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Team Afghans for Afghans! Join Today

Dear Kay,
You know how much I love the Olympics, right? You know how I wept when Jim McKay died in June. I loved that guy, man. He’s the one who gave me my start in armchair athletics, back when I had my little black-and-white Sony TV that I would put on my stomach and watch in bed until I fell asleep and it slid onto the floor.
(I have to pause here to consider the fact that my mother gave me a TV for my eleventh birthday. GOD BLESS HER.)
Because there were only four channels, it was hard for me to watch enough TV, so to fill up properly, I watched a lot of ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Drag racing, logrolling, jai alai–if Jim McKay was taking me there, I was going.
So much has changed since those long, sleepy afternoons when I would get bedsores from so much television. I managed to attend the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, despite the fact that I had left a six-month-old baby back in Nashville and carried a breast pump with me in the blistering heat of downtown Atlanta. Good times, and I still have a hatful of cloisonné pins.
But there’s nothing like watching from the comfort of my sofa, AC cranked to infinity, watching the world’s greatest athletes evade detection for steroid use compete at the highest level. Some things never change, mercifully, and I am ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT waiting for the Beijing Olympics to start.
Never mind the smog, the weird government-induced Internet lockdown, the creepy shots of one brazillion Chinese police officers in riot gear–this is going to be GREAT, people. There is no greater piece of television than this 17-day wallow. For us knitters, this is the ultimate opportunity for us to knit ourselves silly.
Ravelry has gone completely nuts over the Olympics. If you haven’t taken a look, more than 5,000 knitters have signed up for the Ravelympics. The goal: to start and finish a project during the Olympic Summer Games.
We are participating in Ravelry’s Ravelympics as members of Team Afghans for Afghans. There’s a great new campaign by Afghans for Afghans, calling for wool blankets and garments for youth ages 7-14. The details are all here.
We heartily encourage all you armchair athletes to join us on Team Afghans for Afghans. Time is short: the deadline to sign up for Team Afghans for Afghans is this Thursday, August 7, so that we can all fire up our needles during the opening ceremony on August 8.
You sign up here. This page splains it all for you. (Be sure to become a member of Ravelry, if you haven’t already.)
In short:
1. Figure out what you want to make for Afghans for Afghans during the Olympics.
2. Add a project page to your Ravelry notebook.
3. Tag your project for Ravelympics, Team Afghans for Afghans, and which event. (You choose your event–there are many events, from Sweater Sprint to to Afghan Marathon.)
4. Ready, set, KNIT.
5. Send a hello to Renee, the captain of Team Afghans for Afghans. Her sceen name is “revknits” on Ravelry.
Here’s the schedule of Olympic events. I’m already strategizing on how to make the most of this. I’m going to make a pullover for a boy, age 12 or so. (I have a 12-year-old boy here to use as a mannequin.)
Please leave a comment if you have any questions. This is our chance to rock the Afghan world with handknits, watch a righteous amount of TV, and compete at the highest level of armchair athletics.



  1. I’m IN. Ready to apply butt to sofa for a good cause. Of course this interferes with my upholstery knitting ambitions, but the Olympics has always been about self-sacrifice.

  2. Thanks for the plug – we’re at 57 projects, I’m hoping that we make 100 by the time the projects close!

  3. I was thinking about this after your last entry about A4A, since I missed the chance to knit a shawl. A vest in honor of Jim McKay? How can I say ‘no’? Jim was a vest sort of guy, as I recall. Off to join in the quest for the thrill of victory.

  4. Wait, BRAZILlion Chinese police?
    Multi-national police force!

  5. Holy cow, Ann – you toted a breastpump with you to the big show in Atlanta?!? That is dedication! My breastpump and I salute you!
    Speaking of Atlanta, as a native Georgia girl, I got all kinds of teary-eyed during the opening ceremonies in 1996. That was Atlanta! This year, the opening ceremonies are on my birthday, so I’m planning for similar levels of misty-eyed-ness.

  6. Is that a Michael Cader hat in that photo? (I used to be in publishing.)

  7. one 45″x 45″ crocheted, woolly grannie square comin’up! “round and round she goes……….”

  8. I’m making kid socks for this event, but on a different schedule, because, you know, I can’t just do things on anyone else’s schedule. I’ll be knitting mine from Aug 24, the closing day of the Olympics, to Aug 31, when I return from my holiday. It’s the thought that counts, and actually, the socks that count, too… Whatever…

  9. Ann, could we please see a picture of you wearing that hat?

  10. A live boy as a mannequin…what a concept! 😉
    Happy knitting!

  11. Hey, thanks for the Ravelympics plug! There’s still a short wait for invitations from Ravelry’s system, but I happen to have 4 instantly available invitations to the site for anybody who is not already a member. Readers can leave a comment at my site, donnadb.wordpress.com, with your contact info and I’ll deliver.
    Citius, altius, knittius!

  12. Thanks so much for the A4A plug, Ann and Kay! We’ll be announcing a little raffle to incentivize production for this youth campaign, too.
    I should look to see if there are any Afghanis competing in this year’s event! (Well, even if there aren’t, Afghanistan now has a team!)
    to knitting in support of sport,

  13. I’ve already signed up to make a pair of mittens and a hat, along with finish some personal WIPs (in the name of A4A, but for myself). I’m considering adding another pair of mittens… kids’ mittens go fast, right?

  14. Well alrighty, I was looking for a kick in the pants to get me all creative and crafty again and this could just be it. I’ve also sorely neglected my ravelry notebook.
    I’m in! I’m thinking maybe a blanket–those long stretches could be soothing while crying over the inspirational athlete bios…

  15. How did you know that I really wanted to be part of the Ravelympics, that I really wanted to make a sweater for Afghans for Afghans AND that I had a Philosopher’s Wool kit kicking around (between hot flashes and global warming it’s too warm for me). Thanks!
    Hey! Do you think it’s possible that global warming is really caused by all us boomer women coming of age? Nah

  16. Thanks for the homage to Jim McKay. He’s one of the happy memories of my youth, too.

  17. I’ve always loved the olympics. I think they’ve lost a little of the awe and wonder now that they are every two years, but I still feel the need to watch everything, from water polo to curling, both winter and summer. Go USA….and everywhere else where MDKers live.

  18. Wow! Our little Ravelympics has hit the big time. Thanks gals for the great mention. I’m so pleased to see the ranks of Team Afghans for Afghans growing 😉
    Happy knitting everyone…I’ll be at the Finish Line gleefully watching all those projects cross into FO-stardom! 😉


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