The Soul of Compromise

All I wanted on Friday, with every fibre of my being, was to pitch all that I was knitting and find something "better."  I didn’t give in right away, but spent a little time wondering, my fellow knitters, what "better" was. 

See, by all traditional markers, I don’t know how you find something much better than a the tank top I’m working on.  I think the pattern’s really neat.  I like the yarn a lot, it’s pretty interesting.  It’s going slowly enough that I’m challenged – but quickly enough that I haven’t lost all faith in there ever being a tank top at the end of it. I can see that there’s a tank top on the horizon, which is awesome.
I’ve learned that I might be a true process/product knitter.  If the process of making something isn’t paying off by being fun, interesting or challenging, then a project finds it’s way out of my life faster than a boyfriend who’s mum’s making him a Comic-con costume. (Note: I am less biased if you’re making your own costume.)   Conversely, if I don’t see how what I’m doing is going to end up with something I want (to keep or to share) then I can’t imagine why I’m investing in it either.   Either way, this tank is interesting to knit and I can see how at the end I’ll likely wear it, so there’s no logical excuse for why I spent all of Friday looking at it like it was gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

A shawl.  A lace shawl.  That was all I could think of, and I didn’t even have one in mind.  I just knew I wanted out of that tank top, and I didn’t care how I got there.  I went upstairs to pillage the stash for something appropriate, flinging laceweight around and pondering my possibilities – when in the very back of one of the cubbies, I found this.

It’s the Summer in Kansas shawl from years ago. The whole thing is knit except for the edging, and just like the tank top, for the life of me I couldn’t remember why I trashed it.  I looked back in the blog archives and realized something really interesting. First – that it’s pretty nifty to keep a running tally of what I was knitting when, and second, that I had done away with the shawl at almost exactly the same time that I’d gotten rid of  the tank top.  I was knitting both of them in June of 2006, when apparently some problem with the tank wiped it from the earth, and a mistake on the edging of the shawl meant it suffered the same fate.

I was apparently going through an intolerant phase where knits that didn’t play nice went for a FOUR YEAR time out.  Perhaps it was a mood that overtook me, or another something that distracted me, but how interesting (isn’t it?) that I walked out on both at the same time and now have found them both back together. Perhaps the mood has passed. (I don’t like to think of myself as someone who has four year long knitting hissy fits either, but … er.  Let’s not talk about it.) The irony is that it took all of 10 minutes to fix the problems with both projects.

Welcome back, blue shawl.  Let’s see if you and your tank top friend make it this time.  I’d watch my step if I were you.  You’ve had four years to know who you’re dealing with. 

143 thoughts on “The Soul of Compromise

  1. Change in season demands change in knitting projects? Totally understandable.

  2. Way to go, Stephanie! I love that you didn’t have to start from scratch and soon, you’ll have two lovely summery items. I’m knitting a tank top for my mom, and it’s been on the needles since April… but we’re in the home stretch now!

  3. Don’t you love finding UFOs? Especially when they’re so close to being FOs. Talk about instant gratification–you say “I want to knit a lace shawl” and the Universe says “OK–how about this practically finished one?” Wham, lace shawl. Maybe I should start hiding nearly completed projects from myself. Love the shawl. (Since it’s called Summer in Kansas, will you mail it to me here in Ks when it’s done? Only fair, don’t you think?)

  4. I applaud you for even picking up an unfinished project. Much less two of them. Love the blue shawl, but he way. I’m having longings for a new shawl myself. Maybe something Estonian.

  5. I am a bit curious what else is in your closet?
    I think the lace shawl looks great.
    Lisa in Toronto

  6. Ah, but is finishing off a shawl quite the same as actually knitting one from scratch? Product or process, product or process?

  7. I’m sure both projects will be very cooperative this time around! They’re probably thinking to themselves, “four years locked away, never to see the light of day, or another stitch made – we’ll behave, we’ll turn into something beautiful!”

  8. Yes! I have done this so many times! I’m inspired to gather my unfinished projects and figure out why I quit each one! How many will I find????

  9. Four-year timeouts for badly behaving knitting projects?
    This is a punishment worth adopting for my own misbehaving WIPs.

  10. You find the most beautiful projects in your basket of UFOs! And soon two of them will no longer be that, but, instead beautiful finished projects–both in time to enjoy them in perfect season. How wonderful.

  11. What really intrigues me here, the neural elephant in the room, is that some part of your brain damned well knew that when the tank went into timeout, so did a lace shawl. How else to explain “I have an unreasonable impulse to knit a lace shawl” without even hypothesizing (i.e. trolling Ravelry)what might be fun? Intriguing little brain-gnarl there.
    And my sympathies about the baby. Half of us are doing the dance a little just thinking of it.

  12. Maybe it’s not the mistakes in your work; maybe it’s the month of June…..

  13. I glanced at your lovely shawl picture before reading the text and thought, “Exactly WHEN did Stephanie decide to knit a shawl? Friday? And she’s made that much progress already?” I was feeling a major pang of inferiority until reading with relief that Summer in Kansas was a WIP. Whew.
    As I see it, there may have been a side benefit to leaving projects marinating for so long. Perhaps they’ve told your other WIPs their harrowing tale, so the others are more likely to be co-operative in future. You think?

  14. This makes me feel so much better about the swreater that has been in time out for four months. I keep thinking, I really should get it out and fix my screw-up soon.
    Nah. Maybe in a few years… 🙂

  15. I love that blue. I always love blue, but I think I am extra drawn to it right now because it is so darn hot here. It cools me. 🙂 Love the shawl pattern too! Going to go check it out. It’s funny (and fun and surprising)how knitting(or our knitting moods)pull us around in different directions.

  16. Some projects really are much better after a time out! I don’t know if I get new skills in the interim, or just a clearer head, but it does help.

  17. Oh, it’s such a beaut-i-ful shawl. It’s sorry for it’s little indiscretion, and will love you forever if only you’ll pick it back up.
    Then finish it and send it to me! 😉

  18. I was really really scared when I saw the picture of the shawl with only the edging left (and hadn’t completed reading as yet) that you had managed to knit the entire lace shawl over the weekend. I’ve been feeling pretty inadequate knitting-wise lately. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that a 3 month time out from ALL knitting can have that effect. In any case, I’m glad you found the poor dear and can finish it right up. 🙂 And knowing that you have projects in your stash the age of a toddler makes me feel better about the aging projects in my stash. (I try to clear out old projects in under 2 yrs and feel a sense of guilt when they pass that age.)

  19. As I am currently wrestling with a 16 year old’s laziness level, I can totally see the point of a four year time out. But you don’t have to feed and educate the yarn. Nor does it talk back (much).

  20. Wow! That shawl looks like it was just about done! If you work on that you’ll have instant shawl gratification and more than enough time to have a summer tank as well. Leave it to you to figure out how to get both. By the way, I LOVE the border of leaves.

  21. I’m reading Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky and thought of you and “startitis” when I got to this part describing what happens to creative types when they get to the “project plateau,” which is “when we are overwhelmed with Action Steps and can see no end in sight.” Think of the project plateau as endless miles of stockinette stitch. He goes on to say: “The easiest and most seductive escape from the project plateau is the most dangerous one: a new idea. New ideas offer a quick return to the high energy and commitment zone, but they also cause us to lose focus.”
    I think you’ll agree, he’s clearly got a knitter in mind when he’s writing this…

  22. That is a good compromise (and coincidence) – you get to knit on a shawl but don’t have to start a new project while simultaneously resurrecting a UFO from the closet 🙂

  23. I think it might be the time of year??? You are now putting the tank top down again, in favor of something different, in June. Maybe you should forever make June the dig through the closet for WIPs and not start anything new month!

  24. Perhaps it is the month of June. I, too, decided I needed a break from my current project. Starting another project, even if from stash, seemed like a guilt-inducing idea. Instead, I looked through my database of WIPs/UFOs (I chronicled them this winter — boy, was that painful!) and pulled out three projects that were close to completion.
    I now have a finished baby ball, Weir doll, and baby hat/vest set. None of which I need right away, but at least they are no longer in the queue.
    All of my spring/summer WIPs are less than 50% complete. None are anywhere as beautiful as your tank and shawl.
    I am envious.

  25. First, I’m so glad to see I wasn’t the only one to have a little heart palpitation at the thought of you getting that far on a shawl since Friday when I have a whopping 3 inches of a sock done since Saturday morning. Granted, it’s my first sock ever, but dang it’s going slow.
    Secondly, that shawl is so freakin’ gorgeous that I’m really, really, really and truly contemplating tossing aside all WIPs (and there seem to be a lot) and diving into a lace shawl.

  26. All of these resurrections are giving me hope for the Gansey. Be still my heart, could it be the third project currently in rotation?

  27. What a pretty blue! I too thought that you had just started the shawl over the weekend and were now finishing the edging. (look at the faith we have in you!!!)
    I think you’ve just inspired me to go hunting for the Lotus Blossom Tank from the Summer 06 issue of Interweave Knits. I started it in July of 2006 and got three or four repeats done and then came up with the wrong stitch count. I couldn’t tell where I messed up so I just stashed it away. The unfortunate thing I see happening when I find it though is that I am definitely a different size now than when I started it.

  28. phew! i was relieved when i read that your shawl was a UFO. at first glance, i thought you had gone to pilage the stash and knit that entire shawl on the weekend!

  29. Yay! I’m happy for everyone to have their own knitting lifestyle, but as a naturally monogamous knitter I always get a little warm glow when you and an old flame make up.
    Do you ever have fond thoughts about the corset?

  30. Hi Stephnie, I am writing to you from the UK. I must say the lace shawl looks absolutely fab. Any chance of letting us know where we might find the pattern? Would love to knit one for my mom who is very poorly in a nursing home. Thanks!!!

  31. I wonder if that restlessness was your subconscious at work? “Hey, you abandoned the tank at the same time as that shawl — time to make right, lady!”

  32. The shawl looks absolutely beautiful. I completely understand the time-out thing. I would be scared to look and see how long some of my projects have been in time-out. Let’s not discuss the wedding cross-stitch I started before we were married. I just celebrated my 5-year anniversary.

  33. What do knitters think about trading projects? Has anyone ever tried it? I never have and the idea only occurred to me while reading this post: mightn’t it be fun some time, when two knitters are bored with their own projects, to swap and knit on each other’s projects for a while.
    Is this ever done or is it taboo in the knitting world? I certainly can’t be the first person to have thought of the idea. If you’ve tried it, how has it worked out?

  34. I think I’m in denial about the shawl I have going. I don’t like the edging, but I just keep knitting in the hopes that it’ll look better when it’s blocked.
    I love the blue shawl… but at this point I might love any shawl that isn’t the one I’m working on. 🙂

  35. I’m so glad you wrote about this! I found projects that had been banished for however long when I unpacked after our move. One I didn’t even remember! You don’t suppose some crazed knitter sneaked it into one of my packing boxes…

  36. I think the biggest part is that working on the tank top in some way reminded you of the shawl. There was a connection there, four years ago, but you just forgot it. So thinking about the shawl while working on the tank top was just your brain’s way of trying to remind you.
    I think that’s wonderful.

  37. I just scanned your June 2006 archive, and one thing stuck out: Alchemy Haiku in the most perfect shade for your Icarus shawl. Then there was another green thing, that cute kid sweater — not only green, but with leaves. We’ve seen just this month how that calls you. I think these projects did nothing wrong, the harlot was just heeding the lure of the new, the beautiful, the leafy and green and gold. You’d been with that blue shawl just a bit too long. Pretty, but the Haiku glows. And… well… blue is not a 70s appliance color. The Haiku harmonizes above & below the gold, orange & brown 70s appliances – it’s musical, who could resist it?

  38. I remember that tank top. I can’t believe it’s been in time out for 4 years! Well, welcome back and I’m eager to see the finished product.

  39. Pretty! And, you didn’t have to start from the beginning. I’m working on a shawl, and the designing phase is driving me nuts. It looks good in graph, but it doesn’t knit the way it looks! maybe I need to pull out a WIP?

  40. A 4-year timeout? Hmmmmm
    I think, in my present mood, that I would love to be given a 4-year timeout. Maybe it’s not such a terrible punishment?

  41. I absolutely adore the colour of this, and how lovely to find something so close to being done! I’ve only been knitting for two years so don’t have UFOs that old yet!

  42. I was so happy to read that the shawl was coming out of the closet at that stage of completion. My first thought was “Didn’t she just decide to do that on Friday? How on earth can she knit that quickly and what is wrong with me?!” I love that blue…just a perfect summer knitting color.

  43. What fun to pull the shawl out and begin on it again. I stopped knitting almost entirely for about 8 years – until my daughter was pregnant again this last winter and the mood came back! It’s been non-stop since then, and I feel like I come to it with new eyes and heart! Sometimes a break – from one thing or another, is all we need!
    The shawl is absolutely wonderful!

  44. You have made your point very clear. a need to finsih some projects that have been neglected for years. I will search through my projects and see what I find. Lovely yarn!!

  45. You have made your point very clear. I need to finish some projects that have been neglected for years. I will search through my projects and see what I find. Lovely yarn!!

  46. Put shrink hat on – I suspect there was something else going on that just made you impatient with any mistakes in what you were doing. You didn’t want to deal with them at that point, and went on to something that didn’t need fixing – yet.
    Once something is a UFO, there’s no telling when it will re-emerge. Perhaps we all need some system for ensuring they get reviewed in a more – er – reasonable? – time frame.
    Perhaps the problems were not immediately obvious, and some skill acquired in the meantime made the issues easier to fix.
    Or maybe you’ve now over-greened and need to move to another part of the color wheel.

  47. Stephanie, one reason you may have set aside the shawl is that the color is so NOT YOU. Is it destined for a friend? It’s lovely and has been patiently waiting for you to complete it, but somehow, I don’t think you truly love it. If you plan on giving it a blue-friendly home, I apologize now. The summer tank on the other hand is perfectly in your wheelhouse. Happy knitting.

  48. I was another one who had heart failure thinking you had knit the entire shawl that fast. It’s a lovely shade of blue. Do you ever wear blue or is this going to be some lucky blue-loving person’s Christmas present? Knit on!!!!

  49. Maybe we could have an unofficial UFO knit-a-long. Everyone see how many UFOs can be finished in a specific period of time. Any thoughts?

  50. I think your woven red scarf is amazing. About today’s entry, I have just checked into the put a few projects away for a time out knitting stage and totally get the need to switch to a new project. I am not sure what this says about my progress as a knitter but I am sure it makes both of us more interesting. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  51. Isn’t that the way. You get so disgusted with something and put it away (can’t say I’ve put something away for four years – that sounds like hard time in the big house to me) but all it takes is a little tweak and everything is good again. Mazel tov to the shawl and tank for hanging in there. I only wonder if they got time off for good behaviour?

  52. Thats funny, becuase I remember a long time ago you were getting tired of working with blue so frequently, I wonder if that was during that time? Sometimes I enjoy picking up a forgotten project and doing it justice!

  53. I’m here in Kansas, it’s full on summer (100 degrees here today) and we’re pulling out small wool projects to work on at the shop. It would melt our brains/souls to work on anything big and warm right now. Keep inspiring us to finish (and forgive our offending projects).

  54. I have been having the exact same problem, just without the UFOs. I’m working on a tank and fiending for some lace. Like a shawl kind of lace. . . Weird 🙂 I may have to give into my lace urge now, just because you did!!! Thanks for enabling, as always. . .

  55. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who starts projects, then abandons them for some time (who knows why?) and returns to them!
    I definitely put certain things aside based on the seasons, though. I don’t want to touch heavy wools right now and will resume working on my Aran vest in Sept. or Oct. Time for a summer tank top now!

  56. Beautiful, Stephanie!!! And I’m sure much better behaved this go round. And, you’re thisclose to getting two more FO’s!!!

  57. Isn’t this exactly why most of us have more than one (or five) projects going at the same time? Bouncing between a boring vest, an easy but beautiful lace something, and a long-haul project is a perfect trio for me!

  58. Ooooooh….what a beautiful shade of blue…
    If that shawl goes missing if you put it down again, don’t be surprised to find it in my house… >>

  59. When I first saw that shawl, I thought you’d knit all that since Friday. I was going to commit hari kari with my harmony needles.
    Now I’m wondering if I should give my mystery shawl from August 2008 a few more years of time out before I rip it. Maybe I’ll like it again in 2 years….

  60. It’s? who’s? I love your narrative style, but I wish fervently you would either learn grammar, or employ a proofreader! gads, it really hurts to see stuff like that, especially in the middle of a very entertaining post. Thanks.

  61. Wow! How great is that?!!! You get instant lace, a finished shawl in no time, and it isn’t green. If it has a tremendously long edge to finish, you haven’t been knitting on it forever so you probably won’t consider ritual disemboweling before you finish it! And you get to feel virtuous from finishing something languishing in your closet for 4 years!
    I just today finished turning the heel on my first sock ever from my trip to Sock Summit 09….. I SOOOOO get the joy of coming back to a UFO!

  62. I am certain that that blue shawl, lurking in your stash, saw you working on her sister tank top and called to you insistently until you dropped the tank top and picked up the shawl. There are no coincidences.

  63. Glad to see that you picked up an old project again. Very beautiful lace shawl!
    Now, what happened to your Bohus sweater (Wild Apple) that you began this year?

  64. This is wonderful news! Brilliant.
    All the blog’s favorites might eventually come out of their cubby-time-outs! You just need to get appropriately bored? This has some serious possibilities!
    I’m rooting to see a certain Gansey (finished).
    Patience will prevail!

  65. What yarn is that beautiful blue? I see a ball band! What does it say?
    Thank you!
    Aren’t you glad you found instant lace, nearly done?

  66. I think that in the four years that have passed you’ve gained experience and gotten better at solving problems. I know I can do things now that I couldn’t have four years ago. The question is will I?
    Both projects are beautiful and think of all the money you’re saving by not acquiring new yarn. Not as much fun, but still good.

  67. Love what Deb said. I know for sure I can do tons more in the knitting world technically, than I could 1 1/2 years ago. I totally think this has something to do with picking up UFOs and being able to finish them with very little effort.
    Lovely projects. I’d LOVE a knitted tank. hmmm…

  68. Sometimes everything we are working on makes us feel ‘flat, stale and unprofitable’. A time out is definitely called for then. Switching up to something new – a different project, heck – even a different art-way. In the fullness of time, the UFOs get done. And aren’t they fun to find when they’re almost done?

  69. I recently fell totally in love with Shibui sock yarn while browsing Webs. I found it just as pretty when it arrived. Didnt you do Cauchy in Shibui? How did you like it?

  70. Mercy ,mercy and to think I my UFO’s away after a year . From now on they all have four years. LOVELY colour and pattern .

  71. perhaps the tank had only a boring arm hole and not an armscye, which, if my memory serves, you prefer, therefore making it uninteresting?

  72. not to be nosy, but is that you i spotted at the TSO on saturday night? if so [or i suppose either way…], i thought the show was just excellent… and i really enjoy following your blog! carry on =)

  73. Me too…i thought “myyyyyy goodness, that Stephanie knits quickly”. and then, read that the poor thing had been in a four-year hiatus. and, then that it was in hiatus with the tank top. such interesting things time does, swirling and twirling things around. beautiful blue yarn.

  74. I can’t help noticing that the shawl is not in your usual preferred colorways. Perhaps that is the problem. If so, you can send it my way to get it off your hands when you finish it.
    You give me hope that I will eventually finish projects that I have stashed.

  75. oooo, “Summer in Kansas”. I knit that shawl in fine navy merino for my mother, who grew up in the midwest. It is a beautiful project, and the first one where I learned about the magic of blocking lace. May it give you much joy in the finishing.

  76. Joe, as you can see, several of us are still praying for the completion of your gansey. Maybe you need to remind her that “Summer in Kansas” means “Winter in Toronto” is coming?

  77. Sometimes my knitting gets put aside because I think maybe I won’t know what to do next and I’ll be sad when I’m done.

  78. When I start calling a project/pattern/yarn/spin “really neat” I know that I’m in denial and it’s time to MOVE AWAY FROM THE… kneedles/book/spindle/wheel… before it gets really ugly. Anything describe with less than hyperbole is likely doomed, or at least ready for a put-away. OSOM can be a good thing.

  79. Ok, it’s one thing to find enough space to hide the stash, it’s another thing entirely to find room for the UFOs. I’m sure we’d all like to know how you do it. You must have a cupboard like the TARDIS. (bigger on the inside). The overlooked bonus here is that it’s like getting new needles, assuming they were in hibernation also.

  80. That was amazing. Do you think your brain somehow remembered the shawl ‘twinned” up with the tank top & therefore, wouldn’t let you forget it after you started up again on the tank top. Truly amazing ‘subconscious’ working? is my thought. By the way, the shawl is fantastic. & I’m sure the tank will be, soon, too.

  81. Jessica at 4:47 pm:
    Trading projects sounds like the ideal answer for 2nd sock syndrome! Brilliant!
    My own UFO story is of a sweater that wasn’t working out as I’d planned. Went into timeout for 3 years. It came out again when I raveled it to make an afghan for my nephew and his bride-to-be last Fall. The afghan turned out to be what that yarn wanted to become.

  82. I’ve been looking for a reason to ditch my round Evenstar shawl, nearly halfway through my bound off edging.. thanks for the support to see it through!

  83. Looks like zephyr in a color close to aegean, which is what I used to knit your snowdrop pattern. It’s not your color, but it sure is mine! Can’t wait for the shawl-blocking pr0n!

  84. i’d love to hear your thoughts on yarn bombing. i’ve constructed my first bomb, but have yet to detonate it.

  85. I find that everything I knit lies on a continuum of being knit for process or product. I would put a lace shawl exactly in the center of the continuum, because I am knitting it for exactly the same amount of enjoying the pattern and the yarn and the process as I am for getting another lace shawl.
    Sweaters are usually further towards the product side, but close enough to product that if the sweater doesn’t fit I don’t regret having knit the thing.
    Felted things are almost entirely towards product, I knit the thing in order to felt it, not because I enjoy knitting giant shapeless wool things, but baby clothing is way over on process because I don’t even have a baby and I rarely give the things away, I just love the tiny booties and sweaters and hats.
    I imagine everybody has a process/product continuum. It would be interesting to rate everything one has knit on it, making a simple visual representation of just why one has knit something.

  86. I have done that shawl and loved doing it but was so happy to send it on to the intended receiver….what is it about the begining of a new project? Maybe its the fresh start 😉

  87. What is really amazing is that not only did they go into hiatus together, but that you craved the shawl while you worked on the tank. They may have some cosmic relationship to each other which forces them to come in and out of your life at the same time. Here’s to completing projects!

  88. Oooooh, a shawl!! And it’s blue!! And it’s pretty!! And it’s almost finished, which means you can start another one soon!!
    What, oh what, is that yarn?

  89. Dude. Is that Zephyr Wool-silk? If so, I knit that same shawl, in that exact color… but before I ever started reading blogs. I live in Kansas and that’s the perfect color for that shawl IMO.

  90. Yeah Stef getting some UFOs finished. It inspired me to check out mine. Found a baby sweater started when dau #1 was expecting 1st grandbaby. Got sidelined first when I ran out of one of the colors (located some more) then permanently went into UFO state when baby was born and her DH kept the house at 72 (F) so NO sweater was ever worn. It was an intricate pattern and I did not want it wasted in a drawer. Now your UFO brought it to mind with perfect timing – dau #2 is expecting her first and will now get this beautiful sweater. And she has always vowed to keep a cool house and use sweaters (she is also a knitter, so she understands more.) Love the Shawl and ty for the inspiration to dig out the UFO, so long forgotten (Oh the baby is was being knit for is 5.5 years old now, so it had languished for 6 years!!)

  91. I once wrote in my journal that it took 2 months and 6 minutes to cast on for a second sock. I understand how it is to avoid doing something and then surprising find out that what looked like an impasse was just a bump. You sure taught that shawl a lesson!

  92. You have given me hope that the blanket that is 3 squares short of completion in my closet will one day be finished! ; )
    I hope the shawl makes it through to the end–that little bit of knit-on edging has gotten me interested.

  93. I love what I’m working on intellectually, but it is not the most exciting knit (a lot of the workhorse cardigans and pullovers are fields of just stockinette, and this one is no different), so I have been spending a fair amount of time browsing ravelry for the next project that will not be boring stockinette.
    Maybe instead of browsing, I should be pulling a secondary project from where I deep sixed it. I’m sure I have at least a sweater or two that just need sleeves.

  94. I love the blue shawl and especially the edging! Is it part of the pattern or can it be found in some resource such as a Harmony Guide, Barbara Walker, etc. I have a shawl all knit but am totally unable to decide on an edging. Maybe I’ll put it down and knit a tank top!

  95. You know, better is all relative and there’s always just an intangible, unquantifiable something about everything. It’s like….. Meeting that guy that’s supposed to be the perfect guy and feeling nothing for him. Yea, he might have the career, looks, and be a good guy, but if there’s no spark then there’s no point in continuing. I think it’s the same for knitting. And I don’t think it’s fair to say that the shawl is “better.” it’s just different.

  96. Oh my gosh, I love that shawl! And it’s BLUE, my favorite color in the entire universe. If it goes missing, maybe it will find its way to my closet. LOL
    In an off-topic, I finished the helmet liner yesterday. 160 stitches of worsted-weight yarn crammed onto 16 inches of a size 5 circular needle. Punishment, sheer punishment. My older son better like it.

  97. I had the same experience last week. It took a combined total of three, maybe four hours, to finish sewing together two tops. It turned out they’d been waiting in that basket for a YEAR. A year of not wearing two really nice jumpers, in lovely colours. For 45 minutes + 3 hours of sewing up. Sheesh…

  98. What is the yarn you’re using? It’s a gorgeous pattern…another one for my queue!

  99. I would think of it not as a four-year hissy fit, or two four-year hissy fits, but as brief hissy fits followed by startitis aggravated by disinclination to pick up the abandoned projects again too soon, followed by amnesia. At least this is how it always works with me. Or so I tell myself. (I have a lace shawl in time-out as I type, since last fall sometime.)

  100. Four years goes by so quickly doesn’t it? I would like to say that I would never put a nearly completed shawl on hiatis for four years…wait, how many years ago was the Torino Winter Knitting Olympics?
    Like I said, I would like to say, but…

  101. I love you, Steph. It’s encouraging to know that even hardcore knitter’s have issues with their knitting. The shawl is gorgeous, I hope it gets its border.

  102. Sooooo pretty that blue is! If you sent it my way, I wouldn’t say no! Don’t you hate when the something you didn’t want to get fixed, and then put it off for a long time, turns out to be nothing? I let a market bag sit, for about 2 months and then it turned out that the applied i-cord at the end was NOT HARD AT ALL. In no time it was finished. My other thing I haven’t finished is my fingerless mitt. It’s the second one, even. It won’t take me that long to finish. That it’s wool won’t even matter, because it’s small. It needs to get finished, before it gets cold in my basement again, because then there will really be a need for it!

  103. I don’t think there’s any connection among the tank top, the shawl, and the earthquake. Mere coincidences.

  104. Hi Stephanie!
    This is a really random question, but here goes. My daughter is going to visit Berlin in a couple of weeks on a college mission trip. She has been knitting for a number of years (socks are her latest passion). Do you (or any of your readers) know of any yarn shops in Berlin?
    Thanks for any info you can give me. Take care,

  105. I am intrigued by how you are doing the edging: Attaching it as you knit it. That is fascinating.
    The shawl is gorgeous-well worth going back to!

  106. well thank god. i clicked over to see this new blog after catching up the other day. and immediately see almost a whole shawl. so i went back to the previous entry without reading anything: June 18 and thought holy shit. flip back over here and it’s June 22. i know you are good… but i was in shock and awe for a minute that you could be that good. 😀
    i dont think anyone is that good though….too bad. 😀

  107. Ok…..I’m halfway through a tank top in a color that I love with a cotton yarn that’s yummy and for no apparent reason, I was going to hide the whole thing today (where I can’t see it). But after reading your blog, I’m going to soldier on. Maybe summer sun after all that winter gloom makes us crazy…dunno….

  108. Oh! I’m so glad I found this today. I’m having the same trouble making myself finish my Aeolian shawl — and there’s not even a mistake to sort out!! I just have the attention span of a gnat, so I’m sick of it. I got all the way to the edge of Echo Flowers…decided I didn’t like it all that much.. and then FROGGED IT with only a day or two’s knitting left until I could have counted it as a FO!!! I’m still mad at myself. So I cast on a pair of socks to keep from doing anything stupid this go round. Hopefully by the time I’m done with (or sick of) those, I’ll be able to finish off the Aeolian. Good luck Blue Shawl!! Try to be on your best behavior!

  109. I would love to read your earlier blog entries to see the original progress of this shawl. Could you hyper link it?

  110. Well, that’s a yay for you. A shawl that is close to completion that should cure your yen for a shawl. No plowing through yards and yards of laceweight.

  111. THAT is one gorgeous shawl! LOVE the pattern, and ok, now it’s been added to my queue…
    There’s something redeeming and virtuous about picking up a project that’s been dormant for awhile (only 4 years?)! (Which is what I said as I picked up the 1/2 knit sock I can’t stand working on to bring with me for lunch knitting today)

  112. I went back to the June 06 post to check out the shawl & tank top, and fell in love with the blue mouse buttons!!! thoses are the cutest things Ive ever seen!!! look like gummy mice!!! do they still make them??

  113. Rams expressed my question better than I could have. Any brain scientists out there with an answer?

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