PODCASTS: What Makes Them So Addictive?

As a follow-up to Winter Warmth, I want to give special thanks to Paula of the Knitting Pipeline Podcast.

In her podcasts, Paula always has a short segment entitled Nature Notes. In Episode 27, she talks about American Eagles. Listening to her helped inspire Howard and me to visit Starved Rock State Park, for which I will always remain most grateful. It was wonderful to rekindle positive feelings about winter – feelings I had not felt in many years.

It amazes me how someone can say a few simple words about something–all the while probably laboring under the assumption that while the words may form an interesting story, they certainly aren’t life-changing . . . and then the words go out . . . and then they touch a person in a form never anticipated . . . and then miracles happen in a beautiful and unexpected way.

Thank you, Paula.

Note to knitters or want-to-be knitters: Knitting Pipeline overflows with knitting tips including book reviews, heartfelt stories and on the blog side, videos. Paula draws much of her inspiration from her admiration of–and friendship with–Elizabeth Zimmerman, the woman who revolutionized the modern practice of knitting. Paula often shares EZ memories, letters and stories with her listeners. Each one is more endearing than the next.

Like so many of us, I love a number of podcasts, and I’m sure I’ll be highlighting more of them in the future. Just as with Knitting Pipeline, some of them have enhanced or changed my life. I fall in love with the shows and often feel as though I know the podcasters personally. As such, I have become a podcast-aholic of sorts.

Countless knitters take pleasure in listening to podcasts while knitting, but for many of us, the gratification goes deeper . . .

Perhaps what attracts us to podcasts is how– just as we can touch the projects on our needles, we can reach out and touch the show. When listeners leave a comment on show notes, write a review or participate in a forum, the podcasters almost always listen. They care. They relate to us and respond. It isn’t like listening to a radio or television show where the host is so inaccessible that letters get buried or answered by an auto-signature machine.

There’s more to it though, and I have been trying to analyze exactly why podcasts attract me as they do. Regardless of if a podcaster is slapdash or sophisticated, there is something about podcasts that touch me in the most profound way. For months now, I’ve been trying to understand why.

Until writing this I had yet to figure it out, but (and this is one of the cool things about blogging), while I was putting this post together, it hit me . . .

I am dating myself when I say this: Podcasts remind me of the “underground music” radio shows I used to treasure waaay back in the Sixties. As it is often said, knitting isn’t a hobby; it’s a lifestyle . . . and the same is true of music.

Whether it’s blues, psychedelic, grunge, punk, hip hop, country, classical . . . or whether it is something as simple as a favorite lullaby: When a person becomes entrenched in music, it defines the person and creates a culture the person might not otherwise have known . . . and the same is true of knitting . . . and so it goes . . .

I found the following definition of underground music on Wikipedia:

While the term comprises a range of different musical genres, they can typically share common values, such as the valuing of sincerity and intimacy; an emphasis on freedom of creative expression; an appreciation of artistic creativity.


Replace the word “musical” with “knitting,” and you get a perfect portrayal of what life in the knitting community is all about. No wonder podcasts have touched knitters in such a deep way.

In April, I’ll have the pleasure of being part of Camp KIP, a knitting retreat with a number of podcasters attending. Camp KIP is the brainchild of Jackie from the KIPPING it Real Podcast (another favorite). I look forward to attending, making new friends, and to thanking podcasters for making a difference in my life.

The knitting lifestyle is wonderful and, as defined above, has added so much to the values knitters share: sincerity, intimacy, an emphasis on freedom of creative expression . . . and an appreciation of artistic creativity. Podcasts help add to it.

If you have a favorite podcast, please feel free to comment about it at the end of this post — you are welcome to include links.

In addition to reading the posts here, if you’re new to podcasts and would like to explore more about knitting podcasts:

1- Check out the Podcast Junkies Group on Ravelry – in particular, see the “What is Your Favorite Knitting Podcast” thread.

2- Ravelry has an extensive list of podcasts here.

Now it’s your turn: Which podcasts are YOUR favorites, and why? Leave your comments, below. Feel free to post your love for ANY podcast, whether it be about food intolerances, knitting, or whatever.

Love to all,

Find and write to Lee on Ravelry:
User Name: LeeBernstein
Visit the Knitting Is Gluten Free Forum on Ravelry — GREAT discussions here, including loving support for people with food intolerances . . . and tons of recipes.
Facebook: Fans of Knitting is Gluten Free
Twitter: Lee_A_Bernstein
LinkedIn: Lee Bernstein

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11 Responses to PODCASTS: What Makes Them So Addictive?

  1. Paula says:

    Beautifully written, Lee. You have nailed it. I love podcasting and listening to podcasts because of the interaction with the knitting community. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down and share with others. I can’t wait to meet you!

  2. Jackie says:

    Aw, thanks! You’re dead on with the link between podcasters and music. It’s a great comparison. See you in just a few weeks!

  3. Julia Grace says:

    The Knitmoregirls is one of my favorite knitting podcasts. It was the first knitting podcast I listened to. My best knitting buddy in Virginia found it and we listened and talked about it. Now that I’m in Indiana I still listen and imagine my friend listening as well and it helps me not miss her. I love the way Jasmine and Gigi interact and how much useful information they pass along. Knitting Pipeline, KIPing it Real, KnitCents, and FiberBeat are also favorites (I an NOT addicted to knitting podcasts!).

    • It is nice to see another Indiana gal here!

      Agreed. Knitmore Girls is one of the best, as are KIPing it Real, KnitCents and Fiber Beat.
      Another favorite: The Knit Wits.

  4. Ashley says:

    I have never listened to a knitting podcast before, but hearing your thoughts on them has convinced me to try it out! I will be listening to the Knitting Pipeline podcast to see if I enjoy it! 🙂

  5. Hi Lee,
    I found your blog from Ravelry (where I am Goodstuff) and enjoyed reading your post.
    I love knitting podcasts too, for so many reasons: learning about knitting techniques, patterns, new books, and events; getting insights into other people’s lives; and making friends. I’m so looking forward to Camp KIP!

    • Hi, Brenda – what a pleasure to see you here. I love your patterns, and because of your post, I found your blog. It is wonderful: http://knitandtravelandsuch.blogspot.com/.

      Everyone, Brenda is donating money to help Japan with the sale of her patterns. (Brenda, I hope you will allow me to quote you, because I think what you are doing is so caring):

      From Brenda’s Blog:

      100% to 200% of my pattern sales from now until April 7th, will go to Japan Earthquake Relief.

      I’ll donate between $3 and $5 for each pattern sold – that’s more than I make from each one :-).

      I’ve already donated $100 to get the ball rolling.

      Here’s the direct link: http://knitandtravelandsuch.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html

  6. Lee,
    Thanks so much for the mention! I love getting new visitors to my blog…
    Best wishes,

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