Friday, February 6, 2009

What I Learned from the Speed-knitting Contest

It was a crazed three days and two nights! I had a great time, and was pleased to come in third. At 66, I was probably one of the oldest participants. On the other hand, I'm retired, with no small children living at home (unless you count my DH and two wonderful mini-poos.) I learned some things from the contest, some things from the Hemlock Ring project and some things from the experience as a whole. Here's my Hemlock Ring, enjoying time with the family--

HemlockSunny

Here's what I would do next time:
Get a motel room with Wi-Fi for as long as I think the contest will last
Hook up I.V. for feeding and liquids
Hook up catheter and place bedpan on chair, to eliminate (pun intended) need for bathroom breaks
Have everything ready, including blocking equipment (wasted 15 min. looking for pins!), extra knitting needles, basic knitting book, camera, yarn already pulled out of center of balls, basic notions, crochet hook for corrections, etc.
Have supply of VERY FAST music on my iPod.
Get supply of NoDoz or Red Bull or something else higher in caffeine than coffee
Hire a three-year-old to come for the start to print off the pattern and any charts needed.
Here's what I learned from the project:
Magic Loop! Yaaaaay! I had heard about it but neve tried it before. It was easy, after watching Kelley's video and then practicing as I watched again. I want some long cables for my Options, so I can do ML whenever I need to.
If you can't find the pattern online, or it won't print, be patient. Everyone is trying to get it at the same time!
If in doubt, place markers. You can always take them out if you don't need them.
Use a really long cable for circular projects. That way, even if you have to fiddle with the ML for more of the project, you can spread out the sts better when it gets bigger, which makes it easier to take photos and to admire your handiwork.
WotA is really cool yarn! Thanksgiving dinner jokes notwithstanding (cranberry, pumpkin, etc., but no gravy or stuffing).
My KP nickel-plated Options can really take a beating. With nearly 600 sts on the cable, I had to pull hard on the cable to get them to move around.
Here's what I learned from the experience:
Frequent checking in and posting is important. If you have to stay off the site to win, then winning isn't worth it. There is no price that can be put on the fun and the enlightenment that comes from constant communication with other participants. To say nothing of sharing that "virtual" bottle of wine the second night!
KP staff members really know (or figured out) how to put on a contest. They responded to suggestions, checked on our progress from time to time and, when the second-place participant missed first by only a few minutes, they came up with a prize for runner up! Thanks, KP!
Knitters tend to be great people anyway, but members of the KP Knitting Community are especially willing to share their knowledge and experience, and happy to cheer on someone who might come out ahead of them. When adversity comes their way--such as yarn lost in the mail, a circ broken or the contest starting on a Monday instead of Friday or Saturday--they're good sports. They may ask for advice, but they don't bitch. (Sorry, Sunny, girl dogs are nice.) :-} The KP Knitting Community members made the experience better for everyone. A big THANK YOU to KP for putting this on, and :-* from me!
Finally, this website really beats TV. Except that I don't get as much knitting done! Happy knitting! --Peggy

Tags: hemlock, kal, poodles, ring, speed-knitting

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