The Olympic Knitathon: Rules, Prizes and Other Relevant Details

The Situation

As someone who may be very accurately described as fantastically unathletic, it will likely strike those who know me well as a little odd that I truly love the Olympics. Winter. Summer. I don’t care. I like them.

Maybe it’s the theme music, so carefully orchestrated to tug at the heart strings just so.

Maybe it’s the internationalism of it all. A new place. So exotic. (If a tropical island ever hosts, I’m going!)

Maybe it’s the sappy, in-depth backstories for the athletes. All the adversity they’ve overcome. The hard work they’ve put in—an enviable drive and determination. It speaks so strongly to the common humanity in all of us.

The Olympics harken me back to the imagination of my youth, when I used to watch and think Maybe I can do that.

Well, I missed that boat.

I can clearly recall being eight and having already developed a strong disinclination toward the competitive sporting arena, negotiating some sort of plea with my mother so she would write me a note to excuse me from of the end-of-year all school track meet. I think a “sprained ankle” was the settle-upon excuse and I practiced my faux-limp with great enthusiasm before school. Even then, there was something about coming in last place that was mortifying.

Today, I am slightly sportier, even jogging shlogging on occasion between toddler-born bouts of cold, flu, snot, and other respiratory ailments. It’s more fun now that there are fancy phones that play music with the push of the button and all the other modern-day accoutrement of the Exercise Class, to which I will likely never have opportunity to belong and perhaps will secretly loath and resent from a distance to my final days. (Don’t take that personally if you are actually a physically fit person who exercises all the time.)

My favorite sports are: floatying (the act of laying pronate on a floaty in a pool or other body of water) on a warm, sunny day, well within reach of a cocktail or cold beverage and knitting (also often within reach of a cocktail or other desirable beverage).

Enough said.

The Olympics start in a little over a week on August 5th and last 17 days until Closing Ceremonies on August 21. I’m hosting a friendly little competition in my Ravelry Group with prizes and everything. Yes, that’s right. I’m sharing some of my favorite yarn with the winners! Actual yarn will be mailed to you by me if you win.

The Events

I have thought long and hard about what our events should be. Fastest knitter? No way to judge… Biggest shawl? Hmmm… I have three prizes and have settled on three categories. I sadly only have one prize per category (Gold Medal). Silver and Bronze will have to go without. It’s a brutal world out there, knitters.

Most Yardage (lace, fingering, sport)

The prize will go to the knitter who knits the most yardage from the beginning of the games to the end of closing ceremonies in a light weight. To compete, post finished projects in the This Knitted Life’s group Ravelry thread for the Olympic Knitathon and tag finished projects with TLKlight.

The winner will receive two skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the color Rain Water (420 yards/384 meters per skein). This should be enough to make a nice, big shawl or whatever else your little heart desires. This is one of my favorite yarns in a stellar colorway.

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Most Yardage (DK, worsted, bulky)

This prize will go to the knitter who knits the most yardage in a heavier weight. Entries will also need to be posted in the Ravelry thread and tagged with TLKheavy.

The winner will receive a skein of Swans Island fingering weight in their Natural Colors Collection. It’s a hand-dyed indigo based color. There’s 525 yards/480 meters of the stuff, which is a lot. I used this yarn to knit Tulipland and found it to be a great yarn at a great value per skein.

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Artistic Impression (independent of yarn weight)

This is a subjective category based purely on how pretty, cool, or visually impressive your finished knit is. I am the sole judge and have no system for evaluation. It’s all gut instinct baby. All projects entered into the Most Yardage categories will AUTOMATICALLY be entered into the Artistic Impression category. I know. I am that nice.

The winner will receive a skein of Madelinetosh Sock in Neon Peach. There’s enough here for a pair of bright, cheery socks. I knit my socks with this yarn often and love it dearly.

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The Rules

We’re flying fast and loose with this one. After all, knitting is a lawless land. Use your best judgement when it comes to what’s fair. I have generally found knitters to be a particularly kind and generous faction of humanity, so I know you’ll all do what’s honest and good, probably overly so.

  • There will be no drug testing. Wine consumption is encouraged with the disclaimer that it may hinder your chances at winning the Gold Medal prizes.
  • Projects started before August 5th are eligible, but please try to estimate yardage from the start of the games forward only.
  • International entries are welcome. After all, it is THE OLYMPICS. So yes, if you live in Bhutan or somewhere super far away from where I live, I will still mail you your yarn.
  • I reserve the right to add other rules may be added as random as the need develops and post them in the Ravelry thread.

As always come Wednesday, I am linking with the Yarn Along today. I am still reading The Nest with great haste to meet the library return date, as well as the fourth and final novel in the Neapolitan series, which I loved and truly cannot recommend enough.  (Yes, those are affiliate links. Thanks for being you!)


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26 Comments

  • Reply Kat with a K July 27, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Great post! I laughed out loud at the rules! I might need to participate, if only for rule #1!! Hahaha!

  • Reply MrsMcD918 July 27, 2016 at 6:29 am

    This post made me laugh out loud! Thank you!

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise July 27, 2016 at 8:20 am

    what fun! but I have to bow out of this competition, I’ve got to move an adult kid from boston to pa and that will take all of my focus!!! kids!

  • Reply Alina July 27, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Sounds like so much fun!!! The prizes are stunning!! Looking forward to seeing all the fun projects in your group!

  • Reply knittedblissjc July 27, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    So fun!!! I don’t know if I can participate this year, I’m woefully behind on so many knitting projects. Which is a shame, there’s been some good KALs this summer! Those prizes are pretty tempting, though….

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life July 30, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Any ol’ knitting project counts. Even your own design work. Just saying. Keep track of the distance. That’s all. xoxo

  • Reply Casey July 28, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I will try to participate, I most likely won’t even win a bronze but it’s all good, it sounds like fun anyway!

  • Reply itsallaboutpurple July 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

    i always enjoy your take on things, light and fresh!! i was athletic growing up, but i detested sweating. we had a problem there!!! i love madeline’s yarn, i have used it in my honey cowl marathon which you seem to remember 😉

    my family attended the 1996 olympic games. it was the experience of a lifetime and i will never forget it. it was the year they had that bombing scare, in atlanta georgia. it was the last vacation the boys took with us, by then, they were teens and did not like being seen in public with us!!!!

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life July 30, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Wow. I remember those games so well. I was in high school and the same age as the gymnastic team. I remember looking at myself and looking at them and feeling just worlds apart. Oh, the places life takes us.

  • Reply Stefanie July 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    These yarns are lovely! Madtosh is always like looking at a Coco Chanel purse and I have some Swan’s Island but haven’t used it yet. For your recent comments on my blog, mahalo plenty. Honestly, I didn’t think about texture, but just using what I had.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life July 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      The Tosh Merino Light isn’t too bad pricewise if you buy a bunch at once at yarn.com and get the discount. Just in case Santa is nice to you this year. You never know…

  • Reply bonnyknits July 28, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    What a fun idea! Wish I had more knitting time these days so I could play along!

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life July 30, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      You won’t be alone. I think I am going to suck at my own game. Not nearly enough knitting time these days. Who wants to can peaches anyway…?

  • Reply zeta (kalianapodi.wordpress.com) July 29, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Olympic Games are so much fun from a knitting perspective if you aren’t that athletic 😉 Will sure participate!

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life July 30, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Awesome my dear. I am so grateful to have you on board. It just adds to the internationalism of it all!

  • Reply purepurly August 4, 2016 at 2:20 am

    Great post!! I’ll see if I can be a Norwegian Athlete in this game (we have very few in the “real” summer games…we prefer winter games!); work and school starting up next week and knitting will then be second-line activity 🙁 But this was encouraging!

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