Stitches Weekend!

Woooo!  It’s time! Stitches is here!  My tax refund was deposited yesterday!  I’m ready!!

I was hoping to finish up my Ravellenic/Olympic challenge by now, 13 hats in two weeks.  Here’s how it’s looking…

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8 Completely finished hats, 1 waiting for embellishment, 2 on the needles.  I’m so close.  The Olympics aren’t over so I’m not done but I really wanted to be working on my sweater this weekend.  Remember my sweater…

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It’s been a while.  I’m looking forward to getting back to it.  I’d say next week but let’s face it, the new yarn is going to win.   Baby projects galore!  It’s going to be so fun!

I’ll be sure to share, in the meantime watch over on Instagram for Stitches Market pics and updates!!  Miss Babs, Knitpicks, Webs, Mimi’s Needle Basket and Steven Be are at the top of the queue!  I’m hoping to squeeze in some hat knitting at the bar too, so if you’re at Stitches today or tomorrow, look for me there and come say hello!!

Happy Friday, Indeed!!!!!!!  (<- it really is that exciting!)


 

WIP Wednesday – Surprise! It’s Hats!

Old Business:

Medals have been claimed for the next four hats.  They inadvertently had an animal theme happening.  That brings the medal count to 8.

New Business:  Olympic fatigue is setting in but I’m persevering.

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Thank you Noro for always providing some wacky color changes.  This is a single skein of Silk Garden Lite that’s been hanging around waiting for an excuse.  I think I’ll pom it, the remainder of the skein echoes the green of the ribbing.  I think it’ll balance that crazy pink section a bit.  And then I’ll duplicate stitch something on it, maybe something new but probably just got with one of the old standbys for my Etsy shop.

This next hat is a special knit to highlight rare disease awareness.

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One stitch in a project often seems insignificant.  I mess up one stitch and don’t even bat on eye.  Now imagine it’s one person, one person living with a rare disease.   It’s not so insignificant anymore.

Rare diseases often have only 400 diagnosed cases in the entire country.  That is an uphill battle for research and funding.  They’re often called Orphan Diseases because no one wants to fund them.  Those suffering from a rare disease need all the love they can get.

Next week, February 28th, is Rare Disease Day.  A day for raising awareness about rare diseases.  Find out more about Rare Disease Day and what you can do here!

I’ve added my Rare Stitch to show support & love for all the families out there dealing with rare diseases on a daily basis.  It’s just a small token to let people know they aren’t alone.   It’s no coincidence that one knit stitch looks like a heart either.  The Rare Stitch is pure love.

The Rare Stitch project was started by Margaux at 1010_Studio. Check out her Instagram for more information.  She’s been a tireless advocate for rare disease awareness since one effected her family.  You can join the Rare Stitch movement to show your support on social media too…just add a single duplicate stitch to any project and share a photo using #TheRareStitch and tag 1010_Studio so it can be seen!  I hope you’ll join me in sharing the love.

 

On the Podium

Success!  I’ve been awarded medals for my first four hats!

There’s really no time for celebration though.  There’s still 9 more to reach the goal.  The next hat is ready.  I love how it turned out, but man was it a pain in the butt.

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Tentacles are a hassle.  I’m not sure how actual cephalopods do it.

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I should have Hat 6 to report on as well, but distractions happen.  That’s actually a lot colder than it looks but still, we’ve been having gorgeous, dry weather and I’ve got plenty of wool to handle the crisp ocean breeze.

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I can say though, it’s beyond this stage!  And I’m really loving the colors so far, very foresty.  I think this might be a good bear hat…I’m gonna hunker down with some figure skating and make progress tonight.

As always, I’ll let ya know how it goes…


 

Thursday Linkspiration

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Hat 5 is off the needles.  I decided no pom-pom.  I did the stash dive and found lots of yarn to use.  I have not cast on the next hat though.  While I contemplate my options, lets tour the latest in PyeongChang inspired patterns.

Team USA hats have inspired many patterns!  Having so many hats to choose from helps.  The athletes get opening ceremony hats, closing ceremony hats and then there’s the sport specific gear like the very popular podium hat the Team USA snowboarding ladies have been wearing.  I first spotted it on Jaime Anderson.

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Once Chloe Kim wore it though, it became a must have.  Knit Paper Scissors  has obliged with her pattern Olympic Inspiration, a free Ravelry download.

The Ralph Lauren’s official Closing Ceremony hat is sold out.  The traditional colorwork is resonating with everyone, not just the knitters.

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It’s spawned several new patterns so you’ve got your choice!  They’re both spot on!

2018 Winter Games Hat from The Wool & Cotton Co.  (aran)  OR 2018 Winter Games Hat from Susan Rainey (worsted)

Then there’s the Canadian snowboarding jackets.

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I really love the look of the printed knitting and the idea of marrying time-honored tradition with new fangled technology.   It hadn’t occurred to me to translate the design back into knitting though.

For that, we can thank Kristy Macdonald for her hat design, In The Hunt.  The sweater includes four motifs – bear, orca, raven and sun and moon.  Kristy has included hat options that correspond to each of the motifs.  Definitely keeping this one in my queue!

The Latvian Opening Ceremony hat inspired knitters instantly.

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The pattern, from Rebecca A., Latvian Brain 2018 Hat, appeared quickly after the ceremony.  Several knitters have started it but no progress photos…yet!

And then there’s knitting heavy hitters, Dale of Norway.  They were so prepared, their patterns have actually been available since last August.  They’re perfect.  They’ve  kept tradition as the focal point, but still managed a fresh, modern feel.

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AND, not to be outdone, it includes men’s, women’s, children’s, hats, sweaters, headbands, cowls, socks and mittens.  345-01 Olympic Passion from Dale Designs.  Once again, Dale of Norway sets the standard and they set it high!

Of course, there’s also a huge catalog of old Olympic patterns to draw from as well.  Searching Ravelry, this one caught my eye, for the crocheters out there.  0-1012 Olympic head bands from Drops Designs.  So cute!

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Here’s a Ravelry Search for ‘Olympic’ patterns.  It’s a fun scroll down memory lane!

As I Where’s Waldo my way through the Olympics, I’m drawing more inspiration from the crowd.  After seeing a Colorado hat, I started thinking about California hats.  A friend tipped me to this pattern, Oso Plaid Beanie, from EvelynandPeter on Etsy.  The California official state animal is the grizzly bear.

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This is the perfect California hat. I love it!  The only hold up…I’ve never attempted crochet colorwork.  I don’t think I’m going to start this week but, I could convert it to knitting.  It’s going to take some work though.  Single crochet stitches, like those used here, are square.  Knit stitches are not square.  My bear will look squashed if I use the chart, as is.  I need to get out the pencil and the knitters graph paper for this one.

The Olympics has really cemented my desire to knit unique hats that stand out.  If you can buy it, I don’t want to make it.  It’s one thing to knit 13 hats during the course of the Olympics.  I could bang out 13 plain beanies in my sleep.  I want more than that though.  I want works of art.  Quality over quantity.

Come back tomorrow!  I’m bound to put my money where my mouth is…eventually!


 

WIP Wednesday : Hat Halfpipe

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Progress!  Woo!  I’ve moved the third hat into the completely finished pile, after a bit of duplicate stitch this morning.

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Hat #4 is knit, but it needs a little something more.

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It’s a bit sweet at the moment but I think I’ve backed off the Lisa Frank cliff.  Instead of hearts and rainbows, I’m thinking Kraken!  I need to stash dive first.

In the meantime, I’m finishing up this no-brainer.  Bulky tweed done sequence knitting style.  Might even go pom-pom on this one!

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As for the Olympics, Shaun White did his thing.  It was amazing and somehow lived up to the incredibly immense amount of hype?!?!!

And his sister was on hand for congratulations…

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 7.12.12 PM…in a new hat!  She’s bought into the store bought propaganda machine.  Oh well.  I understand.  Times change, fashions change.  I was really hoping she’d pull out the old one though.

And now, I’ll leave you with a little Where’s Waldo challenge…

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I can find an orange cowboy hat, a person with sunglasses instead of a face, Rodin’s Thinker, 12 Japanese flags, 1 girl in a fox hat, an ipad, 2 guys looking through binoculars and 3 friends all taking the same picture!

Can you find them all?


 

Just Another Day in PyeongChang

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As I expected, the Olympic crowd gets better with each passing day!  Today brought these cute, crocheted, Colorado hats.  Worn, presumably, by US snowboarder Arielle Gold’s family.  The ‘C’ logo with the stripes is inspired by the Colorado state flag.   I’m on the lookout for California bear themed hats now…a new addition to the ‘Waldo’ list.

This was another cute find in the crowd:

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There’s a time and place for everything…even bobbles.

The crazy people have come out to the Olympics too!  I love crazy people!

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It is important to distinguish between good crazy and bad crazy though…

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All in all, it was a good day of people watching.

And, I’m finally crossing the finish line myself.  I’ve got two entries awaiting medals so far!

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This first one really tripped me up.  Took 3 starts to get it right.  It’s a DK weight yarn, 100% baby llama called Llamor.  It called for the standard US 5 or 6 needle size.  I went all the way down to a US 2 and still didn’t get the right fabric.

I really like loose fabrics but that doesn’t mean they’re always appropriate. If the fabric were just a hair tighter, it would look much neater.  But, I just can’t with the tiny little needles.  US Size 2 is as far as I am willing to compromise on that front.

Ultimately though, it’s a cute hat.  I went with some simple surface crochet to dress it up.  Simple but effective.

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My second entry in the Hat Halfpipe follows the same formula…simple but effective!

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A few basic stitches and a big pom-pom.

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Boom! Instant nephew hat!

Hat 3 is still awaiting adornment and hat 4 dropped off the needles before I could even show you a WIP pic.

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I’m bringing color back with this one!  It’s got an ice princess fade going on.  I think my pendulum is swinging wide with this one.  After the plain white start, I’m feeling very Lisa Frank.  It might end up covered in hearts?!?

Four hats down…9 more to go?!?


 

Hat Count: 3

In today’s Olympic update, we’ll ponder the wonders of modern technology!

Remember this guy:

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Antti Koskinen, yesterday’s Finnish knitter, who also happens to be a snowboarding coach.  Today, a lovely Finnish person on Instagram let me know, the whole team is working on the project and it’s a baby blanket for the new son of the President, born just a few days ago!   So sweet!

I’ll definitely be cyber stalking a few Finnish people hoping to get a glimpse of the finished blanket.  Yes, technology is pretty amazing!

I’m happy to report, my own Olympic knitting is finally hitting it’s stride.  The first two hats are knit and blocked.  They’ll be embellished shortly.

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Hat three is nearly complete too…

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It’s a little tweed hat for my soon-to-be nephew.  The pattern is ‘That Easy Guernsey Hat’.  It’s super easy and comes in all the sizes from baby to adult.  I’ll even have enough yarn left for a pom-pom too!

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Time to start thinking about #4…


 

 

 

Knitting Snowboarder

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Just a quick update today because I’m finally getting into the groove with my own knitting.   This was too good not to share though!

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This is Antti Koskinen, Finnish snowboarding coach, knitting at the top of the hill!  I thought I saw DPNs and did a quick screen grab.  A moment later, he finished his row and THEN fist bumped the kid and sent him down the hill.  As if it were nothing.  As if ‘just let me finish this row’ is a universal truth.  As if he weren’t at the Olympics.  As if I needed another reason to love Finland?  I didn’t but safe to say, my love of Finland has certainly been confirmed.

Apparently he did the same thing in Sochi.  He worked on a scarf that was then finished by the summer Olympics team.  (Google will fill in the details if you’re interested.  I couldn’t bring myself to share any of the links though…kinda bums me out that seemingly reputable news stations have such spammy advertising all over.)

I will share this link though:  Latvian Braid 2018 Hat

An industrious Raveler has come up with a pattern for the Latvian hat!  No picture but presumably it will look something like this:

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Hopefully some other industrious Raveler will knit it up quickly so we can see it!

I’ll leave you with another interesting crowd shot.  I was hoping to read the text on the orange hat but I never could make it out.   My name is ??? girl.   hhhmmm.

It wasn’t until later that I noticed the SF Giants fan.

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A Parade of Hats

Anybody else tune in for the Olympic opening ceremony last night?   They say Parade of Nations.  I say Parade of Hats.  (this post is pic heavy so may take a bit longer to load!)

There were some winners.  Mostly, though, they played it safe.  Lots of bland.  I’ll skip over the bland and just get right to the highlights.

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Or, is that highlighters?  Kudos to Hungary and Slovenia!  I like their bold use of color!  Slovenia has a nice texture too!  I like texture.  Might as well have a bit of fun with it.

Finland gets points for color and patterning too!  It’s not knit though, so not as exciting to me.

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Croatia and Latvia both had striking red designs.  The Latvian hat is probably the one knitter’s will want to make most.

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The Latvian design in 2014 at Sochi was also a knitter’s favorite.  No surprise given the well known history of Latvian knitting!  It was a black and white hat, highly patterned.  The patterning was of the pictorial variety with symbols taken from a historic Latvian town, where all the buildings were patterned in a similar way.  I have some very specific images in my head and yet, google has failed to produce any evidence, that what I speak of is based in reality.

At any rate, in my mind, Latvia is the reigning two-time Parade of Hats gold medal holder.  They hit all the right notes, classic but modern. Striking but wearable.  And, knitter’s want to make it.  Well done, Latvia!

There were lots of other nice hats.  Knitters have made and will continue to make these hats for years to come.

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I think the Gap has made most of these hats too.   So, ya know, not exactly my wheel house.  If I want interesting and unique designs and if I want to see handmade, I’ve got to turn to the spectators.

So far, the 2018 PyeongChang coverage hasn’t included long, slow, sweeping crowd shots.  I’m wondering if that’s because the crowd hasn’t really gathered yet.  More people definitely make for more interesting crowd pans.

I did find one good crowd though!  The girl in the front is wearing an interesting stocking cap.  Heathered and striped and maybe even cabled?

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Her brother (?) has a cute hat on too.   And see the purple pom-pom behind them?  That variegated business is absolutely handmade!

I spotted Team USA snowboarder Jaime Anderson too.  Looking fashionable in an on-trend bulky knit pom pom hat.

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Very Knit Collage.  I’m really more interested in the guy next to her though…check out that jacket!

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That’s the Canadian snowboarder’s jacket!  A printed version of a hand knit sweater!  So cool! Fashion and function! Well done, Burton! All of the athletes get a hand knit sweater too.  I imagine those will be saved for the apres-ski though!

Here’s a link to more photos of the sweaters and the rest of the gear from Burton.  The video with the company founder is very off-the cuff but it’s perfect.  Take note Ralph Lauren, that’s how it’s done!  They really did a great job here!  I love these jackets.

The Where’s Waldo of Knitwear is far over though.  My mission is to find this hat again…

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This is snowboarder Shaun White hugging family after his 2006 gold medal run and after his 2010 gold medal run.  I think the girl in the hat is his sister.  That is definitely some handmade love right there!  Shaun competed in 2014, the hat was no where in sight and he did not medal.  Coincidence??  I don’t think so.

It’s 2018, Shaun White is back.  I hope the hat is back.  I’ll be looking for it!

I’d tell you about my own progress on the Hat Halfpipe but there is none.  Two runs have both ended in an Aerial Unwind.

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Third time’s the charm, right?


 

Let The Games Begin!

The Olympics have begun!!  Wooo!  I’m excited!  Before I dive into all things Olympic (or Ravellenic) though, there’s a few loose ends to tie up.

Specifically, these loose ends…

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Striped Asymmetry is off the needles and ready for a blocking.   That little circle is the key feature of this little wrap.  It’s a keyhole to feed the other end through.  Perfect if you’re prone to losing shawl pins!

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It needs to be blocked.  It really did not want to cooperate for pictures.  The alternating garter & stockinette stripes, combined with the cinch of the keyhole really encouraged it to bunch and curl.

I couldn’t even get my usual fence shot because a big ass spider decided it was her fence.

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I politely asked her to move on.  She pretended like she didn’t hear me.  She, finally, started to see things my way after I took down half her web.  I didn’t want it to be too traumatic though so I left her alone after that.  I’ll go back tomorrow, to check her progress.  It’s a 30 foot fence.  She can have any of the other sections.  She’s a cool spider so hopefully she will stick around.

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With that tangent finally over, I can get down to the real business.  Olympic business!  The opening ceremony isn’t until prime time but I’ve started my people watching already!

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Looks at all those people in HATS!! Yes…I’m ready!  I am going on a major hat binge! The goal I’ve set for the Ravellenic games is a baker’s dozen…13 hats.

I’ve scoured Ravelry for inspiration.  I’ve sorted my yarn.  I think I’m ready!  I just need to pick a bag…

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The sorting was a few weeks back so it’s a random grab at this point!  Some bags contain single skeins that are brand new and ear marked for a project.  Some bags contain a heap of scraps for the mixing.  Some bags have patterns in them.  Some bags have enough yarn for six hats.  Anything could happen…

Your guess is as good as mine!  Stay tuned, the Parade of Hats is about to start…