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Ravelympics/ Knitting Olympics Gold!


I finished my sweater in time to cross the finish line! Yay! It was finished at 4:35pm EST Sunday.

So, here it is – my finished Ravelympics Sweater!

Pattern: Autumn Rose by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in 11 colors
Needles: US 3 for most of it (and US 2,1 and 0 for neck ribbing)
Size knitted: size 37 (with alterations – see below)
Started: Feb 12, 2010 at 9pm EST
Finished: Feb 28. 2010 at 4:35pm EST
Total Time: 90 hours

Modifications:

  • Changed the color palette (I’ll list the exact colors I used below)
  • Added length to the body – extended the pattern down to the bottom of the chart (12 rows), and kept the decrease rate the same (12 extra stitches for cast on).
  • Raised and narrowed the neckline. I raised the neckline to the same row as the sleeve division, and narrowed it by 4 stitches each side.
  • Lowered the yoke to the smallest size’s height. A lot of previous knitters noted that the yoke was too deep when worked as written.
  • Lengthened sleeves and worked sleeves one size up, per the 39 size chart. Started sleeves on same row of chart as the body started. Charted out evenly spaced increases to decrease down to 35 stitches on chart (69 stitches total including the seam stitch). Mirrored bottom corrugated ribbing on the sleeve cuffs. Worked the rib over 64 stitches and then increased to 69 stitches before starting chart.
  • Adjusted the raglan decreases (since I altered the neckline and the yoke height along with the sleeve width). Worked 5 sets of decreases every third row, then 10 sets of decreases every other row, then 14 sets of decreases every row. I did this on both the body and the sleeves. The sleeves ended up with a stitch count of 19 at the neckline.
  • Kept color change in neck ribbing to mimic the bottom and cuff ribbing.


Overall I am extremely pleased with how this turned out! It fits like a dream now that it’s blocked. I was concerned about some bunching that I was getting (pre-blocking) in the sleeve cap area, but it all blocked out and the raglan sleeves fit wonderfully! The Palette yarn is very soft, especially after blocking – yet it has the sticky quality that you want in fair isle. I did not reinforce my steek at all prior to cutting and it’s holding together just fine.

Sleeve seam detail

My Color Palette:
Old Gold = Ash
Bracken = Marble
Pistachio = Fog
Yellow Ochre = Mist
Scotch Broom = White
Shetland Black = Asphalt
Pine Forest = Ivy
Admiral Navy = Clover
Peat = Spearmint
Sunrise = Celedon
Madder = Edamame

Here is what I came away with this time around with the Ravelympics:

I was crazy to pick such an ambitious project. Next time around I will not be so crazy – in order to save my sanity and the sanity of my entire household. I was determined to not ‘fail’, so housework and homeschooling and anything other than knitting was put on the back burner. Not a bad thing in and of itself , but I think next time around I’ll take things a bit easier, and hence have a cleaner house and less rambunctious children during the games. (Really, who cares that my house was a mess for two weeks? And the kids were really great the whole time – they just watched a bit more tv than normal.) As proof of how much knitting I was doing each day – I even dreamed about knitting on this sweater several nights there!

I am very proud of myself – I proved to myself that I could, in fact, knit an entire fair isle sweater in 17 days. Because, I guess, I needed to prove that to myself for some strange reason. Now that that is done, I am going to take things a bit easy on the knitting front – well, for just a day or two anyway!

Happy Knitting everyone!!

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Ravelympics Progress

We’re into Day 6 of the Knitting Olympics. I’ve made a good bit of progress on my sweater. It seems like it is slow going as I’m knitting, but it really is growing by leaps and bounds!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

My main concern right now is whether it’s going to fit or not. I put it on waste yarn on Monday to try it on, and it fit fine at that point. Now that I’m past the hip decreases and started the increases I think I’m going to pause and try it on again just to be sure the waist fits. We’ll see. I know it’ll block a little larger in the end, so there’s a bit of wiggle room if it’s a tiny bit too small. (I hope!)

I absolutely love the Winter Olympics – especially the figure skating, so I’ve been enjoying watching the last few nights. I don’t know how much longer I can keep up the past-midnight bedtimes, though!

Keep it up, all of my fellow Knitting Olympians! 12 more days to go!

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Gearing up for Ravelympics

So, for those of you who are not knitters (are there any non-knitters that even read this blog??) the Ravelympics is an event which takes place on the knitting community of Ravelry during the Olympic Games. The idea is that you pick a project (or projects) that is/are a challenge to complete within the two week time frame of the Olympic Games. You don’t cast on until the Opening Ceremonies and you have to finish before the end of the Closing Ceremonies. Teams form for the purpose of cheering each other on.

I participated two years ago, and didn’t do too bad. I focused on getting gift knits done, and I had a total of 4 projects cross the finish line.

This year I have gone bonkers. I am going to attempt to knit the Autumn Rose pullover by Eunny Jang. Fair Isle. Sweater. In two weeks. Yep – bonkers.

There’s a bit of prep involved with a project like this.

First, I do not like the colors that the original is knit in. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I think the sweater is gorgeous – it’s just not in colors that I prefer to wear. So, I’m switching colors. And I want to use Knit Picks Palette yarn instead of the yarn called for. I’ve used Palette a lot and I like it – plus it’s very inexpensive. So the quest for the perfect colors must begin prior to the Opening Ceremonies.

Secondly, I’ve heard that there are some issues with the fit of this sweater. I’m going to make adjustments to the pattern so that it fits my body better. I don’t like plunging necklines, so I’m going to raise the neckline – which is easily enough accomplished. And I want to make the sweater a bit longer – it’s a little bit short for my taste – again, that’s easily done. The more difficult changes are to make the shoulder to armhole depth a bit shallower while adding in a bit more room in the upper arm of the sleeve. I’m going to have to plan those changes out ahead of time, and re-chart the pattern.

So, I’ve already done all my swatching – to pinpoint my colors and to check gauge (very important!!)

I’m going with a green color scheme. Here’s swatch #1:


I don’t like the yellow-green in the bottom check section. And the bottom of the medallion does not have enough contrast. Plus my gauge was a bit too tight. So on to try #2:

I tried out two different color combos for the check section. I’ve decided that while the yellows are pretty, I think they’re too bright for the overall sweater – the greens in the medallion are muted and the yellows seem to scream at me a bit too much. So I’m going with the colors up top for the check section. And notice how the bottom (and top) of the medallion has more contrast now? I’m happy with these colors. I also went up a needle size and my gauge is much better.

I haven’t made all my design changes yet. I’m going to try to get those done this week. I foresee lots of pen and pencil marks on lots of charts.

I am so anxious to cast this sweater on! The swatch sure whet my appetite for knitting this sweater!! I don’t know how I’m going to make it a whole two weeks (almost) before the Opening Ceremonies. Oh well – I’ll continue knitting on my WIPs until then. But it’ll be pure agony, I tell you.

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I can’t believe my baby’s 3!

My youngest turns 3 this Saturday. Where did the time fly to? I still remember being in the hospital having him – in the middle of the night, with his brother in his jammies since we had to wake him up to drive to the hospital. He ended up falling asleep in the delivery room and all the doctors and nurses whispered throughout his brother’s delivery! They joked that it was the quietest delivery they had ever had! lol! Until he showed up and started screaming his head off! But big brother still slept through it all :-).

And I’m in denial that my oldest would have started kindergarten this last Monday (if we weren’t homeschooling that is!). I’m very glad that I don’t have to go through the emotions of putting him on a bus and sending him to school, but I’m experiencing all the other emotions – like disbelief that he can possibly be old enough to be in school! 😦

On the knitting front, the Ravelympics are over! And I did pretty good with 4 projects crossing the finish line! 3 gift knits and one wip. I won’t post the gift photos here, but here’s the wip scarf that had been hibernating since 2006!It’s a very cushy cashmere/wool blend yarn. It knitted up into a very warm and soft scarf – I can’t wait to wear it this winter! The pattern is a reversible cable – very cool. Essentially you work groups of K2, P2, K2, P2 rib, and then cable the groups of K2, P2 across each other. The purls end up hiding to the back with the knits popping up in front, and it looks totally reversible! This one is 6 sets of K2, P2 – working 3 cables offset from each other (the outer two cables are worked on the same rows, and the inner cable is worked in the middle of those outer cables.) Did I make sense there? I hope so. It’s a great way to do a scarf, since it makes the cable section even denser than normal cables, which gives you a nice thick fabric to keep out the cold!

There’s a local natural baby products shop opening up, and the owner wants to sell wool diaper soakers/covers – and she’s asked me to supply her! (If you don’t know what soakers are, they are knitted pants for babies to wear over cloth diapers. They help to soak up any extra moisture and wick it away from baby’s skin.) So I’m busy knitting up a shop sample (and coming up with the pattern at the same time!), and then I’ll chug away at knitting up some soakers to sell. Hopefully I’ll make a little extra yarn money! 🙂 Wish me luck!

We’re off to King’s Mountain for a camping weekend! Let’s hope the rain stays away!

Catch you on the flip side! Have a great Labor Day!

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Ravelympics Progress, among other things.

So the Ravelympics is well under way (and those other Olympics too). I’ve crossed the finish line with one of my projects, but I won’t put a pic here because they are a Christmas gift (even though I’m pretty sure the intended recipient doesn’t read my blog, but you never know!) And I’m about 3/4 of the way done with my second project (another gift!). Then I’ll just have three more gifts to knit, and then 4 wips to finish before the Olympics end! I’ll maybe finish one of my wips, but it’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that I won’t finish all 4. I’ll do my best, though!

I don’t enjoy the Summer Olympics as much as I do the Winter Olympics, but man, they are addicting! We’ve been staying up past midnight the last several nights watching the swimming and the gymnastics competitions. Man, am I tired!
We got an electronic drum set the other day. Rock Band did it. It gave me the drumming bug. I’m having a blast learning to play, though. Hubby has a new electric guitar (an early birthday present), so we’ve been learning a couple of songs that we could play together. Granted, he already knows how to play the guitar – but I’m a total newbie at the drums! I love the drum set – it has a ton of options for the drum sounds, and it even has a hand drum option that is perfect for the boys. You can never have too many instruments in the house, in my opinion! We even dug out my old trumpet, and William is learning how to make noise on that too. 🙂 Now we just need a violin, a xylophone, maybe a flute and a clarinet, and we’ll have all the instrument types represented! Overkill? Us? No way! It’s all homeschooling material – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I’ve really stalled on the Master Knitter program. All these things keep popping up that I “need” to knit instead! I’m determined to do more swatches once the Ravelympics is over, though. I was wanting to be finished by my birthday, but that’s come and gone now! Now my goal is to be done before the end of the year. That should be possible, if I have some resolve and don’t let the siren call of other pretty things to knit draw me in. It doesn’t help that I have this pretty sock yarn in a basket on my desk…..

On the Homeschooling front, William is almost done with his Kindergarten level Math and Phonics programs (I’m using Saxon Math and Saxon Phonics). He’ll be 5 in October, and he’ll be done with Kindergarten before all the public school kids even start school! I’m so proud of him – he’s reading 5 letter words now, and on the brink of reading independently. We started a Word Caterpillar on the wall several weeks ago, (with all the words he can read on circles to make a long caterpillar) and I’m running out of room on the wall!! There’s a good 80+ words up there now, and I have a stack of about 30 more that need to go up. I ordered a blank lined dictionary book/journal from Starfall (love that website!) and I think I’m going to have him write the words he knows in there instead of putting them on the wall from now on. (Maybe I’ll just put the bigger words that he’s reading on the Caterpillar). Right now he’s also learning about the Oceans, and Dinosaurs, and Ancient Greece/Olympics/Greek Myths. He loves school – and bugs me to get started every morning – which I’m very happy about.

Speaking of school – I have to get to it, so that’s it for now!