Posted by Hayley Wolfcale, SEO Analyst You may not have expected to see #knitting associated with #Olympics on Twitter this week, but on February 9th, Finnish snowboarding coach Antti Koskinen was caught on camera getting a few rows done while snowboarder Roope Tonteri prepared for his slopestyle run. It turns out Koskinen and other Finnish Winter Olympics team members are knitting a scarf to present to the Finnish Summer Olympics team when they head to Rio de Janiero in 2016. The Wall Street Journal noted, “What they will do with a giant scarf in South America is unclear.” However knitting has an important place in the history and culture of Nordic countries, where intricate and colorful knitwear designs have kept families warm and connected for generations. Knitting is a source of pride, perhaps one reason that Norway made international news last November with its plans to air a nine hour sheep-to-sweater “slow TV” show. And knitting isn’t just the purview of Nordic Olympians: the craft has been associated with Olympic preparations, promotional events and even small scandals.
- For the 2012 London Olympics, proud and excited knitters yarn-bombed the rails of the Saltburn Pier with detailed representations of Olympic sports and events.
- This year, Ralph Lauren’s official Team USA uniforms were made entirely in the U.S., using wool from Imperial Stock Ranch, one of the oldest continuous-operation ranches in the U.S. and one that also makes yarn for hand-knitters.
- In June of 2012, the U.S. Olympic Committee apologized not once but twice to the knitting community it had enraged with a form cease-and-desist letter sent to Ravelry.com, host of the “Ravelympics” (now titled the “Ravellenic Games”).
Knitters have long been an active online community, even before the wildly popular Ravelry.com was born. Before Koskinen made waves by knitting at the top of the slope, knitters were using Twitter and other social media to discuss and plan projects that celebrate this year’s Sochi Olympics. Some were designing rainbow-themed headbands to raise awareness of LGBTQ persecution in Russia. Others were crafting Olympic or Team USA-themed hats, mittens and scarves to show their spirit. Many were just trying to decide which projects would be simple enough to work on while cheering for their favorite Olympic events. Keep up with the conversation and share your own projects with the #knitting (or #crocheting!) and #Olympics hashtags on Twitter.