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Media Link: Let's Shear It For The Boys! (40:50)

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

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


Bobbin's Nest Studio

I am pleased to introduce our first sponsor of the Fiber Beat, 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. They are excited to announce their new personalized online shopping experience called eNest.


The Men's Knitting Retreats have entered their third year with the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat this past May. What began as a simple desire to gather men who have a shared fiber interest, has blossomed into a global phenomenon. In 2009, David Reidy, from the Sticks & String podcast, hosted the Men's Australian Knitting Retreat. This year, James Herbison, hosted the first ever Men's New Zealand Knitting Retreat. If you'd like to host your own men's knitting retreat, contact myself or Joe Wilcox for ideas, learnings and moral support.

For this episode, I've assembled a cast of retreat coordinators, attendees & sponsors. We talk about why the Men's Knitting Retreats are so special and so very necessary.

The following places, people and things were mentioned:


The first ever Fiber Beat SCHOLARSHIP for Episode No. 10 / MFKR 2010

This year, the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat will be held just outside of Seattle in the City of Federal Way at the Dumas Bay Centre from September 16-19. We still have regular paid slots available with all the costing details on Ravelry and on Flickr. However, we are thrilled to announce have a special scholarship to the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat, provided by XRX, Inc. This scholarship includes full retreat fees plus a stipend of $400 for travel and transportation. You can nominate a friend, a family member or yourself. The nominee must be a man and over 21 years of age. Please confirm that your guy has agreed to be entered into the nomination process. A sample nomination will be the first entry in the comments section below.

One scholarship recipient will be selected from all the nominations by a panel of Men's Knitting Retreat coordinators (Joe Wilcox, Ted Myatt, James Herbison & myself). DEADLINE FOR ENTERING IS August 6, 2010. The winner will be officially announced on August 15, 2010.


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

So. Many. Generous. People. To. Thank. For. This. Episode:

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 at the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat... AND on the Fiber Beat!!

Direct download: fba010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:53 PM
Comments[35]

  • Great podcast...as usual! Sounds like everyone had a fabulous time at the retreat! Thanks for all your hard work!

    posted by: Katrina on 2010-08-06 12:16:00

  • I would like to nomination Russell Boyd from 114 Liberty Street, Murfreesboro, North Carolina 27855, 252 396-0196. This is one Awesome Guy. Rusty is such an enthusiastic knitter and wants everyone one to share the joy of knitting,so he volunteered to conduct knitting classes here at our public library and then...he organized a monthly \\\\\\\"Get Together to Knit and Crochet\\\\\\\" for all levels. We have people coming out of the woodwork to join in on the fun. His passion and patience with everyone\\\\\\\'s project has created a knitter out of me. He and his daughter, Eleanor, sponsored a hand knitting program for our kids for the Summer Reading Program. Everyone was so amazed with what a ball of yarn and your fingers could accomplish, belts, hairbands, scarfs, etc. We had a great time including the parents. We can\\\\\\\'t say enough good things about this fellow, a super guy! Please choose Rusty, it would be a dream come true for him. Beverly

    posted by: Beverly Warrick on 2010-08-06 12:04:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. He has recently returned to school and has a phenomenal podcast. He deserves to be involved in this knitting retreat because he has much information to share, is always ready to learn new things, and will surely give his podcast listeners some great tips and tricks that he picks up at the retreat.

    posted by: erin on 2010-08-05 12:31:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch of the Sweaters for Dragons podcast for the XRX scholarship. He is a thoughtful, intelligent voice in the online knitting community. As a current student in Fiber Arts, Eric would be a great addition to the retreat and he would also be able to bring back new knowledge gained to his fellow students and the knitting community at large through his podcast.

    posted by: Emily Lind on 2010-08-05 11:11:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the XRX scholarship for all of the above reasons as well as his determination to make a career change at the late age of 40. Well done, my friend. Only you would re-enter college and live in a dorm with freshmen!

    posted by: Peg Alexander on 2010-08-05 10:07:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the scholarship. In the time I have known Eric, he has shown himself to be fearless in the face of the unknown, willing to share his knowledge and in general just a great guy.

    posted by: Cecily on 2010-08-05 09:26:00

  • Why have retreats where only men are allowed, any particular purpose for this? If not maybe we should close all knitting camps, SOAR, sock camp and so on for men, and have it women only from now on. This would sadly exclude men with wives that knit, but then again you already do this as well i.e. exclude the spouse. An explanation would be nice.

    posted by: Anne on 2010-08-04 14:05:00

  • Hi Anne, > Thanks for your comment regarding the Men\\\'s Knitting Retreats. Have you listened to the Fiber Beat episode? I think a lot of the reasons why men enjoy having a special retreat for them is explained. I\\\'ll try to share with you my thoughts and perspectives (as an American man) on retreats for men and I encourage other men to chime in, as well. > The idea is not to exclude women, but rather include and encourage men to pursue fiber arts in a retreat setting. Many times men are not allowed to be quiet and contemplative in our US culture. If they are it is usually driven toward activities like sports, woodworking or something else more \\\"masculine\\\". When men do try to pursue a fiber craft, sometimes it\\\'s ridiculed (my experience as a child) or even downright discouraged (a very common story, depending on your locale and fiber community). Also, there\\\'s a perceived stigma with men doing \\\"women\\\'s\\\" work. The mistaken idea is that if you\\\'re knitting, you must be gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But, I have learned from these retreats that straight men do like fiber arts and enjoy the retreat experience, too. > The Men\\\'s Knitting Retreats are opportunities for men to meet one another, share their experiences of doing their craft and teach one another the things they have experienced. Our events are coordinated by attendees, paid for by the attendees with all workshops taught (mostly) by non-professional attendees. Plus, there\\\'s something about a roomful of men feverishly working on their knitting and spinning that is very unique and invigorating. It\\\'s like the first time you meet people that share your vision of the world or your love of foreign cinema. It\\\'s nice to be with your tribe. > It\\\'s merely one event out of hundreds more that are attended primarily by women. The overwhelming majority of publications, patterns, & events are geared toward and attended by women. You can start your own retreat tradition. There\\\'s nothing that says you can\\\'t have it only be women. The examples that you gave about having knitting camps, SOAR and sock camp closed to men isn\\\'t really the same. The point of the Men\\\'s Retreat is for men to gather together and share common male experiences. The stated point and goal of Knitting Camp, SOAR and Sock Camp is not specifically about sharing female experience but rather about knitting, spinning and socks. If there were planned a women\\\'s only retreat, I would understand that this is a safe space for female experience and knowledge to be shared and I would not be upset that I couldn’t attend. > I hope that this makes sense. I do welcome the dialog! Take care and thanks again for your comment. > Sincerely, ~Michael

    posted by: WonderMike on 2010-08-04 21:24:00

  • Your kind and extensive answer was much appreciated not only by me but by others as well that have had the same question but not wanting to ask. Good luck with your retreat and have fun.

    posted by: Anne on 2010-08-05 03:40:00

  • I\'d like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the MFKR 2010 scholarship. He is in a Fiber Arts Program and is an active designer. He publicized knitting in his podcast \"Sweaters for Dragons\" and is an excellent candidate for the scholarship.

    posted by: Will Roach on 2010-08-05 09:03:00

  • I would also like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the scholarship. I have known Eric approximately two years. He is, as other people have noted, a talented knitter,knitwear designer, and yarn dyer. However, it is his courage in striking out in a new direction, moving himself hundreds of miles away from all that was familiar, in order to pursue his dream to become a better designer that I most admire. If there was ever anyone who meets the criteria for this scholarship, it is Eric.

    posted by: Lorrie on 2010-08-04 05:19:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the XRX scholarship. As a designer, dyer, and all-around fiber artist, he brings a refreshing insight to the design table, and has created several new designs for menswear, which I feel is needed in the knit design world. He is also going to school for fiber art & design, at a time in his life when most of us are starting to think about settling into our chosen fields, which shows an initiative and drive that would do nothing but accentuate the experience of everyone who attends with him.

    posted by: Minnie Olson on 2010-08-03 23:11:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. He is a fabulous knitter and has pulled off amazing projects even if pressed for time. I saw how hard he worked at patterning/ flat drafting for a design class, and I can only assume that he applies the same diligence to all aspects of his life. He\'s a great guy to be around and is willing to work hard and try new things -- and do them well. Thank you for giving guys like him opportunities like this!

    posted by: syr ism on 2010-08-03 21:43:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch of Sweaters for Dragons podcast for the retreat scholarship. Eric has had many life changes (new state, new school, becoming nontraditional adult student) lately to pursue his new career in design. He is a great male knitter who is inspirational in many ways.

    posted by: Vicki (Dragonfly7673) on 2010-08-03 21:25:00

  • I nominate Gregory McKenna for the scholarship. He is witty, talented, and fun spreading the knitting word far and wide. This is the one time I am sorry I am not a guy...I want to go the the Men\\\'s Knitting Retreat.

    posted by: Deirdre Hickey Sturm on 2010-08-03 10:24:00

  • I nominate Kurt Fausset for the scholarship. His body of work, commitment to his students, fearlessness at being opinionated, willingness to scoff at conventionalism, and passion to keep knitting exposed to the masses will make him a forerunner in the new directions the fiber arts. As the panel knows, I am not the type of person that copies and pastes another person\\\'s words to get my point across. I do not know Kurt personally. What I know of him is through his writing about his creations, the responses he receives from people and viewing his passion of his creative pursuit. I expect to see great things from him in the near future and it would be beneficial to him and the other attendees if he was at Dumas Bay this fall.

    posted by: Daniel Herrera on 2010-08-03 01:28:00

  • I\\\'d like to nominate Gregory McKenna for the scholarship. I\\\'ve listened to several of his guest host stints on the Knitmore Girls podcast and believe he would be a wonderful addition to the retreat. He is knowledgable, thoughtful, interesting and funny (as far as I can tell from the \\\'casts). He\\\'s been knitting for quite some time and have even begun drop spindling. Seems like a good sport and a lot of fun.

    posted by: Designbee on 2010-08-02 20:00:00

  • I would like to nominate Russell (Rusty) Boyd for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. He is great person who loves his family and and great teachers. He loves to knit and it is amazing what he can do.I think he deserve to pursue what he loves.

    posted by: Becky on 2010-08-02 00:35:00

  • I would like to nominate Russell (Rusty) Boyd for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Rusty is a great friend who took up knitting to help ease stress. He has inspired a whole group of people to start learning this art as well. Rusty is a positive guy and so much fun to be around. He does so much for his own family and his classroom children too. He is full of laughs and will be a much welcomed addition to the weekend. Please help him go! :)

    posted by: Ashlea White Davis on 2010-08-01 15:51:00

  • I would like to nominate Russell (Rusty) Boyd for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Rusty is a great individual who spends much of his time dedicated to helping others, primarily children. I think he deserves some time to pursue the hobby he enjoys.

    posted by: Tim Place on 2010-07-31 18:13:00

  • I would like to nominate Russell (Rusty) Boyd for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Rusty is a wonderful person, teacher, father, husband, and friend. He finds great stress relief in knitting and he has started a group at our public library. Rusty is such a positive force in our community as a teacher and volunteer. He deserves a break to pursue the hobby he loves.

    posted by: Jennifer Place on 2010-07-31 18:09:00

  • I would like to nominate Rusty Boyd for the 2010 XRX MFKR Scholarship. He is an avid knitter that has actually inspired me to take knitting back up even though we live on opposite ends of the state. I think that he would bring lots of fun and inspiration to the retreat. I don\'t know of anyone else more derserving.

    posted by: Ruth Thomas on 2010-07-31 17:16:00

  • I nominate Kurt Fausset for th XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. I met Kurt at Imagiknit in San Francisco, and was not only pleased to find a fellow male knitter welcoming me to the shop but was also appreciative of his knowledge when it comes to all things knitting. He is a wonderful representative of guys who knit, and I know that he\\\'d take the memories from the MFKR and share them with his customers for years to come!

    posted by: Kyle Kunnecke on 2010-07-31 16:03:00

  • I would like to nominate myself, Ray Rossiter, for the 2010 XRX MFKR Scholarship. I am a reading speciaist for grades K-5 in the Spencerport Central School District. I am also an avid knitter and spinner. I have recently rediscovered my love for all things fiber. In October of 2009, I fulfilled one of my life-long goals - to run a marathon. I ran in the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. Unfortunately after finishing the race I suffered a massive heart attack (yes not long after crossing the finish line!). I actually died and if not for a very stubborm doctor wouldn\\\'t have survived. After spending several weaks on life support and a few more in the hospital, I eventually recovered. Needless to say my running days are over. I have had excessive medical bills and could not possibly afford the cost of the retreat. Everything at this point for me is icing on the cake. I haven\\\'t had much go right lately but at some point good things do happen to good people. Thanks for your consideration.

    posted by: Ray Rossiter on 2010-07-31 13:59:00

  • I would also like to nominate Gregory McKenna for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. He has guest hosted on the Knitmore Girls\\\' podcast and he seems very knowledgeable, and also like he would be super fun to hang out with. I\\\'m going to put a good bet on the fact that he would be a good addition to your group. I\\\'m just jealous I can\\\'t come, because I have a uterus and all...

    posted by: Rachel aka Roue on 2010-07-30 12:12:00

  • I would like to nominate Rusty Boyd for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Rusty is an elementary school teacher in Eastern NC with a great love for kids and knitting. He is a willing and able teacher to anyone interested and has taught his wife to knit and has begun the same process with his young daughter. We live in a very rural part of the state with few knitting resources so Rusty started a knitting group at our local library and has also taught kids to finger knit in the libraries summer kids activity program. Rusty would love to get together with other guys who have a afinity for fiber arts and I think he would contribute in a positive way to the weekend.

    posted by: Shawn Frazier on 2010-07-30 14:45:00

  • I would like to nominate Kurt Fausset for th eXRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Kurt works hard at our LYS, imparting his knowledge of love of knitting to customers everyday for little in return. Kurt is one of only a few men with the courage to work in a yarn shop, where he welcomes male knitters (and crocheters) and creates an environment that fosters the love of the craft among men. It is in part due to him, that I am willing to be in public with my fiber!

    posted by: John aka KnitOneSipTwo on 2010-07-31 13:38:00

  • I would like to nominate Gregory McKenna for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Gregory learned to knit from a co-worker many years ago, and I met him while I was working at an LYS. Greg is often challenging himself with new patterns, and has recently taken up drop spindling! Greg is a renaissance man; arborist, outdoorsman, beer enthusiast, English folk dancer, Tai Chi instructor, and knitter. He has also stunt-hosted a few episodes of our podcast, manfully stepping up when Mom or I (or both!) couldn\\\\\\\'t record. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

    posted by: Jasmin on 2010-07-29 23:44:00

  • I too would like to nominate Eric Hinsch the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. A man who in his adulthood found the need to switch careers and is doing so with grace that is match by few. No other man I know is as deserving as he is. Oh and he is talented too!

    posted by: Tammy aka pinkylee on 2010-07-29 18:58:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Even when faced with a tough road he remains optimistic and resourceful. Eric\'s mad knitter skills and sensible personality would surely fit in well at this retreat.

    posted by: katkoe on 2010-07-29 14:03:00

  • I also would like to nominate Eric Hinsch for the MFKR 2010 scholarship. Eric is currently a student in a Fiber Art Program. I believe attending the MFKR 2010 would give him a boost to his studies and allow him to share his knowledge with others. His podcast \"Sweaters for Dragons\" includes tips and tricks that are helpful for many knitters. Eric used to dye his own yarn as part of Cables and Lace. It would be great to have another podcaster attend to give those of us unable to attend MFKR 2010 could have double the podcast pleasure. I imagine a Fiberbeat interview with Eric and a Sweaters for Dragon\'s interview with WonderMike. It\'s wonderful to see the scholarship available this year. Thank you for continuing the MFKR!

    posted by: gerald on 2010-07-29 12:18:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch. He is an avid knitter, is very active in publicizing knitting through such mediums as his Sweaters for Dragons podcasts. He teaches knitting classes, has done amazing work dyeing yarns, and is just a generally wonderful fiber person. It is because of him that I have expanded my knowledge of knitting and became interested in dyeing. I think he is very deserving of this honor. I appreciate your taking the time to consider him.

    posted by: Dominique Hallett on 2010-07-27 13:52:00

  • I would like to nominate Eric Hinsch of the Sweaters For Dragons podcasts. He has a great handle on the Knitting process--tips, tricks, design and even had his own Dye Company until he went back to school. He is currently enrolled in a Fiber Arts program--where he is increasing his knowledge of Knittign, Design as well as learning weaving. I think he is very deserving and would be able to share knowledge gained from the retreat, through is podcast :) Thank you for considering Eric!

    posted by: Ann-Marie MacKay on 2010-07-27 13:43:00

  • I would like to nominate myself, Aaron Clark, for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. I have been knitting for 2 1/2 years and am completely obsessed!! As a middle school music teacher, I have also taken pride in knitting publicly (my students LOVE my socks) and teaching kids how to knit in an after-school knitting club. Unfortunately, since I am a schoolteacher AND in the early stages of going through a divorce, I have no funding, but much need of the therapy inherent in such an event. I would appreciate your kind consideration.

    posted by: Aaron on 2010-07-26 21:46:00

  • SAMPLE NOMINATION -- I would like to nominate Russell Crowe for the XRX MFKR 2010 Scholarship. Russell has been an avid knitter all his life. He volunteers at a recreation center for disadvantaged children in the greater Los Angeles area where he teaches fiber crafts (knitting & crochet). I think he sets a great example for the children and shows that it\\\'s all right for boys to knit. I know that he would love to attend this retreat but he doesn\\\'t have the financial resources to do so. Thank you for considering him!!!

    posted by: WonderMike on 2010-07-25 17:09:00

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