Keeping my Olympic Promises

Knitters of the world, unite for marriage equality!
Just a dark blue stockinette project I’m working on, some beautiful yellow mohair hanks, and voila!

As part of Ravelry’s Ravellenics celebrations, my fledgling (very fledgling) knitting design company, Moon & Sixpence Knits, pledged to donate all its proceeds during the 2014 Winter Olympics to the Los Angeles Human Rights Campaign (you can read my original post about this here, just scroll to the end). This effort was spearheaded by Bristol Ivy, who enlisted a lot of other designers to participate in this donation ring in support of the LGBT community in the face of Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on their basic human rights. I don’t intend this blog to be a political platform, but this happens to be a cause that means a lot to me and I’m so glad that the knitting community is doing their part. Putin doesn’t know what he’s up against!

So today, I went ahead and made my donation based on my meager sales (hey, every little bit helps!) and sent the amount to Bristol Ivy so she can announce the big tally. I know my contribution wasn’t that large, but it was heartfelt. Let’s keep fighting the good fight!

By the way, you should check out Bristol Ivy’s design site on Ravelry — they’re classic and beautiful, and I know you’ll see something you want to make right now.

The Olympic Games: Special Scandinavian Knitting Edition, part two

Just a quick post today to update some information from yesterday’s post. Lisa Shroyer at Knitting Daily has written a short article/preview-of-coming-attractions, called “Sport Your Stitches,” about the Norwegian National ski teams and their uber-cool knitted sweater uniforms. The article contains a couple of neat archival photos, and Shroyer mentions that she’s working on a longer article on the subject for the upcoming issue of knit.wear.

Apparently, Dale of Norway has been making the ski team’s sweaters for every Olympic games since 1956. Having recently completed my first Scandinavian-style fair isle pattern (a Christmas stocking pattern by Debbie Bliss — photos of which were tragically lost in the push of the wrong button on the camera), I’m gaga over these geometric, snowflakey patterns.

Dale of Norway has published a book with hand-knit patterns for all the sweaters going back to 1956. Knitting Daily has also assembled some patterns “inspired by the Games” into a booklet. My favorite pattern was the Cross-Cultural Pullover, and I thank this article for reminding me I already own the pattern.

On a more serious note… it’s so heartwarming to know that the knitting community is also responding to the unconscionable treatment of the LGBT community in the Soviet Union. If you are a designer, please consider joining Bristol Ivy’s donation ring. And who doesn’t love a rainbow?

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