2010 Knitting Olympics

I just went back through my archives to copy my “finished object” summary text and it took forever- my last finished knitting object was posted in April 2009!  I never even posted the final wrap-up of the Log Cabin Blanket the Robyn, Amy and I knit for our cousin Caryn’s bridal shower.

Hopefully I can remedy this.  I’m trying to finalize my “finished objects 2009” page so as I get that set up in Flickr and Ravelry, I’ll try to get those posts in here too.

To begin:

Pattern:  Prairie Spring Tunic by Franklin Habit (Ravelry link)

Size:  2 years

Yarn:  St-Denis Nordique, 3 balls Oatmeal, 1 each of Soft Yellow, Bottle Green & Bison (I used the Oatmeal in place of the Chalk Blue in the original pattern)

Needles: 3.75 mm and 4 mm

Notions: n/a

Dates:  February 12 – 26 2010

Modifications:  The biggest would be that I redid the charts to have chinchillas in them.  This gave me a 12 st repeat instead of 6 like the pattern, so I had to increase the st count of the body by 6 sts right before the Fair Isle section to accomodate my repeat.  The numbers worked fine for the sleeves.  I also used Oatmeal in place of the Chalk Blue ‘cus I’d used the blue for a swatch for another project.

This pattern was entered in Event Junior, Event Nordic Colorwork and Event Sweaterboard.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.

The second half of my 2010 Knitting Olympics project was the stuffed chinchilla:

Pattern:  Knitted Chinchilla by Helen Gibbons (Ravelry link)

Size:  one size

Yarn:  less than 1 ball each of Bernat Boa Fur in Silver Fox, Patons Decor in Woodbine Ombre , and Patons Decor in Pale Country Pink

Needles: 5 mm

Notions: 2 safety eyes, stuffing

Dates:  February 27 2010

Modifications:   I’d thought I’d add paws but it was cute as it is.  The only mod I did was to omit the pipe cleaner from the tail because I didn’t want to take a chance on it poking out and hurting the baby.

This pattern was entered in Event Skelegurumi, and Event Stash Dance.  The Woodbine Ombre was bought years ago at Michael’s in Ottawa, the Silver Fox Boa was from LAST December, leftovers from a chemo cap, and the pink Decor was leftovers from the 6 or so balls I’d bought YEARS ago when we did a Suzanne Atkinson workshop at guild and I’d planned on knitting the whole scarf she gave us the pattern for.

As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.

All in all the 2010 Knitting Olympics were a (mildly stressful) success.  I finished my baby shower gift well ahead of the party date, got more Fair Isle under my belt, and managed to use up some stash that was lying around.


2010 knitting olympics, day 16

Stick a fork in me…

…’cus I’m done!  A full day ahead of pace, and I’m finished my 2010 Knitting Olympic self-set challenges.  In 16 days not only did I knit a colorwork size 2 years baby shower gift, with pretty-decent-looking Fair Isle that I recharted, but I also knit a chinchilla stuffed toy to go with it.  (And inside there I also spent 2 days knitting and preparing a knitting pattern submission and studied for an exam which I then did and got 100% on.  WOOT!)

Here’s the little guy, all ready for his closeup.  I used safety eyes and took a few photos of a non-standard tool I found that really helped with clamping the back pieces on.  Expect those in a few days.

I didn’t put the pipe-cleaner in his tail as per the pattern, because this is for a baby and I didn’t want to take any chances on sharp metal bits poking out.

He really makes me smile.  It’s smaller than I’d thought, but nicely solid and perfect for gripping by the ears or tail.  I hope the baby likes chewing on it!

To keep things complete, here’s the photo for day 16.  One chinchilla tunic, and one chinchilla, both done, dry, and ready to be wrapped.

Project specs coming next post.


2010 knitting olympics, days 14-15

First here’s the progress by the end of Thursday night:

and now after Friday night:

Whee!  I finished the tunic last night!  With the time I had available to knit (since Yannick was working and the kids were sleeping) I parked myself in front of the Olympics, finished the last sleeve, wove in a few dozen ends then picked-up and knit the collar.  I even had time to let it soak in some Eucalan then put it up to block before I went to bed.

I’m debating sewing down the inside edges of the collar.  I think I’ll try it on Jakob first to see how it looks, since he’s about the size to wear it.

Chinchillas!  (Or random little pixillated rodents)

And a sleeve.

So by Friday night the main part of the gift (and my Knitting Olympics challenge) was complete.  All that remains for my official challenge is to knit, stuff and complete a chinchilla toy to go with the tunic.  Do you think I’ll make it in time?  The Olympics end tomorrow…


2010 knitting olympics, day 13

Last night’s progress…

I’ve finished the left sleeve and am making headway on the right sleeve.  Once the sleeves are done there’s only blocking and the collar, although I’ll probably do the collar first so it can block after and still be considered “done” for the Olympics.  I feel like I’m making great progress even though I had a few stops and delays.  Of course, I do have a second part to this challenge- the chinchilla toy.  Even though I put in my official sign up and on Ravelry that it was conditional on me finishing this tunic…I feel like it is a required event.  And it is using a pattern that I’ve never knit before and don’t know how well-written it is.  Still, I’m sure it will go well.

I just found out I’m going up to Yannick’s parents’ house for dinner Sunday night, which means that any last-minute progress and my final photos won’t be shared until Monday when we get back.

I also just remembered that I have a 2-hour hair appointment tonight, and can’t work on my Olympic projects.  I don’t want to take a chance on any of the hair dyes accidentally falling on the wool, plus I don’t feel like wrangling the colorwork while balancing the chart on my lap on the slippery salon cover-up.  I’ll have to find some other knitting to bring with me for all that sitting time.

(p.s. last night’s progress puts me at 86.89% completed)


2010 knitting olympics, day 12

Here’s where I left off last night when I went to bed after watching Joannie Rochette’s short program place her in 3rd so far.  You can see that I’m almost finished the left sleeve.  The colorwork section is done, and there is about an inch or so of stockinette to go before the border.

(By the way, the border wants to flip a bit until I block it, so that’s my toe in all the photos helping to hold the bottom border down).

If you’ve ever seen the original Prairie Spring Tunic (and I hope you have, ‘cus Jakob is the really cute model!), then you can see the changes I’ve made.  First of all, although I bought the Chalk Blue color as called for in the pattern, I didn’t end up using it.  The blue is supposed to be the top 3 sts of the upside-down Oatmeal triangles, as well as the colorwork section inside the brown area.  Well, I needed the blue for a last-minute swatch redo for that submission I’d mentioned, and decided to just skip it altogether and stick with the Oatmeal throughout.  The sex of the baby is yet unknown anyways, so all I’ve done is to make a gender-neutral sweater even more unisex.

You can also see the design modification I made.  Look- chinchillas!  (Or, look- vague pixellated rodent shape!)  Many years ago, Yannick and I got a great deal on a chinchilla.  That sounds rather odd to type, but we kept going to look at them at Nature but they cost a few hundred dollars, then you need a cage that’s at least 3-4 feet high and wide for them to run around, plus apple sticks, and volcanic ash, and hay, and litter…let’s just say they’re not a cheap investment, although they do tend to live 20-30 years and can be quite affectionate.  On one of our visits to the pet store the mother of one of the employees mentioned that they had a chinchilla, 4 years old, and didn’t have the time to devote to her what with letting her run around for an hour a day for exercise, etc.  They’d give us the chinchilla, the cage and all her accessories and food- for $50.  So of course we jumped on the chance, even though we’d only been dating a few years and weren’t even living together.  Shastie, the chinchilla (as named by the prev owner), lived at Yannick’s place until we moved in together, then she came to live with us.  But after a while we realized that we weren’t giving her as much time as she deserved either.  Around the same time my cousin was moving out and wanted a pet, so we gave Shastie to him, and he renamed her Bubba.  Please don’t ask me why, I have NO idea.  Eventually his girlfriend moved in with him and a year or so ago they got Habsie, another chinchilla, to keep Bubba company.  They got married a year and a half ago and are having their first baby, and I decided to sneak chinchillas into their baby shower gift.

Unfortunately I got a phone call about a week ago telling me that Bubba had passed away.  By my estimation she was about 12 years old.  They’re keeping Habsie though, and might get another one someday too.  Hopefully they’ll be touched by the chinchilla reference, and when I knit the chinchilla doll to go with the sweater maybe I’ll put a little Canadians gear on it so it really will be “Habsie”.  🙂

Of course there’s always a little bump to impede my progress, and when I was working on the body I realized that the originally-6-stitch-repeat, which I altered to be a 12-stitch repeat, worked just fine with the stitch count for the 18 month size.  But when I’d realized that I had enough yarn to knit the 2 year size I’d switched.  And never adjusted my pattern.  And the new stitch count wasn’t divisible by 12.  Luckily I was only 6 stitches off, so in the last row before the colorwork I just increased 6 sts around and worked the rest slightly bigger.

Oh, and as of last night, I am 80.4% finished!


2010 knitting olympics, days 4-11

I’m going to try to stick in a gallery of the recap photos, since you don’t really need an individual post for each one.

If this worked you’ll see the daily progress photos of days 4-11 here, and if you’re looking at them thinking “hmm…some of those don’t look any different from each other”, you’re right!

I had to take a few days off of the Olympics.  I had some sketching/swatching to work on for a design submission, and it took all my free time.  I’m now back on track and the next post will show my most recent progress.

(ps it looks like one of those links is broken, but it’s ok…it’s just another photo of the same lack of progress)


2010 knitting olympics, day 3

Day 3 was a great day, both for Canada and for me.  I got about 25 rows done, bringing me to 45.37% completed!  Of course, I expect this pace to drop once I’m back at work on Tues, but I feel confident I will finish my stated Olympic goals and maybe even add something else…


2010 knitting olympics, day 2

29.89% completed.  I feel like my training has paid off, and if I keep my focus on the goal, I might just make gold.

(p.s. did anyone else watch the women’s moguls?  Talk about a down-to-the-last-minute competition!  We almost had our first gold on Canadian soil too…)

(p.p.s. Henri says “Go Team Canada!”)



Here’s a photo I took Friday evening before the opening ceremonies.  My equipment was assembled and I was ready to go!

I’m going to be knitting Franklin Habit’s Prairie Spring Tunic from the premiere Fall/Winter 2009 issue of St-Denis.  I’m knitting it size 2, using the same colors as I needed it to be neutral- it is going to be a baby shower gift for my cousin’s wife.  They have a chinchilla as a pet (and used to have my chinchilla too) so I will be adapting the white blips in the Fair Isle section to be chinchillas.  If I have time I plan to knit a stuffed chinchilla toy as well.  It is an Olympic challenge for me partly because of my time constraints, and partly because to date I find my Fair Isle colorwork sucks.  I rock at intarsia, but I’m not comfortable with stranding the yarn without puckering or pulling.