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

Looped!

Today, we took a family field trip (as I like to call them) to Looped Yarn Works, the LYS nestled in D.C.’s Dupont Circle…precisely one block away from where I used to work back in my international development days…if you haven’t been to this store, you don’t know what you’re missing. The feeling is great, with all kinds of fiber candy to delight your senses. I never found so many original looking things in a yarn shop before…from knit/purl/balls of yarn earrings and brooches to yarn already beaded to yarn that literally screamed out to me, “Make me into a party dress! Make a shawl for yourself already!” I mean the yarn talks. If you can’t hear it, you’re deaf to fiber. And if you don’t listen or answer the call, you’ll be regretting it. Badly.

The atmosphere in the place was so nice…whereas Old Town’s Fibre Space might be considered more of an indie/younger-crowd type shop, I got the motherly vibe from Looped. It’s very cozy. The women working there were very embracing…one of the owners, Susan, wanted to know my name, and shook my hand and helped me find the perfect green which I can’t find anywhere without a hefty price tag…Kerry, who also works there, taught my TWO AND A HALF YEAR OLD DAUGHTER how to wind a ball of yarn…they felt like family…

I will be back there. Believe me. When I finish this dress. In this yarn that I picked up today. InshAllah.

The granny-apple-sour-apple-green that alludes me...even this picture doesn

Mmmmm..yarn candy..

Knitting 101: “Purl towards Mecca”

the beginnings of my first swatch

Oh my goodness, I just learned to knit. Call me a crochet snob, but I never thought I’d enjoy using two needles to make stitches. I knew the day that I’d learn was coming soon, but I thought that it would feel more like a chore to achieve a certain goal rather than make me feel good. Now I can’t seem to stop and I want to learn more, more, more. It’s like a different kind of a food, an inspiration…and I’m actually pretty good at it! But what’s really got me is the fact that I just want to stitch again. I have started so many projects in the past couple of months just to frog them or leave them unfinished, and now I just want to finish something. Look out! I think there will be some finished objects coming your way soon! A special shout out of deep gratitude to Jessica for taking the time to teach me this morning! I will never forget to purl towards Mecca :).

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