Public Service Announcement

In the interest of fairness, I feel that it is only responsible that I tell you that I am going to be knitting the edge of the Summer in Kansas Shawl forever. 

I know some of you have become accustomed to a parade of varied knits trouping past – but after knitting on this shawl edge all weekend I have to tell you that those days are over, because with all the time I’ve poured into this bad boy over the last few days, it should be more than done.  More. Than. Done.

I’ve knit lots of things in my time, I know how long knitting takes, I have no delusions at all about it being a slow process, but this one isn’t right. There’s some sort of charm on it where no matter how much I knit, more remains – and here’s the really creepy part – It looks like I’m making progress, but I’m not.

You know the black hole of knitting? Every project has one, where you knit and knit but seemingly, nothing happens? You measure it and you’ve got 20cm, so then you knit for two hours and measure and miraculously you still have 20cm?  Or that thing where you knit for ages and then go to sleep and then in the morning you would be willing to swear on a stack of cashmere that a team of co-ordinated chipmunks on a complex mission came in and ravelled your work in the dead of the night?  ( The chipmunks are of course controlled by an evil overlord. Chipmunks have brains the size of lentils and don’t do a lot of higher reasoning or function well in a team.) That happens to me all the time, and you just keep pouring the stitches in and eventually you hit escape velocity and get free of the gravity of the thing.  This isn’t that. With this shawl, I can see that I’m making progress. I can see that I’ve got 14 more little leaves around the edge, but somehow, even though I’m obviously creating more knitting, there is still always more to be accomplished.  I don’t want to guess at what game is afoot, but I think it’s some sick sisyphean payback for shoving it in a cubby for 4 years, which I did do, and can’t deny.

I’m going to keep knitting until it’s done, because that’s what I said I would do – but I just wanted to let you know that this decision combined with the apparently supernatural nature of this thing means that this shawl is all you’ll be seeing on the blog forever.  It’s pretty and all, so that’s cool, but I thought you would want to know.

183 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement

  1. Good luck with that. I haven’t tackled anything so large or lovely but you give me courage to try. I’m in your debt.

  2. I think with chipmunks, it’s more of a hive mentality, where the intelligence is aggregate. More chipmunks = more yarn devilment.
    Good luck with that edging. Why is it that edging always takes WAY more time than it seems like it should? (I’m betting it’s all those rows that you must knit that don’t actually eat up a body stitch at the end…)

  3. I just finished a shawl – a little simple shawl, a Multnomah – for which time slowed down to a crawl by the last several repeats. I’d start a repeat, thinking oh, good, this will be the last one; the yarn ball’s down to almost nothing. I’d finish the repeat, and I swear the yarn ball had grown. I’d finish another repeat – still more yarn to go. And on and on and ON. And all I got out of it is a shawl that I’m meh about, probably because it’s mostly green. Hey, you’re on a green kick (or were) – I should send it to you! And buy myself more yarn (not green) in consolation!

  4. But you know the followup to the black hole is the “whoosh” – after knitting for two hours, with 20 cm remaining the whole time, suddenly you find that in hour three you knit 25 cm and you actually need to ravel back. I don’t think you can knit a shawl edging too big – but the whoosh will come. Just wait for it. 🙂

  5. Did you say leaves? Maybe the knitting powers that be are trying to make you so tired of leaves that you get off your green and/or leafy knitting jag.

  6. I bet you are blocking that beautiful shawl by Tuesday evening, ok, since you block on your bed, Wednesday.

  7. I just got the yarn in the mail on Saturday to knit a birthday sweater for my son. His birthday is on this coming Saturday. (I know, I know, deadline knitting is just asking for it…) I keep knitting and knitting. I only need to knit 16″ for the back of the sweater, just 16″! I measured last night thinking that I MUST be within an inch of casting off. Nope. I’m only 10″ into the back! WHAT THE HECK!?!?!
    Yes, there is totally some sort of knitting black hole. If I was better at mathematics, then I’d calculate the exact equations to prove this.

  8. Surely you meant evil squirrels were unraveling your work? Or are you out to malign all sweet, cute, pack-rat-like rodents of all shape and variety? 😉

  9. Perhaps the chipmunks are under the supervision of the fleece-stealing squirrel?
    With me, it’s sleeves. The body of the sweater always seems to accumulate inches faster than a sleeve, even though I know that cannot possibly be true. Relativity?

  10. Thanks a load! Now I have a vision of nocturnal chipmunks dressed as ninjas dodging from corner to corner, looking for my knitting in my darkened living room. And I have the Mission Impossible theme song playing over it.

  11. I’m having the same issue with a scarf that appears to be never, ever ending but I’m plugging away on it during World Cup games.

  12. It’s being passive-aggressive, trying to make you get so frustrated that you quit and shove it back in the closet; where it can sulk until the end of time, kvetching to the other banished ones that “see! I TOLD you she didn’t really like me!”
    Or maybe it’s weird that I would envision a sulky talking shawl with a personality disorder. Whatever.
    Also, nice Sisyphus reference. V literary.

  13. The shawl is a masterpiece. I really wouldn’t mind seeing it in every picture for the next year! Maybe you could change the background color each week tho? You can do this………You can do this……………

  14. I experienced a “squirrel loose in the house” episode only yesterday, and now you are adding to my nightmares. Yeesh. Regardless, the shawl is lovely and I adore that shade of blue; I can live with more tales of it. Blog on!

  15. You know, i had a friend that made a Pi shawl and felt exactly how you are feeling now. She was making this beautiful edging, but was over 2-3000 stitches around and I don’t know what the edging stitches were, but she had to pick up all those stitches. Turned out amazing and beautiful though… but it was a lot of work and she nearly ran out of yarn! But thanks to another friend who had the same yarn, same dye lot leftover, it all worked out.
    As will yours!

  16. I’m right there in the black hole with my MIL’s wrap. I knit and knit and knit and (a) the ball of yarn is not getting any smaller and (b) the wrap is not getting any longer.
    So I put it aside and started the second sleeve of my daughter’s cardi, and I asked myself WHY didn’t I do what I usually do and knit both sleeves at the same time? WHY?
    I think I need to start another project. These two are killing me!

  17. This is a deep magic. To determine the amount of time it will take you to finish this shawl, you must first add up all the time you spent on projects since you put this one in it’s timeout. When the time spent on this project equals the time spent on all of the interim projects, you’ll be free to knit the last stitch.
    The good news is, the time you spent knitting the shawl prior to it’s time out does count. The bad news is, you’ve knit a LOT of projects since this one was put away.

  18. The weird thing at our house is … the black hole does not happen with sock and laceweight. It happens with worsted. Go figure.

  19. The name of the shaw for me would have been the first clue. As someone who has had to drive through Kansas during the summer…the road just seems to go on…and on…and on… You can see the horizion but it never get’s any closer 😛

  20. Stephanie,
    Were you in a “blue” phase 4 years ago? The shawl pattern is lovely. I am always curious about who/where does all your completed knitting go? I have an aunt who is very prolific in ceramics, so I have many lovely mugs/bowls/plates that I love. Is your family blessed in this same way? Also, congrats on keeping up with the sock-a-month project, it is so inspiring that I am going to try another pair. My last attempt took 6 months and one is larger than the other (please, why does that happen?) But I am now determined to try again….Good luck with the chipmunks! Rebecca

  21. I am working on a square Christening has 690 stitches in the last round. There is a 12-17 st lace edging that makes little scallops all the way around in 12 rows, each row different..I have been knitting on it for 2 full days and only have 1 3/4 sides done and have also been unable to memorize the pattern. Everytime I hit row 9 its like its brand new? Not sure what is up with that?
    I feel your pain

  22. Well, now you know why you put it away for 4 things. Thing is a pain in the ass!

  23. Hmmmm could that evil overlord who is herding all those chipmunks be your nemesis of yesteryear…the Squirrel with the “sticky” paws??

  24. I love the chipmunk image & the poster who added the Mission Impossible theme song (perhaps this explains things at my house – the chipmunk ninjas came looking for a shawl project & ran into Cupcake the Mighty Hunter who then berserked for no visable reason in circles around the knitting basket)
    My theory is that it’s just that knit on edgings are beyond boring & possibly evil. I just finished an Aestlight shawl & I swear the boring little border took more time than the whole rest of the shawl. But it will get blocked tonight, as yours will soon.

  25. I’m not quite sure for which I admire you most…..for your knitting prowess or for your lovely, lilting, lyrical style of writing. For sure, you are master of both and reading you makes my day. As for that beautiful shawl, well, the story of the little shoemaker was only a fairy tale. Just sayin’…….

  26. Steph, you’re almost done. The only way you won’t finish that bad boy soon is if you abandon it for another project.
    Think how pretty you’ll look, on a cool summer evening, in a sleeveless dress and that nice blue shawl.

  27. How well does that shawl go with a handspun gansey? Seriously, look at it this way. You won’t need it for at least 4 months so you should be able to finish it in time for winter!

  28. The image of you and the cruel king of Corinth challenging the gravitational pull of yarn and rocks…. The top of the hill awaits! I will gladly suffer the joys of this saga 😉

  29. I can suffer through more blogs like this–totally entertaining and informative. So if that’s what it takes–only discussions concerning the shawl and the archenemy chipmunks who are plotting to defeat the end–to finish this beautiful shawl it’s okay.
    Seriously, the shawl is gorgeous and you can bask in your stick-to-it-ness when you wear it.

  30. I have to laugh at the concept of a shawl being named “Summer in Kansas”-I live in Kansas and the very last thing you want in the summer is a shawl! 98 degrees here yesterday and so humid you can’t breathe! Maybe that’s why it’s an endless project, it has some sort of connection to the endless heat in Kansas!!

  31. Kathy, as a native Kansan, that is the beauty of Kansas, the horizon! Now focus on the way the cows are grouped-up, whether or not the ponds are full, how tall is the corn, is the wheat ready to cut, how tore-up the trees are from the last tornado or ice storm, you know the little things in life. LOL I just discovered I can knit and ride in the car without motion sickness so traveling has taking on new meaning. YEAH!
    Stephanie, the end of the shawl will sneak up on you, so hang in there. I’m with Panhandle Jane I bet The Squirrel has something to do with it.

  32. The chipmunk overload is a squirrel!!!(but you knew that, didn’t you?)
    Can’t wait to see a pic once the shaw is blocked, it looks lovely now!

  33. Yarn that I really love, combined with a pattern that I really love, always seems to fall off the needles completed in no time flat. It’s over way before I want it to be.
    Yarn that I only sort of like combined with a boring or repetitious pattern takes FOREVER to complete. I’m ready to poke my eyes out by the time it’s done.
    Must be like Murphy’s law or something.

  34. Thanks for the warning, although there could be worse things to view perpetually. It really is a lovely looking piece of work, but I can see that it isn’t going to be over anytime soon!

  35. I hate to say it, but could this be the bad mojo stirred up by your wonderful post about the way finished knits were flying off your needles??? But it’s beautiful and I’ll be happy to watch you work on this for weeks! 🙂

  36. The endless knitting bug is biting here, too. I’m working on a sweater in a plaid slip-stitch pattern that swatched up at 6 rows per inch. Well, I’m knitting and knitting and I measure it and it’s 16″ long. Okay, so knit 20 more rows and it’s 17″ long. Another 12 rows, still 17″. Another 12 and it’s 18″ and I’m starting to wonder whether this will be one of those cases where it jumps from 19″ suddenly to 23″ without hitting anything in between.
    Quantum knitting, yay!

  37. I looked at some Ravelry project photos, and I counted 85 edging points/leaves. Could be a couple more due to counter error, but at least that gives you a hard number to measure against on your Kansas horizon – sort-of like a km/mi to destination sign. Or just count the # in the first half of your shawl edging, and multiply by 2, plus the point.
    And as another Kansas native, I definitely know the importance of those road markers to show that you’re actually making progress! No mountains, lakes or cityscapes to judge by to see that you’re actually moving, just miles of open space.
    The shawl looks beautiful so far, you will enjoy it so much once you’re done!

  38. Sounds kind of like driving across Kansas to me! You drive and you drive and you drive, but you never seem to make progress.

  39. Um. See previous entry. All the explanation that is necessary. You had good mojo going on the other stuff, flying off the needles. You knew this was going to hit you – even if you hadn’t kept it waiting for 4 years. 🙂 It will pass soon. It won’t seem “soon” to you, but it will pass. Hang in there! In the meantime, it sure is pretty to look at.

  40. I can’t wait to see this lovely shawl being s t r e t c h e d…O U T!! It is already a delight for your readers, and soon will be an accessory to wave languidly about, as though dancing with veils. Hmm: is THAT why women struggle through such interminable projects?

  41. Oops, you’re back on the other (dark side) again. You shouldn’t have taken so much pleasure in finishing the other stuff; time for the payback. It keeps happening to me too and yes, I still haven’t learned either!!!!

  42. As long as we’re never subjected to the squirrel feet earings again, I’m happy to watch Summer in Kansas unfold. =)

  43. I think Tina secretly sent her litter of chipmunks to you and under the cat’s direction are tinking back every time you step away from the shawl.

  44. Maybe you saw this on coming problem previously and that is why it ended up in the back of the stash. I’m just saying. You will reach separation from the Black Hole soon. I can see it.

  45. Payback for the last post — you knew it was folly and you predicted this. Doesn’t it make you feel smart?

  46. Stephanie: you have missed the obvious. The shawl isn’t taking forever because it was in a four-year time out. The shawl is taking forever because your previous blog post titled ‘Flying’ discussed how well your knitting is going. It’s the yang to the ying… that sort of thing.
    It’s a beautiful shawl. If you have to be stuck knitting something forever (a knitted version of the movie Groundhog Day…) it might as well be something beautiful…

  47. LOL. Scarves do this to me! BUT they’re sneaky little things and go BOINNNG when I’m not looking, winding up 2-3′ too long.

  48. Loved the images and the allusions in this post. It was good to learn that I am not the only one who has knitting for days without my garment getting any longer.

  49. Do you remember that last boast…um, I mean post? The one where you said, “This side of it is glorious, and it seems to me that knits are flying off the needles.” Well, I’m afraid that brought down the wrath of the fiber gods. They just couldn’t let that one go without a little taunt.

  50. I just finished one like that. I’ve been knitting on it since Feb. Started and pulled back the edging 4 times.
    Funny, I really liked the yarn when I started it. I cast it off this morning. Now to wash and block, just in time for the Wednesday deadline.

  51. Oh god. I did a baby blanket with a fancy-pants knitted lace border about a year ago. You aptly refer to it as the black hole of knitting. It seems because you’re doing all this knitting, you should get around the edge of the main project a lot faster than you are, attaching it one stitch at a time. Needless to say, it didn’t get done in time for the first baby it was supposed to be done for. It went in hibernation, until a baby cousin was on the way. It took me until a month after baby number two was born to get it done. I ain’t the fastest of knitters, and I have knitting ADD. It’s a miracle it ever got done, considering. It was really pretty and satisfying when it WAS done though.

  52. I once knit a picot border on a shawl that–I was certain–would take me the rest of my life to finish. It wasn’t nearly as consuming as the particular border that you’re dealing with; clearly you have the fortitude of a pack mule (lovelier and far more talented, of course, but willing to work until it kills you). That was a compliment, I swear. Author Elizabeth Gilbert recently referred to creative work as “mule-ishness” because of how laborious it can sometimes be. Even knitting, as fulfilling as it is, can make us work our asses off now and then. Go Yarn Harlot! Make us proud!

  53. I cen speak from experience when I say “You will be happy you persevered”. I knit the same shawl a while back and thought I would end up with hair that was greyer than my yarn! Well worth it. Beautiful shawl when it’s finished.

  54. Amazing that despite your public service announcement, we knitters still chime in with “oohs” and “aahs” and “I want to knit that too!”s
    It’s gorgeous…hold on, you’ll get there as soon as the Overlord feels you have suffered enough.

  55. It’s a pretty shawl, but I’m not sure I want to be seeing it forever – particularly as I’m currently knitting my own never-ending blue thing (top-down cardigan, fingering-weight, surely should be enough to cover an elephant by now…) Anyhoo, it may have the power to make you knit on it forever, but it can’t stop you putting it back in a cubby until it becomes more co-operative…?

  56. Just a couple of days ago your calendar quoted Louis Pasteur:”…my strength lies solely in my tenacity.” You remarked that it applied to hand-knit sweaters, but this shawl is probably the best example. Tenacity, girl! You will finish it someday! And it’s gorgeous already. –Another Kansas girl

  57. It’s a beautiful shawl and you’ll love it when you’re done. Hmmm, I seem to recall that you might have put it down, just for awhile, because the edging seemed endless…

  58. Maybe the beginning edging is undoing itself as you knit and you’ll never get to the beginning/end because it is undoing itself faster than you are knitting!

  59. I will admit that I’m a little worried that you’re going to somehow overknit. I know that you’re knitting and all the stitches have to be going somewhere, so they might all turn up at the end and you’re going to overshoot.

  60. I am experiencing the same sort of thing with the pile of handwarmers I am making for the chemo nurses. No matter how many I knit, there’s always more to be knitted. (Mebbe it doesn’t help that I get bored with knitting a colourway and move to a different ball of yarn, meaning I have a number of one handed “pairs” and now have to knit the other one.)

  61. It still occurs to me, seeing this next photo of the shawl and the yarn skein, that that seems like an awful lot of yarn still left. How big is that skein anyway? How many have you used? Is there really that much more left to this shawl that there will only be token amount left?

  62. And that evil overlord is a squirrel! I have stalled on a circular shawl out of “Victorian Lace Today” I allowed myself to think about the knitted on border.. 72″ diameter equals 266″ border. It has been in the closet for a year since that moment..

  63. @Deb – personality disorders and WIP projects? Seems like a perfectly valid connection to make and it explains quite a bit!
    It looks amazing Stephanie.

  64. I felt that way with the hexagon shawl you did a few months ago. I bought the kit and thought it would be a snap but it had all the elements of your current shawl – seemingly endless hexagons. It is now finished, I love it, glad I did it and hope my next project doesn’t have the chipmunk factor!

  65. I feel your pain, I knit, tinked and reknit the same 4 rows of my Fan Cardigan all weekend.

  66. I often find there is a black hole in parenting also. You keep teaching and showing and trying, with no visible change in the child. This is true of nine year olds and seventeen year olds-no sign of your impact at all. Where does all that effort go?

  67. Endless Summer in Kansas obviously refers to the length of time that it will take to knit the edging around the shawl (and I bet that with some (OH HORRORS!) math, you could calculate how many inches/leaves/stitches it would take!).
    And that isn’t even counting the obstructions of the Evil Squirrel Overlord and the Stormtrooper Chipmunk Team! What great visuals we are developing!

  68. Ah, the instant transport from one side of the coin to the other.
    Both projects look fabulous and this will be worth the perseverance (and penance).

  69. I knit so slowly ALL my projects feel like that. It’s not that I don’t have sympathy but… well, maybe I DON’T have sympathy. Sorry.

  70. I have to admit that the black-hole you’re in is the reason I’m afraid of edging. Seriously, I’m terrified of losing myself (and my sanity) in the black hole of no-progress so I avoid it. I am weak. I can’t handle the truth.

  71. And then you put your head down, keep on knitting, and suddenly, without warning, it’s done. And you don’t know what to do next. Just happened to me. Luckily Tour de Fleece is starting this weekend.

  72. I am knitting a shrug made out of merino/silk/tencel fingering that needs to be reballed every 20-30 rows because it has a life of it’s own, even with a yarn bra, which seems to make things worse. I’m designing the shrug, so opted for a 10 row lace repeat each row different,but, no matter, as it seems I can’t count the pattern stitch repeats cross one row. Also, I knit 5 repeats of the pattern, and it has grown a negligible amount. I will, however, block it before doing a three needle bind off at the center back. With my luck, it will hang below my butt and I’ll have to rip out 4 pattern repeats on both sides. And it must be done by a week from Thursday so I can wear it to a Moody Blues concert.
    I feel your pain.

  73. I am going to have to disagree with you on the chipmunk matter. I say that it’s the squirrels that are the evil doers. By the way, love the shawl!

  74. That is absolutely gorgeous, a bit out of my ability right now, but something I hope to be able to accomplish some day.

  75. This time tomorrow, you’ll be blocking and we’ll be oohing and ahhing! Don’t you always run into this black hole thing w/shawls?

  76. “The chipmunks are of course controlled by an evil overlord. Chipmunks have brains the size of lentils and don’t do a lot of higher reasoning or function well in a team.”
    According to Mike McGrath on You Bet Your Garden, squirrels are Evil Overlords, also known as Servants of Satan — and the chipmunks are their foot soldiers. In other words, that squirrel that’s been the bane of your existence has now got himself an army — and they’re attacking your knitting progress.
    Hey, it’s a better story than saying ‘this pattern just takes forever to knit’!

  77. Ninja chipmunks, stormtrouper chipmunks, background music; really, someone must make a movie just for us so we could replay it whenever a project like this comes up. Some genius on you tube. Please.

  78. fabulous shawl. love the chipmunks. they hit me on an insane 17hour car journey from austin to knoxville, when I was knitting kelly maher’s lace bolero in cottonease and everytime i put it down (like to drive my stint) it entangled and I was frogging for hours… yours is beautiful…

  79. “The chipmunks are of course controlled by an evil overlord. Chipmunks have brains the size of lentils and don’t do a lot of higher reasoning or function well in a team.”
    Wow! Sounds like you’ve really researched this!

  80. you forgot to mention that the evil overlord of the chipmunks is the squirrel brigade…. who… with the assistance of your cat… is doing everything possible to make you give up on the shawl (the squirrels are still rather ticked off about that squirrel proof contraption for drying wool!) and go back to putting out “free samples” of wool for the squirrels to swipe and line their homes with for next winter…
    and the cat? well…. the cat just wants you to spend more time playing with and petting her…. and if this doesn’t work then she’ll just have to find ways of sneaking enough wool out of the house (even if that includes finding some way to allow the squirrel brigade into your stash to have their selection of fine roving and hanks of wool!) to make you give up completely and become miss kitty’s personal gopher….:)

  81. It looks like you have only a bit to go… unless the edging goes across the top too. In that case, don’t forget to make sure the archbishop is asleep before you go out for more nettles.

  82. Oh, how I can relate! I finally hit “escape velocity” with my Girasole blanket this weekend. It seemed like I’d been working on the edging for forever, and on Saturday morning, my 5′ long circular was still more than full of stitches. Then, suddenly, on Sunday morning, there were only 10 little “points” left to do! I quickly took advantage of the situation, and, barring any evil chipmunks, I now have only 11 ends to weave in before I can block it and call it done!

  83. Sheesh – no wonder you gravitated to green! It’s really a beauty though….and….did you say “leaves”? Hmmmmm, that has a familiar ring!

  84. I know exactly what you are talking about. I’ve been knitting Jane Bigelow’s “Lacey” sweater for EVER. It’s made up of separate lacey diamonds picked up one by one and for every one that I knit I need 3 more…..

  85. *sigh* I was just working on a project and was in the black hole. Had to force myself to wait several rounds before measuring. Finally, last night measured to find I was half an inch over–and DID NOT CARE! Mostly ’cause it’s a bag 🙂 Also annoyed that while looking for a complementary yarn so I wouldn’t have to once again buy more of the variegated yarn whose dye lot is not in stores, I found the match to the first ball. *sigh*

  86. Bobbin Lace Makers have “striver” pins to set a place in a pattern they hope to reach in a specific length of time.
    Tatted Lace Makers use an ornamental “strivers” clipped to their work to show where they began at a certain time, and how far they’ve progressed. I believe you need some such item. Here are two solutions:
    1) You could use a single dangling earring on a closed hook. It should be light weight, and not interfere with your knitting but provide you with enough visual stimulation to keep you going.
    2) Additionally, some make their own from necklace clasps, beads and headpins. Color coordination is left to the designer.
    I think you’d really like to see how you’re doing, and it would prove that those pesky squirrels were not guilty of any wool mismanagement — this time.

  87. You called your last post ‘Flying’- surely this is the payback for that slip of the keyboard? I find this with every sleeve. I knit 10 rows and it’s a centimetre. How did that happen? Either I’m knotting up sewing thread or I’m actually busy watching those lovely boys play football (soccer to you folks?)

  88. I am so there with you. I am in the black hole of knitting with a Japanese Vine scarf I seemingly have been knitting on forever. I don’t dare stop or it will never be done. Of course I was 100 rows into it when I realized that I had knit the bottom third with one side being the RS and then somehow I cleverly (*#!!) had reversed my knitting and the WS had become the RS. You are such a better person than I am because I immediately decided that I would take this on as a learning experience and rather than throw it into the corner like I would have at age 15 (I’m now 57 and surely better than that!), I would continue and finish it as is and have a unique scarf of my own design. Thank you for your persistence and thank you for feeling the same way I do sometimes and still not throwing in the towel (or in this case scarf!). P.S. I hope that you lovely town is recovering from the G20.

  89. Chipmunks dressed as Darth Vader? Too funny!
    Seriously, you need a change of scenery or project. Knit a pair of socks and then go back to that shawl.

  90. Thanks for the laugh. I especially like the idea of chipmunks with brains the size of lentils. And I’m sure you will eventually get to the end of that shawl. Happy Monday!

  91. Does it take as long as scrolling down ’til the end of all the comments and encouragements you receive? Hi, hi 🙂 Knit on!

  92. every time i think “that’s it! she has just made the most beautiful thing ever!” you go and post another picture of another thing that is just THE most beautiful thing of all! and since, as they say, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”, then i guess it would make sense that this project goes on forever! 🙂 persevere!

  93. I know how you feel. I signed up to test knit a scarf. Six inches into it I decided that although it’s quite lovely, I hate knitting it. I really, really hate it. And it’s 4.5 feet long. It’s been hell..and I still have 3 feet to go.. sigh

  94. It’s the hubris. In your last post you mentioned that things were flying off the needles. Your current situation is directly attributable to that ill advised statement.

  95. I call it the “Woolen Vortex”. We’ve all been there! You’ll escape soon enough!

  96. Maybe the shawl read your blog from last week, and knows that you threatened it?

  97. The problem is that I own that pattern but haven’t knit it and now I want to. Is that Zephyr you’re using? And it could be worse – you could be adding beads to the edging.

  98. We were just discussing “the black hole of knitting” at our Sunday knit group gathering! You aren’t the only one who gets sucked into the void.

  99. I just happen to be visiting Kansas right now (grew up here, and decided there was more to be seen in the world–I was right), and let me tell you, with the temps in the 90’s and the humidity well over 100%, it will be a long time before you’ll be needing a shawl anywhere around here. So take your time…

  100. wow, i love the edge. time and wool have such an odd relationship, another dimension. Something opposite the “Wrinkle in Time” concept…more like those clacker thingies that are squares with ribbons connecting them…but not connecting them. I just love that edge.

  101. If you ever drive across the state of Kansas, you’ll rename the edge of Kansas the shawl the I-70 ACROSS Kansas!

  102. I’ve often thought shawls should be knit bottom up to avoid this kind of thing. After the border is done, each row would be smaller and the sense of accomplishment, larger.

  103. If it’s any consolation, the east/west drive across the state of Kansas on Interstate-70 has the same temporal/spatial properties as the Summer In Kansas shawl. You note a mile marker, drive for a long time past it, and the next marker indicates you haven’t driven very far at all. I theorize that if you were to knit the Summer in Kansas Shawl while driving across Kansas, you might fall into a temporal rift that would trap you forever in Kansas with an unfinished shawl. Don’t try it!

  104. I think my Evenstar is in that same space time warp. Sigh. Your shawl looks very nice!

  105. The never ending shawl has a counterpart in Wisconsin. I THINK I lost the first FINISHED sock in the Miller Park parking lot before a Brewer’s baseball game on Wednesday night.(Yes I knit during baseball games.) So now I have 3/4 of sock two done and a dilemma – do I knit sock three? Only to FIND sock one and then need to make sock four? This feels like the project could go on forever, just like your lovely blue shawl. Maybe I will just finish sock two and use it for dusting chair legs…

  106. All the Kansas wheat farmers are sweating out their harvest right now! It’s a race to get the crop in before another storm comes through and turns the fields into ponds. I’m sure you’ll be finished by the time they are done.

  107. Why does it look like there’s too much border for the amount of shawl? Are you picking up too many stitches along the edge of the shawl?

  108. It perhaps wouldn’t be the worst thing if that shawl was the only thing we ever see. It’s so pretty, and i’m kinda quite interested in the method of knitting the edging. Looks like you’re doing it perpendicular to the edge of the shawl, like a button band.
    (I said perpendicular at 8.30am. Usually i can’t say my own name at 8.30am)

  109. The obnoxious scientist in me wants to take issue with your characterization of a black hole but I’m working on a sleeve right now so I’m in no place to argue.

  110. Having just finished the Tree of Life afghan- in ninety degree heat (what was I thinking?) I can attest that Steph speaks the truth! that freakin border took me as long as the whole afghan did. I was stuck at 7 repeats for about 2 weeks. you know, measure, count, knit seven tulips and then do it all again! I hope the bride and groom love it, and don’t pick up on all the cursse word uttered during the process!

  111. Oh, that…. looks like you’ve just hit a little hyperbolic bump in the space-time continuum. The hyperbolic thing creates exponentially more space the more you move away from any given point in that space. So it’s all very logical that as you knit forth, this creates ever more knitting to be done. It’s all explained very eloquently here: Why, they even crocheted a model of it…..

  112. try to look at it in terms of labor-each contraction, while taking an eternity, is one you don’t have to have again.

  113. Funny – that sounds like the outerband of the Botanica Medallion Cardigan from last summer’s Vogue that I’m STILL knitting! (and even went through the trouble to block this past weekend thinking I was done, only to discover that I still had another 13 pattern repeats to go…sigh). But like you, I’m determined to knit on nothing else until it’s done. Hang in there!

  114. The edge of the Northwest Passage shawl I just finished took twice as long as the shawl itself -i thought i would never get around that thing. it was my first lace project and may be my last!

  115. Ummm, is this the one you started 10 days ago? If so, I would say you are flying through this!!! One knitters crawl is another knitters run. I am still working on my aestlight shawl from SAW! I feel I am almost going backwards I am so slow!
    Beautiful shawl and color btw.

  116. Someone caught the squirrely dudes on camera. Do a Google search on commando squirrel. Caught in the act!

  117. This is exactly why I have so many UFOs! I like to see immediate results, I have a very short attention span. Unfortunately I don’t take this into consideration when starting new projects! A blanket? A whole, human-sized blanket? Sure, I can concentrate for that long! Psh.

  118. Take heart, Stephanie… the picture you can tell you’ll only have to blog this project for a few more days. You’re fast! and it’s beautiful

  119. I thought the name of the shawl is crazy funny. I live in Kansas (not by choice) and I have to say, this summer is so hot you would be leaving the shawl at home.

  120. I am also finishing a circular shawl with a knitted on lace edging – – I was silly and increased the stiches to a rediculous number (1000 to 2000 – – I really don’t want to know exactly how many). I am now a little over 7/8’s done, but still have at least 240 stitches to knit off – – 480 rows — 23 stitches per row – -mind boggling – – but I have to finish because if I put it aside, I never will. But Knitting is fun, right? So what could I possibly be complaining about with having to do more knitting? And I am guessing that the row repeat will nicely match up just right on the last stitch!

  121. AH – the knitting black hole. This is sometimes offset by the knitting time warp. You know the one – where you knit for HOURS and the work measures 20cm. You then knit 2 FREAKIN rows, measure again, and it now measures 45cm – 15cm longer than you needed it to.

  122. Last night I finally finished a sleeve for a sweater that I tossed into the UFO bag 3-4 years ago. For some reason the sleeve decreases on that last sleeve seemed to take forever. While it certainly wasn’t as complicated as your beautiful shawl, I’m starting to suspect that the urgency we want to finish a project must somehow multiply how long it takes to finish said project.

  123. That might be the reason that so many shawls are being designed today with borders extending from, rather than attached onto, the main body.
    And have you seen all the beauties over at Rav’s “10 shawls in 2010” group?

  124. I am picturing chipmunks in little SWAT team outfits with funky goggles and infrared scanners, because chipmunks don’t like being out at night. It’s scary!

  125. I measured with my fingers and you only have ‘this’ much to go! you can do it! I feel that way about tiny bonnets, I want to do them so badly, but they take FOREVER! Just so you know, we only have squirrels in IL, all colors, but not a chipmunk to be found in our backyard. I blame mine on the CATS!!!!

  126. I feel your pain! I didn’t think anyone would believe me before but now I can speak the truth. The squirrels that live in the big tree outside my house watch me knit. They sit there waiting for me to finish so they can muck up all the work I have finished thus far!

  127. Will there be enough yarn to “finish” or is that part of the time warp, too?
    Can’t complain about the project, it’s color and the writing though. Looking forward to the next post!

  128. Yes,it looks like your shawl has a spell on it. We have moles & squarels here in Mo. Very crafty one’s. This has happened to me also. It’s the moles underground network. Looks like they have spread to Canada with their evilness……..

  129. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous once you get it to the blocking phase and post pics to your blog that make some of us (ME for example) envious of your talent when it comes with lace work (I’m waiting for cooler weather before I attempt the Icelandic Lace shawl that’s been sitting in my ravelry que for quite a while… if you want to see it, i’m HeathenWytch over on Ravelry)

  130. You are on the homeward stretch! I can’t wait to see it completed. I do know that feeling though. It even happens to me when I am trying to get to the toe on a plain pair of socks. 🙂

  131. The knitting gods (or your demon squirrels) are making you pay for Friday’s post:
    “I’m making steady progress, I’ve made no terrible mistakes that mean I’m ripping back hours of work… instead I knit, things get knit, and there’s a wonderful parade of lovely things turning up just as I had hoped they would, and that’s where I am today.”
    But it looks to me like you’re cruising on teensy needles with teensy yarn. It will be hugely beautiful.

  132. Physicists have not properly plumbed this knitting phenomenon. I’ll bet they don’t even take it seriously. Here’s hoping your entry changes that.
    The solution is chocolate. Have some chocolate after each finished leaf of the edging. I don’t mean something dainty in a little ruffled paper wrapper, either. I mean get a lovely, thick chocolate bar and break off a square or two for each finished repeat. If you can’t find something suitable, ring me back. I can ship from here.
    Can’t wait to see the finished shawl. You will rightly be proud of it and yourself.

  133. Wow! That’s some really bad mojo coming back on you. Could be worse though, you could have given the poor thing an 8 year time out. LMAO!

  134. I so feel your pain. I’m going through the same thing (different shawl clearly). Perhaps our every spare minute shawl edge knitting energy is meeting in some sort of time warp thing and cancelling the other’s progress out.
    Or perhaps edges are just evil.
    Either way – I’m determined to finish up my Wedding Ring Shawl SOON so I’ll race you to the end!

  135. I think it’s like some things in advanced math where you get closer and closer to 0 but never actually reach it….

  136. I’m there now with a Dale of Norway baby cardigan with hood. It’s just taking forever, and shouldn’t. Of course, I usually watch tv when I knit (and visa-versa), and there really hasn’t been much on in a while. But really! At least it’s for winter, and there’s pleanty of time left. But I’m REALLY bored with it now. And that’s rare.

  137. This post made me laugh! Just keep persevering and it will eventually be finished. Although, that it keeps getting bigger must be a bit frustrating!

  138. It is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see the blocked product. Don’t think about the numbers – remember, it’s the process!

  139. I am new to your website and to your books … I can’t wait to see the finished shawl … I have a shawl on needles … put it down cause I felt the same way … no progress … it is inspiring when your watch others finish ~ we have a gal in our Monday/Tuesday knitting group who knits faster than greased lightening & who finishes these types of projects~ makes me want to try again …

  140. That shawl is BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL…knit on, knit on.
    Having said that, I have to tell you that I would rather stick pins in my eyeballs than try to knit anything that complicated! I admire both your ability and your patience.

  141. Thanks for this blog. I’m knitting a prayer shawl for my new sister-in-law diagnosed with cancer. The shawl was easy to do. Then came the edging..I started with the same yarn and chalked up my slowness to knowing I did not have enough yarn to complete it. I’ve bought more yarn ripped out what I’d done and after a week I’m still on the first edge of the oblong shawl. It’s tough to think prayerful thoughts while knitting an edge where you have to keep counting the stitches of every row AND counting every row.
    It’s tough to keep from cursing, so I’m trying a short prayer of Thank God I’m one point closer to getting this shawl to the family for a laying on of hands and prayers then off to Ellen.

  142. I knit a large square wedding shawl (blocked, it came to 5 feet or 1.5 meters per side) for my niece recently, and I know whereof you speak about the black hole of knitting edgings. The edging for that one varied from 19 to 27 stitches, was knit on at right angles to the body, and had patterning on every row so there was no place to catch my breath. It took me nearly two solid weeks to finish that edging. All I can say is that I’m very glad it was thoroughly adored by its recipient because if she hadn’t liked it, I think hara kiri would have been in my immediate future.

  143. Oh, honey! You’ve got INCHES to go. You can do this.
    Remember: alcohol AFTER. Not BEFORE.

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