Oh yeah, I'm that crazy

Okay, so in case you were unaware The Yarn Harlot has thrown down the gauntlet and issued a challenge to those of us that have made knitting our sport of choice. She has created The 2006 Winter Knitting Olympics. The project must be cast on at the opening of the Winter Olympics when the Olympic flame is lit and must be completed before the flame goes out in 16 days. Oh yeah, I'm so in.
Now the first challenge will be to choose a project that would be considered an Olympic Challenge for me. As skill levels go, I fall into the experienced category, which means I'm going to need help deciding on a project. I went through my stacks of magazines and books and I've made a short list of projects that I'm interested in knitting and that I would consider a challenge to knit in 16 days.
Option 1: The Forest Path Stole This stole is so beautiful. It has three different lace panel worked in entrelac. When I showed it to Ani she asked if you get an award for participant. Oh she of little faith.
Option 2: Magical Mandalas. The sweater is made up from knitting medallion motifs. I've wanted to knit this from the moment I saw it.
Option 3: The Age of Aquarius Sweater, cap and socks. I have this in mind for my brother. A while back he sent me several skeins of yarn that he spun and I think it would be enough to knit this set for him.
Option 4: The Cherry Blossom Shawl. The shawl is worked in the round from the center outward in a sequence of three lace patterns.

Option 5: A while back I went a little crazy and bought a boat load of this White Buffalo Yarn. My plan is to knit one of these coats for my husband and one for myself. Because this is bulky knitting and works up fairly fast I thought I would up the challenge to completing both of the coats.

Option 6: Would be to knit the second pair of Latvian mittens that I am making as a fund raiser.

I have other ideas but I think that these are the ones that I'm going to consider for the Olympic knitting event.

So what do you think? I'd appreciate your opinion, any input would be helpful.
Presenting the pile of 2005 UFO's to be completed in the month of January 2006.

To be sure this is only a portion of the heap of unfinished objects that I have lying about. Know my friends, that what you see here is but the pile of knitting that I'm hoping to be able to present as finished objects by the end of the month of January. I may be dreaming a bit here but I think it better to set the bar a little higher than lower or really, what's the point? (Yes, Ani I'm aware that I said that I was the Point, being the Point Man and all, and so forth and so on, but really that's beside the point)
While I was not blogging I have been knitting and what you see here is the current state of my knitting. Let me break it down for you.

Starting at the bottom of the pile is a fair isle cardigan that I am knitting for Ani's violin teacher and friend of ours, Caren. I started this sweater in October of 2004 and it's past time to be finished with this sweater and I'm not far from finishing it. The sleeves need to be 17" long before I knit the cuffs and I'm currently at about 15". Once the sleeves are done it is just a matter of cutting the front steek and knitting on the button/buttonhole bands and collar and it's finished. No sewing it together, only sewing on buttons and it's done. Sounds like a lot of knitting yet but not really, I am being quite realistic in setting a goal to complete this sweater.

In the center, on top of the sweater is a Latvian Mitten that has been my most recent knitting obsession. In January of last year I became intrigued with these mittens and bought about as much yarn and in as many different colors as I could with the intention of making these mittens. However I was committed to knitting Caren's sweater and I set the idea aside for later. Later came this last fall when I was brainstorming for fundraising ideas for Caren's new musical organization, AYEM - Artistic Youth Ensembles of Minnesota of which Ani is a member. So I thought could knit something and have a drawing for it. Seeing I had the yarn already I thought that Latvian mittens would be a good thing to make. So that's the plan. This is mitten one. Mitten two is goal for January. I have been documenting the process of knitting of these mittens and plan on boring the rest of you with all the sorted details in future posts.

On the right of the pile is the toe of a pair of socks that I am knitting for my daughter. Are they black, grey and dark blue? Yes, they're for Ani, how did you guess? I'm not really happy with the way the pattern is knitting up and I'm considering revising the pattern which will push their completion into the well, maybe category.

Above the socks is the second tail to a scarf that I am knitting for the Scarfin' Knit up exchange. It's a pretty fast knit and I should be able to have this one completed as well. If it is done by the 19th even better.
And then lastly there is the Elizabeth I pattern scarf, Dainty Bess. This will be a challenge to be completed by the end of January. Even though it's a lace pattern, it doesn't knit up very quickly because it is so fine. I'm at about 14", the pattern length for the scarf is 44". This one is definitely in the well, maybe category.

And so

(Happy Christmas Kyoko, Happy Christmas Julian )
And so this is Christmas and what have you done?
Another year over and a new one just begun.

And so this is Christmas, I hope you had fun.
The near and the dear one, the old and the young.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

And so to get the year rolling I've been tagged for the following meme. Don't blame me, Amy did it.

1. What new knitting techniques did you learn this year? This may come as a shock to some of you but contrary to what you may have heard, I do not know all there is to know in matters concerning knitting. (but just in matters concerning knitting, the rest I have pretty much have covered) This old knitting wizard is still learning new tricks, no, really, it's true. This year I learned three new ways to cast on. From Sally Melville I learned that you can cast onto the needle using the crochet method and not just crochet a chain and then pick up the stitches from the chain. Likewise, I learned from Annie Modesitt how to do an I-Cord cast on that doesn't involve making an I-cord and then picking up the stitches from the cord. The third method was the German Twisted Cast On ( and not the Twisted German Cast On) from Meg Swansen. I also just recently learned that there is another casting on method called the Moebius Cast On that I'm an ichin' to try.
2. Which completed project from the last 12 months are you most proud of? Uhm, let's see, I guess I'll go with the
Pink Ribbon Scarf that I knit for a friend fighting breast cancer, though I'm pretty happy with the Swatch Your Step socks I made for Kati.
3. What was your biggest knitting disaster of the last year? I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. I tried to wind a skein of linen yarn by laying the skein flat on the floor in a circle and only managed to make a mangled tangle of the whole thing, but that had less to do with knitting and more to do with being a knidiot. I knit something to donate for disaster relief, does that count?
4. Who or what has been the biggest influence on your knitting in 2005? Biggest influence? For the what, I'd say the lack of a yarn budget and having to make do with what I have on hand, no, no don't cry for me, really, I have yarn a plenty. The trick is to find a project that works with the yardage of the yarn I have, this is a bit trickier but I rather relish a good challenge.

occasionally I will go back through old issues of my knitting magazines, my favorite being Interweave Knits. This last time as I perused the pages I noted that the patterns that catch my attention each time I go through them were from the same few designers, so for the who, I'm going to say Annie Modesitt, Veronik Avery, Kristin Nicholas, Ivy Bigelow and Teva Durham.
5. What knit craze grabbed you this year? I'm sure I don't know what you mean. As a rule I'm generally two years behind the current trends, no, wait, or maybe it's that I'm always two years AHEAD of the times, Ahhah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's it. Yep, that's me out there, on the edge, ahead of the curve, leading the way; Ooo look at me, all like trailblazery and stuff. I put the point in point man, I am the pointiest of all point men, heck, I am the point and I'm not even a man. I'm a leader, not a follower, I tell you. Or maybe not, (Okay, well maybe I gave Rogue a shot, but I didn't finish it, One Skein Wonders, though I didn't make one, and Annie Modesitt's silk corset though I haven't made that either. I also made a poncho but not Martha's and before Martha was released from prison, see what I mean? Fashion forward.) I stand by my first statement, I don't understand what you mean.

New Year's resolutions: Can't think of any, I'll entertain suggestions.
In 2006 I will knit: Finish Caren's Fair Isle Sweater, knit a pair or two, or three of Latvian Mittens as a fund raiser for my daughter's Orchestra group, Ani's socks, A Pooling Colors scarf, a Jo Sharp Sweater for my sister, Scarf Dresser socks and Jaywalker socks, The Cherry Blossom shawl and a felted cat bed or two for starters.
I will learn to:
not over think my knitting.
To become a better knitter, I will: learn to not over think my knitting. Have I said that before? I did. I thought so.

And so in return I tag:Tipper, Shelley, Dyann, Andrea, Renee. None of which will know of it because I'm pretty sure everyone has given up on reading my blog seeing I haven't updated in like forever.

And so this is Christmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (if you want it)
And so happy Christmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let's stop all the fight (now)
A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear.