Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Another Winter Games, Another Ravellenic Team

My team's badge for the upcoming South Korean Winter
Games. In order for my lame pun to work, I had to
invoke Seoul instead of Pyeongchang. What can I say?
Yes, it is that time again. Time for improbable Jamaican bobsledding, death-defying skeleton, glitter and drama on the ice, and of course … curling – yup, the Winter Games are almost here, all the way from South Korea.

Once again, I will be fielding a wee Ravellenic team, within which I will be focusing on completing projects still in progress that so need to just be done. I have captured three of them in the quickly snapped photo below, but believe me, if I have time, there are a few more I will attempt to whip through. My handmade wardrobe (as well as my spirit) needs a serious infusion of completed items! Of course, I also will be releasing, at the end of the month, a mini-collection to celebrate the games, of which I am also rather proud and excited.

Three of my works-in-progress that I am determined
to complete during the upcoming three weeks of
South Korean fun (from l-r): a beginning
Bomber-inspired Hoodie Vest, a
Tunisian Meets Tartan Bag, and a Cozy Chic Cardigan.
Since this is my second time fielding a team, I thought some deeper background and context might be in order. (For a round-up of my previous blog posts on all things Olympic Games and Ravelry, feel free to go here, here, and/or here. It is clear I need to come up with a more consistent manner of keyword use.) Ravelry is a social networking site that has been involved in indirectly supporting, through craft participation, the worldwide modern Olympiad movement pretty much since the site’s inception over a decade ago. Every two years individual teams form under a general Ravellenic umbrella to challenge participants to rise to their own respective, self-described crafting challenges (which, for me, is completing those pesky WIPs). Teams can form around virtually any theme or common interest – designer (in my case), yarn dyer, favorite program or movie, geographic location – you name it. We compete mostly for the glory of working on our own respective challenge in a supportive atmosphere … and a digital medal and perhaps a few yarny prizes (but they are not mandatory).  Participants also watch a lot of Games competition and coverage. While there is no way to measure the viewership with any amount of accuracy, I will flat out tell you that, at least for opening and closing ceremonies (which equates to our mass cast-on/project beginning, as well as crafting right up to the extinguishing of the flame), I firmly believe that our mass, worldwide viewership makes a small, yet significant, increase in the overall numbers.

I confidently state the above, correlating finished projects with viewership hours as proof. While the finished project tally for all participants (teams as well as individuals – one need not be affiliated with a team to participate in the Ravelry event) is still unknown for this year, the event’s track record is pretty impressive: combining the finished object numbers for the five previous games, Ravelry members have completed approximately 65,000 individual projects. Yes, you read that correctly – approximately 65,000! The 2012 Games participation set the high water mark, with just under 17,000 completed projects, with 2014 coming in a close second with over 15,000 maker finished pieces. And, in case you were interested, as of this writing there are over 115 teams officially registered with more to come before the close of official Ravelry team registry on January 26.

As you may (or may not) expect, Ravelry’s support of the Games has not been without controversy. Most notably, in 2012 Ravelry received a cease and desist letter from the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) with regard to the event’s former name. While Ravelry did ultimately change the event name, it wasn’t before not one, but two, USOC apologies were issued. Perhaps that might account for the highest number of completed projects in 2012 – there’s nothing like a little controversy to stir up the maker pot.

In the end, I am a Winter Games junkie. I have been watching them since I was a little kid and my Ravelry activities just makes an enjoyable event even more enjoyable. If you’d like to join my team and make a Voie de Vie design, do feel free to head on over to my Ravelry group and tell us what you’d like to make.

Of course, you might do well to wait until the end of the month to see what new designs I reveal in the upcoming mini-collection. Just saying.



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