I am carrying a slip of paper
Pattern: The Gurumi Family by Knit Picks
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport (60% pima cotton, 40% modal), various colorways
Needles: U.S. 3 32″ nickel fixed Options circulars and double-pointed needles
Ravelympic Event: Skelegurumi
For my Ravelympics 2010 projects, I decided to dig out a few projects I had planned for Cady Gray and make them before she grew too old to enjoy them. But I had no idea how much of a challenge these four toys would turn out to be.
I didn’t start them until five days into the Olympic fortnight, after making substantial progress on what I had thought to be the larger of my two projects, a felted backpack. Such minor items, I thought, even with the finicky finishing involved, would grow quickly under my needles.
Little did I know. I slogged my way through one body, then another. It took a week to get all four of the basic bodies done and stuffed. I would have to make four limbs a night to have a couple of nights left for all the other little details (like the tails). No problem, though — the limbs were miniscule. I could probably knock out eight a night, no problem.
They don’t call it the Ravelympics for nothing. It was all I could do to get four limbs made and attached in each long evening of work. This was a marathon, not a sprint. And when it came time for all the last items — muzzles, tails, hair, features — each night I thought I’d get to the end, and each night I left what seemed like more and more undone. I made the dog out of black yarn instead of dark brown, then added brown limbs when I could tell I was going to run out of black yarn. I did run out of tan yarn while making the dog’s ears; one is smaller than the other as a result. I got really good at the circular cast-on; not so good at the grafting.
On the last day, as the cross country skiers poured out their last measure of strength in the final race of the Games, I stitched the final eyes and smiles. Just like that, the four were done. They had turned into a true challenge, one that I thought might get the best of me more than once since I began. But I carried them across the finish line proudly. And their new owner was waiting with open arms to receive them. I can almost hear the anthem playing now.