Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fiber Beat #14, Wool Gone Wild

featuring Franklin Habit, author, cartoonist, photographer, teacher & designer!

Now available online and and on iTunes!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fiber Beat #12, Flower Power (plus xox XRX)

featuring Kathy Hattori of Earthues plus the recipient of the XRX Scholarship for MFKR 2010, Rusty Boyd.

Now available online and and on iTunes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Help Fiber Beat Upgrade Its Technology!!!

Hallo Possums,

Just wanted to send out a quick email about upcoming Fiber Beat episodes.

As fate would have it, our production machine, the venerable Mac G5 (old AMD processor) is now making sounds like it’s preparing to take off from SFO airport. We’ve had it into the Apple Store for diagnostics and it seems like we’ll be needing to get a new machine. Unfortunately, this could not have come at a more inconvenient time with Anthony (my editor and production assistant) in school full-time AND with my finishing up Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat 2010 administrative bits.

What does this mean for you, our patient listeners and viewers? Well, it will likely result in some delays for our next episodes but it might force us to “shut down” for a bit as we figure out the costs for a new machine with proper video card, RAM and editing software. We were hoping to make this machine last through 2010 and start a fund raising campaign in 2011 but the current situation has made a more speedy switchover and purchase necessary immediately.

Please rest assured that we are not going away but getting all our ducks in a row for a better, brighter, faster production process. I hope it results in more professional video and faster turnaround times for audio episodes.

If you’d like to support us on this journey, you can help by donating any amount to the “Help Fiber Beat Upgrade” fundraiser. We’ve added a DONATE button to the homepage of and you can give any amount that you feel comfy giving.

Thanks so much for listening and for continuing to support Fiber Beat with your emails, recommendations and reviews!

Onwards and upwards!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

FiberBeat #11, "New & Neatby Nitting"

Media Link: New & Neatby Nitting (44:23)

FiberBeat #11, "New & Neatby Nitting"

There's a million crafters in Fiber City and we've all got a yarn to spin.

Bobbin's Nest Studio

This episode of Fiber Beat is underwritten by Bobbin's Nest Studio, from Santa Clara, CA. Bobbin's Nest is a yarn and fabric store, specializing in materials for knitting, crocheting, sewing and hand embroidery. This fall, Bobbin's Nest celebrates it's third anniversary of bringing fiber and fabric sophistication to the Bay Area.

In this episode I spend some quality time with two very imaginative and colorful characters, Debbie New & Lucy Neatby. What I love about both Debbie & Lucy is their playfulness in design and their fearlessness in color exploration. I spoke with both of them after completing Stitches West workshops in Northern California. This episode is another gem from the vaults, so from time to time there might be references to items that are "coming up" that have already passed (i.e. Think Outside the Sox book, etc.).

The following places, people and things were mentioned:


The first ever Men's Fall Knitting Retreat SCHOLARSHIP Winner

The 2010 Men's Fall Knitting Retreat benefitted tremendously from the generosity of XRX, Inc. in the form its very first scholarship. The unanimous decision of the judges was Rusty Boyd hailing from Murfreesboro, NC. Rusty joined us for a fun-filled fiber extravaganza in the beautiful pacific northwest.

Fiber Beat CONTEST for Episode No. 11

I have two instructional DVDs from Lucy Neatby, "Intarsia Untangled" (volumes 1 & 2). Here’s all you have to do to enter: tell us the name of your favorite museum. It can be one that you've physically been to OR one that you hope to visit in the future. For example, I love the DeYoung Museum DeYoung Museum in San Francisco but I hope to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Now, it's your turn.

To enter, please leave your comment on or on the Fiber Beat Ravelry forum. One winner will be randomly selected from all the entries. DEADLINE FOR ENTERING IS October 15, 2010.

A big rainbow-hued thank you to everyone who downloaded and listened to the first SEVENTEEN episodes (audio/video) of Fiber Beat. Let me know what you think and leave a review on iTunes!

An many-colored merci to Debbie New & Lucy Neatby. Special spelling love to my favorite grammar school girls, Kristine & Adrienne.

We used snippets of the songs below in this episode. If you like the music, please support the artists (links provided for your convenience):


My name is WonderMike and I'll see YOU on the Fiber Beat!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fiber Beat Reviews #1 (Phat Fiber Box)

Now available online and iTunes!

Don't forget to enter our contest for the Phat Fiber "Fluff Box" reviewed in this video episode. Details in the show notes and on Ravelry.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fiber Beat Video Supplement #10, "MFKR Photo Mantage"

Now available online and iTunes!

Yes, the spelling of "mantage" is intentional. You see, MFKR stands for the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat and when you assemble a group of photos of a bunch of men spinning, knitting and retreat-ing, you call it a man-tage. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fiber Beat #10, "Let's Shear It For The Boys!"

Featuring a village of Men's Knitting Retreat coordinators, attendees, donors & sponsors.

Now available online and iTunes!

We have a scholarship to attend this year's fall retreat which will be held September 16-19, 2010 in WA state. Details for nominating a man for the scholarship will be on and on Ravelry Fiber Beat group.

Original photograph used courtesy of Nigel Pottle. Copyright 2009.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fiber Beat #9 "A Tweed Glows in Brooklyn"

featuring Jared Flood aka BrooklynTweed. Now available online and iTunes!

Don't forget to enter the contest for a signed copy of "Made In Brooklyn" published by Classic Elite Yarns.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Verb Camel Silk & PGR/Jorn Piel Spindle

One of the wonderful things about teaching drop spindle spinning is that I never, ever feel guilty about purchasing different spindles and unusual fiber. I think it's my responsibility to familiarize myself with the full spectrum of tools and materials, so that I can at least say that I've tried them. I might not be the master, but I would be able to carry on a conversation and give my personal opinion of their efficacy.

A recent audio episode of Fiber Beat featured the wonderful Priscilla Gibson-Roberts talking about knitting, spinning and historical sock & sweater designs from around the world. At one point she mentioned that she prefers to spin with a horizontal draw because it doesn't stress her neck and shoulder as much as the more familiar and popular vertical draw. These draw/draft distinctions are described in her book, "Spinning in the Old Way" but I thought it would be fun to do a demonstration for a Fiber Beat Video Supplement.

Considering that Priscilla might be watching the video (after all, she did listen to the audio and gave me some lovely feedback), I wanted to make sure that the fiber as well the spindle were something special. I already had some dreamy A Verb for Keeping Warm baby camel/silk (50/50) in the "French Monk's Finest" colorway. All I needed was a new, yet different spindle.

I remembered that I had seen a Priscilla designed spindle somewhere online but I couldn't recall exactly where. There's tons of groovy web-based spindle makers and sellers so I had to narrow the field down to a few that I knew had good customer service and speedy delivery. Fortunately, I didn't need to search for very long.

I found two PGR designs for sale from Paradise Fibers in Spokane, WA. Both were collapsible spindles (i.e. the whorl comes off) and produced by Jorn Piel. I ordered both and they arrived within the week, just in time to record our video piece. The specific spindle I used was the Nordic top whorl design (pictured here) to illustrate the horizontal draw. Its whorl stays in place due to friction and a widening section of the shaft. It arrived with the whorl held in position from the bottom, but I actually prefer to set the spindle in from the top. To my eye, it spins more true and I can remove the whorl in the middle of a project.

The other design was a Cherry Lap Spindle (not sure why it's called that..) which features a screw on whorl. This spindle was much heavier (which I love) and the shaft was extra long (mind out of the gutter). I've since used both in classes and for World Wide Knit and Spin in Public day. I'm quite chuffed with the latest member of my fiber production family.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fiber Beat Video Supplement 8: "Doing the Horizontal"

Featuring a demonstration of the Horizontal Draw.

Now available on the interwebs and iTunes.

Don't forget to enter the contest to win a SIGNED copy of Priscilla Gibson-Roberts "Spinning in the Old Way". Deadline to enter is July 4, 2010. More details can be found online or in the Ravelry Fiber Beat group.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fiber Beat No. 8 "PGR, In a New Way"

New podcast featuring Priscilla Gibson-Roberts is now available.

Be sure to enter our contest for a signed copy of "Simple Socks: Plain & Fancy"! Deadline for entering the contest is June 30, 2010. More details can be found on the Fiber Beat website or on the Ravelry Fiber Beat group.

Podcast now available online and on iTunes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2010

The poster is complete! Please download, post and share with anyone interested in attending.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fiber Beat Video Supplement #5

Featuring the art yarns of Jacey Boggs and a quick demonstration of the coils spinning technique!

Don't forget to enter the contest for a signed copy of Jacey's DVD, "Sit & Spin". Deadline for entering is April 30, 2010.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fiber Beat #7 "The Art of Yarn"

Featuring the inimitable Jacey Boggs (Insubordiknit).

Be sure to enter the contest for a signed copy of her instructional DVD, "Sit & Spin"!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fiber Beat Video Supplement #4

featuring a chat with CookieA. Check out her amazing collection of sock patterns. Filmed at Bobbin's Nest Studio in Santa Clara, CA.

Fiber Beat Episode 6, "One Smart Cookie"

featuring the delightful CookieA on the occasion of her book launch for "Sock Innovation". Don't forget to enter the contest.