Sunday, February 28, 2010

Flower Power pooling stole

I took on the challenge of designing a new pattern from scratch for the Ravelympics. What do you think?

(Note: If you're new to the pooling technique, please read the first pattern in this series to get a good idea of how to figure out where your yarn will pool.)

Using an "e" or backwards loop cast-on, cast on 84 stitches onto a US7 needle. Please see my previous posts about figuring out your own "magic number" to cast on, depending on your tension on the needles you've chosen.

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Start working with the charts below. The stitches in yellow are your garter edging. My edging had 2 edge stitches on either side (4 total), but your edging will be different depending on your stitch tension, so please add or subtract stitches as you need to.

(Click on the charts to get them in a larger, more printable size, or download a PDF with the charts from google docs.)

There are five charts. The only difference between the charts is the bead placement — depending on where you want to place the beads in your stole. I did randomly coloured bead-flowers for the flowers in the first three repeats, then solid bead-flowers, randomly placed in the body of the stole. (Chart 1, then chart 2, then chart 1 again.)

As a bonus: the solid bead-flowers look like single Olympic rings, which was a rather nice piece of synchronicity, as this was also my Knitting Olympics project.

End with a Row 1.

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Bind off very loosely using a sewn bindoff, to maintain the pooling.

Block and pin out the stole.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

belated bloggiversary & birthday plus a contest

Hey Gladys! I just realized that our 3rd bloggiversary (last month) flew by without acknowledgement. So happy bloggiversary - 3 years and counting! And I forgot to wish you a happy birthday on your birthday so Happy Birthday!!!! Question: does the Perwoll smell like WM?

To celebrate our bloggiversary, I'd like to hold a contest. Guess where I am and you can win a sock yarny prize.

Hubby is up there somewhere.

Another shot of the mountain.

And those trees up at the top - it's as if the snow falls sideways and sticks to them so that you can't even tell they're trees anymore. The spooky white shapes are called snow ghosts (this is a big hint).

Contest is open to everyone on planet Earth. Leave a comment on this post with your guess (be as specific as you can). One guess per person please. I will randomly draw a winner from all correct answers. Contest closes midnight PST Wed March 3rd.

Contest closed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pooling for the Ravelympics

(Note: If you're new to the pooling technique, please read the first pattern in this series to get a good idea of how to figure out where your yarn will pool.)

Leaves and Vines Pooling Stole
Yarn: Wollmeise Lace, approximately 1/2 skein or 870 yards
Needles: US 4 for the purl rows and US 5 for the knit rows
Size: 6 feet long when it’s lightly blocked – will probably stretch to 6.5 feet after some wearing. Is also a couple of inches wider than its fingering-weight cousin – approx 19” wide, lightly blocked.

Using an "e" or backwards loop cast-on, cast on 100 stitches onto a US5 needle. Please see my previous posts about figuring out your own "magic number" for your tension on the needles you've chosen. For this pattern, it's pretty easy to subtract pairs of edge stitches if you need to use fewer stitches to get the pooling to happen. (Some people also cast on a couple of extra stitches for the garter rows, and then do a k2together to lose them when they get into the pattern rows. It all depends on your individual stitch tension.)

Knit garter stitch for 6-12 rows. (I knew that I would have 9 stitches on either end of my lace pattern, 18 total, so I did 12 rows of garter stitch to make it a thicker edging all around.)

Start working with the chart below. Here it is as a PDF as well, so that you can print it at a much higher resolution.

(Click on the chart to get it in a larger, more printable size.)

End with a row 20.

Knit garter stitch for 6-12 rows, to match the beginning garter stitch rows.

Bind off very loosely using a sewn bindoff, to maintain the pooling.

March 19, 2012: Edited to add errata, courtesy of Mary Lou (MLO on Ravelry)

That reminds me, I have a couple of minor corrections that I wanted to tell you about that I noticed in the pattern:
  • Your instructions say to cast on 100 stitches, but you need an odd number to have the same number of stitches on each border since the pattern stitches total 81.
  • On line 14 of the chart, it’s marked as 5 stitches in box 36, but it actually should say 4.
  • The instructions for the ^ say “slip one, knit the next two stitches” which I read as “knit the next two stitches together”

An Olympic week

Photo heavy post because I have a LOT from our last week.

Socks have been my travelling project during the long lineups at the various free Olympics venues around town. Here it is on a ferris wheel, overlooking a giant set of rings made with cranberries. Seriously -- all that red is cranberries.

We even got to do an ice wine tasting on my birthday.

Andrew and I got to hold the torch at the Canadian pavilion.

This is such a bizarre February, even for Vancouver. The cherries and flowering trees are all blooming away. (And my itchy eyes are telling me all about the plant sex happening all around me.)

In Richmond, by the Olympic Oval, there's another inukshuk made out of shipping containers. I love it because it's a great combination of the "welcome" inukshuk symbol, and the fact that BC is a trading province.
I'll leave you with a shot of the crowds around the Olympic torch. This is just the road TO the torch -- the giant crowd in the middle of the photo is struggling to move closer to the fence around the torch. (It's just on the other side of the building with IBC on it.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

aiming for gold

No time to blog... Busy knitting for a gold medal:

I'll distract you with a picture of my nephew-dog, Gizmo:

Gizmo sez, "I am the cutest thing on this blog!"

Uh oh... those are fightin' words.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

news flash

We interrupt the Winter Olympics to bring you this news flash - it's spring and moving quickly towards summer.

My crocuses are blooming (ignore the dead looking cranesbill geranium):

My white bleeding heart is over a foot tall and you can see branches with the "hearts" on them:

My daffodils will be blooming soon:

My neighbour's daffodils are already blooming.

And do you know what else? Hubby is outside cutting the lawn. We've lived here for almost 10 years and the earliest he's done the first cut is April. It's Feb 18th for crying out loud! I was on the phone to my sister complaining and she just laughed at me. You can't even see the ground where she lives because there's at least 2 feet of snow covering it.

Makes me wonder if we're going to get a super hot summer this year. I am grateful that we've upgraded to vehicles with a/c.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Canada wins gold!

We won a gold medal yesterday. Yahoo! What better way to start my Olympic tourist day than to visit some gold...

This is the Royal Canadian Mint's $1M gold coin. It's huge!!!

And then I tried to heft a gold bar. I tried to do it with one hand but I was warned to use both because it weighs 28 pounds.

I wanted to see the Olympic medals but the wait was approx. 3.5 hours which would take up half of my day so I moved on to the Northern Canada House.

This is Mister Muskox. Pretty scary looking horns. Although Gladys was unable to join me today, I managed to enable myself into a little qiviut.

The sock touched the oldest rock in the world. And then we trooped over to the waterfront and visited the Olympic flame.

Here's a better picture sans chainlink fence:

I met up with hubby and we had lunch on the Library Square steps - just like the good ole days when I used to work downtown. After lunch, I waited in line to enter the Bell Ice Cube (nothing exciting to see in there). A woman saw me knitting and asked me if I was magic looping. I nearly dropped my sock!!! I gave her a brief demo before she moved away. Someone else in the line asked me if I was knitting a hat because it was so small. A husband in a different part of the line made some comment to his wife and I heard her response, "You want me to do something useful standing in line?". He is sleeping on the couch tonite!

I stopped in at one of the celebration sites and convinced a coupla Mounties to pose with my sock:

Lookit the dimples on Mr. Hunk!!! They asked me what the sock was about and I explained the whole Knitting Olympics and watched their eyes glaze over.

And this is as close as we got to Sochi World:

The line ups were crazy and by late afternoon, my feet were sore and I could feel myself getting cranky. So I'm back home and contemplating my Ravelympic project:

I actually finished the sleeve and tried it on. Too tight!!! So I've frogged it all the way back to the beginning of the sleeve and I'll add a few rows here and there to make it bigger. I hate my big arms.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Strong and FREE

Finally got Tony's photos off the camera -- here I am at the opening ceremonies, hoisting a cup of Team Canada Ravelympics' official drink — an apple cider (7% alcohol).

And wow, what a whirlwind weekend this has been. It went by in a flash, but here are some more photos of Vancouver during the Olympics!

The wet side of Vancouver showed up yesterday when we met Dotty and Markus for the RCMP musical ride (free, but they did ask for donations to the Right to Play charity). And no, Dotty and I aren't related, why do you ask?

Obligatory photo of sock-with-mounties.

Did you know that there's a maple leaf shaved into the rump of each horse, and the horses are specially bred for the mounties? Pretty cool.

Then today, Andrew and I headed downtown to check out some of the other free events. We caught a figure skating demo at Robson Square (the handpuppet is a kid's project from England -- her name is Ice Cream and she's travelling around the world to visit different countries).

Then we went to the LiveCity Yaletown celebration site. This is about the halfway point of the lineup before the site opened. Fortunately, it only took us about 20 minutes to get in once the gates opened (there was a security check/metal detector crossing at the gate).

There is one good thing about all these lineups — LOTS of knitting time on Andrew's socks! The first sock is already done, and I'm at the heel flap on the second sock.

Then we went off to the Sochi World area, by the Main Street SkyTrain station. The crowd there was too big so we didn't even bother to line up. We did go to the Saskatchewan pavilion ("only" a 30-minute lineup). And then we went for a walk on the waterfront. Across the water is the athletes' village. If you click on the photo, you'll see an enormous Canadian flag across the rightmost building. I couldn't spot the Australian banner, unfortunately.

And then there was this highlight for me. Surrounded by all the corporate advertising and lineups, there was a little bit of public art. People have gone down from the pathway and built inukshuks out of the broken-up concrete along the waterfront.

And of course Andrew had to contribute his piece as well. It was such an unexpected pleasure to find this little oasis of unexpected creativity and joy on our trip.

And finally, one last image of the whole family ...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

32 horsepower

Dear Gladys,

We've finally thawed out. It took a plate of chicken feet and some shrimp dumplings (we stopped at T&T) and a large mug of hot chocolate when we got home.

The highlight of the day was definitely the RCMP musical ride. Those horses are beautiful (and some of those Mounties are mighty hunky). I uploaded the interesting pictures and two videos to Flickr.

While you were with the kids, you missed the part where Bionic (the handsome horse) grabbed the tie for my hoodie and tried to eat it. Serves me right for forgetting to bring carrots. It was a brand new coat and what a better way of breaking it in than getting some horse spit on it.

Hope you had a good time today. I did! See you Monday and maybe you can enable me into a little qiviut ;)


Friday, February 12, 2010

True North

Hi everyone! Guess where we went today?

Here's a hint.
And another. (Downtown portion of the torch relay.)

And another. Only in Canada would you find a Coke-emblazoned Zamboni.

And another. (We ran into some Russian athletes.)

Yup, you guessed it!

We got there ridiculously early, in retrospect, so the security checkpoint was only about 10 minutes long. And yes, they did let my knitting needles through.

We were just a few rows from the top, in the nosebleed section, but it was still a great view.

These lovely boxes/drums were on our seats.

And yes, Dotty, there's your project bag with one of my Ravelympics projects in it! And yes, they did allow my yarn and needles through the security checkout.

Here's what was inside. A giant poncho (they asked everyone to wear white or light colours and then gave us ponchos anyways). A Canadian flag. A cool blue flashlight and candle. And a drumstick to use on the box/drum.

They had a crowd warmup, and then we counted down the last 5 minutes to the beginning of the ceremony.

I know you saw better video of the rest of the opening ceremonies on TV, so I'll just give you the shots of the Canadian team entering the building.

The boys barely made it to the SkyTrain before they lost all of their battery charge.

We'll see you in the morning, for the Mounties' musical ride!