Monday, August 6, 2012

The Ravellenic Games!

The Olympics.  The very height of human passion and athleticism.  I could go on about how moving and inspiring the Olympic Games are but I don't have cable TV so they're basically inaccessible.  Sure, I can watch interviews & select individual performances.  But that kinda kills the whole competitive side of things.  I'm pretty discouraged by that.  But I've been distracting myself with knitting.

Since 2008 Olympic games the online knitting community at Ravelry has grouped together for a series of personal challenges to embrace the spirit of the games.  Each participant is to choose a project that will be a challenge.  You cast on during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics with the objective of finishing your goal before the closing ceremonies.  It is called the Ravellenic Games (which is a mashup of Ravelry and the Pan-hellenic Games).  There are over 12,000 participants this year.  Personal goals range from knitting entire afghans to finishing up that project you started 7 years ago and never finished.

Since the games are in London this year the logo has tea stains!

This is my first time participating in the Ravellenic Games.  In 2008 I was a graduate student, and in 2010 I was working ~70 hours a week.  This has been the first year when I could actually set a personal goal with any hopes of success.  But I got kinda swept up with the "challenge" part . . . so much so that I committed to knitting an entire sweater.  The Olympics are only 16 days long (plus a little extra for the night of the opening ceremonies).

I carefully selected my pattern to knit in tandem with my knitting friend, Karen.  She is also participating for the first time, but her goal is just to make good progress on her sweater; not necessarily finish it.  It's nice to be knitting the same pattern as a friend.  I always love to see how projects develop in different yarns & different colors with a variety of modifications.  We are knitting the Dark and Stormy Cardigan by Thea Coleman.

I'm using a yarn I purchased in late 2009 or early 2010.  I don't remember the month; only that it was  cold outside!  My friend Cynthia and I  were dismayed to discover that one of our favorite yarns was being discontinued (Moda Dea's Washable Wool).  So, when I found a shop that was selling the remainder of their stock at deep discounts we teamed up to meet the minimum order amount.  It's hard to buy $50 worth of yarn when it's only $1.99 per ball!  It was definitely a phone-a-friend situation.  I bought enough for 2 sweaters.  I promptly tucked it away because it was too precious.  I could never get more.  Surely no pattern would ever be worthy of the Washable Wool.  Then, as I was pondering options for my Ravellenic project I realized I had enough yarn to make 2 fabulous sweaters and I was practically afraid to use it.  So I talked myself into it.

"Good heavens, self.  It's just yarn.  If you knit something out of it & don't like you can just rip it out and knit something else!"

Sometimes I have to boss myself around to get anything done.  "Good heavens, self.  Just look at all the un-folded laundry on top of the dryer . . . "  Surely I'm not the only one who does this?

I have knit about 640 yards in 10 days.  I finished the cardigan body last night & started on the first sleeve.  It looks like I may actually finish this thing on time!

This is the back of my cardigan shot from the bottom hem.  I love how defined the cables are!  It's one of the reasons Washable Wool is one of my favorite yarns.


Hi, I'm Vicki said...

wow that's a brave project for the ravellenics - I'm working on all small projects LOL. this is my first games too - I'm loving it. have a knitty wednesday xxx

Jimmini zee said...

Love this bottom photograph... at first glance I thought it was crop circles. Cool angle.