Thursday 20 February 2014

Ravellenics 2014

I had originally decided not to really take part in the Ravellenics, for many reasons, but the chief one was the political situation in Russia, which left me very conflicted.  If you are not a knitter you may not understand the nature of the Ravellenics.  It is a way for knitters to challenge themselves in their knitting as they watch the Olympics (both Winter and Summer).  You can take part in teams and I decided to join Team A Playful Day.  I've read this blog almost from the beginning of my own blogging career, so I've followed GreenTriangleGirl's (A Playful Day's author) journey into podcasting, in fact it was the first podcast I listened to, as she recorded it as part of Knitting & Crochet Blog Week in 2011 (I think!).  Of course, this creates a bond of loyalty when joining teams!

The other thing that drew me to this team was a real determination for showing tribute, not only to the athletes, but also to the LGBT community in Russia.  There are members of the team that are donating to LGBT organisations depending on projects finished by the team.  It was also GreenTriangleGirl who shared a blog post from Old Maiden Aunt about the games and how she also felt conflicted about it, and it really chimed with me.

The blog post encouraged me to buy yarn for this year's Ravellenics from Old Maiden Aunt. She dyed up a sock yarn in a colourway "Nothing To Hide", and £5 of the price paid for this yarn was going to be donated to Stonewall UK, a LGBT charity here in the UK, that does a lot of good work in schools and workplaces. The yarn was also a quite lovely rainbow variegated yarn. Buying pretty yarn, that also supports good work, was a win win situation for me.

I then needed a project.  I looked in my Ravelry Queue and decided to knit Foolproof by Louise Zass-Bangham that had been waiting to knit for a while. There are many categories in which you take part, this project comes under the Cross Cowling tag.  This pattern needed a contrast yarn and I visited my stash to discover a lovely purple sock yarn from Ripples Crafts, that almost exactly matched the purple in the Old Maiden Aunt yarn, it had also been in stash since 2011, which would give me an entry into the Stash Skeleton event.

When I started knitting my project I remembered a podcast episode from The Fat Squirrel (who is hilarious by the way, and I recommend her podcast highly) where she knit this project.  She decided to knit into the back of the yarn overs to close the holes on the wrong side rows.  I saw what she had done and decided that I preferred that look too.

I was a little unsure of the colour combinations initially, but I kept going and as it developed further, the more I liked it.

Foolproof 04

I love garter stitch as it is drapey and elastic.  It makes a lovely soft cowl, and stretches to fit over the head easily (no catching on my glasses!).

Foolproof 03

I love that you can really use it cover up the front of your body, which really keeps you warm, especially when sitting down, but doesn't overheat you.  I also love that you can change the look of the of the cowl by how you twist it round.

Foolproof 01

When it's wrapped this way more purple shows.  Or you can shuffle it round a bit and twist in a different place to show more rainbow, which gives quite a lot of of options of what colours it can be worn with.

Foolproof 02

I think that this could be worn comfortably with a second twist, to give three loops around the neck if I wanted to wear it as outerwear with a coat.  It's really versatile, and I'd be happy making more of these.  It's a great way to use up stash and just changing the yarn will give a completely different look, which you can see from the Ravelry Projects.

I have another project that I've worked on for the Ravellenics, but I'll tell you about that when it's blocked and ready for photos.

PS. I was just about hit publish on this post when Team GB Women's Curling team won a bronze medal! What a lovely way to start today!


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