The January 2010 BIG FREEZE Ravelry Projects Snowcase Contest™

Last night I went to bed with a hot-water bottle, wrapped in 2 blankets and a double-duvet, wearing 2 jumpers, a thin, long-sleeved vest, my pyjamas and a pair of woollen socks, and I was still cold and couldn’t get to sleep on account of the sound of my chattering teeth keeping me awake. I’m guessing the last gas bill here (which was around eleventy billion pounds) provoked someone else who lives here to make the Estate Agents put the heat on some really stingy setting so that even having the radiator switched to 5 still means I can practically see my own breath when I wake.

This morning I decided to take serious action. It was time to UNLEASH THE WOOL. I emptied my entire collection of FOs onto my bed and selected an outfit that would allow me to utilise as many items from it as I could colour-coordinate and fit under my waterproof shell. Thus garbed and feeling pretty pleased with myself, I headed out to Oxford to do some recording for The Hub.

As I was walking towards BBC Oxford, I realised – and I say this with some knitterly pride, dear readers – that I was in fact too hot, and so I was forced to remove my jacket along the way to the studios. Swathed in wool and wearing a ludicrous quantity of secret, concealed layers beneath, I began to wonder when I would ever again get the opportunity to showcase so much of my own handiwork in a public situation. Catching a glimpse of my reflection in a window I passed, I realised I was basically one giant advertisement for my Ravelry Projects Page.

I started to think of all the knitters who I know who must be in similar positions right now, and the thought of all those knitted projects being unleashed against the snow, en masse, filled me with such glee that I felt compelled to instantly create a blog contest around the idea of who can feasibly wear, at a single point in time, the most projects that they have handknit themselves. The basic idea of the contest is very simple and I am sure the skilled/longterm knitters amongst you can probably beat my paltry, accidental, un-premeditated score of 5 knitted items with an enormous and innovative pile of your own.

1. Cairn tea-cosy
2. Feather and fan scarf
3. Guinness Shrug
4. Fyberspates fingerless gloves
5. Layter

To enter, simply put on as many knitted items as you can sensibly* wear, get someone to take a photograph of you in said items in the snow, then upload this photo to your blog with links to all the projects you are wearing on your Ravelry Projects Page, and leave a comment here to announce that you have done so.

This is an extremely silly contest, so there aren’t really any serious rules. However, with the ever wise and sagely insights of Liz this evening at our Bluestockings meeting, we decided that it is probably not OK, for instance, to photograph yourself swathed in 16 scarves to boost your project-count. However, boot-socks on top of thinner socks, on top of a pair of tights is quite acceptable if this is how you are combatting the cold with your considerable knitted prowess during this cold spell. For each knitted item that you manage to cram into your January 2010 BIG FREEZE Ravelry Projects Snowcase Contestâ„¢ entry photograph, you will score 1 point. However, consideration will also be given to the following elements of your entry;

1. Ingenuity of layering. How ingenious is your use of different, handknitted layers?
2. Inclusion of rare/highly-specific types of garments. Snoods, cowls, shawls, mufflers, and other items probably-only-owned-by-handknitters types of garments will all be viewed highly favourably in terms of overall entry score if incorporated.

The contest stays open until the snow has all melted and the temperature has stabilised above 0 degrees Celcius. I am following all the weather-announcements I can in my twitterfeed so hopefully I will be able to confidently announce the end of the contest when it comes!

The person with the highest amount of points overall for facing the cold down with their handknitted goodness will be officially declared The winner of the January 2010 BIG FREEZE Ravelry Projects Snowcase Contestâ„¢, (AKA WOOL-FACTOR**) and will receive a collated bundle of wonderment in the post, organised by myself. This will include one knitting book, some yarn, probably a mixtape, perhaps some knitting, and definitely a lot of love. As a marvellous side-effect of this project, perhaps the wealth of woolly imagery will help to stave off the misery of all this coldness!

ETA – The inspiring Skeinqueen of Reading, Berkshire, has informed me that the contest winner will receive a skein of her beautiful yarn in the package! If you haven’t seen her yarn already, do check it out on, also the lovely Anarchy in the UK kits designed by Alabamawhirly, and knit with SQ yarn. Skilled local artists; we haz dem.


*’sensibly’ in this contest is quite a loose term, open to variable interpretations
**Have you got the WOOL-FACTOR?

22 Responses to The January 2010 BIG FREEZE Ravelry Projects Snowcase Contest™

  1. Liz T. says:

    I love the contest and will be getting kitted out in my wool first thing tomorrow!

  2. I so wish I’d seen this yesterday, are you ready for this….
    of my clothing, the handknit items were:
    a pair of boot socks
    a paper dolls jumper
    a damson shawl
    a scroll lace shawl worn as a scarf tie thing
    a cloche hat
    fingerless handwarmers
    mittens on top
    ~ like you I was rosy toasty and very pleased with myself, especially on entering Station Hill, the wild gusty of Reading – people were looking with envy, well I think they were…. maybe a photo would be too terrifying…

  3. Lara says:

    I love it! Have just recovered from uncontrollable laughter. The type of delirum brought on by too much coffee. I like to think i have the woolfactor and I love the idea of unleashing the wool. I will be taking part shortly. it is like our feature, how much knitting is too much knitting for the zine! Big love xxxxxx

  4. Petit Filoux says:

    Absolutely brilliant!!! I haven’t had to layer up that much, although I do spend most evenings wrapped in a blanket!! I’m dreading the arrival of the electricity bill…

  5. heather says:

    What a fun idea. Sadly I don’t knit clothing – but I have a huge number of meerkats I could pin strategically? Probably won’t keep the chill out though, so I shall settle for admiring your fashion sense!

  6. JoannaD says:

    I love this – thank you! Although I won’t be entering – my paltry pile of FOs is rather strong on such items as baby bootees and a gigantic vest that I knitted for my poor long-suffering father – I’m looking forward to seeing what other, more prolific knitters do!

  7. jane says:

    Oh this is so funny and brilliant! You have put a big smile on my face after a rather un-smile-worthy day on a boring placement. I too have a rather paltry pile of FOs so won’t be participating myself but I. Can’t. Wait. to see the entries!

  8. Heather says:

    This is a great contest! I don’t actually have any real finished clothing though. Somehow I don’t think 16 pairs of socks and a hat would qualify me to win.

  9. Claire says:

    I wish I’d seen this yesterday!

    I wore the following handknits as I was outside all day shooting:

    1 pair standard socks
    1 pair of boot socks
    1 slouchy beret
    1 neckwarmer
    1 shawl

    Thanks for making me smile

  10. Kate says:

    You are a genius

  11. caro says:


  12. Ellen says:

    OK, I’ve finished! I probably could’ve gone for overkill, but opted against it. 🙂

  13. Susan says:

    Yesterday’s count was:

    1 pair wool socks
    1 shawl
    1 shawl worn as scarf
    1 hat

    and the very best part about this list is that this was just what I put on to keep warm. I forgot all about the Snowcase contest until I was well underway yesterday.

  14. Jo Spittler says:

    Hello Felix!

    Does the fact that the snow hasn’t fully melted here in Germany (Mainz) yet still count to enter?
    I wore (all handknit, not raveled, have a babe-in-arms here):

    Pair of Overknees (up to the bottom they go! ontop of wool leggins)
    An Aran Sweater (it’s my oldest piece, ontop of wool undies)
    Bright red ankle warmers (with snow flakes on them)
    Green wrist warmers
    thick socks
    gloves of corse

  15. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » The January 2010 BIG FREEZE Ravelry Projects Snowcase Contestâ„¢ UPDATE

  16. Elaine says:

    I’m in New Jersey in the US. We still have snow here and there, and lots of cold (I am pleased when it hits 0C). I go for a 3 to 4 mile walk every day bundled up in hand-knits from tip to toe. My daughter was visiting and I ran into her with her friend and she pretended not to know me because of the way I looked. I had on:

    wool socks
    boot toppers
    Leg warmers (these are things that run from ankle to thigh)
    A heavy wool sweater
    worn over a thinner turtleneck sweater
    Fine knit scarf worn as a cowl
    scarf wound around the my face

    All are hand knit. That’s 10 and that’s not for a contest – that’s my walking outfit (plus winter jacket). Of course it helps that I’ve been knitting for more than 50 years so I have lots and lots of everything!

  17. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » The January 2010 BIG FREEZE Ravelry Projects Snowcase Contestâ„¢ UPDATE

  18. Pingback: contest! « fridica

  19. anna says:

    i know other knitters will be able to wear more than this with no problem, but it’s such a fun idea had to have a go!

  20. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » Announcing the Snowcase Winner!

  21. Pingback: January 2010 “snowcase” revisited « Wovember

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