It’s been a busy week, and I’m exhausted. Last week, when I wrote about charity knitting, I talked about the Family Support Network of Central Carolina‘s annual fundraising event: Poker For Preemies. The event was Thursday, and went over very well. I’m happy to say that the raffle basket that contained the Ribbit and Rabbit toys I knitted was won by a lady who is currently expecting a child, so I’m sure they toys will soon be well-loved. We were out late for the fundraiser Thursday night, and then I spent a lot of time Saturday and Sunday at a comic book convention (which I’ll talk about later in this post), so it has turned out to be a very tiring week.
This Week In Podcasts
Benjamin was back this week for the Fiber Hooligan podcast. After a few weeks off, it was great to hear him behind the microphone again. His guest this week was Steve Malcom, the man behind the It Takes Balls To Knit website, blog, and knitting variety show. I love hearing from other men who knit, and what got them started. Steve’s story is great, and I encourage you to listen to him tell the story on the podcast.
Ewe University returned this week with a new episode, Episode 8. There was a bit more time between episodes 7 and 8 than I was expecting, so I was glad when the new episode showed up in my iTunes, and my fears of pod-fading were put to rest. Dr. Kelly has been busy lately, so the delay in the most recent episode is understandable. Ewe University is a really interesting podcast that blends knitting talk with interesting psychological/scientific talk, in an extremely accessible manner. One of the things I enjoy is hearing the progress of Dr. Kelly’s projects, and in keeping with a University theme, she categorizes her progress by class: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, and finally Pomp and Circumstance with graduation. In the classroom on this episode, she talks about anthropomorphism. As always, it was an interesting and enjoyable listen. I highly recommend it.
One of my favorite podcasts, Knitting Pipeline, did not release a show this week. That was totally expected, as the Knitting Pipeline retreat was this week, and I’m sure Paula was busy (and having fun!) making sure everything was running smoothly for the retreat. I’m looking forward to hearing how the retreat went in upcoming episodes of the podcast.
Finally, I discovered a new podcast this week: knit.fm. This is a knitting podcast with Pam Allen and Hannah Fettig. Yes, Pam Allen of Quince & Co. Yes, Hannah Fettig of Knitbot. The podcast is just a few weeks old, and they have 2 episodes up so far: one on gauge and one on sweater construction. I enjoyed both of them. Unlike many of the other knitting podcasts to which I listen, this podcast seems to be focused on instruction. It’s not like taking a class or listening to a lecture, but Pam and Hannah talk about specific techniques and processes in knitting, describe how to do it, and explain the importance of it. I’m excited to see where they’re going to take this podcast.
This Week In Ravelry
On Ravelry this week, I continued my involvement in the Itty Bitty Knits (IBK) forums, especially the thread for the current ornament swap. I’m thrilled to report that I received my ornament from my Swap Partner (or is it Secret Pal? I don’t really know, it just gets abbreviated as SP on the forum, and I think I’ve seen it both ways), who turned out to be the talented Mary Rose (smozerose on Ravelry). She gifted me with a super-awesome snowman called Electrified. He was knitted in “funky fun nylon yarn” that makes him look like he might have stuck his finger in the electric socket. The details in his eyes, nose, buttons, scarf, and hat really set him out. He’s going to look great on our tree, and he’s also lots of fun to just play with. I kinda feel like I won the IBK Ornament Swap this time around. Thanks again, Mary Rose!
Saturday morning, I mailed the ornament I knitted for my SP. No pictures or details yet, as it has not yet arrived at its destination. Well, I have been having fun posting a couple of teaser pictures in the IBK forum. Really, all I’ve revealed is that the ornament has a red loop. I completed all the finishing work for the ornament Tuesday evening, which may have ended up taking longer to do than the actual knitting. It’s a bit more difficult when you’re working small like that. In the end, I’m happy with how it turned, out, and I hope my SP enjoys it. I expect we’ll find out this week!
I still haven’t figured out how I want to use Ravelry’s queue and favorites features. Mostly, I think that pretty much everything I like is something that I hope to get to knit at some point, so I just end up adding it to my queue. I don’t use the favorites very much. I’m still playing with how to manage those lists. I queued a handful of projects this week:
- Fish Hat [Dead or Alive?] by Thelma Egberts: I’m heading off for my annual fishing trip with my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and uncle-in-law (is that a thing?) in a week, and wondered what kind of fish hats I could find out there to knit. This pattern looked particularly fun, and it was free (always a bonus). I don’t have time to knit it for this year’s trip, but maybe for next year.
- Fat Robin by Susan B. Anderson: I think I saw one of my Ravelry friends had either queued or finished this project. You know I love Susan’s designs, and this one looks super-cute! Look — the eggs tuck right up under the robin’s wings! My list of toys I want to knit is about 2 miles long at this point.
- Aurora by Rose Beck: Rose recently garnered 1,000 likes on FaceBook, and celebrated with a promo for a free pattern. Finding a shawl named “Aurora” in her collection particularly spoke to me, so that’s the pattern I chose. I hope it finds its way to my needles early next year.
- Simple newborn hat with a touch of lace by Ginny Sheller: I’m pretty sure I saw this pattern through my friends feed. It looked classy, easy, and quick. I’d like to knit this for my daughter, but I think I’ll have to size it up a bit. I’m sure I can figure it out.
All in all, a good week on Ravelry!
This Week On My Needles
There wasn’t a whole lot of action on my needles this week. I’m still working on my gift knitting that is hanging out on my DPNs, and that’s still fun. As I mentioned earlier, I did the finishing work for my IBK swap ornament. That’s pretty much it for what’s been happening on my needles this week.
Knitting And Comic Books
One of my non-knitting hobbies is reading and collecting comic books. I’m fortunate to live in a city with an outstanding comic book store (Acme Comics) full of knowledgable folks who really care about their customers This weekend, Acme celebrated its 30th anniversary by throwing a party and hosting a comic book convention: Comic Book City Con. I attended both days and had a great time.
I suppose you’re probably wondering what this has to do with knitting. I love it when my hobbies collide, and this weekend was the wonderful collision of knitting and comic book fandom.
As I’ve mentioned a couple of times on the blog, I knitted a dishcloth (I call it the Dapper Dishcloth) for one of my favorite comic creators: Janet K. Lee. Janet describes herself as “an artist, award-winning illustrator, and cat-tamer who may or may not have been raised by gypsies in the Black Forrest….” I was first introduced to her work a few years ago, when she appeared for a signing at Acme Comics, and I found out about her award-winning book, “Return of the Dapper Men.” I loved the story, but it was the art that really drew me in. Ever since, I’ve been a fan of Janet’s. I recently purchased the art for one of the original Dapper Men pages, and smile every time I look at it.
After getting Janet’s autograph on a small stack of books of hers that I had, I told her that I had a present for her. Her eyes seemed to light up (was that anticipation or fear?) as I reached down to my backpack and pulled out the dishcloth. I held my breath just a little for her reaction, and was thrilled when she said she liked it. I was even more thrilled (and a little relieved) when she immediately recognized the design as a bowler hat, and not a sailboat. She told me that I even got the color right. Janet even tweeted pictures of the dishcloth! First a close-up of the dishcloth that looks better than any of the pictures I took of it, then a picture of me holding the dishcloth. I totally feel twitter-famous now. The design is one I worked out myself, and I’ll eventually formalize it into a pattern in case anyone else wants to knit it. I think it would be great if there were a whole army of Dapper Dishcloths out there, scrubbing dishes clean. Janet, if you happen to read this, I know you said that you weren’t going to use it as a dishcloth, but really, it is a dishcloth. It’s OK to use it. I’ll make you a deal — if you use it up to the point where it is beyond recognition, just let me know, and I’ll knit you another one.
When I was planning this week’s blog entry, I was planning on writing about dishcloths in general, using the Dapper Dishcloth as a jumping-off point. That plan changed, however, when I met Jackie Lewis. Before the convention, I did not know anything about Jackie. I was drawn to her table when I saw the book Play Ball! prominently displayed. I love baseball. I have a daughter. What’s not to love about a book with a girl playing baseball on the cover‽ As I picked up and started thumbing through Play Ball!, I noticed a mini-book out of the corner of my eye. I looked like a skein of yarn, complete with a band! I was knocked momentarily speechless. The book is Skein: The Yarn Golem. Click on the pictures below to get a closer look at it.
The presentation of this book is awesome. First, you have to undo the band, which is held together in the back by velcro. Then you’re greeted with what appears to be a skein of yarn. According to the band, it’s bulky (5), 204 yards of 50/50 baby alpaca/wool, yellow, dye lot: 120547, and knits up well on size 13 needles. I LOVE the attention to detail that went into designing that band. This is exactly what I was talking about earlier, when I talked about how cool it is when my hobbies collide. Once you remove the band, you open the book and have a 16-page story about a girl who is terrified when her yarn comes to life, but soon realizes that her yarn golem is not something to be frightened by, but is in fact a very helpful friend. The book chronicles their relationship as it grows and… well, find a copy of the book and see for yourself how it ends.
So there you go. Knitting. Comic books. Two of my favorite hobbies smashed together. I really enjoyed being able to knit a gift for one of my favorite creators. I also enjoyed discovering an artist who combines knitting and comic books. I’m looking forward to diving into Play Ball! and learning more about Jackie’s other books.
My hat’s off to the entire staff at Acme Comics, and the army of support crew they enlisted to make the inaugural Comic Book City Con a success. From this fan’s perspective, the event went off without a hitch. I really enjoyed getting to talk with some of my favorite creators in the industry, as well as discover new talent to follow. I hope it was successful enough that it becomes an annual tradition!
Knitting and comic books. Two of my favorite hobbies, and it’s fun when they intersect. What hobbies do you have that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with knitting, but have ended up colliding with knitting in some fashion. Please leave a comment describing the collision and how it worked out — I hope your collisions produce happy stories, like the ones I’ve shared today.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!