Musings of a self-taught crafter

This just in… February 28, 2010

Filed under: 2010,Crochet,Knitting,Olympic Knitting — blueberryblues @ 2:54 pm

My Knitting Olympics and Ravelympics projects are completed and gold medals have  been attained.

Photographic evidence to follow shortly.  Once I find the camera…


Let the Games Begin February 12, 2010

Filed under: 2010,Olympic Knitting — blueberryblues @ 10:46 am

Because I’m glutton for punishment, I decided to enter the 2010 Knitting Olympics.  How could I not enter the original knitting games hosted by the beloved Yarn Harlot?  I plan on knitting Pasha the Penguin for L – she has a bit of a penguin obsession going these days!  If the house and these projects are all completed in the next 17 days it will be a miracle worthy of a gold medal (especially the house)!

The countdown begins.  I’ll be doing a bit of yarn winding and tool organizing right up until the moment the flame is lit.


Do I Have the Heart of a Ravelete? February 10, 2010

Filed under: 2010,Olympic Knitting — blueberryblues @ 10:30 am

As the Winter 2010 Olympics approach, I find myself in a bit of a quandary.  Do I take part in the 2010 Ravelympics or not?  I jumped into participating in the 2008 Ravelympics without much thought or fear.  This time is different.  We are doing work on our house and we have a 1-year-old.  Time is not on my side for starting and completing a new project on a deadline.  There is one project that I want to work on and finish.  I want to clear it out of my knitting bag and put it behind me.  It’s the gift that my husband will hold over my head until it is complete.   But finishing that project is not in the cards – it would demand too much time and attention to finish it and finish it well.   But there is a certain little friend whose second birthday is fast approaching and I think she might enjoy a little handmade gift set.

The question is, does it fit “the rules”?

“The One Rule To Rule Them All: Challenge yourself by starting and finishing projects during the 2010 Winter Olympics” (Quoted from the official Ravelry page, the emphasis is mine). The little gift I’m considering is small and definitely achievable, but is it a challenge?  Well, it is crochet and involves multiple colors, both of which are not my forte. I have to admit it is not the most challenging project I’ve ever made, but after my wonderful experience last time not participating seems, well, wrong.

But, in consideration to my time constraints, what if I do not finish?  Is it better to have tried and failed than not to try at all? I will admit that having my project remain incomplete at the end of the games would be a disappointment.  Then again, a half crocheted gift set is 50% closer to finished than in its current state. I think an Olympic athlete would answer this question in a heartbeat with a strong affirmative.  Not all Olympic athletes come home with a medal and I may just be one of those Raveletes.

My decision:  I’m in.  I plan on crocheting 6 Quick Cupcakes during these Winter 2010 Olympic Games.  Oh, and (most importantly) finishing the work on the house.

Are you going to compete?

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Swifter, Higher, Stronger


My Phelpsian Achievement August 29, 2008

Filed under: 2008,Finished Objects,Knitterly Fraternization,Olympic Knitting — blueberryblues @ 11:46 am
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I thought I’d kick off my knitting blog by sharing my latest finished objects.  I recently participated in the First International Ravelympics Summer 2008 hosted by Ravelry.  The challenge:  To start a personally challenging knitting project during the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games and complete it by the time the flame was extinguished. 

I choose to knit the Pea Pod Baby set.  This is my first project where I had to decipher a lace chart, something that took my brain a minute to get used to.  I was a bit apprehensive about whether I would complete my stated goal, regardless of the small size of the items, in time since I have a history of letting projects drag on, knitting a row here or there.  I think having the set deadline (and a baby on the way that just needs a sweater to keep her warm this winter) made me committed and motivated to get to work.  And, other than one small imperfection that apparently only I can see, I’m quite happy with the result.

Pattern:  Pea Pod Baby Set by Kate Gilbert.  This pattern was originally available as a web-only pattern through the Summer 2006 Issue of Interweave Knits, however it is no longer available.  I was lucky enough to have printed a copy just prior to it being pulled out of circulation.

Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in red (color #340700).  I used 3 skeins total for the sweater and hat.

Size:  0-3 months, 13 inch hat

Notes:  The pattern was extremely well written and easy to follow – it made me feel like a pro.  Unfortunately, I will have to wait until December for the baby to arrive to see how well it fits, but it looks like an appropriately sized baby item.  I love Kate Gilbert’s patterns and cannot wait to attempt more of them. 

I love this yarn!  The color is the perfect red (not too orange, not too dark) for a baby who is due in December.  The yarn was amazing to work with – one of the most luxurious yarns I’ve ever used (this is going to be one lucky baby!).  I choose silver buttons with flowers on them that remind me of poinsettias, which I think work perfectly with the leafy lace motif.  The only downside to this project is that I purchased 5 skeins of yarn based off the pattern requirements, but I only ended up using 3 skeins total (for the hat and sweater).

I deciding not to knit the lace motif on the crown, instead opting for simple stockingknit.  I think that the simplicity of the crown combined with the patterned ribbing perfectly compliments the sweater and keeps the details of the sweater in center stage.

Although I did have a gold medal performance and get to bask in the limelight on top of the Ravelympic podium, this was not the only knitting I completed during the olympic games.  I apparently underestimated the amount of knitting that I could complete during the short time the Olympics were run.  While the sweater pieces were blocking, I casted on and completed the second sock belonging to a pair that I had begun in the beginning of August. 

Wicked Good Winter Woolies

Pattern:  My Own, created using the basic sock instructions from the Yarn Harlot’s Knitting Rules! book.  I just created your basic sock and used the eye of partridge heel. 

Yarn:  Artyarns Supermerino.  I’m not sure what the official name or number of the color is, but it’s variegated with blues, greens, and purples.  The colors remind me of the mountains, lakes, and flowers in Maine.

Notes:  These are only the second pair of socks that I’ve ever knit, so I cannot believe that I’ve managed to create my own pattern.  I love the yarn.  It’s soft and smooth and I can’t wait for the weather to turn cooler so that I can wear these all of the time.  These are definitely not the most exciting of patterns, but I think it compliments the yarn nicely.  I’m happy I took notes so that I can use this simple pattern again.