I’m not much of an athlete, but I enjoy pursuing a goal. I also like working under pressure. So when I heard that the Knitting Olympics were looking for a few good knitters, I signed right up. The mission – set a knitting (or other fiber-related) goal, and accomplish it in the 17 days of the Winter Olympics, from right after the opening ceremony to the end of the closing ceremony. As a knitlethe, I pick the goal, and compete against the clock, and myself. It is a tournament of one.
I chose a really beautiful pattern, Opus Spicatum, by Kate Gagnon Osborn. In entering myself into the Knitting Olympics, I wanted to: a. practice my stranded knitting skills; b. make myself a new, warm hat; and c. knit a project designed by someone else. Opus Spicatum was the perfect choice.
I cast on Saturday night after the opening ceremony, and hit my first obstacle: gauge. I couldn’t get it. I could knit a beautiful herringbone pattern, but the size was all wrong – the hat would have possibly fit my cat, if I was lucky. I persevered, however, and made it through the first lap – getting gauge – by Monday night. And I was off!
Actually, after that it was a pretty great ride – the pattern is so clever, the hat gets smaller, and the herringbone pattern does as well, with no jogs or visible seams. It’s a bit of an optical illusion, which I love, especially since as I was knitting I only saw each individual stitch. To see the pattern, I had to stop and look at the hat as a whole, which I did often. Honestly, I probably spent 50% of my knitting time just gazing at the pattern and thinking “Brilliant!”
I finished the hat in the nick of time the night of closing ceremonies, and have been wearing it since. And now I can say I’ve been a contender, and I won. I even got my own medal!