SOCHI, RUSSIA (via Knitting the Blues couch): The ravthlete at Knitting the Blues enters the second week of competition a little behind in the standings. While the grey blob is completed and not part of the competition, it did hinder her ability to focus on the task at hand so the purply-pink blob, her entry into the games, has suffered. Added to that is the fact that KTB took an entire day of knitting off, just watching the time slipping by and all the time thinking that this is not what she trained for. Total procrastination. Okay, there may be a significant body of evidence that would prove that maybe she did train, good and hard and has achieved a certain mastery as a matter of fact, for any event involving procrastination and as soon as there is an Olympic event, she assures this reporter that she will go for the gold. In any case, the following day was spent away from her venue and out in the world taking care of other commitments.
Although it has been a rough start for the knitter, she has said that she is back in it to win it and hopes to make up time this week. To that end she spent a good amount of the weekend in active participation, watching Olympic Ice Hockey (go USA!) and Figure Skating. Those sports can be particularly distracting, but during other sports she seems to surge ahead on the lace blob.
"Yes, the grey blob was a lot easier to work on because, you know, garter stitch. I didn't have to look at the work and it went quickly. Knitting from lace charts that don't repeat themselves takes a little more concentration than probably would have been recommended for competition, but I've been training in lace knitting for years and can fall back on that training to get my fingers and mind in the right place competitively speaking."
There have been a few setbacks though. They involve the technical part of the event and while her choices may not have been made by all, she stands by them. The pattern she is working suggests beginning with a provisional cast on with double pointed needles, but she had circular needles to hand and went with magic-loop and made a tactical error when she worked the set up section from the written instructions instead of the charted ones. She knows from her vast experience that visual cues work better for her and this decision cost her, there were many yarn overs missed and picked up a couple of rows later. Unfortunately, this resulted in some tight and tiny holes, but she continued on.
"I'm not worried, because really. Who will notice them at all when the most adorable grand baby in the world is wrapped up in it? Makes you wonder why bother with anything fancy at all, but that is what knitters do."
Once that chart was completed she was instructed to put the knitting on a 16" circular needle, which she doesn't own and doesn't like, but the magic loop was not going well either, costing her precious seconds on the clock. In an unprecedented (not really) move KTB decided to go with two longer circular needles, a method she is very comfortable with, but she was anxious to move onto one circular needle in the round.
"What a relief when I finally got to that place! Even though I work well with the methods mentioned, they can be fiddly and I was thrilled to get onto one needle and start making up time! Pride went before the fall though and I made a huge tactical error. The two circs that I was using were different lengths and had contrasting cord colors. Let's name them RC, which carried the stitches of the first half on them and BC, which held the second half. Maybe it was a burst of adrenaline when the moment finally came, but after a few rows of knitting on the one needle I realized something was very wrong with my sled, uh, I mean knitting. I won't get into the knitty gritty of it, but after losing many minutes to trying to figure out what the heck had gone wrong and wondering why none of my usual fixes were getting my skis back on course making it right it hit me like a rogue bobsled! When I switched to one needle I worked across RC and then knitted the stitches from BC onto RC, but distraction and lack of awareness in the moment (which is what distraction IS!), I marked the beginning of the round at the half way point. No really, did you hear that? I marked the beginning of the round in the wrong spot. At the half-way around spot. So I knitted one row once around and then again half way around, beginning the next row at the half way point of the work. Had I been paying attention to my knitting and not Women's Luge I never would have made that mistake. I owe it all to my training that I was able to get back on track in the time I did, only tinking back a row was necessary, but a couple did have to go and a tink back of another half sort of in the middle of the work."
She went on to say that this, of course, happened late in the night and she stayed up later than she wanted, fixing the error and finding her footing. She has been careful to get the rest required for this vigorous event and hopes this isn't too much of a setback. After two more days of this grueling Olympic long event, she is digging deep, making good progress and should be able to catch up to the competition and back into medal contention.
"I just have to be more in the moment, less distracted by the glitter and noise of the Olympics and focused on what I know I am capable of. I just want to know that when this is all over that I've done my best, not only on this project, but in balancing it with the rest of my life. In the end it isn't about this medal, but about having appreciation for my entire journey and looking forward to life after the Ravellenics."
Eleven. Can you tell I've been listening to a lot of Olympic athlete's interviews? Heh. Now, if I could just stop knitting past my obviously contrasting in color and size stitch marker without noticing and changing it up for the next round.........