Yeah, I could write about Olympic knitting. Yeah, it's been happening. I'm very ontrack to complete the scarf, ends woven in and blocking done, by Sunday afternoon. But it doesn't necessarily look different than my last report, just longer.
So instead, I stole a meme from Badger. I'm not going to tag anyone. Although if I was, I'd tag Heather or Deb or new knitblogger Deb. But I'm not tagging. Really. Except for Carole. Because Carole wants to be tagged. Carole, you're it!
Meme instructions: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown -- OK, right off the bat I have a problem. I once owned this book. I read about half of it before realizing I was the only one out of billions and billions of people who could not finish this book. So I donated it. So--not owned; not finished; will never read--but did read part of it. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling Life of Pi - Yann Martel Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell Catch-22 - Joseph Heller The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien -- see The Da Vinci Code, above The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon Lord of the Flies - William Golding Pride and Prejudice - Jane AustenOh, big surprise here. 1984 - George Orwell Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut Angels and Demons - Dan Brown -- Yeah, like that's going to happen. Please revisit The Davinci Code above.
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk Neuromancer - William Gibson Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson The Secret History - Donna Tartt A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte One of the best of all times for me. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell OK, like, this was my favorite book last year. SO good. The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman Atonement - Ian McEwan The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath Dune - Frank Herbert
Have fun! If you choose to tag yourself. Since I'm, of course, not tagging. Except for Carole. :-)
Welcome, everyone, to this special edition of the Wide World of Knitting.
Today we're going to profile a--shall we say--unusual entrant in this year's Knitting Olympics. Why unusual? Well, she certainly takes the word "amateur" to new extremes.
Here is our study in Olympic greatnesscompetence showing up:
[name badge credit due to Lisa D, who unfortunately for this competition, opted not to participate as a knitter]
Representing Team Wales, Team DPN, and Team Midwest. Sounds like she has trouble making a firm commitment to one team. That could be a problem, that lack of commitment.
Who is this Amy, and how did she get to the Olympics? Well, her story started years ago--a great many years ago, for an Olympian!--in the small village of Tenstrike, MN. Yes--one of those Olympian "where the hell did she come from" type villages. Amy grew up watching her handy mother sew, carve wood, cook, bake, quilt, and needlepoint, but at that stage in her life, Olympic greatness did not inspire Amy. She was much fonder of reading and watching great tv classics like The Partridge Family and Little House on the Prairie. Knitting wasn't a major theme in either of those shows, if memory serves.
Eventually Amy went to the Big City, where she read even more books and still didn't have any Olympic inspiration. Finally, after college, working, traveling, marrying, birthin' babies, adopting dogs, becoming suburban, lots more reading, and generally overeating (too bad that's not an Olympic sport, eh?), Amy picked up knitting and found her calling.
What a story! Who knew what Olympic yearning could be uncovered for such an elderly mature participant!
But while many applaud the efforts of Amy to compete on this world stage, there are doubts. She hasn't been in the sport very long. She seems naive to the ways of competition. There have been hand and wrist injuries that limit the time she can spend training. And what about that famous impatience? She's been known to quit, whining like a baby when the pressure is too much.
It could be said she should just be grateful to be here in Olympic village. And she did get off to a good start, finishing almost three pattern repeats during the very first event.
But as is typical for this athlete, she overdid. What some athletes seem to know instinctively, Amy has to learn by misfortune. In this case, the Opening Ceremonies, a complex knitting pattern, and wine just didn't mix, and by the second day, much frogging had marred her performance, putting her out of contention for any Olympic records.
Not only that, but this athlete has a severe case of Knitter's ADD. Look at what she's been doing while she's supposed to be competing!
Oh, this must have been tough for her. See, she thought she'd compete with this. But repeated failures during training caused her to abandon the idea. And of course, now that she's not scheduled to compete with entrelac, it suddenly has become much easier and very addictive for her. [note: before the viewers wonder why a skein of Noro Silk Garden produces so little in the way of a scarf, it should be noted that several rows ended up tangled and discarded--no fault of Noro's--except to the extent that this yarn doesn't frog well]
Yes, that inability to focus on one and only one project could be the undoing of a potentially moderately competent athlete. She has managed to put in daily time on the Olympic event, however:
Whoa, she's gone some distance there, in spite of the stumbles at the beginning! Must be the coaching from Yvonne, who recommended using a lifeline. It's about time she learned to take advice.
But you know, for this year's Olympics, I just don't think she's a contender. I mean, yes, she's now staying steady with two pattern repeats a day, which, if continued, will produce a completed scarf by the end of the Olympics. But perhaps the bright spot here is, she doesn't seem to care. She's actually ecstatic that she's made it this far. She's also very aware of all the errors she's chosen to ignore--did you see how many times she ended a pattern row with an extra stitch, and instead of ripping it out, she just k2tog at the beginning of the next row? Truly the sign of a beginner. Yet she's like those figure skaters who come from countries other than the U.S., China, and Russia. She knows she doesn't have a prayer of being the top contender, but she gets out on the ice, smiles, falls, falls again, turns all her triple jumps into singles, gets no height on her spins, gets no depth on her sit-spins, but keeps going anyway, just happy to be part of the whole big deal. If there was an Olympic good sport award, she'd probably win that.
So you never know. Maybe we'll see her again in 2010.
Oooo, I'm a big shot now. I have dual citizenship, thus I can be on two Olympic knitting teams at the same time: I've also joined Team DPN. Membership requires you to either knit your Olympic project on DPNs or poke someone with your DPNs during the Olympics.
I'd say if anyone sees me with DPNs in my hands during the Olympics, watch yourself. Because I won't be knitting with them.
Four of your favorite foods: 1. Pasta. Any kind. Even--or especially--Easy Mac. 2. Smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese and onions and capers. 3. Black bean fajita burrito from Chipotle Mexican Grill. 4. It's so hard to pick! Just four???
Four places you'd rather be right now:
1. Sleeping on the couch with the dogs. 2. A beach in Jamaica. 3. At the world's biggest book or yarn store with a giant gift card. 4. New Zealand.
Four bloggers you'll be tagging:
1. Only one: Deb S. Who doesn't have a blog yet. But should. Especially since she's been tagged.
Remember Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop? Probably my favorite of the little kid shows. Frankly, Mr. Rogers scared me, and Shari Lewis was just so, you know, normal.
Plus she had that cool ending credits song:
This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it
Not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it forever just because
This is the song that never ends...
Well! Looks like I have a theme song for a scarf I'm knitting:
This is the scarf that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
I blindly started knitting it
Not knowing how it worked
And I'll be knitting it forever 'cause I think I'm cursed
This is the scarf that never ends...
What, you may ask, is the scarf that never ends?
Yes, I hear the collective pause. The sounds of people scratching their heads and saying, um, Amy, say, that's not much of a scarf to have been knitting on forever.
Let's take a moment and think this through. This scarf, in Noro Silk Garden, was begun in an Entrelac Sampler class at Coldwater Collaborative about, oh, a year ago. It was begun, forgotten, and ripped out. Then last summer, I took another knitting class and tried again. And in class, I'd get the whole entrelac thing. Then I'd go home and butcher it. Rip, rip, rip.
But either being blessed with great perseverance or a level of self-delusion only matched by certain contestants on American Idol, I don't give up. I will conquer the entrelac. So yet again this winter, off to knitting class I go, entrelac and somewhat tattered Noro (there's only so much frogging Noro will tolerate) in hand.
At class, it goes well. It all makes sense. At home, not so much.
Now some of this can be credited to general knitter stupidity. You've seen the t-shirt over at Cafepress that says "Friends don't let friends knit drunk?" Yeah. Lot of truth there. Especially when it comes to entrelac.
But stone-cold sober, in silence, fully awake and aware, tongue sticking out between my teeth like a kindergartener cutting construction paper, I still battle the mighty entrelac. And maybe this looks right to you--but the pattern calls for picking up just seven stitches where I am. And where I am, there are like 16 stitches. It ain't right, people. It ain't right.
And I'm planning on doing a lace scarf for the Olympics! Won't that be fun?