Friday, October 16, 2015

The Show Must Go On

I wasn't able to attend Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival this year because I was teaching at Fiber College of Maine that same weekend.  However, in spite of my absence, the Second Annual Walk & Knit Relay Challenge still took place at the festival on Saturday, September 12, 2015.

The Arachne Spinning Guild of Door County took over running the event with Chris Vuco acting as emcee.  Thanks to my spinning guild for taking this on and still gathering a team together to participate on the racecourse.  A total of eleven teams participated this year!  You can see the energy the winning team had as they got ready for the race.

Winning Team, left to right:  Aviva Cantor,
Kirsti Johanson, Caitlin Brecklin, and Renata Hornik

This Walk & Knit event was inspired by a similar team-relay race that takes place in Estonia, known there as Käi ja Koo.  Winning is based on rankings in the following criteria:  fastest speed of walking, highest number of stitches completed, and lowest number of errors.
After bringing this event from Estonia to the USA last year (see my blog post about last year's event here), I was pleased to hear that some knitting students of mine also held a Walk & Knit event in Iowa earlier this year.  I watched a video from their event and some participants thought that one of the teams had cheated when a "walking knitter" ran part of the course.  There is no rule that precludes running to produce a winning time, but there is definitely a trade off; finishing fast also means finishing with fewer stitches.  It just depends on your strategy.

Some people think of a knitter as the stereotypical grandmother sitting in a rocking chair, but this event shows that knitting is also for active people.  You know you're watching a sporting event when you see team huddles and team T-shirts.

Well, I hated to miss the second annual Wisconsin event, but I did talk up the Walk & Knit event when I was at Fiber College of Maine and it looks like the Käi ja Koo could make an appearance on the East Coast next year!

I'm spreading the word!

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