Summer of Shawls

Two Sundays ago was the first meet-up for the Lakeshore Shawl Knit-Along, and it went rather well! Fifteen adults, one kid, and one very new baby. Lots of puzzling and comparing, some nervous laughter, and lots of excitement…

summer so far 375

At the end of the day my shawl-in-progress looked like this:

summer so far 372

A week later and I’m up to this:

july 2012 022

Even I was a little intimidated when I started on that Sunday afternoon, but I dove-in headfirst, and have been really enjoying it. The pattern structure has a nice rhythm to it, though I’m not so confident that I’m taking this one out and about with me. The next meet-up isn’t until August 12th, but I’m aiming to be done the five necessary repeats of the first chart by Friday. This Friday! Because this Friday is the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics!

Now, I’m not really super keen on the Olympics specifically, or really sporting events generally, aside from the fact that they afford excellent opportunities for knitting. You can sit, often with other people, “watch” (I mean listen) the event on television, but if anything exciting happens, THEY REPLAY IT FOR YOU. There’s no narrative to follow, no characters to remember, just people who have trained for years and years to do this one awesome thing, trying their best to be amazing. It’s pretty great, and pretty inspiring… Which leads us to the Ravellenic Games, Ravelry’s own Olympic-themed knitting/crochet/spinning/weaving competition which focuses on crafters challenging themselves to do bigger, better, trickier, niftier things during the course of the Olympic Games. You cast-on during the Opening Ceremonies (which start this Friday at 2 p.m. EST!) and aim to cast-off by the Closing Ceremonies (August 12th!). In the past I haven’t bothered to follow or participate in Ravelry’s official Games, but I’m feeling it this year. And this is why:

Veera Valimaki’s Color Affection shawl. A behemoth of garter stitch short-row-shaped stripes that, according to many brave souls, can take *forever* to knit. Ever since I found these amazing skeins on the Indigodragonfly table at our local World Wide Knit-in-Public day, I knew I was destined to knit one. And the Olympic Games time limit is just the trick to stop this from being a never-finished white elephant in my Ravelry queue. I’m “competing” as an individual, though you can join a team if you wish, and each project competes in an “event”. Since mine is a shawl, I’ll list it under the “Shawl Sailing” event. If you were to do something like this:

(Jared Flood’s Rock Island Shawl) it could be listed under “Shawl Sailing” AND “Lace Longjump”.

How knitting a pair of stranded colourwork mittens?

(Adrian Bizilia’s Flocked Mittens) They would qualify for the “Mitten Medley” and the “Colourwork Cross-country”.

What about a pair of socks with a complex stitch pattern?

(Glenna C’s Staked) These would definitely qualify for “Sock Put”, and if you knit them in a single skein of sock yarn (very possible), the “Single Skein Sprint” as well!

More info about the various events, and how to properly tag them, can be found HERE!

One other cool thing to tell you about: Needles in the Hay has been approved as a pattern seller for In-Store Pattern Sales through Ravelry, which means I’m now authorized to buy and print patterns from Ravelry for you on the store computer.

(see that red arrow? that “buy in-store” option is brand new!)

Not all patterns are available (designers have to opt-in to the program) and it only applies to patterns for sale, but some of my favourite designers have opted in already (in fact, all of the patterns listed above are now available through this program!) Never again will your pattern acquisition be at the mercy of your temperamental printer’s toner levels. Pretty cool, huh?

So, do any of you have Olympic knitting plans? Are you on a Ravellenic Games team this year? There’s still time to decide if you want to participate – I say Go For It! 🙂

  • Doris
    Posted at 11:49h, 25 July Reply

    Isn’t that an intent-looking bunch of knitters?! I’ve frogged my shawl once already (that will teach me not to use a lifeline), and then yesterday I had to frog about 6 rows. ThankfullyI had the lifeline and I was able to reknit it.

    Good luck in the Ravellenic Games!

    • needlesinthehay
      Posted at 13:50h, 25 July Reply

      Oh yes, I have *never* been as diligent with my lifelines as I have been with the Lakeshore Shawl! Dropped a stitch today and nearly had a heart attack! (but was able to save it without frogging back)…

      Thanks for the luck! The Color Affection is going to be a marathon of knitting, that’s for sure. 🙂

  • LoriAngela
    Posted at 10:50h, 26 July Reply

    I’m going to challenge myself to work on a lingering project: a black Flaming Flowers stole that is going into its second summer. Lace on all rows. We don’t watch the Olympics, but maybe I’ll listen to the Hunger Games on audio book, or an English lit.

    • needlesinthehay
      Posted at 09:54h, 27 July Reply

      Hunger Games audio book sounds like totally appropriate accompaniment to a knitting challenge. Good luck! 🙂

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