A Proven Fact

I’m not really blogging, since it’s a holiday and there’s other stuff to do besides blogging.. stuff like dance in the street while throwing around dollar coins and candies in celebration of the fact that tomorrow is the first day of school, but I wanted to show you this.


This is a back, two fronts and 3/4 of a sleeve of Hey Teach


and actually, when I finished both fronts, I decided I wanted the distance from ribbing to the beginning of the armscye shaping an inch longer and pulled both of them back to there and knit them again…..

and it’s still almost done. It’s still almost done, even though I sat on a patio and drank beer with Ken while knitting a sock, not a sweater… and it’s still almost done even though we rode our bikes to the beer place and there was no knitting while bike riding. (Obviously. If I haven’t figured it out by now, it can’t be done.)


That sweater is almost finished despite the fact that I spent hours and hours on my paperwork… (It’s done. Thanks for asking.) and despite the fact that I didn’t really try really hard. That makes this the fastest sweater ever, maybe.

Zoom. Sort of makes me wish I’d remembered to buy buttons.

112 thoughts on “A Proven Fact

  1. Love that sweater, & glad that paper work is done, you must feel better for it…….
    Yup, the kids are going back to school……all too soon,can you tell I’m a gramma Lol.First to comment, if I hurry !

  2. It looks great. I started finished 3 objects this weekend–the Dumpling bags are addictive. I say finished, except for the felting–I need to find a top loading washer!!!

  3. When you do learn how to knit and ride a bike, please let me know. I can ride a bike and drink beer or drink beer and knit.
    Nice sweater! Sometimes it is nice when a sweater knits up quick.

  4. That is so funny you say that! I finished this so fast and wanted to waer ti so badly, I went diving into my button bin. Luckily I found a set that will work, at least for now. Pretty pearly ones. Thanks to Grama I can wear it to our picnic!!

  5. Glad to hear the sweater is a fast knit. I’ve got the yarn, but haven’t had a chance to start it yet.
    When will your new book be available in the U.S.?

  6. Somehow we teachers don’t feel quite the same way about school starting as the parents! Love the sweater (and the sock)!

  7. What good progress on both projects! I was already certain I would like Hey Teach but I wasn’t so sure I’d like the sock. However, the stripes are quite flashy and even elegant. Knit on!

  8. Lovely knitting, and the colors on the sock look great. But while you’re celebrating the start of school, in our house it’s a little melancholy — hubby’s a teacher, I’m a professor, and it’s back to school for us, too.

  9. The sweater is looking beautiful, and I just love those socks!!! So glad you were able to get all your paperwork done! Now go dance in the streets 😉

  10. Must be the ending of “summer” and the start of school(Yeha,I remember the thrill of that day when I had three teens) that makes us purge our houses and finish things like paperwork. Sometimes I think the year really begins here rather than on Jan. 1st !
    Can’t wait to see you model both the Nora G. sweater and the Hey,teach .

  11. Oh, wow. I am rarely susceptible to the influence of other’s projects, partly because I live in FL and have an allergy to wool But, this one just went in the (very short) line up.

  12. I loved making that sweater, too. I like wearing it even more. I mixed 2 different kinds of buttons together – more fun & I didn’t have to choose just one 😉

  13. Dear Stephanie, this comment is just to say that I have just bought & read 2 of your books and, though I have been chortling along here in the background of your blog for a long time, I must now come out into the light of day & say that you are BRILLIANT.
    Thank you.

  14. Perhaps a tandem bike, especially one of those new side-by-side tandems? There’s that wonderful story told in a tribute to Elizabeth Zimmerman. Seems she was riding behind Arnold on his beloved motorcycle and he was annoyed at a trucker who was pacing them for a very long time but was unwilling to pass. Seems EZ was knitting on the back of the bike, and apparently the trucker was amazed at the sight and trying to get a better look!

  15. Not to be a downer, but maybe we should wait on the “fastest sweater ever” designation until it’s actually completely done? Just a thought. 🙂

  16. Harlot, I would like to see you knit. You get so much done and it’s all gorgeous! Yesterday I got 4 batches of soap, no five, and had out of town guests drop in and get food poisoning, (I think from someplace out of town) and got the toe, just the toe, of a C. Bordhi sock done. I see your knitting and I think that you are in a different time warp than me. Like maybe your days are 36 hours long, or your seconds are actually 1.5 seconds.
    But it’s gorgeous, your Hey Teach. I think I will start one just a soon as I weed, pour another batch of soap and cook dinner.
    No, really I’m not whining.

  17. I saw that sweater pattern and admired it. I also liked the backstory. It makes patterns more interesting when you know where they came from.

  18. Wow, very nice. Makes me wish I was knitting speedy sweaters too! As long as you weren’t drinking beer and knitting while riding your bike, you’re probably ok. I think.

  19. You have to be the fastest knitter on the planet!
    I meant to finish a scarf yesterday, but got a knitting tattoo instead…priorities, don’t you know?!?

  20. Wow–that sock is really pretty. You and I don’t usually have the same taste in colors (not a criticism–we have very different coloring and I look heinous in the colors that you look great in) but those colors–yum yum.

  21. I do know the joy of perfect pattern + perfect yarn + perfect knitting occasion. That is what keeps us hooked and operating under delusions for most of our projects.

  22. Wisht i could knit that fast. *sigh*
    Yeah, it’s back to school, so that means working on a course syllabus instead of knitting something fun. Does anyone know how to type and knit at the same time???

  23. WEather Report…. it has not stopped raining here in Birmingham since lunchtime…
    You might want to pack an inflatable dinghy, or grab that life jacket from under your seat on the plane…

  24. LOL – that sounds a bit like the baby cardigan I’m knitting at the moment. I’ve unknit more than what I’ve knit (in fact, is that possible?) and yet it’s getting there, slowly but surely.
    I really like the leaf pattern you’re using.

  25. Wonderful and inspiring as always. The beer, that is! haha
    This is my first post, but I wanted to say hello and thanks for writing/sharing about your life both knitting and other.
    Enjoy the school year!

  26. Did you use the recommended yarn? Do you usually use the recommended yarn? I also looked at this sweater, but I really don’t like cotton all that much.

  27. Of course you can knit and ride a bike at the same time! Of course, it must be a stationary bike, or you have to be good enough to ride with no hands.
    Of course, most stationary bikes have lovely water bottle holders. And a beer bottle fits oh-so-nicely right into that holder. So you can pedal, knit, drink, AND watch the Holy Tivo all at once!

  28. I am knitting like mad tonight, trying to finish The Hurricane’s second sock so he can wear the new pair on the first day of school.
    Tomorrow morning, in the peace and quiet? Lace!

  29. Now I really want to make that sweater! But must keep knitting shawl for wedding that I am on a deadlline for.

  30. I second (or third) the motion on the tandem bike. We had one when we were kids and it was great fun. Just make Ken to tell you when he is about to hit a bump.

  31. Wow, school starts tomorrow for your kids? My 2nd grader has been in school since Aug. 11th here in the great state of Georgia. However, my 4 yr old twins start preschool tomorrow. They’ve been home with me for 4 years. I’ll be knitting for stress relief tomorrow.

  32. Lovely sweater, darling sock colors, I’m pea green with envy at your knitting speed. I MUST learn Continental! Have a wonderful trip. I’m leaving on Wednesday, too, but for Panama City, Panama. I’m carrying LOTS of yarn…

  33. I was in your grand country this morning. I didn’t realize you also had a holiday today. That explains why the line at the border was so short. 🙂 I am also knitting a super fast sweater that could have been done had I not been jabbering and pointing out the gorgeous scenery while we drove through Ontario. 🙂

  34. I LOVE that sweater. Too advanced for me, but I can dream. In the meantime, how the heck do you pronounce “armscye?” I didn’t actually even know the meaning, but I looked that up. But I can’t find its pronunciation anywhere. Anyone? Thanks!

  35. Brandy – continental is not always faster. If I remember correctly the harlot knits the way my grandma did – with a long straight needle tucked into right armpit to stabilize the whole shebang she knit like the wind whilst throwing her yarn. I would do that if my boobs didn’t get in the way but I’m still faster throwing. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing it any way that gets results off the needles that look the way you want.
    I’ve finished half a dozen pairs of socks this summer. That’s a record for me. Toe up, top down, lace, ribs, done it all. All for me. I might not turn the heat on until Christmas.
    Happy Labor Day to all of us and have a safe trip to England, Stephanie (did I ever mention that’s my daughter’s name?)
    YES, NAG.

  36. Hmm, nice and fast, hey? Maybe I’ll give it a try after all. Yours looks nice so far.
    I reckon a sock is better beer-knitting than a sweater, anyway, especially one with lace. But you can undoubtedly drink beer and knit lace with your eyes closed by now!

  37. Are there any buttons in England? Maybe that would be fun, unless you have to be wearing it in England, and then not so much fun keeping it closed.
    I tried to look up armscye, too. But I’ve always said: ARMZ eye
    Safe and very fun experience in England! British knitters are so lucky to finally get you! They will so love you!

  38. According to the 40-odd dictionaries on my desk, there are two variant pronunciations of armscye: ARM-sye and ARM-zye. There’s also a variant spelling of armseye. Etymology is uncertain but points to a Scottish (Ulster) dialectal origin.
    Harmless Drudge? Maybe you could cruise the cites tomorrow and let us know what you find.

  39. I love browsing this button place.
    Haven’t shopped there yet,because I’ve never crossed the cardigan bridge, but it looks like they have EVERYTHING. I love the Peter Rabbit buttons, I just don’t have anyone young enough to knit for anymore, (sigh)…

  40. Is it really that easy to knit? Are you finding that you have to tweak the pattern a bit? Reading the comments on Ravelry it seems people are having trouble with the pattern. I really want to knit this, but I am afraid that it is not for a beginner. What’s your opinion? Thanks!!

  41. I just read all of the other comments and all I can think of is Ugh! I’m a homeschool mom and we JUST FINISHED SCHOOL (a cross country move slowed us down this year) and have to start again in a few weeks…only fourteen years left to go! lol

  42. Oh girl, get your buttons in England. The UK has the best buttons. I always bring some home when I’m there. Souvenirs, like souvenir yarn, but even better.
    Love the yarn you’re using for Hey, Teach.

  43. I heard that it is better to wait until the sweater is finished before buying the buttons, as you can see the whole effect of pattern, stitch definition, colour etc. It certainly is worth it to buy the perfect button. On several sweaters I have changed the buttons about 3 times, but now those sweaters are perfect. Just saying. So good luck on getting the best buttons and I’m amazed that you completed so much on the project while doing all those other things. Marlyce in Windsor.

  44. no. really. i love you, Stephanie. If you can remember if you bought buttons. : ) makes one so happy.

  45. I love that colour and it’s a lovely pattern. I’ll be wearing a cardigan that colour on Saturday, if I finish it in time! (should do – I have to sew a sleeve on and miles of i cord around the neck and fronts, and then knit another few miles of i cord for the ties.) Hope you’re looking forward to seeing us!

  46. If you weren’t so funny I might hate you. I must be the slowest knitter ever. You’ve finished soooo many socks and sweaters in the time it’s taken me to finish one small baby sweater and part of a hat……I feel incompetent.

  47. you’re in inspiration! hey teach is beautiful. the extra inch is a good idea. also: if you ride on the back of a tandem bike, you can knit and pedal.

  48. Oh, sista friend, what are you doing? taunting the knitting fates. I have to believe it’s the giddiness from the back to school celebration, it’s gone straight to your head.

  49. be careful what you wish for. my son has gone off to college in toronto and I am kinda missing him already. I started the hey teach sweater and for the life of me could not figure out that pattern. I kept ending up with an extra stitch.

  50. Are you trying to make me drop my non-sweater knitting and dive into this? I still have almost two weeks before the Shetland Triangle KAL, so it seems like this is totally doable. Of course the February Lady Sweater seems like a quick knit, too.

  51. Wow!
    No knitting for me! Just procrastinating on writing course syllabi for the start of school tomorrow, painting a bedroom, and sending the first of 3 who will be returning to college within the next week off to college (with a wired jaw), and nursing a sick dog (still not sure why she’s limping around but she seems to be better) and a son who just had wisdom teeth extracted, and feeling a bit overwhelmed. But sometime next week, I will treat myself to a visit to the LYS for hopefully help with a heel of a sock that I started in May.
    I am enjoying the joy and industry of others! Happy Tuesday!

  52. Wasn’t it just the other day when you mentioned Hey Teach in your blog? And now you have almost, what 70% of it done? My, you knit really fast.
    I’m still trudging on with my first Jaywalkers!

  53. I am waiting anxiously for your new book to arrive!!! If we still had a small, independent bookstore to buy from, I would have done. The last one gave up and closed when the 2 big chains came to town. I love all your books but my favorite ones are Yarn Harlot and At Knit’s End. I know this one will be fantastic as well!!! You write from the heart, and that always touches people.
    You inspire us to be better knitters and people.
    Have a blessed trip to England!!!

  54. What a great weekend. We had a holiday and Fri-Mon weather was incredible. Bike rides, hammock, paperwork (yeehaw), software installing with only minor hiccups… and knitting.
    Simple knitting in my case, but a summer top rather than socks or bags. A change of pace, and a finished front. The back is lagging but that’s OK, I believe it will finish.
    Glad you had a similar weekend in all the good ways. Well, I have no kids… but I can imagine that part!

  55. Well I’m looking forward to seeing Hey Teach modelled in London. I can’t beleive you have nearly finished it already. In the time thats taken you I have just contemplated knitting Arwen, it takes me a while to think it through first. Lol.

  56. Dear Stephanie, I am writing from Italy. I have been reading at your web-site since some months. I discovered it by chance, and now, every morning I go and read what you have done the day before and admire it. So quick, too! Think that I began a sweater months ago and still have to finish! But I am trying, still have to learn. Of course your blog is a good inspiration for me, and in any case of great fun. PS: I like your humour too! so real! Thanks and have a nice day.

  57. Further weather forcast update – it was beautifully sunny this morning in Devon – so should be reaching London this afternoon/evening. Of course in truly british fashion there are now huge black clouds outside (with blue bits peaking arround the edges) and the wind is picking up, so we may get a repeat of last night – wet and windy winter weather!

  58. Yahoo the kids are going back. I just had to say that I love the colors of your sock and that I just finished reading “Casts off” and laughed myself stupid over the “wiplash” syndrome. I had just come down with that when I finished a pair of wrist warmers in 11 hours for a birthday I forgot about until 8:45 PM the night before. There I was standing surrounded by Malabrigo and wasn’t even tempted.
    Now I’ve cought a form of “finishitup-itis” and have managed to complete the backs of two sweaters that have been languishing for months.
    Thanks for the diagnosis!

  59. I’m finally commenting after lurking for…too long to admit.
    The sweater is wonderful. I may have to add it to my queue. Of course, I just bought that yarn for 3 more pairs of socks and a shawl last night….
    Thanks for all the wonderful reading. It is a great diversion when the work day gets too intense!

  60. Your sweater is of course gorgeous, but it’ll definitely be chilly enough in London that you’ll need to wear your Bohus Sweater!! Not that I’ve wanted to see it in person ever since you finished it, oh no.
    You and Ken should get a tandem and take it in turns being on the back on the way to the beer place. Then you can both knit and cycle!

  61. If you have very good balance you could get a tandem and ride on the back and knit (on the back you don’t do any of the steering).

  62. Wow I am totally impressed by the striping of that sock … I can never get mine to work out proper.
    You know, you can learn to ride a bike hands-free and then you CAN knit while on a bike.
    Watch out traffic!

  63. Peter Wyton will be at I Knit London 6th Sept too. Have you come across his knitting poem Needles And The Damage Done? It’s in his new book, Not All Men are From Mars.
    My daughter. I brought her up. I taught her wrong from right
    And black from white and all the grey bits in between,
    Know what I mean? So what does she do,
    The artless, heartless little moo? Frightens me
    Fartless by sodding off to live in Brighton,
    The Sussex Sodom & Gomorrah of yesterday, today,
    Tomorrow and well into the middle of next week,
    Magnet for every freak from John O’Groats to Lands End,
    Chock full of gender-benders, boozers, cruisers,
    Serial substance abusers – and unusually, I’m not talking muesli!
    The stuff they smoke would make Puff the Magic Dragon choke.
    The lengths they go to in pursuit of carnal satisfaction
    Would put Casanova in traction.
    And are all these salacious South Coast groins enough
    To gratify the sole feminine fruit of my loins?
    Is there no depth of depravity, no unexplored corporeal cavity
    With which she is unacquainted? Brace yourselves, people.
    Folk have fainted at this disclosure. Strive to maintain
    Your composure. My wild, sensation-seeking child,
    With a consenting partner, was sitting in a pub
    When she was asked to leave – for knitting!
    I must confess that when she said “Hold me, daddy,”
    And told me, I was in stitches. I laughed so much
    I bust my britches, and she looked at them penitently
    And whimpered, “ Can I sew them for you, ever so gently? “
    The poor kid’s crochet-hooked on yarn-based products.
    She’s a fool for wool, a pushover for pullover patterns,
    A slattern for tatting, an embroidery hoyden – and she’s not alone.
    She only has to pick up a phone to unravel a whole skein
    Of thread-heads, running a patchwork of internet chat rooms
    Where they groom the unwitting into a total dependence
    On knitting, an unsustainable greed for tweed.
    Mind you, you gotta be hardy to survive in the sordid world of full Fair Isle
    Cardy. Not for them the exquisitely stitched hem, the romance of
    “ Knit one, purl one. “ More a frantic clicketty-clack, flat on your back
    And not an ounce of 4-ply. Addicts, wasted on worsted, rove Hove,
    So bestial and rotten as to fleece old ladies for a single spool of cotton.
    And the social cost of these lost souls is incalculable. When
    They need a fix of mixed shades they’re reduced to visiting
    Rough-trade haberdashers shops who can be relied upon not to call the cops.
    Cast off by society, if they commit the impropriety of coming out
    And parading their perversion in a pub or club, they risk a snub
    From someone like the churl who told my girl, “ I don’t allow spitting,
    And I don’t allow knitting! I know it’s crewel hard but, YOU’RE BARRED.”
    © Peter Wyton
    Based on a true story. Peter’s daughter and her friends really were asked to leave a pub because they were knitting!

  64. Fast is one thing! Fast is very, very good! But, you neglected to mention how very, very beautiful it’s looking! You really are one sensational knitter! (Even if you don’t know the difference between knitting and crocheting)

  65. OK, so I cast on just a touch before you did, and am still just short of a back.
    This is my first sweater for me though, and size reservations are scaring me. Either my tape measure is lying, or I think I look way skinnier than I am, or people are putting vanity sizing in their Ravelry projects, anyone who looks my size has made at least one size smaller….
    leaving me to wonder if I am that much larger than I think I am or if there is some great tape measure conspiracy. The only other alternative is that I chose the wrong size and ease in the first place…but I really don’t want to think about that.

  66. I gave your blog an award (must be the 100,000th of them but hey….) – visit my blog for the details – medievalneedle.blogspot.com

  67. Yep, that is one fast sweater. I am thinking I might make a couple more of them– I finished the first one in 4 days! Might be a good Xmas gift for a couple of the women in my family… It’s also an awesome piece for dressing up a tank top and linen pants.
    Love your blog, books, and theories on knitting & life. Keep up the great work!

  68. Heck I thought I was the only one dancing in the middle of the street this morning all the way to the bus stop! Parents the world over – REJOICE!!

  69. Schools start in August down south, so our kids have been back in school for about 2 weeks now. Key Teach looks great, makes me want to knit one. But I’m on a yarn fast, *sigh*

  70. If i didn’t have yarn already for about 15 other projects I would so be starting on hey teach right about now. it looks AWESOME. I too am in complete awe with your knitting speed. And by the way, the fact that you just turned 40, gave birth to 3 children, and STILL look that good makes me want to take up yoga and buy a bicycle! I’m 29 and have never had children and I don’t look that good. Heck, my 16 year old body didn’t look that good. No fair! =^P

  71. Lucky you. I think my kids must be the last ones in the world to start school, and it will be Friday before they are all there for a full day. And then there is the college student who wouldn’t leave (he doesn’t start until later in September, being on the quarter system and all).
    Truthfully, once school starts there are a whole different set of aggravations and ways to keep me from my knitting.

  72. Wait… what happened to the rest of the knitting that you wished that you could have done?
    Congrats on finishing paperwork and having school start tomorrow. I haven’t stopped going to school since June. Hooray for summer school!

  73. Actually, you can knit (something very very simple) while bike riding if you are on the back of a tandem bike. My husband yells at me if I’m not paying enough attention to do the hand signals and look for scarily merging cars though…

  74. you need a tandum bike… and hire a driver… er pedler… I’m planning on knitting hey teach too..well who isn’t?? it’s an adorable cardi!

  75. I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’m reading a sheep mystery novel. It’s called Three Bags Full and it’s about a flock of sheep trying to solve the mystery of their shepherd’s murder. It’s pretty amusing since it’s told from the sheep point of view.

  76. My 4 year old is starting preschool she is very excitted to go to school she tells everyone she is big now she goes to school;)Hugs Darcy

  77. I am glad to have gotten up the courage to finally post a note. I love the fact that so many folk get as much fun and satisfation from knitting as I do. I think it would be a wonderful thing to meet you in person, and maybe make a few like minded friends! And a beer too, heavenly!

  78. Oh, wow – I’m knitting socks right now with that exact same yarn and colorway. Is it not just the most sublime stuff? I’ve been walking around with house with just the one finished sock on my foot it’s that nummy.

  79. Since I’ve neveer really managerd to master bicycle riding at all I definitely twill skip attempting to knit while riding. Congratulations on the paperwork and the start of school, and thanks for the pictures of Hey Teach. It’s in my queue to start very soon.

Comments are closed.