Pixie Portal

Delve into Wendy's World of Knitting, Illustrator, Cats, and Pixie Magic.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Swatching for the Olympics

For the past two days, I've been trying different swatches and patterns for the baby blanket that I'm going to knit in the Knitting Olympics. I'm so glad that I took the time to do this step because difficulties have abounded. But I'm so pleased that I swatched 50 stitches (several times) rather than to cast on 120 stitches at the start of the Olympics and then not like what I'm knitting.

At first I thought I would use a basketweave pattern with a seed stitch border. It took me several inches of knitting before I remembered the knack to knitting the seed stitch. And then, I wasn't happy with how it looked as a border to the basketweave.

After two days of knitting (and then ripping) different patterns and one trip to the bookstore to review knitting books, I've finally found a pattern I like.

The pattern I've picked is a variation on the basketweave pattern. I call it "basketweave on the slant". This picture hardly does the pattern justice. As soon as I took this picture, I ripped the knitting for the last time. The rules are that you don't officially cast on until the torch is lit.

The essential nature of the knitting Olympics is that each knitter should stretch themselves. Well, the stretch for me on this piece is:
1. Completing 25 inches of 120 stitches in 16 days. (I thought I would announce the length so as not to wimp out and knit something smaller just to "win").

2. Staying tuned in to the pattern rather than just "zone out" like I usually do when I knit. So far, I've knitted fairly easy patterns. Even my first sweater was in stockinette stitch. I've gotten to the point where I don't have to look at the needles to knit or purl. But this pattern will require that I pay attention on every row.

3. When I do make mistakes, having the guts to rip back and knit again. I'm still not at all comfortable in ripping just a row or two.

So as my heart beats with nervousness, I prepare for my knitting challenges!

I checked the Olympic site and found that there are 3000 knitters to date. The deadline for joining is tonight at midnight. This will give the coordinators time to finish adding all the names (hopefully before the Olympics start).

The intensity of other knitters toward this challenge is well, intense! I found myself getting really nervous when I read a post about how to avoid tendonitis. Click here for the blog article.

Oh, for the record, I'm using the "Bollicine" line of Cascasde Yarns. This is a 100%, extrafine, merino wool yarn from Italy. The name of the yarn is "Baby Night".


At 2:22 PM, Blogger DtDtKty said...

Wendy....You are so wonderful for putting so much effort and dedicaton into this project. I can't wait to see the amazing pattern that you have created! Bring on those Olympics...:)
Hugs, H


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