Dust Buffalo

The house is falling apart, the laundry is standing in mountains, and we have surpassed dust bunnies so long ago that “Dust Buffalo” now roam the floors. I may not have totally thought this Olympic knitting thing through. (Ha! There’s a candidate for the understatement of the year award) I keep thinking that I’m going to catch up, that things are going to improve…that today will be my day, and then real life happens and I’m sunk.

Last night my real life happened, as I gave a wee talk at The Flying Dragon Bookshop here in Toronto.



Nice knitters and so much fun that for the 3 hours that I was there I almost totally forgot that I was not knitting for the Olympics. Absolutely fabulous bookstore (I can’t stress that enough. If you live in Toronto and need to buy a book, especially a kids book, you should go there and give them your money. Nice women running a beautiful business.) Unfortunately my total knitting amounted to….


30 rounds on the second sleeve (this makes it really just an elaborate cuff.)


and only 8 rounds on the body, executed before I realized I was knitting mostly while I was asleep on the chesterfield with my eyes closed and was no longer knitting the chart, but just plain green stitches. (I quit then.)

This means that there are 105 ever-increasing rounds left to go on the sleeve, and (it makes me woozy to write this) 31 (big) rounds left to go on the body. Then I need to block it, cut the steeks, knit in the placket, sew in the sleeves and the zipper (holy crap the zipper, I forgot about the stupid zipper, I need to go BUY the zipper.) sew up the hems, weave in the ends and go lie down in the road and I’m done. All before the Closing ceremonies party being held by Team Canada at my sisters restaurant on Sunday. (The fact that the party is at my sisters place only makes me more anxious. She’s my little sister. There is nothing she enjoys more than my humiliation. It’s natural, but unfortunate.)

I decided to write it down so that I would have a full grip on the gravity of the situation and could no longer dwell in my own private land of denial and sunshine. For the first time, I am ready to almost but not quite because it could still work out admit that I might not make it.

I am going to go marshall all the forces of the universe known to me, take the phone off the hook, make a huge pot of coffee (but not too big, ’cause, you know, a caffeine tremor can really slow you down) warp the time space continuum (that’s such a pain in the arse) and knit now. Hope springs eternal. Today is my day.

What was I thinking?

181 thoughts on “Dust Buffalo

  1. If we all concentrate at the same time, we can warp the time space continuum with you! Go for the gold, Steph! (Or just do what yu can without totally cracking up). Family is important too.

  2. This whole olympics, I have watched athletes fall-some very, very hard-but they all get back up again, at least long enough to finish. You can do it.
    Today IS your day!

  3. As you hand in your proofs, alert your publishers that “Denial and Sunshine” will be the title of your next book.

  4. Good luck, Stephanie! I came to that realization last weekend about my poor little Baltic mitten. I will not make it. I crashed and burned. But I had fun trying!

  5. Sometimes it IS about HOW you played the game and not how you finished. No matter how this turns out for you personally think about the inspiration and unity that evolved. You just can’t beat that.

  6. No, what you’re really doing is helping others. Because beginning knitters are intimidated by your ablility, so if you don’t finish, you will really give them hope and encouragement – show them that even experienced knitters experience difficulties.
    I see what you’re up to. This is all an elaborate ruse. You could finish, but you choose to hold yourself back to kindle hope in others. This is really extremely generous of you, you know.

  7. Get up fellow Olympian! You can do it. Didn’t you say to pick something challenging but not something that would make you loose sleep over? Seriously! I know you will finish it…
    I am almost there…just some sleeves to seam in and some serious modeling!

  8. I hereby give you all the time I didn’t need to finish my sweater. I blocked mine last night!
    But mine wasn’t as complicated as yours. Also, not doing a book tour here in GA. πŸ™‚

  9. Just for the record, I totally agree with Staci. You’re not fooling anyone, you know, but still, we appreciate the effort. πŸ˜›

  10. I’ve resorted to the “knees and elbows” approach to knitting. I just KNOW I’m not going to finish if I only knit when my wee daughter is up and about so I sit with my “safety barrier” up – elbows stuck way out, feet crossed, knees up by my chin. If she tries to break into the inner sanctum I scream “where’s your sippy cup?”, “where’s Jiggles (favourite toy)?”, “where’s Daddy?” (oh yeah, he’s in ARIZONA getting a TAN!!!) and pray that distracts her. Am I breaching IOC standards for unsportsmanlike conduct?

  11. You were thinking what you always think when you have one of these ideas. I’m still trying to figure what that is, though, so I can’t help beyond this point. And I do still think you can do it. I’m sure of it.

  12. Don’t worry about the dust buffalo. I’ve seen this at my house. Pretty soon some dust wolves will form and thin the herds. Of course then you’ll have dust wolves to contend with…
    Yeah. Have more coffee.

  13. Stephanie,
    As a first time Olympian, take Dick Button’s advice and just enjoy being in the midst of the Olympic experience. And remember, viewers love the agony of defeat as much as they love the joy of victory. Settle back and enjoy!
    Mary in VA

  14. While I have learned a lot of new techniques on my project, my chances of finishing are bleek as well. My hope at this point is to finish ONE Jaywalker sock.

  15. Oh Stephanie. I think you deserve a medal for just organizing this damn thing, but I know that probably isn’t that comforting at this time. At least you have the gumption to admit that you may turn out more like the, ahem, men’s hockey team than the women’s. You could have just lied to all of us and used some creative photography (half finished sleeve tucked behind your back, zipper pinned on, you know) come the closing ceremonies. Not that you’re still planning to do such a thing, right?

  16. Well, at least we can admire your tenuous grip on reality. Me? I’m still sitting on my arse thinking that I’m going to get done in spite of myself.

  17. What ever happened to, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how hard you’ve knit at every available opportunity while neglecting every other aspect of your life unless it was directly knitting related”?
    Good Luck Stephanie!

  18. Dear Stephanie –
    You are a Gold Medal Winner in my mind for three reasons:
    1. I entered the Knitting Olympics because you inspired me to.
    2. I’m blogging about my knitting because you inspired me.
    3. You post about your mistakes, proving that knitting is really about the process, not the product.
    Olympians inspire us all – and you are definitely a Gold Medal Olympian!

  19. I think I know where the problem lies; you cast on at on Friday, February 10th at 2:00 pm somewhere near Tacoma, then flew back to Toronto effectively losing 3 hours of knitting time. You should have cast on according to the time zone that you would complete your knitting in so 11:00 pm pacific standard time. Given that you can not go back in time and correct this, may I present the following options:
    Option A) Fly back to the west coast where the closing ceremonies will air 3 hours later than Toronto. Then you can recapture those lost hours ~ Perhaps California πŸ™‚
    Option B) if you are really in a pinch fly out to Hawaii where the closing ceremonies will air a full 6 hours behind Toronto. ~ Ok this option is probably cheating as you would gain time.
    I am sure that you will not have to exercise any of these options since you are an amazing knitter and have all of the other 4,000 Knitting Olympians cheering you on (finish or not).
    Thanks for the throwing the Olympics out there, we here in California have enjoyed predicating.

  20. Denial and sunshine make for a lovely place to be. And the sewing and weaving part can be done AT the closing ceremonies party if need be. There’s gonna be at least an hour or so of speeches and singing and parading and stuff before the flame goes out.
    Take a deep breath, open the bag of M&Ms, sit in that nice, sunny knitting spot with your iPod, and knit. If you need me to call your home to remind one of the other people living there how to turn the oven on later, lemme know.

  21. Aaaaacck. Buttons, I forgot to buy buttons, now I have to figure out when I’ll fit in a trip to Fabricland. Thanks for the reminder though.
    Liza {who’s given up on housework and has named all the dust rhinos floating about, what’s a few more pets in a 4 cat household anyway?}

  22. Once, as a child, I read the story of the shoemaker’s helpers…Maybe the knitting elves will come and help you finish! For a person who has come up with the idea for the knitting Olympics? Absolutely! (By the way, if you do happen to see them, send them to my house asap!!!! :))

  23. I’m feeling your pain about coming to the realization that I might not finish! I’m doing your Snowdrop shawl and I’m in the midst of the border. I have 2 kids under 3 and a busy night of non-knitting friendly appointments tonight. Oh no, the agony of defeat!

  24. Oh, give me a home
    where dust buffalo roam,
    ’cause I’m sitting
    and knitting all day…
    Or, how about “We Shall Overcome”?
    Anybody who can inspire over 4,000 people to do their personal best has already won the game. We salute you!

  25. Keep those buffalos ’til Monday when you’ll have time to shear it, Buffalo Wool is VERY expensive to buy. Especially Canadian White Buffalo. From Buffalo to Beret???
    Every Olympic team needs a Coach. That’s what you’ve been for us. We couldn’t have done it without you, thanx Harlot.
    Now, go like hell!!!

  26. Oh Stephanie I KNOW I have a mile of bland unFrench stocking stitch to do, most of which I just had to undo as my cunning plan to knit all in one and a miss slipped sam marker sent my side increases in a spiral!
    My chin is up…..my upper lip, stiff…..and KNIT.
    (Or possibly succumb to that botle of white chilling in the fridge!!!!)

  27. Hi Stephanie,
    I can’t help but add my encouragement too. As I frequently say to my almost 16 year old thug, “look at what I have done for You” “not the one thing that I haven’t done” Your list of “have dones” with this KO is mighty long and impressive. Think of all of us who already have or in my case almost have finished garments.
    I am in the darkest hole of knitting black hems, they look fabulous but who the heck is going to see them and admire them. I will remember your advice and stick to ribbing next time.
    Keep going! I know you can!

  28. After tearing out 8 (eight) balls of knitted-up Sunrise Circle Jacket yesterday, and being only about 2 balls into the re-knitting by now, finish is just a nationality to me. I shall complete this, if it doesn’t drive me nuts first!! Even if you don’t get done, we all admire you for challenging yourself thus, with so much on your schedule already. (you did check your schedule, right?) Just eat chocolate, send the family out to eat, and have them bring yours home to you. Good Luck!!

  29. Don’t blame yourself it’s the universe staying in balance. I never ever finish in time for any deadline and I am actually cruising along and almost finished with my scarf. Obviously someone else had to not finish in time to balance the karmic scales.

  30. Dude, I have 61 rows, each longer than the last, then the edging, then the washing and blocking and pinning AND I’m going to work two graveyard shifts, watch children, blog, clean the house AND get unforgiveably snockered on Saturday night.
    And I’m still going to finish on time.
    If I can do it, so can you.

  31. We keep telling you, it’s OK – lots of us won’t make it either (certainly I won’t – I’m at about the 35% mark after knitting and tinking the same row four times and then knitting another row in which I apparently decided that all the yarnovers were unnecessary so I left them out…) and you are such a phenomenal knitter anyway – I can’t believe what you’ve gotten done already! It makes me hang my head in shame that an easy lace shawl is defeating me when I see that heartbreakingly beautiful cuff. I’d be perfectly happy if that cuff were all I had done – now THAT would be victory! Anyway, back to it!

  32. There is really only one solution. Sleep less, knit more. I’m rooting for you.
    I finished my knitting last night. After so many days of being a competitive KnitLete, tt wass so nice to be able to knit on something for fun. Like a long drink of water on a hot afternoon.
    Go Team Wales!

  33. Bless her heart, she’s having a knitting breakdown! Quick, break out the chocolate and espresso! I’m sure you’ll be just fine. You are an amazing knitter, not to mention more fun than Prozac! πŸ™‚ Thanks for all you do to brighten our days.

  34. So it was her on restaurant makeover right? I mean, how can you not recognize Hank and then at the end it really was you and the girls in the big reveal. Right? I didn’t all dream this up. LOL! πŸ˜‰

  35. I hear you loud and clear. Last night I woke up to use the bathroom around 2:30pm and considered whether I should not go back to bed (although I had only been in bed for an hour) and knit. I made myself go back to sleep but dreamed of knitting. If only the amount of knitting I accomplished while sleeping had magically appeared, I would be done. Unfortunately, tis not so. I feel like I am skiing down the hill with the avalanche chasing behind me, getting closer and closer to the inevitable doom of not completing.
    I was off to such a great start with the first sleeve finished in 3 days and 2nd sleeve a week later (I was slowing down), then I hit the ribbing on the body and time stood still. AND THEN, my body decided to become ill (which was of you sneaky olympic countries sabotaged me with illness), 3 of 4 kids became ill and then husband informed (reminded) me that we’re going out of town for some boring dental conference (oh yeah, and 14th wedding anniversary) in chicago. Which just happens to be the weekend of the pinewood derby, where the pack was so kind as to say that siblings could have cars to race too. I put my foot down at only the 10, 7, and 4 year participating – 13 mo old will just have to hold this against me and drag up on Dr. Phil shows as evidence of psychological abuse later in life. So, 3 cars later – well, actually I have to go help 4 year old paint, calm husband as he profanes about “who hated parents enough to invent such an annoying event” as he tries to get them to the correct weight.
    This is a long comment, I know! Did I mention that I was knocking down all the Vitamin C and Echinaeca (spelt wrong) plus beautiful Diet Coke (seriously 6 cans today) to try to complete preparing home for babysitter, knit, pack, cook, pack, laundry (8 loads), knit and I think possibly cry.
    Oh, but don’t worry I’m not complaining!! ha ha
    P.S. How much Diet Coke in the bloodstream constitutes olympic doping? Because if more than 6 is illegal, then I’m pleading the 5th (which I’m not sure I can do, as I’m a british citizen living in the US – Do you have to be american to plead the 5th? and would it even matter if they had this comment as evidence.)
    Oh crap! I’ve lost my ever-knitting-loving mind!

  36. You know, I really, -really- want to write something Zen and encouraging…something about how the important thing is that you tried, and you’ve made a brilliant showing, and that not finishing on time is not the end of the world.
    But I’m really, really looking forward to seeing the lengths to which you will go to finish on time. Because I have a very strong suspcion that you will warp time and space and make yourself positively batty to get this done, and I will take a perverse (and possibly evil) pleasure in watching it.
    Please don’t hate me.

  37. I am totally sympathetic. Who would have thought that I couldn’t juggle a full-time job, kids away and at home, a housefull of pets who wouldn’t give up shedding their freakin’ hair for a day let alone two weeks, and a simple cabled vest? In a size small? I think I’m going to be a DNF. But it’s been a blast and I have enjoyed the process. Think about how inspiring you have been to all us novice, and not so novice, knitters. And been on CBC even if they didn’t mention your name. Three cheers for Stephanie. There’s got to be a special podium just for you and Hardangervidda.
    P.S. When do we start training for 2010?

  38. I’m so not finishing – and I was only aiming for socks. Although, these are my first socks, my first use of DPNS and I’ve elicited no help from anyone – simply reading the pattern. Is “toe-up” more difficult than “top down” socks? I have learned something new, besides how to knit socks. I don’t think I like doing socks. Painfully boring it seems. And it’s like knitting with dental floss and toothpicks (alternative uses for the items, perhaps). I keep thinking, “I have to do two of these?” (I’ll only finish one). Oh, well. Back to my two unfinished sweaters – now I’ll have three unfunishined projects at the same time. Oh, joy!!

  39. Audiences at the Boston Marathon often wait until the middle of the night to cheer on the very last finisher as he/she crawls on hands and knees over the finish line. We can do that for you!

  40. Yeah, I already crashed and burned. Of course, I’m not the one who, you know, started the whole thing, so the humiliation is not too devastating. πŸ™‚ Don’t get yourself committed to the hospital, eh?

  41. Oh, come on. We know you’re going to make it. You know you’re going to make it.
    Go with me to a ball game sometime (at least, virtually). There it is, the Padres are down by ten, it’s the last out of the last inning, and I’m the last one in the stands.
    I’m yelling, “Don’t give up!! You can rally!!”
    So, rally now. Bring on that chocolate.
    Sign me, still WAY behind but not giving up

  42. Don’t panic, Stephanie! Just regard it as being your usual December 22 session of “IT” starting. You can do this! You’ve done similarly overwhelming feats of knitterly insanity before.
    Now if I could just stop stabbing myself with the size 2 dpns, the blasted Bigfoot Socks might get done on time…

  43. Hey Cindy, you meant look at the ticker, not the tickler, right? ’cause Harlot might be wa-a-ay too distracted from her knitting if she got carried away with a tickler! LOL
    Go, Harlot! You can do it.Thanks for inspiring all of the rest of us. My jaywalkers are nearly finished!

  44. You can do it! Although if it’s between finishing and keeping sane – stick with sanity, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it πŸ™‚
    Question – if the stash weasels and the dust buffalo met up in a dark alley, who would win?

  45. I will remember that this is not the real Olympics, that I’m supposed to be having fun and that my happiness and self-worth ride not on my success but on my trying.
    Even though trying doesn’t get you a medal… πŸ˜‰

  46. Best of luck going down to the wire! I just googled “knitting olympics” and got 274,000 hits. You created a global phenomenon, so don’t sweat the small stuff – like finishing the sweater.
    Oh, and aren’t there other people in your household who know how to operate the washing machine? You’re much too famous now to be washing other people’s undies πŸ™‚

  47. Dear Stephanie, I’m just commenting to remind you of three simple things: 1. Olympians are still Olympians, with or without gold. (Yes, I stole that from you.) 2. Hope does, indeed, spring eternal. (Yes, I stole that from you, but you stole it from generations of writers before both of us, so … ) 3. For god’s sake, woman, quit blogging! Seriously. All the updates and photos are wonderful, but you need to go knit.
    P.S. If you are reading this comment before Monday at the earliest, shame on you. Go knit. Now. GO!

  48. Wow – I love how that clock ticking away on the side of your blog slowly turns red as the end of the olympics draws nearer and nearer.
    I’m so glad I pulled a Michelle Kwan and dq-ed myself… but you get down with your bad self!

  49. Don’t admit that for anything! NO NO NO, because once you do, you’ll put it down and not pick it up again for two whole days. (Ask me how I know.)

  50. Steph I admire you so much for this post – and support you the more for it. I will be really happy if you finish the Dangermonkey, and equally impressed by you for your perseverence and being so inspirational to so many knitters if you don’t.
    P x

  51. Stephanie,
    I’m cheering for you. You can do it. I believe in you.
    Don’t let this depress you, now, but I finished my Clapotis last night.
    Thanks for organizing this wonderful event uniting knitters the world over.
    Sue DeB

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    Country Variety Yarn Shop http://www.countryvariety.com
    Join Our OPAL Sock Knitting Yahoo Group
    It’s All About Opal Sock Of The Month Club
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  53. You can do it! (At least that’s what I’m telling myself so that I can believe that I can finish my project to!!) You can do it!

  54. Stephanie, my thoughts are with you. Besides work and finding out I’ve been using the wrong size needles since 2/10/06 (it’s a shawl, they’ll never notice, right?), my husband vacuumed up my yarn. It took 45 minutes to get that ball out of the vacuum hose. Not to mention that the color doesn’t match the unvacuumed portions of the yarn. I started a new ball and am hoping I won’t need the rest of the vacuumed ball. Good luck and keep knitting! You are doing wonderful!

  55. So that’s 146 rounds total…3 days…plus finishing time…50 rounds per day…well, after all, “danger” IS your project’s middle name.
    On that time space contiuum thing, if you DVR the closing ceremonies rebroadcast and play it back before midnight, I think you’d have it licked.

  56. I **know** I’m not going to make it. I was insane for ever thinking that 16 days was enough time for a 40×50 throw, even if I had much more time in the day to knit than I have. Even though I knew I was toast from the start, I’ve continued to plug away at all that moss stitch, and I’ll have 10% of the thing done by Sunday. If I hadn’t signed up for this, my yarn would probably have been shoved in the stash and I wouldn’t have started this project, so for that, I thank you!
    who won’t finish her Seascape throw, but is enjoying the process anyway!

  57. Hi Stephanie,
    For those of us who SO enjoyed your wee talk at the Flying Dragon last night THANK YOU. I will admit though, I was surprised you didn’t knit while you talked. No one would have minded and I was kind of hoping to see how fast you are in person πŸ˜‰ GOOD LUCK!

  58. I’m so stupid I actually might make my deadline–I’m the goober from yesterday who realized that the Olympics end on Sunday and not Friday… (So perfect… knit and embroider all day Saturday, block Sunday…all is well…) …your problem, Steph? You’re so smart and perfect and dedicated (ask most of your readers, we really believe this s@#$ so don’t disabuse us of our sad delusions…) that you might have overscheduled just a teensy ittle bit… But that’s okay… we’ve seen proof of your space/time continuum warping abilities… (By the way? Might I suggest herding the dust buffalo? It’s not that I haven’t had my share of dust buffalo, but if they stress you out, they’re distracting from your knitting time, and sweeping them up counts as ‘changing your hand position…’ And take your spouse up on the back rub… even if you fall asleep and don’t medal, your spouse will be so grateful for the chance to comfort you in the time of stress that medals just won’t matter…)

  59. I was looking for my name on your knitting olympics list and I don’t see it. πŸ™ I’ve been knitting my fingers to the bone….I need the recognition! I’m doing a Booga Bag.

  60. I was looking for my name on your knitting olympics list and I don’t see it. πŸ™ I’ve been knitting my fingers to the bone….I need the recognition! I’m doing a Booga Bag.

  61. I was looking for my name on your knitting olympics list and I don’t see it. I’ve been knitting my fingers to the bone….I need the recognition! I’m doing a Booga Bag.

  62. I was looking for my name on your knitting olympics list and I don’t see it. I’ve been knitting my fingers to the bone….I need the recognition! I’m doing a Booga Bag.

  63. I actually refer to dust buffalos as “tumbleweeds.” I have 6 cats, one dog, 2 teenagers and a husband with a full head and body of hair. I know a tumbleweed when I see one!!!!
    Good luck with the sweater….you’re never a loser when you try your best!!!

  64. I’m having the problem of “I may be able to knit this whole thing but will I really be able to block, seam, and finish it?” Therefor I devised a medal system for myself: if everything is knit and not seamed, I get bronze! If everything is knit, blocked, seamed, but not edged (I have edging) I get silver! If everything is knit, blocked, seamed, edged, FINISHED, I get gold! Right now I’m thinking I’m headed toward silver. Go team!

  65. Yep. When you realize that you are no longer putting your knitting down when the stoplight turns green, but are instead continuing to knit while driving with your KNEE until you reach full speed…OK-there’s a problem here! It might not be worth this level of commitment.
    And I’m only knitting a moebius scarf! When I think of the fact that I originally boasted I could knit a sweater-the room goes a little black around the edges.

  66. Oh give me a Home,
    Where dust buffalos roam,
    and the knitters just knit through the day.
    Where seldom is run
    the Electrolux hum
    And the children can get their own freakinοΏ½ sandwiches, okay?

  67. I agree with Staci–I think you’re doing this so the rest of us don’t feel so bad. Maybe you could get an emergency schedule from the friend who helps you before the holidays?
    Here’s a poem for all of us whose houses are in Olympic disarray:
    “Oh give us a home, where dust buffalo roam,
    and the knitters can’t come out to play.
    Where seldom is heard, a non-fiberous word,
    And there’s Denial and Sunshine all day.”
    (or at the very least, coffee and Screech, probably happily together in one, large coffee cup! ;o)
    –Sue, entering the Great Black Hole part of sock making

  68. I’m with you, Steph!
    I’ve got to finish my two sleeves and get them blocking by tomorrow, because I have absolutely NO idea how I’m going to seam these things, having seamed like two hats in my entire life. Thank heaven I’ve got Sally Melville’s book at my side to help me through. (Please Sally, come through for me!)
    Did I mention I’ve got some crazy idea that I’m going to have this thing done in time to have one of my kids wear it to brunch with friends on Sunday. Brunch! Not dinner, brunch. I’m scrood. (That’s right, so screwed it would be wrong to spell it correctly.)

  69. You can do it Steph, c’mon now, one stitch and then another…deep breath, keep going…
    See you at the podium!!

  70. I couldn’t agree more with everyone who has said “You inspired 4000+ people to try something they’d never done.”
    That is huge. Most of us will never achieve anything of the kind.
    I have stretched and grown over the last two weeks, and it’s all because of you. You are a Hero, hard danger or no hard danger.
    Keep knitting. If the good wishes of all 4000 of us (plus the uncounted thousands who also are participating, if unofficially) can’t buoy you up, I don’t know what could.
    Chocolate! Coffee! Stretching your hands while they soak in comfortably-hot water, 5 minutes every hour!
    Thinking you zen-knitting thoughts, and sending that hard danger some “YOU BEHAVE!” thoughts, Vicki in Michigan
    ps — is it allowed to send someone else out for the zipper? I think so………….

    You’ll make it to the finish line. Have faith.
    And if you don’t make it for Sunday, take heart, the Para Olympics run from March 10-18. The flame will burn again!!!

  72. “Denial and Sunshine” I love that for a title. Keep knitting, we are all cheering for you. Go Harlot!

  73. Is this like the Christmas anxiety I’ve read about? Cause if so, remember — BREATHE! Can’t knit if you’re not breathing! And calm.
    And hey — if you don’t finish every little bit of that sweater, you’ve already finished something even more major and magnificent. You’ve inspired an entire community with their personal knitting likes, dislikes and foibles to come together on one project, whether they’re knitting or cheering from the sidelines. Imagine what we could do if we all harnessed this energy to solve the world’s problems!
    And personally? You got me off my duff and into knitting the cables. Trust me, this yarn would have been tucked in the back of the cabinet for the next eight years if I hadn’t set myself this ridiculous challenge of knitting Na Craga. As it is, I’ll never finish by Sunday (I’ve only gotten the back and one sleeve done). But I will finish it — probably by next weekend. Still plenty of cold weather to wear my new sweater. And I’ve discovered I like cables. They’re fun. I’ve already bought yarn to make another Starmore. And reading these comments, I’m now inspired to try socks.
    I made need a shrink after that one, though.

  74. Please, wouldja just stop already? Olympics (Knitting or Other)are not about killing oneself. They are about being a downhill skier and spraining your ankle while playing a game of pickup basketball. THAT’s what it’s about, dammit! So, sit back, ENJOY your knitting, and be pleased as punch that you got this ball rolling and inspired thousands of knitters to reach a goal, or try something new, or just get involved. I say you are already the best and have done a swell job. So there.

  75. hurry!
    (and i thought i was stressed;)
    2d and 20h left!
    come on its the last shove then… your done! free to start all the other wonderfull things to knit!

  76. You are my inspiration, Stephanie. Even if you do not finish in time, I know that you will finish. You are my favorite Olympian, and it gives me chills to think about what you are trying to accomplish with the sweater. It’s sort of like watching painfully and with all mustered faith at home while my favorite figure skater atttemps a triple. Oh the pressure!

  77. Thank God I’m not the only one who wakes to find some kind of knitting has continued while sleeping. I’m thinking it might be related to the time warp thing but just can’t harness it. Oh, and one more thing… I liken my chair with the knitting bags circling it to a wagon train circled at night around the camp fire, the buffalo are out there.

  78. If you figure out how to warp space & time you better mass email everyone cause that’s the only way that mine will be finished on time. Still have to sew seams on the 4 body peices and knit 1 and 3/4 sleeves. Then the bottom and neck/front bands and sew on buttons. ACK… must go knit

  79. “Denial and Sunshine” – wasn’t that a song from the 8 track, “John Denver: Amoung the Pyramids”?

  80. Hi I know its way past the deadline which i missed, however i did cast on 2/10 and cast off was today…9 days knitting and probably another day of weaving in the ends..I completed Tubey from Knitty. love it

  81. You DO realize that you could NOT sew in the ends and the hems and fool us all (except maybe not your little sister)don’t, you? We all think you’re wonderful and most of all – THANKS for the laughs! I had such a good time laughing my way through this post (when I should be doing the kitchener stitch on the sweater at my kitchen table, but instead I just had to check to see how you’re doing!) YOU have made this all thing so gosh-darn-fun. And that’s the best medal of all.

  82. HI Stephanie– That sweater is GORGEOUS even if it doesn’t get done for the Olympics you have given your ALl—not only to the knitting but to others on here like myself that would have NEVER tried something new and challenging without your encouragement. A big THANK YOU for all the time and effort you have put into this . Joan (eau) GOOD LUCK all you still have time

  83. Steph, I’m with you. I spent an hour knitting tonight and half an hour figuring out how I can knit less than I’d planned and still have an OFO (Olympic Finished Object) by Sunday night. Put simply, it will be a slightly shorter shawl – but still beautiful and still Olympian. Kind of like everyone here. πŸ™‚

  84. Oh Steph, I’m just doing socks – one set of very plain (but very navy3-1 ribbed) socks are done, however my vine (that[‘s what i call them) socks are suffering. They’re in a beautiful blue that actually matches something I wear (I usually just knit with what my eyes fall in love with which generally doesn’t go with anything I own for clothing – too garish for main clothing) however Koigu doesn’t give you enough wool for a size 8 woman’s sock, it barely clears a size 5 woman’s (my girlfriend’s size) and my LYS is out of the 3rd skein I need to finish so my socks will have a lighter colored blue to finish for the end of the Olympics – or die trying. However I’m sort of the type that quits right before the finish, but am hoping to continue right to the bitter end. screw anything that gets in my way! I know we’re supposed to be nice, but being nice has lost me a lot of stitching time – but I did knit while waiting for the police to do their thing after a minor fender non-bender. The cop wondered why I was so calm about it. I was happy to have the extra time before going into work! Go, Steph, go!

  85. Only eight repeats to go, then weave the ends and block! Then present it to the DH, who has been admiring it all along, to wear to his rehearsals in the COLD, COLD theater. He will feel hugged, I hope!

  86. How about bronze for trying, silver for partially done and a gold for finishing??? Me, definitely a bronze, maybe a silver, know better after tonight. Good luck, may the needles flow with you!!!! bets

  87. Stephanie, you are my inspiration! Here I was sinking deeper into the morass of tangled yarn that represents my own personal hell (soundtrack: pledge week on NPR), realizing that there is no frickin way I’m going to be able to finish my project. I thought I was the only one. But now I can knit what I can, meanwhile rooting for YOU YOU YOU, who still has a chance to win! Go go go!

  88. Well, at least I am in good company!!!! After alot of coffee, chocolate and a little swearing, I finished my first sock and I’m okay with that. I’ve never knit socks before and after gleefully modeling it for my family who now think I’m nuts and are threatening to hide my needles ( foolish mortals, I have more where that came from!) I am starting my second sock. So und, my projct isn’t going to be completed by the closing ceremonies. Originally I was going to knit a felted bag but my supplies haven’t arrived yet, but I tried something new and had fun doing it. Good luck to all, happy knitting!!!

  89. What is it that the classy athletes say about the Olympics — “it’s an honor just to be here?” Personally, I think it’s enough that you inspired a ton of knitters, crocheters, spinners and who knows who else to approach a project with a whole new level of determination. Think of yourself as the IOC — you just set things up. πŸ™‚

  90. OK, first someone has to have a talk with Donna. She is complaing that she won’t get her socks done and will now have THREE unfinished projects in her house. My response…….ONLY Three???? Wow!! I have three on my bedside table, one in the kitchen, and at least 4 or 5 hiding in the yarn stash – and that might be a low estimate!!
    But I MAY get my Olympic Knitting done. I am done with the back, and nearly up to the armhole shaping in the front. Since it is a pull over vest with no neck or arm hole ribbing, I might have this thing licked! Of course, I will be picking up stitches around the neck and arms and then binding them off again, because I don’t like the crochet around it like the instructions say. So that might take me a little more time, but not that much more. I really do like this vest though. Now I have to make sure I have a blouse to go with it.

  91. You may not get done, but those of use Jamaican bobsledders who aren’t even finished with the first of a simple pair of socks can only dream of the day when we tackle Dale of Norway patterns. You’ve got plenty of Olympic Spirit!

  92. Thank you Steph – from all of us!!!! It’s been a blast. I’m still working on that sock. I’m inspired by those first-time sock knitters who seem to have mastered it. I wonder – does a sock really NEED a heel?

  93. Go Stephanie… you can do it! I just finished my elizabethan lace scarf. As I looked over the work, I noticed this out of place hole in the garter stitch border! What? Where did that come from? (oh no! a dropped stitch? Whew! It’s just a misplaced YO!) Well, I can say that this section of the scarf is where “I fell down on the ice”! This has been way cool!

  94. Dear Harlot,
    While doing my Olympic knitting, I am also finishing up the last three weeks of grad school.
    7,000 research-paper words to go. 1/2 a sleeve left. I think the Olympics will win.

  95. Any break for diabilities? My hands are killing me…what was I thinking, 3 wrist surgeries and trying to do massive knitting. Can we have a disability olympics ?
    I would say getting the knitting done gives you the gold…don’t rush to cut, the pressure may doom you (or the sweater). You should be in a state of peace before cutting into that beautiful sweater.

  96. aran sweater finished! and with a day and a half to spare! Must go soak my aching hands in ice and have a gigantic martini in celebration! Best of luck to everyone as the clock ticks down! Now is the time to pull out the big caffeine guns!

  97. Some points to remember:
    1) Dust buffalo, once dehaired for spinning, cease to exist by their very nature.
    2) “Host nations” always have armies of volunteers (who live in the hosting city) to support the running of the Games. Point this out to Joe & Co, when complaints are made re household chores or the non-completion thereof.
    3) Have you thought about running the Knitting Winter Olympics, Para Olympics (10-19 March) and the Commonwealth Games (15-26 March) together? This would get you through until Sunday March 26th, with a short “training camp” from Monday 27 February to 9 March.
    Go girl, the only excuse for failure is a torn cruciate ligament πŸ™‚

  98. Rams is clever. Denial and Sunshine, that’s me too. With 2 complete sleeves to go, check my blog, and my angst, I am sooo in the same boat as you. I still have hope, though. There’s that denial thing!

  99. Understatement of the year??
    I have faith in you. You will have many more understatements of the year before the year is out!
    (I am thinking back on things like Birch = “The cast on row is a little big.”)

  100. I don’t think I’m gonna make it… am madly seaming seams, knitting borders and still have two sleeves of a complicated aran to do…. kids had week off school it did not help….

  101. I’m cautiously optomistic that I will finish. Add astonished, as well. The Doublemossa cap has been quite the challenge for me. When I think of folks doing entire sweaters, WHEW!

  102. You can do it. You have to do it. We’re all watching you. (No added pressure here.)
    Seriously, we all have faith in you. You can pull this out of your hat.

  103. I have a little sign that says “This house protected by attack dust bunnies”; perhaps I should cross out bunnies and put buffaloes!
    The only reason that I’ll be finishing the cardigan is that an obstacle (a cold) was thrown into my path. Since all I could do was sit, I figured I might as well continue knitting (however slowly). I am now only a couple of inches from the neck, then time to steek, pick up/finish front band/collar. That’s definitely doable!
    Go Stephanie! Go Olympic Knitters!

  104. Steph, I think it’s do-able. Really.
    I’ve been laid low by Illness and will be content with my one lousy little sock.
    Two years from now, we’ll all try again with a MUCH clearer concept of what we can and can’t complete, Eh?
    Interesting how this turned into such a HUGE deal with knitters world-wide, almost without effort, isn’t it?

  105. Allow me to offer the following, a statement I frequently made while watching the Super G.
    There’s always Vancouver….

  106. Good morning, Harlot –
    May I say, from one who has been cheering all of the Olympic knitters – Everyone is doing a fabu job! The thrill of watching you and several other blogging knitters is amazing! I have run acrossed Knitter Olympics on sites as I have been surfing the net.
    Many have reached their goals, others have crashed and burned. All very fun and encouraging in their own ways.
    Let me extend my thanks as a cheerleader on the side for the true sportsmanship that this competition provided. All were winners in my eyes.
    I continue to humbly knit in support. GO! GO! GO!

  107. Don’t worry, I will not finish in time too. And I do have enough time to finish… but I m going to visit family and it wouldn’t be fair to them if I were over there obsessed with knitting fast. So, I declared a 2-day break this weekend and my Olympics will finish 2 days later. No medal for me… but I will feel I completed the challenge in time!

  108. If your sweater can be a team event, Steph, you could fed ex me stuff to do a sleeve or something since I’m now out of medal contention due to circumstances beyond my control (yarn shop screwed up my order placed nearly 3 weeks ago and when yarn finally arrived yesterday — it’s the wrong yarn!!). The life of an Olypian is not easy . . .

  109. If anyone can do it, you can, Stephanie!
    Knit on, everyone!
    And don’t mind the dust buffalo! Declare the place an Olympic Knitters Wildlife Refuge…and put up a sign:
    If you see a dust buffalo…
    name it and let it LIVE!

  110. I’ll send you some of my dust elephants. Maybe they can mate with the buffalos and make a sweater! I finished my Knitting Olympics project. Now I just need to catch up on all the grad school work and laundry I neglected in the meantime. See my blog for details!

  111. If you don’t make it, you’ll have company. I crashed & burned with the neck-down cardigan. I got to about the 80% mark, had the recipient slip it on, and voila (hear clunk, bang, thud) it’s waaaaaaaay too big. I’ve frogged down to the shoulders again (hood is still intact), and am re-knitting nearly the entire thing. I had ever so carefully & meticulously spit grafted all the joins, so now I’m knitting a bowling ball of yarn into a sweater again. At 3 stitches/inch, it still looks like a long shot.

  112. Well, under the heading of ‘what was I thinking?’ I believe you were thinking about challenging knitters to try something new with their craft and what you did was help us create a stronger sense of community and connection. That’s why I signed up, the idea that even alone in my house, I was connected to all these other knitters–all over the world!!– and we were all casting on at the same time. I love that.
    Me? The bad news–there is no way I’m getting the gold. My lace stole for my wedding is about a 3rd of the way there. Each lace row takes me about 13 minutes (yes, I’m a dork and timed it) because this is my first lace (B. Walker, Treasury Vol. 1–Openwork Leaf). And I’ve had to tink and learned the beauty of the life line.
    The good news is that I have learned TONS and it really has pushed me to grow as a knitter. I’m now looking at patterns that I wouldn’t have considered before. Now that’s cool. And I will finish it before my wedding. Even cooler.
    Good luck Steph–AND don’t kill those hands!
    Good luck everyone!

  113. Stephanie –
    It’s not over yet! Knit on! No matter what- you united 4000 knitters ….and you’ve kept us in stitches during the games. You are an inspiration!

  114. When you do that whole space/time continuum warping thing, can you stretch it to the California coast as well? I’ve still got two and a half skeins to go, plus blocking and fringing, and I’m in the process of moving. The phrase, “I can’t pack now hon, I’m knitting!” doesn’t exactly a happy boyfriend make. Maybe there should be silver and bronze medals depending on how long it takes you to complete it after the ceremonies close? =) JK!

  115. I made it, so will you too. I did not get my pattern before feb. 15…….so i have been kniting like a m………early this morning my sweater was done……..
    Hugs from Wenche in Norway

  116. Darling Steph:
    If anyone can figure a way to create more time to knit it is you! A couple of blessings you have given me (to be read on MONDAY)
    1. A reason to actually try instarsia again(yup, still hate it)
    2. Connection with a whole lot more crazy people than my family thought existed.
    3. Hearing from old friends in my home town, who are also in this crazy thing.
    4. Remembering that we are all a team. Team Knitters. We know how much it takes to balance a passion for string and sticks with a passion for our families, not to mention life in general.
    5. Dust buffalos are not nearly as scary as the scum snake that is living in my bathtub (but only until Monday).

  117. I agree with all the others…you have inspired so very many of us to try something we otherwise would not have tried, to stick with it when we otherwise would not have. And in my case, even to finish it! FBS is officially finished and blocked — see my blog for the pictures. Thank you so much for giving me a push to try something more difficult than I normally make!

  118. Well, I blocked the Highland Triangle last night. I’ll unpin it tomorrow morning and be done. I plan on wearing it Sunday for closing ceremonnies. Thank you for inspiring over 4000 knitters to challenge ourselves to do our personal best!

  119. Remember, “done” is what the knitter deems it is…I personally think that if I just get it all knit before the flame goes out, that it is “done”. It is “knitting” Olympics, not “finishing Olympics”. You can do it!!!

  120. Dust buffalos (sp?)…I LOVE that. I have those too and I can blame it on knitting, or studying or gardening, anything but me. I also love your sweater and your courage in the face of knitversity. Good Luck on finishing it before the deadline.

  121. You’ll finish, I’m really sure you will! Hey, I finished my ridiculously gigantic triangular shawl, ten patterns and all, so I know you can make it! πŸ™‚ *concentrates hard to warp the continuum for Stephanie* We’ll have a party tomorrow, I’ll tell everyone to concentrate with me. 17 knitters will be there, will that help you with your danger(ous) pullover?
    And I agree – done is when you’re done knitting. The rest is just a boring thing. Couldn’t yarn boy do that for you? πŸ˜‰

  122. Much later, after you have finished the sweater and enjoyed the revelry at your sisters… after you have washed the mountain of laundry and the buffalo no longer roam the sweet open spaces under your furniture…when you finally have time to come back and read these amazing comments and you think about the many complete strangers who are full of encouragement and love for you and you see the best of the Olympic spirit right here in the striving and the support and the deep, crazy, glorious symphony of life…
    then, please remember that human spirit was never elevated without someone biting off more than they could chew. (Also your funniest writing is when you are deeply suffering and realizing that you did it to yourself.)
    Knit on!

  123. Woo-hoo – reading this has reinvigorated my knitting spirit! Although I must say, this evening I will likely pick up the recently much neglected and nearing completed (knitting only) fair isle sweater I’ve been working on – if I work at it – I can say I finished it. I started the socks and finished the sweater. Does it really matter if I started and finished the same project. I say not! Darn the socks!! On to a fair isle!!

  124. Woo-hoo – reading this has reinvigorated my knitting spirit! Although I must say, this evening I will likely pick up the recently much neglected and nearing completed (knitting only) fair isle sweater I’ve been working on – if I work at it – I can say I finished it. I started the socks and finished the sweater. Does it really matter if I started and finished the same project. I say not! Darn the socks!! I’m off to a fair isle!! (or maybe a padded cell?)

  125. Of course you can warp the space/time continuum. I mean, if the discoverer of the Knitting Black Hole and all the Knitting Physics contingent upon it can’t warp the space/time continuum, who can?
    And while you’re warping it, warp it for me, too. I’m in Rabbitch’s boat with my shawl.

  126. YH, I have to admit that you admitting you may not make your Knit Olympics goal made me feel a ton better. I began realizing last week that there was little chance I could make it. And being the competitive sort, it made me mopey.
    But now, I can at least take some pride in being in the same company with better knitters than I, in that regards.

  127. Come on Stephanie, think of all the skaters who fell, got up and kept skating (do not focus on the skiers taken off on stretchers). Sasha Cohen fell twice and still earned a silver – you can do it!

  128. I really like the sweater. Maybe you have to redefine the goals. I knitted the bag, two mini-bags and almost through a pair of socks. Instead of cables, the bags were emb. I sell custom knitwear and received an order for the bags and had to change the styles. Things happen and you need to go with the change.

  129. Another gold and bronze for Canada!!! YAY for Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen – true example of the Olympic spirit. Let them inspire us all!!!!

  130. I’m not going to finish, either..and for the reasons that almost kept me from participating at all…I am just thrilled that I’ve been one of the participants in this first ever event. but..remember:
    It’s really about the journey, not the destination.
    You’ve already earned your gold by hatching this incredible idea to begin with–and running to the finish with THAT…Thanks again for making this a memorable Winter Olympics…

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