Happy Easter, my knitting friends! Welcome to another weekly update to the blog. I’m Greg, the Knitting Daddy. If you’re a repeat visitor, welcome back! If this is your first time visiting, I hope you find your stay enjoyable. You may want to check out my knitting origin story to learn how I started knitting almost two years ago. Feel free to poke around in the old entries and read what you find interesting. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
This week, I’m going to be talking about the knitting that we do in our spare moments. But first, let’s take a look at the other knitting activity that’s been going on in my world.
This Week In Podcasts
In the classroom of Ewe University Episode 21, Dr. Kelly talks about the medical benefits of laughter. As always, the classroom segment was very interesting. I also very much enjoyed the review of the ChiaoGoo Twist Complete Interchangeable needle set. I am especially grateful for the tip of how to use the interchangeable needles to easily insert a lifeline in your knitting.
In knit.fm Episode Seven: Design Process, Part 1, Pam and Hannah talk about the process of designing. It was a fascinating discussion, and I’m thrilled that they labeled it “Part 1,” which implies that a Part 2 will be coming. I have very some rough ideas for knitting designs floating in my head, and it was nice to hear how some great designers think about their designs, and what their process is. As is the case whenever a knit.fm podcast episode is released, this is the Knitting Daddy must-listen podcast episode of the week.
Knit 1 Geek 2 Episode 88: Do the Loki Pokey was full of crushing on Tom Hiddleston (he plays Loki in the Avengers and Thor movies). The hosts also start getting into full swing for their Hobbit-A-Long. They are working on an ambitious project in preparation for the next of the Hobbit movies. I’m not even thinking of joining in, but I am excited to follow along!
In TwinSet Designs Episode 38: Marco…Polo!!, Jan and Ellen share a great tip for hiding lots of ends in a striped blanket. They also talk about the upcoming TwinSet Summer Camp. I wish I could go. This episode also provided the most laughter I’ve experienced listening to podcasts in a long time, as Jan and Ellen play a game of Marco Polo throughout the episode. The game continues to be played In their Ravelry group.
I continue to enjoy North and South on the Craftlit podcast.
I’ve recently received some good suggestions for other podcasts to listen to. I’m going to do my best to start adding some of them into my podcast rotation. As I’ve said before, my podcast run-down is woefully inadequate — I only talk about the podcasts I listen to, and there are tons and tons of other great knitting podcasts out there. If you know of any, drop me a comment or an email and let me know about them so I can check them out, too.
This Week In Ravelry
It’s been a pretty tame week in Ravelry for me. I haven’t added items to my queue ore marked any favorites. Mostly, I just hang out in a handful of discussion boards and try to keep up with the comings and goings in the life of my knitting friends there.
This Week On My Needles
I finished 2 projects this week! The first is still a surprise, so no pictures or talk about it yet. The cat will probably be out of the bag in a month or so on it. The second project was a couple of dishcloths I knitted over the weekend, which is a perfect segue to the next section of this post, so let’s move right to it.
Knitting In Spare Moments
I love to knit. Don’t we all? I cherish the time I get to snuggle up in my favorite chair in the living room, pull out a big knitting project, and just go to town on it. I can knit for hours on end, sometimes in solitude, sometimes while chatting with my family. Those are magical moments.
Not all knitting moments are so magical.
Sometimes, the moments we have available to knit have to be squeezed in. Perhaps it’s while we’re in the waiting room at the doctor or dentist. Perhaps it’s in the few minutes before a movie starts (or while they’re playing the trailers). Maybe we can take advantage of the time when we’re a passenger on a car trip. Or maybe like me, we find ourselves with some spare moments at about 3:30 in the morning, hanging out in the choir room at church, waiting for it to be time to go join hundreds of band members for breakfast in preparation for the Easter Sunrise Service. What are we going to do with those 20 minutes? And the countless other 5, 10, 20, 30 minutes just like those?
We’re going to knit! But what? We’re not going to pull out your half-finished cardigan. Or that afghan. Or that very detailed lace or cable pattern. We need something simple. Something small. Something that we can knit without having to refer to the instructions or pattern.
Two things immediately come to mind: (simple) socks and dishcloths.
I know some knitters who keep a pair of socks on their needles all the time. They keep them in the glove box of their car, or in a drawer at the office, so that they’re always just a quick reach away for knitting. I’m not really a sock knitter (yet), so keeping a set of socks on the needles all the time just doesn’t appeal to me for my knitting in spare moments. Instead, I like to knit dishcloths — they are quick, mindless, and extremely portable.
This weekend, I played my trumpet in the Easter Band for the Sunrise Service at Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC. This service has been taking place, unchanged, for 242 years and attracts thousands of worshipers. This is something that I’ve been doing for 15 years. They have the logistics for this service down pat now, which is great, because there are a lot of people involved. The band itself consists of several hundred musicians, and thousands of people generally come to worship. The service stated at 6:00am this year, and band members gathered at about 3:30am. We arrive so early because they serve us breakfast and we have the opportunity to meet in a large group to recognize the people who have been involved in this service for decades. It’s a lot of fun, but it involves a lot of standing around doing nothing. There are spare moments between the time we arrive at church and the time we gather for breakfast. There are spare moments between breakfast and the time we head out to the graveyard with our instruments to play. This year, I used those spare moments to knit a dishcloth: I cast on when we got to church, and I was binding off in the car as we were pulling back in front of our house after the services were all over.
I knitted Gramma’s Dishcloth (Grandmother’s 2nd Favorite) by PJ Allen in Lily Sugar’n Cream Stripes on size US 6 needles. It was the perfect project — it only takes about half a skein of the yarn and the pattern is easily memorizable. I didn’t even keep the project in a project bag. I just put it in my pocket when I wasn’t working on it. It was extremely satisfying to be able to use those spare moments that I am usually simply trying to find ways to stay awake in. Now, I have something to show for that time! It also served as a great icebreaker, and I had several conversations with other people who are knitters and saw me knitting.
I think I’m going to keep a ball of cotton yarn and a pair of US 6 needles in my car from now on. Who knows when I’ll have a few spare moments that I can use to get a row or two knitted in a dishcloth? It will be nice to be prepared with some simple knitting that I can pull out at a moment’s notice in order to fill up those spare moments when they pop up.
What projects are your go-to projects for knitting in spare moments? Join the conversation by leaving a comment with some of your favorite stories about knitting in spare moments. Has any of your spare moment knitting been wildly successful? Have you encountered a spare moment knitting disaster? Share your tips and tricks for spare moment knitting.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!