Sunday, August 12, 2012

Strange knitting competition

For the past two weeks (well, 16 days actually) I've dedicated my free time to a project entered in the Ravellenic Games over on Ravelry.  For the uninitiated, Ravelry  is a fabulous site for people who make things out of yarn.  Mostly, I pay attention to the knitting since I cannot get over my general impression that crocheting always results in an item that appears to be made out of granny squares, whether it was or not.*

The Ravellenics are inspired by the Olympics.  Sort of.  The idea is that you declare you are entering a fibre-related "event", start your project during or after the Olympics opening ceremonies (July 27), and finish up before the end of the closing ceremonies which take place later today.  Depending on the nature of the chosen project, this is a daunting schedule.  Just over two weeks to complete a shawl or a sweater is pretty impressive, IMO.  Especially if you knit madly for five days (9") before realizing that if you keep on, the thing is going to be ginormous, and that you really must rip back to nothing and start over.  (Ask me how I know.)

Which is why I'm totally chuffed to say that I finished my project, (yet another) knitted top, ahead of schedule.

This colourful little number is vaguely based on a pattern in the spring/summer 2012 edition of Vogue Knitting.  Only vaguely because again, I chose yarn that knitted up quite differently from the intended sport-weight cotton Vogue favoured.  Mine is 50-50 cotton and cashmere (yummy), DK weight, from ColourMart.

I call it my Ravellenics Missoni Gelato top (if you are on Ravelry you can read more here). I cannot take credit for selecting the fruit-flavoured coordinating colours - CM put together Ravellenics "scrap sets" for anyone who wanted to buy one (5 50g skeins - I have a total of 76g left).

Take a look at my garter stitch neck and arm edge bands.  I am proud of them because I totally winged the shaping and stitch count, and because I managed to turn off the pointiness of the knitted chevrons below the neck edges (it worked in the back too, but you'll just have to believe me).

I know I keep saying I'm back to sewing now, but really, this afternoon I intend to not start another knitting project, but instead to devote myself to the 2nd iteration of my Chanel-ish jacket pattern.  Since my first attempt was clearly too big, I've trimmed all the pieces down to a straight size 8 and will put the sleeves in this time.   Stay tuned.  

Fun fact:  There was much to-do on Ravelry and elsewhere after the games, originally dubbed the "Ravelympics" had to be renamed.  A somewhat offensive-to-knitters cease-and-desist letter was received by the owners of the site from a law firm retained by the US Olympics Committee.  The story even made the New York Times.  The USOC was forced by the resulting outrage to apologize publicly (twice actually) for offending knitters.

*  Well, except when its an amigurumi.  I'm ready for the cries of rage from all you dedicated crocheters who believe otherwise, and actually I'm anxious to be proven wrong with links to beautiful crocheted items that do NOT appear to be made from granny squares.  Especially nice garments, please.  Seriously.  I might be persuaded to take it up.


  1. Take a look at my crochet dress,
    I hope it changes your mind!

    Very nice top, congratulations on finishing it!

  2. Missoni fait par the Sewing Lawyer. This is pretty cool Kay !

  3. LOL, I somewhat agree with you about crochet. I learned to crochet first and was never really happy with crocheted garments but there are some awesome crocheted garments out there. Lisette's dress is gorgeous as is EricaB's. Here's a link to a jacket that has me ready to put down my needles and pick up my hook. Love your sweater, it's on my list.

  4. If you want decent crochet to wear, you have to look to the British. This for instance For some reason, the Atlantic makes it all sink into a swamp of 70s nostalgia (and I'm a happy old hippie..).

  5. Great Missoni top, Kay.
    Have you looked at these crocheters: Kristin Omdahl, Vashti Braha, Doris Chan, Jennifer Hansen (aka Stitch Diva), Robyn Chachula, Dora Ohrenstein? This isn't a complete list and not in order of significance but you'll see designers who bring creativity (and drapiness) to crochet. There are certainly many others (e.g. Jane Hall) who have written books and teach classes on how to make crochet garments with drapiness and good fit. Japanese, Europeans, Russians do bring a lot of diversity to crochet designs and with the use of charts, a lot can be shared and more easily understood.
    Sometimes I'm amused when I see knitting instructions to emulate crochet, because the crochet is so much easier to accomplish that specific look. I love to do both, so I couldn't promote one over the other, but your challenge encouraged a response. :)
    I always enjoy coming to your blog to see what you are up to. Thanks for taking the time to document your work.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I needed to add Lily Chin and her wonderful book: Couture Crochet Workshop: Mastering Fit, Fashion, and Finesse. She has worked for top fashion designers and is an excellent teacher and a creative and skilled designer.

  6. Kay, your top is just beautiful! My eldest daughter has been bitten by the crochet bug, and there are a lot of beautiful things that are truly "wearable" (I have bad memories of crocheted garments!!!) and very very pretty. And the fun fact is hilarious!