Ravellenics Endeth; March Madness Cometh (not what you think)

Wow, the Olympics is a total time-suck. I am so into the figure skating coverage that I managed to get up at 7 am to watch the live (online streaming) of the whole event, then race back home after work to catch the prime-time coverage.

Add in getting sick (being without a voice for six days – yikes!), a business trip, and that’s why it’s been radio silence here at Casa del Revknits.

But now that the Olympics is done, I can share my Ravellenic projects, which started with this pile of yarn:
and I ended up with these socks:
and these mittens:

Ravellenics Mittens for A4A

and an original cowl pattern both designed and knit (sorry, still a secret knit for an upcoming publication).  Not much other knitting happened.

And March Madness? I confess that my days of bing-watching sports is done for now. Instead, I’ve cooked up a short-term competition we’re holding over at the Afghans for Afghans Ravelry Board. During the month of March, we’re going to see how many hats, pairs of mittens and socks we can knit up in a month.

If you participate, you have a chance to win some lovely knitterly prizes that have been donated. Here’s one lovely skein of Cephalopod Bugga! yarn that I am donating to the cause:


Join us as we attempt to go over 100 items in total. I’m sure you can even do it while watching basketball.

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Gearing Up for the Ravellenic Games (aka the Knitting Olympics)

It’s the Winter Olympics again! And for this figure skating fan, the competition already started early this morning with the new team event. Ten countries have teams of one man, one woman lady, one dance team and one pair. Unfortunately for the USA team, halfway through the qualifying round, the USA is tied three-ways for 5th place. I hope our skaters will rally to qualify for the finals, and maybe win a bronze medal. Bring on the triple/triple jumps, the quads, the Beillmann spins, and Spandex and crystal-laden costumes. I love it all!

This also means that it is time for the ravelympics Ravellenic Games on Ravelry. I am team leader for Team Afghans for Afghans, and our mighty goal is to knit as many socks and mittens as we can for children (and their teachers) in Afghanistan, under the auspices of Afghans for Afghans. Check them out!

Along the way, I managed to turn a cold into a nasty throat infection, and lose my voice.  Now, I have managed to preach with a broken ankle, but no voice means no preaching and not much of anything else (that communication thing in ministry). Urgent care Doc was only helpful in ruling out strep (I have had strep, already knew this wasn’t it), so only after going to my ENT doc did I get a megadose of antibiotics which, 48 hours later, seems to be turning the tide. Day 6 of no voice, but hopefully I’ll get one soon.

With all this sickness, mindless knitting has been the order of the day. I knit some socks. First, a pair for me out of a really good deal at my LYS. The colorway is delightful. Project details here (rav link).IMG_1249

and I have enough leftover to make booties to wear inside as well:


At the same time, I decided to get warmed-up for my Ravellenic competition by knitting some very basic socks. I’m calling it “pre-stockpiling” or “last-minute training.” One pair (the ones on the left) are from when I was recovering from my fractured ankle, which just needed a small part of the leg done, the others from scratch.


I’ve also collected the stash yarns (scraps and others stuff) that I will use for the stockpiling projects. Some is bulky, other is worsted.



Tomorrow evening, I’ll cast on for something (either a mitten if I have the brain power, or a another sock if I don’t). Should you wish to join in the revelry of the Ravellenic Games, come on by and join our team!

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more knitting than I’m used to seeing

On Monday, I went to “the basement” to help pack for Afghans for Afghans. It was quite an experience. First, imagine cartloads of boxes coming in with packages of knitting. Those have to be cut open, and a first-level sort completed (hats, mittens, socks, sweaters, etc, into different boxes). Annette is an old hand at this:

Ann unpacks socks

Then, after the first level sort, each group is reviewed by a knitter or crocheter who can look at the garment in more detail to figure out if it will work (most do, and the percentage is up for every campaign). This beautiful vest was a clear winner to Else:

We had someone visiting the Bay Area from the East Coast who took some time out of her trip to help us – a big hand for Edie! As a bonus, she got to try on the vest that most of us were drooling over and probably would have left with had not the other volunteers been present.


I got to have my photo taken with my sweater:

Renee with Sweater.jpg

After the 2nd sort, that box of items is labeled so we don’t go through this stuff a 3rd time:

Sorted mittens.jpg

And then comes the packing. In full disclosure, I want to let you know that I managed to do a good job on sorting, but I was a lousy packer – partly, it was that we had a few too many of the sweaters done in the extra bulky yarn, but I quickly diverted myself back to sorting, and taking photos. These two gals were loading mittens into one of the cartons:

How many Mittens?.jpg

and they did a lot better than I did.

Stuffing the box.jpg

And the enormity of the items hit me later. All the knitting, crocheting, time mailing beautiful, stunning and warm garments — and those who have been doing this for 8 years — like wow!

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Ok, let’s get focused

The Ravelympics is fun, but I think I probably am stretching my limits given time constraints. The stranded sweater is not getting all the attention that I wish for it. I finished the lower body, but I’m still on the sleeves:

A4A Ravelympics Sweater1f.JPG

Part of the delay on the sleeves was working out the detail for the cuffs. I finally came up with this, after an emergency run to the yarn store for the heathered gold:

A4A Ravelympics Sweater1g.JPG

This is what you get when you don’t plan out the sweater or follow a pattern.

But the other issue is that I started to ply the Falkland fiber – and once I started, I wanted to finish the plying ball; more accurately, I needed to get it all done before Sunday, when I’m taking an intermediate spindling class. The class is with WonderMike (the guy who does the great Fiber Beat podcast), and I own only one spindle. People assure me that the one spindle thing will not last long, now I see why, it’s like owning only one pair of knitting needles.

Back to the fiber: I am really happy with the beautiful colors. This is what it looks like pre-setting the twist. Lovely, isn’t it?


This is about 2 oz of the 4 oz that I have spun, so I’m quite glad that there will be enough lace yarn for a real project. As I plied, I saw all kinds of funkiness in it, and I’m just letting it go, because I’m learning, and whatever I make out of it will be lovely because of the color and softness.

This has meant that the stranded vest with the steeks has gotten very little love. I’m hoping it gets done (because it is supposed to go to Afghanistan), but we’ll see. Next week I have a bunch of meetings, and Stitches West. Yeah, looking tough, isn’t it? Oh well!

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Ravelympics Update

I cast on, and I am plowing through the stockinette. Isadora apparently approves:

A4A Ravelympics Sweater1e.JPG

My idea is to do a colored stranded set of patterns for the yoke, like this, this and this. We shall see what I come up with. I might need to pull out the food dyes if I don’t have a color I need. This new idea (cooking up a color) is so fun!

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I finished spinning my singles of the Falkland, so I decided to do a test ply of a two-ply (I’d love to do a lace shawl with this yarn). Here’s what I get with a size 3 (3.25 mm) needle:


and it feels good too! So, in spite of the Ravelympics starting, I want to make a plying ball a la Abby Franquemot so I can take my spinning around with me. A bit insane, yes? I thought so.

And the stranded sweater for Ravelympics has begun:

A4A Ravelympics Sweater1a

All these distractions were making me a bit anxious, so I was glad that this poster came this week:

Keep Calm Poster

You can get one of your very own here. I recommend it!

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Ravelympics for Good

I’m getting ready for the Ravelympics.

I have the yarn.
A4A Ravelympics Sweater1b.JPG

I have a swatch.
A4A Ravelympics Sweater1a.JPG

I have a pattern. (Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Percentage System yoke sweater, Knitting Workshop)
A4A Ravelympics Sweater1c.JPG

I have a WIP.
I have a cause too –
Afghans for Afghans! Conveniently, there is a youth campaign for 7-14 year olds with a March 1 arrival deadline.

Won’t you join me? You could knit a pair of worsted-weight socks, some mittens for a child, or a vest if you have more knitting mojo. If you are attending Stitches West, you can even drop by your FO to the Abby’s Yarns and save on postage. If you need a free pattern to help you, check out the pattern pages at the Fans of Afghans for Afghans Ravelry group here.

To sign up via Ravelry, you add a project to your notebook by the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies on February 12th, tagging your project as follows:

1. eventcharity
2. teamfansofa4a (corrected tag, sorry, I was misinformed!)
3. Ravelympics2010
4. If you like, add in a Ravelympics event tag (like mIttens moguls). You can find a list of them and the appropriate tags here.

Otherwise, you can be a stealth Ravelympics knitter, and nobody will tell, certainly not me!

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