December 31, 2011

Flying Pigs, Too Many Mitts and Other Adventures in Obsessive Knitting

46 pairs of fingerless gloves in two years. Well, that was a stupid idea.

It all started with this nifty pattern. Actually, it goes back a little farther, when my knitting-fingerless-gloves obsession was in full swing and I joined this little website called Ravelry. First launched in 2007, the site has become a major online hub for knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists of all skill levels.

A typical Ravelry page.
So what does this have to do with me swimming in a surplus of half-mitts? Blame it on a weird hybrid of ambitiousness, peer pressure, and maybe even a streak of hypomania or two.

See, like any other sizable online community, Ravelry has a metric ton of user groups. As luck would have it, I found a group that was devoted entirely to fingerless gloves. (Good people, all of 'em.) It was December 2010, and for the coming New Year people were aiming to knit 11 pairs for 2011. I threw my name into the hat, and just two months later-- well, you get the picture.

11 in 2011 Rampage, The Pretty Pictures Version
Okay, basically I had completed my 11 pairs by February. By New Year's Eve I had 35. Thirty-five. A good number of them still have yet to have any takers. In hindsight, I may have massively underestimated the whole "tropical climate" thing.

So I had to hit the brakes on glove-knitting for the time being. But no way am I taking a break from knitting period. So I asked myself, "What can I knit all year round, regardless of climate, that I can still derive twee amusement from?"

Enter two square meters of fiberfill.

That's a lot of plush.
Here we have but a snapshot of some of the Ravelry toy patterns I'd been meaning to try, not necessarily right away. To make things more interesting, I decided to give myself the self-imposed goal of knitting 12 toys in 2012. Because I'm a stickler for continuity that way.

Of course, since I rarely ever knit anything bigger than a hat, it's not like I'm aiming for the moon or anything. (Plus I generally work better with double-points than with circular needles, which hate me for some reason.)

My first few toy projects from this new phase
Since December is also "Spend The Holidays With The Relatives" Season, I have inadvertently discovered that handknit dolls are a fast and dirty way to distract young nieces and nephews while also eliciting the oohs and ahhs of older aunts and uncles. Already I have given two away and volunteered to knit two particularly outlandish family requests, namely something in bright colors and a flying pig.

Yes, the flying pig is real. (In knitted form, anyway.)
Hopefully toys will be a bit easier to give away to random people. Which reminds me: Anybody know an upcoming anime/steampunk convention where I can give away 46 pairs of fingerless gloves?

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