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Vancouver

Pattern: Olympic Red Mittens by Rachel Bearse

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Wool in Bright Red (8414) approx. 61 grams

Plymouth Yarns Homestead in 100 approx. 6 grams

Needles: 3.5 mm / US 4 and 4 mm / US 6

This is great pattern inspired by the red mittens sold during the Vancouver Olympics. Inspired by the spirit of the Olympics proceeds from the sale of the pattern goes to supporting a local swimming club that caters to children with disabilities and their siblings. This was my final Ravelympics project and knit a bit of it during my last trip to Bangor and while I didn’t quite finish them in the time frame of the Ravelympics I’m quite proud to have something to take away to remember both the Olympics and the Ravelympics by. Overall I’m very pleased, it was my first time doing stranding like this and my first pair of mittens. Overall mittens are easier than socks and I even did the kitchner along the tops with out looking it up (I was at a B&B in Wales) and they turned out amazing. The white of the contrast shows through in some places and the edges are pulled in but overall I’m quite proud. The only thing that upsets me is that I’ll have to wait so long to actually get to wear them.

Winter Calorimetry

Pattern: Calorimetry by Kathryn Schoendorf

Yarn: Adriafil Mistero in 31 approx. 35 g

Needles: 5 mm / US 8

When I was running in the more wintry months I found my ears would get a bit cold. I didn’t like the idea of wearing a full hat so I thought I would make on of these for running. Because I used a bulky yarn (leftovers from my Thorpe) I cast on 110 stitches and did 11 short row repeats. It’s the perfect size and just stretches to 22 inches, right around my ears. I need to block it and get a button, but now that spring is finally here there isn’t much of a rush. A very neat and satisfying project. Also part of Ravelympics.

Sunset Square

Pattern: Turn a Square by Jared Flood

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Homestead in 100 approx. 34 g

Trendsetter Yarns Tonalita in Sunset (2348) approx. 14 g

Needles: 4 mm / US 6, 4.5 mm / US 7

One of my goals this year is to use up leftover yarn and it seemed like the perfect way to do so was by knitting on of these hats for the Ravelympics. I like the way the colours turned out. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with this, I have an awful lot of hats now so I might give it away and yet I really like the way it turned out.

Gretel in the Forest

Pattern: Gretel by Ysolda Teague

Size: Fitted

Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Aran in Forest (686) approx. 80 g

Needles: 4 mm / US 6 , 4.5 mm / US 7

I promised a friend of mine a hat and I bought the wool way back in November. I decided to knit another Gretel and knit this in just 4 days for the Ravelympics. Unfortunately I went to try it on after I’d finished and fell madly in love with the thing. Suffice to say, my friend didn’t get her hat and I’ve worn it quite a bit. I like to stuff my braid up into it and out of the way but after a few wearings, the cast on and ribbing starts to stretch out a bit. I will probably try to block them back in at some point. A really lovely pattern, Ysolda is a genius of course.

I’m still in my mode of up days and down days though probably since the last time I wrote it has been more up than down.

I had a really good trip to Bangor. The journey down went very smoothly, no train issues and I managed to find the B&B with no problems though I did get a little worried when I kept walking and hadn’t gotten to it yet. I knitted the majority of the first of my Vancouver mittens on the journey down so that was a nice feeling. Bangor isn’t as studenty a town as St Andrews is so I was a little lost for things to do before the open day started, I did a bit of wandering and so forth. Luckily I met a girl from York who was also there for marine biology so we spent quite  a bit of time together, it was nice to talk to someone else who is studying the same sorts of things and interested in the same subjects. The visit to the school of ocean sciences was very informative and cast a completely different outlook on my part than the first time I visited. I also discovered they have a program which is Marine Environmental Protection which is much more in line with my interests and academic background. It changes how I look at other programs as well, like the Exeter fisheries program which was sort of a just in case is now much higher on my list. I think the fact that the majority of my essays end up being about fisheries must point towards me actually being very interested in fisheries, not to mention the rather impassioned speech I gave to Ank over dinner on saturday. The only thing now is to get all my applications in and down. Ultimately I’d like to get that done in the next few weeks. I am attempting to write a CV and am hoping to go to the Careers Service tomorrow to have them give me some pointers on that and my personal statement. While the journey down went quite smoothly, the return trio was much more exciting. The train out of Crewe was late meaning I missed my train in Lancaster. There was a train in half an hour to Carlise and then the last train that day to Edinburgh seeing as they were doing work on the tracks. There were quite a  few people in this situation and I met a girl who’s studying at Liverpool so we talked most of the to Edinburgh. Strangely enough one of the people from that Crewe train, a man and his little boy actually ended up getting off at Leuchars as well, it’s so weird how small and interconnected the world really is, the way peoples’ lives converge and diverge in unexpected and amazing ways. Anyhow, the train out of Lancaster was late but they held the Edinburgh train in Carlise for us but there was still the mad dash through the station.

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by work lately, or really the idea that the world is spinning a little too fast into the future and I don’t feel like I’ve found my feet in order to catch up. I have set up talking to Alan on skype and had our first catch today. I seem to be having the problem of looking to far into the future and getting caught up in things that at this point I have no control over and I need to remember to take one step at a time and work in the present. So we’re to catch up again on Friday and hopefully I’ll have gotten some work done which starting is the hardest part and I’m going to do that.

On to the more interesting things, I’ve put up a few knitting posts of things I knit for Ravelympics, the majority of it I haven’t had a chance to photograph even though I’ve been wearing the new Gretel for almost two weeks now. The ribbing on it has really stretched out and I need to find out if I can block it back together. Hopefully I’ll get some more pictures and posts up soon.

But now, I’m just focusing on what I can actually manage now, if I take care of the present the future should take care of itself.

Jane’s Thorpe

Pattern: Thorpe by Kristen Kapur

Size: 22 inch circumfrence

Yarn: Adriafil Mistero in 31 Orange-Green approx. 52 grams

(Contrast) Patons Australia Shadow Tweed in 06917 approx. 14 grams

Needles: 5.5 mm / US 9

Hook: 4.5 mm

I knit this on commission for a friend after she saw me knitting all the Christmas hat. This is a fantastic pattern, very quick to knit and a really great finished item. It’s simple yet effective which what I want knitwear to be. The top down construction is a bit interesting to start off but it makes the single construction much easier. I switched balls of yarn for the ear flaps so both would be green as I was getting to the end and I didn’t want one to be orange and the other to be green. The top down construction also allows you to get a much better fit as you can try it on as you go along. The double crochet edging adds a great touch, after a little you tubing it came quite quickly and really off sets the the main colours well. I will definitely be knitting more of these in the future. This was knit for the Hat Half Pipe in the 2010 Ravelympics for Team GB.

BlueCap

Pattern: Russula Cap by Sally Point / Wicked Woollens

Yarn: Adriafil Carezza in Sky Blue (92) approx. 54 grams

Needles: 4 mm / US 6

This is finally the last of the hats I started for Christmas last year. Luckily the recipient was willing enough to wait and I even managed to give it to her on her birthday.  I finished this for WIP dancing during the 2010 edition of the Ravelympics competing for Team GB. Overall, I’m happy with the finished result, it is entirely massive, a bit bigger than I personally would like but I suppose that is fashionable right now. The yarn doesn’t lend itself to any type of structure which enhances the floppiness of it. I really like the doubled over brim construction it makes for a nice little bit of contrast in an otherwise very unstructured item.

So BUTC was amazing. I shot decently in the qualification round though I did have a miss due to my hand slipping at one point which was unfortunate. We were seeded 28th out of 32 meaning we weren’t last which was a team goal. We were matched against the 5th place team, Oxford for the first knock out. We were going to give it our all but really we didn’t have huge expectations of making it out of this round. Right out of the first round we were tied out of the first end 3 to 3. By the next end we were beating them 5 to 4 and people started to notice. There is something very odd and not to mention exhilarating about having your performance commentated on. At the end of the normal four ends we were tied 7-7 and it had to come down to a tie breaker. With everyone watching and our fellow Scottish unis cheering us on we managed to beat them by one hit. It was the most amazing and thrilling experience I’ve had in a while. Suffice to say we got knocked out by Imperial in the next round but we had a great BUTC and people might see St Andrews in a slightly different light in the future.

I started to watch the olympics yesterday, and indeed started to knit for the olympics as well. The opening ceremony was in my mind beautiful, simple and enchanting is how I felt about it. I really love the olympics, I always have. I grew up in a family where watching the games was a special occasion, that for as long as they were on, your life almost revolved around them, watching everything, cheering on the athletes in almost any sport from luge to curling. It sort of surprises me when I talk to people here and they hardly even know that they are going on. I’ll keep you posted about future exploits.

In terms of ravlympics, I’m well on track. I finished the BlueCap for WIP Dancing yesterday and I also started and completed the Thorpe for the Hat Halfpipe. I’ll cast on Gretel today which will compete for a number of events including the Hat Halfpipe, cable XC and the Single skein speed skate. I had originally only planned of 4 projects for the games but having already completed two of them I will try for two more, Calorimetry and the lovely Vancouver mittens.

I’ve had an interesting time since my last post. It started out with my meeting last friday morning. My supervisor never turned up and despite my waiting around for an hour I didn’t get to see him. This really hit me because I had been so just ready to get it done and over with and I just felt adrift again. Then finally I got the final names for the entries for saturday spent a fairly long time sorting out the target lists and coding the excel file so it would do all the scores. Then when I go and check my email I receive a bunch of emails from earlier in the week including the ones with names from the unis that I had been pestering. But the one that really threw me was the one from Strathclyde that they won’t be able to make the morning session so I had to resort out the target lists and such. It was just one of those this day can’t get worse moments. One melt down later and i go to bed ready for the next day and I wake up at 4 and can’t fall back asleep. At about 5:30 I finally desperately call my mother because I just don’t know what else to do. She suggests reading for a bit and actually it only took about 10 pages and I was out.

The competition on Saturday ran as smoothly as I could have hoped, all my planning worked, the score sheet was great and despite spending eight and a half hours in the sports hall and being absolutely mentally and physically drained by the end it turned out to be a very good novice champs. I watched a bit of the England-Wales rugby game and saw Ank for dinner.

On Sunday I went down to Edinburgh for the Scotland-France rugby game. We had a lot of fun and I might not be as avid a rugby fan as the two friends I was with I do enjoy it and actually find it highly amusing to watch. I hope I get to go to another game some time. Scotland lost but overall the atmosphere is really great and such.

I did finally get to see my supervisor on Monday and he was very sorry as he’d been called away for an unplanned meeting and hadn’t contacted me. I was suitably nervous about talking to him but I mentioned that I was the archery captain and it turns out that he used to do archery when he was at Oxford so we had a little chat about archery which I guess made me feel a bit more comfortable. So long story short I am allowed to use the data, I also get confirmation of this from the head of biology but I need to make a really good effort to make my work as good as possible. I’m meeting with Ev tomorrow to go through the data and pick what I need as she went on the trip this year and has it all. So that is all good, I can move forward with it all, now it’s just forcing myself to really get down to it. April is much closer than it feels.

My courses this semester look good despite austin being such a dull lecturer. I have a lot of work to do and I really want to do well so I’m giving it my all for once. I did some work for my oceans class today, just a little maths problem but I was having trouble converting km³ to m³ and betting the powers right. I also have already picked an essay topic for my bio-oceanography course and need to start doing the reading or it next week. The methods course doesn’t start till next week either so I have a little free time this week.I will be going back to Bangor in about two weeks as they’re now doing a Postgraduate Fair which would mean that I would actually get to go to the school of ocean sciences, talk to professor and students. I feel sort of silly that I’ll be going again but I could not have known, if I had I would have held off the trip. And as my mother pointed out the first trip wasn’t useless, I did learn things.

I’m off to Nottingham this weekend for BUTC. I feel okay about it, I have been shooting alright in practice but they are little targets and one never knows. Anyhow it should be fun to go to a big competition, I’d never been to one other than BUCS before. We had a very full training session today and even some new people so it makes me feel good about the club after the weeks of only 4 people showing up.

Now for the most important thing, knitting. I finished the Juliet scarf on Sunday night which has been renamed Verona Skies because of its beautiful colour and the fact that it sort of reminds me of clouds. I blocked it last night and it’s quite lovely. I’ll post about it once I’ve managed to take pictures. I started the Swallowtail on Monday and it’s coming along, I’ve completed three repeats of the budding lace pattern, 11 more to go. Once you get the hang of it the pattern comes quite easily. It will get put on hold for the Ravelympics which start this weekend. The yarn for the BlueCap and for Jane’s hat have arrived today so I have everything ready for the weeks coming up. I had originally decided to do BlueCap, Thorpe, Gretel and then Square but I’m not sure about that now, especially as I’ll be traveling for part of it. My mom has also asked me knit something for our cleaner who is going back home to Colombia next month so I need to find a pattern and some yarn.

I finally managed to take FO pictures today, it’s sad considering that I finished the lace over a month ago now and only got the chance to photograph it today. I also managed to take some yarn shots which I’m fairly proud of. some louet

and some silky summer type yarn

Since finishing my socks I’ve been working on the Juliet Scarf which is a lace scarf using Adriafil Carezza an angora blend. Despite my hating scarves the lace which is a 12 row repeat works pretty fast so it grows considerably, I’m about a third of the way in and hope that I finish before the start of the Ravelympic next week. The only issue being that after any time knitting with the yarn it looks like a aqua toned rabbit has been sitting on my lap. I’m excited about the Ravelympics (and the real Olympics too!), I just missed taking part last time around as I’d only just started knitting at that point. I am a member of Team GB and have four projects lined up. I’m going to finish the BlueCap which was some Christmas knitting, knit Thorpe for Jane, knit Gretel for Michelle and knit another Turn a Square as stashbusting. After that it’s on to even more lace with the Swallowtail and Ishbel waiting to be knit.

I’ve been doing my running pretty seriously, I’m already on to week 2 and should be finishing it on Sunday morning. It is still hard but I suppose it’s the good sort of hard that makes you feel really good about yourself when you finish. The problem I’ve been running (hah) into lately is that it’s pretty cold out when I go to run and my ears and hands get cold. I don’t really want to wear a full hat as I think it would make me overheat so I’m thinking about knitting Calorimetry to keep my earsies warm. Someone also mentioned getting fingerless or convertible mittens to keep your hands warm. And though I can knit myself a pair (and am planning to) I found a pair at Accessorize on sale so now I have a pair of very stylish gloves for running in. The weather has been holding out during the last week and it’s really nice now that the sun is starting to rise earlier. I think it was a great idea to start the running again. It always upset me a little that I didn’t make it very far when I tried before but I will do it now.

In other news archery has started up again which is great but also frustrating. We are hosting the novice championships this weekend which at least gives me something to do. I’ve spent a good portion of the evening coming up with an excel file which should rank all the archers and calculate the team scores with us only having to put in the scores once. The only problem being that I am still waiting on two teams to tell me their numbers so I can’t be totally ready yet. I have hope for our novices the two that have been at training have been doing well unfortunately we won’t have a team to rely on if someone doesn’t do well as teams like Edinburgh or Napier can do. I’ve been practising on the 40 cm targets to get ready for BUTC which is not only a bit over a week away. It definitely gets you to focus in on something which is so much smaller but it’s frustrating when as I did today I just kept missing. I always have to remind myself that practise is for getting your muscles ready and that I always shoot better in competition, it’s just that extra bit of focus and concentration brought on by the pressure of performing that is missing during practise.

Also after days of wracking myself over this I finally emailed my supervisor. I started to write the email and realized I really need to speak with him in person otherwise I just won’t be able to explain myself in an email so I asked to meet with him either this or next week. Hopefully I can explain the situation clearly and not get too nervous. I have to remember that he is actually there to help me.