February 26, 2010

Full Coverage at Eleven

 Hello Bob, and welcome to our Olympic Knitting Coverage.  Some wonderful stories out there about courageous knitters, overcoming odds and surprising even themselves with their outstanding performances.

That's so true Jim, absolutely.  We've seen some incredible things in the last 15 days, but today we're going to talk about a story out of Toronto, where Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is desperately trying to figure out how she's going to finish.  We're hearing from so pretty good sources, that doesn't look good, in fact, there's a rumour on the streets out there that her husband Joe is expecting an all-nighter really soon.

I know Bob, that's what we've been hearing too.  Near as we can tell, Stephanie is coming in behind the pace at every checkpoint. At the halfway point she wasn't halfway, then she should have checked in with finished sleeves, and really.. frankly, just didn't have the sleeves at all.

That's true Jim, and worst of all, this is an athlete that we all had really high hopes for, and it's just insult to injury that she's coming in so late without any real reason.  We've been all over this athlete, trying to figure out what the problem is with this year.  She's had no injuries, no equipment failures -

Hold on Bob, that's not strictly true. She did have to have a serious hunt for a set of 3.5mm needles that she turned out not to use at all, having seen the competition move to circulars far beyond that point... she lost some significant time there. That said,  if an athlete fails to prepare, that's not an equipment failure. It's not like her needles broke or she ran out of yarn.

I know Jim, I'm just trying to figure out what's going on.  We caught up with Stephanie this morning - she wasn't hard to find really, considering that she's trying to make up time by sitting around in her gnome jammies, drinking coffee and knitting her arse off throughout the first part of today's competition, and all she could offer us as an explanation was a series of pictures from yesterday.

Those pictures are here now Bob, and they're stunning.  I mean, it would appear that Stephanie is really busting a move. In the photos we can see that she's adapting well to changing conditions.

She really is.  Having suffered a setback early in competition when she had to combine chart knitting with travel and a a social engagement and failed to make any good time that evening, yesterday when she was presented with more travel and an appointment that she couldn't shift, Stephanie took a bold step and completely abandoned the first sleeve, since it was at the chart phase, and began the second sleeve for the afternoon.

She did, she really did.  Now, it's not often you'll see a knitter do that - she's really taking a chance here.  Beginning the first sleeve before you've finished the second one means that there's a possibility, we'll hope it's slim, that both sleeves can be screwed up the same way. 

I think this knitter can handle that though Jim, she's done it before, in fact more than once in training we've heard her say that if both sleeves match it can't be an error.... that in fact at that point it becomes a "design feature" and there are plenty of judges who agree.

True, absolutely.  We saw some real commitment from her yesterday, knitting while she was walking- despite some really cold temperatures. 

We know that all athletes knit more slowly while their fingers are frozen, but Stephanie pointed out that "slow knitting is better than no knitting" and it's that kind of attitude that might make this possible.

We saw her downtown too, navigating some traffic, snow and humanity obstacles..

the only trouble yesterday was that no matter how hard this knitter tries she always slows down a little over the "stout moguls".

It's true, it really is, but we know this knitters position on this.

We sure do Jim  We sure do- and as a matter of fact the entire Canadian team has backed her up on the beer thing.  Seems as though they all believe that the short term time loss involved in drinking a pint is totally worth the speed they pick up on the other side - and I don't think I can argue.  It's certainly cut this team's injury rate.

That's right, and by injury rate, we don't mean that we're preventing injuries in the athletes...

No, no.  By injury rate we mean the rate at which knitter's are injuring others. 


Well, I don't know where that leaves us with Stephanie.  There are two more days to go in this event, and really we're yet to see a finished sleeve from this knitter, the steeking lies ahead, and I can't imagine where she thinks she's getting the time for making up or executing a colourwork neckband. 

I don't either Bob, and she's starting to look really sullen and exhausted today, and she was overheard a little while ago saying "What about the way I'm knitting right now makes you think I care about lunch?" which is pretty snippy for this knitter.  I counted five cups of coffee before noon and she's got a-non knitting appointment this afternoon that just might be more of a penalty than she can handle...but this knitter has surprised us before. She's going to need the performance of a lifetime.  I hope she gets it.

(Ps. Me and a whack of other Toronto knitters will be on CBC radio's GO! tomorrow morning, give a listen if you like.)

PPS. The closing ceremony celebration is being planned for Sunday evening at around 7:30 at the Old York (Niagara and Wellington) in Toronto.  If you'd like to come, let me know in an email (stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca) just so that they can prep for the right number of knitters. I'll be there, celebrating the last day of these wonderful Canadian Olympics, whether I've got a new sweater or not.

Posted by Stephanie at February 26, 2010 1:07 PM