August 8, 2008

The Fiberman Triathlon.

So have you guys ever heard of an Ironman? It’s basically an insane endurance Triathlon with the swimming, biking, and running where each event on its own would be the death of me let alone all together. Well that’s what I’m doing for the Ravelympics. Only with fiber. A Fiberman if you will. Here’s my definition (edited from Wikipedia’s entry on Triathlon):

A triathlon is an endurance sports event consisting of Dying, Spinning, and Knitting. As a result, proficiency in dying, spinning, and knitting alone is not sufficient to guarantee a triathlon athlete a competitive time; trained triathlon athletes have learned to race each stage in a way that preserves their energy and endurance for subsequent stages. In modern triathlons, these events are placed back-to-back in immediate sequence and a competitor's official time includes the time required to "transition" between the individual legs of the race, including any time necessary for drying, winding, and swatching.

My plan? Turn this undyed merino:
Olympic Start
Into something that looks like this:

Pic from this Ravelry project page by brineydeep4.

Full on sheep to shrug Triathlon. Oh yeah.

Here’s a breakdown of my events.:

I have over 1lb of wonderfully soft superwash merino to dye. I have never dyed roving before ever so I’m a little nervous about it. A lot nervous about it, actually because if I ‘eff up at the beginning the other events are not going to go well either. And a full pound sounds like a lot.

Once I dye the fiber I will need to spin it. The goal is a worsted weight, 2 ply which I should be able to handle since that’s pretty much all I’ve spun before. The challenge will be in spinning the yardage that I will need for my next event – somewhere in the ballpark of 500 yards.

I plan on making the 2 toned Ribbed Shrug from Fitted Knits. I’ve made this pattern before so it shouldn’t be a huge knitting challenge – except that this will be the first time I’ve knit something out of handspun that requires a consistent, measurable gauge. So that will be interesting…. And getting a shrug done in 2 weeks will be a challenge, let alone having to dye and spin the fiber beforehand!

I’m not sure if I’m going to use a commercial yarn for the collar and cuffs yet… I think I might… I have to think about it a little before I decide. I like the look of it quite a bit- but is that cheating? I don’t know. I think I’m going to dye the fiber and decide once I can visualize it better.
Olympic Start
Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to start this adventure until Sunday. I’m having some friends in from out of town for a little Opening Ceremonies BBQ. Yes. My friends and I are huge dorks. But we’re cool with it.

Oh and I’m doing the Triathlon for two teams – Team Ohio and Team Hopelessly Overcommitted. Go Teams!

Good luck to all 2008 Olympians and Ravelympians!


  1. Anonymous3:39 PM

    Sounds like a winner to me! GO JEANNE GO! GO TEAM OHIO! GO USA!

  2. Whoa, that's a serious undertaking. Good luck!

  3. Fellow Team Ohio Ravlete, is that even a word?

    Your Fiberman event sounds fabulous! I don't see using purchased yarn for the collar and sleeves as cheating. The fiber and resulting yarn will tell you what it wants.

    So excited to see the colors you come up with. :-)

  4. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Phew! I thought trying to finish a complete lace stole of my own design was a bit much, but this definitely raises the bar! I wish you much luck. Go Team Ohio!

  5. Wow, I am impressed at your undertaking. I can't wait to see your results. Good Luck!

  6. I don't think I could spin up a lb of fiber in 2 MONTHs let alone dye, spin & knit it in 2 WEEKS! Go girl! I have faith in you!

  7. You can do eeeet!

    And the name "Team Hopelessly Overcommitted" is LOL funny!

  8. Awesome goal! Don't be afraid of the roving. Once you start dyeing it, you'll be addicted and soon you'll have 20 pounds of undyed roving in your house. Ask me how I know. :)

  9. Anonymous6:45 AM

    Good luck and have fun!


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