Podcast Reviews

We highlight some of our favourite knitting and crafty podcasts

NINJA CHICKENS PODCAST

A nurse and herbalist turned homesteader, fibre artist and home-schooling mum, Maria is the warm, welcoming host of the Ninja Chickens Podcast. Married with two children, four cats, 16 chickens and six beehives, Maria films from inside or outside her beautiful home, which is in 25 acres of woodland, just outside Ashville in the mountains of North Carolina. Her animals see Maria sitting down to film and often get in on the act, bombing her episodes.

Each episode is a joy to watch, Maria has a lovely easy style and graciously shares her knowledge and tips with her viewers.  In each episode, we get to look at Maria’s finished objects and works in progress. Recently there have been lots of lovely colourwork projects to gush over.  In addition to WIPs and FOs, Maria keeps us up-to-date with news from Fern Fiber, the naturally dyed yarn company which she runs with her business partner Nikki.  We especially love hearing about the sheep and natural dyeing.

Living in such a beautiful setting and home schooling, Maria often shares her experiences with us. Look out for some great book and website recommendations. We’ve already shared the recommended Rejected Princesses book with a few of our friends and would love a copy ourselves.

If that wasn’t enough to reel you in, and we’re sure it is, Maria generously includes a herbal recipe at the end of each episode. If you saw episode 12 of our podcast, you’ll have heard us mention the Butter Beer Maria spoke about.

You can find Maria on Ravelry, Instagram and Facebook. Her show notes are available on the Ninja Chickens blog and on the board in her Ravelry Group.

CLARA STICKAR BLOG

Blogging since June 2007, Clara Falk is approaching the 10th anniversary of her blog.Clara is a prolific maker and lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with her partner and their daughter. As you might expect, Clara’s blog is written in her native Swedish, but Google Translate does a pretty good job most of the time. Even if Clara’s blog couldn’t be translated to pigeon English, it would still be worth following, just to look at all her lovely projects.

A keen knitter, Clara loves colour. That’s not to say that there are no grey projects to be found on her Ravelry project page, there is, but they’re tucked in among the rainbow of colour. Clara is an accomplished knitwear designer, with over 30 self-published patterns listed on Ravelry. She has also published a book, Pretty Knitted Hands, with her friend Kamilla Svanlünd. Her love of colourwork and texture can be seen in her designs.  Many of her designs are only available in Swedish, but there are exceptions, so it’s worth taking a look at them.

Clara’s blog is full of crafting, with everything from cooking to leather work. More recently, over the past couple of years, Clara has taken up sewing. Like many of her readers we’re sure, we like living vicariously through Clara as she adds garments to her handmade wardrobe.

Clara can be found on Ravelry and Instagram.

TINY FIBRE STUDIO PODCAST

Becks the lovely host of the Tiny Fibre Studio Podcast films from her home in Plymouth, Devon. Becks has been knitting since she was a child, and has been spinning for approximately six years (she describes herself as a pretty consistent spinner). However, after finding her handspun yarns don’t always match her expectations in terms of weight and meterage, Becks has decided to become a more purposeful spinner.  2017 is the year Becks has put her plan in to action which led to her project #Handspun17 and the podcast.  She has set herself the challenge to only knit with her own handspun yarn in 2017; she has put down any WIPs from 2016 and before, unable to return to them until 2018.

In each episode Becks greets us in one or more of her stunning hand knits, although that may not be the case as the weather warms up. A self-confessed fan of Ysolda Teague’s designs, several of the garments we’ve seen so far have been her patterns and we have to confess to a total love of Becks’ version of Stephen West’s Exploration Station – stunning.

If you’re a spinner, you’ll love the Tiny Fibre Studio podcast. Having worked in television production, Becks films each episode beautifully and often includes close-up shots to explain something in more detail.

One of the greatest things about the Tiny Fibre Studio podcast is that Becks lives on this side of the globe. Don’t get us wrong, we love watching podcasters from all around the world, but often find ourselves a little blue after spotting something we really like, but which the shipping costs make prohibitive. As Becks lives in the UK, she predominantly uses fibre and products from closer to home, with the odd exception of some beautiful objects/tools. We’re thinking Akerwork Bobbins here in particular, total spinning loveliness and something Lora has been coveting for a good while now.

Keen to get her viewers involved, Becks is running a Sample Along, which began in March of this year. Becks suggests a particular way to spin and then ply your yarn and it’s great to be able to see everyone’s results in the Ravelry Group, which is also where you’ll find the show notes for every episode.

Whether you’ve been spinning for years, or have only recently be bitten by the bug, the Tiny Fibre Studio podcast is both helpful and inspiring.  You can find Becks on Ravelry, Instagram and Twitter.