Fate is starting to pay attention

I could feel what was happening while I was at Knit City. It began the morning I left, when I had just cast on for the first sleeve of my Rhinebeck sweater.  I knit in the airport lounge, and on the way to Vancouver…


and when I arrived at Savannah’s, I’d finished that sleeve, and was just beginning the next.


Fast forward through three days of teaching and speaking, and somehow, even though I just about knit a pair of socks at the same time, I had two sleeves.


Now, let’s be clear. This pretty much isn’t how a Rhinebeck sweater goes. You don’t just cast on and knit the thing without anything going wrong. Nature abhors deadlines and does her level best to see me crushed in the face of them, so that I can be perfected in my humility. That’s how Rhinebeck sweaters go. This one? I don’t know what to think.  I was worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn, so the universe granted me a seventh skein. I was committed to getting gauge no matter what it took, so I got both stitch and row gauge on my first try. I was worried I wouldn’t have time, and now it’s flying along, practically knitting itself, and get this… I finished the body of the sweater, and I knew that I wanted it to be longer than my brown sweater, so put it aside until I could measure and knit the extra. I did the same with the sleeves, knitting them until they were just short of where I thought I needed them. I knit some socks until I could get to the brown sweater in question, and measured both and do you know what?

They were perfect. Not just shy, not almost… not close enough for company work, they were bang on. I was so shocked I measured three more times and then actually laid the green sweater parts on top of the brown sweater because I thought maybe the measuring tape was malfunctioning.  I had guessed exactly right, and I was ready to join the sleeves and the body to start the yoke, and I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but that was Monday morning that I was just starting that part,  and now… well, I’m almost done.


I still have to do a bit more of the body and upper sleeves, and the saddle shoulders, and I don’t want to get cocky and ignore the giant collar or the pockets, but I’ve pretty much got ten days to do that. Ten days!

It’s like a Rhinebeck miracle. Everything has been so perfect and pretty and worked out so entirely without flaw, that I’m starting to think that I should be keeping this sweater in the back garden at night, in case it bursts into flames or lightning strikes it.  I have noticed a few things though… Monday night I tried to get out of a cab without it, and only the driver noticing saved me. Today I just about left it in a shop, having put my bag down to pay. That first time my passport was with it, and today my wallet was in the same bag, and that got my attention. It’s like nature’s finally figured out it’s a Rhinebeck sweater, and doesn’t care if she takes out my other possessions or my short term memory to do some harm to the thing.

I’m going to start being more careful, and you might not want to stand to close to me for a bit. You know. Because of the risk of lightning.

87 thoughts on “Fate is starting to pay attention

  1. It’s OK to do one sweater without drama. But you better put a strap on that bag, so you can hang it over your shoulder at all times out of the house.

  2. I think it is because you chose such a beautiful green color. 🙂
    Thank you for bringing so much fun and companionship in the years I have read this blog. I am glad some of the good you bring to the world has made its way to your project.
    No lightening storms in the forecast I hope!

  3. In my experience when enough shitty things happen to you or your family, the universe (in your case the knitting gods) even things out. Your just being blessed by the kniterverse.

  4. Glad it worked so well. I think got the knitting problems instead. Two different projects and both needing special attention. I got up an hour early this morning and worked through one of them (My husband’s Christmas present. Now that would be thrilling to get the socks done in October before rather than a couple of months after. Maybe it is catching.) Next is fingerless gloves. I think the thumb might be pointing in the wrong direction. Hahhahah oh dear me.

  5. Quick! Block it on the needles before fate can decide that this is one of those times that the yarn hits water and the sweater grows 10x!

    • Ha! That’s just what I was thinking: it hasn’t hit the water yet, Steph. Crossing my fingers, but, you know…it’s you and it’s your Rhinebeck sweater. 🙂

  6. No lightning in your part of North America – Matthew is farther south this weekend! Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, just accept the gift and keep knitting!!

  7. I keep hearing that ominous, melodic, shark movie theme ….. daah dun ….. daah dun ….. dah dun dah dun dah dun duuu dun ……. “Just when you thought it was safe to knit a Rhinebeck Sweater ……. ”
    *~ munches popcorn nervously ~*

  8. I think this sweater needs to stay at home. It is obviously trying to escape. Keeping it imprisoned is the only way to make sure it doesn’t run off.

  9. Don’t dry it in the oven. Or too close to the heater. And if all goes well, be very, very aware of the return of Karma next year…. 😉 I will send vibes to have a very good, boring finish on this sweater, at least this once.

  10. Do NOT take this sweater anywhere near earthquake faults, dormant volcanoes, old passenger liners, avalanche hazards, Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, etc. Do NOT expose the sweater to any kind of oven, space heater, hair dryer, iron, electric blanket, fan, mixer, or other appliance of any kind. Do NOT expose the sweater to cats (sorry, Millie), squirrels, mice, raccoons, nesting birds, etc. IF you follow these directions, you might, maybe, possibly have a ghost of a chance of wearing it at Rhinebeck.

  11. I love this blog. So happy the sweater is going well. Hate deadlines of any sort. Slow knitter also. Keep plodding along. Thankful for knitting. It disguises my insanity.

    • I’ve got news for you- for some of us who know the signs- knitting identifies your insanity. But, if you’re like me, it probably does keep you from killing people or turning into a monster when made to wait. Thank goddess for knitting- truly a gift to the barely-holding. -it -together amongst us.

  12. I love your blog….it’s like a little ray of sunshine shining through, especially when my knitting has me perplexed….thank you!

  13. Wow, I’d say congrats, but I can’t remember a Rhinebeck sweater you knit ever going this smoothly. Make a list for packing and check it twice – I’m getting a creepy feeling that you’ll knit it and it will be perfect, and you’ll forget it at home….

  14. I’m with Lori – your blog is a ray of sunshine! I had 2 looong medical appts yesterday and got 3/4 of a hat done in the 3 hours!! Maybe because its for someone going thru chemo that the knitting gods were with me and nothing went wrong. So its done and now I’m doing a shawl for me – for Gawds sake, its k a row, p a row with some increases here and there – couldn’t be simpler. I’ve ripped back more rows than I’ve done at this point……sigh

    • OMG! I’m having the same problem! I keep missing a knit stitch and finding the resultant yarn over (in a field of stockinette) rows later. So annoying. Have ripped out and recast on twice now.

  15. decades of practice, the planets align, this Rhinebeck sweater is for free….no snags, no disasters….you deserve one once in awhile..:)

  16. Oh, and … umm … buttons??
    (Granted, there will be thousands of buttons available at Rhinebeck, but you’d be wearing a buttonless sweater on Day 1, until you found the right ones)

  17. You go Girl! You’ve got this! Knitting fates are smiling this time. Wish I were going to Rhinebeck. Wait. I wonder if there are any hotel rooms left in Albany? It’s only a little less than two hours away. I could do that!

  18. It isn’t a proper Rhinebeck sweater without a bit of struggle… and in other news, I was at a forestry festival over the weekend, and AGAIN my 13-yr-old son points out a lady and says, “She looks like The Yarn Harlot!” I think he is obsessed.

  19. Ssh! Whisper quietly and don’t upset the Rhinebeck knitting gods. Hope all will come together effortlessly. Love the colour and anxious to see the finished sweater.

  20. Humming and chanting good thoughts for you.

    Keep an eye out for The Squirrel.

    Carry an umbrella.

    Consider attaching bungee cords to the sweater.

    Keep knitting.

    ( Do insurance agents sell knitting insurance? Do they have a booth at Rhinebeck?)

  21. Consider handcuffing your wrist to one (and only one) of the knitting bag handles, and you’ll never have to worry about leaving it behind again. Plus it’s the perfect excuse to avoid those irritating interruptions like cooking and cleaning. Just don’t lose the key…

  22. Using up your karma on this one. Better start preparing for a frustrating Xmas knitting season. I’d say the experience of knitting the perfect sweater is worth it. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  23. The green is so pretty – that’s why it’s going so well – although, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for you (remembering the oven incident). Looking forward to pictures of the sweater and all the fun and goodies. I’ve recently gotten my first drop spindle and am having lots of fun with it. All these years of reading this blog have had their effect.

  24. I remember looking at that pattern and it was no where as beautiful as the one you are knitting. Really pretty! Enjoy. I’ll look for you there. I’ll be the one without a Rhinebeck sweater as my planning skills don’t rival yours and my knitting speed ….. let’s just say I’m aiming for a Port Ludlow sweater, and that might be iffy.

  25. I think it’s time begin loudly declaring, “I don’t like this sweater at all”/ “why, I may never even wear this garment”/ “what a shame it’s so itchy!”. Reverse psych on the knitting fates equals a defence of the sweater.

  26. Take it home & sit in your favorite chair & finish it. Don’t leave the house or go anywhere with it until it’s finished & blocked. Then put it into your Rhinebeck suitcase & leave it there while you go about your life. And congratulations for finally getting your shit together on time.

  27. Your security thing on here just told me to touch the “Music Note”, but a treble clef is not a note. We’ll see if that works.

    And you’d better stop talking like that, or you’ll attract the attention of the cosmic evil eye yet.

  28. Love the color of yarn you’re using for your Little Wave. You will probably have it finished on schedule. And I hope I’m not bursting your bubble. But, I made this last year and after joining the sleeves to the body, I spent MORE hours knitting than I did on the body and sleeves. I didn’t think I would ever finish. I knit right up until Christmas Eve. The last 3 nights I knit until 3AM and 4AM. Of course I was knitting a man’s XXL. Just be forewarned! The recipient loved it which made my hard work a more pleasing experience.

  29. Nope! I think you’ve got this one in the bag! Sending all good karmic yarn energy your way. 🙂

  30. You earned that Rheinbeck sweater with all of the good karma you had stored up from trying to save your corner of the world.

  31. I’ve got your bad luck here. I was knitting a baby sweater. I didn’t want to take it in the car on a long trip with me so I set it aside and took a christmas scarf I was working on.

    Now I can’t find the baby sweater.

    I’ve got a little time, the baby isn’t due until March, but it’s bugging me that I can’t find it. I’ve all but accused my husband and boys of hiding it. They think I’m nuts.

  32. Loved hearing and seeing you at Knitcity last week. Now when I read your blog I hear your voice. Perfect.

    Can’t stand next to you cause I am in North Vancouver and you’re not anymore ;( but maybe invest in a lightning rod for that sweater!

  33. It’s that hurricane in Florida that will get you. I am seriously looking out for it. All my yarn is in the closet for the weekend. Good luck to you. The sweater is beautiful.. Stop worrying or you will make something bad happen with your stinky juju energy. Just sayin”

  34. I will be expecting lots of Rheinbeck pictures and the sweater with you wearing it. Can hardly wait to see what you share during your trip. I have a SAFF sweater in the works.

  35. No worries about standing next to you, as I’ve no plans for either Canada or Rhinebeck (sigh…). I do have a marathon blocking session planned for the weekend, since the hurricane seems set to pass us by. I’ll have to enlist DiscoDame to help me place all the pins!

  36. Hey, remember that year when Christmas got pulled together with time to spare? (I don’t remember what year. It was the year you knit Megan’s owl sweater, which is still in my queue) It all happens right sometimes. Maybe this year is a good year for deadliney-type things?

  37. “Perfected in your humility”. Love that. I just had to click on the black cloud. Hmmmmm. Keep your hands on your wallet, AND your passport, or you might not make it to Rhinebeck.

  38. Hey Stephanie, usually you post a picture or say what a lovely group it was or what yarn you bought when you go to places. Did you have fun in Vancouver?

  39. Oooh you do sweaters like me! Or atleast that particular one, make three tubes and join them, then keep knittng. Never could quite figure out perfect shaping but then again I don’t use patterns.

  40. Also avoid dogs. A knitting friend had just finished a perfect, gorgeous little baby sweater, and her mother’s dog ate it. Well, chewed. It suffered horribly in any case.

  41. Way to go Stephanie! I am knitting every possible second I have to try and get mine done. I *might* be able to finish the knitting. But blocking? That’s a different story.

  42. This really is the first time I remember you not rushing THE sweater and everything going well–a bit scary actually!!!
    Watch out and I will pray for you and THE sweater!

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