Catching Up On Podcasts And My Needles

Hello, again, my knitting friends! The last week has simply flown by, and I ended up doing a surprising amount of knitting. With United States Thanksgiving coming up this week, it’s going to be a short week at the office. We’re visiting family for Thanksgiving, but I’m not yet sure if I’ll be doing the bulk of the driving, or if I will have an opportunity to get some quality travel knitting in. Time will tell, and I’ll report back next week.

This Week In Podcasts

I spent almost all of my commuting time this week catching up on all my podcasts (knitting and otherwise), and have worked my queue down to almost zero. I’m thrilled with that, especially after falling behind a few weeks ago when I was on my fishing trip. This week, I caught up on Episode 3 of knit.fm, Episode 11 and 12 of Ewe University, Knit Circus #36, Fiber Hooligan with Heather Ordover, the most recent episode of Knit 1 Geek 2, and Episode 152 of Knitting Pipeline.

As is always the case with knit.fm, Episode 3 was a great instructional episode. Pam and Hannah went over the details of how to read a pattern. While I’m pretty comfortable working my way through a pattern, listening to Pam and Hannah just lay it out thoroughly was really interesting. They used a sweater pattern as a guideline, and walked through everything in the pattern: how to read and understand abbreviations, how to make sure you’re knitting the appropriate size (use a highlighter or a pencil to mark the pattern!), etc. It’s a great episode for someone just learning how to use knitting patterns, and a great refresher talk for those of us who are more familiar with using them. They also announced that there is a knit.fm Ravelry group, so if you’re a fan of the podcast, you might enjoy checking out their Ravelry group as well.

The two episodes of Ewe University I listened to this week worked very well together. In the classroom of Episode 11, Dr. Kelly focuses on the concept of belonging. She shares studies that help explain why we tend to seek out others to “hang” with — both in real life, and in our virtual lives. Because of my schedule, I’m rarely available to hang with other knitters in real life, so I tend to get most of my social knitting fix online — through this blog, and through my interactions with others on Ravelry. In the classroom of Episode 12, Dr. Kelly discusses how people respond to trauma. This tied in very well with the discussion in Episode 11 surrounding belonging, because the social groups that provide a sense of belonging can be the same groups that provide support after someone experiences trauma. This also tied in with current events from the US Midwest, which has suffered a large amount of devastation at the hands of a tornado, leaving many people suffering. She discusses post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and how activities such as knitting can help people deal with the effects of PTSD and other trauma. I was especially interested in this discussion, because of the way I started knitting. My knitting origin story centers around dealing with the stress I found myself under after my daughter was born two-and-a-half months early, resulting in a five-week stay at the NICU. I learned how to knit so I could make her hats while she was in the hospital, and ever since, I’ve always maintained that knitting is my therapy. It still helps. Thanks, Dr. Kelly, for another couple of great episodes — I always look forward to the next one.

The Knit Circus podcast included exciting tales from Vogue Knitting Chicago. One of these days, I’m going to make it out to a knitting event and be able to enjoy the great fun that it sounds like everyone has at events like this. The thing that really caught my ear in this knitting podcast was when they talked about tech editing a new pattern by Susan B. Anderson. A few days after I heard about it on the podcast, I saw it on Ravelry. It’s Bunny Love, a toy inspired by the Velveteen Rabbit! The kit from little skein in the big wool is on my wish list!

The Fiber Hooligan episode with Heather Ordover from the CraftLit podcast was a joy to listen to. I especially loved the heartwarming story Heather shared of teaching high school kids how to knit post-9/11 and how knitting is a great shell-shock treatment. This discussion really tied in well with the Ewe University podcast about how people respond to trauma. Again, this might help explain why I was so drawn to the craft when Blueberry was in the NICU. It was also interesting to hear how helpful knitting is for getting kids with ADD to be able to focus better. After sharing those stories, Heather and Benjamin moved their discussion to the CraftLit podcast, which I have since added to my podcast queue. The CraftLit podcast is a marriage of crafts, literary discussion, and listening to audio books. I think it will be the perfect podcast to listen to while I’m actually knitting, as well as during my commute to and from work.

Knit 1 Geek 2 continues to be an all-around fun podcast to listen to. In this episode, I loved listening to their stories about Halloween trick-or-treaters and stocking stuffer gift suggestions for the geek in your life.

Knitting Pipeline 152 was easily the most touching podcast episode of the week. Knitting Pipeline has always been one of my favorite podcasts and when I heard the recent tornadoes that hit the Midwest US were particularly devastating to Washington, Illinois, my first thoughts went out to Paula and all of her knitting and piping friends in Washington. As the days after the tornado unfolded, we were glad to hear on Ravelry that Paula and her friends were safe, but that there was a great deal of damage to the town. I’ve been reading Paula’s blog to keep up with Paula and how the community is responding to the tornadoes and beginning the rebuilding process. It was great to hear her voice again, and her stories really underscored just how big a deal these tornadoes are.

This Week In Ravelry

I continue to spend a decent amount of my Ravelry time making myself more comfortable in the IBK group. It’s a group full of kind, generous people, and I love getting to know so many of them as people behind an internet screen name. I’ve also been trying to keep up with the tornado reports on the Knitting Pipeline Ravelry group.

Knit and Crochet Now! TV released a new (free) Susan B. Anderson pattern last week: Elephant & Mouse. It’s the toy pattern I talked about last week. After a few days, the pattern still was not in the Ravelry database, so I added it. It’s been fun seeing other people attach their projects to the pattern, knowing that I’m helping curate the Ravelry pattern database just a little bit.

I added a slew of patterns to my queue this week, too:

Yup, I’ve been stalking Susan’s patterns…. And yes, that first pattern is a different Susan!

This Week On My Needles

My needles have been clicking this week!

I started off by knitting a 2nd Elephant & Mouse reversible toy, which I finished just in time to give to my friend who has adopted two 3-year old boys from Haiti. At my wife’s suggestion, I reversed the colors of the 2nd toy, so it was a white elephant and a grey mouse. It was a perfect suggestion, and really made the set pop. Here’s a couple of pictures of the toys:

Grey Elephant And Mouse

Grey Elephant And Mouse

And when you reverse them, they’re white!

White Elephant And Mouse

White Elephant And Mouse

Here’s an “in-progress” transformation:

Reversing The Elephant And Mouse

Reversing The Elephant And Mouse

In addition to the toys, I tried out the popular Grandmother’s Favorite dishcloth pattern. I was able to knit two dishcloths out of one skein of yarn. I have a bit of a stash of cotton yarn that I accumulated when I first started knitting that would be great for dishcloths, so I think I’m going to try to knit down my stash with this pattern.

Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth

Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth

This was a fun, quick, easy knit, and I know the dishcloth will be useful. My wife said that the colors in this yarn reminded her of East Carolina University. I think I can see that. I’m glad the cloths came out well — I’m not really sure what else I would have been able to do with that yarn.

I also knitted two more Little Felted Heart Bowls as part of a workshop I led after church this week. They’re not felted yet, and I don’t have any good pictures of them handy right now. I’m hoping to write more about the workshop in the next Knitting Daddy blog post, so stay tuned for that!

Finally, I cast on some mittens for Blueberry: Votter/mittens. This is a recipe for mittens by torunnb on Ravelry which was suggested to me when I asked in the IBK group about mitten suggestions. It’s a quick knit — I already have the right hand finished. I’m pretty sure it’s too tall, but I’ll have to get it on Blueberry’s paws to be sure. Either way, I’ll go ahead and knit the left mitten so I’ll have a pair. Once I get them on Blueberry’s hands, I’ll have a better idea about how to modify the pattern, my needles, the yarn, or all three to get a well-fitting pair for my daughter.

I usually take the last part of my post to focus on a particular project in greater detail, but that’s going to have to wait until my next post. I’m already a day later posting this than my schedule, and for that I apologize. We’re officially entering into that busiest time of the year, with two big holidays stacked up on each other, travel, end-of-year deadlines at the office, etc. I’m definitely hoping to find respite from the hustle-and-bustle and chaos in my needles.

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

-greg

Email: knittingdaddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @KnittingDaddy
Ravelry: KnittingDaddy

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