Tuesday, October 08, 2002

OBSCURE COMPETITIONS WATCH: American wins world speed crochet title:

Fast fingers and 32 years of practice gave American Lily Chin an unofficial world title on Sunday -- queen of the speed crochet circuit.

In a duel of flashing needles and whirring wool, Chin, 40, beat her British rival Susan Broscoe to win the first national U.S. speed crochet contest in New York.

Chin, a New Yorker of Chinese descent, completed 92-1/2 double crochet stitches in the allotted three minutes while Broscoe -- who holds the British title for the pursuit -- trailed with 76-1/2.

"I think it is so thrilling," Chin said, adding that she expected her feat to win her a listing in the Guinness book of records.

"My mother thought I would be less hyper if I took up knitting," she told Reuters. "Now I can do this with my eyes closed."

Chin, author of "The Urban Knitter," a book aimed at the new generation of hip young knitters, said her immigrant mother from China inspired her and her sister to start knitting at the age of 8.

She has parlayed her passion for knitting and crochet into a successful career as a designer and teacher.

Chin was influenced by her sister to turn knitting into a speed game, but her Chinese heritage played little part in her career as a professional knitter, she said.

"My designs are very structural, but that is because I have a math-science background," Chin said. "People say there is an Asian influence in my work but that is very subliminal."

Leslie Barber, Managing Editor for Vogue Knitting International that has more than 400,000 subscribers, cited an increased appreciation for family time after Sept. 11 as one of the reasons for the increased popularity of knitting.

"It is back to simpler days. It is very nurturing," Barber said. "It is huge on college campuses too."

U-S-muthafuqqin'-A, muthafuqqas. Via get donkey! In other news, the world's biggest reverse gangbang failed to occur due to problems with a key participant. No word from the current record-holder(s), who must be breathing a huge sigh of relief right now. Thank you, Fred Lapides.

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