Diary of Ravellenics 2012

Last Thursday night I decided on the spur of the moment to participate in Ravellenics 2012. My LYS This is Knit was putting together a team so I signed on and committed to knitting a delicious beaded cardigan (Monet, by Judy Furlong) from issue 47 of The Knitter. The following two pictures are photos of my copy of the magazine, to show my goal:

I posted the details in my notebook on Ravelry (my username is PaulineOS). I thought I had enough purple lace weight yarn to complete it, but when I checked, oh horrors, I was one ball short!

Day 1 (Friday 26th) Team TIK was planning to meet in the Powerscourt townhouse centre for the official casting on ceremony in the evening. All I had to do was find another ball of purple, or enough skeins of another colour to make the cardigan, and 1500 beads to match! Off I zipped on the bus to my best source of silk-alpaca lace weight, The Constant Knitter. Oh joy, not only did Rosemary have sufficient yarn (Drops), she also had my favourite colour, moss green. Another bus to Bachelors Walk on the quays to the Yellow Brick Road Bead shop, where I acquired some truly luxurious bronzed green beads. I gather the word bronze is on the USOC hit list but tough! The word bronze was there long before them, and as for the Olympics, don’t get me started….! Delighted with myself I bussed home with my goodies and set to winding the skeins with the help of my son Pinball.

A marathon of bead-threading followed and then back into town for the opening ceremony.  Team TIK got some funny looks as we gathered in public and cheered Jacqui as she did a lap of the shop with the candle! To see some of the challenging projects that were started, check out Team TIK on Ravelry…

I must admit I am a bit nervous that I have bitten off more than I can chew. This pattern as you can see is really complex.

I know we’re meant to stretch ourselves but seventeen days is starting to sound like a very short time. I have managed ten rows on the sleeve (little gold pin, below right) and am more than ready for bed!

 

Day 2 (Saturday 27th) Crisis for breakfast! I have just discovered what I think is a mistake in the chart on row 22. A frantic search on Ravelry reveals that one other knitter has started the Monet cardigan. I fire off a panicky query, but she is presumably still asleep in Arizona. I can’t get onto the Knitter website, aargh!.

“Calm down,” says Pinball to me, so I start using my head and figure out a likely solution.

A few rows later I realise that this is going to be a dreadfully wide sleeve. The one time I’m in too much of a rush to swatch, and I get my comeuppance! That’ll learn me… I’m going to have to rip this and knit a smaller size, but I can’t face it now. Breakfast time in Arizona brings me a kind response from Biciturista: perfect timing!

Deep breath. I cast on 400 plus stiches and get stuck into the main body. There are nearly a thousand beads on this thread and I’m starting to hate each one individually. They have to be pushed down the yarn over and over and over again as I knit. No amount of pretending that I’m doing stretching exercises can make this any less than tedious. This is the first time I can remember that knitting has felt like hard work. When Pinball remarks on my bad humour I decide to call it a day. I have managed ten rows.

 

Day 3 (Sunday 28th) Yesterday really was a bad hair day. I really am not usually that cranky! All that rain probably didn’t help. Starting in today I feel as if the worst is over, because I’ve used up so many of the beads already. I can see the slinky bronze trail, which is stretched out on the couch besides me to take the weight off the actual yarn, getting shorter and more manageable with every stitch. I can do this!

 

Day 4 (Monday 29th) Whee! Finished the beading last night, accompanied by Star Trek. Stitch count has reduced by almost a quarter too. Time to sign out and get back to my now quite loveable project again.

P.S.The sun is shining, it must be summer after all!

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