Monday, February 21, 2022

Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 - Days 13-17

We made it! The Olympics are over and there were many, many amazing milestones for different athletes and countries. Also for Rachel, she has another finish! Check it out over at her blog. I didn't come close to finishing mine, and wasn't expecting to. I did get a lot done and am enjoying it so much I almost want to stick with it a while longer. But I do also want to progress on Triumphant Ride and I've completely ignored it so far this month. 

Here's where Mini Winter Magic was when the Olympics started:

Day 13 - I finally had a chance to watch some of the cross country skiing and enjoyed the women's relay. I hadn't seen it before and was curious if they got to give each other a push like in speed skating or just a tag. I was guessing there was no baton, but could be a flag or something? It was a touch, and the other skier sets off. There was a lot of excitement in hockey today as well. Team Canada men's was ousted from all medals! The bronze medal in women's hockey was won by Finland, who repeated their win from 2018, the first time that has ever been accomplished in women's hockey. Other excitement was at short track speed skating where the Canadian men's relay team won gold! One of the skaters, Charles Hamelin, is now tied for most medals at Winter Olympics with Cindy Klassen, also a short track speed skater. 

Day 14 - The big news for me today was Canada's win over the US in women's hockey. It was a nail-biter and I ended up getting up early to watch it before I had to go into work instead of staying up late. A really great game by both teams and so exciting to watch. Women's ski cross happened today as well and I loved watching how close some of the races were. There was a little controversy at the end because the athlete that came third was penalized for getting in the way of another racer and ended up losing out on the medal. It seems a little harsh because she had moved to not hit the person in front of her and only inadvertently got in the way of the racer behind her. But I'm not a judge, and it took them so long to decide, they were really trying to get it right for everyone. 

Day 15 - More excitement today with men's ski cross and women's freeski halfpipe. That is still amazing to watch and terrifying at the same time. The tricks they can manage on skis are almost as scary to watch as the snowboard tricks. There was also an exciting long track speed skating event in the mens' 1000m. The athlete from the Netherlands that won gold had missed out on winning recently because of different issues during races and yet was still ranked #1. It was a very fast race for the top 3 and we watched the medal ceremony after as well. 

Day 16 - Both long track speed skating and cross country skiing had mass start events today. There is quite the confusion with both, especially at the start as everyone tries to jockey for position. The speed skating race has certain times skaters can sprint and they get points for winning the sprint. The highest points earned are winning the entire race though. I think the points for sprint might only come in if maybe you were 4th for the entire race, but won all the sprints, etc. I doubt that happens very often though. In both the men's and women's races it seemed like different skaters won each sprint. The women's race was particularly exciting because a Canadian athlete was leading almost the whole time and just got beat at the end when she had no legs left. You could see she was giving it all, but couldn't make it. So fun to watch and she was a great sport too. That's mostly what I've seen from all the athletes in events I've watched. 

Day 17 - It's the end! They had some fun events today, the figure skating gala is always fun to watch and the women's curling finish, go GB! Also big news in men's hockey when Finland won the gold! I haven't even had time to watch the closing ceremonies, and I think I don't make time sometimes because it's a little sad. I do love the Winter Olympics. The below video is from 2018, I had trouble finding anything that would play. 

And now, to show how far along Mini Winter Magic made it! I did get to just 60% complete, and I'm very happy with that progress. There's a definite difference and I think I managed over 4K stitches over the 17 days. That's pretty decent progress for me. 

Mini Winter Magic by HAED
stitched 1 over 1 full cross on 28ct Monaco as charted

And now to try and put this one down and catch up on Triumphant Ride! I will try and post before we start the Paralympics where it's a rush to get all the dragons complete, if possible. And March Madness! Have I done a final choice of which 4 projects to start? Of course not. I'll winnow those down this week as well. 

I hope you're all staying well and enjoying your stitching. Like Cathy mentioned, it will maybe be faster stitching from me now that the Olympics are over. I do tend to watch, especially the exciting events and my stitch counts aren't great. 

Happy Stitching!


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Beijing Winter Olympics Days 9-12

Time again for another Olympics post! I'm stealing borrowing Rachel's idea of putting my previous finish spot on the top of the post and the update on the bottom. 

I hope if you've been watching the Olympics you've enjoyed all the new sports and the classic ones as well. I haven't watched much of the cross-country skiing yet, but I'll have a chance in a day or two. I'm very interested in the cross country relay since it seems like it would be quite different than traditional quick relays. 

Day 9  - There were lots of medal events today. We spent a lot of today watching the mixed teams snowboard cross finals and DD was really excited to watch some skeleton. They've been learning about the Olympics in school and having an Olympics event there as well. She didn't remember the skeleton event so was excited to watch. We were cheering for everyone to do well and she was so excited for the Australian athlete to win a silver!

The sliding events, luge, skeleton and bobsleigh always seem like the hardest to me because you need to do well in every single run. Your total time is what counts. A lot of other events you can knock out a bad run, like Big Air or aerials. 

Day 10 - There were more short track speed skating events today, a lot of which are terrifying and intense to watch, even if you're not cheering for any particular country. There were also long track events, which seem an entirely different sport. Have any of you watched the short track relay? So confusing to try and follow them. 

This is an old video, but the only one I could find that actually shows how the relay works. 

Day 11 - Aerials today and this is another terrifying event for me. The perspective is interesting when you watch them come down the hill as well. There's a spot where it dips a fair bit to help the athlete gain speed, but it almost looks as if they slow down before they come to the vertical jump. Incredible athleticism in this one!

Today was monobob as well and I learned from Rachel's post how each athlete has the same sled manufacturer, that's a great way to level the playing field. Again, the amount of training that must go into pushing a close to 200kilo sled to race at over 100km per hour on pure ice, and the adrenaline. It was fun to watch!

Day 12 - This was a big day for Canada again when the women's team pursuit team won gold in the long oval speed skating. I feel a little bad because the Japanese skater fell and I don't know if Canada would have won otherwise. It was pretty close, but Canada had been trailing Japan for most of the event. Long track is less confusing than short track, and the skaters all bunch together so they get the most out of being in each other's drag. So the person at the back doesn't have to expend the same amount of energy as the person in front. The Canadian team also set an Olympic record, so they were skating their hearts out!

I really haven't watched many alpine events yet, but there were some exciting ones again today. I hope you've had a chance to watch some if you enjoy seeing those as well. 

And here's where I'm at now on Mini Winter Magic after about another 1K stitches:
Mini Winter Magic by HAED
stitched 1 over 1 full cross on 28ct white Monaco as charted

I have started filling in the top a bit as well. I find whatever confetti colour is farthest right and work on that one, and whatever fill-in colour is farthest right and start filling that in as well. It's filling in well, but with only a few more days I definitely am not going to finish this. Maybe I'll hit 60%? I'm close to 57% now, so it's still a lot of stitching to try and complete before then. 

I hope you're all staying well and enjoying the Olympics and stitching. 

Happy Stitching!


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Beijing Winter Olympics Days 5-8

Another few days of excellent competition at the Olympics! On Day 5 I watched some long track speed skating. The Canadian women's skater in the 3000m seems so tall compared to her teammates. They listed her height as 6'1"/1.87m, and I think 3/4 of that is her legs! She'll be competing in team pursuit and the 5000m as well. Can you believe they can skate 5km in about 7 minutes?!

Men's and women's moguls were also on Days 5 and 6 and DH always enjoys those since it tends to be French Canadians that compete for Canada. I just can't believe how their knees can take it!

Next we watched a lot of the snowboard events. It was sad to see Shaun White's last competition. I've watched him snowboard since I was a kid. There were some amazing young competitors looking to turn the sport into something new just like he did though. Hirano Ayumu was robbed of a great score on his second run, but did get a better judgement on the last run. The announcers were irate that he didn't get the score he deserved, it was interesting to listen to. Often the announcers don't say much about the judging or a mild "I was expecting more, etc."

I love watching snowboard cross as well, it's so entertaining, and it helps that there were some great Canadian athletes in the event too. The track was pretty difficult this year, I think they have to keep making it more difficult because the early tracks were pretty simple and short when it was a new sport. There's a men's single competitor event, a women's single competitor event and a mixed team event. In the mixed team, the men go first and whomever wins, their teammate gets that much advantage to start over the other racers. For example, in the qualifying run, the Canadian racer finished way ahead of his competition, so his teammate had almost 4 seconds headstart on her competition. Most of the races were closer than that. 

Did anyone else watch the mixed team's ski jump? That's a new event this year and had some controversy with some athletes being disqualified for their jumpsuits! I don't know all the details, but it included some of the favourites. There are 2 female and 2 male athletes that jump and the judges grade both the distance and the look in the air. It seems a little odd to me as always. Do any of you watch Jimmy Rees/Jimmy Giggle? He did a spoof of some Olympics events on how they were decided and I'll see if I can add that video. This is the link, you do need Facebook. 

Of course I've been keeping up with hockey and Team Canada women did beat Team USA, but on the men's side, Team USA beat Team Canada. It will be interesting to see if they get to the gold medal game for a rematch on the men's side. It seems very likely on the women's side. Both teams have won their quarter final games and their semi final games are coming up shortly. I still don't know if I can stay up to watch the gold medal game, it's on a weekday and I have to work the next day. But someone will inevitably tell me the result... I'll have to see if I can get lots of sleep every other day maybe? Judging sleep in our middle years is so difficult. 

But you're also here for the stitching, so this is where Mini Winter Magic was at the last check-in:

and after about another 1200 stitches, it looks like this:

I'm still moving along trying to fill in right to left and I think you can tell the branch is getting mostly complete now. Plus with changing one thread confetti to one thread filler, a lot of the bottom is getting filled in as well. I seem to have been a bit off on my focus on this shot, so I'll work on improving that for next time. I'm at almost 54% complete. It's been difficult getting a lot of stitching time in, but every little bit helps. I might even be able to start filling in near the top a bit more as I complete the bottom section. 

I hope you're all staying healthy and getting lots of stitching time in!

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 Days 1-4

Here we are again! The Olympics are well underway and I do have to admit the Winter Olympics are my favourite. Don't forget to check out how Rachel is doing on her Winter Olympics focus piece as well! If you're joining, please let us know. 

If you've been a long-time follower you know I play hockey and watching this kind of hockey on the international stage is always exciting. Today in Beijing the US team and Canada played a round robin game, meaning this will see where they are set for the medal round. If you've watched women's hockey at the Olympics at all, you'll know that the USA and Canada teams are usually ranked 1 and 2. I think they've always played each other for the gold medal and I can't look at who's won more often right now because it will give me the results of today's game and I haven't watched it yet! I couldn't stay up last night because of work today, but I'll watch it as soon as I get this post up. 

And there's been plenty of other interesting things afoot, including controversy from China. I tend to avoid politics here, but a very small amount of effort will show you many articles of problems with these Olympics. 

Another competition I love watching is speed skating. It's so dangerous and tense to watch short track and there's lots of crazy things that can happen in any race. The men's 1000m final had some tense moments when they had a restart and a Hungarian skater finished first, but was ultimately disqualified for 2 faults. The live action looked like the Chinese skater was pulling him back, but if you watch the replay, the Hungarian skater deliberately skated into the Chinese skater's path and tried an arm bar on him. So the result was called well, as were most that I saw, women's and men's. I sure wouldn't want to be the judge though! 

I watched a few new events, both mixed doubles, curling and ski jumping. I don't know if they could be more different! Very entertaining and the surprising result is Canadians medaled in ski jumping and not in curling. Curling is huge in Canada. I've never actually tried it, but my mom used to and DH's step-dad curls and maintains the ice at his local rink. The ice is not smooth like on a skating rink, you have to use a fine spray with a hose to make tiny little bumps all over the ice. That's what the people using brooms are doing, trying to smooth those bumps so the rock will curl in the direction they want. 

I've been watching a lot of the snowboard and freestyle skiing events as well, so many amazing things happening! I hope you've all been enjoying it if you're watching. 

On to stitching though, I've managed almost 1500 more stitches into Mini Winter Magic so far:

I have passed the halfway point on this one, so only a little over 20K stitches to go. Not possible in these next few weeks, but hopefully another few thousand before the end. 

I hope you're all staying well and having good stitching days!

Happy Stitching,


Thursday, February 3, 2022

End of January Update and Olympics Intro

Here we go at the end of another month where the month seems to have sped by. I think I managed a fair amount of finishes, which feels pretty good. I managed one more before the end of the month as well:
Stocking ornament by Jane Henderson
stitched 2 over 2 DMC 600, 602 and 603
on 28ct scrap evenweave

This was the second of 3 ornaments, so only one more to go! 

And I have about 5000 stitches into Triumphant Ride:
Triumphant Ride by Charting Creations
stitched 1 over 1 full cross on 28ct Vincent by Chromatic Alchemy
with DMC 310

A lot of February will be taken up by the Winter Olympics, and instead of a new start every day, Rachel and I are working on larger projects to get them moved along. She might even have a potential finish! I am going to work on Mini Winter Magic, which looks like this right now:
Mini Winter Magic by HAED
stitched 1 over 1 full cross on 28ct white Monaco

I'm not likely to get a finish on this one since there's still about 20K stitches left, but I am looking forward to getting it moved along quite a bit, with some idea of finishing it before the year is out. So this is the Olympics focus piece, but I will also try and keep on with Triumphant Ride and get 1000 stitches in per week. That might be a nice break from some of the confetti in this one too! I'm trying to stitch one strand of one colour in the confetti area, then one colour that has a lot of filler stitches to do so I don't get bogged down by the confetti. 

I hope you all enjoy the Olympics! It has my favourite sport in the Winter Olympics, and I even know someone that will be reffing the games, so that's a cool connection. I hope I can find a good way to watch them again. 

Stay well and Happy Stitching!


Mischievous March Wrap-Up

I managed to start 5 projects this past month, even if I didn't get that much progress on any of them.  First up are the Sweet Annet sta...