Thursday, February 18, 2010

The agony of defeat?

Some Olympians soar to new heights, winning medals and setting new records.

Some Olympians fall right out of the gates and never recover.

Methinks this Winter Olympics I may be in the second camp.

Have I picked up the spinning since the start of the games? Nope.

Have I knitted on the sweater since the start of the games? Nope.

Have I knitted? Yes! Just not on the sweater. I'm 90% of the way through a really cool and slightly crazy pair of slippers for the Little Rogue. They fit, they're bright, they're an out of my brain modification of a store-bought pair with the help of Cat Bordhi, and kiddo thinks they're fun. Two rounds of crochet and I'll be posting them on Ravelry. Even though I truly suck at crochet.

This evening, while waiting through dance class, I started another 2-row scarf. They just make such amazingly simple travel/waiting knitting. And I had the wonderful fun of explaining to a just-turned 3 year old what it was that I was doing, how it worked, and what color I was going to use next. Her mother thought that it was very cool, since the little one is apparently fascinated with tiny hand movements. I got the little one to understand the concept of 3+3=6, which her mother thought was even better.

Over the time that I've been knitting, I've had a many small children come to me, wherever I've been, and ask what I'm doing. I usually just say what I'm making - "I'm knitting a scarf." Most children are satisfied with that. I take great joy in the ones that are more curious. The one who ask questions - "What is knitting?" "Is it done yet?" "What are those you're using?" Or the ones who just stand there and watch. It's so fun to see their brains work, processing new information and tucking it away somewhere for future reference.

So, while I may not be fulfilling my Olympic dreams this year, I think I may have found again some of the joy in knitting and some of the joy in teaching. Competition isn't always about winning, since there can be only one. Competition and challenge are also about learning, growing, expanding knowledge, and gaining confidence. While I may not win the gold this year for completing my Olympic goals, I think that I will be moving forward.

And that, after all, is what life is about.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter for Knitters

Every 4 years knitters get a little sillier than usual. I mean, we're generally a fairly silly bunch, though serious about what it is that we make. But when the Winter Olympics roll around all bets are off.

Stephanie has sent out the challenge. I'm almost afraid to accept, but I think I will step up this year. I can't say that I haven't already cast on - my goal is to finish a sweater that has been languishing for most of a year. I purchased the yarn for my birthday in 2009, I started it sometime this past fall. The body is already up to the middle of my chest, but, honestly, I'm not certain I like the hip shaping and I may need to rip the whole body back out -- does that make it enough of a challenge for the Knitting Olympics? I think it does.

Every 2 years is the Ravelympics as well - adopted from Stephanie's marvelous idea and taken to a whole other level. I have entered that as well, but not for knitting. I purchased spindles and fluff last June and have not spent quality time with them. What's the old adage? You need to do something every day for 3 weeks for it to become a habit? Well the Olympics is about that long, and my goal is to spend at least 20 minutes every day spinning. I really don't care what I make as long as it is yarn, and I'm getting in the habit of spinning a little every day. Maybe I can figure out how to not have huge lumpy joins and follow Maggie's advice to draft them out properly.

Wish me luck! I'm goin' in!