February 10, 2006

Needles Raised

So here we are, poised on the edge of greatness. Thanks to the monumental efforts of S.Kate, Emma, Kat and Ken (Really, I swear that I didn't think this would take 5 people to manage) the list is pretty up to date. We currently sit at almost 4000 knitters with more coming.

I think we have added everyone who got their names in before the cutoff, and because we are nice (and crazy about knitters) we have kept adding as we can manage and I'll continue to do that, as knitting and working allows. (Speaking of that, if you'd like a chance to hear a speech I haven't written yet and get me to sign a book, I'll be talking, signing and knitting (Hardangervidda) at the Tacoma Sheraton at 7:30 tonight. C'mon down. Show me your Olympic stuff.

Kat has brilliantly created an Olympic frappr map for all of us to use. If you like, take a minute and we'll paint a picture of knitting olympians all over the globe. (That aughta scare a few non-knitters.)

Today, thousands of knitters stand sit poised to knit their way to greatness. For most of us, this is a close as we are going to come to they Olympics...Welcome to knitting as a personal sport.

A sport is defined as a physically and mentally challenging activity carried out wit a recreational purpose for competition, for self-enjoyment, to attain excellence, for the development of a skill or for some combination of these traits.

Today at 2pm, (your local time, wherever you may be) or while you watch the Olympic flame being lit in Torino these thousands of sporting knitters will all lift their needles and begin a personal epic, an odyssey of excellence, and a phenomenal period of sixteen whole days in which they will strive to improve themselves as knitters, however they personally define it. These knitters, having created their own challenges, pay tribute to the real athletes who (inexplicably) find their greatness in ways other than those of wool.

It is my greatest pleasure to imagine a wave of energy released at that time, streaming through the world, rushing poignantly from the needles of women and men of excellence paying homage to the old and mighty idea of challenge elevating the human spirit.

It is not whether you fail or knit. It is not whether you get a sweater or you simply learn what wonder you can achieve when you think about knitting for sixteen days. It is the magic of the combined effort of thousands of knitters all making the smallest of movements with their hands, adding up to the greatest epic of craftspeople all knitting for one goal, at one time, ever known.
(Cue the music...)

The Knitting Olympics Athletes Pledge

I, a knitter of able hands and quick wits, to hereby swear that over the course of these Olympics I will uphold the highest standard of knitterly excellence.

I will be deft of hand and sure of pattern, I will overcome troubles of yarn overs and misplaced decreases. I will use the gifts of intelligence and persistence (as well as caffeine and chocolate) and I will execute my art to the highest form, carrying with me the hope for excellence known to every knitter.

I strive to win. To do my best, and to approach the needles with my own best effort in mind, without comparing myself to my fellow knitters, for they have challenges unique to them.

While I engage in this pursuit of excellence and my own personal, individual best, I also swear that I will continue to engage with my family in conversation, care for my pets, speak kindly with those who would ask me to do something other than knit, and above all, above every stitch thrown or picked, above every cable, every heel stitch, every change of colour, I swear this:

That I will remember that this is not the real Olympics, that I'm supposed to be having fun and that my happiness and self-worth ride not on my success....

but on my trying.

Let the games begin!

Posted by Stephanie at February 10, 2006 11:35 AM