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Skirting the Issue

Dear Kay,
Well, I know you never thought it would happen, that I’d lose my mojo and veer off into spinning or animal husbandry, but I’m here to tell you: I finished the skirt for this Margaret sweater. I cannot be stopped. I’m a maniac. You’d have to be a maniac to get this thing done. Mania is helpful in a project like this.
The beauty of this beskirted sweatercoatjacketthingy is that the bottom part swells out in a graceful set of gently widening pleats. Beautiful to see, lovely to see, but like a mysterious man, filled with secrets and perfidy. You start up at the waist with a k4, p2 rib pattern. You’re knitting downward. After a while, you add another knit stitch. Then a purl. And another, and another, all nice and quiet and incremental-like, to the point that all of a sudden you discover that you haven’t finished a row in about two days, and you realize you’re cranking 300 stitches per row.
By the time I arrived at the multi-hundred-stitch-per-row moment, I decided to rethink my approach to this sweater. If I think of it as a sweater, it seems like a lotta knitting. But if I think of it as a BLANKET, hell, it’s a piece of cake. It’s a TINY blanket. It’s practically nothin.
I reached my peak of OCD at the skatepark on Saturday, where Clif wheeled around in his own cloud of mania as I cast off the 360 stitches. About halfway across this edge from hell, I realized that I didn’t like the way my cast off was looking. So I unzipped it, in a totally abject way, and did it again. If I hadn’t been so jacked up on Diet Mountain Dew, I might not have done it.
I don’t know what to do with myself now. I’ve started the sleeves, but they seem so small, so manageable. Maybe I’ll knit four or five more while I’m at it.



  1. “I don’t know what to do with myself now. I’ve started the sleeves, but they seem so small, so manageable. Maybe I’ll knit four or five more while I’m at it.”

  2. I am plotting my trip to Margaret-land. Was it the choice of cast off that you didn’t like or just how tight/loose? If choice, can you reveal which one you did settle on? I can understand, of course, if you are now hesitant to reveal any opinions involving choice on the blog… πŸ˜‰
    Gerrie in St Paul

  3. Wow! The Margaret coat is looking sensational.

  4. Diet Mountain Dew! The hard stuff! Maybe if I started on that I could finish the edging on my mile long stole. Obviously Diet Coke is not enough to invoke finishing mojo.
    You have begun to take on the habits of a middle school buy by proximity. I think they like Mountain Dew because it looks so much like antifreeze.

  5. Words cannot describe the majesty that is the pleated skirt of the Margaret sweater. Really, I love it.

  6. I was wondering how you keep your place while you knit two sleeves at once? I’ve only come up with an imperfect way of marking where I stopped with a safety pin. Maybe others can tell instantly where they stopped, but I have to stare awhile.

  7. I love this so much. However, I am afraid to start. I have a bad feeling that I would not finish in this lifetime.
    I love the word “perfidy.”

  8. That sweater is going to be lovely. Can’t wait to see it.

  9. That skirt is a thing of beauty. We knitters admire persistence as demonstrated in a hand knit.

  10. That is going to be gorgeous. I can’t wait to see what words you choose!

  11. Your Margaret is looking great – I’m keeping an eye on it as I have it in my queue. Love the words on the bodice.

  12. Good gloriosa! That’s a helluva lot of stitches, lady!! Better you than me πŸ˜€ LOL

  13. This was my favorite piece when you visited Minneapolis… I loved how it looked on the table, felt, and looked on a real person. Can’t wait to see yours!

  14. I want to make this sweater so badly–I was reading the instructions yesterday to see what was involved. Have fun with your managable sleeves!

  15. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this sweater, and I want to make it SO BAD. I was reading up on this the other day to see what I would be getting myself into–I like the way it’s constructed… If you’re going to knit four or five sleeves, could you knit my two? : p

  16. So, were you standing on a chair, the top rung of a ladder, or hanging from the ceiling to get an overhead shot of the body and the whole skirt? Pretty impressive angle!

  17. You wound me! I do not think of you as a mojo loser–I think of you as a mojo winner!
    It is kind of mind boggling to think of all the epic knits that could result from Clif: The Skate Park Years. Some kids skateboard into their 30s, you know. Although I’m not sure their mothers accompany them–then again, Michael Phelps’ mom seems to sticking close at hand for her boy’s sport.

  18. With my.. uhh… ‘industrial-sized’ derriere, that wouldn’t be a ‘tiny blanket’, but a king-size one.
    Your post had me thinking. I haven’t knit a stitch in months…

  19. Ann, that is looking beautiful! I can’t wait to see it once it’s completed, words and all.
    I have to tell you that the other day I saw this sweater under your projects on Ravelry. At first glance I misread yor project title as “Ann Margret’s Sweater” rather than “Ann’s Margaret Sweater”… and I thought to myself, “She knows Ann-Margret? Well enough to knit her a sweater?”

  20. “Maybe I’ll knit four or five more while I am it” slayed ME, as well. That is some SERIOUSLY funny writing.
    Mania, indeed….

  21. Once again, you provide excellent proof of why you are the knit wit of Nashville. Beautiful sweater. How does it compare to knitting Yank? I will probably knit one but not both of them. Would you be as productive if not for the skate park? And the Dew?

  22. Just imagine knitting the vintage (ca 1942)skirt pattern I have that has a gauge of about 7.5/8 stitches per inch, and starts off with instructions to “cast on 900 stitches and work in the round for 20 inches……..”

  23. You ever hear of Jolt Cola? All the sugar and twice the caffeine. You could could go for an even dozen sleeves on that!

  24. “She knows Ann-Margaret? Well enough to knit her a sweater?” (I LOVE it!) Actually, Ann-Margaret only wishes it were true…
    Carry on, Ann. It’s looking really good!

  25. Ok first you finished Yank and now Margaret is coming along in rapid fashion. That’s two sweater coat jackets in how many days. I worry about that diet Mountain Dew. Watch and don’t drink that stuff too much. I know somebody who had seven diet cokes and one of those in the same day and ended up spending a week in a heart unit.

  26. looking good

  27. MDK ladies,
    I just picked up you new tome at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC yesterday. It was a celebration gift to myself after completing the MAT (at 8AM no less!). I LUV THAT THANG! I have read almost everything from cover to cover except the instructions for the knitting, and I even read some of those. The Margaret is my favorite. I have quotations written everywhere to choose from, but which ones do I choose? I think I might stitch this up in either a dark red heather, about the color of Arkansas Black apples or maybe heathered red violet the color of ironweed blossoms in a September field. Keep those ideas coming.

  28. I’m totally and completely humbled by your extreme momentum!! You’re a machine!
    Beautiful work – it’s gorgeous!

  29. This pattern is so cool. I think I am OCD as well. I started planning this one by gathering quotes, saving them to my Blackberry. When this sweater finally gets knit I want it to be a true expression of who I am as a knitter and as a citizen on this planet!

  30. I’m sure that this level of knitting mania is curable. There is probably or a pill or something for it after all. But I don’t want to see the knitting slump into a decline, so no cure for you! Knit those 5 sleeves if you want to (though, what will you do with just one extra sleeve?)!


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