I had planned to spend all of today working. I flew into Minneapolis yesterday, and then took a bus to Menomonie, Wisconsin, and the whole way here I was planning how today I’d do nothing but catch up on paperwork.

planesock 2015-09-25

When I’m teaching/travelling this much things get hairy in my inbox. There’s just a finite number of hours in the day. I’m pretty good at bending those hours to my will, but every once in a while the whole thing gets away from me, the to-do list stretches to two large post-it notes, and I start to feel nervously doomed,  and that’s where I am now. I don’t have to lecture until this evening, so I figured I’d get up early, find coffee, and just be dedicated to this laptop.  I’d answer email, do the work, get on top of everything that’s gearing up for the Bike Rally. (I know. It’s 43 weeks away, but the Steering Committee is already working and planning.)  I wasn’t happy about this plan, but I did like the idea of being (sort of) caught up.  I arrived here at the Retreat last night in the dark, made a few calls to get caught up on a few things, and then curled up, accepting that my fate for today was sealed.  When I woke up this morning I got myself organized, found some coffee, staggered back to my room for the day of work and threw open the curtains in my room to let in the light and get started.

window 2015-09-25

This was my view. Those are woods and trails and it is a very, very beautiful day in Wisconsin, as much as I tried to resist, I couldn’t. After a few hours I snapped, I took my sock with me, and knit while I had a good long hike.

trailsockbetter 2015-09-25

When I came back, I felt a little guilty, and sat down with my laptop, and told myself that I’m probably going to get way more done because I took that break, and I sincerely hope that’s true, because it’s still really lovely out and I might have to go again.

PS. The astute among you will see that the sock jag has persisted.  It’s a good one. All socks, all the time, but I just looked at the calendar and realized that it’s almost Rhinebeck sweater time (if by almost, you understand that I mean I should have started weeks ago.) I have no idea what I’m going to make, but I know I’ll have to start it the minute I get home. Ideas?

145 thoughts on “Pause

  1. The problem with the “Rhinebeck sweater” plan is that most years it’s too warm for a sweater and one ends up taking it off. Of course, there’s the early morning and the evening, but still, not enought to get hyped over. I’ll be wearing Glenora, or most likely pulling it off and stuffing it in my bag, but at least it’s done. Now I only need fret over the decline of the loonie and what that means for my Rhinebeck purchases.

    • Agreed — it has been quite warm in recent years. That’s why I bring a “Rhinebeck” hat and scarf — faster to knit and easier to pull off if it gets too warm.

    • Agreed! This is a beauty. Btw…I’ve been ESP -ing you “Rhinebeck sweater, Rhinebeck sweater” for WEEKS! Lol, but we all know you’ll get her done and we’ll enjoy the process.

  2. I second the motion to resurrect something from the stash! It’s like a reunion that way, it’s less stressful and makes you feel virtuous for finishing something!

    Isn’t there a Bohus (spelling? sorry!) lurking somewhere sadly? Or you could always finish the gansey and wear that…

  3. Antler! Canadian sweater, quick and beautiful. You made a little one a while back, I believe. Maybe knit the Antler with Briggs and Little yarns, for a truly Canadian sweater. 🙂

  4. I’m so jealous that you’re in Downsville. That’s where my grandmother’s family lived when they came to Wisconsin from Pennsylvania in the 1870s or, if it’s the other side of her family, from Sweden during the same time period. In fact, a whole lot of my family is buried there.

    It’s beautiful up there. I’ve not been there in over a decade…I really need to get back home sometime.

  5. Thank you!
    Doors & windows open to the lovely day when Ms crabby out-of-sorts dropped by unannounced with her bag of tricks. Dog & I are heading out … where Blue Jays scream, leaves rustle, & water sparkles.

    • That was my exact same question! How can you hike in that beautiful woods AND knit!?? That’s how you knit so many thinks! You probably knit on your bike ride!

    • My thoughts too!! Not in my skill set! I would trip, smash my nose and then feel like I had impaled myself on a porcupine with the DPNs!!! Goddess indeed!

  6. Oh, that view! I’d be out the door in a heartbeat. Wish I could knit on-the-go, but haven’t mastered that yet.
    How about a Rhinebeck vest? Or a drape-y cape, shawl or poncho? Everything in the fashion mags is luxe and loose.

  7. Relax! Everything ends up getting done and you know it! Wear one of the beautiful shawls that you have made to Rhinebeck–it is usually too hot–you can drape the shawl over your shoulders!

    • That was my response! Hey! That was my university stomping ground, that sock is on my railing! So wonderful – makes me want to go finish my sock and take it on a hike here in Milwaukee and dream of the Red Cedar trails

  8. Yes, I have a sweater idea for you. You could finish mine. I started it months ago. It is my first sweater and will have a fair isle yolk. I am a slow knitter and have accepted the fact (because it is far better for my peace of mind to do so) that I will not finish it before Rhinebeck. It will also be my first Rhinebeck and I am very excited. Although I really wanted to wear my first sweater there, unless it is required for admission I think I will be fine without it.

    • I remember my first Rhinebeck! It was wonderful. Just accept that fact now that you will be completely overwhelmed and will wander around completely smitten with the whole thing and things might start to look a little blurry around the edges.

    • Excellent choice! It does look very Steph. Especially in a tweedy yarn with lovely little bits of color spun throughout.
      Didn’t glimpse at the weight but that could always be downgraded to a lighter weight for global warming compensation.
      Or bring your wheeled tote for purchases and your outer gear if it gets too warm.

  9. Welcome to Wisconsin! Hope you get some cheese curds and Spotted Cow during your visit. It should,be a beautiful weekend. I saw the dates for your visit, and, unfortunately I had a function I couldn’t skip. Come again…maybe to Northeastern Wisconsin! Enjoy!

  10. I second the vote for an Antler cardigan. Alternately, I bet you could finish this lovely, simple cardigan (which, like the Antler, has been in my ravelry queue for quite a while) in a nanosecond: “Corinne”, see “website” spot above.
    And thanks for soliciting ideas, Steph: I love reading others’ suggestions, and adding to my queue!

  11. If I could hike and knit at the same time I’d be in much better shape. I always choose knitting.

    Bonne Marie Burns has a new cardigan out called Fisher Lassie. I love her patterns and the construction is kind of interesting.

  12. I have the yarn and pattern for my “Rhinebeck” sweater.. it’s Pumpkin ale as Jenna mentioned at 4ish… It’s really next yesr’s sweater. taking beautiful walks in the woods and gathering sanity is a wonderful thing and Rhinebeck shawls, or even previously worn work (gasp!) is really OK.
    I stuggle with the stuggles we heap on ourselves…
    I love your sock shop!

  13. What about something more lightweight? As general consensus is it’s normally too warm for sweaters at Rhinebeck, maybe something with a lace pattern? Low Tide or Bonny from TinCanKnits are both great patterns…I added sleeves to my Bonny and it’s nice to wear in the 60s to low 70s with a camisole underneath.

  14. If you get a chance, head over to John Thomas’s pottery next door. The octagonal building is beautiful, and his pottery is wonderful.

    You are in one of my favorite places in the world. It’s so serene at the retreat.

    • Missing you at Woodland Ridge! It IS especially beautiful this weekend. Tonight’s lecture was worth the price of admission all by itself, yet we have three more sessions with this intelligent, giving woman! Steph is not just a terrifically funny speaker, she is vastly knowledgeabe about fiber and knitting .which she shares ever so energetically.
      never have
      in spiite

      • Scratch the last three lines above.
        I’m up way past my bed time. I must tell you that this is the most I’ve learned in one class over 58 knitting years…a brain explosion is possible before the weekend’s complete -Wow!

        • Oh, I don’t think your brain will explode. I am sure you will eventually line up all these great new ideas, in order, and enjoy them again!

          Had fun making Mochimochi dolphin with Anna Hravochec (I’ve mangled her last name, but it’s close.) Got it done in class. And it is adorable!

          And the class I HAD to attend during the daytime was well done and worthwhile.

          Have some pie for me, or whatever Chris is cooking up. And bring me back a little peace, please!

  15. Start a new trend… Rhineback socks! It was to warm for sweaters or shawls at MDSW this year, so I put on a great pair of socks. They were noticed.

  16. I’m so jealous! You are 15 minutes away from some of the BEST CHOCOLATE CHEESE in the world. If you get a chance you should make a quick trip to the Eau Galle Cheese Factory in Eau Galle, WI. Y’know so I can live vicariously through you.

    • I would love a blog post about how to knit and hike at the same time. I can imagine knitting on the bus or subway (almost), but while HIKING? I’d love to hear more.

  17. What a gorgeous view. And an instant pang of homesickness for me–I grew up with a backyard like that back East. So glad you took that hike! Sometimes you just have to retreat into nature like that, and there it was right there like that, the invitation framed by wood and window. Beautiful.

    That sock, by the way, is perfect. I totally love the colors.

  18. You’ve made so many beautiful sweaters (for Rhinebeck and just for the heck of it) that I wouldn’t know where to even begin making suggestions, but here goes…. not sure if they’re your cup of tea, but I’ve seen some beautiful stuff coming out of Quince & Co.

  19. W
    Gorgeous socks, Stephanie! You are like a Shetlander, knitting while walking and they had carriers of peat blocks on their backs, too.

    What sort of needles are you using for your socks? They look awesome.

  20. For my latest sweater project, I chose Vera from Perfectly Feminine Knits. I like the neckline and shaping. It’s goes quickly, which may be of interest to you.

  21. This year I am making an Icelandic sweater with wonderful yarn that blooms. It will be a light weight sweater on big needles, a perfect fall sweater. And finished in a very short amount of time.

  22. Hi there!
    I love your blog and have never left a comment before, but I have to ask …………. how do you knit and hike at the same time? To clarify, I live in Western Australia and hiking usually ends up a dusty affair, so my mind is boggling – plus my combined hand-foot-eye control isn’t great!
    With kind regards and much admiration,

  23. Wow, what a view! I just completed my Rhinebeck sweater. I knit Apple Cider Donut from the Rhinebeck Sweater book. Heavy worsted and size nine needles mean a quick knit. I LOVE this sweater! I am Lizhonig on Ravelry if you want to see the project page.

  24. Drat! I should have paid attention to your schedule. Menominee is only about 4 hours from here. (Also? Marinette is Wisconsin, Menominee is in Michigan. Just across the river).

  25. Yes, I love the sock yarn, too. Beautiful colors. I also knit and walk. 🙂 Great use of time! It slows the pace a bit, like reading and walking. Knit on!

  26. I went to elementary school just across the road from where you are! The trail is wonderful, as long as there aren’t too many mosquitos.

    I second the Legacy Chocolate motion! My favorite is the pomegranate “Pama” 85% truffle if you can make it to downtown Menomonie.

  27. Couldn’t help but notice your knitting needles at the airport and realize you’ve discussed this in previous posts, but it reminded me that I had Jury Duty a couple of weeks ago and tried to take my knitting into the Jury pool room. Turns out they do not allow knitting needles anywhere in the courthouse. I tried arguing with them, but ended up putting my knitting back in my car and taking a book along instead. Harumphhhh!

    • Excellent choice! It does look very Steph. Especially in a tweedy yarn with lovely little bits of color spun throughout.
      Didn’t glimpse at the weight but that could always be downgraded to a lighter weight for global warming compensation.
      Or bring your wheeled tote for purchases and your outer gear if it gets too warm.

      • Whoops! Attached to wrong post.
        FYI-Bic Roundstic ballpoint pens are a perfect US 8 gauge. Just knit with dark yarn if they still have ink.
        Perfect for jury duty and traveling.

  28. How about the Cowichan KAL from Fringe Assoc? A nice interpretation and a quick vest. My dream is to go to Rhinebeck someday, but I’m happy to have done some yarn-shopping in Iceland recently. Incredible, beautiful place with…yarn! Currently I’m knitting Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Stopover and plan to knit Ysolda’s Strokkur next. I also bought some plotulopi for another sweater. Love Wisconsin, so much natural beauty.

  29. give yourself a break. Make socks to wear to the event. Over the top, gorgeous, one of a kind (well, two, actually) socks, but, socks. Why MUST it be a large garment? Knitting skill is knitting skill and, dear one, you have got serious skills. Let your feet profit for a change.

  30. hmm how about a sweater made from sock yarn, one of your basics, with cap/short sleeves, few cables thrown in. that would be light. the view out your window was definitely alluring. I can’t believe the Yarn Harlot has to ride a bus…but I guess that is knitting/thinking time.

  31. I vote that the future sweater should be something like EZ’s Chainmail Sweater from the Knitter’s Almanac. Full of colorful traveling cables on a different colored background.

    Or a lovely aran sweater or a gansey if you are really feeling zippy. Basically, I vote cables!

  32. Perhaps one of Amy Herzog’s designs would be a good choice for Rhinebeck? Acorn Trail, Cushing Isle, Tucci, or Aislin would all be great choices. And your buddy Clara looks calm and relaxed in Amy’s Foyle’s Cardi. Of course, Ysolda’s recently release (Ishnana) looks lovely, too. Good luck choosing!

  33. You are an amazingly fast knitter…to knit that much while walking through the woods…that would be at least a few days worth of sock knitting for me!!!! Oh, and the yarn is beautiful!

  34. When I was pregnant with my first a wise friend gave the advise that I should snuggle the baby as much as I wanted because the time goes so quickly. Beautiful fall days are the same, winte will be here soon enough and with it many hours to stay indoors. Enjoy hiking.

  35. How about something with sleeves optional so that you can add them if you have time, if not, then the sweater is a vest, and you can just add some icord to the edge or something.

  36. Agree with everyone’s comments about the warmish temps at Rhinebeck, so I suggest the Brooklyn Bridge Cardigan from Melissa Wehrle.

    I made a few mods (provisional cast-on & three needle join for the hem/cuffs – no sewing!), but otherwise it’s a nice fast knit. And being a lightweight cardigan, it’s easy to take off/put on. I made mine in a grassy green and I love it.

  37. Wear a pair of NEW socks & an OLD sweater from a previous year – Renew, repair, reuse, recycle . . . . And just enjoy the event.

  38. As someone from Wisconsin – you are correct. That was a very beautiful fall day. You did the right thing. Those days are perfect and fleeting. Here is to serenity.

  39. Fabulous sock and walk! I did the same thing, conceptually, not going into work Sunday, and had great times with cleaning laundry room and seeing the lunar eclipse in the evening. Definitely more energized than had I worked in the office Sunday.

  40. I agree that you definitely needed the hike/sock knitting break. Sitting for too long is bad for your health and all that and you probably will get more done for the break. Or at least be happier about what you get done.

  41. I attended my first Yarn Harlot retreat in Wisconsin last weekend and it was beyond amazing! You are a wonderfully gifted knitter and teacher, Stephanie! Thank you for an absolutely wonderful weekend.

  42. How about starting a new tradition with a Rhinebeck vest? This would give you flexibility given the uncertain weather at this time of year.

    I’m currently working on a contemporary vest that I love! It’s called Boardwalk. Great details!!!

    The good news is that you don’t have to knit sleeves. However the yarn is a little on the finer side at a gauge of 6.25 sts/inch. So there’s more knitting than completing a worsted weight garment. But it’s well worth it given the distinctive style….

  43. Loving checking out the ideas. But on another note, I live in minnesaota and would have picked you up at the airport and driven you to retreat! Someday…

  44. I would suggest knitting a Hitofude for Rhinebeck. I have made four. It looks good on almost everyone. It is a wonderfully addictive pattern, and I plan to do it again. Most of the ones I’ve made have been finished in less than 2 weeks, and best of all, there’s no finishing, just 2 little ends to weave in.

  45. Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks to you and “Knitting Rules” I have just finished my very first pair of socks. Now I feel like a knitter. It took me a year but because of your book and blog I did not give up.Thank You.
    I like the shawl or socks idea for Rhinebeck, but my personal vote is for Joe’s gansey (unless it is already done and I have somehow missed the post).

  46. I second the UFO idea. Btw, happy belated anniversary to you and Joe yesterday. Hope you were able to spend it together amongst both your various work trips.

  47. OK, so I’m not going to Rhinebeck this year, and probably not next year, either. How weird is it that I’ve already chosen my ‘Rhinebeck sweater’ and am now trying to decide what yarn to use??

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