To say that sport does nothing for me would be an understatement. Team games leave me completely cold, and I have never been able to see the point of competitive running, swimming, jumping....Maybe I just never found the right sport for my physical capabilities. For some reason, I do see something splendid about the paralympics, particularly where the competitor was not interested in sport before they were disabled.
However, some months ago our Guild was approached about contributing to the Cultural Olympics, taking "Culture" in its broadest sense. Someone with a degree in drama and a taste for pyrotechnics on the grand scale had come up with the concept, which cannot be described as lacking ambition.
Essentially a street theatre group were to present a series of events in locations across Essex. Two large effigies, one called Marina and the other Boreal, would start at Harwich and Stansted respectively and progress through Essex to a meeting at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, where there is to be a spectacular fireworks display. One could not make this up - but someone did. At each stopping point on the way the group are to collect a giant perspex "Bead," containing artefacts to represent the area. When all fifteen have been assembled they are to play "The Glass Bead Game", which, I have to confess, I had thought was a concept rather than an actual game. What can this possibly have to do with knitting?
It's this: The Braintree area, now largely commuter-land, has for centuries drawn its wealth from textiles. Wool and its processing built the magnificent wool churches. Silk and the weaving of it was vital to Braintree, and can still be found just over the border at Sudbury. So our bead was to be filled with sample textile pieces, each contained in a smaller perpex bead. Having knit some of these before Christmas last year - this one from a pattern on Moth Heaven - it seemed appropriate for this purpose too.
I knit this in the round to cover a styrofoam sphere. Once past the central band I reverted to flat knitting to facilitate the decreases. I was quite pleased with the result. Whether one will ever see it again is an open question.