Preparing for the Games, Knitting-wise.

In a little less than two weeks, the winter Olympics will begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea. As a super fan of figure skating, this is an exciting thing, and as a knitter, I need to make preparations for plenty of knitting while watching the skating.

Ravelry has been sponsoring what has now become known as the Ravellenic Games (aka knitting olympics but don’t say that too loud or the USOC will come to take all your money). I’ve participated in every one of them, and have the pins to show it:

I not only know my quad lutzes from triple axels, I also know that finding inspiration is important for a short-term deadline project like this.

This time, I had trouble at first finding the group on Ravelry – totally weird – but now I have (Ravellenic Winter Games 2018) and am making plans. At first I was going to add in a pair of socks for a friend, but I have a business trip ahead of the games, so I think they will be the portable project that I can take with me. They are mens’ big socks, so they should hold me for the days I’ll be away.

The yarn will be fun:

It’s called Whose Sock from Purl’s Yarn Emporium in Asheville NC. The color is creatively called “eighth.”

But that is a digression, since they will be started before the games begin. It got me to thinking about a sweater I had started back in July – a shawl-collared sweater from Knitty called Wisteria.  At the time, this seemed perfect – I love shawl collars on sweaters, and the pattern was free I bought a bunch of Miss Babs Yowza yarn in the Franklin color way, and began:

And then it was put away, because July in Fresno is not the time to knit a big woolly thing. Since then, I’ve seen comments that there might be fit issues with the sweater, and then I realized I was basically re-knitting a version of my Dark and Stormy (seen here with the Custom Fit gals at Rhinebeck):

which is in perfectly good shape, so maybe I don’t need another one.

There’s a book on my knitting shelf called Top-Down: Reimagining Set-In Sleeve Sweaters that I bought a while ago, and there’s a beautiful open cardigan called Copperplate – with a big traveling stitch pattern on the front bands, and lovely shaping. I checked yardage – yes, there’s enough! I checked gauge, and this is spooky – I have the exact gauge for the sweater!

The copying of the pattern is done. I have the directions for an even better way to do the top-down sleeves from Vera Sanon (check her stuff out – she’s great. She raises horses on a ranch and teaches in public school, so she’s not doing the expo circuit, but she’s every bit as good). The project is entered and tagged in Ravellenic games.

Now the waiting and anticipation begins!

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Knitworthy

With the major gift-knitting season behind me, I’m feeling the gratification of knitting for those in my life who are “knitworthy” – which for me means one is appreciative of hand-knitted things.

This year, there were several appreciative responses to my knitting. I made dishcloths for all of the staff, and one of them came into my office, and he said, “You made this, didn’t you?!” Why yes I did.

Others provide responses without words. My cousin Allison immediately put on the cowl that I had knit for her. Another friend wore the shawl I made her to her father’s memorial service.

Sometimes friends respond with their own handmade gifts – some brave ones will knit for me (I can be intimidating with that, I know), others give me homemade jellies and jam, and this Christmas, a colleague gave me her homemade cards with special photos from her trips around the world.

Other times, it’s a small note that makes your day. Another friend, Curtiss, always sends me a note after getting his hand-knit pair of socks, which have become an annual Christmas present for him. Emails, etc. work as well, and of course, the actual photos are really appreciated. My friend Nhien sent this:

Here’s another example. My friends Wil and Aimee loved the hats I made them:

 

The striped hat is a basic beanie with some ribbing and a pom-pom. The one on the right is Koolhaas by Jared Flood – knit in Shelter from his yarn line Brooklyn Tweed.

When I visited them, we had a great time and they took me to visit local sites, like this;

 

[After we saw this, we took a horribly described walk that should have been flat walking for a couple of reasons: for me, my leg was giving me issues some after spraining my ankle a few weeks before, for their dog ET, who is blind and has a bad hip. Let’s just say it was a tragically funny  kind of experience. We now have a code phrase “it’s an easy walk.”]

Wil admired my hand knit socks, so we chatted about how wonderful handmade socks are (because they are amazing!). Will has worn his hat pretty much about every day (I can’t believe I don’t have a photo of that!), but he had mentioned that socks sounded pretty interesting to him, I sent him a gift note, saying that I could make him either a hat or socks, depending on what he wants. Aimee says that he’s all excited about thinking about the options. I await his response!

In the meantime, Aimee sent along a photo of her wearing the fingerless mittens (the pattern is Dendritic, a free pattern on Knitty):

See, this is how you remain knitworthy – it is a positive reinforcement kind of thing.

So, what kinds of responses have you appreciated when you gave something you made?

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What I knit in 2017

Ok, I’m back to the blog. In truth, while my last post said I was on knitting rest, I actually did start knitting small things for Christmas presents. Like these:

The Holidays went well, and as the new year started I had a bit of vacation attending the US National Figure Skating Championships – and I had fun with friends joining me and meeting some other highly dedicated fans from years past and made friends with fans who came from Japan (!).  My seats were right near the NBC broadcast booth with Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski, and Johnny Weir among others. There was a fun exhibit with life-size standing posters of some of our highly talented skaters:

2017 in Review

Each year, I like to review my Ravelry notebook projects to figure out what I knit in the past year. Hint: this is easier to do when you tag each project with the year tag “2017”, and so on.

2016 was a relatively low yardage year: I knit 12,640 yards of yarn, and I’m happy to report this year that I’m closer to my average output at 15,020. Considering that I only knit one sweater with sleeves this year, that’s not bad. There weren’t many socks (only 3 pairs), partly because knitting for Afghans for Afghans is on hiatus, but overall gift knitting was high because of my knitting for Knitted Knockers, and dishcloths for friends and employees.

Socks –  3 pairs, two of which are shortie socks for bed for me, and a pair as a gift. I frankly wasn’t wearing them all that much in Fresno, so most of the sock knitting will be for others in the near future.

Shawls – 5, 2 for me, and 3 of them for others.

Hats – 8, a few as gifts for charity and a couple for friends

Knitted Knockers – 55! I have a bunch more that will be donated soon. Check out the Knitted Knockers website.

Dishcloths – 19, and my favorite one is probably the Eiffel Towel – which I gave away and now need to make one for me!

Sweaters – 2. Wow, only two this year, a shell using Colourmart yarn, and a cardigan that I really like!  I said last year I wanted to knit more sweaters, which I didn’t do, obviously, although I do have one on pause in the WIP bin.

Fingerless mittens – 2 pairs – one pair for my cousin and another pair for a gift

Miscellaneous – 1 scarf (to practice brioche knitting), a poncho from a knitting retreat project, and a prayer blanket for a sick family member.

There will be more to show shortly because there is a lovely thing I am making for a special family member, right now, I’m only doing to show a little bit:


 

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