Apparently I “denigrate” Olympic athletes now

UPDATE: The USOC has updated their apology with one that should have been there in the first place. Read the top part. Thank you. I still stand by what I said, and I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the situation, as I don’t know if this would have come about had you not had to deal with a HUGE Twitter storm of PR Nightmare. But, actions will speak louder than words. Know that every action y’all take now is being watched to see if this is sincere or not.

Yeah, so news to me yesterday, apparently my participation for the last two cycles of the Ravelympics (as well as being a captain of a team this year) is denigrating to the Olympic Athletes. Wait, I’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor before I continue.

Hang on, wait, no, read this first, then come back: Article at Gawker

How did I do this?

By crocheting.

While watching the Olympics.

For the first time since I was a child (watching the Olympics, not crocheting).

Because apparently I’m so daft I would consider for a moment that making a sweater (Summer ’08 games) and a beaded mohair shawl (Winter ’10 games) is on par with athletes who train all their lives to compete in the Olympics (here’s a hint, I don’t).

Summer ’08 Ravelympics entry

Winter ’10 Ravelympics entry

Oh, and I also apparently assume that these gold medals (you know, bits on a screen) are the same thing and on the same level as the serious hardware our athletes strive to receive.

My “gold medal” for my sweater that denigrates athletes

My “gold medal” for my shawl that denigrates athletes

I know it’s different. I have the utmost respect and admiration for our Olympic athletes. But honestly? Prior to the Ravelympics I rarely watched the games. I didn’t make it a habit. But when I was starting my project at the start of Opening Ceremonies? My butt was in a chair with the ceremonies going on full blast. I was cheering my country’s team. I was tearing up during it. I found the opening (and closing) ceremonies beautiful and a testament to what the Olympic spirit is all about.

Whenever I was working on my project for the games, I would watch the Olympics. I was actually paying attention the last two games, more than I ever had before. Even when I finished my projects before the close, I still watched the closing ceremonies, too.

So, imagine my surprise when I saw the cease and desist letter from USOC. Now, let me clear up a few thoughts:

1. I understand trademark law. I get that you have to protect it in order to keep it. I’m not faulting you for the initial part of the cease and desist letter.

2. HOWEVER, I wasn’t aware that the word was trademarked by the US Olympic Committee. Pretty sure the Olympics are a worldwide event. Or are we the only ones who are so money hungry we trademark anything that stands still long enough to slap a TM on it?

3. Really? -lympics infringes upon the trademark? Well, that’s for people way above my pay grade to sort out, so I’ll leave that one alone.

4. It is the tone of the letter, the ugly and denigrating terms used in the letter, that has not only me, but everyone else up in arms.

There’s been a response, finally, from the USOC. “Apology” from USOC. It’s a half-arsed apology, one that I wouldn’t accept from the boy if he tried to give it to me after saying the same things the USOC’s law clerk (yes, clerk) said in that letter. So, no, I’m not accepting the apology from the USOC. And no, I’m sure as heck not going to be making anything to send to them.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do about Ravelympics this year. I was really looking forward to participating, to sharing the excitement of the Olympics with the boy, to showing him how to take on a challenge of something you’re not sure you can do and pushing to do it (what the Ravelympics and the Olympics are about…last I checked).

Now? Now I’m not so sure. How do I explain to him that the USOC puts money (and their sponsors) above average citizens (and their sponsors customers…lest we forget that)? I will gladly and always support our athletes. I will not, however, continue to support an entity that has apparently forgotten its entire purpose.

So while the USOC would like to say shame on me, I’m saying “Shame on you.”

Now excuse me while I go back to my knitting (yes, a post on that forthcoming, this one caught me by surprise).

And it’s done!

My Ravelympics Shawl is done! Woo hoo!

Here are the final pics:

Specs:

Pattern: Beaded Thistle Shawl by Mary Beth Temple (see previous entries for link to kit)
Yarn: Swiss Mohair by Universal Yarn
Hook: F hook

Start date: Friday, February 12th 9pm EST
Finish date: Monday, February 15th 12pm EST

Now back to work. I need to do a few more things to get patterns ready to be released. And I’m working on new swatches and things.

Ravelympics Day 3 progress

Last night around 11:30pm I finished the body of the shawl. Whew. All that’s left to do now is the edging. I’m going to do that this morning and then set it to blocking.

Wanna see a picture? Of course you do!

I know it looks kinda blobby right now, but once it’s blocked it will be stunning.

Once I finish this, then I will get to work on releasing some patterns. I have two that are ready (or close to ready, one needs a new picture) to be released. So hopefully those will go up today. I will post here when they’re ready.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Ravelympics!

Friday night started the winter version of Ravelympics. I know I hadn’t mentioned it on here, but I am participating again this year. I’m a proud member of Team Flaming Hooks (a Crochet Liberation Front Ravelympics team). This time I’m competing in the Short Track Shawls event with the Beaded Thistle Shawl by Mary Beth Temple. It’s a stunning shawl done in Swiss Mohair by Universal Yarn. And it has pretty beads on it.

The “kids”* bought me the kit for the holidays this year and I’d been holding on to it for Ravelympics. They got it for me in the pretty purple color (and no, you can’t have it in purple ’cause they’re all sold out even back to Universal Yarn…but there are other colors available!). See, here’s my kit:

Day one started Friday night at 9pm here. My brother had come over for dinner and some Lego Rock Band prior to that. I played for about an hour and then headed into the studio. He and John kept playing for another hour or so. By the time we went to bed around midnight, I’d gotten a few rows done. Here’s what my progress looked like at the end of day 1:

Yesterday I ended up having quite a bit of time to work on the project and putting the beads on is getting a lot easier. And since each row is a short row, it gets quicker each time. I’m hoping today’s progress will get me close to the finish line. Here’s my pic from last night showing day two’s progress:

I’ll post again tomorrow with progress from today. I’m working a half day tomorrow since it’s a holiday here (and John’s home from work) so if I don’t finish it today, I hope to get it done by tomorrow.

* Yes, I know, the cats and the dog don’t have access to a bank account or the internet, but work with me here.

Lots of things…..

First and foremost…..

That’s my gold medal for Sweater Sprint in the 2008 Ravelympics. No, there are no silver or bronze medals. There is only do or do not, there is no try. :D Anyway, yeah, I finished. :)

In other news, the package I sent to the yarn company arrived there today and my contact liked it and we talked about my next project. Which will soon be on its way. :) Yay!

Also today I wove in all the ends on SSP#2 and did the final blocking. It’s currently in the other room, and will be packaged tomorrow morning to be sent off. :) Woo!

So I went back to the station today to have lunch with Bossman (well, former Bossman). It was nice to go and have lunch and chit chat and catch up. After lunch I wandered around the station visiting with people. I got to show off the magazine (you bet I took it with me) and talk about living my dream. :) It was a good trip. Even if it did take up the whole afternoon.

I had contemplated working on editing SSP#2’s pattern tonight but I really would rather do it when I’m clear headed tomorrow morning. I think now I’m going to work some more on the Seraphina Shawl.

Tomorrow I will finish up SSP#2 and run to the post office to send it off. Then I will work on paperwork this week. I’m learning to take the downtime as it comes. Oh, and I will need to call my sister and wish her a very happy birthday tomorrow. I won’t tell you how old she is, but she’s older than me. ;)

Crossed the finish line!

It’s done!

No, there won’t be a pic of me in it until January. It’s already 83 degrees outside and it’s only 9:15am. This sweater is very very very warm.

I’m pleased it’s done. Now I can get back to focusing on SSP#2. Which, as of last night, was completely together and one side of the edging is completely done. All four rows. So, here’s the thing. I was playing around with the edging and couldn’t decide what I wanted to do and how it would look. Rather than going all the way around and then end up ripping something out, I decided to join each of the colors and kinda work them at the same time (no, this isn’t what I expect the crocheter to do…it’s just faster for me). Basically I work part of the way in the first row, then go back and pick up the loop for the second row, work up to just before the end of the first row, and repeat for all 4 colors. :) Since I’m working this with it laying out on the dining room table, this seems to be the most efficient way to do it. I think I should be able to be done today. Then tomorrow will be the final weaving in of ends and one final blocking. Then Monday will be the final tweaking of the pattern and ship on Tuesday. Whew.

Well, time for coffee and to start housework before I work on SSP#2.

Lots of things

My lunch appointment yesterday got rescheduled for Monday. Yeah, I don’t miss that job at all……the lunch is with my former boss so we can catch up (we were great friends while I worked with him) and he got slammed with stuff yesterday and couldn’t break away. The next day our schedules work together is Monday. So we’ll see.

All the ends are woven in on the yarn company project, and all it needs now is a quick light blocking and then packaged to go. I’m waiting for a return email from my contact there so I send it to the right place.

I have 2 back to back lessons today at the shop. I’ve got the lesson plans typed up and all that and ready to go. I need to crochet up a few samples for the first lesson before I leave.

But…great news….I just got word that another design has been accepted! They’re figuring out the yarn and all that now and I should hear something more soon. :) This is an awesome feeling. I wonder if the excitement goes away after a while. ‘Cause right now every single design that is accepted makes me happy and giddy.

Tonight I’m hoping to finish up my sweater for Ravelympics. Last night I was able to get the second sleeve sewn in and started weaving in ends. I only have to finish the neck edging and then weave in a few more ends. It could very well get finished tonight!

Anyway, I need to go finish up my work. Our skies still look like a storm is here. It rained last night and looks like it might rain today but I don’t know if it will.

Have a great day!

Ravelympics Day 4 Report

Almost done. I have 1 sleeve left to set in. And then back neck trim and weaving in a gajilion ends. It’s just so warm that working on it is difficult. I have to sit under a bright light in the dining room and can get about 3 stitches made before I have to stop and take a break.

I tried it on and this will definitely be a warm sweater. I’ll get to wear it on the one day it gets really cold and only if I stay outside the whole time. Or if we ever go up north in the winter I will be set.

Anyway, here’s the picture of it almost together.

This was taken with the flash, so the color is a bit off.

Okay, I need to get to work. I’m hoping to finish the sweater tonight after work.

Ravelympics – Day 3 Report

I had hoped to finish my sweater yesterday. However, after finishing one sleeve I found that I had put the top of the sleeve on the wrong side. Yeah. When did I find that out? When I cut the yarn at the end of it. *sigh*

So thankfully Margarita was over to crochet and watch Gilmore Girls on DVD. She talked me down from throwing it across the room (this is my most used method of dealing with stress…crochet, sewing, cross stitch….these things have all at some point flown across a room). I walked out to the garage to visit with John and calm down before coming back in to just start the second sleeve.

I got the second sleeve done and then went back to fix the problem in the first sleeve. I finished that at 11pm last night. Too tired to try to do assembly.

This morning I got up and did the sleeve trim and seam on one sleeve. Then it was time to get to work so it all got put back into the bag and will be worked on later today….after I finish my work. All I have left to do is to trim the hem edge, trim the second sleeve, sew up the sleeve seam, the side seam, the two shoulder seams, and then set the sleeves in (my least favorite part). Then I have a bit of neck trim and tacking down the collar. Then comes my most least favorite part of weaving in the ends. I typically do so well when I’m working on work stuff, but personal stuff I always end up waiting to the end.

I’m hoping to get done with work stuff by 5pm so I can have plenty of time to work on the sweater and hopefully finish tonight.

Speaking of, I finished my work on SSP#2 for this morning so I now need to get part one of six of my yarn company project done. Happy Monday!

Ravelympics Day Two Report

Day two concluded with the entire body of the sweater being done. Even with being gone for a few hours.

I got up yesterday morning and started right on the sweater. I finished the skirt just before I left to go to lunch. When I returned I did the “evenly space 96 slip stitches” along the top of the skirt. Then it was time to start the body and get the back done. By 7pm I was finished with the back.

I then moved to the front and finished it by 10pm last night.

We did have a case of attempted sabotage because a certain black and white kitty here decided that she wanted to steal my bamboo hook while I was out talking to John. I came back in and found the sweater had been knocked over. I thought for a minute that perhaps it was from placing it wrong on the sofa. Then I realized I couldn’t find my hook. Katrinka ran from the hallway to under the coffee table when I walked in. I decided to go see if maybe she had stolen the hook. And she had. Little brat was sitting there “guarding” the bamboo hook. So I chased her around the house for a good 10 minutes. She hissed at me, I hissed back at her, it was a good time.

It didn’t deter me, and like I said, I was able to finish the body of the sweater. I’m slightly freaking out because it doesn’t look like it’s going to fit. But, I haven’t started seaming yet, and from what I can tell, the body isn’t seamed together at front and back. The sleeves get set in and that seems like it will make it fit. And yes, I am dead on for gauge…even using the yarn called for…and I’m making a larger size than needed so it will be looser fit. We’ll see. I’m going to follow my advice I give everyone else and trust the pattern.

Today’s plan is to hopefully cross the finish line. I have sleeves and assembly to do today. So far there are two people who have crossed the finish line in Sweater Sprint. BUT….they’ve been making shrugs. I’m still hoping I can be the first full sweater to cross.

Here’s the pic I took this morning of the progress after Day Two:

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