Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Weekend or How Can Summer Be Over

This was the view from my porch on Saturday, the annual Balloon Fest is in full swing. I have a lovely view toward Cheyenne Mountain.

What will I miss about summer?

1. My half-day Fridays at my day job
2. The possibilities of lazy days of warm and soft air.
3. Earlier daylight mornings that Pedro enjoys strolling outside on his porch with me not rushing off to work.
4. Cold salad and sandwich dinners.
5. Hanging out on the weekend in my summer weight pjs.

What I am looking forward to in the fall.

1. Cooler weather.
2. Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils (stolen from You've Got Mail)
3. Soups and stews with chewy bread.
4. Cleaning and reducing my stuff.
5. Wearing my knitted things.
6. Cuddling with kitty on a snowy winter day and watching great movies.
I hope you are planning fabulous ways to enjoy the cooler weather coming your way!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday: A Day of Thank You's

First, a big thank you to my mom for sending the great photo she took in her yard. Isn't he a beauty?

Next, a warm thank tou to my friend in Michigan for recommending Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky. I was able to get it from my library in audio format and listen to it during my daily commute. It was excellent with some surprise twists that were very satisfying. :-)

For my fellow knitters, family and friends a large thank you for all your kind words and encouragement during my Ravelympics endeavor. And to my LYS for hosting a parallel Olypmic event complete with prizes.

And to whoever forwarded me the Read It Forward newsletter from Random House. If you are an avid reader you need to go over and look at this opportunity. I just received my first ARC (advanced reader copy) in the mail and it is a really good book. Will share more particulars at a later time.

And to my co-worker who shared her Veggie Tales Silly Songs DVD with me. I really needed that giggle.

And a grateful thank you to the weather gods for providing a brief respite from the 90+ degree days that seemed to go on forever. I am looking forward to fall colors and crisp air.

I hope all of you have found many things to say Thank You for recently!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ravelympics: Events Finished!

I finished the last of my projects yesterday and did the finish work this AM. They are on their way to be photoed at Knitter's Kove for the Olympic finale.

I really enjoyed the pressure of a deadline to complete the projects I chose. It gave me a good head start on my gift knitting for this year. And I finished with a growing list of other things I need to get started on.

I am already thinking about what I want to do during the 2010 Winter Olympics. That I believe will be a large project for me, like a slip stitch cardigan or Fair Isle one. Will be training between now and then so I can be familiar with all the techniques needed to be successful.

Hope you have had a wonderful Olympic experience!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ravelympics: Bobble Round

I am on the bobble round of my final project event. I should have this done tonight.

I have had to give up a couple evenings this week to get some sleep. The late showing of events I wanted to see has been too much for me. So I have watched clips and reruns the next AM.

Pedro has been very helpful during all this. He reminds me that he needs to be fed and watered, walked outside, napped with and petted. As if I could forget any of that. :-)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ravelympics: Last Project, Last Leg for the Gold!

Pedro showed his gold medal desires today when he quietly submitted to a bath. He thought he was Michael Phelps. His butterfly is not as good but he is terribly cute when he is all wet and standing in the bath tub kissing his momma's cheek, hoping she will let him go soon. Sorry, no pic of this event because it takes both my hands and concentration to actually give my big boy a bath. Now he is spending the rest of the AM drying himself off in his own fashion.

After he went off for a nap I went back to my final Olympic project. By the end of the evening I had 6 inches done. That leaves 18 inches plus bobbles to finish by Saturday AM. I calculated that is a minimum of 24 rows a day or 3500 stitches. Wish me luck on this final leg of my multi-project relay.

Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics like I am!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ravleympics: Mini-break

Took a mini-break to help my dad celebrate his 88th birthday. We went to Cripple Creek's Butte Opera House for the presentation of Oklahoma by the Thin Air Theatre Company. It was excellent.

Also saw military appreciation in full swing and fuzzy faces of baby goats and a Scottish cow. It was a great way to take a little break from Olympic knitting. I did have my last project with me pre-show and mom got the pic.

While I was gone, my coach, Pedro, was keeping my seat warm for me. I did make a good start on my last event project.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ravelympics: Update

Two projects for Holiday Handball down. Four projects to go.

I started on the first Tudora today. So far it seems simpe with only one style cable.

Looks like the Olympic golds are gathering quickly for the USA. Way to go.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ravelympics: Ready, Set, Go

6 a.m. MDT: Casting on for the first event! I asked Pedro to carry the flame but decided that might be a bad idea. All I could visualize was him running through the house with his tail on fire. So I opted for his participation in spirit only.

I cast on the first felted Moebius basket and got mostly through the handle before I had to head out for my dayjob. My goal for this weekend is to finishing the knitting of the two baskets.

I plan to watch the opening ceremonies tonight while knitting round and round on the body of the basket. Pedro will be helping by laying on my TV tray and patting at the yarn as it comes out of the ziplock bag.

Members of my coaching staff were ready to go before the official cast on and just wanted to wave hello to all watching the festivities.
Hope you are planning fun events for this weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ravelympics: My Events

I am signed up for three events. The first that I will be casting on at 6 a.m. Friday, August 8th is the Holiday Handball. While the name has really nothing to do with the project(s) themselves, it does reflect that I am making these items for holiday gifts this year.

The projects registered for this event are: 2 small felted Moebius baskets using the "diabolical" MCO (moebius cast on) courtesy of Cat Bordhi in the Second Treasury of Magical Knitting.

This morning I spent the early dark hours watching the You Tube video of the MCO to refresh my cast on technique. The instructions in the book are great, except I am a visual learner and it was so helpful to see it done again in the video. I have made two baskets previously however this particular cast on is one that is "use it or lose it."

Cross entered in this first event are 2 Tudoras also intended for gifts. They are first entered in the Scarf Stroke with one more which is for me. This pattern has intrigued me ever since I saw it in I like scarves. I just do not want to always have to wrap the excess out of the way to drive, drink, eat, see, etc. So this looks like it will give warmth, elegance and flair to cold days. This pattern is a first attempt for me.

The last event is the Cowl Jump. I am being selfish here and planning to knit the Aibhlinn Cowl, also from This is also a first attempt and has a bobbles, something I have not tried to knit yet.

So, with multiples and some new techniques I forge ahead...looking for gold!

Hope you have some gold medal plans for the month of August.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Training Continues for Ravelympics

Time is ticking down on the countdown clock outside the USOC.

So far I have knit gauge swatches to determine I have the right yarn for the right needles for the pattern. I watched videos on making bobbles for my Cowl Jump event. I will be knitting the Aibhlinn Cowl from

All I have left to do is practice the moebius cast on. I think that I will do that event first in the knitting line up so I can keep the cast on fresh in my mind. Those projects are for the Holiday Handball event. I chose that because they will ultimately be Christmas gifts.

And while I am readying my supplies and practicing my technique I will think about the lovely, soothing sounds of the fountain and remember that knitting is a stress release technique for me.

Hope all of you have great events planned for the next two weeks.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Visit to the USOC

While I am in training for Ravelympics I thought it was time to visit a place that I drive by everyday to and from my dayjob, The US Olympic Training Center. They offer free tours of the facility Monday through Saturday starting every hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except holidays.

This facility site was once the ENT Air Force Base until they moved out to Peterson in the 1970s. In 1978 the site was sold to the USOC for $1 for the 35 acres it now occupies. The reason for having this facility in Colorado Springs was recognized after the US competed in the higher altitude of Mexico City.

The tour starts with a short film about training and whichever Olympics are coming up. Then it is a walking tour through the compound. There are several gyms, the big pool, the largest indoor rifle range in the US (third in the world) and the resident halls. The offices will be moving soon to a new complex that is right in downtown Colorado Springs and that move will make room for more gymnasium space for the athletes.

The pool is a regulation Olympic size pool with a V-shaped bottom that cuts down on waves, plus an audio system in and out of the water. It is only drained once every four years for cleaning and repairs. And it is done during the Summer Olympics. The reason is: so they do not take away any training time from the athletes. The whole process of drain, repair and refill takes about a week.

The Olympic athletes that are eligible to be residents on the compound must be in the top 10-15% of their sport nationally. If they are eligible their room, board, phone, internet and some medical expenses are all paid while they train here.

After the tour, I visited the gift shop. Any thing you could want with Beijing Olympics is available now. You can go into the gift shop at the Visitor Center during open hours without taking the tour if you like. Loopy had his picture taken with two of the five Beijing mascots.

Loopy on right with Huan Huan (the torch) and Jing Jing (the Panda) on the left