I've participated in Dish Rag Tag every year since 2007. The competition is a relay race in which each member of a team gets a box with a completed dishcloth and yarn, keeps the dishcloth, knits a new dishcloth with the yarn, and sends the new dishcloth and more yarn on to the next member. The first team to get the box back to the starting point wins. In a sure case of beginner's luck, I was on the second place team in the race's inaugural year. Since then I haven't been back near the winner's circle.
After three years of competition, I figured it was time for me to share my experience with others. So I volunteered to be a team captain this year for the fourth installment: Revenge of Dish Rag Tag. My team has members from Pennsylvania to California. As captain, my responsibility is to coordinate strategy -- especially the order in which the box will be mailed from knitter to knitter -- and to facilitate communication.
It's not a hard job, especially with the specialized tools that the Dish Rag Tag coordinator, Emily Ivey, has built into her website. The fun of Dish Rag Tag is tracking the box as it crisscrosses the country, and marveling as members of your team knit like mad to finish the dishcloth in a matter of hours, sometimes managing to get the box back underway the same day as they receive it.
Five Alarm Fire -- my team, named (as is customary) in honor of its original designation as Team #5 -- has a winning strategy and an enthusiastic group of knitters scattered nationwide. As of today, the opening salvo of dishcloths have been mailed to team captains from Dish Rag Tag headquarters. You can follow our progress on the sidebar, where a widget will track how much of the race is completed. I'm hoping to get the box in a couple of days, drop everything, knit a dishcloth, and send it to my first teammate -- fulfilling my duty to get the team off to a good start. Game on!