Halfway you say

Yesterday equaled another setback, not one caused by a dumb mistake (thank goodness-  I do have a shred of self esteem to protect)  but by life, and I didn’t get near enough done last night to feel okay about my progress. 

I’m at the colourwork part, and as always, the set up rows are the hardest.  This sweater has a mirrored pattern, rather than a repeating one, and that means that the colour rounds aren’t simple and straightforward, like they would be in Fair Isle.  There’s no "5 black, 1 white, 5 black, 1 white, 5 black, 1 white…" where you could memorize and carry on around.  Instead it’s more like 5 black, 1 white, 7 black, 1 red, 3 black, 1 white, 9 black, 1 white… so all of a sudden I’m rather slavishly attached to the chart, and can’t carry on conversation or knit on the bus.  Realizing this last night while taking the bus and then trying to carry on conversation made it painfully clear. I am only glad that I gave up, rather than knit poorly. Moral and time wise, it’s easier to be behind than to be arsed up and have to pull back.  I quit while I was ahead, but that means that in today’s assessment, I’ve got a problem.  I wanted to be halfway by the halfway point, and that means that the body should be done by tomorrow, and I should be starting the sleeves.  (I’ve allowed half the time for the body, half for the sleeves and a spare day for steeking, sewing up and finishing.)  For that to happen now, I need at least one of the following to occur. (Maybe two. Trying to be flexible.)

– The orbit of the earth could be shifted to allow for a 28 hour day.  I realize this could be both difficult and inconvenient for the other denizens of the planet, not to mention it’s effect on clock radios worldwide.  Not caring much.  It’s a temporary request.

– Human physiology (or just mine, actually) could be altered to allow high functioning on less than 4 hours sleep.

– Red wine needs to become a performance enhancing drug. (Also, free.)

– My family needs to have no requirements of me for the next several days. This includes (but is not limited to) no cooking, cleaning or – frankly – interacting. 

– At a bare minimum, the phrase "I’m counting" needs to come to be understood clearly. It means "I need to focus right now, my little poppets and IS NOT a trigger to shout random numbers to try and screw me up, no matter how funny that is in your head. I don’t have time for your shenanigans. Get off it.

– Proper interpretation and use of the word "crisis".  The fact that your sister touched your new mascara after you told her not to is not really my problem or a crisis.   Go upstairs and work it out.  Don’t come back down here unless someone is bleeding or on fire.

– I need to rise above the human need for food and drink.  In this context, eating is a  time suck. 

If you possess the personal or supernatural powers to influence any of these matters, please notify me immediately.  Just not while I’m counting.

271 thoughts on “Halfway you say

  1. perhaps they would understand your need if you kept a roll of duct tape close at hand and waved it about when they started needing things… it could be an option.

  2. The last person who tried throwing random numbers at me while counting got “the look” and apparently it was enough to make him terrified of speaking to me if I am holding anything that looks remotely like knitting.

  3. The halfway point is tomorrow? Yikes! I’m only doing socks (Viper Pilots) so I’m in reasonable shape though, I guess.
    Maybe a liquid diet that could be sucked through a straw while knitting would help?

  4. I’ll take you 28 hour days as long as my involvement in them includes more sleep.
    Gee, I thought the words “I’m counting” were just an invitation to start a conversation about whatever random drivel happened to be crossing through your brain and so that you can be offended when in exasperation on the 10th interruption I grab my project and leave the room.
    Note: It’s been a bad week here and I haven’t had any time to pick up the needles at all. Can you tell?

  5. Ha ha ha. I GET it.If I had any power I’d help you out, but I should be knitting rather than posting. I’m just turning the heel of the first sock. not looking good. Correction from previous post…the pattern is Cascadia.
    Go Steph!!

  6. Ummm, I’m ahead. I never thought I would be, but there it is. I’m also very tired, because getting involved in lace patterning until 11 pm each night is not a good idea.
    Anyway, shall I start a sleeve for you? Like a relay race. Totally not cheating.

  7. I am also behind due to an unfortunate setback (me = in denial about the tension of my left hand). I’ve frogged and restarted as of Wed. and now need some similar measures to gain some more time. (Please!)
    I plan on stying at home and knitting all day tomorrow. Minimal breaks for eating and sleeping. I’m hopeful that I can gain some ground since I won’t have to be at work. It’s hard to sneak in knitting while at work – anyone have suggestions for covert knitting? I’m thinking if I eliminate all bathroom/coffee breaks, I should be able to knit instead. Will that work? (probably shouldn’t plan on it – I’ll just have to try to make up time this weekend!)

  8. I feel your pain…sort of. I was smart enough to do the Vancouver Dale. Way less colorwork!!! Also, I did the sleeves first because I knew if I waited, I wouldn’t have a snowballs chance in Vancouver of finishing. Now I’m knitting 18 inches of black stockinette. I am living on about 6 hours of sleep a night though. I’m trying to figure out why my brain won’t kick in.

  9. If somebody comes up with an answer, let us know. There are frequently times that I wish there were an extra 12 or 24 hours between two days that the rest of the world would sleep through while I worked. Yeah, I’m an accountant and it’s tax season, but I’d use some of the time to knit.

  10. Emergency times call for emergency measures – hiatus on blogging until at least one sleeve done – we’ll miss you but we can all make sacrifices for the glory of the sport… !!

  11. It is trying, this business of the world not putting their requirements of me on hold until I finish knitting. Olympic Knitting is Olympian. I have a whole sock leg to do tonight. (I know you could knock it off in 1 1/2 hours and do your yoga before bed. Not me.) My place is a mess. It is also dirty; I am in danger of being eaten in my sleep by dust bunnies. I expect I will knit the whole freaking leg of the sock (toe up) tonight so I can be fairly on target.
    What other committments?
    I must admit I default to the “sleep is optional” theory. It hasn’t worked well in the past, but that is my default and I am sticking to it.
    I just love the idea of starting, knitting until I am done, then being done. Just like that! What a strange idea!

  12. Melanie – way to go. You need to can that look and sell it to knitters everywhere who have people in their lives who think it is entertaining to try to throw them off count. 🙂

  13. Harlot, have to say thanks for making me laugh again. Have you thought of having someone feed you?? Your daughters owe you!!Best of luck. Cheers!!

  14. The fact that we are halfway through was a bit of a shock to me, too! Although I am knitting a triangular shawl where the rows get shorter and shorter, I still have an awful lot of rows to knit!
    Carry on, full steam ahead….

  15. During a 3 day power knit to finish a cabled scarf, I established a system of drinking and eating whereby I could take a sip after I put the stitches on a cable needle – since I would need to drop the cable needle to regrasp the yarn and therefore it was in the flow of knitting hand movements – and eating a snack (something dry and not flaky) after each 12 row repeat. If you keep to this system, or some fraction that works for you, eating will be incorporated into your knitting movement instead of an interruption of it. Food should be bite-sized crackers, cheese cubes, dry baby carrots, etc.
    Yes, some people believed I overthought it, but the scarf was done in time for Christmas.

  16. The definition of ‘I’m counting’ should be printed on cards for knitters to hand out to those who do not speak/understand our language.
    Just like when I answer the telephone with ’28’ instead of ‘Hello’ the caller should know that they are expected to remember that number for me since they are the ones who interupted me!!

  17. I worked nights for years and my children were told not to wake mommy unless someone was bleeding perfusely or the house was on fire. BTW–after opening ceremonies I was so impressed that I wanted to contact all the Canadians I know to share just how happy I am to have them as friends and Canada as a neighbor. So here’s to you!

  18. Personally I don’t think they will get all of the events in on time…so that might get a few more hours/days.

  19. I realize I am the Johnny Weir of Olympic knitting. The project is going well, I am going to finish and the product will be lovely, but probably not enough of a challenge.

  20. I signed up for deadline knitting during the Olympics, knowing full well I wanted to start and finish my sweater early for Stitches West Suffice it to say, the deadline knitting ran into a zillion stupid, avoidable problems (on a fairly simple sock pattern! That I could do in my sleep if it weren’t on a deadline!), and I’m still knitting on it. My sweater? Hasn’t been touched since Sunday, except for when I allowed myself to knit 2 rows after I finished the first sock. Guess I won’t have it in time for Stitches, but I’ll probably be knitting on it there. LOL

  21. You’re holding sharp pointy sticks. I don’t see the problem. (You could even stick in a few extra, so you can use them on the random number generators without damaging the sweater.)

  22. Maybe if you can have your food liquified for the next week so you can just suck it through a straw while you’re knitting.

  23. Something is off about how you allot time for body, sleeves, steeking, etc. Not wrong, mind you, I think, but different from how I think of it. I think of a standard dropped-sleeve sweater as having three parts in terms of time: the front, the back, and the sleeves. I think I decided that on the basis of acreage (or square footage, if you must, but you know those sleeves). So, the Olympics are 17 days. Let’s leave 1 day for steeking, etc., and 1 day for correcting mistakes and that annoying family interaction slowdown. Fifteen days remain, and they are conveniently divisible by 3. Five days for the front, five days for the back – ten days total for the body. Five days for the sleeves.
    If tomorrow is the half-way point (8.5 days) and you’ll have the body, back and front, done tomorrow, then you are ahead of schedule. My schedule, at any rate. Assuming I’ve done the math correctly.
    Don’t tell your family.

  24. Carbohydrate gels are good for consuming while running; maybe you could do that? Can you add powdered protein mix to red wine – probably not…..

  25. Hahahahahahahaha! This is all soooo familiar! Sorry I can’t help. At least you had the guts to compete! I chickened out…

  26. I hate to be an ass, but don’t forget the 3 days it takes to “finish” a Dale of Norway sweater after all the knitting is done. Just sayin’…

  27. Yup. I know the feeling. Had a masive setback on my supposed day off on Wednesday, and now, I must Marathon knit this weekend to make up for it. Fortunately, I snuck in a few rounds whilst rebuilding my work laptop today. Hiding in the build room seems to be an effective way to sneak in knitting.

  28. I know exactly what you mean about the counting. my boyfriend practically chops my head off every time I say it.

  29. I third the “smoothies” suggestion. Put a carton of any flavor yogurt in the blender with a cup of any strength of milk, and a pint or so of any fruit you like, or juice in place of all or part of the milk or fruit. Whir it a bit, and you have both breakfast and lunch. Eating dinner with your fam should be enough.
    I wasn’t going to finish in time anyway, but I was still disconcerted when an accident too gruesome to describe created the necessity of washing my WIP. The good news is that it grew lengthwise when wet, which is useful information to have.

  30. IV?
    There has to be someone on all the YH-reading denizens who could set you up with a nice IV and occaisionally add a little caffeine to the mix for you.
    If you’re needle phobic (I am), I got nothin’.

  31. Get someone to pick up a case of Ensure, preferably the chocolate (tastes like chocolate milk). You get vitamins and it takes about 30 seconds to drink it down. If you need to sleep less, try the 5 hour energy drinks as well.
    Although you really sound like you have things pretty well under control. . .

  32. Ha ha. . . . At my house I tell the kids (all 5) not to bother me with their pettiness unless there is blood ON the carpet, or a bone is sticking out of their skin. So far, there has only been one instance where a bone-sticking-out intrusion has occurred. . . .and thankfully no blood on the carpet yet!

  33. Laughing out loud because I so get what you mean! You’ll make it. I’ve been disqualified from the knitting – pulled a hamstring or something…..

  34. My neighbor taught her children, a little too well, to never interrupt when an adult is speaking. Well, we were sitting in the dining room chatting over a beer one evening when her 7 yr son came in a shuffled from foot to foot and looked kinda worried about something. Finally she said “Aaron, for gods sake what do you want????” He said, “Mom, the microwave’s on fire”. It’s funny…now.

  35. I’ll talk to my husband about the orbit thing, but he really specializes in massive snowstorms. Would a blizzard help?

  36. My kids have told me that “the look” was much scarrier when I wore glasses instead of contacts. Also, the socks that I thought would make my brain bleed were “easy” but came out too big, so got gifted off to first daughter. The second pattern (pyroclastic from knitty.com) almost drew blood until I decided I could make it work with the pictures instead of the written directions. Best of luck with the finishing on that sweater. Next Olympics maybe try a pullover?

  37. Is it possible to start a sleeve so that when you’re in a place where you can’t work on the main chart you can be knitting the mindless black on the sleeves? Thus still using every possible knitting moment available to you even if it a bit out of order?
    This plan totally falls flat once the plan black stockinette is done on all three pieces, but it might help you catch up a little.
    Although honestly, I could use one of the things on your list, too, and I’m not participating in the knitting olympics this year…

  38. You could opt for a temporary peg tube and IV fluids to get rid of the pesky eating-and-drinking thing, but it’s a bit late in the game to consider body mods. Maybe 4 years from now?
    Ye gads, is this really my second Knitting Olympics with the Harlot? I adore this every year.

  39. Straws. If you can drink it through a straw you won’t need to use your hands and can continue to knit. Good luck!

  40. I’m better than half way through my project, a Helena baby sweater, which means I should have time to do the booties and hat to go with it! I am in the zone, dude 😀

  41. ‘Bleeding or On Fire’ has been my standard interruption requirement for 17 years of motherhood. I was surprised and comforted to see that I am not alone!

  42. Does the time difference between here in Ontario and the Olympics in B.C. help any? 🙂 Go Stephanie! I know you can do it!

  43. i can totally get behind this, with one exception – substitute white wine (or irish cream even) for red (and make me not due in 9 weeks. makes it awfully hard to count, not to mention not being able to have the wine.)

  44. I thought the Olympics was 17 days? And I thought we were on day 7? Doesn’t that make us not quite halfway yet?
    Cause, no chance I’m going to finish in time if not.

  45. I LOVED you definition of the term “crisis”. I’ve told the same to my two sons (4 and 7), although I’ve had to add copious amounts of water – mega blocks do not work well as a dam…

  46. Red wine *is* a performance-enhancing drug. Just sayin’. Or, maybe it’s time for some Screech??

  47. Good to know I’m not alone in a family that tortures me with random numbers when I’m trying to count.

  48. I am soooooo glad that I am not the only one who would like for my family, pets, and especially my job to go away so I can have the proper solitude to complete my knitting! Actually as long as my husband keeps quiet he can stay (someone needs to bring me hot tea). The rest have GOT TO GO!
    Oh and my girls (17 & 13) have heard “don’t bother me unless there’s fire or spurting blood” for years. **There’s a reason I added the spurting part**

  49. I am so glad that I am not alone, after having to frog twice and rip back so much that I lost count. I am not even close to where I should be right now but I am going to try my best to get it done. Yeah right lace shawl = my butt being kicked. Hopefully I can catch up a little this weekend my husband has to work and I have reaized I can not knit lace while he is in the room. Plus I can not threaten him like I can the kids. Good luck to all of the other Olympians hope your projects are going well. (It also does not help that the Olympics are so interesting and I keep stopping to watch them.)

  50. When you have the others order pizza or some sort of take out to avoid the problem of cooking, you could try to get one of them to blend said food with drink of choice. Straw city. Delish.

  51. My use of ‘The Force’ is limited to baby-tickling via remote control and propelling husbands from the room with a single scowl after finding yet another filthy, ink-shedding newspaper lying on top of my WHITE YARN.
    So yeah, I’m no help. I have faith in you, though.

  52. This may seem obvious…but why not get a sleeve started for knitting on buses or at times when others need attention?

  53. what if you pureed (or better yet, had someone else puree) your food? then you could drink it through a long bendy straw while knitting…er, counting.
    just a suggestion.

  54. When planning my Olympic Knitting schedule, I use the same math as Lynn: 1/3 for sleeves, 2/3 for body (including collar). I began with the sleeves and wanted to be done with them by the end of Wednesday, especially since they need to be set in to a body that is knit in one piece.
    With extreme luck and fortitude, I might be able to finish the second sleeve tonight.
    Please, please, please, don’t tell me we’re at the halfway point in time already.
    A medal is beginning to look like an impossibility…

  55. To bad its not a leap year we could have used that as the extra day thanks for the laugh. I’m so far behind I could cry must pick a less challenging project next time

  56. Bleeding or on fire. I must say that fire never occured to me. I’ve got 2 girls and I think one should put the other one out and then everything will be back to fine. My saying always was bleeding badly (after all a scratch doesn’t count) or a bone sticking out. I’ll have to rethink the fire aspect…can’t let all that yarn & fabric burn up!
    Halfway? I’ll have to work a lot faster this weekend. I hadn’t planned on sprinting but if that’s what it takes to finish, that’s what it’ll take to finish.

  57. I love reading your blog. It makes me laugh and feel just a wee bit lighter when I’m done. Thank you for your fun observations and opening up yourself to the world.

  58. Well… good luck with that! You know, I’ve never done the Knitting Olympics, but I think that I am less stressed out when I have papers and finals…. My tip to you on being okay with less than 4 hours of sleep, is to get out of bed and into sunshine (I’m not sure if there is sunshine in Canada in the winter). A few minutes and then your body will start gearing up to go again. ^_^ Good luck!

  59. — Red wine needs to become a performance enhancing drug. (Also, free.)–
    That would be a dream come true for me 🙂

  60. Steph-
    I would have assumed that you had them sufficiently trained that the “I’m counting” look on your face would engender quiet and leaving-alone-ness…..mine know that!! But I may have a greater tantrum capacity than you…..
    I don’t include the fire in the fire or bleeding anymore since my home burned down this past June. Not sayin yr house is in danger; just that it’s not funny like it used to be. Bummer.
    Other than that, thanks for talking to us during these 28 hour days. What, saying it doesn’t make it so???

  61. What about the Para-olympics? they follow right behind the Olympics… maybe they can count for repairs or finishes?

  62. Hmm…if we all, and I do mean ALL, of us stand together, side-by-side, and at one moment start to run EAST (or would that be WEST?) very very fast would we manage enough force to turn the clock backwards? I’m game.
    Gotta get the direction straight, but I think that might work.

  63. Half way tomorrow??!! It is not looking good for me. I only have about half of the back of my sweater finished. Why, you ask. I worked at a knit and crochet show this past weekend and then worked my regular job all week while fighting a sinus infection…so knitting went quite slowly. But I am still plugging along. I am finally feeling better and I have this weekend off…No children at home to demand my time any more but I do have a husband that requires food, drink and ice cream from time to time. I am hoping to gain some mileage on my knitting. Good Luck to all knitting Olympians.

  64. Heh. I feel your pain. I have just gotten past the waistband on my sweater and there is no way barring Mr. Victor (the dog) learning to hold it in, that I’m going to finish knitting everything. My goal wasn’t even finishing the sweater, just the knitting portion and I spent so much time walking the dog, reading (what was I thinking) and the like that I am pretty much hopelessly behind unless ribbing becomes even faster than I remember it being.

  65. You could get one of those beer helmet things and put red wine on one side and some sort of highly nutritional soup on the other. Eat and drink without having to stop knitting. Also, you could start a sleeve for bus and social times.

  66. I Cannot Count! Retired bookkeeper cannot count! Working my first lace shawl and I c … well, you know. Thank goodness reading these here webs taught me about lifelines. Have saved me twice now. Have tinked back more than on any other project in my life!!! Howeveh, the shawl is getting bigger and prettier and spaghetti-er. So maybe I’ll make it. Yea, team for us all!

  67. Can you please let me know if any of those come to pass. A quick explanation of how you got that to work would be most helpful.

  68. See, I like this idea that Jayme above me has about the hat. And holing up where the family is not with you makes it so you CAN control their ability to harass you about minutiae.

  69. Your ‘poppets’ and my husband must be cohorts in the ‘she’s counting – lets see if we can screw her up’ club.
    I simply have to remind mine that I have a bunch of sharp pointy things in the house and I know where he sleeps.

  70. I love your comments on what constitutes a “crisis.” My mom had that problem with me and my sister one summer when we kept calling her at work with piddly problems. So then we could only call (most of the time anyway) if one of us was bleeding or not breathing.

  71. Suggestions, in no particular order:
    1.) fill up a camelback backpack with coffee so you can sip and knit at the same time.
    2.) Take the car and “run errands”. Park somewhere and knit in your car, or a cafe, or somewhere that is beyond the range of number-shouting, mascara-stealing family members.
    3.) Hire a maid and/or Steph-bot to fill in for a few days.
    4.) Consider converting to a vest, and you can skip the sleeves AND be ahead of schedule.
    Feel better, I was almost done with my hat then realized that the gauge was ridiculously off and it was entirely too large. I had to rip out and start over. I’m 2 inches in.

  72. Oh, but I have not even hit the arm pits yet and have two fronts and the sleeves to do. Red wine could be a performance enhancing drug, but then we would not be allow to drink it in the olympics, and I’m thankful that we can still comsume Red Wine and knit. Knit on our leader knit on.

  73. You need to be in your little cabin in the woods that was so. very. quiet. Just don’t go for any walks.

  74. Have someone else cook meals, put your portions in a blender and suck through a straw. Sacrifices need to be made for a challenge such as this. And if you don’t blog again til after the Olympics are over, I will understand. It’s hard to knit and type at the same time, especially when you’re counting.

  75. Obviously, you need to sit your family down and say “The Winter Olympics come once every four years. This is a monumental task I have undertaken and I need everyone’s support to win the gold. We can eat cheese pizza and wear inside-out underwear, but I MUST stay on track!”
    Good luck! I hope to finish my sweater body tomorrow (thank wool the colorwork isn’t mirrored!).

  76. I’m right there with you about changing your physiology.
    When my kids were young I used to answer their “If you had one wish, what would you wish for?” question with this answer…”To lose the need for sleep!”. They are pushing late 20’s, I’m in my early 50’s and that is still how I’d answer that question.

  77. Ha! I say again Ha! Here I am on my quest and just as I get to the middle of a serious count my phone pings, in comes another tweet from YH … count gone and concentration gone. Do you think, my precious, you could time your tweets between rows on my Aeolian shawl … a pearl row won’t matter too much but damn it’s hard work being torn between two lovers, my knitting and your blog …

  78. Oh, lordy, I can remember my sister and I shouting random numbers at my mother when she was counting her knitting and thinking we were SO FUNNY! Of course, we were 6 or 7, not teenagers. Maybe that’s why she didn’t lock us in the basement?

  79. Stephanie, what you need is a hotel room. Go to a hotel, get a room, and don’t tell the family where you are. You can knit all day and all night. You won’t have to cook or clean. You will not be interrupted while counting. If you are hungry you can order room service. You’ll have hours and hours of time all to yourself.

  80. My “challenging” Olympic project turned out not to be and was completed in less than 24 hours. Hmmm…I decided to chug on to other projects and see how many I could get done before the torch goes out. While casting on for yet another even more cabled hat, I was audibly counting stitches when my dh wandered into the room, looked over, noticed that I was counting and…..REMAINED SILENT UNTIL I FINISHED COUNTING! A day 30 years in the making! They CAN be taught!

  81. Yeah, right?! I’m sure at least one of those things is within grasp. Unfortunately, it’s probably the first one! Happy knitting to you.

  82. Earplugs.
    It’s a good honest way to not have to pretend to ignore family. You really can if you wear earplugs. Oh and keep your back to the door so you don’t see them.

  83. If anyone can do it, it’s you. Right now I’m just trying to figure out how to throw an “easy party” without selling my two children in the process.

  84. Take a deep breath.
    Remember that you do this because it is “fun.”
    I say grab a glass of red, sit down in do not disturb mode and go for a marathon session. Did I say glass? I meant bottle.

  85. Well, I’ve only had a couple of setbacks. I forgot to cast on that Friday because that was the night we celebrated Valentine’s and knitting is not really a very romantic activity. Then, last night I was up until 1:30 knitting the impossibly long edging on my sweater which goes all the way around the entire edge on a big freaking circular with about a gazillion stitches to pick up, when it came out too tight and made my whole thing pucker. So I had to unravel the whole darn thing. Now I am trying again and it is turning out much better this time.
    Other than that I just have the sleeves to knit and sew on and then block it. The house is a mess and I am soooooo tired, but I am going to get the darn thing done. I am so excited! It’s my first Knitting Olympics and I think I am going to make it!!
    When I was working, I used to keep my knitting in my lap and work on it when I was on the phone. I got quite a lot done that way.

  86. Lovw seeing some of the progress and photos, enjoying your blight as I just watch on just like the Olympics

  87. tell daughters to cook.. tell them cook or you all die!! my teen boys cook when I need a break

  88. I’ve got three days demonstrating knitting needles at a Trade Show… you would think this would help… but no way can I follow an aran pattern at a trade show, especially if the darn customers want to “have a go”… screams…..
    But I’m still hoping to have a new cardi by the end of this. I feel guilty my pattern is half as complex as yours… but I refuse to fail this time round. I need the self esteem boost… and you know you live for the deadline… and the drama.

  89. Oh! Also, you don’t have to quit blogging to knit, just dictate it to someone who can type. 🙂

  90. Just chiming in to say that you’re rocking it! I’m on Team Maybe Next Time, and just watching everybody is very inspiring; well, until the invectives start spewing forth. Then it’s wholly entertaining.
    Also, I’ll get to work on that 28-hour-day idea. That would solve a LOT of my time-management issues…. Well, in theory, anyway.

  91. Might I reccomend the blender-and-straw method of self-feeding? It allows uninterrupted knitting time without the risk of passing out from malnurishment (and frankly faster to prepare as well assuming you are not too picky and since you don’t eat meat – less risk of salmonella from raw foods).

  92. I had a coworker that used the phrase “fire, flood or blood” with her kids. Had no impact on her monsters, however…
    But you have courage, woman! That non-mirrored thing would be the death of me and maybe of those around me. I can barely manage lace.

  93. For food: this is the ULTIMATE time for baby formula!
    “At a bare minimum, the phrase “I’m counting” needs to come to be understood clearly. It means “I need to focus right now, my little poppets and IS NOT a trigger to shout random numbers to try and screw me up, no matter how funny that is in your head. …
    – Proper interpretation and use of the word “crisis”. …unless someone is bleeding or on fire. ”
    I can SOOOO relate!

  94. I remember seeing a baseball cap with some sort of contraption that held beer, and a straw that wrapped around to the wearer’s mouth. Get yourself one of those, buy some Ensure and you’re good to go…well, except for the family members…

  95. 5…6..7..8..33..35..67….sorry but in my barely functioning mother of 2 18 year old BOYS mind, it is pee my pants funny.
    Yes, I could be insane

  96. Crisis: They must be bleeding AND on fire, or dead. Nothing less. And they should call 911, not me. Unless they’re dead, in which case they’re pretty quiet.
    Shouting out random numbers while the knitter is counting: Results in instant death. Yes, I know the pursuit of and dealing death to said rogue child (or husband) can take time away from the knitting; however, the resulting peace and quiet more than compensates for said time away.
    Need for food and drink: I used SlimFast … not particularly tasty, but did provide the necessary nutrients. Also helped eliminate unnecessary trips to the loo. Besides, too much drinking results in unnecessary trips to the loo. Stick to the SlimFast. Possibly Ensure also works?
    Lack of time: My customers swear that we routinely warp the time/space continuum here in Port Perry. One can spend hours with the knitting and get loads accomplished, only to discover that just a few hours have passed instead of days. Come on up — bonus is that the children and husband are left behind … Just sayin’
    Keep on keepin’ on, Steph. Remember that you don’t HAVE to get the gold. We’ll love you whatever you finish.

  97. While I sympathise with your troubles, I have discovered a basic flaw which may cause me not to win the gold. Apparently, I cannot count. Given that, as you say, it’s better to be slower and correct than have to rip stuff out, I count stitches twice. This inevitably leads to me counting three times since I never count the same number twice. Yesterday I was counting to 114; I counted five FIVE times and got a different number each time, some that were just ludicrous. I may never finish.

  98. My family is out of town skiing until Sunday and I still can’t freaking count. Please just kill me. Or take this lace knitting outside and shoot it.

  99. I’ve been saved. I explained knitting olympics to my boss and bless his heart he extended my work deadline to Monday. (How many hospital CEO’s would understand “knitting olympics”). He may get another hat and mitten set for Christmas.
    My husband, fearing an impending meltdown, volunteered to drive me to a Hospital Association meeting 4 hours away so I would have 8 hours to knit. He may stay married for another 4 years.
    I think you should get one of those backpack water bottles like cyclists wear and fill it with protein shakes you can suck it down while you knit and it won’t have to be refilled as often.

  100. My husband shouts random numbers when I’m counting as well, he doesn’t realise the risk of being stabbed in the eye with a knitting needle when he does this, he should probably realise the risk before it takes place!

  101. If I knew any of those things, I would share – alas, I am trying to figure out how to loosen up my right (yarn-tensioning) hand – I have a bad case of more haste, less speed. On the plus side, I am 48% of the way through my hat (yes, I do have a spreadsheet that tells me precisely, that’s the joy of drawing up your own charts in Excel), it is preeeety, and I have deer to look forwards to in the next chart.
    (And on the plus plus side, the cocktail known as the Vancouver is an excellent accompaniment to knitting…)
    Push on, and ignore all distractions – I’m sure your family will be stronger people for coping ‘without’ you for several days! And you know from previous experience that colourwork goes faster than plain knitting.

  102. #7 could be taken care of with an IV line. The rest – I think some sort of ritual sacrifice might do it…
    Srsly, we know you’ll make it. And if you don’t, no sweat. You’ll be in the very good company of millions of knitters.

  103. I’m all for the high functioning on almost no sleep. I’ve always considered the need to lay around doing nothing for so many hours out of the day a fundamental design flaw.

  104. The random counts is a big thing amongst the men in my family. It occured while crafting and while cooking and it was my job to remember the correct number for Mom while Dad & boys tried to confuse her. Was great training for current project.
    I have faith in you Stephanie! I know you are making many more stitches for everyone I make. Maybe for the next winter olympics, I’ll try a colorwork sweater.

  105. If you figure out how to get one of those plans to work, please let me know. I’m in roughly the same boat.

  106. Amen sister.
    While shoveling snow today, I was wondering if I knew any dwarfs (little people) who would like a sweater, and if not, maybe I could shift over to the dog team or charity team on ravelry; and have my sweater for a short being with no arms. Because that I should have done by next Sunday. A sweater for me? Well…..

  107. a. remember this is fun
    b. chore lists (in different parts of house) being executed keeps people busy
    c. could you go to a friend’s house (maybe they’re away) for the weekend?
    d. isn’t there a lock on your office door (on the inside)?
    Lots of love – go everyone!

  108. its always so refreshing when we know someone can share our pain! i’ve done my fair share of fair isle knitting (which i’ve always been a fan of) but set out last summer to knit a beautiful fingerless glove (yes A glove, NOT gloveS) with a snowflake pattern on the hand and a checkerboard on the palm… however, i was freaked to discover that this pattern was as you said above, “mirrored” and not round! it took some very, very intense focus (plus it was all juggled on dpns) so i can commiserate totally with the DON’T TALK! I’M COUNTING! comment. i can’t wait to see this baby all put together! courage, ma belle!

  109. I believe the whole eating-time-suck resulted in the invention of the Sandwich. Or was it the Hamburger? Either way, it wasn’t vegetarian in nature and born out of the need to multitask.
    Sheesh — what’s with the Family? It’s not like they haven’t lived though anything like this before! Don’t they remember — Christmas????

  110. I thought the Olympics finished this weekend, and I had mentally given-up, you have given me extra oomph to get going again – I had stopped with a bump in discerning the pattern in the first two days, didn’t think I could manage it.
    I’m with Donna and the ‘spurting blood’. A severed artery might rate a Band Aid in my book.
    My mother used to go and sit in her car (in the driveway) to finish novels on a Sunday afternoon – maybe you could try it, also she didn’t ‘cook’ on a Sunday (she said it was her day-off too. Fewer interruptions sitting in the car(I think the younger ones were about 6 and 8 at the time). Your bedroom sounds like a possibility if the car isn’t around.

  111. The day before the torch was lit I came down with a cold. That went to bronchitis. That spiked a huge fever. That became a sinus infection. That led to laryngitis. That helped the fluid back up in my ears. I couldn’t make gauge on my original project, so I changed to a cabled kimono. I got so sick that I couldn’t keep the cable pattern straight (plus, it’s bloody difficult to make a nice looking cable when you’re coughing up a lung). I came close to quitting altogether when I re-read the Knitting Olympic Pledge and realized something: I had started out on the Wave and Dimple Kimono team, but had a fair amount of cross-training under my belt. All I needed was a challenge. So I begged my way onto the sock team and picked up Cat Bordhi’s Alternate Pathways for Sock Knitters (which I’ve owned for months and couldn’t make heads or tails of) and gave it a go. Finally broke through the geometry and figured it out after one very long day, learned to do socks on two double-point needles, and am close to finishing the first pair.
    Am still home sick with a dodgy lung, but the sock team says it’s OK and my (revised) Olympic goal it three pair of socks in three different pathways that I’ve never done before. Deep breath, my dear. YOU CAN DO IT!

  112. I like all those ideas. A 28 hour day would be great. I could get everything done and still have four hours of knitting time. Let’s work on that. If Mr Beer is lonely without Mr Pizza, you should invite Mr Pizza over. That would save time too, right? But beware the oil on the yarn. Or on the needles. By the way, is beer a performance enhancing drug? Does it help you count more than red wine does?
    Maybe Lettuce Knit would open for an after hours Olympic Knitting spree?

  113. I just scored a two day work trip that will allow me to spend endless hours holed up in a hotel room knitting to the finish line – and I might even order in from room service! Because it just isn’t happening at home – too many biathalon events, if you know what I mean…ok, leaving work to go knit on the bus…keep on knitting, keep on knitting…

  114. Ah-someone else who uses the bleeding or on fire threshold. I sometimes add bodily fluids spewing from any/all orifices. Get some wine in you, woman!

  115. Hmmm…My sweater is coming along. I am within 3 inches of finishing the body length. Still have the sleeves and button band after that…does it have to be blocked before the torch goes out? Its a neck down one..
    Tomorrow is a write off totally tho…I am cooking pancakes in the am for a fishing derby that is a fundraiser for the local volunteer FD. You cannot knit and cook pancakes..I am sure of that. I don’t even need to try it. But we are starting at 5am and will finish at 5 pm..I don’t see any knitting happening tomorrow.
    Can anyone tell me the difference between Fair Isle and the Dale of Norway sweaters?
    Off to watch the Olympics……and knit

  116. You could get your family to liquify all your food so that you could drink it through a straw. That way you don’t need either of your hands or much concentration to ingest that silly human need for sustinance. And, like you said, it’s only temporary.

  117. Stephanie,
    I’m sorry I can’t help you in any way, but I would like you to know that your foul-ups help me tremendously. As a fledgling knitter, everytime I “frak” up and think when in the world will I ever learn all I need to know so that I will stop
    making these confounded-silly mistakes, I’ll read one of your stories, and realize I will be “learning” as long as I keep knitting. I take great comfort in that and in reading your blog.
    So, good luck going for the GOLD! Next Olympics, I’ll be ready to come along for the ride.

  118. How bout I pray for you? Who knows, maybe the earth will stand still for a couple of hours.

  119. Stephanie, I have a small request… after the olympics are over of course, I was just wondering if you could please inform me as to what ever became of the green afghan? The one that was supposed to be a wedding present for your brother & bride…that got replaced with a punch bowl. Inquiring minds want to know.

  120. I’m rapidly falling further behind, based on the diagnosis of Shingles (which apparently causes intense pain and exhaustion) on Family Day.
    But I am revising my expectations of myself. And my children (who are younger than yours by a long shot) know that their request for a snack will likely be met with “at the end of my row” and that an emergency involves flood, fire or “I can’t stop the bleeding by myself”.

  121. Ok, I feel your pain, I could really use the same kind of miracle right now. I just tried on my sweater (body almost done) and gauge is kicking my butt (despite swatching, doing math and checking repeatedly while knitting…) and my sweater is too big 🙁
    I’m going to rip back (not to the beginning I refuse) (also is going to take a couple glasses of wine…) and trying to make a mish-mash of sizes that will hopefully fit. Fingers crossed for some super human knitting from here on it!!!

  122. Having redone my cables several times now I believe that row 4 is the amnesia row. Meaning when I hit row four I suddenly have no idea which cable is next, the right leaning or left leaning, which one is held in front and which in back and the fact that I hit this problem four rows ago. Sigh…I feel your counting pain.

    1. Stress.
    2. Lack of time.
    3. Chart dependency.
    1. No cooking, cleaning, or laundry for 10 days. Liquid nourishment only.
    2. Keep well-hydrated at all times.
    3. Confined to home, feet up as much as possible.
    4. Recommend sleeveless sweater.

  124. I find the more tired I am, the more mistakes I make. Had to just quit last night because I was undoing stitches every row. Sleep is essential!

  125. Just move a mini fridge and a microwave into the bathroom and you can lock yourself and maximize your knitting time by not having to come out. Your family won’t starve. If you only have one functioning bathroom then this might not work though. In that case, if time runs short then leave it as a pull-over… they’re highly under rated. Cheers! and Go, Go, Go!

  126. Okay. So the ’28 hour day’ thing would benefit… how many people in North America (and around the world, counting the Ravelympics)? I think we have a quorum on that.
    And you totally have the nutrition thing down. You mentioned it already: Red wine as a performance-enhancing drug.
    Pity the effect it has on the charts.
    May I recommend alternating coffee, protein powder, and red wine infusions?

  127. I owe you an apology. I am so sorry, but I just live for when you take on herculean-type knitting projects. I am so sorry that I’m here, laughing so hard that I cry, but consider instead that I’m weeping with you – commiserating.

  128. Yeah, well you are not the only one. I only have six rows done on the sock yarn blanket and it is not anywhere near half done. I stay up late, get up in the night, get up earlier than the rest of the household, don’t cook or clean, and still am behind. Having to help out at my daughter’s office while she was gone to a 3 day conference didn’t help, either.

  129. I think you need to do a reassessment.
    In my experience, a sweater can be divided into 3 parts, each of which take up about the same amount of time and yarn to knit:
    1. The front
    2. The back
    3. Both sleeves
    If the front or back has colorwork and the sleeves have little or none, the sleeves may take less time than the front or back.
    I just (finally) got the yarn, and haven’t even written the pattern for my vest yet. In other words, I haven’t even cast on yet.
    So, you’re WAY ahead of me!

  130. Once in a restaurant, when I was casting on socks while my dear husband was having more food, I was double checking my stitch count, when said husband starting calling out random numbers. (What IS it with that??)
    Anyway, the couple in the booth behind us was just leaving and the woman leaned over to my dh and said, “Don’t DO that! I’m a knitter and I know exactly what she’s going through!” 😀
    Ha! Knitters MUST stick together!
    Sorry I can’t help with the 28 hour days, but I’d love to take advantage of a few of them!

  131. Stephanie and all the commenters, I’m enjoying reading about the Knitting Olympics immensely. I didn’t sign up this time, but maybe next time. I’m just chiming in because so many people are mentioning repeatedly counting 114 sts, or 67, or whatever.
    I just wanted to pass along a counting tip in case it’s helpful. When I have long rows to count, I insert stitch markers made of loops of contrasting yarn, usually every 20 sts or whatever makes sense for the pattern. That way, I can count by increments of 20 except for the number of sts beyond some multiple of 20.
    For example, I’m currently knitting the Peasant Shawl by Goddess Knits (available free on Ravelry, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/peasant-shawl). It has increases on each edge and on either side of two center sts. I place the yarn markers so that I only have to count the edge and center sts where the increases are occurring. When I get much beyond 40 additional sts, I place another set of yarn markers. When I get to the lace border, I’ll place the yarn markers at the beginning and end of each pattern repeat.
    I check the 20-st segments occasionally to be sure they’re still accurate, but even if you have a fairly complex pattern all the way across, it is still easier to count several sets of 20 sts to check your work than to have to recount 252 sts (and then if you’re like me, do it a third time just to be sure).
    Good luck to all you Olympians, I’m cheering for you!

  132. >>… shout random numbers to try and screw me up, no matter how funny that is in your head. I don’t have time for your shenanigans. Get off it. <<
    Totally what I would do. And that is shameful.

  133. I am just past the half way point after casting on and knitting a few rows of skew sock #2. You’re welcome to come visit here. DD is pretty scarce around here on the weekends and pretty much ignores all knitting/fibery activities.

  134. If you have a spare set of needles you could start the sleeves at the same time as the body.
    I like to do this especially if the body is at a complicated point.
    When you have time for fussy, involved knitting, work on the body and when you have time for simple, mindless knitting work on the sleeves.
    Maximize the time! You can do it!

  135. When I’ve been working on a deadline (crocheting filet wall-hangings for siblings’ weddings, for example), my husband would sit beside me and hand-feed me dinner so I didn’t have to stop working. Isn’t he great?
    My baby is 1 yr old in the morning, and has gotten 3 new teeth in the last 4 weeks, with a fourth one on the way. This is why I decided to try two socks at once on two circulars–avoiding 2nd sock syndrome and side-stepping counting problems, like having one sock 1/2 an inch shorter than the other. 🙂

  136. Umm…the 28 hour day would be wonderful. Could you make it stick but only be noticeable to us knitters? I’d even lobby for a permanent change.

  137. Steph, I know you don’t have time for it now but…you’ve got it all wrong. Items one, three, four and five on your list should not be requested as temporary measures. They should be written in stone. For all time. As in FOREVER! In fact, while we’re at it, let’s just go for a thirty hour day, shall we? Don’t worry about the red wine thing. All you have to do is declare it a performance enhancer and it is!
    I’m still screwing up like mad on the one stupid sock. Why was the first one so easy? Aiyee!! The pressure, the pressure, the pressure!!

  138. Halfway? I’m halfway done the back of my sweater!And I’ve got this hurty little knot on the back of my hand that wasn’t there before yesterday….it’s got to be from knitting, so it’s the DL for me. But go Steph!! I’ll be rooting for you from the bench. The sweater is stunning.

  139. I just love the fact that my sister-in-law and I aren’t the only parents that tell their kids that they may only interrupt us if there’s a fire or blood. We qualify the blood part by saying that there must be an impressive amount of blood or the bleeding offender will be in big trouble. Between us there are 5 children, if you don’t make some qualifications about the bleeding, not only would we be constantly interrupted, but we would have a band-aid stampede on our hands. As for the Knitting Olympics, I was doing well. I went to see a friend who’s having trouble knitting the same pattern for the Olympics, and she was frustrated that I was farther ahead than she was. I’m NEVER farther ahead of anyone knitting so this struck me as really funny. She on the other hand didn’t think it was quite as funny as I did that my blanket was bout 4 times the size of hers. Well, ever since then it seems that I am constantly ripping out as much as I am knitting. I think she’s put a curse on me LOL! I just hope she freaking hurries up and pulls ahead of me so that I can start making some progress again!!! Go Stephanie go!!!!

  140. Ah yes, my teenagers also don’t understand crisis and simply HAVE to call when I’m at knit night to moan about something one of the others did!
    Re the food: Get one of those beer hats with the straws down to your mouth. Now get Slim Fast or some other liquid diet stuff, fill up the cups.
    Hey, at least you’ll live!

  141. I’m glad it isn’t just me. By 10 pm I can’t even do a simple k1 p3 without messing it up and doing k3 or some other random number and having to back it out. AND my arm hurts and I’m old, but in true olympic spirit I’m trying to carry on. Hang in there we are all behind you.

  142. Start the sleeves. Knit them on the bus. Knit the body when there are no other bodies around. That’s what I do.

  143. Ah, I remember those teenage days-all is a major crisis. I used to tell mine that if your hair is not on fire or there is not blood pumping from a major artery –leave me out of it.
    Good luck on your time setback.

  144. Fortunately, my sweater pattern doesn’t require a lot of counting, but it’s essential to read the instructions correctly! I’ve tinked and frogged too many times because I overlooked one little sentence or phrase that I swear wasn’t there the first time I read it. (Knitting gremlins doing a pattern attack while I’m not looking, perhaps?) But the front and back are finally done and I’ve started the sleeves. Just hoping I have enough yarn . . .
    Go Stephanie! You can do it.

  145. So nice to know I’m not alone. Having suffered equipment failure (wool arrived two days after Olympics started) and perilously close to injury (chunky wool on DPNs=muscle strain; plus lack of attention (men’s ski teams in form fitting outfits); well, I was feeling like the last skiier in the cross country race. Thank you for making me laugh. You are terrific!

  146. I would love to be the solution to your problem. I would come to Toronto bringing a case of red wine and would take over the cooking, cleaning, and laundry chores until the Olympic games are over. However, I am deathly allergic to cats(bummer) so, unfortunately, my offer is not a viable one. So sorry. Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  147. It’s all relative, isn’t it? I had to frog the clapotis completely. Stop laughing. See, you make a mistake with this and then you have to work with the stupid markers and try to remember where they go, then you admit complete defeat and start a dishcloth to cleanse your palate of the humiliation.

  148. Heck, luv, I’ve given up altogether after trying EZ’s Aran pullover without ribbing, ripping it 3 times because I need a ribbed foundation; making said foundation, then ripping row 1 three times because I kept forgetting to add the extra purl stitches to size it properly…
    I’m just gonna say I fell on the ice, and I can’t get up!

  149. You could always tell the family to pretend you’re on tour for the next 9 days. They could care for themselves and you could knit in peace.

  150. I have the Dale of Norway pattern booklet from about 10 years ago. I took a good long look at it after reading your post.
    Tied to the charts is right. And I would have to kill anyone who spoke to me.

  151. Remember the story about the Little Train Who Could ? Yes you can , yes you can . yes you can . GL

  152. 5 9 3 4 9 1 2 17
    Would 28 hours in a day really be enough? I mean while were at it could we make it like 36 hour day perhaps?
    With no food, drink, or sleep how do you expect to be an Olympian? They eat and sleep you know.
    Only thier sport only lasts a fraction of the time you are spending. You are doing like the marathon I guess.
    Steeking?!!! Eee gad no. Why?
    Make those rotten brats er I mean darling girls bring you food.

  153. I could go for most of those. Silly me, I made a mistake in my (first) shawl late last night while waiting to pick up the other half at the airport.
    Food-wise: smoothies. Drink with a straw, and can be quite filling, and has fruit in it (or whatever you decide to put in, you might be able to sneak some veggies in?). Can totally be counted as a meal.

  154. Oh, help! I’m making the Pretty Thing cowl and I have a problem. (Plus I couldn’t find any other way to contact you. Please supply your home phone number.)
    What happens to stitch 17 for the first and last 4 rows?
    Please, please – this is a gift and I want it to be right and nice.
    Many thanks.

  155. Try protein drinks with a straw instead of eating. It requires only leaning over to suck up your nutrition rather than actually putting down your knitting. Wastes less time.
    One other point. I always thought that the sleeves were 1/3, back 1/3, and front 1/3 of a sweater. In which case you should need 5.3 days for each of the parts, leaving one day for steeking and other finishing. You’re on time in this scenario.

  156. I vote for the 28 hour days, as long as the extra hours occur after work. I’m losing my job, and to make it worse, I have to train my own replacement. So I feel entitled to more de-stressing time each day to knit, with or without the Olympics.

  157. Rules at my house:
    My home is not a democracy, because children cannot vote. You may state your opinion, but I am not obligated to agree. Therefore:
    A) Do not interrupt unless 1) A human is bleeding badly, or 2) there is a fire that endangers the property. This rules out paper cuts, minor scrapes, or my being told that a deer has been shot (and is pouring blood on the garage floor). It also rules out my being told that my son has started a fire in the wood stove (which I want him to do; he is eleven).
    B) If you are obnoxious, you will be sent to your room, and this is not only arbitrarily determined by my nerves, arguing will earn you a peanut butter sandwich for dinner, to be eaten in your room, away from the family. This means if you call random numbers while I am counting sts, it’s all over, and I’ll see you later.
    As for eating, or gaining extra hours, I am sorry, but I cannot help. Do not read these comments until later, after the games are over.

  158. You go girl! I’m slogging through my felted Satchel wishing I were doing some sort of lace knitting, but having never done said fiberwork, I’ll finish the bag! half way there and it’s only Saturday.

  159. I had to laugh out loud at this list. I’m knitting my first-ever sweater, the February Lady, which everyone on Ravelry seemed to swear was dead easy, but I’m still knitting interminable rows of garter stitch which just won’t *almost* meet under my arms!
    Worse, I live in Vancouver, and everyone’s telling me how exciting everything Olympics-related is, and how it’s a once-in-a-lifetime party. Is it so wrong, I wonder, that I just want to stay home and finish this freakin sweater?? But I know asking that question out loud will merit me the kind of look I give out when my DW mutters under her breath as I’m counting. To her credit, she doesn’t think that shouting out random numbers is remotely funny, but she does start some activity of her own that, like counting, requires some kind of vocalisation….. And as soon as she goes out to give me some peace, the dogs suddenly really really need to go out….
    But tribulations are part of every Olympian’s attempts to get to the podium….

  160. I have been finding that a solid diet of chocolate bars is very effective. Was having a panic attack about being so behind on my sweater. Now I am almost caught up to where I wanted to be and I think the wonderful chocolate euphoria is kicking in you get from eating massive amounts of it. Either that or sleep deprivation is seriously starting to kick in…Hmmmm…

  161. Stephanie
    As Thoreau might say- Simplify, Simplify. Maybe you could do a stripe in place of some of the time consuming colourwork. your sweater looks pretty so far.

  162. We REALLY need to draft you to rule the world, except for the counting thing. . . as much as it makes me insanely angry when someone else does it to me, even at my age of over half a century, I still think shouting random numbers is hilarious. I’ve given up hope of growing out of that phase.

  163. 28 hour days sound great. I still probably won’t finish on time, but at least I wouldn’t feel like such a dolt for really over estimating my skills. I’m on the 2 ball of 9 to finish knitting my sweater.

  164. After launching into a lecture about how altering the orbit of the planet to gain 4 hours in the day would destroy ecosystems, my husband came up with two solutions for you:
    1. feeding tube.
    2. catheter.
    I would add an IV loaded with coffee.

  165. Work,family and sleep in that order are all getting in the way. I would love to replace one with knitting for the rest of the Olympics. Which one? It depends one the day. Good luck with your sweater. Knit, knit, knit. Oh yeah, don’t forget to count.

  166. The sweater looks great, and I am sure you will pull it off. Remember duct tape over the mouth will help with the off counting! My hubby is thrilled I am participating. the skein of yarn is finally turning into socks, one down, one to go! He tried on the first one and was blown away. I think i MIGHT have created a sock snob….

  167. YH:
    Perhaps the ole “I got to take a bath” approach to propel you to the finish line? That’s right, grab your knitting bag & head to the loo. Lock the door,run a bath, and sit on the “throne” till the chart is done. Run water a second time, take the bath, & soak in the wake of victory.
    Quitters never knit. Knitters never quit.

  168. Whoa!!!!!! No “eating or drinking”?
    Merlot is a necessity, dearest!
    (Only 4 more cms” to go for the first arm! — yah!!!!!!!!)
    See you at the awards ceremony!

  169. Halfway? Ooh, I’m glad that a) I pledeged to do only one complicated sock and b) that I turned the heel today.

  170. You _can_ eat and knit at the same time if the food is liquid and you have a long enough and flexible enough straw! I’m thinking chocolate shake or some such….
    Go you!!!

  171. What happened to the rules which I partially copied below for your remembrance:
    While I engage in this pursuit of excellence and my own personal, individual best, I also swear that I will continue to engage with my family in conversation, care for my pets, speak kindly with those who would ask me to do something other than knit, and above all, above every stitch thrown or picked, above every cable, every heel stitch, every change of colour, I swear this:
    That I will remember that this is not the real Olympics, that I’m supposed to be having fun and that my happiness and self-worth ride not on my success….
    but on my trying.

  172. My husband likes to say random numbers
    to try and mess me up, but redeems himself
    by remembering the number I was actually on.
    He’s just good like that. 🙂

  173. Ha! I decided to do the Mason-Dixon Moderne Baby Blanket, which requires two sections with intarsia interlocking yarn that I have never done before. But I am not afraid I have June Hemmons Hiatt The Principles of Knitting! Everything I will ever need to know is in this book. My interlocking is creating a beautiful straight verticle line, I have bound off and am ready to begin the last section and then the border. WHAT the HECK????? It’s on the %^&*()wrong side! How can I be so careful about everything else and then have the interlocking stitches be so glaringly on the incorrect side??
    YH I’m with you, more hours, a time travel machine that can give us back a day? Have time stand still for everyone else? Okay, I’m off to rip and begin again!

  174. I got those extra hours of knitting today when my floor at the hospital ended up short-staffed and I stayed extra. Sadly, there will be no knitting for the knitting is at home. So what I’m saying is: be careful what you wish for.

  175. BTW – Thoughts from the car while driving and not being able to knit – Could the stares from people watching you rummage in your luggage be any stranger than the ones made by people staring at a lady on a bus, trolley, etc. taking photos of her knitting?

  176. If eating _while_ knitting, the rule is: nothing that will stain. NO chocolate. NO red wine. Only clear and white and nonstaining. Rapid liquid diet is fine, but put the knitting down, or at least cover it with something impervious.

  177. I know you’re way too involved in your project to read comments, but I had to put this into the record before it’s lost in the haze of memory. You were in a dream of mine last night, sitting at our table amongst a bunch of strangers (even to me)looking confused about what you were doing there without even any knitting conversation going on. In fact, while eating, we were just discussing the menu for our next meal. Sorry to make you endure that.
    And I missed a chance to show you the Beer Mug Sock pattern that I had with me at Madrona. Still would like to do it for the Sock Museum.

  178. Surely there is a geophysicist or some equally scientific person reading this that can get us that 28 hour day!!!
    That gets my vote too! And I am not telling my menfolk about throwing out random numbers to screw up my count. I guess there are things to say for video games (son) and the sleep-inducing effects of the TV (hubby).
    Go, Steph, go!
    Hugs and Smiles,

  179. Steph, Like you I had a OOPs..I was working on a Starmore sweater..it was going along so nicely..when I thought I was a head of schedule..when I discovered..I had forgotten to decrease…Too Much attention on the Olympics..so ripping I did go..So I guess..the reknitting startes again today…I am happy to join your feeling..

  180. How proud are you to be a Canadian? What a beautiful country and spirit and winter sports tradition you are sharing with the world! I’m proud to be your neighbor in the USA!

  181. @Carrie in nNY – um, have you ever tried canadian pizza? Maybe it’s better in Toronto than Antigonish – but the last time we spent 2 weeks in NS and I had a craving for pizza…I rushed back to Cape Breton and ate wings, fish and mash the rest of my stay.
    That slur aside – GO STEPH – I’m making more noise than the crowd at the curling match:-) I got the stomach bug friday night, immediately AFTER work. I haven’t touched my project since thursday.

  182. Yay, the weekend. I started early yesterday morning and knitted ALL day except for eating and bathroom breaks. At 11 pm last night, I realized I’d messed up BIG TIME! Hubby suggested I put it away and that maybe I could salvage it in the morning. Up early, but didn’t look any better in the morning, so I tore out all of yesterday’s work. That’s what I get for knitting merrily along, thinking how very clever I am in taking on a vest pattern that has pieces instead of sox, like I’m used to knitting. Oh, I’m so clever, what a clever toad I am, maybe I should have chosen a harder pattern. Hah! Now I know about the knitting goddess – teaching me a lesson. I’ve just fallen on the ice, but I’m up again and by the goddess, I’m going to FINISH what I started, maybe even by the closing ceremonies. Go knitters, GO!

  183. My kids learned from an early age: blood, flood, fire, or vomit! Otherwise, don’t interrupt.

  184. Seven. Two. Ten.
    Heh. Sorry. I’m a bit giddy from trying to finish a flipping SLEEVE today so I can stay on my timeline. Do you think they’d understand if I called in at work and said that I was knitting for the States and need to spend the week at home?
    Me, either. If you figure out that getting by on four hours of sleep thing, let us know!

  185. My children do the random number shouting thing, too. The only solution is violence, I have found.

  186. Various fields of life consume lots of time, so why should we waste life time for expository essay composing? It will be greater to use some professional essays online service to buy the persuasive term paper at, I guess.

  187. Sadly, I possess no supernatural powers to help you out, so let me say instead GOOD LUCK! YOU CAN DO IT! =)
    Thus far, I’ve been monogamous with my scarf. It’s just about killing me. On the one hand, I can’t wait for this to be over so I can work on other projects. On the other hand, I am definitely not halfway done yet…eek!

  188. Hang in there, Harlot! In the Lambing Olympics, we now have 11 lambs. 7 boys & 4 girls, which is way better than last year. Two more ewes yet to deliver. Think pink! I need sleep . . .

  189. Only 15 more rows left on this Hemlock blanket. Doesn’t sound like much, but the stitches are all bunched up on 60″ circulars.
    Family has been fed, housework kept up (for the most part) and two trips to the yarn shop completed.
    I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…

  190. Today’s blog cheered me up no end, plus the comments! There’s no way that I’m going to finish the Sand and Shore cardigan that I started during the opening ceremony – I’m still about an inch away from finishing the back, and the fronts and sleeves are still balls in my stash. Now I’m worried that I won’t have enough yarn to finish – and it’s discontinued! The only way I’ll finish is if the deadline is extended to the close of the summer olympics! Does that count? But at least I started, and it’s been fun telling people that I’m in the knitting olympics. And tomorrow is another day.

  191. I hope this evening’s loss doesn’t set you back. I am imagining copious amounts of beer being consumed to appease some hockey god and remind him/her of Canadian devotion to the game.

  192. My father told me, that they used to say (in hus universtity days): that a day is 24 hours (plus the nights)…
    I am for one in pretty good shape for the olimpic, despite masses of work and a very bad cold…)

  193. (a)crock pots are the crafters bestfriend, as are large made meals that the kids have to suffer thru for days … just pop the pot back in in the morning and knit all day.{my personal choice is soup, just add more water and it will last forever!}
    (b)ipods are great for blocking out those pesky kids who throw numbers at you – cell phones too – threaten to take them if they don’t stop the counting … be amazed at how quick it stops.
    (c)red wine will slow you down – save it all for the steeking and hit the caffine (choose your favorite form) … if red-wine were “performance inhancing” it would have to be outlawed & you couldn’t get any … oh, I get it!
    (d)re-assess your yarn supply – all that traveling and the in-airport luggage transfer more than likely ran you into a shortage of yarn … yikes.
    (e)are you sure that switching colors wouldn’t be considered an ‘artistic’ variation? a “free style” type of event?

  194. But are you running out of yarn? I’m running out of yarn. It makes me knit faster, trying to finish the sweater before I run out of yarn. Meanwhile, I’m coming up with all kinds of ideas for how to make the yarn go farther. I’ve already poached the swatch. Next up, pulling out some colorwork and subbing in another (hopefully close-enough) color so I can use original yarn to finish up the last bit of solid color sleeve. Which, yes, means pulling out perfectly nice knitting to make this work. The hood is going to need real creativity now.
    No hope of another skein as this is 20 yr old inherited stash from gramma’s SABLE.
    ps. Sorry about that hockey thing last night. Bob Costas wasted about 10 minutes we could have been watching bobsledding to explain how deeply our Canadian friends care. He must not be running out of yarn.

  195. If I need to cast on more than 10 stitches, I always use two balls. Then it is not possible to have too short of a long tail. There might be some knitting purist argument against this technique, but I don’t know what it is.
    I complete projects very slowly. So, I am very entertained by your Olympic project and by all the projects you finish in the course of a year.

  196. Maybe you could subsist on extra thick milkshakes. Long straw so you don’t have to use your hands but you still get sustenance and you can make a big vat of it all at once.
    Just a thought…

  197. Just a thought, If you have extra needles in the size you are doing, could you begin the sleeves and knit those while traveling since they only have colourwork at the beginning and end? That way you could at least be advancing. 🙂

  198. I completely fracked up a lace repeat, and because I wasn’t paying attention, my lifeline was above (!) the mistake, so I had to frog for the second time. I was really hoping to be at halfway this weekend, but it was not to be. I do not think I will be taking gold this year, but hey, how many athletes get gold their first time at the Olympics? I was considering giving up, but then my husband said, “Would Brian Boytano give up?” And what could I say to that?

  199. Well…Knitted my little fingers off most of the weekend and still only on the back. Seed stitch and cables go slower than I thought plus the fact that I ripping back a couple of times due to not reading ahead on the pattern regarding the start of the underarms. It slowed me down a bit..ha. But I am not quiting… even if it is only a back and part of a front at the close of the olympics. (I think next time I will definately pick a much easier project.) But I really want this sweater for myself…so this was excellent motivation to get started…so all is good.

  200. I have discovered that watching speed skating (especially short track) has a negative effect on the evenness of my gauge. It is worse when Apolo Ohno or J R Celski are skating.

  201. I knit like a fool on Super Sunday and now I am caught up! Yeah me. (Of course, I still have to do Monday’s knitting, but I am caught up! caught UP!!!!)

  202. Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations:). I’m guessing at the halfway point I should have had one glove completed. No such luck. After a really rocky start that involved 3(or 5) cast-ons, a crazed phone call to the local yarn shop, and many “Dear Mr./Ms. Pattern designer” moments I have one glove that is on it’s way to being completed. It has a thumb, index and middle finger and actually looks like fingerless glove. I’m not sure if I’ll finish both of them by Sunday, but just completing one will be a huge confidence boost.

  203. I think I’m screwed. I sprained my thumb last weekend while learning to snowboard (damn Olympics, making mere mortals think they can do things they can’t!) and lost considerable time because of that. Between that and the schoolwork, I’ve got less than half of one sock. I might have to reconsider my idea of success.

  204. I am well on the way to finishing my substitute Olympic project. Since I had started the sweater before the olympics, I have challenged myself to knit a matching Fair Isle hat. I figure that the added hat should just about make up for the pre-Olympic knitting. (My yarn for the planned project won’t arrive until March, so I had to roll with the punches and change my event)
    I spent all of the hockey game last night weaving in yarn ends from the multitudes of color changes required for my sweater (Zoe Mellor’s Fair Isle cardigan from Adorable Knits for Tots).
    Sorry, Harlot, but I was rooting for the USA all the way. If Canada plays anyone but the US, I’m rooting for them, but home team is home team. Canada-USA finals would be awesome to watch!!

  205. I’m with Barbara M “Canada-USA finals would be awesome to watch!!”. The game last night was great, both sides gave it their all. On to the finals….

  206. Why do they do that??? My family, friends and others think it is nothing short of HILARIOUS to shout random numbers at me when I’m counting… Why is that so funny to them? Can’t they see I am not laughing….
    I fell in love with my partner in large measure because she is the ONLY person in my life who doesn’t do that, and doesn’t think its funny… Is that shallow?

  207. I guess since the US beat Canada in hockey, the Blue Jays or the Expo will win this year’s World Series. Turn about is fair play, after all.

  208. Ok, no one hate me, but I’m done!!! My beautiful Spoke sweater is being blocked in the office where sticky little hands can’t get to it. I am so proud of myself. I suppose the sweater wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be, but I still feel that I have skiied down a mountain and won the gold!! Hooray!

  209. I avoided the not-long-enough cast-on, but alas, suffered a setback when I had not one but two mistakes in a colorwork row. And not at the same time, but first one, and then after tinking and re-knitting, the second one. Moreover, the second one was discovered on the following row, leading me to wonder why the previous row had “worked out” – leading to my discovery that I’d lost a stitch somewhere. That led to a 2-day timeout. Now I’m back on track, but am modifying my Olympic goal to “finishing at least one repeat” rather than “get to the dividing for the sleeves”.
    Thanks for listening.

  210. I was really conflicted during last night’s hockey game–excited that the USA won, but Rick Nash plays for my BlueJackets and, hey, my maiden name is Crosby. (Need I say more?)

  211. I laughed pretty hard at your family calling random numbers at you while you were counting stitches. Oh dear. If we didn’t love them so much we’d eat our young.

  212. Oh honey, good luck. I do hope you manage to knit all… or most of the body tonight.
    For me, I found that even though my Henry VIII took 20 mins per round for Chart A, now that I am juggling 3 charts, it takes 30 mins. And my co-conspirator, formerly 6 rows past me, is now 34 rows past me. I shall carry on. I seem not to be making any huge mistakes. (both touching and knocking wood here)

  213. Okay, gotta tell you, you have totally changed my expectation of getting knitting done the next few years! I understand when my kids 4 & 2 need me all the time, like every waking moment (and more so if they even see knitting present) but I had thought by the time they were in their teens it might get better. Sounds your are hinting that that may be an unrealistic expectation. I’m now bummed.
    But good luck with the sweater project!

  214. I just finished the sweater! It is soaking right now. I will cast on for the vest tomorrow. 🙂

  215. Dear Stephanie:
    I am in the middle of volunteering at the Olympics at the cross country and ski jump, and biathalon areas. I have seen so many Norwegians with their Dale sweaters on that my eyes just about pop out with envy just looking at them Today, I admired a Norwegian woman’s sweater and she promised to send me the pattern. Nice eh? I believe she will!

  216. Wish I could offer some assistance in warping the space/time continuum, but the mojo seems to be off on vacation somewhere at the current time.
    I’m thinking I must have signed up for the wrong Olympics – kind of like someone who thought they were going to try the bunny slope and discovered that this was the Super-G course. Is there a knitting Special Olympics I can transfer to?
    Shawl is sulking in its knitting bag until I can get to my LYS for assistance in corralling extra stitches that occurred during the transfer of the lifeline; as a novice lace knitter, I simply can’t read what’s gone wonky.
    I’m pretty sure this puts me out of the running, since I’m barely 1/4 of the way into this (but I have probably knit every stitch at least 1.5 times at the rate I’ve been ripping back.) But once I’m back on track I will continue struggling down the course, keeping my head down and ducking when all you superstars go flying past at 90 spm on your entrelac king-size laceweight bedspreads!

  217. Hi Stephanie, I am desperately trying to get hold of you to get some quotes for a feature I am writing for a British Magazine called Knit Today. If you read this I would be so grateful if you could contact me on my email address supplied!
    Hoping to hear from you!
    Tina Chantrey

  218. I don’t know how to report I’m finished for getting my medal. Can you tell when you are finished yourself?
    So it is an Norweigan sweater this year as well? Cross my fingers you will make it this year too!

  219. Maybe if you started the sleeves. That way, you will have some simpler knitting for the bus and when people insist on speaking in your presence, and the complicated color knitting when you are able to concentrate. . . like in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep.

  220. When you figure out those changes to space-time, eating and other pesky problems, perhaps you can tackle “biting off more than you can chew” factor. I don’t think I have a snowball’s chance in a blast furnace of finishing my beaded shawl.Even if I hadn’t spent the first 2 days tearing out stitches (and my hair) over poorly written pattern-I finally just charted the bloody thing myself-I think I’d still be behind. Its the participation and the challenge we’re into right?!? Of course, I keep looking up to watch the games and that slows me down too!

  221. you can totally make it!!! Just lock the kids in a room with a video game or maybe a small monkey you know something they can distract themselves with for hours. Then you can knit in peace.

  222. I’m cheering you on! It looks lovely so far.
    I didn’t sign up for the challenge but made a note to self that i wanted to get a pair of handwarmers done. Not difficult for many knitters, no fancy cables or anything, but i wanted to knit two that were about the same size. I had knit one pair in the autumn where one is appreciably bigger than the other.
    This time around, as a challenge, i used smaller sized needles and guessed at gauge. I had just gotten done knitting a baby hat and scarf with the smaller needles and similar yarn, so i had an idea of how many stitches i’d need.
    I also tried them on as i went along, increasing a stitch here and there. The result?
    I have a pair that look more like a pair. They fit much better than the first pair. They won’t win any medals, but they are serviceable, and i’m not cowering in shame, should i wear them outside and have someone see them.
    I don’t know that i would have undertaken that task without your idea of the knitting olympics, so thanks for the nudge!

  223. Due to my last minute decision to participate, I lost some time with gauge issues. I won’t finish my project in part due to work travel and an all-day sock design class with Anne Hanson. However, I do hope for “respectable” progress….1/3? 1/2? complete.

  224. Arrgh, you guys! No wonder you can’t get done…you can’t change the orbit of the earth to get a longer day, you have to change the revolution of the planet! There, now you’ll all catch up! Best wishes

  225. So this sounds weird, but your disheartenment (is that even a word?) makes me feel better. I look at that sweater and I utter several really nice (and really profanity laden) compliments because it’s AMAZING (and I’m from Boston) and so it’s encouraging to me as I look down at the GARTER STITCH BLANKET that I screwed up and want to burn to know that even people who can do things like that feel like this sometimes. The sweater is beautiful. If it were possible, I’d be speechless.

  226. DONE! I finished sewing the multi-paneled jumper (sweater) together last night while watching Joannie Rochette win the bronze. I’ve so enjoyed the challenge of the Knitting Olympics. Thanks, Stephanie, for reinstating it again this year.

  227. I finished my Tree of Life Afghan one hour after Sidney Crosby scored his goal!!!!

  228. Just finished “Meditations for Women who Knit Too Much” and nearly laughed myself to death! I am now forcing my family to read it now so they will finally realize I am not insane – or at least I am not insane alone. There was one area you missed but it might be in the other books which I will definitely be reading and that is: You know you are obsessed when you actually can tell how many stitches you can get done at each traffic light in town and plan your trips the opposite of United Parcel Service – all left turns so you can get in more stitches. – And you also are delighted when there is a 20-minute wait because an underwater pipe blew up (no one was hurt) because you realize you will get that baby blanket finished that you have sitting in your lap! (Yes, not as a passenger but as a driver. No, I do not knit when the car is actually moving!). Love your blog (and Canada, eh).

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