When You Lose Your Needles

I’m working away at my bag jump Ravellenic Game challenge.  It’s almost large enough to start the edging, but not quite.  My biggest obstacle at the moment is that I seem to favor size 8 needles, which means all of my circular needles are in use elsewhere – specifically in one project, my stash busting domino afghan that I’ve slowly been working on (and for some reason have not photographed or written about it).


All of my stitches are getting squished together on double-pointed needles as I work around and around. I am getting more and more worried that I’ll be dropping stitches soon, but I’m almost ready to decrease again, so maybe I’ll be alright.

I really like the pop of green against in the purple berry tones.  I wonder how dramatic it is going to be once the bag is felted.  The shift between the two shades of purple is not as dramatic as I was expecting, so we’ll see.  I’ve decided to try out a zipper closure instead of a button or snap.  I don’t work with zippers much, so this will be a better challenge – stick with me as I push myself over the edge.

Besides the needle obstacle, it’s been a fun, interesting, and quick project (she says before daring the zipper to a duel).  I can’t wait to type it up and offer it to the world!

Casting on with the Olympics

The winter Olympics have begun, and with that – the Ravellenic Games.

The biggest downside to not owning a TV is that when I want to watch things in real time (like the Olympics) it’s really difficult.  I have to stream everything – which is fine 90% of the time.  Just not today.

My challenge to myself is two-fold.  Firstly, I am going to actually design something that’s been in my head for awhile.  I cast on over my lunch break:


Secondly – I want to make my new niece some girly clothing.  I have a sweater and yarn ready to go.

I also need to keep working on my Arrow shawls.  The next week in knitting is going to be eventful.

What’s your challenge?

Olympic Recuperation

Finally, I can bring to you the end of my Ravellenic Challenge.  I really meant to do this last week, but somehow time escaped me and before I knew it, it was Friday.  I feel like that has been my summer, though, and most especially the 17 days of the Olympic games.  I am just now feeling like I’m catching up on things, and I think that is because my awesome parents asked to have Ellette for the rest of the summer and my house is blissfully (and sometimes saddeningly) child-free.

Anyway, I did not make it to the finish line.  I really tried.  The Saturday night before the end, I was up until goodness knows when, trying to finish the last few modules I had left.  I probably shot myself in the foot doing that, because I had to rip back the same module three or four times due to counting errors.  After I finished the modules, I Threaded a lifeline through the remaining live stitches and blocked it out.  I was hoping to block it lightly enough to hold the shape, yet be dry enough that I could take it with me in the morning to finish during class and fair.  I used a spray bottle to spritz over it, but apparently didn’t realize how much water I had used because it was still too damp to move in the morning.  I gave up hope at that point.

I didn’t cross the finish line, but I still finished, and I think that is the most important thing.  I crossed this beautiful fan shawl off my WIP list and I am completely in love with it (I planned my wardrobe around it this morning so I could wear it to the office).  Photographs were taken in a public flower bed in downtown Evanston yesterday.  I received some really strange looks from passersby.

The specs:  Panda Silk Fan Shawl on size US3 needles.

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in 852 Persia – at least one skein is.  I used two skeins, and the second skein is something else.

Mods: I used a much smaller yarn, for one, which required smaller needles.  I also added two more rows of fans to make it a little bigger.

Olympics – Day 13

What a terrible run this has been.  I clearly overestimated how much time I would have to work on this project, and I underestimated the magnitude of the knitting itself.  They make be little, but they sure are time consuming.  The quickest I completed a pawn was 1 hour.  I started on the queen, and an hour later I had only finished her head.

By the way – you think second sock syndrome is bad – try 16th pawn syndrome.  That last one was almost the end of me.  I couldn’t believe I was doing it again, and the stitches stretched on before me and I nearly broke.  I almost threw my towel in.

Today, not much is different.  We are getting closer to end and I am falling farther behind.

I finished the white queen:

And one rook for the white side:

And then I couldn’t do it anymore.  The tiny needles were digging into the sides of my fingers, the tips were causing blisters on my index fingers’ tips.  I thought about calling it quits for real.  Just putting it down for a few days to relax.  There is a lot going on right now, some of which I could anticipate before this all started.  I really should have known better.  I should have known I would not have enough time for it.  I should have found a different way of incorporating my work needs with the Ravelympics.  Like seeing how many Zombie hats I could churn out in two weeks.   Or getting through the rest of the Zigamorph scarves I need to make.  I realize this now, and I won’t make the same mistake.

Yesterday, I dove into my wip bin (really that should be plural, but it’s a bit embarrassing that way).  I came up with the Panda Fan Shawl I had started in Denmark and looked at how much there was left.  I can do that, at least, and still limp across the finish line.

I was working away at it last night and realized that the two skeins of Malabrigo sock are different.  I don’t know how, but they are.  They were gifted to me by a non-knitter, so I really shouldn’t be surprised.  I don’t know if they are completely different colorways, or just dye lots, but if you look closely you will notice that the top fans are much darker than the bottom fans.

Luckily, the placement of these fans is good enough that the color change looks almost intention.  I have been tossing around the idea of knitting the top edge with an even darker blue to further accentuate the difference.  What are your thoughts?

Tomorrow, I will be heading to a crazy quilting class at Stitches Midwest.  I’m incredibly excited about this.  I have been looking forward to it for weeks.  Saturday is the Renaissance Fair again, and Sunday morning I’m taking the Get Published class taught by Shannon Okey.  I’ve got my proposal typed, but I feel that it is lacking by way of samples and pictures.


Odin and I took the day off to celebrate his birthday.  Last night we drove to Milwaukee and went dancing with our old crew.  We played bar dice and stayed out really late and woke up this morning with a full amount of sleep and found this amazing diner for breakfast.  I had an amazing vegetarian eggs benedict that had curried tofu, fried bananas, and came on naan instead of an English muffin.  We are staying at the house we used to live in with the coolest roommate we have ever had, chatting in the backyard and drinking La Fin du Monde.  The sun is shining and there is a refreshing breeze coming off the lake.  We are talking about polarized lenses and knitting and we’re celebrating this guy:


Happy birthday, darling.

As for knitting, I am still cranking away at the pawns.  I have this many:

The one that is on the needles has since been finished.

12 pieces completed.

20 pieces to go.

38% complete.

Day 8 of the Olympics and Ravellenic games.

9 days to go.

Average production rate of  1.5 pieces per day.  Need to complete 2.5 pieces per day to realize my goal.

Diminishing probability of having enough yarn and enough time to complete the board.  Next week I am hoping to make a big push, since our social calendar will not be as full.  Wish me luck.



Olympics – Day 5

We are on day 5 now of the Olympic games and the parallel running Ravellenic Games.

My start was a shaky one.  I cast on exactly at 3:00 and started knitting.  Not for very long, of course, because I was still at work, but enough to feel satisfied with my start.

Then, I realized that I had started all wrong, and had to pull out my inch of work.  Not like an inch is much when you’re doing what I’m doing, but it was enough for me to cringe.  I cast on again and started correctly.  I got to the same point again when I snapped a needle in half.  I held the two broken pieces in horror.  I had no idea where the rest of my size 1 needles were.  I was rapidly falling behind.  I sent out an SOS on Team Windy  Knitty’s Ravelry page, asking that anyone going to the kick off party – please, PLEASE – loan me a set of needles until I could locate my spares.

I did a massive search when I got home.  I contemplated chosing a different project instead.  And then I remembered I had thrown all of my bamboo size 1s in my sock project bag for the road trip, to protect against needle breakage/loss during our vacation.  With the crisis averted, I set to work once again on the chess pieces and set off for the opening ceremony kick off at Fireside.

And here are in the present – Day 5 – and where am I?

8 pieces done.

24 pieces to go.

25 % completion.

High probability of having enough yarn for the board.

Medium probability of actually getting the board done, if I do have enough yarn.

Completing an average of 1.8 pieces per day.  Need to complete 2 pieces per day to finish in time – more if I expect to knit the board, too.

I’m a little worried.  This week is packed.  Tomorrow we are celebrating Odin’s birthday (even though it is on Friday), then Thursday it looks like we are heading up to Milwaukee for more celebration.  I have faire again on the weekend, which cuts into my knitting time severely.

How are you doing?

Quickly I Write

I had every intention of writing a blog post yesterday about th Ravellenic games that will be kicked off this afternoon in conjunction with the opening Olympic ceremonies.  I had every intention of going into detail about my goals during the next two weeks and how I was going to see them through.   I wanted to do that so today, I could post a picture from work at exactly 3pm central time showing the first feeble stitchs of my self-imposed challenge.  As you can see there was no post yesterday.

What happened was that, while I was typing away, a pile of work fell in my lap and consumed my attention for the rest of the working afternoon.  I got off work, picked up Ellette from camp only to discover that she had – for the second or third time this summer – lost her lunchbox.  As punishment, I told her that she had to make up that money I had put into those lunchboxes.  I had a studio that needed to be moved into the attic and a dining room to be reorganized, plus generic cleaning in preparation for my sister’s visit.  So, I piled up boxes by the attic door and she carried them upstairs and put them neatly in a row for me to sort later, meanwhile giving me pitiful looks and whimpering slightly about how tired she was getting and how boring it was.    I then cleaned up the kitchen, swept and mopped the floors, and vacuumed the rugs.  By this time, we were all hungry, my sister was late, and I couldn’t lift another finger.  We ordered thai, which led to confusion about food, during which my sister arrived, with others in tow, and chaos reigned for a while, pushing the blog out of my realm of thought.

So, today I am catching up what I should have said yesterday and holding off on what I wanted to say today.

1) Info on the Ravellenic Games can be found here.

2) I am a part of Team Windy Knitty.

3) I will be competing in wip wrestling.  The goal is to tackle the works-in-progress that have been piling up.  I will be starting with the Chess Game:


4) Apparently, I tried to post and everything south of the picture was lost (including the picture) – I’m sorry.

5) If I finish this in time, my next wip would be the Panda Fan Shawl I started in Denmark.

6) Followed by the Cog Steampunk Scarf.

7) I have more in the line up if (IF) I finish the above 3.

8) The games end August 12 (that’s 17 days!)

9) Tonight there is a kick off party with Team Windy Knitty at Fireside.  Come on down!


Are you in the game?

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