Tuesday, July 10, 2012


At the end of July, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will commence.   Ravelers all over the world mark the occasion by participating in fiber-related events on Ravelry.   A long while back I blogged about this vest I made for Squishy (HERE and HERE and HERE).  I am, again, choosing to participate in what is now called the Ravellenic Games.

I don’t know how much time I’ll actually have to committing to projects, but I feel like it’d be good to try and accomplish something.  Overall, knitters and crocheters are encouraged to work on things that challenge them in some way.  Perhaps by tidying up that large WIPs (Works In Progress) pile, or to knit something new and different, try a new technique…it can really be anything you want.  You aren’t allowed to cast on (or touch a WIP once games are announced) until Opening Ceremonies.  You must finish your project by Closing Ceremonies (sorta).  A badge is awarded to those who finish and so on and so forth.

There’s really more to it than that, but it involves more explanation that I really have the brain power to write down at the moment. 

Last time, I was a new knitter.  I challenged myself to finishing a baby vest in that two-week time period and I almost didn’t make it.   This year, my challenge to myself is to knit something stranded, fingerless mitts of some kind, actually.  I’ve not done much colorwork other than stripes because it’s intimidating and I always worry that my floats will be horrible (I’ll explain in a minute).  So what a great challenge to knit myself something stranded and get over that fear?

When knitting with two or more colors of yarn in the same row/round, you are carrying yarn across the back of your work.  The unused yarn creates a “float.”  Look at the “wrong side” of a sweater you own that has several colors.  It should look something like this:
(photo by littleyellowcat.com)
Those lengths of yarn are the floats.  And if they’re too tight, your work puckers.  If they’re too loose, you can see through the knitted fabric.  There’s a learning curve to doing this successfully and getting a nicely finished object.

I didn’t want to dive into a pair of mitts that might take me a bit of work, only to have it come out looking bad.  So I chose to “practice.” 

Enter Mini Motif Baby Mittens, stage left. 
These are a small project that could easily have been frogged and restarted if they weren’t turning out right.  Can you see the picture here?  They are penguins.  :)

These are for Lovebug this coming winter.  Little thumbless mitts to warm her hands.  Great practice for floats and twisting my yarn to prevent wee fingers from getting snagged.  They’re not perfect, but I feel better having knit these instead of jumping right in to my mitts. 

A little bit of soak, then blocking and these really shaped up nicely.
The yarn was NaturallyCaron.com Country in Black and some of my own hand-dyed yarn in the color I call Snowcone.

And hopefully, with a bit more practice, I can figure out a more even tension when working on stranded projects, for an even better result.  It's one of those things that just takes practice.  There's a learning curve and if you dont' just keep trying, you'll never get there!

So bring on the Ravellenic Games! :) 


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