Missing time located

So all weekend long I worked on the wedding shawl.

I’m determined that even if I didn’t finish it in time for my wedding, (a disappointment that still burns a little bitter) that at least the thing should go to Rhinebeck. It would too, except it is taking forever. Absolutely forever. I knit and knit and knit, and after a good long session I’ve got nothing. Last night the kids and I rented a movie and I sat down and knit my way through the whole movie. 107 minutes. Non-Stop knitting.



Now, this surprises me because as a general rule, I’m a fast knitter.

I’m reaping the benefits of 33 years of practice, and I’m pretty darned quick. I’m not Wannietta (who is officially the fastest knitter in North America) or Eunny or Wendy or anybody like that… but I’ve got me a little street cred, and I usually don’t embarrass myself, but TWO ROWS on a shawl in 107 minutes? That’s a humiliation.


There are, admittedly, a lot of stitches in a row, but still, something is wrong with the time space continuum on this one. I would begin a row and time would practically stop. It would suspend, the stitches seemingly endless, a half a row creeping by, each second dripping as molasses. In the time that I knit a row, whole babies could be born. Kings dethroned, economies ruined. This shawl is so slow to knit on that I took to giving myself a “whoo hoo” and a cuppa tea each time I hit the halfway mark on a single row.

This shawl is going so slowly that the other day when I realized that I had miscounted the chart and instead or 8 rows remaining, I had 10, it just about broke my spirit. What is it about this shawl that’s making it so slow? It isn’t me…. See this?


Yo. A whole sock. Cast it on Friday, cast it off Sunday. That’s good time for a sock. Darned good time. (That’s the Harlotty colourway from Socks That Rock. I’m so proud of it…I think it’s really me. All seventies appliance colours. Beauty.)


More proof. The new Diarufran sweater, booting along. There’s a sleeve, a back, most of a front. See? I can too get things done. I understand that there’s a pretty big difference between a wee sock or a stockinette sweater on 4.5mm needes, but doesn’t it seem odd to you that I could do most of a whole sleeve in an evening…or TWO ROWS?

I was trying to explain to Ken that I was seriously bummed about my speed on the shawl when he pointed out that they were long rows. I thought it was nice of him to try and make me feel better, but frankly , that can’t be it either. No way. I’ve done tons of shawls, some with 400 or 500 stitches on the needles near the end. It is not a big deal, and certainly not a cosmic time-deal breaker. I reiterated that to him and stressed the TWO ROW issue. I’ll admit that I was thinking that Ken was being to nice to me, as well as ignoring the clear mystery I was trying to convey to him. In a wave of frustration, I tried to prove to him that the rows aren’t that long, and it isn’t that hard and that truth be told, I thought we needed to look a little deeper at this. Maybe call a paranormal research group that investigates missing time or something. At the very least I thought he should stop looking at me like that while I tried to explain it.

I counted the number of stitches in a repeat and counted my repeats.

Then I sat down.

Then I recounted.

Then I checked my math.

880 stitches in a row.

Never mind.

186 thoughts on “Missing time located

  1. You go girl – those final rows on a shawl can be long and hard, and then comes attaching the edging (if there’s one to be attached). Lace knitting is not for the weak of heart – but knit on!

  2. You go, girl. And, give yourself a break along with that cuppa tea.
    Next socks with the Mountain Colors “Yellowstone” maybe?

  3. the shawl will be worth it ! it is gorgeous, I knitted a shetland cobweb wedding ring shawl (which took me about 2 lifetimes), for my forthcoming grand child , my daughter-in-law doesn’t like it !!!!! she would prefer sparkling white man made fibre , any suggestions what to do with my ‘lovely’ daughter-in-law ?Love your blog to pieces, Ronnie

  4. You’ll love the shawl all the more when you do finish it! Taking as break from 880-stitch rows, meanwhile, to knit cool harlotty socks, for example, seems like nothing less than sanity-saving. Knit on, o speedy one, and keep enjoying the process.

  5. You are scaring me! I desperately want to try a yummy, lacey shawl like you accomplish. But, look, it is geting the best of YOU! I have loads of Christmas knitting to get done. AND, I have a 2 and a 4 year old!

  6. A whole sock in a weekend? It takes me 2 weeks to do that.
    I know you’ll perservere and will (eventually) be released from the demands of this shawl — just in time to begin the Christmas knitting….

  7. Shropshires are very difficult sheep to shear. Compact, powerful and woolly right up to their stinkin’ eyeballs. They are fast becoming extinct because they are genetically uncooperative. Too small to bother raising for meat, too woolly to shear without cursing all day. The DNA must run thick to the shawl.

  8. Wow! In that case congratulations are in order I think. That means 1760 stitches in 2 hours. 15 stitch /minute is not bad for lace when there are tons of stitches all crammed up together.

  9. 880 Stitches! You deserve far more than a cup of tea and a cheer. The shawl is spectacular all of the stitches!

  10. 880 stitches to a row…do you have that nervous too-much-coffee buzz right now? I do, and I’m merely thinking about it. Strangely, it’s also making me crave giant projects on tiny needles. Bittersweet…

  11. Actually, I’m not against a fracture in the space-time continuum, at least for this week. But I’ll completely support any investigation you may want to launch once I’m back at my desk job, next Monday.

  12. Somehow I’m not getting the connection between you and seventies appliance colours. But hey, if you’re happy, I’m happy.

  13. And here I was thinking you only got two rows done on the shawl because in between stitches you were sneaking socks and sweaters in. They don’t call you Yarnharlot for nothing, right?

  14. Just think, your 1 row is like 8 rows of the one and only shawl I ever made, and 8 rows would take me about half an evening when I was at that point. And I was working in garter stitch. Have heart and just think, 5 more movies and it will be done. So sit yourself down, watch a Star Trek or Star Wars [pick your poison] marathon, and when you get up, the lovely wedding shawl will be ready to block. Good luck!

  15. The Harlotty is beautiful! Remind me to some day tell you how you inspired “The List” with a sock comment! What’s the pattern?
    The shawl is equally as beautiful!
    Heidi Johnson

  16. Oh, and Ronnie? I do indeed have suggestions for what to do with the daughter-in-law who has the gall to tell you she doesn’t like the shetland cobweb wedding ring shawl, but none of them is printable…

  17. Hey…maybe that should be part of an “Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned From Knitting” essay. You know, something like 1. Read all the directions before you start. 2. Always overestimate. 3. See what’s really there before you complain.

  18. I just finished Fiddlesticks’ Peacock Feathers Shawl, and I was doing two rows of 400something stitches in about an hour and 1/2. So I think you’re doing just fine.
    You’re fast. You’re one of the fastest of the fast. Rock on with your bad knitting self.

  19. I do most my knitting on the bus. For my bigger projects, I average three rows per trip (times two each day), its 30 to 40 minute ride. I never stop mid row (lesson learned the hard way). There’s usually just over 100 or 120 stitches per row….so I approximate you are AT LEAST TWICE AS FAST as I am. 880 stitches? I would go crazy…..does it feel like Ground Hog Day?

  20. Good Lord and Lady! I thought the 109 stitches on the never-ending sweater for DBf was killing me.
    Bourbon, wiskey, hell, vodka. You need that to get through something like 880 stitches a row…

  21. Maybe if you weren’t knitting socks, and a sweater at the same time?
    The baby blanket I am knitting for a neighbour is like your shawl. The baby has arrived, and I am still knitting. No socks. No sweaters. Just a baby blanket. Only 8 rows to go though….

  22. I feel your pain! But you do sell yourself short. You are so TOTALLY right up there with Wendy Eunny and Alice Starmore! Don’t you know by now we all “Hail to the Harlot?!”

  23. okay, darlin’–I did the math… 2 rows of your shawl is 27.5 rows of the average sock–no lace charts included…that’s between 3 & 4 inches of sock there…5 if you compare vanilla knitting to piquant knitting…sweetie, I’m hella impressed!

  24. 880???? Holy Crap! And I thought my 650 stitch moebius was bad!
    Well good luck sweetie! More tea and maybe some booze (as a treat after, NEVER for use DURING lace knitting) will make it go by faster.

  25. A perfect illustration of exactly why I know I could never make a triangular shawl. I would turn even more crazy than I already am, and it would be difficult to knit anything else after they put me in a padded room without pointy knitting needles.

  26. Sweet Mother of the Goddesses — 880 — it is a testament to all that a marriage requires — patience, perserverance, denial of the obvious (when it’s bugging you). My hands hurt a little just thinking about it. Here’s to finishing w/o mistakes — ripping back would be too cruel.

  27. It may be eating up time but it is so beautiful… I wish I could pet it through the computer.
    And doing 1760 stitches in 107 minutes impresses me to no end… of course I’m the slowest knitter on the planet… so there’s that.

  28. I feel your pain. I’m nearly onto the last chart of Miriam’s Hidcote Garden shawl, & it’s going similarly.
    You’re a brave woman to count the stitches. I’m afraid it would sap all my remaining motivation to count Hidcote’s stitches at this point.

  29. Lemme see if I can fix it for you so you feel better.
    You now only have eight rows to go. That’s all. Four movies’ worth.
    But, as you accomplish them, each wedding shawl row is equal to two rows of a regular shawl.
    This only works if you count the rows ahead as singles, and the rows done as doubles. Either way, it’s four movies’ worth of knitting. You can do that.

  30. It may be long, but it is beautiful. And if you only have eight to 10 rows to go that’s just four or five movies. You can tell people – I have to watch this movie. I’m trying to finish this shawl. Fix your own dinner, please (that please was added in the interest of newly weddedness).
    And think of the joy of telling the grandkids – this is my wedding shawl. We don’t need to mention whether it was at the actual wedding or not. It was probably in your purse anyway.

  31. You poor dear. You gave yourself a Whopping job with that shawl. It means nothing that it wasn’t finished in time, only that you have amazing intentions in your marriage. All of that complexity and beauty intended for your special day and you continue to struggle on… it’s knitting poetry in the wool.

  32. And that’s 880 stitches you have to pay attention to. I bet your whole sock doesn’t have that many stitches and you certainly don’t need to pay that much attention to them, except maybe at the heel and when you are approaching certain crucial length points.
    It’ll be done. Have a great time.

  33. May I also point out that part of your residence in the space time continuum was consumed by such things as sock knitting, sweater knitting, and just life in general? The shawl will be such a prize when it is done – a truly wonderful thing. We will wait patiently while you finish it!
    P.S. The sweater and the socks are just both just smashing, by the way.

  34. 880 stitches? OMG! Go easy on yourself Dear Harlot. Thats an awful lot of gossamer thin stitches. It will be so worth it but still….880 stitches….OMG!

  35. So what if it’s taking forever? It took you guys what? 17 years or so? to get married, another 17 weeks or so to finish the wedding shawl is nothing.
    And don’t forget the gansey.
    And to make you feel better, a story from my family: When my mom was pregnant with Child #5, my parents had an addition put on the house. Mom put the first coat of paint on the inside trim – baseboards, windows, that sort of thing – while she was pregnant. Then Becky was born.
    …time passes slowly…
    Becky goes off to college.
    And Mom finally get to put the second coat of paint on the trim.
    They’ve been married 54 years now. So you have loads of time to finish that shawl. And the gansey.
    But if I were you, I’d start knitting wedding shawls for those gorgeous daughters of yours. Not to mention baby clothes.
    Heh, heh. Why, yes, I am evil, come to think of it!

  36. The shawl – it’s so beautiful. I can’t wait to see a picture of the finished article.
    However, note to self – need to get much much faster before I even consider making anything so delicate and/or large. Meantime, stick to baby or toddler clothes and toys!

  37. So bring it to Rhinebeck and finish it there. We will all drink a toast to you, and the shawl, and your wedding, and the sock (soon to be plural, I’m sure), and the sweater, and the scarf, and Linda, and you, and the shawl…
    Well, OK, but bring it anyway.

  38. I feel your pain. I’m trying frantically to finish a christening blanket in zephyr. I thought when I got to the edging I was almost done. That was over a week ago and I’m now less than 1/4 around. I finally added up the stitches and for each of 1024 stitches there is an average of 30 stitiches in the edging. Had I known the edging had 30,000+ stitiches I probably would not have started the blanket.
    I feel your pain…

  39. dude. that means you’re knitting 986.9 stitches per hour. for lace, i get six or seven hundred, tops, so no self-flagellation allowed.

  40. 880 is a lot, but even so — I’m a pretty slow knitter and I managed to cast off a thousand stitches in an hour the other day. Something strange could indeed be going on.
    Just in case the shawl is indeed doing something subtle to the space-time continuum, just show it that green sweater you ‘fixed’ last week. That ought to cut down on any temporal jiggery-pokery.

  41. Dear Harlot, try changing your perspective. Instead of being late for your wedding, the shawl (and perhaps Joe’s gansey, too?) are simply way early for your first anniversary. Won’t it be lovely to enjoy them together, without all the pressure of book deadlines and wedding preparations? You can dream up some great celebratory place to show them off, or just enjoy them in private.
    The shawl is stunning, and I hope at some point you will publish the pattern for the brave souls who can attempt such a work of art.

  42. Hey, Steph? Aren’t you being a wee bit hard on yourself? 880 stitches per row is a crap load of knitting. Remember the post you did about the sucking time warp continum? You’re living it, again. Can’t wait to see it blocked and off the pins- it will be truly lovely! Hang in there!

  43. Isn’t that shawl just like life/marriage/raising children? You can beat yourself up thinking you’re not fast enough or doing enough but when you take a quiet moment to figure out how much you’ve actually accomplished it’s amazing!

  44. Eight hundred and eighty stitches to a row? No wonder it’s going so slowly. You are a better woman than I. That shawl would have crushed my soul mighty fast, I think. Knit what you can when you can. What you’ve done so far is truly gorgeous.

  45. I love your yarn from Socks that Rock!! I’m looking for it now, to see if I can purchase it, but so far I’m not having any luck. I’m also starting my first lace shawl, so I’m sure I will be feeling your pain here soon.

  46. First off, the shawl deserves a blog of its own. It’s just an amazing creation. 880 stitches per row? I honestly don’t think i could bear it as i would be so obsessed with not dropping a stitch, i’d spend more time counting than knitting (and we all know that shawls don’t get knitted that way). Your sock is so pretty!

  47. Seventies appliance colors?? Oh that kills me..
    Harvest Gold –Avocado Green —
    Well you could wrap the shawl around you for fun and games with Joe anyway….. better than saran wrap I would think…..

  48. 1,760 stitches (lace stitches, no less) in 107 minutes…3.6 seconds per stitch…while watching a movie, too. sounds pretty good to me- esp. considering I did 12 (decresing) rounds of a circular washcloth watching north by northwest..

  49. Sounds to me like it wants to be a FIRST anniversary shawl………love the STR socks…is that colorway available to us mere mortals also???

  50. Just think how many more rows you could have sweat your way through if you weren’t knitting a sock or sweater? Nah, way to boring to have only one WIP at a time. Nevermind.

  51. I know this is just crazy talk, but perhaps the entire sock and sweater are slowing you down?
    Hee hee. 880 stitches is about 14 rounds of a 64 stitch sock, that’s all I’m saying.
    What am I talking about? Project monogamy? Somebody slap me, quick!

  52. *snort!*
    Me darlin’, I am so glad you’re around to prove I’m not the only nut in the tree. I did that with the last shawl I knit. I was waving it right under my husband’s nose bellowing, “DANG! It is taking me, like, HALF A BLEEDIN’ HOUR!, for EACH ROW! This shawl? This shawl right here? Hexed. It can’t take me that long to do three hundred stitches! {long rant about how while purling is hardly my ‘speed event’ I still couldn’t see how AND gee whiz AND how come AND what was UP with this AND FURTHERMORE!!!}”
    Alas, I wasn’t bright enough to do the math myself. He did it. “Look. Babe. If you have a hunnerd-n-twenty five in each section, and five sections…”
    …blank stare…

  53. Far be it from me to be a disciplinarian, but maybe you should try to be monogamous with the shawl for a while and just get it done?

  54. It is lovely! And what was the movie? I find that what I’m watching has a strong effect on how fast I knit. The Amazing Race? Somehow little gets done. Reruns of the Facts of Life? Plenty o’ knitting.
    Also, the diawhatchahoozy is gloriously pretty.

  55. I’m oh so glad I don’t actually care for shawls. Is that heresy?
    And add another grovel for the sock pattern – it’s lovely and I dig the colorway.

  56. Hmm, 1760 stitches in 107 minutes; that’s 16.44 stitches per minute; or 3.65 seconds per stitch. Sounds pretty good to me.
    Oh, yes, and the Harlotty colorway is exactly you; as soon as I saw it, I thought to myself, “Huh, those are the colors Steph wore for the talk in Rutherford.”

  57. it is really beautiful although not done for your special day….Rhinebeck will certainly appreciate your skill and talent and perserverance. cecilia

  58. Are those….Lantern Moon ebony circs you’re using for the shawl? Maybe it’s just my bad luck, but I think those circs have the WORST joins for circular needles in all of creation. Are you sure that–880 stitches aside–most of your time isn’t spent trying to coax the stitches past those joins? (and I love LM! I have several pairs of ebony single point needles of theirs–I can’t figure out why they haven’t been able to make decent joins on their circs!)

  59. Um, Steph… I can call you Steph, can’t I?… Steph, if you hadn’t done the sock and the sweater and that *rockin’* ombre scarf you made last week, you’d have finished the shawl by now.
    You contaminated me with that scarf, by the way. I couldn’t wait to show the texture stitch you made up to my know-it-all knits-much-better-than-I-do (she does, you know) best friend. So much for being content with garter stitch and stockinette.

  60. That is such a gorgeous shawl. Surely there is another sort of momentous milestone or meaningful activity with which to dedicate it? Winter solstice is coming – maybe some sort of Druidic ritual?

  61. Don’t socks average 20,000 stitches per pair? That makes a 30,000 stitch border look like one and a half pairs of socks.
    I think that if I had knitted a wedding-ring shawl and the recipient didn’t like it, I’d say “Fine. Give it back, I’ll get you another shawl” and she’d get one from Walmart. And I’d wear the one I’d made. But I doubt that I will ever knit a shawl, let alone a wedding-ring shawl.
    6-foot scarf, 6 rows/inch, 40 stitches/row = 17,280 stitches… okay, not that comforting… that scarf took me two weeks!

  62. I immediately got out the calculator to do the math on how many sock rows that might equal, taking into account the stockinette v. lace difficulty difference, etc. Then I tried my calculations with a sweater. Talk about a math wiz. Not. Anyway, a lot of other people did the math, too. Give us the data and we’ve got the statistics for you!

  63. So 1600 stitches in 107 minutes is 15 stitches per minute. Are you sure you knit only two rows, because almost three rows gives you 22 stitches a minute,a nd that sounds much more like you, in lace I mean. Should I go on?

  64. 16.44 SPM while chart, offspring, and movie are simultaneously vying for your attention is EXCELLENT! The shawl and sweater will be perfect to wear during your next 50 (or more) anniversary celebrations.
    As far as being bitter about missing your a couple of the items on your (insanely unrealistic?) shawl/book/gansey/wedding TO DO list, please cut yourself some slack! You got the most important things done, right? Right!

  65. You’ll be so proud of that shawl when it is finished. It is easy to tell that it is going to be a real beauty even in it’s scrunched up, unblocked state.
    Two questions, if you have time – on lace that calls for purling all of the even rows, is there a way to fix a YO that was omitted on the right side without ripping back?
    Also, what method did you use for the short row heel on your lovely Harlotty sock? I’m usually very good at figuring out stuff from reading directions, but every short row heel I’ve tried (YOs, wraps, etc.) looks awful.

  66. Shanny did the math so I’ll just second her motion; you’re doing great! I remember feeling the same despair while knitting on Flirty Ruffles. It’s like the lace knitting is a portal to a Temporal Rift where time passes normally outside and yet doesn’t move for you; then when you pass back into Normal Time hours have gone by and you’re considered slow (& crazy if you try to explain it to anyone else). This also happens to me when I walk through the doors at Michaels.

  67. 880 stitches is an explanation. But I have to tell you, the finished sock and the progress on sweater were also telling a story about why the shawl isn’t finished.

  68. Wow, I’m glad it’s not a time/space continuum problem. I still haven’t figured out how Tasha Yar could have a daughter older than she was.

  69. you know, those 880 stitch rows were probably bogged down by all the other knitting accomplished. I mean you did post a finished sock and a mostly done sweater…
    just sayin…

  70. Perhaps all the time you have put into the shawl is actually IN the shawl…sort of a storage system for the fourth dimension…and every time you wear the shawl in the future you will be able to have time expand so that mere mortals can gawk, and gaze, and ask….”Oh, my goodness, wherever did you get that beautiful, stunning shawl?”
    Time will stand still as you smile sweetly and say, “Oh, I made it myself. It didn’t take any time at all.”

  71. but it’s so gorgeous!! totally worth it. i once saw an unfinished project started 50 years ago: a queen-sized bedspread done in fine cotton on size 1 needles. there were hundreds of beautiful hexagons with an eyelet leaf pattern. the woman who started it was unable to finish, as she was in her 90s, and her kids found it in the attic and were going. to. throw. it. away. someone rescued it, thank goodness…not sure if that story is supposed to be encouraging or not, but there it is.

  72. Hey Steph, it’s not humiliation, it’s a shawl! A very complex shawl and for heaven’s sake it’s deeply connected to your wedding and your relationship with Joe! So you want it to be done quickly and smoothly and effortlessly? What’s with you, girl? Relationships aren’t LIKE that! Get to enjoy the endless rows. They’re creating one helluva solid base for the future.
    (Heck, that sounds like a pretty awful pattern for such a beautiful shawl, but you know what I mean.)
    Celtic Memory Yarns

  73. What sock pattern is that? I love the colors.
    The shawl has to be close to done with that many stitches on it, isn’t it? When you were in Eugene, I told you I was going to make Icarus. I’ve started and I’ve almost gotten through the first chart. I thought that was hard. Obviously I know nothing yet.

  74. That is a mightifine shawl! One so fine and full of so much of yourself and destined for the most sacred of occasisons–that it should debut with your intended not at Rhinebeck. Go out to dinner with Joe and wear it with love and pride. The women and men at Rhinebeck will admire it, but it was meant to go with your beloved.
    On another note–I am busy finishing a multi-year aran cardigan for my youngest brother, age 47, who had a stroke 8 days ago. His mind is fine–his blood pressure is all over the map and he is yet unable to do much physical therapy due to the blood pressure issue. I resurrected the sweater so as to speed his recovery. I hope to sew the completed pieces together tout de suite so that the sweater will speed his recovery. Now, I know that he won’t be able to wear it to learn to walk again, or to practice sitting, etc. Even the simplest of activiites makes him sweat buckets. But maybe, just maybe, a sweater knit with love will do some healing.
    This is why I say, save the shawl’s coming out party for Joe. Altho your followers will scream with delight and share your pleasure–it is a sacred piece.

  75. I am in the middle of my first shawl. I get two rows done on my lunch hour .. i am in the middle…i can only imagine entire evenings going by with only half a row done when i get to the 2/3rds mark!

  76. I am just LAFFIN’ over here.
    You’re fretting that it’s not getting done fast enough, and I’m thinking it would take me a WEEK just to cast on the 880!!!
    BTW – compare it to the timetable for raising teenagers, and you should be feeling pretty good. Well, after you have another cuppa.

  77. 880 rows!? Did I read that right? You have my profound and utmost admiration. I’d be ready for the padded room by now.
    I love the 70’s appliance colors. I had appliances that color (31 years ago). I was just thinking recently about the gifts from my bridal shower (also 31 years ago). It was so easy to buy stuff for the bride back then. As long as it was harvest gold, avocado green, brown or orange, you were sure it would match any kitchen. Horrifying, isn’t it?
    I seriously need to get that yarn. Just for the nostalgia factor.

  78. Are you sure there isn’t any booze in that cup of tea you use as a treat?
    I mean, a hot toddy everytime you hit the half-way mark?
    Just saying.

  79. 880 sts in a row?! Geez, Louise! Two rows would take a week for me. You deserve a nice tea with a shot of Irish for a row like that.
    Love the Harlotty colours in the sock. We had those colours in our house too. My Mother’s tub is still Harvest Gold. God love her.

  80. Should I be worried that I got the seventies-color comment? Of course, I did have an apartment with an avocado green stove and a harvest gold refrigerator. Or the other way round maybe. And you had to drive me to the STR website. I saw that garnet color. Now I have to find an easy mindless sock pattern. Like I don’t already have 15 scarves, two sweaters and four sets of fingerless gloves to do for the holidays (the count keeps going up).
    Recalcitrant (word of the day, yeah me!) daughter-in-law problems? Tempt her into the knitting world. Pick a lovely color of gorgeously-soft yarn, a simple pattern, and just work it around her. Eventually she’ll succumb and try her first project, and another and another. When she’s screaming that she can’t get gauge, you have your revenge.
    Oh, and anyone have any tips for this Rhinebeck novice — credit cards v. cash, how to grow extra arms to carry bags, etc.? I’ve made my list, prayed that my ancient car makes it there and hidden my second credit card . . .

  81. 880 LACE stitches.. those are like the dog years of knitting… they count for more. I have a grandaughter 2 years old, I should start knitting her wedding shawl now. I might finish it in time… if she marry’s in her 40’s…

  82. Dang…I’m knitting something with 187 stitches in a row and feel that that is taking too long…holy crap, 880? My heart is palpitating for you!

  83. A most memorable shawl indeed-in many ways ๐Ÿ˜‰
    ~still gaping at a sock in 2 days~would take me 2 weeks. The shawl BTW, is absolutely gorgeous.

  84. OK, that is officially insane. No offense, but I think you need to be institutionalized. 880 stitches??? no matter how pretty it is, i hope this will satisfy any shawl-knitting cravings you will ever have. ick. good luck with the rest of it!

  85. I love Beth W’s idea that the time is knitted into the shawl. And certainly it is true even in a non-science-fictiony way: this shawl will be meaningful for time immemorial. (Either that or a constant reminder of the thorn of not finishing it on time….)

  86. Two rows, thats so ass, that Two Much Wool lady is doing TWO sweaters, ………..are you sure we are to be going to this Rhinebeck and not get pointed at and snickered at .(not the deep fried snickers) I can just say Eh a lot and they’ll think I’m cute…right?
    two sweaters.

  87. You know maybe you’ll finish in time for one of your daughters’ weddings? Noonie ducks low to avoid being clipped round the back of the head.

  88. When Gordie steps out of a worm-hole in your living room, then it’s time to get worried. 880 stitchs! Man, and I’m stressing about the 92 on my hat.

  89. 880? What an enhanced buzz you’ll get when blocking that web. I can’t wait to see the magic transformation.
    Imagine having a colorway named after you! Just my luck, I finally dumped my harvest gold fridge and here you’re making it cutting edge fashion again.

  90. 70’s colors? Ha! I had a kitchen that featured an avocado fridge, harvest gold stove and filthy brown sink (it wasn’t really filthy, it just looked that way, and I can’t remember the actual name of the color). I also had green/yellow/brown contact paper covering nearly every surface of that kitchen. It was 1973. I moved out of there pretty darn fast.

  91. I’m sorry, but in a way this gives me hope. You knitting for 33 years, only knit 2 rows in 107 minutes. A couple of weeks ago I was complaining because during King Kong (a verrrrry long movie) I only knit 12 rows (of seed stitch w/ super slippery yarn on aluminum needles) of Sizzle. Now I don’t feel so bad. By the way, I bought your book yesterday, and it is hilarious! I thought I was the only one who used up all the ziplocs in the house on yarn & who did spreadsheets matching yarn & projects, but now I feel like less of a weirdo. Thank you.

  92. Whew, that is a lot of stitches in a row! I’m sure it will be the envy of all the knitters within blog-range once you’ve got it blocked.

  93. I know how hard those last few killer rows are but hang in there. We know you can do it (if you don’t take time out for too many other projects) and you’ll be able to boast about it forever.
    And to dear Ronnie. I feel your pain. My mother-in-law never liked the gifts I made her. My solution was to give her what she wanted, I stopped making her gifts and bought the stuff she preferred. I spent my time making things for those who truly appreciated and treasured them. Everyone was happier.

  94. Wow, that really is process knitting at it’s, well, processiest. Maybe if you don’t sleep and then block it on your hotel room bed?
    Looking forward to seeing you!

  95. Take heart Stephanie. The shawl is going to be absolutely stunning and worth the effort, the wait and the frustration. :o) The socks and the sweater are great too. Love the colours.

  96. I’ve been knitting a mere 36(ish) years and pride myself that I can knit at a pretty quick clip, but YOWZA!! 880 stitches in one row!! That’s truly daunting.

  97. My heart bleeds for those that put 880 stitches in a row. That’s 1760 stitches in those two rows, not counting the fancy-schmancy stitches that’ll take more time and effort, you did a little more than 16 stitches per minute, which then goes to about 3/10 a stitch per second. That’s rather fast. Feel better.

  98. P.S. to my previous comment,
    Could you remind us all of your inspiration for this pattern? It is so lovely but I can’t seem to sort through to the post that talked about it… I believe a rehash is in order.

  99. 880 stitches (and a sock and a sweater) do explain a lot, but given that many of the shawls you typically make are more in the 400-500 stitch range at the outs, I’m almost afraid to ask whether you know, um, how big it might be right now? I mean, making a wedding bedspread is all well and good, but you may want to know that’s where you’re heading before you get there. That sock is totally the kitchen where I grew up. The linoleum floor had all those colors, and the fridge was classic harvest gold (with orange countertops!). Brilliant work on all 3 projects!

  100. The shawl keeps getting exponentially larger and freaking larger with each row. Maybe it will be done by All Saint’s Eve. Or, maybe all it needs is another couple movies and more tea!! Knit on!

  101. the colour pattern for the sweater is so delicious it breaks my heart. what’s it called?
    oh yes, on my very short visit in toronto, i went to lettuce knit, only because you seem to hold it so dear, unfortunatly it was thanksgiving monday and it was closed. i pressed my face to the glass and steamed up looking at the silk spun. you can’t buy good stuff like that around here… next time your there fondle some for me please…

  102. So, have you figured out how much the shawl would weigh if you were knitting it in worsted weight yarn? I’m getting about 10,000 stitches per 100 grams of Cascade 220 on 4mm needles…

  103. Dude. Seriously. That’s amazingly fast knitting. (Sock OR shawl) If it’s not going fast enough for you, though, maybe you could have a slug of Screech every row, instead of the cuppa tea? ;o)
    And the sock yarn is wonderful! I gotta get some! What is the stitch you used, though? Some sort of Old Shale or something?

  104. Maybe the length of time it takes to knit a row is somehow related to the length of the marriage? Y’know, something like if you want the marriage to last a long time than the shawl that represents it should take some quality time as well?
    Or maybe it’s just because it’s 880 stitches a row!! How many stitches are there in a sock?

  105. Thanks a LOT, Stephanie. Just what I needed… Another yarn to covet. (I’d never heard of Diarufuran, but I see some in my future…)

  106. Here’s a thought. Juti, I think it was, calculated that you just need to watch 4 more movies and the shawl will be complete. Why not watch 4 Johnny Depp movies? Inspired? I think so. You have the joy of watching JD and the joy of finishing your shawl….can’t ask for much more…unless it’s chocolate.

  107. Having lived through the 70’s, I concur: those are definitely “appliance colors”. What a blast from the past!
    Socks are delightful, sweater also lovely, and looks like you could wear them simultaneously, if my monitor doth not lie.
    Giving you a sitting ovation on that 880 st/row sweater. Look at it this way: it’s only five or six more movies, unless there’s dancing in the movies, in which case all bets are off.
    Side note to Ronnie: frog the d-i-l, unless she has other redeeming qualities.

  108. There are two options I’m willing to consider:
    1. Black Hole.
    2. Tinking Elves. Comrade to Stash Weasels, they tink complex patterns at the speed of light. They’d rip but you can only blame so many of those bodily noises on the cat. They’d be useful if they’d only consider tinking items that you want tinked. Alas, their union prevents this from happening and no amount of leaving cookie crumbs, thimbles of coffee, or shots of screech will convince them otherwise. Insulted by bribery, they tell the stash weasels to secretly tangle your mohair.

  109. umm, here’s a thought for ya? don’t knit socks or sweaters, or other miscellanea, until you get the shawl done? if i’m correct, rhinebeck is 4 days away. you better hustle your bustle, lady, specially if you’re gonna block it (btw, the harlotty sock is cool!)

  110. Well, the wedding shawl is gorgeous, and I’m sure that you’ll be casting off soon. Kinda makes me want to dig out my unfinished wedding shawl and finish it up. We were married 18 months ago….

  111. I’m thinking about casting on one of the three Orenburg shawls (the Square Medallion Shawl) in the Gossamer Webs design collection. The chart alone makes me break out into a sweat. Do you have any particular lace “hints” or “tutorials,” I suppose, that you’ve used and found helpful? I’d be very grateful for any advice you could provide. The Wedding Shawl is absolutely breathtaking, and I can’t help but cast on a lace shawl myself — even if it is in the midst of applying to college and rediculously demanding APs. It’s just…so tempting. And the 3100 yards of lacewight silk/angora blend in my stash is just too inviting…
    This is also, I might add, the SECOND bad knitting habit you’ve gotten me into. Senior year was bad enough, but no, I had to go and discover the many joys of socks! Now all my teachers know me as the girl who knits in class. (I can’t entirely blame you for that one, really — it’s been that way for four years now. Now I’m just the girl who knits SOCKS in class. Slightly weirder, I suppose.) Stop giving me such good ideas!

  112. I agree w/Lynn re the socks and sweater matching. Grief, Steph, you wear those with your traveling pants, you’ll be *coordinated*! They’d go great with the khaki/tan, and Bob’s yer uncle, you can pretend you planned it that way. (They both rock, btw; gorgeous, and so cool you have your own STR colorway!)
    As to the shawl – hey, even with 880 stitches a row, it’s coming along faster than a baby, right? There ya go, then. Just imagine how you’ll feel when you finish! And of course you need a few breaks from it, working only on a project that intense will drive you mad in white linen if you don’t take a breather once in a while. Must stay sane for Rhinebeck…

  113. Ya but with that many stitches will you still be able to pull it through your wedding ring? ;)That’sa what I wanta know.
    Keep on a truckin’
    Ha, I so remember the seventies.

  114. Not to depress you further, but wait until you have to pin it out and block it. That’s my DH’s customary contribution to the knitting in the household! (He felts, too)

  115. I have often thought shawls should cast on the high number of stitches and then decrease to completion. Although it wouldn’t BE faster, it would have the illusion of being done faster and the knitter could preserve some sanity. I support you knitting more than one project at a time, by the way. It’s YOUR knitting, as E.Z. would say ( not brain surgery ).

  116. 880 stitches? Oh boy, you really have a lot to experience yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ The Christening Shawl I am currently knitting _starts_ with 960 stitches (picked up from a 120-repeat-16-rows-to-the-repeat-edging).
    All there is to do is to chug along, close your eyes and stubbornly knit, knit, knit until you are finished (or, in my case, have decreased enough stitches to feel sane when you embark on another round around midnight).
    The shawl is beautifull though ๐Ÿ™‚

  117. Nope. You got it right the first time. It’s not the stitches, it’s not your speed. You DID experience a hiccup in the space-time continuum. I can confirm this as I experienced the same phenomenon. While you were knitting your shawl I was at a Microsoft conference enduring 6 hours of back-to-back technical seminars about operating systems. I can assure you that time stood still here on this side of the planet too.
    Once again, thank you for talking(writing) me into sockery. Without my Second Sock I’d have been sucked forever into the Black Hole of horizonless Vista.

  118. Have a little faith in yourself woman! The world knows you are a kick-ass knitter. Which means, you will, in time, kick that shawl’s ass. Not to mention be high as a kite on blocking when you finally finish the thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  119. Oh, thanks so much for the coffee-blown-out-the-nose experience this morning. One of these days I’ll learn not to drink and read Her Harlotness at the same time. 70s Appliance Colors!

  120. Holy Cow! 880?!? That’s a whole lotta knitting going on! No wonder it wasn’t finished in time for the wedding. Heck, I wouldn’t get those last 10 rows done til Christmas at least! But it is going to be AWE-INSPIRING once it is done. I’m already lusting after it….
    And the sweater and socks look great as well – and what? No blue?!? What happened to the “I only knit blue sweaters” Harlot? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  121. Well, anyone who can knit something w/880 stitches in a row AND a sock AND most of a sweater at the same time is Superwoman in my book – I moved recently and haven’t knittied ANYTHING until picking up a sock yesterday that I had started weeks ago for a long bus ride. And because a silly orchestra changed their rehearsal schedule I can’t go to Rhinebeck – I had inn reservations made weeks ago and everything. I’m heartbroken, especially as there’s this alpaca yarn I got there last year I was hoping to find again…sigh. I wish all who get to go a grand wonderful time – have a lamb burger for me.

  122. Wow. I had a flashback to my own knitting mentor, who knit so fast that you couldn’t actually see her hands move. She once made a knitted lace tablecloth that was 8 feet in diameter, and she told me at the end it took her over three hours to do one row. Yikes! You’d have to watch Lord of the Rings just to get a single row done! So I know you can finish the shawl if you just don’t let yourself get distracted by your other projects . . .

  123. Now I don’t feel so bad about the last 8 or 10 rows of Icarus. I’m only in the “just under 500” stitch count range. It still takes for ever to do 2 rows. 1 row = 45 minutes. 2 rows = eternity.

  124. 880 stitches are (is?) a lot; now you can say you’ve joined the leagues of the real lace knitters. (I’ll give you the membership pin at Rhinebeck.)
    Do two rows per day and it’ll be done before you know it. Seriously.

  125. Pooleknitter had a great idea…LOTR. Now here’s the deal, I will overnight my DVD sets of the whole series (and they are the extended versions in the boxes) to you so you can finish the shawl, and you will send me just a teensy little thing from Rhinebeck in appreciation.
    Either that, or you get a booth at Rhinebeck and sit and finish the shawl, and people can make bets on what hour the shawl will be bound off. (That way you can afford some new batts!)

  126. If you gave yourself a cuppa every time you got halfway through a row, I think I know why it took you so long to do a row…. for every action there is an opposite reaction.
    Sock looks grand ๐Ÿ™‚

  127. Okay, I’ve read EVERY SINGLE COMMENT, and nobody has yet mentioned that, um, you’re kind of, um, “vertically challenged”.
    This is looking like it will be a REALLY BIG SHAWL. Are you sure it won’t drag behind you like a wedding veil when you wear it? Or was that the point?
    And where do you plan to block the thing? Do you have a floor space big enough?
    Oh well, if nothing else, next time the girls are away you can lounge about the house wearing nothing but the Shropshire shawl, your wedding ring, and a smile. Make Joe wear the gansey, too. (evil smirk)

  128. 880 – and here I whine over 200 stitches in a row. Just keep plugging away at it – you’ll get it.
    And now for something completely different:
    It’s Tuesday.
    Let’s spin ’til we get dizzy and fall down.
    Or else make string out of sheep fluff.

  129. Listen you–you’re the best! Forget about how much time it’s taking! I will share my favorite fortune cookie fortune, which I’ve had posted in my studio for years:
    “Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.”
    We know we will soon be seeing a fabulous picture of you wearing that shawl.
    What needles are you knitting it with? They look like works of art themselves.

  130. To Margaret who wants to cast on all of the shawl stitches and work up, getting smaller and smaller.
    Try a Faroe Island shawl, that’s how they are made. But be warned! Unlike a shawl that starts at the neck and increases, you can’t just stop when it gets to the right size (depending on the pattern, of course). Once you cast on all those stitches, you have to keep going until you decrease them all and it comes together at the neck. This makes gauge very important unless you’re o.k. with a neck scarf or a shawl that hangs to the floor. I have one that hangs down to my knees because I couldn’t stand to frog out all of those tiny stitches even after I realized how big it was going to be.

  131. I too am working on a square shawl, a baby blanket actually. I know I’m long past 400st per row. I’m too scared to count.
    But on the weekend we drove from Orangeville to Vaughn Ikea….and I got one pattern row done. It’s about an hour drive. On the drive home I got the next plain row done. We need to go on longer drives.

  132. De-lurking to ask about the Harlotty colorway:
    Seventies appliance colors? Is it a tribute to Sir Washie of the Spin Cycle and the too-big refrigerator?
    And btw, I am a big fan *blush*. Thanks for sharing your talent, humor and insight with the world. Love your style, girl. Keep it coming.

  133. 880 per ROW? *falls over*
    That would pretty much kill me at this point in my knitting life. (well not really, but I might lose heart for the project. o.0)
    So you are fast, it’s just a huge project. *L*
    LOVE the Harloty Sock Yarn, the socks too. ;^)

  134. Ronnie–
    I read your comment. I am a daughter-in-law (a daughter as well), and not yet old enough to have a daughter-in-law… but anyway.
    What to do with her? Take some “nice” sparkly acrylic… and crochet her a toilet paper cozy.

  135. Hi Stephanie,the shawl is great, the socks are great, but time space continuum is even more complicated – time could have stopped for the sock, but it probably jumped for the shawl. That means, it feels like 107 minutes and the movie took 107 minutes, but in knitting time, time jumped and only 10.7 minutes passed, that’s why you managed 2 rows. The other 96.3 minutes might have been booked on your sock knitting time account. It is one of the great mysteries of the knitting fairy. Good news is, your going to be rewarded for your patience, bad news is, this could happen a long time from now. Do not give up, I’m counting on you!

  136. *looks at scarf project, counts stitches and rows of repeat and comes up with 44 stitches, 10 rows*
    *calculates how many repeats done in an evening and figures maybe 4*
    *reads blog again about 880 stitches in a row*
    Stephanie darling, this is SO not good for my self esteem. BTW – I thought I was the only one that liked 70’s appliance colours. Only not on appliances.

  137. I feel your pain, once again. I laughed so much when you were talking about your massive afghan in book2, because I was working on a 5×8 footer myself. Still am. Very slowly. 1/2 hour per row.

  138. I’m glad you realized that there are quite a hefty load of stitches to the row of that shawl. There’s always your first anniversary…

  139. Oh, Goddess bless you. I’m still working on my Olympics shawl because one, the math is wrong on some rows, and it’s my first shawl, and making me re-do math on my first lace project? That was just mean. And two, there are over 500 stitches on a row now. Those two factors occasionally make me want to chuck it across the room. So I’m giving myself until the end of the month to finish it.
    My Rhinebeck project is socks. Much, much faster.

  140. I feel your pain!
    Last summer I decided I wanted a ruffled edge on my Shetland Lace Shawl…and ended up with something like 1,200 stitches in my last two rows…and still had to add the finishing border. As I approached the 1 year mark on the project, I decided that I wanted this off the needles. So I knit only the shawl, for 3-4 hours every night, for about 3 weeks. It was worth every minute, every stitch, every muscle ache.

  141. Yipes. I think my heart actually stopped for a second when I read that. 880 stitches. Amazing. I love the sock and the progress on the sweater, and I have to think the shawl time sucking problem can only get better.

  142. Holy shnikies Batman! 880!?!? No wonder it took you so long. Love the socks, just my type of color way, I can’t make a whole pair in a weekend, but way cool. Love the sweater too.

  143. Question: If you are knitting a lace shawl, and you discover a mistake *a few rows back* do you leave it or rip back to the mistake? I’m on my first lace project and have discovered a couple of places where I counted wrong and put the yo in the wrong spot, thus interrupting the pattern.

  144. I’m loving the sweater and sock…. and what did you use for the sock? Some sort of feather and fan pattern, but did you just use a basic short-row heel pattern and wing the stitches or were you following something specific?

  145. Seventies colors? I STILL have a harvest gold stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, tub, and toilet. The tub and toilet in the other bathroom are, you guessed it, avocado. Someday we’ll finish the remodel and it will all be good.
    My recommendation for the shawl: hie thee to the library or video store and borrow/rent season one of Lost. The time will fly and you won’t even notice how much you are knitting. I’m doing a boring stockinette scarf for my son, 25 rows of black, 25 rows of white, repeat until the yarn runs out. More than once (several more than once) I’ve had to rip back because I was so involved in watching the show that I forgot to count rows.

  146. I hope you now feel better about not having it finished for the wedding. And just think, at least there’s a concrete amount of time until you do finish. Oh but the challenge of the long rows! I know it well.

  147. Hey! So I thought Birch had a lot of stitches! But , that being my 1st lace and shawl, Starting on the long side, casting on 299 stitches and then working down , I got over the hardest part first. No one ever said how much my eyes would hurt during the first couple of rows. Nor that I wouldn’t be able to do anything other than knit once I started a new row. To do it again? I would make another Birch! The end was actually enjoyable. You get in a groove. I hope to see you in Rhinebeck…..And Congratulations!

  148. Don’t worry; whenever I have doubts like that, I just have some really dark chocolate with my cuppa and go to bed early. (Yes, I’m anti-stress, but how could you know?)

  149. Stephanie you crack me up girl.. 800 stitches.. that is mind blowing.. two times.. even more mind blowing.. i think that must be at least two socks don’t you think?! hugs karola
    have a grand time on the east coast.. and darn i won’t see you this time.. but i remember why you couldn’t make it last time.. and lots of hugs to you for the memories ๐Ÿ™‚ love karola

  150. Holy Toledo, Batman! 880 sts?? That reminds me of the Flirty Ruffles that I just finished, but I see a few people have already mentioned it ๐Ÿ™‚

  151. I say – change “face” to “faces” and “said” accross to the “d”… On another vein – your shawl is freaking gorgeous, not that I ever doubted you!

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