Since there does seem to be some interest out there in knitting along, or at least contemplating knitting along with the sweater project, I thought I'd give it a category of its own and a series of posts dedicated to it in logical, manageable chunks.
Also, since I've taken the definitive step of inviting people along on the ride, I'm thinking it would be a good idea to state my intentions clearly from the very beginning.
1) This is NOT going to be a graded, line by line pattern. What I plan to do is create a pullover for my own measurements, and let you in on the design logic, charts for specific motifs, and process of creating it. I will endeavour to design the sweater in a way that is modular enough to allow a variety of sizes and body shapes to create their own versions, to their own measurements. I'll make the process transparent, suggest easier options for tricky bits, I'll walk you through the math and planning... but I won't do it for you. (Not to sound overly abrupt, but thanks to lurking on the designer forums, I know that if I'm not clear on this point, someone will inevitably feel terribly let down and disappointed.) This is a project best done by knitters who are comfy with doing math, and independent enough that they wouldn't be daunted by whipping up a basic knit-to-fit sweater based on their measurements and a gauge swatch.
2) I do hope that it will be an interactive process, with discussion, questions, ideas, and lots of scope for individual creativity and personalization. A cabled or texture heavy sweater is, by its very nature, dreadfully unwieldy to grade to multiple sizes - if your circumference varies from mine by a significant margin, your sweater is necessarily going to look quite different. That, to my mind, is where the fun comes in - I'll provide themes and motifs and panels, with suggestions for combining them - you make the ultimate design decisions for your own version.
3) This is a pretty informal thing - there's no real rules or "joining" or deadlines, other than whatever you care to impose on yourself. I've set my own goal of finishing by the start of the Winter Games, because I live in the host town and plan to wear the sweater out and about during that time. You might well want to sit back and see how mine comes along before deciding whether to jump in... or you might want to take a leap of faith and knit along in real time - bearing in mind there's no absolute guarantee I won't rip back something that doesn't work at some point. And if nobody joins me, that's completely fine - it'll still be a fun exercise to work through the process out loud.
4) The purpose of the sweater is to celebrate and commemorate both Whistler and the 2010 Games in ways and with symbols that are meaningful to me. IF (and that's a big if) I decide to create a motif for my sweater that crosses the line into Olympic trademark territory, I won't be publishing charts for it. I don't need an army of IOC lawyers on my doorstep waving cease and desist letters - and they do go after little guys. (I'm pretty sure I'm safe to make something for personal use and celebration - after all, every store in town is being encouraged to decorate in Olympic themes, but I'll be checking out the legalities before I get to that point.) I'll show you what I knit, I'll likely provide hints and/or alternatives, but you'll have to use your own ingenuity if you want to go there.
Having got that out of the way.... let's save the proper introduction to the sweater itself for the next post. I want to talk about yarn, do up a simple schematic, a couple of photos, some preliminary numbers, and my brain is rapidly shutting down for the evening.