Ravelympics and a threat
Wednesday June 20th 2012, 11:31 pm
Filed under: Knit

An aside first: Dale of Norway has been making licensed custom-designed sweaters for the Norwegian team for the Winter Olympics, specific to each set of games, since 1956.

Ravelry is a very popular Facebook equivalent for knitters and crocheters. One in three Americans knows how to knit. There are two million Rav users from all over the world.

And on that site there has been the Ravelympics: the idea of stretching one’s skills in such a way as to create something new and wonderful, starting at the opening of the Olympic games and ending when they do. It’s an inner challenge shared worldwide to do your best, to make something you might not have accomplished otherwise.

The US Olympic Committee has now sent a cease and desist order to Ravelry. The full text is here. “We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

This lawyer is someone who has never spent a hundred hours turning string into gorgeousness. This is someone who has no idea that the spirit and intent of the thing was specifically to cheer the athletes on while watching them while knitting, creating worldwide community in the process.

As one knitter said, will Olympia, Washington get threatened next?

If it were the Ravelry Olympics, or even the Ravelympic Games, there would be a precedent, but this is extreme overreaching. They went combing through Rav, looking for examples: apparently every pattern that combines a set of three knitted rings and a set of two in the fabric, be it purl stitches or colorwork or lace, is also in violation and must be taken down. Calling Barbara Walker.

Post 530 (you have to be a member to see it) gives a great rebuttal to the committee’s lawyer.

Write. Twitter. Call. Protest. The addresses and numbers are in those links. We are being bullied by the clueless.

7 Comments so far
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How about emailing every corporate sponsor of the Olympics saying as a Ravelympic knitter we will boycott their products and turn the tv channel during their commercial breaks unless they get the Olympic committee to back down?

Comment by LynnM 06.21.12 @ 1:07 am

Oops, just read post 530 and the suggestion to write to sponsors was already made!

Comment by LynnM 06.21.12 @ 1:10 am

I just logged on this morning and saw this on another blog. I can’t believe it. Some lawyers have too much time on their hands. Off to read the post and send my little support where needed.

Comment by Greta 06.21.12 @ 5:41 am

Just read this on the Mason-Dixon Blog. She suggests making a pair of socks to send to Stephen Colbert so he will get on this bandwagon. I think this probably means that all Ravelers are subversive and dangerous, anyway–what will they destroy next?

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 06.21.12 @ 7:53 am

OMG! How stupid can they get?
(the following is fiction): It’s about as bad as the little old lady who was barred from a plane because she had knitting needles. They were afraid she would knit an afghan.

Comment by Don Meyer 06.21.12 @ 9:25 am

Thanks for the heads up. I let them know by email who is doing the denigrating. Not the knitters.

Comment by RobinM 06.21.12 @ 2:21 pm

For what it’s worth, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the Yarn Harlot) has a good post about this, and a link to the USOC’s apology. Still, I agree their initial letter was rude, and now they want donations????

Comment by DebbieR 06.21.12 @ 3:27 pm

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