Crossing The Finish Line

Howdy, my knitting family! A special welcome to those of you who have found my blog because Pam and Hannah mentioned it on the latest knit.fm podcast. You probably want to start by reading my knitting origin story, then come back to poke around the rest of the blog. Things continue to be busy in the Knitting Daddy household, and I’m thrilled to report that the great sickness from last week has left me, and I was able to finish my giraffe toy as part of the Ravellenic Games. More on that later, let’s start with a quick look at what’s been happening in my knitting world this week.

Hugging The Giraffe

Blueberry gives her new giraffe toy a great big hug.

This Week In Podcasts

I still have a tremendous backlog of podcasts that I’m catching up on. I only managed to listen to episodes from Knitting Pipeline, knit.fm, and CraftLit this week. Looking in my iTunes, I see hours of good listening waiting for me as soon as I can carve out the time to pay attention to them.

In Knitting Pipeline, I caught up on the latest two episodes. In Episode 161: Domino Knitting, Paula talks about an interesting knitting technique called domino knitting. This is where you knit objects like mitered squares, and attach them to the larger project as you go. It sounds like a technique that I’d love to try at some point — perhaps to make a blanket — but it’s going to go on the back burner, since I’m having so much fun knitting toys and socks and the like right now. In Episode 162: One Million Downloads!, Paula shares that her podcast crossed the very impressive milestone of being downloaded over a million times. That’s quite a feat! Congratulations, Paula — here’s to a million more! Paula was also joined by Bronwyn, which means there was lots of laughter shared on the podcast. I also particularly enjoyed the discussion about attaching name tags to knitted items like hats and look forward to employing some of the techniques they shared.

On knit.fm Episode Six: More Yarn, Pam and Hannah continued the discussion on yarn that they started in the last episode. As always, this was a very interesting discussion and I learned so much by listening to what they had to say. It was especially interesting to hear about the different types of animal fibers that are used to produce the yarn we love to knit with, and what unique characteristics they can bring to your finished projects. I was also humbled and honored to get a shout-out and have my blog mentioned when Pam and Hannah addressed a question I asked on their Ravelry forum after the last podcast. The question was about the difference between worsted spun yarn and worsted weight yarn. I really appreciate them elaborating on that, and it was very kind of them to mention my blog and talk a little about how I started knitting when Blueberry was born. Thank you so much, Pam and Hannah — as always, I’m already looking forward to the next episode!

In CraftLit, I’m getting more pulled into North And South, and can tell that I’m really going to enjoy keeping up with this book as new episodes come out. I really seem to do much better at ingesting the classics when I can listen to them as opposed to reading them.

This Week In Ravelry

I continue to try to play “catch up” in the various Ravelry forums, especially the Itty-Bitty Knits forum. Most of the discussion I kept up with surrounded the thread about the Ravellenic Games. It was so much fun continuing to post in-progress pictures of my giraffe and watch all of the other members of the group posting their project pictures. It really felt like we were all knitting together, even though the members span the globe.

This Week On My Needles

I was a completely monogamous knitter this week, with all of my knitting effort going towards my Not-So Itty-Bitty Giraffe. I was determined to complete it before the end of the Ravellenic Games, and I’m thrilled to report that I achieved my goal, which naturally brings us to our next topic….

Crossing The Finish Line

In the Ravellenic Games, the challenge is to complete a project from start to finish during the time frame that the Olympic Games are running. I cast on my giraffe during the Opening Ceremonies a couple of weeks ago, and I was in great shape to complete the project before the Closing Ceremonies. That is, until I got sick last week. I lost 2 or 3 days worth of knitting opportunities, and that meant that I ended up putting the finishing touches on my giraffe at 4:44 in the morning this past Sunday. That night, I started knitting after Blueberry went to bed, and I didn’t stop until I had it all finished. That had me crossing the finish line several hours before the deadline, and I am so happy to have made it.

Giraffe

The completed giraffe has so much personality.

It was kinda like pulling an all-nighter in school, getting all of those spots finished and applied to the giraffe. I was exhausted when I was done, but it was lots of fun doing it. Being part of an organized event with a deadline helped put some pressure on me to complete the project instead of letting it drag on and on (like Blueberry’s Adeline cardigan is doing, e.g.). Sitting back and looking at a completed toy was a really good feeling.

Giraffe Spots

What’s a giraffe without spots? There was a lot of detail in getting all eleven spots completed, but every stitch was worth it.

I learned and improved my skill on a lot of techniques with this project. I’m getting much better at executing a consistent, even “make one” increase now. This is the first toy I’ve knitted that I haven’t overstuffed. I’m getting good at making pompoms. Adding character to the toy by creating an embroidered face was an especially enjoyable technique.

Giraffe Mane

I got pretty good at making pompoms by the time I finished all of the pompoms that make up the giraffe’s mane.

Giraffe Face

The embroidered face on the giraffe really gives him a distinct personality. My giraffe is sleepy.

I absolutely loved this project and will totally knit another giraffe some time down the road. For now, there are too many toys, socks, and other garments in my queue (and on my needles) that I want to focus my attention on. I highly recommend this project to anyone who is interested in toy knitting. It is so much fun, and the finished product is adorable. If you want to knit this project, you can find the pattern in Susan B. Anderson’s Itty-Bitty Toys book or you can sign up for Craftsy class.

Giraffe

Giraffe enjoys hanging outside on a sunny afternoon.

After I was finished with it and gave it to Blueberry, it melted my heart to watch her cuddle with him and give him some great big hugs. The smile on her face when she plays with him is priceless. I think the giraffe’s name might be “Raff,” because that’s how Blueberry is pronouncing “giraffe” now, and that’s what she calls him most of the time. But before I’m sure, I’ll give her a few weeks with him and see if another name surfaces.

Blueberry and Giraffe

Blueberry really loves Raff, her new giraffe toy.

Did you participate in the Ravellenic Games? Did you cross the finish line? Join the conversation by leaving a comment about your Ravellenic Games projects, and what your experience with the Games was like.

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

-greg

Ravelry: KnittingDaddy

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