Sticks & String

A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits.

How I podcast

Because I’ve been asked a number of times, I thought I’d put together a little guide to how I went about getting everything done for the podcast, from making sure that people could find and listen to it, to ensuring it sounds alright and getting interesting content for it. I’ll add to it as things happen, so here we go.

Getting started
This blog was the first step. Well the second step actually, the first step was coming up with a name for the whole thing. I wanted a name that wasn’t too cute, nor one that was too boring – and of course, one that wasn’t already taken. I ran through all the combinations of “Australian” and “Knitting” I could think of – “Aussieknit” was already taken; “Knitting down under” sounded like it would be about knitting underwear; and besides, knitting is world wide and there’s no distinctly Australian style of knitting – so I moved on. I eventually hit upon the title you see above because I was thinking about my knitting philosophy. Whenever I turn out a finished article, you can bet someone will say something like “Oh, you’re so clever.” and I really don’t think I am. I, and every other knitter, am able to take some fairly low tech items, some sticks and pieces of string, follow some basic instructions and turn out wonderful and practical items.

Once I’d got this blog started, I headed over to libsyn to create the Sticks and Strings podcast. That’s the first step that cost any money. Libsyn have a number of levels, I chose the second cheapest one, which should let me do a half hour show each week, it’s US$10 per month, so not expensive at all.

The last stop was to get a producer account at the podsafe music network so that I can get some music for the shows.

To make it a little easier to find me, and to distinguish myself as an Australian podcaster, I registered the sticksandstring.com.au domain and pointed it to the WordPress pages. I could explain that I decided against the simple .com domain for all sorts of nationalistic reasons but the real one is because someone else has it already.

Recording the show
I tried recording the show using the same USB headset microphone that I use for teamspeak when playing Everquest 2, the mic is fine for that job, but kept making creaking noises every time I moved even slightly, after a few minutes of trying to edit these out I gave up and moved forward the purchase of some decent equipment. A quick ring-around of a few of the better music shops brought the desired result, when I said that I was looking for equipment for podcasting, the person on the phone put me through to the podcasting sales staff, so that was the shop I chose.

I wanted to be able to record away from the computer so that I could get interviews for the show, and a decent mic for recording at home. The package they put together included the Edirol R09 by Roland, a Rode X/Y Stereo video mic and a desk stand for the mic, all for under $1000. The R09 is a full 24-bit stereo digital recorder that can provide phantom power to a condensor mic, but it’s tiny and will easily fit into a top pocket. It records to SD cards and the only criticism I have is that the 64MB card that it comes with will only record 3 mins at the highest quality, so I picked up a 2GB card, that will record a little over 2 hours, which should be plenty.

The second part of the process is the editing, which is highly important as it means I can remove some of the dumber things I say. I use Adobe Audition for the editing, I already had the program from work I did on some television programs in the past. I’m still coming to terms with many of its features and will have to pick up one of the how-to books to get the nuances of making the sound as good as it can be.

The future? I want to get a pair of mono mics for doing interviews, although the Rode will work well in a quiet room, I don’t think it would be too good at a woollen mill, which is where I’m planning to do some shows from. As I get more equipment I’ll update this page further.

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17 Comments »

  1. Thanks for filling us in.

    Good luck with your venture.

    ~firefly

    Comment by firefly8868 | 2 November 2006

  2. Hi David:

    What equipment did you upgrade to?

    best,
    Charles

    Comment by jigraknits | 4 November 2006

  3. Hi, I love your podcast! I work in an advertising agency and I have my earphones on while working. Helps keep my sanity.
    Cheryl from Minnesota

    Comment by Cheryl | 9 November 2006

  4. Hi David…
    I am sorry to ask this; but I can’t seem to catch the exact link to your podcast. Can you identify it for me? I keep getting error message in itunes that I don’t have the correct url link.
    Thanks,
    Debbie

    Comment by dragonmommie | 10 November 2006

  5. hi,
    i must say that this website is very informative
    from,
    will

    Comment by munro | 8 December 2006

  6. Hi Mr.Reidy, i quite enjoy your tutorials on how to knit and also quite enjoy your podcasts.

    much love adam.

    Comment by Adam Weir | 1 March 2007

  7. Hi,
    thanks for writing this down – I’m afraid I just sent you an email asking a question about podcasting! Only it was about free podcast hosting (I’m in between jobs). So please accept my humble apologies for not checking this out beforehand!

    Comment by changelingthings | 13 April 2007

  8. Dear David,
    Thanks to your initial guiding instructions I have managed to get a podcast up and running – though I did have to go with gcast as I need it to be free for the moment. So thanks for the inspiration to go ahead. I did have a reader ask me to make a download button for the podcast on my wordpress site so she could download directly but I can’t seem to find out how to do it…small steps I suppose. Thanks for all the great episodes so far – I look forward to your return after the holls.
    Cheers.

    Comment by the changeling | 5 May 2007

  9. Thanks so much for mentioning Knitters Connection on your podcast and in your blog. We still have spaces left in some great classes!

    David… could you contact me about being a guest at Knitters Connection 2008? Thanks!

    Fran

    Comment by Fran Rickenbach | 7 May 2007

  10. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for a wonderful podcast. I am fairly new to the podcast thing and have been hopping around looking for “favorites”. I had landed on Unwound and unfortunately Kelly decided that after passing her Bar in Alabama that she had to concentrate on being an attorney so she had to give up her podcast – so after floating around podcast hell – I finally found YOU and Lime & Violet (which I picked up by your referral), so I’m happy once more. I travel a lot for my job – up to 100 nights a year in a hotel room and have a lot of time to knit and to listen (the listening gets done both in the care in the hotel room). I don’t want to ramble but just had to tell you that you have a great voice to listen to and a wonderful delivery for the show. I have downloaded all your shows and am now up to date and can’t wait each week for next one. I just located your site and enjoyed the comments and the photos. Thanks for making my days on the road much more enjoyable. Pamela Langley – Oregon.

    Comment by Pamela Langley | 13 July 2007

  11. Thanks, David. I teach technology to k-8 students in the U.S. I was thinking of purchasing a MAC laptop so we could use garage band to podcast, but we may try the pc way.

    Comment by Cindra | 17 August 2007

  12. David,

    I’m so happy to have found this page of information. I’ve listened to your show since episode 1 and I am never disappointed. I’m considering doing a podcast next year with a focus on the creative community (highlighting mainly fiber fans of course); your “how to” listing is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

    Comment by Marce | 30 November 2007

  13. Thanks for the info. It’s always good to know how to go about getting started – and that what is acceptable for teamspeak might not work for podcasting!

    Comment by morandia | 17 January 2008

  14. Hi David
    I love your podcast, I’ve learned a lot from listening to you while I’m puttering away.
    I discovered a website you might be interested in, it’s http://www.bugknits.com. This lady knits miniature sweaters & stuff, really fascinating, check it out.
    Again, thanks for the great podcast.
    Dorothy (Nanaimo, B.C. Canada)

    Comment by Dorothy | 20 April 2008

  15. Hi David!
    I love your Blog. Its fantastic! And very inspiring…
    My name is Emma Power and I’m producing a project for the Melbourne Fringe Festival called K2TOG. I was given your details from an artist who is working on the project. As part of K2TOG we have a the Fringe Knitfest coming up, and I’d love to promote this through your blog. It is a free-event that runs for a day, which gives 150 knitters the opportunity to come together to work on this project, meet other knitters and get creative! Is there a way in which I can email you a pdf with all the details of this fabulous event?
    Cheers,
    Emma

    Comment by Emma Power | 21 July 2008

  16. Hey, David! Love the podcast. Nice to hear about knitting from a guy, many times for the guys. While I’m still new to knitting, I’ve noticed the different reactions to male knitters in my area (kansas). Keep it going! Also, I’d like to make a music suggestion. Since I’m new to your podcast, maybe you’ve played his stuff before and I haven’t heard it yet. If not I would greatly recomend you play… pretty much ANYTHING by Michael Gulezian. Here’s the link to his homepage: http://www.timbrelinemusic.com/home.html I look forward to MANY more episodes of your stuff! Good on’ya!

    Comment by Dan | 27 June 2009

  17. How can I subscribe to your past podcasts? 131 was my first encounter. Loved it!!!

    Comment by Suzanne | 5 May 2010


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