That one took a while

Last night I had a really unusual experience, at least for me… and that was insomnia. A complete and total inability to fall asleep. I lay there, bored and furious, doing all of the things I’ve told my kids to try. Listening to my own breathing, counting by three… meditating. Nothing. Nada. Zip. The sandman cometh not.. and in fact I have my suspicions that the slacker was on a beach in Mexico whooping it up with a minty fresh mojito and a bag of ketchup chips. I finally dropped off at about 3am, only to wake up at 4 and repeat the process… finally crashing back out at 5:30 – only to drag my finally soundly sleeping arse out of bed at 7:30. I’ve had a murderous gleam in my eye since then. Insomnia is very rare for me. I’ve been trained by two decades of motherhood to take sleep where I can get it, and I usually drop off as quickly as the grades of a teenaged girl with her first real boyfriend. Last night though, I just couldn’t get there. I was too wound up to sleep, too tired to get up, and my fury built exponentially – especially since Joe was dead to the world, cozy and peaceful beside me. (I did not poke, disturb or wake him in any way, which I think is a testament to my maturity – especially considering how much I wanted to.)

I think it’s the number of balls I have in the air. I like all of them, and I’m not miserable by any stretch.. I’m excited and thrilled most of the time, but keeping my writing, the blog, a family, teaching, speaking and planning the Sock Summit all in the air at once isn’t exactly a state that’s conducive to sleepiness… and it finally caught up with me. It’s ironic too, because a smarter woman would totally have gotten up and worked on one of those things, or at least gotten up to knit, especially since knitting time has been in short supply. The Viper Pilot socks didn’t get finished for the finale of Battlestar Galactica (which I actually thought was a little disappointing, but I’m not sure how) but I do have one of them, and it’s darned nice. Very befitting a pilot of the Colonial Fleet… although I bet they have a pair.


Saturday I set the socks aside, because Sunday we were gathering as a family to celebrate our spring birthdays.


My nephew Hank is turning nine (and you can tell that his 3-D version of the Guinness Book of World Records was a big hit) and my sister… well. I think she’d appreciate it if I left her age out of it. Last year I started a sweater for her birthday but something happened and the sweater pissed me off, and not only was it not finished in time, but I set it aside for a whole year out of rage. A whole year. That year that it sat in knitterly purgatory (aka- the linen closet) really worked though, because as her birthday swung back around this year, I couldn’t remember what it had done to make me so frustrated that I couldn’t be bothered to finish it. I dug it out of the bag I’d had it jailed in, and took a look at what was left to be done.


It was mostly complete. All the parts were there, though not sewn together, and the collar only needed a few rows, and I sat down and finished it. Sewed it up, admired my work, looked at my zipper sitting there and remembered what my issue was. The Zipper. I hate putting zippers in knitting. I love how it looks, and I think it’s the most practical way to finish a lot of things, especially things for kids, or things that, like this sweater, would have the pattern disrupted by a row of buttons. I do think it’s really hard to sew something as non-stretchy as a zipper into something as stretchy as a piece of knitting, and I’ve had a lot of unhappy endings with zippers in general. It’s a whole other skill set, unrelated, I feel… to being a good knitter. It’s sewing, not knitting. Since I put this away though, I’ve had some limited zipper success, so I dove in. I basted the sweater front shut with a needle and thread, taking care to make sure the cables, top and bottom were lined up, then turned it inside out and pinned the zipper in from behind, taking care to line up the centre line of the zip with the centre “seam” of the sweater. When it was all pinned in, I pulled the basting out, unzipped the zipper, and sat down at the sewing machine.


After a false start in which I sewed one whole side in (removing pins as I went) and then realized that I wasn’t actually sewing because I hadn’t hooked up the machine right and had to do over the whole basting/pinning thing…(a thousand rat-eating curses) I think I got it. It’s not the most expert of zippers, and I wouldn’t want to enter it in a contest, but I think my sister liked it a lot.


At least part of her glee was probably just the thrill of seeing it finished. She had received a couple of pieces of it and some yarn last year… and for a non-knitter, that bag of hope + a whole year of time probably had meant that she didn’t really believe in the sweater anymore.


It fits her well, is just in time for the Toronto spring, where it’s too warm for a coat (not yet) and not warm enough for nothing. She showed up to yoga wearing it last night, so I don’t even think she was faking how much she liked it.


13 months in the making, I give you the Urban Aran – cardiganized. (Ravelry Link) Brooklyn Tweed was the first place I saw this sweater, which was a pullover in the Patons booklet “Street Smart” smartly divided up the middle to make it a really snazzy jacket. I used Araucania Nature Wool Chunky (colour 105) from The Purple Purl, and I think it was a great choice. Sturdy but soft, warm but not itchy. (Erin worries about the itchiness of wool – though does concede that the only itchy thing I have ever given her was acrylic. Ha.)


I think she loves it. Next year she gets a book.

214 thoughts on “That one took a while

  1. first
    “Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
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    Please correct the error in the form below, then press Post to post your comment.”
    GRRRRRRRRR and here i thourght i would be first

  2. Congrats on sweater.Love the viper. Want to make that and eye of jupiter. I’m stuck on socks with a few scarves and hats thrown in. Finishing Dead Fish Hat tonight(knitty).

  3. Lovely–I really like that color. Someday I need to sit down and put a zipper in the cardigan I made three years ago. Ahem.

  4. Oh, it’s beautiful, as is she. Is she Hank’s mom? How is that possible? I don’t understand how Hank is already 9 and she is, like, what, 20? Seriously. The math doesn’t work.

  5. Congrats. Way to stick it to the sweater! How clear your mind must be now that present is outta there. I suspect sleep will come easily tonight.

  6. Well, I’m apparently not first, but I do have something to say: gorgeous cardi. I’d forgotten about it too. (Your sister sure looks like you.)

  7. As a seamstress, I have a certain amount of experience with zippers. Observation 1) They never fit exactly, even if you measured the old zipper very carefully. Observation 2) They require careful matching at certain points, but the fabric can be stretched or bunched to fit within limits. The important thing is to pin at top and bottom first, and work from there. Pressing a ruler or something alongside the section you’re working on can also help prevent the fabric from bunching up under the sewing machine foot.

  8. First of all, there is seriously no way Hank can be 9. You found a way to warp the time/space continuum after all, didn’t you?
    Secondly, congratulations on the zipper. I still cringe and refuse to attempt zippers. I must find a decent dry-cleaners who will insert zippers nicely for me. Any suggestions?
    And wasn’t the deal that Ken was supposed to be your zipper-inserter?
    Re. the insomnia … Sometimes a glass of warmed milk with a half-teaspoon of honey stirred in will do the trick. There’s some chemical mix between the honey and the milk that is supposed to knock one right out. Or an economics book …
    Congratulations on finishing the sweater!

  9. Stephanie,
    the sweater looks great! Love the colour. I have that book and going to attempt the pattern now that I saw it done………. by the by, was getting worried that we wouldn’t hear from you again, …… thought you had ridden off into the sunset in your new vehicle!!!!
    innisfil knitter

  10. so do I count as 7th or 2nd?
    Or did I just take too long?
    Love the sweater. Can’t believe Hank is so big.

  11. First of all, there is seriously no way Hank can be 9. You found a way to warp the time/space continuum after all, didn’t you?
    Secondly, congratulations on the zipper. I still cringe and refuse to attempt zippers. I must find a decent dry-cleaners who will insert zippers nicely for me. Any suggestions?
    And wasn’t the deal that Ken was supposed to be your zipper-inserter?
    Re. the insomnia … Sometimes a glass of warmed milk with a half-teaspoon of honey stirred in will do the trick. There’s some chemical mix between the honey and the milk that is supposed to knock one right out. Or an economics book …
    Congratulations on finishing the sweater!

  12. all right!!!
    I am at least second, and I have never been in the top anything before!
    Insomnia tends to come around a little more often after 40. Well, it did for me any way. Unfortunately, I had to cut out the caffeine late in the day.
    Sucks, I know.

  13. yay for the Vipor Pilot sock! it fits in well with my one Eye of Jupiter sock. as for the finale, don’t get me started, b/c i could give you a ton of reasons why i wasn’t happy with it!
    and your sister looks so much like you! the sweater is lovely!

  14. You can put the zip in with a sewing machine?????!!!! Really??? Why has no-one ever mentioned this before?! And why didn’t I think of it while I sweated over all that handsewing?
    I’m staggered. And thrilled. And redesigning my WIP…
    (ps. Sideways? Really?!)

  15. I have a crap sister: can I a) have your sister instead (I will happily share) as she looks nice, b) have her sweater, and/or c) be adopted as your sister (sweaters optional), since I’m in the market and you clearly do sisters well? Please?

  16. lovely, lovely, lovely color, wonderful sweater. you and brooklyntweed make me wish i dared to knit something more exciting than vanilla-flavored stockinette and garter.
    and so sorry to hear about the insomnia. did you try drinking warm milk? i’ve had it on and off since i was 19, and drinking warm milk really helps (apparently even research backs that theory up). i hope it never happens to you again, but if it does, it can really turn into productive time if warm milk doesn’t work.

  17. March is a really busy birthday month! Happy happy to your folks. The sweater looks great. I have never sewn a zipper in with a machine, always by hand.
    Insomnia: watch out, it could just be a long lead up to menopause…

  18. Well done for completing the cardigan, it looks great. Although you have now frightened me off zippers for life. Basting?! sewing machine?!!?!!
    I was told for insomnia you’re supposed to try and keep your eyes one (in the dark). Eventually your sleepy peepers just give in. It works some times.

  19. oh, and for recurring insomnia, caffeine in any form from late afternoon – early evening is bad.

  20. That 13 months of waiting is worth a lifetime of happiness – straight from the heart. I am jealous of Erin..

  21. Wow, that’s a lovely color for her – and a lovely cardigan of course. It is interesting that non-knitters do give up hope given months of sweater hibernation. Silly muggles!

  22. 1) Ketchup Chips? Ew.
    2) Hank cannot be nine! I read all the archives last year, and in my mind he is only 5 or 6, just a few years older than my beloved Jack. But 9! Geez, that’s so grown up! He is still totally cute though.
    3) That sweater rocks. Also, good job having one gift cover two birthdays. Very cunning.

  23. The sweater is beautiful, and obviously well worth the wait! I too am impressed with your zip inserting skills. I seem to remember Hank’s Xmas sweater also had a zipper? Your sister looks like a lot a fun!

  24. My daughter, who also just turned 9, still isn’t a perfect reader. She calls it the Genius Book.
    Fabulous sweater – inspires me to re-try the whole zipper thing.

  25. YAY!!! Its finished! You have no idea how many times I have looked up the progress of this sweater in the last year–fell in love with the pattern and the yarn (especially the color you used) and had just assumed that you had already finished it and given it to her. I am thrilled today to see that it is done and what it looks like all finished…
    …because, thanks to you, I got the same Street Smart Booklet and the yarn to make one for myself.

  26. Oh my, I am so glad that you managed to get it done. Me, if I’m that close the sucker is going to be finished. I’m much more like to get caught up in the dregs on the second front of a cardigan…
    Nice zipper, I’ve only done one, and I sewed it by hand to get the fit right.

  27. The sweater is beautiful; kudos for pulling it back out and finishing it!
    And I think your disappointment about BSG is really sadness that the saga is over; at least that’s how I feel.

  28. I love the sweater! And, Erin looks great in it. I have an unfinished sweater for my sister, too. It was for her fortieth birtday–all done except for assembling it. She’s now sixty. I don’t think she’ll get the sweater.

  29. has it been a whole year? since seeing the beautiful sweater started, adding one to my queue, stalking the patons pattern book, excitement over finding the pattern book, etc?
    your sister looks lovely and sooo happy in her beautiful sweater. must start one.
    socks are lovely too.

  30. So pretty! Congratulations on finishing it – I have many partially-knit pieces on time-out, thinking about what they’ve done. I sort of wonder if I’ll ever finish them…
    You’ve given me hope. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. I’ve been suffering from insomnia on-and-off for a few months now. I wish I could help, other than to give you big kudos for not hurting Joe. I know if I were sharing my bed with someone all nice and dead to the world while I couldn’t sleep, I’d be locked up in the pen inside a week.
    Happy Birthdays, Hank (9? Nine? Seriously, nine?) and Erin!

  32. That is a beautiful sweater; I love the blue.
    Wait… back up….. *ketchup chips?* Is this something that only happens to Canadians? Did they spread from the British, they of the ‘hot dog and mustard-flavoured crisps?’

  33. I suffer from insomnia alot.Warm milk, soft music, a warm bath, complete darkness,no caffiene after 2:00pm,and one I haven’t tried yet ,is apple cider vinegar, honey and warm water mixed together.Hope is doesn’t happen again. The sweater is gorgeous , The blue colour makes we covet it. Hey please no talk about menopause ,nasty thing.

  34. Having just recently discovered insomnia myself, this line “I usually drop off as quickly as the grades of a teenaged girl with her first real boyfriend” really is a keeper.
    Hope things go better for ya tonight.

  35. I am torn between being excited about your awesome sock, jealous of your awesome sweater, and *transfixed* with *horror* over the combination of mint and ketchup.
    But then again, I reach for the Creamy Dill chips first myself so I really shouldn’t be mocking anyone else’s taste, should I.

  36. The sweater looks AWESOME.
    Funny how the more there is to do (and think and worry about), the harder it is to get some real shut-eye. That sleepless rage subsides a bit after a good punch to the pillow. A bit.

  37. P.S. @deb don’t knock ketchup chips until you try them. Seriously. Closely followed by dill.
    P.P.S. @deborah this was my biggest laugh of the day: “It was for her fortieth birtday–all done except for assembling it. She’s now sixty. ”
    P.P.P.S. Note to self, read prior comments before commenting myself.

  38. I cannot believe Hank is growing up so fast! I realize it always happens, but it’s also always a shock at how quickly the adorable little ones sprout into sullen teenagers. He’s just around the corner, oh joy. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The sweater looks great! I’ve never had the nerve to try one on my machine — how do I keep the knitting from getting all snagged by the feed dogs? I guess I could use a piece of paper under the sweater to keep it sliding through smoothly? Anyway, this is a subject I have to investigate a lot more before I try it. Clearly you are achieving wonderful results even if you think you’ve got a lot to learn!
    And last but hopefully least, insomnia is frequently one of the early symptoms of peri-menopause. I sure hope that’s not your issue, but I was about your age when I first discovered that delightful fact about being female. I’d never had insomnia in my life before then; now, more than ten years down the road, I have it several nights a week. I’ve just learned to function in a groggy state since apparently my body has decided this is a permanent addition to its “how can I annoy you even more?” repertoire.
    Sitting up knitting is always a good solution, though. Which is one reason why my productivity has increased a lot lately!
    p.s. And yes, dana, you were first. ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Cute sister, great sweater. I have one question–how do you make the sweater the length of the zipper?? Or, do you cut the zipper at some point?? What brand of zipper do you use??

  40. p.p.s. We also understand late gifts in my family. My mother received a Mother’s Day present from my sister once in October, and I’m still waiting on my 2007 birthday gift from my daughter. I have hopes I may get it this summer when she comes to visit, but I’m not holding my breath.

  41. The insomnia could have been caused by the new antibiotics. Certain ones can do a number on your hormones and cause wacky things.

  42. Great sweater, and obviously appreciated!
    I’m nowhere near as fast a knitter as you, but I’m finding the Viper socks to be a slower knit than usual. I think it’s all the knit tbls – I don’t do them as fast as a regular knit stitch. I still love them enough to be willing to do them once for me and once for a gift.

  43. Turkey contains a sleep-inducing ingredient (tryptophan?) which explains why many people feel sleepy after Christmas dinner. Perhaps a turkey sandwich before bed, and make sure there is lettuce in the sandwich. Remember the Flopsy Bunnies and how they fell asleep after eating Farmer McGregor’s lettuces? A banana and warm milk is supposed to be good too. And definitely, no caffeinated beverages after 5 p.m. Getting out of bed during sleepless times is apparently not recommended. You’re supposed to just lie there quietly.

  44. Oh, your sister is so cute in those pictures! Does that mean I need to finish the gloves for my sister? (I don’t think they’re really appropriate for spring, but she’ll like them anyway, I hope.)

  45. you probably couldn’t sleep because, like me, you were still (4 days later!) coming up with new inconsistencies to bsg. although i feel like it fizzled a bit in the end, mostly (i think) i am just sad its over.

  46. A little disappointed? I found the last 45 minutes of the finale a strange and horrible nightmare from which I could not wake up, where some bizarre monstrosity had replaced My Show and I was helpless to stop it. I think somebody lobotomized Ron Moore. There’s no other explanation.
    But I’m still knitting those socks.

  47. I have always admired you but now you are my Knitting Goddess. No one ever told me that I could sew a zipper onto a sweater with a sewing machine. NO ONE!!! Any more secrets I should know?

  48. I have always admired you but now you are my Knitting Goddess. No one ever told me that I could sew a zipper onto a sweater with a sewing machine. NO ONE!!! Any more secrets I should know?
    Your sister’s Urban Aran looks great.

  49. To be honest, I have never knit a piece with a zipper. If I see a zippered pattern, I normally run in the other direction. Zippers are scary! Good for you for finishing it and triumphing over the dreaded zipper! (Did you know that when you say “zipper” several times in a short period of time, it begins to sound nonsensical?)

  50. In that third picture (of her, not total) your sister looks a lot like Katee Sackhoff!
    The BSG finale made me confused and teary. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

  51. I can’t believe how Hank has grown over the years. He doesn’t really have that “kid” look anymore. sigh. Your sister looks great in the cardigan. The pullover is on my list of stuff to get to. I’ll have to go back in your archives and see if you mentioned how to convert the pattern to cardigan. Sorry about the insomnia, I’ve dealt with that myself and it is exhausting in its frustration.

  52. Ahh, insomnia. Don’t you love it? It hit me in my forties and I came to the conclusion that if I changed my attitude and told myself that insomnia was fine and it didn’t bother me a bit, and that I might after all, get in a nap later the next day (I haven’t had time for a nap since the 80s) then it would be OK. I then found it much easier to cope with the lack of sleep. I think mine is related to too much going on in my life. My mother suggested that I put the states in alphabetic order – which I now can do at the drop of a hat. I also know the Canadian provinces, the nations of Africa and the counties of Idaho. All that alphabetizing is empowering and fills the time in the dark.
    That cardigan is grand. Thanks for the great photos.

  53. You just described my sleeping habits every stinking night. Sleep has become very illusive indee. In my case however, I’m sure it’s my age, and the whacked out interal thermostat causing the problems. that can’t be the case with you yet. Lovely sweater, lovely sister, lovely sister in lovely sweater!

  54. The sweater is grand. And your sister: how cute is she?
    (Geez, Dana–overachieve much?)

  55. Have you ever tried Rescue Remedy for those stress-induced sleepless nights? Yogi makes a tea called Bed Time Tea that’s great too.
    Loooove the sock. Gotta agree about the Battle Star ending, though.

  56. I’ve go you beat… I took almost two years to make my fiance a sweater, and it was just plain rib. (He wears it everywhere now)
    I had insommia for several weeks at the start of the year, and like you, I think it was just too many balls in the air… definitely not fun though. My fiance kept telling me to start drinking… he even bought me a bottle of Jack … which I haven’t opened

  57. Insomnia increases as you get older, I don’t mean to make you cry or anything, but honestly it’s true. I think the more you worry about not sleeping the more you don’t sleep.
    DO NOT READ THIS, I’ve suddenly realised this will compound your worries about not sleeping and after reading this you will never sleep soundly again. Sorry.
    PS sweater gorgeous x

  58. No way, Hank is NINE? Dude, where the hell does time go?
    Your sister is very cute. The sweater is fabulous, what a great fit. The color is fantastic on her too. Lucky sister. ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. Love the one sock… maybe you could pretend you’re Gata. Insomnia sucks. One of your daughters looks just like your sister. Genetics can be funny that way.

  60. eeeep! I just had a flash to my own little ‘bag of hope’–except the reason I put this one in time out was because it was acrylic stockinet… and I was REALLLLLLLY bored and irritated. *sigh* Time for me to get out my own little ‘bag of hope’ and get moving, isn’t it? It’s almost been a year!

  61. Erin’s sweater turned out beautifully! I’m glad you finished it for her. ๐Ÿ™‚ It reminded me of a sweater I began for son #1 when he was two years old. Blue denim plain raglan cardi. No sweat. ๐Ÿ™‚ I finished it in time for his first year of school, and the first day he wore it, he climbed the fence across the road to look at the racing horses being trained, and tore the sweater!! And yes,the sweater I started when he was two actually fit loosely when he was five… hmmmm…

  62. that’s exactly what my 9 year old suggested. to me but i never told you. he loves his guiness book! the sweater and wearer are a perfect match.
    will the sock be ready for camp???

  63. My insomnia solution is 1 or 2 ibuprofin – Advil in my house. Take with water and lay back down. Does the trick for me every time. My insomnia also began in my mid 40’s.
    Hank is getting older and we stay constant. He’s adorable – does he still love dinosaurs?
    Also love the cardi. Congrats on finishing it.

  64. Yah!!!! I was wondering what happened to poor sweater. My zip-up Urban Aran is sitting in time-out with only the back panel done. I didn’t like the way the colour striped using 2 skeins. Now, we are not speaking to each other. You may actually be inspiring me to have a go at it again.
    I’ll get it out and sit beside it on the couch tonight to see how we feel about each other.

  65. Oo la la! That’s seriously awesome work right there. I can appreciate the frustration with insomnia, but I have to ask. Ketchup chips? *is puzzled*
    I am thinking of you today as I have some Beecher’s cheese curds.

  66. Getting up and doing something can help, particularly when you are worrying about everything that isn’t done and should be. I know from experience. I get something accomplished and fall asleep around 3:30 or 4 AM, usually on the couch.
    But–when all else is lost, Ambien does the trick. You can’t keep using it over and over, sometimes just knowing you have it on the shelf will do the trick. And, when you take it, it gives you a good night. Ask you doctor about it.
    By the way, the sweater is just beautiful. Isn’t it a treat when you resurrect something that you didn’t think would ever be finished? I did that recently with a couple of sweaters and it was such a sweet feeling.

  67. if you leave the basting in while you sew the zipper in place, you may have better luck! I’d be tempted to baste the zipper, rather than pin, since basting holds better than pins. And sewing in the same direction on both sides is also a good idea.
    my 2 cents from sewing zippers since I was little.
    Oh, yeah, and that sweater is so absolutely fabulously beautiful it’s torturing me!

  68. I second the recommendation for ibuprofin. Tylenol PM is my heavy duty helper, but ibuprofin is my first course of action when milk, relaxation techniques, etc don’t work.
    I can almost guarantee you there are no ketchup chips in Mexico. I can’t even get them here in upstate NY. Every time I go home to Canada, we lay in a stock of Aero bars and ketchup chips. Yeah, nothing like coming back across the border and declaring two bags worth of junk food … though it beats the time I had to claim a dozen donuts.

  69. I remember that sweater. I think you were just wrapping up that lovely gift when I started reading your blog a year ago. Way to go.

  70. I think BSG was a little bit of a let down mainly because it was too happy an ending, not that I wanted a bad ending but the show is not all roses and rainbows. I think they did it nicley but well, I wanted more lol. Which means they did the job right, but still yes I agree there was something missing at the end, no idea what though. I knew they where going to do that with starbuck, thought of it about 10 minutes before it happened.

  71. This is gorgeous – lucky sister! I’m also inspired to pick up my Urban (cardi) again and Just Do It!! Mine will be red, however. ๐Ÿ™‚

  72. She got the nice hair!
    And when did Hank get so big?
    Love the sweater and the sock – at least the sweater ball is out of the air!

  73. hey! that’s a really FAB sweater and Hank is sweet as ever! i was trying to scope out the pics for any family resemblance and i finally caught a glimpse where your sister is looking askance at the camera!

  74. She looks extraordinarily gleeful with her sweater. Nice work. I could never get my sewing machine, a zipper, and a sweater cooperate, but some day it will. Or I’ll use staples.

  75. I can’t help but notice that the socks match the sweater very nicely… just sayin’
    And, Happy Birthday Hank! Those 3-D glasses are a good look on you. I’d definitely wear them to school if I were you.

  76. oosh. Wait for a couple of years for the REAL insomnia to set in. Kids come to “THAT” age, and parents are at “THAT” age and what to do about either or both?!
    Love the sweater. Sure glad to hear that others have a purgatory closet. Another year of age, patience and learning makes it a LOT easier to pull out the penitentiary article to finish. HA! Cross me will ya?!

  77. Wow! It looks great with jeans!! What a lovely gift ~ your sister looks so much like you! Happy Birthday to your family!!

  78. I love the cardigan. It looks great with jeans.
    As for the lack of sleep, I’ve always wondered why it’s only the kindergarten kids that get afternoon naps. Why dont’ we institute them in all offices and business, say every afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00….

  79. I can’t believe Hank is nine either. I swear he was just four. Wasn’t he just four??
    Beautiful knitting, as always. I covet the sock.

  80. I think it’s odd that I remember Hank’s seventh birthday. But awesome. He’s growing up handsome isn’t he? Your sister looks exactly like you, and the sweater is FABULOUS!!! I’ll have to make one (if I ever knit again).

  81. “drop off as quickly as the grades of a teenaged girl with her first real boyfriend”. Thanks for that.
    Love, love, LOVE sister’s sweater. Glad you broke it out of purgatory!

  82. “drop off as quickly as the grades of a teenaged girl with her first real boyfriend”. Thanks for that.
    Love, love, LOVE sister’s sweater. Glad you broke it out of purgatory!
    Also? Hank is handsomeing up nicely. Mebbe in 20 or so years, we can set him up with Wee Monkey Gurl (by then, I may be okay with her dating…)

  83. Stephanie,
    Lovely sweater, and boy doesn’t it feel good when a project is completed!!! I refuse to call it insomnia, it is just a restless night, total denial, yes, but it works for me….
    Also, have you finished the skirt? I’ve never knit a skit, but I’d love to see yours completed–you know, for inspiration…Perhaps I missed that blog?..Happy Spring!

  84. On Ravelry someone, I think Techknitter (but I can’t find it on her site) had the _greatest_ way to install a zipper.
    Make two crochet chains.
    Stitch them by machine to the zipper tape along the the lines that they always have.
    Pin the zipper into the sweater, having both sides meet in the center, or to the sides of the teeth, or whatever suits. Pin thoroughly, keep pins to center of where the chain is (so that the edge of the tape is free).
    Now the magic…on the inside, fold back the edge of the zipper tape and hand sew the the chain to the sweater.
    Whip the edge of the tape loosely to the sweater, for neatness.
    Marvel at the ease.

  85. Love that sweater! Congrats on finishing! (and as for sub-par zippering, just remember what quilters always say – finished is better than perfect!)Many happy returns to both Erin and Hank, who my daughter Fern says looks like a miniature Zac Efron!
    Wowza! (well, she is only eight!)

  86. I love the sweater! It really does look great. I feel your pain about putting in zippers – thanks to lauradel for her tips on inserting zippers.
    I find that my thrills and disappointments with BSG are well articulated by Jacob over at Television Without Pity. Here is the link to the recaplet about Daybreak Part II: Jacob usually posts a much longer and more detailed review and recap several days after the episode. I am a big fan of his (and lucky enough to be his friend), and I find that he is able to put language to the gut feelings that I have while watching television.

  87. Insomnia…been there, STILL doing that. At first from excitement similar to yours. Now it’s just menopause. Menopause insomnia is not as persistent, but it comes with it’s own hot flashes…..FUN!

  88. Love that sweater! Congrats on finishing! (and as for sub-par zippering, just remember what quilters always say – finished is better than perfect!)Many happy returns to both Erin and Hank, who my daughter Fern says looks like a miniature Zac Efron!
    Wowza! (well, she is only eight!)
    p.s. you know what’s really good for insomnia? well, suffice it to say, you might want to wake Joe up next time…

  89. insomnia: schedule time for yourself and stick to it. A massage. A pedicure. A tubby soak. Repeat weekly.
    sweater: we are so lucky to have sisters.

  90. Ugh on insomnia ๐Ÿ™ Here’s my cure (if I fail to remember that since I’m not sleeping I might as well get up and knit) – I stole it from Orson Scott Card in his Ender series: DOuble numbers.
    ie: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc. You have to stop & start over if you make a mistake.
    I can make it up to 2 million something now. I used to get stuck after 65,536, but after umpteen gobjillion tries I got past it. So far, though, I can’t get past holding all the numbers in my head that compromise doubling to 2 million, lol.
    Beautiful job on the sweater ๐Ÿ™‚

  91. Gorgeous sweater, and the sister looks good too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve never mastered putting zippers in on the sewing machine. Not even with the expensive ‘zipper’ foot. I’ve made 19 wedding dresses, nearly all of them have zippers… all hand stitched.
    Hank is 9? Wow! I mean, I know he’s the same age as my youngest, but they aren’t supposed to be nearly tweenagers yet!

  92. That is a lovely sweater, but listen to me closely: Hank is not allowed to be nine. Please let him know for me.

  93. That is a lovely sweater, but listen to me closely: Hank is not allowed to be nine. Please let him know for me.
    (p.s. Is he named after yarn? I can’t believe I’ve never thought of that beforeโ€ฆ)

  94. Well of course you would reamin awake girl –you didn’t count sheep !! The sweater is lovely and the colour suits your sister . If counting sheep doesn”t work get up and knit that should help. good luck to night . I HAE sewing of any kind and its the one thin g I HATE about knitting. No one warned me about this and it makes me angry each and every time . I have left sweaters in time out for months becaise of it. Maybe there is someone that just likes to sew these parts together and LOEDY it isn’t me . Good for you for doing it , Happy year ahead to Hank and Erin.

  95. My husband and I laughed out loud reading about your Insomnia. I had the same thing last night too, and after two nights of a baby keeping me up, I should have been out cold! But I think my body has been completely disabused of the notion that it can sleep straight through so it wants to be awake to see the attack coming. Or I’m getting too old to eat a lot of popcorn late at night. Either way, I totally identify with that Murderous Gleam in your eye – I still have it now, and it’s 8:30pm.
    Sweet Dreams!

  96. How in the world is Hank 9 YEARS OLD???!!
    Nice sweater! Now hopefully I’ll finish my urban aran in less than 13 months. Sadly, knitting a damn crab has gotten in the way. (srsly. Crab making me bananas.)

  97. I was actually wondering about that sweater recently (I started an Urban Aran for myself and was browsing the cardigan ones on Ravelry and was somewhat confused, since I was sure you’d knit one). I’m glad to see you got it done – it looks great! Very pretty sweater!

  98. I’ll be the odd man out and say I don’t think your sister looks like you but maybe it’s just her hair that’s throwing me off. Sweater looks good and she certainly seems happy with it.
    The lack of BSG commentary is disturbing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, I think the whole problem was too much buck, too little bang. I dedicate years of my life to this show and Starbuck just…disappears? What the hell is this? Touched by an Angel? And the Opera House dream was, what? A comedy of errors? Are they for real? The only remotely satisfying moment was when Galen opened up a can of retribution on Tory’s arse. Apollo goes all Lewis & Clark? And 38,000 survivors agree to forgo modern medicine, indoor plumbing and Listerine. I. Don’t. Think. So.
    (Sorry to sound so obsessive, but as I mentioned in the other BSG sock post, no one in my real life watches this show.)

  99. Wow! The very first time I read your blog was the entry about how the wool for THIS VERY SWEATER fell into your lap (…after you’d been chasing it all day. LOL). How nice to see it finally finished. It gives me hope for all the UFOs I have stashed away in various closets.
    When I read that blog post I laughed, giggled, and rolled my eyes in glee at your escapades. I came back the next day and read about the house in the woods where you planned on hiding from the axe murderer that *might* be outside by hiding in the tub, then the next day where you were mocked by deer, and I was hooked!
    So I guess it’s my blogiversary as a reader!

  100. I just took my urban aran out of time out last weekend! You have further inspired me to finish it. I’m using Louet Riverstone Chunky in a celery color – fortunately a year later I still love it and want to wear it.
    Nice job.

  101. Happy Birthday to both your sister and Hank! He’s looking very funky in his 3-D glasses.
    The sweater looks great and seeing that using a sewing machine is possible in knits, may have me actually finishing that vest I made all that time ago and refused to hand stitch in the zipper. A very good thing too since my sewing by hand is horrific.

  102. oh my.. I had the misfortune of having to watch the BSG finale far away from my friends and anyone who knew the show.. and so I just had this pent up … disappointment and I guess anger? or something lurking about for a few days. It was just so terribly… tolerable and that was about it. I could go on and analyze it to death for you (and oh if you ask I shall..) but I’ll spare you my over zealous verbositude (it’s a word now..).
    Also. I’m sorry to hear you had a bout of insomnia. hopefully this evening works wonders :). And congrats on finishing your sisters sweater. and wow I forgot how adorable hank was (hah that’s a lie, I totally remembered and got excited when I realised super cute hank had to be in a post about spring birthdays. He’s too fun). I hope you had fun at the party!

  103. Well, great. Now I want coffee and it’s 9 P.M. I don’t have to get up in the morning (YAY!).
    Lovely work on the sweater and that gorgeous sock. I can’t even handle needles that small. I may never know the thrill of handmade socks.
    I do feel the need to make another sweater, though. Can’t decide which one.

  104. Ditto on the sewing the zipper by hand for a hand-knit sweater. I freaked out when I saw the pic of the sewing machine. Then I realized why you have so much trouble. Hand-stitching with a small, thin needle and beeswax melted into your thread makes you the master of the zipper!

  105. Insomnia bites. My M.O. is to fall asleep at my normal time and sleep well until about 3am, when I wake up and then lie there wide awake for hours. I finally fall back asleep about 15 minutes before my alarm clock goes off. Then I get a sleep deprivation migraine. Grr.
    Wow, Hank keeps getting older and older. It’s like time is passing or something. Huh.

  106. Great sweater, perfect colour, lucky sister!
    And that is the way of kids: grow up too fast!
    Sorry about not getting the pilot socks done “in time”. It is good that you had the Jupiter socks to fall back on.
    My two cents for insomnia: stay away from all those things you can take, most of them have side effects and dependency. I read before I go to sleep. If I wake up, I read some more. It works well, and insomnia is rare. This is especially good when I’m worried about something. Good reading is distracting.
    Right now I’m reading a really sweet book with little stories about knitting (needs your signing).

  107. Ah, Stephanie, once again you give us a great ‘Awwww’ post. Your sister looks so happy in her cardi and it looks so good on her. Thanks.
    And about the insomnia? Don’t beat yourself up about it. Most of the time I find that it’s self-correcting (says I who slept for 45 minutes last night). Happens.

  108. Zippers are a curse. In Home Ec, (yep, that vintage!), I always messed up the supposedly up-messableable invisible zippers. Usually had to sew and rip out several times. Argghhhhh!
    Congratulations on successful installation. Glad to see your sister enjoys the sweater.

  109. Insomnia from too many balls in the air can easily be compounded by caffeine (even if you don’t have it after a certain hour, it still disrupts your sleep cycle and jacks your endocrine system). Caffeine compounds stress’s effect on the body, so the more stress you have, and the more caffeine you have, you get exponential physical reactions — such as, insomnia.
    It started with insomnia for me (waking unusually early followed by being unable to get to sleep at all), but quickly manifested in other symptoms, mostly too personal to relate, but the whole endocrine system can have astonishing effects on health and well being.
    ANYWAY, I know dropping caffeine is an unpopular suggestion, but the change in my ability to handle the stress was astonishing. If I believed in such things, it would have been miraculous. It gave me the brain space to be able to put into effect some work and lifestyle changes. If you cannot avoid the stress, you have to put into place things to ameliorate its effects, right?
    Dropping caffeine slashes the effects of stress. It takes 9 days apparently for it to get out of your system entirely, and I won’t lie to you, the first three were brutal. But by the 9th day, I was sleeping again.
    Except when I over do it, I’m waking rested again, too (it’s been almost 7 weeks now), and all the other issues have resolved.
    Don’t think it’s just age! Everyone said that to me (I’ll be 40 in June) but that wasn’t the case. Anxiety/stress aren’t just about negative things, they are also about positive things, like exciting new ventures!

  110. Someone has got to tell Dana up at the top there to calm down! She’s hogging all the comments.
    I hate insomnia; I used to get up and enjoy the peace and quiet, but now I am too afraid of running into a bat or a mouse if I go downstairs in the middle of the night. So I lie in bed and sulk.

  111. It was in the air last night- I was prowling the house, waking my husband (I’m not as mature as you, haha), throwing open the windows…and did not touch the pile of job-work, housework, or knitting that I had to do. Because I was trying to get to sleep. tonight I did not make a pot of tea (duh!) but unfortunately that 3 hour nap when I crashed out after work is killing my attempts to go to bed early.
    The sweater is great, but your sister- I thought she was one of your daughters. Please tell us she’s 25 or something and NOT Hank’s mom.

  112. You are brave. I thought your sister did not appreciate handknits. I think it is great. My husband is a doctor and he says he will worry about people’s being addicted to sleeping pills when they are no longer addicted to sleeping.;)

  113. Absolutely gorgeous sweater! And I am soooo impressed that you put in the zipper by yourself. I hate putting them in! But I agree that, for some sweaters, they are perfect.

  114. Good Sistahs! Good Sistah Giveth and Good Sistah receiveth! Blessed Be the Canadian BABES!!!

  115. Looks like it was worth the wait – that is one beautiful sweater. You knit sweaters that fit so perfectly! I always admire this because as you have noted previously, gauge swatches can sometimes be deceiving.

  116. Stephanie,
    Just wanted you to know that I have donated $20 to Doctors Without Boarders. I am from a suburb of Kansas City Missouri USA.
    My husband who is also a big Battlestar Galctica fan came in while I was looking at your socks and he thinks that they are cool.
    Donna aka Duckie

  117. Insomnia–too many nights I’ve listened to the dog and husband snore. Sometimes I get up and knit. Other times I write. Mostly, I just stay in bed and hope sleep finds me before the cell phone alarm rings. I hate to tell you but it happens much more often as you age.
    Love the sweater and looks like your sister does, too. I really like sweters that zip but I don’t like putting zippers in, either. I once put one in ever-so-neatly but upsidedown.

  118. Better and distraction are the arch enemies of done.
    I admit, I have a sweater(that with it’s ample shawl color and Fair Isle patterning), that I not only designed, but for which I also spun the yarn, rolled in an unceremonious wad, in a really cool purple doctor bag I picked up at a Med school sale,somewhere under the bed. Now that I’m thinking of it, I’m doubtful that I have enough of the freaking yarn to finish just the sleeves. Bad knitter, bad, bad knitter.
    And now, you have introduced me to my latest distraction!

  119. Great sweater! Insomnia? Sheesh. Hope this is a rare event. When it started to plague me in my early forties – perhaps perimenopause for me – I started reading up. There ARE ways to nudge insomnia farther away. But again that was me. If it is the overfull plate causing sleeplessness, remember this: EVERYTHING you dwell on, looks way worse in the middle of the night. Lots of problems evaporate with the dawn.
    p.s I caved and bought the Viper sock pattern, BTW. Now the hunt for the perfect yarn.

  120. So… next year she gets a book, hmmm. Well that’s nice of you – knit her a sweater one year, write her a book the next… yes, very nice of you!

  121. Hi! Most of what I had to say has already been said but…
    I second (double?) the doubling number suggestion. I never get as far as the pp! I started doing that when I was a teenager – just kind of came up with it.
    GORGEOUS sweater. Love the sweater itself, and the color. Funny, though. I have knit several wool items for my daughter (7) and the only things she has ever complained are itchy are mittens made from Araucania Nature Wool. She won’t wear them. Oh well!

  122. It’s so nice to see your sister posing gleefully in the beautiful sweater. Age and insomnia? Maybe, but you’d think I would have noticed sleep trouble by now (55).

  123. Does Hank still have his pink dragon mittens, maybe squirreled away for his future children as they should be? (At almost nine, do we speak of pink dragon mittens out loud?) Meantime, happy birthday to all the springsters, and the sweater is gorgeous.

  124. awesome sweater! and the one good thing about occassional insomnia, is that you are guaranteed a good night’s sleep the next night. my guess is you are snoozing soundly now… ๐Ÿ™‚

  125. Congrats on finishing the cardigan for your sister! What a great color for her. I’m still waiting on the one my older sister promised to make for me almost two decades ago. You have a very lucky sister.
    When I have a lot of stuff going on and can’t sleep, I get up and start writing things down (lists, ideas, pros and cons). It lets my brain relax because now it doesn’t have to remember all that stuff I’m afraid I’ll forget while asleep.

  126. What an awesome sweater!
    I HATE insomnia! It just sucks and it’s just miserable. I had a very long bout of it several years ago and I was a very, very, unhappy camper. My longest stretch of sleep was about 2 hours long at a time with long stretches of wishing I could get back to sleep and not being able to do so. As you can imagine it was really, really, frustrating because normally I’m asleep with in 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. That’s how I became addicted to your blog. Insomnia LOL! What worked for me was finally not worrying about falling asleep, and reading in bed. Yes I know all the “experts” say not to do anything but sleep (and other fun things) in bed but reading in bed works great for me. I have a little book light that gives me enough light for reading, but doesn’t light up the whole room. If my body feels tired but my mind isn’t, I’ll read for a little bit, usually about 10 minutes, then I’m ready sleep. I hope that your night with insomnia was a one night stand and that you’ll be back on your normal routine from now on. Oh, BTW, I think you showed remarkable restraint and maturity in not poking Joe. It’s so tempting when you can’t sleep and they are oblivious to your suffering, and they are such an easy target too LOL!

  127. I hate to agree with so many others on the subject of insomnia, but it is definitely here for a while. It’s the body-chemistry fandango whose sole purpose is to make you unhappy. Do.Not. let it win – be happy anyway.
    Hank is so big! And so darned cute – he’s right between the ages of my boys, that it does seem impossible. And your sister is darling, especially in that fab sweater. Go you!

  128. Have you checked the side effects of your antibiotic. I took a strong antibiotic last year and had terrible insomnia, and I never have trouble sleeping. I checked the web and insomnia was one of the side effects. I guess you’ll find out for sure when you finish your medication.

  129. rant –
    What is the whole being first thing all about? At least if you want to race to be first, have something other to say than “I’m first!”.
    That sweater is amazing, I love the colour, and as someone who has only done child sized garments so far, I’m really impressed!
    I often think about getting up to do some knitting when I can’t sleep, but that makes me worry that I’ll start to enjoy the odd bouts of insomnia and will encourage them, even…

  130. Funny I have been sleepless too but I am many miles away in Ireland So the only link could be like you I have too many balls in the air. My plan is to get a lot of physical exercise in today to use up this adrenaline. Do you have time for a run?

  131. Re: the insomnia
    Welcome to your 40’s — hormone changes are wonderful! Just wait until you get things like the itchy skin or the leg twitches with the insomnia!

  132. I actually really liked the BSG finale, except for 2 minor details. First, I would have liked for Starbuck and Apollo to live happily ever after. But since she was, you know, DEAD and all, I guess I can see why that wasn’t in the cards. And I didn’t quite know what to make of phantom Caprica and Baltar being on Earth 150,000 years later, wondering if the cycle was going to start up again. But on the whole, I think the characters all made the journeys they needed to make.

  133. Love that sweater. Searched endlessly for that booklet. Finally found it on ebay. Tried to knit the other sweater you made from that booklet. Loved the thought of it. Hated the execution. So. . .I executed it. I mean frogged it!

  134. What is it with insomnia yesterday? Hubby asked me if I slept well last night and I honestly (and more bluntly than is my wont) told him, “No, I was very restless.” Weird. May you have perfect sleep tonight!
    Love the sock. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I totally love the sweater, too! The design is awesome and the yarn you chose positively gorgeous. I love the color. Your sister looks adorable in it, too. ๐Ÿ˜€

  135. Aw your sister looks SO happy with her new sweater! And she should be– it’s a gorgeous sweater and looks fantastic on her! It’s so nice that your family appreciates your talents too.

  136. Absolutely worth the wait. It’s gorgeous. Now I want one of those, too. Sighhh…. On the list it goes.
    Nothing more frustrating than insomnia, especially when you’re too tired to put your mind to anything else. Hope it’s just a one off. By the way, you make me tired just hearing everything you do and I don’t even have to do it! But you’re doing a fine job, never mind how it feels.

  137. Ah! That’s what happend to the sweater! Love how it turned out.
    When I turned 40-41 (44 now) I started getting the insomnia, where before I could sleep like the dead. Please let this not be happening to you!!! Let’s hope its projects and plans looming, and not hormones. ๐Ÿ™‚

  138. The insomnia must be an epidemic or something because both my daughter and I have been suffering from insomnia for the past few days. Of course, we are like you and instead of getting up and doing something productive we just lay there and get madder and madder. But I hope you sleep well tonight.

  139. I love the sweater, and the sock!
    I have good success with Valerian Root capsules when I have those “can’t shut my brain off” nights.
    However, Oprah has done some really good shows lately about hormones and insomnia is one issue with peri-menopause and also thyroid issues. Not to add to your concerns… ๐Ÿ™‚

  140. I was out last night with a bunch of knitter friends and we were discussing how much work you, Tina, Cat, etc. must be doing for Sock Summit. Just want you to know that I appreciate all this work you all are doing! We *understand* how much work it is on top of all the other things you all do. Thank you so much!!!
    The sweater is wonderful. Will you give your sister one of your autographed books? HA.
    Take care…I know the good, excited kind of insomnia. Even it is because you are excited, it is still frustrating! I have books on my Kindle for iphone. I read when I can’t sleep and this way I don’t have to turn on the light(since I know you are being kind to Joe)…

  141. That looks simply smashing! And it’s great to see it on a womanly figure. I’m spinning for the same sweater (almost a year in the works and I haven’t even started knitting yet!) and I’ve been afraid it won’t look quite as handsome on me as it does Jared. But now I’m newly inspired.

  142. Ketchup chips!!! My son got some from his friend who was visiting relatives in Canada and he loved them. Can’t be found here in Michigan tho so he has to settle for dipping his chips in ketchup. Sorry about the insomnia – have it from time to time also. Gorgeous sweater! Might we be able to get the pattern for the cowl after life settles a bit for you??

  143. Happy birthday to all the spring babies!
    Hank is such a cutie. What a great looking kid. Boys this age and up are so much fun. They turn into men yet maintain their boyish charm. I love having boys around.
    Your sister looks ab fab in the sweater. Totally worth the wait. It is as beautiful as she is.
    Are you going to give your opinion of the series finale of BG? Part of me yelled: sell out, but it was true to the story line overall.

  144. I’ve been wondering about this one:) Love the pattern & this yarn is gorgeous. I’m sure your sister is thrilled!
    Hope you get some sleep tonight.

  145. 1) You have ketchup crisps? Really? Yum! We used to have ketchup crisps here in UK at Marks and Spencers. Haven’t found any since. (note to self: reason number 42 to visit Canada.)
    2) Insomnia is the pits. I have only just started experiencing it in my late 50s and early 60s.(And I’m WAY past the menopause.) Sitting up, turning on the light and knitting just gets me excited (bonus time! just another row etc). Going through alphabet groups of, say, 4 items, sometimes works. Think North American state or province, pop star or group, dessert, knitting related term, and you might drop off by L or so; Alabama, Abba, apricot mousse, alpaca; British Columbia, Beatles, banana toffee pudding, (make) bobble; California, Cher, cherry pie, cashmere…..etc I’m sleepy already, and it’s only lunchtime! In extremis I take half a sleeping pill, but the lists usually work. Usually. They can of course remind you of things you need to do, and then you turn the light on and make lists, and then you are really awake and you start knitting. And get hungry. (Lettuce is supposed to be soporific! ref. Flopsy Bunnies. Oh, someone’s already mentioned that. And the lists. Sigh)
    3) Hank is so big! How do they get like that so quickly? It seems only yesterday that he was trashing your yarn winder and asking for dragon or was it dinosaur gloves. Still cute, but big boy is only round the corner.
    4) Your sister is lovely, and that blue really suits her. Great jacket.

  146. The Birthday sweater is just lovely, as is your sister! So glad you pulled it out and finished it up. Thanks for sharing.

  147. Your Urban Aran looks great on her. Great yarn choice. I made it as a cardi for myself but it’s going to a very slim young friend instead. You definitely need wide shoulders and slim hips to wear that baby. I’m a 5’5″ size 8 but it made my backside look like a barn door.

  148. Love the sock! I too was a bit disappointed by the endong of BSG, but I didn’t know if that was because it was the end and I wouldn’t be happy with any ending.
    I adore the sweater you made for your sister! Funny, I was just wondering the other day if you had finished it when I came across that pattern book in my collection. The color is fantastic and I can understand why your sister loves it.

  149. 1. How can Hank be turning 9? Wasn’t he just 4 years old last week? Time flies just a bit too fast. Happy birthday to him & the rest of birthday kids of the month.
    2. Poster the first needs to find another hobby.
    3. That’s a lovely sweater. I remembered that I’d run out & bought the Pattons book on after seeing your WIP, but it got buried in the “someday” pile. I’ll have to fish it out again & move it to the “someday soon” pile.

  150. Those sleepless nights are so frustrating. Drop everything and just knit… give yourself a day off. Sleep will come afterwards.
    I am juggling, knitting, a weekly knitting group, two kids, a boyfriend, a house, a blog, and a full-time admin job. When I feel pulled in a million directions, I put on the breaks, seclude myself for a weekend and just knit, watch movies and take bubble baths while drinking wine.
    Once my seclusion time is over, I draft myself a little agenda with what I need to do. It sort of makes me feel like the piece of paper I wrote on now has the burden and not my head.
    Once I am focused, I feel I rest easier.
    Happy sleeping!
    btw… love your sis’s sweater!

  151. Totally love the sweater. I wish you were my sister… or that the sister I do have would knit a lot more than she does! I would wear a sweater like that (in my “slightly” larger size) ALL the time.
    As for the insomnia, I’ve found the best thing to do is to get up and go do something boring. A row or two of stockinette usually does it for me, especially while listening to a German broadcast of Deutsche Welle. I’m pretty sure the people who research sleep suggest that tossing and turning is not conducive to sleeping.

  152. My daughter Clara is about to turn 8. She wants to know if Hank is single… She just told me “Le Canada, c’est drรดlement loin, mais il a une trop jolie frimousse celui-lร !”.
    Yes, we live near Paris France…

  153. That sweater is DIVINE!!!!!! Positively delicious. And what makes it even better is the fact that it was gifted to someone that adores it!!! *sigh* I love when that happens, LOL. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  154. Is one allowed to do all BUT the zipper, and then bring it to the local shop where a lovely lady mends and sews things? I’d have done several things but for the zipper being a no-go.
    I find exercise of any sort gets me to bed in short order. I do the gym, walk to and from work, bike to the library, hardly ever move my car but for the grocery store. If I do get insomnia, it’s at about 4am, when the kitten comes to check on me, purr, and use me as a pillow. If I had any sort of brains or motivation, I’d get up and do something too!
    But then I’d have to move the cat.

  155. Love the sweater! Gorgeous color (and thanks for the zipper-insertion tips), and it looks great on your sister. Hate the insomnia, though. I used to deal with that almost every night, even when I had a colicky baby (who turned into a kid with night terrors, and then one who sleep-walks) and got almost no sleep; there’s nothing worse than not-sleeping when you’re tired! One thing that I finally figured out is doing sun salutations in my head. That usually does the trick these days…

  156. I always wondered what happened to that sweater, you have made me so happy to know that sometimes you take a long time to finish something. Most of your projects are finished so fast! Try and get some sleep.

  157. Now, is is just me or does the birthday sweater look suspiciously like the same pattern as the Battlestar Galactica socks? Really, Stephanie, you should give your sister the socks too. They’re a set!

  158. Do you need another sister? I could always use another one. If so, I volunteer. I would happily wait 13 months for a sweater like this!

  159. Happy Birthday Everyone!
    Also Steph, take the basting out AFTER you sew the seam. It will make things much easier.

  160. Your finished sweater is beautiful and so is your sister. You have the same eyes–but looks like they ran out of curly hair before she joined the family. I be she hates her straight hair –the grass is always greener.

  161. My UAC is stuck at the zipper too. Well actually I still need to piece the whole thing together but it IS *basted* together. My friend said why did I baste it? Why didn’t I just sew the damn thing together. *sigh* I fear it will not fit me as well as it fits your sister but you’re both tiny creatures aren’t you. If it doesn’t fit me I will give it to my son who always appreciates my handknits.
    In any case, thanks for the inspiration. If you managed to finished your UAC, I can certainly finish mine. Someday.

  162. How fun to see the Urban Aran finished! I was wondering about it the other day, as I worked on a project with some stashed Nature Wool. And even more fun to see your sister, and see the family resemblance. I love noticing family resemblances, whether it be in a newborn, or new acquaintance.
    Thanks for the smiles today, and have a great one!

  163. Insomnia:
    Count backwards from 2000 by sevens. 1993, 1986, 1979, 1971, 1965, 1958, 1951, 1944, 1937, 1930…zzz (mom’s remedy)
    Yoga Nidra on the iPod (you can download from iTunes!)

  164. The cardigan (and the yarn) both look yum.I think your sister likes it.
    I had a period of insomnia last autumn due to being stretched too thin and I found it as annoying as you do because I am someone to whom Insomnia Does Not Happen (heavy easy sleeper). I found that (having avoided caffeine, alcohol and making sure I wasn’t dehyrdrated – easy things to overdo when you are stressed)that a piece of boring, plain stocking stitch would send me straight to sleep.

  165. Lovely sweater, and your sister appreciates it all the more ’cause she had to wait for it!
    About the sleeplessness – could be the perimenopausal thing kicking in – happens to all of us eventually…

  166. Oh, love, I am a chronic insomniac. It started in my early 40s and just hasn’t gotten any better. So, I truly hope your insomnia is only temporary insanity. The cardi is lovely and I agree wholeheartedly with the sewing in ze zipper avoidance. Cheers!

  167. I love, love LOVE both the socks and the sweater.
    (I’m planning to make a cardigan, but I’m not doing a zipper. NOT. I’m doing nifty little clasps instead.)

  168. Wow, your sister has *exactly* the same smile as you! And that sweater looked perfect on her!
    But, ketchup chips? Clearly, I need to make a run over the border and find out more about them–my Hank-aged son is crazy about ketchup (and I’d be willing to sacrifice myself up to a butter tart or two…)

  169. Hi Stephanie,
    While there are many things I’d like to share with you: a beer, a conversation, a knit night, insomnia is not one of them. And yet, I lay sleepless that entire night as well. You’re a stronger woman than I, though, dragging your arse out of bed at 7:30.
    I emailed my boss at 4:30am (evidence, you know) that I was having a rough night and may well not appear the following day. (I didn’t; finally fell fast asleep as the birds were waking/aka sunrise! and slept clear through to 2pm!)
    Here’s to no more sleepless nights!

  170. My two tricks:
    1) For the zipper, I have this stuff from Fabricland/Fabricville called “Wash Away Wonder Tape”. It’s a two sided sticky tape, and I use it in all zipper applications whether fabric or knit. Tape the zipper to the garment, and then it’s got no where to go when you stitch it. I do recommend removing the tape afterwards for knits – delicate washing in cold doesn’t dissolve it ;).
    Although I’m liking Colleen’s method above too – I’ll have to try that!
    2) I’m queen of insomnia. Getting up and doing something else is fine if it’s only occasional, but that can get habitual too, and then you are screwed ;). If it’s “too many things going around my head”, getting up for a minute and writing down absolutely everything, and even possibly organizing it and scheduling it helps – somehow if it’s on paper I don’t have to keep pulling it apart mentally. Otherwise, my present favourite get-to-sleep method starts with the “watching the breath” and moves to a modified body scan: “My toes are asleep. My feet and my toes are asleep. My ankles and my feet and my toes are asleep. My calves and my ankles and my feet and my toes are asleep. …” It’s actually hilarious how as my brain winds down I forget the names of body parts “and um, that bit’s asleep” :P.
    Great sweater, and good luck with the to-do list!

  171. Love your Blog! I just wanted to say that Zippers can be easier if you remove the basting AFTER you sew on the zipper, that way it is always lined up correctly. (sometimes the tabby thingy at the top requires that you sew the last inch or so AFTER, a’la the normal way) I don’t know if this is as earth shatterig as carding sideways, but it has always worked for me.

  172. Your sock is beautiful! That sweater is so very beautiful! And, your sister is gorgeous!

  173. I agree with Ruth in NJ, (my childhood home state) the socks and sweater are fabulous and your sister is very pretty.
    I love the viper sock pattern.

  174. What a lucky sister. She looks thrilled, and she should be. What a beautiful sweater. I recently set up knitting group with my younger sister, her three lovely daughters, a few friends, other nieces etc…What a blast… it is Thursday nights, and oh yes, it is Thursday. We need to laugh more in life…Celebrate sisters/friends!

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