Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Ravellenic Games Update

Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk

I stayed up and watched the whole of the Opening Ceremony on Friday night and I have to say that I thought it was fantastic!  I couldn't help wondering what people in other, far distant nations were making of it but just hoped their TV commentators had notes on what was going on - judging from comments on Ravelry this was, indeed, the case - although the American viewers were highly critical of their commentators who, apparently, talked over a lot of what was going on!  Bean and Bond were brilliant - as was the construction of the flame and the entire ethos of getting young upcoming athletes to light it - what a moment for them!

I waited, wound off ball of yarn and needles next to me:

for the flame and then I was so overwhelmed I forgot to cast on for a while!  I did manage a few rows that night, though:

and, somewhat to my amazement, it's all going OK!  I was here in the shop on Saturday afternoon and I had a whack of work to do on Sunday (breaking all my rules about Sunday working but that's often the case after a week off!) and I still seem to have managed quite a lot:

FB took that this morning and I've just realised that it's the wrong side facing but maybe that's no bad thing - it'll keep the surprise until it's done!

Now that I'm looking at it, I'm not sure quite how and when I managed that much knitting but - there it is!  The "curved" edge is, in fact, the straight edge of the triangle so I'm working around the two long sides to the point (if you see what I mean).  Despite my early anxieties, the pattern is really easy to follow and really easy to tell if you've made a mistake (which is very helpful!).

Onward and upwards to the Podium!!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Holiday - and Ravellenic - Knitting

Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk

I don't know about you but I love long car journeys as they're always a good opportunity to catch up on some quality knitting.  I'm knitting Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) for the baby on the farm where G is going to work in New Zealand and, with only about 10 rows to go, I thought the journey to Wales was the perfect opportunity to finish it.

I was using King Cole's Riot DK and had just finished the first ball so picked up the second from the shop and headed off.  As we got to the A30 I pulled it out and - shock horror - I'd picked up the wrong colour!  I am still bemused as to how I did that and, like an idiot, kept checking and checking and, yes, lo, it was still the wrong colour (I used "Cool" and I'd picked up "Fab"). 

The net result was a) no knitting in the car so total frustration, b) no finished BSJ so double-total frustration and c) spare second project in the boot of the car and a driver who refused to stop!

Lesson learnt: never put your spare project in the boot! (Or, indeed, always check your shade numbers!)

Last night I finally finished the BSJ:

sooo sweet!

And tonight we commence the Olympics and the Ravellenic Games.  I have wound this:

into this:

and the ball looks really small, which is really, really worrying as it means the yarn is really, really fine and I have very little time to turn it into a shawl.  Yikes!  I may have over-extended myself here - but, hey, it's the Olympics and if they can do it, so can I!

Let the Games commence!!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Woolly Wales

Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk

Last week we spent a happy week in Wales - our last family holiday for a while as G has just had his IB results and got into his first choice Uni (hoorah!) and is now off on a gap year, leaving us for a whole year!!  He'll be working in New Zealand for the first six months - initially on a dairy farm but he then may spend some time with sheep - which makes me very happy!

We did a lot of sleeping (which we all, clearly, needed), a lot of eating and drinking (like all good holidaymakers) and a fair bit of walking.

On one of the walks I was fascinated to see this wool on a wire fence:

It looks like the sheep really cuddle up to this fence as the wool is almost felted!

The best weather forecast was for Thursday so we managed a pretty hefty yomp up Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons.  I haven't walked this route for years but it hasn't changed much (!) - except that the paths have been made up with stones and rocks to try and prevent them getting wider and wider and forming a huge scar up the side of the mountains.  We started by walking up the remains of a Roman road - gosh, those Romans got everywhere:

We then headed up - and down:

and up again:

to the top:
we completed the horseshoe to get back to the car, past these reservoirs:

with a very full weir at the bottom and a final glimpse of Pen Y Fan:

Much as I love walking in Cornwall I really do love the mountains of Wales!

Give me a couple of days and I'll tell you about my holiday knitting!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Summer Top in Haze

Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk

In the eternal hope that we might get some sun, and summer, during August, I've knitted up a quick summer top in King Cole's Haze.   Pattern 3220 features a dress (which I definitely don't have the legs for!):

and a summer top:

so I amalgamated the two by knitting one peplum from the dress and then finishing with the neckline of the top.  The result is a summer top with single peplum:

The page of amendments is available free if you buy pattern 3220 and the Haze yarn.

Now all we need is for the sun to come out and tan my lily-white arms!!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Ravellenic Games 2012

Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk

So - London 2012 is almost upon us and I decided that, for the first time, I should enter the fray and attempt a knitting challenge (for those not familiar with this concept, the basic idea is that you pick a challenging project, cast on after the flame has been lit and finish the project before the flame goes out).  Swatching in advance is allowed as that comes under "training".  Don't think this is an easy thing to do - many have tried and failed!

For the last couple of Olympics the whole concept has taken on a life of its own through the wonder of Ravelry but this year there has been something of a furore over the event as those of you who are also on Ravelry are no doubt aware.  (For those of you not on Ravelry or who haven't been on any knitting blogs over the past week or have been on the planet Zog - here is a brief synopsis: the event was previously known as the Ravelympics.  The United States Olympic Committee (in their lack of wisdom) wrote to the guys at Ravelry and told them they couldn't use the word "Olympics" as they owned the copyright [how they claim to own this copyright is still a mystery and what the Greeks have to say about it is unknown].  Furthermore they went on to suggest that the concept of the Ravelympics denigrated the real athletes and all their hard work (as one knitter put it, "because running 40 yards is so much harder then knitting a sweater!)).

Suffice to say - the furore has died down, the USOC has had to issue 2 letters of apology (their first wasn't good enough and, remember, many knitters are lawyers and writers and really quite intelligent people {they read complex knitting patterns, after all!} and they told the USOC that their first letter wasn't good enough in no uncertain terms and the USOC apologised again) and, finally, the event was re-named the Ravellenic Games.

Today, I have joined up, nailed my flag to the mast and entered Team GB in the eventlace, eventoneskein, eventshawl and evenstash categories.  Don't panic!  I'm not entering 4 items - that, clearly, would be ridiculous!  My one skein, lace shawl from my stash is ready and waiting.  I am attempting to knit this beautiful shawl (Cotswold Leaves by Val Turner):

using this one skein of Filigran lace (which I have been assured is enough yarn):

from my stash.

What are you knitting for Team GB?!