Hello, knitters! More and more, I’m realizing that I’m becoming a toy knitter. At least that’s the direction a lot of my current knitting is going, and I’m not objecting. This is largely due to the great patterns that I keep discovering from one of my favorite knitting designers, Susan B. Anderson. In this edition of Knitting Daddy, I want to go back and look at the first toy I ever knitted, a teddy bear. But before we look at that, let’s take a look at what’s been going on in my knitting world the past week.
This Week In Podcasts
This week, I stayed current on all of my podcasts, and discovered a new (to me) podcast that I’m going to start following. This was a great week for podcasts. I ended up doing a decent amount of driving over the weekend, and was able to use the time on the road to stay caught up with my listening.
In Knitting Pipeline Episode 157: A Quince Christmas, Paula talks about the many Christmas gifts she made with Quince & Co. yarn this year. It really is fun to listen to her describe all of the gifts she made, as well as how people enjoyed receiving them. Paula also had a review of Susan B. Anderson’s new book: Mary, Millie, and Morgan. I had heard about this book on the IBK board earlier in the week, and it is absolutely adorable. It is an eBook with patterns for 3 dolls, each of which have sweaters and shawls. It’s very cute, on my wish list, and I hope to be knitting them up soon. Or eventually. My queue is big.
The knit.fm Episode Five: Yarn podcast is easily my favorite knit.fm episode to date. Pam and Hannah shared a wealth of knowledge about yarn — how it’s constructed, how different aspects affect the final product, how it holds color, etc. I know I am going to want to go back and listen to this episode over and over as time goes on. This episode was so good, it made me change my settings for the knit.fm podcast in iTunes to keep every episode, not delete the episodes after I listen to them. Seriously, if you’re not already listening to knit.fm, you must go listen to it now. Go ahead, you can finish reading this post when you’re done.
TwinSet Designs is a new podcast to me, and I listened to Episode 31 — Bitten by Our Kittens and Episode 32 — A Living Doll. This is such a fun podcast. The hosts, Jan and Ellen, are identical twins and you can tell that they really love each other and love working together. The podcast is full of laughter and fun stories, as well as discussion about knitting patterns, spinning, and their love of the fiber arts. In Episode 32, Jan and Ellen also talk about Mary, Millie, and Morgan. In preparing to talk about the book, Jan spent some time in the IBK board on Ravelry to see how Susan’s fans act when they get together. I discovered the podcast because Jan read about my Fishcloth Dishcloth there, and sent me a message asking if they could share the story on the podcast. Of course I said they could, and in Episode 32, at about the 35:20 mark, they talk a little about the infamous Fishcloth Dishcloth. So tune in and enjoy some more laughter about the whole thing. I’m definitely keeping this podcast in my rotation.
This Week In Ravelry
Things seem to be getting in order for the Ravelennic Games. They have an event list posted, and people seem to be starting to plan their projects. I’m planning to knit The (Not-So) Itty Bitty Giraffe by Susan B. Anderson, with at least one other person in the IBK group. Once I finish that, we’ll see how much time I have left and if I can knit anything else during the games.
I’m falling behind in the forums again. There are lots of great discussions happening, but it’s just hard to make the time to keep up with everything. So I’m doing the best I can.
I didn’t add anything to my Ravelry queue this week, which is great, since my queue already is longer than I can knit anytime in the foreseeable future.
This Week On My Needles
I made progress on two projects this week: my dad’s second sock, and the mini sock yarn bunny. On Dad’s second sock, I’m about 1/4 the way down the cuff. This second sock is knitting up much quicker than the first sock, which is great. I’ll probably slow down again when I get to the heel, but I’m making a bit of progress almost every day, so I’m happy with it.
The mini sock yarn bunny is turning out to be a lot of fun. I’ve finished the head (except for the mouth embroidery), and it’s been pretty funny walking around with a decapitated bunny head in my jacket pocket for a few days. I just picked up the stitches on the head and started knitting the body and am at the point where I need to make allowances for the arms. It’s really fun, and I suspect I’ll be able to finish him before too much longer. I’ve taken to storing the bunny on top of the 4th needle, kinda like a head on a pike. It makes me think I’m having a Lord Of The Flies moment.
This weekend, my nephew received the Egg To Alligator that I knitted for him for Christmas. My brother reports that “he likes his new crocodile egg friend” and that “he took it to bed.” That’s really sweet, and I’m glad he’s enjoying it.
My First Knitted Toy
For the story of my first knitted toy, we have to go back in time over a year ago (has it really been that long‽) to early January 2013, when I knitted a little teddy bear. I was still very new to knitting — it looks like it was about the eighth thing I ever knitted. Around Christmas 2012, I picked up Gooseberry Patch Oh-So-Easy Knits from the local Michael’s, and it contained the pattern for the teddy bear. This is the project that taught me how to do the slip-slip-knit (ssk) stitch! The bear was pretty simple to knit — he was knit flat in seven pieces: the body, two arms, two legs, and two ears. He was stuffed with polyfill and seamed together. This was my first time using polyfill. His facial features were embroidered on, which was a first for me. So many firsts on this project! Looking back on my Ravelry notes, I see it took less than a week to complete the project, and that meshes with my memory of it being a simple project to complete.
The end result was a teddy bear, about five inches tall, that had a very rustic look. Learning how to do the ears was a lot of fun, too. Blueberry has enjoyed playing with him some over the past year, and it’s really heart-warming to see my daughter enjoy playing with the toys that I’ve made for her.
I would heartily recommend this pattern to anyone interested in trying their hand at toy knitting. Having great success with this pattern myself is one of the things that gave me the confidence to explore knitting other toys. The next toys I knitted were Susan B. Anderson patterns, and I think this teddy bear is the only toy I’ve knitted that is not a Susan B. Anderson design. Susan’s construction techniques tend to be in the round, which I greatly prefer over knitting flat and seaming. But without having this teddy bear under my belt, I’m not sure that I would have had the confidence to jump onto a toy pattern with DPNs. Blueberry doesn’t play with this toy very much any more, which is fine with me since the other toys I’ve knitted for her are nicer, but I pull it out over the toy bin every now and then and give it a good look, reminding myself of the adventure I had learning that knitting isn’t just for hats and scarves.
Have you knitted any toys? Do remember the first toy you ever knitted? What did you learn from that experience? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below describing your adventures with knitting your first toy.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!