Tag Archives: ravellenic winter games 2014

Olympic Wrap-up

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Leave it to me (actually, us – that picture up there was Paul’s idea!) to weave food into the Olympics somehow.  This was our last-day-of-the-Olympics breakfast.  (We will use any excuse to have a “special” breakfast or meal.  The other day was National Dog Biscuit Day and Martha Stewart had a recipe for that but we decided not to celebrate that day.)  My idea for the rings was this:


Paul’s was much better.  And my failed idea left a lot of dishes to wash. (Actually, not.  Let’s be real. I just wiped them off and put them back in the cabinet.)

The Olympics are now over and life can get back to normal.  Or whatever “normal” is around here- that is debatable.  The Olympics overtook our life for the past two weeks – but mostly in a good way.  Everything we planned to do was planned around what sport we wanted to watch.  Curling was a great after work sport to watch.  It was on MSNBC almost every late afternoon/early evening and we really got into it.  Even though we mostly didn’t understand what was happening, especially in the beginning.  Paul had some things to do in the garage, so I would call him when the bobsledding was on.  We planned our weekend errands for the morning so we could be available for whatever was on the rest of the day.  We got pizza instead of going out to dinner.

We just enjoyed watching.  Skating is always a favorite of mine, but I have to confess I was a teeny bit bored with it this time around.  Snowboard cross was exciting and fun and nail-biting.  It’s one of my new favorites.  The bi-athalon was also fun — it’s just so intriguing because it involves skiing and shooting which is a weird combination and I’m sure there is a historical reason behind why they are put together in one sport.  And the skeleton, mostly because I am baffled that someone would want to go a gazillion miles an hour down that track head first.  Overall, so much fun and exciting and I will miss it.  But not.  The aforementioned “normal” will be good to see again.

And in addition to the watching, there was the knitting challenge.  I said I would knit the Charleston Tea sweater.  The whole sweater (with a hood) in 17 days.  1600 yards of sport weight yarn on size 5 needles (read: that takes a loooooong time).  In 17 days.  HA!  Halfway through the Olympics, I was one quarter of the way through the sweater.   I woke up early on the last day, determined to at least finish the body by the end of the day:


Which I accomplished at 9pm:

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That’s about 2/3 done.  I still have the sleeves, hood and button band to do.  It’s all good, though.  The idea was to pick something that would be challenging to finish in 17 days and so I can check that box off.  I’m happy with the amount I got done.  Now I can relax a little, but still go with the momentum I started and hopefully finish soon.  But I can also get back to knitting my two pairs of knit-a-long socks.

What was also great about this past weekend was the balmy weather.  You can’t “see” the 52 degrees in these pictures (except maybe the pond melting a little), but the warmth just made things look so much prettier:

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And gave me a little hope that Spring is actually coming. (I’m ignoring the 20 degree and lower temps that are forecasted for this week….)


Popping In

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A pop-in post to give you a progress update on my knitting….

I am woefully behind in my Ravellenics project, but I’m ok with that.  As I’ve said, I knew this would happen… But, I’ve separated for the sleeves and am about 3 inches down the body:

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The top picture is the more accurate in terms of color:  dark gray.  I love how it is coming out.  I have to get to 10 inches from the underarms to the bottom ribbing.  Then knit the arms.  Then knit the hood.  Then knit the buttonbands.  Five days to finish.  Ha!  Are you participating in the Ravellenic Winter Games? How is it going?

In the meantime, because it was easier babysitting knitting, I finished my Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Knit-a-Long shawl:


I have not yet blocked it and will post a picture when I have. It will show the pattern much better….

And I finished my Steek This Coffee Cozy:


I’m going to do another post with details about how I cut this up and added a buttonband (not pictured!).

That’s all you get for today.  More during my next knitting break….

In the Weeds

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Have you ever worked in a restaurant?  I worked at One Way Fare in Simsbury, CT for 6 months back in 1992-93.  It’s not there anymore but it was in an old train station and they had the best cheese fondue and the best Caesar salad with pumpernickel croutons.  I started bussing tables and then graduated to being a waitress.  It was hard work.  But I made great tips and got in shape, that’s for sure.  Maybe I should get a waitressing job now….

When it got really, really busy the kitchen and hence, I, got behind in serving my tables.   I would be running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off (which really does happen, by the way; we saw it on “Alaska: The Last Frontier” reality show) doing everything, all the time, getting behinder and behinder, getting nowhere and getting nothing done.  We’d call it being “in the weeds”, and it was exhausting.

Well, that’s what’s happening with my knitting. Let’s face it – we all knew this was going to happen.  A few posts back, I said I was participating in three knit-a-longs and the Ravellenic games.  Four knitting projects going at the same time, with deadlines all happening at the same time.  So, I’m officially in the weeds.  I’m knitting everything, all the time, getting behinder and behinder, getting nowhere and getting nothing done on any of it.  I have no progress pictures to show you so, instead, you can enjoy pictures of the wonderful snow we are, yet again, getting pummeled with.  Fourteen to eighteen inches expected.


Crappy drive home from babysitting. If anyone asks, I was stopped when I took this picture. The little streak on the windshield from my wipers icing up got worse and worse as I drove up our hill-of-doom. (I didn’t want to “stop” on the hill of doom to document it.)


The plow jeep waiting for Paul.


Our almost empty wood shed. The full side is not seasoned yet so we can’t really use it…




The Olympics Make Me Cry

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I love, Love, LOVE watching the Olympics.  I look forward to them and love rooting for the U.S.  And also for anyone else who is winning.  And also for anyone who is losing.  But the Olympics make me cry.

I cry when someone wins and their dreams are realized.  They are so happy and their struggle to get to the Olympics is validated.  I cry when someone gets hurt and their dreams are crushed.  They are so sad and their struggle to get to the Olympics is all the much harder to justify.  I cry when they do those little vignettes about certain athletes and their struggles to get to the Olympics.  I cry when they show those touching commercials.  It’s exhausting really.  But I love it.

I also cry when, while watching the Olympics I realize I made a mistake in my Ravellenics knitting project several rows back and have to un-knit a gazillion stitches.


I saw the mistake and my stomach lurched.  It was on the left side and where there was supposed to be a cable, there wasn’t.  I couldn’t drop the stitches down several rows because of the lace around the cables, and I couldn’t just rip out my work (take everything off the needles and unravel it – a much faster method) for the same reason.  Too hard to pick up and re-create the stitches.   Plus, I have a million markers in there and it would be tedious to figure out where they go.  So, un-knit, stitch by stitch is what I did.

Poor Paul, sitting next to me, trying to watch the Olympics, having to listen to my heavy sighs and my comments: “I’m wasting so much time having to do this!”  “I can’t believe I didn’t notice it sooner!” “It’s going so slowly!”  “Do you know how much further I could have gotten by now?”

I made it through, though, and I’m back on track now.  The picture above is my progress.  I settled on knitting the Charleston Tea  hooded cardigan.  It was not on my original list but it is the same designer as the Dark & Stormy which was on my list.  I didn’t have, and couldn’t find, the right yarn for the Dark & Stormy but had plenty for the Charleston Tea.  It has been in my queue for some time and I think it is very cute.  Don’t you?

Ooh!  AND I finally got my completed Travelling Socks back!


I love them.

My New Favorite Thing

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You are going to laugh at my new favorite thing.

You are probably thinking it’s a knitting thing, since knitting is my thing.  And most times, you would be right.  A new gadget, a new project bag, new yarn, new needles – totally within the realm of possibility.  And today being the beginning of the Ravellenic Winter Games, you might think I have something new to help me with that. But not today.

You might also think it’s a cooking or baking thing, since I love that too.  I did take a Bagels, Bialys and Pretzels class recently and am totally going to make some pretzels this weekend, but that’s not it either.

You might also think it’s a book, since books are my other thing.  And while I did finish listening to The Circle by Dave Eggers recently and really enjoyed it (A fun, tiny bit scary but not totally out of the realm of possibility, look at the future of social networking and how it can take over our lives.), that’s not it either.

It’s this:


This is the best thing ever.  I have recently re-claimed my garage spot after many months of waiting-for-the-new-garage-to-be-done-so-the-million-of-car-parts-and-non-working-cars-really-should-have-my-spot-instead.  So I was thinking, how can I make my parking-in-the-garage experience that much better?  It can be a little difficult to tell whether or not my car is far enough into the garage for the door to shut, but also far enough away from the door to the house for that door to open.  There are a series of belts (for a car, of course) hanging on the wall that I would use to gauge when to stop, but it was never very precise and I always doubted whether I was far enough inside.  Hence, getting out to check, or parking too close to the house door and having to squeeze by.  Oh my gosh, can I go on any more about this?

It’s those little teeny tiny things that make all the difference.  That $1 tennis ball hanging from the ceiling.  Now I don’t have to think about it at all!  I can continue listening to my audio book and not feel like I missed something while I was negotiating the space in the garage.

I know.  I’m such a dork.

Feeling the Pressure

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The Olympics start on Friday.  Which means the Ravellenic Games on Ravelry start on Friday.  And I’m no closer to figuring out what my project will be.   It has to be a challenging project to knit.  Something that will be difficult (but do-able) to finish in the 17 days of the Olympics, from the start of the opening ceremonies until the flame goes out at the closing ceremonies.  While deciding, I have to take into account things like babysitting time (but allowing for knitting time during naps), class teaching time, an already scheduled lunch with friends, writing the blog, and oh yeah knitting three other knit-a-long projects as their clues come out.  And again, this is all self-imposed.  I realize that.  But it’s what I do, and it’s fun.  Honest.

I’m thinking about, and think I’ve narrowed it down to, these patterns:

Prairie Ridge Shawl

Dark and Stormy

Sugar Frost Infinity Scarf

Halona Shawl

Color Affection



Don’t feel like you have to go look at all those.  But if you do, feel free to give me your opinion about them!  I just wanted to show you what a problem I’m having deciding what to do.  At any rate, I have a couple more days to figure it out.  Then I have to get all my supplies: pattern ordered, yarn picked out (and hopefully from my stash…but just in case I need to factor in time to shop for yarn), needles, etc.  Oh the pressure!  And I’m sure I’m not the only one going through this. Yet another example of how crazy knitters can be.

In the meantime, I finished the next clue for my Through the Loops Knit-a-Long socks:


Started my next knit-a-long socks, the Coctails for Two hosted by Knitter’s Brewing Company:


I decided to use Tosh Sock by madelinetosh in the colorway “logwood”.   It is a superwash merino yarn and a really nice yarn to work with.  I like most of madelinetosh yarns.  The colors are great and the yarn is soft.   Since I’m doing two sock knit-a-longs, I ran out of size 1 DPN’s so I had to use a long 40″ circular and do the magic loop method for one of these.   And so far, I’m loving this pattern.  That stitch is a new one to me – wrapping yarn around the needle three times, slipping that stitch for a few rows, then incorporating it into a cable – which made it so fun.

And I finished my second Garter Ear Flap Hat!

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This is the adult medium but I think it came out larger than it was supposed to, maybe to the large measurement.  And there is my creepy Styrofoam head again.  Remember how I said it was too small?  There is your proof.  It doesn’t fit an adult hat.  Whoever made it is a weirdo.  I have, frustratingly, lost the ball band for this yarn so I can’t tell you anything about it except the  colorway is, fittingly, “Monet”.  And I loved working with it -so soft and it makes for a very cozy hat.  It was a quick knit, only taking me 3 days.

Stay tuned for my Ravellenics project picking updates – riveting stuff coming up.



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I’m in deep.  Again.  I’ve got myself signed up for three knit-a-longs as well as a project for the Ravellenic Winter Games on Ravelry (this used to be called the Knitting Olympics until the US Olympic Committee made them change it…. silly.)  Before I get into those four projects, look at these I’ve finished/worked on:

Started and finished my Easy Brioche Scarf  (free pattern!) in about three days:


Made with Euro Baby Maypole, a 100% acrylic bulky yarn.  I don’t usually knit with acrylic but this was nice to knit with and I like the colors.  Easy pattern (one row) and with big yarn and big needles it is quick quick quick.

You may remember that I started this with another yarn:


YAWN! Off-white in what-looks-like-a-plain-rib-but-isn’t might be ok for me on any regular day.  Nice and warm and cozy and goes with everything.  But I was making this for a class to introduce the Brioche stitch so I wanted it to have some pizazz and get customers’ attention.  Upon closer inspection, this is NOT plain ribbing – it’s a wonderfully lofty and squooshy stitch with the knit stitch really standing out. The first half of the class will be to introduce this interesting and easy stitch.  The second half will be to practice doing this stich with two colors – really stunning.  I have yet to create that swatch but will post it here when it’s done.

I also finished one of my Snow on the Laurel cabled arm warmers, also for an upcoming class:


Easy and a good project to learn cables.  The neat thing about this pattern is that it is knit inside out so you can knit more stitches than you purl (which can slow some down).  A nice bonus!  Made with Cascade Alpaca Lana D’Oro, an alpaca/wool blend.  Love this yarn.  Now I just have to knit the second one….

On to the Knit-a-Longs…

Knit-a-long the first, which you already know about is the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery KAL 2014.  This started almost two weeks ago and we are on clue #2:


I have A LOT of stitches on my needles.  I haven’t counted but we cast on 200 and have been increasing every other row from there.  I hope I don’t run out of yarn.  I shouldn’t, since I have 70 more yards than the pattern calls for, but I just have this weird feeling.

Knit-a-long the second is designer Kirsten Kapur’s Through the Loops Mystery Sock 2014.  Another knit-a-long where we have no idea what the finished project will look like.  It really is a leap of faith with these, but it’s so much fun!  This was week one and I’ve finished that clue:


Interesting picot (read: frilly) cast-on with a contrasting color and a twisted rib pattern in the main color.  Cute so far.  I really like Kirsten’s designs. Her blog is here:  Kirsten Kapur Designs.  I’m using Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors sock yarn in two colors.  The blue is called “Happy Making” and I have not idea what the blue-green is called since I lost the ball band. I love this sock yarn.

Knit-a-long the third starts on January 31.  It is the Knitter’s Brewing Company’s Mystery Sock VI: Cocktails for Two knit-a-long.  This is the second sock knit-a-long I’ve done with Knitter’s Brewing Company.  I really enjoy their podcast:  Yarn on Tap. I’ve narrowed my yarn down to three choices:


Any votes?

Finally, I’ll be participating in the Ravellenic Winter Games 2014 on Ravelry.  The basic idea is that you choose a project that will be challenging for you to complete during the timeframe of the Winter Olympics.  A fun way to challenge yourself and to get a project done quickly!  AND something to do while you are watching skiing, skating, luge and curling.  Currently, I’m thinking I will be doing the Prairie Ridge Shawl by Susan B. Anderson.  But that could, and likely will, change 80 times before the official cast on time (the beginning of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on February 7).

Whew.  The fact that they are starting in a spread out manner is good.  However, see me in mid-February when I’m working on ALL of them at the same time.   You can bet it will be all documented here on the blog.  If I’m not pulling all of my hair out (and I have A LOT of hair).  Mind you, I do realize that this is all self-imposed.  Knitters are like this, you know.