Abominable Arctic Air

It’s frosty here again, -20c (about -30 with the windchill, that’s -22F for the Americans) and it is very, very beautiful and clear outside. It is a sparkling crystalline blue sky, and it looks like it would be wonderful to go for a walk…right up until you open the front door and your nose hair all instantly freezes. Everybody swears then. This morning the girls all opened the door, stepped outside and swore. I was hard on them until I tried to get the mail. Opened the door, stepped outside. Swore – and instantly forgave the girls. Dudes, it is cold. I cannot believe the high point of the weather this week has been it warming up enough (-10c) for it to dump huge snow on us. It’s foul.

(You may have gathered that I don’t care for this season, although in the time it’s taken me to get this post together the temperature has risen to an almost balmy -16c)


(Those of you who live in very cold places will notice the presence of that “dry” snow. If you look outside at your porch or the road out front of your house and notice that at high noon under a bright sun that there is not one melted flake of snow…It’s cold.)

Luckily for me, I have nowhere to go. Joe’s going to run my errands today (the upside of him still being “between opportunities”) and I’ve earned myself a playdate with Guld by meeting a big work deadline this morning.


I read, weighed and contemplated all of the comments you guys left about your opinions about converting Guld to knit in the round, and while they were all compelling, a couple of them really made excellent points.

Lene said:

You know my take on it: it’s tradition and you don’t f*** with tradition. Keep your evil changing paws off of it and do it the way it’s been done since it began.

p.s. Of course, that’s my reflex response to anything that messes with time-honoured things and I might be persuaded to see the point if I wasn’t still bitter about how Disney changed the end to my favourite H.C. Andersen fairytale just because maybe the original tale of the little mermaid was a little dark. It is my favourite exactly because of the way it ends. I mean – you don’t make the Mona Lisa blond, do you?

p.p.s. What was the question again?

Hugo said:

Because I’ve spent most of my life studying language (even though I don’t always spell properly) I tend to relate it to everything. Knitting for me is a language. Language is dynamic and can grow both more complicated and more beautiful as it changes. It can also grow more logical and simple. Just like language, there are reasons for certain things and sometimes they’re just that way because that’s the way they’ve always been done. Nothing will be lost memory/tradition-wise if you know the road you’re coming from. After all, many traditions were simply adaptations of their time.

Sounds like Hugo and Lene should be seated next to each other at a dinner party, yes? Let’s ask Loribird to pass them the bread.

The history won’t be lost just because you choose not to follow its dictates precisely – the history is still recorded, and the reasoning behind it may be something we don’t consider today(like crap-o-licious circ. needles, as Mary Lou said)I think that especially since, historically speaking, knitting tends to be such a practical application of art, any personal innovations add to the history rather than obliterate it. (Can’t you hear them in the 24th century, “At first, Bohus sweaters were knit round for the yoke, then seamed through the body, but innovative knitters in the early 21st century began to knit entirely in the round…”)

I thought over these things and gave some thought to the idea of “The Spirit of the law” vs “The Letter of the Law”, and decided on a hybrid approach. (You saw that coming, didn’t you?) Since I wanted to make the sweater a smidge smaller, and since there is a lot to be said about understanding something before you change it, I decided to knit the portion immediately after the yoke (the part from the yoke to the armholes) Flat.


Once I had worked the short-rows that lower the front neck and the shaping that dictates the depth of the armholes, I joined my work (decreasing out the seam stitches) and began to work in the round.


The orange thread you see there is my “counter”. It marks the stitches that I am decreasing either side of and counts the number of decreases at the same time. Each time I work a decrease (or a certain number of rows, for the purposes of counting) I flip it from the front to the back (or the back to the front…depending.) When I’m done I’ll just pull it out. So far, the whole thing is working pretty well.


My mission today is to get the whole thing onto enough needles that I can try it on and make some decisions about fitting. I don’t want the whole thing to be too roomy so I’m inserting a little side shaping. Out for the bust (such as it is) in for the waist (again, such as it is) and out again for the hips. If all goes well, I think it will be one of the prettiest sweaters I own. Very styling. Naturally, since I have departed from the beaten path with this one, I have a feeling that this comment from Mother Chaos may apply:

You could try my method: First, I will do exactly what the pattern said to do because I’m maintaining the art of the designer. Then, I will not like something about it (usually that I think it’s “overly complicated” or “taking too long”), rip it out, and start over my way.

THEN I discover that ‘my way’ doesn’t work for one or a thousand reasons, tear it out again, start over using a second, similar pattern for reference but really just doing my own thing again. This also does not work. Tear it back again, sit down with a pencil and my arsenal of cuss words, write down what I think I’m going to do, cuss, cross out, write, cuss, cross out, write, cuss, cross out, write AND THEN?

One last cuss and I go back to the pattern. Humbly. And refusing to acknowledge that I ever left it. Except that I’m just going to change this one itty-bitty thing over here because it’s too >>fussy<<…

Ahem. Not that any of us use that method. Yeah. That Mother Chaos is alone on that one.

Knit on. Big news tomorrow.

168 thoughts on “Abominable Arctic Air

  1. All hail the worthiness of the cuss word! Especially as it’s warmed up here in Winterpeg too… -13 compared to the -30 we’ve had all week. You can keep the snow though!

  2. Heh. Is there a reason why “arse-nal” is spelled the way it is?
    Tis indeed a cuss-worthy day today.

  3. Oooh, you poor thing, curled up with tea and wool. Yes, I do feel sorry for you in the cold, it was 10 C here this morning (my kids love Celsius even though we’re in the backwards metric hating USA) I would love to look outside at the nice bright sun instead of being here in the dreary rainy foggy pineapple express drenched NW. And kudos on getting your work done! My knitting is calling me, but instead I’m procrastinating at my computer, my work is yet to be done, and I’m blogsurfing instead!
    Big news tomorrow? ooh, I can’t wait!

  4. You’re so smart! You, unlike me, are one of those knitters who sees beyond the pattern and knows how to tweak it. I always follow the pattern (and color within the lines, and play by the rules) and then I am usually unhappy with the end product. Rock on Steph, and keep warm!

  5. Excellent idea. You have me fantasizing about Bohus now. I just got my yarn for my very first sweater of any variety and here I am thinking about stranded color-work with tiny yarn on tiny needles ::evil eye::
    I can’t wait for you to finish, do hurry!

  6. I wasn’t going to comment…merely admire your beautiful sweater, enjoy your remarks and carry on with my day…but the last sentence got me. You really shouldn’t end that way. I’m hoping you get up early and post your big news immediately so you aren’t keeping everyone waiting too long!
    (It’s beastly cold in Minnesota, too!)

  7. I feel your pain! While it has warmed to 7F here, we have been well below zero for weeks. I’ve been thankfully wearing my wool scarf, mittens, and hat out to the bus stop and quietly mocking the foolish humans who can’t understand why their cute little Fun Fur scarf and acrylic “magic gloves” aren’t keeping them warm. *sigh* Muggles.

  8. Oooooh, beautiful knitting! Horribly cold here too, Steph, and I’m knitting my very first sweater. I’m LOL at Mother Chaos’ comment… hmmmm, sounds like someone we know. I wonder who? πŸ˜‰

  9. -22F is the coldest I have ever experienced. It was during the semester I was taking a weather course, and I had to record my observations of the weather in a log each day. So I got all bundled up, went out into the back yard, stood there for about two minutes, came back in, and recorded in my weather journal, “not fit for humans.”
    Big news tomorrow? I can’t even imagine. When you have big news, you *really* have big news!

  10. I knit happily right and left handedly but I purl left handedly unhappily, so I knit in the round when ever possible. I think using 2 hands alternately keeps me from getting carpal tunnel. But what ever gets you through the cold. I remember Maine and the endless abstract winter.It was cold for us here, too, and many dead plants in the yard with the crocuses.So I took my cue from you and am doing a very normal EZ seamless angora/wool sweater. Thanks for the tip.

  11. That is amazing! It’s hard for me to imagine that temperature. Last week I was reading a book about the Soviet gulag system, and one of the points that was simply inconceivable for me (besides the brutality) was the extremely cold temperatures in which prison laborers were forced to work. They swore too.
    By the way, your sweater looks lovely. You are a clever, clever knitter.

  12. Dude, the last time you had “Big News” I spent 16 days ignoring my family and knitting a lace shawl for a gold medal that I still can’t figure out how to get on my sidebar!
    Guld is not only going to be the prettiest sweater you own, it’s going to be one of the prettiest sweaters I’ve seen.

  13. Hmmm…Mother Chaos sounds like she could be your twin, evil or otherwise. It will be interesting to see how your experiments will turn out. I’ll stay tuned!

  14. Kinda gives the phrase “chaos theory” a whole new meaning, eh? Not that I would ever do that . . . ahem . . . Meanwhile, stoke the fire, happy knitting, and we’re looking forward to big news!

  15. Kinda gives the phrase “chaos theory” a whole new meaning, eh? Not that I would ever do that . . . ahem . . . Meanwhile, stoke the fire, happy knitting, and we’re looking forward to big news!

  16. I am also of the “use the pattern if the mood strikes you” school of thought. It’s so lovely at this point, I can’t wait to see it finished. I think we will all get to see how wonderful it turns out very soon.
    And… it’s 40F here, (duck) and it’ll be 60F next week (leaving now)
    Thinking warm thoughts for all caught in the cold!

  17. I am in Colorado and although it is not nearly as cold here as it is for you way over there, it’s cold enough to make me want to walk into the yoke of that sweater and never leave, no matter the UV damage it may cause.

  18. I lived in Toronto my whole life until ’99 when I moved to the desert (Southern AB). It was -43 C with windchill yesterday. I had my Jacket undone when in the afternoon it peaked to -16. I just had to worry about the 6 inches of freshly fallen snow, the gale force winds that peaked at 135 km/h and snowdrifts higher than my head. Ever wonder where real estate agents are when these things are happening?

  19. Big news…big news?!? Again, with the cliffhanger. Wish I was home wallowing in the stash today.

  20. After such a descriptive and thoughtful post, I feel a little stupid saying “I love the colors you’re using!” But really, you’re making me fall in love with yellow again. And with the black/charcoal? Perfect.

  21. The REALLY fun thing about “dry snow” – when the wind whips through at 40mph and pelts the tiny bit of your exposed face as though you did a face plant on an opened box of heads-down nails. Yup – here in NY it’s finally winter. Grumblegrumble. Beautemous sweater.

  22. Geez, I guess I am in bad need of some perspective. It’s 56 F here (don’t ask me what that is in Celsius; I’m just a dumb American)and I’m freezing! Also,I am doing a lot of cussing to boot, though not necessarily about the weather.

  23. Man it’s pretty cold up there, eh?
    I couldn’t imagine a nicer afternoon than curling up with the Bohus and a cup of coffee. I still can’t fathom how you’ve completed so much of the sweater! The stitches are so tiny! It looks absolutely fantastic by the way.

  24. I believe temps like these are actually referred to as “Swearing Cold”. One of my good friends (who hardly ever swears) told me that. And then swore (and our weather is a balmy 19 today.

  25. My sympathies on the cold. It’s not nearly that cold here in Washington, DC, but to make up for it, all the sidewalks are covered in ice. I almost wouldn’t mind its being much colder, if it meant less ice to slip on.
    I like the way the sweater is coming along. Will the sleeves be knit flat or in the round?

  26. I’m all agog with your skill and cleverness. Let us hope that Mother Chaos is a very rare exception and not the norm.
    I await your news with baited breath. Damn kippers for breakfast. How do the English do it?

  27. Hah!!! I just knew you were going to go seamless somewhere or other! Great compromise, even one a traditional Bohusian (and we all know who she is)would be proud of. But I must ask, what are you going to do for the sleeves? Are they “traditionally” done in the round? And if not, are they going to be seamless? MaryB

  28. i just gotta say, i love the way the Guld and the socks you’re wearing and your coffee cup are all in similar colors. πŸ˜€ well planned, that.
    also: big news? no hints? MEEN. *pout*

  29. I noticed two things right away in your last picture:
    1. Your mug and sweater match! Once finished, you should prance around in your sweater with your matching mug and make everyone admire your beautiful, fitted, color-corrdinated, charmed life!
    2. What is that big-arse needle doing near your tiny gauge sweater? Or maybe it’s a Chibi?

  30. That sweater is going to be gorgeous! And if you don’t cuss every now and again (or every hour, like some of us) frustration builds up and throbbing veins explode. I think that would be worse than cussing…

  31. You make it sound so simple. Just don’t do anything crazy like measure yourself and then go into a Canadian-winter-induced binge on butter tarts, chocolate dip donuts and hot toddies and then keep knitting the sweater without regard for any changes in your form. Ask me how I know. Wait…..gimme that donut over there first.

  32. Where’s your publicist, now that you need her? She sent you to Arizona in the summer, when it was 484*F. Now is the time you want to tour the Southwest! It’s heading toward 80*F in Los Angeles, today.
    The sweater looks stunning, by the way.

  33. My method of straying from the pattern involves making several items, each with minor changes in different places–but not labeling anything because “I’ll remember what I did.” HA! I then have a nice collection of items that vary from the original and each other, and no idea of exactly HOW I strayed on each.
    As an aside–I’m too pleased that someone else feels the same way i do about Disney total changing The Little Mermaid ending.

  34. I would be a happy woman if it never went below 50*F. I can’t even imagine -20. When it gets that cold, it doesn’t matter if it’s *C or *F. It’s just. freakin’. cold. After I pick up little bit from the bus stop, it will be the same for me, something hot to drink a blanket, and knitting. February for Finishing is already half over!

  35. I’m amazed no-one has commented on how fast a gorgeous sweater on itty bitty needles is growing. Other than being snowed in, how do you do it Steph?

  36. First, congrats on meeting the deadline.
    Second, the mods *sound* logical. And I like that whole spirit/letter thing. There’s something wrong(er) with the universe if you don’t work the fit for your body–it’s too pretty not to be perfect for you.

  37. I feel like a sweater groupie. I keep checking back to see if you’ve posted more pictures of Guld. I am considering pinning a picture of him over my bed and saying goodnight before I fall asleep. I cannot get over how the colors in the yoke blend together like brush strokes. I really, really want to pet it. I would consider making one, but I’ve never done stranded colorwork and I’m afraid I would buy the kit, start it, and then put it on a shelf somewhere out of frustration. Sigh.

  38. I didn’t know swearing in the too cold was a human reflex. I thought I was just being moody. I call it cursey cold.

  39. Thank you so much for posting that gorgeous picture of the snow! I live in Texas, so suffice to say I’ve never seen snow before in my life. But looking at it, it looks so pretty. I’d love to see it up close and in person one day. πŸ™‚
    And also, that sweater is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  40. I stood outside this morning waiting for a Greyhound at 6:00 in -22 degree C (before the wind chill)nose-hair freezingness. Fripping commuting. At least yesterday I was warm from all the shoveling. The Weather Network is forecasting a one degree C high for Toronto this coming Wednesday… I will be believe it when I can go outside without a scarf over my face.

  41. I have to sympathize with the cold. Fortunately it’s been 7 years since I felt that.
    We’re in the middle of a cold snap here. There are even frost warnings for tomorrow and Sat nights! Tomorrow is forecast not to go above 50 (10C) There are reasons people move to Florida πŸ˜‰

  42. I stood outside this morning waiting for a Greyhound at 6:00 in -22 degree C (before the wind chill) nose-hair freezingness. Fripping commuting. At least yesterday I was warm from all the shoveling. The Weather Network is forecasting a one degree C high for Toronto this coming Wednesday… I will believe it when I can go outside without a scarf over my face.

  43. We’re expecting the really cold temps tonight and tomorrow. I think it said tonight it’s going to feel like -29C tonight and tomorrow is going to be -9C with a windchill of -27C. Brrr!
    Wish I had time to knit…though I am tending to knit rather than doing homework and I am starting to feel the regret wash over me. I’ve got a book review due next week (haven’t done that..have started reading the book though), as well as a mid term exam…all I want to do is knit though…have to overcome that temptation!

  44. now, i love the cold. ususally the colder the better. but that cold, i may actually put on a hat! and, believe me, i don’t wear a hat for any reason.
    and an extra scarf. or two or three. and 2 pairs of gloves under my mittens. layers layers layers
    the sweater is absolutely beautiful!
    I can’t wait to see it finished!!!

  45. I actually owe you a huge, huge thank you. In the post where you first posed the “seamed or seamless” question, you mentioned that arans often need the stability of side seams to support the weight of the cables. I am about to start an aran for my husband in a bulky weight yarn, and, currently in the throes of a top-down raglan obsession, I was toying with the idea of changing the pattern to knit in the round up to the armholes. I hadn’t considered all the implications and was about to blindly cast on. I think you’ve saved me a lot of time, ripping, and yes, cussing. So, thanks!!

  46. I am SO with Lene on the Disney thing. I’ve (yes, stubbornly) refused to watch any Disney cartoon movies created since that one — my favorite book as a child was the original Hans Christian Anderson tale with lovely watercolor illustrations. Wish I could find a copy of that particular edition again.
    Oh, the knitting? Right, stay on topic here. You are the harlot, er, goddess — whatever you do will be brilliant.

  47. I actually owe you a huge, huge thank you. In the post where you first posed the “seamed or seamless” question, you mentioned that arans often need the stability of side seams to support the weight of the cables. I am about to start an aran for my husband in a bulky weight yarn, and, currently in the throes of a top-down raglan obsession, I was toying with the idea of changing the pattern to knit in the round up to the armholes. I hadn’t considered all the implications and was about to blindly cast on. I think you’ve saved me a lot of time, ripping, and yes, cussing. So, thanks!!

  48. It’s 6 in Central Maine, but feels like -7 according to the Weather Channel folks. That’s F not C, of course. The plow is broken. The Drift of Doom is rising in the driveway and DD has cabin fever ’cause she can’t go out and play. That picture of your socked feet just screamed “warm and cozy” to me. The sweater is gorgeous and the colors in the cup and the sweater and the socks would inspire Jamie Wyeth or even one of those old Dutch dudes. Maybe that’s why I love knitting. I can’t paint or draw, but I love color. But not Socka Color, right now. I started two socks and the color changes are just too far off in each one even for me. I got so cross, I unskewered the yarn from the needles and wound it up again. I am so disappointed because I’ve been looking forward to knitting this yarn for months. I guess maybe I need a scarf. Sigh.

  49. Completely random comment – have you noticed the beautiful curves the dates on your archive list make? What does this mean, if anything?

  50. Very good. However, I’m going to be the jerk that points out that you used the phrase, “the whole thing is working pretty well” and that tomorrow you may just be royally screwed. Stand back, take a good look at it and try it on before you go any further!! ;P

  51. Another to bear in mind with written patterns, is that they are often written to suit the “average” knitter, whatever that may be. A pattern may not tell you to use a 3needle bindoff, or slip selvedge stitches or use short row shaping but very often the proof-knitter does just that – at least, I do when I’m knitting for a designer. I think when traditional patterns which were originally passed down orally, get transcribed into writing, all sorts of things can change. On my bohus, I’m doing it flat but will do the ribbing in the round and may throw tradition to the winds and put some patterning on the cuffs – woohoo.

  52. Snow….ooohh here across the pond we have eternal ‘ cold rain’, which will make our land nice and green next year. For the moment my chickens need rubber boots and I can put my feet up, spin and enjoy your blog.
    That sweater is BOOTIFUL!

  53. Snow….ooohh here across the pond we have eternal ‘ cold rain’, which will make our land nice and green next year. For the moment my chickens need rubber boots and I can put my feet up, spin and enjoy your blog.
    That sweater is BOOTIFUL!

  54. I got a chuckle out of the “warming-up” comments… we lived in Ohio for seven years, and one particularly cold winter we had temps down into the -30s for over a week. One day it warmed up, and Bruce (my PhD husband) decided to wash the road salt off the car at the do-it-yourself car wash place… one spray, instant sheet of ice. It had only warmed up to 0. He had to chip his way in.
    Of course, he was driving my car at the time.

  55. Ach, -22! That’s a tad colder than the -9 wind chill here this morning in NYC. Thing is, it’s mostly due to 30-40mph winds (gusts to 50). Ha ha. I think my fingers were slightly frost-bitten when I got home from work (I have to walk about 12-15 minutes). I have good gloves! Not good enough I guess…

  56. AAHHHH!! I love that sweater! I really, really want to knit a bohus too, but I’m on a yarn diet until Maryland Sheep & Wool. (Which by the way, are you planning to come to?) Granted, I have many things to knit in the mean time, including several birthday presents that I can tell you now will be late, but I want thhhaaaatttt ooonnnnneeeee!!!!! Wah!

  57. I love Mother Chaos. I’ve yet to be able to follow a sweater pattern exactly, in large part (no pun intended) because of my ‘upper body dimensions’, as the designers so eloquently put it. Everything ends up either fitting exactly right at my hips, which means I can’t breath, or else it fits at the top, but then hangs loosely on my hips. And yes, it usually takes me at least 3 ‘attempts’ to adjust the pattern to make it work (my Na Craga took no fewer than 7, and I’m still convinced I screwed something up in the one repeat . . .).
    Big news? You gave us the Olympics, then a wedding. Dude, how are you going to top that?

  58. It’s effin’ cold here, too, so I know the cursing of which you speak.
    The sweater is just gorgeous, and I have to ask: are those the new Addi lace needles? The goldish color (although it could be Guld reflecting), the red cable. If that’s what you’re using, time to fess up.

  59. It’s still too cold for new snow here (North Central WI), too, though that may change by the weekend. I spent all day digging out from under my router and can’t wait to knit something. Just. Anything.
    Tomorrow’s news: we all get Bohus kits? A Bohus-a-thon-along? My computer better be able to see the Internet tomorrow, that’s all I have to say.

  60. A surprise tomorrow?? Good grief, you do realize how wildly we are all going to be speculating about this? Probably half your readers will have started planning bootees, if not casting on!
    Or are you going to tell us you’ve finished poor cold Joe’s gansey?

  61. Is it the TECHNIQUE that is historical or the way of using 2 and 3 colors and purls and knits that is historical? If it is the technique, well, maybe I’d follow once and then go my own way – if it is the way the color work goes then forget knitting and seaming and I’d knit in the round to make myself happy. I love knitting socks on my double points and I have quite the collection of them – but you know what? Just making a sock is historical in itself, not the tools I used to get there – if I was really being historically accurate I’d go make my needles from our crappy cedar tree out front and sneeze and be poked by splinters but be historically accurate. Just the fact that you are carrying on the knitting tradition is enough – ways of doing things have changed over the centuries which doesn’t diminish our link with the past at all – it just brings it current to our time in history – just like the folks before us did.
    And what big news is there tomorrow???? Is it tomorrow yet???

  62. oh gosh, I only live in connecticut. my dorm is on the ground floor and there’s a back door near my bed with a horrible draft, and I was mad about that? I’m glad you’re inside.
    I’ve only been reading about a week or two, but in that time you’ve inadvertently coerced me into learning to use dpns and attempting weak wrist warmers for my boyfriend. your work is so well done that I’m like “FINE I’ll learn to make this” “FINE I need new yarn even if I just bought some yesterday”….
    of course, none of this is done with a pattern.

  63. Dang, you are fast (I have a feeling I’ve stated that obvious truth before). I’m currently following a sweater pattern too… except making it longer, adding slip stitches on each side of the front and back pieces so it will “sew together better” and researching different edging. Other than that, exactly like it’s written. Right on!

  64. I’m with Anne – my hens need wellies too and even the ducks are looking nervous!
    What I want to know is – is that amount of snow normal? Cos I would swear blind (tho’ not snow-blind) the year I spent in Hamilton it never got over 2″ deep! Did hit -40 though – and wasn’t THAT a surprise!

  65. Okay, so Mother Chaos and Hugo and Lene got me thinking. How much of knitting, historically, HAS been writing down the pattern? Is a pattern easier for the listener if it said a certain way — assuming oral and ‘show me how’ transmission? Do we change things because we now do write things down and ponder.
    I’m guessing most knitters through history until recently were illiterate. Maybe why more people will now knit crazy-complicated cable patterns now that they come in chart form and no longer and bundled up in complicated code??
    Fun! Something to ponder. Stay warm!

  66. I just have to say… for once, somebody else is having colder weather than we are here in Wyoming! It might even get up to 20 F today.
    Mucho sympathy to all of you snow-bound folks.

  67. We are having similar temps in the upper midwest of the U.S. – zero degrees Fahrenheit when I got up this morning. Even the birds at the feeders were giving off little clouds of smoke from their beaks. But, can I admit something here?
    I LOVE it! When else does one get to claim as a true accomplishment the fact that they left their house and went outside? And all the fresh, gorgeous snow makes all of the outdoors incredibly beautiful to the point of hurting one’s eyes. No complaints from me. None at all.

  68. Yep, I know all about the nose hair freezing thing. You are the first person besides me that I have ever known to say that. When I say it people laugh at me and look at me like I am slightly on the goofy side (well I am certain that isn’t the only thing that makes them ponder the goofy me). Here in Western Pennsylvania, I got up, got ready for work, and went outside to start my car knowing that it is cold, not as cold as at your house, but any number on my thermometer preceded by a negative sign is cold. Stepped outside, tried not to breathe and I just couldn’t move fast enough before I had to take a breath. Yep, there went the nose hairs. Every winter I am reminded that I should never complain when the temperature is in the 90’s.
    Happy knitting!

  69. I remeber that sky from college – it was as if the sky was draped with diamonds, the way it glittered. As beautiful as it was, every morning I saw that sky, I quiely groaned and dug out more layers to trudge to class. Even at -80 below (with the windchill), classes were never canceled. Perhaps if I’d had a Guld Bohus, it wouldn’t have been so bad.

  70. I remember the nosehair freezing cold from my college days in upstate NY(though it’s chilly enough for me in the city right now, thank you very much!). I am envious of your indoor day with all that lovely knitting time. If it were up to me, we’d all spend the winter sleeping like bears, emerging groggy but thin in the spring.
    So far the guesses about tomorrow’s big news are all along the lines of finishing Joe’s Gansey and TSF total reaching new heights, but my money is on the new book! Looking forward in any event…

  71. OKay…I feel guilty for mentioning this but it’s 73 degrees F. here right now. The bad thing about it been 73 F. is that I’m going to be depressed about global warming until it rains…and then I’m just going to be depressed.

  72. The sweater is looking beautiful! I am amazed at how fast you are going on such tiny little needles. I am not sure if you have already said this or not so I am going to ask anyway, what kind of needles do you prefer as far as brand in both straight and circs?
    Also, I asked last time if you had ever woven in your floats? Since I had just taken a class from Philosophers Wool and she taught us to weave in our floats to prevent snagging. Or, do you just like how beautiful the floats look and choose to keep it that way?
    I love reading your blog hope you get a chance to check mine out sometime.

  73. Someday, somewhere, somehow, I MUST find a way to work ‘your evil changing paws’ into a conversation. I may not even wait until it has the opportunity to be relevant, I like it that much.

  74. So what is the knitting equivalent of jurisprudence?
    No forget I asked, it might start a string of Asterix-like latin phrasologizings.

  75. Yeah, it’s spine-tingling cold alrighty. But when you come home looking forward to that bundling up and knitting time and the thermostat reads 50 degrees F, and your dog is glued to your leg for some warmth, you just can’t plop on the sofa.
    Now it’s finally reached 59, so maybe I’ll be able to knit in an hour or so.
    Oh yeah – STUNNING sweater!

  76. Today, I went on a tour of a very large bakery (which will hopefully result in a job). How does that relate to nose-hair freezing? It’s even worse when you’ve been inside a giant bakery!
    Great sweater and here’s hoping it warms up a bit around here.

  77. So, -20 C (-4 F BTW) and snow. How I wish for some snow to go with the cold, cold , cold we are having in northern Minnesota. It is currently 11 F (- 11 C) and we are in a “snow drought”. In other words our yards are brown grass and the cities water mains are breaking. Coldest it has been in the past week or so -22 F (-30 C), not sure what the windchill was then, but it was blowing 15 – 20 mph. WE spent over nine days never rising above 0 F. Please send some snow to Duluth!!
    On to knitting – the sweater is lovely. Such an inspiration – as are all of your projects. Love hearing about your girls – keeps me sane when mine pull similar stunts. When are you going to write a parenting book?

  78. The mug! The one right next to the Bohus-in progress….it’s the same colorway! πŸ™‚
    You’ve done it again….
    (Beautiful work so far btw. I’m truly envious of your knitterly awesomeness.)

  79. We had a faculty candidate in from Argentina today. He said that his grandmother had seen snow, once, when she was a child, around the turn of the last century. He got off the plane into a mild lake effect snow storm, only about 6 inches.
    Kind of puts it in perspective.
    Your sunshine bohus is beautiful. I want… but I have to do the 2 lopi’s first.

  80. You know, seeing how you folks in Canada and the northern US are getting so much snow almost – ALMOST – makes me feel bad for complaining when it goes below 30 here in georgia πŸ™‚
    The sweater is looking gorgeous – though I’m beginning to wonder if it’s even possible for you to knit something that’s not!

  81. Whata guy that Joe is going out to do the errands!!! I cannot imagine what that cold feels like, but ya scared me!!! Bohus is beyond yummy!!! wonderful colors and love that your playing with it. And I have to say…nice socks!
    Hummmm about 3 am I had a knitting question and now I can’t remember it..OH yes! Any suggestions as to a good description on how to do the Kitchener Stitch? I have several books and they all confuse the crap out of me…I ain’t stupid but seem to have a real block when it comes to it.

  82. I went to high school in Minnesota, back in the bad old days of dress codes, i.e. no pants allowed. Had to walk a mile to school – did you know that at -25F, nylons freeze to your skin and then rip off with each step?

  83. Heehee, I remember the first time my nose-hair froze, getting off a puddle-jumper plane in Anchorage. I looked aghast, and the flight attendent, who knew precisely what has just happened , laughed at/with me.
    I think the approach you’re taking with the sweater will work nicely. It looks beauteous!

  84. Mr Wonderful calls days like these snot-freezers. It’s apropos. You step outside and your breath is sucked right out of you. -16F with wind chill, nothing melts even with chemicals. May my ancestors forgive me, but Florida is looking better every second.

  85. Don’t hate the cold !!! Look at all the knitting you are getting done because of it. Keep those needles clicking and you’ll soon be wearing that nice warm sweater. Probably by tomorrow by the warp speed you knit. It is a lovely sight , can hardly wait to see it finished. Stay warm

  86. Sitting here sweltering through a 41 degree day in Victoria, Australia, I cannot imagine such cold. But I sure hope your heroic Canadian firefighters, who have just flown home after helping us deal with horrific statewide bushfires, are enjoying their well-earned return to winter! P.S. just love your books, blog and bohus!

  87. gosh, it’s just gorgeous…i’ve stayed away from stranded knitting for the most part, but i’m really anxious to try something now!

  88. Excuse me not commenting on your exquisite knitting… I cannot get over that snow. In Adelaide (Australia) it is 38C today, and 40C all weekend. I have no airconditioning. Snow!!! I can’t even contemplate going back to my jumper (sweater) at this moment, and people give me strange looks when I work on my alpaca socks on public transport. And maybe not *just* because I am knitting! πŸ™‚ Mary

  89. In lent my nice white puter to our freind Harry, so I’m on the home p.c.
    I am so looking forward to 41 degree in Australia
    I was going to try and bring a fresh snowball, but the flight is to long, I guess it will be maple syrup. See ya soon my sweet baboon.

  90. In lent my nice white puter to our freind Harry, so I’m on the home p.c.
    I am so looking forward to 41 degree in Australia
    I was going to try and bring a fresh snowball, but the flight is to long, I guess it will be maple syrup. See ya soon my sweet baboon.

  91. When I arose this a.m. it was a -11 Farenheit, thank god no wind. How some ever, it entails getting dressed taking the dogs out. Then starting the woodstove that we heat our house with if it has gone out during the night, which it usually does. Boots are a given, Carhart jacket also, coldest days of below -20 F are the coveralls and all my wool mittens, hat, scarf and socks. Unfortunately, I have never attained fashion plateness and at this stage in my life could give a hoot less.
    I do love the crisp winter air, even though it does freeze my nose hairs. The exquisite crisp crunch of every foot step and sun dogs! I love the sundogs! In summer I wilt, probably due to blood loss from the mosquitos, but I can only take so many clothes off without frightening the horses.
    The sweater is gorgeous, of course. I think your geat great great grandmother would have probably enjoyed circular needles if they had been available.

  92. We are so spoiled here in Colorado! We’ve been complaining because we actually have had winter for a couple months instead of the typical dry, fluffy snow one day, all in one dump, then evaporates the next.
    And, I’ll probably get kicked out of the U.S. for saying this but I hate Disney. Not the company and how they treat their employees – I hear they’re fantastic that way – but the fact that Disney changes not only really good stories, like The Little Mermaid which had a MORAL (imagine actually teaching children something like don’t act on impulse…use good judgement…it’s ok to just be a happy single mermaid), but actually changes HISTORY! One word: Pocahontes. (http://www.powhatan.org/pocc.html)

  93. CLIFFHANGER! That was mean!
    I’d just like to point how how fantastically ironic it is that everything in your second photo matches. The yellows, greens, and purpleish blues in your socks translate straight to your coffee mug, and then the yellows and the blues from the mug flow right into the Bohus. It’s all so beautiful! πŸ™‚

  94. i totally abhor winter and cold and was talking to a family member who shares my opinion and she referred to it as “blue a$$ cold!”-haha! i really think that sums it all up, don’t you??

  95. Gads. OK, shutting up now about the “horrible” cold out here in California this year. I walked out the other morning to get the paper and slipped on a patch of ice in mere -5C degree weather and…um, well, I MAY have said a choice word or two about how IMPOSSIBLY COLD it was. (It promptly warmed up to 10C by afternoon, so seriously – don’t feel sorry for me.)
    I have faith in you, O My Harlot. I know that the sweater will in the end be G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S, whether it gets there in the first go-round, or the second, or… πŸ™‚

  96. Your Guld is soooo pretty. I just recieved the copy of “Poems in Color” I ordered after your recommendation — so I’m having fun building Bohus-es in the sky…

  97. I’m freakishly new to knitting (I learned on Dec. 23/06 and I’ve knit 15 hats, three blankets and 5 single mittens, all of which are ugly) and I thought that cussing was actually part of the “learn to knit” manual? I just don’t see how it is possible to knit without cussing. Heck, the cussing is my favorite part. Nothing like letting loose a large expletive to enhance the zen-ness of completely &$^%%%ing up the second last row.

  98. Are you SURE you don’t want to move down to San Diego? It doesn’t snow and in the winter, it’s definitely cold enough for scarf, mittens and sweater. I mean, sure it’s like 2 days out of the year, but you can still make them and not feel really remarkably stupid. But at any rate, I remember when I was in Canada and it was that cold… I was dared to run out into the snow in jeans and a t-shirt. ^^

  99. I like Mother Chaos knitting style. I think I must be related to her! I love knitting in the round and steaking. So I would have been no help in the argument—-discussion.

  100. I’m a displaced Sconnie (as in Wisconsin) missing the snow, and I want to say thanks, as I am totally experiencing winter vicariously through you.
    p.s. – did you coordinate your coffee cup with your knitting?

  101. Okay, that’s a bit cold even for me, although I would be SO happy to have a little real winter here! I feel like I moved to the Pacific northwest instead of Germany, all it does is rain and fog and blech. Me want snow.
    Sweater’s gorgeous. How the heck do you knit so fast? Just thinking about your speed makes my fingers cramp. I’m not worthy.

  102. All hail the Yarn Harlot! I’m in AWE of your beautiful Bohus, and you’ve done that all in just 10 days?! WOW!

  103. Guld is looking fantastic – and this is from a person who does not admire yellow. But the yellows and greens and oranges against the blue (black? dark gray? damned monitors) are gorgeous!
    I’m one of those who starts swearing when it hits 75F. I’d trade you August in Portland when it can hit 109F or so (with no A/C) for your -0 temps any day. As long as my heat kept working. πŸ˜‰ (I like the cold, but I ain’t suicidal!)

  104. Right now (@ 9:15 a.m. Eastern), Cleveland is at 12F, with a windchill that brings it to -4F. The low is supposed to be 6F today . . . except that when I left my house this morning, it was 1F, with a windchill that dropped it to -20F. And, of course, we have the mountains of snow that will not melt. I look directly north over Lake Erie and all I see is frozen tundra . . . the only advantage is that it will diminish the lake effect snow.
    What I was saying this morning as I waited for a bus, isn’t printable . . . actually, it wasn’t even hearable as I was swathed in hood/hat/mask/scarf . . .

  105. I think that, in view of all the comments, you should proceed as you are doing – you’re the artist, after all. As for the cold – we in Indiana feel your pain right now (well, not completely – it is *only* -3F with a wind chill of -15F – but for us that’s REALLY cold…). I decided to take advantage of our first blizzard in lots of years this week and cast on the Delicato Mitt. I finished the right one today and it it GORGEOUS! Thank you for inspiring me!

  106. If you adopt Mother Chaos’ method while outside on your porch, you can cuss without guilt by blaming it on the cold at least. Probably harder for the fingers to move in that weather though, huh? I’m a CT transplant in FL, so I miss your weather and have actually been pining for it all winter – wanna trade?

  107. We closed school last week due to the cold. It was -10F and -20ish with the wind. Now, coming from a place about 6hrs north of where I currently live, all I could muster was a disgruntled “wimps!” and then go about my day with Mr. Toddler. Any teachers who comment know full well it’s easier to just be at school most of the time than to miss a day.
    Sweater: Still loving it!! Still looks like the lights to me and that’s why I love it. Incidentally–I don’t know about up in Canada, but the lights are at their best when it’s nose-hair-freezing, lung-crystalizingly cold out. Generally worth the discomfort though.
    It’s tomorrow! I can’t wait to hear about the “big news!” Will have to check back later while I’m not “guarding” a computer lab. he he

  108. This is the first time in my life that I’ve seen snow hang around for an entire month without melting. I’m enjoying it, and just eating soup when I find myself too cold. I’ll swear about it some other time. For now, it’s the winter wonderland I never saw growing up. πŸ™‚

  109. Oooh…it *is* “tomorrow”, I’m going to have to check back every ten minutes for the News! Bitter cold here too – but I was born in North Dakota, I wear fingerless mitts. >>she wears them OVER her thick gloves CAAAANN’T because I gotta check the Yarn Harlot!!
    (oh my I am lovingk on her, this Yarn Harlot)

  110. Got any tips on designing Fair Isle colourwork in the round? I can do it flat but cannot for the life of me work out stuff where it is in the round and needs a pattern that matches a decrease on every round. I use graph paper biut still only get stuff by accident rather than specific design! How do those traditional people do it!

  111. I’m impressed with how you’re making the adjustments for your body (such as it is). I hope that in one of your new (or yet to be written) books you’ll provide instructions. You lost me at knitting flat!

  112. I’m impressed with how you’re making the adjustments for your body (such as it is). I hope that in one of your new (or yet to be written) books you’ll provide instructions. You lost me at knitting flat!

  113. I’m impressed with how you’re making the adjustments for your body (such as it is). I hope that in one of your new (or yet to be written) books you’ll provide instructions. You lost me at knitting flat!

  114. Knit it in the round!
    Before the “flat knitting world” purists came into being, just about all knitted garments that surround the body was done in the round. (Well, except for scarves) No Columbus needed to prove that…look at socks.
    Who sews socks and has hard seams on their tender feet?
    Flat knits were invented by the those who wanted to totally emulate the woven cloth, and by people who can only design in flat cloth bits. Look at your body: not one totally flat spot, right?
    Only cardboard cutouts and paper dolls are totally flat.

  115. (Taking a sanity break from packing Knitting Needles and Crochet hooks to catch up with on your blog.) Your fabulous sweater is so beautiful and looks so soft I want to hold it in my hands.
    You may know this already, if not: take a length of new weedwacker line and thread it through the loops in place of your needles to try on the sweater. When you’re finished it’s very easy to knit directly back onto your needles.
    Love your idea of a bohemoth gathering of knitters in NYC!!! Hordes of people flocking store to store all the while knitting on socks, or spindling for the next pair.

  116. I would love to have a little arctic air. Actually, I wanted it two days ago when it snowed lovely dusty flakes, then the temperature went up and it sleeted and rained, and then the temperature went down and it snowed some more. So those of us who were good doobies and cleared our walks and driveways early on in this process were rewarded with walks and driveways full of water, which now that the temperature is low again, can also double as skating rinks. My house faces north, so I will be lucky to see the pavement by April. If I have a wimp for a letter carrier I won’t get any mail either.
    By the way, awesome sweater!

  117. I haven’t read the other comments (Dude, how do you keep up?) so I don’t know if anyone else said this, but I love how your handmade socks match your coffe cup. Oh, and I find myself following Mother Chaos’ method, too, with addition of throwing the WIP into repeated time out for bad behavior.

  118. I’m sorry to hear it’s cold there, although I’m pretty darn grateful the cold weather and snow finally moved someplace else! I live in Denver, Colorado, and in general, we have pretty mild winters. This month: I’m making two more scarves. Two MORE! I never make scarves. That’s how stinkin’ much it’s snowed and been frigid outside. Stay warm!

  119. Born in Minnesota, moved to Desota (well it’s desotO – but then I couldn’t sing it to King Tut)
    Anyway, I’ve been up there when it’s cussworthy cold several times. It’s really weird when you get up to zero (F) and it feels warm, right? lol
    The thing I like about the below zero cold, tho, (again Fahrenheit)is that sparkley not a flake melted snow. I call it the diamond snow b/c it looks like someone cast loads of diamonds all over the ground, all over the trees – I love it. Then I freeze and faint.

  120. Yes, it’s been so cold here, too! And then it rose above freezing last week, and there was much rejoicing, and now it’s way above freezing. And the snow is ugly and black. Hope it warmed up for you, too, or will soon.
    (I’d’ve worked the sweater the same way. Except, you know, Fair Isle and I don’t get along.)

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