The Knitting Olympics - started 4 yrs ago by a famous knit blogger, it is now a worldwide contest, but against yourself. Pick a project that will challenge and stretch your abilities, begin during the Opening Ceremonies and finish by the end of the Closing Ceremonies, then receive your (imaginary) gold medal and congratulate yourself.
My project: to knit a sweater for moi in the 2 week time limit. Ambitious, yes, but there weren't any technical challenges to contend with. This would be a speed project. SPEED knitting. Sparks flying from my needles. Best performed to the soundtrack from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".
I was late out of the starting blocks because I made myself finish the red cape first, which had it's own snags to contend with. Two days into the Olympics, I cast on the stitches for my sweater. Cruising along, I stumbled over a buttonhole, but pressed on.
Then Grandma came. And we all got sick. Sob story, yes, and the knitting ground to a full stop.
But maybe a better reason for the full-stop was the "oh! shiny!" nature I tend to have. I saw *those* moose hats the USA Olympic team wore in the opening ceremonies and was smitten. I've never done fair-isle (two or more colors at a time) type of knitting before... and surely someone must've reverse engineered this hat that sells for $75 (I heard one went for $500 on ebay after the Ralph Lauren site sold out). About 10 minutes of internet searching turned up the needed pattern for the hat, published already back in December!
I switched events, so to speak. The sweater is marinating in my work basket, and a tangle of 3 different colors of wool and 5 double point needles occupies a place on the sofa with a pizza pan and moose chart. The pizza pan is technical gear...it's the needed metal base for my magnet that marks which row I'm on. Fair isle knitting is kind of like counted cross stitch, only you need to be more monkey-like to pull it off. Juggling 5 needles, knitting with both my right and left hand (each with their own color of yarn), AND counting while living in a home with four active children is down-right an Olympic level feat. And if you're wondering, I couldn't leave well enough alone and had to make those antlers look more moose-like, and the tree got beefed up, added another tree...and my name and TEAM USA 2010 was knit inside the brim... because doing something as written would be rather, well, predictable, don't you think?
I'm half way to the finish line and love learning this new technique! Now it's a race against the clock... stay tuned!