Arrested (Knitting) Development

By Kay Gardiner
November 9, 2017
As the year wanes, set yourself some unreasonable, arbitrary goals, and all your knitting will get done.

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64 Comments
  • You mean it’s not just me who feels this way about some orojects?! Some…like that basket of sweater parts and Afghan squares which I would love again if only they would sew themselves up….Thank you for freeing me from guilt. I will give thanks for you and this post this Thanksgiving.

  • I don’t know about that ruching stuff, but am totally familiar with the developmental challenges of Granito! I sometimes wonder if all those people who voted her #1 pattern last spring had any idea of what it is like to live with her…..difficult beginnings for sure, then oh, so many stitches, round and round and round. Sleeves that demanded their own little 9 inch needles to adapt to a flopping sweater going round and round in little circles. Then, just when I thought she was ready to launch, I found she “must have” another layer of pockets. After that, a neck edge finishing. I’m aiming for the launch this weekend. Fingers crossed that she will stay on track………

  • What about fabric pockets for Granito? Would that relieve some of your angst?

    • What a GREAT idea!!! 🙂

  • Relax is my Achilles heel. I confess I have been knitting on that off and on for a couple years AND I frogged the front to redo a size smaller. Fingering weight, tiny needles, endless stockinette – all I need to finish is the sleeves. Not so hard right? I’m going to finish that sucker to wear for the family Hanukkah party on Dec 17th. Goals.

    • The sleeves are like 4 inches long! And it’s such a great sweater to wear. Really really you will be so happy when it’s done!

  • I’ve just had to rip back my Sockhead Slouch Hat, and I don’t really want to be 144 30 st./4 inches back on the needles again. I’ll just glare at it awhile and start something else so it has a good think about what it’s done.

    • You said it, Emily!

  • Go Kay, Go. You can do it. Get your hygge on big time, lite candles, binge on Designated Survivor (Hulu) and knit away. You will be as happy as Larry. xo

  • There’s a new Field Guide coming?!? That sentence drove everything else you said right out of my head. New Field Guide! Gotta catch ’em all!

    • New Field Guide??? That drove everything else out of my head, too.

      • I’ve been trying to imagine what kind of wonderfulness it will be! When is it coming?

  • Please feel free to check out my Ravelry page for a parade of UFOs.

    • I’m a process knitter . . . LOL.

    • Nina, you made me laugh. I have multiple locations of UFOs. There is the cupboard in my hobby room with projects in zip-lock bags(permanent time out maybe). Then the unfinished sweater in my bedroom (still some hope, started when grandson was a one year old, he is about to turn nine). Then there is the just needing borders wool Central Park hoodie that has been sitting by my knitting chair since last spring, I really should be wearing that right now, it is 17 degrees this morning. I do actually finish about 30 hats every year to donate.

      • Carolyn, the Central Park Hoodie is one of my UFOs also. I lost enthusiasm about six years go.

  • I am still awaiting news of your Kaffe Fassett floral cardigan !

    • She’s hoping we don’t mention that.

    • It’s awaiting sleeves. Super stripy sleeves! And it has 1 billion ends to deal with. But it’s safe and warm and I’ll definitely get to it one of these days.

      • If you’re like me, you’ll leave the vast majority of those ends to dangle! I have fifteen-year-old sweaters in which the only finished ends are those that otherwise would hang below the hems and the sleeve cuffs. I have a striped-sleeve pullover (in Big Wool, no less) with a sort of interior fringe on each sleeve, because that’s presumably less bulky than if all those ends were woven into the seam.

        Every time I wear one of these beauties I have to adjust all the loose ends so that they don’t tickle me. Or creep out at the neckline to peer at the world.

      • Famous last words. In other news, there are reports of an unknown floral Thing hunting wildlife in Central Park. Film at 11.

  • You reminded me – I need to wash my windows – all 40+ – before Thanksgiving. Ergh!

  • Deadlines are the way to go. Only 3&3/4 fingerless mitts to go til Christmas!

  • Just finished my Citron Grande…all ten repeats! And you’re right…it did get big, and tedious, and heavy….but “yay!!!” it’s done and it is really beautiful!

    • You are giving me a moment’s pause about not knitting the last 3 repeats….but I have about 10 long rows to think about it.

  • Madame … Bonjour … remember to wash and dry le CITRON … the two remaining skeins will make a smashingly gorgeous JETSTREAM … which you can then toss to Ann (or not) … and the GRANITO … well … knit knit knit … you’ll get it done … and do kiss sweet Olive on the nose!!!

    P.S. … the only successful project is a completed project that you are happy with … someone said that?!!!

  • Kay I too have a granito that I must finish for Christmas for my man plus I have a vitamin D sweater that I made a mistake on and have to frog back about 25 rows so I feel your pain. My poncho should be to blocking by Sunday of this week and then I shall tackle the swallow sweater for my mister and frog back my sweater. The sweater for Joe is Quince and Company Osprey in a beautiful rust color and my Vitamin D is in a soft silk 50/59 merino and silk in the most beautiful purple on earth.

  • If/When I knit Granito, I won’t put on pockets, because I don’t need any more “visual width” on my hips …
    Just because the pattern says pockets doesn’t mean you have to put them on, does it? REALLY? After all, it’s YOUR sweater.

    • I’m so excited about having pockets that I’m willing to make pockets!

  • oh my god are you looking in my window? So wonderful to know I am not the only “failure to launch in a timely fashion” knitter. Just yesterday I FINALLY wore (for 5 minutes) Veronika! She sat on my lap the entire hot summer.
    And last week, my other summer blanket, aka FIndYourFade cov rd my shoulders during the fall heatwave, only to have a friend ask me “how do you wear that Thing? It’s huge.”

    I’m trying to muster up the courage to finish sleeve #1 on a lovely top down thing from 3 winters ago. I can’t even remembered her name!

    But alas, there are so many beautiful new Yarns and patterns calling out to me…….

  • I was planning to finish my Really Warm Crete by Thanksgiving but then I remembered Christmas etc. comes after that and there are those ornaments I started last year that would be really pretty if I finished them and apparently I gifted all the squad mitts and…

  • I finished a Metronome two days ago. I had enough yarn that I was originally planning on doing an extra set of stripes. But by the time I got to the sixth set, I was all “EFF THIS. I’m DONE.” And moved on to the border.

  • Something about the weather recently has pushed me to finish the Hitofude I was working on
    F-O-R-E-V-E-R and my Shima Shima scarf. I am almost motivated to finish the linen sweater that just needs sleeves, and the stripey hat, and….and….and. A basket of UFOs…but there is a sense of accomplishment at getting a few items off the to-do list to make way for some new knits.

    • It really feels good, and I am looking forward to that feeling!

  • I have a Vertices Unite shawl that I started some time ago because I needed a nice portable project, and what is more portable than something new and small? Now it is, of course, somewhat bigger and less portable. But I’ve just had a cup of coffee and am full of enthusiasm, so I will get ‘er done by the weekend. Maybe the end of the weekend. And I’m not saying what weekend I mean….

  • You can do it Kay! PS-married to a very chipper Larry.

  • I love how you reference Citron Grand as a dude, failed to launch. You’d better hurry and finish, before he sets up in your basement and never leaves! (I know, no basement in your apartment, but it’s a mental/spiritual/emotional knitting basement. Really.)

    I love a deadline. Go, go, go!

  • I love the look of pockets but absolutely hate making them – I want to finish my seams and pick up my neckline stitches and that’s it – not add pockets. Plus I will always just stuff my hands in them and totally stretch out my sweater.

  • I am wearing my Granito for the first time today and man am I lovin’ it! I made the armholes an inch longer and am happy for the extra room. I also gave the sleeves a little extra width, which my arms are thanking me for doing. I love how it is roomy enough to be comfortable but not so large as to be unflattering. I wish my Sommerfeld Shawl were going along as happily. It’s my first go at lacey work. I’ve learned that I apparently can’t count to 6. Humbling.

    • Thanks for helping me keep my eyes on the prize!

  • This really strikes a chord with me. My Granito is just blocked, the knitting part having been finished weeks ago. (Including a reknit bottom band for no sensible reason I can recall). Having slogged through all of it I could not face the sewing of the pockets so it sat in a scrunched heap for far too long. I know you will not do the same as you will be on a roll and filled with motivation to meet your deadline! Oh and a sweater which needed only half a sleeve to be done has just been binned as when I picked it up after ignoring it for the summer it was mothholed all over. There’s a lesson somewhere there. But at least I don’t have to look at it resentfully any more. I have every faith your projects will be completed!

    • Oh, so sorry. I’d like to know what that lesson is too. (Certainly puts the lie to the annoying myth that clothes have to be dirty for moths to like them.) Last winter I found yarn to make a sweater to exactly match a heavenly soft wool skirt from the Eileen Fisher outlet and am mostly through with a shawl to match both. Sweater and shawl are unchewed, so far, but the raison-d’etre skirt emerged from summer with multiple moth holes. AARgh. I’m thinking of springing for an invisible weaver.

      • [throwing salt over shoulder] [lighting a candle] [chanting anti-moth spell]

        Pam, have you thought about maybe needle-felting to fix the holes? You could make circles in a tonal wool, to make it look intentional? A friend gave me a moth-eaten cashmere sweater to mend and this was one way I was thinking of doing it. Of course it’s just sitting there and I hope not attracting more of the beasts!

        • I send all potentially moth-infested yarns and garments to “freezer camp.” This Daily Mail article has more tips. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2134749/Moths-munch-Put-woollies-freezer-tips-rid-pests.html

        • Kay: I have a lot of those too! (moth-eaten cashmere sweaters) One of my daughters, who is an ace needle-felter of small animals suggested this also. I usually just do a crummy, obvious darning job, wishing I were Tom of Holland. But I keep meaning to try this. I don’t think it would work on the skirt, which is a very fine, non-knitted fabric—or do you mean adding felted wool from yarn?—I could make poodles to really disrupt the EF vibe.
          Laura: I’ve often used the freezer for buggy clothes and yarn, but at the moment it is full of grain products avoiding cereal moths! We’re in deep you-know-what over here.

  • Agh! This was perfectly timed! I’m 3/4 of the way done with Veronika and I can’t stand to look at it. Knitting it is like wrestling an alligator AND I think it’s going to be too short (and the chance to make it longer has long since passed.) I have to make myself finish it – but how?

    • Set yourself an ambitious deadline: that’s my only strategy! Will let you know how it works in practice…

  • I feel your pain! I am in the midst of a top down, colourwork sweater for my daughter. Increases in the round AND following the colourwork chart at the same time has been rather painful. But now I’m onto the body and it’s just the colourwork to deal with….so I’ve set myself a target of Christmas to get it done. This knit has been very tedious….

  • Well, I was intrigued by learning the expression “happy as Larry,” which, despite immersing myself in British fiction, TV, and movies for years, I had never heard before. So I went down the etymology rabbit hole, (which competes with the knitting rabbit hole for Most Favored status), and found that it seems to have originated in Australia in the 19th century. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/as-happy-as-larry.html

    Oh, and I applaud your public declaration to hurry up and finish those products that have lost their luster. Before I became a knitter I was happy to abandon certain projects, books, and other endeavors before they were finished. But now I have developed a weird, dogged determination about most knitting projects and generally see them through to completion. Which is probably why I still like making hats so much. No real time or yarn investment. Cast on, knit a while, bind off, and Bob’s your uncle!

    • That was a fun rabbit hole! I’m going with the prize-fighter theory. I’ve heard it many times in conversation with Brits, not sure I’ve ever heard it on a program.

      Say have you seen W1A? It’s on Netflix, a comedy, many familiar faces, a real challenge to follow the dialogue THEREFORE I LOVE IT. Look for a Lazy Sunday coming your way at some point.

      • Hey, I was just browsing Netflix today, looking for good series to knit by! I will check it out. Thanks!

      • The first time I heard it was from an English friend as “living the life of Larry,” and we were all “Hey, what happened to Riley?” Now I have an English son-in-law and grandchildren and hear it all the time when over there. BTW, speaking of TV shows, do you know Toast of London? I’ll say no more. Well, I will, actually. It’s indescribable and priceless.

    • I’ve been hearing “happy as Larry” used by everyone I know for as long as I can remember (I’m a Southern Hemisphere dweller though). Uncle Bob also makes regular appearances too 🙂

  • I have two top down sweaters sitting here (with sleeves done!) joined ready for that “endless stocking stitch ” to finish. Not interesting enough to talk to me ……but the queue is calling me!

  • I have a Hadley to finish after the holidays!

  • I’m sitting here with a cable scarf that needs about three more eight-row repeats before I can bind off and set it aside to be wrapped for Christmas.

    Twenty-four more rows. MAYBE thirty-two. That’s it.

    I’m so sick of this scarf and the stupid plastic cable stitch holder I’m using (my lovely, wooden cable stitch holder has gone missing) that I keep finding reasons to do anything else but finish this scarf.

    And if you look at the scarf, you can tell that it knows exactly what I’m thinking. I can’t even make eye contact with it anymore.

  • When I get despairing about finishing a big project I start watching the balls get thinner instead of trying to see my knitting grow. It doesn’t matter then how long the rows because I’m seeing progress in the diminishing balls.

  • Someone may have already mentioned this but do an “Elizabeth Zimmerman “ in two words afterthought pockets! You can decide where and how big later

  • I laughed so hard at this post!!! I love how you talk to your knitting!!! I feel the same way about my Granito. It’s been very hard to finish but I want to wear mine too. I have two huge blankets on needles and don’t know if I’ll ever finish. I’m on a weekend getaway this weekend on Lake Superior so it’s perfect to get this Granito done!!! Onward and upward!!!

  • Your citron grand looks amazing! Ironically I had just nearly finished my third when you suggested your latest yarn/incarnation. And on Tuesday at Knitty City I saw the famous Granito on a human. It lookwd fab & now I’m no longer staying away from the ever popular dropped shoulder because I had feared it’d make me look like a football player, but now I think it’ ok! Congrats on your beautiful FOs!

  • Does it count that I finally finished Starting Point? Stunning, but took 3 restarts and color changes! 4 months of nothing but, snarling all the way… off to my Zen Master finisher and dear friend, Keith Leonard (Knits All Done)…weave in ends? I’d never wear it, but it’s SO huge, not even practical! Y’all are making me feel better, so much better! Hats anyone? Dishcloths? 200 yards so doable; 2,000 yards? What was I thinking? So glad it’s DONE!!!! Feel all of your pain!

  • 35 projects on the needles, in various bags around the house… I hear you. I finish several…and then I get startitis and cast on more.

  • Two gorgeous projects. You can do it. Get ’em done.

  • Dear MDK,
    Have you considered using Uashmama Paper Bags to hold your work? Beautifully simplistic washable bags made from cellulose fibers in Italy. There is an online store in the US. https://www.shopuashmamausa.com
    Just sayin’,
    You have a great sense of humor btw! Have a great Tuesday.

    ~ Madelyn Labial-Steely