The Ravellenic Games

Ahoy, knitters! I hope you had a wonderful week. For those of you new to the Knitting Daddy blog, welcome! To those of you returning, welcome back! My goal is to have a new blog entry posted every Monday morning (Eastern US time), but every now and then, that slips. Like this week. I was too busy watching the Olympic Games and by the time I sat down to write a post last night, it was just too late. It’s OK, though — I’m going to call it research, because this week I’m going to be talking about the Ravellenic Games, which coincides with the Olympic Games. But first, here’s a quick follow-up from last week’s blog post about yarn bowls.

Patricia of Bridges Pottery, the artist who crafted my awesome yarn bowl, sent me a link to a YouTube playlist of her yarn bowls and other pottery. You can see her throwing the clay, shaping it into a bowl, and then many examples of her beautiful finished work. The end of the first video in the playlist is simply mesmerizing to watch the ball of yarn spinning around in the bowl.

I love the yarn bowl she made for me, and encourage you to check out her work. If you decide to buy a yarn bowl from her, let her know that Greg “Knitting Daddy” sent you.

Before jumping into our talk about the Ravellenic Games, let’s take a quick look at what’s been going on in my knitting world over the past week.

This Week In Podcasts

Lots of podcast episodes have landed on my iPod this week, but I haven’t listened to many of them. I’m looking forward to catching up on all of them, but it’s definitely going to take some doing. Glancing at my “commute” playlist, it currently sits at almost 14 hours worth of podcasts. Not all of them are knitting related — I have a fair amount of software development podcasts in the mix — but there’s a lot of good stuff waiting for me to listen to.

I finished listening to Episode 33 — Retreat!!! of the TwinSet Designs podcast. In addition to talking about the various retreats they’ve attended recently, Ellen and Jan talk about the Masters Program at The Knitting Guild Association. This sounds like a very interesting program, and I’m putting it on my list of things to look further into. I know one of my friends is working through the program, and I really should check back in with her to hear about how it’s going.

The only other knitting-related podcast I listened to this week was the non-book portion of Episode 331 — Sorry Mister Jakes! of CraftLit, I’m glad to have finished The Age Of Innocence in time to join North and South “live.” One of the things  Heather talked about that really piqued my interest was her work on Cognitive Anchoring. Oh. My. Goodness. This is so right on. I’ve only read about half of what she’s got out there so far, but it resonates very deeply with me. The discussion about how knitting was used as therapy for shell shock reminded me so much of why and how I started knitting that I had to take a break from reading for a little bit, as I was starting to get the shakes, remembering my experience in the NICU with Blueberry. A NICU experience often comes with PTSD, and over a year-and-a-half later, those triggers still bubble up from time to time. Knitting helps. I’m very interested in continuing to read Heather’s work on cognitive anchoring, especially since it provides interesting peeks at studies that prove how helpful activities like knitting, crocheting, and doodling are for helping people stay grounded and focused. This reminds me of the “in the classroom” segment Dr. Kelly includes in the Ewe University podcasts. I’m going to be dropping Dr. Kelly a note about cognitive anchoring, in case it isn’t already on her radar.

This Week In Ravelry

In Ravelry this week, I bought a new bunny toy pattern: Mini-Bunny Loves by Susan B. Anderson. I also queued her Bunny Love & Extras pattern, which I added to my wish list. All of these bunny patterns would make great Easter toys, so we’ll see how many I manage to carve out time to knit.

I’m having a hard time keeping up in the IBK forum, especially with so much going on in the Ravellenic Games thread. I’m really only glancing at the rest of the forums. Things will eventually calm down, and I’ll skim through everything and get caught back up again.

This Week On My Needles

I’m continuing to make good progress on Dad’s second sock. I have turned the heel and am firmly in the gusset. This is a really fun part of sock knitting, and once the gusset is done, the rest of the sock seems to fly off the needles. I’m really enjoying the sock knitting, and I’m looking forward to casting on a pair for myself sometime down the road.

In addition to Dad’s second sock, I cast on a new project: Giraffe. Since this is going to be my (first?) entry in the Ravellenic Games, it’s a great time to move to the featured subject of this week’s blog post.

Opening Ceremony

During the Opening Ceremony, I knitted almost all of the increases for the giraffe body.

The Ravellenic Games

The Ravellenic Games are pretty cool. Coinciding with the Olympic Games, fiber crafters all over the world come together (virtually) to create things. Is it a competition? Kinda, but not really. Mostly, it’s a competition with yourself. The One Rule To Rule Them All puts it pretty clearly: “Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2014 Winter Olympics.” As I just mentioned, I’m working on a giraffe toy.

The projects for the Ravellenic Games are categorized into events based on what the project is. For example, since my giraffe is a toy, it’s competing in the Toy Tobogganing event. It’s really neat to see everyone’s projects, and feel the support and cheering in the forums.

The events are not meant to be competitions with each other, but are a framework provided to encourage crafters to finish projects in the Olympic timeframe. There is a real sense of camaraderie on the various teams, as everyone is working to finish projects. And watch the Olympics. I’ve found that while a lot of the rules around the Ravellenic Games can seem confusing at first, there is so much help available in the forums, that someone is bound to be able to jump in and make sure you’re doing the right thing to participate.

One of the most fun parts (so far) of the Games has been the anticipation. Everyone was restricted from casting on before the beginning of the opening ceremonies. For me, since I’m in the US Eastern time zone, that meant I could cast on at 11:00 am Friday. Practically, since that was just a bit before my lunch break, I didn’t cast on until close to 11:30, and I did so at my local yarn shop. It was pretty cool feeling that I was part of a virtual team of bazillions of knitters all across the world starting a project at the same time.

Body And Head

By the end of the day Sunday, I had the giraffe head and body finished.

I got off to a good start — I currently have the body and head completed — but as the week lies ahead of me, I anticipate that many other things will be competing for my knitting time, and it’s going to slow down for me. It’s OK, there are several weeks before the Games are closed, and I’m sure I’ll be able to finish my giraffe (and probably some other projects) in time.

What about you? Are you participating in the Ravellenic Games? What projects are you making? On what team are you competing? Keep the conversation going — leave a comment on this post to let me know what the Ravellenic Games mean to you.

Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!

-greg

Ravelry: KnittingDaddy

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