Closing Ceremony

This afternoon was the closing ceremony party for the knitting Olympics organized by my one of my fellow local knitters.  I’ve referenced this event in my prior post.  There were so many wonderful projects submitted and the competition was fierce.  It was broken up into two categories – short track and long track.  My socks were in the short track category.  The table was filled with beautiful knitting after everyone arrived.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Just shows how creative and unique each knitter is!!  The three judges arrived and had a tough task ahead of them.  While they examined all the entries we munched on cake, cookies and candy.  I contributed this fun giant cookie!

Image

After some long deliberations the judges were ready with their decision!  I was thrilled to receive the silver medal in short track.  Thus, making me a two time medalist!!  The organizer’s son makes amazing origami medals and I will be hanging this one with my last medal in my yarn room.

Image

Here are some close ups of some of the projects.

Image

This was the gold medal winner in short track and it had a matching hat!

Image

Image

This is folded up but was the winner of the long track. It is the maple leaf shawl which can be found on Ravelry. It was amazing!!!

Image

Bronze medal winner in long track. Love the detail on the sleeve and throughout. This was actually a mossy green color so color in picture is a bit off.

ImageImageImageImageImage

 

So much fun!!  I’ve now spent most of the evening trying to figure out what to take with me on my upcoming vacation.  It’s always so hard to chose a vacation project.  I decided to use some Noro a bunch of bought awhile back when it ended up in the sale bin.  Trying Echo Beach by Kieran Foley.  The Noro is nice and light and since I’m headed to the beach it seemed like a good pick!!

 

Knitting and the Olympics (or Two of My Favorite Things)

I first discovered the Olympic related events on Ravelry back in 2010.  I had no idea there was a whole competition (friendly) in which all these knitters chose projects and worked on them while watching the Olympics.  I was very excited.  Back in those days it was called the RavOlympics and I entered the WIP category.  I had started my first pair of socks in 2006 after a friend bought me a two at a time sock book.  Turns out I’m not a two at a time circular needle sock knitting kind of girl.  It made me want to tear my hair out so they sat and sat.  This was the perfect motivation to finish them.  It took me all the way through the OT in the US/Canada gold medal hockey game but I got them done.  And, I do love them!

Image

 

When the 2012 summer games rolled around I was signed and up and ready to go.  And then the USOC caused all sorts of trouble for us knitters by issuing the famous cease and desist letter.  Apparently RavOlympics was tarnishing the Olympic brand….  We knitters don’t quit and the event was renamed the Ravellenic Games. My excitement was doubled when one of the knitters from my LYS invited us to join her Olympic knitting group.  She has judges and everything and it’s super fun!  I made this beautiful shawl with some random alpaca and I love it!

Image

I even won a silver medal!  (It hangs proudly in my yarn room)

Image

 

So, here we are in 2014 and who knew how much controversy there would be surrounding both the real Olympics and the beloved Ravellenic Games.  I had joined the group and picked out my project.  For my birthday last year my Mom bought me this awesome self patterning stars and stripes yarn from Artistic Yarn by Abi and I knew it was the perfect project to make a pair of USA socks!    And then one afternoon I’m reading Twitter only to find out there is something going on with Ravellenic Games group.  I quickly popped over to Ravelry only to find the group gone from my list of groups.  I quickly found the “new” group and joined it.  While it was hard to tell exactly what happened it appears that the tensions associated with the Games being held in Russia had spilled over.  I applaud the former moderators of the group for all their hard work in the past and their attempts to deal with the issues this year.  I am thankful that new moderators were found to continue the games.  I appreciate their focus was solely on knitting and not the greater issues at hand.  We all know there are greater issues involved but I do not think protesting through a knitting event is going to help resolve anything.  And, I love all the rainbow projects I’ve seen at the Finish Lines!!!

Now, as to my project – the USA socks.  I started late into the Opening Ceremonies due to an unavoidable schedule conflict.  And I’ve been knitting and knitting to finish them and finally finished last night!!  However, it was not without injury.  I had to play through the pain and persevere.  There are more medals at stake in my local Olympic knitting group!!  I had been experiencing some hip pain recently and it turns out I have a hip pointer caused by too much knitting (or at least that’s my story…).  It’s actually caused by sitting cross legged which is how I knit and with the all the recent knitting it had flared up.  I applied some heat and carried on.  So, here’s the finished project!!!

Image

Go USA!!  We’ve got a couple of big days ahead and I’m happy to be cheering while sporting these socks!!

The Olympics are here!

I love the Olympics and I’ve loved them since I was a small child.  I clearly remember begging my parents to subscribe to NBC’s Triple Case (pre-cable year) for the 1984 LA Summer games.  As soon as it was announced the games would be in Atlanta I started saving all my change so I could go.  I did and it was awesome!  I also went to Salt Lake.  I watch as much coverage as I can during the games and I like to watch the lesser known sports (at least those that less popular here in the States).  And, the Opening Ceremonies are the best way to kick it all off.  With this being the Winter games there was plenty of knitwear on display last night.  Besides the US sweaters there were some other great pieces.  Here are some of my favorites!

Canada’s mittens – Canada almost always comes up with a very memorable accessory.  Love these!

And who could not love Greece’s gloves!!!

Slovakia’s hats and scarves had a great design!

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

I wish I could’ve found better pictures of the mittens, hats and scarves worn by the Latvian team but these were really great!

John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

Several countries had hats and/or scarves with the country name knit into it and those were fun as well.  There is a ton of backlash (again) for the US outfits.  At least they were made in the USA this year with yarn that is produced in the USA which has been a big story in the knitting world.

Now, it’s time to get back to turning this:

Image

 

into a pair of socks before closing ceremonies!  More on my Ravellenic games project later!

 

Happy New Year!

Image

Source: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/nsviewcard/MjAxMi01MTRlODQxNGM0M2E3YTIx

I ran across this morning while perusing Pinterest for inspiration for new hats and it fit perfectly with today’s post!  (Follow me on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/jenknitaround/)

I have been thinking about what I want to knit in this coming year. In addition to the usual knitting resolutions (finish WIPs, knit from stash, and the above write down where I left off)  I’ve come up with a short list (although, probably still too long to be reasonable).  I will check up on this list at the end of the year and see how much I actually got done!

1. Yarn bombing: I love the whole idea, concept, process of yarn bombing.  I went to Pittsburgh last year to check out Knit the Bridge.  I’m going to start local, very local as in my home.  The ladies I knit with and I have been talking about this for awhile but this is the year, at least for me.  I have an old wrought iron gate on my front porch which had not been well cared for.  Every spring I attempt to do something to make it look somewhat better.  And then it hit me, yarn bomb it!  I’ve got a ton of scraps and just need to knit some tubes and tie them on.  I can’t wait to get started.  I’d also like to take the idea of yarn bombing into the community.  I have a few ideas and just need to get some time and look into how feasible they may be.  Hoping for the best!

2. More hats: I would like to add more hats to my inventory.  This year I would like to focus on holidays and special events.  This morning I was searching for some inspiration for a Valentine’s hat.  The hardest thing about Valentine’s is finding something somewhat unisex but hopefully I’ve come up with something that will work.  I might also take a stab at an Olympic inspired hat as I love the Olympics and I love to knit and what baby doesn’t need one??

3. Puzzle pieces: Last year I saw a link about a pattern for a puzzle piece blanket.  The designed was donating some of the proceeds from sales of the pattern to Autism Speaks.  Like everyone, I know several friends who have children on the spectrum and I love to help the cause whenever I can.  I bought the pattern (which you can find here) but have done nothing since.  I have a few ideas and will need to figure out which is best.  Stay tuned!

4. Blogging: While not directly related to actual knitting I would like to continue to improve and use this blog.  I like many posts where people share what they are working on today so I am going to try to incorporate that on a regular basis (not sure about once a week, twice a month or the exact frequency) but it seems like a fun way to share current projects, yarns, etc.

Now, I guess I better get started because time’s a wasting!  Happy knitting to all this year!