aswim in knits

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


For the next week or so, there will be significantly decreased knitting output from this knitblogger. Our synchronized swimming competition season is starting up soon, and we are in full production mode with sparkly swimsuits.

We have about 60 swimmers on our team, and each gets a custom made team routine swimsuit -- some more advanced swimmers get 2 or 3, if we also have them competing in solo, duet, and/or trio events. We design the suit, and then our manufacturer custom sews each suit to match that swimmer's body measurements.

As of yesterday, I had 38 swimsuits in my living room, worth almost $3500. Now, I get to buy a couple hundred dollars worth of sequins, rhinestones, and glitter to decorate the suits. These are sewn or glued into place to embellish the swimsuits.

We also make hairpieces to match. These are sparkly things that coordinate with the swimsuits -- they are worn on the head somewhat like a tiara or bun cover.

This site shows a photo of a soloist wearing her competition suit and hairpiece. She is an international elite level swimmer, so her suit is fancier than the ones our swimmers will wear. Our swimmers are talented, but not so talented that their moms will create something so complex!

The photos below show snippets of the "rough drafts" of some suit embellishments. Before sewing or gluing anything, we lay out the embellishments so we can see the effect that will be created, and move things around until we are happy with the design. These are just the layouts of a few pieces of some of the suits. Perhaps I will have some photos of finished suits and headpieces later this month!

As a coach, I "approve" all swimsuit designs, which the swimmers and coaches create together. After we order and receive the suits, I embellish one suit for each routine, and then have the parents create the same embellishements on the rest of the suits in the group. It's a lot of work, but it also ensures some "quality control" in the design and decoration process, which is important since these swimmers will represent our team at up to 4 national meets each year, as well as several zone, regional, and local meets.

The themes of each routine, determined by the music that they perform to, are as follows:
Top row left: "Gypsy"
Top row center: "Festa Italiana"
Top row right: "Superheroes"
Bottom row left: "Nutcracker" (the music is a dramatic version of the ballet, performed by the Trans Siberian Orchestra)
Bottom row center: "Prince of Egypt"
Bottom row right: "Italian Traditional"


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