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February 03, 2006

Olympics...Bring It On!

Thank you all for the suggestions last Friday! I was shocked at how many of you commented. You brought up a few yarns that were new to me and I'm excited to try them out (Polo and Tahki Willow come to mind).

There is one that I won't be using and that's Calmer. I know it's rather surprising, but Calmer just doesn't knit up well for me. I have bizarre tension problems with it and it makes knitting a real chore. I love the garments I've seen others make, but unfortunately it's not in the cards for me!

I'm such a joiner. I have absolutely no right participating in this challenge given the timing (between work and a project that's a surprise and therefore can't be blogged about). But my ability to be an adult and do the right thing is even weaker.

I can't show you a picture of what I'll be making because I'll also be making up the pattern. Here's the yarn though.


Here's my best stab at a sketch.


It's mostly medium gray with shades of blue, tan and brown. The pullover will have a fair isle band across the chest (above the armholes so the front porch isn't overly accentuated) and the sleeves will be bell-shaped with a band of fair isle somewhere near where the bell shape starts. Below the fair isle band I see a rib or drop stitch to enhance the bell.

This sweater is a challenge in a few ways:

  • The gauge is a little smaller (22-24 sts over 4 inches) than I'd like for the time, but 100% alpaca is warm and I didn't want to go larger than that.
  • I have to come up with a FI color sequence that I like. I have 8 colors in there so I'm pretty confident I have enough. The surprise knitting project needs to be done beforehand though so I might not be able to figure out the stranded pattern before the start date.
  • My stranded knitting skills still need improvement. If I wanted to make it easier on myself I would have picked a resilient yarn with at least some wool in it. But I just didn't like any of the wool options I came across locally and I wasn't about to pick out 9 colors of yarn based on the way it rendered on my laptop monitor.
  • I've never steeked but given the placement (above the armholes) I will need to unless I want to do standed purling (I don't). Truth be told I'm not terribly concerned about the steeking part but this could be because -- I repeat -- I've never steeked.

I do have one thing going for me though, and that's the fact that Paul will be out of town 5 of the olympic knitting days. I would have probably spent much of my time on the couch watching the olympics anyway, so this might just help me focus and follow through on a single project.

February 3, 2006 in knitting olympics | Permalink


Wow! Look at you go! Talk about taking the Olympic challenge ideal and running with it.

This looks like it's going to be quite lovely, and, speaking as someone who is studiously ignoring her River KAL in favor of the Olympics, welcome to the fray! I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Posted by: Kellee | Feb 3, 2006 9:31:50 AM

You rock! Love the challenge you are presenting to yourself and can't WAIT to see it in the works. I've been daydreaming of designing my own sweater.

Posted by: Kate | Feb 3, 2006 9:45:29 AM

I'm excited to watch your sweater develop. I'm actually contemplating taking Friday off next week so I can get everything in order before the olympics...probably a bit much. :-)

Posted by: sarah b. | Feb 3, 2006 10:15:22 AM

Wow! Way to pick a challege! I can't wait to see what you come up with. =)

Posted by: Jes | Feb 3, 2006 11:25:55 AM

Very ambitious, but I have a feeling it will turn out beautifully!

Posted by: grumperina | Feb 3, 2006 11:28:18 AM

Nothing like a little ambition . . . I'll be cheering for you.

Posted by: Theresa | Feb 3, 2006 11:47:56 AM

That sweater is super cute - I love the sleeves in particular. Can't wait to see it done - Good luck!

Posted by: laurel | Feb 3, 2006 12:24:54 PM

That will be one gorgeous (and warm!) sweater. And yay for the sweetheart neckline.

Posted by: Lauren | Feb 3, 2006 12:26:39 PM

Exciting!! That looks like a really neat design, can't wait to watch the progress. Boy, this knitting olympics thing really is turning into something as exciting as the real olympics (for knitters anyway). I've seen so many people out there with real challenges, time crunches, and dilemmas. Blog reading will be great for a couple weeks. =)

Posted by: Julia | Feb 3, 2006 2:03:07 PM

Crazy? Yes! Can you do it? Yes! Steeking is no big thing, it just takes courage, not skill. Cheering for you,

Posted by: Johanna | Feb 3, 2006 5:54:43 PM

Wow - you go! Eunny has a fabulous collection of recent steeking articles and examples on her blog See Eunny Knit.

Posted by: Chris | Feb 3, 2006 6:53:27 PM

i love it! i know it is only a preliminary sketch...but i am pretty impressed with what you are contemplating. can't wait to see how it knits up.

btw - i've never steeked either! i'm thinking of making eunny's new vest just so that i can jump in and try it.

Posted by: jacqueline | Feb 3, 2006 10:28:21 PM

Your drawing looks like a fantastic idea-in-the-making, and in that yarn...... its going to be luscious. I can't wait to see the progress!

Posted by: Cassie | Feb 4, 2006 1:08:31 AM

What a challenge and its a great design.

I'm terrified of Steeks, but I'll will attempt them one day. As everyone else has pointed out, Eunny does have good instructions on her web.

Posted by: Estee | Feb 4, 2006 2:44:21 AM

The sketch is fantastic! I can't wait to see it knitted up!

Posted by: Annie | Feb 4, 2006 6:43:59 AM

Honestly, don't worry! If I can do it then anyone can. It's the thinking about it that causes the distress ;)

Posted by: Tracy | Feb 6, 2006 8:24:12 AM

I'm trying steeking also for the first time during the knitting olympics- I'm really impressed with your sketch- I can't wait to see it unfold!

Posted by: Barbara | Feb 6, 2006 8:25:54 PM

Oh I love it! The pattern, the yarn, the ambition!

Posted by: Rebecca | Feb 7, 2006 5:11:06 PM

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