Pin Problem

Once again, things have not gone to plan, and the blanket is not done. I was pretty sure I would be finished it while I was at Knit City – sure enough that I brought Soak to wash it with, and pins to block it in my hotel room. I even brought another big project that needs starting (and finishing, technically, but let’s not get too defeatist) and I am positive now that the only thing that went wrong with that plan was that there remain a meagre 24 hours in a day.

That’s it. I did not (for once) underestimate how much I would be able to knit in a day – somehow imagining that I would be able to teach knitting all day while knitting. (Doesn’t work.) I did not imagine that I’d be able to knit all the way somewhere on a plane and then fall asleep, wasting all that time. Nope. Not this knitter. This time, I knit in all my spare time, I knit on the plane, I knit for an hour each morning while I drank coffee and planned my day. I knit in the evenings at events, and I didn’t ditch the project for something more fun the minute new yarn waggle it’s little label at me. I knit at lunch,  on the bus, at dinner, in between classes, while I was walking…. I was on it, and it’s still. Not. Done.

I think I know the exact moment it went sideways too. I was finished the first border I’d picked, and I was at a crossroads. I could have started the edging, right then and there, but instead I decided to do another border. I sat there, holding this thing and thinking about my brand new great-niece (yup, she’s born and here, healthy and hale) and then I realized that it was no time to shirk. She’ll have this blanket her whole life, she barely weighs seven pounds and can’t possibly care whether she gets it this week or next, and I realized that having it just how I wanted it was more important than having it just when I wanted it, and so I decided to do one more little bit before going on. (I admit, the fact that this baby’s mum, auntie and grandmother all knit inspired me to greater heights. Only other knitters can really love this stuff.)

Unfortunately, that little bit… isn’t. It’s a lot more, and despite diligent knitting, I am only today starting the edging.  Each repeat consumes 17 stitches of the border, and there are… You know what? I don’t know how many stitches there are.  I’m feeling like it’s around 800 (likely a little more) and that means I’ve got to settle in for about 47 repeats, plus a few more to get around the corners, and….

And I’m stopping just shy of doing the math on how long that means I’ll be at this. It’s going to be lovely though, and I just keep telling myself that it will be enjoyed for far longer than I spend knitting it, and that’s what matters, no matter how crazy I am by the end of it.  It also means that I was nuts when I thought I’d finish even without the edging, another episode of knitterly delusion, and I’ve taken the pins back out of my suitcase, and put them back on the shelf.  It’s really nowhere near pin time.

I’ll pound out a bunch of it this weekend – though it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, so there will be time lost to cooking, eating and cleaning up from cooking and eating, but let’s see what Monday brings.

PS. Thanks to a few cancellations, there are a few spots open for the Strung Along November Retreat. We’re reprising our Silk retreat (oh, so much fun) and  this is a retreat for Knitters and Spinners. (You don’t need to be very good at either.) There’s a few more details here, let us know if you’d like to join us. (

(PPS I am really thinking about turning on the heat.)

78 thoughts on “Pin Problem

  1. I think about turning on the heat a lot too these days. I’m glad you settled for the blanket you really want to give, even if it’s delivered after the baby. She’ll treasure it. Congratulations to the whole family with this precious little addition.

  2. It will be absolutely stunning, totally worth the extra time, and cherished forever.

    Now please tell me that you absolutely positively without a single doubt have enough yarn ♥

  3. You will be happy you knit the blanket you wanted and to hell with the timetable! My heat is on (here in Washington state). What a great time of the year to knit – it’s wet outside so no more yardwork yay!

  4. Oh, please, HEAT???? We still have almost 90 degrees here in the US South, where it is supposed to be in the 70s, and it is October for crying out loud! I will positively strangle the next person who calls climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by anyone.
    Way to go on the blanket, Stephanie! Hope the yarn holds out.

  5. It’s going to be stunning, and everyone will love it (including the recipient when she is truly old enough to understand the time, effort, and love put into it).

    What I want to know is this: Do you actually have enough yarn for this now that you’ve decided to create this additional border?

  6. I don’t think this blanket has had enough drama yet. The baby is already here, and you’ve only had a cast on your arm and run short on yarn once. Maybe you need to put a beaded border on that edging…;-)!

    • Grin – Yes, beaded edging would be the cat’s meow. sad face – Only she said she had started the edging already. Yah think we could talk her into frogging what she has done and send her down the beaded edging rabbit hole? wink, wink, nudge, nudge

      • Oh, thank you, Presbytera, I was waiting for that exact post from you – but it came even faster than I expected!
        Needed a smile today.

  7. The blanket will be lovely & loved whenever the little one gets it. Happy Thanksgiving to you & all Canadians. It is 65 in southern New England so no heat today but it will be 54 when I go to a clam back tomorrow, brrrrrrr.

  8. Yay edging! Totally with you on that. I recently finished the edge on a 500+ stitch, 18 repeat pattern on a deadline, during which I was still spinning the yarn. It all worked well, and I did make the deadline. but holy moly.
    Glad the little one is here and I know you’ll have the blanket done in no time. 🙂

  9. Please turn on the heat. Enables the fingers and elbows and shoulders to knit better (I think).

    Blanket looks like a cloud of loveliness. I like the concept that the blanket will be loved and valued for much longer that it takes to knit. I will remember this.

    76 degrees in Santa Rosa CA, but we did have a bit of rain last few days which was glorious. I’d like more rain though and nice chilly temps.

  10. That blanket is beautiful as were all those before it.
    Turned my heat on last Sunday, tried to hold out by burning wood for a week, but too much wind and wet weather, way too many 50 degree and lower days. Snow in area today, 5 inches in some areas, but only rain here closer to Lake Superior. I’ve been baking with apples, and making batches of soup. Must mean fall is really here. Still hoping for some warmer days, and I need more sunshine badly.

  11. Our radiators kicked on last night briefly. It was lovely. I adore radiator heat.

    If you find a day with more than 24 hours… let me know… I’m still looking

  12. Thanksgiving? Heat? Oh my–we do need heat here in southern California, but not for weeks and weeks, and Thanksgiving feels months away!

  13. You’re being awfully calm about this. It’s taking all of the fun out of it for us, you know. Why won’t you think of the blog? A little more calamity? A little more drama? Is that too much to ask?

    LOL Glad it’s going well.

  14. Is there still the heat contest in the family? Is the blaket big enough to provide temporary heat for a few more days? Heat from the oven as dinner is prepared (remembered just in time NOT to say turkey).

    Wishing you joyful perseverance. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Haha! That was my first thought, what happened to the great Canadian furnace wars?? (Households with infants excepted, of course) Only second did I think, a second border–did she say 800 stitches –will there be enough yarn?

  15. Another border? seriously? You know that now you ARE going to run out of yarn, right? It will be beautiful, though. No question. Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Definitely turn on the heat. I caved when I checked the weather forecast for Kingston, ON and discovered that the sun wasn’t going to appear for days and days and temps were dropping to 0C at night. Good thing I’ve got more sweaters than I know what to do with!

  17. I was totally on your team until you mentioned turning on the heat. It was 94°F here in North Carolina today (google tells me this is 34.4 Celcius) and our autumn is nowhere to be found. It is supposed to be prime knitting season and I’m melting everytime I step outside. Now I hear thag it is cold enough in Canada for Canadians to turn on the heat? Unfair!

  18. I’m curious, but won’t ask how many stitches are on your needle now. Instead I’ll just ask what length needle you are using.

    Beautiful design and end result.

  19. I’m right there with you sloshing along on a darn BIG blanket (with one more coming.) I’m finishing two blankets for a Great Grandma, who didn’t outlive her projects. (A friends’ Mom.) And you know what? I’m REALLY beginning to hate bobbles.
    I’m sure your blanket has a lot more intrigue to it, which is more up my alley. But, I suppose no good deed goes unpunished. I’m dreaming of my sweater which follows.

  20. I love this line from the blog: “I knit for an hour each morning while I drank coffee and planned my day ” That’s half the reason why I knit, I knit while I plan my day . . . week . . . month.

  21. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Congrats on the grand-niece.

    The blanket is beautiful and you should do it to your satisfaction, otherwise you will never be happy with it.

  22. Happy Thanksgiving! I know I am going to love the look of this blankie! Love the notes you send via The Blog. I will be knitting blankies soon.

  23. My daughter and I were just talking about you and turning on the heat. My mutinous family turned it on (again) this week. It’s back in the 70s (F) so I turned it off again. We’ll be doing this dance for a while. The blanket will be lovingly lovely.

  24. Happy Thanksgiving, Stephanie! Wishing you and your family joy, despite your losses.

    You’re right, this baby will never know when exactly you finished her blanket and she has a lifetime yo enjoy it

  25. Happy Thanksgiving!! Always look forward to seeing what was on the menu at your house. I’m slogging away at the edging of a shetland shawl I had abandoned awhile ago. I wish I had the impetus you have to finish.

  26. Not to the point where we have to turn on the heat just yet, but there is a certain wood stove that needs installing cause, the snow is going to fly early here in central Connecticut. Have to plan when to put the garlic in this year. Last year was pretty easy. The baby will love the blanket. She does not know yet that she even has one. I have a blanket to weave and the baby is due 1st week of November.

  27. Congratulations Auntie Steph on your family addition who will be warmly loved I’m sure and I’m equally positive her blanket will be an unequaled treasure. Many Blessings to you and yours as you all celebrate Thanksgiving.

  28. Late to the party, but I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and that no one calls the Drama Llama between now and presentation of the beautiful blanket.
    What have they named the darling wee one?

  29. Dear Steph, Maybe after 2 beautiful edgings a simple I-cord bind off would suffice? Keep the focus on the completed edgings? I know, gilding the lily is fun, but there is a place to stop. A painter friend of mine said oncee that the hardest part about painting was knowing when to stop. I understand completely.
    Julie in San Diego

  30. Happy Thanksgiving! when I lived in Canada (68-70, happily a student at UofT), I figured I got to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. I don’t do blankets any more–the last few have had to go to babies a few years down from the original intendee, I’m slow.
    Meanwhile, Strung Along is on my bucket list.

  31. Here in Rochester, NY just across the lake from you it can’t decide if it’s fall or still summer. We have had both kinds of weather BUT I have not yet turned on the heat although I was wondering if you had last week when it was pretty cold. Now it’s 80’s again…..

  32. We’re into week two of rain and clouds. Our heat has been on for two weeks…I cried “uncle” early this year! I was thinking of Dr. Seuss reading your blanket saga – “I knit on the bus, I knit without fuss”…. Best of luck!

  33. And THAT’S what I came here to find out. The McPhee “furnace thing!”. Here in Wisconsin, we just took the AC out of the livingroom wall 2 weeks ago. But we don’t have a furnace. We heat with wood. We have had 3 nights with a fire in the stove so far. Last night, Hubby activated the gas fireplace. So, that was cozy, after supper! Stay warm!

  34. Thank you for tweeting the Matthew Shepard scarves. I’m not on Twitter, so I can’t thank you there. The scarves are pretty hard, but I might try one. I will definitely keep his memory in mind. We must work so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen, and that LBGQT individuals are treated fairly. Thanks, again.

  35. We turned on the heat a month ago… and found that the flooding this summer and the constantly wet basement from that flooding and more heavy rain on top of it had killed our furnace. Many many many phone calls to plumbers to fix the furnace all ended with “We can get you in before Christmas, but we’re installing furnaces damaged by the flood right now.”

    I finally convinced someone that THIS was flood damage and not only did they replace the furnace, they did it for free. They have a grant to replace furnaces damaged by the flooding… but nothing to fix furnaces damaged by the flooding. And while they were at it, they also replaced the old, cranky, inefficient water heater (it’s part of the new boiler).

    So many people had huge damage with the Father’s Day Floods… and our federal government refused to help individuals because “not enough people were hurt” (I’m not kidding) but so many people and organizations and groups have helped… buses of young people from churches hundreds of miles away showing up to shovel out basements, millions of dollars from former students who went to University and residents who have long moved away have been donated, semi trucks full of washers and dryers and refrigerators just showing up — come and get one.
    Roads are still closed, bridges are still out and there are still piles of sandbags in some of the worst areas and will be until after the snowmelt next spring… but the response from “neighbors” has been amazing.

    Everytime I think “People suck” I’m reminded that “People are amazing” is also true.
    Hope your furnace comes on right away with no issues 🙂

  36. I used to love watching my grandmother knit by the fire place in her rocking chair. I’d be looking outside the window and snow was piled over our car and the yard. Just rocking and knitting.

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