Bring it on! The Ravelympics…er Ravellenics! Yeah!

So, even though it’s Ramadan, I’ve decided to participate in a sport of sorts. But it’s probably not the kind of sport you’re thinking of. It’s my first time ever participating in the Ravellenic Games, which formerly were known as the Ravelympics.

Basically, by whichever name you call the actual event, it’s a time when knitters, crocheters, and spinners alike virtually come together to challenge ourselves in our projects, such as tackling new and/or complicated patterns and techniques, massive and teeny-tiny projects, and projects we’ve struggled to complete–along with the events of the Olympic games.  The goal is to “expand our knitting/crocheting horizons.” We start at the opening ceremonies (today!) and end at the closing ones (August 12). The prize at the end? Personal satisfaction, knitterly comraderie (we have love buttons for our projects and a virtual parade to exhibit our projects), and a handy-dandy blog badge which you know I will proudly exhibit here (…inshAllah…if I can finish!).

But in case you missed that lexical disambiguation of the name of the sport, there’s a little controversy there–the US Olympic Committee (USOC) thought that the name of the Ravelympics was offensive to the actual athletes of the Olympic games (as we are merely doing synchronized stash busting and afghan marathons rather than real synchronized swimming and marathons, right?!). According to the USOC, the name was also an act of copyright infringement, nevermind the fact that knitters and crocheters are actually supporting and probably aiding in the propaganda of the Olympics! So the word “Olympics” is not allowed in pattern titles, posts, and we shan’t even think of crocheting or knitting those darn rings into items. All’s fine and well (though I really do prefer the name “Ravelymipcs”), but I say to anyone who doesn’t think that knitting and crocheting is a physical feat to just look at the time it takes to make these works of art, the carpel tunnel and wrist bands that ensue, and this xTreme Blanket by a fellow French ravelry member whose photos say it all…

We have teams, rules, and everything, and this year I’m on two teams, my LYS’ teams: team fibre space™ and Team Looped Yarn Works. I actually won’t be watching the Olympic games (it’s Ramadan and I’m fasting from what limited TV access I do have! Even then, I don’t have cable to watch the Olympics!), but I’m using the Ravellenics to boost my productivity for Eid gifts. At times it feels like I’m giving myself more stress than it’s worth (I have four projects to complete in these two weeks and just today I thought about joining Team Baby-please-nap-mommy-wants-a-gold-medal (I just love the name!) or Team Tantrum (for women who had babies in Summer 2009) which would mean two more projects because a project can compete for only one team, but I must focus on getting some gifts done for family. Meanwhile, you can check out my progress on my ravelry project page.

As for when I’ll be actually watching the Olympics again, I’m planning on watching the Winter Olympic Games in 2014 (that is, if it’s streaming on the internet or something)–I’m a big fan of curling (yes, curling!), I’m Russian-by-association (my mom lived in St. Petersburg for a while, and I speak Russian, but more on that later), the games won’t be anywhere near Ramadan, and maybe by then the USOC will have enough sense to realize that knitters are supporting the Olympics and we could all use a little knitting in our lives to warm this cold world up. After all, the winter olympians will probably be wearing knitted and crocheted  items anyway…

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2012 1/2: A Very Productive Year…so far

We are now past the midpoint of the year, and I’m proud to show you 14 projects that I’ve worked on since January. Only two are still works in progress (the last two photos), and they happen to be knitting projects! One of which (the Haruni leaf shawl) should be completed before the end of Ramadan during the Ravellenic games, inshAllah…(more on that later).

Yes, it’s been a very productive 2012…14 projects and a brand new baby too! She’s my newest lifelong project…<3

The Last Hurrah!

I only had one request before the birth of my second daughter. Two days away from my due date. I wanted to make it to The Textile Museum’s Celebration of Textiles 2012 Festival. And I wanted to be there by 11:15am…to see a Ms. Leanne Reuter… shear. a. sheep. Yes, it’s all coming full circle now, isn’t it? With all of my emphasis on learning the old fiber-related handicrafts, it occurred to me that even though I have seen sheep, I have never seen a sheep sheared. So I wanted to see the origins of yarn and the process by which it gets off that sheep. And with my city girl fiber obsession, I needed this. I needed a day surrounded in my kind of furry world to see something I’ve never seen before…and share it with Noora and my DH. Before the dawn of baby #2.

And my request was answered! Even though my husband isn’t into textiles and fibers, and even though I was having contractions…we made it! And Noora loved it. And I loved seeing Noora in my world. She actually got a mini tour, if you will, of almost my entire textile-fiber education in college during this festival. But she learned it much quicker than I. All in one day she pet a sheep (but wasn’t feeling the alpaca love), saw a sheep and alpaca shearing, then carded the wool by hand and by machine, spun it with a drop spindle (I didn’t even learn that in college!), and weaved with it. It took me one semester to learn all of that…and I still didn’t get to spin! But on the other hand, I did get to dye my own yarn and basketweave and..and…and…needless to say, I’m happy today. With all the nesting that I’ve been doing and (also frantic crocheting and knitting to finish up some wips), I needed a day to just relax and be me, a total fiber junky, amongst other fiber junkies. Today was a beautiful return to a world that I once knew and am continuing to know…a world that I can’t wait for my dear Noora to know. A world that rekindled beautiful memories and glimpses of the past, all the while making new memories for our growing family alike! What a great initiation into the world of fiber love it was for my dear Noora!

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P.S. It turns out the sheep was very pregnant…just like me! Maybe this was her last hurrah, too, eh? The treat of a nice new haircut without the weight of the wool on her shoulders before baby?

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