Hello, my knitting friends! I hope you had a very merry Christmas! Over here in the Knitting Daddy household, it was a good time of visiting most of our relatives and enjoying time shared together. Time isn’t the only thing we shared, as Blueberry picked up a cold somewhere along the way and shared it with the rest of us. It slowed us down a bit, we readjusted our plans, but in the end it all pretty much worked out. We did a fair amount of traveling, and it’s nice to be back in the comforts of our own home again.
This week, I’m going to talk about a toy I knitted for my nephew. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the other things that have been going on in my knitting life since I last posted.
This Week In Podcasts
Once again, I managed to keep up with all of my knitting podcasts over the past couple of weeks. With as much running around as we did, I’m a little surprised I didn’t fall behind, so I count this as a victory! I enjoyed two episodes of Fiber Hooligan, an episode of Knit 1 Geek 2, an episode of Knitcircus, an episode of Ewe University, and an episode of Never Not Knitting.
In the Fiber Hooligan episode with Miss Babs, it was really cool to hear about the business philosophy behind an artistic business. It was nice to hear about the individual care that goes into creating things for the customer. In the episode with David Xenakis (Benjamin’s dad), it was cool to hear about how XRX was started. Knit 1 Geek 2 was full of excited talk about Doctor Who, Sherlock (which I have recently started watching), and The Hobbit. Just general excitement all around exuded from this podcast. Ewe University Episode 15 focused on responses to stress, which was a very appropriate topic for Christmastime. I enjoyed learning about the differences between the “tend and befriend” response vs. the “fight or flight” response. Never Not Knitting Episode 77 included a story about why it’s important to protect your knitting projects when there are cats in the house.
This Week In Ravelry
I’m still learning how to use Ravelry. I spent a little bit of time experimenting with organizing my queue and my projects, but I don’t think I quite “get it” yet. I’ll keep poking at it, and I’m sure it will eventually make sense. I have a handful of yarn that I need to add to my Ravelry stash, still, too.
One of the things that has been coming up in several of the Ravelry groups I’m in is the subject of the Ravellenic games. It looks like it will be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to learning more about it as the games get closer.
This Week On My Needles
My needles have been clicking on a few smaller projects and a big project since I last updated here. I finished another candy-cane cardigan sweater ornament, which I paired with a dishcloth made out of the same yarn as a Christmas gift for my mother.
I’m not sure why I made a dishcloth/ornament set, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The secret gift knitting I’ve been working on for a while is no longer a secret. I don’t have pictures, and it’s still a work in progress, but I’m knitting socks for my dad. They were originally supposed to be for his birthday, which was in November. Then for Christmas. I still haven’t finished the first sock, but I’m getting there. It’s hard for me to estimate how long it will take, but I’m guessing I have about 12 hours left on this first sock, then a bunch of hours for the 2nd one. Dad got to see the sock in progress, and got an IOU for Christmas. This is my main project on my needles right now.
I look at Blueberry’s Adaline that is on my needles every now and then, and admit to myself that it’s hibernating.
Finally, I made an egg to alligator toy for my nephew, which is the main subject of this post.
Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys: The Egg To Alligator
This year, I decided that I wanted to knit my nephew a toy from Susan B. Anderson’s Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys book. I ran a few of the patterns by my brother to see what my nephew might be most interested in. The Egg To Alligator was the winner, but we’re going to say that the alligator is a crocodile, ’cause that’s what my nephew is really into.
And it came out mighty cute. Here’s the alligator.
The quarter is there to give you an idea of the size. I knitted it with smaller yarn than what the pattern calls for, because I was able to find all the colors I wanted to used for several projects in the smaller weight. The pattern worked out fine, it just means the finished product is smaller. In this case, the alligator is about 4 inches instead of 6. It’s still serviceable as a topsy-turvy toy, though, and I’m very happy with how it came out.
Here’s the egg, with the alligator all folded up nice and neat inside of it.
Seriously. So. Cute.
This is the second topsy-turvy pattern of Susan’s I’ve knit, the other being Elephant To Mouse. These are so, so, so, so much fun. Really, I want everyone to knit one of these. I don’t care if you’re not a toy knitter, the sheer awesomeness of this concept is worth it to knit at least one reversible. The Egg to Alligator was a quick knit — just 2 or 3 days, crammed into busy Christmas errands time.
From a technique perspective, there is nothing terribly daunting in this pattern. Mostly, it’s knit and purl, with some increases and decreases. The eyes for the alligator are bobbles, and this was the first time I’ve made bobbles. That was pretty fun. Picking up stitches to attach the feet was also a fun technique. I’ve got yarn for several of the other patterns in the book and am looking forward casting on for them soon.
As soon as I finish Dad’s socks, anyway.
One of the unadvertised bonuses that I discovered with this pattern is that if you don’t knit the alligator part and just knit the egg, you have a wonderful nose warmer.
So that’s my nephew’s Egg To Alligator toy. We actually missed seeing him over our Christmas travels, so he won’t get it for a couple of weeks. I’m excited to hear how he likes it. What special item did you knit for a loved one for the holidays? Join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your stories.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!