Sunday, 20 May 2012

Olympic Knitting

As the number of days before start of the 2012 Summer Olympics becomes less than the number of projects I have on my knitting needles and Knitting Register spreadsheet, I have been thinking about my decision to make this a personal marathon Year of Completion, and have decided to mark this effort with my own knitted Olympic memento because, most of all, I needed another project to add to the list! Startitis kicked in when I noticed that the Olympic rings bore a distinct resemblance to one of my sets of stretchy, multi-coloured  stitchmarkers, hence the name of my team/nation.

Looking at the logo for the London Olympics, which is made up of differently sized pieces, also made me think of all of my projects in different sizes or, more accurately, stages of completion ( For my flag, however, I used the clear version of the logo, white and black, with the Olympic rings/stitchmarkers in the official colours of green, red, gold, black and bright blue

In a moment of total madness, I had thought of knitting this flag on multiple 0s needles with sock reinforcement yarn, and using those little markers for the rings. This idea was abandoned when a) I realised that this would take me twice/three/ten or more times longer to knit, sacrificing valuable Year of Completion knitting time to this project and b) I didn’t want, even more so, to sacrifice any of those stitch markers to the project as I can no longer get that kind and I particularly need the green ones in my circular knitting as they begin every round (Green for Go!)

Thus, with some level of sanity restored, I raided the KnitPicks’s section of my stash and found Black, Whirlpool, Pimento, Edamame and Custard for the rings. These were knit in I-cords on 3mm needles, as is the flag’s body and edges, and then stitched onto the flag, though not very evenly. The background is in KnitPicks’s Palette in White, and the letters and the edge of the flag is knit in Black. I did not, however, follow the example of the official logo and use the lower-case alphabet but did stick with a streamlined lettering, though without the slant. The alphabet is from Cross Stitch Calligraphy by Iva Polansky* I tried for the angular, 3-D edges, picked up and knit outwards from the body of the completed flag but they did not work out that well so I have, instead, evened them off. 

The flag measures 19 ½” wide and 10 ½” long, the letters and rings both 1 ¼” high, and it flies from one of my beloved Aero needles.

My only justification for this project is that knitting is one of the things I do best, far better than my swimming, kayaking, badminton or Pilates which isn’t an official event {yet} at the Olympics. So I have turned knitting into one of my sports this year. It is absorbing an unconscionable amount of time and I have to make even more of an effort to put the needles down and get out and walk, swim or do those daily Pilates to stretch out the muscles that are needed to do good knitting and keep up the standard of performance. Sad to say, excessive knitting can play havoc with the entire body but that is a subject for another time.

*Cross Stitch Calligraphy, Iva Polansky, London: Kyle Cathie Limited, 1994

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