Habit forming

There is so much that I’d planned on doing with my life today, and now it’s all over. Shattered. I was going to spin this pretty merino/seacell roving


and I was going to try and get part of the garden in…


(just the annuals. I’ll do the perennials in a week or two when they go on sale because I am very cheap.)

I was also thinking that I might clean out another closet (I’m doing very well on the de-cluttering) and sweep the back patio and maybe even write a little something and deal with some paperwork, or maybe even pack for the weekend away… and what am I doing?


Yup. Can’t stop. Can’t put it down. The colour is most accurate in this picture below.


I have to keep moving little beads along and putting them on yarn overs and I just keep doing one more repeat. Just a little more. A few more rows, a few more beads.


I’m enchanted by the swoopiness of it, the whole pattern reminds me of calligraphy and serifs and any number of graceful things.


Maybe I’ll just finish this repeat.

123 thoughts on “Habit forming

  1. I think that is BEAUTIFUL! The colors are stunning and the beads look lovely. “sigh” maybe I need to purchase a kit for my birthday. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Lovely pattern and yarn. What size are those beads? Haven’t done beading yet. I might as well get started.

  3. Oh, I would do that too if I had the yarn and the beads and the pattern and know-how. Yeah, more things on the list to do – thanks I think. My garden type things are waiting too, mostly because work (9 to 5) takes up a lot of time and so do family type things. Got to get at it though! Then I’ll be able to sit in the lovely back yard and knit And maybe have a drinky and watch the hummingbirds at the feeder. Good luck with everythingon your list. (coughganseycough)

  4. I am making the same kit. I am have a struggle with the second half of the chart and getting the beads to lay on the YO properly. Got any bead knitting tips?

  5. gorgeous. just gorgeous. the person who gets that scarf is very very lucky. i love those colors and the beads look like dew. just beautiful.

  6. Oh! I LOVE! I’ve never knit with beads. The idea of stringing them all on is so daunting, but that is just too beautiful not to make. Where did you get the kit?

  7. My ooohing and aahhing is right up there with everyone else in regards to the beautiful scarf – lovely! But I am also very intrigued by one of the plants in your second photo: the plant with the large, flat yellow, violet & green leaves. Is that some kind of geranium? I love those leaves – both the shape and colors. In Texas we’re about out of spring. I ate the first tomato from my garden yesterday.
    As always, I enjoy your blog and appreciate you for sharing with us!

  8. The beads are like little droplets of water on a spider web. Just beautiful.

  9. Beautiful! I love knitting with beads and that is truly lovely. I also love Schaefer Heather. I think I must have this.
    I read the sneak preview of essays from your new book this weekend — they are great. Can’t wait for the book to come out!

  10. Hey, guys, read the blog for yesterday; she told us where to get the kit and where she got her yarn and what pattern it is. (I don’t mean to be snarky, just informative. Hope this helps.)

  11. I want that. Must have. Mine. Pick me! My colors. Mine.
    Steph, why don’t you auction it off?

  12. Thanks so much for the validation, Stephanie! It’s good to know I’m not the only repeat offender. Though, if anyone’s offended by said repeats, they just need to, you know, take a deep cleansing breath.

  13. Hi Stephanie,
    Sorry I made an addict out of you, but glad you are loving knitting the pattern!
    THANKS! Laura

  14. Oh those colors and the addition of the beads! Just gorgeous. I made myself plant the annuals on Sunday instead of starting the wrap that I want to finish by Saturday to wear to the wedding that I am attending. Now I am delighted with my back yard, but have no wrap….I’ll be knitting late into the night for several nights to hopefully get it finished….and wondering if I made the right choice.

  15. Nice to know I’m not the only one who finds bead knitting addictive and impossible to put down. Aching shoulders and vow to stop be damned, I knit some more tiny little beads this morning before leaving for work. ANd I will knit more tonight, I’m sure…

  16. I really like that scarf! I am not too fond of knitting with beads. I love the way it looks, but I get so involved with the pattern I forget them, then I have to frog… It’s a nasty cycle of knitting violence. I wonder what it would look like with out them?
    Beautiful work as always!

  17. Those colors make my head spin. So rich and deep. Big sigh of pleasure. Keep knitting and beading!

  18. Sorry to comment again but my brain keeps trying to fit words to the colors. . .blackberry, boysenberry, plum. . .violet, blueberry, black raspberry. . .oh to be a namer of colorways!

  19. The garden and spinning can wait for tomorrow, but clearly the gorgeous beads must be catered to right away! They do look beautiful. I need to get on this beaded knitting thang sometime soon…
    (PS if you or Franklin happen to have cupcake flavour preferences…that might be useful information on June 14th. Just sayin’ is all…) ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Ah, lovely color. And congratulations on the decluttering! I understand the temptation to do something other than gardening — gardens are beautiful once put in, but a pain before then! I’m curious though, do you just plant flowers — or vegies as well?

  21. The yarn and beads complement the flowers so well that I think it can count as gardening! Don’t you?

  22. Wow! That is absolutely gorgeous! I don’t blame you at all for only doing that today, I would! Actually, I would probably not stop to think about anything else until it was done, so you’re doing better than me. At least you feel guilty.

  23. Both the knitting and the roving are lovely. I would love to learn to spin but every time they LYS has a spinning class something comes up and I can’t take it (stupid navy taking hubby away for 6 months two days after the class and having to spend all my time with my “family”)

  24. with the schedule and stuff you have coming up– I say knit the zen;)
    besides- we get to enjoy the pretty without the work;)
    I’m curious about the seacell/merino- though— how does it spin? What is the staple like? So you know— you COULD spin on Wednesday… we had a holiday in the states yesterday- so everything’s behind a day;)

  25. Wow! i. think.i.am.in.lust!!!! Please share where I can get such loveliness!

  26. Oh, lovely! I have to get that. Is there a legal limit to how many projects you can start in a week?

  27. Lovely! Everything else will wait. Kind of like my house cleaning is waiting today as maybe I can squeeze one more round in on my Road to Golden sweater! The scarf is stunning, I will tackle beaded knitting someday….

  28. I just love the colors and love how the beads are coming along.
    Could you give us instructions some day on how to knit with beads? How do you get the beads on the yarn? How do you know now many to use, etc?
    I’m intrigued.

  29. That spinning fluff is beautiful, but what is seacell? The colors of it are not your colors so I’m wondering who it is for?

  30. I’m so bad with that. I love making lists, and I come up with these seemingly-reasonable lists of “things to do today.” I’m lucky if I get 2 things done, let alone all 5 or 7. And I don’t even have kids! Luckily I don’t let it get me down, I just keep making those not-that-ambitious lists. Tomorrow is another day.

  31. I TOTALLY sympathize with you Stefanie. Anytime I pick up agood project, I think to myself, “Just one more stitch… Just one more row… Just one more…” Isn’t it funny how we can put off chores/daily duties for so many “one more” stitches?!?

  32. Beads = knitters’ CRACK.
    It takes the “just one more row” to a whole ‘nother PLANET.
    Don’t forget to eat.

  33. B…but…but…Tuesdays are for SPINNING!! Just kidding, it’s looking beautiful and thank you for such great close up shots! Nice colourway. You make it look so effortless. Damn the spinning, keep going on this! Ha ha! Enjoy every second.

  34. I liked your idea of the Stash Toss. I really need to get my stash down to a more manageable size. So, I “borrowed” your idea and put it on my blog. I’m giving away some yarn in exchange for a possible donation to MSF. I hope that you approve. I’m going to suggest (on the DenverKnits group, that I moderate) that others do the same, with a cause that they choose.

  35. You’re not cheap…you’re “fiscally responsible”. Like that one? Hubby always tried to put a positive spin whenever I say something about myself he doesn’t like. I used to say I was cheap.
    Love love love the violet. Oh, and the scarf is also very pretty. Sometimes you just have to go with it. Obviously there’s a reason you’re supposed to finish that thing up right now. It will reveal itself in time.

  36. It is a celebration of the violets. Especially with those pictures taken with it, when you see it later, finished, it will remind you of your violets, even when there’s two feet of snow on the ground.
    And I do love me some violets–we had them growing wild in the grass, growing up, and my parents encouraged them, whereas the neighbors fought to keep their lawn properly green and free of them (such a loss!) Here in California now, one must search for and pay for violets, they don’t come celebrating at the party until invited. I love your pictures!

  37. That looks absolutely gorgeous knitted up. I can see why it would take you away from any and all other plans, whispering in your ear that clearly it is more important and loves you better than any of the other things you have to do today.
    And I can see why you might even believe that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. I don’t blame you. The combination of the colours and the pattern is enchanting.

  39. OK, so thanks alot…after reading your entry last night and then checking out the scarf pattern I became completely and utterly obsessed with this scarf. I don’t need a scarf, I don’t need another project, I don’t have room for it…but I hunted it down like a mad dog!! Unfortunately I want to make it in the original Susan colorway and I can’t seem to find it but the very nice Ellen at Earthfaire is trying to contact Schafer yarns to track it down for me. So thank you Stephanie… I was perfectly happy working on my sleeves and getting ready to start my next project and now I am obsessed. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I will make this scarf!! By the way, yours is just beautiful!

  40. When I started reading your post today, a horrible creepy crawly feeling came over me that maybe you’d found a bug in that pretty roving. I even looked closely at the picture to see if I could see anything in there. Thank goodness I was wrong. Your beading is lovely, and your addiction to it is totally understandable.

  41. Lovely roving… lovely beaded project — looks like spring has arrived in Toronto. BTW I found my missing skein of Noro sock yarn, but it wasn’t in a suitcase, it was in the drawer, right where I had looked 5 times — go figure.

  42. WOW! I love that scarf … and I already have that yarn in my stash! (but I don’t know exactly where it is, drat!) … and I even think I have the beads too, but again, I’ll have to find them. Now I just need the pattern, and to get my yarn and bead stashes organized!!
    BTW – I just love the Gertrude Eberle colorway — I think I have it most of the Schaefer yarn lines. Just love those jewel tones.

  43. In the matter of beads I am hovering on the brink of lost and gone forever, disappeared inside another obsession and will never be seen again. Posts like this one do not help.

  44. You can send the roving over the pond to me, I’ll spin it, no trouble at all

  45. Right here in the middle of trying to finish this rotten PhD thesis, I have fallen in love with that scarf. And try as I might, I can’t find the yarn in the UK …. I feel a yarn substitution and some serious procrastination coming on here …… Thanks for the distraction! I wonder if my supervisor will let me off finishing this week’s chapter if I explain how it’s all your fault. Hmmm.

  46. Love the scarf!! Love the beads!! I want some!! Did you mean to date today’s blog as May 26? Your blog yesterday was May 26 (it was a BIG holiday here in the states) but today, yesterday’s doesn’t have a date and today’s is dated May 26 – are you confused yet? I am, but I tend to confuse easily…

  47. Oh, how gorgeous! I love how the project looks next to the violets, too. Just a little bit of nature. Love it.
    And seeing your photos has strengthened my resolve to save my pennies for a new camera. (Ours broke and the cell phone camera just doesn’t cut it.)

  48. I love violets! Ours are all gone down here (PA). I’ve been craving violet syrup, but I missed my chance to gather violets–my usually tardy landlord came and mowed the lawn before I got to the violets. Enjoy!

  49. Ah, the curse of an addictive stitch pattern, combined with beautiful yarn. You may as well write off getting else anything done until you finish that scarf.

  50. Totally understandable. I sense you are pushing more knitters over the edge of bead obsession (myself included).

  51. So… I stopped reading your blog around the middle of February. The second hospitalisation in three weeks was just too much. Since then I’ve finished my Master’s thesis, defended it, and have had another surgery.
    Today, in my Applied Epidemiology class, I got bored. So I had the idea to catch up on your blog. By the end of class, I was to the end of March.
    I got home and decided to finish catching up. After a whirlwind tour (Charlotte, Indy, SLC, PDX, and my hometown Philly), you are finally back at home — all within a few hours! Well done!
    I’ve laughed (sorry, but that triple alarm story was pretty funny), I’ve cried (thanks for th touching essay on children as people), and I’ve been inspired (first socks… bring it — well, maybe after graduation).

  52. I really need to quit reading your books and blog….
    1) I didn’t know what a stash was until I picked up one of your books and the hubby is about ready to tell me to take up smoking crack instead of knitting(it might be cheaper).
    2) I have 4 out of 6(?) books you have out and am stalking the LYS to get more….
    3) I have more patterns I have gotten off of the net due to Ravelry than I can knit the rest of this century (I haven’t quite gotten all the yarn to knit them yet)
    ACK!!! My LYSO just called and the 2 books I don’t have yet are on the way………
    I give up, I’m just going to go to my corner and knit quietly……………..

  53. I am on my 3rd beaded wave scarf and it is so addictive and fun. Took me a couple of trys to understand the pattern. Love it and yours looks great!

  54. I hope you warned the Schaefer people! Everyone will want one now, me included ๐Ÿ˜‰ So pretty, and you have violets!
    My garden is waiting – just as well that I live in San Jose!

  55. any yarn that close to the REAL VIOLETS just has to be wondrous! Knit away!
    Coming to LA and signing but not speaking ?
    come to Santa Barbara instead!!

  56. That’s gorgeous! It’s coming out beautifully. That green yarn from your last post might be nice in this pattern with some lovely green beads.

  57. I’m watching to see when the scarf pattern rockets to the top of the Favourite Ravelry Patterns, cos it’s only a matter of time, once it’s been Harlotted … (and I *love* that Harlotting is now a verb!)
    Beautiful work. I need a scarf! It’s winter here! (Sydney, Australia). Hmmm ..

  58. Wow thats gorgous. I think making the scarf the priority was a wise choice. The garden can wait till tomorrow.

  59. Oh. I love what AlisonH said. One of my favorite things is knitting something into my project, some *memory* you understand. I was knocked out by that picture with the violets, and that is why, but I didn’t realize it until I read Alison’s comment.
    Anyway, how wonderful. I think it’s a fine way to spend a day.

  60. I am not surprised that you are not getting anything else done around house or garden. I remember a certain pair of socks with a leaf or two. As I recall, even sleep was skipped in favor of one more little leaf.

  61. The problem with days is that they only have 24 hours. I hate that.
    I used to do beadwork. Yep, beads and beading are just as addictive as yarn and knitting. And here you go combining the two. Well, no wonder you’re hooked! You’ll never be able to put it down. Prepare to eat while knitting because obviously you can’t stop until it’s finished. Have fun!

  62. The “swoopiness” is so graceful and beautiful. It makes me wanna pretend I’m a ballerina dancer ๐Ÿ˜‰

  63. I just love you. I am writing a book and can’t show stuff, I am sure you now this feeling. I come to your blog with bated anticipation. Thank you.

  64. My best friend is under the spell of this shawl in “Frieda Khalo”. Not only is it for a January gift, but the music teacher-recipient is ever present in this preparation time and driving her crazy.

  65. ha ha ha
    I had a HUGE to-do list for tonight and instead I ended up knitting leg warmers! I know EXACTLY how you feel!!!
    And I won’t be original saying that your scarf looks GORGEOUS – can’t wait to see the finished piece: c’mon do some more repeats ๐Ÿ˜‰

  66. At first, I didn’t quite register what the pretty shiny things were, then I realized that they were beads. Clearly, I have to stop being afraid of putting beads in with my knitting because if the result is that pretty, it would be a waste not to.

  67. It is all your fault. Truly. Well, perhaps I was weak. First of all, I had always staunchly refused to knit socks, especially socks on sock needles in sock yarn. Nope, not me. Then you just kept posting pictures of socks, beautiful socks, socks that got knitted so quickly, effortlessly even, that I caved and started on socks. I bought books on knitting socks, sock yarn (12 pair worth of sock yarn in my meager stash at the moment – how did that happen?), sock needles… The first time I tried knitting socks on sock needles in sock yarn (as opposed to larger needles (US 6 or 8, say) and worsted yarn), I nearly tossed the whole mess out the nearest window. But then I would read your blog and see all those socks, and read your books about how easy socks are…. so I tried again.
    And the other night, after finishing my first pair of socks in sock yarn on sock needles, what do you suppose I did? I wove in my ends, put them on my husband’s size 10 feet, and immediately cast on for a second pair. I love knitting socks, and it is all your fault. Thank you!!! (although you are right – there are now people queued for handknit socks by me)
    And now for the second issue. I’m starting to see knitting with beads more and more on your lovely blog, and am having a similar reaction as I did to the sock postings. Come to think of it, I have beads in stash right now…

  68. I absolutely understand! I felt the same way while I was knitting the Waving Lace socks. It was soooo cool to see the lace pattern emerge every few rows. It really did become addictive. Don’t get me started on my Odessa hat. I used the crochet method for beading on that one because I chose varigated beads and it was easier not to get “bead pooling” with the hook. Love the colours, love the beading, love the pattern!

  69. OMG the roving, garden, and knitting are all FABULOUS!!!!!! I love the purples. That is my FAV color. It is so rich in color. I say “keep up the good work.”

  70. i really must find out how to do this knitting with beads thing. although the last thing i need is another creative obsession!

  71. Now that is what I call gobsmaked beautiful!! what a great project for me to try lace AND beading IF I could get the beads. We only have Michaels here and they do not sell beads with large enough holes to use. I’ll look and see if they sell a kit including the beads on here . Good bloddy thing you didn’t put your plants into the ground as we have had a frost and again tonight , so “”they”” say, so keep on knitting and take a quick break to pack. Thank you for such a feast for the eyes .

  72. The knitting is stunning – and beads are SO intimidating and impressive! But PLEASE share the source of that gorgeous merino/seacell fiber – I haven’t spun that blend yet, and that colorway is GORGEOUS!

  73. I bought some merino/seacell roving not long ago. I have a picture of mine on my blog if you wanna see. I haven’t spun it yet. I’m enjoying just looking at it right now and I’m trying to think of how I want to spin it. Let us all know how you like it.

  74. Your scarf is BEAUTIFUL! I love the way that beaded knits feel too, they have such a wonderful, substantial feel and weight to them. Free form gardens are the best… just stick the stuff in the ground and water when necessary. Over-weeding, etc. isn’t natural.

  75. Chores can (almost) always wait because when I do them, I devote the same obsessive behavior to them as I do my knitting. Besides, who can keep a house clean when it has a teenager in it? I just need to get in a few more rows and I claim to be ‘almost done’ all the time. It’s ‘just a quick/fast scarf’ or in my case a shawl.
    Unfortunately for me, my knitting obsession has turned into a spinning obsession so getting sidetracked is inevitable. No matter what I do, I have to pass my wheel (small house).
    I must admit, I positively suck at spinning but I tell you, I LOVE it! And I love my wheel like a fat boy loves cake! Washing dishes or clothes … not so much.

  76. Really lovely- I’ve got two beaded projects queued right now, and that’s from your *last* beaded knitting post (remember this http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2007/12/03/lene_runs_my_life_and_i_like_it.html? I still love it.)
    Melanie at May 27, 2008 3:05 PM – No. Start as many knitting projects as you like.
    DebbieT at May 27, 2008 3:06 PM and christine m. east of toronto at May 28, 2008 7:30 AM
    Two articles on how to knit with beads:
    I’m doing a beaded knit project Real Soon Now (but not this week on account of I don’t think the airline will be happy if I spend the flight crawling up and down the aisle trying to pick up spilled beads).

  77. Make 230,000 of those beauties and sell them for the Doctors without Borders. The colors and beads are to slobber for in jealousy.

  78. I love the colors and the beads just add to the exquisite look. I think I missed a post or two because I don’t know what kit is being talked about but since it is a scarf (I noted from the comments, yes the pic looked like it but with you sock people I can never be too sure) and not a sock I will definitely have to look into that. My favorite colors all rolled up into one beautiful creation. Can’t wait to try adding beads to my own pieces now.

  79. Thou shalt not covet another knitter’s yarn….thou shalt not covet another knitter’s yarn….thou shalt not…..

  80. Okay, ya’ll might want to sit down for this one.
    I called my sister on Sunday, and I could hear her working at bookbinding (her profession) while we talked.
    ‘You’re working this weekend?’ I was feeling sorry for her.
    ‘Yeah, I finished everything on my to do list so there was nothing else to do but work.’
    She really said that. And knowing her as I do, I believe it to be true. When I suggested that she could nap, read a book, knit…she said:
    ‘Yeah, I already did that too.’
    I don’t know if it’s some kind of illness, or if she’s a changling, of what. I just know that next week she’s coming to clean my garage as a birthday present to me.

  81. Wow. You make me want to knit with beads. And I have been scared of that so far.

  82. Oooh, pretty! Gorgeous colors and beads! Love the violets, too. I’ve been decluttering – my daughter’s room now features a red Ikea bookcase which she and I put together after we both cleared out tons of STUFF from her room, half of which got donated and half of which got trashed. The toy bins have been cleared out, relocated and repurposed for closet storage.
    Much as I hate to cotemplate it, a stash toss is in order as well. I have some acrylic skeins and other yarn that I won’t use, so they’re getting donated to the kids at the after school program.

  83. It’s all so pretty! I have JUST started getting into the blogging thing, and also just discovered the magic of podcasts! (What a concept!) Anyway, I listened to one the other day called “Stash and Burn”, and you were the guest, and, well, I dunno, I just really enjoyed listening to what you had to say! You are not only entertaining but intelligent; how refreshing. I will definitely be checking your blog on a regular basis.

  84. I think Schaefer yarns should pay you a commission. This pattern is now in so many Ravelry queues. (Like I am ever going to knit everything in mine!) You should have a KAL. Let’s face it, in the knitting world you are bigger than Oprah!

  85. Lovely. It is true. Everyone wants to knit this now. I love feeling the beads slip onto the needles. soooo cooool

  86. I really enjoy your writing. It’s like keeping in touch with a good friend. You always give me a laugh and brighten my day!

  87. I really enjoy your writing. It’s like keeping in touch with a good friend. You always give me a laugh and brighten my day!

  88. I did a project like this a couple of years ago using, I think, the same beads. Mine was a simple scarf made from some leftover purple yarn and the ends only had the pattern (the scarf was grafted in the middle). I loved it! I plan to do more…one day! Love it, love it, love it!

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