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Knitting Olympics – GOLD! March 1, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in fo, knitting, knitting olympics.
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How cool is the Knitting Olympics, seriously. I just loved reading the Yarn Harlot’s post today, The Podium. Towards the end of her post she writes, and this is where I fit in, “[…] those of you who finished very quickly…let this be a lesson to you. You are more remarkable than you think you are. Aim high.”

I technically finished my mittens during the mens gold medal hockey game where Sweden took Finland in a tight match, good game. However, I managed to whip through the first mitten and then took a long break, much longer than should have allowed someone doing such a challenge to finish.

Still, I learned so much – followed a pattern again (second time doing that, after the Irish Hiking Scarf) and knit a project on DPNs for the first time. I learned how to increase, and I decreased, and I picked up stitches. I have a few scarves currently on the go that I have to whip through now before I can make something new and even more exciting.

I’m amazed at the kinds of projects I’ve seen and how quickly they’ve been completed and still so well as a part of this challenge. As I said above, how cool.

Also very cool, our athletes in Italy – what an impressive haul, with the only real disappointment being our men’s hockey team. Am I a complete dork for finding the Nelson Mandela commercial where he talks about the athletes living together for seventeen days and spending only a few moments as adversaries – what a world that would be – really touching? Probably – but that’s okay.

Knitting Olympics – 1/2 Done! February 21, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, wip.
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Thought I’d post a photo of the finished mitten.  I am a little more than half-way through the second – gotta say, I’m quite pleased.  I really do feel confident now that I can get a handle on bigger and more complicated patterns.  The other day I also bought myself a big pair of giant needles (giant for me, anyway) so that in future I should be able to get scarves out fairly quickly with some chunky yarn – it’s nice to have options, y’know.

Anyhow, here is the first mitten laying across my iBook’s keyboard.

I should have the other one finished by tomorrow 🙂  Then my ‘silver medal’ goal will be to finish this brown scarf I’ve had on my bamboo needles for what feels like an eternity – I don’t like the yarn.  I mean, it’s fine when it’s knit up but I don’t like to knit with it.

Despite today’s grey weather, I woke up with a feeling that I just might be really productive today.  Let’s see how that goes.

Music; Knitting Olympics; Photography. February 13, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, music, photography, wip.
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I’ve been listening to the iTunes exclusive EP Live Sessions from Iron & Wine. Definitely worth the purchase for the beautiful version of “The Trapeze Swinger” and a great cover of New Order’s “Love Vigilantes.” Not to mention the fact that “Cinder & Smoke” is one of my all time favorite songs.

If you’re in the mood for something way mellow, way soothing, and way pretty – check out Sam Beam’s great music. It sounds like summer rain feels.

Clicking the photo there will open the iTunes page for the EP. Also check out Iron&Wine.com.

There’s a bit of everything going on today – have just uploaded a couple of photos to my flickr account and am about to have lunch and get back to working on my knitting olympics project – the first WIP photo is below!

train – view more – jessica @ flickr

I’ve gone with a straightforward basic mitten pattern for my knitting olympics project and here is the progress so far.

So far the only thing I have to really work on is making my stitches tighter between needles. It is definitely something that you notice, so I’ll have to work on that for my next mitten. With the exception of not getting the increases right at first the progress so far is much better than expected, though I expect the thumb to be rather tricky as it is so bloody small.

Knitting Olympics – II February 12, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, wip.
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This is Day 2 at the Winter Olympic Games in Italy, but was day one for me – the day I cast-on for my Knitting Olympic project.

I never got an e-mail back from the Team Canada blog, but am considering myself a part of Team Canada anyway. Very overwhelming I’m sure for all the people organizing this kind of thing, what a response – very cool.

So I’ve been watching our women’s hockey team – missed the game against Italy yesterday, in which we won 16-0, but watched the game against Russia in its entirety (in which we won 12-0). Tuesday’s game should be a good one – the downside to the Olympics being held in another part of the world is that you have to watch things at goofy times to catch it live – like Tuesday’s 9:30AM Eastern game.

I’ve gone with mittens as my Olympic challenge – following a pattern, increasing and decreasing, and knitting in the round. While I figured out some of this stuff before, I haven’t done it all together and haven’t finished a project this way yet. So it’s all very new. I’m doing a basic mitten pattern out of a book my aunt has let me borrow. Assuming all goes well, I’ll be able to make all kinds of little alterations after this. Checked my guage, and was off during the first period.

To match my pink 2×2 rib scarf I am making pink mittens in Bernat Denim cotton/acrylic blend in weathered rose. So far it is going well, I am using the only set of DPNs I have to date which I believe are 3.25mm. Lukcily, it was just the right guage when I did my swatch. *Whew!* – I’ve knit up the cuff and I’m starting to get ready for the thumb which is the most challenging bit for me. If I can master mittens – I will next knit a hat just for fun and then I will start to really think big – sweaters.

That’s the progress so far – the first cuff of my first mitten. I have had several requests from people wanting to learn to knit, now, which is also very exciting to me. 🙂 Back to the knitting, with SnB to help instruct me through the increases I should have this down in no time!

Knitting Olympics – I February 6, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, why.
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I decided that I would join the Knitting Olympics and sign up for Team Canada. This is a great year to be a sports fan (what with my Ottawa Senators being amazing, the 2006 Turino Olympics, and later the World Cup in Germany) and it looks like it’s shaping up to be a great year for knitters, too. Lots of buzz everywhere about the Yarn Harlot‘s idea for a great knitting challenge, wonderful for knitters at all skill levels: The Knitting Olympics.
To date, the knitting projects I have worked on have been either scarves (five of them) or fingerless mittens (three of them) with a lone exception from several years ago when I first learned to knit and tried my hand at a ribbed hat (a UFO hiding in my closet). One of the scarves I’m working on, the Irish Hiking Scarf, is my first attempt at cables, a pattern, and natural fiber (I say first pattern as I deviated from the pattern of the OhMyStars fingerless mittens).

knitting olympics

So for the Knitting Olympics, I’m really stepping out here – I’m going to knit in the round using DPNs. While I have tried this before, I screwed it up and wound up frogging through the frustration and moved on to the OhMyStars mittens and yet more scarves. So, I’m going back to the DPNs – and I’ll try my hand at a little increase and decrease action as I make my very first pair of mittens – WITH FINGERS! Mittens, I say, and not gloves – I’m just not a fan of gloves.

So now the search for a pattern begins – I believe I will use yarn already in my stash.

Here’s what’s great about knitting, for me – I get to learn something new. With virtually every project I’ve started, even scarves, I’ve learned to do something new. I learn as I go, and I learn by reading and sharing. I’m just blown away by the knitting community, too, so far I have yet to come across anyone who is a complete snob and unwilling to help you to learn. Knitters, even and often especially the seasoned fantastic ones, are excited about their craft and excited about interest in it – it’s very cool.