which allows you to subscribe, such as iTunes. It automatically downloads the latest episodes when they're available and will handle the tricky business of putting the episodes onto your iPod for you.
Older episodes are available for a long time or for good, so it's possible to look through these websites and listen to episodes which appeal to you.
The podcast's website usually also contains 'programme notes' with further related information such as images or links to websites mentioned in the 'cast.
Things I've learned on the way:
- check your list in iTunes regularly because most of the time podcasts are fairly timeless and work a long time after they're recorded but it's great to hear up-to-the minute info (podcasters' progress with Tour de Fleece, for example)
- Podcasts which profess to contain spinning information often don't, or sometimes the promised spinning content is hard to find among the knitting, sewing, recipes, pets etc.
- Luckily, tunes like "Spinning Wheel" and "Windmills of the Mind" wear well. Podcasts often contain musical interludes which break up conversation nicely but can be a little frustrating if the selections aren't to your taste. Sometimes episodes include other free content such as audiobook chapters.
- The content of such podcasts varies widely from teenagers rambling between themselves to more professional shows. Some are more like blogs with the podcaster discussing their own projects, others feature interviews, reviews and how-to's.
A selection of spinning / knitting / weaving podcasts
Here is a selection of spinning-related podcasts to get you started. If you look up these in iTunes, you'll find that each one leads on to more related 'casts which you can sample.
Spinning on the radio? It works surprisingly well - or at least it does with Yarnspinners Tales. The discussion is informative and engaging, covering spinning techniques, tools, fibres. The long music passages would be fine if it were a little more to my taste, but it still breaks up the conversation nicely.
One for the fellas maybe. The podcast is mainly about knitting, but sometimes features fibre, spinning, weaving. And fellas.
I'm assuming that this one is finished as they've not put out an episode for nearly a year, but I've quite enjoyed some of the existing episodes. A little too much focus on american people, books, magazines and events rather than the craft but some humour and good musical interludes.
A new podcast, but a very promising start. Sasha Torres (thecraftyrabbit on Ravelry) Reviews equipment, books and blogs.
In the most recent edition, for example, she reviews the WooLee Winder and Maggie Casey's Start Spinning book and DVD.
An enthusiastic style and a promising start. Lots of doggy interest in this one, but I have persevered with it because of a good focus on the craft, I like the way that she refers books, blogs and people that you may know. No episode since April - I hope she continues.
Spin Control Podcast
A mix of spinning, knitting and sewing. A personal journal from Shilo, aJoyfulGirl on Ravelry
If you can recommend any more, please let me know because I've started a list at http://handspinner.co.uk/links.html
This article first appeared in my HandSpinner newsletter for July 2010 - you can subscribe to the newsletter at handspinner.co.uk. Alternatively you can read the page-turny interactive version at issuu.com and subscribe to my publications there