The Podium

I think I’ve mentioned before that some of the most remarkable things that have ever happened to me have been proceeded by the phrase “You know what would be fun?” (This is how I got children, wrote books, started a blog and learned that I am not someone who is intended to ever, ever have liquor that comes in tiny glasses.) and the Knitting Olympics is no different. (Does anyone but me remember that I was going to list the names of the participants in the sidebar? My bad.)

Never in my wildest imagination (and for the record, my imagination is pretty wild) did I imagine thousands upon thousands of knitters sending me an email, thousands leaving comments, thousands latched on to the simple idea of striving to meet a personal challenge. I never imagined that the media would catch on to it, that knitters all over the world would be interviewed, that there would be spots on virtually all major networks, that it would be mentioned on the news, that there would be articles in so many magazines and newspapers, or that Denny would go on the National. (Ok. Denny on the National was probably predictable. She’s a remarkable woman.)

In short, I didn’t see it coming, and I’d like to thank my backup team who totally bailed me out of a situation in which I was seriously overwhelmed.

I’d like to thank Kat, for being the official librarian of the Knitting Olympics. If you haven’t been to Kat’s page and read all of the teams and seen all of the links, you are seriously missing out. Go now and get a sense of scale about it. We’ll wait. Kat’s a clever, clever woman, and I’m not just saying that because it’s in alphabetical order.

I’d like to thank S.Kate (sadly…blogless) for rescuing me when there were more than 4000 emails in my inbox and I was coding all of the html by hand. I still don’t know how that excel spreadsheet works, but man…do I like it. S.Kate’s hours of work are appreciated.

Emma goes on the list too….she spent hours and hours and hours handling all of the emails that were too much for Kate and I, and she entered so many of the names that I will never be able to make it up to her. (Yes Emma. I know a pair of socks would be a start.)

Ken. Dude. Ken totally rocked the technology, completely preventing my brain from running out of my ears when moveable type freaked out because I was trying to post the equivalent of a hundred page blog post of names and links. I still don’t know what a FTP thingie is, but I’m so grateful that Ken does. Thanks for keeping the whole thing online.

Please show your the Knitting Olympics IOC a little love. They made my crazy idea work. This would never have worked without them.

Without further ado…

I know why you’re all here. Ladies and gentleman, the gold medal of the 2006 Knitting Olympics.



Gold medal finishers may step up and take their medal.

The beautiful medal was provided for us by Franklin, genius, nice man and good knitter. (Thanks buddy. It’s awesome.)

(I hate that I have to say this, but there are thousands of you. Please don’t hotlink, save the medals to your own server.)

The big one is for printing and stapling all over the kitchen walls, or you can glue it to cardboard, add a ribbon and wear it to the grocery store. The smaller version is for your blog. Go nuts.

Prizes and a list

To get your name entered on a list for prizes (and this is for everyone who took part. Even if you didn’t finish, even if you never had your name entered on the list – everyone’s a winner in Harlotville) and to get a certificate of participation you can print out..

(Laurie J. made it. It has very cool i-cord rings. Thank you!) send an email to

this is an address set to auto-respond, so no live human will read your email. (Sorry) but every olympian (finisher or not) who sends an email will be placed in the draw for the donated prizes. If you are part of a team, please send an individual email for each member of your team. I’ll be drawing the prizes on Friday, so get your name in before then.

There were so many incredible moments in this olympiad.

Linda had arranged to borrow a sewing machine on Saturday to do her first steeks. When the friend cancelled, Linda did the only thing she could do. She bought one.

Monica wrote “This is my first time spinning cashmere, the 5th thing I’ve spun on the wheel, my first intention dyeing (where I’m trying to get particular results), first time dyeing handspun, and second time knitting with it.” Her work is incredible.

Visa Lisa knit the biggest birch I’ve ever seen. (Seriously. Look at that. It’s like a beautiful, enormous sail.)

Lene finished, and learned something.

Erin suffered olympic tragedy, the deeply feared equipment failure of running out of yarn. (That hurts. It really hurts.)

For those of you who finished, congratulations. You are the olympic elite. The brave, the few…the stark raving mad. I’m proud of you. There is strengthening magic in personal victories.

For those of you who finished very quickly…let this be a lesson to you. You are more remarkable than you think you are. Aim high.

Finally, for my chosen knitters, those who did not finish…

My deepest thanks and greatest satisfaction in the knitting olympics comes from you. Without trying there is no improvement or learning, without difficulty there is no striving. It was the sheer volume of knitters that gave this the incredible momentum, velocity and significance it has had for all knitters (and quite a few non-knitters who really were stunned.) More than anything else this ended up being about an international community of knitters…and there are no losers at the Olympics. Even if you dropped the pattern in a puddle the first day…even if you grossly overestimated your available time, or if you got to rock a baby instead of knit…you still made the Olympics memorable. It takes a village to freak out non-knitters…and there is strength in numbers.

Thanks for everything, you guys really know how to throw a party.

351 thoughts on “The Podium

  1. Thank you, YarnHarlot, for starting the Ball(of Yarn) rolling. Our hats or touques are off to you.
    Annie (owner of a Beautiful Irish Hiking Scarf)

  2. Steph – Thanks for the last part. I was among those olympians to failed to finish due to knitting related injury. My elbow (yes, elbow!) is almost back to normal. Thanks for the kind words and support.

  3. Thanks for doing this! I learned something about myself: I need external motivation and structure to thrive in my creative endeavors.
    Your sweater is amazing. It was fabulous that you finished it. But starting the Knitting Olympics showed true vision and greatness.

  4. I *still* haven’t finished seaming my sweater. But I knit a sweater! And it will be finished, soon. And my phobia will be GONE. For this I don’t know how to thank you.
    And I love freaking people out. I’m so glad you reminded me of that part.

  5. Thanks, Steph. For inspiring us, and for so many other things.
    More thanks than is possible to the techie team – where would we be without them? (I know, huddled under the table, sucking our thunbs, hoping it all goes away…)
    I had a blast, and will be back for Beijing 2008. (Get the team together now. I’m pretty good with Excel – I’ll help).

  6. It’s us who ought to be thanking you. Thanks for making what can be such a solitary pursuit into a tighter community.

  7. clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap

  8. Uh–I think we should be saying YOU really know how to throw a party! Three cheers for your tremendous support team as well. Congratulations on an incredibly successful event and thank you for bringing together that international community of knitters, with truly Olympian spirit.

  9. Thank YOU Stephanie, for making all of this possible. Your initiative challenged me to become something I wasn’t before, to do something I didn’t think I could do, and enabled me to annoy and astound family, friends, coworkers, and strangers EVERYWHERE with the madness that was the Knitting Olympics.
    Thank you. Really. May you and yours be blessed now and always, may you never run out of yarn, and always know where your favorite knitting needles are.

  10. Lovely medals…….and thanks to you, Stephanie. There is NO way I would have thought to knit a sweater in 16 days……..NO freaking way!

  11. Thanks, Steph, for the idea and inspirations. And the laughs.
    Thanks, Ken, for being the techno-geek above all other geeks. You rock. Seriously.
    Thanks to all the other participants — it was a blast. I could *FEEL* the knitting karma for the entire 16-day period.
    It was wonderful.

  12. The medal is stupendous as was the entire event. Thanks to you for making us strive for the gold. It’s been a blast. But then again, you’re a blast.

  13. I was feeling pretty sad about not finishing…until I read your entry today. I am so glad that I got to be a part of something like this. So, what…I didn’t finish. But it was fun and I learned a lot about myself and my knitting habits. Thanks for the challenge and I hope I can participate next time and actually get one of those frickin’ cool medals!!!!! Thanks again!!!

  14. It helped me see that I can finish something within a timeframe. It also showed me patience and allowed me to let my foot begin healing. I sprained my foot getting up off the sofa (from knitting). I guess you could say, I flubbed the dismount?
    Thanks for the inspiration and motivation! On to 2010!

  15. Thanks Steph, you will never know how many people you have touched. Great job with your sweater. I may even try an Norweigan. Thanks to the tech team that made all this fun possible to share.

  16. Hey, the knitter on the medal even looks just like me! 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful idea. The Knitting Olympics not only yielded me a great sweater, but inspired me to take all my knitting from here on out to great heights.

  17. Thank YOU to all of you on Team Harlot who helped make this possible. If nothing else, you’ve inspired me to do something I’ve never done before, that wasn’t begun during this time frame, but is still tumbling around in my brain. If, no, WHEN it comes to fruition, I know it will be in large part due to you.
    *raises yet another glass to y’all* Moving the world, one stitch at a time. That’s magic indeed.

  18. Every time I went to sleep in the last 16 days, I heard someone’s voice sail across the ether..
    “Libby. You should really not be wasting your time with sleep. You have 199 more repeats of that lace to do.”
    Luckily, I don’t follow directions very well 🙂

  19. Ah, gosh. I’m speachless.
    Last night at my knitting guild meeting, I showed my unfinished sweater. I got lots of “Oooooooo’s” and Ahhhhhhhhh’s” on my project. Their admiration means a lot to me. Many of them have been knitting since before WWII!
    Thanks again, Stephanie. I promise the next time you are in the PNW, I will be sure to meet you. I am looking forward to the privelege.

  20. Stunning medals, but even more so – breath taking excitement, hoopla, community-building, skill-building, love-for-knitting-AND-the-Harlot-AND-the-KIOC. It was phenomonal! My deepest thanks to you, Stephanie, and your team, for helping me feel like I belong.

  21. applause…
    …to all who tried, whether successful or not.
    …to the IOC.
    …to you, Steph, for leading us into this wonderful experience.

  22. im tottaly baffled how many people joined…
    its totaly amazing.
    are you still goin going to keep the list of participant up on the sidbar?
    and those button are awsome!

  23. Congrats to all who finished, all who tried, and special thanks to Team Harlot, who should get special medals just for starting and organizing this whole thing! We must keep doing this!

  24. Wow, Thanks for the medal and certificate. Hannah (age 10) will be delighted and I am in awe of your talent and dedication in dreaming, organizing, and letting us all unleash our creativity in a fun environment.

  25. Thanks for reminding me that I can stick with one project until it’s done.
    Thanks for sharing a wonderful idea and finding the friends to help you make it happen.
    Thanks for making me smile through the whole crazy experience!

  26. Thanks to the Knitting IOC, and to you, Stephanie, for thinking this whole thing up! We ARE a pretty amazing crowd, aren’t we?

  27. Thank you and all of the KOIOC for making it happen. We all learned things, and we demonstrated a sense of community that stunned us all. And, it was FUN! what’s more, for me, is that it has changed the way I am thinking of my projects and organizing my time. I may actually finish more this whole year – and it’s all due to you. Thank you, Gracie, Merci.

  28. Thank you to all at Team Harlot for making this happen.
    Team Pie (for anyone who’s been too busy knitting, having a life, drinking, whatever) is made up of knitters from the 3WA discussion board. Only a couple of us have met RL, but I have to say. One of the coolest things about Knitting Olympics, for me, was getting some fellow board members who were nervous or shy of trying to give it a whirl. It was super keen to be a part of helping them take the plunge. Thank you!

  29. I salute and thank all the members of the Knitting Olympics IOC. Seeing the huge stack of paper that was Denny’s inadvertant print out of the list of Olympians really brought home what an enormous task this turned out to be.
    And like the others who didn’t finish, I thank you for including us in the gift draw, and honestly have never felt better about missing a deadline. I’d wanted to medal, without question, but what I WAS able to accomplish made me believe that I Could do it in time had some stuff not come up. That feels good. Finding more knitters to meet and read and support and share this with feels even better.

  30. I finished!! My fourth ever knitting project beacause you challenged me to! Thank you.
    And maybe not. Seems that once I had it done on Sat. I felt naked in front of the closing ceremonies on Sunday and there is another scarf now being worked on.
    oh, and as for freaking people out, imagine what happens when you take your Olympic knitting on a cruise!! LOL

  31. Thanks for doing this! It was great and my sock drawer is looking really happy right now. By the way, I posted the Olympic Flames Sock pattern on my blog if you’re interested.

  32. Thank you “Olympic Officials” for all your hard work. I’m eagerly awaiting my extra skein of yarn to arrive, and trying to channel margene’s “enjoy the process” mantra.

  33. Thank YOU!
    You’ve got aquite a knack for surfing the zeitgeist wave, don’t you? Or maybe knitters are now MAKING the current?
    It was such fun, and my children are now referring to every endeavor as “their” Olympics. So sweet it all is!

  34. This was an amazing experience. I can’t tell you how many knitting questions I’ve been asked over the past two weeks, and it’s all thanks to y’all. A guy in my English class even asked me to teach him.
    Wouldn’t it be great to get together at the 2010 Olympics? We’d really freak out some non-knitters. 🙂

  35. Glad to be a part of the freaking out of nonknitters even if illness (stupid, stupid strep throat and sinus infection) kept me from finishing. Thanks for being a continual inspiration.

  36. Thank YOU!
    You’ve got aquite a knack for surfing the zeitgeist wave, don’t you? Or maybe knitters are now MAKING the current?
    It was such fun, and my children are now referring to every endeavor as “their” Olympics. So sweet it all is!

  37. I’m one of the unmedal’d non-finishers. But how much did I learn in 16 days? I learned that I can finish a sleeveless top in 2 weeks after not getting gauge and then (gasp!) translating the entire pattern to meet my gauge. I did MATH, Harlot. Math. And now I must seam.
    I also learned that diagrams are your friend and you should learn to read them.
    Hats off, Harlot, and thank you.

  38. Wow! I know suddenly feel better about finishing exactly half of my olympics project.
    In any case, Thanks for the inspiration to reach further, faster, and better in my knitting. I will forever owe my llama mitten to you. If you’re ever in Indiana, PA (which you won’t be except that there is an excellent yarn shop Thursday and Friday afternoons above the movie theatre) tiny colorful drinks are totally on me.

  39. We couldn’t have done it without you, Stephanie. A huge round of applause (and perhaps some
    Screech?)for you and your very able assistants. Thanks for organizing. It was an awesome experience, even if I didn’t finish the second Baltic mitten. So, are the 2008 Summer Olympics next or do we have to wait for Vancouver?

  40. Thank you Steph! My project challenged me so much, and I really didn’t think I would or could finish, but I did. You’ve totally inspired me. Rock on!

  41. I am stunned into wordlessness over this whole thing. Even my kids were pretty amazed that I was going to a Closing Ceremonies Party. I did not finish the project that I had said I was going to make, though I made pretty good progress considering I started (and completed) another project as an unexpected gift during the games. I sacrificed my medal for a friend. Such is the way of the games. The torch is still burning in my heart though, and I will plod on to my own finish line.
    Congratulations to you! And a huge thanks.
    This was such fun! I am in training for the 2008 Summer Games!

  42. Thank you so much for your “Hey, you know what would be fun?” idea. Because it was SO much fun! I am one of those people that impressed myself when i finished. Between food poisoning and an additional 2 days at work, I didn’t think i would make it. But with your encouragement I pushed and created a Gold Medal victory! Thank you again for your time and dedication!

  43. Kudos to the IKOC and to all the local organizing committees. The best part of the KOs was the camaraderie and teamwork. I’m looking forward to Beijing in 2008 (it’s been a while since I’ve knit with cotton…).

  44. Let me add my thanks to the IOC, and to all the other crazy knitters who signed up and gave this thing a life of its own.
    Now I’m going to display my gold medal with pride, having narrowly avoided sharing Erin’s equipment failure, and tying the final stitch to a yarn tail to get it to hold…. under the new scoring system, that counts, right?

  45. Thank you Kat, S Kate, Emma, Ken, and especially you Stephanie, who was just insane enough to make the Knitting Olympics sound like a completely sane thing to do. I have 2 years to think up a project for the Summer Games….cotton sweater…covered flip-flops and matching beach bag…surfboard cover….hmmm.

  46. Thunderous applause and fudge cake for all! Just a second while I hide under my desk as I ask, “When’s the next one?”

  47. Thank you Stephanie, Kat, S. Kate, Emma, Ken, and all the folks who put up with all of us. I didn’t finish (ran out of yarn, might have ran out of time), but I worked till the end (see my blog It was better than I thought to be a “joiner” and to announce, in conversational lulls, “Oh, I’m competing in the knitting Olympics”. The Olympics spurred me to start a blog. Thanks!

  48. I’m all choked with that last paragraph – well said!
    I think I was 1 of only 4 “spectator” knitters (I read the blogs and knit on my own, but didn’t participate), and y’all were awesome to watch!

  49. Thank you for my loverly medal.. I had a little fun knitting one for myself.. an extra litle challenge!
    I was able to sit down and focus on figuring some stitch patterns out which will be a great help to me in the near future as I put projects together! So thanks!! It was great!

  50. Brilliant! do we have to wait four whole years before we do it all again?
    Thank you Stephanie…and Franklin….and the whole support network. Terrific fun

  51. KUDOS! HUZZAH!!! HOOORAH!!! Yay to you, Stephanie, and your Grand Band of Elfin Goodness. Thank you especially for making me feel okay about not finishing. YET!!!!!

  52. Yeah! Go Canada Go! I finished…although for the “Canadian” version 2010 (we are doing it again aren’t we?) I will aim higher! I didn’t know I would be so great!
    Thanks Stephanie and the entire IOC for hosting!

  53. I am standing on the podium with tears in my eyes as the Knitters’ National Anthem is sung by an angelic 9 year old.
    I love the medal and can’t wait to get the certificate!
    Thanks again Stephanie and all your team for putting on this event.

  54. Three cheers for the IOC team!!! You all did a great job on the suport end of things and I was proud to send friends and family over to the Knitting Olympics page to show them the amazing community of knitletes!

  55. Thank you! I had a great time and have now finished my first ever pair of mittens. I am no longer afraid of making thumbs and will start on a new pair of mittens right away! Thanks for the inspiration! And I also must say that your sweater is beautiful!

  56. What a gorgeous medal! And it is we, The Cajun-American Knitting Team, who should be thanking YOU for thinking up this wonderful event. It was an honor to participate, and even though I had to disqualify the Koigu Shawl Team for steriod abuse (please see the press release on my blog,, the Official Irish Drinking Hat Team came through with flying colors. Literally flying most of the time, having been mostly knitted while on the plane home from Stitches.
    Mind you that not only was the Official Irish Drinking Hat team dealing with the shock of the Koigu Shawl Team’s drug abuse, but also considering the fact that the head coach had the nerve to go to Stitches West smack in the middle of the Olympics … and considering that the head coach had a terrible cold, mom’s birthday AND husband’s birthday during the Olympics … and mom’s lace vest to finish in time for said birthday … AND considering the fact that Mardi Gras season was under way ….
    well, at least the Cajun-American Team came through with a hat. You have to remember they are Cajun Olympians,and are easily distracted by food and beverages, including those that come in tiny glasses.

  57. Stephanie, you’ve proven that a single idea, spoken at the right moment, can mobilize thousands of people all over the world.
    Your support team has done an amazing job of keeping up, riding the avalanche as your innocent idea grew into a world-wide phenomenon. They should all get thanks, pats on the back, chocolate, Screech, or whatever else makes them feel appreciated.
    Thank you all for a terrific event! Can’t wait to see what you think up next (grin).

  58. You are thanking US? No way! Thanks to you and the IOC! I was terrified of knitting socks but now I know I can do it, thanks to you! I was so emboldened I even signed up for Sockapalooza! So now I feel like I can do anything! Maybe even a sweater! Uh, as long as there is no math involved… 😉

  59. Thanks everyone for all the work you put into making this happen! I was so afraid of fair isle knitting before the Olympics, but now I am thinking of tackling a pair of mittens with a Turkish folk design! Who would’ve thunk it?! 🙂

  60. Thank you! It was wonderful and just the motivation I needed to finish my first sweater. It’s a looker – I am wearing it with pride! I just wish I could have posted a picture on Team Canada’s site. I tried, but without a blog I wasn’t able to post. I had friends and family calling me – “I just saw it on the news!” “I just picked up the Globe” Big or small, it was so great to be part of it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  61. Thanks all. I was so proud to see this in Time as it was under way. I have finally made a sweater for my son that didn’t sit around waiting to be sewn until he was nearly grown out of it. Couldn’t have done it without you!

  62. That almost made me cry… Congrats on starting such a fantastic event! It was great to have a challenge, and to see everyone else make progress on their own projects at the same time. Great idea!
    And congratulations on finishing your beautiful sweater!

  63. You are a great encouragement and we had a blast at our party. There would be a photo of the group butt and I do mean butt, my arse got in the way of the self timer. We knit we ate, we all got medals and we sang. What more could you ask for. We made new friends, and it was Internationally delightful.

  64. Hats off to everyone who made this event wonderful: Stephanie, KOIOC and the international community of knitters who participated. Bravo!
    I’m already putting my newfound skill of reading a chart to use, and swatching for a cable sweater. It’s a joy to be able to say that participating in the KO has deepened my knowledge of myself and my knitting ability, and I’ll use what I’ve learned here the rest of my life.
    Again, thank you YarnHarlot!

  65. If it were not for the Knitting Olympics I would not have tried my first object that required buttons and (gasp) a button band :o) Thank you for the wonderful experience!

  66. To the International Knitting Olympics Committee: clap clap clap clap dissolving into thunderous applause. *hands each member a magnum of champagne for all the efforts*.
    And to the inspirational Chairperson Stephanie: Thank you so much. Because of you, even though I’m a DNF, I learned how to read a chart for cables (after ‘frogging’ the back of my Na Craga due to an error, I’m not likely to ever forget!). And how easy it is to knit cables. And that I’m not alone, there’s lots of others like me, and it’s okay to make errors!
    I’m now so nuts on cables that once Craga is done, I’ll be embarking on Starmore’s St. Brighid and that lovely blue sweater from Celtic and two Viking knits patterns!
    Which brings me to planning the next Olympics. Hmm, maybe I should save Celtic Key and Fair Isle till then?

  67. De-lurking to say: Thank *you* for this wonderful idea. Everytime I thought about how many people were knitting along with me (in a way) I got goosebumps. And this post brought tears to my eyes. Unfortunately I was sidelined by illness, but the amount I got done made me feel so good about myself. See you in ’08?

  68. next time I’m trying something with DPNs. Those things terrify me. But I came close with my lace knitting, so I’m going to challenge myself again. Thanks for starting us all off!

  69. Thank you so very much for this inspiring endeavor. I was a member of Team Indie, not having officially signed on or started on time. I, also, was a member of Team UFO with projects going back decades or perhaps Team Chicken would be a better name. LOL But thanks to you and all your sidekicks, I did it. I finished 16 projects in 14 days. And now having used my chosen motto over and over again, said with a bit of attitude (Just DO it.), I now can block, seam, knit various necklines and have something that looks good and fits, too. Plus, an entire chest of drawers is empty. Would never have happened without you! A sincerely felt thanks. Tamara
    p.s. I even finished a Crocheted purse from the 70’s made out of thick macrame yarn. It was sort of the intruder on the field but was taken care of right quick.

  70. Thank YOU, Stephanie, and everyone who helped organize the Knitting Olympics. Congrats to all who participated. I am honored to have been part of something like this.

  71. You know, when I first heard of this, I though, hey, what the heck. After I began to think of it, I decided that it was a worthwhile challenge. I am proud of myself for having participated and finished. I am also honored to be included in the KO! I mean, how many times in my life will I be a part of something like this? THANK YOU!

  72. I’m with MANY of the others: THANK YOU! It’s amazing how much your idea of the knitting olympics has given me. Not only my beautiful sail of a shawl (I could not be more proud being mentioned in a blog than I am to be mentioned here!) but the belief that I can do ANYTHING I set mind to.
    Thank you Stephanie! So, so, so , so , so much! And your own accomplishment – I am truly in awe.

  73. I think one of the amazing things about these Olympics is how many people helped you out when it got so large and overwhelming. Of course, I wouldn’t know about those people if you hadn’t thanked them all today. Good job, Steph.
    And good job on that olypmic sweater – it’s beautiful and will make a fantastic memento of these special 16 days.
    Vancover will be in your home country… better start planning now.

  74. next time I’m trying something with DPNs. Those things terrify me. But I came close with my lace knitting, so I’m going to challenge myself again. Thanks for starting us all off!

  75. Stephanie, thank you. You don’t know me, and I have only commented a few times, but know that this experience has been amazing, and you have really impacted my concept of myself as a knitter. I honestly thought this sweater would be a huge challenge for me, and that I couldn’t do it, but it was not that hard, and it came out well. Now I feel brave enough to move on to something harder, and I can even imagine doing steeks someday. Gulp! Thank you again.

  76. Loved taking part and proud to be part of this event. And yes, I learned something….that the damm WIP won`t grow unless you get moving and knit a few rows now and then!
    And if anyone had told me a year ago that I could knit a pair of patterned socks on dpns (*gasp*) in sixteen days I`d have laughed like a drain. But I did. YEAH!!!!!!!

  77. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! All of you who helped make the Knitting Olympics what is! If it wasn’t for the Olympics my sweater would be in serious time out because of my inability to really read and understand a pattern! THANKS again! can’t wait till next year ; )

  78. After some genial ribbing at my workplace over my Knitting Olympic participation, I was surprised when they all wanted to see the “finished” product on Monday. I think they were impressed with the whole adventure (and a little envious of the knitting fellowship out there.) Once again, three cheers to you and your committee. My vest was a challenge both to knit and to finish in the allowed time. I can’t believe how good it looks and best of all, the teenager for whom it was intended, loves it too. You are a real inspiration to us all. I can’t wait for the next round.

  79. Thank YOU, and the IOC for making it possible. How eloquent you are – I think there MUST be a book in this whole crazy experience…..

  80. Wow. Thanks to everyone who put this experience together!
    I finished late (last night) but I now have a vest to give to my mother, and I completed it with only about a yard of yarn left! Yike!

  81. …and I’d like to thank our hosts in Harlot-ville, without whom, we’d just be a bunch of wackos with yarn and pointy sticks…
    Seriously–Steph and all of your devoted tech support–fabulous job keeping us united and working and blown away with the stupendosity of our fellow workers… you’re right… this was so freakin’ cool… (And really, that bank teller… I bet one row of a sock, and she’d be totally hooked…) My baby binket is beautiful, and, most importantly, it’s done, and that’s a huge furry deal… (well, not too furry… cotton yarn you know…)

  82. What Rachel H said: I’ve never felt better about a missed deadline. I came to about the same place you did, only with seams, not steeks. I knew there was no way I was going to tackle them with alertness and rationality quickly fading, so I went to bed. And a cotton sweater can only dry so fast, even if you put every fan in the apartment around it. Trust me, I know.
    That said, THANK YOU for encouraging us to aim high and have fun at the same time. I’d hate to be beating myself up because I didn’t brew another cup of coffe and keep on “going for the gold.”
    Thanks to the IOC for all their hard work! It was a blast.

  83. Thank you, Stephanie (and team)! Without your nudging to start this I would not have conquered my fear of extra-delicate lace and edging *creepy violins*. Now I have a lovely shawl that everyone is coveting to remind me that I can do whatever I set my mind to.
    Here’s to the Summer Olympics of 2008!

  84. Thanks to Ken, S. Kate, Emma, Kat, and The Harlot. (Especially to the Harlot, thanks for almost not finishing – that makes me feel better!)
    I didn’t finish my socks, but I started my new sock-knitting addiction, and I already have the yarn for my next pair winging its way to me. Can’t wait.
    (And for the summer olympics… 😉

  85. Thank you for making me challenge myself like I never did. Thank you for giving me the faith that I could do it, even when I thought I couldn’t. Seeing so many participe in the same challenge was a great booster.
    From now on I hope to challenge myself in knitting and other aspects of my life too. Like you said, there are no loosers in knitting. 🙂

  86. Thanks to the knitting IOC for all of their hard work! Thanks to Stephanie for suggesting such a wonderful challenge. I am sitting here at my desk WEARING a garmet that I knit that required gauge and everything. First one ever.

  87. Fear. Trepidation. An unhealthy avoidance of my dresser. All because I was terrified of the sweater wool hidden in the extra drawer.
    I signed up for �one small sock� because my previous sock took me 6 weeks of constant knitting (on size 6 (4 mm) needles. How embarrassing). I was all I thought I could manage. At the last minute I took a deep breath�and opened the dresser. Although disqualified on day 13 (ask Kat about her cataloging class, she�ll verify it�s one of circles of hell), I knit 3/4 of a sweater. In 16 days.
    Dear God, woman, I never EVER would have thought that was in me until you. Thank you. Honestly, I can�t thank you enough (and the IOC, esp. whoever added me at the last sec).

  88. Many thanks to you – and the entire KOIC – for having created this amazing event.
    I failed to finish my Kiri shawl (knit from my own Kool-Aid dyed lace yarn), but I suspect I could qualify for the category Largest Mis-Calculation by an Olympic Knitter.
    I based my estimate of how big to make the shawl on the original Kiri designer’s own shawl as pictured in the pattern. Which seemed like a good idea. Until I got to Day Two, looked down at the tiny triangle in my lap, and said, “This is supposed to be 25% of the whole shawl?”
    Reviewing the pattern again, I realized that the designer had knit in Kid Silk Haze (a DK weight yarn), with size 7 needles. I was knitting with Merino Oro laceweight on size 1. How I was ever dense enough to think knitting the same number of rows as the KSH shawl would give me a full-size piece, I’ll never know.
    I tried for the next week to continue, hoping at least to get a usable shoulder scarf out of the event, but, alas, my hands started complaining, my nerves were frazzled, and by Day Eight, I couldn’t stand to look at my Kiri anymore.
    That’s when I declared myself done with the Olympics. I plan to continue working on Kiri, but at a safe and leisurely pace.
    Do I regret the effort? Not at all. I had been putting off knitting lace for months, and I finally got started – and found it’s nowhere near as intimidating as I thought.
    Will I do it again? Absolutely – but I’ll remember this time that, even in projects where gauge doesn’t normally matter, gauge ALWAYS matters if TIME does.

  89. Thank you, thank you to:
    -Stephanie, for not realizing how big your knitting tribe was, and for giving us all a reason to be inspired and join in.
    -The wonderful support team, for backing her up when she realized what she’d started.
    -Everyone who knit. I have had more fun explaining what I’m up to, and having people send me articles, and hearing them explain the scale of this whole thing in baffled/awed tones to their friends. This was *neat*. Rock on, blogging knitters.
    And the gold medal is lovely. 🙂

  90. Stephanie – thanks to you for starting this whole event! Thanks to the team for all their hard work and support, and the Gold medal is fabulous!
    I hope you realize how much you have brought people together over the KO! Even my non-knitting husband and son have cheered for me and have enjoyed and appreciated your blog entries as you headed for Gold.(As have I. Your sweater is gorgeous and you are amazing!) During a class at college, my 19-year-old daughter was supposed to say something about herself. She was going to tell them she had just learned to knit, when a fellow student said she was participating in the Knitting Olympics! My daughter was so excited that she knew about the KO and gave her a connection to this other student.
    Thanks for the laughs! It’s been a wild 16 days.

  91. Yay! I finished my socks early so I guess I might be better than I thought?!? I loved participating and now I know I can finish something fast. No more excuses, DAMN! Thank you Stephanie, for a great opportunity.

  92. Thanks to the IOC! This was really fun. I learned a lot about myself, and about knitting. I taught someone else to knit, too, and I feel like that was part of the Olympic effort.
    I didn’t medal, but I’m prepped for Beijing.

  93. Thank you, IOC. And thank you, Franklin–love the medal! Stephanie, this was a brilliant idea, and I was dying to see if you would get those steeks sewn in time! 🙂 Many, many thanks!
    Sheila in Boston

  94. Thank you to Stephanie for pushing me to learn new things and challenge myself. To the Knitting Olympic IOC for compiling all the data. To my hubby for letting me knit evenings when our 3 year old boy was crazy.
    This was a wonderful experience. I learned to knit cables, I learned to knit and purl continental. I learned that I can juggle family, work and knitting, but not finish an adult sized cardigan with a learning curve in 16 days.

  95. no medal for me (thanks to the stomach flu – on my mother, not me) and some very tightly wound dale heilo that I needed to kill. but still, the most fun i’ve had in ages, freaking out my friends with tales of olympic sized knitting. Not to mention the frenzy of blog updates (for reading).
    I have two half sleeves, almost a body, and the confidence I can do fair isle – i figure two more weeks and I’ll be wearing it.
    Thanks for all the fun!!!

  96. Thanks everyone. You organised an amazing event and I had so much fun knitting my clapotis which is the biggest thing I’ve knitted in the 18 months that I’ve been knitting. You even inspired someone on the the Chatelaine needlework design BB to organise a stitching Olympics which was lots of fun too.

  97. I think that Stepanie and the entire KIOC desrve a standing ovation and some sort of prize, even!! I stand among the ranks of the DNF, as my lovely silk yarn was not destined to be the Sunrise Circle Jacket, (not enough spring to it?) But I did what I never would have done before, tore it out twice, once when it was 2/3 done. Before I would have just kept on in denial, and then found someone with extra long arms and torso. I will try it again, but not with the same yarn. Thanks for making me strive to get it right.

  98. Another non-finisher here, but wow, what a trip. At dinner out last night, I was watching CNN in the restaurant, and the little crawl across the screen mentioned the knitting olympics. I started to vibrate, and my husband was ready to dive under the table. He still thinks we’re all nuts, but oh well. I knit socks, he knits chain-mail.

  99. It was so much fun!!
    Unfortunately upon the first wearing of my new cozy lovely chocolate brown fingerless mits, I go to grab my fare card out of my pocket… and the thumb split. I need to learn how to sew in ends better.
    Thank you so much for putting this all together, I hope you realize what you mean to all of us.

  100. After I started blogging my progress on my Olympic sweater which was my very first cable sweater, one of my blog readers who is a quilter decided to also take up the fiber olympic torch and have her own quilting olympic event! I was amazed that my knitting blog could inspire another fiber feind! The Knitting olympics sent ripples of fiber joy throughout the crafting community!
    By the way I did finish. You can check out my progress,the finished Olympic sweater, and my gold medal on my site !!

  101. Thanks so much for you and your team’s hard work on the chaos and fun that was the Knitting Olympics! I am so bummed that we need to wait till the next Olympics to have another Knitting Olympics. We should definately so this again during the next Olympics!
    Watch out Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics – the knitters are comming!

  102. Thanks to you too, Steph. As a fan-who-gushes-from-afar, to honour your latest success (namely, the 2006 KO), I’ve just ordered your forthcoming book from Dear Marsha at Needle Arts! 🙂

  103. What did I learn? Well, I thought I would have trouble focussing on just one project, and I did NOT think I would finish because the balancing act with the rest of my lifework. Turns out I was wrong on both counts (though I will admit to cheating with a sock because I could not knit the sweater during a film). But I actually learned a lot more.
    1) I take knitting deadlines/goals just as seriously as I do all other deadlines, and I am maybe a bit TOO obsessive about being on time.
    2) I should more frequently make the move from identifying a desirable pattern to actually making it, from hoarding a cherished color or type of yarn to USING it.
    3) It is a very different experience to knit to a deadline when the goal is to challenge your knitting endurance/expertise as opposed to, say, trying to get something finished for Christmas. That kind of knitting IS a group endeavour since so many other knitters are in the same boat, but this one is a shared knitting experience with a difference.
    Maybe I finally understand the “knit-along” phenomenon, but here each knitter was challenging himself/herself. A shared experience that remained individual and did not require me to make the same sweater/shawl/socks as everyone else — my kind of knit along.
    All in all, I have knit a complete garment from the lovely yarn my sister financed with her Xmas gift certificate from 2 years ago, and I am now warm in my modified Aquarius sweater in the sub-zero weather currently stalled in Maine.
    My only problem is — now what?

  104. i finished!!!!
    thank you for doing this!!!! a gold medal to you!!
    we got a new puppy during the olympics and i thought that might be the end of the games for me but i made it thru.
    his middle name is Turino. after all he got to stay home and watch the games from his den all day while i was at work and should have been home knitting!!

  105. Thank you Stephanie. It was very cool to be a part of something so great, even if I did get some funny looks from non-knitting friends and family. They don’t know what they’re missing.

  106. Awesome Graphic!
    And thanks so much to ALL OF YOU for this great event – it was truly an amazing experience!
    I missed the technicality on starting at Torino time and started and finished by my local time that the ceremonies were played on TV (US Central) so it has been decided (by a very partial jury of my olympic peers, that tried to insist that they thought I still earned Gold, but eventually concurred)that I earned a Silver medal. I just took this great Gold image and converted it to Silver in Photoshop. So, if anyone else happens to be in the same boat as I am, they are welcome to grab the silver image from my site and upload it to their site.
    Thanks and bravo EVERYONE!

  107. Hooray and congratulations to all the participants! I was one of the ones that finished early…and things weren’t quite right, so I ripped and redid, setting a new goal and treading where i had never trod before by completely tweaking a pattern 🙂
    It came out quite nicely if I do say so myself! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

  108. Hey Steph–I forgot to tell you that the Knitting Olympics made the nightly news in Chillicothe, MO. I was Visiting Author to the middle school there, and one of the students interviewed me for their school TV–she had the foresight to warn me that she wanted to know about the Knitting Olympics, so I brought my WIP along, and we held it up for the cameras. Then the local station aired the segment. So it’s not just the big networks, it’s the little networks, too.
    I really did get extraordinary personal satisfaction from realizing I could actually knit lace. But I got a lot more satisfaction out of realizing that one person can still start a whole movement. Peace out, rock on–when do we start training for summer ’08?

  109. Though I was unable to compete in my event of choice due to equipment failures and life conflicts…
    where before I might have been tempted to give it all up as hopeless…
    bouyed by the Olympic spirit of so many other true knitting athletes, I stayed the course. I decided to compete in a sprint event, and…
    I DID IT! I made a felted purse, in which I taught myself to knit Continental style and learned both how to make I-cord and how to felt wool (on purpose).
    Thank you (sob, sniffle), thank you.

  110. Wow, thank you. 🙂
    There were moments I was not so sure this was a good idea (for the record, my hand was half-raised, not lowered, when you asked at Spa). But as I moved through the different stages of my project, it was incredibly fun trying new things that, sure, I would probably one day try out, maybe next month, maybe next year, but not NOW, and not all at once. I learned so much, I had a lot of fun, and I surprised myself with what I could do. Thanks for throwing down the gauntlet and encouraging us all to reach.

  111. Stephanie, I had to re-focus my energies to rooting for you because my Rowan pattern book did not arrive until FRIDAY!!! I have a short bit of lace knit up, that’s it.
    You are amazing and have the BEST ideas 🙂

  112. Congrats to all who knitted for the 16 days. Didn’t we have some fun??? Special tribute to my dear sister who learned how to knit socks. I’m so very proud of her.

  113. Kudos to you, dear, for toughing out the logistics end of the KO as well as participating yourself, and a hearty “Well done” to all participants. I was an early finisher because I did underestimate my capability. Now I know better. Next time around (I’m sorry, did you scream?) I’ll set my sights higher. And I’ll know to look for pattern corrections when things begin getting perplexing.

  114. Thank you, Stephanie, for (1) making the suggestion–taking on a new project got a lot more fun when I was reading about others doing the same thing–and (2) for providing such laugh-till-I-fall-off-the-chair funny commentary through the whole thing.
    My (newly knitted and first-time-in-the-round) hat is off to you!

  115. Thank you Stephanie for coming up with such a wonderful idea. Thanks to your techies who helped you get everything organized. And thanks for those incredibly kind words. You made me feel proud to have been a part of this. And even though I didn’t finish on time, I will finish.

  116. Thank you to the IOC for all the organization and support…
    …and of course thanks to you Stephanie for being so damn inspirational.

  117. So, with the summer games scheduled for Beijing in 2008, will we all be doing our knitting on chopsticks?
    Kudos to all you organizers, button, certificate, and medal makers…and kudos to all us knitters.

  118. Thank you so much for inspiring us all to try new things, attempt seemingly unattainable goals, and do things we may never have done if not for you. I am in love with my Broadripple (sock 2 is in progress). There will be many socks in my future.

  119. Another thank you from someone who normally wouldn’t have indulged in the madness. I’ve discovered quite a bit about myself, about my craft, and about how long I can hold a pointy stick before my shoulder cries out in agony�
    But yanno� I wouldn’t trade a minute. As I settled in my comfy green chair night after night, kiddo safely tucked in and TV tuned to the appropriate channel, I thought about others doing the same thing� and it really felt right. Half-finished sweater aside. It’ll get done — I didn’t come this far to stop now.
    Thanks to you and the IKOC for taking so much time out of your busy lives to put it all together, and keep it together. Ya done good.

  120. Thanks so much. I did alot otf things I have never done before.
    I knitted cables. I COMPLETED the largest item I ever knit (a coat). I concentrated on one project for 16 days (I would be pushed to say I had managed more than 16 min previously (I currently have 26 WIP)).
    I would never have done this without the challenge and now I know I can do it. In fact I can do anything (do I detect a sense of euphoria in my blathering?).
    I even had to dye more wool when it looked like I was running out. I finished with 12 min to spare and I love my coat.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  121. Dear Stef,
    God, you can almost bring tears to my eyes – frankly this is what i like most about having gone back to knitting : that sense of community that transcend everything: race, language, etc.. Things that no other hobby has achieve.. Cheers to us – although i never was able to cast on one stitch of River !!! (Miscalculated that a 13-yr old going to Florida by bus for the Spring break – coinciding with the Knitting Olympics – and all mandatory preparation before leaving – would cut the knitting time !!!)

  122. What a wonderful post. I enjoyed following the Knitting Olympics from the start and have been amazed at how a seemingly small suggestion turned into a worldwide phenomenon. But then again, it was a Yarn Harlot suggestion. How could that be small?
    Congratulations on your victory and on enabling knitters all over to rise to their own challenge.
    Many thanks to the IKOC for making it all possible.

  123. Cheers for all the IOC and well done everyone for even attempting to reach high. 😀 You guys are the BEST!

  124. Many, many thanks to you and your IOC crew. In this day and age where it’s so easy to feel isolated, it was really, really cool to know that I was one small part of a worldwide activity.
    All because of the Yarn Harlot. Feels pretty cool to have that much power, huh?

  125. I am the Michelle Kwan of the Knitting Olympics. I barely even got started before I took myself out of the race. First, I cast on 10 too few stitches for my cabled sweater — I left one whole cable out. There’s no fixing that. Rip rip rip.
    Second, well, I got pregnant. Turns out that when you’re six weeks pregnant, any time that you previously thought was for knitting is in fact for sleeping, and any time when you can sit down and look at your needles and your cables is also time for sleeping, unless it’s time for throwing up. I watched a lot of Olympics in a semi-somnolent nauseated stupor, but I did not get a lot of knittng done.
    So, no, I do not get a medal. What I do get, however, is my first lesson of parenthood: plans go by the wayside with babies. My husband will get his sweater somehow, my baby will grow inside me and be brought into the world, and in the fullness of time, all things shall be possible.
    Congratulations to everyone who finished; even more congratulations to everyone who started. This whole wonderful community makes me so proud.

  126. I participated in the Knitting Olympics this year and LOVED it. I knit a sleeveless sweater out of 100% silk and have even worn it a few times. I look forward to the next one. we WILL do it again for the summer Olympics, right? Or – what about starting an annual Knitting Olympics event? Love your blog and wish i had the talent to knit a sweater like you did.

  127. Thank you Stephanie. The last few years I found myself knitting more and quilting less. I loved being able to be with my family and still do something with my hands. But my knitting projects were small ( socks, mittens, felted bags) I never thought a sweater was in my near future. But when you asked us all to challenge ourselves I couldn’t resist. I did knit my sweater and it came out great.With my new found confidence I went to my LYS Monday and showed it off ( and bought yarn to make another sweater!)
    Thanks again to you and everyone who helped. Thanks to to all you bloggers who posted your progress, I loved being able to check on everyone.
    Maybe, like some other blogless participants, I’ll have the courage to start my own blog.

  128. Thank you so much for the gorgeous medals, and the accompaning feeling of accomplishment! I am so proud of myself, and all my fellow knitters! WAY TO GO!!!!
    See you in Beijing!

  129. Although I didn’t finish due to an error in the charted pattern that I couldn’t figure out and the author didn’t respond until today, I have to say I HAD A BLAST! Thank you Thank you Thank you to the IOC of the Knitting Olympics!

  130. Due to previous commitments (finishing an Elann pattern for a shrug to wear to Stitches West), the dozens of distractions at Stitches, and the residual exhaustion from Stitches, I really only started my Jaywalker socks on Wed, Feb 22. Sadly, I did not finish. When the flame went out, I had just managed to finish the gusset on one sock. The other is ready for the gusset. It was a good experience.
    Stephanie, you brought the world to knitting, and knitting to the world. I’m proud to have been a part of the first Knitting Olympics.

  131. Wow, that medal is gorgeous! I mean it! I wish I had adopted a different strategy and finished my socks. Oh well, I’m almost there now, and they are awesome. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  132. I was entered on the list as Kim P � 2 sweaters. I have never knit a sweater before. I crashed and burned and did not even finish one. My bad, but I learned a valuable lesson. I love knitting, but not knitting under pressure. I especially don�t want to screw things up by rushing when I paid big bucks for fancy ass yarn to knit my first sweater. Anyway, that�s what I learned. I am honored to have even participated. Bravo to everyone!!

  133. I came, I saw, I frogged two seperate socks because they were so so badly done. I’ve got a third sock on the go right now, so perhaps I’ll actually finish one that looks reasonable. See you all in Bejing in two years! I promise that I’ll have that sock done by then :p
    Thanks to the Harlot and to the IOC of the Knitting Olympics!

  134. I came, I saw, I frogged two seperate socks because they were so so badly done. I’ve got a third sock on the go right now, so perhaps I’ll actually finish one that looks reasonable. See you all in Bejing in two years! I promise that I’ll have that sock done by then :p
    Thanks to the Harlot and to the IOC of the Knitting Olympics!

  135. I didn’t finish, I was close, but not complete. I do have to say that I did learn something. I am happy that I still have something to work on. And I am more proud than ever, that my boyfriend supported me. (Especially in the mad dash to find more chestnut yarn when I ran out.) Thanks for the challenge!

  136. No, thank you, Stephanie! Without this challenge, I probably never would have attempted the Print o’ the Wave scarf. I would not have felt like a downhill skier skiing uphill at times; a skater falling, but getting back up to go on. I would not have gained confidence by learning how to correct mistakes in lace without having to tink back to the error. I thank you for offering me this chance. And the summer Olympics are not too far off, are they? Please, let’s do this again.

  137. What an experience !
    Now…………we’ve got four years minus a couple of days…to rest and train…..for what I hope will be be the Second Knitting Olympics……
    Mexico City, who knit for Team Canada !

  138. God Bless you, Stephanie and your team for doing something so awesome! How does it feel to have a part of history? You and your team managed to unite more people than the Sporting Olympics. I mean, really, aren’t we all cursing just a little when our country doesn’t win the medal, but since I found out about the Knitting Olympics and started reading posts, I have seen a common thread of unity and encouragment for every participant all around the world regardless of age, race, location and beliefs. How does it feel to achieve greatness?
    Think they’ll let you participate in the next G-8 Summit on World Peace?
    Thank you and I look forward to actually being able to join in on all the fun at the next Olympics. I’ve already begun to plan a team for (2008? asked hopefully) and how to advertise for the maximum number of team members in our area.
    Again, God Bless you all!

  139. Thank you! I wore my map of the world sweater to school today and it turns out the 1st grade has just started a unit on the world. I went from class to class as a walking, talking globe. All the kids wanted to see my medal. Tomorrow I can show them. Just wondering, when do we take over the world?

  140. I’m among those who didn’t finish. I would have, but I ran into a serious obstacle–the front yokes of my adaptation of Bamboo just wouldn’t work! I lost count of how many variations I tried — finally came up with a successful version this morning–so I should have it finished soon. Just one more small piece and the assembly left to go!

  141. Many, many congratulations, Stephanie, and tremendous thanks to the organizing committee. 😀 You’re all marvelous, and I’m pleased to be able to lurk among you. 🙂
    I didn’t finish — I barely started — but I’d failed to understand the breadth of my personal challenge. That pair of socks for my little boy had been haunting me for months, but the real hang up was that the last sock I’d made — the first from my own pattern (read “Ann Budd’s template”) had turned out seriously wonky. The instep had WAY too many stitches. It took the Olympics to get me to finally sit down, count stitches all the way around that sock 6 different places, read the pattern, compare, and finally understand how I’d messed up the gusset. And then … (fanfare) I cast on again for the boy’s “lellow socks.”
    It doesn’t matter that I didn’t finish. It doesn’t even matter that I ended up hating the fabric I was working and ripped it all back and now have to reswatch with needles 2 sizes smaller and start over. Don’t care a whit — I *learned* something. I *understand* now. I’ll never stop short on a gusset again. And by golly, the boy *will* eventually get his lellow socks.
    I may even add some extra color to them.
    Thank you. 🙂

  142. I’m another non-finisher. I gave it my all. I tried so hard, but ran out of time and energy. Thank you for your post today. It brought me to tears. It really was all about the trying, and I did. Thank you for starting this challenge, and thank you for inspiring us to be more than we ever though possible.
    I’m already training for Summer of 2008!!

  143. I too am a knitter that didn’t complete her challenge. But I feel much better after reading your blog entry today. Better enough to keep at it and eventually finish my Olympic challenge.
    🙂 Thanks, Stephanie!

  144. When I look back at my 2005-2006 school year, there are a few things that will stick out in my mind as great learning experiences, wonderful achievements, and life-enrichening opportunities:
    -starting my DVM program as a first year student at the Ontario Vet College
    -placing my first, unsupervised, jugular catheter, and having it go well (only vet geeks will understand this, i’m sure..but ohmygod what a rush!)
    -finding a chiropractor in Guelph (been putting this off for two years)
    -participating in the Knitting Olympics
    I thank you so much for putting the idea out there – it was both rewarding and refreshing to challenge myself in something where the only thing riding on it was my sense of accomplishment. In a year full of headaches and stress, having an excuse to knit my lil’ heart out, soak up as much Olympic coverage as I could between classes, exams, and work, was just what I needed to ward off the mid-semester slump.
    And as an added bonus – being able to meet some of the wonderful knitting olympians in Toronto, after 2 weeks of classmates, housemates, and friends thinking the whole thing was “amusing”, “cute” and just a little bit “insane”…. it was just amazing 🙂 My fellow student veterinarians may think I’m a bit crazy, but at least I know I’m not alone 😉

  145. I’m a non-finisher but I’m not sorry about it because my project had to get put aside for a little while due to a medical emergency involving my husband. It as extremely inspiring, however, to see so many OTHER finishers – people who were really pushing themselves to do something above and beyond anything they’ve done before. The cardigan I was attempting LOOKED very challenging and I can definitely say that a year ago (heck, even a few months ago) I would NOT have attempted it. But, as I worked through it, I found it that it is, in reality, a pretty simple pattern.
    Because, when you come right down to it, anything taken a step at a time is never insurmountable, right?

  146. will blog in a day or two the longer version on my blog… but
    I finished one out of three of the cardigans, almost finished the second and did get a front knitted for the third.
    I hadn’t allowed for Half Term, being taken out two nights and the plain fact that I’m still convalescing and couldn’t keep up the pace.
    Slept for four hours Monday morning to recover…
    But I did learn to finish garments properly and am soooo proud of the seams.

  147. I thought I had not made it the night of the 25th… the realized that I still had another day! Somehow sleep caught up with me, though, and I still didn’t finish my bit of edging left. Somehow I still managed to take home a prize from my local LYS KO party, though! You inspired me to try a lot of firsts (sweater, seaming, lace, crochet finishing, mohair) and get them done FAST. Thanks for presenting this awesome challenge! I think I’ll do the 16 day challenge for myself a few more times when I need to pick up a skill and just DO IT without getting futzy. You rock, Harlot!

  148. Thank you for thinking this up Stephanie!
    I didn’t complete my sweater, but I think I really did challenge myself. With what I did complete by Sunday, I am still surprised because I outdid myself.

  149. olympic maddness….the first scarf i cast on for…was left on the first plane 2nd day into the olympics..i had to wait 5 days to return to atlanta airport to go to all lost and found offices, and the john wayne airport alas…against wasn’t turned in..therefore i had to repurchase my addis and etcs..and start over …and i finished! baby girl in boston…will love the 100% wool scarf for the rest of the school year..and for her next 3 years in college! oh..may i add…i rewrote the ‘program’ even better than the original! does that make me an experienced knitting choreographer now? going from the ‘short’ program to the long program with a 70″ scarf, rather than the beanies i’ve make hundreds of times over now?
    thanks for a funnnnnnnnn way to participate….
    summer olympics in 2 years…will everyone be ready for that?

  150. Thank you Stephanie and the entire IOC for dreaming up the Knitting Olympics. The idea of a personal challenge led me to knit the first sweater I’ve made for myself in 20 years. I worked through issues of fit and size to make a garment I will treasure for years. No, I didn’t finish. But I definitely overcame and grew as a knitter.
    Steph, the Knitting Olympics idea demonstrates a quality of openness to new ideas and experiences which distinquishes the truly creative. You are a force for good in this world and you have had an impact on all our lives. THANK YOU!

  151. Oh, This was the most fun I’ve had in ages. Thanks to you, Stephanie, and your whole team for all the work. We were the ones who got to have the fun of knitting away. My Clapotis is beautiful, as is the wonderful WI medal I received at the WI group party Sunday evening. Do we have to wait till 2010 to do it again?
    Sue DeB

  152. OH OH OH
    What’s left to be said ??!! I was in tears reading your posting Stephanie . YOu are so sincere and caring to all of us. THANKS to ALL your wonderful helpers, THANKS to you , ThANKS to your family for bearing with us all and taking time out of their lives .I am honored to have been part of this whole pleasuable programme. Not only did I learn how to use the computer and send you a note but also that I can still knit under pressure even if my wrists hurt most of the time. I have also felt like a part of GREAT group of men and women that love to knit and chat . What a lonely world this would be without knitting and friends . Thanks also for the medal it is a real keepsake Joan (eau)

  153. Thanks Stephanie and all your helpers. I had a ton of fun and learned that I can knit anything I put my needles( and my mind too)!

  154. Thank you Steph for such a great event! I feel much more a part of the knitting community now. And I achieved something that I didn’t think was possible. I’m officially hooked on knitting now so badly that my stash has increased 3 fold since the beginning of the Olympics. My family thanks you. :b I’ve learned that I can focus on one thing when I really put my mind to it. And I have a beautiful new bag to prove it. Bring on the Summer Olympics!

  155. well, damn, darlin’ Stephanie. What the heck are you going to do now?
    Congratulations, to you and all participants, and thanks so much for the spectacle and the inspiration.
    lovelovelove, tina (from Team GuiltTowardOngoingProjects)

  156. Thank *you*!
    I’m still very much a novice knitter. I learned to knit cables, and proved to myself that I can stick to just one project, all the way to completion.
    Some of my friends who’ve seen my Irish Hiking scarf have actually asked me to make one for them. I was just flattered beyond words!

  157. Thanks to you all, a masive undertaking. Well done.
    My one regret was that I do not live in TO and could not attend the opening and closing parties.
    Looks like you all had a blast!
    Blown away by the talent out there.

  158. A few lessons learned: 1) If I understand the written instructions in a pattern I like, What’s to stop me from making it? Wearing the picture would look pretty ridiculous. This leads to lesson 2) A sleeve is just as portable as a scarf and I’ve already made dozens of those. Pick a simple pattern and take it on the road. 3) There’s no need to moan and wail about a short term yarn diet when I KNOW I can zip through some of the projects I already have the yarn for. (NEVER underestimate skill or potential!) Best of all, 4) We’re all better for trying.
    I’m not just sitting and waiting for the next (beautifully knitted) gauntlet that you throw, but no doubt I’ll be there to pick it up. I’ll even set the current project aside again. Thanks for the laughs and inspiration.

  159. Thank you, Stephanie, for providing the challenge – I nearly made it on my EZ raglan cardigan but had to knit my sleeves four times because I had a dye lot disaster (should have known better). The last cardigan I knitted took over four years to finish, so (and three people had to help me do this calculation) I have had a 5473% improvement in my garment-knitting-rate, on the proportion I managed to do… am delighted with myself and what I have learnt and I love hearing how many people besides myself enjoyed this experience. Catherine M

  160. Ok, you made me cry. Again. You rock, as does every single person who picked up needles in the past 2 weeks (and a bit). Global warming should always be like this!

  161. yet once again, harlot you move me to tears… thank you…
    I’m one of the also rans… I knew it the moment I missed the start of the olympics due to life issues of an unavoidable sort. I didn’t admit it till I’d knit 4 pairs of sox and was starting on the chemo caps for the shavealid participants at my daughter’s school. (lest anyone feel all sorry for me, no one in MY family is ill, this was for another child at my daughter’s school, who has kicked the leukemia in the everylovin’ butt and the caps are for the teachers and students who took part…my little part)
    Because of the knitting olympics there are 3 teachers and 2 kids with warmer heads than yesterday and one little baby boy to be will have warm feet when he arrives. Not to mention that my daughters’ sock drawers are a little fuller.
    Thank you Steph…you are an inspiration, a joy and source of laughter to me very nearly every day. I want you to know that I appreciate the world a little more, knowing there are people like you in it.

  162. It came down to the wire, but my Tubey is done, done, done! And fabulous!
    (Can you tell I’m pleased?)
    Thanks for the double dog dare, I never would have known what I can accomplish in 16 days if I’m willing to neglect most other areas of my life!

  163. What a blast! Thank you IOC! Great job keeping on top of the amazing surge of knitters!
    I am a proud participator and unsurprised nonfinisher – my planned socks turned into the Highland Triangle Shawl and well, the rest of life continued. 2010!

  164. Thanks to everyone who helped. And hats off to all who participated.
    The Knitting Olympics reminded me that no matter how busy I think I am, I can still finish a project for each of my boys in 2 weeks if I put my heart in it. Never underestimate the power of a mother’s love. Now YS has his Castle afghan and OS has his Dragon afghan. 🙂

  165. What a blast! Thanks IOC! Great job keeping on top of the surge!
    I participated happily! And unsurprisingly, I did not finish! My socks for me mutated into a Highland Triangle Shawl for me, and, well, um, I’ve only got two repeats left! (ahem, on the triangle). Learned – My son needs more and longer baths so I can knit! Also learned – the knitting will wait, but the wrists need taking care of now to live another day.
    Felicidades a todos!

  166. I am actually in tears. Rather than gush on I will just thank you again for this uplifting experience and will have my medal displayed everywhere I can think of with great pride. You are simply the greatest. And all your little Olympian croonies too. What a talent!

  167. To Stephanie and all the other organizer/techies, THANK YOU. When I think back to the 2006 Winter Games, this will be right up there on the list of great moments. To be frantically knitting away and know that there are *4000* other knitters cheering you on (while also knitting away) is unbelievable.
    I will be eagerly awaiting Beijing 2008 (methinks something light and airy out of cotton might be in order)… hopefully we can do this again! Count me out for 2010 though… I’ll be out partying with the athletes and fans in my hometown… Olympic flag went up at City Hall today… w00t
    Congratulations to everybody who signed up… I’ve enjoyed seeing what everybody’s been up to…

  168. Congrats to all brave knitters who endeavored to best their best! My dear kids had their own ceremony for me Sunday evening complete with medal (CD), flowers and flag. Sheepishly I still have some finishing to do but I am proud of my accomplishment. I also never realized how distracted I am – no wonder there are so many UFOs!!!

  169. Thanks for the freakyness!! Are we supposed to start training for the next summer olympics? Or is this strictly a winter olympic event?

  170. I am also a proud participator and unsurprised nonfinisher. I ended up making my first pair of socks ( I only have a little left on the second one) I was so proud that I even attempted it. My supplies just now came in for the project I was going to do. I pulled out some sock yarn that I was saving in my glorious stash, and decided to go for it for the Olympics. It was wonderful being part of such an a event.
    Many, Many, Many,Many, Many, Many,Many, Many, Many,Many, Many, Many,Many, Many, Many, Thanks!!!
    By The Way, does shopping for other projects during the knitting Olymipcs count as an exibition sport????

  171. I have awarded myself a Knitting Olympics Gold Medal.
    Did I finish the cabled sweater?
    However, I learned a thing or two about Olympic scoring techniques while watching the ice skating events. If it works for them, it should work for me.
    SO! Under the new scoring system instituted after the infamous “Shetland judge cheating scandal,” my knitting project scored enough points in the “difficulty” and “style” categories to win the gold, despite a disasterous “fall” mid-sweater which required ripping back 6 inches on both the front and back. The two sleeves earned flawless scores in the “long program” and the body recovered to be complete to the underarms. The Gold Medal is mine.
    Thank you Stephanie and the Olympic Committee for this wonderful advventure! Two needles up for all of you!

  172. Thank you for pushing us all! I did finish and now I’m going to attack all of my unfinished objects. No, really! Thanks.

  173. Kat, S.Kate, Emma and Ken – Our Knitting IOC, ROCKS!!!
    Our Dear Harlot, Our International Knitting Olympics Chairperson ROCKS HARD!!!
    The media, on the other hand, who never bothered to try to track down the originator of this phenomena (like no one knew! sheesh!!) They pebble.

  174. Team Harlot Rules! What an adventure and what an idea and what a comeback there at the last moment with that amazing sweater! I’m one of those who challenged myself too little. Now I’m on a roll though and hope to actually do my first sweater in time for the cold summer San Francisco months!

  175. Thank you thank you thank you! I enjoyed this so much and found I was up for much greater things than I thought, never would I have thought I could finish 2 pairs of socks in 2 weeks and have time to spare! And even better, my 77 year old mother participated and she knit 32 pairs of slippers for charity. We presented her with our own version of a gold medal, which she has worn humbly but proudly!

  176. Wooooohoooo!! I finished my VERY FIRST PAIR OF SOCKS!!! Granted, a friend says they look like they were ment for a goat and not a person, but they are cute in their deformed little way! And I love them!! ANd will make more!!!
    Thanks for this!! And I can’t wait for the next olympics!!

  177. i did not finish, nowhere close. i got halfway done, tried it on, and it was too large due to a guage issue with my yarn. oh well! i’m still determined to finish. my needles arrived late, and then i had a super important medication certification test as part of my job, and i figured i’d better not fail, so i lost a few days to that as well. i know, excuses excuses. but, i’m well on my way to a hand-knit sweater made by and for me, in a colour and yarn that i love, and that is prize enough for me 🙂

  178. “A village to freak out non-knitters.” Love it! Thanks for the crazy, fun idea- and eventually I’ll tell you how throwing up Angora goats hampered my progress- I completely finished blocking @ 2:10. Now, as if I can’t get enough, its off to knit…

  179. Thank you for the inspiration–I made my first pair of socks! Actually, I made three socks. 🙂 And the forth is on the needles. I’m so impressed by everyone’s ability to challenge themselves–it was wonderful being part of something so large.
    And now I’m starting to think ahead to Beijing 2008–what would make a nice summary Olympic project?

  180. Congrats to everyone that finished!!!!!
    I didn’t quite get there, but I was ever so close………so decided to award myself a Bronze medal. 🙂
    I too took my cue from the skating events. The short program was great. I fell on the opening of my long program (ripping out 20 rows), but was able to hold it together to get the body completed, and the neckband well on it’s way (a few more revolutions and my spin surely would have been rated a Level 4). I had to leave out my final jump combination (armhole ribbing) because the music ended a tad too soon……but when the scores were posted, I still had enough points to hold onto the Bronze!!!!!
    Thanks Yarn Harlot!!! This was a fabulous idea.

  181. Stephanie, I am non-finisher, but I don’t care. My “event” was Dorothy Siemens’ Rippling Waters scarf. I’ve done small lace patterns before, but this was the first time I had worked from a chart, the most complex pattern I had done, the first time I picked up stitches (can you believe it?) – but I could do it, all. The chart that had looked daunting to me turned out to be blessedly easy to follow – as easy as DS’ instructions. All those things that I didn’t know how to do, when I got to the point where I was required to do them – hey, I DID them. I felt so empowered as I realized that these things aren’t daunting at all. It wasn’t until the next-to-last repeat on the body of the scarf that I did a major screw up, dropping some stitches, and had to tink. I knew going in that I would have to be away from my knitting for 4 of the 16 days. And I am a slow knitter. But I realize now that if I had been home those four days, I would have made it. Not much consolation, but some. Also …. while the rest of you were probably watching the closing ceremonies, I was at the home of a friend in another city …. teaching her to knit! I didn’t have much faith in my ability to teach anything, but we sat side by side, and she very quickly caught on. I taught her the knitted cast-on because we only had a little bit of time and I thought – if she learns that, she’s ahead on learning the knit stitch. And so she was! Thanks for your enthusiasm and your aspiration and your fallibility – this has been a kick and, better than that, I’ve learned a lot and grown as a knitter, which is what it was all about.

  182. Thanks for coming up with a cool idea that was really a lot of fun. I finished the Harry Potter Unity Scarf, a Tweed Stitch scarf, learned socks on circular needles (I so love knitting socks Magic Loop!), and finished off a HP Slytherin Scarf that had been started before the Olympics.
    Added to all this I went into the hospital on the 15th to have an inflamed gland in my jaw removed. I spent the 3 hours waiting for surgery, knitting away at the Unity scarf. That night, resting comfortably with the Olympics on the television, I continued to knit. Knitting kept my occupied, relaxed and sane while I recuperated from this surgery.
    What made the doing even better, are the new knitting friends I have made on-line from all of this. Nice to know we SERIOUSLY are not alone.
    Our Knitting Guild meets on Thursday and I will have my Olympic Knitting for Show And Tell! Can’t wait for the Summer Olympics!

  183. Thanks, Harlot, for challenging us to try something new and stretch our wings. Although I did not finish, I am proud to say I did try along with thousands of others. It was fun! (Are we going to do this again someday?)

  184. finished 1/3 of a shadow-knit tunic sweater, having emulated Bode Miller in an attack of severe overconfidence – but I also learned something about why I knit , and why I love it so much. Thanks!

  185. At last, drum roll here!! I have finished the knitting on my knitted, woven cape. See blog for pics. Only 2 days late and all the sewing up to be done yet, sigh…..!!
    Thanks so much for the ride Stephaine it has been so much fun!!

  186. Thank you so much for thinking this up! I laughed, I cried, I felt like a true Olympian. I still haven’t finished, but thanks so much for those last words of support.
    Thanks to the IOC!!!!!
    Until 2010?

  187. THANK YOU!!! This was by far the craziest knitting adventure I ever undertook. I’m so happy I did this. I learned how to do the Magic Loop, I learned Fair Isle and I learned how to felt. And I did it in 16 days! Woohoo! Thank you so much for organizing this!

  188. A BAZILLION thanks to you and your team!
    I don’t get a gold medal, but I have learned the following important things:
    1) Dale of Norway patterns rock nearly as much as you Steph, and now I’m addicted to them and actually beleive I can finish one in my size.
    They have a new Colorado Springs pattern just out, so making one seems required since I live there.
    2) I have just enough common sense not to do steeks at 3 in the morning even if it means not getting a gold medal.
    3) My family and friends love me even when I do what appears to be strange things.
    4) I can now weave in ends like a champ.
    5) Knittting Olympics inspire plenty of people, it’s a great coversation opener, and now my sister Karen is knitting a sock.
    6) Spending time with my family, like going to my daughter’s rugby match, is more important than gold to me.
    7) It’s a great feeling to push past what I think my limits are, and if I can do that with my knitting, why not apply it to the rest of my life?
    In honor of the KO team, I’m sending a donation to Knitters Without Borders. Because we are.

  189. I had a blast, and I’m glad I was able to participate. I look forward to 2008, and I know there’s a lot of others who are too! The real question is… what’s going to be a challenge in two years? 🙂

  190. 237 comments when I made this comment, WOW, you rock. Steph, thanks for the inspiration and for saying that even if I didn’t finish, I am still an Olympian, I tried, I really did try and thanks for noticing.

  191. I should know better than to read your blog at work – I started tearing up today at your words.
    And I have to tell you: I sent a link to your blog to my SO today. When I got home, he had printed out AND framed the certificate for me. And pasted on the gold medal, even though I didn’t finish! He said he had entered his name for the prizes – I said you can’t even knit! He said he was pit crew, saying supportive things and cheering me on. So I suppose you can let him win a prize, if you must.
    This is all so much about community. Great stuff, Ms. Harlot, would you consider running the UN when you have some free time?

  192. Still turtling along with my shawl, but I wanted to take some time out to thank the Knitting IOC for all their hard work, and you, Steph, for starting it all. The world needs more people who come up with crazy ideas, preface them with “wouldn’t it be fun,” and end up convincing others to go along for the ride.
    Thanks for the ride, Steph!

  193. It was a great ride, and even though I didn’t finish (due to a bad case of the flu – you know you’re SICK when you call in to work and then can’t even pick up the needles), I was proud to have been along on the first Knitting Olympics!
    Karla (keeping MK company…..)

  194. Altogether now, on the count of three, let’s all rise with a round of applause and a big standing ovation for the greatest Olympian of them all–Stephanie…
    Thank you Stephanie from the bottom of my heart.

  195. Every once in a while I scroll through the knitters list and check out what the finished products look like. Can we keep the list up for a long time? There are at least a few people (well, after all, I’ve only gotten to the Cs so far) I would like to go and visit.

  196. WhooHoo to all the Olympians! I finished my French Market Bag, and even changed the colors a few times in the knitting (so not only my first big project but my first more than one color project). The best thing that came out of it? My family was fascinated and cheered me on everyday. Usually its just…”Mom’s knitting again” but for the past two weeks it’s been “How are you doing Mom? It looks GREAT, you can do it! No, you knit – I’ll do the dishes.” Thank you Harlot, for giving us all something to strive for together, and to be proud of, together. You ROCK!

  197. Thank you Steph for all you do to inspire us to greatness. I didn’t quite finish with the gold but I DID overcome my fear of double points and knit my first sock. Carpel tunnel may have kept me from the gold but it couldn’t keep me from experiencing the awesome look on my hubby’s face when that lone sock actually fit his foot!!! Thank you!!!!

  198. I may have lost by minutes, but I had fun the entire time. Well, most of the time. Sunday was hellish.
    Thanks for the fun. Anyone up for 2008?

  199. What an amazing experience with all the wonderful knitters of the world. What’s next fearless fun leader?!

  200. Many, many thanks to Ken, S.Kate, Kat, Emma and of course to you, Steph for having this marvelous idea.
    I’m probably old enough to be grandmother to many of you and certainly mother to most of you. A couple of years ago I had a couple “small strokes” serious lasting damage but certainly got my attention. And I realized that I needed to DO things that I had always wanted to of which was to learn to knit. Books just confused me and once I was able to drive I found a yarn store and took some basic lessons and fell in love with yarn. Unfortunately, due to some vehicle problems I’m unable to travel to the city to be around other knitters and I don’t know any local ones. So…I read blogs and I guess pretend that I’m somehow a part of these cyber circles. But with this idea of yours, I really really am a part of it! Thank you so much not only for making me learn more about myself and my knitting, but for being a part of a community. You rock!

  201. Well, I’m just adding my congratulations to everyone who participated…what a rush! My DH kept me laughing most of the time with general comments in the vein of “Is there a support group for families of Knitting Olympians? and many others that I probably shouldn’t document.
    Huge thanks to our Harlot (for coming up with this pretty much insane idea) and the KOIOC (without whom it just wouldn’t have been).
    Let’s hope for future insanity (and much knitting)!

  202. Thanks to the Tech Gods and other backup team members.
    And thanks for giving me an opportunity to do something I didn’t know I needed.

  203. ok, i need a hankie. thank you, stephanie. i was feeling kinda bad because i couldn’t make my goal. i think i may have been overly ambitious, but still. your kind words made me feel better. i knit patterns i’ve never knit before, and pushed myself in ways i’ve never dreamed of (somehow, holiday knitting isn’t the same). i never joined a team (although team wales was in the running, i love dragons (see email & blog name, lol)), but i still enjoyed it.
    and thank you to the techies who made this possible, as well. you guys rock!

  204. I usually refrain from leaving comments when you have a million already, but I have to join in and say Thanks a Million and Three Cheers! Go have three beers! The KO was fab and fun and bigger than anyone could have anticipated – just like knitting has become. I’m sure there will be a statue of you somewhere after you’re dead as the woman who thought up the knitting olympics. Or maybe a plaque outside your house. Thanks for encouraging everyone – especially those of us who didn’t finish. I was feeling pretty rotten about not finishing until you mentioned rocking babies. I did a lot of baby rocking instead of knitting. Thanks for the lift. Thanks for encouraging us to challenge ourselves in the first place and for building us up when we didn’t feel like we had achieved greatness. You’re the best. And congratulations on such a tremendous Olympic effort and finishing your beautiful sweater!! Hooray for you!! 🙂

  205. Thank you Stephanie for hosting a great knit along. I look forward to maybe doing it again in 4 years when the Winter Olympics are in Canada.

  206. I discovered the knitting blog community one day after the opening ceremony but couldn’t resist leaping in! I knit a prayer shawl for my aunt – a pattern of my own devising and by far the largest single item I’ve ever knit – and finished it late in the evening on Sunday, admittedly after the closing ceremonies. Thank you for bringing us all together! I think I’m ready for that first sweater!

  207. My Mum is still a bit confused about the mechanics of the KO (“Is everybody trying to make a jacket like that?”) but she’s completely floored that I got as much done as I did, especially considering my persistent equipment issues. Here’s to external motivation!

  208. Thanks for the inspiration, Stephanie. I don’t think I would have hustled on finishing if you hadn’t hosted such an incredible event.
    I can’t wait for the *next* Knitting Olympics!

  209. As a devoted cheerleader, it’s been amazing to watch everyone stretch out their necks and reach for the gold. I’m very proud of everyone who was brave enough to sign up and go for it with gusto =)
    So… Knitting Olympics IOC – Stephanie – Gold Medalists – ALL the Olympians deserve a big old pat on the back – hugs – cheers – margaritas – well, whatever you hearts desire. YAAY FOR EVERYONE!!!
    I wish I could have joined y’all but I knew my limits this time, maybe in the Summer? =)*)

  210. I know you probably won’t read this far down, but I couldn’t resist.
    I recently discovered your blog and read it all the way through. I’m totally enamoured of you and your knitting ability and for christmas, I used a gift card from the MIL to get your books.
    When I saw the idea for the KO, I wanted to participate but didn’t ever get around to officially signing up. I didn’t decide what I was going to do til the last minute. When it was down to the wire, and I still hadn’t decided, I made it up. I came up with a simple yet nice pattern for a rectangular wrap (similar to a rebozo) with three rows of twisted drops at either end. I am really proud of myself for just jumping in and winging it.
    Of course, I didn’t consult The Master (aka my son) on my participation or the deadline. He did not agree. Every time I tried to pick up my knitting, he needed to be in my lap RIGHT NOW. I did TRY to knit around him, but 18 month olds are more grabsy and handsy than a horny frat boy. So. I didn’t get near as far as I hoped. I got about halfway. Between him and his 15 month old cousin being in my care during the days, its really no wonder. I should have tried a sock instead.
    But at least I did my first project bigger than a scarf, 4th ever, with boucle yarn, on straight needles, and learned how to fix mistakes, like when I pick it up from having to drop it to prevent a toddler from emminent destruction for instance, and I go the wrong way, I can see the mistake and fix it. I still feel proud of my progress, and soothed by the last part of your post. I did a LOT of baby rocking too. At least I tried and I pushed myself.

  211. For me, Harlot, the most amazing thing about this was the gaining the sense of a knitting community. I am a solitary knitter, never having ventured to a class or a knit-in or even a knitting cafe with a project. The closest I got was going to Rhinebeck last year (before I’d heard of you, alas!) and spending a day just surrounded by all of the beauty and the weirdos like me and you who think playing with string and sticks is such a great thing. It was wonderful to go to the map and exchange words with a knitter in Turkey or a knitter in Sweden or one just down the road from me in upstate New York, or just see that there were people knitting in Beijing and Africa – what a thrill! And just today I got a lovely reply from Bonnie about steeks – a reply to a comment I posted here. What I am taking away from this event is not only a nearly finished project but a desire to connect with this community that I’ve always known existed but was too afraid to approach, thinking I wasn’t experienced enough and therefore unworthy. Now I have the confidence to take my self and my yarn down to the cafe or the local shop and plop myself down with everybody else, and put myself in a place where I can grow some more. Thank you for that.

  212. Cool medal.
    Thanks so much for hosting the Olympics. I had a wonderful time, and made a very cool sweater. Keeping up with the progress of others was fun too.
    I appreciate the hard work that was done by all.

  213. Thanks for doing this; it was great fun. I’m one of the successful finishers. 🙂

  214. Thanks for spurring us on. I never committed myself to doing anything but felt pulled to try to make a pair of socks…and left the second sock until the last day. Through some furious knitting I was able to finish it. Your sweater and what Mothlady did were totally awesome. What Lene did was totally awesome. What Twig and everyone else did was totally awesome. I’m proud to be a knitter and to be part of this wonderful community. Thanks for starting something that really pulled us together. This spirit of unity is what our world needs. The Olympics and the Knitting Olympics showed what can be done when people respect and support and honor each other.

  215. I am so glad that I participated. I did most of my blogging on the livejounal knit_olympics group. Those people were fantastic; very positive, inspirational, and helpful. That is what knitting is all about. Thank you for reminding us about that.

  216. Thank you for coming up with this crazy idea! I had tons of fun! (And I made it, about 50 mins before the flame went out!)
    And a big thank you to the Knitting IOC too!

  217. I would like to thank you for organizing most awesome knitting event.
    It inspired me & happy to know I am in massive knitting online group ( who ever imagined!!!)

  218. Gah – I failed to finish because I read your advice before cast on, and decided that the long term health of my wrists was more valuable than getting this project finished. So I knit slowly, and I will finish it, but not at te pace I wanted to. I feel sad, but I don’t feel like a failure. I still enjoyed charting my second ever knitting project from scratch, and the joy of cables.
    Thanks for all of your work – it’s been great fun.

  219. merci beaucoup for being crazy enough to instigate this. i met people at a (yes, it’s *just* like knitting) comic book convention whose wives were participating! i took a baltic braid class on Sunday, and there were avid fans and spectators of the Olympics.
    quite inspiring all told.

  220. merci beaucoup for being crazy enough to instigate this. i met people at a (yes, it’s just like knitting) comic book convention whose wives were participating! i took a baltic braid class on Sunday, and there were avid fans and spectators of the Olympics.
    quite inspiring all told. thanks so much stephanie and olympic front office personnel!

  221. I may have only finished one sock, but just being part of this was amazing! Just call me the Bode Miller of the knitting olympics…

  222. *squee* Got my certificate… 🙂
    It does say “Alitius” where it should say “Altius”… I think it’s cute… lol
    Thanks to everyone for putting this together!

  223. Yay! Thank YOU! Congratulations on finishing the sweater in the knick of time 🙂 I am very pleased with my wrist warmers, and several people want me to make some for them now (to those who asked during the Olympics, I told them don’t even look at me until these are done, hee hee!!)

  224. Thank you Stephanie and all the others who made the Knitting Olympics possible. I didn’t realize how disappointed I was that I didn’t finish my cardigan before the flame went out until I read your words , thank you for making me feel like I accomplished something. The cardigan will get finished. Thank you.

  225. Thank you Kat, S Kate, Emma, Ken, Franklin, and especially you Stephanie. This was the greatest of movements that you started, and I’m glad I finally gave in and participated.
    I’m most of the way through a project that would have taken me probably two months otherwise, and now I know how much I can do if I just apply myself more often.
    Thanks also for allowing the non-medalists into the prize drawings — that is really generous of you!
    Looking forward to the next time we do this!
    Jan F

  226. Thanks so much for dreaming this up, Stephanie! And a big heartfelt thanks to the KOIOC for coordinating everything! Although I didn’t accomplish my goal, I still won by just being a part of this amazing event. It’s overwhelming — in the best way.

  227. This was truly an exciting experience. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and everyone’s comments on the KO. I failed to finish due to running out of yarn, but learned so much in the process. I too, am solitary knitter. At the LYS are the hairspray and diamonds types, who wouldn’t have a clue there was a Knitting Olympics going on! So here I lurk!
    Thanks and congratulations to all the knitters!

  228. Thanks Stephanie, you’re an amazing woman. And thanks to the IOC of Knitting – there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes to make it seamless for the rest of us.
    I did not finish but I did achieve a personal best. Thanks for the support and it was great being part of a “world” team.

  229. Thank you and your team for the challenge and encouragement and all the hard work. I feel like I belong to a very special secret society. Will there be a Knitting Olympics in 2008?

  230. Thanks to you, Steph, and all of the hardworking members of the knitting IOC. You all rock! Got me all teared up at the end, Yay knitters!

  231. Thank you Stephanie and your hardworking team of the knitting IOC. Without your crazy idea, I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to finish the lace shawl for my friend’s impending wedding. I didn’t finish it on the 26 Feb but it was close. Thank you!

  232. I feel I like should get a silver metal, not gold. I was too late to sign up and didn’t start until the last week of the Olympics, but I DID finish!
    Thanks for thinking of this, it was great fun.

  233. Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, from Marilyn Monroe: “Ever notice that “What the hell” is always the right answer?”

  234. Huzzah!
    Things I love:
    – That you started the KO
    – That you have a FAB bunch of friends to help
    – That you made it through to the end
    – That your sweater is beautiful
    – That people are inspired, even if they didn’t finish
    – That most people stretched themselves to achieve greatness in their knitting
    – That it’s finally over!
    Thanks, Steph!
    (from the new knitter!)

  235. It was truly an amazing Olympics! I had so much fun – thanks to you & the Knitting IOC for all your hard work. You guys rock!

  236. What an amazing thing to be part of!! I am just a newbie knitter but I am so glad to be part of such a strong and amazing group of folks. Who knew that the village could spred so wide and far and be so welcoming.
    Next time you make it to the Northwest US I will be there to applaud you and your wonderful ideas and incredible ability to inspire us all.

  237. You know, in the sporting Olympics, all participants get a participation medal.
    I know this because a member of the 1960 Gold Medal Miracle US Hockey team owned a bar here for many years where he had his medals on display. If you asked him, he’d let you hold his gold medal, but the one he was proudest of was the participation medal.

  238. Congratulations to you and to all knathletes! I’m awfully proud of you all. I have been following, watching, reading much of this olympiade. It has inspired me a lot, gave much energy and helped me keep a good attitude even when I had to take care of two sick children and a demanding baby.

  239. “…or if you got to rock a baby instead of knit…you still made the Olympics memorable.”
    It made me tear up, as here I am, rocking the baby and I was thinking of all the knitting time I was ‘losing’. You’ve made me realize (and this is baby #3!) that I GOT to rock a baby, as in, that is more precious, lucky, important, instead of writing “Have to rock a baby”. Not everyone GETS to rock a baby. I know when I look at her, I often think of time passing and not being able to go back to the chicken legs and double chin, but at the same time I think of how much knitting I could have gotten done, and I also think of how much time LATER there will be for knitting.
    I have to keep remembering that last part, and hoping for many grand-babies!
    The Olympics happen every 2 years, a baby will never happen again in this house. Thanks for the gentle head smack!
    (Now, can anyone tell me how to nurse hands-free so I can just squeeze in a few more rows? Just kidding!)

  240. Regarding YOUR finish, hope you don’t mind my saying…
    I told you so!
    Really, this was a hoot. We’re all part of the Knitting Knation.

  241. I can’t believe how moved I was to see the gorgeous medal! It’s the closest I’ll ever get to Olympic Gold — couch spuds unite!
    And I had to LOL reading your story about the bank teller who thought the Knitting Olympics was crazy, right when you were going to wow her with your role in the matter. I don’t think it’s crazy at all — thanks for the inspiration.

  242. To Stephanie and the IKOC:
    Thanks for a wonderful, inspiring, challenging February.
    You folks are the best!

  243. I don’t even know how to say thank you in an adequate fashion. I so enjoyed the KO. I made new friends, I entertained the daylights out of my small town (or maybe I just annoyed the daylights out of my small town, whichever) and my DH and DS are so very proud of their socks and of me. Not as proud as I am of myself tho’. I learned so much about me, my skills and mostly what I hate about knitting under a deadline. >g< The medal is gorgeous and I plan to laminate it and make it a permanant resident in my knitting basket to remind me of the 2006 KO and my small part in it. Thank you, thank you and thank you again.
    Proud Member of Team NH & the USA Sock Knitting Team

  244. I have to say I have been a little more awestruck every day this has gone on. I knew it would never all fit in your sidebar, but I didn’t know that it would become such a monster. I am just so impressed that you were able to manage all of this, including your support team!
    The beauty of this event for me was that a whole group of people at my LYS decided to participate. People who had never challenged themselves before reached higher and did more than they thought possible. The results were beautiful, and I was so happy when one woman, who knit in the round for the first time, spent Sunday afternoon thoughtfully going through patterns trying to decide what she should do next.
    This was exactly the spark the knitting community needed to get going on the next level and feel excited about knitting again.
    Thank you so much Stephanie, for your genius and your insanity.

  245. A bit of flu knocked me out of the running last week. I knitted the sleeves of a baby cardigan whilst on NyQuil. Neither turned out the correct size. I ripped them out and waited until I was well again before I even attempted to cast on. My new goal? To finish the cardigan before the Paralympics end!
    This has been my first attempt at a sweater, so I still feel proud that I’ve finished so much of it so quickly. Thanks for the inspiration!

  246. Thanks, I was one of your non finishers, I learned a lot about my abilities and what kind of yarn I like to use (I changed yarn mid OLympics, and if I had started with the lovely non fuzzy Koigu I would have finished) I am getting hooked on lace, though, despite my initial pain. Otter

  247. I did finish and so earned a gold medal but for me the biggest prize was knitting with 4,071 proclaimed knitters and who knows how many thousands of silent knitters. I have no local knitters or yarn stores so this group knit was fabulous.
    Thank you all for such a fabulous experience.
    I can’t wait for Vancouver!!

  248. Thank you so much for this great idea! I had never so much fun with teh olympics as this year. It was just great!
    Greetings from southern germany (swabia)

  249. While not the conventional media, don’t forget about all of us Podcasters cheering the Olympians on too! (I podcast instead of knitting. It seemed more important by that point, since I discovered I hated my project anyways.) You can check the podcast out at

  250. Thanks for the challenge. It was lots of fun.
    Not only did I finish 1 penguin, it went so well that I made a second one. And I made my first pair of lacy socks. Woo Hoo.

  251. Thank so much for the Olympics. It was a real savior after an unexpected loss of a friend during that time period. It’s true that knitting heals. “knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crisis”. Elizabeth Zimmerman :0) Congrats to all who participated.

  252. Well, I didn’t finish my project. Actually I did finish knitting it and putting the pieces together, it was the darn crocheted edging that had me beat. SIGH! And, I was up against a couple of difficulties, like my 15 year old son having to go into chemical dependency treatment in the middle of the Olympics. Also, I found that I was spending alot of time putting together my own website ( which should be up and running in couple of days. So, anyway, I’m planning on finishing the sweater tonight, and even if I didn’t get the gold medal, I’m proud of myself for “competing.”

  253. All in favor of giving up Knitting for Lent?????…….well, I won’t even finish that!!
    But perhaps giving up buying yarn for Lent? How about using only stash yarn for Lent?
    Did I happen to mention that I am very glad my particular brand of belief does not require giving up anything for Lent. We Lutherans prefer to eat soup and bread and Wednesdays with a bunch of folks.

  254. Thanks for the challenge. I would never have thought I could knit 2 sweaters in 16 days (even using size 13 needles). I even had time to knit my “grandpuppy” a sweater, he’s a little doggie, so it was easy. I still have to sew the sleeves in one sweater, but, I’m counting myself a winner. When my hands recover, I’m gonna tackle my first pair of socks!

  255. Stephanie: Yesterday, I had the honour of taking a handful of my elementary school students to Toronto to get their “gold”, one of only 24 awards given out to kids who raised money for tsunami relief. We had held a skateathon,and raised almost $3000 in a school of just under 300 kids (and a community of about 1100 people). I was incredibly proud of my students. Today, as we toured our award around the school, one of my Grade 7 boys looked at me, and said “but Madame, this is really your award – cause we wouldn’t have done this without you”. All of our gold medals (or, in my class, our not gold medals) are, in that way, yours.

  256. Thank you Steph for all your hard work, I really enjoyed the part that I got to play in the Knitting Olympics.
    Unfortunately halfway through I had to stop due to an injury to my wrist. However I very loudly cheered everyone else on from the sidelines.
    Thank you again for everything that was put into this, and congrats to all finishers.
    Hopefully the next challenge that comes around I will be able to compete and complete.

  257. Loved the Knitting Olympics – didn’t finish my first ever adult sweater, first ever designed by me, but solved some of the problems and I’m on track. Er…what IS screech, anyway?

  258. Another DNF. Shoulder. To think that something I really enjoy doing would not be possible just because of something that sounds as if it belongs in an engine somewhere. I promise to be kind to my rotator cuff from now on. In any event, my shawl is more than half finished and when it is done, it will be beautiful. And whenever I wear it, I will think of Brad Gushue and that incredible six-ender.

  259. Wow.. what a rush! That was such a great experience, I’m so glad I completed those armwarmers. Thank you!! The medal is gorgeous! I may just print that one out and wear to the grocery store, as you suggested!

  260. You have a million entries already, but I thought I’d add mine too. After a last minute change of plans, I became just a bit overconfident, not at my skill or knitting speed. My project Is definitely something I can handle. I overestimated the amount of time I’d actually have to work on my project. Thigh high socks worn with garters just make me drool, though. yum.
    I got to the closing day of the olympics realizing that I didn’t finish, but when I looked back over the time, and realized the things that I did get to do, not finishing was worth it.
    I love knitting, but a weekend getaway with my husband, a day spent with my parents, and all the little things I did in between were worth it.
    Steph, you are a jewel for bringing all of us knitters together. Thank you.

  261. Thank you soooo much for having this wonderful idea. I wasn’t a finisher BUT this project was lurking in my cupboard (amongst other UFOs) for TWO years (and the rest 🙂 I’d tried to adapt a design for my mother – using different yarn, needles, and size – my ma is AMPLE. I’d knitted a sleeve that would fit a gorilla and would have left me with no yarn by the end of one side, so I ignored it. In 16 days – I frogged what I started, redesigned and nearly finished, learning a provisional loop cast on in the process. I’ve only the cuff and the button hole band to complete – in two weeks I’ve nearly done what had taken me YEARS! Brilliant. I also got a HUGE kick out of being one of 4000+. Well done everyone.

  262. I didn’t finish my project, but I did accomplish two things — 1)learned how to knit with dpns! and 2)started my blog to whine about it.
    Thank you for this fun experience! 🙂

  263. Thanks, everybody — and congrats to us all! I finished my felted Lopi tote, just under the wire. What a thrill to be part of something so special.

  264. I learned so much in this Knitting Olympics! Thank you for having this and allowing me to participate!
    I have been knitting for over a year now. This project was a first in alot of ways:
    ~first time I knitted a hat
    ~first time I made a gauge swatch (and thankfully I did)
    ~first time I made a pompom
    ~first time I altered a pattern and it worked! I was so proud of myself because I had to do all this crazy math! Hooray for me!
    ~first time I knitted in the round
    ~first time I had to knit from picking up stitches from where I began (I had to create earflaps on the hat)
    I loved the experience and it was great!
    The best comment was from the friend that taught me how to knit. She saw it and commented on the hat. When I told her I knitted it she became jealous and told me she has been knitting for years and she can not knit hats! Then I saw the sparkle in her eye and I knew she was actually very proud of me.

  265. Thank you for the Olympics. It was great. I didn’t belive that I will knit sweater in so short time.

  266. I finished the handspun, handyed, bulky knit moebius scarf in plenty of time. I was up near Kelowna, BC skiing and freezing during the artic blast. I was a little overzealous. The scarf would fit all of us Olympian knitters in one go. Whoever said it was important to count those fun cast-on stitches anyhow?

  267. Thanks to the Olympics I know that I can actually knit a sweater where as before I thought I could just knit scarves. Thanks again for showing me that I can really take of with this hobby!

  268. thanking you very mucho! the medal totally rocks and the experience — awesome!! i’m a newbee to this groovy knitting scene and so grateful that it exists. and so proud that i was able to partake! keep on keepin’ on!!!

  269. Thanks for setting this up — it was a hoot (and a challenge).


  271. Hi Stephanie,
    Can I bow down and repeat, “I’m not worthy!” enough times? I was one of those who did not finish on time, though 2 deaths (one per week) I think is a pretty good excuse. I managed to finish my giant Clapotis (all 930 yards of it!) an hour before work this morning and I feel like I truly accomplished my goal of creating this beautiful shawl. Thank you again for such a great idea and inspiration for us to try!

  272. First, THANK you for doing the Olympics thing. I finished my project ahead of time, and went to my LYS and GOT A PATTERN FOR A VEST.
    For me, this is HUGE. And I owe a lot of it to the “challenge” part of the Olympics.
    Oh, and I also bought your 2 books….They’ve provided me with much inspiration and much laughter as I take knitting breaks and put the sling back on the thumb again (arthritis…urgh).
    I missed out on the drawing for prizes, but I feel like I’ve earned a prize all by myself for getting myself out of “scarf school” and becoming a “courageous knitter.”

  273. I haven’t gotten anything done recently. I’ve just been hanging out doing nothing. I haven’t been up to anything these days, but it’s not important. Today was a total loss.

  274. Basically nothing seems worth thinking about. I haven’t been up to much these days. I just don’t have much to say right now. I can’t be bothered with anything , but whatever.

  275. I just don’t have anything to say. Not that it matters. Eh. I’ve just been staying at home doing nothing, but I don’t care. That’s how it is.

  276. I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but such is life. I don’t care. So it goes. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about. I’ve just been hanging out waiting for something to happen, but that’s how it is.

  277. I’ve just been staying at home waiting for something to happen. Whatever. Not much on my mind lately. I guess it doesn’t bother me.

  278. I haven’t been up to anything today. I can’t be bothered with anything recently. Nothing seems worth thinking about. I haven’t gotten anything done recently, but oh well. Not much noteworthy going on worth mentioning.

  279. retty much nothing seems worth thinking about. My life’s been completely dull , not that it matters. I’ve just been staying at home waiting for something to happen.

  280. Not much on my mind. I don’t care. I’ve just been letting everything happen without me , but shrug. Whatever. I feel like a void.

  281. I just don’t have anything to say right now. I haven’t been up to anything recently, but it’s not important. I’ve just been sitting around waiting for something to happen, but shrug.

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