Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitting Olympics, Day One; a Report From the Lace Knitting Track

I've decided to cross-post the text of my Olympic updates here, but not the pictures. If you want to see the images, please visit my main blog, I Knit Around.

Promptly at 2 p.m. Eastern time, I cast on and began knitting my Kiri. In about 20 minutes, I was past the tricky start - provisional cast on 3 stitches with waste yarn, knit 14 rows of garter stitch with your working yarn, pick up stitches along the side of your tiny little caterpillar of a start, then take out the waste yarn and pick up those three stitches.

At that point, I took a break before starting the main body of the pattern.

I paced myself through the day, taking plenty of breaks to spend a half hour playing a computer game in the bedroom, spend some time preparing food and eating, and to just generally walk around. By the middle of the evening, I was starting to get nervous about completing my day's goal of 10% of the shawl. So I took somewhat fewer breaks, and made them shorter.

Finally, around 10:30 p.m., I made it to my 10% mark. And then, since it would still be an hour and a half until Gryphon came home from work, I kept knitting.

An Over-Achiever - 8% Over Goal for Day One!

In the end, I completed the first 50 rows of Kiri, which according to Rose-Kim's shawl percentage calculator made 10.8% of the total shawl. That's 8% over goal for the day!

So far, the biggest problem I'm having is the yarn-overs at the beginning and end of each half of the pattern rows. The times that I've found my stitches off, it seems to always be that one of those either wasn't done, or got dropped, or worked together with the stitch next to it on the purl side by mistake. Once I realized that, however, it became easier to find the problems and fix them when I needed to.

And, of course, now I know the trouble spots to watch out for.

I am really, really pleased with how this yarn - the first I ever hand-dyed - is knitting up. The random patches of color are making a beautiful, mottled effect with blues and greens. Kiri, with it's leafy-looking pattern, is a good choice for this. I'm thinking this colorway would have looked good in a water-themed shawl as well.

Day Two

I've begun my knitting already, completing three rows before taking a break to write this post. My goal for the day is to add 10% more of the shawl to yesterday's end point, reaching 20.8% complete (at a minimum).

Early Analysis - the Level of Challenge

I feel like I hit the challenge level dead-on with my choice. Completing my goal knitting yesterday was a stretch, but in the end was achievable. I felt like I was under pressure, but not facing an impossible task.

Cheers to all the other Knitting Olympians out there! I'm back to the Wilton Lace Knitting Track to continue my second heat!


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