Frenzy of Intention

I have a wicked case of startitis. I want to knit or spin absolutely everything in this house. If I were not restraining myself, I would have cast on 549 things since I got back home. I get startitis like everybody else, but dudes, this is a wicked case. This case is so bad that it is paired with knitting delusion… you know the kind? Where not only do you want to knit all of these things, but you are actually willing to lie to yourself about how long knitting takes in order to rationalize your plans? I’m saying phrases like “whip up a vest” and “knock off a pair of slippers” (that’s the cold talking. It snowed here day before last.) and my casually developing interest in scarves this season last night turned into a full on frenzy of intention as I realized I was planning to make three of the things by Saturday. This Saturday. This being Thursday, I’ve talked myself into something resembling sanity on that one. I never, ever, ever get startitis this badly, and I’m tempted to go back into my own archives and see if it’s a normal by-product of knit related travel. I suspect it is.. since here is the rest of my theory on what’s got me itching to knit.

1. Restraint. I believe that I am now suffering the whiplash effect of only having a couple of knitting projects with me for weeks and weeks. Limited to one or two projects at a time (even though that didn’t bother me much as I lived it) I now want millions as compensation.

2. Size. For weeks now I have had only little bitty projects with me because if you are bugging out of a hotel room like a MASH unit every morning and carrying everything you have with you every where you go, you would start taking your “small underwear” on trips too. Every gram counts, so it’s been little, light projects for me.

I knit some mittens.

Tinasmittens151008

Basic mittens (pattern is just the “here is how you make mittens” lecture from my Nana that I’ve had in my head since I was seven.) Yarn is a “rare gem” (one of a kind) from Blue Moon in STR Heavyweight. Took about a half a skein. Size 3.5mm needles.

The mittens were given to Tina instantly on their finishing. (She thinks I’m generous, but really, it was all about the suitcase. No way was I going to truck around Heavyweight mittens.) I then turned my attention to these:

Mistialp151008

A quick and plain pair of plain vanilla socks (made with a short row heel, because I was really grooving on the stripes.) Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock with the romantic colour name of “HS04 -Taos”.

These were pressed into service (that’s hotel room carpet I’m standing on) and a crappy pair of commercial socks went into the hotel garbage. Then I started another sock…

Basansockroad191008

STR lightweight in Basan. See? Little projects, and all those little projects together seem to have come together in an overwhelming urge to cast on sweaters.

3. Temptation. There is no need to go into the sordid details, but suffice it to say that I came home from both SOAR and Rhinebeck with some new best friends of the yarn variety. Everything I got was very, very nice, and I want very, very much to knit with it. I am showing a little self control, but in an impulsive move, I have already started spinning this beautiful Polwarth (I think this is a great breed.) from Francine at Rovings.

Rovingspwstart231008

I swear, the next time I see her I think I’m going to yell “Get thee behind me Satan!” since I had no sooner finished explaining to Rachel H. that I was absolutely not going to make any big purchases when I saw this and rather helplessly forked over my card. I’d try to lie to you and say that I don’t know what happened, but I do. I saw Cheryl’s beautiful (Ok. She only has the yarn there, but trust me, the sweater is a winner) handspun February Lady, and then I saw this beautiful roving and the sky opened and a bolt of lightning hit me, I saw how 2 + 2 could in this case make 46, and whammo, I was buying a huge bag of fluff before I even had my coat off.

Rovepwstdet231008

That happened a lot. I’m sort of not sorry either, because it brings me to Startitis cause #4.

4. Inspiration. I’ve just spent weeks in the company of other knitters and spinners and damn. Are you all clever. Really clever. Hugely clever. So clever that there’s just no way that I can possibly not want to be all of you. Every time that I saw a brilliant sweater or a cozy scarf or a gossamer shawl or funky socks or a wicked hat or your one of a kind handspun or your colourwork mittens or your felted bag or tiny socks or Sanquhar gloves….. every single time, it was all I could do not to want to rush home right that minute and try to make what you all did, and I think that’s the biggest thing going on here. Every single day for the last several weeks, I’ve seen a couple of hundred of real life knitting accomplishments walking around, and it just makes everything seem so possible.

I have been influenced and inspired by the company of knitters, and when I grow up, I want to be all of you.

Apparently, all at once.

173 thoughts on “Frenzy of Intention

  1. I realized this morning that a project bag has opened up and I could cast on a new project. I was so dumbfounded I couldn’t figure out what to make next. It’s sort of like when I go to a CD store and I cant remember what I’d like to buy.

  2. Phew! I have to catch my breath after all that.
    And I think I have 6 or 8 projects to go cast on now……..

  3. Stephanie, You are absolutely the best.
    Warmest wishes,
    Maura
    (and I, like you, simply could *not* believe it was snowing this week.)

  4. Wow – 549 things would be a lot, even for you! πŸ™‚ I think it’s the season for startitis as well (do they have a vaccination for it yet?). I’m finding myself starting all these “Christmas gifts” which, if I’m realistic, will not even be close to finished by the actual intended holiday.

  5. You know that “startitis” is catching right? And that viruses travel over the internet?
    I’m feeling the urge to begin something new.

  6. Maybe it’s the weather. I don’t usually tag myself as being a startavor. But I, too, have suddenly been bitten by the bug to cast on for way too many things. I usually try to have only 2 or 3 projects on the needles at a time. Yeah. It’s gotta be the weather.

  7. I GOT A PIC OF A VIP WITH SOCK!!
    Hi Stephanie!!
    I did it! I got a pic of Bob Pritchett, president of Logos Bible Software, (www.logos.com) holding my unfinished sock! He’s the most popular/important person I could think of to participate in your sock challenge.
    I posted the pic on my blog!
    http://lizziemarie.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/cmhs-chronic-multiple-hobby-syndrome/
    Thanks for your blog! Mom adores knitting and we read your blog everyday. So fun to know other knitters! You got us both knitting socks!!(im not even a knitter)
    thanks! and have a great day!

  8. WOW!! Those little projects do add up, don’t they (speaking as someone who has knit 5 hats in the past week, along with portions of a couple of sweaters and a couple of pairs of socks–oh, and that’s in addition to teaching college students!!). I do so need an interesting project. . . unfortunately those sometimes turn into the “may you live in interesting times” cursed projects. Knit on, and I will do the same. It’s good to be so committed (and, no, I didn’t say “to BE committed”!).

  9. Wow, Steph, that’s funny, because I’m always telling people that I want to be like YOU when I grow up!
    From that funky LLL leader in Seattle, WA

  10. Given that I’ve seen that video of you knitting (an experience akin to watching Superman on speed), you probably COULD finish 3 scarves by Saturday. Sometimes you just gotta give in to the urge, whatever that might be.

  11. i don’t want to alarm you, or anyone, and it may be a trick of the light, or my computer monitor going all crazy, but it looks like you may have a…dropped stitch…on one of your socks? it’s in the sock your wearing on your right foot in the photo – again, i could be wrong, but stop it before it goes anywhere if i’m right!
    hopefully i’m wrong.

  12. Get thee behind me. I am not starting anything else until the black socks that I cannot see to knit are finished. They’ve been on the needles for over a year and it’s downhill now to the toe. I need mittens because my hands get cold walking the dog (the yarn is balled and ready to go) and I need a hat that doesn’t make me look a prawn. If it stays as windy as it’s been tonight I’ll settle for being a prawn with warm ears.

  13. Aieee, I think Marni might be right. Get thee to a crochet hook!
    Although looking at it closer, it might not be… Did you knit these toe up? It looks like it’s dropping towards the toe.

  14. Sooo funny you’re having this. There’s something in the air. This week I’ve been mysteriously drawn to those socks I’ve been frogging over and over again for a year (for the person whose feet always turn out to be smaller than these). And this is the third set of yarn for this pair of socks for this person. The socks keep coming out so huuuge. But now suddenly I’m working on them again, even cast on the second toe-up (one sock in the bag, one sock at the couch). Can I finish the pair by Xmas? (Why not? your post is inspiring.)

  15. Don’t forget the latent influence of the woman who had all her Christmas knitting finished! I dont’ think you can underestimate the psychic weight of your exposure to that event.

  16. Startitis! Great term! I have SWORN I must finish the 2 baby sweaters I’m working on (for twins) before I do ANYTHING else, but I want to do at least 3 scarves and learn to do socks, and then there is the yarn for a coat I bought and the top and the sweater….
    Being around others even if virtually is SO inspiring!
    Val in Albuquerque

  17. What about the babies? I know you saw wonderful, cute, delightful, full of potential miniature humans. Do they make you want to go home and start one of those too? That always happens to me, but DH doesn’t agree. He thinks four of them are enough πŸ˜‰
    So I settle for yarn….

  18. Are we perhaps overlooking the obvious? That your body is craving the holiday knitting schedule a little earlier than normal so you might better…ummm…enjoy the holidays as they approach?

  19. What beautiful projects you’ve made! I adore the mittens and the Misti Alpaca socks!!
    I’ve recently had a bad case of starteritis too. I’m blaming it on my Christmas knitting… I started it early this year (woo!) but the more I try to buckle-down and keep focused on it, the more I find myself casting on things that are completely arbitrary and not at all related to Christmas-knitting. Ugh…

  20. You’re not the only one with a massive case of startitis… and I don’t have the excuse / rationalization of having been around all those knitters. My stash is beginning to think it runs the household (sigh). It must be the sn*w in the air.

  21. The stuff that Francine sells is notoriously hard to resist. At SOAR in Park City, Utah, I told myself I don’t need any fleece, have plenty of fiber to spin at home…..ha! 2kg of the softest, chocolate brown Polwarth fleece came home with me….and it will become the softest, most cuddly sweater for me……..I just need to decide if I’m going to send it off for processing or do it myself….it is ubersoft, just divinely delicious…sigh….

  22. I suspect that you are just trying to suck us all into your weird little holiday knitting vortex. If we are all demanding a shift in the time-space continuum perhaps the knitting gods will make it happen. To that end, I have just committed to a sweater, hat and mitts for a 3-year-old at The Refuge (Oshawa, Ontario), as well as the multitude of regular holiday knitting, and the Mitten Tree at church …

  23. Stephanie, I’m feeling that way about lace shawls. Lace! Which takes me nigh on forever to finish (well, at least several concentrated weeks). Finished one last night and started another, and planned two more for Christmas gifts. Sure, no problem. Plus several pairs of socks, two or three sweaters, two other shawls. No problem at all.

  24. Uh oh, I see it too….for the good of all humanity, please tell Marni and I we are wrong.
    Love the socks and startitis is the bane of my existence.

  25. Heh. Though I am currently supposed test knitting a pattern for someone, I started my Basan socks the minute I arrived home. Er…OK, the next night, as it was after midnight. Wanton temptress.

  26. I think the weather is influencing us all-the cold(no show,thank goodness) hit Michigan hard and I have started a pair of slipper socks,an entrelac shawl,a pair of socks(the yarn has real siver spun in with the yarn),a baby sweater,a shrug(finished that one) and I am not feeling any satisfaction. Maybe baby socks? Or an entrelac sweater for my granddaughter? Or join the KAL from my local Yarn Garden-Lucy’s Swing Coat from knittingatknoon? Or do I need to shop???
    Restless fingers.
    I told myself some time ago that I couldn’t start a new project untill 2(yes 2) UFO’s were finished. I have been doing fairly well but I may be having as you like to say “a big falldown”. Oh, well, Michigan winters will give me plenty of snowy days to catch up. No laughing from any of you other commenters-like we are not in the same boat!!!

  27. You had snow? Isn’t that a bit early? But I can understand your problem — cold winds, dark nights, falling leaves and now snow — all the primary triggers for a serious case of wool fever . . .

  28. Oh, yeah. That polwarth from Rovings is addictive. Which reminds me, I have more to spin . . .

  29. I hear ya on the startitis…it appears to have entered my house, too. Not only can I not stop casting on, but I keep casting on (gasp…the horrors!) Christmas presents!
    I don’t know what’s come over me. Last night I actually contemplated skipping sleep to finish my sister’s Shalom Cardigan. And that’s no small feat for the mother of 2 small children.
    It’s the knitting…it’s always the knitting.

  30. It was great seeing you this past weekend – I can’t stop thinking about the stat you shared re: men and their fear of unborn babies’ teeth.
    Anyway, I find the same thing after these festivals, being overwhelmed with inspiration after seeing everyone’s amazing projects. It’s like browsing through Ravelry times a thousand, and being able to touch the fabric.

  31. I think that your startitis has to do with how hard you have been working. I believe that when a person puts so much of themselves out, they then feel the undeniable need to reward themselves for being so disciplined to get through it!
    Just my opinion, but I have been dieting for 4 weeks now (down 8 lbs. Yeah!), but man I cannot stop starting new projects. Even made a Calorimetry headband just so I could start and finish in the same day. Made with gorgeous Jamie Harmon Wool/Angora, very satisfing!

  32. A woman at work just learned how to knit a few weeks ago. She announced to our knitting group that she wasn’t going to start anything else until she finished her first scarf.
    We just laughed at her.
    Startitis may just be an intrinsic part of knitting.

  33. This is more of a request than a comment. Would you be so kind as to post your Nana’s how to make mittens lecture? I’ve just moved from the South (the land of warm and no snow) to Kansas (where for me it’s going to be cold as hell-I know this weather that has knock me six ways from Sunday is really nothing, but it’s kicking my ass). I’ve been hunting for what looks like a good simple mitten pattern that I can modify for the sock yarn that I want to use for my first pair of mittens. Your mitten lecture would be so much easier for me to make work I’m sure. Please help – I’m cold. (Do, please, laugh at my pathetic attempt at humor)
    Melissa
    PS I really like the look of the mittens you made.
    MSM

  34. Someone explain please HOW the heck “”Startitis “” gets passed to other people over this bloody machine. I’ve spent over two hours going through the “stash ” and picking out patterns that just HAVE got to be started. Bye for now the nine progects await. OH and Stephanie if that is ALL you bought on your travels count yourself lucky and it is beautiful.

  35. Those are groovy socks! In the mitten picture, are you in Seattle there? I used to live there and that kinda looks like the corner of 45th and Brooklyn, in the U-District.

  36. Have you turned on your heat?
    Each fall, as we struggle to not turn on that furnace, I wonder if you’ve turned on your heat. I think you’re going to make it to November 5th….not sure why that date, but it sounds impressive, no?

  37. Sure glad I’m not the only one who wonders how I bought so much stuff when I wasn’t going to get anything. Love that huge bag of roving.

  38. (pattern is just the “here is how you make mittens” lecture from my Nana that I’ve had in my head since I was seven.)”
    Have you ever written that entry, or that essay? I’d love to read that, if you have or will.

  39. Oh! The February Lady Sweater. Now I understand…. Gorgeous fiber. πŸ˜‰
    I’m beginning to understand the Startitis thing. It’s like all of these great projects need to be knit….and if we don’t start them, well then we’ll forget about the pattern nd won’t end up with the lovely project…and then where would we be?

  40. If you want to be all of us all at once,does that mean we get to take turns being you? And yes,being with other knitterly folk definetly leads to inspiration and startitis.Went to Rhinebeck and now want to knit everything in my stash-especailly since that will make way more room for Rhinebeck purchaces next year when I’ll be going by myself and with a year’s worth of money saved up.Yup-can’t wait. It was great to see you there-see you next year.Happy knitting!!

  41. I find that the colder the weather gets, the more I want to start new knitting projects. Probably in the mistaken belief that if I have all of these projects on my lap and am cheerfully going from one to the other, I’ll stay warm. So not the case. LOL
    I did manage to talk myself out of starting knitted gifts for everyone in my family this Christmas. Mostly because I still “owe” my parents their anniversary alumni socks and my mom her Isabella sweater. Oh and then there are the Dragon*Con socks I started around Labor Day… and the spinning… and… πŸ˜›
    Stay warm!

  42. O thank God!!! I thought it was just ME… “I wanna do this and I wanna do that, and this looks like it must be fun, and I wanna go to the yarn store and get more, More, MORE!!!” I have been daydreaming of being independently wealthy so I could have a huge “knitting room” and the image I have in my head of what the organized shelves would be like. Because I want it all. Right now.

  43. Startitis is materials, motivation + desire, and that’s all good.
    Some things that ruin my startitis: 1) started a [whatever] but yarn would look better as a [something else], 2) pattern starts looking crazy and stops making sense around row [pick a #], and 3) gave absolutely NO consideration to time constraints.
    Other than that, starting is good. Not finishing, not so good.

  44. Nice socks. I love watching stripes evolve while knitting stockinette. All I want to do, lately, is knit plain socks out of fancy yarn, to see whether I’ll get stripes or swirls.
    That roving is great– whatever you spin and knit out of it will be gorgeous.

  45. You would have to bring this up the day after I packed all my yarn because we’re moving. Must. Keep. Packing.
    On a completely random note, who’s winning (who won?) the furnace wars this year?

  46. Stephanie,
    Ya don’t need to boast about your startitis – that is my baseline state!
    Love the handspun Polwarth.
    M in M

  47. i wish I could be supportive,but currently it takes everything I have not to start more projects, but finish the ones I have. I say as a compliment and thank you! because of your regular spin blogs I now own a wheel and I am a spinning addict! I love it and I can’t wait to see what you spin next!

  48. ‘Tis the season for “startitis”! 1)Weather starting to get cold, so more use for warm woollies. 2) Gift-preparation — Christmas is 2 months away! And in my family, add a lot of fall and early winter birthdays. So why is it so much easier to start than to finish?!

  49. Ummm. How much coffee have you had? Because, damn that caffeine was coming across in the post!

  50. Over the past week I went from a modest three projects on the needles into a frenzy of yarn buying and Christmas gift planning. There must be something in the water. Stephanie, the roving is beautiful and will make a gorgeous February Lady. Will it be a sweater for you? I only ask because it is in the family of, well, pink, which I do not believe was a 70’s appliance colour. I am overjoyed to think that you will be wearing this lovely colour and looking fabulous in it!

  51. I recognise the symptoms well…We read your blog and instantly we fall in love with your latest project. We all get the startitis and run out and buy the necessary supplies…companies even have a name for it…they call it being ‘Harlot-ed’. The crazy part is now that you are out amongst the knitters again…it’s working in reverse! Paybacks are ….so much fun to watch unfold… πŸ™‚

  52. The feeling’s mutual, on the inspiration thing. My knitting borders have stretched considerably (socks? laceweight? moebius shawls?) since I started reading you.
    I asked in my local shop for blocking wires, and the proprietor hadn’t heard of them. I can only think it’s because she is a self-confessed luddite who has just got the hang of email. The education campaign starts here. Oh, and the epic task of blocking a Sivia Harding Diamond Fantasy handkerchief without wires…

  53. Cold weather plus finishing a huge stress-out period of lots of hard work plus exposure to lots of yarny beauty and possibilities? Yep, that’s a sure recipe for startitis! Isn’t it such a rush, though?

  54. I have the evil startitis too – it is compounded from post-Rhinebeck syndrome, cold weather, and the ever-closer Christmas knitting deadlines. I want to knit approximately eleventy million socks, mittens, hats, and sweaters. All right now. And also I would like to bake some fresh oatmeal chocolate chip cookies at the same time because in a perfect world fall/winter knitting and startitis is always accompanied by baked goods!

  55. Seriously, how do you do that? You’re bug tired, and almost swearing in your posts, I’d swear too, and you come home and boom, here you are complimenting “us knitters”.
    As for the startitis, it’s totally going around. I had it bad a couple of weeks ago, and cast on like 3 or 4 projects in a day or 2, and actually somehow in a fit of project monogamy, whipped out a sweater in dk weight yarn for my 6 year old. So, go with it. It’s stupid to fight it really.

  56. I have recently cast on a large number of Christmas items. I am really craving the feeling of finishing items. So clearly casting on lots of small projects will feed my need. πŸ˜‰

  57. It’s Rhinebeck. I’m doing the same thing. Maybe you & Juno should consider using the knitting machine once in awhile? My Earth took 3 days. Seriously.

  58. And I thought it was just me! Maybe because I finished knitting The Perpetual Manos and just have to sew it together. I just made myself a pair of Fetchings, with some modifications, and now my daughter wants a pair. I cast on for a scarf for my everlovin’ husband and am about 2″ into it, and I want to knit myself another sweater with the lovely alpaca that came home with me from Maine … dude, I wish I had more than one pair of hands!

  59. OH, it is rhinebeck’s fault. here i am trying to get my holiday knitting done before Dec. 1st. peacefulknitter and nutmegknitter gave me malabrigo. I can’t let the malabrigo just sit there all sad and lonely. it belongs on needles. Then there was the scarf, well that just has to be finished. then the invite to the wedding which means. afghan. Then well, seriously. . . just crazy. OH, and there is a baby on the way. Then there is my laceweight, my lovely rhinebeck lace weight that is just calleing “Please knit me. . will be beautiful and lovely when you make me into something pretty”
    SO yeah, the yarn is talking to me. that is the first sign of start-itis I think.

  60. It’s nice to know that you get startitis too, although i bet yours eventually results in finished objects. unlike mine!

  61. Yes. Since getting home from SOAR, I’ve spun and plied eight bobbins (long draw ROCKS!) and am 3/4 done with the back of a self-designed sweater. That was good for five days. Last night I cast on for something new and I think going to knit night tonight will require another new project.
    Wish I’d bought some of the dyed Polworth, but I did get a pound of the undyed. Need to spin that, too.

  62. funny! I haven’t knit a thing in months and just started my 1st sweater for me. I bought some Brooks Farm Duet last summer and started a sweater that I decided would be too fussy to be flattering on me, so now I’m making the Joie de Vivre cardigan from “Sensual Knits” I knit slower than molasses, so it may be done by spring.
    How are you doing with the furnace wars? It was 61 degrees in my living roon this afternoon with rain forecast for tomorrow. I caved. I rationalized it by telling myself I couldn’t ask my upstairs tenant to go any longer w/o. I was hoping to make it to 11/1. Oh well, I still have my personal rule of no winter coats before 11/1.

  63. I got to see Cheryl’s FL at the hotel Sat. night. It is gorgeous. I’ve had startitis for over a year now. I’ve had it so bad that I can’t start anything. Rhinebeck might have cured it though….

  64. False logic. That impulse you’re restraining also serves as momentum. Prudently postponing just means that hydraulic pressure is leaking away. And what, you haven’t earned a little self-indulgence? Go, cast on, spin, HUT! HUT HUT!
    (I swear this isn’t intended as reverse psychology but stoneground Truth.)

  65. The only thing keeping me from casting on a couple new projects is the fact that I left half my Rhinebeck yarn in Kellee’s car. This is the only time I curse having a small stash.

  66. I totally understand.
    I recently went through knitterly withdrawal. For weeks I feverishly knit my CPH in time for Rhinebeck and found myself in the doctor’s office on Monday morning with idle hands. I’ve since cast on two projects. And I feel relieved. ~ksp

  67. If you started on the gansey again would that count too? I know what you mean with the startitis. I just finished a few projects that have been hanging over my head and now I want to start the 20-200 that I’ve been putting off. Luckily, I don’t own enough needles to start everything.

  68. Ah startitis. Lovely thing, treacherous though. I have so many things I want to knit after Rhinebeck. I have to write up a pattern (that would work well with the yarn I gave you), I have to finish a shop sample, I have FOUR fleeces to wash (and two on their way to me), I want to spin the fibre I got and make something wicked out of it and make everyone want to be me….
    Oddly enough, lots of us want to be like you!
    PS I am destashing a browm polwarth fleece

  69. Hey Steph–speaking of the cold, have I just missed the latest update on the cold wars? Have you turned on the heat yet???

  70. Just turn your startitis into your Christmas knitting, and only cast on Christmas gifts, and you’ll be fine.
    It’s the cool weather causing this. I’ve cast on three new projects this week, all under the guise of gifts.
    Would love to see you publish your mitten pattern (hint hint).

  71. Good to have you back. All is now as it should be, yon Harlot commencing something new and spiffy to share (and get the rest of us hooked on…)
    Now, *please* check that sock that marny pointed out – she’s right, it does look suspicious (hoping for this to be the token, stretched out stitch instead)
    Welcome home!
    Nan

  72. Please share details of the spinning of the Polwarth roving. I have some of their’s in the Autumn Garden colorway and I am having a devil of a time trying to figure out how it wants to be spun. What colorway is yours? It’s beautiful. Any help would be most appreciated!

  73. Why is it that you have never coined a word meaning “compulsion to finish multiple projects all at once”? Could such a word exist? Maybe in an alternate universe? Oh wait. That’s the Christmas countdown. Never mind.

  74. How about this for a wicked way to stop the startitis… how many days until Christmas? Why not cast on for a Christmas present now?
    Did that just put a stop to any casting-on frenzy? Did I just jump-start the holiday frenzy instead?

  75. Startitis must be a day-length thing. It hasn’t gotten cold here, yet; one could argue that it never gets cold here. Even so, I cast on two new projects last night, and had trouble holding myself back from starting a third.

  76. I’ve always wondered why I never see short-row heels on top-down socks. Is there a good reason for that?

  77. Inspiration + Fall + Wool Fumes = Major Startitis. I’ve got a lot going on right now too… sweater, hat, sweater, scarf, lace shawl. And now, you’ve reminded me of Feb Lady, which has been in my queue for awhile. Must not start 3rd sweater, must not….

  78. Those mittens are really pretty! I also just finished a pair of plain vanilla stockinette socks. They have stripes of pink, green, and light green.
    You inspire me to knit different things, too!

  79. hmm I seem to be struggling with a frenzy of un-intention I didn’t intend to have this project take so long.. I didn’t intend to knit and ravel-chat furiously while the chili burned… I didn’t intend to fill the house with yarn as others might stockpile gold in a downward dog economy….

  80. Startitis! I love it! I am right now finishing a pair of socks, and have the yarn ready to cast on another pair. I haven’t worn anything but handknit socks since the weather turned cooler. I figure that I need at least 24 pairs to keep me going, plus a couple of heavy-weight pairs to wear as substitute slippers. One of these days, I’ll learn to spin, too, and then – look out!

  81. There are many “best parts” of reading your blog, but the best part of reading your travel diaries is seeing all the photos of the knitters you meet, and their stellar projects. While I apparently haven’t contracted startitis as badly as you (not going to a yarn festival plus squiring a 4-y.o. kid both definitely help), just seeing all the gorgeous things march up the page is incredibly inspiring. I try to keep the pile of Christmas knitting yarn in the front of the stash… maybe if I get all that done, I’ll make something for myself next.

  82. WANT. MITTENS. Will settle for pattern.
    Please.
    NOW.
    You have infected me with that bug, Startitis. My strain seems to have the symptoms of chilly fingers and wrists.

  83. For Marie at 5:53pm – it’s called “Finishitis”, and if anyone would like to pass it along to me I’d be grateful πŸ˜‰ I currently have 8 projects on the needles/hook (3 of them afghans that I’ve been working on for a year and a half) and I have yarn that wants to be a crocheted ripple afghan and some that wants to be a patchwork afghan and scarves and and and… πŸ˜‰

  84. Wow. I feel REALLY cool right now. I am currently working on the FLS (although not with cool handspun. I’m using the washable workhorse kind of yarn, because I have small children who like to snot on my clothes, and a lot of diapers to buy).

  85. I don’t know if you can actually read all these comments or not but in the photo of those socks (which I totally love — I want that yarn!), it looks like a dropped stitch. Just FYI. Maybe it’s the camera angle. But maybe not.

  86. That is EXACTLY how I felt upon coming home from Rhinebeck! There are a gazillion knitted items that are stuck in my mind and I want to knit each and every one of them! I don’t know where to start. I went to bed on Sunday night with all the colors and textures swirling around in my mind. Being at Rhinebeck was so inspirational!
    p.s. Saw you there on Saturday afternoon, but didn’t want to interrupt your conversation. I just wanted to tell you that I loved the new book.

  87. Yes, I see that stitch too. It really does look like a dropped stitch. Get the crochet hook! I hope your startitis virus helps you get ready for Christmas. But you might have to implore finishitup-itis to put in an appearance as well.

  88. have you thought about knitting
    your self an advent calendar
    big cowls are nice for the cold months
    could you sign up for a knitting cruise
    to aruba you never did get there – he
    would be a little older by now but
    then are’nt we all

  89. I caught a mild case of startitis today, too.
    I found myself on the bus, staring at the poncho I was knitting and thinking that the yarn would make a good project for my sister for Christmas.
    So, I immediately wanted to drop what I was knitting and start a different project.
    In fact, several different projects…

  90. eeek! Back back back! *holds fingers in shape of a cross* NOOOOO!!! I finally got a case of FINISHITIS, dammit! You can’t come at me with this now!!! Don’t you know it’s CATCHING?

  91. Well crud, thanks a lot, like I wasn’t suffering enough from my own sevear case of startitis. That February Lady sweater has so got to be made, that has leaped to the front of my new projects for me that I’m gonna knit inbetween and after I’m done knitting all the other more important projects. Like the zillion more finished products I need to make for the holiday fairs which are zooming up on me, or the miles and miles of handspun I must prepare with careful precision for the same fairs. Never MIND the christmas projects I’m knitting for all my family members, BOTH sides, which are all still fantasies on the needles in my head. And let us not forget the shawl I must complete to wear to a wedding in May, which seems so far, far away until I remember it uses 3600 yards of lace weight and has it’s very own support group on Yahoo. ~cries~ But I want to cast this sweater on right now.
    And how cute is it going to look with Ruth Sorenson’s Elderflower skirt which I am neglecting all those projects listed above for right now.
    ~sigh~ I agree, it’s a really bad year for startitis. Why is that?

  92. The only thing I love more than Francine’s Polwarth roving is Francine’s Polwarth and kid mohair roving (swoon).
    ‘Get behind me satan’ is right…
    I have a best friend who lives in Winnipeg. Driving distance to Rovings and she doesn’t even knit! The horror!

  93. I got Thomas Friedman to hold a sock!!! πŸ˜€ I sent you the photos, but just in case here’s the link to my blog πŸ˜€
    http://users.livejournal.com/my_wanderlust_/361627.html
    Technically he is not a world leader or politician, but he sort of counts in the latter category a bit i think, political commentary and all πŸ˜€ Either way, i had to share with people who wouldn’t think i was insane!!

  94. Ummm, some of us don’t have a cool Nana to teach us to knit mittens. Any chance you’d give us your Nana’s lecture?

  95. Stephanie…..suggestion. This is a good time to start Christmas knitting. Think about it. You could have sanity this year.

  96. Great, now look what you did. You mention Sanquhar gloves, and naturally I have to go to Ravelry and search for them, and now I’ve got startitis. For gloves that are knit at the ridiculously INSANE gauge of 56 sts over 4 inches.
    Get thee behind me, Satan, indeed.

  97. There are about a zillion projects I want to start but I’m trying so hard to just finish the sweater I started over a year ago! I’m finally almost done with it, after redoing the sleeves 12,000 times (grumble grumble grumble…), so for now it’s just the sweater and of course the socks that live in my backpack for knitting on the bus, in waiting rooms, etc.
    (The sweater was sentenced to a time out for being naughty while I knit a scarf because the sleeves lied to me, and it was either a time out or burn it, and I really didn’t want to burn it, but we needed some time apart. We’re ok now. But if the sleeves lie to me again, it’s over, buster.)

  98. Oh, see what you did? I was being so good, too. I’ve been telling myself ‘Christmas knitting comes first’. I did download February Lady but that’s as far as I went. Instead I’ve been diligently knitting scarves and socks and not thinking about what yarn to get for the sweater or what color it should be. Then you had to go and show that roving and how lovely it is spun up and now I’m all distracted.
    It’s healthy to knit yourself a Christmas gift, right?

  99. I am so glad to hear the mitten yarn only took half a skein. You can make my mittens with the other half! seriously, you might want to contact Lene now with you “To knit before Christmas” list so she can figure out how many hours you’ll need. Only two more months. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  100. Dr. Lizbon’s diagnosis: Rhinebeckitis.
    Symptoms include:
    Sudden forking over of credit card despite having set oneself a limit of only spending the cash one has brought.
    Pie-in-sky ideas about what one can knit in particular amount of time (or in the doc’s case, within given knitting skills).
    May also include highly contagious rash: If you see it on someone, you must knit it.
    Given sufficient wool supplies and time on the couch with bamboo needles, most patients recover on their own, though it can take up to 10 months, but which time they are nearly ready for re-exposure.

  101. Okay. So I’m *smitten*. I printed off the “February Lady” sweater pattern. I have *no idea* when I’ll get to it, or of what yarn I’ll make it, but I WILL make this sweater. It’s too beautiful not to.
    I for one, understand your ‘startitis’ completely!!

  102. Darn it. I just late last night ordered three different luxury sock yarns and Misti Alpaca wasn’t one of them. Now I’ll have a bug for Maple Gray for weeks – or at least until the ones I did order arrive.
    They were my little plus for my newly planned delusion. Instead of oredering a few ‘good’ sweaters from Scotland as usual, I hit a good on-line sale and bought 5 sweaters worth of very nice but unfussy yarns to make simple garments. Think I can finish them all in the time it would take ordered ones to arrive and to wear them this season? Neither do I.
    Enjoy the delusion while it’s fun.

  103. It’s okay to want to be like other knitters, and spending time with knitters is totally awesome inspiration. I think you should get your daughters and husband to do more of the housework so you have more time to start new projects. ^_^

  104. It must be this cold weather. I rarely have more than one project on the go (as opposed to reading 2-3 books at a time) but this week I feel the need to cast on like crazy!

  105. wow, and I thought I had some bad startitis going on. (somehow I’ve managed to resist – I think the WIPs that never turn into FOs are actually working on me right now. amazing)
    oh, and the Polworth. can’t blame you there one bit. I had the misfortune of using some during week 2 or 3 of my beginning spinning class. I haven’t been the same since. what were they thinking turning us on to the polworth so early in our spinning careers? my LFS is a very dangerous place.

  106. I’m one cabled hat away from finishing my Christmas knitting, and now I want either that roving to play with, or the mitten pattern to play with, or find yarn to play with the FL sweater pattern, or I just might bite the bullet and finally try to learn how to knit myself a pair of socks. Methinks your startitis is spreading!

  107. Hey, if you are still looking for celebrity sock pitures, I got Peter MacKay today. You can click my link to see, it’s pretty goofy. He didn’t tell me to stick to it.

  108. fingers itching… must finish project for Ilga Leja… so much yarn in stash… trying to look away from pretty roving… startitis is catching…
    darn it. Now I AM going to have to call in sick tomorrow.

  109. That Cheryl, if she can inspire you with just a weekend visit, then imagine what being in a spinning group, nay, two spinning groups with her. I definitely want to be Cheryl when I grow up.

  110. Start-itis must be in the air.
    I’m settling in on a pair of peds right now and limiting my knitting to a tiny bag downstairs with all other temptations upstairs behind closed closet doors.
    The Misti Alpaca Hand Paint socks are lovely and I’m sure feel oh so much better than crappy commercial socks. πŸ™‚

  111. You actually buy commercial socks? You?
    I love startitis. It’s so much fun! Who cares if you don’t finish one or two things… it’s your hobby.

  112. Oh, please, please, for the love of all things fibrous, send your startitis westward. I am suffering from the world’s worst case of spendhoursanddaysplanningwhattoknitwithoutcastingonanythingitis.

  113. Hi, congrats on your blog award; it’s how I found you. I have never knitted anything but straight scarves but enjoyed that. Your socks are fabulous. Happy knitting.

  114. Stephanie, I swear your last couple of paragraphs actually brought tears to my eyes. So… sweet (and I’m not usually a sucker for sweet.) Of course the tears might have had a touch of envy too for all of you who are lucky enough to be able to attend fiber events and discover fabulous new projects and beautiful materials. Here in the hinterlands (and I do mean hinter) where acrylic is still queen, my only acquisition in months has been a kilo of very very… um very dusty yak wool, still to be picked and washed and carded much less spun. No wonder I’m beginning to be drawn to “sweet”

  115. Yes, I too visited Francine at SOAR and fell victim to her flaunting fiber-y ways! I came home with a 1kg bag of carded roving in stunning, beautiful colors, a 500gr bag of dyed combed top, and some gorgeous dark chocolate brown Polworth and silk. I was very, very bad LOL! I had been lusting after that fiber since I attended my first SOAR and couldn’t afford to buy any. I made up for it this time! What fun! Now I just have to find the perfect sweater pattern for the fiber and colors. Since there are 6 repeats of the color series, I have a lot to work with. I always get startitis this time of year. I think it’s from seeing all those absolutely beautiful knitted and felted garments. I know a few people that feel badly that they don’t have more projects done when they see everyone else’s finished projects. Not me! I always feel pumped and want to learn everything so I can knit this and that and every darn thing LOL! I also think it has something to do with the smell of fall leaves and the season. Soon it will just be too cold and nasty to be outside as much so that means it’s knitting and spinning season. Yes I know that knitting doesn’t need a season, but in the fall and winter, with no yard work to do, it’s perfectly legit to spend several hours in the afternoon listening to a book on tape and spinning and knitting. Ah, what bliss! All you need is a cup of tea. It just doesn’t get much better than that! Happy knitting, you deserve it!

  116. Know what you mean – I’ve just got the patterns for Sanquar gloves, and am just dying to start them, even though I have the Sunrise Circle Jacket, plus some socks on the go. I’ve got the yarn for Hey Teach and plan to start swatching for the Must Have cardigan, and still haven’t started my Christmas Knitting.
    I blame you, of course. You inspire me no end, and now I’m up to my ears in yarn and my project list is going up quicker than it it can go down. It’ll probably take the rest of my life to complete only a fraction of what I want to knit. It’s all your fault, and you have my deepest thanks.

  117. You will look so great in a Feb lady sweater, and I will be terribly jealous that yours is Polwarth. I grabbed a bag of the Rovings too at SOAR, for a yoke sweater of some sort. Don’t be afraid to jack up the plying twist on that yarn. Too little plying twist and the lace part will get saggy and start to lose it’s shape.

  118. I know the feeling! I unpacked my bags from Rhinebeck and wanted to knit and spin everything. I’ve been showing restraint and working only on a pair of socks (with my first STR ever!), but it’s only a matter of time before the startitis truly explodes…

  119. Startitis is my middle name. Being at Rhinebeck and seeing all the gorgeous handknits has gotten me contemplating actually knitting a real sweater (not cropped cardigan or short sleeved thing)… we’ll see how far I get into that before I start the next project. I’ve already started two new pairs of socks.

  120. I came home from Rhinebeck with a similar case of startitis-can’t imagine how hard it would be if I had met all the amazing knitters you have. It was inspirational just seeing what everyone was wearing. I’ve been spinning since I arrived home-am determined to rest today because my right hip is starting to hurt, so I guess I’ll just have to knit instead. I’m totally ignoring the fact that my house is out of control. I can justify it all with the fact that Christmas Eve is two months away. How can that be?

  121. Isn’t that funny? You where so inspired by all those you’ve seen, and by all they have knit, and that’s exactly what you do for us in all of your books and right here on your blog.
    Case in point? I feel the need to cast on mittens STAT!

  122. Oh, I am so glad that I am not the only one currently afflicted by this condition. I am sure it has something to do with the nights drawing in (and maybe also my substantial acquisition of yarn from the Knitting and Stitching Show in London two weeks ago..)

  123. It must be catching. I’ve been doing lots of itty bitty projects for the wintertime gift-giving season and I long for a cardigan or lace shawl or fifty-seven other things. There’s a kind of delirium to this sickness.
    I just cleaned out my stash and tossed the yarns that do not bless me (mostly acrylic and WTF? yarns), so my stash drawers are looking bare. Not only that, but I’m OUT OF FIBER TO SPIN! OUT! COMPLETELY OUT! So now, not only do I want to knit everything in the WORLD, I want to buy all the yarn and fiber there is.

  124. well you have just described me in the grocery store looking through the holiday vogue in shock and awe. I want to make everything in it? Have I lost my mind…the only difference between us is I am always involved in huge projects…never the small instant gratification ones…so on to those fab bangle bracelets on the cover!!

  125. I think it also has to do with the impending holidays. I want to knit for ME ME ME but instead it’s THEM THEM THEM. So maybe if I cast on everything I want at once they will magically be finished and I’ll still have time for gift knits?
    Do they make a vaccine for startitis?

  126. Not saying it’s a dropped stitch…but did you throw in an increase or something, there in the front of the front-most Taos sock? ‘Cus there is a little…something…there. (And I’m SO sure that you’re thrilled hundreds of knitters from around the world will point it out!) :]

  127. Too many small, simple projects can have a seriously warping effect on a knitter’s brain. After a long run of socks (and an agonizing Christmas sweater I had to stealthily knit in bitty snatches in the wee hours of the morning, or slink off with furtively to illicit rendezvous at the library), I stopped in the middle of a sock to cast on a colorwork sweater (my first colorwork in about 15 years), taught myself two-handed technique, and blazed through it in an amazing five weeks flat.
    Now if I can just get through the rest of the holiday knitting (2.5 prs socks and a pair of mitts) before I succumb to the temptation to start adding things to list…

  128. I had startitus yesterday, too. Started a baby sweater and frogged a shawl, and changed it to another pattern. That’s what you get from buying the October issue of Simply Knitting, and a new shawl book in the same day.
    Doesn’t change the fact that I have a sleeve and side seams to sew up on a sweater (been that way for two weeks), several scarves, and two different pairs of socks in current rotation already.

  129. And I blame your newest book for my current bout of startitis (and the cold – it always does it to me because I feel I need to outfit my family in head-to-toe wool IMMEDIATELY). πŸ˜‰ Btw, I think my favorite chapter was the Furnace Wars one because that is SO me against my hubby every fall. I capitulated early this year for the sake of the toddler.
    Those are especially lovely mittens!

  130. Plesae, please, write down the “‘this is how you make mittens’ lecture from Nana” for those of us who grew up without knitting Nanas and/or in warm climates. Those are wonderful! My children have cold hands!

  131. Oh, thank goodness it is NOT JUST ME! I had a kid home sick from school yesterday, and cast on a scarf, and two pairs of socks. What was I thinking? Must be the chill in the air. Whatever startitis bug started in Canada must be blowing into Montana…could you send some sock yarn with it? =)

  132. Oh Harlot–please give us a tour of your startitis! Hearing you describe even a fraction of the 579 projects you want to knit (and no doubt will have cast on for by the time you post again) would be some consolation for those of us who missed Rhinebeck, plus it might take the edge off the 579 cases of Startitis you’ve inadvertently infected us with! Pretty please. . .

  133. Funny, I am probably old enough to be your Mother, and yet, I often say I want to be YOU when I grow up!!!

  134. Ok, now you’re in my world. That hotel room carpet even looks familiar…
    Small projects are key, though I don’t give any of mine away. Also, if you’re ever in a bind about not fitting the yarn into a bag, just procure a Starbucks handle bag and it’ll look like you’re just carrying on your lunch. Who could quibble with you bringing your lunch? Remember the “tall two shot americano with lots of room”…

  135. My gnarly case of startitis, (with all the gorgeous yarn I {ahem} acquired at latest fiber show peeking out from the box in which i have tried to hide it{ahem, snort}),has been sadly curbed by a wicked case of carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis (to speak naught of all the projects already in, now slower, progress).
    But you go girl! No one ever died of “Startitis”.

  136. I want to be you when I grow up (ignoring the age thing that says I should already be grown up)! You make such beautiful stuff.
    October is almost over, so the holiday gauntlet is nearly before us. The holiday gauntlet is a great excuse for startitis. I have started at least two projects (not for me) on the theory that it is OK, because they are gifts!

  137. One the plus side, Cheryl only had to spin 24oz of roving to knit her Feb Lady! ( I think I fell over when I saw her in it)

  138. Strange coincidence!
    I have never heard of Polwarth sheep or Polwarth roving, but I did live in the Polwarth area of Edinburgh Scotland, where there was ne’er a sheep in sight apart from at the butcher’s, who incidentally came from Saskatchewan! Useless information I know. However while I was emptying the laundry room yesterday, after a flood, I had of course to go through all the plastic containers to check what treasures I’d forgotten existed. Well I found a half knitted Aran sweater, knitted in variegated WalMart dishwashing cotton!!!!! Oh my God, what possessed me in the old days, apart from poverty. I quickly removed it from the needles, to be knitted into dishcloths later (or even cut up into dishcloths), and started pouring through the accompanying pattern book, Patons Knitting from the Islands. This pattern book was bought at least 25 years ago as one of our sons wears a sweater from it on our wedding photos, and he was 6 at the time. The pattern book came from The Wool Shop on Polwarth Crescent (possibly doesn’t exist anymore)!! There are at least 4 sweaters in it I would like to knit for myself, but I have to remember that I am 62 and not 26 anymore. Of course all this is totally irrelevant, but it has been a totally Polwarth two days. Weird.
    You have had more snow than we have had up here in the North.
    Janet MF

  139. I feel your startitis. I’ve been starting projects and abandoning them with the fickleness of Tinkerbell. I did a pair of DK weight socks for someone and liked the fabric so much I started another pair for myself. Then I decided I had all this Cracksilk Haze sitting around from the Modern Scarf I grew weary of and it should be a Faeroese shawl, because well I took a class in it and I should use my new-found knowledge because Joan S would be so proud of me and that CSH is just so nice and soft and beautiful and calling to me like the siren it is so it’s going to the beach as well as the socks. Then there’s the Voyager Lace Stole, the Kauni sweater, the Rogue #2, the Christmas gifts, the Baby alpaca laceweight on the Joy, the Fantasy Fibers mystery batt on the Louet. Oh yeah, the Lincoln/Montadale/BFL fleece drying in the basement that will need to be carded up.

  140. Whew, I thought it was just me! Rhinebeck had it’s effects, and I want to cast on everything I bought!

  141. I absolutely LOVE your “plain vanilla” socks – the stripes are fab! May even convince me to try and knit a pair someday, since i suspect no one is going to make me a pair! πŸ™‚

  142. The startitis is driving me nuts too, but I’ve had “help” resisting so far. Friday Sep. 19th I placed a 2-sweater, 2-sock plus yarn order with KnitPicks. Saturday morning Sep. 20th I broke my right arm. In five places. (Stupid curbs. Stupid brick walls next to the curbs.)
    Once the surgery and hospital stay were over and the swelling had gone down enough to see my knuckles again, I pulled out the simplest WIP and started knitting a few minutes at a time. It’s better than not being able to use my right hand at all (which the ortho surgeon warned me could happen), but that box of yarn is sitting in my craft room, taunting me. At least I can get vicarious thrills from watching everybody else’s projects on the knitblogs. Thank goodness I can mouse and type with my left hand!
    Welcome home; if I had that lovely roving, I’d already be spinning it too.

  143. Alright, what’s all this talk of growing up??!? Stop it, all of you! If we all DID grow up, would that mean we would have to stop playing with pretty string???

  144. I’m feeling exactly the same way. And now you torture me with beautiful mittens knit in an unavailable colorway!
    Maybe it’s the season, too. Autumn always has this effect on me. Must. Knit. Warm. Stuff.

  145. That roving is beautiful! I want to learn how to spin! I would probably be like you and swear not to buy anything that big, but end up buying it anyway. Happy spinning and knitting!

  146. I think it’s just travel often that leads to startitis. I’m on McCain duty — and bugging out of hotels every AM like you — and there isn’t much time to even do a couple of rows on my niece’s dress.
    I’m craving the yarn… Swearing I’ll do so many projects before the holidays! Must get off a plane for a day or two. That’ll cure it.
    And congrats on the best-seller list ranking!!!!

  147. oh, I am so embarrassed. I just started squealing “oohhh, I have that color” when I saw the Misit Alpaca socks. My husband did not rush over to see what I was squealing about.

  148. Do you suppose you could be me just long enough to finish Meander? It’s 80 percent done, and it needs to be in the mail no later than Wed to make it to Red Scarf. Piece of cake for a knitting dervish such as yourself.

  149. Oh Steph! Why did you have to mention the February Lady Sweater?!? It was my next project and now everyone will be wearing one… *sigh* At least I’ll be in good company.

  150. Oh, Startitis! I am saved by my finances and the fact I am still working on Last Christmass’ Knitting List. (and I was so smug that my list was very short and yours was so long and I would be fine…etc. Knitting Goddess smacked me.)
    I haven’t seen anyone mention this when I scanned the comments, and I am not a spinner, but … isn’t that a whole hell of a lot of roving? (Or top. What is the difference, anyway?) I bought a little baggie of fluffy stuff for my girlfriend and she spun enough out of it to make a scarf. That looks to me like enough roving to make a car-cozy.

  151. Hee, I should’ve known from the spike in my visitor numbers that I’d been Harloted! πŸ˜‰
    That roving is going to spin up stunning. xo, P

  152. and the opposite of purging is….
    I think you are on what is know in some circles as “a bender”

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