New Podcasts!

Hey, Knitters! Welcome back to another edition of the Knitting Daddy blog! If this is your first time visiting, I’m so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your stay. You probably want to start by reading my knitting origin story to learn about how and why I started knitting (tl;dr — my prematurely born daughter is awesome) and then poke around the rest of the blog entries that seem interesting to you.

Bunny

This bunny still needs a tail, some carrots, and a face. I love the way her ears stick out a bit before flopping down.

This week, I started listening to a slew of new podcasts. Well, the podcasts themselves aren’t new, but they’re new to me. So a lot of this post is going to include looking at the new podcasts I’ve been listening to. I also have a couple of cool projects to talk about on my needles, so that’s what we’ll focus on in this blog post.

Before we get into the knitting content of this week’s post, I want to share a neat thing I recently discovered: Amazon Smile. You can read all the details about the program on their “about” page, but the gist of it is that it is a way to help support your favorite charity when you shop at Amazon. Here’s the high-level pitch:

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

As someone who shops at Amazon a lot, I think this is really cool! As an Executive Board Member for Family Support Network of Central Carolina (FSNCC), I think this is even cooler! FSNCC meant a lot to me when Blueberry was in the NICU after her birth, and I’m honored to serve on their Board now. If you shop at Amazon and aren’t using Amazon Smile yet, I encourage you to start using it. Choose your favorite charitable organization to support. I highly recommend that you choose “Family Support Network Of Central Carolina” in Greensboro, NC. We run amazing programs to support families of premature, developmentally disabled or chronically ill children. I’ve personally seen the great work that FSNCC does and can vouch that it is an organization worthy of your support.

So what’s been going on in my knitting world this week?

This Week In Podcasts

My iPod has been busy this week. Thanks to suggestions from Laura (and similar suggestions I’ve received from others recently), I added a handful of podcasts to my listening rotation. Going forward, there’s no way I’m going to be able to keep up to listening to everything I’m currently subscribed to, so I’ll have to figure out how to manage things at some point. This week, I listened to episodes of KnottyGirls KnitCast, Knitmore Girls, CogKnitive, Yarniacs, Curious Handmade (2 episodes!), Fiber Hooligan, Knitting Pipeline, and CraftLit. I skipped Knit 1 Geek 2 Special Episode 3, because it was full of spoilers for Captain America, which I haven’t seen yet.

KnottyGirls is a new podcast for me this week. In Episode 24 (Captain Puerto Rico (Or Laura And Jen Need Neck Models), Laura and Jen talk about what motivates their knitting. It was an interesting discussion, and a neat thing to think about. For me, I’m inspired to knit for my daughter, but I am probably motivated to knit by deadlines — most of which are artificial.

The Knitmore Girls podcast is also new for me this week. In Episode 278 (Lots of Ears), Gigi and Jasmin talk about how important it is to enjoy the process. This is good advice, not just for knitting. I especially enjoy the mother-daughter dynamics on this podcast.

CogKnitive is another new podcast for me this week. In Episode 189 (Furminated!), Dr. Geema talks about setting and reevaluating goals. This is an interesting podcast combining fiber arts and psychology. I’m intrigued to hear more episodes.

Yarniacs is another new podcast to me. Episode 60 (Inspiration) is all about inspiration. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m inspired by my daughter to knit, but that’s not really the vein of inspiration I think they were focusing on — they were talking more along the lines of colors, patterns, things in nature, etc. I’m definitely more about the science and process of knitting, it’s very helpful for me to hear about the art of knitting from time to time like this.

Curious Handmade is yet another new podcast to me, and I listened to two episodes. Episode 23 (It might be the weather) included some talk of cool bunny patterns — perfect for Easter knitting. Episode 24 (Why I love Kaffe Fassett’s Dreaming in Colour) includes a great book review of Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming in Color: An Autobiography, which sounded like a very interesting book. A bonus for this podcast is the wonderful accent Helen has. She is such a joy to listen to.

Wow, that was a lot of new podcasts! When the time comes to do some trimming, it’s going to be difficult to decide which podcasts are going to have to be trimmed!

Back in my wheelhouse of familiar podcasts, I listened to the Fiber Hooligan episode with Julia Grunau. She is the creator of patternfish.com, a site that I am going to have to spend some more time poking around on. Especially since I work as a software developer, it was very interesting to hear about the history of how this site came to be. Very cool stuff.

In Knitting Pipeline 168 (Back from Boston and Cape Cod), Paula talks about her trip to Boston and Cape Cod, including a thrilling story of getting to see a Snowy Owl. She also talks about starting an informal Craftsy KAL next month to help encourage us all to go through the Craftsy classes we own. I am so much in favor of this KAL — it’s a great idea!

Finally, I continue to enjoy North and South on the Craftlit podcast. In addition to the book talk, it’s interesting to hear about Heather getting ready for her upcoming move. Best of luck, Heather!

This Week In Ravelry

On Ravelry this week, I spent just a little bit of time organizing my stash some. Nothing new queued, no new favorites this week. I’m falling a little behind in the discussion boards, but it’s OK.

This Week On My Needles

Felted Box

This felted box was a fun, quick knit.

My needles have been busy this week! First, I knitted up a quick item for my swap partner in the IBK Rainbow Swap that I’m participating in: Felted Box/Container by Paula King. I had some unidentified green wool in my stash that I knew would felt well, so I used it. I think I knitted the entire container in one sitting — it was a very easy knit. I set it aside until the weekend, when I was visiting my parents and could use my mom’s washing machine for the felting. I’ve successfully felted items in my HE front-loader, but I wanted to try my hand at using a traditional top-loader with an agitator. It was so much quicker! The results were great. I’m probably going to knit up (at least) one more for myself. After I took it out of the washer and started to shape it, I mentioned that if I had some blocks to shape it on, I’d use that. My dad suggested that I use a brick, and it was the perfect size. So I ended up with a finished object that has very well defined sides and corners. I’m thrilled with how it turned out, and I hope my SP is happy with it, too.

Lamb

This cute lamb is half of the Bunny & Lamb Topsy-Turvy toy. He still needs legs. And a face.

This past Thursday night, I cast on Bunny & Lamb by Susan B. Anderson. I chose this project because it is the current KAL (knit-a-long) in the IBK Group on Ravelry. Wow, this is knitting up so much faster than I anticipated! And, like all the other topsy-turvy toys I’ve knitted, it is so much fun. As I write this blog post, I have completed almost all of the bunny side of the toy, and the body, head, and tail parts of the lamb side. On the bunny side, I need to do carrots and a tail. On the lamb side, I need legs. Both sides need a face.

Lamb's Face

Until the lamb gets a face, he is a blank canvas. One of the cool details in this pattern is the way his ears are situated so they stick out after kinda trying to lay down.

I’m using Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in Zinnia Pink (for the bunny), White (for the lamb and the bunny’s face), and Berries (for the lamb’s face and feet). I didn’t pay attention to the colorway names when I bought the wool, and was originally planning on using the Berries for the lamb — because I thought it was brown. After showing it to my wife, she asked why I was going to knit up a purple lamb, so we decided the lamb would be much better in white. I’m totally cool with this, and am enjoying how it’s coming out. Having a KAL in the IBK Group has been a wonderful motivator for getting me to carve out some of my knitting time to devote to this fun toy.

Bunny Side

One of the great details on the bunny pattern is the haunches. This detail really gives the pattern some dimension and texture.

Bunny Face

Hi! I’m a bunny and I wish I had a face.

I think spring might be here for real now. After the ice-cold winter, I’m happy about that, but I’m not looking forward to allergy season. How’s the change of seasons sitting with you? Join the conversation by leaving a comment about how the change of seasons affects your knitting.

Lamb's Tail

The lamb’s tail is a cute little bobble.

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

-greg

Ravelry: KnittingDaddy

9 thoughts on “New Podcasts!

  1. I’m so glad you tried the podcasts and liked them! Isn’t Helen’s voice lovely? I also enjoy the little pieces of London (and over Christmas, Australia) she offers. I agree – it’s a black podcast hole out there. I’ve also tried some new ones lately and will have to make some decisions about which ones I can keep up with. Sometimes I have the opportunity at home to knit quietly, and I’ll turn on some podcasts instead of the TV. Or even if I’m working at home, and doing something mindless, I’ll turn one on. I find Fiber Hooligan good for this purpose – I can listen to the interview while keeping track of what I’m doing. I’ve been on a Dr. Gemma kick the last few days – I’m behind on hers, so I’m catching up, and have listened to 3 or four in the last two days, during my commute in horrible rain..

    I love the felted bowl. I have a top-loading washer, but it’s one of the HEA ones that have no agitator, so I’m wondering how I’d fare with felting. I haven’t tried it yet.This may be a good idea for small Christmas gifts.

    The bunny/lamb is adorable. I have to try one of those toys. Your wife’s comment about “why are you knitting a purple lamb” made me chuckle.

    • Hi, Laura! Thanks for the comment, and especially for the podcast recommendations. Yes, Helen’s voice is absolutely lovely, and I also enjoy the bits of culture she offers. Listening to podcasts is a great way for me to spend my commute. I have a handful of non-knitting podcasts I listen to, also, so there are a lot of things vying for my attention. I also listen to podcasts while doing chores around the house — either by plugging my iPod into speakers or just using my headphones. The interview-style podcasts like Fiber Hooligan are excellent for this.

      Thanks for the love on the felted box/bowl — you’re right, it would be a great little Christmas gift. Experiment with felting in hour HEA top-loader — you might be surprised with the results you can get. I’ve only done a little bit of felting before (for my Little Felted Heart Bowls), and I used my front-loading HE washer for that. It worked great, but I helped encourage agitation by putting in a pair of jeans and a couple dozen tennis balls in with the hearts as they felted. I’m very happy with the results. After having used my mom’s traditional top-loader, however, I know that I prefer it. It’s much quicker than my washer was.

      I’m a little bummed that I didn’t finish the bunny/lamb in enough time to feature it as finished in this post. But I did finish it last night, and I’m really happy with how it turned out:

      Untitled

      Untitled

      Conversations about my knitting with my wife are always funny. We totally see it differently. I see the structure and am often completely blind to the color. She totally sees the color.

  2. Hi Greg! As always your knitted toys are adorable. I think you could have knit a purple lamb; in fact, I almost knit a purple alligator (for the Egg to Alligator toy). However, I decided to get some green yarn for that project. I LOVE the felted basket and am putting that pattern in my Ravelry library. I have been getting in the mood to do felted bowls and containers, so this is definitely a pattern to keep in mind. Hope you enjoy your new podcast discoveries. I also listen to CogKnitive and the Knitmore Girls. I agree, though, it is hard to keep up with everything. Right now I have 28 episodes of various podcasts downloaded to my ipad that I need to watch/listen to. Ack! I think I’m going to have to skip some for now.

    • Hi, Dr. Kelly! Thank you so much for commenting, and for the kind words about my toy. I really am turning into a toy knitter, and absolutely loving it! The purple in my lamb isn’t really very purple — it’s kind of a mix of purples and reds. I still think it passes for brown…. I’m pretty sure it would have looked fine if I did the main body in that color and gave him a white face, but I’m thrilled with the way it turned out with a white body. I’m still excited to see your Egg to Alligator — I check your project page and the threads in the Ewe University group every now and then, hoping to see it graduating. 🙂

      The felted basket is great. I’m totally going to knit more — both for myself and as gifts for friends.

  3. Hi Greg. Thanks for the shout out. I’m loving your blog! 🙂 Gayle (gayleywayley on Rav) of The Yarniacs Podcast.

    • Hi, Gayle! Glad you’re enjoying the blog! Keep up the great work on the podcast — I’m looking forward to future episodes, glad I found it. 🙂

  4. Change of season usually means smaller, more portable projects that don’t require patterns or counting so I can do them in the sun without wifi or paper. Though nighttime is good for bigger projects that I’m thinking about gifting the coming Christmas season.

    • A similar pattern is emerging for me — I’m keeping dishcloths nearby for portable, easy knitting, and I’m pulling out my sweater and more complicated toy patterns for when I’m hope and have uninterrupted, undistracted time. Thanks for the comment!

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