Emmybear has had a strong performance in the first round of 8 of her Knitting Olympics event, the Petal Halter top. If you don't know about this event, the first 6 rounds consist of making 6 identical petals knit one side at a time from the center-out, the 7th is joining the petals together into a top, and the 8th is making and attaching the straps.
One petal of the 6 is completed and even blocked! And only after 1.5 days. She really made the most of training (if you remember, she made a perfect swatch the first time). At this rate, she may be finished with the halter top long before the February 28th deadline. She had to learn a new skill for this event... the provisional Eastern Cast-on, but with her experience with the Figure-8-style cast-on it was a cinch, except that she tragically dropped two stitches off the cast on, which will probably negatively alter the final product, despite the fact that she made adjustments to make the final stitch count correct. That might be a cause for deduction.
A few times she got too much in the groove of knitting when on the WS selvage and kept knitting when she should have purled, and had to frog and do the row over, which cost her some time. She made up with that fabulous muscle-memory most knitters are known for, which increased her speed. At times she doesn't even need to look at the work as she is doing it. Her only spectator--her boyfriend--was shocked at the ability.
Interveiwed after the event, Emmybear commented, "after doing side one I really got the hang of the complicated shaping and short-rows, and was able to do the second side without looking at the directions too much." She hopes to memorize the petal pattern by the third petal. She also plans on altering the two top petals to add another selvage edge under each armpit. She learned this from Ravelry where others who knit this suggested an alteration there. In regards to the blocking process, she commented later, "I'm glad I opted for a cotton-wool blend rather than the simply plant-based yarn that was called for... It has more memory thanks to the wool while the cotton makes it good for summer."
She showed off her finished first round product to fans:
And for bonus points, while waiting for the petal to dry, she finished the Panel Jacket she made for her mother for Christmas 2009.
Stay tuned for more updates on Emmybear's knitting!