If you’ve been following the Winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, there hasn’t been a dull moment! From firsts of all kinds – first triple axel landed, first gold medal of the games, first-time competitors, one of the most surprising firsts has been the crafting coaches on the sidelines! Athletes and coaches have whipped out their needles to calm their nerves, and the yarn world is going wild.
The Finnish team is casting on these Winter Games, and all eyes are on them. Snowboarding coach Antti Koskinen was caught in a photo that went viral on Twitter, smiling & knitting as he watched his team warm up for competition. When asked about the surprising game-day hobby, he said “it is a nice, Finnish thing… it means no unnecessary chit-chat is needed.”
It’s caught on as a way to get focused and stay in the zone, and about half of their 102-member team is stitching. The team started a scarf at the Sochi Games, continued knitting in Rio, and brought it along to South Korea. They’re also working on a blanket for their President’s first child, with each crafter contributing a square.
If you’re looking for a chance to craft in red, white and blue, and represent Team USA in your everyday, these are two perfect craft-portunities! The Team USA Mittens (Crochet) on the left are a free pattern download, and work up in Heartland in child and adult sizes. The recommended Heartland colors are Olympic (!), Acadia, and Redwood, though you could sub any red, white & blue 4 Medium-weight yarn. They’re a Level-3 (Intermediate) pattern, but they’ll never go out of style, so they’re worth the challenge!
The beautiful beanie from new pattern-maker Debi Hassler was inspired by the uniforms of Team USA, and the colorwork of the Opening Ceremony sweaters by Ralph Lauren. You can grab Debi’s pattern for free on Ravelry (you’ll need a free account to access it), and also visit her blog featuring this beanie for more tips & information. Connect with her on Ravelry or Instagram (@debihassler), since she’ll surely have more gorgeous patterns to come!
Chloe Kim took home gold in Women’s Halfpipe event, and set a record: first woman to hit back-to-back 1080-degree spins. She’s also the youngest ever female medalist in snowboarding in Olympic history! Chloe is an American success story in every way, a first-generation child to immigrant parents, who sacrificed for her to follow her dreams. And the payoff has been pure gold!
We’re admiring many things about this young Olympian, and one of them is her gold-medal-worthy toque! We pored over our pattern archive, and found a couple look-alikes, in case you want to cast on your own.
The Bed Head Hat (Knit) has that chunky look, and you could easily add a big floppy pom to complete it! The Snowball Hat (Knit) is also fairly easy, and both could be quick finish projects to cast off by Closing Ceremonies.
The Toboggan Hat Pattern (Crochet) is a Level-3 (Intermediate) pattern, available for free on our website! The slightly open-weave mirrors the texture of Chloe’s toque, and the earflaps are so cute. Our Adult’s Easy Crochet Hat was featured in a blog by All About Ami, and you can see her version in cream (with poms!).
If you’re feeling patriotic, but don’t have time to craft during these Olympic Games, you could always snag a 3-pack of Made in the USA Yarn to stash for next time.
Whatever your main crafting event these Olympics, we hope you’re catching some of the majesty of the Games and finding time to settle in to craft through your favorite sport. Let us know in the comments if you’ll be making anything special, if you’re snacking on themed treats, and what sport you’ll be tuning in for! Over a week left to celebrate the Olympic spirit, so let’s go, Crafting Team USA!