The podium and the glory

I’ve finished a few things lately:

Master Level I hat project

Master Level I Hat Project

This was a Ravelympics project.  I finished it in just a week.  I was surprised and pleased to have done it so fast.  I got good gauge, and most of my “jogless joins” went pretty well.  I’m a little nervous about one of the jogless joins, but hopefully it will be ok.

Oh, and despite my whining in a previous post that this was a fugly hat design.  It’s actually really nice looking on my husband!  I guess I don’t have an eye for “guy” hats.  Or maybe my husband just makes everything look good!

As a pre-Ravelympics warmup to the hat, I finished swatch #16, the colorwork swatch.  I learned that a “bi-colored purl” is when you get those little mini-stripes across the purl side when you change colors in stockinette.  I finished the final questions.

So then, I cast on the Level I final hat project to the inspiring sights and sounds of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.  And over the following week, I watched much Olympic glory and heartache.  (We also watched a lot of Project Runway glory and heartache, as we’ve been getting the old seasons from the library, but I digress.)  And at long last, my hat was done, blocked, labeled, and sent off in the mail with the rest of my TKGA Master Hand Knitter Level I work.  (And the eagle has landed, BTW, I just got an email that they received my work at TKGA headquarters and are sending it to committee members for evaluation!  Squeeeee!)

All swatches for Level I

All swatches for Level I

I felt triumphant.  It was glorious.  Over a year in the making (although there was a big fat hiatus for 6 months in the middle), I had achieved the crowning glory of my Master Level I project!  But I had week of Olympics left!

So I cast on Ravelympic project #2, a fair-isle hat that I designed the week before the Olympics began.  My husband wanted an earflap hat, and I offered to make one with his favorite boardgaming icon, the purple meeple.  Meeples, if you are not familiar, are little person-shaped wooden tokens common in many German/designer/”euro” games.  And my husband plays purple whenever it’s an option.  We play a lot of boardgames.

Meeple Hat

Meeple Hat

I’m very happy with how it came out (the flash washes out the color a little, sadly), and at my husband’s request,  I added a pom-pom to the top after this picture.

With the earflaps and the purl ridges in it, it has a pleasing structured quality.  I was concerned that the earflaps would look “tacked on”, but I think the purl ridges around the brim really helped it look purposeful and the color-scheme keeps it looking very “tied-in”.

I think the biggest accomplishment here is that this is not only my first ever fair-isle design, this the first time I’ve ever knit fair-isle!

I think next time I’d do the meeples in intarsia, too much “catching floats”.  But I really enjoyed the other parts of the fair-isle once I got the hang of two strands of yarn.

I tried at first to do a strand over my first and second fingers on my left hand in continental style.  But my middle finger is apparently extremely inept, because I just couldn’t get any kind of tension.  I referred to good ole’ Montse Stanley, and her section on colorwork reminded me that I could put one strand in each hand.  THAT was a lifesaver!  I started my knitting life as an english knitter, so knitting one english and one continental worked very nicely for me!

Once I had worked out the 2-stranded knitting, the rest of the knitting went quickly…  except the parts where I had to rip out large sections and redo my math (the meeple section and the crown decreases both foiled me temporarily).  I finished my 2nd Ravelympics challenge with time to spare on the afternoon of the last Olympic day.

Ravthelete in Ravelympics 2010

Ravthelete in Ravelympics 2010

I am a proud 2010 Ravthelete.  And this was such great motivation, that I wish they had Olympics every year!

My waiting-for-my-level-I-results-with-bated-breath projects will be to try to finish some long-standing WIP’s and play around with knitting machines.  It will be anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months before I get my results back, so let’s see how much I can accomplish before I tackle whatever re-do’s the committee decides I should do!

Until next time, keep those needles clicking!


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