On February 10th, 2006, I sat with my two daughters on a couch in Potsdam, Germany, knitting needles poised, television on, waiting for the start of the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, had come up with a cool challenge for herself – pick a challenging knitting project, cast on during the Opening Ceremony, knit like crazy while watching the Olympics, and finish the project before the Closing Ceremony ends. She wrote about it on her blog and thousands of knitters around the globe decided to join her in the challenge. It was fun, it was cool, and it gave us an excuse to both watch every second of television coverage and to knit like maniacs.
Somewhere there is a photo of the three of us casting on our first stitches. Emma was 12, Leah was 11, and I was determined. I picked a pullover by Nicki Epstein that was featured in the Fall 2004 episode of Vogue Knitting. I still have the magazine:
And here is the pullover, part of a feature article about Nicki:
I finished the challenge – succeeding in completing an entire sweater before the Games ended – and then promptly ripped it out and re-knit it as I realised I should have knit it in a different size. (It was so long ago I can’t remember whether I knit it too small or too large the first time around). But I remember the sense of accomplishment and the fun. (Both girls were beginner knitters and made scarves. Pretty good scarves, too.)
For the last month, while Emma was home she has been helping me clean up and organise the house. This included going through all of my knitting stuff (more on that in a future post) and while doing it, we found the sweater!
It still looks great. No pilling, no stretching out of shape, just like it was finished yesterday. It has been packed away for well over a decade. Emma was 12 when I knit it and she is 25 now and, can you believe, it still fits her!
This was a very nice blast from the past. It brought back some fun memories. I knit this back in the days before Ravelry – before I kept records of my knitting. It was a time when I was just starting to find blogs written by knitters and to become entranced with knitting again. It was a time when the girls were young and we could indulge in silly projects and be creative as a family. (Actually, we still do that. We’re just not as young anymore and live many thousands of miles apart.)
Emma has gone back to Vancouver now. We are sad. So is the pullover:
Doesn’t it look dejected? Don’t worry, pullover! Maybe in another 13 years, we will pull you out and Emma can model you again! And you will probably still fit!
I love it! And it looks great on Emma. Why didn’t she bring it back with her?
My first thought, too!
I participated in the knitting olympics! I knit a shawl for my sister. I’ll have to see if she still has it!
That’s a lovely memory – so neat that the pullover still fits!
Fantastic! What great memories and amazing that you still had the pullover and it still fitted her too! It looks casually thrown down as if the wearer will just pop back soon and wear it again xxx
Why on earth didn’t she take the sweater? It looks so great on her.
I remember the time when I started to figure out that some people were writing blogs about knitting. Kudos for joining the Knitting Olympics at least once in your life.
The enduring power of hand-knitting! And how sorry I feel for that lonesome sweater soaking up a few last rays of sunshine before being put away again! Btw, it’s a great example of how good garter stitch can look.