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Archive for August, 2008

On Originality

As you saw from my gauge swatch for Little Birds, I am a tad obsessed with picking colors for a knitting project. I want it to look just right and–if I am being honest–I also want it to be different from the original. I don’t know where this comes from, but I really need to be unique.

I think part of it is the challenge and satisfaction that comes from discovering the perfect-for-me colors for a garment. But this is not entirely true because sometimes the sample colors on a garment are perfect for me and it doesn’t matter–I still want to change them.

Choosing the right color for the birds in Little Birds was difficult. I swatched five different colors for the birds. Five! Every person I showed the swatch to in person picked blue. Every single one. Secretly I liked the blue best too but refused to accept it as my choice. So I kept on swatching. Finally, I conceded and during a final visit to the LYS I looked at all the deep blues and stumbled across one whose shade I really really liked. It was perfect. Then I thought, if I had to be boring and go with the already picked out color family, at least I could have a unique shade of blue.

I started to knit. I knit and I knit and made good progress.

I was pleased. That is, until last night. It was then I realized that the shade of blue I picked out is the exact same shade as the sample garment. ARGH! How did that happen? Now, at least the other colors I chose for the pullover are not identical–my base color is more gray and my green is deeper–but still.

I don’t understand why I am like this. Why do I care? Do any of you knitters have the same hang-ups? Or do I just have issues? (I am not sure I want you to answer that, but go ahead.)

That being said, I sure do like the way the colors look–dang it.

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My Ravelympic Career

So anyone else watch the ill fated race of Liu Xiang? He is the Chinese track superstar who after a false start for a recent Olympic race, dropped out due to the obvious pain from an injury he was suffering. One might wonder why he attempted to run in the first place as he was in no shape to do it. Perhaps he felt he owed it to his country (and to himself) to try even though the smart thing to do would be to sit this one out.

I am Liu Xiang. Sort of.

Let me explain:

Liu Xiang is a track superstar and a former Olympic gold medalist. I am not a track superstar (or a superstar of anykind) but I AM a former Olympic Gold Medalist–Norwegian Stockings/Barcelona Olympics ’06 baby!

Like Liu Xiang, I too entered a race I had no chance of winning. I am a competitor and I get a wee bit compulsive sometimes. Me entering Ravelympics with a stranded colorwork sweater knit on size 1 and 3 needles that I was planning on re-designing with only a week for prep work was perhaps a bit over-ambitious. I might not have seen reason at the time, but I understand now that I was bordering on crazy. Still…you never know and so like Liu Xiang, I entered anyway.

It took a false start for Liu Xiang to see reason. After he started the race and the buzzer rang saying they had to start again he promptly tore off his number and limped off the track. I had my own “false start” in my event when I realized I had twisted my knitting at the cast on–which I have never done before I might add. I didn’t realize what I had done for about an inch of knitting. I needed to start over and as I did, in my head I was symbolically tearing off my number and admitting that while it was a stretch to think I could finish this project with two solid weeks of knitting–it was impossible to do so after having lost 3 weekend days of knitting. Oh, and that was the other thing, I started late to begin with.

So all this is a long way of saying I am considering my ravelympic 2008 run as over. I am sorry if I got up anyones hopes that they were actually going to see an FO here this weekend. Like Liu Xiang didn’t want to disappoint the people of China, I also do not want to disappoint my faithful readers.

All is not lost however. I am still moving forward with Little Birds Pullover. I have worked out the sizing and stitch counts and I also have some very impressive ribbing to show off.


One of the reasons why I had a late start on this project was me trying to pick the right color combo.

I tried and tried to pick something other than blue for the birds but when it came down to it, the birds told me very clearly that they wanted to be blue. I think I found a pretty great shade for them (not pictured) and as soon as I have a nice bit of the body completed I will give you a peek at what they look like.

Ravelympics or no, I am still hoping to keep a good pace with this sweater.  Wish me luck!

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So it all started with this.

I was directed to The Twist Collective, a new online source for patterns (part online magazine, part pattern store), this morning.  Ever since I looked through the projects I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Little Birds.  I love it.  Knew immediately I had to make it. 

There was only one problem.  I am pretty sure it would not be the most flattering style on me.  You know, the deep, only attaches at the waist, cardigan look.  It is adorable–but in my opinion it is more adorable on smaller busted women.  I have another cardi with the same cut and I stopped wearing it because it made me uncomfortable and didn’t fall nicely. 

But I still love the birds.  So what am I going to do?  Turn it into a pullover.  I did a little drawing of what I am thinking and I am encouraged that it will still be really sweet and vintage-y.  The last thing I want to do is ruin the charm and personality of the original design.  

Then, on a whim, I decided to take my obsession with this sweater to a new level.  Heard of ravelympics? (ravelry link)  For my non-knitting readers, this is where a bunch of crazy but awesome knitters (5000 and counting) decide to knit a challenging for them project during the Olympics.  You can’t cast on before the opening ceremonies and you have to finish before the flame dies.  There are teams and events.  It appeals to all levels of my obsessive and competitive personality and also to my geeky knitterlyness.  The thing is, I wasn’t going to sign up for it because lately I have been feeling kind of meh about everything I am knitting.  But then today…Little Birds! 

So it is official, I am knitting Little Birds for the ravelolympics.  I don’t know if I can get it done–two weeks is crazy fast considering the pace at which I have been knitting lately.  But I will do my best. 

The sweater is knit with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift and thanks to a frogged Autumn Rose Pullover, I have plenty of yarn to swatch with.  I will need to buy some more of the main color but I have a week to figure out what that will be and to make sure the yarn store has it.  Swatching (or training) will commence this weekend.  I will keep you updated.

Anyone else feeling the Little Bird love or ravelympics spirit?

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