Crackerjack

Howdy, knitters! Welcome back to more knitting talk on the Knitting Daddy blog. For first time visitors, I hope you enjoy what you read and come back for more. You also might enjoy reading my knitting origin story to learn how I started my knitting obsession. To my regular readers, I’m glad your back for more and I hope you like what I’ve got for you this week.

Spring is here, with summer just around the corner. That means baseball! Oh, how I love baseball. Today, I’ll be talking about a project that combines my love of knitting with my love of baseball, and I’m really excited about working on this project throughout the baseball season — it’s called “Crackerjack” and I’ll talk more about it in the last section of this post. First, let’s take a look at the other things that have been going on in my knitting world recently.

Baseball

I was watching batting practice the other day and picked up this ball that cleared the wall. I do love me some baseball.

Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat Update

My first published pattern, the Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat, has been “in the wild” for about a month now, and I’m blown away by the attention its garnered. A big thanks to all of you who have purchased the pattern and are knitting it either for charity or for friends and family. I don’t intend on making an update on this pattern a regular feature of the blog, but I thought it would be nice to give everyone an update after the first month of sales.

I got my report from Ravelry about April’s sales and was thrilled to see that the pattern garnered $95 in sales! I was absolutely blown away. As a brand-new designer, I really didn’t know what to expect coming out of the gate and I set my expectations low while I was learning the ropes. Both PayPal and Ravelry take a small cut of the pattern sales, but I’m not going to take that cut out when I give the proceeds to Family Support of Central Carolina (FSNCC). I was so excited about April’s pattern sales that I went ahead and rounded the total up and gave FNSCC a check for $100 at the annual “Parents of Preemies Day” celebration this past weekend. They were thrilled with the donation, and impressed with the generosity of knitters. So on behalf of FSNCC, thank you all.

Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat

I visited my parents last weekend and knitted up a little preemie hat with my mom’s yarn.

Another exciting note about the pattern comes by way of Susan B. Anderson. She recently posted a blog update about her April adventures, which included a super-nice note about the hat pattern. Thank you so much, Susan, for helping spread the word about this pattern, and thank you to everyone who has found this pattern as a result of Susan’s blog.

If you’re knitting Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hats, please join the Knitting Daddy Designs group on Ravelry and share pictures of your finished objects, or just hang out and chat with us. We’re a fun group, just getting started, and we’d love to have you join us. We’re up to talking about anything.

If you don’t already have your copy of the pattern, you can get a $1 discount by using the coupon code “BLUEBERRY” when you purchase the pattern through Ravelry (expires 2015/05/31).

Recently In Podcasts

I’m mostly keeping current with my podcasts, and slowly chipping away at the back-catalog of episodes from Teaching Your Brain To Knit and Creative Yarn Entrepreneur. I am falling behind with CraftLit again, because I really try to listen to that when I can devote a bit of undivided attention to it. Since I’m not familiar with Sense and Sensibility, I really have to pay attention to the audio in order to keep up with who’s who and what’s what. Even though I’m a few episodes behind, I got a few notes from friends who heard me call in on Episode 382, and I had to go check. Sure enough, at the end of the episode, Heather included my audio call-in among the congratulation messages on her 9-year(!) podcast anniversary. I’m looking forward to getting some more time to actually listen to the book chapters soon.

Last week, I won a call-in contest on Yarn Thing With Marly Bird. Carol Sulcoski was the guest, and I won her new book about knitting lace. This is particularly awesome because I have a few skeins of lace yarn in my stash that I really have no idea what to do with.

Several of the California-based podcasts I’ve listened to (I’m looking at you 2 Knit Lit Chicks and Yarniacs!) reported on the Northern California Knitting Retreat, which sounded like a lot of fun. It looks like they’re going to make this an annual event, so if you’re on the US West Coast, you should keep your ears open for next year’s retreat. Speaking of retreats, both Curious Handmade and Knitting Pipeline reported on the Knitting Pipeline Georgia Retreat, which I wish I could have attended. It sounds like it was a blast.

I still have difficulties carving out time to watch video podcasts, but I’d like to send a special “thank-you” to my friend Nina at the This Old Knit video podcast for the shout-out in Episode 10. It was really cool to see the sock yarn I sent her in a swap last year turning into a pair of socks!

Lots of other great podcasts crossed my earbuds since I last updated the blog, including Down Cellar Studio, Ewe University, iMake, Knit 1 Geek 2, Knitmore Girls, KnottyGirls, NH Knits, and Twinset Designs. I love that we live in a world where so many great knitting podcasts exist. Thank you to all the podcasters who make that happen!

Recently On My Needles

I’ve got a lot of works in progress right now, but I keep coming back to the same things. I’ll talk about Crackerjack in a bit. Let’s take a look at my sock and blanket progress.

I’m absolutely loving Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture book. I finally cast on the Bootstrap socks, using bacon-inspired yarn I got for Christmas. I’m just past the heel of the first sock, and am so excited about finishing it up so I can get it on my foot.

Bacon Bootstrap Sock

So excited to have completed the heel for my first Bootstrap sock!

Ravelry Project Page: Bacon Bootstrap Sock
Pattern: Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel
Yarn Used: Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock Yarn in the Bacon colorway

I’m also continuing to work on my sock yarn blanket, adding a few squares here and there. I visited my parents the weekend before last and snagged a few grams from a skein of yarn my mom had to add a square to the blanket. It’ll be years before I’m done with this, but it’s fun to work on it bit by bit, one square at a time.

Scrappy Sock Yarn Blanket

I love knitting my old leftover scrap yarn into a new blanket.

Ravelry Project Page: Scrappy Sock Yarn Blanket
Pattern: Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis
Yarn Used: LOL, sock yarn

Crackerjack

Ah, Crackerjack. The pattern I’ve been looking forward to start ever since I first discovered it last year. Now that baseball season is upon us, I can put it on my needles and knit it all summer long.

What is Crackerjack? It’s a pattern — a recipe, really — for “conceptual knitting.” The recipe is for an infinity scarf, but it is easily modified for most anything you’d like to knit. I’m knitting a basic scarf in the round.

Here’s where it gets really cool. The colors in the scarf, and the striping pattern, are determined by how your favorite baseball team plays. A different color is used to represent home and away games, wins and losses. At the end of the season, you’ll have a visual representation of how your team did. Plus, if your MLB team makes the playoffs and you just do the scarf for regular season games, you’ve got time to do the finishing work on it to let you wear it to the playoff games for luck!

My scarf is for the local MiLB team, the Greensboro Grasshoppers. They’re the Class-A affiliate for the Miami Marlins, and they play in a stadium about a mile from my house. Locally, we call them the Hoppers. I’ve been a fan for a few years and when I saw this pattern last year I knew I’d have to make it for the Hoppers this year. (And probably next year, and the year after, and….)

Just before the season started, I decided on my color choices. The Hoppers’ colors are green and orange, so those were a given. They also have white in their uniforms, so that was good. I was having a hard time deciding on a fourth color, and finally settled on grey. So the final design is for home wins to be in green, home losses in white, away wins in orange, and away losses in grey. I’m hoping for a lot of green and orange as the season goes on.

I also decided to do a little bit of fanciness on ends and designed a simple colorwork pattern for the team name and the year. On one end of the scarf, I’ll have “HOPPERS” and on the other end, I’ll have “2015.” That will also make it easy to remember which end of the scarf is the beginning of the season (the HOPPERS end). If I make multiple scarves over the years, it will be interesting to see how they compare with each other, and by putting the year on the end, they won’t get mixed up.

For the construction, I’m just knitting in the round. I cast on 82 stitches, and am making stitch 41 and 82 be purl stitches. Everything else is a knit. The purl stitch helps the scarf (which is a tube) lay flat on itself. It also mostly obscures the jog when the colors change, so I’m not bothering with doing anything else to try to make the stripes jogless. Each game is represented by 2 rows of knitting. I created a Google Sheet to keep track of the season, and that lets me know where I left off. I’m trying to watch the scores daily and knit the games’ rows as they happen, but sometimes I get a few days behind. That’s easily remedied with a  knitting session while watching The West Wing on Netflix.

Crackerjack

Here I will be chronicling the Hoppers’ 2015 season. Green is home win, orange is away win, white is home loss, grey is away loss.

Ravelry Project Page: 2015 Hoppers Crackerjack
Pattern: Crackerjack by Stacey Simpson Duke
Yarn Used: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted

The designer for Crackerjack is Stacey Simpson Duke, who has a lovely blog at earthchicknits.com. It’s a lot of fun to look at the hundreds of Crackerjack projects on Ravelry. People do all sorts of embellishments for things like Opening Day (which should be a national holiday), the All-Star Break, when their favorite pitcher is pitching, etc. The finished object is truly a special piece.

Are you knitting a Crackerjack this year? It’s not too late to start — go ahead and get your yarn and catch up with your favorite team’s win/loss record over the course of a few knitting sessions then keep up throughout the season. It will be a special scarf for yourself, or a treasured treat for the sports fan in your life. Leave a comment here on the blog or in the Knitting Daddy Designs Ravelry group about your Crackerjack experience. I’ll be checking in throughout the season with updates on my scarf.

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

-greg

6 thoughts on “Crackerjack

  1. Oh this is sooo cool! I wish my husband was a scarf person – then I’d knit one up for him. Thanks for posting all the good knitting podcast info and blogs you find. It makes such a great resource.

    • Hi, rainierknitter! Thanks for the enthusiastic words about my Crackerjack. Let me tell you a secret — I’m not a scarf person, either! But the complete awesomeness off this project is going to turn me into one. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoy the podcast/blog info I post. Thanks for the note.

  2. I do NOT need another project, but this sounds like too much fun. Does anyone have a chart for an Old English D??? 🙂

    I’m going to check it out on Ravelry, too.

    • Thanks, Suzanne. Here’s the great thing about adding this project to your current WIPs. Once you catch up with with’s already happened this season, you’ll be limited by the games being played. E.g., I’m currently caught up, so I can’t even knit on my scarf if I wanted to. The Hoppers will play tonight, and if I decide to knit on it after the game is over, I’ll be limited to 2 rows. Two rows a day isn’t much, and even if I get a week behind, it’s only a dozen or so rows.

      It’s definitely a case of slow-and-steady wins the race. Come on, join us! You know you want to. 🙂

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