Knitting as an Olympic event

It’s just under three weeks (19 days, to be exact)  to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Athletes have been preparing, training, hoping, pushing themselves to the max.

So what does that have to do with knitters?

In 2006,  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the Yarn Harlot) established the Knitting Olympics for the winter games.  The idea was to challenge yourself in the spirit of the games – to cast on a project during the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and finish before the Olympic flame goes out.  There were some simple rules, and only one criterion for the gold – either you finished the project or you didn’t.  Over 4,000 knitters worldwide participated.

In 2008, Ravelry introduced the Ravelympics, based on the same premise, but with teams and events to register for, so it was not just an individual challenge but a team effort as well.  It was not a take-over of the Yarn Harlot’s thunder, but an expansion of the concept.

Now with the Vancouver to-do closing in, preparations have gone into high gear at Ravelry for the 2010 Ravelympics.  The Yarn Harlot still hasn’t decided whether she will do her Knitting Olympics this time round, which – as she says in her blog – are a whole different vibe, and there’s definitely room for both.

So, the Rav rules?

The One Rule To Rule Them All: Challenge yourself by starting and finishing projects during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

No casting on before the opening ceremony on February 12th, although it is permitted to swatch – that’s considered training.  The goal is to finish by the closing ceremony on February 28th.

After the deadline to sign-up teams, the final total was 427 teams.  (Yikes!)

There are 33 events:

Aerial Unwind
Bag Jump
Beading Biathlon
Bobsled
Cable Cross-Country
Charity Curling
Designer Biathlon
Designer Original Dance
Designer Pattern Skeleton
Downhill Dyeing
Felting Freestyle
Fleece to FO Long-Track
Flying Camel Spin
Free Dance
Giant Slalom-ghan
Hat Halfpipe
Holiday Jump-Start Skiing
Junior Olympics
Labyrinth Weaving
Lace Luge
Mittens Moguls
Nordic Colorwork Combined
Platter Lift
Samalog Machine Skate
Scarf Super-G
Short Track Shawls
Single Skein Speed Skate
Skelegurumi
SnowCross
Sock Hockey
Stash Compulsory Dance
Sweaterboard Cross
WIPs-Dancing

One project can be entered into multiple events (lace + scarf, cables + socks, etc…), but a project cannot represent more than one team.

I’m on two teams, so that means I have two projects to complete in 17 days.   I’m a co-captain of the Yarn and Falafel team, and I’m also on the Vintage Bitches team.   I’ve chosen my two projects – a cowl and a shawlette – and my yarn.   I haven’t yet decided which project for which team, although it really doesn’t matter.

Knitters around the globe are planning cast-on parties to watch the opening ceremony together and cast on for their projects.  The Yarn and Falafel group in Israel has decided on a  cast-on party, but held slightly later, given that the ceremony will be held at 4:00am our time.  (We’re crazy, but not that crazy…)   So plans are afoot for that too.   Some of the group members who have decided not to compete for whatever reason have signed on as cheerleaders. It looks like we have lots of fun in store!

I feel the pressure to finish some of my WIPs before the games begin, get them out of the way.   Now I need to prepare my family for the whole thing – one of the knitters on Rav has made a sign for her hat that says “Don’t talk to me, I’m counting” to warn her husband while she knits.

(btw, check out the official Canadian Olympic team sweater…anyone have a pattern for this?)

Silliness?  Perhaps.  A challenge?  That’s the whole point.  Fun?  Definitely.  And good luck to all!  We’re all winners.

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2 Responses to “Knitting as an Olympic event”

  1. Esther Says:

    Go Team Yarn and Falafel!

    I also on two teams. I just need to settle on a pattern and swatch!

    • eclecticitee Says:

      I haven’t swatched yet. I figure for the shawlette it doesn’t really matter, but I’d better do it for the cowl.

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