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!

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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!

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

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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!!!

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

Sites I Love!

Over the weekend I received a birth notice in the mail from an old family friend.  I knew I had to knit up a hat and send it out so I went to Ravelry and searched my hat patterns.  I am very particular about what I knit for who.  I don’t have a “go to” pattern for new babies.  I found a beautiful cap that was just right in Luxury Yarns One Skein Wonders.  Of course, I was opting for a slightly less luxurious yarn than the milk-silk it called for so I picked an a beige alpaca that is wonderfully soft.  Once I started I realized the yarn was just too lightweight for the cable pattern to be clearly shown off and as I scanned my stash I was becoming dismayed that I had nothing I liked for the hat.  Back to Ravelry I went and searched the projects that other people had already done and to my delight many had used Malabrigo Worsted which stirred my memory to a beautiful blue that was hidden behind some other yarn.  And, that’s how Ravelry saved my Saturday night knitting.  The hat looks wonderful in the Malabrigo and I can’t wait to finish it!

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Tonight my local library was holding a lecture on using Etsy.  In addition to keeping up with this blog I had also made the decision in January to start using Etsy.  I listed a few hats but really am still trying to learn all the ins and outs of the site.  I had a friend who owns MultipleXposure Photography take some pictures of a few hats I had ready and put them to see what would happen.  Many of my friends and family (ok, mainly my Mom) checked out my listings but otherwise I had little traffic.  I was so excited to go listen to someone talk give some pointers and I learned a lot that was helpful.  I also learned that the clothes I wore in high school are now considered “vintage” which was super depressing.  And, outside of the man sitting behind me who felt he needed 10 feet of leg room and no matter how many times I moved my chair continued kicking it, it was an enjoyable and informative evening.  I have a ton of ideas and will get to work as soon as I return from the upcoming (and fast approaching) holiday!

 

Countdown!

I just finished my last project before vacation!  It’s the Glacerie shawl by Hilary Smith Callis.  I used the Elesbeth Lavold Silky Wool which was just delightful to work with.  I discovered the pattern browsing the popular patterns on Ravelry and am now in love with many of Hilary’s patterns.

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Now the countdown on is until I leave for Italy and France on July 1st.  I hate to start a new project before leaving and I already have my travel project ready to go.  There is much work to do for the trip.  If anyone has favorite yarn stores in Paris and/or Rome leave me a comment.  I’ve learned from other trips over the pond that I mostly find the same yarns I can find here in the States but you never know what you may find and I’m willing to go searching!

An info what???

I knew when I started Knitting and Crochet Blog week that this day was going to kill me.  I’m not a visual learner (I always use the written directions with lace and not the graph).  I do enjoy infographics – pie charts, graphs, etc. are all very fun to look at, but to create???

All day I was keeping this topic in the back of my head trying to come up with something to put into a graph form.  I scanned other blogs taking part of blog week but then that graph stuck in my head so I had to stop so I could come up with something original.

Over lunch I e-mailed my friend about setting up a time to continue working on our summer trip.  We are taking a group of young adults on a pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi and Lourdes.  There is much to do.  That’s when it hit me.  This blog combines my love for travel with my love for knitting (and if anyone out there knows how I can combine those things and make money let me know!).  My infograph would involve the process of choosing the perfect travel project!

I came home and researched some free infograph sites.  I found this site http://infogr.am/beta/.  It has tons of cool things you can create and so I did, with my very limited knowledge.  I was pleased with my final project, while I could not quite perfect the pyramid shape, it still looked cool.

So, here it is!

<div style=”width:550px;border-top:1px solid #acacac;padding-top:3px;font-family:Arial;font-size:10px;text-align:center;”><a target=”_blank” href=”//infogr.am/The-Perfect-Travel-Project” style=”color:#acacac;text-decoration:none;”>The Perfect Travel Project</a> | <a style=”color:#acacac;text-decoration:none;” href=”//infogr.am” target=”_blank”>Infographics</a></div>

Ok, so the hidden part of this challenge is trying to figure out how to link and embed images and while I know my way around a computer I’m no genius.  I did the only thing I knew how to do, I took a picture of my screen.  So, here it is for real!!

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For the last five years my travel project of choice has been the Barn Raising Quilt (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/barn-raising-quilt).  Yes, five year if you are curious read my post “This yarn is like my student loans”  It meets every requirement I have – small, portable, easily picked up/put down/requires little yarn and no need to read a pattern.  One day I will finish it and then I will need my infograph to help me chose a new project.

A Mascot Project?

I use a question mark on purpose in the title.  I’m stumped to be honest.  I’ve committed to the House of Bee and so our topic today was to blog about a masoct project.  As with all the topics it is broad and open to interpretation.  I searched for other blogs involved in Blog week to see what they wrote.  I also searched Ravely for “bee” projects.  As usual I was stunned by the number of projects that came up when I entered “bee”.  It’s amazing what you find on Ravelry.

All this searching only serves as procrastination for me from actually writing the post.  I don’t think there is any one project that represents a bee.  By our very nature we flit from project to project.  I’ve never known one project to hold me attention for a long period of time, unless I’m up against a gift deadline.

My bee mind tends to chose smaller projects that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time, allowing for me to move on to new projects.  I also like projects that can easily be put down and picked up at a later (sometimes much later) date.  I looked at my project page on Ravelry and I have 61 projects.  Almost all the projects are hats, scarves, bags and other small projects.  I’ve done two tops.  I say tops because they are not sweaters, I can’t even commit to long sleeves so both are short sleeved.  I’m not crazy about either one of them so for now I’ve given up on sweaters and their ilk.

Unless I’m knitting for someone else I almost always chose bright colors.  My knitting group makes fun of me and can pick out “Jen” yarn.  My current project is the Glacerie shawl and is classic “Jen”.

 

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I love it – mostly because it’s full of happy colors.  Bees are easily distracted by shiny objects so I think the bright, fun colors attract my attention much like the beautiful flowers draw the bee in.  And so I guess that’s what my mascot project is – anything that knits up quickly and uses bright colors!