Howdy, Knitters! Thank you for sticking with me through an unexpected hiatus. If this is your first visit to the Knitting Daddy blog, I’m glad you found it, I hope you enjoy it, and I invite you to come back. You might want to check out my knitting origin story to read about how and why I started knitting about 2 years ago (TL;DR: my daughter, who was born prematurely, inspired me) and you might enjoy looking through some of my previous posts. To my returning readers, thank you for coming back! The past several weeks have been really busy and I’ve got a lot of knitting-related things to write about. So let’s see where this blog takes us today!
As I’m writing this blog entry, I just returned home from seeing The Doubleclicks perform at Geeksboro, my favorite coffee shop. They put on a great show, and I promise there is knitting-related content associated with my attending their show. But first, let’s take a look at the other things that have been going on in my knitting world since I last updated the blog.
Recently In Podcasts
Oh my goodness, I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts since I last updated the blog. According to my notes, I’ve listened to about 25 episodes from over a dozen podcasts. I’m going to declare podcast review bankruptcy this time and forgo reviews of individual episodes. Instead, I’ll just point out that — as usual — I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve been listening to and recommend all of the podcasts I listen to regularly. This time around, my listening included 2 Knit Lit Chicks, Curious Handmade, Down Cellar Studio, Ewe University, Fiber Hooligan, Knit 1 Geek 2, Knitcircus, Knitmore Girls, Knitting Pipeline, KnottyGirls Knitcast, The Lost Geek, Twinset Designs, Yarn Thing with Marley Bird, and The Yarniacs. Wow, what a bunch of great knitting podcasts to keep my ears happy!
At The Fair
In my last post, I talked about my 2 projects that competed at the Central Carolina Fair: my Bunny & Lamb toy and my Pebble Beach Shawlette. I entered both of those projects in the Dixie Classic Fair, too, which is happening right now. Over the weekend, we made it out to the fair and got a chance to see how they fared in competition.
It was really cool to see both of my projects on display in glass display cases, surrounded by lots of other great projects. This fair was a big step up from Central Carolina Fair, and there were a lot more categories and entries in all of the categories. I could have spent hours wandering the exhibit hall looking at all of the entries, but with two-year-old Blueberry in tow, it was hard to hold her attention on the exhibits for too long. So I concentrated on looking at the textile arts.
I was excited to see that my Bunny & Lamb earned a 2nd place ribbon!
I knew it wasn’t going to get a blue ribbon, because one of my Instagram friends posted a picture of her blue-ribbon-winning knitted toy entry a few days before we made it out to the fair. It was also great to see the other entries in the category. Unlike the Central Carolina Fair, where I think my toy was the only knitted toy competing, there were several knitted toys at the Dixie Classic Fair. I enjoyed checking out what other folks were knitting and getting ideas for the kind of toy to knit for next year.
My Pebble Beach Shawlette did not get any ribbon at this fair, but it was still very cool to see it in the display case with the other shawls, capes, and ponchos.
The blue ribbon winner in this category was gorgeous and easily deserved the ribbon. They even displayed it on a mannequin outside of the display case so it was easier to look at all of the detail. The other ribbon winners were displayed in the case, folded up like mine, so it was more difficult to get a good idea of what they looked like. If I enter a shawl next year, I think one of the keys for earning a ribbon will be more interesting lace work, and graduating to a larger project than a shawlette.
All in all, it was definitely lots of fun entering the Dixie Classic Fair, and I’m looking forward to taking these projects (and 3 others) to the NC State Fair next week.
Recently On My Needles
My needles have been both busy and restless recently. Mostly, they’ve been poking around at some small and quick projects. Well, except for the pair of socks I’m furiously trying to finish before Tuesday, so I can enter them in the NC State Fair.
One of my favorite quick, fun knitting projects — and a great way to use small bits of sock yarn — is the Mini-Stocking ornament by Susan B. Anderson. It’s perfect in so many ways: it knits up quickly, it’s a great way to practice sock knitting techniques, it is perfect for using up little scraps of sock yarn, and it makes a great gift. I’m toying with an idea for a sock design in my head and used this pattern to experiment with a design element to see how it might come out. I’m happy with the results, and look forward to incorporating it in an adult sock sometime soon.
Another quick project that recently came on and off my needles is a hat for last month’s IBK charity. I used a simple hat pattern that I had previously knit, once again adding stripes. I like how it came out, except for the jogs around the end of rounds for the stripes. I’m going to have to do some research on how to do jogless knitting in the round. Still, the hat came out great and was fun to knit.
The “bigger” project currently on my needles is a pair of socks. I’m trying to finish them before Tuesday, so I’ll be able to enter them in the NC State Fair. I’m making good progress (on the heel turn for the 2nd sock now), so I think I’ll be able to make it. This is proving to be a very fun pattern to knit, even though the ribbing is slowing me down.
Net and Flix Meet The Doubleclicks at Geeksboro
Last year, I was introduced to The Doubleclicks when I attended the Comic Book City Convention. They are a sister duo currently based out of the West Coast and sing awesome, smart, funny, clever songs. They recently had a successful Kickstarter project that funded their latest album and other musical activities.
When they were planning their tour, The Doubleclicks had a form on their website for fans to suggest places for them to perform. As soon as I saw that, I suggested that they come back to Geeksboro in Greensboro, NC. While filling out the form, I promised that if they came to Geeksboro, I would knit them something.
Now, I’m not going to say that my promise of a hand-knitted gift is what made them decide to add Geeksboro to their tour schedule. But I did notice that Geeksboro was added just a few days after I filled out the form. You can draw your own conclusions….
Once The Doubleclicks confirmed Geeksboro, I got started thinking about what I could knit for them. I toyed with a Dimetrodon design of some sort, but couldn’t find a good pattern that I wanted to knit and wasn’t very successful with coming up with my own design. My friend Rachel suggested that I do something related to cats, and that sparked my idea to knit Net and Flix. They were inspired by one of my favorite Doubleclicks songs: “Cats and Netflix.”
The Susan B. Anderson Barn Cat pattern was perfect for this. They were cute cats, and knit up relatively quickly as knitting projects go. I really wanted to knit 2 cats so both Aubrey and Angela could have their own toy, and naming them Net and Flix just seemed natural. I found some great yarn at my local yarn store that created a tabby design, and allowed me to modify the pattern to omit the stripes. As is almost always the case when knitting toys, they really came alive when I added the embroidery for the face. I like to save that part for last for a couple of reasons: it’s kinda creepy looking at a cute face on a partially completed toy and it gives me a cool reward to look forward to at the end of the project.
I met Aubrey and Angela prior to the show and gave them the cats. They were gracious and appreciative. Then they totally owned the theater at Geeksboro with two tight sets, lots of humor, great audience interaction, and general fun. I really wish there was a good audio recording of the show — it would make a good live album. The sound was really great in the room, and the audience participation on the songs was perfect — loud enough to be heard, but not so loud as to be overwhelming. After the show, I snapped the photo of them with their cats that is featured at the top of this post. They even wanted a picture of me with the toys, which was extremely sweet of them. The whole evening was wonderful and entertaining. I’m already looking forward to them returning to Geeksboro next time they embark on an East Coast tour.
Thanks so much, Angela and Aubrey, for bringing your awesome entertainment to Geeksboro!
Are you inspired by entertainers or a fandom to knit certain things? Have you ever knitted something as a gift for an entertainer? Join the conversation and leave a comment about the things you knit for entertainers and/or fandoms.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!