Get Smart

Premise: Knitting a fancy-pants sweater in 17 days is only possible if I observe certain rules of knitting.

Rule 1:  Be smart. This is no time for mistakes, especially preventable errors that can be entirely fended off if I use simple strategies that I should know really well.

How’s that going? Well. Considering that the first thing I did with this sweater was perform, to absolute perfection, the "Not-Long-Enough-Tail Cast On" I don’t think I can lay claim to having worked that out very well. 

Solution: Er.. get smarter? (Must work on alternate solution.)

Rule 2: Pay attention.  There is no time for mistakes here, and a knitter hoping to do something that can barely be done in 17 days really can’t have to do things over and hope to take gold. Check, check and triple check.

How’s that going?  Well. See for yourself.  Turns out that after I’d had recovered from the minor blow of casting on wrong, I devastated myself by doing the following.

That there would be a picture I took of my proudly completed first chart of the sweater, which would all be ducky if I hadn’t knit it with bronze instead of white.  Realizing that (after I took the picture) actually made me do a dance of rage in my hotel room- since my fury was so complete that it needed physical release, not just the standard verbal obscenities thrown at yarn.

Solution: Oh, I don’t %^&*%$#ing know.  Probably the same as "get smarter" and just as bloody likely.

Rule 3: Knit everywhere. There’s almost no chance this is possible without taking advantage of every minute free to me. This is a secret of productive knitters- even snatched minutes here and there add up.

How’s that going? Well. It was going pretty well. I was knitting in the Seattle airport, chugging along, having put enough yarn for the trip home into my carry on. 

I knit on the short flight from Seattle to Vancouver, coming to the end of my ball of black yarn while I was there. I went into my bag for another one, and immediately discovered (although I rifled the bag for a long time before I could believe it was true, my heart pounding the whole time) that I had only packed the secondary colours.  Extra white, red and bronze – no black.  I was absolutely dizzy until I remembered that I’d have a chance to redeem myself.  When you pass from the US to Canada at Vancouver, you have to collect your bags after Canada customs, and recheck them to carry on. This gave me an awesome (if misunderstood) opportunity to open my luggage in the baggage area, snag some black yarn (all of it, since I was risking nothing) and repack my bags.  As I said,  if the stares of onlookers were any indication, this was misunderstood as a luggage activity, but what the hell.  It’s the Olympics.  Things have to be done.

Solution: Er, see rule 1 again.

Since then, I’ve had no further setbacks.  (I know that you don’t expect many setbacks when all you have to do is knit 30cm of black stockinette in the round, but I’m still pleased.  I knit on the plane on the way home.


I knit on the bus running errands,

I knit on the subway,

I knit in the car, both day:

and night.

This morning. I’m ready to start the fancy charts,

Gonna keep working on that Rule #1.

210 thoughts on “Get Smart

  1. Thanks for reminding us to keep going. I’ve been stalled due a packed schedule, but I really need to get at least a few rows a day in before the weekend if I want this to happen!

  2. Um, I feel silly even bringing this up, but you do know you can do long-tail cast-on with two balls of yarn? You then have one extra end to weave in, but it’s a small price to pay.
    Do you plan to fix the bronze with duplicate stitch or just pretend it’s a design element? Wait, wait, don’t tell me: c) neither of the above.

  3. Thanks for the tips Stephanie. I didn’t take on a complicated sweater but am trying to make 4 or 5 med sized ones in the 17 days. One shawlette done, so I keep plugging along on the others. 😉

  4. I’m wondering if the dance of rage is at all similar to my “Die, slugs, die!” garden dance… They probably follow similar lyrics.
    You’re doing fine!

  5. I saw your tweet about looking like you wear the same clothes everyday – but I can tell those are different jeans! And the sweater is going to be beautiful.

  6. You may know this trick too. I have a friend who wraps her yarn around the needle she’s casting onto for the same number of stitches to be cast on. Where she ends is where she puts her slip knot to start long tail cast on. I always add a few inches of insurance, and seems to work like a charm.
    (I would wear jeans everyday if I could too.)

  7. haha….OK, that’s medium sized projects….not sweaters. Oh and massive fail this morning, I left the house without my knitting bag. I’ll have to run home before knit night…and I’ve lost those in between minutes till then. 🙁

  8. Oh, Stephanie, no extra black balls? Good recovery and beautiful knitting, as always. Thanks for the chuckles.

  9. Excellent progress. Evidently, I did not challenge myself quite enough as I only have the bind off left on the lace shawl I selected for the Knitting Olympics. Of course, it is a bind off technique that is new to me, so I shouldn’t be so confident that I will have an easy time with it. I am thinking I will have to compete in a second event to keep the Olympic pressure on!

  10. I am trucking along on my project – Citron – first ever shawl(lette), first ever lace weight, first ever black yarn and I’m about a third of the way through – feeling groovy and preparing to blast across the finish line fist pumping in the air – visualize to maximize!!
    I love my Blundstone boots and jeans too!

  11. Wow. You’re inpressive. I nearly lost my religion with the charts for the Demi I’m working on…and I’m only through the 2nd repeat–how do you knit so quickly???? Maybe you’re not caught up in watching the curling matches?
    I just discovered it during the Vancouver games–and I’m hooked, oddly enough.

  12. The speed skaters had a few false starts last night – it was frustrating for them too! You are just proving that knitting really is in the olympic category; we stumble, we suffer, we redo, we start again, we believe.

  13. It’s coming along nicely! I also need to implement Rule #1, as I had to frog 3/4 of what I had knit of my sock because I CAN’T COUNT!

  14. Are the rules that you *must* finish the project by the end of the winter olympics? Is it possible that the biggest hurdle is starting and continuing with no hope of completion within 17 days? That’s where I am with the grapes and leaf-festooned vintage socks (http://www.tsocktsarina.com/sockkits/vintage.html) that I ordered ‘way back (totally your fault BTW).
    So far I have knit 9 complete grape leaves. I think I need something like 33. I can use 6 of them. My fingers feel huge and clumsy working on these teeny sticks and strings. My goal is perseverance in the face of a mighty challenge.
    Awesome boots.

  15. It looks great, hope you can stick to the rules so you have your sweater at the end of the Olympics with minimal stresses inbetween!

  16. I did the same dance of rage when I realized that I had knit a 12 row pattern repeat on my Olympic sock three times. Unfortunately this sock actually has a 24 row pattern repeat. 66 stitches X 24 rows = 1584 stitches to rip back. It was a lovely sock and I almost left it; no one would know and it was a beautiful pattern just the way it was. But Olympic athletes do it RIGHT – and I would know that I had cheated. I took the pledge to do my best and so I began again. I hope this won’t throw my timing off enough to lose out on a medal!

  17. I’ve got a cold, and my eyes are streaming, I can’t see to knit my lace project as everything is going blurry, when I can see I notice the “unique” stitches I have added. When I finally get that ripped back, I can’t see again.
    Thank the Harlot for a blog … I can see to read this, and the pictures look very pretty!
    Think I may get a “could try harder” medal this time!

  18. You go, girl! No need to prove further that you are human like the rest of us. We know. We know. Now is the time to breath deeply of those wool fumes and kick it! Good luck to Team Canada and Team USA. I am doing a Philosopher’s Wool cardi. Knit in US, grown and spun in Canada!

  19. My success or failure will hinge upon my adherence to Rule 3; unfortunately, my project requires a lot of adherence to Rule 2, and close chart examination isn’t really possible while standing on a crowded train or writing a memo at work. I suppose I can’t take laceweight wool into the shower…

  20. Wow. Get smarter is exactly what I need to do with my Knitting Olympics project! Last night I spent two hours picking back and reknitting five rows, mostly because it had never occurred to me before that you only need the button hole on ONE side of the cardigan… yeah. Smart move, Kimberly.

  21. Oh, dear. What I am going to say may get me banned from “The Blog” forever. Does the “Knitting Olympics” trump the “Sock of the Month”??? (ducks as coffee cup comes flying at her).

  22. I just made a hat from the ‘New Twists on Twisted Knitting.’ It called for a long-tail cast-on using the two different colors. I immediately decided that from here on out, whenever I use that cast-on I’m using the two ends from the inside and outside of the ball. Never have too long or too short a tail again. Two ends to weave in, but I’d rather do that than recaston.
    Looks like someone else has made this suggestion, too. Figured it wouldn’t hurt to reinforce it. Unless you have some definite, valid reason for rejecting it! (Which wouldn’t surprise me and I’d be interested in knowing for my own education.)
    Good luck!

  23. good thing it’s not 18th century Finland or you wouldn’t have been allowed to knit in public! hehe
    sorry for your fit. good news though, it counts as exercise!

  24. A big thank you for the AWESOME long tail cast on tips in the comments…the one about wrapping the needle or another about using another ball of yarn will be tried as soon as my socks are done. I’m overcoming my own challenges with my KO toe up kneesocks. I made them too long before the heel and had to rip them back. Boooo. But it’ll get done. And I learned my lesson, I hope.

  25. DELICIOUS FAIR ISLE.
    Immediately forget about whether you are getting smarter. The results don’t care as long as they look like that, as far as I am concerned. 😉
    (PS if wearing jeans and the same pair of shoes every day you are able to is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.)

  26. Wow – looks great – wish I could knit as quick- will be knitting on the forthcoming car journey so may have chance to catch up – hope I dont have to drive!!

  27. This is the same sweater that my husband asked for a couple months ago. I told him it was too challenging for a novice fair isle/intarsia knitter like me. When I told him you were going to knit it in 17 days for your Knitting Olympics project, his one word response was, “AWESOME!” It looks beautiful – keep up the great work!
    And BTW, I am glad to see that your knitting in the car is done in the passenger’s seat, and not the driver’s seat!

  28. I have a family health situation so I am not a knitting Olympian this time around. BUT, I wanted you to know that I have the lyrics to “O Canada” typed up and taped to the wall near the TV (I’m from the US btw) so I could sing along when Canada gets the gold. I was so happy when the skier came in 1st so I could sing at the top of my voice….my family thought I was nuts. It’s about awesome performance pride. I’m cheering you on towards sweater success! you can do eeet!

  29. I love your guidelines! I’m knitting a cabled cardigan for the Ravelympics, and I missed a whole day and a half because I messed up and deluded myself into thinking I could live with the mistake. I then dropped down a 28-stitch section 32 freaking rows to fix it. If I had listened to your rule #2, I’d be much further along now.
    How can you see to knit in the car at night? I have a little clip-on LCD thingy, but it isn’t very bright.

  30. I am not doing as well with your rules as you have. My project is knit entirely in linen stitch at 25 st/10 cm. So far I have:
    forgotten that the first 10 or so rows need to be knit extra tight or there will be an unintended ruffle at the bottom (opening night knitting had to be completely redone)
    forgotten that in lengthening a sleeve from 3/4 to long and making slim wrists I need to recalculate the increase frequency (caught the error before the elbow; since the above gauge means increases are very gradual to the eye, decided to catch up (not TOO quickly) and block the difference — should work)
    didn’t pay sufficient attention to the beginning of a row and grabbed the wrong color yarn (caught it within 3 rows and redid)
    scheduled a road trip (I drove) to my BFF (who doesn’t knit) during the Olympics (I am currently partway through my second sleeve instead of starting the body as planned)
    I need to get WAY smarter…

  31. Can you believe my son had the nerve to get sick during the Knitting Olympics? He is totally slowing me down. Love your sweater and love, love, love your boots!

  32. Woohoo! You go! I’m trying to knit a sweater in 17 days, too. I’m thinking you’ll likely finish – and it’s going to be a lovely sweater, to boot.
    Go, Stephanie!!

  33. You go girl!!! 🙂 Keep on keeping on, and minding your rules. I abandoned my aran sweater ’cause I can’t seem to knit and watch the athletes at the same time. Love your Blundstones. I love mine too!

  34. I knit on the escalator for the first time ever the other day. Really working on that “knit everywhere” rule!

  35. hahahaha…love it! Like “people in airports” worry too much about what other “people in airports” are doing! I figure if I have to listen to that many cell phone conversations while they are killing time, they can watch me dig through my over-packed suitcase for an essential item!
    Churning out hats for charity for my Olympic dance…or trying to see how many I can cast on…not sure which it is at this point.

  36. Beautiful sweater and once again comforted by the fact that the Yarn Harlot still screws up now and then! 😉
    I am trucking along on my Skew socks and have added the team USA reighndeer hat to my olympics projects as well. It is definitely a challenge since it is my first go at fair isle but LOVING it!
    Go team!!!

  37. When I do the long-tail cast-on, I always cast on on 2 straight needles held together, so I allow an inch for each stitch. I use the needles (usually 10 inch length) to measure out enough yarn. So, if I need 100 stitches, I measure out 10 times the length of the needle (10″ of yarn x 10 times across the needle = 100″ of yarn). Works very well for me. I usually add another 5″ for good measure, but always have yarn left over when I’m done casting on, which I leave hanging for sewing seams or whatever.
    If I’m casting on with bigger needles, say larger than U.S. size 6, I would allow more than 1″ per stitch.
    I always cast on on 2 needles because I cast on tightly (not on purpose) and have trouble knitting the first row if I cast on on only 1 needle.
    This works great for me! As always, I love your blog.

  38. Dance Of Rage. Love it! Good comeback, though. As for me, I tripped coming right out of the gate. Three times. I had no problem with my set-up rows (lace shawl), but messed up row 1 of the main chart. Fixed it. Messed up row 3 of the chart. (Even rows are purled, so I haven’t messed those up yet. Yet.) Fixed it. Messed up row 6. Fixed it and put it away until I could have some quiet time to get better acquainted with the chart. It’s not complicated, but just needed me to pay attention instead of chat with friends for that first run-through. I’m doing much better now, but not as well as you are! Goooo Olympians!

  39. Cute boots!!
    Good luck! And I’ll be happy to buy you a virtual beer, win or lose, at the end of the games for a game well-played!

  40. Ok, I feel a bit better now—since I had to frog my project too! But I’ve already got a good start on reknitting it, let’s wish each other luck & get plugging away on our chosen challenges!

  41. Oh good…I’m not the only one making silly mistakes. I’m only knitting a (very, very wiiiide) scarf in a simple pattern, but I’ve frogged sections of it time and time again. Must…count…every…stitch… Love the boots!

  42. You’re recovering better than me! I cast on for a mohair scarf, decided I needed to go up a needle size, knit a quarter of the yarn and discovered I only had enough (unknown dye lot won in a contest) yarn to make an ascot with the current needles. Sooo, my approach was to ignore it last night and today i will attempt to pull out 60 yards of mohair. And my other scarf? All 4 rows are beautiful…

  43. Oh goodness I feel you when it comes to rule #1! S was dying to know how I could possible knit myself the Sweet Heart Socks in 17 days when the, much easier to remember the pattern, socks I knit him took 2 months.
    I explained the the No Time for Mistakes aspect of my game plan, proceeded to cast on – ran out of tail at 76 sts, need 84, REcast on 84 sts, glanced at the chart (Yes, you read that right GLANCED – who do I think I am, I did not write this pattern, I have never knit it before but I was comfortable glancing at the chart) and did six rows of p2, k2 rib.
    It would have been awesome if that was the pattern, but is not. It is the pattern for the first 8 sts which is apparently the number of sts I take in on a glance. All I can say is thank goodness this is not snowboard cross or a wipe out like that would have me on the side lines practicing following directions!
    I am so glad that your site is here so I do not feel alone in this insanity!

  44. I have been feeling Lindsay Jacobelis’ pain…few dropped stitches in a simple lace pattern..but a huge do over..at least we can do over..they can’t in the Olympics..bummer

  45. Oh, you make me feel SO much better! I didn’t get gauge. I also did not observe rule #1; consequently, I did not notice until I had the sweater body all the way up to armpit level. Yes. Armpit level. It was a 45 min frogging job. I calculated that I ripped out approximately 26,000 stitches. Four days completely wasted.
    In the spirit of the Olympics, I’ve cast back on, and am about halfway to the armpits again.
    Perhaps we could rewrite the Olympic motto to be an ungrammatical: Faster, Higher, Stronger, Stubborner?

  46. I had to laugh at your rules – I remember you trying to enforce them for the first Knitting Olympics. Anyone else remember you knitting in the bank, the grocery store, and the taxi on the way to the Closing Ceremonies (Rule 3)? Or forgetting to switch the needle size on the sleeve (Rule 2)?
    Most of all, I remember that you conquered all and finished that puppy in time! A truly impressive accomplishment. I firmly believe that you can do anything!
    Onward to victory, Olympic Athlete!

  47. Good luck with the rest! I am making colorwork mittens and am stalled at the thumb gusset…never made mittens before and am not totally sure that I am doing this right and it has paralyzed me (much as I would be if I were at the top of a ski jump, looking down). I need to spend a bit of time online tonight to see if I can find a tutorial on mittens and their construction…this after having changed from a simple pair of picot edged socks because I could not find the appropriate needles which was another long story. Ah, the stress I give myself….but it is the Olympics for crying out loud!

  48. I dropped a stitch several inches back in my Bog Jacket. I was considering frogging back to that point anyway to add more stitches for sleeve length. Good to know that I am not alone in taking a second run at things. Knitting on!

  49. funny and totally relatable. but are you doing any knitting while watching olympics? being overseas in a non-winter-sport country, and ten hours ahead of vancouver, i just get web snippets. not good for knitting progress, but i’ve got a sock.

  50. Go Stephanie go! I had my own issues (row gauge is a pox on the earth), but hopefully I’ll be able to fix things. Good luck to you, and loving the boots! *thumbs up*

  51. Gosh it looks so great already! and you have so much done I feel so out of my league maybe the junior olympics is where I should have set my goals 🙂

  52. I have the first 13″ of back of sweater done, just keep knitting, just keep knitting. all will be well.

  53. Ain’t it grand to be human? The screw-ups, that dance of rage (oh man do I get that) and then–success! It’s working after all! Go Stephanie! (waving pompoms!)

  54. THis is my first knitting Olympics. I thought I was pretty anal about my knitting until I started this. Entered myself wrong: Fleece Artist not what-ever-it-was-I-put. REdid the toe. Frogged an inch to fix an error. I have major knitting to do before Friday to be on target.
    Do remember your prior instruction to READ THE DIRECTIONS. That helps for me; absolutely no hope of me getting smarter. I seem to know less and less every day.
    And, umm, What is wrong with wearing the same clothes everyday?

  55. Gorgeous. One of these days I’m going to do a Dale, I swear. My project is going… round and round and round and round. I’m 7 really long rounds away from getting to knit a really long round then purl a really long round. At least this one is changing colors every 20 rounds… unlike the last KO project, which made me twitch when I put cream in my coffee for months afterwards.

  56. I determined, after the first 24 hours, that the task I had set myself (a king-sized blanket) was plain impossible. Now, instead of knitting for the gold, I’m just knitting to get a blanket, and use up the unholy amount of mohair I had in stash.
    I wouldn’t have known how to post a medal on my blog, anyway.

  57. I’ve failed Rule #1 many times over (3 major infractions thus far). First failure was to decide on knitting socks for person who has freakishly proportioned feet …

  58. Long tail cast on? Why? Cable cast on is more reliable, at least for me. It’s never too tight, and just in case you can go up a needle size, as opposed to long tail where the tail has nothing to help you judge.
    As for judging tail length, back before I discovered my (current) fav method, three times the length of final product (i.e. 3x belt size) is the standard, so I make it 4. A foot or two of waste is nothing compared to the yards (and yards) in the project.

  59. It looks lovely. And the setbacks were minor. 🙂 The wrong color was only a few rows back – not as bad as last time when you knit a huge portion of the sleeve with the wrong needles…. just sayin’
    You can do it! Go, Steph!

  60. Hmm. You’ve made a great deal more progress than I have. Especially after my: No, no way, hell now, not no how, nopity nopity nooooooooooooooooooo to the Ravelympics/knitting olympics I got SUCKERED into it by my own brain and started a knitting a sweater to be completed in a few days.
    Anyway, so I started knitting it, and HATED the yarn so passionately that I’m going to rip the entire sucker out and start over on a completely different sweater with completely different yarn.
    Take THAT stupid yarn.
    OH, and that is after being mildly depressed about this all day.

  61. Ha ha ha Steph. I’ve been doing some of the same things on only a pair of SOCKS. I actually think I won’t make it if I don’t stop having to correct and tink a simple, intuitive pattern like Cascades! Let the games carry on!

  62. I had to cast on my Hemlock ring blanket 4 times before I figured out how to get it started. Ended up ripped it all out the next day because it looked rotten, so restart number 5. Missed a yarnover somewhere and had to rip back again. I think my pattern following is now under control but the rounds are getting longer and longer and longer and i’m getting slower and slower and slower.

  63. You are awesome! I’ve changed my project several times in between ferrying my visiting mom here and there and celebrating my son’s 13th birthday, complete with typical teen behavior (“I hate you! It’s all your fault!”). I’ve now adopted a pretty zen attitude: knit as many charity projects as possible. Smaller is better, quantity over quality. I’ve got three tiny baptismal stoles done (I’m not letting myself think about why they’re needed…..), and I hope to do more stoles and some chemo caps. It’s not intarsia, it’s not lace, it’s not sweaters, but it IS knitting.

  64. Thank you so much for the post! And thanks to everyone else for the comments! The Kandinsky Kimono suffered its first setback three rows into the colorwork, when a black stitch somehow found its way into the cosmo. I thought about frogging the whole thing and quitting. Then I thought about the Georgian Olympic team and all of those luge competitors. Nope, not gonna quit. I thought again about the luge competitors, and about how the men were racing from the women’s start, and the women were racing from the juniors’ start, and I thought I could just try something simpler for my first ever intarsia. Then I had a beer and noticed that the black stitch came from the previous row. I fixed it, and am making progress. (I will not take this as a message from the universe that beer will solve knitting problems in the future.) Will I finish next week? Probably not. But I’ll finish at some point, and I’m really glad I’m still trying. I am so proud of myself for tackling something that seemed so scary. Knitting Olympics forever!

  65. That’s so awesome! I’m making a colorwork sweater too and am being plagued by the nagging thought that I should’ve made it one size bigger for my daughter. It just LOOKS like her sweater, you know? Wonder if I have time to start over…

  66. Wow! YOU GO! I’ve only got 2 feet or so done on my belatedly-declared-Olympic stole, and I’m feeling rushed for time. Your sweater looks amazing!

  67. you are doing great! my goal is to finish just a simple jacket, but i am quite a slow knitter. i am already a little behind my schedule, but i think i might be able to catch up if i knit until midnight tonite.

  68. Oh, thank you, everyone who commented before me and Steph. My cardi is growing ever so slowly, but I’m not quitting. I might not finish in time, but I will keep knitting, keep trying.

  69. It is really hard to pay attention and watch the Olympics at the same time (though I know one doesn’t have to be watching the Olympics to do Olympic knitting). You can miss an entire mogul run or half pipe ride or speed skating race if you dare to look down at the knitting.

  70. Wow! You are doing really great. I am doing a modified saddle shoulder cardigan from the Handy Book of Sweater patterns. I have one sleeve, and both fronts done and I started the back last night. I already think I will have to redo the sleeve caps, but I will knit the back and see if it works out before cutting it off and starting the shoulder over. Anyways, those are pretty minor missteps in my book. 🙂 I may be a bit of a spaz, though.

  71. i had wondered how it was going for you. I’m plugging along on hundreds of miles of ss, making Farmer’s Market Cardi. Why didn’t I read about all that finishing!!!! My new goal is to finish the knitting by the closing ceremony, and my post Olympics will be finishing all the finishing!

  72. I still get shivers when I recall a flight from Oslo to New York 18 years ago when I did the same thing. One hour into a lo-o-o–ng flight I had no more of the required color in my bag. I don’t know who suffered more on that flight; me, my husband, or fellow passengers! And I had only myself to blame, as I had stood at the check in counter and decided “I don’t need to take ALL my yarn in the cabin. Let’s stuff some into that last remaining corner of the checked bag.”

  73. I’ve been having trouble with Rule 1 myself–so much so that I’m running out of winter sport analogies for describing my failures: penalty laps (unknitting a and then reknitting a row); RNS or Run not Scored (messing up evening increasing 41 stitches over 239 stitches and having to frog); wipeout (see previous for the 2nd time); etc…. 🙂

  74. You are lightning! Just think how far you’d be if you hadn’t had any setbacks! Wait, no, scratch that; don’t think about it. So far so good on my K1b socks; got some good knitting time in at the 3 hour-long nurses staff meeting!

  75. You never fail to make me laugh and feel better about my mistakes. Thanks a million.

  76. Hey, at least you’re knitting. I’ve had an Olympic-ending injury flareup – tendonitius has come back in full force, meaning I don’t knit without extreme pain. Sigh.

  77. My plan has been blown out of the water by more extensive surgery than originally planned. I claiming a lack of snow/training run delay and getting started about 4 days later than originally planned.

  78. If it’s any consolation, now I feel much better. I did a twist when joining my cast on, wich is almost the same as the “not long enough tail” cast on — except I didn’t catch it until I’d knit 3 rounds. If I had been on the half-pipe or ice skating, twisting would have been an asset…

  79. Stephanie,
    I’m glad to read that you’re having to rip back because I am too. First of all, the yarn for my original project is on back order and won’t be in until March. That sweater was going to be an easy enough knit that I would have been able to actually watch the Olympics and knit at the same time.
    Since that yarn didn’t come in, I went to Plan B. I had just started Zoe Mellor’s Fair Isle cardigan from her Adorable Tots book. I am now trying to read charts while watching people flying up into the air on half-pipes, skate around endless miles of tracks on wicked sharp skates, plow up enormous hills on skis, plummet down even more enormous hills on skis or boards, shoot pucks into nets and sweep the ice in front of big stones. Needless to say, I’ve ripped back just about every night!
    Progress is being made, but not as quickly as I would have liked. But the sweater will be very cute. Waiting for my daughter-in-law’s ultrasound next week to see if we have a girl grandbaby to give the sweater to. Since we already have 4 grandsons, we’re hoping for a girl!
    Onward and upward, all knitting Olympians. We can do it!!!! Gold medals for all!

  80. I have to admit that I’m experiencing problems with my knitting Olympics project, but mine boil down simply to the knit everywhere problem. It’s just complicated enough that knitting standing up isn’t the great solution I was hoping it would be (aka, knit on the train, on the subway, over lunch, etc.). I would be much further along if I hadn’t missed 3 knitting days already!

  81. can’t wait to see the finished sweater! I have my own private unofficial knitting olympics going on, cause I actually started a certain project PRIOR the olympics, but decided if I was EVER going to finish I would need to set a deadline, like the closing ceremony. wish me luck!

  82. Um… am I the only one freaked out that you are actually taking time away from the Olympic Knitting in order to blog? Oh, wait… I did stop by to see if you had… guess there is some pressure there. Thanks for the inspiration! Looks great.

  83. Wow, this is totally impressive! Talk about dedication to perfection. Will you have fingers & hands actually still working by the end of the Olympics? If so, I’m even more impressed!! It’s going to be a gorgeous sweater.

  84. Wow! Are you ever doing great. I’m supposed to be doing the Whisper cardi and I cast on during the opening ceremonies but since then it’s been astonishingly slow. I haven’t even finished the shrug portion. Of course there were the inevitable postponements due to whether…that is whether or not I was going to continue after 4 false starts and a crash that resulted in me almost having to start over. Bruised my knitting ego badly, let me tell you. Then there are the moguls – Eric, Taang!, Mac, and Pete (3 cats and a dog). But I shall win that gold because I am a knitter and knitters never give up…do they?

  85. Your sweater looks lovely!!! Congratulations!!!!!
    Olympic confessions: Do NOT try to read a chart, knit an unfamiliar pattern, and watch figure skating all at the same time. What I wouldn’t give for a long, boring, stretch of stockinette. I know I could knit that and watch the tv screen at the same time. As it is, I had to frog everything I’d knitted on the “heel turn and concealing wraps” section. However, all is now well and I’m starting Flabella(2nd pattern) tonight. I just might make it to the finish line. Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  86. My Rule #1-Be Smart is a plain cardigan knit in only three pieces,thankyouverymuch!(I do admire people who can do the stranded colour work and I’m working on that-just not for the Knitting Olympics!)

  87. Thank goodness for Theta Brain!
    Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.

  88. To have enough “tail”, cast on 10 stitches. Remove from needle and measure how much “tail” used. Divide total # of sts by 10. Multiply this # by amount of “tail” used.
    Example: 10 sts = 6.25 inches
    Total # sts is 80 – 80 divided by 10 = 8
    Multiply 8 times 6.25 = 50 inches of “tail” needed. Then add 3-4 more inches

  89. The Olympic baby sweater–a piece of cake. The sweater being knit at the same time to wear when the YH comes to the DPL in March–back completed in sock yarn knit on tiny needles BUT STOLEN from a motel room along with jewelry, a portable DVD player, & my complete set of Will & Grace DVD’s. So, replaced the sweater plan by going to JoAnn Fabrics, not the best choice for yarn–but scored some Paton’s Classic wool, & a Paton’s patterns. Been knitting since I was 6 or so, & have already frogged back twice. Hope the Canadian yarn & pattern would be good knitting mojo but so far–not. Either that or knitting while watching snow boarding is not a good idea for concentration!

  90. Oh, but Stephanie, you are doing such a good job. I’m knitting lace for the first time. I’m only using one color and the pattern is so incredibly easy and about every third row, I want to take the damn thing out and run it over with my car. I’m not traveling, I’m not running out of yarn, I just need a whole lot of Rule 1. SIGH.

  91. I’ve been working too much for 2+ months, on a deadline, knitting my first socks & the IN-LAWS ARE COMING SUDDENLY! Talk about snatched moments…

  92. I spent most of yesterday making mistakes on my cabled jacket. Unlike you, I’m too proud (the bad kind) to post photos. My personal “favorite” was miscrossing a K2 P2 cable so that the P2 was in front, and not noticing it for several rows, so I had to drop eight stitches to fix the four that were miscrossed. I almost had a freaking heart attack when I saw that, since that was the SECOND correction of the evening. (Did I mention it was 11:30 and I had taken NyQuil an hour before? I was amazed I managed to correct the cable, as tired as I was.)
    HOWEVER, I will prevail. I don’t care if I have to spend all night knitting at some point (looking likely). Must win gold!

  93. I had to go back and look at your boots, after all the comments mentioning them! Very nice! (Also, your sweater…beautiful.) I’m in the same situation as another commenter, where I’m pretty sure I can finish all the pieces of my project (Central Park Hoodie), but I’m not sure if I can finish the finishing by the deadline. Still, going to give it my best shot. I’m throwing it down! (Or something like that.) Leaving it all on the ice.

  94. Go Stephanie, Go Stephanie!!!
    I’m cheering you on from the humble grandstands, small project in hand…watching a Champion perform her magic!
    Go Stephanie, Go Stephanie!!

  95. I am going to take Rule #3 (knit everywhere) as serious must-be-followed advice from my olympic coach. I sat in a 1-1/2 hr meeting today just itching to reach into my bag for my knitting. I don’t feel too bad about my 3 false starts on my sleeve cuff – not even for the knitting olympics do I want a ruffled cuff… thanks for the update on your sweater Stephanie!

  96. Yeah, it’s that Rule #1 that’s getting me, too, but after three casts-on I finally got the sock in gear. I just might make my medal this year, if I keep on keeping on.
    Can’t wait to see what the fancy-pants portion of the sweater is going to be like.

  97. Well in spite of making no mistake (that I am aware of at this stage), you are very much ahead of me. I’m not sure I’m going to make it.
    You go girl.

  98. I think probably every knitter out there has done the “knitting dance of rage” at one time or another. Now that I know YOU do it, I feel much better about my failures!

  99. Stephanie,I just wanted to say that I really appreciated your blog posts about change that you did in late December. As a long time blogger myself, since 2004, I appreciate how much you give in a blog, yet there is so much that has to remain your own. I found those posts very eloquent. I read your book a few years ago, but just came upon the blog this week, and have been wandering around it. You ar hard at work, and getting great response, so lovely to see.

  100. If you do come up with an alternate solution, will you let us know? Because “get smarter about it”, along with “act on what you know” are what I’m working with now, and they are not overcoming user error.
    Gorgeous sweater!

  101. Oh, I am SO GLAD I am not the only one! I haven’t made up for the lost time frogging the last mistake though. I am ignoring a one stitch mistake that only “I” can see. I spent the time I should have been using to make up the “lost” time knitting on a sock instead. I am trying to accept that the gold is just too flashy for me. I think bronze would work better with my hair color.

  102. Sure makes my baby sweater, hat and footsies seem like nothing. lol You just crack me up. I can just see you doing a war dance in your hotel room!

  103. I have the same boots! Also, I’ve cured the long-time misjudgment by casting on with two ends of the same ball of yarn – slip knotted onto the needle. Then cast on till you’re done. Then cut the extra tail off. Wonderful.

  104. I wish the sweater had gone more smoothly for you. All the same, it really is heartening to know that I am absolutely not the only one who does these things. By sharing your setbacks, we all win.

  105. My challenge is an afghan, which is basically a giant feather and fan scarf. Why can I never get the right number of stitches? Re-read the pattern, oh there is an extra yarn-over that I completely missed the first 3 times I scanned the pattern. Appolo Oh No!

  106. Forgot about President’s Day, my yarn arrived Tuesday so I am 4 days in arrears. This is gonna be a push. Great Blunnies, BTW. Best boot ever!

  107. I had to re-cast-on twice to get the right number, (But then I saw it was the wrong cast on)and had to start over. Then, I read the lace pattern wrong, but hey, I had cast on both a multiple of 18 and twenty-four! I am not, I refuse, to correct this, as Old Shale is equally valid both ways, so maybe I get double-points, pun, intended, for creativity. And, thank you, Stephanie, for your pictures. My son saw them, and wants a sweater just like that one! I have a valid reason to buy more wool…

  108. oh how you continue to fill me with hope! if someone of your infinite knitting experience can continue to experience knitterly setbacks, then it is entirely acceptable for those of us with less skill/experience to fall victim to the same! bless you!

  109. Hats off to you, I don’t know how you do it. I could not survive spending that much time traveling. My knitting is really suffering these days, but I AM losing weight. must. not. sit. down…

  110. You are so right about getting smarter and reading the pattern. I’ve hit those roadblocks lately, too. Good to know someone is doing the dance of rage with me this Knit Olympics. 🙂

  111. Well I have now started my Cookie A German stocking cast on for the 5th or 6th time. Cast on is fine but the first row has been a bear. I will try again tomorrow. Need to finish grading papers tonight. Maybe the day off will help.
    And for not enough tail for long tail – Lily Chin suggests purling a few stitches if that is all you are missing – will be barely noticeable.
    one go!!
    Every

  112. I love the fact that you used the word “ducky”! I haven’t heard that word in years, but it brings back funny memories of high school.
    I love the sweater as well – yours is much further along than mine, but I will continue on!

  113. Good rules. I am doing OK (albeit slowly) on my project (the body of Henry VIII), and figured out it would help to have color-coded stitch markers to start each section, so all I had to remember was “purple/gold means Chart E.”
    Looks lovely! Can’t WAIT to see the yoke. (And you can’t either, I’m sure!)

  114. I get the sneaking hunch that you may be done before me. I (stupidly) choose to finish a baby blanket for my SIL. I thought that I’d somehow whip it together (after I checked it during the opening of the games) and have time to finish a cardigan which has languished in the office closet for a long time. The pattern for the blanket is from “Beehive for Bairns, vol. 2” dating to 1940 and I’m beyond lost. I’m now considering a: cleaning out the liquor store’s supply of Screech or b: admitting defeat.

  115. Three of six chemo caps done. Still have to start the shawl, but wait- there’s a birthday party Sunday for which I have to knit a moebius…and the yarn is missing… and a friend is coming unexpectedly tomorrow… which means I have to clean. We’ll see.
    Keep on knitting.

  116. Solution to the not long enough long tail cast on is, and this is definitely a duh moment, cast on from both ends of the ball and then cut one end. You never run out. It sounds weird but works like a charm!

  117. I had intended to enter the fray, and finally use some of the lace yarn in my stash to do my first lace project. However, at only a couple of weeks from a hip replacement, still on the pain meds, I completely missed the opening ceremonies. By two nights. And I expected to be able to follow a lace chart or three?
    This should have been enough to alert me that this time it wasn’t going to be a go. Instead, I determined to revise the scope of my lace project and soldier on.
    The second heads-up was when I realized that the hip precautions (no bending over 90 degrees, no crossing legs, no twisting, no lifting etc.) very effectively prevented me from digging through the stash of stacked up plastic bins in search of the proper yarn. I could ask my Joe to stash dive for me, thereby revealing the scope of said secret stash, which I have successfully hidden from him until now. So…
    Consider me sidelined due to injury, and I’ll cheer for the rest of you. The Olympics are only a couple of weeks, but the stash is forever.
    Knit on through (most) adversity.

  118. Despite having two days off due to horrid migraine, and looking after Grandson toddler full time I’ve managed to complete a whole glove.
    It’s the first colour work I’ve done for about 20 years, but it’s amazing how the fingers take over and know what they are doing.
    Just over a week to do glove number two.
    Go Team GB curling!

  119. I literally laughed out loud (though my husband might tell you it was a cackle) that caused my entire family to stare at me when I read the solution to #2. Even if it caused you immense frustration at least you are keeping the rest of us laughing.

  120. You are amazing! In light of all that, I am stunned by the last pic. I have just gotten to the heel of my first sock! Also finding it VERY difficult to watch AND knit. Getting up at 5.a.m to get a head start on the day. BTW, CANADA rocks!!!

  121. Thank you so much for owning up to the rules. I feel much better now as I’ve been kicking myself all day because I had to rip four rows back on a Hemingway blanket!
    Ugh! Slow and steady wins the game I reckon.. Tomorrow I’ll be back in the race.

  122. P.S.
    I was so mad at myself for that stupid mistake that I gave the blanket a “time-out” in the car.
    My rage wouldn’t let me own the mistake. Now I can and the blanket is safely back in the house.
    Wish life was as forgiving as knitting.

  123. Man, I always sucked at athletic competitions and I guess this will be the same thing only not so public. But hey – I will make it public! Nothing like humiliating yourself. Alright – I was going to knit one KAS maple tree cozy with stash. Just take it and knit – plain knit big hunks of stuff I’d then stitch onto the tree. I did the first panel and I fell in love with it! No way that baby in all its random weirdness is going on a tree where squirrels will harvest it!! So now I’m making a blanket which I have to say I DO NOT NEED! And my thoughts of finally becoming a guerila knitter are for shit. I’m just a granny trying not to go crazy in the wintertime like every other year. But it will be a beautiful blanket in all its weirdness. Also, I’m not watching the olympics because I thought it was on CBC and it is on CTV and we have only rabbit ears (yes – this is true) and only get CBC and some other channels only snow – not real snow you understand but the only snow at the olympics this year is on my tv. So instead, my sweet patootie and I are watching millions of West Wing reruns. And I’m Canadian.
    So – I’m failing but hey. On the positive side I’ll have a nice blanket and oh by the way I’m learning the accordion. Which I will play when I’m a hundred at the next Canadian olympics which will be held in ….oh….Labrador. That’d be so cool.

  124. Oh yes, pay attention! How about – knit the #$%^ gauge swatch, don’t go by the yarns being the same gauge on the same size needles according to the ball band. Now the Snowfall mittens intended for me are going to be for my husband. Size 5 ring vs size 11 ring!!! Duh; good thing he loves my knitting and also that the colours I picked aren’t at all “girlie”. Phew!!!! Thank God for Plan S (for “stunned”)!

  125. Hmmmm. I have been blasting away on my Farmer’s Market Cardigan, part way through the triple threat ‘at-the-same-time’ body instructions, when I look back ten inches and see a BIG BLOODY HOLE where I must have missed the twist in the M1 increase. Briefly and insanely thought of frogging, and then came back to my senses – nothing a little darn won’t fix!! So I may only achieve silver, but then who cares about perfection anyway!! By the way – you do realize that you are single-handedly responsible for the US Dale of Norway clear-out of yarn for the Whistler sweater? Can’t get any till March!!!

  126. I’m a third of the way through my Aran vest, and trying not to bite my nails about having enough yarn. I bought it on eBay and it must be O-L-D; there is no more to be found on Ravelry or by googling the universe. So. When I finish vest front left, I will weigh it and the remaining yarn to see if it can be done. If I don’t have enough yarn, then I will have to rip out the entire back (and this soft single-ply does not take well to ripping) and reknit it incorporating two skeins of a lighter grey in the same yarn that I have. If THAT happens, I will fail in my Olympic attempt, and I will be very sad. Warm, but sad.

  127. Great jumper! I never have a problem with long-tail-cast-on as I only use it for socks. Growing up I was taught the knitted cast-on and that is what I use mostly. My cardie is definitely on slow-march. Between a (more-than) full-time job, hot weather, festival season in my town and having to catch buses instead of trains my knitting time has been restricted.
    As for jeans and Blundies every day? Why not! I have 8 slightly different pairs of jeans and when I worked in a power station I got used to wearing steel-capped work boots every day.
    Blundies used to be made in Tasmania. I actually prefer Rossi or R.M. Williams boots (both of these companies were ‘born’ in my town in OZ). RMs are great riding boots, but are so expensive now I just have a dress pair (they actually started out as stockman’s boots (what you folks call cowboys).
    Enjoy your snow, it is going to be 37 degrees Celsius here tomorrow!

  128. First the too short tail cast on {repeated!}, then using the chart for the foot on the leg and now I haven’t knit for two days. I wanted to gnash the dpns but they they are new.
    Reading is fundamental, reading is fundamental.
    RTFI!!!
    I love the Knitting Olympics. no, really.
    Oh and forget about gauge…I have no idea who these socks will fit and right now I do not care.

  129. Thank goodness I’m not the only one! ROFL
    I can do lace, complicated stitches, etc…plain ol’ garter/stockinette bores me to tears. So, of course, for my Olympic knitting, I chose a project that consists of plain ol’ stockinette/garter stitch! This is supposed to be challenging, right? 20″ of st st in plain black (couldn’t do it, had to stick some stripes in there!), then cable cast on and join and knit st st in the round (which is garter st)…of course, it really really helps if you actually pay attention (rule #2) and don’t start knitting from the wrong end(?!?!)…and have to frog back a couple of rows of over 200 st when you finally discover this! But I will persevere with needles held high and yarn retrieved from across the room (where it landed after I discovered my oopsie)…Knit on!

  130. For goodness sakes, how the heck do you knit BLACK yarn in the dark??? (not looking at it, I suppose…) May you knit your way to glory! 🙂

  131. Well you were at least graceful enough to do a dance of rage. I just ungracefully hopped, stomped and swore when I realized I had casted on 389 stitches for my Thordisarhyrna instead of 339 AND knitted 6 rows whereof some were with time-consuming stitch combinations I haven’t seen before. Had to start again and still making stupid mistakes.
    The sweater looks very nice, can’t wait to see it finished. Good luck!

  132. Snagging my knitting at customs mid-way through a trip from London to Seattle is my usual trick. You can’t take knitting on from London. Last trip-(thanks Air Canada) my late plane meant I had to leave the sock in the suitcase. That’s a trip from London to Seattle with a 2 hour delay and NO KNITTING! (about 18 hours total)

  133. I can relate, Stephanie. I’m working on my first pair of socks and I’ve reknit that first sock THREE times already!! Not only will I not get the gold but I won’t even medal. Oh well, it’s still fun and I’m learning something new, so I guess all this hassle is worth it.
    As an aside: I just saw the men’s figure skating and USA got the gold!! Woo-hoo!!! It’s about time!!

  134. Thank you Susan : Faster, Higher, Stronger, Stubborner
    I just discovered that the sweater I am re-designing is at least 1, possibly 2 inches too wide (side to side Tee-Shirt style) – Oh Drat! Too tired for dance of rage – I am going to be frogging tomorrow … ok, later today. Well, at least this way, the yarn should last – still waiting to hear if there is another skein out there in Nova Scotia …. that has to come to Alberta! Oh Goody!
    Thank you Stephanie – you keep me inspired

  135. Speaking as someone who’s doing an almost entirely non-fancy jumper in plain stockingette (Whyyyy? It is SO boring! Why didn’t I decide to make my first pair of charted socks instead??) and is almost certainly not going to medal at all, you’re doing fine! So far, I’ve had to tink once because I went past the first decrease without noticing, and I’ve just realised this morning that my productive evening last night will have to be frogged, because in my amateurish way, I did Ugly Decreases instead of Pretty Decreases.
    Um, this is my first jumper. Can you tell?

  136. Glad you found time to inspire us with another post. My project was going unusually well and I was worried that I hadn’t challenged myself enough after all when ….. I ran out of yarn. Frantic spinning for several hours yesterday – just hope that it will match the first batch – ah well will use this on the arms!

  137. All this coming from the gal who helped pull together the super awesome thing we know as “Sock Summit” in how many months? Perhaps you could take up with the post-it notes again! 😀

  138. Ouch! Me too. And all I’m doing is knitting the “other” sock. (Spring Forward from Knitty) Simple pattern, plenty of training (I’ve already done one sock) and I’m still screwing up like mad. Last night I spent an hour trying to figure out why my gusset pick up row had its extra two stitches of instep before the pattern and not after. I do NOT want to frog since I actually picked up perfectly along the edge of the heel flap. The absolute humiliation was on the way to the airport to drop off the young friend I had just taught to make socks (she’s a beautiful 22 year old Canadian who had only ever done scarves).
    She looked at my nearly done heel flap and said, “Don’t you usually put that stuff into the heel to make it stronger?”. Tear back. Reinforce. By the way, we won’t even talk about that safety pin that’s holding a dropped stitch halfway up the sock. I messed up on the yarnovers so many times that when I dropped that I just assumed…
    Do they/you/we award medals for stash growing during the Olympics? I think I might take at least a bronze in that! You see, my local LYS is doing some clearing of it’s storage room and then I was in Lisbon two days ago and there’s a big store there….

  139. OMG!! What a riot! Thank you so much for making me feel better, especially since I lost a whole day yesterday to help a friend. I got home last night and I was so freaking tired that I didn’t have the energy to knit. Honest! Just the thought of lifting those heavy size 7 (4.5mm) needles was too much for me. I ended up being a total vegetable and going to bed really early. However I’m on the 4th skein of yarn and despite have to rip back about 1000 stitches I’m making headway and still stand a chance of winning the gold. I’m just glad that the Pinwheel blanket is easy enough for me that it can be social knitting or I would be totally sunk. Since I am the World’s Slowest Knitter, even knitting a small blanket is a great challenge, but you are freaking amazing!!! Go Stephanie go!!!

  140. Hey, you’re wearing jodpur boots! I have a pair from RM Williams and absolutely love them. I’ve worn them to death and had to send them back to Oz to be resoled once. They’re my favourite shoes ever.
    It’s panic and pressure that invokes the wrath of the knitting goddesses. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
    – Pam

  141. You have run into quite a few issues, but the rage dance and cursing the yarn will definitely help. My dog sweater project is going surprisingly well considering I am making my own pattern and it has evolved to be more complicated as I go along. My puppy’s sutures were out yesterday and we are supposed to go for an early morning walk this weekend, so I had wanted to be done by then, well in advance of the end of the Olympics, but I have been sick and had to take several days off knitting. Now I am catching up and I vow to finish it in time.

  142. I am happy to see the beginnings of Whistler – I have been a bit obsessive about checking the blog to see progress!
    I definitely was not obeying rule 1 (and probably not rule 2 either) when I started my hat – it starts in the centre with eight sections, and two stitches per section, and it took me a while to realise that I was knitting a square, rather than an octagon, because I’d only started with eight stitches…Thank goodness I was knitting from the centre out, and there weren’t many stitches per round!
    Since then I have been placating the (Olympic) Knitting Gods by sacrificing sleep to them, and things have been going well since then. My boyfriend (now dubbed a ‘wool widower’) did threaten to confiscate my knitting if I didn’t come to bed earlier, though…And the colourwork doesn’t feel natural or easy yet (damn hairy alpaca yarn strands keep on clinging together!).
    So I am 40% of the way through, despite not being able to knit everywhere (I need to sit down and concentrate on the chart). This would be good progress if I didn’t have a matching pair of mittens that are 0% completed (at least I have finished drawing up the chart for them).
    Oh, and it snowed heavily here (most unusual), so the weather is keeping me in the right mood!
    (Much amused by all the commenters loving your boots…)

  143. Sweater looks great! For me plain stocking stitch goes either amazingly fast or in to some crazy sort of vortex where I knit and knit and it never gets any longer!
    Had to abandon my choosen project for the Knitting Olympics due to a wicked cold. Instead I am plowing through UFOs with a goal of finishing them all within the deadline. Aquitaine jumper finished, washed, blocked! Chinese charm handbag, finished, half sewn up, handle and lining fabric required. Cast on Mrs Roosevelt mittens (whoops, new project), finished and worn today. Halfway through the nupps on Swallowtail shawl….sadly stitch count is off….might have something to do with knitting at 11pm, after a glass of wine…(must get smarter!)

  144. Man, oh man, oh man. Do I LOVE your lists. Do a little dance (of joy) whenever I see one. Laugh myself silly and end up pounding the desk with my fist out of laughter, tears and usually recognition.(been there, done that, wasn’t as funny as when you do it though) Seriously Steph, you are the reason I took up knitting again. I think it was the mittens with the thumbs on the same side. I laughed so hard and then I thought, “You know if this woman can knit two thumbs on one side, blog about it AND take a picture for all the world to see, surely I can be humble enough to take up my needles again. Good work, girl! Still working on garter stitch but hey.
    Your sweater is beautiful and I am sure everyone thought it was perfectly normal when you picked that black yarn out of your suitcase and did a little whoop of joy. Doesn’t everyone do that in Vancouver? Why it’s practically required I’m sure.
    Oh and if you do find a way to get smarter, wanna share. I gotta get me some of that!

  145. My EZ Pi Shawl will get extra style points for the grace with which it flies across the living room after I have counted those 285 stitches (having lost three of its siblings) for the 8th time in a single evening. Must be the Shawl. Can’t possibly be me . . . . .

  146. That looks WONDERFUL! And go you for getting through the black whole of miles and miles of stockinette with black yarn… That’s where I am right now. sigh.
    Also? I grossly overestimated the amount of time I actually GET to knit these days… which means it is highly unlikely that I am going to be anywhere close to finishing. The new plan? To finish the back and cast on the fronts. That’s it.
    Why is it that small children simply don’t understand the need of the parents???

  147. Life, and work-which does not really count as life–and actually watching the Olympics has derailed my plans. Your progress inspires me to soldier on–it is the Olympics, after all.

  148. Like many of the olympians, I showed up for the opening ceremonies with no hope of winning a medal…only of reaching a personal best. After 5 days of soldiering through a cable pattern that required my attention for each and every stitch, I decided I was having no fun and have shaken hands with my opposing skip and conceded the game. (Maybe the U.S. curling teams should just do the same :)Now I’m back to an incredibly simple sweater and am able to pay closer attention to the action.

  149. I am never smart when I knit. I try, I think I’m being smart, until a mistake reveals itself. With the kind of intellectual absence that I exhibit in my knitting, I am taken aback every time I complete a project. The miracle of knitting….

  150. You can avoid those long tail cast-on tragedies by using the OTHER end of the yarn as your second strand instead of a long tail. I’m usually too “oh, what the hell” to do that myself (often to my downfall), but it does work like a charm. HTH!

  151. I did the same thing with the colors on my crazy mitten project – got halfway done with the first mitten and realized I’d switched the colors. So I had to rip out the whole thing AGAIN (because I had already redone the picot edging thing twice). Didn’t want to wake up my snoozing hubby sitting next to me on the couch, so did not do the Dance of Rage – just swore under my breath and breathed deeply as I undid many hours of work. Finished the first mitten last night and just realized, as I was admiring it, that I made another mistake in the pattern – but I’m going to pretend it’s not there!!
    LOVE the Knitting Olympics – great to set goals!

  152. looking good, glad someone else has problems keeping track, etc. – it makes me feel better about my progress, or lack thereof, LOL.
    Go-go-go!

  153. I cannot believe how fast you churn through those plain stockinette sections- those are murder.
    My project is going okay- there are probably 5 mistakes in the lace pattern though. I’m going with figure skating scoring though, it’s okay to have little mistakes as long as the program is finished and of overall good quality.
    I think you should have made seperate medals though- I’m not sure it will deserve the Gold, but I’d be hugely happy with a bronze for my efforts.

  154. Personally, I’ve always liked the term “design element”. The gold would have been my own personal mark and design element, and I’d have moved along with my unique and error free sweater.
    (Long tail cast on… I use about 10 inches for about 10 sts. then add an armlength, and only occasionally have the too short tail cast on)

  155. Haha! Umm, yeah – I’m totally there with ya. I had to frog back 6″ of garter st blanket, oy!
    How’s a gal supposed to win gold with such setbacks?!?!!!

  156. You recovered yourself and got back up. You may not be a Bilodeau but you are a McPhee and you will complete the sweater. Go Steph go!
    BTW, long-tail cast on without running out of the yarn can be achieved by using both ends of the yarn ball for the casting on.

  157. Oh, that is my favorite cast-on, too! We could start a group on Ravelry… But not till we have conquered the Knitting Olympics!
    Of course, thanks to several tipsters in the comments, we will avoid pitfalls next time by casting on with both ends of the yarn ball, then cutting one end when we start to knit. Wow!

  158. Glad to see that I’m not alone in ignoring the rules – it took me 6 attempts just to get to the point in the Snowdrop Shawl where I could start the lace; then I probably frogged the first repeat at least 3 times, and now I’ve managed to get up to having 7 snowdrops across(but am still screwing up regularly and just finished ripping back two rows, which seems to happen at least once in every repeat despite the fact that I DO know what the stitches are supposed to be.)
    It doesn’t help that watching the competition (on the worst Olympic coverage ever by US tv) distracts me. Am trying to remember only to look at TV on wrong side rows, but then I can manage to mess those up as well.
    I’m just going to consider myself a successful Olympian if I can keep making progress. Think of me as one of those competitors like the Jamaican bob-sledders – totally out of my element but trying hard nonetheless!

  159. Sorry, can’t comment on Twitter. Censorship is when the government does it; screening is responsible parenting. So there.

  160. I completely agree with your rules. I am doing 10 projects in 17 days,(a “decatholon”) and there is NO room for error. With several projects going at once, I obsessively plan my day and carry more than one with me. I have theater knitting, TV knitting, car knitting, CHOIR knitting,lunch knitting, etc. Staff, family and friends are well-trained to ignore my knitting all of the time, but this is really extreme! So far, though, no errors, 4 projects completed, and I am making good progress on the others.

  161. I am taking as my inspiration the silver medal winner of the Men’s Figure skating–some of the knitting is a little wobbly (esp the dropped stitches that I couldn’t figure out how to pick back up–first time lace pattern with pattern on BOTH sides and the dropped stitches are at the end of the row), but I’m just ploughing through it.
    I’m already 2 days behind and can’t get freakin’ caught up, no matter how much I knit.

  162. Thanks for the laugh – I’ve frogged my Shetland Triangle 6 times now for preventable mistakes. This is what happens though when you have two small children, two jobs and a husband that wants to spend time with you – you cut corners and they don’t always work out.
    A thought – while the winter is a more natural time to knit in my opnion, I’m wondering if the Tour de France in July is better suited for this project. Afterall, none of the olympians are competing for the full 17 days. They do a coulple runs, a short program and a long program and then they are done. The Tour on the other hand is a group of riders just going all out for 21 days. The best part is there are 2 days of rest built in already.
    Just a thought!

  163. I didn’t make the olympic team this year since it’s tax season & I’m a CPA & earning a livelihood holds a higher priority, at least to my woefully misguided husband. I did learn, the hard way, to use two separate balls of yarn for extra long long tail-ons, though.

  164. Hey Steph, I realize this may be no compensation for the basic early mistakes, but with that last picture (project in foreground, spinning wheel in background) you totally aced that Martha Stewartery you were trying to achieve a while back with the pics of Joe’s socks. I just want to step into that picture (the picture and what it conjures up, you understand – not your actual house, cos that would be weird).

  165. Boots, Awesome; Sweater, Yeah! Most of all, I love that you have an Ashford Traditional too! :big sloppy bear hug:

  166. I was going to suggest to you for future starts to use the method of tying the two ends of the ball together for long tail cast on and then cutting one end after you’ve cast on, a tip I picked up from Annie Modesitt, but someone else beat me to it. Keep knitting, you can do it!

  167. RE: Getting in your suitcase in baggage recheck.
    I spent 15 minutes yesterday in the ticketing area of an airport digging around in my suitcase for my PASSPORT. If you figure out that “get smarter” thing, please share the secret.

  168. I went looking for the Whistler sweater pattern online and as far as I can see the sweater from the pictures it does look like bronze on the bottom and cuffs…not white but you have the pattern and directions so I am very excited to see your beautiful sweater and the one you stopped to do this one is absolutely beautiful as well!!!

  169. Looks like great progress on the sweater despite all the setbacks. It’s going to be beautiful! I agree with the other commenter who can’t believe you can do all that while traveling–I have trouble concentrating in little snatches of time, I need a pretty long stretch and then still make your mistakes! Thanks to everyone for the cast on tips AND for all the beautiful pattern ideas. It takes me forever to read through the comments because I have to go to ravelry and add everything to my queue!!

  170. I am so there with you. I traveled 2 days away from home and forgot to pack the extra yarn I needed for my capelette. Once I get through the original ball of yarn, I am back to self striping socks.

  171. I’ve already lost; at a little less than halfway finished, I realized I’ve used more than half of my yarn. (Weighed it and everything.) Yes, I made sure I had enough – for the small size. And which one did I knit? Yeah, the large size. 🙁
    It’s not yarn I can get more of; I’ll probably knit as far as I can and then put an edging on in some other color. Not exactly gold-medal achievement, there.

  172. I like the pictures of you knitting every where. I also knit every where are often post pictures of myself knitting in bars and restaurants and social media conferences on my blog…Knit in Public. Sweater looks good!

  173. A gorgeous creation…you inspire and give me courage to jump off and just try! I can both tink and frog with the best of you!

  174. awesome sweater, steph. uh, I think I’m spending too much time commenting ’cause now I’m falling behind on MY knitting – darn 🙂

  175. Would like to receive the pattern for Pretty Thing – looks like a boa-type scarf. Going through Paypal, I was unwilling to give info re. bank account, etc. Had given them info re. charge card. Maybe I was doing something wrong. Anyway, can I purchase this pattern from you by send check? You have my e-mail and home address is: 1121 Southgate Road, Knoxville, TN 37919. Thank you for your help.

  176. finishing the instep on the 2nd sock, getting ready to do the toe. Very excited to have a PAIR of socks ( major 2nd sock syndrome). Now all 3 girls want a pair too. May have to take this to the next level. Mary
    ps hey steph– I know you are going to make it. More power to you!!

  177. I am gonna consider my gold medal reached since I could cast off right now but my shawl isn’t as big as I would like it and I still have 1 zauberball left so instead I’m gonna knit on!

  178. So glad to have finished my clock vest and be watching the closing ceremonies. These were some awesome Olympics — athletic AND knitting!

  179. I can feel the weight of my medal around my neck! I did it! My cashmere lace scarf with beads, is complete. I had put this project off and this gave me the incentive to start and finish… not let it become one of my UFO projects. I look forward to seeing your completed sweater. If I ever have the nerve and knowledge to attempt a sweater like that, it would take me from Opening Ceremonies of one Olympics to Closing Ceremonies of the next Olympics.. Thank you Stephanie for the challenge and all the laughs and truths you always provide!

  180. I finished with 5 min to spare after I had to rip out 10 rows during the closing ceremony. I went too far during the hockey game….. Cascadia, my first toe up socks are finished, I love them.

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