Friday, 9 December 2016

Ravellenic Games Review 2016

A masthead graphic for all Ravellenic Games participants to use in their communications about the Ravellenic Games. The words Ravellenic Games are in a novelty font in orange, green and purple. The year 2016 is in large yellow numerals. A ball of yarn with two crossed knitting needles is surrounded by a stylised laurel wreath.

A rectangular (portrait orientation) metal and enamel pin. The subject is the Ravelry mascot, Bob the dog, who has a white face with black patches over his eyes and muzzle. He is wearing a mardi gras headpiece and is surrounded by tropical coloured leaves or feathers. The leaves are orange, hot pink, yellow and aqua. Bob is wearing a blue collar with a pendant in the shape of a yellow ball of yarn.
The Ravelry Mascot, Bob, appears on the
commemorative pin.
My Ravellenic Games souvenir pin finally arrived in the post today! It was lovingly designed by Guin
(otherwise known as Octagonfudge on Ravelry) of
Perpetual Flights Studio

Have you heard of the Ravellenic Games?  If not, you might like to find out more from one of my earlier posts (14 July 2016) which has links and an explanation of what you need to know.

While the Ravellenic Games were on, it was pretty busy but great fun.  I made faster crochet progress in two weeks than I have in two months!  Now that the rush of the Ravellenic Games is over, there is time to review and share the projects!

One can compete as an individual or as part of a team.  Joining a team is the most fun and best way to meet other passionate crocheters and knitters.

One day I would like to captain a "Lupey Loops" team.  
Are you interested in joining?  

This year, I could have applied to submit a team but I knew I would not have the time and energy available to nurture the team in the way I would like; that is, with games, prizes, mini competitions or swaps etc.  This year, my goal was to create time to focus on crochet and to meet other Raveletes (Ravellenic athletes).

The square design has the words "ravellenic games '12 team MEXICO Art, Like Bread" and a photograph of a woman with Mexican floral headdress.
When the 2012 Ravellenics were on, my friend Caissa (Ravelry: artlikebread) invited me to join her "Team Mexico" of which she was captain.  It was great fun and I was ready to join her "Team Mexico" again this year but she was not hosting a team in 2016.  I was on the lookout for a team with which I had something in common, whether it was the craft of crochet, geographical location or type of project.

A green square is divided into 4 sections. Top Left: words "Team PRETEND IT'S A PLAN Ravellenics 2016" in black lettering. Top Right: A stylised ball of yarn with 2 knitting needles in it as a white image on a black background. Bottom Left: a photo of pink knitted fingerless gloves hanging upside down by pegs on a string. Bottom Right: A drawn image of a medal ribbon. The medal has the words Team PIAP on it. The drawing is superimposed on a photograph of crocheted or knitted mesh.
Ravelry is such a friendly social network. There were plenty of warm invitations. Choosing a team was a delightful dilemma.  I elected to join "Team Pretend It's a Plan" captained by Lisa (Ravelry: Rose4Lisa) because that team was focussed on cowls and mitts (I wanted to make a cowl) and was ever so friendly, having invited me to join them in the first instance.

Meet Lisa and hear her review of the Ravellenic Games on her YouTube channel (Pretend It's A Plan, Episode 34) and the team medal statistics which were phenomenal for a first ever team. Well done, TeamPIAP! 

A black and white logo of a stylised ball of yarn in the centre with a white silhouette of a map of Australia in the centre. Two crochet hooks cross the ball of yarn instead of knitting needles. Around the sides and top are the words "Team Aussie Karma" in outlined text. Underneath the ball of yarn are the words "Ravellenics 2016" in bold black text.

At the last minute, an Australian team was devised in the group forum "Aussie Karma Swaps" and since I had been hoping to find an Aussie team, joining "Team Aussie Karma" was mandatory.

I love that Team Aussie Karma were willing to accept Caissa as an "Honorary Aussie" in the same way that she had invited me to be an "Honorary Mexican".  She joined a different team that was meeting her current interests but even though we were on different teams, we could still support each other and visit each other's team camps to share ideas and inspiration.

A big thank you to all of the Team Captains, Co-captains and 
Ravellenic Games Moderators for the hard work administering the event. 
There would be no games  without them.

I was kept busy with two challenging projects, one project for each of my two teams, allowing one week for each:
  • Week 1: hairpin lace cowl for Team Pretend It's a Plan
  • Week 2: broomstick lace scarf for Team Aussie Karma  

A clover hairpin loom on the widest setting with a central pin. There are approximately 10 loops of red yarn on the loom with yellow stitch markers on each side and on the working loop in the centre. the hand held loom consists of a yellow base with three metal prongs pointing upwards. The loose end of yarn from the start of the ball is threaded through a hole in the loom's base.
Hairpin lace loom with cowl in progress
A scarf, still on the broomstick needle worked in broomstick lace and a rainbow coloured yarn. Each row introduces a new colour. Each hole is a set of broomstick loops. The ball of working/source yarn is at the top left and a blue-handled crochet hook 3 mm size is laid next to the scarf on the right hand side, pointing up.
Broomstick Lace Scarf in progress.

It didn't quite work out to plan.

The hairpin cowl uses a lace technique but it looks chunky. It is made from variegated aran weight wool/acrylic blend with colours ranging from orange through to red, brown and charcoal. The colour contrasts highlight the braided joins which give a cabled effect.
Hairpin Lace Cowl
It didn't help that I found myself spending more time watching the Olympic Games on the TV than actually crocheting!

The first project (Hairpin Lace Cowl) took more than a week thanks to fatigue fog so the second project didn't start until  the latter end of the second week when the Ravellenic Games were almost over.  Suffice to say:  I was very busy, crocheting like mad!

The Hairpin Lace Cowl was the first serious hairpin crochet project I had ever done. (I had previously only made practice samples with the technique.) It was also the first time using a loom and not a fork or staple tool.

Medal: Cowl Jump
Laurels: Loom, Lace

3 virtual medals and laurels as indicated by graphic images: Event medal - cowl jump - has an image of Bob with the words "2016 Ravellenics Cowl Jump"; Two Laurels have the words "Team PIAP, Ravellenics 2016" and their laurel titles - Loom Laurel, Lace Laurel - together with their logos of a yarnball with crossed needles bordered by a laurel wreath.
Medal and laurels earned by the Hairpin Lace Cowl

Made it in the end!

There was no way I would get an entire broomstick lace scarf completed in 2 days but I wanted to do my best to earn a medal and as many laurels as possible for Team Aussie Karma.  On the morning of the last day, I decided to change plan and find a super-quick project to meet the requirements:

A Tunisian Lace bookmark. it has two columns of spaces in between columns of shell stitches.
Tricot (Tunisian) lace bookmark
A bookmark!  Before you think that kind of project is a 'cop-out', you must remember that the purpose of the Ravellenic Games is to challenge oneself and this bookmark was certainly a challenge in both technique and timeframe.

The deadline to cross the Ravellenic finish line was 12:59 p.m. (Australian Central Standard Time) on 22 August 2016.

That morning, I logged into Ravelry ready to write an apology to my team that I was unable to finish my broomstick scarf on time. How sad!

Then I read a message reminding people that we still had until 12:59 to submit projects. Would there be enough time to whip up something small and what could I make?

This project was contrived for the sole purpose of Team Aussie Karma's medal tally, starting with my box of remnant threads to see what was there.

A quick check of the clock - 12:15 p.m. ACST - told me I had 44 minutes to come up with something. That should give me 10 minutes to find materials and half an hour to crochet with a few minutes to spare on the blocking board for a neat finish. The pressure was on!

I ran off to my tin of unidentified remnants, grabbed a leftover ball of 5 ply something (Don’t know what it is - was given to me aaaaaages ago: pre-Ravelry), grabbed my 4 mm bamboo straight hook and decided to make a bookmark.

I had decided on something in tricot lace (there were two laurels to be earned right there) and I chose a bookmark for its utilitarian purpose (I can never find one when I want one) and its simplicity - no tension squares required etc. making for an immediate start.

It was also a way to re-acquaint my hands with tricot technique and my mind with the theory behind tricot lace design. A few experiments with different hook sizes (settling on a 4.5 mm) and clumsy fingering had me wondering whether I could make it on time.

Desperately trying to stay calm to prevent my hands from tensing up, I worked as quickly as possible.  It was hard not to rush but I knew that rushing would cause mistakes and then I would lose time ripping back.  The hands on my clock were not kind - they seemed to be running faster than usual as I checked them after 5 minutes but they were indicating 10 minutes had passed!

"Try not to panic." My hands were beginning to tire and my fingers were weakening from the frantic effort. "No, no, connective tissues, don't fail me now!"

"Children, don't you dare try to interrupt me now - nothing is more important than this (unless the house is on fire)."  On fire? My fingers were on fire! "Aaaah! Keep going..."

"Last stitch bound off... just a couple of minutes to go!

"Grab the pins and blocking board.  There we go... all pinned and watersprayed but what's the time?" 

12:57 p.m. ACST. I did it with just two minutes to spare. (Breathe.)

That's definitely the quickest project I’ve ever turned out from conception to creation, including weaving in ends and giving it a spray on the blocking board.! Phew! Nothing like a sprint finish in a last-minute event!

I was still puffed out from the event when posting the result to the team forum afterwards but was so relieved to have earned a medal for an Aussie team - the first Aussie team I’ve had the pleasure to represent in the Ravellenic Games.

Medal: Household Heptathlon
Laurels: Tunisian, Lace, Single Skein & Made from Stash.

Medal logo contains a picture of Bob and the words "2016 Ravellenics Household Heptathlon". Alongside are four laurels of two different designs. The first two have a laurel wreath with the words Team Aussie Karma and the laurel names - Tunisian, Single Skein". The next two laurels have the same logo as the previously described black and white Team Aussie Karma logo with coloured laurel wreaths underneath and the names of the laurels in banners across the bottom - lace, made from stash.
Medal and laurels earned by the Ravellenic Tunisian Lace Bookmark

Even though that project, was a little taxing
The Ravellenic Games, are usually relaxing!

Join the games through Ravelry, in each Olympic year,
Team rivalry and revelry, are all a cause for cheer,

It surely is a lot of fun, to crochet with a team.
If I get a team together, will you join me in my scheme?  

I feel extremely lucky, to have such a friendly group
of online friends to call upon, through blogging Lupey Loops!

Thanking you and all my blog friends, past and present, near and far,
for your support and encouragement.
You are awesome!
I love it when you leave your thoughts in a comment, email or message. 

It helps us get to know each other better.

Ravelry Links

My projects:
Hairpin Lace Cowl:
Broomstick Lace Scarf:

artlikebread (Caissa):
Jodiebodie (that's me!):
octagonfudge (Guin):

Rose4Lisa (Lisa) "Team Pretend It's a Plan":
Group: "Aussie Karma Swaps":
Group: "Pretend It's a Plan Podcast":

Ravellenic Games Forum
Ravellenic Games 2016:
This is where you can read a rundown of the rules etc.

Other Links

Lupey Loops, "The Ravellenic Games 2016", blog entry, 14 July 2016:

Lupey Loops, "Get on your Broomsticks!", 31 October 2016: 

Perpetual Flights Studio:

Pretend It's a Plan Podcast, Episode 34, "TeamPIAP is Awesome" by Lisa (Rose4Lisa), YouTube:
Lisa starts the conversation about the Ravellenics around 9 minutes into the episode.


  1. Replies
    1. It's a great way to turn crochet into a team sport and fun way to make new friends.

  2. I love this story, such a fantastic way to get a project done. I am funny about Ravelry, I use it for patterns but not social networking. I have never officially joined in yet try to do a bit on the side on my own. That did not work this year as I got half of a summer tunic sweater done. I hope to finish the rest of it by the end of this year. Ha, good thinking by me, isn't this the busiest time of year?

    1. HI Meredith!
      You can use Ravelry any way you like (as long as it's legal!)
      You can still enjoy the challenge of the Ravellenic Games without having to register. Half a tunic sweater is pretty good progress for a 16 day period. Well done!

      Getting it finished before the end of the year may not be as crazy as it sounds - there's a whole week between Christmas and New Year. It could be a quiet week when many workplaces are closed for the holidays.

      This is a time where I choose to switch off from the world and recharge while there are no schooldays, no medical appointments, no need to go out ... I enjoy being home when the city is quiet with so many people going away for the holidays.

      You said this is the busiest time of year for you - do you use this time of year to pack in a lot of social activities? I hope your boys come home for Christmas and you have a happy house full.

      Maybe you can keep your project by your side the whole time - you never know, you may get it done! Stranger things have happened. I hope you put your pattern choice on Ravelry so I can go and see pictures of how your tunic is coming along. Don't stress about it, have fun! Cheers xx