Today is Monday, July 30th and the summer is flying by so fast I can hardly catch my breath. Now it’s only three days from Maine’s Fastest Knitter race and we still have a lot to do. Each knitter will have her (so far all entrants are women) stitches already cast on, four rows already knit and a contrasting color already joined so the race can begin on a completely even playing field. And all that casting on and knitting needs to be done. We have forms to create so we can keep track of who’s who and how we can get in touch with them. We need promotional banners for our venue. And the car needs to be bombed.
Yup. The winner will be riding in the Lobster Festival Parade on the back seat of a Mustang convertible and, of course, the car needs to extra special yarny goodness added. We’ll be turning this…
I’ve been looking at so many pictures of yarn bombed vehicles that make me laugh out loud or drool. But with only three days left and so much to do, I think we have to keep our goals modest for this year. Though we plan to do this race every year at the Lobster Festival and I kind of like the idea of a piece we add onto year ofter year. It’s fun to watch something evolve over time. Still, anyone who wants come to Stitch and Spin tonight and help us knit, crochet, weave, felt, or braid a car cozy is welcome. We can sure use the help.
I am not an expert spinner. I actually consider myself a competent novice. But every once in a while I fall in love with a roving. I have been eyeing the Purple Fleece rovings ever since they came in.
Well, actually I have been eyeing them since before they came in. The merino and tencel blend especially called out to me. In color You Red My Mind it is positively delicious.
I started with my Schact 2oz drop spindle. The roving drafts like a dream. The merino keeps it soft and lofty and the tencel makes it the the right amount of slippery. It flowed through my fingers like water and I was able to get an even, thin fine lace weight singles.
When I plied, I got a 15 wpi worsted spun sport weight with subtle color blends that I loved even more than the singles.
Knitted up in a tiny swatch, it did a pretty self striping thing. I under spun the ply so there is a little bit of bias in the knitted swatch but the texture and color are spectacular. The hint is silky sheen from the tencel makes it very special indeed.
So far I am loving the Purple Fleece even more than I though I would. I’ll try the rest of the 4oz wreath on my wheel and probably turn it into fingerless mitts. Or maybe I’ll move on to spin some BFL/Silk blend, or maybe the merino superwash, or maybe…
When we were seeing yarn reps for the first time, Kristin and I decided not to get Juniper Moon. We figured we’d wait until fall and revisit it. But that yarn rep is a sly devil. He left this ball with me…just to remind me to take a second look.
I started dreaming about it. I fondle it daily. These 798 yards of merino and silk loveliness creep across my mind at odd moments during my busy days. I keep it on my desk in a bin with some other deeply personal skeins. I have spent hours pouring over Ravelry and my pattern books and magazines. I have sketched charts and outlines. I am looking for the perfect project to go with this yarn that I am in love with. I savor it color and texture. As if this one ball is all there will ever be and I must not waste it.
This, of course, pushes all my “you must have some kind of serious fear of commitment since you can’t even figure out how to start something let alone finish it” buttons. My inner voices are very unkind sometimes. But here’s the thing; sometimes it is the dreaming and planning phase that is the satisfying bit. My husband has been giving me five yard pieces of fabric every Christmas and birthday since we were married and I rarely sew anything from them…as in maybe twice in 16 years. When he asked me why I never make anything from them I tried to explain to him what they mean to me. Each one is five yards of ultimate potential. I gaze at them all from time to time and dream a little dream. I have yarns in my stash that remind me of what was happening in my life when I acquired them. I have yarns in my stash that are so beautiful just as they are that it would spoil them to actually knit or crochet with them. Some things are just permanent stash, not meant to be made into anything. And my little dreams about them are the satisfying bits.
I can’t tell yet if Findley Dapple Driftwood 106 will be permanent stash, reminding me of the year I turned 50 and opened Over The Rainbow Yarn, or if it destined to be some gorgeous knitted or crocheted thing. Like with all good romances, only time will tell. Meanwhile, I love the thrill of the potential.
Oh, my lovelies, we’re going to have such fun. I just sent this to all the papers in the state, and you all can sign up, too. I won’t be competing, but all the ladies in the store are sharpening their needles and their skills. And we’re speculating about whether a continental or an English knitter will be the ultimate winner. Feel free to share a link on Facebook or any other place. The more the merrier.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Maine’s Fastest Knitter Declared During Lobster Festival
Rockland, Maine – July 3, 2012, Aspiring speed knitters from all over Maine can enter the Maine’s Fastest Knitter race to be held Thursday, August 2, at 3:00 pm in Rockland, Maine during the 65th Annual Lobster Festival. Over The Rainbow Yarn, also in Rockland, is sponsoring what they hope will become an annual event.
The popular online knitting and crocheting community Ravelry has sponsored non-competitive events entitled “The Ravelympics” until this year when the US Olympic committee required them to desist using an Olympic related title.
“There have been informal events in local yarn shops and online forums in honor of the Olympics for years,” says Over The Rainbow Yarn owner, Mim Bird. “But we really wanted to do something more organized and actually competitive. So, since the Olympics coincide with the Lobster Festival this year, we decided to do something with a broader reach and call it what it is. We’re hoping folks will come from all over to see who’s the fastest knitter in Maine.”
“Like serious athletes and artists in other media, many knitters devote considerable time to gaining skills and pushing the boundaries,” says Over The Rainbow Yarn manager, Kristin Flynn. “Knitting is really a lifestyle. There are so many ways you can incorporate knitting and other fiber arts into every day. We wanted to raise awareness and have fun at the same time.”
Knitters will be placed in two knit-off groups based on their style of knitting. Continental style knitters will race continental style knitters and English style knitters will race English style to see who knits the most stitches over three minutes. Then the fastest continental style knitter will face the fastest English style knitter in the final race to determine Maine’s Fastest Knitter.
Contestants can enter the Maine’s Fastest Knitter race at Over The Rainbow Yarn, 18 School Street, Rockland, Maine or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will also be accepted on race day. The race will be held on August 2, 2012, at the North Tent Stage at The Lobster Festival fair grounds. The medal presentation will be held on the Maine Stage at 7-7:30 pm. The winner will be declared Maine’s Fastest Knitter and will ride in the Lobster Festival Parade on Saturday, August 5.
Rules and requirements will be posted at www.overtherainbowyarn.com Over The Rainbow Yarn, 18 School St in Rockland is the newest yarn shop in mid-coast Maine. They stock a large range of yarn, tools, notions, books and patterns for hand knitters and crocheters as well as roving for spinners and felters.