The Olympics With Curling In It
(This first section is sadly without actual photos, but I’ve provided links to the official photos where I can. Olympic copyrights and all that.)
I’ll admit it: I hate organized sports. Usually. But I gotta say, I loved, loved watching the Olympics, every last scene of it, from the (very moving) opening ceremonies on through luge and skating and skiing and curling and hockey clear to the (very wacky) closing ceremonies.
I spent the final Olympic weekend away at a Haliburton cottage in Cottage Country with nine other yarn-crazed friends, drinking and eating and knitting and lolling about in front of a large-screen TV watching the Games. (More about this weekend in a future post. It deserves its own entry.) There are photos here on DocSteph’s blog if you want images of our debauchery to haunt you. Look carefully and you might even find me in one of the photos there.
I learned all about curling, and by the final minutes of the women’s gold medal game, I was yelling at the TV set. Really. Yelling. As in, cheering. At curling. I swear. And yes, I watched Kevin and his team win the curling gold. And yes, along with everyone else in the international TV audience, I laughed at the Norwegian pants. (What. Were. They. Thinking?)
I was listening to the final minutes of the men’s hockey game on the car radio on the way home, when suddenly the signal gave out. I found myself banging fruitlessly on the dashboard, yelling at poor Nicholas, “Get it back! Get it back! This is the second half of overtime, GET! IT! BACK!”
Nicholas turned to me, looked me full in the face, and said, “What have you done with my wife? What did those women at the cottage DO to you?”
Hee. They taught me more about how to be a proper Canadian, that’s all. I mean. Not listen to Sidney Crosby score that historic gold medal after hearing about it for days? I’d have to be daft.
My fave was the floating mooses (meese?) at the end of the closing ceremonies, however. I badly want one of those for our back yard. The smiles on those guys, ridiculous. It was like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on crack. (As further evidence I present Giant. Blow-up. Beavers. Any more questions?)
I loved every damn minute of it. Oh, OK, I didn’t enjoy some of the truly horrible musical debacles after the end of the closing ceremonies. Nickelback, kiddos, this was several billion folks wanting to celebrate and WTF was that song about burning down the place? You guys looked liked dorks up there. And please. Let us not even speak of the so-called closing act by the rapper and his high-school hip-hop team. The dancing was a confused nightmare, the music was horrid. I would have felt badly for the folks up in the stands who could only see the bouncing specks of reflective paint in the middle of the stage, except that they probably thought it was a dancing ant-and-insect show. This was our Canadian grand finale? Please.
I did, of course, love and adore Alanis, but she’d have to work really hard to make me mad at her, especially with that song.
The other, fuzzier Olympics
Those of you who read my other blog know that I more or less failed to reach any and all of my Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics goals. Not for lack of trying, you understand, just for lack of human stuff like stamina, strength, and non-injured wrists. I am proud of myself for trying, and for showing the Olympic spirit. But no gold, no silver, and no bronze for this gal. Nevertheless, let’s check out my performance on the ice, shall we?
I did spin quite a bit of the guanaco, but damn, that fibre goes on forever. It’s sneaky, that guanaco. It looks like this teeny tiny pile of fluff, and as you spin it, there’s just more and more and MORE of it left to spin. But if you happen to be the lucky spinner, as I was, you don’t mind that you’re going to spend the rest of your productive craft life spinning this small whack of fluff. It’s soft. It sings to you. It ripples through your fingers like a little brook, making tiny siren songs as the fibres slip past one another to join the twist.
I haven’t finished even half of the full one ounce I have. I have no idea what I am going to do with it once it’s all spun. I kind of don’t care. I just want to spin it until I keel over deadibones from whatever it is that is going to do me in.
I cast on for a pair of Socks That Rock during the opening ceremonies, foolishly thinking that I could complete the pair before the flame went out. The yarn, the first offering of the 2010 club, is amazing. The pattern is really pretty and quite fun to knit. Sounds good, right? All right then…see this?
That’s as far as I got, for the entire 17 days. Dude, that pattern is great, but the needles are wee and something about the whole pattern/needle/lack of good eyeglasses combination had me gasping on the sidelines by day six. I DQ’d myself on this project, big time. Wiiiiiiiiiipe-out!
Um. Oh, rats. Sigh. Even thought I wrote about this over there, I’ll do the quick wrap-up here, just for completeness’ sake.
I finished the body, the front knitted facings, and the pockets. I sewed all that up. I knitted half the sleeves, and I knitted the right pocket edging and shawl collar all the way up to the shoulder seam.
But that’s all she knitted, folks. Sweater is still on the needles, so this athlete is going into overtime with this one.
The Weird Thing About All This Is…
The weird thing about all this is (is there an echo in here?) that I have finished two, count ‘em TWO projects in one week now, after the closing ceremonies. Neither of them was on my Olympic list, a fact which in and of itself is interesting.
I finished my colours-of-spring Simple Things shawlette (Ravelry link; design by Mary-Heather Cogar). I know Mary-Heather loves to see pictures of this shawl on dogs and even cats, but my animals are paparazzi-shy and don’t like to be photographed in knitwear. I did, however, manage to coax this gargoyle into posing, while Zoe looked on:
That’s Oscar. The gargoyle, not the cat. (Why, yes, all my gargoyles do have names. And yes, I said All My Gargoyles as if I have a collection of them. Which I do. Your point would be…?)
I don’t think Oscar is very pleased with me for wrapping him in this cheerful shawl. He’s a bit of a pouter, is Oscar. He’s especially morose these days as his nose inadvertently got chipped and now he’s self-conscious about it.
(He thinks he doesn’t look as ugly and threatening as he did before. I’ve tried to tell him that battle scars are always a scary addition to an ugly face, and I’ve even shrieked a little for him a couple of times on entering the room and seeing him, just to see if I can cheer him up a bit. I think he likes being morose. I think he thinks it adds to his mystique. Yep.)
The other Finished Object is a pair of Nutkins:
The yarn here is also Socks that Rock, mediumweight, I think. The pattern, Nutkin by Beth LaPensee, is sheer pleasure to knit, because you don’t need the chart after the first few minutes, and the short-row heel and toe are a GREAT implementation of short-rows. Did you know that there are different sorts of short-rows? There are. And this one, in Nutkins, is wonderful. It’s logical, it’s fun, and it looks great.
The only mod I made to the pattern is I grafted the front of the toe to the end of the instep instead of using a three-needle BO as the pattern suggested. I used “my” grafting on the needles technique and sailed through…until I reached the final few stitches on the second toe. Somehow, I had extra stitches…extra stitches that when grafted together formed what can only be described as a little bunion-holder on the side of my foot.
No, I did not take photos of that unfortunate event. It was night, and I was watching the end of a great episode of Criminal Minds, and all I could think of was Get Rid of That Unsightly Boil!! A few judicious stitches here and there, and I somehow managed to flatten it…enough. I can still feel it, more so if I wear it on the left foot than on the right. But I don’t think it’s going to bother me any more than a pattern element ridge would.
At least…that’s the line I’m feeding myself right now.
Final random thought
How are those winter hobgoblins? Mine are still banging on the walls, making trouble. Last weekend, for example, at the weekend away with friends, I caught a nasty sinus infection and spent the drive home trying not to barf in DocSteph’s nice mini van. (Thanks to DocSteph, Kerri and Tonya for taking great care of me and for feeding me the Nausea Cure of fries and a caramel freeze.) But during that weekend, I did learn that the goblins have been making the rounds for quite a few folks in this area. A pox on those hobgoblins.
I’ve started a New Thing in my ceaseless battle against the goblins of winter. It’s simple, it’s do-able, and it brings more light. (What more can you ask, right?) I call it Just One Thing To Make Someone’s Life Better. Now before you get all turned off at my lofty-arse title, it goes like this: It can be anyone’s life: my spouse’s, a friend’s, mine, a pet’s, a stranger’s, anyone. Small things are worth just as much as big things. So: I clean the litter box: Score! I’ve made my cats’ lives better (and probably mine, too, with the lack of smell and all). I do the dishes: Score! Made my life and Nicholas’ better. I tweet a few things: Score! (Reaching out to friends, good thing.) I knit: Score! Because I enjoy each and every stitch.
And so it goes. Just One Thing. Small is good. It all adds up. Plus, it confuses the heck out of the hobgoblins, because they’d rather we think that none of the little things we do makes a difference.
In fact…I bet the little things score more than the big things sometimes, because the little things go out into the world almost unnoticed…but not quite. Someone sees you smile at that child in the grocery store, and then goes on to smile at their own child. Someone hears you speak happily of knitting, and realizes that maybe they’d like to try it themselves. Someone sees you hug a gay friend, and goes home to re-think their own attitudes towards gay folk. Your husband sees the dishes all done, and decides he has time to spend a while doing what he loves best, which is cooking.
Just one small thing.
Let the light come on in.