Friday, February 21, 2014

Ravellenics progress update

By way of explanation, Ravellenic Games is a little competition on a website for fiber artists and craftspeople (I dislike the term 'crafters' because of the mental image it usually invokes). We challenge ourselves to work on a piece that is a new technique or finish a piece that we have left lying around unfinished or to undo a piece that we hate and reuse that yarn for something new, bright and shiny. We have events like the international Olympics (oops, didn't mean to mention that trademarked word and hopefully won't get a cease-and-desist letter from the US Olympics Committee--Ravelry members will get the meaning of that remark). We choose the events in which we'll compete, such as spinning a fiber that we've not worked with before and entering it in the Flying Camel Spin event. There are also events complimentary to the main events, such as Stash Skeleton, in which I can use yarn or fiber that's been sitting in my stash for 6 months or more. My Flying Camel Spin yarn qualifies for the Stash Skeleton because I've had that white fiber for a couple of years (hey, fiber doesn't go bad like bread and you never know when your furnace will die mid-winter and you'll need wool insulation.....).

I love the winter olympics (if I spell it with a lower case 'c' does that avoid the nasty letter from the USOC?) and spend a good deal of time watching the events and working on projects. I've challenged myself with 5 projects this time and the green kimono mentioned last week was the first completed project. Second up was the acrylic lapghan I was crocheting for Husbeast's home-away-from-home. It took 6 days to finish this thing that I started in 2009 but it's done and will be heading south next week.

Third was the Striped Vest which needed neck, armhole and botton bands knitted on. I'd noticed that the fronts were curling badly, as Stockinette Stitch does, but the designers photo showed flat front edges so I thought the front bands would calm the curling. I should have known better.....

The curl is strong enough that it's overcoming the front, bottom and placket edgings. It was reassigned to the Aerial Unwind event (where we unravel a project that's not working) and is completed. It's now 7 skeins of yarn awaiting a new design.

The fourth project is an ongoing spinning project meant to break up the knitting and crocheting and give my hands a rest. We all know what happens when we perform repetitive tasks for too long and I'd prefer not to have Carpal Tunnel Surgery. This is a handdyed top from Blue Moon Fiberarts in her Prism colorway, not available to the public yet because it was part of the first Rockin' Whorl Club. I'm spinning it thin and plying it with some natural Polwarth. Here's the original dyed top and the singles on bobbins ready to be plied.

Second photo was taken on a cloudy day with little ambient light so the colors aren't as bright as they should be. Sorry about that but I can't control the weather here in Pittsburgh.

The fifth project.....well, I can't talk about that yet as the recipient reads my blog.

During all that knitting, spinning and crocheting I was also working on a magazine submission or two and a couple of new hat patterns. Phew!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Two weeks' worth of work

It's been a busy two weeks, what with Ravellenic Games and doctors appointments. I'm a co-captain of my Ravellenics team so have been scrambling to assist the team and send out the spirit bags. And finish the four projects I've committed to for the competition. This is the first completion, a kimono I started in ....2009? I think? At any rate, I hate sewing up and committed to getting the seams finished for the Games. Done!

And spinning also happened. I'm working on a few patterns and needed to work up the yarn I plan to use for the final sample, which will photographed for the pattern.

The scarf yarn:  

The hat yarn:
And the wool leftovers on the bobbin from a larger project, one plied with a handspun dyed rayon top and a second one plied with a heathered dark brown handspun wool top (that's the yarn in the closeup on the right). I plan to use them together since they complement each other so well, I just don't know what they will become yet.

I'm still working on 1.5 lb. of wool top for the Games, a lapghan I promised my husband several years ago, and a handspun/commercial spun striped vest that I should really finish. These are all Ravellenic Games projects and I have a week to get them all done. It's rather difficult to spin when your favorite skier is barreling down the slalom run at 90 mph, though!