Under the wire

I’m just going to say it. I know that I’m probably supposed to say something really beautiful here about Thanksgiving, and how lovely it was and how much I love my family and all of that, but stuff it. It’s almost Rhinebeck, and I think it might be my favourite holiday.  I know, I know, I’m supposed to gush about the sanctity of family, and how nothing is more important than being with them, and that’s true, but dudes.  RHINEBECK. That most glorious of fall weekends, full of friends, and wool, and chips on a stick and sheep and sweaters and by day I will walk among our people, and by night – well. That will be my people too.  I love my family, but they don’t know this part of me, and there’s only so enthusiastic they can pretend to be about an amazing skein of rare breed yarn, and they are yet to meet any conversation about knitting needle types with any authentic zeal. I appreciate that they fake it (when they do) but …. Rhinebeck.  I’m totally on track this year too, I think.  The detour to make my little niece a sweater went beautifully. I think I broke a land speed record on this one, going from yarn to sweater in just over 48 hours.


(I did sew the buttons on in the car on the way there. It took a while to dry after blocking.)


Pattern: Demoiselle Arc-en-ciel (Little Miss Rainbow) Yarn: Galway worsted #435, exactly two balls, and assorted scraps of Cascade 220.


The gauge for this pattern was 17 stitches to 10cm/4″ and Galway is pretty sleazy* at that gauge, so I knit it where it wanted to be, at 20sts, and adjusted the pattern accordingly, working the size 4/5 for my petite little Myrie, but with the appropriate lengths.  I had a minor setback when it turned out that Myrie’s arms are longer when she’s awake when asleep, and after her mum re-measured I ripped back and added some length.


It fits perfectly, and the buttons are just the thing, and the little Miss liked it quite well.  (She’s pretty easy to please, considering that the gifts she requested for her birthday was “flowers and leaves.” A sweater was over the top.)

It did put me a little behind on my Rhinebeck sweater, but I still think I’m going to make it. I’ll be blocking it at the last minute, I see that, but I’m one row of the buttonband/collar away from done, and then there’s the i-cord bind-off that I’m really not married to at all. This yarn is a little heftier than the suggested yarn, and I think it might make it too robust. We’ll see.  After that, there’s just the pockets, and the buttons (note to self: pack buttons) and I’m home free,


If you call blocking a sweater in a car speeding towards a sheep and wool festival home free… and I do.   I’m off to pack. See you tomorrow.

*Here’s your fibre trivia for the day, “sleazy” is actually a textile word, referring to fabric that is particularly loose and open.  You can see how it got borrowed for its other use.

73 thoughts on “Under the wire

  1. What a perfect little girl sweater! And only you would have lengthened the sleeves to make sure it fit right!
    I wish I could see you, and the other fiber lovers, at Rhinebeck, but I will not be there. 🙁
    I think your priorities are right on! 😀

  2. Rhinebeck is also my favorite holiday of the year. I’m fortunate that I live within a 75 minute drive. The yarns, the animals, the food, the foliage…its just perfection! Enjoy yourself (I know you will).
    Myrie’s sweater is adorable. I’ve already added it to my “favorites”.

  3. At last… I’ve been popping back and forth for days to see if you did it.
    Beautiful cardigan for I bet a very pretty little girl. Here’s hoping that you didn’t kick too much sand in those God’s faces and your sweater is finished, dry enough to wear and complete with buttons. My fingers are still crossed… which is making kinda hard to do my own knitting. 😉

  4. I will be at Rhinebeck this weekend after a 4 year absence, and I absolutely can’t wait! I’m only going to be there on Saturday, but I’m happy to have even one day of unbridled yarn and fiber shopping, not to mention sheep petting. Hope to see you!

  5. The sweater is adorable & the buttons are just the finishing touch. I’m disappointed with your Rhinebeck sweater, though: there wasn’t nearly enough drama with it this year!

    • Oh, there’s still time for drama ……………/\……………..

  6. I thought the sweater was charming… until I saw it modeled. Then it was elevated to whole new heights! A perfect fit for a beautiful child.

  7. Lovely sweater!
    I like the Icelandic Bind-off, especially in garter stitch. It is stretchy and creates a nice finish!
    Have a wonderful Rhinebeck!

  8. Your niece looks fabulous in her new sweater! You just may have found yourself a new World’s Greatest Knits Model (Sam and Millie will be soooo jealous!)!

    Have fun a Rhinebeck. If anyone sees a car with a dripping-wet sweater being held out the sunroof, it will be the Harlot!

  9. Crazy best…er….west coast lady here–what the heck are chips on a stick? We used to call cow poo chips but I’m thinking that’s not what is going on here. lol

  10. My first Rhinebeck and I couldn’t be more excited! I finished seaming up my sweater on Monday evening and I’m so thrilled with it!! I’ll likely see you there – expect a hug! 🙂

  11. Arc-en-Ciel, Little Waves, Under the Wire, there is a bit of found poetry there. 🙂

    Myrie and her sweater are adorable.

    I’m itching to know how Demoiselle Arc-en-Ciel might size up for a small- framed adult, perhaps knitted in Lett Lopi. Hmmm . . .

  12. And let me just say how the veterans here appreciate your attempt to give us the traditional Rhinebeck drama even in the face of perfect gauge, enough yarn and plenty of time. We’d have been distraught. It would have been like Thanksgiving without the tur…. Oh. Wait.

    Anyway, thanks.

  13. Wait a minute! Myrie is a baby! Who’s the little blonde in the cute sweater?

    Please tell me my newborn granddaughter isn’t going to get that big, that fast.

  14. Oh I wish I were going this year. I have been several times. But each time I swear it’s the last time because of the traffic. But… I wonder if there’s a hotel room in Albany? I could stay Saturday night, drive and hour and a half on Sunday…. drive directly home (5.5 hours)…. Hmmm

  15. Rhinebeck,, oh Rhinebeck, how I miss you so! What a year to miss-Kay Gardiner (Mason Dixon Knitting) will be wearing her Kaffe Fassett Big Flower Jacket. I’d go (if were close enough) just to see that. Take a picture if you see it-she will be in the book barn.

  16. Are you trying to give me a heart attack? Because this is how you give me a heart attack.

    Will be scanning every sweater on Saturday looking for a slightly damp (but button-ed!!), perfectly green, just right, also mostly below my eye level, Rhinebeck Sweater.

  17. Love Galway. And Rhinebeck, only unfortunately I won’t be going this year since I’m between a home sale and purchase and things are crazy here. Have some chips on a stick for me and bring back photos of the sheep.

  18. I’m with you on the last minute sweater thing this year… I waited until a few days ago to decide that I’d finish one in progress, and the sleeves (all I had left besides seaming and button bands) are taking far longer than I expected. Here’s hoping I can manage as well!

  19. Oh, how I wish you really would “see (me) tomorrow!” Sadly, Rhinebeck is still languishing on my bucket list. Maybe next year. I’m afraid if I go once it will become an annual must-do for me, too, and I’m all the way over here on the left coast.
    Lovely little sweater…
    I wouldn’t be married to the i-cord bind-off, either. Especially since you might be sewing buttons on in the car…

  20. Oh, the buttons! Delicious.

    Who is that GIANT child pretending to be little, teeny-baby Myrie? I blink, and look what happens.

    I think I win the “I would love to go to Rhinebeck, but the distance is a problem” game. Melbourne to Rhinebeck would be a once-in-a-lifetime gig. Then again, my hubby has hopes to one day see the New York Nicks play, so maybe we can organise our timing for trip.

    Go Steph, you are made of wonderful, and I totally believe that this sweater will be done (just) in time. Very entertaining for the rest of us on the way there, though.

  21. I feel like this is a good place to confess that I will have no Rhinebeck sweater. But. But. I am taking my 12 month old son on a 4 1/2 hour plane ride to go to Rhinebeck with my mother and two aunts. And said son has a Rhinebeck sweater (knit by his Nana…not by his fraying at the seams mother). But I have a happy, healthy baby, and I am enough. This is not failure. This is just the phase of life that I am in.

    • Good for you, Karen! Huge cheer for you, from me. My kids are three-and-a-half and 6, and craft is back on the menu, but it really took a while at the start. Knowing your limits and not beating yourself up for them is, I reckon, one of the absolute winning ways of staying sane in “Mummyland”. Hope Rhinebeck is every bit of fun and joy you need.

  22. I know what you mean by Galway being sleazy. I tend to knit it with a size (or two) lower needle and adjust the pattern accordingly because I like the feel of the fabric better. That being said, I am currently knitting an Icelandic sweater with Reynold’s Lite-Lopi and I got gauge the first try. Happy dance!!

  23. How can baby Myrie be standing already? She’s a CHILD now! Where is the time going?!!….Beautiful sweater. And it wouldn’t be Rhinebeck time without a down-to-the-wire sweater. Have fun!

  24. Those buttons are perfection. The sweater was cute enough, and I have a special soft spot for bright gradients against stormy gray. But the buttons, oh the buttons. Genius, it is, making the buttons rainbow as well.

    I dispair of ever knitting as fast as you. I think I’ve got a respectable speed going, then I look at you and I feel like a clumsy, bumbling idiot.

    Enjoy Rhinebeck, and your ever-so-sweet neice who grew way too fast.

  25. There are four Little MISTER Rainbows in my life. They got hand-knit sweaters last Christmas, but are not getting any this year. (I sized them “generously” last year.) Next year, maybe there will be gray or brown pullover sweaters with primary-color-striped yokes beneath a tree in Indiana and one in Oklahoma.
    As a word person (retired copy editor, an endangered species), I love that Stephanie schooled us all on “sleazy” in such a humorous way. (Hey — what about a fiber-related “dictionary” of such terms, accurately but amusingly defined, as part of the next book?)

  26. I’ve been a knitter for 18 years and this is my first time going to Rhinebeck. I’M SO EXCITED! Hubby, baby and I will be decked out in our finest hand knits. Eeee can’t wait! I’ll be sure to tag you for a hug and a selfie if I see you around.

  27. Beautiful sweater on a beautiful girl. And rainbow flower buttons for a girl who asked for flowers and leaves. Very good. Have fun at Rhinebeck. In a finished sweater. Take buttons, needle and thread. ( Been there, done that.) I’ll have a margarita and think good thoughts about your sweater.
    Julie in San Diego on a lovely fall day.

  28. Skipping all the comments above to say, as I’m sure they all have: I LOVE THAT SWEATER!
    I already bought the pattern and now I can’t wait to start.
    LOVE. If you had a “love” button I’d be breaking it.
    (Adding – touching the airplane while you’re en route to Rhinebeck seems proper. May your luggage arrive with you, unlike mine which generally goes missing. Can’t stop thinking of your relative from Madagascar . . . sorry – never mind – it will be fine.)

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