Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

“Properly Into It”: Understatement of the Week

Dear Kay,
Thank you for alerting us all to this story about young Nicholas Hoult, an adorable actor who confessed his addiction to knitting.

“It was a slippery slope and I was lucky to get out,” he joked. “But I sense I may well return to it in the future. Yep, I was obsessed with knitting for a while, properly into it.”

Well, Nicholas, have I got the perfect project for you.
donegalfolded.jpg
Donegal! O Donegal! Its maiden voyage was to a middle-school lacrosse game in thirty-degree weather. It totally worked. It made me warmer than I otherwise would have been. It was all worth it. Will provide proof-of-fit documentation whenever somebody gets near enough that I can stick a camera in his hand.
FInal observations about Donegal:
1. I would not urge anybody to make one of these sweaters. You have to have the impulse yourself. Or sort of lose touch with reality for a while. You need to be properly into it.
donegalrumply.jpg
2. Shetland wool is amazing. It weighs so little, yet it insulates so well. This fingering weight means you can double the thickness yet end up with a sweater that weighs a fraction of, say, some other sweater.
donegalwithoranges.jpg
3. Blocking smooths out all the lumps and bumps that come when knitting Fair Isle. The great unifier!
donegalblockeddetail.jpg
4. And a nice, long soak fluffs up this yarn to a felty glory. This is Rowan Donegal Lambswool Tweed, one of the great yarns, tragically discontinued.
Which brings me to
5. An offer. This Donegal would not have been possible without the generous help of knitters who provided some of these discontinued yarns to me. In particular, I am grateful to Susette of Ithaca, Mary of Vancouver, Cecelia of New York, Belinda of London, and Mary o’ Texas. I’d like to pass along my leftovers of the eleven shades, which are not nearly enough to make a Donegal, but at least they’re a start. A sourdough starter of yarn.
Seriously, these yarns need to fulfill their destiny as a Donegal pullover.
You’ll have to do a considerable amount of scrounging to fill out the yarn requirement, but again, that’s only a burden if you’re not . . . properly into it.
If anyone out there has a sincere interest in making this Donegal pullover using the original yarns–from Alice Starmore’s Celtic Collection, email me. If more than one of you are game for the knitting experience of a lifetime and by lifetime I mean potentially your entire remaining life, I’ll do a drawing.
I would not have finished this thing without all your encouragement. Truly. Thank you guys!
Next up: SOMETHING ELSE. ANYTHING ELSE.
Love,
Ann

71 Comments

71 Comments

  1. And now the photo with Ann inside the sweater…?

  2. So lovely. Please do not send me the sourdough starter… I am a princess of discontinued yarn (sweater out of plymouth bungee, a jacket of navy Sublime Merino dk, ). And the sleuthing to match up remnants might promote me to Queen.
    Your next project might be garter st with cascade 220?

  3. So lovely. Please do not send me the sourdough starter… I am a princess of discontinued yarn (sweater out of plymouth bungee, a jacket of navy Sublime Merino dk, ). And the sleuthing to match up remnants might promote me to Queen.
    Your next project might be garter st with cascade 220?

  4. This sweater is simply awesome… beautiful work, well done!

  5. That sweater is amazing. Wow!

  6. Amazing knit !

  7. Ann, it’s so beautiful! I have been hanging on this project for so many long years, wondering where in the heck you were getting the patience and perseverance, and admiring your gumption like mad. I am so glad for you that it is finished, and so glad you’ve worn it. My own inclination would be to let something like that get Special, which of course is not a happy destiny for a handknit sweater. You are one rocking knitter, and I am way inspired. Well done.

  8. Bravo Ann, truly bellissima! Well done and done well dear– you were properly into it, just not necessarily in a sequential manner. But up to your eyeballs nonetheless. You make us all proud. Wear it in warmth and glory!

  9. I will most emphatically not be making this jewel anytime soon, because I’d fail miserably in the attempt. It is an exquisite, lovely piece of knitting and may you enjoy it forever! Be sure that it eventually goes into your will for someone (preferably a knitter, right?) who can actually appreciate its majesty!!! Seriously, that sweater is really, really something.

  10. I will most emphatically not be making this jewel anytime soon, because I’d fail miserably in the attempt. It is an exquisite, lovely piece of knitting and may you enjoy it forever! Be sure that it eventually goes into your will for someone (preferably a knitter, right?) who can actually appreciate its majesty!!! Seriously, that sweater is really, really something.

  11. Well done, Ann! It’s a sickness, ain’t it?

  12. Tee hee. I know myself; I would have frogged it. I would have been willing to needlepoint that design, but I would have gone bonkers trying to knit it….

  13. Well, that’s off my bucket list, I have seen Ann finish the Donegal sweater. While it won’t be me, perhaps someone who is only mildly intrigued instead of obsessed could use the wee bits and some other lovelies to make mittens, or a hat, or anything that might not take longer than it takes to produce a human child.

  14. It is indeed exceedingly, very beautiful.

  15. A-MAY-ZING. Truly.

  16. I stand in awe of your commitment to the Donegal Legacy (yes, I stood up and saluted the photo that includes the oranges. The Donegal actually glows!).
    Best wishes to the next knitter who vows to step forward to honor your bravery and commit to the madness of your past.
    Most importantly, your Donegal is a work of art

    simply beautiful!

  17. Brava! It’s beautiful and worth every minute of effort.

  18. No sourdough starter here, either…I’m gluten intolerant…and very likely Donegal intolerant, as well. The sweater is beautiful and your knitting abilities are that of legends. Well done!

  19. That’s a truly heroic piece of knittery which I admire enormously and I would not try it myself for all the free yarn in the world. In fact, just looking at it makes me want to crochet very, very badly. I have no shame in admitting my knitting cowardice!

  20. Stunning Donegal! You should feel proud. Well done.
    Now wear it with pride.

  21. Gorgeous, no need for starter here either!

  22. I, too, stand humbled in the Donegal-ness that is. Please do not send me your starter kit. I am not worthy (hee hee!)!

  23. Glorious! Congratulations! Don’t start another one!

  24. Congratulations on the birth of your sweater! It is so beautiful. I hope that the mother is resting comfortably and is blissfully happy at a job well and beautifully done!

  25. Next up pictures of Ann wearing this bad boy! Beautifull, Congratulations on a stunning accomplishment!

  26. It is a truly lovely sweater, and you have my unlimited admiration for starting it, for finishing it, and for everything that came in between and which will now fade into the dimly-remembered mists that contain experiences like childbirth and waiting to hear if your offer has been accepted on a house.
    In addition to its many fine sweaterly qualities, I think this sweater will serve as a flexible rejoinder for many conversations to come.
    Other person: “There we were, trapped by the landslide…”
    Ann, dramatically: “Have I ever told you about the Donegal?”
    O: “I’ve never been so sick in my life…”
    A, tersely: “I remember when I ran out of yarn for the Donegal!”
    O: “Once upon a time…”
    A, whispering: “…there was a sweater called Donegal…”

  27. It’s gorgeous. How much does it actually weigh then? :)

  28. Oh I just knew how beautiful that sweater was going to be!
    Can’t wait to see it on you!
    Very nice work Ann, congratulations
    donna

  29. Ann, that is one amazing sweater! Props to you for sticking with it and finishing it. It’s really beautiful.

  30. This sweater is so beautiful! The colors are amazing. I have several Starmore books and Fasset books also, but know that I would never get through a multi-yarn project like this. You accomplished something herculian! Very impressive.

  31. Brava! Well done.

  32. Honey Cowl?
    The sweater is stunning. If somebody doesn’t show up for the camera work soon, I’ll come right down and help.

  33. Absolutely stunning!

  34. Looks great – well done. Finishing up a long-standing WIP is pretty much the most-satisfying thing you can do….
    Is it just me, or does the swirling motif look something like female reproductive organs?

  35. I love how the sweater is sitting there so matter-of-factly, not a care in the world, peaceful as newborn. Well done.

  36. I’ll knit something else that’s fair isle but non-swirly from the Celtic Collection using your leftovers and whatever I can scavenge–does that count? (my computer wouldn’t link to your email)

  37. Knitlass, I thought the same thing! But was still gobsmacked by the awesomeness!

  38. Drop…dead…beautiful!!! I’m in total awe! You ARE the knitting queen of the universe! Enjoy wearing her forever!

  39. Drop…dead…beautiful!!! I’m in total awe! You ARE the knitting queen of the universe! Enjoy wearing her forever!

  40. I have a love for Donegal, the place, that knows no limits. But I also have a mountain of yarn and UFOs explaining to me that I dare not even contemplate this project. Especially since it would be my first proper colorwork. I hope your remnants end up in good hands, and I know you’re going to love wearing your sweater. And yes, photo, please???

  41. This final sum up cracks me up, along with the offer to give someone a life sentence with the leftover yarn. So glad that you are not wearing the masterpiece and saying “oh this old thing? oh yeah, I knit it, no biggie…”and shrugging.

  42. It is beautiful, Ann! Can’t wait to see you in it.

  43. You finished it, it’s lovely! Congratulations. Enjoy! (Also enjoy that next project.)
    I am following a long slog of stockinette & garter stitch at fine-ish gauge in black with the piquancy of Ysolda Teague’s Almond Confit. Perhaps the opposite of what you need, but just the right amount of interesting for me.

  44. Simply devine. I am in awe!

  45. A-freakin-mazing!! Congrats

  46. A-freakin-mazing!! Congrats

  47. A-freakin-mazing!! Congrats

  48. It’s AWESOME! I am so happy and so proud that you finished it, Ann. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, feelings and pictures during the process because that will probably be the closest I ever get to producing such a masterpiece of knitting.
    LoveDiane

  49. It is awesome. I don’t have the time to even think about even sourdough starter yarn, but your project is lovely!

  50. Ann,
    The sweater is just gorgeous!
    How abt a Lopi garter stitch scarf for your next project?
    minm

  51. I am game. I have always wanted to make this one and I have a relatively large stash of old Rowan- so I may have some of what is needed. Maybe with yours I can actually do it.

  52. Me, me, me! I’ve wanted to make one of these for-bloody-ever! Me!

  53. Wow. That sweater is gorgeous – congratulations!

  54. It’s a knock-out. Beautiful, beautiful sweater. I’ve admired the pattern for ages. I may yet knit it, but I’ll refrain from throwing my hat in the ring for the holy leftovers. I’d be up for the Great Knit, but not, I fear, for the Great Scrounge. As glorious as the original colors are, I’d probably be content to settle for modern-day substitutes.
    Congratulations to you. Wear it with the glow of a monumental job well done. :)

  55. Thank you so much for taking the journey to hell and back and reporting on its temperature to the rest of us who stayed behind.
    Please don’t send me a single scrap of yarn. I’m made of much lesser stuff than you and will continue on my mission to wrap the world in garter stitch scarves.

  56. WHAT a triumph! If, one day, I should embark on Roineval, it will be because you opened the way for me to get properly into it.
    Sending LOVE and THANKS for this blog! OH. Always a treat.

  57. Love love love this jumper!! Don’t think I will attempt it anytime soon though. Hoping to conquer my first ever jumper soon- I hope one I day I can do one like this.

  58. Wow. That is so gorgeous! I look forward to seeing a picture of you wearing it.
    Don’t send me the leftovers. They frighten me.
    And I think Kay knows what you should knit next. Riddari!

  59. Congratulations! So beautiful.

  60. So lovely – you did it! I will enjoy yours vicariously as there isn’t any chance at all in this lifetime of me ever attempting such an ambitious project.

  61. Beautiful! Actually, I have a Donegal in the original yarns sitting in a drawer – done about half way up the body….I should get it back out, shouldn’t I…. I could use a little rainforest green if you have that. I think I faked it with another J&S color. But any spare colors would be welcome…

  62. Absolutely drop-dead gorgeous!! Stunning!! Excellent job!! Wear it with enormous pride!

  63. That is the most gorgeous sweater I have ever seen! Congratulations on finshing it!

  64. And very nice he would look in it too! Seems that he has given up the noble needles – though he has come out of it with a few hats and scarves – he may return – just needs the right movie!

  65. Congratulations! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I really admire you for sticking with it!

  66. Congratulations! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I really admire you for sticking with it!

  67. Congratulations! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I really admire you for sticking with it!

  68. Congratulations! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I really admire you for sticking with it!

  69. Congratulations! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I really admire you for sticking with it!

  70. You say that you wouldn’t urge anyone to make this sweater but this post is one big shove between the shoulderblades. Oh my, that is gorgeous sitting on your table with the bowl of oranges–I know it must look gorgeous on you. I LOVE looking at the sweaters and the landscapes in that book, but I’m afraid that is the extent of it. I probably will never be “properly into it”–although I like the idea of the challenge and have loved being a spectator of your journey. Congratulations!

  71. ‘swonderful. ‘smarvelous.
    It’s beautiful too.