Hi, friends! I can’t believe another week has flown by since I wrote an entry for the blog. If you’re a returning visitor, I’m so glad your back. If this is your first time, welcome! I’m Greg, also know as Knitting Daddy, and I like to blog about things that are happening in my knitting world. This week, I’m going to write about a precious little vest I knitted for my daughter. But first, there is a lot of catching up to do, especially with the podcasts I’ve been listening to. So let’s jump right in!
This Week In Podcasts
Over the last week, I caught up on a lot of podcast listening that had been stacking up for me. I listened to great episodes of Knitting Pipeline, Fiber Hooligan, 2 Knit Lit Chicks, The Yarniacs, Curious Handmade, CogKNITive, KnottyGirls, Knit 1 Geek 2, Knitcircus, Knitmore Girls, and The Lost Geek Podcast. Yes, the earbuds on my iPod were practically planted in my ears all week long.
In Knitting Pipeline Episode 171 (Blethering with Sarah and Bronwyn), Paula was joined by Sarah and Bronwyn. It was a joy to hear about Bronwyn’s giant crocheted dinosaur. The three ladies also spent some time discussing seaming techniques. This is my podcast pick of the week, mostly because I love the infectious laughter that always happens when Paula, Sarah, and Bronwyn get together. You can tell that they are great friends. In Episode 172 (Cornerstone Inn Fall Retreat), (a very short episode), Paula talked about some details for the upcoming Cornerstone Inn Fall Retreat. In Episode 173 (Three Shawlettes: Holden, Sand and Sea, and Fireflies Rising), Paula shared the stories of recently knitting 3 shawlettes. Listening to this episode made me want to think about knitting another shawl.
In the Fiber Hooligan episode with Stewart Hochwert, Ben and Stewart talk about the publishing industry. They also announce that the Fiber Hooligan podcast is moving to a new home. While writing this blog post, I noticed that my old subscription to Fiber Hooligan in iTunes didn’t have the most recent episode, so be sure to update your podcast program to make sure you’re getting the latest episodes.
In 2 Knit Lit Chicks Episode 68 (A Fascinating Whack-a-doo!), Tracie and Barb talk about their Mother Bear KAL, which is kicking off in July. But it’s not too early to start making some bears!
In The Yarniacs Episode 62 (We talk design with Wendy Bernard!), Gayle and Sharlene interview designer Wendy Bernard. I always enjoy interviews with designers, because I love to learn about the process that goes into creating patterns and designs. Wendy is the author of an amazing-sounding stitch dictionary: Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary: More than 150 stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round. It’s a stitch dictionary that describes how to do a stitch pattern no matter how you’re knitting — in the round, bottom-up, or top-down. It sounds like an incredibly valuable resource.
In Curious Handmade Episode 27 (Textiles and Yarn in Paris), Helen talks about her recent trip to Paris, and shopping for yarn while there. It sounded like a great time. In Episode 28 (Mindful Knitting and a review of Love At First Stitch), Helen talks about being intentional and mindful with our knitting. It was an inspiring episode.
In CogKNITive Podcast Episode 190 (Live from Hemet!), Dr. Gemma talks more about having flexibility with your goals. She also talks about her adventures in getting ready to buy a horse.
In KnottyGirls Episode 26 (DEAD SCIENTIST BOYFRIEND! (OR LAURA AND JEN BLAME PUERTO RICO)), there was lots of talk about Laura’s recent trip to Puerto Rico. It sounded like a great trip, except Laura couldn’t find a good yarn shop while she was there. They also talk about how to avoid knitting burnout, which was a fascinating discussion.
In Knit 1 Geek 2 Episode 89 (Never To Early For Yarn), Karen and Maggie share some awesome geeky cosplay. They also talk about the Men In Knitwear calendar.
In Knitcircus Episode 46, Jaala squees over her love of rainbow socks. I’ve been wanting to knit another pair of socks for a little while, and now I want to knit rainbow socks!
In Knitmore Girls Episode 282 (Tangleus Maximus), Jasmin and Gigi talk more about their #operationsockdrawer initiative. If I ever get those socks I just mentioned on the needles, I’ll have to participate in that. They also discuss how to block an afghan (and ask the question of if it’s even necessary to do so).
In The Lost Geek Podcast Episode 34 (Where’s My Knitting Mojo?), Arlin talks about losing her knitting mojo. It was particularly interesting to listen to this episode so close to listening to the KnottyGirls episode about how to avoid knitting burnout. Arlin, I know what you mean about losing your mojo, and here’s to hoping you find it again soon!
This Week On My Needles
My needles have been pretty busy this week. I have a couple of finished objects that I haven’t photographed yet, so I’ll put of talking about them until next week. Here’s a hint: one is a dog toy for this month’s charity knit on the IBK forum, and the other is a toy. I also knit a few more rows on Blueberry’s Adaline. Slow and steady wins the race here….
The project I finished this week that I do have pictures for is a toy that I finished based on the Susan B. Anderson workshop I attended last month. It’s from the Build-A-Toy pattern recipes. I started with the ill-conceived idea of trying to figure out how to make a bat. After knitting up the body, I thought I might have a cat on its way off my needles. But when I finished the head, I knew I’d have a bird. So I made wings, feet, and designed a tail for him. The face embroidery was fun: it was the first time I did spiderweb embroidery, which is how I did the eyes. I really like how they turned out.
I’m definitely looking forward to designing other toys based on the recipes from the workshop. Some day, I’ll come up with a bat. I swear.
Last week, I introduced the Milo I knitted for Blueberry. I want to spend a little more time looking at it this week. This project is the result of several gifts. My friend Judi gave me the yarn as a gift last year, and my friend Mel gave me the pattern for my birthday. As I knitted up the project, it really felt like I had a connection to them, and I was knitting with friends. That was a great feeling.
I’ve been knitting a lot of toys for Blueberry lately, and I’ve wanted to get back to knitting her a garment for a while. I decided that the Milo would be my next project for her, and I held of on starting it until May, so that I could participate in the designer’s “Milo May” knit-a-long. It’s been a lot of fun participating in the Ravelry discussions surrounding Milo May and seeing all of the other Milos that other folks all over the world are knitting up now, too. There is a lot of support and encouragement from other knitters, and anyone who has questions about techniques used in the pattern, yarn choices, anything, can find all sorts of help in the Ravelry group. In addition to having the fun of knitting the same pattern with people all over the world at the same time, there are several prizes that will be awarded to participants in the KAL. So I might win something, too.
In addition to using this project for the Milo May KAL, I also heard about the MadMay KAL on Ravelry. This is for projects that are knit using madelinetosh yarn. Since I was already planning on using madelinetosh yarn for the Milo, it presented a perfect opportunity for me to “double dip” my project in the MadMay KAL as well. I entered my Milo in the “General Baby/Child” category. Again, there are prizes available, so I might win something. I know it sounds cliché, but the real prize is looking at all the other gorgeous projects folks are knitting with madelinetosh yarn. It really is inspiring. The yarn was a delight to work with, and I have about 2/3 of a skein left over, so I might see about knitting Blueberry a matching hat.
The Milo pattern itself is a joy to knit. It’s a one-piece, seamless, top-down vest. The pattern is easy to follow, and extremely versatile. There are options from newborn to 6 years, and the cable pattern that runs down the front is customizable. I chose to do the owl cable pattern, because I thought it was particularly interesting. Next time I knit a Milo, I’ll choose a different cable, just to mix it up. In addition to being an easy-to-follow pattern, it knits up pretty quickly. Start-to-finish on mine was about 2 weeks, and that was in the mist of being busy at work, with my family, and being sick. The pattern is easy enough to follow, that it can work for travel knitting, or knitting in spare moments.
Most exciting for me was putting it on Blueberry after it came off the needles and seeing how it fit. It looks to be a good fit, and I hope she’ll enjoy wearing it. Check out that picture at the top of this post to see what I mean.
If you’ve got kids in your life — from little baby ones up to small children — I can heartily recommend the Milo pattern. As my friend Mel points out, it can be knitted in wool for a warm winter garment, in cotton for a breezy summer garment, and when it starts to get too snug to be worn as an outer garment, it can be worn under clothes as an added layer for warmth. It’s extremely versatile.
In addition to being a wonderful garment for Blueberry, this project accomplished one of my 2014 knitting goals — to participate in at least 1 KAL. How are your goals coming along? Have you participated (or plan to participate) in any KALs lately? Leave a note in the comments and share your updates.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!