Howdy, knitters! It’s so nice to be writing another blog post. If you’re a returning reader of the Knitting Daddy blog, welcome back! If this is your first visit, I’m glade you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your stay. You might want to check out my knitting origin story to read about how and why I started knitting a few years ago (hint: it involves my daughter and the NICU). Please feel free to look through the older posts for things that might interest you, too. You can always get in touch with me via any of the contact methods listed at the bottom of the post, and I love to hear from you.
The main focus of this post is going to be the awesome Fish Hat I knitted a few weeks ago, but before jumping into that, let’s take a look at the other knitting things that have been going on in my life recently.
Recently In Podcasts
When I update the blog more frequently, I use this segment of the post to talk about all of the podcast episodes I’ve listened to. It’s been a few weeks, and I’ve listened to a pile of podcasts, so I’m not going to review them all. Looking at my notes, I’ve listened to episodes of almost every knitting podcast I subscribe to since I last updated the blog: 2 Knit Lit Chicks, Curious Handmade, Down Cellar Studio, Ewe University, Fiber Hooligan, knit.fm, Knitcircus, Knitting Pipeline, Knitmore Girls, KnottyGirls Knitcast, Never Not Knitting, and The Yarniacs.
I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve listened to, and recommend each of these podcasts. I do want to give a particular shout-out to a couple of the episodes that particularly stood out. One of my favorite podcasts is Ewe University, and in Episode 30 (Four Types Of Introverts), Dr. Kelly spent some time in the classroom talking about a subject that is absolutely fascinating to me: introversion. I love learning more about the characteristics of introverts, and how we fit into the world. Yes, I said “we,” because I am definitely an introvert. Dr. Kelly’s discussion highlighted a lot of information about introversion that I’ve never heard before, and I found it especially interesting. I’m saving this episode so I can go back and listen to it again from time to time.
Another of my favorite podcasts is knit.fm, and in Episode 11 (Stash Control), Hannah talks about how to effectively manage your yarn stash. Her husband, Abe, is a guest on the show, and they talk about stashes of other things besides yarn. Abe is also the developer behind the StashBot iOS app, which is a tool that can be used to help you effectively estimate the amount of yarn you need to purchase for different projects. It looks like a really cool app, and I’m looking forward to picking it up at some point and giving it a spin.
Recently On My Needles
The most exciting thing to come off my needles is the Fish Hat, which we’ll be looking at in more detail in the next segment.
One of my friends recently had a baby, so I knitted up a quick hat for him. I used my go-to pattern for baby hats: Baby Bear Hat. It’s simple, knits up quickly, and I think it’s very cute. The addition of little bear ears really give the simple design an extra detail that makes it stand out.
Besides the hats, I’ve spent most of my knitting time lately working on dishcloths. Last week was my annual fishing trip at the North Carolina coast, and as you might remember from last year’s trip, we forgot to bring a dishcloth and I ended up knitting the absolute worst dishcloth in the history of dishcloths so that we didn’t have to spend the week doing dishes with paper towels. After last year’s experience, I was determined that we would not forget to bring a dishcloth. I knitted up a few in the days before we left, and I took a few balls of cotton yarn and my US 5 needles on the trip. The knitting time I had during the trip was devoted to dishcloths. When it was all said and done, I ended up knitting 11 dishcloths. Some will end up being gifts, and some I’ll keep in our kitchen.
I love knitting these dishcloths. I use the Gramma’s Dishcloth (Grandmother’s 2nd Favorite) pattern, which makes me so happy. The modifications Pam made to the perennial knitted dishcloth pattern really make my engineering sensibilities feel good. The decreases are symmetrical and the corners are more gentle. If you’re knitting Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloths, I highly recommend that you check out this (free) pattern and incorporate the modifications into your knitting. Since I was knitting so many dishcloths all at once, I did some with the lace border and some with the solid border so that I could really compare the difference between the two. I think I like the lace border better. What do you think?
I also made some funky dishcloths in an effort to use up every bit of yarn I had. When I ran out, I just joined another color.
Finally, I started some simple holiday gift knitting with a favorite pattern: Mini-Stocking Ornament. This ornament knits up so quickly, and is a perfect use for leftover sock yarn. I’m going to try to knit a handful of these for small gifts throughout the holidays, so I went ahead and devoted a skein of sock yarn from my stash to them instead of looking to use leftover sock yarn. With essentially lunchtime knitting at work over a few days, I’ve already knocked out one ornament. I’m looking forward to getting a small pile of these completed.
The Fish Hat
One of my favorite knitting projects I’ve ever completed is the Fish Hat that I finished just in time for this year’s fishing trip. It’s a free pattern that was published in Knitty Winter 2008. It’s the perfect pattern for using up bits and pieces of leftover worsted weight wool, because the stripes in the hat can be as narrow or as wide as you want them to be. The pattern itself is fairly simple. And when you’re done with the hat, it’s just an awesome hat to have. It would make a great gift for anyone — young or old — who enjoys fishing.
I used the hat to learn a few new techniques. The first technique I learned was wrapping and turning with short rows. The short rows in this hat are used to define the awesome fish lips. I’ve done short rows on socks before, but have always just slipped the stitches, no wrapping and turning involved. I enjoyed learning how to do it, and think my wraps and turns came out OK.
The other technique I worked on was jogless stripes for my color changes. I’m less thrilled with how I executed these.
It’s OK, but I can do better. After being a little disappointed with how that turned out, I decided I’d rather practice jogless stripes on another, smaller, project and decided the rest of my color transitions would involve a fair isle transition. In the end, I think using fair isle was a better look for a fish, anyway, so I’m kinda glad I wasn’t happy with my jogless strips to begin with.
This hat was lot of fun to knit. I had a blast rocking it on the guy’s fishing trip last week. My DW thinks I should designate the hat as the “Hat Of Glory” and whoever is doing the best on the trip (biggest fish, most fish caught, whatever) gets the honor of wearing it. That’s fine with me, as long as I’m winning — I like this hat too much to share! But it might make for good Christmas gifts for my buddies….
Most of all, this hat has magical powers.
Let me explain. This is the fourth year we’ve gone on this fishing trip. My wife’s dad, grandfather, and uncle used to go to the NC coast every year — they went for decades, until her grandfather just wasn’t up for the trip any more. I never knew my wife’s grandfather, but I’ve heard many stories about their legendary fishing trips. How they’d come home with coolers full of fish. How they’d land great big fishes in the surf. Three years ago, my father-in-law decided that he wanted to revive the fishing trip, so he talked to my wife’s uncle, my wife’s brother, and me about going. We’ve gone every year since then — last week was our fourth annual trip. The first year, in an entire week of fishing, we caught 1 fish we could keep. Splitting a flounder 4 ways isn’t fun. The second year, we caught about 3 fish the entire week. Last year was a little better, with about 5 fish — but it included a good-sized drum that we didn’t mind splitting four ways. This year, we caught fish every day. We ate as much fish as we wanted every day. And we still brought 25 fish home with us.
What was different? This year, I was wearing my Fish Hat. It has magical powers.
You’ve probably knit something incredibly goofy and fun, haven’t you? Join the conversation and leave a comment about your goofiest knitting experience.
Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!