Posts Tagged ‘knitting olympics’

Another Milestone

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

The torch is lit again, and red mittens are on hands everywhere.

Paralympic red mittens are similar to the Olympic red mittens, but with the Paralympic logo on the back of the hand.  Did you know that it is impossible to purchase a pair of these mittens?  HBC isn’t selling them.    Why not knit a pair of 2010 mittens, with proceeds going to the Penguins Can Fly swim team for disabled children.  Maybe sometime in the future, there will be Penguins in the summer Paralympic games!

The torch relay is continuing until the Paralympics start on March 12th.  I hope to catch some of the sports on TV.  I’m intrigued to learn more about the sports, and various adaptations that are incorporated to allow a great variety of athletes to participate.

An update on the Red Mitten fundraising….

thanks mom for the pizza!

We’re at the $1600 mark.  Thanks to the generous knitters out there who are supporting some very amazing children, and helping them achieve great things.

What is your favourite pattern?

Friday, March 5th, 2010

If you could pick any knitting pattern to download, which one would it be?  There are so many to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start.  Would you start by choosing the technique you want to learn?  Would you start by choosing the kind of garment/project you want to knit?  Would you start by choosing a pattern that you could knit with your current stash yarn?

Today I found out that I was randomly chosen as a Team Canada Ravelympics prize winner for completing my projects (Ceilidh and Eirinn).  The prize (a ravelry downloadable pattern up to $6 US) was generously donated by yarnpiggy of flying pig knits

So, now the tough part….what pattern should I choose??

What is your favourite pattern and why?

So…Now What?

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The Olympics are done.  The Knitting Olympics are done.  The Ravelympics are done.  Or……are they…..

Ceilidh and Eirinn (Photo credit: Mom)

I had such a good time, I think I will start up another Olympic challenge for the duration of the Paralympics later in March!  Who’s with me?

I’m happy to report that the sales of the Olympic Red Mitten Pattern have been rolling in, and are currently at the $1550 mark raised for the Penguins Can Fly swim team.  I hope that people continue to purchase patterns and knit these mittens through the end of the paralympics.  Maybe we can hit $2010…wouldn’t that be cool?

Who knows….one day maybe some of the Penguins will be swimming in the summer paralympics!

Tonight, during the closing ceremonies, after proudly modeling my gold-medal pattern creations Ceilidh and Eirinn, I sat with no knitting in my hands–for all of about 15 minutes.  It’s at times like this that I wonder if I do have a serious problem, but I was suddenly struck by inspiration to knit more cables for a baby sweater/vest of sorts that I can almost see in my mind.

The trouble with things in your mind is that it’s very difficult to make them appear just like you imagined they would.  I am doing my best though, keeping careful scrawly notes and math written down just in case this project ends up successful enough to share with other knitters out there.

I absolutely LOVE the yarn.  It’s Life DK by Stylecraft, a blend of acrylic and wool.  Easy to care for, and so soft.  I may need to go back to Wool Tyme to get more–there are so many babies to knit for this spring!

Are you gearing up for March 12th when the torch gets re-lit?  The Paralympics run from March 12th to 21st in Vancouver!!

Pattern: Eirinn

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Knit in the round from crown to brim with two contrasting worsted weight yarns, this celtic inspired hat would be perfect to wear on St. Patrick’s day.

Buy Eirinn for $4.00 CAD

The Gaelic word Eirinn (pronounced air-en) is a poetic name for Ireland often used in songs.  The celtic patterning of the braid represents the continuum of life, love and faith, and the circle motif represents eternity.

As the final hours of the Ravelympics, knitting olympics and sporting olympics wind down, I am extremely proud to present a second pattern.  This is like an unexpected medal win for me as I thought it would be a big enough challenge to spin and knit and publish one pattern!  Watching all of the fantastic performances of our Canadian athletes I felt inspired to go for the double gold.

Skills: cast on, knitting in the round, purl, cables, kfb increase, stranded knitting, chart reading
Needles:   4 size 4.0mm DPNs, cable needle, darning needle
Yarn:  Worsted weight in 2 contrasting colours
Gauge:  4.5 sts per inch, 7 rows per inch in stockinette stitch

This pair of hat and mitts is perfect for someone interested in a little colourwork and a little bit of cable knitting.

If you like Eirinn, you may also like to knit Ceilidh mittens to match!

Download the .pdf pattern for Eirinn (hat) only  $4.00 CAD

Download the .pdf pattern for Ceilidh (mittens) only $4.00 CAD

Download the .pdf pattern for Eirinn and Ceilidh together for $6.00 CAD

Check out my other patterns here.

For Double Gold-A Hat To Match!

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

With the extra yarn that I’d spun, I decided to create a hat based on the charts and patterning in the Ceilidh mittens published yesterday.  This could bring me a double gold medal in the Ravelympics/knitting Olympics.  I’m up for the challenge.

This much of the hat was knit through a fabulous evening of improvisational theatre.  I have been a fan of the highschool improv since I was first introduced to it about 5 years ago.  If you’ve never been to an improv event before, you should check it out!  Here’s the national link, and the local link too.

It is great to see these teenagers working together, trusting each other, taking risks, and producing some moving, some hilarious, and some very interesting pieces of spontaneous theatre.  Audience participation is encouraged, and it’s the audience suggestions that form the backbone of the sketches performed.

I was inspired by them to improvise a little on this hat design.  Fingers crossed it works out!

This lovely celtic inspired hat is looking for a name!  Any ideas?

Pattern: Ceilidh

Friday, February 26th, 2010

$4.00 CAD

A ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee) is a traditional Gaelic social dance originating in Ireland and Scotland.  In days gone by, there were ceilidhs in most town and village halls on Friday or Saturday nights.  The cheerful and lively ceilidh music is provided by fiddles, flutes, tin whistles, accordions, and the bodhran drum.

This pattern is the results of my Ravelympic challenge: to design and publish a pattern during the Olympic games, and to knit a pair of mittens from sheep fleece that I carded, dyed and spun during the span of the games.

The green was inspired by my 4 leaf clover, and was created using orange and green kool-aid.  The fleece was spun and Navajo plied to form a worsted weight 3-ply yarn.

The celtic patterning of the braid represents the continuum of life, love and faith, and the circle motif represents eternity.

Knit in the round with two contrasting worsted weight yarns, these celtic inspired mittens would be perfect to wear to a St. Patrick’s day ceilidh.

Skills: cast on, knitting in the round, purl, cables, M1 increase, decrease (ssk and k2tog), stranded knitting, chart reading, kitchener stitch
Needles:   4 size 4mm DPN, cable needle, darning needle
Yarn:  Worsted weight in 2 contrasting colours
Gauge:  4.5 sts per inch, 7 rows per inch in stockinette stitch

These mittens would be great for a beginner who is ready to try cable knitting and colourwork in small doses.

EDIT:  Ceilidh now has a matching hat called Eirinn.

Download the .pdf pattern for Celildh (mittens) only for $4.00 CAD

Download the .pdf pattern for Ceilidh & Eirinn for $6.00 CAD

If you like these patterns, check out my others!

Weaving In The Ends

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

It’s a satisfying thing to weave in the ends on a project, specially when it is completed ahead of schedule!

This past 10 days of carding, spinning, dyeing, and knitting has happened in fits and spurts….mostly late into the night.  The Olympic coverage is played late into the night too so it has kept me company as these mittens grew.  I have started to chart and write the pattern, and will attempt the impossible: test knit another pair of mittens in a commercially available yarn to double check my instructions before publishing the pattern.

As I examine the almost finished product a few things come to mind:

1.  The wonderful thing about handspun, or at least about my handspun, is that each bobbin is different.  One mitten is thus a little bit bigger than the other due to the thicker wool.  I don’t know that it is all that noticeable.

2.  This wool is still greasy.  My hands have never been smoother!  As I spin, and knit this wool, the lanolin has been conditioning my skin.  I think I will wash the mittens though, to remove some of it.  Maybe the bits of straw will be removed with a good washing too. (Note to self: Card wool 3 times as many times as you think you need to…I thought I removed all of the straw but boy was I wrong!)

3.  I have also learned that cables on a cuff are not stretchy at all…maybe knit with larger needles it would be better.

Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics, and that Knitting Olympics and Ravelympic projects are going strong.

My test knitting begins during the Canada-USA hockey game tonight.  GO CANADA!!!

How to repair Olympic Red Mittens

Friday, February 19th, 2010

It seems that these mittens are starting to come apart with a bit of wear.  I guess I have developed quite a reputation as a knitter, because people at work have started to bring me their mittens to fix.  Since I do have a soft spot for red mittens, even if they are machine knit from an inexpensive loosely spun acrylic fiber, I agreed to do what I could.  I fixed two different pairs of mittens today!

The most common issue seems to be stitches that are not knit into the next row, or stitches that break because the yarn has worn thin, or ends that were once woven in that are now coming loose.  To fix the problem of a loose stitch, sew a thread through the stitch, and tie a knot leaving a long tail at each end.

The thread will hold on to the stitch to make sure that it wont run.  Examine the stitches around the area.  Determine where the stitch “should” go, and insert the needle there.  Since the mitten is lined, the needle needs to stay between the knitted layer and the lining layer.  Bring the needle back up through the knitted layer a few inches away.  Pulling on the thread should tug on the loose stitch, which might need some gentle coaxing or directing with a knitting needle to fall into place.

Work in the ends of the thread as you’d usually work in the ends of your yarn when you knit.

You can hardly tell which mitten was fixed!

Are your red mittens falling apart?

Past the $1000 mark!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

thanks for the cupcakes mom!

The Olympics have started, and red mittens became the must-have of the season!  Orders have been rolling in and the dollars have been adding up for the Penguins Can Fly swim team.  We’re now at $1110, and that will only go up over the course of the next week.

Thank you to all the generous knitters who have purchased patterns, and spread the word about the mittens, and the Penguins.  So many children will benefit as a result of your purchases.

In Olympic Knitting News….

Today I was made aware (from an NBC Olympics news story) that German Olympic Gold Medalist in the Biathlon, Magdalena Neuner is a knitter.  Knitting and rifles and skis…sounds interesting!  She has a knitting blog which is in German….which I’ve had very little luck reading (since I know no German).

As for my own Olympic knitting…I carded and spun enough white yarn to knit the second mitten, and today I started the cuff of mitten #2.  It’s slow going as I’m writing out pattern notes as I go, just in case anyone wants to make their own pair to match!

Mitten #1 Complete

Monday, February 15th, 2010

What a day for Canada yesterday!  I watched while we won our first gold medal on home soil, and as I watched I knit, and knit and knit.  This morning I woke up and knit some more, enjoying the relaxing Family Day holiday.

I’m pleased with the results of this wool.  I think it is much happier as a mitten than it was as a sock.  I think I’d have to card it a lot more, and then spin it thinner and make 2-ply yarn for socks, or use this thicker weight and knit a nice slipper pattern.

close up of braid

I used my knitting journal and charted out this pattern in it as I went along.  It is great to have a paper trail now….so I can hopefully make a second one that matches.  I’m going to reverse the cables and the braid design on mitten #2.

Speaking of mitten #2….If I’m going to knit one, I better get to carding and spinning more white.  Thank goodness I dyed enough green to be used in both mittens, I don’t know that I could repeat that colourway.

My recipe for this lovely colour of green:

To dye 1 full bobbin of 3 ply handspun, I put it in a bowl full of water, added about 4 “glugs” of white vinegar, 1 full squeeze bottle of liquid green food colouring, and the left overs from another mostly empty bottle.  To that I added 3 packets of lime koolaid, and one packet of orange koolaid that I didn’t mix in thoroughly (this leads to uneven colouring which I think worked nicely).  I microwaved it for about 10 minutes total, and let it sit until the water in the bowl was clear.

I’ll write up this pattern and share it with everyone when I’m done.  I’m looking for a good name though…

What would you name this mitten pattern?