Knitting Goals Update – 2014 Q2

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!

Knitting Daddy And His Socks

I finished a pair of socks for myself, and love the way they turned out!

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 Daddy's Socks

I wasn’t paying attention to where the yarn pattern was when I started my 2nd sock, but even came really close to matching the color repeat.

Ravelry Project Page: Greg’s Socks
Pattern: Sock Pattern Generators by Mel Pedley
Yarn Used: Zwerger Garn Opal Elemente in colorway 1075 Grey Blue

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.

  1. MOSTLY ON TRACK — Write 1 new blog post every week on my Knitting Daddy blog.
  2. GOAL EXCEEDED! — Participate in at least 1 KAL.
  3. HIBERNATING — Finish Blueberry’s Adaline cardigan that has been on the needles, like, forever.
  4. GOAL MET! — Participate in at least 3 IBK swaps. (Probably mini-swaps)
  5. 25% COMPLETE — Knit at least 4 patterns that have been gifted to me.
  6. ON TRACK — Contribute to every IBK charity drive.
  7. GOAL MET! — Knit at least 1 pair of socks for myself.
  8. NOT STARTED — Knit a fish hat before the November fishing trip.
  9. NOT STARTED — Knit Spud & Chloë from the Spud & Chloë At The Farm book.
  10. NOT STARTED — Knit Mary, Joseph, and Jesus for a nativity.
  11. 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.)
  12. THINKING ABOUT IT — Knit at least 1 hat for myself.
  13. NOT STARTED — Write out and publish patterns for my iPhone Cozy and Dapper Dishcloth.
  14. 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.

Fairy In A Tulip

The fairy lives inside the tulip, here she is peeking out over the petals.

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.

Blueberry's Owl Milo

The Milo is a wonderful, fun pattern. I chose to use the owl motif for the cabling.

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.

Bunny & Lamb: Bunny

Bunny & Lamb will probably be entered in at least one fair this year.

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!

-greg

Ravelry: KnittingDaddy

8 thoughts on “Knitting Goals Update – 2014 Q2

  1. Sorry to hear you had to have surgery, minor or otherwise. I hope things are healing up well.

    It was fun listening to Jan discuss the shearing on the Twinset podcast. I enjoyed the shout-out, and really enjoyed going to the shearing. I’m looking forward to “Twinset Camp” next month. I’ve listened to a lot of the podcast episodes you mentioned – I loved the interview with Ben Levisay on Knotty Girls. I like his podcast, but I enjoyed hearing more about his background, which he doesn’t talk about much on Fiberhooligans. I loved the story about the pajama party and the origin of the name for the podcast. Too funny.

    The synesthesia discussion on Knitting Pipeline really struck a chord with me. I need to research it a bit. I think the way I think about numbers is similar, and I had never really heard of it before, or to be honest, ever really thought about it being different from anyone else. So interesting.

    Seriously on the stitch surfer socks! Did I miss a memo? Everyone seems to be talking about them, lol. I’ve only done one intarsia project – a baby sweater with a dog face on it. It kind of annoyed me, to be honest. I have stayed away from intarsia since, but now I feel like I’m missing something. I may have to jump on the bandwagon. I took up stranded colorwork in the last few months (which was actually one of MY goals for this year), and after a bit of painful awkwardness in the beginning getting used to holding one of the yarns in my left hand, I actually quite like it. Maybe if I try intarsia again, I’ll feel the same. But I’m skeptical.

    I love your socks! Self-striping yarn makes me happy. Sorry you’ve had trouble with the sizing – I hope the next pair fits better. I like making socks, and always have at least one pair going, along with all the other projects.

    Good to see a new blog! Sorry for the long-winded comment. 🙂

    • Thanks for the well-wishes, Laura. Things are healing well.

      I enjoyed listening to Jan discuss the shearing, too. I was all like “Hey! I ‘know’ Laura!” It really is like listening to friends tell stories. It really was a good couple of weeks for podcasts, and I’m glad to see my “unlistened to (knitting)” queue diminishing. I still have a huge stack of software development, comic book, religious, and Night Vale episodes queued up, though. I fear I’m going to have to declare podcast bankruptcy and mark a whole swath of them as “listened to” and just move on….

      Thinking about thinking is fascinating, which is why the synesthesia discussion hit me. I “know” everyone thinks about things differently, but to really think about thinking differently is certainly an adventure.

      I learned stranded colorwork at a workshop earlier this year, and absolutely loved it. I already hold the yarn in my left hand, so it was learning how to hold it in my right that was weird for me. But after about 30 minutes of going through all the motions, it started to feel more natural. I only know a tiny bit about intarsia, but enough to know that I’ll probably make it one of my goals for next year.

      After wearing my socks all day, I’m not sure that I got the sizing wrong. Maybe the math was correct. I may attempt my next pair just 4 stitches longer on the cast on, not 8. Or I may not change a thing. I think I need to wear these a few more times. They’re ver comfortable, but — especially on the bottom of my foot — the stitches are really stretched out. Not enough to call it lace, but it’s noticeably stretched. I certainly don’t mind experimenting. It’s just yarn. 😉

      I’m not sorry about your long-winded comment at all. It matches my long-winded post. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the reminder to check in on my 2014 goals, and thanks for all of the podcast reviews. I’m going out of town this weekend and wanted to add some more podcasts to take with me, so your blog post was timely.

    I love the Knitmore Girls, so I’m sure I’ll be hearing about the Stitch Surfer socks soon. I won’t be knitting them, though. I’m not ready for colorwork socks yet. I still need to work through some of the lace and cabled sock patterns. I’ll be adding Fiber Hooligan, The Lost Geek, and Twinset Designs, and of course I already have Ewe U queued up. I can’t listen to Knit 1 Geek 2, though! We fell behind on Agents of SHIELD when ABC changed their online streaming arrangement, and then just stopped watching altogether. There is a rant looming there, so I won’t go into more detail. We can’t wait until Season 1 is released on video. (Is it too much to ask, you think, for it to be available before Season 2 starts?)

    Congratulations on finishing your socks! I suggest googling “Silver’s Sock Class” and checking out her top-down class. That’s where I learned to make socks, and I’m pretty sure she gives instructions on how to measure your feet so you can cast on the right number without guessing. Even if you’re not planning to make another pair soon, if you look it up and take the measurements now, you can store that information in the project page for the socks you just finished, and then you’ll know where to find it later. You can even use the socks you just finished as your gauge swatch. 😉 (She also has amazing pictures for every step, including kitchener and turning the heel.)

    Too bad you don’t live closer. I’d love to do some brainless stockinette knitting on the Adelaide for you. The change in gauge would look pretty funny though. 🙂

    Not at all sorry for the long-winded comment. 😉

    • Hi, Deb! Thanks for the comments. I’m glad that my podcast reviews are helpful. I wish I had time to listen to all of the great podcasts out there — I know that my little podcast window is just a window.

      The Stitch Surfer socks look really cool. I think I’m going to put them on my goal list for next year. Thanks for the tip for Silver’s Sock Class. I just looked it up, and it looks interesting. I did do gauge swatches for both pair of socks I’ve knitted. And measured the feet — both mine and my dad’s. My swatches were even done in the round! Maybe I took measurements at the wrong place, especially on the ones I did for Dad. After wearing my socks all day today, I’m not entirely sure that they are too tight. Maybe I should be trusting the math…. As far as kitchener and turning the heel, they’ve not been as daunting to me as they seem to be for others. I’ve already memorized how to do kitchener, and following the instructions for a heel turn just makes sense to me.

      Maybe I can mail you my Adeline and my yarn…. 😉

      Long-winded comments are awesome!

  3. Hey, Greg! Just your fellow Podcast addict checking in… I think I listened to all of those as well… Especially loved the story of how the Fiber Hooligan got his name! Great job on the socks, I don’t think they necessarily have to match exactly, although if I think someone will be seeing them or giving them as a gift. I think the important thing is to learn construction and method or (if these are not your first pair) PRACTICE. Truly, if they are in your shoes, who’s going to know? I hear Jasmine and Gigi say they use their leftover sock yarn to make tube socks for ‘the next generation’, Jasmine’s daughter. Tube Socks they find for them works best because a little one’s feet grow so much, that style seems to function longer for them.

    Anyway, Happy Knitting! ~tammy

    • Hi, Tammy! Thanks for the comment. I’m with you on listening to the origin story of Fiber Hooligan. Ben’s teased that there’s a story behind it on his podcast forever, but never tells. It was really fun to hear him tell the story.

      For the socks, I wasn’t concerned about them matching at all — the idea of mismatched is fun. I did find it amusing just how close I came with the color repeats to getting an exact match, though. I definitely agree with your comments on learning the techniques and practicing. I might look into doing some tube socks for Blueberry. I can use my leftovers, even, and that would be fun to have matching socks with her. 🙂

      Happy Knitting!

  4. Loved the reminder that knitting mojo comes and goes and comes back. I’ve been in a slump and feel the need to get back up and running. I found some lovely yarn in Kyoto but haven’t been inspired yet. So now I am reminded to relax and let it come back, thanks!!
    Be well and continued healing prayers your direction!
    Msue

    • Thanks! Yes, knitting mojo is like the tides — it ebbs and flows. I’m sure your Kyoto yarn will let you know what it wants to be when it’s ready. 🙂 When it does, be sure to share!

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