Breakneck pace

After going around and around with delicious and light wooly wool for just over 2 weeks, I have arrived at something new. Which is pretty awesome, because even addictive colour-work gets tiring after 16 inches or so.

This week I got to install the armhole steeks on my “Longbottom” cardigan, and here at Knitting to Stay Sane we’re* all very excited, let me tell you.

*By ‘we’ I mostly mean me, and my yarn.


On the one hand, an onlooker might be looking at this and thinking, “you mean you’ve been knitting for two and half weeks on this sweater, and you’re only NOW getting to divide for the armholes?” And to them I might point out that “actually, this is a stranded colour-work that is going to be modelled by a very tall (and obliging, possibly because he is married to a fellow knitter) young man with a 42-inch chest, and that I’ve been knitting along steadily and getting in about an inch of knitted fabric accomplished per day, and that yes I feel pretty darned good about my progress, thanks ever so much. Also, try knitting colour-work sometime. It’s awesome.”

I’ve had a lot of miscellaneous project prep going on in the last couple weeks, converging against me in a way that has kept me from doing bloggable things at the rate that I normally like, and it feels a bit odd to show up and say “hey, I have slightly more sweater than I did last week, isn’t this cool?”

But actually, I really like this. No matter what else I have to get done, I get in my inch of sweater and that’s that. I like the incrementalism of it, that after a week has gone by I can see that I in fact have much, much, more sweater than I did at the beginning of the week. (My rule, if I can help it, is that the first thing I knit in the day is whatever I want it to be at that moment. Lately, it’s this cardigan. Probably accompanied by an episode of Castle, my newfound DVD addiction.)

Lots of things are cooking around here for the fall; new designs, project ideas, classes, plans for more blog tutorials (happy to have suggestions there), possibly a article titled
“Why Steeks Are Really Super Awesome and Nobody Should Be Afraid of Them Ever,” and it’s coming on sweater weather and I love it. Today I got to wear socks for the first time in months. SOCKS. ON MY FEET. I can hardly stand it.

Happy knitting until next time! And happy Friday ahead.


  1. I am super impressed with your progress! I doubt I could get that much color work done in two weeks. I can’t wait to see the finished project, and whatever else you have in store for us! 😀

  2. Impressive progress. Maybe I’ll be as productive when I start my giant color work project soon.

  3. Your sweater is coming along so nicely! Looking forward to your steeking. You’re getting to me, you know. After I get the “must do” projects done, I’m going to knit and cut a steek. Just because.

  4. Michelle – “just because” is absolutely the BEST way to cut a steek! Because even if it’s just on a swatch, the steek doesn’t care 😉


  5. Steeks are like jumping off the high dive for the first time – terrifying, but very satisfying when the actual cut has finally been made and you realize you’ve done it!

  6. If muggles are unimpressed, they can go sweaterless. I am just finishing a 51″ cabled sweater for nephew #7 and pairing it with “Combat Hospital” and “The Republic of Doyle”. Go steeks.

  7. Val Champ · ·

    I did steeks last year for the first time. They.were.AWESOME!

  8. Your colorwork is awesome, I wish I was brave enough to try it!

  9. Colorwork sounds amazing! I’ve followed your blog for a while, but have never commented. Maybe tutorials on basic colorwork, and the methods you use to keep the tension the way you want it? Or on knitting a sweater in the round? Love your blog!

  10. I asked about a steeked sweater suggestion a few weeks ago. Am I reading this blog correctly that you need to steek the front AND a spot for the sleeves? Just wondering. It makes sense, I just hadn’t thought about it.

  11. Oooh, love Castle. Really, love Nathan Fillion. My next sweater is going to be a steeked sweater!

  12. I can’t wait to read your post on steeks. Purling and stranding are not fun at all.

  13. I love colourwork, only done socks and mittens so far, but I do have bigger things on the “to do” list including a beautiful Alice Starmore number. I just want to get my tension better before I get started on that.

  14. Sometimes I feel silly writing “look! a dishcloth!” on my blog when that’s really the only thing I have done… thank goodness for my relatively stupid and funny goat! What I can see from the cardigan is that it looks awesome!

  15. I LOVE Castle!!! And I can’t wait to see how this sweater turns out (I’m generally nerdy, but when it comes to Harry Potter and Nathan Fillion I take nerdiness to new heights!).

  16. beautiful work! i am most interested int he steeking article as i’m secretly terrified of cutting the knitting. haah. it’s something that’s on my to do list for sure though!
    great post!

  17. I’m so excited for this sweater, It was definitely the icing on the sexy Neville’s-all-grown-up cake. It looks amazing so far.

  18. Last week my Facebook status was “The glad cries of sock knitters echo across the land: ‘My toes are cold!'” I also publicly congratulated my pink Monkeys on being the first out of the drawer for fall 2011.

    I’m glad you understand. : )

  19. Love the sweater, it is coming along so nicely. Really excited to see how it comes out!!! BTW my color work project are usually 45″, so they take awhile too!

  20. I’m not sure why people want to treat knitting as a race. Sure, I love the product but if I want a sweater fast, I can go to a store. Part of the point of knitting it is to enjoy the process. Also, if you knit faster you’d just have to buy more wool and knit more things. That seems silly.

    Great progress. Can’t wait to see a picture of it that shows the pattern more. And anything that will stop people panicking about steeks is a good thing. Relax folks. It’s only wool.

  21. Awesome. That you can get to the armholes in 2.5 weeks seems fast to me. 😀

  22. I am excited to read that post, because I am TERRIFIED of steeking. Just the idea of it steeks me out. 🙂

    Can we meet up at Rhinebeck at some point and wander around together like last year? Let’s find each other!

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