I have been told that I'm a bit of a ridiculous person, and as such, I occasionally become neurotic about ridiculous things. Today, it's teams.
As a child (er...and as an adult) I was never good at sports. I only once played on a sports team of any kind, a tee-ball team in first grade that never won a game...except the one I missed due to chicken pox. And even then, on that farce of a team (sponsored by the Moose Club...and unfortunately I believe that was our team name, as well) I was banished off into right field so as to avoid giving me any unnecessary contact with the ball.
But you see, I was never really a nerd either. Math and chess teams were out of the question, and while I did a brief stint in quiz bowl, but I wasn't enough of a trivia-gargling fact-geek to stick around long. I was a creative. The artsy kid. And the artsy kids...well, we don't have teams. The game of "making things", if you overlook the occasional collaborative piece or show, is a singles event. When it comes down to it, the only thing I'm exceptionally good at is knitting...and as far as I know, there are no knitting teams.
There are knitting gangs, true. And there are clubs and stitch & bitches a-plenty. There are the Knitting Olympics, yes, but that is more about individual knithletes challenging themselves, and the events largely take place in the safety of your own living room. There are people who knit while watching other types of teams.Occasionally you get a speed-knitting or speed-spinning event, and creative contests abound.
Here is the thing, and here is where the neurosis kicks in: Quite frankly, I feel robbed! I feel like by never having had the skills to be a part of a team of some sort, I've missed out on a valuable part of my youth. I want the sense of camaraderie and bonding that comes with a group of people coming together to defeat a common enemy through some activity that they love and work hard at. I want to pile into a van and sleep/party in a dirty motel on the way to a regional tournament. I want a t-shirt with a number! I WANT A TROPHY FULL OF YARN!
But the fact remains: knitting is not a team sport, and there are no knitting teams, no knitting tournaments, no trophies full of yarn. To which I say... well why the hell not?
I'll make my own damn team.
Just picture it: teams from all cities and regions, of different ages and skill levels, coming together to compete. I'm not sure, yet, exactly, what the events will be. Speed knitting, crocheting, and spinning, for sure. Maybe a speed-knitting relay. But it shouldn't focus all on speed, we want to look at technique, as well: who can spin the finest yarn, perhaps? Execute the most types of decreases on command, without stopping to think or check references? And creative events, of course...which team can come up with the most tasteful use for fun fur? Can knit the scariest monster? The prettiest collaborative gown? We could give each team a sack of materials and a time limit and see who can come up with the best...whatever. We could reward the mastery of skills, both individually and on a team level (sort of like the TKGA's Masters Program, but without requiring you to pay out the butthole for the priviledge.) There would be blood, sweat, tears, and sports injuries. There would be weak links and MVPs (MVKs?) There would be gruff coaches who, while at first you thought they hated you, you would come to realize were only trying to make you the best that you could be, and really epic music would play as they patted you on the shoulder and shed a single tear when you brought home the championship. Wise and seasoned yarn-workers who don't wish to be on teams could act as judges and referees.
There would be mascots! The Bay City Alpacas or the North Seattle Knit-A-Longers... LYSs could sponsor local teams, host events, and donate prizes. There would be t-shirts with numbers! Witty nicknames too, like "The Yarnnhilator" and "Ole' Stichy." Cheers and chants, riddled with profanity (or not, depending on your team's style) and after parties with bottles of champagne to celebrate our wins or drown our sorrows.
And we don't have to limit it to knitting, either. We could open it to the whole world of craftletics.
When I get back to Portland in the fall (or possibly 9 months later when I'm done writing my thesis) I am going to make this happen, somehow. I'll start with one team...we'll have to make up our own events, perhaps going out on sneaky yarn-gathering missions or busting in on stitch & bitches to challenge them to impromptu battles. When enough people are involved, we split. We spread the word. We convince other cities to get in on the fun. It shouldn't be too hard, really... tell someone that you're going to kick their ass at whatever it is they think they do well, and the game is on.
Yes. Yes I think that this shall be fun.
In the meantime I suppose I better think up some more events.