Back in 2006 Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as knit-blogger the Yarn Harlot) had an idea: the Knitting-Olympics. During the 2006 Winter Olympics over 4000 knitters took on the spirit of the Olympic motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger – and challenged themselves to complete a project during the Winter Olympics. The only rules were that the project couldn’t be started until the Olympic opening ceremony, and had to be completed by the end of the Games.
Since 2006 the idea behind the Knitting Olympics has grown and evolved. The knitting and crochet social network Ravelry has adopted it. With the Olympic Games in London this summer, a group of volunteers are hard at work organising the 2012 Ravelympics.
What are the Ravelympics?
Just like the Yarn Harlot’s original idea, Ravelry members will challenge themselves and compete in various knitting and crochet events over the course of the 16 days of the Summer Olympics. The only rules are that a project must be completed during the Olympics. There are medals (well, blog badges) for anyone who finishes and it’s up to each individual competitor to decide just how far to challenge themselves. Never tried colourwork? There’s an event for that. Scared of cables or lace? Now’s your chance to have a go. Always wanted to make a pair of socks, but never got round to it? Maybe this summer is the time to do it.
Up for a challenge?
Challenging ourselves as crafters can be fun and rewarding. Up until this year I’d never made a whole garment in fair isle. I wanted to, but I was a bit daunted and kept putting it off, even though I had the yarn and a beautiful pattern. A friend and I decided we would make the same fair isle sweater at the same time (in different colours, otherwise it would be a bit weird) so that we could help each other out if we got stuck, and offer mutual support and encouragement.
So, for the time around the VI Nations (my favourite sporting competition, and a brilliant excuse for sitting in front of the telly all weekend for weeks on end during the winter and doing nothing but knitting) we knitted a fair isle sweater each. Achieving something that you weren’t sure you could do is pretty awesome.
Join in the fun!
I’d love to share that buzz of achievement with my fellow crafters. So, I’m captaining Team P/Hop for this year’s Ravelympics. You don’t have to be a member of a team to compete, but it is much more fun and we will be supporting each other in our challenges and celebrating all those successes. You can read more about it here.
At the moment we are discussing what events we might each enter. For me, I ‘d like to see if I can knit a whole lace shawl from start to finish in those 16 days. Maybe something like Crocus Pocus.
Do join us – we’ll be having fun, challenging ourselves, and hopefully getting P/Hop closer to that £40,000 target.