Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic Knitting

I love the Olympics. I always look forward to them and stay up way too late watching as much of the telecast events as I possibly can. This Olympiad, for the first time, I am competing in the Knitting Olympics.

The main event is to pick a project that will be challenging for you to complete in 2 weeks, begin during the opening ceremonies and finish before the flame goes out in the closing ceremonies. But before I get to that, Lambikin's Hideaway had an Opening Ceremonies party. Alisha over at 2BuckeyesInCinci has provided a great recap, so check that out. People brought lots of Olympic-themed food; I particularly liked the sushi hockey pucks, the truffle curling stones, and the chips and dip with five bowls of colored dip corresponding to the Olympic rings, but everything was delicious.

There were additional events during the evening too, and I won medals!
To warm up we had a game involving passing around balls of yarn, and the yarn each person had at the end was hers to use in the Creative event. If we choose to participate, we knit something from this ball before the closing ceremonies and the finished object will be judged on creativity. Here's my ball:

Pat came up with a really good idea for me, and I've got it started.

Next was the blindfolded knitting. We all wore blindfolds and knit a pattern that Christina read to us. The results were then judged based on how much they actually look like they were supposed to look. Here's my silver-winning effort:

It's a cute tiny basketweave swatch, although I had no idea that was what I was making until the blindfold came off. This event was absolutely the most fun. It was great to listen to everybody, and must have been even more fun to watch us all.

Then came the speed knitting. The group at Lambikin's has determined that Leslie and I are unreasonably fast knitters and so we were given handicaps of crazy yarn to work with. Mine was an eyelash yarn and Leslie's was a stringy fuzzy thing that produced a fabric that looked very much like Cookie Monster. The challenge here was to knit a tiny sweater pattern, and whoever finished first won. Hallie and I tied for silver.

Toward the end I think my handicap yarn actually became a bit of a help because I was able to whip stitch the seams in a very hasty somewhat sloppy way without anyone ever being able to tell. This sweater is just the right size for a beer bottle cozy, and Pat has already used it as such.

Finally, the main event. For my Olympic Knitting Project I chose a Dale of Norway baby sweater. Somewhat complex but small seemed like the right balance for me in my first Knitting Olympiad. Also, I have seven baby projects to knit between now and August, so I thought this would be a great way to turn one out quickly. It's a wrap pullover sweater in green and blue. A picture of a baby seal will get duplicate stitched on the front at the end. Here's my progress as of Sunday:

The purl ridge there is the fold line for the hem. This sweater is knit in the round to the armholes, then divided and the front and back are knit flat. I finished the back at my church board meeting last night. This sweater will be for Mac and Kristen's baby, my first cousin once removed, who will arrive next month.

Now, back to knitting and watching the Olympics!