The Knitting Olympics saga. (And it hasn’t even begun yet.)

A day or two ago I signed up for the Yarn Harlot’s Knitting Olympics.

Read this post with the pledge. It’s great.

Basically, you agree that during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics you’ll cast on something that will challenge you, you’ll knit like mad over the course of the games and by the end of the closing ceremony you should have completed it. This is 17 days of knitting, which gives you a sporting chance of achieving knitting glory. (Get it? Sporting Chance? The Olympics? Oh, I’m a crack up, I just know I am.)

I mulled this over and decided to FINALLY make the bamboo top I fell in love with over 18 months ago.

It isn’t that the pattern is all that hard ( because it isn’t), but that it’s big and it has to be kept for me. In other words I have to keep my interest in a project that cannot be given away. (I put it in this bold font to intimidate myself.) To quickly recap, because although I blogged about it at the time I have no idea when to start looking for it and the kids will be up any minute wanting the computer so it’s quicker this way…

I went to Sunspun many months ago and saw this top knitted in pale pink. It was gorgeous and only two things stopped me from buying the pattern book and the yarn then and there. The yarn was pretty exxy, and the pattern book was $40. FORTY DOLLARS. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. How many items of clothing am I likely to knt in Rowan Bamboo Tape to warrant the purchase? Not many. So I did what all good little bloggers do. I went home and had a whinge on my blog about it.

Then the magic of the blogging world sprang into action. One of the people who read this whinge hopped onto the Rowan site (who knew it even existed? I certainly didn’t), and saw that this pattern was on their ‘Free Patterns’ page. I was so rapt! I leapt onto the site like a gazelle leaping from a lion and photocopied the pattern, then went to Spotlight and bought large quantities of Cleckheaton bamboo yarn, then tucked them all away in my stash for the opportune time to start the project.

Incredibly astute knitters will no doubt have twigged where this is going. Knitters who know their yarns. But for the rest of us, I’ll keep going.

The Yarn Harlot said that it’s ok to do a test swatch beforehand, likening it to doing training, so yesterday after my nanna nap after work I dug out the yarn and pattern, found the appropriate needles and cast on. As I started knitting I began to get a little disheartened. This swatch was not a pretty sight. I want to be able to wear this creation to work and it was all loopy, provocative, hell-bent on showing far too much skin than is seemly for a respectable middle-aged English teacher. My mighty intellect realised that something Wasn’t Quite Right.

I booted Evan4 off the computer and jumped onto Ravelry to check the thickness of the two yarns. I was informed that the yarn I had was 4 ply/fingering weight, while the Rowan Bamboo Tape was 10 ply/aran weight. I said an expletive or three because clearly this meant I was stuffed. Then I saw a tiny little red word beside the Bamboo Tape.

Rowan Bamboo Tape. discontinued.

You have GOT to be kidding.

I just signed up for the knitting olympics. What would the Yarn Harlot say if I pulled out? She seems to be quite nice, (after all, she IS Canadian), but there are only 2 thousand or so people doing this, so if I pull out I’ll leave a huge gaping hole in the running of this whole thing, a bit like how the swatch looked. I saw that top many months ago and I’ve never forgotten it, so I clearly want to make it. But suddenly, time was of the ssence. Or essence.

I started to Google yarn shops overseas, then realised that by the time the yarn was shipped here it the Olympics would be all but over. I had to look closer to home, despite the xpense. Or expense. What is wrong with my typing this morning?

I looked at Sunspun’s website, pulled up their colour card of the Bamboo Tape and gave them a ring. Yes, they have limited stock at $13 a ball (gulp!) and were open on Saturday morning. The pattern calls for 11 balls. How much do I really want to wear this jumper?

Apparently, I want to wear it a lot. As soon as I finish this I’ll be driving to Canterbury to rummage through their dwindling Bamboo stocks, hoping that I find enough balls of a colourway that will suit me. I still have an intense desire to wear something that might one day cause pandas to chase me. If all goes well, I’ll be sitting on the couch tonight, casting on. If not this project, then a shawl or something to use up all of the Cleckheaton bamboo that is suddenly pointless.

Wish me luck!

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7 Responses to The Knitting Olympics saga. (And it hasn’t even begun yet.)

  1. Lee says:

    Being chased by pandas? Now there’s a blog topic for you!

  2. persiflage says:

    I wonder whether bamboo yarn is firm or floppy, and how does it wear? I hope you get the yarn, as the pattern is certainly very pretty.

  3. Scott says:

    Lee already beat me to a panda comment…
    Good luck!

  4. Jayne says:

    Bamboo is a great yarn, Spotlight have had shedloads marked down and running out the door recently at $1 and $2 per ball, not sure if they’re the ones you want, though.

  5. I hate when I feel defeated before I’ve even begun. I hope you’re able to find something that works for you.

  6. Stacey says:

    $40!! I’d really want to knit every pattern several times over to warrant paying that for a book. I’m much more of a fan of the single pattern leaflets, which of course these days are pretty much redundant thanks to Ravelry.
    Good luck going for Gold.

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