Once More Across The Finish Line

I pulled out this ornament kit from the exchange in July and started it last night. It's so small I was able to finish it already!

This is Tipsy Tree by Charland Designs from the 2007 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.

Scarf Stroke Finish Line & Podium

I did it! I reached the finished line - and in very good time IMHO.

The scarf was finished last night (Wednesday, 8/20) about 11:00pm.

And here's Wisteria who didn't want to be left out of the Olympic and Ravelympic hype:

I was presented my medal at the Scarf Stroke Podium.

An update on the Clapotis - I'm still working on it, but there is no way it can be finished (by me) by Sunday. But stay tuned for periodic updates.

Shawl Relay Scratched, Scarf Stroke Added

Well my friends, all of this knitting caught up with me proving once again that I am human. I really like to deny that fact, but this body won't let me. After a huge surge over the weekend on the clapotis the tendinitis in my elbow flared up, my neck is having muscle spasms, and I've had two horrible days with allergy issues. All of this has led me to withdraw from the shawl relay. I'm very excited about the progress on my clap and I promise that I will continue on at a more normal pace.

Still...I didn't want to be left out of the Ravelympics so once they reopened sign ups, I jumped on the chance to "compete" in the Scarf Stroke.

Here's the yarn (Misti Alpaca Chunky):

I'm going to be doing the Ribs & Ruffles Scarf from the Misti Alpaca website. This is a Christmas gift, so I'll be doing double duty here. I also hope that this is a more reasonable goal - but we'll see....

I started Monday (Aug 18) and as of tonight (Aug 19) I have 23" knit.

It's funny that the name of the event is Scarf Stroke because the yarn is so soft and yummy that I find myself just wanting to stroke it!

Stay tuned for the finals - hopefully a victorious one!

Plan C: Knit a scarf for Barbie, a preemie hat or preemie booties. I can surely finish one of those by Sunday morning!

Shawl Relay - Update 2

I have been heads down knitting on my Clapotis for the Ravelympics. There's a lot of knitting left, but I finally feel like there's a reasonable possibility that I will cross the finish line.

I completed the Increase Rows (Leg 2) late early, early Friday morning. I went back and forth but finally decided to add an increase repeat for a total of 8 in that section. I really want this to be more of a shawl/wrap, so that's what swayed me towards another repeat.
It's Saturday night and I've completed 3 sections of the Straight Rows (Leg 3). It's hard to see the drops in this picture because the fabric has a huge tendency to want to curl and I haven't taken much time in making sure that all of the stitches have been loosened and dropped.

I did manage a short break on Thursday evening when BF Vicki came over to help me with a few tricks in Photoshop. I'm very excited about what she taught me, and I just hope that I can remember it in a week when I actually have time to get back to it!

As for the REAL Olympics, congratulations to Michael Phelps who had an amazing 8 days of competition. It was very exciting to watch it unfold. And I don't expect to see anything like it for a long time.

And a huge shout out for American and Florida State Seminole Walter Dix who won the bronze medal in the 100m dash. The Seminole Nation is extremely proud of him.

Shawl Relay - Update 1

I am way behind World Record pace so far. It's too early to panic, but I recognize that I need to refocus my energy. I crushed the Set Up Rows (Leg 1) and gained false confidence. Now it's Day 5 (of 17) and I've only made it to the middle of the Increase Rows (Leg 2). During the first 4 days of competition there was a lot of energy put towards required tasks - drug testing (sorting through mail and paying bills), podium training (cooking and cleaning), and time at the Olympic Village (scheduled birthday party). The media time (work) in particular is just crazy. I vow to minimize these as much as possible in the remaining 12 days.

On a positive note, I'm loving the way that the Clapotis is looking in this yarn and so far I'm enjoying the pattern.

On Your Mark. Get Set.

The games of the 29th Olympiad have opened! And I'm ready at the needles to begin my Olympic Project - the Clapotis shawl.

I'm representing Team Junkie (of the Malabrigo Junkies) in the Ravelympics on Ravelry. The event I'm "competing" in is the Shawl Relay. I say competing because it's really just about challenging yourself not about competing with others.

A brief description of the rules:
  1. Choose a project appropriate for the event
  2. Cast on allowed after the Opening Ceremonies start Aug 8 8:00pm Beijing time (approx 8:00am for those of us in EDT)
  3. Knit on the project only while watching the Olympics (DF Heather noted for me that there is online coverage throughout the day so if I'm in need of additional time I can use this - don't tell the boss)
  4. Complete the project by end of Closing Ceremonies Beijing time (Aug 24 11:59am EDT)
At this, the start of the Shawl Relay, I'd like to enumerate the parts of my relay - which I hope to blog about during the event.
  1. Set-up
  2. Increase Rows
  3. Straight Rows
  4. Decrease Rows
  5. Final Rows
  6. Finishing
With the mention of "rows" so many times, I almost wish that it was a rowing event...but that is not for me to decide (thank goodness, or I'd still be changing event names). And yes, that is "Finishing" mentioned in my knitting. Can't get away from it even in knitting... After knitting, there are stitches to drop and unravel and the inevitable weaving in of ends - and then blocking (which I'm hoping won't be necessary).

My yarn is Malabrigo Silky in colorway Arlene's Purples.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. I must remember to pace myself.

I hope that you are enjoying an Olympic event also!

Mmmmmalabrigo Magic Yarn Ball!

Back at the beginning of June, I joined the Malabrigo Junkies MYB Swap. I had no idea what an MYB (Magic Yarn Ball) was, but once I looked at some pictures I was hooked. It sounded so cool. Here's how it works. A ball of yarn is given to the receiver. It's not just any ball, or else it wouldn't be magic. It contains many hidden treasures, hopefully items that the receiver desires. The receiver knits an item with the yarn ball and as they are knitting the treasures are revealed. I admit that I am a delayed gratification person, but even I could not be patient enough to actually finish a project to get to the center!

Mine arrived today! I know that my swapner tried to get it to me on my birthday, but the postman just didn't hang around until 11:30 last night when I arrived home.

The box:
At first glance, I see lots of purple (I can already tell that my swapner has done some good stalking) and two wrapped sections:

I opened the boxy one first, to reveal:
Do you see what I do? Chocolate and Peanut Butter! YUM! Two of my very favorite foods!!

The second package was unwrapped and I found my MYB, wrapped in wonderful malabrigo. The color is beautiful, but I didn't know which it was (continuing the surprise). The end of the wrap was tied with a purple stone on a bail - that I believe can be worn on a necklace.
Isn't it gorgeous?

Now the tough part, unwinding, unwinding, unwinding...
I found some memory maker ribbon - in purples, of course. Can't wait to use this in my scrapbook.

Forgive my impatience now, I couldn't stop to take more pictures, the anticipation got the best of me... I found two sets of stitch markers, 3 small cross stitch kits, point protectors, and Soak (3). The center of the MYB was another paper wrapped section containing 3 more skeins of Malabrigo Worsted - 1 in Cuarzo to match the ball
and 2 in Velvet Grapes!
I feel very spoiled and grateful to Kara for sending me such a great package!
Thank you Kara! I hope that I did the great MYB justice, I absolutely love it!

Stitch Weekend (Part 2)

Rejoining the Stitch Weekend Recap...

After a yummy lunch of chicken salad, I continued with the beading trend and worked on Tomorrow's Antiques A Pansy For Lynn. I had quite a bit of the beading done and my goal was to finish the remaining beading before dinner. I'm happy to report that I did meet that goal.
I was feeling very productive at this point. But I had surprise ornament kits hanging over my head - I was successfully batting the thoughts away, but Andy suggested that 4 of us just sit and do them and "knock them out". That was the motivation I was looking for.... So after dinner, Andy, Heather, Debbie, Judy and I cut fabric, cut fiber lengths, wrote out the cards and packaged everything up. Just in time for the ornament exchange.

The tree was decorated with ornaments - some finished into actual ornaments, some just stitched (and of course there were others that were not finished being stitched).

Vicky finished mine into a beautiful piece:
And then it was "Christmas morning" and there were packages kits to be handed out.
These are not all mine - I also collected ornaments kits for Teresa since she couldn't join us. What fun it is to see everyone's packaging and especially the surprise ornaments. Some people (Carol) are very creative with their packaging
And then there's me...with the ziploc bags. They aren't as glamorous and couldn't be described as adorable, but they don't take up much room (which is a priority for me).

You can see how beautiful they all look, and that is definitely the main reason that we keep doing the exchange, because most of us certainly don't need more kits to stitch. Did that actually come from MY fingertips?!

Sunday morning started with brunch and caffeine. After completing the beading on A Pansy For Lynn, Heather reminded me that she also had the beading completed and maybe we should work together to actually finish into fobs. So we diligently set out to do just that. I won't say that it was easy, but the finished products are beautiful!

Heather's is on the right, mine is on the left. Heather used the supplied sheer ribbon to trim around the pansy, I used more green cording.

Two happy pansies and two happy owners!

I ended the afternoon by completing the stitching on my surprise ornament. Which I can show now, since the surprise part of it is over...
What a great weekend, and I accomplished so much - besides being with friends and enjoying myself.