Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Olympic Gold

Sara wins the gold!

Here is the hat that I made during my 6 days sitting in ICU.  It's the oh-so-cute hat that the American team wore during the opening ceremonies.  I found the pattern on Ravelry.

Intarsia, knitting with more than one color, can be a lot of fun.  However, it can also be a bit of a headache, as well as painfully slow at times.  One section of the blue and white at the bottom has a painfully obvious mistake(not in this pic) in it.  At least I think it is painfully obvious,  but I guess that just lets people know that it really was hand knit and not made on a machine.  Besides, it would have to be a huge mistake for me to find the energy to frog several rows of intarsia after discovering it.  This was just one, little, white stitch out of place, not worth the headache of frogging and untangling yarns twisted around each other.

Another problem with intarsia is that you have to carry the unused strands of yarn very loosely across the back as you go.  As hard as I tried, there is still a bit of pucker around and between the reindeer.  It's not noticeable when wearing it, though, as the hat is rather tall and smooshes down on the wearer's head.

I learned another skill, which was one of Yarn Harlot's suggestions for the Knitting Olympics, which was a bit of a revelation for me.  The pattern says to use a provisional cast-on so that when you reach the end of the blue band, you take out the cast-on and knit each stitch together with the live row that you're on.  That gives you a nice, seamless band on the inside of the hat that you didn't have to sew by hand.  I love the finished look, although I think I made it a lot harder on myself than it had to be.

My go-to blogger, Tech-Knitting, said she doesn't use a provisional cast-on, but prefers a regular cast-on and just knits 2 extra rows, snips a stitch and unravels the two rows.  I tried that method since I didn't have time to sit and learn the provisional cast-on before I left town, but in hindsight, it would have been 10 minutes wisely spent.  

Taking out that 2 rows and knitting it to the live rows was one of the longest, most painstaking knitting processes I've ever gone through.  I think I wasted a full day on that back-breaking, neck-aching activity.  Unraveling from the bottom up is not as quick and easy as from the top down!

Nevertheless, it is finished.  I did the finishing work the last afternoon in ICU (Thursday) before the Olympic games were even over!  I gave it to my sister-in-law, Kelly, and her family who hosted me during my stay and kept me from losing my mind during the long week.  It was soooo nice to be able to "come home" after a long day at the hospital and relax with them.  They're so much fun!

(Now, Kelly, you have to take a picture of someone modeling the hat and send it to me!)

I'm glad the Olympics are over.  I'm glad I had a fun project to work on (the nurses enjoyed seeing the progress).  I don't think I'll do it again though, since I could never have completed that project in 2 weeks without extended time at the hospital.  I'd rather not go through that again, frankly.

I think I'll just stick to knitting in my free time and avoiding deadlines.

Yes.  Christmas counts, too.


  1. It's very pretty -- I love that it's the pattern the athletes wore.

    I've never tried knitting a real design into my project -- reminds me of cross-stitching, which requires too much of my attention. And you totally lost me on the casting on. ;-)

  2. you are AMAZING!!!! i need a class :)

  3. you did a GREAT JOB!!

    and yes, ICU sitting has a way of expanding your free time that doesn't happen anywhere else.


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