Category Archives: Knitalong

Three Down

It’s a little sadder today than yesterday… the Olympics are over.  No more curling, or alpine skiing, or hockey on TV.  Not even any more figure skating or biathlon.  I guess I’ve just got to go back to my usual TV diet of Law and Order and cooking shows… sigh.

But, I did get one more big project done!  My bears from last year!

A dozen bears!  They’ve been stuffed, assembled, sewn up and appliqued/embroidered (which always takes more time than I expect).  I’m pleased with how they turned out, and more than pleased with the fact that they’re finally done! They’ve been sitting staring at me, unfinished, for months.  (OK, they weren’t staring, because I hadn’t gotten it together enough to give them eyes until this weekend, but you understand.)Three big projects done during the Olympics- a nice, big baby blanket, a cozy scarf (that had been haunting me for years) and a dozen lovely bears.  Not bad for two weeks!

I think I might be on a finishing things roll.  I should probably keep this momentum going and finish something else…

How did your Ravellenic Games turn out?

Two Down

It’s been a bit of slow going on my knitting, if I’m being honest.

There’s a project that has always been my Achilles Heel, and I have no clue why.


I don’t know why, but I absolutely detest making scarves.  They always seem like a good idea.  I mean, what’s more classic than a lovely knit scarf?  I start off strong, then about 6 inches in I get totally bored and wander off to work on another project.

Which is bananas, because I just knit an all-garter-stitch baby blanket in about three weeks without any trouble.  There’s no reason a scarf should take me as long as it does, but here we are.

This weird scarf hang-up probably explains why I’ve had this scarf on my needles in one shape or another for (according to Ravelry), more than three years.  I’d get a bee in my bonnet to finish the scarf, but then decide I didn’t like what I was doing with it, so I’d rip it out, knit about a foot, then loose steam and put it away again.  (And again, and again.)

But!  I managed to push through this time and I’ve finished!  I’ve completed a whole scarf!

Sure, it’s just a big ol’ garter stitch rectangle, and it hasn’t been blocked or anything, but hey!  It’s done!

And I kind of love it.The colors are bright and cheerful (sorry about the picture.  It’s real cloudy here today-surprise surprise.  But I promise you the colors are really pretty!)  I like the fact that the colors pooled to make cute little stripes.  I even like the thick-and-thin texture of the yarn, which I definitely did on purpose when I spun up the yarn all those years ago (*wink*).  All in all, I think this was a very successful scarf project!

Next, I’m off to tackle this box of bears.  Wish me luck!How are your Ravellenic projects going?

One down

One project done, and several to go!

I’ll be honest, I thought I’d be through more projects by now (since we’re about halfway through the Olympics), but I guess my powers of estimation (and powers of sitting comfortably on the couch) are less than perfect these days.

Anyway, I finished the baby blanket, and it turned out great!It’s just about a yard square, insanely soft and squishy.  It used up a bunch of my old sock yarn stash, which is great, but I still have plenty of yarn left (maybe even enough to make another blanket?).I wove in my ends and trimmed all the tails on Saturday, and then got right onto the next project.  My hand-spun party scarf!

It’s been sitting on a shelf for probably three or four years at this point, so I forgot what size needles I had been using (apparently I had stolen the needles out of the project at some point over the years).  I ended up ripping out the whole thing, which sent my allergies going (so much dust!).  But, after finding the Kleenex, I got down to business.  I cast on 30 sts, and just went to town knitting.  So far I’ve got a little over two feet of knitting done, and I’m loving how it’s turning out.  It’s kind of fun making completely brainless projects for once- so much garter stitch!!Now I just have to keep going and not run out of steam!

How are your Ravellenic Games projects coming along?

Attempt 1: Baby Blanket

Woo!  And we’re off!

I’ve been cranking through my first project that I’m trying to finish during the Olympics, and I think I’m making good headway.  At this rate, I should be done in the next couple days (maybe earlier… if I actually manage to kick this cold’s butt and stay up past 8:00 for once).

I’m about halfway through my stash of leftover bits of Knit Picks Stroll, which is pretty satisfying.  I hate throwing away the little leftover bits of yarn at the end of a project, so this is a pretty perfect project for me.  I’m not even waiting for the end of a row before I switch yarn colors, so I’m not wasting even a little bit.  I’m holding the yarn double, and using great big needles (US10s), so the fabric is coming out super squishy and cozy.  It’s going to be a heck of a comfy blanket when it’s finished.  (I kind of wish I had made it adult-sized, I like it so much.  Though, that would have taken more yarn than I think even I have in my stash.)And, it’s turning out massive!  Or at least bigger than I had planned on.  I guess I didn’t do a great job of measuring my gauge swatch when I cast on the other day.   It’s a little under a yard wide (but I could easily block it up to that size if I wanted).  I had planned on making it rectangular, but now I’m thinking I might just leave it square.  If I do that, I’ve only got 8 or 9 inches to go!

Are you making headway on your Ravellenic knitting?

… And They’re Off!

Good morning Ravellenic Athletes!  I hope you’ve been training hard, because the next 17 days are going to be busy!

I’ve finally decided what I’m going to do (not that I waited until the 11th hour or anything).  I’ve decided to do something a little different than usual:

I’m going to see how many projects I can finish in the next two weeks.

I figure I’m not going to have a ton of knitting time coming up, so I might as well take this as an opportunity to finish up some (all?  If I’m lucky, and very fast.) of the projects that I’ve been letting languish in my WIP pile.

I’ve got my Papaya Sweater, which is really only knit down to the armpits.I’ve got an entire stack of bears that need to be stuffed, need faces, and need to be sent off to Mama Bear Headquarters.I’ve got a scarf that I’ve started and put down and restarted about a dozen times over the last three years. (I even spun the yarn for this one!  I just never got off my butt to finish the dang thing!)I’ve got the almost-finished prototype for the 15th Street Wrap– a project that I have written up as a pattern, published, and other people have knit their own versions of, before I even finished mine!I found two half-finished pairs of socks from some point in the past (I think one pair of socks might literally be from over five years ago… I really don’t remember starting them).  This might explain where all my US2 DPNs have disappeared to over the years.And of course, I’m about halfway through my sock yarn baby blanket.I don’t expect to finish everything, but it’ll be fun to try!

So, what to do first? (And when is curling on?)

What are you working on for the Ravellenic Games?

The Olympics Are Coming!

Opening Ceremonies are on Friday, and I’m not even a little bit prepared!I’ve participated in the Ravellenic Games for at least as long as I’ve been running this blog (and I think once or twice before that).  So, this isn’t like it’s my first rodeo.

Usually by this point, I’ve got a plan, or at least have a bunch of yarn ordered.  Last time, I made a nice gray cardigan, and the time before that I designed one of my very first sweaters with a pretty clever slipped-stitch yoke (if I say so myself).  This year, I have no idea what I’m going to do!

If you’re not familiar with the Ravellenic Games, a quick overview:Every time the Olympics are held, thousands of knitters across the world all cast on at once (usually, during the opening ceremony- though this year it’ll be 3:00 in the morning in Washington when the opening ceremony starts, so I think I’ll wait until a little later in the day to cast on), and spend the next two weeks watching athletes do athletic things and knitting away as fast as they can.  Knitters can organize themselves into teams, compete in different “events” (Sweater Skeleton,  Bag Biathlon, etc.) and spend the Olympics challenging their knitting skills.

It’s a fun way to crank out some quick knitting!

But this year I’ve completely dropped the ball!  The Opening Ceremony is on Friday, and I don’t have any idea of what I want to do!  I don’t really even have time to order yarn!

I know I’ve got some fancy-pants lace yarn, but a big lace shawl might be a little too much for a two-week project.  Or I could try to plow through some of my WIPS- I keep meaning to work on that Papaya sweater, but that seems a bit like cheating, since it’s already a quarter of the way done.  Or I could go to my LYS and see if they have any inspirational yarn in stock.

What’s a forgetful Olympic knitter to do?

Are you participating in the Ravellenic Games?   What are you making?

Mother Bear Update

So, I’m not doing a great job with my New Year’s Resolution to complete one mother bear every month this year.  So far my MO has been to do nothing with my bears for a good three or four months, then panic and knit up a bunch of bears in a weekend.

And this month has been no different.

I spent last weekend sewing up the half-dozen bears I had knit and stuffed back in June, and the first half of this week has been focused on knitting up three more bear bodies (I still owe an arm and a half to finish my September bear).

None of my bears have faces yet, but that’s OK.  I’m currently planning on doing all the faces in one fell swoop over the holidays.  That seems like a nice Chrismassy activity- sewing faces onto charity teddy bears while listening to Christmas carols and munching on gingerbread.  It feels very much like something out of a book from the 1940s.

Have you been making any Mother Bears?  Or are you busy doing other charity knitting?

Too Many Bears


These bears are going to be the death of me.  There’s just so many!

I thought I’d done this before, but I must not have made this many all at once.  Because stuffing and finishing six bears takes. For. Ev. Er.

I put on a nice long movie last night and sat down with my box of bears and a big bag of fluff.  I figured two and a half, maybe three hours would be plenty to get all the bears put together- maybe even enough to put on faces.

Well.  I was wrong

It literally took TWO HOURS to stuff all six bears- I didn’t even get to start sewing them up during that time.So now I have a big box of bears/bear arms with stuffing popping out the tops.  (It’s actually kind of morbid… like I can see the bears’ brains!  Zombie bears!  Aah!)

It took another half hour to sew up one bear- closing the top of the head, attaching the arms and making the neck.  That means I’ve got another two-plus hours of work ahead of me before I even start sewing on faces.  Ugh!

I wish I could just send in the un-stuffed bears to the Mother Bear Project and have them finish them up.  I could make so many more bears that way!  (Although, then the Mother Bear folks would have to spend all their time stuffing them… They probably have better things to be doing.)

Have you been working on anything lately that’s taken longer than expected?

Bare Bears

It’s been a minute since I talked about my bears!

And… that’s mostly because I have kind of been slacking…

Well, not slacking exactly, but getting busy with other things, so I haven’t been working on my bears as much as I had hoped to.

If you remember, I resolved to make one bear every month, so that I would end up with a nice even dozen to send in at the end of the year.  So far, unfortunately, I’ve more or less been doing one bear every other month, then three bears last week when I realized how far behind I was.

So, at least now I’ve got six bears all knit up (except for one arm, but I’ll take care of that this afternoon) and ready for stuffing.

It feels good to be more or less back on schedule.  Unfortunately, now I’ve got to do all the finishing still…

I guess it’s time for a good TV binge-watch and marathon stuffing/arm attaching/face embroidering session this evening.  Oh, but they’ll be so cute when they’re done!

Are you making any Mother Bears?  How many have you got going this year?

Bears in the Air!

It’s time.

(OK, actually I had meant to take these guys to the post office before Christmas… but the post office at Christmas should be avoided at all costs, so I procrastinated like a champ.)

It’s time for my bears to get all packed up and head up north, then to be sent out to all the corners of the world to meet up with their kids.

I’ve managed to finish 11 bears this year, all with leftover yarn and sweet little (grumpy) faces made out of felt.  I’ve tied the little tags onto their wrists, and they’re packed up snug to fly to Mother Bear HQ in Minnesota.img_4480Once they get there, I’ll keep my eye out on their photo gallery to see if I can spot these little guys when they finally get where they’re going.img_4493Now I have to find another box and start making more bears for next year!