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Want to know how to make Ravelympics more interesting?

Realize at 2pm PST on August 23rd that the Olympics end around 6am PST on August 24th and NOT August 27th like you had been assuming all along.

Sigh.

There was the slight problem of the Sockotta bus sock 3.2 getting frogged partway through the competition but overall goals were met.

First onto the podium…The Jayne Hat Tea Cozy.

That green teapot is a 2 cup size, I decided against felting the cozy more so I still have some stitch definition but the hat has tightened up enough to actually keep the teapot warm.

Next up to the podium is the Sakura shawl.

I know it doesn’t look like much but the red area marks what was knit during Ravelympics. I started partway through repeat 11 and the goal was to complete repeat 16. By the time I stopped knitting on Saturday night I had finished repeat 17 (I had miscounted and thought I was still on 16). Pre-blocked the shawl is over 60″ wide at the top so I think I will be finishing up the current skein and won’t bother with the last one. I still have enough yarn for at least 1-2 repeats and I think that will make it plenty big enough once blocked.

Last but not least…

Stacy is seamed!!!

There still needs to some work done on her, the sleeves are about 2-3″ too long and while I’m not thrilled with where the armholes sit I won’t be frogging back to fix it. If I was a more experienced sweater knitter I would have noticed the problems while I was knitting the pieces, the armholes are a little too low on my torso to be 100% comfortable. It’s more my body shape than the pattern and next time I will know better.

However she is seamed! I wore it for about 30 seconds yesterday so a friend could take a quick picture, wearing an alpaca sweater in August is not comfortable even if you live in Seattle. Once the sleeves are fixed and the weather cools I will take a better picture.

In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have spent 3 whole days of Ravelympics working on my cross-stitch project and when you tack on 2 full Sundays of dyeing roving I really only had about 12 days of actual knitting. I didn’t knit nearly as much as other folks but I still feel like I got quite a lot done.

I was really proud of seaming Stacy. I’ve never seamed a sweater before so I printed up some great tutorials from the Lana Grossa website and cleared my dining table so I could work. I was worried about how the sleeve caps would seam up but it all worked out just fine. I’m considering adding a row of single crochet to the cuffs once I frog them back as well, I really like how it finished the neckline so I’m tempted to give the sleeves a more finished look.

All in all I’m happy with what I finished, I know I could have done more but I liked having a goal that didn’t put too much pressure on me. However completing Ravelympics right after Tour de Fleece has definitely made for an interesting 2 months. I think the next goal is to not have a goal ๐Ÿ™‚

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I had grand plans on documenting every day of Ravelympics. Then reality kicked in and the day job made it all but impossible to focus on knitting and dyeing. I swear I’ve been knitting although it hasn’t been everyday.

The Jayne Hat Tea Cozy is finished and has been used to great success. I ran a little experiment with the cozy to see if it required another round of felting to acheive optimum heat-retention. I filled my teapot with boiling water, inserted my thermometer into the spout and set a timer for every 10 minutes. I would check the temp every 10 minutes for half an hour and marked it down. Then I waited for the pot to cool down and repeated the process only this time I used the cozy. Over a 30 minute period my tea was over 20F hotter with the cozy than without. Success!

There has been Sakura Shawl progress but quite honestly it looks exactly the same only slightly larger. I am however partway through repeat 15 and the Ravelympics goal was to finish repeat 16. Totally within reach! However the growing shawl has fallen prey to the inevitable….it is now too big to fit in my purse so it is no longer bus knitting. Granted at the size it was I was only able to knit 2 rows on the ride into work in the morning so progress wasn’t that fast anyway. The shawl is now relegated to home/weekend knitting. Part of me is tempted to knock out that last 1.5 repeats tonight to get that project off my list. Yet something else caught my attention.

Yarntini Semi-Solid sock in Gin.

I did a little retail therapy last week because of work and quite honestly I’m pretty sure retail therapy is healthier for me in the long run than binge drinking (which was tempting btw). So when Sobe told me that Sonny & Shear got a new shipment of Yarntini I clicked right over to check it out. Yarn with Booze names!!! How could I resist?

Gin and Lemon Drop arrived at my office yesterday and I’m not ashamed to admit that I pulled out the skeins several times yesterday to sniff and pet them. It was that kind of work day and I needed the love. I knew that once I got home one of them was getting wound up and cast on, it needed to happen damn it!

It might not look like much but damn it is nice yarn. I picked a simple pattern (Nutkin) that is ridiculously easy to remember and cast on. I’m pretty certain I’m working on 00 needles to get gauge but I’m not 100% certain what size the hot pink Susan Bates sock needles are.

There has been one project that won’t get to compete in Ravelympics (can a WIP fail a drug test?). My Sockotta socks that have languished for the last month at the heel turn have been disqualified. Once I really looked at why they had failed to become socks by now I realized it was because I just didn’t care for the yarn. I’ve worked with it before and didn’t hate it but this time around the colors failed to inspire me like the last pair (incidentally those were a pair I knit as a gift). I tried telling myself all I had to do was finish that one sock but then I realized I was trying to force myself to finish sock #1 of a pair. There is no way sock #2 would ever be cast on. So that Sockotta yarn will be frogged and offered up as part of my destash in the near future.

As for Stacy…she is still in pieces. I need a solid chunk of time to sit down and seam her up but I spent all of this past Sunday dyeing roving….11lbs of roving. By the time I got done I was exhausted and I still had to steam all of it. The little heatwave we had this weekend did not make this a pleasant experience.

This past week I was also reminded about why it’s a good thing I knit. I get to spend all of the 26th in a car with my boss and 2 others from work as we head up to BC for an afternoon meeting with a new client. Yes I get to spend about 6+ hours round-trip in the car with nothing to do except knit. It is probably the only time I can officially be on the clock and knit at work ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s face it, if you were in my position would you rather talk to your boss for 6 hours in the car or focus on your knitting?

I thought so.

I’ve been mentioning a new wholesale customer over the last few months but until now I haven’t mentioned who it is. That’s all going to change now.

Want to see what I did once I was back from vacation?

It’s doesn’t look like 3 weeks of almost non-stop work but believe me the labor that goes into those 50 skeins is way more than you would think.

Yup. 50 skeins of Ramen Yarn. My very first delivery to…

Wait for it…

Little Knits!!!

I’m so excited to be in Sue’s shop, I’ve been a fan of Little Knits ever since I discovered them about 2 years ago. In fact Little Knits is where I bought my first ‘real’ sock yarn (Fleece Artist Merino). The socks I knit from that yarn are still one of my favorite pairs.

Many thanks to Pam who volunteered to be a test knitter for one of the first skeins of Ramen. It was her sock in progress that caught Sue’s attention when we stopped by the store when we got back into town after Seasocks.

Those 50 skeins of Ramen are hopefully just the first time I will be delivering yarn to Little Knits.

Let’s start off with this piece of advice.

Waking up at 4.45am on a workday so you can cast on a new project at exactly 5.08am is not something I recommend doing very often. In fact I’d say once every 4 years is about right.

It was easy casting on for the Jayne Hat tea cozy since it was size 13 needles and bulky yarn (yay Webs!), I even got the ribbing and several rounds of stockingnette completed before I decided to stop and actually watch the opening ceremonies more closely. I think I fell asleep on the couch around 6am (I remember seeing the Guinea-Bissau team walking into the stadium) with Nicki curled up on my chest.

Then 8am rolled around and I was still sleeping on the couch. All I can say is it’s a good thing I took a shower when I first woke up otherwise I would never have made it into work in time for my 9am meeting.

Look what I did! That is all the knitting I did before I made it into work today. Nicki was nice enough to hold the hat down so you can see all the details. I missed the picture right after this when he sprawled on it so all you could see was a tuft of bright orange under his butt. Do you like my snazzy row marker? A metallic lime green paperclip works just fine in a pinch.

The big needles and bulky yarn made knitting 4inches of the hat a breeze. The downside to knitting that quickly? I only brought the orange yarn to work with me today and unless I want to knit a water pitcher cozy I was at the point where I needed to switch to the yellow.ย 

Once home I figured I needed to carb up and snuck a piece of asian swiss roll cake before tackling the yellow section of the hat. That’s when I noticed the original pattern called for size 10 needles and not 13. Why I was convinced I needed 13’s is beyond me, in hindsight the looser gauge is probably better for felting anyway. I happily knit away on the yellow and dealt with the dreaded hat decreases. The problem is I only have size 13 needles in my Denise kit so I had to attempt to magic loop the decreases with fat needles and that annoying thick Denise cord. ย Then came the earflaps, I had no clue how big to make these and just guessed at a size. It looks proportional in the un-felted piece but who knows what will happen post-felting.

The whole thing was cast off just before 8pm on 8/8/08. How spooky.

Now I just need to do a load of laundry tomorrow so I can felt it and cross one item off my list. It’s only 9pm and I’m eyeing the Sakura shawl now. I should take it easy and relax but I think the shawl might distract me from the ridiculously loud music my upstairs neighbors are playing. I swear they put the entire lineup of Lilith Fair on random and cranked the volume up to maximum. Don’t get me wrong, I like that music just fine, heck it takes me back to when I actually went to Lilith Fair but why are a couple of 20-something guys playing it at full blast on a Friday night?

I woke up, I cast on, I knit.

Then I went back to sleep.

My apartment is clean!(er)

I decided the other week that the only way I might get motivated enough to actually clean up all my crap is if I had visitors. With that in mind I invited an old friend G (length of time we’ve known each other…not age!) over for dinner. It gave me an excuse to make a fancy dinner but also a reason to clean.

I hate cleaning. It makes you hot and sticky and tired. Plus no matter how much I do it never gets spotless. However if you saw my apartment today versus last Monday it is light years better. The bathroom was scrubbed, the kitchen was organized, the floors were swept and mopped. Recycling was taken out and I even managed to remember it was recycling and put it in the right dumpster this time.

Then there was dinner. I forgot to take pictures but it was tasty. Roast lamb marinated in garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon and olive oil. Baby red potatoes and braised greens. Yum….Then for dessert I made some mini red plum and frangipane tarts. It felt really good to cook a ‘real’ meal again. The bottle of Beaujolais didn’t hurt either ๐Ÿ™‚

G did mention something over dessert that I found kind of interesting. She pointed out that she has yet to find a hobby/craft that she feels passionate about the way I do about knitting and spinning. I had never really thought of my crafting interests as being anything but normal so it was interesting to see it from an outsider’s perspective. I don’t just knit; I also crochet, spin, dye and just this weekend I revisited another old hobby.

Cross-stitch!

G’s comment made me wonder if maybe it was a bad thing that I dabbled in so many crafts. Granted she said it in a positive way but it still made me think. Is it bad that I have so many crafting hobbies or does it mean I’m not limiting myself with only one creative outlet?

In other news…

Nicki is quite pleased with his new perch on the hallway bookcase. I’ve already noticed little paw prints all over the top. Sigh.

Flickr Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

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