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Episode 17: The Muggle Show

by Brenda on March 24, 2006

Raconteur. Now there’s a word we don’t see enough of. This week’s guest host, Chicago writer, artist and raconteur extraordinaire, Franklin Habit, simply dazzles with his characteristic style, wit, and charm. Also in this episode: Guido explores his knitting issues in It’s a Purl, Man – Essayist Christopher BartonColorado KnitsThe Knitting CurmudgeonQueerJoe’s [sic] Knitting BlogGo Knit in Your HatYarn Harlot – Essayist Buzz Turner


1 nancy March 24, 2006 at 5:53 pm

I tried to email you – but it bounced back both times. I wanted to tell you about some cool knitting gadgets:
(Yes, I’m affiliated. I invented them!) Thanks for creating such an awesome podcast.

2 Rebekkah March 24, 2006 at 7:05 pm

Great podcast, Franklin!

I didn’t know whether to laugh or hide my face in shame while you talked about trying to try on the sweater while it was still on the needles. I just did the same thing. Right down to getting stuck with it halfway on, and flailing limbs every which way in an attempt to get it to move in any direction. Even worse – it was on circular needles that measured 2″ smaller than the widest part of my chest. What the hell was I thinking? An hour or so later of picking up dropped stitches (in colorwork), and I know I’ll never be trying *that* again. And this wasn’t even my first sweater…

3 Judy March 24, 2006 at 8:45 pm

Hi, I tried to email you too! Hope everything is ok.

I wrote to you a few weeks back as a new listener (from Canberra, Australia – not expecting you to remember me though! hahaha!) – I’m all up to date now with your episodes, including Dave and Sage’s guest hosting episodes.

I’ve enjoyed each and every episode, and have nothing but praise for the style and content of your shows. It’s clear that you put alot of thought into each episode, and I appreciate that. I’ve told so many people about your show, and I’m loving that my friends are getting enthusiastic about knitting and the cast-on podcast. It’s addictive!

I’m looking forward to hearing about how you’ve progressed with sponsorship and your ideas for season two.

Enjoy your break – you deserve it!


4 Jen M March 24, 2006 at 11:15 pm

Fantastic podcast! Thanks, Franklin 🙂

5 Raellyn March 24, 2006 at 11:45 pm

Wonderful podcast Franklin! I loved the music selections and your sweater tale was a good warning to me as I begin my first sweater soon.


6 Kate March 25, 2006 at 1:19 am

A pleasure to hear you Franklin, I enjoyed your stories and especially the music. Bring on the Chopin and the Handel podsafe music!

Thank you for sustaining both your and Brenda’s high standards of blogging quality. (Where was Dolores? Shy?)

7 M-H March 25, 2006 at 3:53 am

I’m in awe of your skills, Franklin. You could probably talk under wet concrete. Thanks for holding the mic for Brenda. Liked the music too.

8 Judy March 25, 2006 at 4:00 am

Great podcast Franklin! I just love all the guest hosts that Brenda has chosen. I had to cackle at the “ll:30pm danger zone”…been there, done that, have the scars!
Judy in Northern Calif (seeing as how there be a bunch of us Judy’s here)

9 Christa March 25, 2006 at 5:23 am

Franklin! Great podcast, congrats on the cherry-busting!

Was neat listening to your take on knitting-as-a-man, while showing gratitude for not being ASKED to take on the knitting-as-a-man theme 🙂 thanks for sharing your b/f with us, too! hope you boys have fun at the Games this summer… won’t see you there, but Chicago is on my list of places to visit EVENTUALLY…

Thanks again for the great show.. loved the music choices too!


10 Aarlene March 25, 2006 at 6:44 am

I enjoyed the show, Franklin. I’ve finally learned not to KWT (knit while tired) too. Top down knits are a little safer to try on in progress but there’s still that risk of losing stitches. EEK
Great essays too. Thank you.
Maybe Brenda could have a guestcast once a month and ease the pressure on herself in the upcoming new season? I love Brenda’s casts but I like these guestcast too.

11 Paula March 25, 2006 at 7:38 am

Oh, you did such a wonderful job (you should do your own podcast *hint*, *hint*). I loved listening to your stories and your music selection is very good. I loved the last two especially. Thank you so much for filling in for Brenda.
Happy Knitting!

12 Carol M March 25, 2006 at 8:56 am

The wonderfully complex tempos in the Chopin put me in mind of the rhythm of the needles working the complex cables and twists in that Aran tam . . .

Great choice!

13 kelly March 25, 2006 at 9:08 am

chicago, represent.
great podcast! i can’t believe you’ve never done this before…

14 2Skiens March 25, 2006 at 12:34 pm

Great Podcast Franklin,

Thank you for the kind review.

You did a wonderful job yourself. I can completely relate with your least favorite knitting comment. I feel like even knitters sometimes talk down to me, as a guy, but not because they mean to. Oh well, I hope you find the respect you deserve from lookers on in the future.

Guido (2Skiens) Stein

15 Jeanne March 25, 2006 at 12:35 pm

Great podcast, Franklin. I got up early this morning to listen to it, and loved it. You should definitely consider doing your own podcast. Great essays and music too.

16 Theresa Dean March 25, 2006 at 4:56 pm

Franklin, thank you for a great podcast. I love listening to your essays, so a whole podcast was great. I think at some time or another, most knitters have done the trying on thing and become entangled in their items, I know I have. You two non-knitters know a lot about knitting not to be knitters, are you sure they don’t want encouragement. Loved the music as well. Anyhoo, I’m off to stare at sheep and coos, and I might even do a bit of knitting.

17 marylee March 25, 2006 at 7:32 pm

Regarding the comments suggesting you start your own podcast….I second that emotion! I loved the sweater story when I read about it and loved it even more today. I’m doing my first key-number sweater (ante upped not by latin, but aran) and have been stalling at a tricky part. Thanks for the nudge. More please…..

18 Candace March 25, 2006 at 7:52 pm

Thank you, Franklin! You did a fabulous job of bringing the listeners into your world.
I really hope we hear from you (and your essayists) very soon.

19 Baigneuse March 25, 2006 at 8:49 pm

Great podcast Franklin. I really enjoyed your turn at hosting and the guest essays. Hilarity all around.

20 Merrie Burnett March 25, 2006 at 10:25 pm

Excellent podcast, it’s hard to believe that it was your first one! I really enjoyed your stories and music selection. It cracked me up when you talked about getting stuck in the sweater, it was like looking in a mirror. Thanks again!

21 Ashley March 26, 2006 at 2:07 am

Dear franklin,
Wonderful job! it was as wonderful as I expected it to be. Hope you come back and do more shows!

22 kathryn March 26, 2006 at 2:42 am

loved every moment
podcasting may be in your future
you seem to have talent all around you
thank you

23 Pamela Lee March 26, 2006 at 3:08 am


Is anyone else having problems with the file obtained by right clicking the “Listen to Episode 17” link? I’ve tried downloading it twice, and have obtained a file which is 42,525 KB in size both times, but neither would play in Winamp — the counter just sits on 0:00 with the “Play” button illuminated, and nothing happens. All the other podcasts on this website have played just fine, and this is the first one I’ve had a problem with. iTunes isn’t currently an option for me as my PC isn’t running an operating system it approves of.

Sounds like this is a fabulous podcast, BTW. *sigh*


24 Jackie March 26, 2006 at 4:55 am

Congrats from another Chicagoan! I love the way that you invited us into your world. I can picture your apartment by the lake; I enjoyed meeting your boyfiend and friend; your today’s sweater story was brilliant – informative and funny. I also enjoyed hearing about the knitting summit in New York. Thanks for sharing so much with us. I’ll be reading your blog now.

25 Helen March 26, 2006 at 11:48 am

From a devoted fan who is a Muggle–great podcast. Will you program my iPod for me when I get one? Love the music mix!

26 susoolu March 26, 2006 at 12:26 pm

Great episode, Franklin. Please pass on thanks to the muggle essayists too. For me, knitting is not just about something that I do, but the feelings and memories that it evokes in others, knitters and non-knitters alike – the journey through the yarn. (But I am just a little bit sorry that Dolores was a no-show, although being such a metro-sheep, I perfectly understand she may not have wanted to get her hooves muddy.)

27 Penny March 26, 2006 at 6:29 pm


Loved listening to the podcast. It gave me something to listen to while knitting yesterday afternoon. It was just like we were sitting there knitting together and talking knit. Good Job!

Hope to hear more of you! –Penny in Pekin IL

28 Anne March 26, 2006 at 7:01 pm

Absolutely fab podcast. I laughed so much….keep raconter is all I can say. By the way, I did that EZ sweater too, but it does not fit me as well as yours, I will probably have to frog it and maybe I will add some latin as well……….something like, nobody understands me, is there a latin phrase for knitting, did they do that in Roman times? Chainmail sweaters I guess.
Thanks again, a truly uplifting episode.

29 Ellen March 26, 2006 at 9:07 pm

Hi Franklin,
I loved your podcast! I was so into your sweater story that I somehow feared a bad ending – something like:”I accidentally felted it when I washed it the first time!” Phew! Congrats to your Essayists – being able to deliver so well even under the threat of being suffocated!!! I’d love to hear more from you! Ellen
P.s. One comment I once got while knitting socks on 5 needles: How do you make a tube out of it? You’re knitting in a square!

30 Krysia March 26, 2006 at 11:00 pm

Wow, Brenda! What a great job picking subs! I loved Franklin and being a Chicagoian it was nice to hear a couple of references to our lovely city. I am sure if I should happen by Franklin and Christopher’s place I will feel the immense writing talent seeping from their place. Thank you for doing such a great job finding substitute entertainment while you were gone. I would also like to hear from the smart and intelligent gal who wrote about denying the knit. Thanks for everything you do!

31 Roe March 27, 2006 at 1:33 am

When I first began to listen I really didn’t think I was going to like the cast. Within minutes I was totally won over by your wit and humor. You have a different sound that I enjoyed.

The essays were wonderful!

32 JoAnne March 27, 2006 at 8:59 am

OMG…I haven’t even finished listening yet but I have to tell you—I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!! This show being Cast-On. Guest spots are fun. And Franklin- You are making me laugh so much…you’re f***ing up my knitting!!! That little giggle when you explain the “Magnum”. I’ve had 2 gay men enter my knitting world this week and I can’t get enough of them. I would love to hear more of you.

33 Paul March 27, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Thank you for a wonderful podcast! Terrific music, and terrific guests! I so love Christopher’s views on knitting, and Buzz’s essay about his grandmother’s knitting is just beautiful (and the fade into the Chopin was very well done…)! I do hope you do this again, or even start your own podcast. Thank you!!!

34 nadine March 27, 2006 at 7:02 pm

Love Love Love your podcasts. I too, tried to email you – and it bounced.
Best wishes from Sunny Canada, where the snow is beginning to melt.

35 Crimson March 27, 2006 at 10:46 pm

Franklin, your podcasting was great! I love that you put my favorite Latin phrase (which I also discovered in high school, oddly enough) in your first sweater. Wonderful!

36 Kathy March 27, 2006 at 11:57 pm

Great podcast, Franklin! Laughing and commiserating with you re the sweater stuck on you! I’m famous for trying on socks with dpn and cracking them in half. Now I use circulars. Loved your essayists as well. All of you hit many points we all feel as knitters and receivers of knitted goods. Now I have another blog to read!

37 may March 28, 2006 at 1:17 am

Cookies for you, Franklin! Thanks so much for a great episode.

I clicked over to your blog to see the sweater. Love it!

38 minnie March 28, 2006 at 4:03 am

i remember when you posted that drawing on your blog about trying on the sweater, lol. i didn’t realize you’d been that rambunctious, though, lol.

excellent podcast, franklin. you’ve outdone yourself. muggles indeed. you’re right, they miss teh “magic” of fiber work, and the soothing, etc, etc. muggles, they be. (can we give a different name to non-knitters who actually APPRECIATE handknits?)

39 debra March 28, 2006 at 4:43 pm

I laughed, I cried, I knitted. Brenda’s break doesn’t feel so much like “Brenda’s away, here’s the guest host,” as “Brenda’s throwing a party, meet all her best friends, knit and chat amongst yourselves while she runs off to the kitchen to get some more snacks.”

40 Sheila March 28, 2006 at 7:04 pm

Wonderful podcast, dude! Enjoyed it as well as your previous guest essays (Bush & bobbles my fave). I’m putting my 2cents in for more podcasting from you.

41 Persnickety Knitter March 29, 2006 at 12:10 am

I too was having problems playing this particular episode. It would not play on my portable MP3 player (which is several years old) and it would not play on my computer using WinAmp (as Pamela mentioned above). I compared the mp3 file to an older one and noticed that the audio sample rate for this one is 11kHz, while an older one is 44kHz. This must be why some things won’t play it, because it plays fine under Windows Media Player.
I’m hoping future episodes will be at something higher than 11kHz (even 24kHz seems to work) because I was VERY sad when I had loaded up the latest episode to listen on a long car ride and it wouldn’t play. Huge bummer. 🙁
Love the podcast.

42 Bridget March 29, 2006 at 4:44 pm

Thank you for an awesome show, Franklin! What a treat, as Cast On always is!

43 Persnickety Knitter March 29, 2006 at 6:26 pm

Great episode! Loved the stories and essays. I agree with those above — I’d like to hear more podcasting from Franklin in the future.

44 Liz March 30, 2006 at 12:52 am

What does it mean that through more than half the song I thought the lyrics were, “I’m not gay, but my boy can knit?”

Loved the podcast, your stories, your guests’ essays, the music. Thanks!

45 Katz March 30, 2006 at 8:21 pm


Thanks so much for filling in for Brenda. You have a wonderful pod voice and a talent for storytelling. Love luv and more luv for the entire show. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.

46 toni March 31, 2006 at 11:13 pm

The Potter-universe name for a non-magical offspring from magical parents would perhaps apply to a non-knitter who appreciates the knit: squib. More appropriate, perhaps, than muggle.

Wonderful show, Franklin! Thank you.

47 Gina April 5, 2006 at 2:03 pm

Huge cookies to Franklin – I loved the show 🙂 Great essays, I loved the Today’s Sweater spot, and the music was fun! Thanks for guest hosting!

48 Camilla April 7, 2006 at 7:13 am

I couldn’t open this file in Winamp either, but Windows Media Player did the trick. Thanks for the show!

49 Dave from Chubby Cheeks April 8, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Great job, mister. I can’t believe that was your first podcast! Way to go. I loved the “guy knitting vs. gal driving a car” bit.

50 Larry Klein April 10, 2006 at 10:52 pm

I was also having a problem playing the file on my DVD player (some models can play MP3s burned to a CDRW or CDROM). When I read in a previous post that the audio sampling frequency was 11kHz I knew how to fix it. I opened my audio editor, (I use Audacity, it’s freeware) changed the frequency to 44kHz, saved the file, burned it to a CDRW. The new file plays on the DVD player. The wife will be so happy now!.

51 Robin Miner February 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

This message has nothing to do with this episode! I started in the middle then decided to go back to the beginning so I’m still catching up. I did want to tell you, however, how much I enjoy your show.

I live in Germany and don’t yet speak German fluently, so I listen to your podcast when I need to hear something I can understand and humor I can relate to. I like your personal stories, I like hearing about your knitting faux pas’s especially since I’m a beginning knitter and make nothing but mistakes. I also enjoy the creativity you bring to addressing those mistakes and have been inspired by them. I made a sweater that would have fit two of me, and I wouldn’t redo the whole sweater. After hearing an episode where you refered to a woman who cut up old sweaters and made pillows out of them, I decided to cut (gasp!) my sweater and sew it to fit. And it does! and I love it! I know it’s cheating, but I haven’t yet got the hang of knitting to fit.

I love your music choices so I went to the podsafe Music Network and came away with a huge appreciation of the amount of work necessary to find a few really good songs.

On a more global level, I am regularly touched by your interest in, and promotion of, all things creative, and your desire to connect with and create, the creative community.

Thank you again!

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