Amy Artisan

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Category: Olympic Knits (page 2 of 3)

Off the needles & onto blocking

Whew! Capri is successfully off the needles at 2:30 PM. This is the second time today that I finished the shawl. Around 9:30 this morning I finished binding off (with just a bit of yarn leftover) & when I went to stretch the shawl out along the bind off edge I heard a horrible sound – the breaking of yarn. That’s right, the bind off was way too tight & there was no way that it could be worn – the break of the yarn was actually a good thing. I managed to pick up all the stitches on a row about 12 back from the bind off – I placed them all on my biggest stitch holder – then transfered them onto one of the needles. After a break to go have brunch with friends I returned to the mess – I took to unraveling the remaining rows & after a couple of yarn breaks discovered that the stitches were “backwards” on the needle so I had to transfer them to the other needle. I then knit about 4 rows & started the bind off row again. This time the bind off is much looser & I will be able to block the shawl into a better shape.

Here is a picture of the “rough” shawl now before I begin blocking & dealing with the few ends that need to be woven.

Capri - Before Blocking

Next up…blocking! The next blog entry about Capri will be introducing you to the finished object!

Four Rows Forward…Four Rows Back…

I had great plans for making a lot of progress on Capri last night. I got started right away & noticed that my stitch counter seemed to show more middle stitches than I thought I had completed on Tuesday. Did I stop & do a physical count of stitches? Oh no, that would be too easy. So I continued knitting & moved ahead 4 rows. It was time to add the 3rd triangle repeat into the mix & as I was nearing the end of the “add” row I was coming out with the wrong number of stitches.

Count…hmm…count again…hmm…time to start taking out rows…1 row…2 rows…3 rows…count…hmm…count again…hmm…another row back…another row back…count…count again…count again – ok time to restart this row…count midway through…on schedule…count at the end…it works! 1 row down…knit another…knit another…knit another…knit another…knit another…time to call it an evening.

Total rows knit in the evening = 10; Total progress in the evening = 6.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to making more progress this evening!

P.S. Have you seen the “fun” little Countdown to Closing Ceremonies counter that Anny & her husband have put together? (See sidebar) The colors will move from green to yellow to red as Feb. 26th draws near. Just a little motivation to Knit On!

Like Father…Like Daughter

My first reaction to The Yarn Harlot’s call to “Citius, Alitius Fortius” was a bit of a chuckle. I have fond memories of Olympic crafting occuring in our house when I was growing up – specifically my Dad needlepointing. (A bit of history…my dad learned to needlepoint in the ’70s when he was on missile crew alert for 24 hours at a time underground in Kansas.) I remember the Needlepoint Winter Olympics of 1988 when my Dad worked on this piece – 18 years later it still hangs in the entry of the house (albeit a couple of states & homes removed from 1988).

From the 1988 Winter Olympics

For Christmas this past year I bought Dad this needlepoint kit – specifically looking ahead to the 2006 Winter Games in Torino.

Poppy Pillow Needlepoint Kit

So, while I was casting on my for knit event in Chicago during the opening ceremonies Dad was starting his own Needle Games in Georgia.

Dad starting on the poppy

Even though Dad isn’t planning to finish his project in the course of the games it is fun to know that “Amy Artisan” & “Dad Artisan” are both needling along with the athletes.

A few notes about the 2006 needlepoint – it is perfect for our family for a couple of reason: The Tiffany glass style (the whole family loves Tiffany windows & Dad used to do stained glass) & the California poppy (Mom is a native Californian, my parents met in CA & I have fond memories of growing up there while in elementary school).

Olympic Update: Judges Allow a Do Over

Thankfully the Knitting Olympics are not a “one chance & you’re out” type of event!

I continued to make progress on Saturday with the Capri Shawl. Around noon on Sunday when I started to add the 2nd triangle pattern into the shawl I discovered that I had messed up the 1st triangle. Since I want to enjoy this shawl long after the games are over I decided that the best option was to frog the whole thing & start over. Definitely a good choice! I have recovered & advanced passed where I was at noon.

Knitting Olympics Update #1
(The triangle designs are a bit hard to see when all the stitches are squished on 1 needle.)

What have I learned so far during my event? The directions for Capri are very light & have a bit of “do what you want” to them; however, the few “number of stitch” instructions that they have haven’t been quite right in my book. After a bit of “Amy Arithmetic” I feel good about this pattern & the progress I’m making. I’m probably about 30 minutes away from finishing up skein 1 of 3. I feel this is knitting tight even using the size 9 needles that were recommended – next time I’ll go with the 10. It has been a long time since I’ve knit on straight needles so that is taking some time to get used to again but is better now that so many stitches are on the needle.

Going for Gold!

Now that the torch is lit in Torino and the Athletes Pledge has been delivered it is time to introduce my knitting event for the next 16 days…
(…cue the Olympic Fanfare and Theme by John Williams…)

Knitting as the torch is lit!
Steady knitting right after the torch has been lit.

The Capri Shawl from Morehouse Farms in Aqua

Good progress was made during the Opening Ceremony. By the end of the evening I was at about 50 rows. (That included 2 “issues” – 1 of which was the most delicate knit surgery that I’ve done…had to back out about 10 rows).

My friend Kristy came over to watch the ceremonies (& snap the picture!) – she didn’t have any knit projects going so she had her own Paper Olympics making Valentines as I knit. We both thought that these opening ceremonies were fabulous.

The knitting continues now while watching the US Women’s Hockey team. The rows on the shawl are still pretty short so they progress quickly – I know that will soon change but I’m pleased with the progress so far. The real challenge will be the blocking at the end – the full wet blocking is something new for me.

Why the Capri shawl? I was contemplating what to select when Lolly posted about her Morehouse Farms shawl project. As is often the case with reading blogs I followed the links from her post & loved the shawl kits. The Capri was an easy choice for my first lace shawl project – especially for these Olympics: …The Winter Olympics are in Italy…Capri is in Italy…One of my favorite stops on my Italy/Greece trip in June 2005 was Capri…the Aqua color of the yarn reminds me of the beautiful water around Capri…while the pattern may not be terribly difficult (& reminiscent of my baby blanket projects) it is a lace pattern which is a new skill…the full wet block at the end to shape the shawl is something I haven’t done in the past & I think may be a challenge (or at least a test of my patience)…

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