Blankie Status: 5

Blanket: Unfinished

Katie: Still pregnant, but I can’t tell you how little time is left, I think. Very, very little.

Number of stitches on the needle: About 280.  I know that’s the same number as it was last time even though I’ve knit a bunch. Apparently I can’t count my way out of a paper bag.  I either misjudged initially, or at some point along the thing. Who knows. All that matters is that it seems like no matter how much I knit, I have the exact same number.  I am in knitting’s black hole.

Number of skeins so far: A completely startling 9.

Number of skeins remaining: An entirely shocking 1.

Number of repeats I’ve knit: 50 – but I’m realizing now that it’s not 50 out of 60 – I miscalculated how many repeats it would take to get around corners, and so it’s more like 50 out of 80, which explains why the yarn math has also been rotten.

Attitude of Knitter: Oh man. So desperate. So, so desperate.  These last few days I’m suffering from “wrong place” syndrome.  No matter where I am, or what I’m working on, I am in the wrong place. On my bike finishing my back-to-backs? (Which I did, thank you so much for the DINGS that carried me through that.)  I should be knitting or with family or working on the Bike Rally Steering Committee. Working on the committee? I should be on my bike, or with my family. With my family? The emails pile up, and I fall behind on the knitting.  Of course I put family first – and rather horrifically, knitting last, since despite how it feels, nothing terrible happens if you don’t finish a blanket (as long as I can knit enough for my sanity,  even if that’s not enough for rapid progress.)  There’s one more meeting today I can’t miss, and tomorrow, I ride and knit – I hope.  The end is in sight. I just hope I don’t drop something while I’m juggling.

103 thoughts on “Blankie Status: 5

    • Forget the popcorn! It’s wine and knitting now (a vanilla sock in Simply Socks Poste self striping in Green Bay Pride) to cheer Steph on to the end of this!

    • I’m not sure which is more fun – the blanket rush or the Christmas spreadsheet. Either way, heading down to the cellar to fetch another bottle!

  1. Keep breathing. There is at least one cold beer for you at the end of each day. To Katie and Lou, hang in there the best is yet to come.

  2. Will one skein be enough for 30 more repeats?
    Will Kate deliver before finished blanket?
    Will knitter Steph make it through in one piece?
    Stay tuned for updates . . . ding, ding, ding
    I’ll have a few beers with my popcorn, thank you!

  3. I simply don’t know how you contend with the impossible goals you put on yourself. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that there are just so many things that can be done by one person so I ticked off the number 3 categories that made me happiest & that’s what I stick with. I’ve learned I can’t say yes to every proposal that comes along without maintaining some degree of sanity.

    Even tho’ the bike tour is for a very good cause, maybe you need to opt out and leave it to the younger folks? You could join in on some other capacity and still be active, just not physically.

    With all that you accomplish in the course of one year, it seems like a lot of unnecessary stress you pile on yourself just keeping up with this blog, teaching, attending retreats all over the northern hemisphere, writing books & going on tours, knitting, family, friends, gifts. OMG, I’m out of breath just ticking off your activities. Think so chill time is in order?

    • Joan your advice is on point, but it’s not the bike rally’s fault, it’s the ‘buns’ fault for jumping in the ‘oven’ and dinging finished when the bike rally is kicking off. I’m sure without a blanket of doom, the Harlot would have a simpler time keeping up with her rally.

      • LOL! So true! Our dear Steph is not a mere mortal and to the jaw dropping amazement of all, she not only sets goals for the year that most could not accomplish in a decade, she completes those goals. What has earned the admiration of many is these goals are not self-serving. Thank wool for people like Steph-how many lives were saved or extended by the pledges she brought in or miles she biked last year? Most of us drop pocket change in the collection jar and promptly forget about the plight of others. Yarn Harlot is a woman of action and conviction, inspiring us all to find our inner YH. She is my favorite super hero.

    • Hi Joan 🙂
      The Yarn Harlot is very much like myself. We over commit because we love to do multiple things at once. Sometimes we just don’t know how to stop or..even think we should. There is a challenge in doing multiple things at once. We want to see if we really can get them all done or see what else we can shoehorn into an already bulging schedule. We keep our commitments…even when they seem impossible because…we said we would…and….we like what we are doing…so…you see where this is going?

      • There was a post earlier this year about promising herself not to do the bike thing this year and basically explaining that she must not have meant that promise (!). I agree it’s more entertaining for us this way!

        Go YH!! Go Blanket!! Go baby!!!

    • Presuming the very best of intentions, no one can speak for Stephanie’s choices but Stephanie. Presuming the very best of intentions, someone suggesting she stop participating in something she believes in (and leave it to the younger folks??) isn’t helpful – or even particularly kind, IMHO – and she’s much younger than I.
      From where I stand, she knows what’s important and walks the walk – not just talks the talk. The world could use a few more Stephanies – IMHO.

  4. All you have to do is just keep breathing – – in & out. Knit when you can & slog through the rest of it. Bet you one thing – that sweet baby won’t need a blanket for a day or two! Best good vibes & wishes for excellent riding, meeting & knitting. . .

  5. If you really get into trouble with too little yarn, you could finish the blanket with the not-exactly-matching skeins you have and just dye the final product. A very pale mint green perhaps?

    • Great idea!! Would never have thought if it myself, but that’s very clever.

      Presbytera: You’re taking sadistic pleasure in this, aren’t you? One day Steph will have to tell us what she finds amusing to watch in your life…just for a little bit of balance.

      Steph: All the best, and really, all we’re wishing for is healthy Mum and healthy baby, and we know you really are too. Once again, you’ll be a really ace auntie, and your girls are awesome cousins.

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. What a great idea! It’s a design element – that one little patch of a different color is supposed to be that way. To represent the baby, or the month the baby was born, or… whatever color would fit the family best. I think it would look kinda cool…

  6. I love these baby watch posts. Man, the edge of my seat every time! I can’t help but chuckle a bit at the amount of yarn you have left. I remember thinking, when you wrote your first post about how much yarn you needed, I laughed out loud, thinking you’d never be able to stick to it. However, I did think, “eh, maybe she’s got a handle on how much she needs after so many babies?” It’s a little chuckle, I hope you make it, I know you can make it, just knit faster!

    • Well, she’s not anymore!

      Looking at the Instagram photo, the baby was born 7/8/15, and I’m think Lou has a baby brother based on the photo?

      Congratulations to the whole family!

      Now the blanket can get done at a more leisurely pace…


  7. Count schmount! What do your eyeballs say about the amount of yarn? I totally agree that counting is a waste of valuable knitting, cycling or family time.

    You were so responsible to get extra yarn at the start. The universe absolutely MUST reward you for being so forward-thinking. If you run out, I will see no reason to act in a responsible manner ever again. If you run out, then clearly there can be no proper conclusion to anything, no matter how prepared a person is.

    We are all rooting for happy endings to all dramas in progress. The one that counts most is a healthy baby and mom.

  8. Thanks for updating! I can’t BELIEVE she’s still preggers.
    Love the grumpy face on Lou!

    Good luck with that edging!

  9. OK, I got my pom-poms out and here comes a cheer: Keep knitting, keep knitting…GO KNITTING! (I hope that helps)

  10. You make me smile every time I read one of your posts. For that, thank you. I know you will persevere. Mostly I worry about Katie. As stressful as blankie knitting drama may be (and I sympathize entirely), delivering a baby is at the top of my list of things that give me grief! Go Katie go! And best wishes to you both.

    • True, but according to her diagram, she did not start at a corner, if I remember correctly.
      Good try, though. 😉

  11. Uuuhhhh….we are not going to have to make a yarn run are we???… Is there a contingency plan for yarn shortage?…Anyone on the blog near Steph if she should…heaven forbid…run out of yarn??? Now I need a glass of wine…and maybe a beer chaser.
    bjr in CT

  12. Nothing terrible will happen…um Harlot, I’ve been following you long enough to know that babies don’t get born if your not done knitting! Katie is probably too nice to beg but for the love Mom…knit faster!

  13. Go YH Go! (Katie, on the other hand, you have not been given the command to fire when ready. Sorry.)

    In unrelated news, 2 knitters were spotted in the wild today. I am from Central IL, and we had a special election primary today (google the Aaron Schock story to read all about it) and 2 of my election judges were at it. One was doing a child’s sock and the other was doing a dishcloth.

    Knitters may just take over.

  14. I’m no math expert, but if your counts of repeats and yarn are correct, you’ve knit seven repeats since the last post, and used up 2/3 of a skein. You cannot knit 30 repeats with a single skein. Am I wrong?

    • In fact, on further research, you had 3.25 skeins when you started the edging… you’ve used up 2.25 skeins, or 69% of the available yarn. You’ve completed roughly 63% of the border.

      ….This doesn’t look good.

      • Ohh, that’s so close, though. I’m torn about what I’d do. That’s a really wide border, so it’s taking more yarn than anticipated. But sooo close. By your calculation, she’ll be 6% short.
        Steph, the first thing I’d do is find your yarn ends, and count off exactly how many repeats you got from one full skein, and how many inches of edging it covered. If you’re within that range to the finish, we’re golden.

        If you are coming up a tiny bit short, go down a needle size. Knit a bit more loosely for a few rows to transition into it, then knit at your normal tebsion. The resulting difference in gauge will be very hard to spot, and you might be able to eke out the yarn to the end. And since you’re knitting it in wool, and there’s a lace pattern in it, which should give a bit, once it’s blocked, I’ll bet even you won’t be able to find the smaller gauge section.
        Good luck!

        • Eta: I just checked the blankie photos again, and noticed thatthe border is all garter. No wonder it’s eating so much yarn! On the bright side, that should make blocking it out even easier, if you go down the needle size. In fact, maybe you could just do the smaller needle on the plain knit, non-pattern rows, so the yarn overs would be a consistent size. Just a bit more blocking to get the length right, with no puckering.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t think you are. I did slightly different (and unnecessarily complicated) math, but came up with the same answer.

      She had 4.25 skeins before starting the edging. She has used 3.25 to knit 50 rounds, which means that one skein is getting roughly 15.4 rounds…and she has 30 to go.

      Who’s got yarn and overnight shipping?

  15. Are you using the Loopy Eye Solid Series Color 01-39 White? If so, I have a whole skein (unwound) left from a baby blanket I’ve just finished. You can have it if you need it. Let me know.

  16. Do send out the knitting Bat Signal – you know some of us are bound to have a few skeins tucked away the right color and dye lot. Maybe even some in Canada so you don’t have to fuss over getting it through Customs.
    You are the YH! You can do anything!
    And don’t forget to breathe.

    • This particular yarn does not have a dye lot. She has other skeins of the “same” colour and they are different colours. Showed us the two different ones some time ago as the layette knitting started.

  17. Tradition aside, the baby won’t know if the blankie is finished a few days late. Then you just have to swear family to secrecy. I recommend blackmail.

  18. Oh Stephanie!! Hang in there sweetie! You can do this!! But please take a breath. you are going to stroke! The blanket is by far the loveliest I have ever seen and even if it is a bit late that child will be very, very lucky!

  19. Gads – well in the end all will work to support so many people with love and health. I do fid-likr that feeling…whatever I’m doing, something is else is in line for me to get back to. ah well – we would hate to be bored or out of the actino. Knit on.

  20. I have 4 skins of The Loopy Ewe Solid Series 01-39 White that I can part with. I bought them in between your two orders so the color should match. Let me know if you need them.

  21. Sounds like more than one “Martha” is ready to come to the rescue. Is the car gassed up?
    Go, Steph, go!

  22. Will the Harlot finish in time and preserve her record?

    Personally, I like the image of you riding your bike and knitting (you did say you were just riding and knitting after the meeting!).

  23. The trick of alternating rows to blend close colors any good here? I have a stunning cabled sweater with a much brighter band right around my belly as if to prove that dye lot is as big a betrayer as gauge, that fickle mistress. Of course since I was knitting that sweater under fluorescent lights at work (yes, I can knit at work) I didn’t see it until wayyyyyy after all point of return was passed. I can barely stand to wear it knowing that the two row trick would have made that anti slimming band vanish utterly. But if the two colors are apples and oranges, even that wouldn’t do. But if not, may I suggest the two row action and perhaps a gentle weak tea rinse to blend a cream with a cream?

  24. Personally, with one skein of yarn left, I’d be in full-on PANIC mode, not to mention the lack of knitting time…..

    But, that’s why you’re the professional and I bow to you.

  25. Chin up, McPhee… You’re an inspiration to all of us laggards, procrastinators and generally slow knitters out here.The blanket is beautiful and will be loved for years, maybe generations.

  26. Go go go! Will dings while you knit help you feel like you’re doing bike stuff at the same time and lesson the wrong place syndrome?

  27. Hi Steph, I don’t know if you get a magazine called New Scientist in Canada, but this weeks Australian edition has an article explaining why midwives should knit!! It’s to do with reducing adrenaline levels according to Michel Ordent, a French obstetrician. Thought that might give you a giggle in a busy week. Louise, Sydney, Australia

  28. No sniveling, Stephanie.
    Kate has been doing her darndest to give you extra knitting time on this thing……the poor woman was ready weeks ago.
    Open up a can of Harlot on this thing and git ‘er done!

  29. This blog is by far the best start to my day –

    I’m rooting for you, Steph! Hang in there. Keep calm, and carry on.

  30. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you finish before the baby comes and that you have enough yarn!

    Playing yarn chicken when you can’t get more is the worst feeling. 🙁

    I’m rooting for you!

    Also wondering when you’re going to give away my Karmic Balancing gift but that’s something else. 😛

  31. Let’s see who pops first, me or Katie! I’m due the 24th. And also frantically knitting, hoping to finish a rug and some baby leggings before the baby makes his appearance.

  32. Thank you for keeping us posted on your progress! Your time is so precious right now, it might be easy for you to put this aside. But you don’t, and I really appreciate it!!! 🙂

  33. Hang in there! It’s horrible when your “no” is broken… ask me how I know this. Hey, maybe someone can donate some yarn from their stash if you run out. Keeping fingers crossed for everyone.

  34. Courage, mon amie! To quote from the movie “the 100 Foot Journey” , it will all be alright in the end… and if it is not, it is not the end! 🙂 <3

  35. My computer won’t let me access the twitter photo, but Grand Congratulations to the newest arrival and family!!

  36. I know you can do it, because you’re amazing. The blanket will be fine because at the last minute you realize that you can unravel part of the layette to have enough yarn for the blanket, or another amazing knitter will meet you at the border to hand you the last skein you need.
    The serendipity of all the races (bike/baby/blanket) coming together right now is fascinating to watch. 🙂

    • The layette .

      OMIGOD – we forgot about the layette!

      Yes, unravel one of the items, finish the blankie, and reknit or somehow jigger or eliminate the sacrificed piece. The heirloom blankie takes precedence.

      Beautiful little tiny baby hand, Any particulars yet on its owner?
      Congrats, Katie!

  37. Baby!!! Congratulations to all, especially Katie. Can’t wait to hear all about it when the proud parents decide to share their new precious with The Blog.

  38. Houston, we have lift-off. What a teeny little hand!….. and a little pruney….probably from all that salty water she’s been marinating in for the last nine months)

  39. remember your original skeins of white blanket yarn?
    you liked them so much you ordered some extra skeins, enough to knit what was originally going to be a small blanket.
    but the new skeins turned out to be a slightly different shade of white. No matter, you liked the new shade even better, so you ordered more of the same in order to knit what was originally going to be a small blanket, out of beautiful new skeins in a lovely shade of cream white.
    next thing you knew, the blanket up & grew on you. When you got to the home stretch & began working the edging, you realized that those 9 new skeins of cream white – plenty for what was originally going to be a small blanket – were not going to be enough to cut the biscuit for all of the giant blanket that had grown up.
    no problem. Remember those original skeins in an oh-so-very-slightly different shade of white? they’re for finishing the edging.
    never will a family be more proud than to wrap its newborn in a dazzling new baby blanket with an exclamation point on the edging. Look, they’ll tell the infant, years from now, when she’s old enough to understand. Look what auntie Steph did in 2015! see how auntie Steph knit this blanket for you, while the whole time she was biking & running & raising an unheard-of two million dollars for charity & love …

  40. The important part of the news was tweeted. And the blanket is already amazing. Even in Canada a baby doesn’t really need a blanket in July, lol!

  41. Congrats to all! Little Lou is now Big Bro Lou.
    At first I thought your family tended to deliver very large children to require 10ish skein baby blankets.
    But then I realized it was because you need alllll those stitches to hold your family’s love to wrap around your newest source of joy. Blessings to all (& the latest delivery is already showing signs of brilliance arriving before the Big Ride.)

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  43. Oh, please, an update on the newest member of your family. Congratulations to the parents and the new Big Brother Lou. Much love and best wishes to you all.

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