This is the post I meant to write 2 days ago.
At this point, I’m moving on. I honestly believe we have gotten as much as we’re going to get from the US Olympic Committee. Frankly, I didn’t expect an apology at all, certainly not so quickly, and I think the updated version did actually address what most of us were upset about: the demeaning characterization of the Ravelympics. I do hope that the USOC takes a good, hard look at how they deal with potential trademark infringements and rewrites that “standard cease and desist form;” I suspect they have enough law clerks to actually look into each situation and respond accordingly without going straight for the nuclear “shame ’em into submission” route.
Unfortunately, the mob mentality that developed in some places, along with the personal attacks (especially of the law clerk in question), most likely did more harm than good and certainly didn’t put us in a good light. With that said, I still think challenging that letter was a good thing. Some may have felt we should have just taken a deep breath and let it stand, but I’ve never been that type. I found it surprising and a bit disappointing that others who – like me – have yarn crafting as their profession didn’t see any reason to respond to a statement that what we do is denigrating and demeaning to others. Just because I craft clothing with my hands (and calculate the numbers to allow others to do the same) doesn’t mean my profession is less deserving of respect. I can admire and respect and even be greatly impressed by what Michael Phelps did in 2008 without elevating him to sainthood or treating his events with the veneration normally granted a religious artifact.
At any rate, I don’t believe the USOC will allow us to use “Ravelympics,” even if some of us feel that they’re stretching. Mr. Sandusky has made that clear in his statements since. At first that made me sad…and then I read what Ken (not sure of his full name; that’s how he signs his posts) of Popehat had to say:
Yes, Ravelry and its supporters have not a damned thing to be ashamed of. They represent the best that the internet has to offer: disparate and geographically distant people with similar non-felonious interests coming together to share ideas and enjoy each other’s company.
…I suspect Ravelry will have to back down and rebrand. But is that really such a bad thing? The athletes of the Olympics stand for dedication and ability, but the brand of the Olympics stands for marketing. The brand of the Olympics is about incessant product placement and about pre-event hype of chosen conflict narratives designed to sell airtime and about chosen heroes promoted based on demographic analysis and about awful new mascots and about merchandise, everywhere the merchandise. Why not go back to basics? The USOC doesn’t have — at least not yet — government monopolies on all athletic imagery. How about a Deknittathon? Use your powerful and vibrant community to come together and choose ideas that resonate more of athletics than the selling thereof.
I may have been muttering a few “damn straight”s by the time I finished reading. Now I’m not just resigned to changing the name, I’m looking forward to it if it happens. I don’t know what the final decision will be, but there have been several suggestions posted. I’m personally partial to the Ravaean Games, a play on the Heraean Games that also used to be held at Olympia in ancient Greece. They were along the same lines as the Olympic Games, but were for women. And just as the modern Olympics are now co-ed, we could make our modern knitting Heraean Games co-ed too, and maintain our connection to ancient Greek athletic competition. I’ve passed my suggestion along.
So now the question is – what am I going to do during the challenge-probably-formerly-known-as-the-Ravelympics this year?
Well for one, I’ll be dealing with a split personality, because not only am competing on two teams, I’m competing as two people. As jinniver, my personal Ravelry account, I’ll be on Team DBAJ (the main forum moderator team) knitting 198 Yards of Challenge; our theme is something that goes around your neck. Then, jinnver-me will also be competing with Team Go Fast Knit Left, where I am the Crew Chief (team captain) for the team from the go fast. knit left. group for NASCAR fans (other motorsport fans are also welcome to join us, either permanently or for the Games, if you need a team!). That project will be Jack in the Box, Unravelled…which I’m frogging after having started 3 years ago – it’s had it coming.
But more importantly – and of more interest to y’all – I’ve got design inspirations for this year! I’d hoped to compete in an event specific for designing, but there aren’t any planned for this year due to admin difficulties in previous years. Since it’s design stuff, that means my Ravelry designer alter ego, themagpieknitter, will be competing as well with Team Go Fast Knit Left. The big project will be Laurels for Apollo (yes, I did some project renaming today). I’ve got one word for you: cables. I’ve got another one for you: intarsia. Oh, yes, I did. I haven’t yet decided if I want to try to do the grade-write-knit challenge, where I do all of it in those 17 days or not…but since there’s no specific design event and I’ll be competing in the event for what I’m actually knitting, I’ll probably do the designing beforehand and compete by knitting the sample. I’ll be knitting with the luscious Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton in red, cream, and blue.
And then, in all the time I’ll have left of those 17 days, I’m going to be swatching my fingers off. I want to get at least 6 swatches done for future designs – I’ve got a set of designs planned using Spud & Chloe Sweater that I’d like to actually release in early fall, so it would be great if I could get all of the swatches done to get grading. I’ve got plenty of yarn to work with:
And just posting about it is getting me excited about getting yarn on the needles again. 33 days, 12 hours, 6 minutes and counting!