Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Knitter of the World

Most knitters I know are pretty generous with their time and talents. They're willing to help with suggestions or opinions, to help others learn a new skill, and to just be there. I've made some wonderful friends through knitting, both near and far. And I love seeing all the creative ways that knitters get the craft out there. One of my favorite new knitting things is the Fruity Knitting Youtube podcast.

Fruity Knitting is Andrea and Andrew, a couple of ex-pat Australians living in Germany. Every few weeks, they post a video about knitting. It covers patterns, skills, projects they've made, their history with the craft, interviews, field trips, and more. One of my favorite segments is Extreme Knitting in which they and their daughter Madeline and their dog Jack head out into the world and knit on hikes and walks. Points for their extreme knitting at the end of Episode 1 in which they climb and knit on Snowdon in some rather nasty weather. Much of the podcast is done in a very conversational style. It's like sitting and knitting with friends.

Another segment they do is Knitters of the World (love the BBC-like graphic!) in which they shine the spotlight on knitters and some of the things they've made, with a focus on their knitting environment. Episodes have included knitters from Finland, Ireland and Germany. And now, Texas! Several weeks ago, Andrea contacted me and asked if I would send a submission. How could I say no? I agreed and then promptly fell off my bicycle. I had to postpone shooting for a few weeks while I healed, which they were quite gracious about. All I needed was a director / cinematographer / acting coach / lunch companion. Staci stepped right up. She knows a thing or two about knitting and video. Thanks so much, Staci!

We headed out into one of the muggiest days of the year to talk about knitting. It was quite fun, but because of the heat, much of the footage is indoors. Which actually represents knitting in summer for me. Kate even makes a cameo appearance! I sent all the clips to Andrea and Andrew, and they spliced it all together into a coherent whole along with some pictures of things I've made and some nice music. I'm amazed at how people can stitch what seems like a jumble into a coherent whole. Hmmm. Video editing is kind of like knitting, it seems. Thanks to Fruity Knitting for making me look so good!

I hope readers will take a look at this video podcast. It's great to just hang out and knit to. I learn so much from each episode. And, if you watch a few minutes past my segment, you'll note that Andrea mentions I'll be in Germany in a few weeks. It's true -- and not far from them. I do hope I can manage to meet them and thank them in person.

Here's the whole episode, Episode 7, below. (Or, if you prefer, you can jump to the part I'm in.)

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Shady Marmalade

It looks like I'm in a blankety mood these days. After the recent spate of baby blankets, I decided it was high time I made one for us, sans babyness. Ever since we got our orange couch last summer and had our walls painted gray, I've been knocking around the idea of knitting a cozy color-coordinated throw to drape across the back of a couch or chair -- and across our shoulders in the cooler months. Janelle, always looking out for me, sent me a batch of potential pattern candidates last year, all of which were very "me," and I chose one knit by yet another friend. This blanket is getting cozier by the minute!

I'm doing a variation of Staci's Log Cabin Scrap Blanket. I got the idea from Ravelry user bommeline's Blanket II (link requires Ravelry login). Rather than knitting a half-sized rectangle after the central square, I made another identically sized square, then two squares twice as long , then one three time longer. And, of course, unlike a traditional scrap log cabin motif, I used the same color. And they ain't scraps. They were bought for the express purpose of making this blanket. Because I'm using orange with two tones of gray, I've named this blanket Shady Marmalade.

Because I enjoyed using Knit Picks Swish DK so much on two of the baby blankets, I decided to stick with it for this project. I'm using 4mm(US6) needles and doing all the stitches in multiples of 10. Each section is 20 rows long. Each square is about 6.5" x 6.5" square. The little center sections are roughly 2" x 2". I'm planning on making this blanket 7 squares by 9 squares for a total of 63 in alternating shades of lighter (Dove Heather) and darker (Marble Heather) gray. The current plan is to use an applied i-cord to cover the edge. I just love the little pop of orange in the center squares. As I knit them, I alternate between seeing the smiling face of Ann B. Davis and the smirking face of Paul Lynde.