The Olympic Games: Special Scandinavian Knitting Edition

I’ll admit — I’ve never been that interested in the Olympic games. Of course, I admire enormously the athleticism, grace and almost inhuman dedication of the participants, and I can only imagine all the hard work and sacrifice that’s gone into their training, but it’s never really been my cup of tea. I’m the classic fairweather fan; I watch the Winter Olympics for the figure skating. And the knits, of course. Can you believe those US Olympic team sweaters are selling for up to $3000 on Ebay?

However, during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I participated tangentially in the Ravellenic Games, the non-copyright-infringing knitathlon organized by some members of Ravelry. I was specifically, supposedly, participating in one with my favorite local knitting groups, the West Hollywood Stitch n Bitch (WeHo SnB) group. While I cast on faithfully just as the US team was entering the stadium for the opening ceremonies, I didn’t finish my tribute to England and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee until months later:

Cool Brittania! Long live the Queen!
Debbie Bliss Union Jack Cushion, my 2012 Ravellenics project

In related news from this year’s games, this story of Olympic KIP (that’s “knitting in public,” for my stitching friends) has been making knitters sit up and take notice all over the world. The coach for Finnish snowboarder Roope Tonteri (now my favorite snowboarder in all the world), Antti Koskinen, has been filmed knitting while Tonteri is competing and performing his flippy-doodles and twirly-gigs (you can tell by my clever use of snowboarding lingo that I really know what I’m talking about). What a multitasker! I always get a little burst of joy when I see displays of knitting in public (KIP) and, frankly, this one couldn’t make me happier. I mean, seriously now.

It also makes me happy to see a man knitting in public. Sadly, I think the entire story would have been treated with such condescension (and numerous references to grey-haired grannies) if it had been a female coach or even a female snowboarder. From the photos, it looks like he has his own knitter’s assistant, too, to feed him the yarn as he knits his little garter stitch masterpiece. Where do I get one of those?

It turns out the project is part of a larger scarf project that will eventually be given to the Finnish Olympic team going to Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Why anyone would need a thick knitted scarf in Brazil in the summer is another mystery altogether. But I wouldn’t dare rain on this parade. And now there’s a reason to watch the next Olympic games!

And, to brighten your day even more, I bring you this picture of an enthusiastic Norwegian fan and his crocheted ensemble:

If only they gave out a medal in outrageous crocheted fashion! Go for the gold!
Brought to you by Ellen Bloom of “L.A. is my Beat” and WeHo Stitch n Bitch fame
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