Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2010 Ravelympics

I finished my own personal Ravelympics project on Sunday night while watching the hockey game. I love to knit the Norwegian Ski Team's Olympic sweaters for the games or as close to the games as I can. I am not being unpatriotic. I would knit the American Ski teams sweater and probably will now that I have seen a glimpse. It is just that the Norwegian Ski Team sweater is usually a real knitting challenge.

See, I did Nagano...

I also did Lillehammer, but gave it away to the American Red Cross for a fund raiser that year. So I don't have a picture.

I didn't join any of the official Ravlympic teams because I started my project before the Olympics began. My intention was to have this sweater finished in time to wear it while I cheered on the athletes, from my living room.

I took the Norwegian Ski Team sweater and did my own thing. I wanted a cardigan because I am a woman of a certain age and find cardigans more flexible for my lifestyle. I also changed the wool. Now before the big reveal I want to prove that I can knit with the yarn I chose and the garments have turned out lovely in the past.

For example


I knit this beauty for a good friend and she loves it. It looked exactly like I imagined it would and all was right with the world.

Here is another I knit for myself out of the same yarn. It is again a very nice sweater, extremely warm and cozy.

And here is one I wear at least twice a week in the winter and have for years and it is wearing quite well.

This is all to say I have never had a problem with this yarn, in fact I have always been  more than pleased with the outcome.

 This time, not so much. I think the problem is the incredible amount of plain stockinette stitch with no color work until the yoke area. All the plain, one color stockinette looks sloppy and every stitch shows in an unflattering light. I don't know if I had gone down another needle size if that would have made a significant difference. I just don't know what the issue is but I am not pleased.

I didn't use the Dale yarn that was called for and I am not regretting that decision but I am not happy with the fabric I created for this sweater.

That being said, I love how this fits me, so there is an up side. Oh, and the color looks good on me too.

So here is the big reveal...

and look at how well the fronts match, always important, so visible.

Kinda blah don't you think? I will wear it, because it fits so well, but I am disappointed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This is what greeted me this morning when I went to feed the chickens...


Now I am not a squeamish girl, snakes, spiders, bugs, bring 'em on. I am a gardener, you can't gross me out. But, Rodents of Unusual Size, yeah, not so much. I have a thing about  rats,(don't even like to say their name) so their cousins are not my favorites either. I know some will think he is kinda cute and looks a little scared. Well, he scared the day lights out of me this morning and if he didn't want to have his normal sleep time interrupted he should have stayed out of my chicken coop. I think he was looking for a free egg breakfast so I have another reason not too be thrilled by his appearance. Those are my eggs, damn it.

I have dispatched the cabana boy, alias DH, to solve this little problem of country life. In our house this comes under the "boy" job description. I do stinky, athletic laundry, he does rodents. It works.

And don't even talk to me about using the fiber, ick!

The girls are fine, they didn't even seem to be aware of their house guest. Just like the uppity princesses they are, my chickens are terrible hostesses.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A new way of looking at socks...

This is a small portion of the vast mountain of sock yarn at Embraceable Ewe

I have a new philosophy on hand knit socks. Previously, I collected all manner of beautiful yarns and dreamed up gorgeous lace patterns to go with said beautiful yarns or found amazing patterns on the web. Thank you Cookie A, Ann Hanson, Nancy Bush and Charlene Schurch, to name a few.

But here's the thing...while all these patterns and yarns are amazing they are not being knit by me. And we have 3 feet of snow on the ground. So right now I just want socks, mindless, vanilla socks. You know the kind, you cast on 64 stitches, work a little rib, some stockinette, get a little thrill turning a heel, cruise on down to the toe and Wam, Bam, Thank you, you have a pair of socks.

I have too many deadlines and gotta have done knitting to indulge in beautiful sock production. My kids have drawers full of all my intricate lace work. Me, I just want to be warm the rest of the winter. So for the immediate future this is what my socks will look like...pretty yarn, boring pattern, but oh so warm.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Where's it Gonna Go????

We already have this much snow on the ground...

 and they are calling for up to 24 more inches of the white stuff, tell me where is it going to go? We don't have any more room to push it in to piles, the deck looks like it will collapse at any moment, the dog doesn't have  a clue where to go. I hear they could use it in Vancouver though.

Just for scale I thought Duncan could give you an idea of what DH has to deal with. He hasn't even cleaned the driveway today and already there is about 4".

 School is going to June 14th according to the updated calendar we approved at a school board meeting last night. Poor kids, bet they never pray for snow again.

On an up note I have finished knitting the Vancouver sweater now there will be steek cutting and button bands, sewing and blocking before the final reveal.

Back to work...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowmageddon 2010

I know I have been ignoring the blog, but Facebook and Ravelry are so absorbing. I will try to be better. I have been told by one of my two readers to get a post up, so here goes...

Western Pa has definitely been slammed with the same snowmageddon that is hitting the rest of the mid-Atlantic.

I don't think we will be dining on the deck anytime soon.

Or grilling for that matter. Funny thing is, DH grilled a hamburger on this very grill just last Friday... before the snow arrived.

While walking out to feed the chickens today Duncan decided he couldn't be more than 6 inches behind me. This is all well and good when we are just walking, not so great when we are trudging through thigh high snow. He went down while I brought my foot up and off came my boot, to be buried in the 2 1/2 feet of virgin snow. The chickens are in a part of the garden that doesn't see the plow so the snow is very deep and fluffy. Needless to say my boot was lost in the abyss. So now I am down on my hands knees searching for the the blasted boot. Duncan thinks mom is playing a wonderful new game and wants to help. Pouncing, pouncing, pouncing is fun, mom. Found the boot and of course it is full of snow. Bang the boot on the feed bucket and try to squeeze my snow encased foot into the boot. Thank goodness for handknit wool socks. My foot never got cold or even a little wet. Got to make me some more of these socks.

In the build up to the Olympics I got the hair brained idea to knit myself the Norwegian Ski Team's Olympic sweater before the Vancouver games begin. So I could wear it for the opening ceremonies. Crazy, I know...

I didn't want to use the Dale yarn so I have substituted some gorgeous Rauma Finnulgarn in colors that are close to the original.

The body is finished and the sleeves are almost ready for the color work. Doesn't look like I will be making the opening ceremonies but I hope to be wearing this little gem during the games. I also made it a cardigan. Finding cardigans more to my liking these days. So will have to think about how I would like the front bands to look. Maybe some more X's and O's.

I will be demonstrating crochet steeks and cutting your steeks at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival this Saturday. I thought I would leave the neck steek closed until the festival. It is short and will be easy to crochet and then cut open on an actual sweater. I have also been knitting lots of plain swatches for attendees to crochet and cut on their own.

Not too thrilled with how uneven the stitches are on this sweater. The color work is OK but the plain stockinette looks for yuck. I am hopeful a trip through some warm water will make the yarn bloom and all will be right with the world.

I have a long queue of knitting to start but have some secret knitting that has priority right now, so the knitting will be a little spotty for a while.

Hope there won't be anymore snow pictures to share either.

If you are in the Pittsburgh area and can dig yourself out try to make it to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. I will be near the Knit One booth on Saturday afternoon. Stop by and say hi.