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.