Rio, Here We Come

The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming!

Okay, that was a fairly American reference for Canada’s latest fan.

As you may know, I get kind of excited about the Olympics, and its companion knitting event. Originally the “Knitting Olympics,” evolved to the “Ravelympics,” now due to copyright issues, the title is officially the “Ravellenic Games.”

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The purpose? Challenge yourself. Pursue excellence in your craft, alongside crafters around the world, while celebrating athletes at the top of their skills from around the world.

If you’re not into Ravelry, it’s sort of a facebook for knitters [and crocheters and weavers and spinners]. It’s really not, but if you’re not a crafter, you won’t care about the nuance. Over the years, the Ravellenic games has evolved into this huge event on the site, complete with special forums, teams… it’s sort of a big online party while we’re all watching the Olympics on TV. To be honest I’m not sure how we all have time to knit, since typing and knitting are sort of mutually exclusive. Which is why, as soon as an affordable foot keyboard is invented, knitters will be all over it. But this is what they call, a digression.

As I was saying, teams. For the first time, I’ll be a ravthlete for Team Canada.

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Our official team graphic. Made by a Raveler. Dedication, that is.

Our TeeVee is all set up with cable and everything. Part of the magic of Canada? You can get cable without a subscription. I love this country.

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This will be my first time watching the games on CBC. How different will it be? What will it be like watching the whole half of a game without commercials? Will they still have all those special interest stories? Will the commentators be super-nice? So far I can confirm that they still play those Tide/PPG commercials, and now that I have kids they totally make me cry.

What events are you looking forward to this Olympics? I always want to watch it all, but I most enjoy the gymnastics, synchronized swimming… the girly stuff, I guess. Though I’ve gotten accustomed to watching lots of soccer – ehem, sorry, football – hanging out at my in-laws this summer during the Americas cup.

And what’s my event this year? I’m going whole hog: it’s the Sweater Triathlon for me. Meaning: between the opening theme of the Olympic games tomorrow night, and midnight after the closing ceremonies, I plan to knit a whole sweater.

I only brought up one sweater-quantity of yarn for myself last year year. Most of my stuff is still at my mom’s, and I tried to only send up a year’s worth of knitting (and of course, way overestimated. I have more coming on the boat for this year, but it won’t get here for another few weeks).

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This yarn is another piece of Mother Martha’s legacy. It’s pretty old-school, called “Knop-Scotch”, by the quite defunct “Templeton” yarn company. I’m guessing it was in Martha’s stash for two or more decades before it even came to me. As we’ve discovered, one of Martha’s miraculous qualities was having a taste for earthy colors and natural fibres back before it was cool. It’s three marled colorways, each consisting in one smooth ply and one boucle ply: Brown+Black, Brown+White, and Green+White. It knits up to something like a DK gauge.

It’s definitely enough for a sweater, but what to make? About a year ago, I ran across this:

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It’s called the BlueSand Cardigan, and I fell in love. Having bought the pattern, it’s more complicated than it looks; apparently, getting that shoulder slope just right takes some intricate shaping. This should be interesting.

So I found a pattern with three yarn colors, and my gauge swatch looks perfect. But my proportions of yarn are not quite the same as what’s called for. A total of nearly 1700 yards seems like it should be enough, but I have as much green as dark brown, and not enough of either to fully take the job of the main color. That means I have to do something to rejigger the stripes. Behold my planning attempts (you can see I had some help):

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Mostly, I’m undecided whether to put extra green in the body so that both the bottom border and shawl collar can both be dark brown, or keep the brown in the body and make the bottom border green. I’m leaning towards the former, but the decision will partly be made for me by how quickly my yarn is being used up. Because, really, I’m not sure I have enough at all. I’m playing a little fast and loose. I’m going to knit the sleeves before the body and… try to keep an open mind. After all, I might already be completely mental just to think I can complete this sweater in 17 days.

What will you be doing while you have one eye on Rio? Any great Brazilian foods you can recommend for an opening ceremonies party?

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