Sunday, February 28, 2010

Closing Ceremonies

Wow, that went by way too fast! I did intend to post more during the Olympics but... I didn't. Things got in the way, which also explains why I didn't achieve my Olympic knitting goal either. I had my final project for my class, which I probably put a bit more into than was necessary but it was successful all in all. The Boy moved into his new house (and expected me to help. the nerve.)(haha)... and I got caught up in it all. I didn't get much knitting done the whole first week of the olympics.

I did finish one pair, one and 3/4 socks.

Pair #1
Skew Socks
(also: no batteries for my camera so all photos are phone pictures... sorry)

Pattern: Skew from Knitty
Yarn: Jawoll Silk from Lang yarns
Mods: none. I love these socks. The whole time I was knitting the first one I kept trying to figure out how on earth the designer would even have thought of the process. The construction is so unique and, really, crazy. But good-crazy, you know? The socks fit great and the knitting wasn't difficult--just needed to pay attention now and then.

Skew Heel
(you would not believe the contortions necessary to take a picture of the back of one's own foot with a camera phone)

Pair #2

Pattern: None: Basic top down ribbed sock
Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock
There is only one completed... um... not sure what to say about that. I started this one so I could have something mindless to knit while watching exciting Olympic events so I didn't have to worry about missing something on my Skew Socks.

Pair #3
Gold medal socks
Yarn: Knit Picks sock blank dyed during opening ceremonies. The red is a much deeper red than shown in this picture.
Pattern: Basic toe-up foot, the heel from the Glacier Lake Toe Up Sock, and a alternating rib (8 rounds k2, p2 and 8 rounds p2, k2)

There is a lot of yarn in the sock blanks! I'm going to keep knitting these to see how tall the sock ends up. I probably could have gotten 2 whole pairs from one sock blank.

So, I didn't meet my Knitting Olympic goals, but I think that is how these Olympics were for many athletes from around the world. You train and prepare and visualize your goal and still you can have a crash or the next skier is just that much faster or you end up having no time to knit for 5 days straight. For example.

I don't usually think or write too much about what it means to be Canadian. I appreciate my country and feel proud of my heritage and our history. I feel possessive of Canadian achievements or famous Canadians, like most of my countrymen do.

I have had times in the past when I burst into tears at our national anthem: when I was living overseas, or when I had just come home from living overseas, but this Winter Olympics I have been so overcome by National Pride it has been almost embarrassing. I'm Canadian. We don't do that! But something about this Olympics has brought out a sense of pride in most Canadians I think and we are finally being vocal about it. We tend to be too concerned about being offensive or being too big-headed. We tend to not even think of it as "Patriotism" but really it is.

But at this time, I think we can stand proud of what Vancouver accomplished and what Canadian athletes accomplished. And it was capped off with a nail-biter of a win in the hockey game this afternoon. And, we, as a nation, jumped up and down and screamed (and took to the streets, and honked our horns, and waved our flags) and enjoyed National Pride.

And we can wave our flag and enjoy the moment.
(Yes I took a picture of my TV.)

On one last Patriotic note please enjoy this video. My sister in law sent me the link just as the game was about to start this afternoon. This is quite old but it amuses me everytime I watch it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Opening Ceremonies & Day 2

Before I get into the Opening Ceremonies I'll show you a pair of socks that inspired the challenge of the Knitting Olympic Challenge that I've set myself.

Pre-Olympic Socks

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX. I don't remember the colorway but the socks are the same colorway and I thought they were the same dyelot but the 2nd one is much more saturated than the first.
Pattern: 2x2 Garter Rib (rd 1: knit; rd 2: k2, p2)
Oops moment: I knit the leg a bit longer than I normally do for socks and ended up having to finish the toes for both socks with leftover sock yarn. It's not very noticeable and, frankly, I don't really care... haha

Pre-Olympic Socks 2

I cast on the first sock at least 4 months ago. I knit most of the leg and then the sock lived in my bag where it stayed unless I was waiting somewhere and bored. I finally finished the first sock at Christmas and then the second sock took until yesterday afternoon. Hence the challenge: Finish at least 3 pairs of socks during the Olympics.

So many choices
Note: this isn't the extent of the sock yarn in my stash. I may have a problem

Now to the Olympics:
As I mentioned I decided to go with the socks. I swatched for the sweater but realized I didn't have enough yarn, especially since I would want to add length in the body.

Olympic knitting sock #1

Just in time for the Olympics, Knitty published their Knitty Surprises, one of which was the Skew sock. I pulled a skein of Lang JaWoll Silk in Canadian-y colors from the stash and cast on. This sock is so interesting already. I can't wait to see how the heel is done...

During the Parade of Nations I dyed a Knit Picks sock blank to be knit later in the Olympics. At one point it looked like the set of Dexter.


The dye job didn't turn out exactly like I was picturing it but I wasn't really being as careful as i should have been.

Olympic Dyed Sock blank

Gotta go. Moguls are on. Knit on Knitters! Go Canada Go!

ETA: I think I figured out/remembered how to do the Ravelympics thing. Create your project and then tag it with the little "r" in the multi-colored circle. Then it will ask you what Ravelympics tags you want added. I think you have to sign up for the team you want to be in (For example, I'm on Team Canada) but I think that's all there is to it. We'll see when it's over.

Friday, February 12, 2010

8 hours and counting

It's almost here! I'm so excited. I have the CTV Olympic App on my phone and I've bookmarked the page on my work computer so I can follow events during the day... All that is left is to finalize my Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics project(s). It's not as exciting or suspenseful as the speculation over who will be the final torchbearer but I will keep it secret until tonight.

My goal is to post (fairly) regularly during the Olympics. We'll see how well that works, with helping the Boy move and all. If you are participating in either/both Olympic Knitting events let us know in the comments, I'd love to add you to my Google Reader feed so I can follow along with your progress too.

Let the Games (almost) Begin!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Better late than never?

So you know how sometimes you start on a pair of socks and then you finish the first one and then you set it aside and don't cast on for the second one for over a year? Yeah... me neither.


I finally finished my Spiral Boot Socks... Ravelry tells me I cast on for these September 2008... That is a looooong time ago.

They're not quite knee highs, but I wouldn't have had enough yarn to make knee highs anyway, so I'm happy with them the way they are. The 2 skeins were not quite the same shade which is odd but not unwearable.


Also odd but not unwearable is the fact that I followed the directions for the toe for the 2nd sock but apparently not for the first one. The first sock is a little bit shorter in the length of the foot than the 2nd.

I can't seem to get a decent picture of the actual color of the socks. It's a rich kettle dyed brown that I love.


Pattern: Spiral Boot Socks by Veronik Avery in Interweave Knits Summer 2007 (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Knit Picks Essentials Kettle Dyed in Oak
Mods: nothing intentional... One sock is shorter in the foot than the other. Oops.


So, this coming Friday there's a little sporting competition happening in my country. In Vancouver, BC to be exact. You may have heard something about it. They call it the Olympics.

I'm such a dork. I could not be more excited about the Olympics! I plan to be glued to my TV for as much of the coverage as I can. I love (watching) winter sports and to have this huge event so close to home is really exciting for me and the whole country.

I had planned to do the Ravelympics this year but I'm not sure if I have to sign up for an event in advance or... ? I signed up for team Canada but do I need to declare an event? I don't know why this is so confusing to me! Are any of you doing the Ravelympics? How about the Knitting Olympics over at the Yarn Harlot's site? I did that challenge in 2006 and really enjoyed it. Maybe I should just do that. Why am I rambling so?

So this brings me to my next question: What Should I Knit for Ravelympics and/or Knitting Olympics? My first instinct is to knit socks. I seem to have developed a hole in one sock of each pair of my knit socks (not all of them, just the older pairs). I don't understand why it's in the same place for each pair but for each pair it's only one sock. I don't always wear the same sock on the same foot. How can that be?

I think I've begun to ramble. Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics: So I have all this sock yarn and a need for socks. I have a tendency to put off finishing socks or use them just as "travel knitting" or "in my bag in case I have to wait" knitting. I need socks, I like socks and I want to have more socks. It would be a challenge for me to finish not one but several pairs of socks during the Olympics. They would be on the plain side but that suits me fine.

(It should be noted that The Boy is moving house right smack in the middle of the Olympics and, barring some sort of broken limb or severe illness I can't imagine how I can get out of helping that I won't be helping him for at least part of the time, which will limit my knitting time AND my watching the actual Olympics time. Sob.)

A second idea I've been knocking around is a sweater. A cardigan to be precise. I'm torn between a true challenge like knitting the Tangled Yoke Cardigan (IWK Fall 2007 Rav link) or a plain round yoke stashbuster cardigan with some sport weight mystery yarn and the odds and ends of sock yarn I have... But I kind of think that a whole sweater in small gauge would be setting myself up for a lot of crying. But then again, if it's the only thing I'm working on? who knows.

Rambling again. A more reasonable idea is the Snowdrift Cardigan by Michele Rose Orne (from Inspired to Knit--Rav Link) which is at a larger gauge and would be much more manageable. It too would be a stashbuster and I think I would get a lot of use out of it. And, who doesn't love those Cabled cuffs? Come ON!

So... If you've made it this far, thank you... and please speak up. Are you participating? In which challenge (or both)? In which event(s)? Any thoughts on what you think I should knit?