Thursday, February 13, 2014

May the odds be ever in your favor

Well hi there! It's been a while. Last week was spent mostly stressing out about the number of projects I was trying to keep track of at work, as well as other non-work commitments. Generally, I tend to be lax about time management, as things usually 'just work out'. But every now and then, that attitude gets me into trouble, when the demands on my time add up to more than my "I can handle it by not handling it" threshold. Unfortunately I think my stressing out was enough to knock out my immune system just long enough to slam me with a terrible cold this week. And to top it all off, it's blizzarding outside today. Not fun. But enough about that; let's talk about something that is fun!

The Ravellenics

This year I am participating in the Ravellenics for the first time. The Ravellenics, or Ravellenic Games, is an international fiber-crafting challenge that coincides with the Olympics. (You can read about why the  name is a little less-than-obvious here.) Start a project during the opening ceremony - something that is challenging to you - and work to finish that project by the end of the closing ceremonies. Join a team, share your progress with others, and root for your nation's Olympic competitors while you work. There are different 'events' to enter, such as 'Flying Camel Spin' (spinning competition, from fleece to finished yarn) or the 'Hat Halfpipe' (knit or crochet a hat). It's a great way to meet other people in the fiber-crafting internet world. Fun, right? 

I've joined Team Sasquatch, which is for anyone who listens to fiber-related podcasts. For my events, I've chosen two: 'Aerial Unwind', which involves frogging (unravelling) a long-dormant project that I *know* is not going to work out, and 'Sock Hocky', which requires me to begin and finish an entire pair of socks by the closing ceremony. 

My 'Aerial Unwind' entry is already finished. Remember this shawl-in-progress from my WIPs Roundup post?

There were so many problems with this had been sitting in a bag for months and months, and finally I was OK with letting it go. 

All done, and off of my mind. An enabler for this project was finally building a PVC 2-yard Niddy-Noddy! It is fantastic and has already seen quite a bit of use. As you'll notice, in the first picture the yarn is all kinked up from being in a crocheted state for so long. After I unwound the project, I wound half of the yarn onto the Niddy-Noddy and steamed it using a tea-kettle. After it dried, the yarn was straightened out and good-as-new (you can see it behaving quite nicely in the front-most skein). The process was repeated for the second half, which is pictured still on the Niddy-Noddy so that you can see how it is used.  

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my sock-knitting progress:

from the fuzzy cast-on

to some discernable progress

to my current state, after the heel-turn.

I am surprised at how much I am enjoying knitting on these socks. (The pattern is Darjeeling by Cat Bordhi, and it is really quite clever.) It shouldn't really surprise me - the project is super portable, the needles I'm using (Addi Turbo's) are excellent, the yarn (Malabrigo Sock in Lotus) is beautiful, the pattern is fun, progress is relatively quick because they are so small and I knit fast, and the knitting is tiny and I love all things miniature. Plus, seams on sock toes really bother me and I'm excited by the prospect of warm, soft, woolen socks with no seams to give me blisters in my shoes.

I'm enjoying it so much, in fact, that I also joined the SocksWithSarah knit-a-long. The idea of this KAL is to incorporate socks into your daily knitting; simple as that. You can use any pattern, and Sarah has created a great, supportive community which you can check out here if you like. I have a lot of random fingering-weight yarn in my stash now, enough neckwear to last me for a while, and my feet are always cold - so, sock knitting it is! I've created a "sock club 2014" tab in my Ravelry queue to keep track of patterns that I already have in my library that I'd like to make. Suggestions for others are welcome!

If you live on the East Coast, I hope you are staying safe and warm during this storm. I will hopefully be back soon - there are several FOs to share with you!


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