The thing is

The thing is, that when I made this bold statement, this promise to myself that I would only work on finishing things until my “reward yarn” arrived in the mail, that I sort of thought that it would arrive that day. Sticking to finishing was no biggie when I thought it was a four hour commitment. Two days later, I’m flagging a little bit, and the reward yarn is still not here. Turns out that this business of sticking to what’s already underway is harder than it looks. The stash is calling to me, and I am tempted. Clearly, I need to strengthen my commitment.

Therefore, I Stephanie, do solemnly swear that I am going to finish this Mystery stole before I start (or otherwise take up with) anything else.


There’s really no excuse not to. The Mystery Stole enterprise had seven clues, each consisting of a chart of about the same size, and I made great time on the first five before I wandered off. Since then it has languished entirely, and for no good reason. I’m halfway through the sixth chart, and that means that there is only one and a half charts left…and that’s a reasonable amount of knitting that I should be able to freakin’ stick to.


The yarn is lovely, the pattern endearing, the beads simply enchanting. All I need to do is plunk myself down with some sort of knitterly blinders on and do. It. So I will. I’m going to work on this, and only this, and nothing else until it’s done. Even (and this might be hard…) even if my reward yarn arrives before I am done.

(Stop that laughing. I can so do it.)

158 thoughts on “The thing is

  1. You can do it, Steph! I’m finishing a crochet rug because of your ending post on the knitting olympics. Read that one again…I found it very inspiring.

  2. Of course you can do it!
    *Will* you do it, that’s the question…
    I find rewards to be the way to go. Some chocolate every X rows, perhaps?

  3. I am with ccr on this one. If your resolve flags, finish the 6th chart and reward yourself. Keep time limits on your rewards. You’ll get through it. Remember, it is fun!

  4. That is the perfect, sagey green colour. That colour calls to me – it’s my ideal bedroom wall colour, it’s the colour of my fall jacket and several sweaters. It is the most soothing colour I know.
    Congrats on finishing the book by the way!

  5. even though I have my doubts, i will back you up. i’ve made these promises before, and it really does feel SO good to get these things done. hang in there, you can do it.

  6. I know you can do it Steph. Just keep thinking how when you finish it, it will be done and you can then move on to your reward yarn. πŸ™‚

  7. You can do it — think how beautiful it will be — and you don’t want to be the only one who isn’t finished yet, right?

  8. I’m sure you can do it, but umm….have you forgotten why you are called the Yarn Harlot? Just asking. Good luck

  9. Stephanie….I’m not letting you off that easy! As fast as you can knit, the final chart and a half will take you less than one day….so let’s not talk about major commitment! (However, if you’d like to knit the rest of my Kauni sweater, I swear I’ll never tell!:) ) Welcome back from Writerland!

  10. Yeah…I have much the same problem.
    Should a project last more than a week or so – or I am unable to devote much time to it for a period – it goes away and I start something new.
    I’m SUPPOSED to be finishing a sock while waiting for my KP Gloss in the mail…but I have so many other pretty yarns beckoning me on my desk…not to mention other languishing projects…and theses…

  11. Sounds to me like you are trying to get that reward yarn to come, making bold (sounding) statements like that. Like stating loudly, “well now I’m off to take a bath that I wouldn’t want to be interrupted” while waiting for an important phone call, only to sort of hang around by the phone after… just to SEE if it rings first. πŸ˜‰

  12. It is perfectly acceptable to be a process knitter…just because I have a pair of clogs all finished except for the seams down the bottom of the soles…and I have cast on for two afghans (hey, they’re presents…don’t hassle me)…and it is ok to “get in touch with” your product side…but gee Steph, haven’t you been through enough angst the last few weeks to torture yourself about this…cast on…cast on…cast on…you know you want to. On the other hand, if you finish the mystery stole, I’ll finish my clogs…eh…sometime before the end of the weekend. Maybe.

  13. I’m really curious about the whole mystery shawl thing so I am willing you to finsih it so I can see what it is! Good luck, and my sympathies on the reward yarn not showing up yet thing…..

  14. Wow, such a split on the dilemma to finish or reward yourself for getting partway done. I say finish…you knit so fast and you will be so thrilled when it’s completed. Then you get to take out your frustrations by blocking the heck out of it.
    Plus, all of us who aren’t driving ourselves crazy following the clues will get to see what the finished knitterly goodness looks like.

  15. Well…. I am forcing myself to finish a SUMMER KNIT, because I still haven’t done it and now its FALL (oops). Typical problem for me – I am a slow knitter, and have too many irons in the fire always. IF I can finish the last panel, maybe I can get back to the second sock that has bee waiting not so patiently since last January. (I told you I was slow).
    don’t beat yourself up over this, but I sure know HOW GOOD IT WILL FEEL to FINISH!! with a flourish. Go for ….whatever… at least you finished the book!!!

  16. It’s so beautiful, and gosh, if you made it through all those other clues, I know you’ll finish it in record time. Me? I find it easier to finish things if I know for whom I’m knitting. Like, I started my first sweater and it’s for me. With each stitch, I’m becoming more and more convinced that I’m doing something wrong so off I go reading blogs and making more coffee. I bet if this was for my mom, I’d have figured it out and be busting a move on it.
    I don’t know where that phrase came from but I’m leaving it in there.

  17. You can do it! Of course, I’m talking about something *I* can’t do. I have a fairisle 5 years in the making that I promised I’d finish by the end of the year. And the Halloween Mystery Shawl that’s kicking my hiney because I can’t knit lace very fast. So I’m starting *another* project instead.
    Can’t wait to see the shawl finished! I love the color πŸ™‚

  18. I tried that. It didn’t work. So awful was it, as a matter of fact, that I cast on for 2 separate projects within the same hour, trying to make up for what I’d lost. Hopefully the Knitting Goddess will smile on you!! πŸ™‚

  19. I believe every last word you have posted . I also happen to believe that storks bring babies.

  20. Oh, how I can relate! In August (yes, two months ago), I stopped working on the Mystery Stole on my way home from Yellowstone. My excuse? I was at the end of one ball of yarn and wasn’t sure what the best method for joining yarn in laceweight single-ply would be. Sounds reasonable…I’ll just wait a few days, and ask the local yarn shop ladies.
    I haven’t touched it since. I’ve finished a sweater, made a sweater and hat set out of the new Itty Bitty Nursery, started a vest and a blanket. So…you have inspired me (again). I. must. finish. the mystery stole.

  21. You can do it! Think of the lovely shawl you wore to Rhinebeck last year, finished and blocked just in the nick of time. Maybe you can start a grand Rhinebeck-Shawl tradition (stick with me here, false deadlines and made-up occasions are pretty much the only way I get things done). Think of how virtuous you will feel, allowing you to add to the stash virtually guilt-free (because you did finish a project!)Meanwhile, I am off to work frantically on my first sweater, which I have convinced myself must be worn to Rhinebeck…

  22. If you succeed at this, will we still be able to call you the Yarn Harlot? I don’t mean to be a stumbling block, but maybe, just for the sake of yarn harlots everywhere who look to you to carry the banner, just maybe you could at least fondle another yarn.

  23. You can do it! I know you can! LOL I finished all the symetrical version of the stole last weekend and have been working up the nerve to do THAT much kitchner stitching without interuption…. At this rate, you’ll still beat me to the finish line.

  24. Of course you can do it, Steph… I have every confidence in the world… All you really need to do is tell the merino to put down the bullhorn, and make the al paca to stop whispering when you sleep. The cotton is sulking, so that’s not a problem, but I know the sock weight is having a party–mine seems to be blasting Bruce Springsteen 24/7, it’s very distracting. There’s some hand-dyed in there that’s doing a Handel chorale, and somewhere in there is some mohair lace-weight singing Prince. You their tricks–tell everybody to pipe down, you’ll be stash sifting soon enough, and promise them some nice new aluminum needles if they leave you alone. It’ll be fine, I promise.

  25. I’d be laughing except I gave up on the MS3 due to extreme lack of lace-knitterly talent so I am in no position to mock. Oh, except I’m mocking you inability to follow through, not your talent, right?

  26. I won’t laugh – I am on clue 2 – have made a pair of socks since then, started the tilted duster, almost done with lacey thong undies (send pair)… lace just kicks my arse

  27. Good grief. The computer cut off part of my message, making my note sound so rude. My apologies!

  28. Yeah. Actually I would prefer it if you did start something new. It is so much easier to justify it when I do it.
    So please, when reward yarn show up, drop everything and impulsively cast on something new, so later on when someone notices I am not working on the project du jour from last week, I can say that I am not alone……..

  29. What I find helpful is the reward system. Like when I finish something major, ie: a section of notes/a chart, I can have a square of chocolate. If I’m half way through, I can lick it once. It works for me at least.

  30. You so can’t do it. I bet as soon as you posted the mail came and your yarn with it. I just don’t think you have the will power. . .especially since you’re going to have to open the box. . .just to make sure they sent you the right stuff. It’s the bottom of the basket for the shawl.
    (Is it working? This is how my husband gets me to finish things. . .out of spite, and since I can’t really loan him to you on such short notice, it was the best I could do.)

  31. You can do it! With the speed you knit and the amount of time you have now that the book is done, you can do it no problem, and then the reward yarn will be that much more wonderful!

  32. You’re having trouble committing to A Chart And a Half? Dude. That’s disturbingly fickle. Even for you.

  33. I haven’t finished MS3 yet either – just starting the wing part. You’ll be done by sundown. Then you can have a beer, or three.

  34. It isn’t a question of “can do”.
    It is more a question of “want to do”.
    We know you “can” work on the Mystery Stole to the exclusion of all other knits.
    We also know that you are stating that you “want to” work on the Mystery Stole until it is finished to the exclusion of all other knits.
    The question then becomes: will “what Stephanie wants” change between the typing of this blog post and, say, dinner time tonight?

  35. good luck!
    i’m SUPPOSED to be knitting an aran sweater for a friend – and my cute socks are much more entertaining.

  36. You go girl- these are the best pictures that show the color of the yarn- love the sagey thing you got going on. I start my first mystery stole on Friday- can’t wait.

  37. I’m sure you can. Although, the power of new yarn is strong….Don’t open the box and maybe the wool fumes won’t get to you!

  38. Keep reminding yourself what a wonderful shawl that will be for your next book tour. Cold airplane/airport/hotel? No problem, pull out your beautiful shawl, wrap yourself up and congratulate yourself on slogging through the last clue and a half.

  39. Ha ha ha ha!!!! This sounds a lot like me vowing to give up chocolate. I will, however, give you the benefit of the doubt and wish you goddess speed on your project so you can get on to other exciting projects.

  40. Of course you can! It’s not like your “name” is the yarn HARLOT or anything….. MO’s can always change, right? Right?

  41. You can so do it! I just finished mine last week, and unlike the body of the stole, the wing very quickly became mindless knitting. It’s repetitive, it’s easy, and it’s beautiful (or at least it will be, once I block it tomorrow. Right now it looks like something that lived under my son’s bed for a few months until someone noticed the smell).
    Go Harlot!
    (wait… that didn’t sound right.)
    Go Temporary Project Monogamy!

  42. I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do believe in spooks….so says the cowardly lion. Ah kick off your shoes, color out side the lines and lighten up on yourself…you just birthed yourself a book!

  43. I feel your pain. After clue 5, I was flagging on it soooo bad, it turned into one of those projects my husband asks me about just to hear me say “Shut the hell up!” But, darlin, it’s so worth it. Melanie outdid herself and it’s really really Reeeeaaalllyyyy purty.

  44. Hmm…Is this some kind of reverse psychology strategy? This way at least when your (deserved) reward yarn arrives, you can cast on with no Mystery Stole guilt nagging at the recesses of your mind!

  45. Oh dear dear harlot……….. why are you torturing yourself? I thought we knit for the fun of it.

  46. Sooo nice to have you back!!
    Perhaps you could play let’s make a deal…finish the half chart. If the new yarn arrives before then and least you were half good. Maybe momentum will spur you on. Sometimes works for me. Little bites is less overwelming. 1 1/2 charts sounds so manageable with your lightening needles but new yarn is a Siren.

  47. see, I guess I’m what you might call an enabler. I’m tempted to say, “Come on, you finished that one big thing — the book! — maybe you deserve permission not to finish another for a wee while” . . . you’re not reading any more, are you? you’ve stopped your ears/eyes against my siren call . . .

  48. I feel your pain! I too love the pattern and love the yarn etc -but I have been knitting one row here another there for a while now and it’s not getting done! I just need to suck it up and finish it!

  49. Unlike children, wool knows to wait its rightful turn, to speak one at a time (or at least when told to shut the heck up), and to sit quietly until given permission to speak to us. Go with whatever flows you forward.

  50. Sweetie, you just finished a book and an author tour. Cast on all of it, everything, the whole stash if you want.
    I, Presbytera, do solemnly swear to be kind and supportive of your newest creative endeavours. Until next Tuesday.
    (Stop that laughing. I can so do it.)

  51. No, Stephanie, embrace your philandering ways. You are the yarn HARLOT!!!
    **up raised fist**
    -Just dive into that stash and roll, babe!

  52. Oook. I have 55 UFOs – thankfully, as of right now, only four of them knitted. And most pretty close to done… and yet I know I’ll be starting at least two more over the weekend.
    Maybe find a bunch of people starting things, and start vicariously? (The Secret of the Stole first clue drops tomorrow, so there should be about 2,000 projects for you to chose from to not-start, but enjoy the starting thereof…)

  53. My husband recently tried to cheer me up over my lack of diet and exercise success in the face of his triumphs by saying, ‘we each do what we can.’ If I did what I can do, I’d be amazing. Stephanie, you can finish that stole. Now go forth, and do it! (My guess is you trifle with something else before bedtime.)

  54. Of course you CAN do it. I’m going to pray the reward yarn doesn’t arrive until the stole has been blocked. No sense wishing for temptation, right?

  55. hehehehe We are laughing WITH you. You can do it. (but the REAL question is WILL you do it?) hehehe
    do socks count?

  56. If I can do it, you can. I finished the sweater I abandoned in June to knit socks for two months. I am hardly chagrined at all to realize the color makes me look like I am made out of bagel dough, either. It’s an FO and I am proud. And now making something in a more robust color!
    The shawl is lovely when finished–I am lucky enough to get to look at one in my LYS, since I am stuck on occasionally remembering to do a few rows on a totally different unfinished shawl.

  57. I confess I was significantly behind on MS3, but vowing to finish. I saw the finished deal on a blog and I was done. The thing was just so not my taste. I may like to think I’m the chic artsy type, but anyone I know reading this would be ROFL. So, finish as you see fit and tell us which colorway that lovely reward yarn is coming in. I saw some there I just fell in love with. Not that I need more yarn or a new project or…

  58. I am laughing at both of us! I have 6 projects on needles, but to my credit since Feb 07 I have 8 finished projects which include socks(first pair) 2 scarfs,A self fringing shawl,a French girl lace wrap, a ribbed skirt,squares for charity blanket and last but not least a cute little thong! Oh I only started to knit this year, grins!

  59. The minute you HAVE to do something, the joy gets sucked right out of the project. Cast-on if that’s what you are called to do –

  60. Hey, I didn’t start laughing until you said to stop. I KNOW you can do it…if only to prove that you CAN, to make us all stop laughing….but it won’t work. We will keep laughing, anyway!

  61. Oh, just go start something new. What the hell and all that. You just finished a book; reward yourself, not only with that lovely tweed, which I’ve seen in person and it is truly lovely and that’s why I too now own a cone of it, but where was I? Reward yourself; rummage through that stash, fling yarn into piles hither and yon, cast on for ten or twelve new projects. Are you going to Rhinebeck? If so, don’t you neeeed to know what gaps in the stash should be filled? And if not, why not? Aren’t you the Harlot to end all Harlots?

  62. Have you tried listening to an audiobook? That coupled with knitting, and I lose track of all time. The Golden Compass is a pretty good one, if you like fiction. Good Luck, Harlot!

  63. I am so glad to have you back among the knitting. While the guest and hijacked blogs were interesting, they are not the reason I come back here again and again. I do thank you for being so considerate of us all that you found guest bloggers during so stressful a time. Congrats on getting the manuscript in!!!
    And I say you owe your self a fling or two. So if that reward yarn does not show up really really soon, then I would raid the stash. You were so disciplined for so long that a little bit of reckless stash management might be called for.
    BTW I do like how you look in the Fleece Artist cardigan.

  64. Speaking of UFOS, has there ever been a UFO swap for knitters? I think I heard about something like that on a bead forum. Just curious.

  65. No good reason? Uh, Steph– book tour, book deadline. No one is going to fault you for letting your self-imposed knitting wait a bit.
    Which is coming out breathtaking, by the way.

  66. Ha! You faltered at the exact point I did as well…I love the pattern, I’ve loved seeing the finished stoles, I love my yarn (and since you’ve been on a Fleece Artist kick, if you haven’t snagged any of their Suri Blue, GET SOME. NOW. Seriously.) but I’m finding the feather pattern a bit of a trudge after the constantly changing beginning part. *sigh* I’ll do it if you’ll do it…LOL

  67. While I do agree that we should finish things we start (shouldn’t we??) I also agree that the stole is simply gorgeous, but knitting is for fun right??????? I don’t think you should pressure yourself so much right now, you just finished a book girl!!!!

  68. I’m a firm believer that it’s all right to set aside one UFO and pick up a new one if the interest in the first UFO wanes or otherwise flags. Better to let it rest and return to it with renewed enthusiasm than to grumble to the end, I say.
    Now I must return to the stranded colorwork socks I promised I’d finish before casting on another pair of socks with that delectable Araucania that flung itself at me at the SnB the other night.

  69. maybe just a quick squeeze of something to take the ‘edge’ off all that lacy goodness? A grope of a silkie/wool blend to soothe your book-tattered nerves? Seriously! You are the Harlot, Patron Slut of All Things Woolly… cripes, woman, cast on, quick! So excited there will be a new book to pour over soon. Your books are treasures, fun ‘places to visit’ when hands need to be idle, and they are positively medicinal (in the way gin, chocolate, and coffee are… the *good* way) when one is suffering knitting ennui. Have fun finishing, or succumbing. You rock, either way. Cami

  70. ::dons cheerleader outfit::
    Go, Harlot! Go, Harlot! Go, go, go Harlot!
    Purl that stitch!
    Thread that bead!
    This IS a GOAL you CAN achIEVE.
    ::toe-touch jump::
    Yaaaaaaaay, HARLOT! ::pom-poms::
    (disclaimer: all I know of cheerleaders I learned from my obsessive watching of Bring it On. Eliza Dushku in a cheerleader uniform. I could not resist.)

  71. If we were any kind of friends, we would stand with you and take the pledge to finish our own projects with you. Yeah…right…haha. (I’m actually sort of doing it but I’m not so bold as to speak the words.)
    The yarn is, indeed, beautiful. I love the color.

  72. The sound you hear is the thunderous laughter coming from just south of Cleveland.
    As for the stole, I’m just plain in limbo. I love what I’ve got so far, however, I’m not in love with the finish… I’m halfway though clue 6. I was really hoping for 2 wings. πŸ™‚
    I know you can do it…. you must persevere.

  73. dear steph
    i used the zoom button
    on the computer i went all the way to 400 and
    this is the way to look at the pages so close
    one can see the stich patterns and darn near
    feel the yarn garter stich top looks fine
    the pattern on the stole etc and the button
    you look just fine up close
    hopefully now the stole is done
    and i can go to bed please

  74. At least you do actually finish the projects! I have the most beautiful collection of knitting bags, full of works in progress. It would take months of knitting to even begin to make a dent.
    I also write to ask you to encourage Presbytera to start her own blog. She has a beautiful writing style, and I feel sure that she would be a success. At the very least, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask her to fill in when you are under the gun!
    Congratulations on the book.

  75. Now just cause you have a cute little tiny nose… doesn’t mean you are at liberty to fib… remember what happened to Pinochio?!
    What a fantastic color! What is it? It reminds me of a muted pistachio, which I adore.

  76. You go girl! Because as long as you’re finishing, I am too. There are so many things I want to start already in the stash and I’ve just added more. The thing of it is — I can only go so long tricking myself before I get smart and stop knitting altogether. Wait a minute…

  77. well…just imagine wearing that beautiful mystery stole over your shoulders at some gala knitting event! While wearing it you can then play with your new yarn….four words YOU CAN DO IT!

  78. Finish your heart out sweetie!! Rhinebeck (aka: ultimate stash enhancement fest) is only 15 days & a wake-up away!!! I am down to a record low of only 2 projects on needles. Now THAT is reward yarn-or fleece–or fiber–or prancing alpacas–
    Sorry, I got carried away. Have to go make more room–I mean, finish something–

  79. I am having the same problem with the mystery stole and am at just about the same place as you. The other freaky weird thing is that mine is almost exactly the same color as yours. So far I have started two pairs of socks, a sweater and another stole, while poor MS3 sits alone.

  80. I BELIEVE you Steph….
    No… Really! I do…
    however – you should not underestimate the power of The New Yarn..
    It will tempt you away from that which you know to be right…
    Beware the power of..
    The New Yarn!
    Manda – Laughing hard in Nt Australia!

  81. Stephanie: I feel your pain…almost two dozen UFO’s lounging around my living room and I started toying with a swatch for yet another one today! Good luck!!

  82. But wait. . .if the Bohus has been done for months and just needed its photo shoot. . .and the Fleece Artist jacket was a quick knit finished weeks ago. . .then in this finishing jag you’ve actually finished. . .what?
    Oh, forget it. You can do it. And if you don’t want to, you can always finish something quick ‘n’ easy, like. . .say. . .the Kauni?

  83. Of course you can, dear! We don’t doubt you for a minute. (Um, should we all take up a collection for those blinders?)

  84. Yes, you can do it! And maybe by the time you read this you’ll already be finished. If not, keep plugging away. The last few charts were the toughest for me because of course they’re deceiving. Not that many rows but plenty of repeats. I had to put my head down and trudge through it to the end (kind of like the sleeves I’m working on now). But it was soooo worth it!

  85. It’s all because of you that I (and hundreds of other weak-willed knitters) got sucked into the Mystery Stole. Now it’s your job to finish it and show me why I will wish that I had chosen a lovely sage green instead of the mushroom Zephyr.

  86. Why should you finish when I haven’t? VBG! There are just a lot more tempting things in this world to knit than that many more cat’s paw rows!

  87. Good grief, woman, have you suddenly turned Puritan? You’re thinking totally backwards. Didn’t you order the yarn *because* you accomplished something? Now you want to delay earned gratification? You’re tampering with the balance of the Universe! It’ll always be jam tomorrow! You’re suckering your inner Harlot! You’re taking candy from a baby!
    And you know what that’s like. Whoever came up with that saying obviously had even less experience with kids than I do. Sure, we’re stronger. Thing is, can adult ears outlast the endless supersonic shrieks of an outraged baby?
    Don’t meddle with the Universe. Toronto might fall into Lake Ontario or something. How fast can you knit a coracle?

  88. Hmmm…I was sucked into MS3, too. I, too, have lagged. I think it was around the time the crochet hook got stuck in my leg. Yep. That was it. Now, I’ve been sucked into secret of the stole. What is wrong with me??

  89. Gasp! Now those are bold words, my friend! And you know what you just did, right? Your tardy reward yarn will arrive in short order. Ah, well. Guess you’ll just knit faster, eh? I’m sure that carrot’s a good one. And you will feel so smug when you cast off and try that lovely on for the first time. So worth it!

  90. Well, if you had a car, I’d recommend what got me to sit for 3 solid hours and knit. Which is to sit and wait for it to be fixed at the dealers. I don’t think that works for bikes.
    And, if you finish MS3, then you can order some more reward yarn! Yeah! That works!

  91. While a little tedious the last two charts go pretty quickly. Keep a keen eye on your stitches- I always seemed to be off every few rows. I didn’t like the look of the wing when blocking it, but I loved the result when wearing it. Good luck!

  92. I applaud your determination. I lost my beads and crochet hook just before the “wing” clue was revealed, and the delay of replacing the beads coupled with ambivalence about the wing has my MS#3 completely stalled. I keep thinking of other design ideas for finishing it, and then remembering how much concentration it takes me to knit the clues as charted, and then realizing I am not that clever at charting…
    Maybe it is time to frog….
    But you go, girl!

  93. Just ignore all those mocking and laughing nay-sayers! I have perfect faith in your ability to stick to one project til you finish that stole. Just call upon the discipline you used to finish Joe’s gansey.. . . Oh, wait…

  94. Your not called the Yarn Harlot for nothing. Let’s see what happens when this new yarn appears, my dear.

  95. While I totally endorse finishing things, sometimes you need a refreshing pause. Something small? A baby bootie or two?
    Dude, it’s totally your knitting, and your vacation. Haven’t you had enough of doing what you’re supposed to do?
    It’s not like it’s going to spoil or something.
    I think you’ve been a bad influence on me…..

  96. Do we have to call That Laurie??! Don’t make us come in there!! Finish that little bit and you can go play with the rest of your friends.

  97. You can do it. If I can finish it you really can. I had to knit solely on it last week and I finished and I love it. Knit on

  98. I am sure I am not the first to ask — What is the yarn? I am asking because it looks like yarn I made my olympic knitting project with — I called it my NYC yarn…since I purchased it on a trip there and the only yarn store I got to was Habu textiles…..
    inquiring minds want to know
    Thanks and it does look lovely!

  99. I am so tempted to find your order at work tomorrow and hold it hostage. πŸ˜‰ I could do it. But I won’t. I know you can finish that shawl! πŸ™‚

  100. My, my. The derision level do seem to be a’risin’ around here. I have my own side bet on what’s going to happen, but any time I’m posting at this time of night you can assume the circumstantial monkeywrench has engaged the cosmic differential and all bets are officially off.
    (Still — Presbytera’s soothing you instead of goading — you don’t find that scary by implication? Rachel H. sounded more in the classic vein — and I misread Lydia to say you were saggy instead of sagey. Mercury’s looking hard at that retrograde…)

  101. Just saw Sue’s comment at 9:32. Maybe we need to form a Ravelry group: Joe’s Gansey-along? We don’t do anything, we just stand behind Stephanie and breathe.

  102. I’m not laughing! I, uh, have a cold…
    (Hang in there, you can do it. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns and all that…)

  103. I’m new to your site – do you sell any of your stuff??
    Also, I just wanted to let you know that I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY at my site! It’s for all-natural bath and body products made in Texas. Stop by today!

  104. So, is the mystery shawl for you? or is it part of the Christmas knitting or has that issue even hit you yet? Still lots of time??

  105. You can do it – afterall you get through acres and acres of stocking stitch in no time at all. The shawl is so lovely, just think how beautiful it will be when its finished.

  106. were you expecting this much skepticism about your finishing abilities? …probably yes, right!? I can’t wait to see what it looks like all done and I’m thinking you will finish it within the next few days – the yarn is just lovely (have you shared what it is?) thanks for the early a.m. laughs to go along with my coffee!

  107. When you finish your MS3 come on down and finish mine. I was going along fine until we all found out the theme…and then…well… … …

  108. That is inspirational. Good luck and have fun!!!!
    I too have too many languishing projects and have been thinking of doing something similar … nothing new until TWO of my WIPs are finished. It is hard. It is very hard. But very necessary.
    Rock on Steph!

  109. Tara’s right. Isn’t lace blocking a magical thing for you? While you can block it on the needles, it will be easier to wear without using one for a shawl pin.
    Hey, maybe you could start a new fashion trend…

  110. You CAN do this. You only have 1.5 charts left. Shouldn’t take you any time at all. The question really is, WILL you do this, and do you WANT to do this? If you stick to finishing the shawl, will you love it as much as when you first cast on, or will you feel that you HAD to finish it and leave some of the love out?

  111. I just finished MS3 last night. The last couple of clues do seem to take forever. I so wanted to just drop it last night as I was binding off. I knit way past my usual quitting time. Now to block!
    If you quit now, it will languish again. I just know it. Just keep going. It’s less than 200 stiches per row. In shawl lingo, that’s nothing!

  112. GO, Steph, GO! You can do it – stick to the stole until it’s done. It’s lovely! And I’m sooooooo envious you are in Clue 6. I’m still swimming back in Chart E (the first chart of Clue 4) and I’m contemplating making it larger just because I have the yardage to do it. I may have to bag that idea since I don’t have as much quiet time to work on it as I would like. Keep going! That reward yarn will be even more rewarding…or…does this mean you are entitled to even more reward yarn???? Just sayin’.

  113. My solution to the tedium of knitting clue 6 & 7 of the mystery stole was to listen to a book on CD while I knit. I was absolutely amazed at my knitting progress from the start to finish of each CD…also, I lived life on the edge, and didn’t use lifelines…Ha ha.

  114. The problem is that one finds no motivation to knit at all…that’s what happened to me when I made a conscious decision like you just did. I didn’t knit for days…then I picked up a “new” project and WOW I knit nonstop for days…Don’t feel bad if you end up putting it on “hibernation”. I got over my guilt trip and am vey happy for it πŸ™‚

  115. The end of MS3 is terrible! I started calling it my albatross stole rather than swan lake. I just wanted it done but it felt like I would knit and knit and never get anywhere no matter how much I loved the project!

  116. Remember, you like to knit and you like Beads, and the shawl is knitting WITH BEADS!!! good luck!

  117. I believe you can do it. I’m cleaning my craft room today, so I expect the stash to be calling me loudly… but not only do I have the usual number of socks sitting around to be finished, and the mystery stole, and 2 sweaters… but I started curtains for my porch and living room and those need to be done too.
    Instead, I’m cleaning the refrigerator and then organizing the stash… I mean craft room.

  118. If you were here in the UK, your yarn could be delayed for some time, as we currently have a postal strike!
    Luckily I stocked up last week on the supplies for my Christmas knitting…

  119. Tough it out and finish the shawl. I will be with you in spirit. I love, love, love that beautiful sage/jade green and I so wish that I could wear that color. The color as it appears in your photos reminds me of a 1920s Chinese jade bead necklace my granny had.
    I like sage green on walls, upholstery, curtains … on everything except me. It is such a soothing color, but I have a light olive complexion, and when I wear pastels, pale yellow or sage green, people tend to call a priest.
    Rewards? My Mom gave me a tin of Godiva chocolate pearls as a little treat last time I visited her. They are delicious, and tiny, only a few calories each. I am using them as a reward to get through eleven miles of stockinette stitch (one pearl per inch, allow to melt in mouth). I put the tin in the bag with that project. No Godiva unless I knit.

  120. yes it SEEMS like a reasonable amount of knitting but you are dangerously close to the black hole of the mystery stole. Or at least where I encountered it. Those “short” rows get sooooo loooooooonnnnnngggggggg. It is soul crushing really. So much so that after being so careful thorughout the whole stole I messed up a little 5 rows from the end and I couldn’t go back and fix it because the mistake actually meant that I had one less row to knit.
    It is worth it though, and yours will be soo lovely.

  121. That anyone could remain faithful to MS3 once the last clue was released simply amazes me. Without peer pressure and/or a deadline, I can barely bring myself to look at mine. (Glad to see I’ve carried those fabulous high school study habits with me).
    I’m bribing myself with other knitting to get myself to work on the MS stole–I had to allow an entire new sweater to get myself to finish Clue 6. I may have to purchase an entire yarn store to get myself to start Clue 7!!!

  122. I’m slowly making my way through Clue #4 at this point…while I cast on and continue on a whole bunch of other wonderful wooly things! I believe that you will finish it very soon (if you haven’t already) and get to cast on reward yarn!
    I’ve read through all your comments and cannot believe that no one has taken you up on your challenge?! Now, I’m Canadian, living up in Newmarket, and I hope that that doesn’t spoil the fun, but the High School band performed an excellent rendition of the theme to Hockey Night In Canada!
    And, as far as all Canadians being able to hum along to this tune…one of my closest friends downloaded that same tune as her ring tone on her cell phone! Now that’s Canadian eh?
    Have a wonderful (deadline free!) time with your family this Thanksgiving, Stephanie; too bad it’s too hot to wear any of your ‘finished’ sweaters. ;o)

  123. Oh Crap! I’m such an idiot (lost in a time warp too apparantly) Wrong day’s post. Of course people played; you were offering wool!
    Over 400 people commented!!
    Sorry everybody, and especially Stephanie, please ignore the above comment; it was made by a far too distracted person to be allowed to play on the computer.
    Enjoy your turkey or just enjoy reading this one!

  124. Finishing must be in the air. I’ve been doing the same for the past couple of weeks now…Kitchener stitches here a button band there, here a side seam there an edging. My davenport is now full of finished items waiting to be sent to their recipients. Do you suppose it has something to do with the fall commencing?

  125. Congrats on the efforts to finish. My New Years 2000 resolution was to have only one project on the needles at a time, and soon I will be celebrating my 8 th anniversary of maintain that mantra. I also must state I am a prolific knitter, so no project lingers on the needles for long because I am anxious to get on to the next one. Talk about ultimate temptations– I live only 5 mi from WEBS

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