Monday, February 24, 2014

And the Games are over...

The Olympic Games, that is.

The Olympics are always an exciting time for me, for several reasons. First off, I enjoy a lot of the Olympic sports and they aren't ones you normally see on TV, like arial, bobsled, skeleton, ice dancing, etc. I have a blast getting sucked into the emotions of the athletes.

But the biggest reason the Olympics are one of my favorite biennial events? The Ravellenic Games.

First off, for those of you not familiar with Ravelry, it is one of the largest social media websites out there. And it's exclusively for fiber artists, including knitters, crocheters, spinners, and weavers. During the Olympics, a group of intrepid and very hardworking volunteers run the Ravellenic Games. The Ravellenic Games start when the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics starts and end when the torch goes out at the end of the Closing Ceremonies. The point of the Ravellenic Games is to challenge yourself as a fiber artist, just as the athletes are doing in their sports. We even have events, like the Shawl Short Track, the Lace Luge, and the Hat Halfpipe.

This year, the team I compete on, Team No Spoons (in reference to the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino), elected me their Fearless Leader. Okay, so the real title is "Team Captain", but "Fearless Leader" is just more fun. Team No Spoons is team for the group* the Chronic Bitches. The Chronic Bitches, or CBs, as we call ourselves, are a support group for chronically ill/disabled fiber artists who are a touch irreverent, fond of naughty words, able to laugh at themselves, willing to talk about anything, and, most importantly, incredibly supportive. I can turn to my CBs about anything and everything, and have for 4.5 years now. They are my rock. We share knowledge, tips of dealing with difficult doctors, discuss the frustrations of being ignored by yet another doctor with a god-complex. It's been a privilege getting to return some of that awesome support by leading the team.

I'm a rather slow knitter, and crochet is out as my autoimmune arthritis has my hands, wrists, and elbows extra swollen lately, so I picked small. I opted to knit Petunia the Patio Monster from the Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger. She made out of a self-striping rainbow yarn called Serenity Garden, sold by Jo-Anne's Fabrics. 

Also during this years Games, I decided to do a bit of spinning on my trusty Lendrum DT spinning wheel. A friend bought me a batt (fiber prepared in a sheet) that is black alpaca overlaid in rainbow dyed silk. I decided to separate the silk from the black alpaca and spin the two separately, into different plies (the individual strands that are then together to make yarn). Then, once I ply the black and the rainbow plies together, and knit up the yarn, you'll get peeks through the black of a very vibrant rainbow. I'm happy with how it came out in the end- I have about 86 yds of a dk-to-worsted weight yarn from this. Though, I am quite glad to be done trying to spin silk in very dry air- it was Attack of the Static Monsters around here. The one night, my mom started laughing at me, and I looked down to find my ass being attacked by a glob of green silk- which had launched itself more than 3 feet across the room to attack me. 

The batt, as it came in the mail:

The batt, once I had separated the silk and the alpaca:

And finally, the final yarn:

I'm very happy with how my projects came out, and I'm very proud of my team. They are truly some of the greatest women I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and it was a pleasure working with them during the Games. Can you really ask for more? 

* Groups are basically sub-forums within Ravelry- you have to go looking for the group you're interested in to read anything posted there. You can join groups to get them to show up on your main page when you log in, which is very useful. The groups represent a wide variety of interests, from the fiber arts related like lace knitting and Sock Knitters Anonymous to non-fiber arts topics, like politics, TV/movie/music fan groups, and even health/wellness groups.

1 comment:

  1. That came out gorgeous, Cassie! I might be seething with envy.