Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Finish Line

I am a Knitting Olympian.

Four years ago, the Yarn Harlot created the Knitting Olympics. I made a pair of socks, and looked at her project in wonder, wondering " what kind of #&%^* maniac tries to knit a sweater in two weeks?"

Tonight I finished a sweater.

It was another busy day. We had a three-hour visit for a house-painting estimate (anyone ever use College Works Painters?), then went to meet the baby who received my hat and booties. So it was 5:30 before I sat down in front of the TV with five pattern rows and a garter stitch band to go on my second sleeve. I'd sneakily woven in all the available ends while the painters were here, so they wouldn't stand between me and the finish line.

I was binding off by 7:15, while NBC was still showing the pre-Closing Ceremonies highlights.

At 7:22, I had a sweater. There was just enough time to post to the Ravelympics finish line and sit down to the delicious dinner Aaron made before the Closing Ceremonies started.

Doing the finishing bits as I went proved to be a really good idea. I had just one end to weave in before I could put on the sweater and go stand in the kitchen looking smug, waiting for Aaron to look up from his salad preparations and notice. Pictures of the sweater being worn will follow - I have tried Aaron's patience enough for one day by leaving him to serve me dinner as I knitted.

Further Olympic Knitting projects did not go so well. According to the Ravelry rules, I have until midnight Pacific Time, so I could stay up until 2am and knit. But I could also go to sleep like a sensible person. I lost a lot of knitting time looking for the yarn for my planned second and third projects (yes, I know I could have pulled the yarn out earlier, but that would have eaten into my knitting time for the first project), and while I was looking for yarn Oscar the EvenWorseDog made it very clear that he was upset that I was neglecting his "take me outside" request in order to look for yarn. So I lost even more knitting time cleaning up.

I think I'm going for option #2. There's nothing that says I can't make chemo caps as a Paralympics project.


It's Sunday, the day of the closing ceremonies, and I still have a one-sleeved sweater.

We did some shopping yesterday. The good news is that I have a cute top, some boots that make me 2" taller, and a shiny new cell phone that will allow me to check Ravelry while visiting my parents, at the same time leaving us with a family phone bill that's a bit less than what Aaron was paying for himself. The bad news is that I did absolutely no knitting. By the time we got home, we just didn't have the energy for anything.

It's going to be a busy day.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting There

I'm making good progress on the Olympic sweater - on sleeve down, one to go!

The sleeves don't move quite as quickly as I keep telling myself they should, but they're moving. I thought I'd do the bottom band on Tuesday, and the sleeve on Wednesday. But I want a nice long sleeve, so it's worth taking the time to do this. I'm glad I bought the extra ball of yarn, because I had to use it for the last three rows of garter stitch.

The big question now is what to knit next? I originally planned to go through charity hats if I finish the sweater, but that was before the Opening Ceremonies. Now I really, really want one of the nifty hats the Americans were wearing, and Ravelry has the pattern. So if I finish the sweater, I'm going to knit one charity hat, which is the second Olympic project I signed up for on Ravelry. If there's any time after that, I'll cast on a reindeer hat. And then, sometime next week, I'll do things like housework, and trying to finish a couple of Christmas presents. But I'll be doing it with a new sweater.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Free Samples I Bought

I once heard comedian describe cosmetic companies' "Free Gift with Purchase" like this: "If you spend $49.50 on something you don't really want, they'll give you seven little tiny things you don't really need."

I've found a way to cut straight to the chase, and skip the thing I don't really want. I bought my first-ever Groupon, so for just $12.50 I could sign up for the Eco Luxe Life's inTELL program, and get packets full of eco-friendly sample-sized goodies.

This is the first package's haul. The yellow sheet is a "reusable paper towel" - a cleaning cloth made from soy. I find I really like it, because it dries quickly, so I don't have something sitting around getting wet and smelly. I haven't tried any of the other things yet, but there's a coffee extract (just add water and you get coffee!), gum, an adorably tiny lip gloss, a moist towelette, conditioner, and a dryer sheet. Everything on my first floor now smells like the dryer sheet.

I have to confess that may be a bit crazy sample-sized things. Years ago, I filled out one of the grocery surveys from the coupon section of the paper, and received a package that included a sample-sized roll of plastic wrap, just six inches across. I loved that thing. I don't remember if we ever actually used the plastic wrap, but I thought trial-sized wrap was just the coolest thing in the world.

I'll have three more packages to look forward to, one for each season. It's sort of like getting a swap package in the mail, without having to send anything out. Anything but $12.50, that is - but I'm sure I'll have forgotten all about that by the time the Fall package arrives.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Somewhere, Something, Sometime, Sweater!!!!!

Somewhere, I have a bunch of half-finished posts about all the knitting and other stuff I've been doing. There are pictures and everything, and they're just waiting for me to hit "edit post," finish something already, and release them. Sometime, I'll do that.

But for right now I should forget about catching up, and just start over already, because I'm really really excited about something - I may actually finish my Olympic Sweater!

So the brief catch-up is that I'm doing the Knitting Olympics. And I decided to do a sweater - the February Lady sweater. And I've been working on it.

Tonight, I bound off the bottom and started the first sleeve. This picture is from yesterday, just a few rows before I did the bottom band. It's kind of a lousy picture because I took it with a mirror, but it's the best I have for now. That will change soon - now that the body is finished it will be much easier to try on as I check the sleeve length.

So in case I never put up the posts with the "I'm starting a sweater" details, this is Cascade Yarns Lana d'Oro, which found its way into my home thanks to a generous Christmas gift from Aaron's parents. I'm using size 7 needles, rather than the 8 in the pattern, and knitting what's supposed to be a 37.5" bust. It seems to fit rather well. I'll probably use five balls of yarn before the whole thing's finished.

Now I just have to finish a sweater. Then I'll finish blogging.