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  • Sleeve Island is never a fun place to be. May the wisdom of Seth Godin carry you safely back to the shores of the Three Tubes… and quickly!

    And if that fails, remember what Dearest EZ said: “Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit, either.”

  • “the little weird stitch pattern moment”


    You’re my hero for knitting from a FrisbeeTM in the first place, Ann. Keep flying in the Goldilocks zone. xoc

  • “Don’t overthink it” is what they say to me. Frankly, Ann, I like your idea of the Belgian Butter Almond Thins. (Isn’t it great that we can be hundreds of miles apart yet share knitting AND Trader Joes?)

    Keep on trucking. Your sweater is looking good!


    • My thinking exactly!

  • <3

  • Can relate to your frustration. Usually then I Start the am I getting addled self talk! Seth talk is more helpful and Butter almond thins goes without saying. Stay untangled.

  • I have been dreaming of a lopapeysa for two years now. This KAL was my chance to dive in. Holding two yarns is not instinctual and that third row of the weird little stitch pattern? One sleeve is different from the other but I have said F it, nobody will notice and Ragga said it ads character. Moving right along now and having nightmares about the yoke. Must find my knitting zen.

    • I think there sometimes can be great “knitting zen” in “F it”.

      • I agree!

    • My sleeves are different too! Happy to hear they have character, because I’m pretty sure I demonstrated my lack of it when I noticed.

  • Let’s face it, sleeve 2 can’t start off any worse.

    Are you double stranding the plotulopi?

    • Single stranding. It’s making the most amazingly airy fabric. I really do love it (when I’m not swearing at it). A blanket of this would be so spectacular.

      • I’ve got 8 wheels for a blanket or pi shawl on steroids; the one I knit a couple of years ago went home with my mom. I’m thinking I should order more and being up the rear on this KAL!

  • Your photos of your beautifully developing sweater contrast so much with your words. I look and see what a lovely combination of colors and isn’t it beautiful. It is worth it! Maybe don’t be listening to anything on the next cuff and just wait for the plain knitting. It’s not so many rows of cuff after all. Take heart, regroup and carry on.

  • I finally sent for a 12″ circ for the sleeve!

  • “We’re training people to be afraid of being wrong.”

    This is such a powerful statement that applies to many parts of our world. Maybe we should begin to celebrate messy exploration. Think I’ll begin with my granddaughters.

  • Other than the part when I ripped out a good 1/4 of the body to start over, I found the first sleeve the part where I questioned my commitment to the project the most.

  • I know EXACTLY how you feel. After I was half way through my first sleeve, after I looked at pictures on Instagram, I realized I should have knitted those blasted stitches instead of purling…instinct took over there. I decided that I wasn’t going to grrrrr too much and said fugget about it and made the second sleeve match the first. I learned to slow down and breathe. The sweater became a joy and not a frustration. 🙂

  • I am at just about the same spot that you are and, yes, the cuff of the sleeve tried to kill me too! I’m now done with the increases and popped it onto a 16 inch circular to finish off the knitting and, lo and behold, it is just a tiny bit too big. But too big enough to make it a royal pain. I had to put it on a time out and will move it back to dpns tonight. I can’t really stay mad it though. The yarn is lovely, the pattern is a delight. I’m trying to find a Seth quote that says “You can learn from yourself when you finally admit you’re a bonehead.”

    • Yes, my 16 inch circ never got used. I just put my head down and powered through. DPNs are not my favorite . . .

  • I’m laughing at you because even when you’re frazzled and frustrated you are still the sweetest person. With the patience of Job (think the 500k cards you printed from your home printer). This sweater has to be a cinch in comparison.

  • Oh Ann honey – I so feel your pain! I did not realize I have faffed up the bottom of the sweater until I got to the sleeve and – voila – it was completely different! I could not bear ripping out almost two entire skeins worth of knitting, so I am now working the yoke on a sweater with a weird pattern around the bottom and hoping no one will notice.

    I think I’m looking at miles of kitchener to graft on a whole new start.

    • I can’t bear to even look at the main piece. I’m pretty sure I pfaffed it up. MOVING ON!

  • I think you need to rest a bit. Working so hard with all that plutoloopy seems to have made you a little goofy; therefore, all the pro0blems.

    • Inhaling unspun Icelandic wool fibers, clearly.

  • I was not thrilled with how the bottom of the sweater looked with the top of the ribbing color changes, so I just did solid stripes on the sleeve cuffs and chalked it up to a “design element”, having them different from the bottom of the sweater.

    I am now actually thinking of doing another one as a cardigan in the next week or so….Still can’t wear the one I finished, our weather changed in N. AZ and we are in the mid 80’s. Oh well, I will be ready for next winter.

    • Mid 80s! Wow.

  • Luckily I came upon the definition of ‘wabi-sabi” early into my reintro to knitting-
    Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
    I always leave some sort of imperfection in my knitting without even trying (ha!)and find it is OK to keep knitting on. I goofed up those purls and also messed up Row 13 but it looks fine to me.
    Your sweater looks amazing. Please let us know if there is a significant diff in letti-lopi vs plutolopi. From the pics they look the same.

    • I have only seen the two yarns side by side very briefly, but the density seems to be the main difference. Lett Lopi contains basically twice as much yarn as Plötulopi. I think I read that Lett Lopi is spun from two strands of the unspun roving that is Plötulopi. I am loving the lightness of this unspun roving. It seems to be turning into a sturdy enough fabric. The length of the Icelandic wool fibers is apparently what makes it all work together.

  • If only I could listen to Krista Tippett every day … I’m convinced I could be a much better person. That conversation with Seth Godin was so good and so affirming for those of us trying to be even a little creative. I, too, had some bogged down moments with the sleeve edge, but am sailing upward now and am in about the same place you are – so you have relieved me of feeling as though as I was the last straggler in the bangout! Thanks, Ann!

    • Oh, I’m straggling. But determined! Am getting up steam for Sleeve No. 2: The Revenant.

  • Ah yes…Sleeve Island. Spent many harrowing hours upon its shores. Knit on! Yoke Mountain is visible in the distance.

    • Yoke Mountain or Yoke Volcano?

  • Yeah, an Icelandic vest. That’s the ticket. I started knitting an Icelandic sweater several weeks ago and am going very slowly. I think I’m concerned about fit. It looked like everyone’s sweaters on Ravelry were too long, both in body and sleeves. And unlike your KAL sweater, this one’s pattern starts before the body and sleeves are joined.

    Coincidence or not: I found a Reynolds Lopi/Alafoss of Iceland knitting book (printed in Iceland) at the thrift store yesterday. I can’t find a date on it. I think it might be from the 70s or maybe 80s.

    • The pattern does require us to commit to a length as we knit upwards. I’m aiming for not-too-long as well. We’ll just see how that turns out!

    • As one with long arms and a long torso, I’m thrilled by the length of this sweater! I may not need to add the extra inches I was planning on after all.

  • Is it a design element? Embrace imperfection is my new motto. I made a real mess of some handdyeing yesterday.

    • Can you just keep overdyeing until you hit black? Just … keep … going …

  • Oh Ann, you tell your story so well! I have been going through something similar with Architexture. I have redone and redone only to do the wrong pattern and then the NEXT wrong pattern. It’s a process, right?

  • Cast on the bottom with a single strand of the flurf/wool and a strand of teeny linen (Louet?). Twisted. Tried again. Twisted and I forgot the linen. Dratted circular cable had a curl from hell. Boiled the needle (really funny look from my husband) and stretched it out to cool and amend it’s evil ways. Cast on once again, managed to keep my wits about me and we’re up to six inches. Gorgeous fabric. Whew!

    • We should write an opera about our experiences. Just when we think we’re out of the woods, the goblins show up!

      • [GASP] A knitting opera! I might have just wept a little.

  • Hang in there! It’s all coming together. Like the Knitmore Girls say your knitting attacked you! Maybe a breather with a little light cream cheese on these delicious TJ almond butter thins? Foritification for the road ahead. Those colors are beautiful!

    • OMG I had not considered the Cream Cheese SolutionTM. This changes everything. Thank you for the enabling.

  • I am in love with that blue!

    Casting on for each tube of this sweater has been an, uh, adventure, so I feel your pain. The second sleeve was easier because I knew what was going to suck, though. Good luck!

    • It is a truly, truly dreamy mix of black and blue, Winter Blue Heather. I’ll try to capture it better next time.

  • My first real, entire, whole-sweater, Fair Isle project taught me to rip out when I wasn’t happy. I must have knitted that mofo three times by the time I was finished. But I’d always been a kind of “eh, let it go” knitter, and that project changed me. Not that I’m a perfectionist by any means, but nowadays I will rip and start over with zen equanimity when the problem is beyond “design feature.”

  • I had the same experience when I started on the body – started 3 times before I got it right. LOL!!

  • I find myself stuck on steek sandwich island. I’m using lettlopi but I can relate to the flurf doing its own thing when it’s time to rip back…stay strong!

  • Oh, Ann, I feel your pain! I was a beginner knitter and stupidly attempted an Irish knit over-sized baby blanket for my first grandchild. I literally ate an entire jar of peanut butter in one night, spoonful by spoonful, (right out of the jar!), when I discovered a very noticeable mistake almost at the very beginning of the blanket (I was almost finished!). It seems as if I have so many false starts in my knitting…I’m far more accomplished at ripping out than knitting in! 🙁

  • Oh, there’s drama-a-plenty here at Lopapeysa West. My first sleeve has the correct stitch count, but the bottom section is definitely…um…let’s call it “rustic-looking,” even for Lopi yarn. It’ll block out, right? And my sweater’s big enough that 16 inch circs were OK for the sleeves, but I finished them off 2-at-a-time with magic loop anyway. That seemed as if it took years. It IS still 2016, isn’t it?

    So far, I’m only just finished the body increases and decreases…but somewhere along the way I think that I decided my halfway marker was my end-of-round marker, as I seem to have joined a new skein at that point. Again, my stitch count is correct, but I’m thinking I better try it on before knitting any further.

    Oh…and my stranded knitting actually went OK, which was its own kind of drama!

    I did not have to deal with [the] flurfy plutoloopy not-yarn gleefully disengaged from the whole project just when I needed it to not do that,” but on my project the cat seems to invariably need some lap time just at the tricky bits!

  • Look how far along you are! I am hoping to find myself in the 3-tube situation tonight!

  • Those Belgian Butter Almond Thins will cure almost anything. The Butter Waffle Cookies are a big help, too.

  • Timely article, Ann! Last week I finished a brioche hat in Clemson colors I was making for my Dad. I swear, I knit more rows in the first two inches (knit, rip, knit, rip, repeat for hours and hours) than the entire hat eventually was going to take. I could NOT seem to get it going.

    I finally soldiered on through and got it finished, but only because it became a battle of wills. I was NOT going to let that pattern beat me. Burning it sounds tempting; glad I didn’t think of it when I was beginning the hat!

  • BBATs are often on my TJ’s shopping list.

    almonds + butter + sugar = delicious

    Pro Tip: BBATs get soft once their protective seal is broken. Preserve your BBATs’ crispiness by sticking the whole box inside a resealable bag or container. Or eat them before they have time to get stale. :O

  • BBATs and Triple Ginger cookies. TGs come in a nice big tub. I ❤️ TJs. I wish I had some right now to fortify myself for the rest of the color work yoke. 3 colors at once! I’m such a wimp.

    • The entire universe of Trader Joe’s cookies is a source of deep joy. If it comes in a tub, I’m in. The vanilla wafers are really excellent.

  • If those cookies fail you, try the chocolate hazelnut ones. http://www.clubtraderjoes.com/2012/10/trader-joes-chocolate-hazelnut-cookies.html

  • My mind easily wanders. I’ll be humming this all verse of “You’re gonna make it after all” and thinking of you all day. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqew49_the-mary-tyler-moore-show-intro_shortfilms

  • I read the beginning much too fast and, for about 8 seconds until I went back and checked, was astounded at how wise Seth Rogen is – who knew?! Oh, right, wrong Seth …

  • One trick that works well with plotulopi at edges, cast ons, cast-offs really anywhere it needs to be stronger or not to disintegrate is to take the strand and lightly roll it along your thigh to give it a bit of twist. This will make it quite strong and much easier to work with too. I have knitted items made with single and double plotulopi used this way that have wore well for many, many years with no edges wearing out. Carry on the rewards are great.

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