Olympic Training Camp

Okay yous guys, so the coolest thing is going to happen next month.

Four years ago, for the last winter Olympics, the Yarn Harlot came up with this crazy thing she called the Knitting Olympics. The idea is this: you pick a project that will be challenging (but not impossible) for you to complete in 16 days. You cast on when the torch is lit during the opening ceremonies of the olympic games, and you have to be finished and cast off by the time the torch is extinguished at the end of the closing ceremonies. It’s an opportunity for you, with knitters all around the world, to compete against yourselves and accomplish something worthwhile.

The idea caught like wildfire, and since the YH was not inclined to do it for the summer olympics (what with knitting being rather a winter sport, and all), Ravelry took it over. The Ravelympics had their first run in 2008 and were also a roaring success.

Now, in 19 short days, the Olympic torch will be lit in Vancouver. And, all around the world, knitters are getting ready. Picking projects, swatching, doing finger calisthenics, sharpening needles (okay maybe not that last one), and I am among them.

After a rather thorough vetting process, I’ve decided on the Shipwreck Shawl from Knitty. Here’s what it looks like:

I’ll be entering this item in the Beading Biathlon event. (You can’t tell in this shot, but there are beads on it.) Also, just because I’m an overcommitter, I may throw in a little surprise in the Felting Freestyle category, but we’ll leave that for when i’m in up to my neck in beaded lace and need a short project to avoid garotting myself with the five sizes of 32″ circular needles I still need to buy for the shawl.

If you knit, at all, and have any kind of competitive or self-challenging streak in you, I encourage you to join in the fun. You don’t have to get all ravelry-ized (though I encourage that too); just post about it here, or on your own blog, and let me know in a comment here so me (and anyone else who swings by this site) knows to go your way and cheer you on. You don’t have to pick something epic – just pick something that will be challenging and meaningful to you. Even if your goal is to knit some dishcloths that you’ve been meaning to crank out for five years, go for it. Or if you’re a new knitter and have never finished a project before… pick something doable, and give it a whack.

For anyone in the vaguely Baltimore-ish area, we’ll be having an Opening Ceremonies party at Cloverhill Yarn, starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 12th. (The ceremonies start at 9 p.m. EST.) Join us if you are inclined and able.

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