>No they haven’t finished yet!

>The Ravelympics is drawing inexorably to a close and, wouldn’t you know it – just when the finish line is almost in sight, my marathon Gold medal attempt at UFO/WIP finishing gets derailed by a small side issue:
namely my complete inability to concentrate on anything more demanding than stocking stitch while watching the Ice Dancing and the Speed Skating
so there have been a couple of 4ply [fingering] baby beanies in Spotlights Basics baby 4ply on 3.25mm needles.
The first on straights, but of course that meant to claim it as a finished project I had to stop and do some sewing up [ horrors] so the second one, which was mostly completed during the Ice Skating Gala, was done on circulars … round and round and round with the brain firmly in neutral.

With only one day of competition left, I’m back limping towards that finish line with the sewing up of Riley’s footy jumper, and I can only hope that it still fits him. I did start it a couple of sizes large so there is hope.

So my tally for the 17 days is

never-ending baby shawl
– finished finally [ what? It’s only been 4 years! ]
Grace Notes – 2nd sock started and finished
Presto Chango toddler jumper finished
2 baby beanies – started and finished
2 projects frogged and the yarn rewound ready for use
some dyeing that you haven’t seen because it’s for a gift and the giftee would probably guess
2 prem sized lace cardis – designed, started and finished

and of course Riley’s almost completed jumper [ sweater ]

It is, of course, a scurrilous rumour put about by “back sliding revisionary hyenas”* that, despite this flurry of finishing, I still have a half pair of socks and a to-be-sewn-up bag in the bottom of my knitting box !

* bonus points for anyone – other than my daughter – who can identify the quote


>Ravelympics 2010 … another one bites the dust

>As I said yesterday, I’m working on two of these at the same time because of the risk of running out of yarn.
It will be close but should be okay
and as you can see, #1 is finished except for sewing on the buttons … do you think these little flowers work ? I tried clear round ones and also pale mauve and they kinda just lay there and did nothing.
Anyway #2 is up to the neckband so I better get back to those smoking needles and Day 2 of the Ice Dancing – which I’ve already watched once today – go ahead and say it. I know. I’m tragic.

pattern – improvised
needles – 3.25mm
yarn – Patons Big Baby 4 ply, 1/2 of 100 gram ball
size – prem/small newborn

>Ravelympic Travel Knitting

>Okay, I know that I said that I was going to concentrate on WIPs while the Olympics /Ravelympics was on, but to tell you the truth I got bored doing all the miles of stocking/stockinette stitch of Riley’s very plain footy jumper.
I got the sleeves finished, the shoulder seams done, and the neckband on, but I’m really dragging my feet on the sewing up.
Mattress stitch is not a favourite.
Especially not in hot weather which it has been all week
Anyway the temptation got too much for me – plus I needed something small to take with me for travel knitting on my Thursday roadtrip. I wanted to be able to stuff it in a small zipped bag that would be easy to cart while I was waiting at the station.

Add in the fact that a non-knitter friend is going to become a grandmother again soon – to twin girls – and something small and pretty seemed called for. Or rather two somethings.

So I’m making two lace cardigans in a very tiny size [ working on the premise that twins will probably arrive early and small ]

I’m making them up as I go along but taking the stitch/row count from a basic vintage Patons baby book

The lace is done side to side and then stitches picked up for the rest of the body.

I’m using one 100gram ball of Patons Big Baby 4 ply [ fingering ] and 3.25mm needles, and given that I only have the one ball of that yarn, once I had the body and sleeves on the first one done, I went ahead and cast on for the second.

The reasoning here is that if it looks like I may run out of yarn, I can make the front bands and the neck of both cardis in a contrast. That would have to be better than obviously running out of yarn on the second one, right ?
As it turns out, I should have more than enough.
I’ve almost finished the body of the second one, so just those teeny sleeves to go and then I can put them together [ more mattress stitch! ] and add the bands etc.

I know they’re not finished so I’m probably tempting fate, but I have to say that I’m rather chuffed with how they’re turning out.

>Inspirational Indigo

>On Thursday I took some time out from the Ravelympic/Olympics and drove to Ballarat – just over an hour away – to collect Corrie from the station.
Some travel-knitting took place while I waited for her train to get in but I’ll show you that tomorrow because this is going to be a pretty picture-heavy post.

Our mission was to find the Gold Museum and check out one of it’s current exhibitions: early 20th century Chinese blue and white peasant embroideries from the Arnott-Rogers collection.

Having just spent a couple of hours on the train, Corrie was surprised to discover that a huge place like the Gold Museum didn’t boast anywhere to get a cup of coffee.

Quel horreur!

so here’s Ms Corrie not having a cup of coffee at the Gold Museum

Apparently these intricate embroideries were seen as having little value, especially compared to the Imperial silk embroideries and were never sold or traded.
They are almost unknown, even in China, coming as they did from a quite remote province.

Some of the motifs could easily have been confused with middle European work – maybe there was some migration of iconography along the Silk Route ?

and others were more identifiably Chinese

One aspect that was quite amazing was that these very, very fine threads and tiny, tiny stitches in fine hand dyed indigo cotton were used for simple household items and to decorate work clothing.

By the way, no flash photography allowed because of conservation issues – those light flares in the pics are from the exhibition lights and not my camera. Obviously, given the low light levels, the photos aren’t as good as I would wish, but still, not too bad. You can get the general idea anyway.

These were valances for the traditional bridal bed

and here the same 14″ wide cotton fabric has been joined in panels to make this bed covering. If you click to enlarge you can see how the seam goes through the motif.

We grabbed a quick pub lunch and then back on the road
because, if one is a quilter, one absolutely cannot go to Ballarat without a visit to Gail’s Patchwork Emporium, where we could have grabbed a cuppa, but after some dodgy map-reading, the clock was against us.

a few teeny tiny purchases may have been indulged in

and just enough time left to drop Corrie back at the train, before wending my own way homewards for the 3pm pick-up

A bit of a rush to be sure, but a pleasant few hours hanging out with a friend is always good – especially a friend who likes blue and white as much as I do – even if she IS fixated on the lack of a coffee shop at the Museum !!!

>Ravelympics: another one bites the dust

>It’s Wednesday, which means that this post would normally be another ” What’s On Your…?”
but, needless to say, I’m still obsessing about the Ravelympics [ and the Olympic figure skating … how good were the men in the short program today?!!] so I’m going to ‘cheat’ a bit.
This week’s WOY…?challenge is

What’s on your needle[s]?
Now it could be knitting needles, it could be the needle in your sewing machine. I don’t know… Maybe one of you is a tattoo artist!

and crochet hooks or tatting shuttles are close enough so they count too.

Anyway my Ravelympic campaign continues.
We were told to challenge ourselves, and for some that means a new technique or a specific large project started and finished within the 17 days, but for me – at least for this first week – it is all about finishing the UFOs.

Ms Tara [ of Mayhem and Chaos fame ] came over yesterday afternoon for a few hours worth of needle action and some belated big birthday celebration [ hers, not mine – more about that later*]
so she was able to bear witness to the newly completed, and still-damp, state of those Gracenote socks from yesterday’s post.
I spent most of her visit working on Riley’s footy jumper – and that’s what’s on my needles at the moment – but a quick inspection of the boxes under the coffee table while T was here unearthed a nearly finished Presto Chango that I’d started for him in 2008. It was abandoned when I made the mistake of showing it to #1 son and DIL unfinished and they decided that it was a bit too feminine for their young man.

Cut to me stuffing the remains down the bottom of the basket and doing a major, albeit private, dummy-spit.

Okay back to Tara’s visit:
We had a very relaxed, coffee-fueled and woolly few hours.
Once Tara wended her way homewards, I decided to just get on with finishing that Presto Chango, and by about 11pm it was all done, buttons and all.

and so another one bites the dust!!
and someone will need it eventually

* Tara’s pressie was a crocheted then felted [ or fulled if we’re being technical ] yarntainer and some beige cashmere for her spinning fibre stash.
Last week I didn’t really want to document making the felted thingy in case I blew the surprise.
So here ‘t’is:
Crocheted to my own pattern in vintage 12ply Aztec [ pure wool singles ] which was originally a very saturated bright orange/ red, overdyed with Sarsarilla and Wild Rasberry. 6mm hook.
This is what it looked like before its date with the washing machine

[ yes you can felt in a front loader ]

and later at a fraction of the original size:

and being christened with Tara’s Ravelympics project… which she would tell you about except her internet access is kafluey at the moment.

and now I’m going back to watch the replay of the Men’s Singles Figure Skating courtesy of the satellite.