Wednesday, March 01, 2006
I am an olympian, dammit!
Some of you may have heard of a Knitting Olympics. A famous knitter mentioned it in passing then got burried in the avalanche it created LOL. I never formally signed up, but I did decide to try it. The deal was, to pick a project that challenged you. Cast it on during the opening ceremonies, planning to finish in time for the closing ceremonies. That simple. The idea of choosing something to personally challenge myself was intriguing. I spend hours looking through knitting patterns (mostly on the internet), coveting the finished objects but rejecting the patterns because they look too difficult or call for real wool. Let us just say that seeing "yo" or "k2tog-tbl" in a pattern causes my eyes to glaze over, and the idea of making something that needs to be carefully hand washed lest it turn into a labour intensive doll sweater doesn't do it for me. I want something mindless and easy to knit that will turn into something beautiful and amazing in my hands. But lets face it. If it was mindless to knit and called for novelty yarn I can get at Walmart, the finished item would be less than magical. Even though it was started a bit before (well, before the opening ceremonies but after I read about the proposed knitting olympics on the blog written by the famous knitter), the sweater I am making for DD (pictured in a previous entry) was my own personal olympic project. I knew I would never finish in time for the closing ceremonies (I am just past the cuff and increases on the second sleeve at this point, I have about 10 inches of knitting to go just for that). I didn't send in my name, and I won't enter the draw for prizes. But it's the first time I have knit a sweater, and boy have I learned from it. I have learned that when a pattern says "increase" but leaves the method up to you that different increases look..well..different in the finished fabric. I used M1 for the increase after the cuff but knit in front and back loop of the same stitch for the sleeve increases, and would probably do the reverse next time. I have learned that if for some reason you like the WS of your ribbing better than the RS and choose to change direction and use it that way, you will have a hole where you started unless you do something about it. I have learned sweater bodies and sleeves are made of miles and miles of plain knit in the round, which does not make for an exciting knitting encounter. Mindless and easy for the most part, yes. But mind-numbingly boring as well. I already knew to make it from machine-washable acrylic rather than wool or anything that requires hand washing. And other than swatching a little bit of lace (my next challenge) I have been very loyal to this sweater and not started another project. Okay, I did try and start a tank top from Matrix ribbon before giving that up for feeling like a scrubby pad, but that doesn't count because I only made like three rows before ripping it back and setting it aside. In those respects, I feel like an olympian. And no matter how long it takes to finish, I will surely do a victory lap around the house. There is going to be hooting and hollaring, banging of drums (and oh do we have drums to bang), and a grand melee. Even if it is late at night or early in the morning. Even if people are sleeping. Even if those sleeping people don't like being woken up and don't understand victory laps after finishing knitting projects. And I'll be sure to let you all know as well. Here is a crappy picture of the very uncrappy and expensive drum set usually found in our basement. They aren't set up like this anymore (thank goodness....talk about a floor hog) but there is still a drum or two in easy reach for victory laps.