Howdy, knitters! Welcome back to another update for my blog. I’m so glad you came back. If this is your first time, I’m thrilled you found me and I hope you enjoy your stay. It’s been a couple of weeks since I updated, so I’m falling behind on my goal of weekly updates (more on my goals later), but sometimes life is simply too busy for writing. I’ve done a little bit of knitting over the past two weeks, and listened to a lot of podcasts, so let’s go ahead and dive in!
These Past Two Weeks In Podcasts
It looks like I managed to listen to 13 podcast episodes over the past two weeks! I have some quick reviews of TwinSet Designs, Fiber Hooligan (2 episodes!), The Lost Geek Podcast, Curious Handmade (2 episodes!), Knitting Pipeline (2 episodes!), KnottyGirls, 2 Knit Lit Chicks, Knit 1 Geek 2, Knitmore Girls, and Ewe University. I have a couple unlistened-to episodes of some podcasts still in my queue, and I’m several weeks behind with CraftLit.
In TwinSet Designs Episode 41 (Podcaster Shout Out), Jan and Ellen mention a slew of other podcasters (many of whom I listen to) as they talk about shearing alpacas and sheep (with a nice shout-out to Laura, who visited the farm for the shearing and is a frequent commenter on this blog) and other knitting and spinning topics. The laughter and joy from this podcast is always a welcome listen.
In Fiber Hooligan (Patty Lyons), Ben interviews Patty Lyons, whose story involves going from a job as a Broadway stage manager to following her knitting passion. This manifested itself in creating the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City, and becoming a celebration knitting instructor. Her story is absolutely fascinating. In Fiber Hooligan (Anne Berk), Ben and Anne spend a lot of time talking about intarsia. Now I want to learn how to knit intarsia. Thanks a lot, like my plate wasn’t full enough already!
In The Lost Geek Podcast Episode 35 (House Cup), Arlin talks about getting her knitting mojo back. I’m so glad to hear it’s back! Knitting mojo comes and goes, and it’s always great when it comes back. She also talks about her progress with the Master Knitter program. Several podcasters I’m listening to are doing this program, and it’s always interesting to hear how things are going.
In Curious Handmade Episode 29 (Velvet Rose Knit Along and Makegood Festival Review), Helen talks about her newest shawl pattern and introduces a KAL for it. More and more, I find myself thinking about Helen’s shawl patterns. I want to knit one. In Episode 30 (Squam Part 1 with Amy Gretchen’s photography class), she talks about all the exciting things she learned at Squam this year, specifically surrounding photography.
In Knitting Pipeline Episode 174 (Sock Surfing), Paula talks about the Stitch Surfer sock pattern that is a hot project with several podcasters right now. It also involves intarsia, so it was pretty interesting for me to hear this the same week I heard the Anne Berk Fiber Hooligan episode. In Episode 175 (More Intarsia and Brain Reveal), Paula talks about even more intarsia. Is this a sign? She also talks about synesthesia, which sounds like a fascinating way some people think about letters and numbers.
In KnottyGirls Episode 28 (Knitting Chicken (Or Ben Levisay Fights for Your Right to Party)), Laura and Jen have some interesting knitting discussion, but it is all overshadowed by the interview with Ben Levisay of the Fiber Hooligan podcast. He tells the story of how he earned his “Fiber Hooligan” nickname, and that’s what makes this my podcast pick of the week.
In 2 Knit Lit Chicks Episode 69 (Through The Magic Of Technology), Barb and Tracie talk about their Mother Bear KAL/CAL some more, including news of some generous “matching gift” style donations. They also talk about the Stitch Surfer socks, which is making me even more curious about this pattern.
In Knit 1 Geek 2 Episode 90 (Adjust Your Volume Accordingly), Maggie freaks out about a looming baby blanket deadline. We’ve all been there. They also spend a considerable amount of time fawning over the Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. finale, and the fact that it’s been picked up for another season along with a companion series.
In Knitmore Girls Episode 282 (With Love and Envy), Gigi is excited about knitting Stitch Surfer socks. Really? 3 mentions of this pattern all at the same time? Maybe it’s a sign. They also award a prize in their ongoing #OperationSockDrawer contest.
In Ewe University Episode 24 (Fiber Arts and the Writing Process), Dr. Kelly “discuss[es] writing and the fiber arts with a friend and colleague, Kristyne Gilbert Bradford, who just finished her master’s thesis study of fiber artists and their writing process.” I had never thought of the how knitting and writing might be related (and here I am writing a knitting blog, lol), so it was quite interesting to hear about some academic research that is currently being done in this arena. I look forward to a follow-up on this topic sometime down the road.
In addition to all of the audio podcasts I already listen to, I’ve queued up on my watch list a new (to me, anyway) video Podcast: Bakery Bears Podcast. This one is one that I’ve had recommended to me by several people, and have heard about on several other podcasts. I’m finding it hard to get a time to work it into my schedule, though. Almost all of the podcasts I listen to are audio-only, and I listen while I commute. I have a hard time squeezing out the necessary time to watch a podcast. But this one comes highly recommended, and features another dude who knits, so I’m going to try to find the time to work it in. I’m sure I’ll love it when I do.
These Past Two Weeks On My Needles
I have been a very monogamous knitter these past two weeks (explore monogamy!) — just working on a pair of vanilla socks for myself. I’m still quite new at sock knitting and continue to learn things. My first foray into sock-yarn knit socks was with the pair I knitted for my dad. They are wearable, but really ended up being too big. With these socks, I overcompensated and they’re probably too small. They’re wearable, but tight. My dad and I have similarly sized feet, with mine being slightly larger. For Dad’s socks, I cast on 88 stitches. With mine, I cast on 64. I think the correct answer is going to be casting on 72, which is what I’ll try next time I do socks. The good news is that I didn’t run out of yarn this time! I think I have enough yarn to knit a 3rd sock if I wanted. That’s good, and makes me feel comfortable with increasing the CO to 72, as well as adding an inch or two of length to the leg.
I knit these socks with yarn that given to me as a gift, with specific instructions to use them to knit socks for myself, because my friend knew that knitting myself a pair of socks was one of my knitting goals this year. I’m thrilled with how they turned out — the yarn made a cool pattern, and I was close to having the repeats on the 2nd sock match exactly.
Knitting Goals Update – 2014 Q2
At the beginning of the year, I set some ambitious knitting goals. Well, the 2nd quarter isn’t quite finished yet, but I’ll go ahead and and give a mid-year update. I don’t think I’m going to make any huge strides in knitting over the next two weeks, so now’s as good a time as any to update.
- MOSTLY ON TRACK — Write 1 new blog post every week on my Knitting Daddy blog.
- GOAL EXCEEDED! — Participate in at least 1 KAL.
- HIBERNATING — Finish Blueberry’s Adaline cardigan that has been on the needles, like, forever.
- GOAL MET! — Participate in at least 3 IBK swaps. (Probably mini-swaps)
- 25% COMPLETE — Knit at least 4 patterns that have been gifted to me.
- ON TRACK — Contribute to every IBK charity drive.
- GOAL MET! — Knit at least 1 pair of socks for myself.
- NOT STARTED — Knit a fish hat before the November fishing trip.
- NOT STARTED — Knit Spud & Chloë from the Spud & Chloë At The Farm book.
- NOT STARTED — Knit Mary, Joseph, and Jesus for a nativity.
- BETTER LUCK NEXT YEAR, LOL — Within a week of buying new yarn, cast it on for a project, unless it is “souvenir yarn.” (This was almost “no new yarn,” but I’ll allow myself to buy yarn for specific projects.)
- THINKING ABOUT IT — Knit at least 1 hat for myself.
- NOT STARTED — Write out and publish patterns for my iPhone Cozy and Dapper Dishcloth.
- ON TRACK — Submit something to the county and/or state fair.
Not too bad!
For #1, I’ve missed 2 weeks so far this year. The first week I missed, I’ll completely excuse myself — I was sick and ended up having minor surgery (recovery is going as well as expected, I should be back in full swing by the end of July). The second week I missed was last week, and I was just too busy with other stuff. Although I won’t fully meet this goal (it was aggressive), if I continue at my current rate, I’ll be very happy with my progress against it.
For #2, I’ve participated in several KALS, and loved every one of them. In the IBK Ravelry group, there is a monthly KAL for the patterns in Susan B. Anderson’s Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys: Magical Two-in-One Reversible Projects book. This is a great motivation to work the patterns in the book, and it’s so much fun doing this with other people. The first toy for the KAL was the Egg-To-Alligator, which I had already knitted, so I didn’t consider that project as being something that I could use to officially check off my goal. However, I did participate in the next two: Bunny & Lamb and Flower Fairy In A Tulip. I’m planning on doing Happy Mouse Sad Mouse this month, but haven’t cast on yet. In addition to the IBK KALs, I participated in Milo May, where I knitted a Milo along with hundreds of other people all around the world. With all of that KAL knitting, this goal is officially exceeded, but I don’t plan on stopping jointing KALs that catch my fancy the rest of the year.
For #3, this is the project that is the bane of my knitting existence. I really want to be done with it, but I am so uninspired to knit several more inches of stockinette over hundreds of stitches per row. Even sadder, the longer I ignore it, the less like it will be able to fit Blueberry when it finally does come off the needles. Still not motivated, though.
For #4, I did 3 swaps, and one of them was even a medium-sized swap. I did the Valentine’s Swap, the Bunny Swap, and the Rainbow Swap. These swaps were so much fun and I’m looking forward to more mini-swaps to come down the line. Doing the Rainbow Swap, which was a medium swap, taught me that I really don’t have the time to devote to a medium or larger swap right now. I had a very successful time with the Rainbow swap, but I don’t think I’ll be able to devote that much to a swap anytime soon. That was a great lesson to learn — I’m glad I didn’t learn it in the Advent Swap, e.g.
For #5, the Milo I knitted in May was a gift pattern. I also used gift yarn to knit it, which made it even more special. I had a blast knitting it, and will certainly do another Milo sometime later. The pattern goes up several sizes, so I suspect it will become a staple of Blueberry’s wardrobe. I need to look through my gift patterns and make sure I get three more patterns knitted up this year.
For #6, I’ve contributed to every charity from January to May. With a few more weeks in June, I’ve still got time to make sure I get something off the needles and in the mail in order to stay on track. Participating in charity knitting has been such a great blessing to me, and it’s nice to give back with my knitting since being the recipient of charity knitting is why and how I became a knitter.
For #7, I met that goal this week with the pair of socks I just finished. I’ll definitely be knitting myself another pair of socks at some point, but I’m not sure when I’ll do it.
For #8, #9, #10, and #13, I simply haven’t giving them any attention.
For #11, OK, that was probably the most aggressive goal on my list. I’ll admit to picking up a few random (often on sale!) skeins here and there, with no specific project in mind. I keep saying that I’ll probably knit toys. That’s always a safe bet. 🙂
For #12, I haven’t done it yet, but I’ll probably get more excited about hat knitting for myself as fall approaches. Also, when I do #8, I might count that for #12 as well.
For #14, I’m pretty happy with my progress. I just need to wait until it gets closer to fair time to really do it. Thanks to the recent prodding from Dr. Kelly in a Ewe University podcast and a thread in her Ravelry group, I did the research about when my local fairs are, and what’s involved in entering items. There are three fairs that are reasonable for me to enter, and I’ll probably enter all three — two local/county fairs, and the state fair. None of them have their information (besides the dates) for this year available yet, but from what I’ve been able to find about previous years, all three have a category that is appropriate for knitted toys. I think I’ll enter my Bunny & Lamb toy — it’s already complete, and I don’t think there are any gross technical errors in the work. I probably need to knit a swatch out of the yarn I used in the project, but other than that, it should be ready to go. I think the unique design of the topsy-turvy toy is something that is appealing, and I hope the judges enjoy it and my execution of it. That’s going to be fun.
All in all, I’m happy with my progress. How about you? Are you on track with your 2014 knitting goals? Leave a comment and let me know how it’s going!
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!