2015 Durham Stitch N’ Pitch

Howdy, knitters! I’m excited to be talking about two of my favorite things in this blog post: knitting and baseball. Combined into a single activity, even! That’s because it’s time to talk about the annual Stitch-n-Pitch event. But before we look at this heavenly combination, let’s take a peek at the other things that have been going on in my knitting world lately.

Play Ball!

Blueberry and I get our knitting ready to play ball! She likes to manipulate yarn and wrap it around her fingers, calling it knitting. I cut off a few yards of yarn for her to have as her very own.

This Week In Podcasts

I listened to episodes of 2 Knit Lit Chicks, Creative Yarn EntrepreneurCurious Handmade, iMakeNH KnitsKnitmore GirlsKnitting Pipeline, Teaching Your Brain To Knit, and Yarniacs. I’m also mostly caught up with CraftLit.

In 2 Knit Lit Chicks Episode 91 (BUT – Here’s the Thing), Barb and Tracie talk more about their Cardi/Tank or Tee KAL/CAL. They also had a shout-out for the Yarnit, which is a pretty awesome yarn holder, especially when you’re taking your knitting out and about. I think I’ve sold a half-dozen Yarnit’s in the past few weeks as folks have seen me knitting from mine. I love it. Barb’s getting ready to go on a road trip to Alaska (jealous!) and is looking to meet up with fiber friends on her travels. I was also especially interested in a progress update on Barb’s Crackerjack, and I’m happy to hear it’s got lots of orange and black in it. They also review Knit Edge, a cool knitting magazine.

In a Creative Yarn Entrepreneur announcement, Marie talks about her upcoming series of podcasts about self-publishing patterns. I’m extremely excited about these.

In Curious Handmade Episode 74 (with Justyna Lorkowska of Lete’s Knits), Helen talks about shawl knitting and interviews Justyna Lorkowska about knitting and designing shawls.

In iMake Episode 78 (Sunday Sunday), Martine talks about Sunday rituals. She also talks about knitting her sock yarn patchwork blanket and hexipuffs. It sounds like she’s in the same place with this kind of knitting that I am — it’s a welcome, relaxing break.

In NH Knits Episode 20 (NH Sheep & Wool Recap), Claire gives an awesome wrap-up of New Hampshire Sheep and Wool, which made me so jealous. I really want to go to a sheep & wool festival now. Maybe I’ll be able to make it to Maryland next year. Extra-exciting for me was hearing her talk about my Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat pattern! I had no idea she was going to say something about it, and I was out on my morning walk when I heard it. I actually did a little jump for joy. Thank you so much, Claire, for the shout-out!

In Knitmore Girls Episode 333 (Actually…), Gigi mentions that she was attacked by one of her preemie hats. They also follow-up on last week’s Mother Knows Best advice of making new friends at fiber events. They also have a great review of what sounds like a fun book of patterns: Faux Taxidermy Knits: 15 Wild Animal Knitting Patterns. I’m totally putting this book on my wishlist.

In Knitting Pipeline Episode 209 (Pebble Beach KAL), Paula talks about the Pebble Beach KAL that is happening in the Knitting Pipeline group on Ravelry. I’ve entered the Pebble Beach that I knitted for my mother last year, and I’m thinking about doing another of Helen’s designs. We’ll see. I was also thrilled and honored to hear Paula talking about my Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie hat pattern! Again, I wasn’t expecting to hear it so it caught me off-guard when she started talking about it in her needle notes section. It was very cool to hear her comments about it, especially since she knitted a couple of them. Thank you so much, Paula, for the kind words about the pattern! Like I’ve seen a couple of other people do, she modified the ribbing to be 1×1 instead of 2×2, and it looks awesome. If I ever publish an update to the pattern, I’m going to note that as an option. I’m going to be knitting them 1×1 from here on out when I knit them — I think it looks a little neater on such a small item. But if you prefer 2×2, keep on doing it that way, it’s all good. Paula ended her podcast with a few notes on some of the technical things she does to help make her podcast sound as good as it does. If you’re a podcaster (or an aspiring one), it’s worth a listen for some ideas.

In Teaching Your Brain To Knit Episode 16 (Knitting And The Need For Novelty), Margaret and Catherine explore how the need for novelty might be one of the reasons that we sometimes like to cast on a new project before finishing a current one. What they were talking about matched up perfectly with why I get on different knitting kicks from time to time — like recently when I was all about knitting mitered squares and hexipuffs.

In Yarniacs Episode 88 (Stalking The Knits), Gayle and Sharlene talk about stalking. Not the creepy kind of stalking, but the kind of stalking we do with our knitting. You know, when we start looking at different patterns and projects, trying to decide what to cast on and knit. They introduced a new segment called Stalking Fails where they discuss various things they’ve stalked in the past that didn’t work out so well for them. An important note is that none of these fails were because of the pattern, it was all something that just didn’t work with what they were currently interested in. I hope they keep this segment, it’s a great way to think about knitting.

This Week On My Needles

Mostly, this week consisted of knitting my beautiful Bacon Bootstrap Socks. I finished the first one, and am making good progress on the second one. I absolutely love this pattern. When I finish these socks and start thinking about what sock to cast on next, it’s going to be hard not to cast on another pair of Bootstraps! There are so many other great-looking socks in Lara’s book, and I want to try them all. But I’m not going to get around to trying them if I keep casting on Bootstrap. So, as you can see, I’m in a bit of a pickle. Here’s a picture of the first completed sock (I still need to weave in the ends). I’m sure once I finish them both, I’ll devote an entire blog post to them. The heel construction is so much fun, and the garter ridges are great. There’s a lot of fun to talk about with this pattern.

Bacon Bootstrap Number One

First Bootstrap sock complete, sans weaving in ends.

Bacon Bootstrap Number Two

With the first sock complete, I got started on the second one right away. It loves hanging out in my YarnIt for portable knitting.

Ravelry Project Page: Bacon Bootstrap Socks
Pattern: Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel (it’s in the awesome Sock Architecture book)
Yarn Used: Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock Yarn in the Bacon colorway

Bacon On My Feet

The Bacon Bootstrap Sock is a great fit. You can also see how I was using detachable stitch markers to count rows while knitting the foot.

While I’m talking about what’s on my needles, let me tell you a story about cheap stitch markers. I recently bought a few hundred locking stitch markers for really cheap. I got them on eBay, they came from China, and they were cheap. Did I mention that they were cheap? Yes, not just inexpensive, but cheap. And that’s fine, I totally knew they would be cheap going into this.

They arrived a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t really had an opportunity to use them until recently. While knitting the instep of my sock, the instructions are to knit for a certain distance — i.e., until the knitting is a few inches shorter than the desired sock length — before beginning the toe. I’m pretty particular about wanting my socks to be the same, so I like to keep track of how many rows that ends up being as well as how many inches. An easy way to keep track of number of rows in stockinette is to place a stitch marker every 10 rows. So this was perfect for my new, cheap, stitch markers.

Right away, I noticed they were not as flexible as the locking stitch markers I’ve purchased in the past. They were downright brittle. A few of them broke as I tried to unlock them and put them in my knitting. I wasn’t surprised, since they were so cheap. But I found good ones that stayed in, and was off to the races. They did a great job of letting me keep track of how many rows I was knitting.

Once I finished the sock and went to take the stitch markers out, it was like they just gave up on me. I was trying to be careful taking them out, but even so, eight of the nine markers broke! Yes, it was disappointing. No, I wasn’t surprised. They were ridiculously inexpensive, and I’m OK with the mindset that they are completely disposable, even single-use.

Cheap Stitch Markers

It’s like my stitch markers were playing “Highlander.” There can be only one!

I’m not going to tell you not to get cheap stitch markers from eBay. But if you do, don’t expect them to last long. If you’re OK with that, go for it.

2015 Durham Stitch N’ Pitch

I love Stitch-N-Pitch! I mean, it combines baseball and knitting. Can it get any better than that? I went to last year’s game in Durham and had a great time. I was really looking forward to this year’s game, too, and it happened last week. Once again, it was a Durham Bulls game. Blueberry and my father-in-law came with me, and we all had a great time.

Getting Ready

Field prepared. Seats taken. Yarn secure in The YarnIt. Let’s get this Stitch N’ Pitch going!

For a quick overview of what Stitch N’ Pitch is, let’s check out the official website:

Stitch N’ Pitch brings together two American traditions — Baseball and the NeedleArts. Come to a ball game and knit, crochet, embroider, cross-stitch and needlepoint. Sit among friends, family and colleagues and cheer on your favorite Baseball Team.

This event is for ANYONE who has an interest in the perfect double play — NeedleArts and Baseball; beginners, intermediate and experts are all welcome.

The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) and your Baseball Team are providing fun giveaways and surprises that are included with special Stitch N’ Pitch game tickets.

Yes, all over the country, all sorts of baseball games are hosting games where lovers of the fiber arts are welcomed with open arms! From minor league games to major league games. It’s fun times. It works differently everywhere, because even though Stitch N’ Pitch is sponsored by TNNA, the real work of making it happen at your local ballpark is done by local volunteers.

Stitch N' Pitchers

This was our section, full of knitters, crocheters, spinners, and their families.

This year was very much like last year in Durham. Everyone who wanted tickets ordered them ahead of time at a local yarn shop. On the day of the game, you showed up at the ballpark and picked your tickets up at will call. In addition to your ticket, everyone got a goodie bag. In the bag were items that were donated from local businesses. There were coupons for local yarn shops. There was a business card with a simple pattern for a knitted lace scarf. There were Burt’s Bees sample products (Burt’s Bees is based in Durham). Everyone also got a raffle ticket. We were all seated together, so the entire section was full of people enjoying making crafts while watching the ball game.

Raffle Prizes

Drawing for the raffle prizes!

A couple of times during the game, the organizers drew tickets for door prizes. I was pretty excited that with our three raffle tickets, two of them won prizes! One prize was from the Bulls, and it was a Chipper Jones bobble head. That was pretty sweet, Chipper’s one of my favorite Braves players, and I probably saw him when he was playing AAA ball in Durham years and years ago. The other prize was a bag from one of the local yarn shops, Cozy. It contained 2 skeins of hand-dyed purple mohair yarn (anyone have any suggestions for what to knit what that?), a book, and a set of stitch holders. It was pretty cool.

Stitch N' Pitch Loot

Here’s some of the loot I got at the Stitch N’ Pitch game this year. Some of the items were in bags everyone got, some of them were door prizes I won.

The game itself was fun, too. It went into extra innings, but the Bulls ended up losing in 11. We managed to stay through to the end, which was great, because they had fireworks. Blueberry loves fireworks, and she had a great time watching them after the game. I’m glad she made it that far — she was asking to go home by about the 8th inning, but the promise of fireworks convinced her to stay. She slept well in the car on the way home, though.

Take Me Out

And it’s one… two… three strikes, you’re out! This is one of Blueberry’s favorite songs.

I’m already excited about next year’s Stitch N’ Pitch. And I’m considering trying to help organize one in Greensboro. Have you been to a Stitch N’ Pitch event? Tell me about it in the comments or in the Knitting Daddy Designs Ravelry group. What’s your favorite part about the fun?

Daddy Daughter Selfie

While there’s no obvious knitting or baseball content in this snapshot, I couldn’t resist sharing it. Blueberry’s growing up so fast!

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

-greg

11 thoughts on “2015 Durham Stitch N’ Pitch

    • Hi, Pam — yes, they’re a great pairing. I’m looking forward to knitting time as Blueberry gets older and participates in activities of her own, too.

  1. Love your pictures of you and Blueberry. So nice to see a dad that is involved in his little girl’s life. 🙂

    • Hi, Zowmom — Thanks! I’m thrilled she’s such a baseball fan. I really try not to push it on her, but she always gets excited about it, so I love to roll with it. I love spending time with her. 🙂

  2. I have the same stitch markers, and I, too, find that they often break when I’m taking them off (and putting them on and locking them and looking at them funny…). But they work, and I like having lots of them!

    • Hi, Duck — Yeah, I’m not upset with the stitch markers at all. The super-brittle ones will break. And the ones that are left will be usable. And, as cheap as they are, I have lots of them. I like having lots of them for being able to mark lots of things, so in the end it works out fine.

    • Hi, Marie — At this point, I don’t have any specific questions — I’m just a sponge. My Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat is the only pattern I’ve designed, and I self-published it on Ravelry. Some of your previous podcast episodes (especially the ones about test knitters) have been very helpful in helping me organize what I’m doing.

  3. Aw! Sounds like you guys are having great fun. And I lol’d for real over the stitch markers going all Highlander on you. “Princes of the Universe” started playing in my head when I read that.

    • Thanks, Katy Bug! It was so funny as I removed the stitch markers and one after another, they just snapped. When I was done and there was just one marker left standing, I felt like there should be lightening and Sean Connery.

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