The Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics are pau. Before I started, I had set a very challenging goal for myself, namely to enter the “WIP Dancing” (Work-in-Progress) event, and finish up two blankets that had been languishing for years, as well as a shawl that I’d started right after my mom died but had never finished.
We couldn’t start till Opening Ceremonies. We had to be pau by Closing Ceremonies.
I am pleased to announce that I did it! I reached my goal! Here is one of my medals. (Bob, the dog, is the Ravelry mascot.)
The shawl I knit I called “Journey Through Grief”. I started it shortly after my mom died as a way to work through the extremely polarized feelings about her death and our relationship. I only knit on it when it was quiet. No TV, no radio, no other people around. Just me, my thoughts, and the needles and yarn. Many tears fell on this shawl.
Once I got past the ruffle, it was a fairly mindless knit, so my thoughts were free to wander, to ask questions, to wish things had been different, and even to ask why my mom chose to keep me clueless as to her family history and her relationship with my dad, even though I’d begged her to tell me.
While I was knitting, I began to forgive her, and also to thank her for the things she’d done well… things that I’d appreciated. And that was a good thing.
The second thing I worked on was my Wabi Sabi Sheepie Blanket. Don’t know what wabi sabi is? Check it out here. Why a wabi sabi blankie? Because when I first started it, ‘way back in 2001, I barely knew how to knit, I’d just learned to spin, and I had difficulty following a fairly complicated knitting pattern. As a result, this blanket is full of imperfections. My spinning is uneven in many places, I messed up the pattern a lot, and I made knitting mistakes. Through them all, I kept going.
But then I got to the point where I had to spin more yarn in order to finish. And other knitting projects sung their siren song, and the Sheepie Blanket languished in a basket next to my spinning wheel. The yarn for this blanket was yarn I’d washed, carded, spun, plyed, set the twist, and dried, a very, very long process. All the yarn came from my favorite sheep. The cream color from Ku‘uipo, my Cheviot ewe, Pat, a wonderful Shetland wether, a couple of Jacob sheep, and my favorite ewe, ‘Ele‘ele. Well, really, they’re all my favorites, but she was special.
I’d spun some of ‘Ele‘ele’s fleece before, but while knitting it grew dissatisfied with how the yarn felt. So I took time to card, spin, ply etc some more. I was glad I did.
Pat is the light gray; Ku‘uipo the cream, and the dark narrow stripe is ‘Ele‘ele.
All together, the blankie looks like this. I am most pleased with it.
Last but not least is my Joseph’s Coat Blanket. My friend Snowflake and I had each started one with yarn given to us by our friend Linda, who had inspired us with her two Joseph’s Coat blankets, to start our own. Snowflake finished hers in record time; we were supposed to have cast off together, but my own blanket languished, while hers, a veritable glory of colors, graced her living room during the winters.
But the Olympics inspired me to finally get mine done; deadlines are wonderful things sometimes. So while Apolo and Bode and Evan and Shaun and Kim and Joanne, to name just a few, whirled and danced and flew, I knit on Joseph.
Pau. He is pau! Gloriously pau!
And thanks to The Yarn Harlot, here is my official Gold Medal.
Victory is sweet indeed.
Did I mention that the IKnitarod is coming up?
Congratulations!! Beautiful works, and it feels so good to finish things. I did not medal, but am happy with my progress and project, nevertheless. Am going up to VA for a few days, so I’ll get some quality knitting time there.
I love the concept of Wabi-Sabi.
Congratulations on finishing your projects, but even more on the journeys on which your projects took you.
I finished hemming 3 of the 4 pairs of jeans I wanted to finish before the end of the Olympics. I have no idea when I’ll have time to finish that last pair – March is going to be very very busy. I hope I don’t wait until the London Olympics (2012) to do that last pair!
Beautiful and so meaningful. I love every single item you have listed here and your story about your mom and how you stitched together the shawl touched my heart.
Wabi sabi, my dear sister is a very deep concept that not even my grandmom and grand aunt could put into words even thought their wisdom went beyond what I can grasp. Yes, people try to write about it and even attempt the impossible as to define it, but it will fall short of that every single time. Wabi sabi is only found deep within the person who is able to ‘see’ it, and then appreciate it… And even the appreciation cannot do verbal justice 🙂 A VERY SHALLOW attempt is to say that wabi sabi is the ability to see the beauty in the old and aged, and capturing it in the present time one views such items. 🙂 Beautiful! It is how I live my life now.
I would like to see these items that you have labored over in person one day. To actually feel it between my fingers. I believe that touching them, especially that beautiful shawl, would be like touching your spirit and I BET you those who are sensitive to spiritual things like that would be able to feel your heart by slipping it around their shoulders just for a moment. 🙂
Eh, Moki-chan, I was telling Leo L. about your Ravelympics and that “Iknitarod” was coming up, and his response was “wot, she goin’ knit one noddah Willie Warmer for Lurkah?” He funny, dat Leo.
So beautiful. Mahalo for sharing.
Iknitarod??? One of my friends is Libby Riddle’s sister!
And wow. Your beautiful beautiful championship knits. I cried hon. (good tears)