Friday, June 15, 2012

Anyone for a little British Wool?

South Kensington, where I had mashed peas for the first time (that I
can recall - there's no telling what I ate as a wee infant), summer 2000.
Recently, a writer friend of mine commented in correspond-ence that he was excited for all of the cultural events involved in or around the London 2012 Summer Olympic games (he'll be traveling to London just after the games end). At the time, I couldn't have agreed more.

Now, however, I absolutely can agree more. Why? Because it was just recently announced that as part of the opening ceremonies, 30 sheep and 3 sheepdogs will be included. It's a nod to the British countryside, in case you were looking for the link between sheep and the Games' opening ceremonies.

Of course, we fiber lovers need no excuse for this sheepy inclusion. However, it gets even better - Woolsack, an initiative to promote British wool's use and history, is part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. For everyone who might not be aware (of which I was one until just recently), a woolsack is an actual cushion, covered in red cloth, and is a part of the physical chair of the Lord Speaker in the British House of Lords.

And now for the gateau's icing: Jane (aka JaneKAL on Ravelry) has been and continues to be one of the people spearheading the effort to hand knit and crochet cushions for each and every one of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes! Yes, every athlete competing in both games has an opportunity to receive a handmade cushion (using sourced British wool of course) as one of their remembrances of participating in London this summer. My mind boggles at how much coordination and planning is involved in this undertaking. Oh.My.Bob.

If anyone would like to make a cushion, definitely contact Jane directly on Ravelry, or check out her Ravelry Woolsack group to learn all of the details. Additionally, if you either are an athlete or know an athlete participating in the 2012 Olympics or Paralympics who would like to receive a cushion, follow the directions at this link. Basically, once a group contacts Woolsack, they can start the process of getting each of that group's athletes a hand crafted cushion.

A circus of another sort - summer, 2000.
How cool is that?

Now, if only those London Olympic organizers would include a few alpacas in the opening ceremonies ...

Don't forget to check in at Andrea's blog to see what other cool, yet mind-boggling fiber adventures people are getting into on this Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday.


  1. That is a cool idea. I remember when it was knitted scarves a few years back.

    I'm glad sheep are a part of the Olympics. England really doesn't have a high Alpaca population so...we'll have to represent during Ravelympics ;-)

  2. I love the Woolsack project and I'm so cross with the Games Committee who originally said they could have a stand with the cushions on at the welcoming event, and then said they couldn't have a stand because the sponsors didn't want the stand there. Then when they were asked if they could send out the information to the teams that a cushion was available if they wanted it, they said no. So basically the only way the teams will know about the cushions is if anyone who knows an athlete involved in the games, tell them that there is a cushion with their name on! Makes me so mad that they yanked the carpet out from under them like that when so many people put hard work and money into these projects.

  3. What a great idea for the cushions! Good luck to Jane on that undertaking.

  4. Thank you for sharing the Woolsack project, I'll certainly look into it, and might just make some during Ravelympics too!

  5. I'm happy to hear about the sheep... and of course that the Paralympic athletes are also included. It almost seems that Paralympic athletes are included everywhere except in the US. :-/

    I agree and can't imagine the level of effort required to hand-make a cushion for each and every athlete... especially since the teams are not fully defined yet. Hubba has his trials in two weeks.

    1. Good luck to him! And ... if he makes the team, let's get the group hooked up with Jane for some cushions!

      You should check out the Woolsack site - some Paralympic athletes have already received their pillows - the pics are great.

  6. Wow, that's a big project. Hope they're super successful.

  7. That is a big project...we had the olimpics in Atlanta and the masccot Whatizit...a blue thing that morphed into different shapes. Named for a board game Dingbats...really, Im so proud. Later the named was shortend to Izzy...not much better.

    With All That I Am
    Carrie "The Handmade Homemaker"

  8. Makes me nostalgic about two trips I took to London... Interesting about the wool sacks!