Olympic knitting

The shot put, javelin, 200 metres, gymnastics, beach volleyball…and knitting? This time around, the Olympic Games ain’t just about sport and arts and crafts is on its mark, ready to get, set and go – all thanks to the Woolsack project, part of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Inspire programme.

The idea behind Inspire is to encourage participation in the Games from everyone, not just stellar athletes, while promoting the use of British wool from the farm to end use and knitters around the UK must have been rubbing their needles together with glee in anticipation of making a plethora of cushions from British wool, to be presented to the athletes come July.

And the sporty souls out there, all wanting to take home that precious gold, seem to think it’s a great idea as well. The project was piloted during the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in January, with 40 red, white and blue cushions sent over to give the athletes a bit of home-grown support. Lisa Dobriskey, a 1,500-metre hopeful, said the idea was “really original. In Beijing they were only handing out key rings”, while gold medallist at the Mexico Games David Hemmery called it a “wonderful project”.

There’s just under a month left for people to make their cushions – in all, 14,000 are expected to be whipped up and sent out – with the deadline for all creations set as March 31st so if you want to put your own stamp on the upcoming Olympics, you’d better get your skates on. Just remember the rules – all cushions must be pure British wool or fibre, hand or machine-spun and natural or dyed colours. For further information, peruse the Woolsack website where everything you need to know and more can be found.

Are you taking part in this worthy project? What have you come up with?

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