DiscoverFiber Nation
Fiber Nation

Fiber Nation

Author: Interweave

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Join host Allison Korleski as she brings you stories from all corners of the yarniverse. From Victorian murder mysteries to the trenches of the Western Front, from deadly dyes to futuristic fabric, each episode explores the connections between fiber, history, and humanity. 

25 Episodes
Today’s episode is all about artificial intelligence—AI. What it is, what it ISN’T, what it can and can’t do. What happens when you try to teach a computer how to knit? Can a neural network match the creativity of a human? And what might happen if the Terminator became a knitwear designer? Find Show Notes links here Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On today’s episode, we explore the radical origins behind home economics. Hear how it became important enough to have its own federal agency. And learn how one particular sewing magazine became a game-changer during WWII.  Find Show Notes here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We travel to the Isle of Man and hear the story of one of its oldest inhabitants: the Manx Loaghtan sheep. A sheep that’s been on the brink of extinction not once or twice, but THREE times. And we’ll talk about not just how it was saved, but why some things are worth saving in the first place. Find Show Notes here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Up to now, our daily dose of fiber has always focused on the woolly natural stuff. However, even the best diet has to succumb to a bag of Cheetos now and then. Consider this episode, about the crotch-hugging antics of spandex, as our cheat day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Eliza Hardy Jones was a professional musician and an amateur quilter. Until a once-in-a-lifetime offer made her change her tune. Find out how she turns traditional folk music, sung by women, into a craft traditionally done by women. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sheep, Wind, and Fire

Sheep, Wind, and Fire


In today’s episode, we talk to a shearer of sheep. And while there are all kinds of cool things to learn about wool and economics and how to make a sheep sit on its butt, there’s a larger story here, about how people with the weirdest career path ever helped rescue their communities from calamity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
From its roots in Asia to its importance in the colonial US, from WW2 to the war on drugs, hemp has a curious and complicated history. Plus, we talk a lot about smoking pot. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Pig War

The Pig War


In 1859, a small island off the coast of Washington state was the site of a war almost no one has heard of. It lasted 12 years, involved 5 British warships, 14 American cannons, 34 uncooperative sheep tossed into rowboats, and General George Pickett. And in the end, it sustained only a single causality: a pig. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A Tale of Two Sweaters

A Tale of Two Sweaters


In today's episode, we hear a tale of two radically different sweaters. But while we begin by exploring the world of luxury knitwear, we end up discovering something completely different…and completely new. Read the show notes: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Did you know Oct 10 is I Love Yarn Day? Neither did we. but no matter. Listen to hear how you can win a box of fluffy goodness. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On the eve of the Civil War, Godey’s Lady’s Book was the most successful fashion and literary magazine in the US. That is, until its editor destroyed it, along with her own place in history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Almost one year ago we released this episode, but its story of disaster and resilience has even more relevance today. As we prepare Season 3, we hope you (re)discover the story of Patty Reed and her doll. In 1846 an 8-year-old girl named Patty Reed headed west on the Oregon Trail, along with her family. Among Patty’s few toys was a tiny wooden doll. This doll is maybe 4 inches in height, and there is nothing particularly remarkable about her. Except for one thing: The wagon train that Dolly and Patty Reed were traveling in became known as the Donner Party. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
1n 1951, near Gunnister, Shetland, two men discovered a body in a shallow grave. They called the police, who quickly determined there was something very strange about this burial. The body wasn’t actually a body; it was a full set of woolen clothing that had once contained a body. And that clothing was almost 300 years old.  Who was Gunnister Man? How had he come to be in such a remote spot, and what exactly had happened to him there?   Read the show notes! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Socks that Won WWI

The Socks that Won WWI


The First World War was the first truly “modern” war, with its wireless communication, tanks, and poison-gas attacks. In the trenches of Belgium and France, however, one of the most important items in a soldier's kit—right up there with a rifle and a gas mask—was a pair of hand-knit, woolen socks.   *** SHOW NOTES*** Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
When it comes to history, wars and plagues and art and science are the exciting stuff. Linen bed sheets are not. But fiber—fabric— is an integral part of human progress. From Neanderthal caves to Egyptian pyramids, from Viking ships to spaceships, we journey through almost 40,000 years of human advancement. And humble cloth is the springboard. View the show notes: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
As knitters and makers, we understand the siren song of color all too well. But did you know that some colors come at a price? And throughout history, people—not just knitters—have been willing to pay it. From poison dresses to a dye that helped destroy an empire, this episode of Fiber Nation explores our fatal fascination with hues throughout history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
When Karen Hostetler’s children started school, she thought about starting a small business. A gift shop, maybe, selling Wyoming souvenirs to tourists on their way to Yellowstone or Montana. But when she discovered that you can't buy Wyoming wool in Wyoming, her desire to sell wool bunnies and blankets took a sideways turn into something much bigger—the largest wool mill in the American West. In this episode, we share the story of how Karen upended her life and started spinning wool, in an attempt to save the struggling Wyoming sheep ranchers and historic Basque shepherding culture of her home state.  See our show notes here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In this episode we look at the darker side of fiber history, with a surprising twist. Because in Victorian England, newspapers were filled with stories of murder victims, suspicious deaths, and tragic ends. And we’ll learn why, at the heart of so many of those lurid stories, was a woman knitting.  Learn more about these stories and our guest Penelope Lister Hemingway on our show notes page: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Stay tuned! Fresh episodes featuring tales of textiles, craft and culture are coming soon with the new season of Fiber Nation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We're hard at work on our next episode of Fiber Nation. In the meantime, we wanted to feature a new podcast called the Knitting Nerdcast, where host Hannah Baker goes deep into her random knitting obsessions with friends. In this first episode, Hannah and Andrea Lotz nerd out about knitwear they've been noticing in various prestige television shows, including the Hulu show A Handmaid’s Tale. Enjoy! SUBSCRIBE to the Knitting Nerdcast - Show notes and photos for A Handmaid's Knit - Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (6)

Haritha Vasat

Wrapped into the mission of two women to turn Wyoming Wool into a Thing, I got some history, economics and ecology. A beautiful, well-told true story.

May 31st

Tera Lewis

what is the OfFred scarf is crocheted? it could go either way. length or width.

May 27th

Cécile Barbe

I really like tht podcast.I waiting for a ew epiiside.

Mar 19th
Reply (1)

Julie Arthur

good to have fiber nation back

Feb 4th

Joan Lehner

I am looking forward to more episodes.

Mar 25th
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