On the wheel again…

June 22nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I haven’t been spinning much in recent months.  Actually, I take that back, I haven’t been spinning at all in recent months.  Mostly because I’ve had issues with my back (flare-ups causing crazy amounts of pain = no crafting for me!) and also because I’ve been rather absorbed by certain knitting projects with deadlines.  I’m happy to report that I’m back on my wheel again – although I still have to be careful about my back.

My project for last Wednesday evening was to finally finishing Navajo plying some lovely FatCatKnits Falkland wool singles into a 3 ply yarn.  This is the same yarn that I was spinning in my LSG NSFW calendar photo.

Short Digression: this year’s LSG NSFW Calendar has gone to seed (= never happened), so I’m going to resubmit my photo from last year and perhaps take a new one for next year’s 2013 calendar.  Wish me luck – voting is in November, so I’ll do up a reminder blog to vote for me, if you are indeed an LSGer.

The yarn gave me the impression of driftwood and sea glass on the beach, so that’s what colourway I’ve dubbed it.  The colours move from sandy deep browns, to dusky amethyst, to aqua blue, to sea-greens.  I’m not planning on selling this handspun, mostly because I’m in love with the colours and I adore how Falkland feels.  I honestly do not recall when I originally began plying this project, but it was several moons ago.  I was beginning to get a afraid that my singles would lose their twist and that the plying would be hellish.  So, with a fair amount of determination, away I went to work plying these single yarns.

The result?  I managed to ply and and skein two hanks, one with 115 yards and one with 151 yards (total yardage count = 166 yards).  I’m quite pleased! 

Here’s some photos of the yarn created:

plied on a bobbin
on the bobbin

skein it up!
Skeining up the yarn on my niddy-noddy

bathtime!
Bath-time for yarn!

drip dry
Drying over the sink…

And finally, the finished skeins in their hanks:

finished skeins

I still have another 4 ounce bump of Falkland roving to spin up.  Meaning that when all is said and spun, I’ll have around 500 yards of lightly worsted yarn to knit with.  The next question that follows, is what should that 500 yards become?  Please leave your suggestions in the comments below, I’m seriously stumped!

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Sound the alarm!

June 21st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I was already to write a blog posting about some lovely yarn that I finally finished plying up last night when I saw a kerfuffle on Facebook about Ravelry being in trouble with the USOC (US Olympic Committee).  Apparently, Ravlery (for those of you who are unfamiliar, its a knitting/crochet/spinning website and it rocks) is in deep do-do because of its use of the word “Ravelympics.”  The Ravelympics is the non-profit knit/crochet-along event that happens in synchronicity with the Olympics.  It is a way to challenge oneself to create a project that is a stretch for the crafter’s skills.  AND it needs to be finished within the timeframe of the actual Olympics (17 days).  The beef that the USOC has is that Ravelympics’ suffix, lympics, is copyright infringement.  Here’s the letter that Casey received from the lawyer:

“Dear Mr. Forbes,

In March 14, 2011, my colleague, Carol Gross, corresponded with your attorney, Craig Selmach [sic], in regard to a pin listed as the “2010 Ravelympic Badge of Glory.”  At that time, she explained that the use of RAVELYMPIC infringed upon the USOC’s intellectual property rights, and you kindly removed the pin from the website.  I was hoping to close our file on this matter, but upon further review of your website, I found more infringing content.

By way of review, the USOC is a non-profit corporation chartered by Congress to coordinate, promote and govern all international amateur athletic activities in the United States.  The USOC therefore is responsible for training, entering and underwriting U.S. Teams in the Olympic Games.  Unlike the National Olympic Committees of many other countries, the USOC does not rely on federal funding to support all of its efforts.  Therefore, in order to fulfill our responsibilities without the need for federal funding, Congress granted the USOC the exclusive right to use and control the commercial use of the word OLYMPIC a and any simulation or combination thereof in the United States, as well as the OLYMPIC SYMBOL.  See the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, 36 U.S.C. §220501 et seq. (the “Act”).  (A copy of the relevant portion of the Act is enclosed for your convenience.)  The Act prohibits the unauthorized use of the Olympic Symbol or the mark OLYMPIC and derivations thereof for any commercial purpose or for any competition, such as the one organized through your website.  See 36 U.S.C. §220506(c).  The USOC primarily relies on legitimate sponsorship fees and licensing revenues to support U.S. Olympic athletes and finance this country’s participation in the Olympic Games.  Other companies, like Nike and Ralph Lauren, have paid substantial sums for the right to use Olympic-related marks, and through their sponsorships support the U.S. Olympic Team.  Therefore, it is important that we restrict the use of Olympic marks and protect the rights of companies who financially support Team USA.

In addition to the protections of the Act discussed above, the USOC also owns numerous trademark registration that include the mark OLYMPIC. These marks therefore are protected under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051 et seq. Thus, Ravelry.com’s unauthorized use of the mark OLYMPIC or derivations thereof, such as RAVELYMPICS, may constitute trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution of our famous trademarks.

The USOC would like to settle this matter on an amicable basis. However, we must request the following actions be taken.

1.  Changing the name of the event, the “Ravelympics.”;  The athletes of Team USA have usually spent the better part of their entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.  For many, the Olympics represent the pinnacle of their sporting career.  Over more than a century, the Olympic Games have brought athletes around the world together to compete in an event that has come to mean much more than just a competition between the world’s best athletes.  The Olympic Games represent ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony.

The USOC is responsible for preserving the Olympic Movement and its ideals within the United States.  Part of that responsibility is to ensure that Olympic trademarks, imagery and terminology are protected and given the appropriate respect.  We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.

It looks as if this is the third time that the Ravelympics have been organized, each coinciding with an Olympic year (2008, 2010, and 2012).  The name Ravelympics is clearly derived from the terms “Ravelry” (the name of your website) and OLYMPICS, making RAVELYMPICS a simulation of the mark OLYMPIC tending to falsely suggest a connection to the Olympic Movement.  Thus, the use of RAVELYMPICS is prohibited by the Act.  Knowing this, we are sure that you can appreciate the need for you to re-name the event, to something like the Ravelry Games.

1.  Removal of Olympic Symbols in patterns, projects, etc.   As stated before, the USOC receives no funding from the government to support this country’s Olympic athletes.  The USOC relies upon official licensing and sponsorship fees to raise the funds necessary to fulfill its mission. Therefore, the USOC reserves use of Olympic terminology and trademarks to our official sponsors, suppliers and licensees.  The patterns and projects featuring the Olympic Symbol on Ravelry.com’s website are not licensed and therefore unauthorized.  The USOC respectfully asks that all such patterns and projects be removed from your site.

For your convenience, we have listed some of the patterns featuring Olympic trademarks.  However, this list should be viewed as illustrative rather than exhaustive.  The USOC requests that all patterns involving Olympic trademarks be removed from the website.  We further request that  you rename various patterns that may not feature Olympic trademarks in the design but improperly use Olympic in the pattern name.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/olympics-rings-af…\

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vancouver-2010-ol…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/2010-olympics-inu…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/olympic-swimmer-d…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/2008-olympic-ring…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/olympic-rings-nec…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bode-miller-hat-2…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/usa-olympic-hat

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/belgianwaffleknit/usa-oly…

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.  We would appreciate a written reply to this letter by no later than June 19, 2012.  If you would like to discuss this matter directly, please feel free to contact me at the number above, or you may reach my colleague, Carol Gross.

Kindest Regards,

Brett Hirsch

Law Clerk

Office of the General Counsel

United States Olympic Committee “

 

 Now, while I understand that copyright infringement is serious business, why the snarky degrading comments?  Specifically, this remark (emphasis mine):

“We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

Really? So watching and knitting along with the Olympics somehow denigrates the “true nature” of the Olympics? I’m sorry, but someone hasn’t done their history homework.  Knitting was once apart of the Olympics

Wonders never cease…
Who knew?

The backlash about this has gone viral on the internet – on Ravelry (obviously), Twitter (which is being overloaded with hashtags like #ravelympics and #soxforColbert), and its also hit Gawker. All the backlash from the knitting community and viral internet load has poked the USOC to post a statement in response apologizing for “any insult” and asking knitters to (ahem) donate “any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”  Are you kidding me!?  Insult us, then ask us for free stuff.  How about no?

Someone in England ended up yarn bombing a pier in London.  I’m fairly certain it’s in response to all this nonsense.

So what’s a knitter to do? I was already torqued up for the Ravelympicsredacted and had picked out which events I was going to enlist in (sock put and the hat dash, obtaining points for lace longtrack and cable steeplechase respectively, and points for stashdown).  I had a plan. And now I have no idea what I’m going to do because I feel that the USOC insulted my craft, which takes hours of diligence, hard work, money, and yes, training of a sort (gotta learn how to do those techniques people!) are not worthy of the USOC. 

Oh well,
haters gonna hate

Many knitters are now planning on boycotting the Olympics and boycotting the Olympic sponsors as well (voting with dollars!)  There’s even a Facebook event page for this very purpose. 

This dejected knitter is still on the fence of what to do.  More on this later….

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A hat and a swatch

June 6th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Well, I’m happy to report that the second go-around on the swirl baby hat was a success! After accepting the inalienable truth that I am a tight knitter, and going up a couple needle sizes, the pattern was a breeze this time!  Finished it in a record 5 days (which is great considering I was only knitting on the bus and during work breaks etc).  Here’s a photo of it blocking over a honey jar, resting on a champagne bottle. Classy, I know.

swirl hat done
I really like the colour transit and also how it looks sort of like a fractal on the crown.

fractal 

My pal Monica is coming to visit with her family at the end of the month, so I will be able to give her this hat directly.  I have a feeling its probably too big for Emily’s head because I made a size bigger than newborn so she should get good wear out of it.

Project notes:
Pattern – Swirl Hat (linked in previous post)
Yarn – Golden Willow Sock, approx 100 yards (points for stashdown!)
Needles – 4mm DPNs (this time)
Size – 4-12 months

 My only beef with this hat pattern was the decreases for the top of the crown.  They were a little weird, and knitting 3 together with dull needle points made for a lot of creative cursing.  But its done, and now my project page is up to 73 on Ravelry.  Huzzah!

 **********************************************************************************************************

And now something completely different ….a swatch!  As also mentioned in my previous post, swatches are handy little squares that allow you to check to see if your gauge is correct.  If it isn’t, your garment is likely to not fit/hang/etc as it was designed too.  The pattern that I’m knitting next is Emelie (Ravelry link only).  It’s a lovely lacy cardigan knit in fingering weight yarn and I think it’s going to look smashing on me in the grass  green colour I have purchased especially for this pattern.  It looks like a fairly challenging knit.  I really want it to fit well, so I measured myself and began swatching on the larger needles.

As you can see from this photo, the gauge looks totally off.  Never fear however, I was counselled by the wise Lauren  to always wash and block one’s swatch to get a look at the true gauge.  She also told me to make the swatch bigger than the suggested 4” size to measure gauge within a larger piece, but I ignored that advice on a whim.  Impulsive – yep.

 unwashed swatch

In the second photo you can see that I did get the intended gauge with washing/blocking the swatch – or as on the pattern 24 stitches over 38 rounds in stockinette on 3.5mm needles. 

 washed swatch

I’m going to cast on today for my cardi!  Hope that I keep up morale for the actual knitting of it… but that’s another story for another post.  Stay tuned :)

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