The US Olympic Committee is very, very sorry for enraging millions of knitters by insulting their favorite pastime. But the slight may have been too great for many fabric arts enthusiasts to ever forgive.
This afternoon, the USOC admitted it was a bit harsh to say that knitting "denigrated" Olympic athletes, when it sent a cease and desist letter to organizers of an Olympics-themed knitting competition on the knitting social network Ravelry—comments which set Ravelry's two million users aflame.
In an effort to repair relations with the powerful (and frighteningly quick-to-anger) online knitting community, the U.S. Olympics Committee has apologized—twice!
"Rest assured, as an organization that has many passionate knitters, we never intended to make this a personal attack on the knitting community or to suggest that knitters are not supportive of Team USA," wrote USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky in a statement on the USOC's website.
"We apologize for any insult and appreciate your support... To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games."
This last line was ill-advised. First they insult knitters, then they ask for free scarves?
"I only knit for people who are nice to me," wrote Natalie Strong on Facebook.
The USOC must have received another withering wave of knitting outrage. So to make absolutely clear just how sorry they were, they quickly added an update to the statement:
"As a follow-up to our previous statement on this subject, we would again like to apologize to the members of the Ravelry community... We hope you'll accept this apology and continue to support the Olympic Games."
They're sorry. They're really sorry. Please, knitters. Just put the needles down and back away, slowly.