Gifts: Toys And Hats

It’s good to be back home a bit after spending a week away on the fishing trip a few weeks ago. I’ve received a ton of comments on the Knitted Fishcloth Dishcloth, both virtually and in real life, and I appreciate all of it. I think it’s a funny story, and it’s nice to see that the humor is enjoyed by pretty much everyone who hears the story. The funniest feedback I received was at the LYS downtown, Gate City Yarns. After telling the story, the first thing I heard was “it’s kinda weird that none of you ripped up an old t-shirt or something to use as a dishcloth.”

Yes, kinda weird none of us thought of that. It would have been a much better solution!

It’s been a busy week. I have things piling up at work that need to get knocked out — it seems that the work doesn’t take a vacation just because I do. I’m pretty much back on track at the office, so that’s great. Outside of work, my schedule continues to find itself being full. Even so, I have had an exciting week in knitting, which I’ll talk about a little more later in the post.

This Week In Podcasts

One of the things that’s stacked up since being on vacation is my un-listened-to podcast episodes. This week, I listened to the Fiber Hooligan episode with Fiona Ellis, Knitting Pipeline 151 (Voices From Cornerstone), and Ewe University Episode 10. Looking in my iTunes, I see several things queued up: Knit Circus Podcast #36, knit.fm Episode 3 (Understanding a Knitting Pattern), and Ewe University Episode 11. Most of those new ones hit my iTunes later in the week, and I just haven’t made it around to listening to them yet. That will make for some good listening while I commute to and from work this week, and I’m sure some new knitting podcasts will be released as well.

In Fiber Hooligan, I really enjoyed a few things. First, there was Fiona Ellis’ awesome accent. I can listen to an English accent all day long. I also enjoyed the insight into what goes into the editing process for knitting designs. It’s a complex process that brings us the wonderful patterns that we all enjoy, and it’s nice to get a peek behind the curtain to “see how the sausage is made,” as it were.

In Knitting Pipeline, Paula shared a great wrap-up from the Cornerstone Inn Fall Retreat. It really made me wish I could have been there, even more so than I was already wishing. Maybe I’ll be able to make it out to a Knitting Pipeline retreat in 2014. Listening to so many of the participants at the retreat step up to the microphone and share their thoughts — especially being able to hear the hustle and bustle of the retreat going on in the background — really made me, as a listener, feel part of the retreat family, even though I couldn’t be there. Knitting Pipeline is a great podcast, and I especially love it when Paula includes friends from her knitting circle and “on-location” type recordings like this. I say it every week — this was a great episode.

In Ewe University, Dr. Kelly shared the interesting story of Norma Jean, a circus elephant who was struck and killed by lightning in 1972. I love elephants, and enjoy hearing interesting elephant stories, even ones involving unfortunate circumstances like this. Dr. Kelly also announced a thread on the Ewe University Ravelry Board where Ewe University students can post pictures of their November graduating finished objects to share with the group. A few of the graduating projects will be randomly selected for prizes at the end of the month. I hope I win. 😉 In the classroom, Dr. Kelly talked about knitting economics, which was extremely fascinating to me. She discusses why we, as knitters, are happy to spend more time and money knitting our own pair of socks that it would cost to simply go buy a pair of socks, e.g. It’s worth a listen.

I’m looking forward to the stack of podcast episodes that are already piling up in my iTunes this week!

This Week In Ravelry

It’s been another fun week in Ravelry. I’m branching out from just the IBK group, and starting to get involved in a few other groups like the Ewe University group and the Knitting Pipeline group. Just like I’ve found everywhere on Ravelry, the groups are full of lots of friendly and fun people.

I’ve queued up a few more projects:

And I favorited a project:

  • Votter/mittens by torunnb — I’ve been looking to knit some mittens for Blueberry since it’s started to turn colder, and this looks like a nice pattern to try.

This Week On My Bookshelf

I’ve had a few additions to my knitting bookshelf this week. Issue K113 of Knitter’s Magazine hit my mailbox (thanks again, Fiber Hooligan for giving me the subscription as a prize!). Lots of sweaters in this issue, and while it’s not really anything I think I’ll be knitting in the near-term, I won’t be surprised if I end up coming back to this issue sometime down the line.

In addition to the magazine, I also added e-book versions of Susan B. Anderson’s entire library. For less than the cost of a physical copy of one of her books, I have electronic copies of the whole library! In a recent blog entry, Susan mentioned that her ebooks were on sale, so I snapped up Kindle versions of everything. As of the time I’m writing this, they’re still on sake for about $2.50/each, so I recommend you going and snatching them up either for Kindle or for iBooks. I have physical copies of all of these books, which I love to look through, and which I’m most likely to knit from. But I also enjoy having the electronic copy. That’s much more convenient for bringing to yarn stores, e.g., when I’m looking to buy supplies for the various projects.

Finally, I picked up a copy of The Knitter’s Life List as a result of it being featured on the Barnes & Noble Free Fridays blog. Mad props to one of my friends who tagged me in a FaceBook post to let me know about this one. I don’t have a Nook, so I don’t pay attention to their Free Fridays blog, but they have a cloud reader available. I figure I can read it that way. I haven’t spent much time thumbing through it yet, but it looks really interesting and I’m looking forward to a time when I’ll be able to sit back and really check it out.

This Week On My Needles

The week on my needles started out slow, but it really picked up at the end.

I have a couple of long-term projects that I continue to slowly work on. I’ll talk more about them when they’re closer to being complete. I made a little progress on both of them, which was nice.

Then the end of the week came, and I got in a small knitting frenzy for some gift knitting. Read on for the details!

Gifts: Toys And Hats

Friday morning, Susan announced a new (free) pattern in the IBK group: Elephant & Mouse. It’s a reversible toy, like the toys in her recent Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys book. I looked over the pattern and became very excited when I realized that it was a small toy, and that it would probably knit up pretty quickly. I’ve been wanting to knit a reversible toy ever since I heard of them, but just haven’t made the time to do it. This looked like it would be quick enough that I could squeeze it in. As a bonus, I have a gift-giving occasion coming up this week where I think this would be a hit.

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I picked up some Liberty Wool for the project before heading out-of-town Friday afternoon. I cast on for the project Saturday morning, and managed to get a decent amount of knitting during the day — we were doing some driving, and I was blessed to be the passenger, which gave me some knitting time. The project went on the shelf for most of the afternoon and evening, but after Blueberry went to bed, I pulled it back out and just couldn’t stop myself from working on it until it was done.

It’s such a fun concept. It’s two toys in one. When you see the elephant, the mouse part is the stuffing. Then, you can turn it inside-out and the elephant part becomes the stuffing for the mouse. It is a perfect project for an introduction in reversible toy making. I think I’ll be able to knit up a 2nd one this week. If I can, they will become presents for a couple of young boys (to whom I will market them as knitted transformers, lol). I just want to make sure I have one for each of them.

Instead of diving right in and knitting another Elephant To Mouse, I took a break and knitted a baby hat for one of our friends.

Rainbow Bear Hat

Rainbow Bear Hat

The picture’s not the greatest because I took it with my phone in the kitchen at midnight. This is the Baby Bear Hat by Gilda Knits. I’ve previously knitted this pattern and loved it. It’s a quick knit, and fun to do. Adding the bear ears is just simply adorable. I’ve been meaning to knit it again for some friends who recently had a baby born prematurely, and who is still in the NICU. I’ve had yarn in my stash for this for months, I’ve just been slow to cast on. I finally decided to cast on for this Sunday afternoon, and had it completed in a few hours.

Both of these projects reminded me how fun it is to tackle a small knitting project and see the results quickly. They both involve some interesting techniques that are fun to learn. Knitting for children is great — the projects are small, so they finish quicker, and when you start doing toys, there are all sorts of variations and interesting techniques to explore. When you knit gifts, you really are putting some love in every stitch, and that’s a great feeling. I’m glad I made the time this weekend for some children gift knitting.

What are some of your favorite gifts to knit for children? Do you stick with garments and hats, or do you explore the world of toy knitting? Leave a comment with your children gift knitting adventures.

Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!

-greg

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2 thoughts on “Gifts: Toys And Hats

  1. Pingback: Catching Up On Podcasts And My Needles | Knitting Daddy

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