The Winter Olympics has so much worth watching – the best international athletes, the coolest sports on snow and ice, the competitiveness hand-in-hand with the fellowship and spirit of brotherhood that recognizes no borders, and the knitwear. Yeah, the knitwear. I love watching all of those athletes from all over the globe hug it out after a hard and thrilling run, but watching the opening ceremonies with all of the teams in attire from the best designers each country has to offer is sublime. I was lucky enough to be in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics and pick up some of those cool Canada mittens that were all the rage – they sold out more than once at the Olympic store.
For knitters, it’s a thrill to see what these artistic minds come up with to showcase the very best their country has to offer. If only we could sample the cuisine and wine as each patriotic groups makes it’s appearance it would be divine. While we await food replication technology I’ve gathered up my favorite pieces from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The gold medal for beanies goes to Slovenia. These colors and that beautifully textured pattern turn a pretty traditional style into something new. Vesna Fabjan models it perfectly.
The silver goes to Serbia for the gorgeous color work. The scarves and hats are different but complement each other so well, here is the team at the Opening Ceremonies showing us how to wear it:
With all the kerfuffle over the US Opening Ceremony sweater, the other sweaters created by Ralph Lauren have been lost. That is a shame because there is some really lovely stuff going on. Still, I’m giving the gold medal for Olympic Sweaters in 2014 to Andorra. These things are beautiful, intricate, and just are winter in wool form.
Unfortunately these are the best photos I could find, which is a shame because these sweaters are ready for their close-up. They’re beautiful and they are reminiscent of the coolest of all winter sweater makers, Dale of Norway. If you aren’t familiar with this decades-old knitwear company, do yourself and favor and check out the link above or Google them.
So, as I mentioned, I feel that there has been some loveliness missed for the USA sweater squad. The silver goes to this majestic and imaginative creation modeled by the great Charlie White:
Seriously masterful. I love the patterning here – it has snowflakes, diamonds, dots, chevrons, lettering and even moose. It finishes with bands of hugs and kisses. What’s not to love?
Every Winter Olympics has neat mittens, and Canada usually rules them all in this area. However, I’m giving the gold to Latvia this year. They came up with a beautiful little multi-colored zigzag pattern and used it for all the accessories, which really are the only interesting items in their Opening Ceremony uniforms.
Canada gets the silver, of course. Their mittens are always simple for the Winter Olympics but they’re hand knit by artisans around the country and the simplicity lends an elegance to them. Mittens don’t usually fall into the “elegant” category but Canada knows how to make mittens look good.
Glorious candy canes.
And there you have it, the best of the 2014 Winter Olympics knitwear. You can actually purchase several of these items online if you’re feeling so inclined. I do recommend attending a Winter Olympics at least once and heading to the store to see all of the creative offerings available. Outside of Dale of Norway it really is where you’ll find the best, most interesting knitwear anywhere in the world. Some of the pieces are reasonably priced, too, and they will not only be conversation starters (in more ways than one) but they’ll also keep you warm. Remember, these pieces are created to protect the best athletes in the world warm.
If you’re looking for unique hand knit or crochet accessories, visit my shop and check out our great organic attire!