Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Piece of Olympic Knitting History

Long before Ravelry and the Revellenic Games were even an idea, my Great Grandmother Sophie traveled from Maine to her home country of Russia for the 1980 Summer Olympics.  I was a gawky twelve at the time and I remember clearly when she came back and the stories of her adventure that she shared with us.   She had brought rolls of toilet paper and American jeans to trade for things and to give to her distant family members.  The things she brought back with her were priceless to us.  Among them was a stunning Orenburg Lace shawl depicting the Olympic Rings, the Emblem of the Games, 1980 and Moscow clearly written out in several languages, along with a boarder of stars.

 I thought of this shawl many times over the years, even before I was a knitter.  A couple of years ago my Grandmother (Sophie's daughter) asked if there was anything that I would like to have that belonged to her.  On the off chance that the shawl had survived and that my Grandmother had it, I asked for that.  Now, my family, particularly my mother,  is not the best at saving things so I didn't expect that it would even be in existence.  One example of this is a Civil War era quilt that my mother was going to cut up and make stuffed animals out of before I rescued it.  I was completely surprised when my Grandmother not only knew where the shawl was but offered to send it with a few other things she thought I might enjoy.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of this treasure.  The entire shawl is in garter stitch.  I'm not sure what type of yarn it's made from, but it's soft and fine and seems to be fairly sturdy while still being soft.  I would guess the weight to be cobweb lace.

I will be wearing this on Friday as I cast on for the Ravellenic Games.  I'm on Team Shalimar Yarns and will be competing in Sock Hockey.  The pattern is Hearts in Owlantis, and is a new colorwork sock design I have been working on. 


7 comments:

  1. As a lace designer, this is amazing. The sad thing is these days the Olympic rings are probably copyrighted/trademarked or something. Stunning shawl.

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    1. It's really an amazing piece. I wish I knew about the person who designed and knitted it.

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  2. Oh Lara, that is magnificent! What a wonderful heirloom to receive.

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    1. Thank you. I'm really grateful that my Grandmother had it and sent it to me. I cherish it :)

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  3. How wonderful! Such a treasure. Thanks so much for sharing this piece of history!

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  4. This beautiful item has withstood the test of time! Heirloom knitting at it's finest.

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