~DragonKnits~

But she’ll share…..sometimes.

It Was Fun While it Lasted

Cowl Jump Medal

Yep, the hoopla is all over. We now switch you back to your regularly scheduled program. As of August 24th, 2008~ 11:59 pm, the Ravelympics is no more for another four years. Sigh… I’ll miss it. I must confess that I didn’t think that I’d have so much fun. I mean, of course I had fun working on my projects; but the folks at the Rav really made it so much fun the participants. What was a great, really, really great idea was that they created an “Almost” thread in the Ravelympics 2008 group, so that all the folks that could not finish, could still experience the thrill of posting their pics of their uncompleted projects and I just thought that was SO COOL! Admit it. You get a rush from posting pics of your projects, don’t you? DON’T YOU? I know I do, and I’m proud of it. LOL… even if it means posting my flab in those pics.

Sweet Stuff Sweater

Of course, I’m thinking of my Sweet Stuff Sweater. It’s not completed here, but it came out pretty decent. I’ll never forget my excitement of creating an actual garment for myself, size 3X… or I’ll just say “Debbie Size-It”. I have learned so much since I joined Ravelry. It’s recognition and popularity in the fiber community is phenomenal…. unbelievable. I am so hoping to meet Jess and Casey sometime, but for now, it’s a pipe dream because I hardly ever get to go anywhere and a couple of times I got close, but no cigar.

Play Ball!

Play Ball!

Oh man! Almost forgot! A Stitch and Pitch is coming up in September at Shea Stadium in Queens. Mets vs. Chicago Cubs. Here is a link to the Stitch and Pitch Fan Newsletter, Summer 2008. (LINK UPDATED 9/16/08) A couple of friends are going. It looks as if it’s likely that I’ll have to sit by myself, but I don’t care, if I can actually get there. We’ll have the commute there and back as time for commiserating. The one thing I’m not looking forward to is the size of the seats there…. circa 1964. You can bet that they did not plan for the size of my butt! Especially since if they made the seats bigger, they’d have fewer seats in the whole stadium. What does that mean? Less $$$ for the owners’ pockets. You know, those million dollar salaries must be paid with the sweat and blood of my tush! Once I wedge myself in, I’m stuck there for the duration… oh well, but I’ll BE there. I really can’t wait to get there. The Drake is cool with me going and we planned that he will pick up the little guy from school to give me extra time to get there in time. The Drake is so cool, don’t you think? Check out some Shea Stadium Wiki.

Hey, check out what the mailman brought me today:

DSC03860So totally cool and I’m wearing this outfit right now. The pin in the middle is the Official Ravelympics pin with the year “2008”, with Bobicus Maximus. The other two pins are Bob’s head (mortal Bob) and the Ravelry ball of yarn logo. Oh yeah, those are MY boobs. Like em? LOL… That’s as raunchy as I’m likely to get…. but even though I’m an old coot, it’s still in the blood. Yep, the very same blood that is leaking out all over the seat at Shea. See what I mean? Wasted lusty blood.

Okay, I really need to put in some filler in here so I can get to the next picture. I hope you don’t mind if I start rambling for a the space it will take. Oh shit, I have nothing to say so I’ll just move forward with my thoughts. As of this moment, I am writing off line without any way to check my last posts, but what I want to do here is show you my Ravelympics projects and a couple of patterns that I’m looking into.

First up, is my “RH Sweet Sweater (turned Cardi)” that I entered for the Sweater Sprint I’m pretty sure that I showed that, but I’ll try to get a pic with me actually wearing it, as long as I look good in it, of course! I didn’t write too much about this one because I’m pretty sure that I posted already and will provide the link.

Next I had entered, I think, three projects for the Cowl Jump. Herringbone Neck warmer I used Moda Dea’s Tweedle Dee. The problem was that the herringbone stitch required was way too tight and the yarn got lost in it, and it lost it’s softness… so I gave up on it and was out of the race almost before it started.

Another project that I attempted was my “Fuzzy Red Cowl”, made with Caron Bliss in Ruby Red. I wish I had a pic of it, but that will have to wait until I finish it. I still have that on the needles as a matter of fact. I am so looking forward to this being finished. The yarn is so, so fuzzy and soft… AND it’s my favorite color… (giggle) or one of them, RED.

Cuddily goodness

Cuddily goodness

Then I found that I had two very complimentary yarns, and I just HAD to do something with them together. Feathers, in Peacock and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, in Blue Bonnet. These two blues would be virtually indistinguishable, if not for Feathers having more colors in it and all that feathery stuff. So, I got out my size US-15 circs and got to work. I wanted to make it fast, so I just made a rectangle, using a plain, and loose stockinette stitch. Of course it curled at the ends, so I decided to crochet a scalloped border with just the Knit Picks yarn. Worked out perfect… except that it took two balls of the Feathers and there is a REAL difference in the amount of feathers between the two which produced a really feathery side and the other side scarcely has any feathers at all, even after I brushed the surface to pull out some from the fabric and other side of the fabric. Hey, do I get extra credit for modeling this warm and cuddly thing around my neck in August hot, humid weather? See the gleam of oil running down my face!

Well, I forgot to make button holes in this thing, but I realized that after I completely finished the object, so I decided to just use a pin. Things never work out as we want them to, no matter HOW much we strive for it. Yeah, I’m a knitter alright. I’m the kind of knitter that forgets to make button holes. I could not even make loops on the edge for the buttons because the neck warmer came out too wide with the crocheted edge. How’s that for planning! My solution was a good one, though. I will need to fold it in half to wrap around my neck, then use a shawl pin, that I’ll make out of polymer clay for the clasp. Should be a piece of cake and I get a really nice idea today for making an outline of a shape, then either make the pin out of the same stuff, or just use a hair stick. I think I’ll need to make the pin because my hair sticks are simply too long and too thick for this project.

So right now, I’m in my local Starbucks waiting for my gals to get here. Sorry, no guys, though we would welcome them should they show up! Nothing like co-ed humor lighting up the table! Another great thing that came from Ravelry for me. For two years I was searching for a local group of people to get together with at least on a weekly or even monthly basis. I was so desperate! When on Ravelry, I found the Jersey Represent Group and a thread started for Union County Knitters and our real-time weekly group sprang up from there because, as you know, us knitters love to get together with you in the flesh. To be honest, I’m not really into virtual knitting circles or chat groups. I’d rather get together in person and see and FEEL the projects I read about on Ravelry.

Going to sign off for now… I want to clear out this table and make way for implements of knitting and crochet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Crochet, Knitting, ravelry | 2 Comments

Oops, Spoke too Soon…..

My ears were burning and I was CALLED!  Called to the Precious PODIUM… woo hoo!

My trophy!

My trophy!

aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh the crowd is roaring, going crazy!  I’m smiling, waving deliriously in all directions, tears in my eyes…..

and, and…. don’t know HOW they managed it, but, but……

It’s raining CHOCOLATE!

Life is good.

Monday, August 18, 2008 ~ Posted by | Chocolate, Crochet, Knitting, ravelry | , , , | 4 Comments

Across the Finish Line!

dum dum da dum dum da dum da dum da dum dum………..

Sweet Sweater Turned Cardi

Sweet Sweater Turned Cardi

Event: Sweater Sprint
Team: Team Red Heart
Finished: Saturday, August 16th, 10:26pm EST

May I present…. My first Ravelympics FO, all washed and softened up.  Just one little thing is missing, my button. I’ve as yet need to make it… but this cardi is “wearable” and should qualify for being completed, and no one has gotten in touch with me to let me know that it doesn’t.  Oh, I’m also wondering if I get extra credit for an item sized 3X!

Although…. I have not been called up to the PODIUM yet……….. Let’s just say it’s got me wondering. ha.. you can see in the photo that there it was still a bit damp under the arms after being taken out of the dryer… better that than being over dried. I soaked it in a cup of vinegar while I took my shower this morning, then laundered it to make it soft. It definitely worked.  Many, many thanks to crochetbug13 for providing that tip on softening Red Heart.  Here is her non-ravelry blog’s site. Believe it or not, and this is how naive I really am to the ways of the yarn, I never, ever washed a FO before coming to Ravelry!

How the PODIUM works is that Bobicus Maximus lists all the events and that days’ finishers. Well, I finished late last night, but nothing happened today. My first impulse was to go and grab a badge from the last batch of Sweater Sprint finishers, but I just couldn’t… guess I’ll wait on the sidelines and watch all the other finishers proudly march up the podium to make their speeches….

I’ll just make my speech now, to you guys, and skip it later.

I just want to thank my Grandma Diano for teaching me the ways of the yarn, knitting and crochet. She was a great role model! I also want to thank my neglected hubby and my equally neglected son for all the support I received from them these past several days, and not one word of complaint… well, nothing I noticed! When I showed my garment to the Drake, he did express that he liked it and uttered that unforgettable response, “Aaaah, that’s why you’ve been so quiet.”

Gotta LOVE em!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, here’s a bit of news.  I’m so embarrassed, though, because I was promoted, but just noticed a couple of days ago.

I was promoted to Captain in the Red Heart Group for organizing International Red Heart Swaps and bringing Red Heart yarn to the rest of the world.  Thanks, Zeeppo!

Oh man, that Zeeppo!  He’s got something called Hulu on his blog and I just killed some hours watching some movies off his blog.

Monday, August 18, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, ravelry | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ravelympics Sweater Sprint

Progress in three days of pretty good work time.

Progress in three days of pretty good work time.

Just wanted to give a quick update for this event, since this is the project that I’m putting in the most time with right now on a day to day basis.

As you can see, this is, I’d say, at least 50% done, but that is also counting sleeves and finishing that will be required.  Somebody crossed the finish line with SHRUG THIS…. a small TINY version (can I type that any bigger?), no-sleeve shrug… I can’t believe that qualifies as a sweater, but my LIPS are sealed….

Anyway, since my last post, I did decide to try this as a jacket by not joining the front to form the V-neck.  This jacket will not be long, but on the shorter side because I have a short waist and I do not like things long on me. If you can see at the bottom, I put in a sort of mesh row, formed with DC ch DC… etc.  I want to do at least three of these rows, then go back to solid DC to form the bottom edge.  MAN this thing is already pretty heavy, so I’m not sure if I should just say that it’s a jacket or keep the name as a cardigan.  I think for this event, though, it stays as cardigan because a cardigan is still classified as a sweater.  Oh, and before I forget, I will not have buttons running down the whole front.  I am just going to use one big button at the top, like in the Creative Knitting Magazine, September 2008 issue.  I can’t believe there are no photos to be had for this issue because I wanted to show the button.  My friend, Dee, just bought buttons just like the one on the cover photo and paid $2.50 a piece!  I can make them for a fraction of that… and so, I will do just that and the color will be custom, done by me.

I did manage to work on my “Softest Neck Warmer Ev-A”.  Though I did not work nearly as much time on it as the sweater, I think I still managed to get done about 45% or so.  No pics yet.

Monday, August 11, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Slow Start

Sweater Sprint

Cowl Jump

I am happy to report that I have started all planned projects and they have at least a few rows a piece started.

The Herringbone stitch is so tight and slow going for me, so I feel that I have a handicap right here.  I have about 5 rows done and knitting it on size US 13 straight needles.  Jumped over to the “Red Fuzzy Cowl” and had a couple of starts and stops with this one.  The red Caron Bliss yarn is SOOOO, so soft, but a little hard to work with… so put that down after just a couple of rows to move on to the next project, “Softest Neck Warmer Ev-A” and I’m happy to report that this has gotten off to a good start, after a lot of false ones.  This project was originally going to be one of two Herringbone Neck Warmers, but it was not working out.  I had combined Wool of the Andes in Blue Bonnet with Caron Bliss in Peacock… such a beautiful combination and the blues in these two yarns just BELONG together.  Alas, stitch definition was lost in the fuzziness of the Bliss and because it’s such a time consuming stitch, I had to give it up for this project and adapted a regular stockinette stitch to the pattern… Is this cheating?  Not sure, but all changes were made before the start of the games, and I deleted the original pattern, to say that it’s not any pattern.  Oh, and I plan on making my own buttons for both neck warmers.

Oh… I am remiss.  I just realized that I’ve not started my Blue Caterpiller Cowl yet.  I originally wanted to use home spun yarn, but looks like I won’t be able to do that.  I am still searching for yarn to use with this.  The pattern is called Abstract Caterpiller Cowl… and this is a RAVELRY link to the page, so those of you not on ravelry probably will not be able to access it.  Sorry about that but it looks like its a free Ravelry download and a file and not a link.

On to my next project……the Sweet Sweater (SS).

Well, the Sweet Sweater is a crocheted object and the pattern is not really a pattern, per se.  It’s more of a formula to get you started making a top-down sweater, then leaves a lot of the designing to the crocheter.  This is what I love about it.  Gauge is really important.  You are setting your own gauge by choosing the yarn and size hook you want to work with, but once you make a swatch, which is essential, you need an accurate gauge.  Row gauge is not really important here because you are working from the top down, and you decide how long you want the sweater, midriff, hip length, tunic?  You decide.  But the stitches per inch gauge is really important.

Anyway, my gauge came out to 3 stitches per inch, working with a US-K hook on Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Lavender.  This is for Team Red Heart, and so it must be Red Heart yarn.  Originally, I wanted to use Red Heart Soft, but I could not find the colors I wanted to work with, and that bummed me out… so at the last minute I turned to my stash and this is what I found.  Since it’s worsted/aran, I decided to make a larger pull over or cardigan… though I really don’t need to decide until I get to the point where the V-neck is closed.  When I get to that point, either I close it, and it becomes a pull over; OR I don’t close and continue to work back and forth and it becomes a cardigan.

So, I managed to get a minds eye picture of what stitches I wanted to use, do swatches, calculate the formula, in what took the better part of the afternoon…. in between interacting with my kiddie.  Then really got into the beginning of it.  I completed about ten rows when I noticed that two rows back, I placed an increasing shell in the wrong stitch.  I was so, so tempted to just leave it and move on, but it was eating at me so I ripped back two rows to the offending shell and fixed the mistake, then continued.  I spent the evening crocheting while watching the Horse Whisperer… not the best since there is a lot of suspense and must be seen by-the-eyeball scenes, but I managed since this was not my first viewing….. whew.  Today my crochet group is getting together for our monthly meeting and I’ll have the day to work on my Ravelympics projects…. woo hoo!

No pictures yet, but soon… once I get enough on all my projects to be worth taking pics.

Oops, I’ve gotta run… don’t want to be late!

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, Knitting, Patterns, ravelry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the Games Begin!

Ravelympics 2008 Team Jersey Button/Badge

Ravelympics 2008 Team Jersey Button/Badge

I love the Olympics coming along to spice up our lives very four years. Unfortunately, we do not have a television with cable access, or any access, since you pretty much need a cable connection to get any kind of connection at all with the exception of a couple of Spanish channels. ah… so I knit, crochet, spin, to the sounds of music and podcasts. Not so bad. Now THIS year…..

I have the opportunity to actually participate in Ravelympics. I will be the star (in my own mind) of two events, the Sweater Sprint and the Cowl Jump. I entered a long sleeved Sweet Sweater for Team Red Heart and a few different cowl projects in the Cowl Jump for Team Jersey.

Right now, I’ve got to get myself going, so I’ll make this short, but I’ll try to give daily updates. Hubby’s vacation time is going to cut into my knitting this coming week, but the upside of that is that tomorrow is when my monthly crochet group is meeting… I’ll be at it for most of the day…. weeeeeee!

Friday, August 8, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Crochet, Knitting, Patterns | , , , , | Leave a comment