A KAL that I might be able to finish

This past weekend, I was looking for something to work on. Probably knitting, but hopefully spinning too. At least something to cut back on the yuuge stack of stash yarn all over the house.

Reddit’s knitting group began their latest KAL last week. Two things stuck out in my mind:

  1. The KAL goes through the end of October.
  2. It’s a lace (or beaded lace) shawl project, with what looked like an intriguing advanced pattern.

Then I took a closer look at the pattern itself. The pattern looks lovely, and a challenge which would be a nice…distraction. Unfortunately, I cannot personally support the designer. Which is not to say that you might not enjoy the pattern, or have a problem supporting a given designer in their career. If you ask me, I’ll tell you which one it is, but it’s readily available at the Reddit r/knitting group.

For their KALs they offer the option of the “otterlace” category. If you have a particular pattern in your Ravelry queue, and it fits the criteria, you can let the group know you’re working on that one. Which I did.

Remember the Bat Shawl? This one. The yarn was very fine, cobweb-lace sized fine, and it blocked out smaller than I expected. This time it’s going to be a little different.

I’m using handspun alpaca instead of the Filatura de Croza, and it’s slightly thicker. The needle size is 1 size up – I think I’m using a US5 instead of the 3 I used the first time. So far, I’m up to inserting markers for the second row of bats and it’s coming along nicely. I think I’m happier with this so far than the first one. Not that I’m unhappy so much with the first one – I learned a lot, it was my first full-sized shawl, and it’s held up. But this might be worn more.

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(Something)alongs and me

When it comes to doing things with other people, I have issues. Knitalong, stitchalong, crochetalong, singalong…Things like that. I start off well, but tend to not finish things. Much like the vast pile of UFOs in various corners of the house. This year’s been a little different. So far, anyway.

A and I have committed to going on a hike every Monday when school was out. I had classes this summer, so it was a good way to work off some stress and spend time with my not-little-at-all-anymore girl. We went on part of the Colorado Trail – the most northern section, where the bighorn sheep hang out. We went along another section of the South Platte River – a bit further north, in a nice park near the highway and what looked like some mighty fine tubing opportunities. We only missed one day, while we had company here that couldn’t physically do the hike. Or any hike, as it turned out. But it was fun, and I got some Monday mornings I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And…I participated in a couple of ____alongs. The first one was the Steotchalong. I did the first one last year, a portrait of Samuel L. Jackson as Jules in Pulp Fiction, along with one of his more famous quotes. This year’s is waiting for a post of its own, but I really liked how it turned out. Not nearly as much of a challenge as last year’s, but still fun. If they have it next year, I’m doing it next year.

I also started the Geek-a-long at Lattes and Llamas. So far, I have all these:
Geekalongsquares1
(Not the greatest picture, but I’m recovering from our company. Sigh.)
I’m redoing the Slytherin House square next week. There are two very different colors of green, and I’ve decided on the darker, more grass-looking green for this one. There are all four Hogwarts houses on the Geekalong list, and I’d like to do the rest of them too. This has gotten my double knitting going a lot faster. A lot. A is pretty excited about this as well, and wants me to do the Who square as well. Maybe next weekend

So Today, This Happened

In the latest edition of David vs. Goliath, Casey F of Ravelry received a Cease and Desist order from the legal department of the United States Olympic Committee. They were ordering Ravelry to stop using the term Ravelympics for their semi-annual fiber-y marathon. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

While we’re on the subject of denigrating our fine and noble athletes (and I mean the term “fine and noble athletes” sincerely – it takes a hell of a lot of talent and hard work to make it to the Olympics), shall we mention the rank hypocrisy of having McDonald’s and Coca-Cola as official team sponsors? Really, USOC?

In the letter (link goes to a Ravelry account page), there is not a satisfactory explanation as to how the Ravelympics denigrates the hard work of the athletes being cheered on by, frankly, a bunch of knitters. Or how the Olympic athletes are honored by being represented by General Electric and Dow Chemical (other official Olympic sponsors).

Am I a little pissed off? Hell yes. Will I boycott viewing the Olympics, as several of my fellow knitters have suggested? I don’t know yet. There is the temptation of spinning some specially dyed roving while watching the reintroduction of rugby as an official sport. Don’t get me started about some of the events that qualify as sport by decree of the International Olympic Committee…

Le Tour de Fleece: Stage 2

You know, due to circumstances beyond my control, I almost forgot about the race altogether. That’s what happens when somebody’s getting ready for kindergarten – it just takes over everything. I did manage to spin a few rolags worth while they were riding through Belgium on the way to Ghent, but not much more than that. I missed Dunkirk completely. *sigh* Hopefully things will be better today.

Weekend with Le Tour

This past weekend, we saw the first two sections of the Tour de France. Is this the first time they’ve had stages in England? I can’t remember seeing any before. Apparently it’s been going so well, the race might be back in London in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some spinning along for the Tour de Fleece spin-along. Sadly, I have no functional camera as of today. We’re hoping to remedy that very shortly. I did some spinning, though…

Saturday afternoon, I fought the other two TV addicts in our house for the Prologue broadcast. I already knew who won (damn the dirty Saturday Times! Damn it to hell!), but wanted to watch anyway. Big Girl quickly got bored with watching the sights of London rolling by, as a backdrop to cyclists, so pretty soon I had the TV to myself. I spun up a sample skein of CVM for my mom’s sweater. It was about 68-69 yards of 3-ply light worsted; about 13 wpi altogether, and very soft. Even with making sure the sample was well fulled before hanging it to dry, I’m not certain if this is sweater material. I’ll be sending it off to my mom tomorrow, so we’ll see what she thinks. She said that gray would be fine, so I don’t know if I’ll have to dye it either. Keep your fingers crossed…

Sunday I got to watch slightly more; it was Stage 1, from London to Canterbury (?). I mostly did some carding between pleading and finally insisting on watching “Mommy’s sports show”. I’ve got about 1.5 oz. carded, and a few dozen yards actually spun. As you can see, I haven’t gotten a damn thing carded so far. This whole first-day-of-school stuff is almost out of control here. We start tomorrow; Mr. Goth, Baby Goth and I will be taking her supplies over and meeting her teacher and teaching assistant. Even though it lasts for 15 min., it’ll be a big deal indeed.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to spin through Stage 2 tonight. I’m aiming for a whole bobbin, which should use the whole of my carding so far.

Le Tour de Fleece

This year I’ve decided to participate in the Tour de Fleece.
tourdefleecebut.jpg
The goal is to spin during the Tour de France – whenever the race is going, you watch and spin. Easy, right? We’ll see…
At least I can get started on my mom’s sweater. I think I’ll have everything carded (*snicker*) before July 7th. That’s the goal, anyway.

If you’d like to sign up, better hurry… It promises to be a lot of fun.

A Sweater in a Month

This morning, while plowing through my RSS feeds, I came across a link on CRAFTzine’s blog for another knitalong. This one seemed pretty good, and gives me an excuse to start something I’ve been putting off for a while. I’m a procrastination professional; which might explain my dismal failure at KALs.

This one is from Shannon at Knitgrrl. Based on the popular National Novel Writing Month, where people torture themselves with the concept of a 5,000 word novel written in 30 days, NaNoSweMo is suggesting knitting a 5,000 stitch sweater in 30 days. Well, if you start today or so like me, it’ll be 28 days. Maybe I could call mine 28 days later? Hmmmm…

So what the hell, I think I’ll try this. Maybe I’ll be more successful at this than NaNoWriMo, which I have attempted – and failed in at least one case to even start – for the past 3 years in a row. That’s not boding well for this, is it?

UPDATE: Oops, it’s NaKniSweMo – for National Knit a Sweater Month. Here’s the button:
Knitgrrl's National Knit a Sweater Month button