Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Getting Ready for the Ravelympics

As the Olympics swiftly approach, I am laying aside my current (secret!) project knitting, and working on a bunch of swatches for new projects.

This year is the first "Ravelympics". A group on Ravelry has developed to encourage us all to finish challenging projects over the course of the Olympics! I have, of course, gotten in way over my head on this idea. But in a way that was my plan from the start.

From the Ravelry Group Page I stole a bit of the overview:

What is it?:
The First International Ravelympics Summer 2008 are open to any knitter or crocheter on Ravelry ready to challenge themselves to complete a project (or projects) within 17 days during the Summer Olympics.

Not to be confused with the Knitting Olympics which take place every four years, just like any other Olympic sport and will be orchestrated by the Yarn Harlot.

You must cast on a project during the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics (Aug. 8)- and finish before the Olympic flame goes out (Aug. 24). That’s 17 days. Would you rather work on your burgeoning WIPs? Then join up for the WIPs Wrestling. All other events are for newly cast on projects!


  1. The project must be a challenge for you to complete in 17 days.

  2. No casting on before Opening Ceremonies commence in Beijing.

  3. Finish before the flame goes out.

  4. You may swatch before the games. (I consider this “training.”)

In some ways, any project at all is a challenge for me. It's very tricky to find time to knit. Because if this I signed up for several! It does make an odd sort of sense, because they are all small projects. A true challenge would be a large stole, or a full sweater, neither of which I am prepared to commit to at this time. Because of my disappointment with my no-longer-fitting shrug, I've sworn off sweaters until after Christmas (when, hopefully, I will have achieved my weight-loss goal and be working on maintaining, rather than loosing more). And a shawl or stole--lets just say I want a challenge, but I don't want to go insane!

My first project will be to use up the 1/3 skein of Lucky yarn I have left over from my Leafling socks. I've swatched this yarn several times now on different needle sizes, and read around on patterns. I will be making Foliage. I found a couple of people that have done this in a lighter weight yarn than called for in the pattern (bulky or worsted), and in the end I expanded the chart in the pattern to 25 rows. This should accommodate my stitch/row gauge with the much lighter weight yarn.

My second project will be Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Scarf. This project can be done as a shawl as well. But I've had some gorgeous Socks That Rock yarn earmarked to make the smaller scarf instead. I wasn't going to buy any yarn at the Black Sheep Gathering this year, but I couldn't walk by a few of the Rare Gems at the Blue Moon Fibre Arts booth! I think this will make a stunning scarf.

My third project will be a baby sweater kit I picked up while visiting my in-laws in Pennsylvania. I have sincere doubts I will make it this far, but since the spirit is to push your boundaries, I figured it was better to have a project that might fail, than to stay safe-and-sound under my limits.

In addition, when I get too tired of big things and need a "pick me up", I signed up to do several washcloths. If any (or all) of these don't get done, I could care less. But I know me, and I might as well get credit for the mini-projects I like to do in between bigger ones. Some days you just need something you can whip out FAST.

I know I'm in over my head. I'm positive I will finish the hat and a couple of washcloths. I'm hoping to get the scarf done as well. And if I finish the baby sweater, you can count me a true Ravalete!

Wish me luck!

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