Friday, July 27, 2012

Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremonies are now in the books, and my first day of work on Aeolian is done. At 3:30 this afternoon it looked like this:

Somehow it always seems slightly ridiculous to cast on 3 stitches. but it grew fairly quickly to 13, and from there I've been adding 4 stitches every other row, so it's growing rapidly. At the end of the ceremonies it looks like this:

I'm nearly done with the 5th of 12 repeats of this first pattern, and starting to get into the rhythm so that I don't have to keep looking at the pattern. I'm getting the hang of the beads, although I've dropped a few. I suspect Trini will have fun rounding up all the escapees at the end of next week. My only complaint so far is having to use a needle with a 40" cable that won't straighten properly. I'm going to hang it with a weight on it overnight and see if that helps. I tried using a regular straight needle for a while, but then I couldn't see how the pattern was developing properly as the triangular shape evolved. With any luck the new ones I've ordered will arrive tomorrow and I will be happier.

As for the opening ceremonies themselves, I loved the bit with the entrance of the Queen, but I think the lighting of the torch was one of the best I've ever seen. I love that bits of it were carried in with the nations and that it was lighted by athletes who are not yet Olympians. I also liked the honor guard of construction workers for the entrance of the torch into the stadium. In a country where the monarchy is revered and where class distinctions are still important, it was nice to see ordinary people celebrated.

Now it is way past by bedtime and I need to put my fingers to rest for the night. Full day of games tomorrow means many hours of knitting, I hope.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is this what the athletes feel like on the day before?

I am having the worst time fidgeting tonight. I want so badly to get started on my Ravellenic Games project, and the only thing stopping me is that it isn't time yet. The yarn is ready, the beads are ready, I found some needles that will work for now and ordered some new ones to be shipped rush (who knew that I didn't have any 3 mm needles?). This afternoon I read through the directions again to make sure I understood them. I even cleaned out my project notebook and cleared away all the other unfinished projects cluttering up my knitting life. I just need for the opening ceremonies to begin, and then I can cast on.

I think tonight I will go read a book.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

It's July 25th, which means the Olympics start in 2 days. No, I'm not going to London to compete in any of those events. But I am competing in a different simultaneous event. It's called the Ravellenic Games. People from all over the world who are involved in fiber arts in any sort of way have formed up teams and will be competing in all sorts of events. I'm told there are even prizes.

I am entered in 4 events. The first is Charity Rowing. All the finished objects completed by these competitors are destined to be given away. Since I always have a hat or three in progress in my knitting bag, I decided to go ahead and enter this one. It will give me an incentive to finish at least one over the next two weeks. And I'll be traveling to Connecticut at the close of the games, and hats make better travel knitting than large complicated shawls.

My main event is Shawl Sailing. There is a huge number of competitors in this event, judging by the amount of chatter in the group. This is where I will be focusing most of my energy, at least until I leave for Connecticut. The project I have chosen is the Aeolian Shawl, designed by Elizabeth Freeman and published in the Spring, 2009 issue of Knitty. It has lace, it has nupps, it has beads; it is an enormous piece of knitting to finish in 2 weeks. But I am up for a challenge, and this is what I chose. Because it has beads, I am also cross-entered in the Balance Beads and in the Lace Longjump.

This is my yarn. It is Ella Rae Lace Merino. I bought it several years ago when I was in Atlanta for an event. I had started this shawl with a different yarn and didn't like the way the yarn was working, but loved the pattern, so frogged it, and bought new yarn. It gave me great pleasure this week to bring this yarn out of its drawer and wind it. The beads I've chosen are a mix of transparent amber and amber with a gold center. I'm really excited about putting the beads and the yarn together and starting this project on Friday night.

In the meantime I'm finishing off a few UFO's and generally clearing the decks. I'm crocheting an edging on a fleece blanket and should finish that either tonight or tomorrow. The only other project I have out is some knitted afghan squares, and I can easily put those away for a while. I need to take some patterns out of my project notebook and move Aeolian up to the front. I need to pick out the needles I'm going to use. I'm pretty much good to go.

I wish all my fellow Ravellenic Games competitors good luck and good fiber.