3TT: Throwback

For the Olympics in 2006, I knit Williamsro.


That one earned a gold medal, which is still hanging on my fridge! Hm, I haven't worn this sweater in a while...

In 2010, there was a pile o' finishing to do.


I finished a couple of them then, too! They've all been finished now, in one way or another* (though perhaps not until 2017 -- Oblique!), except for the one on topWill it ever??

{I don't remember why, but the 2014 games were skipped altogether.}

This year, I am gearing up to knit during PyeongChang 2018!


Team Rules Schmules... it works whether you're in it to win it, or just in it for the camaraderie & fun! Feel free to join in!! Official cast on is tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. CST.

I think I'm in it to win it this year (so some of the rules apply), but we'll see... traveling for 5 or so days with a not very travel-friendly project may change that! But for now my yarn is wound, I played around with the cast on and 14" DPNs last night (and dug out some shorter ones because those long ones aren't needed right away), and need to find my knitting belt.

*Man, that Peace Fleece (bottom) is gorgeous, isn't it? Coup d'Etat was frogged, but I still like that design...

Futzin' around at the finish line

Pile of hopefuls

Even before attending Saturday's all-day photography workshop, I knew that I wouldn't meet all of my lofty finishing goals for the Knitting Olympics.

Let's take it from the top:

My Habu Sweater

At Opening Ceremonies:  I had a completely knitted back and needed to knit the two fronts before sewing up.

At Closing Ceremonies:  I had two completely knitted fronts and am reknitting the back due to gauge issues.  Yeah.  One step forward, two steps back.  Something like that.  In the long run, I'll be much happier.  As of this evening, this will be the only thing on my needles 'til it's finished.  I've already purchased the buttons!

Mom's Habu Vest

At Opening Ceremonies:  I had all of the pieces knit and a huge mental block about blocking and sewing them up.  They looked so small, I didn't think they'd ever become an adult-sized garment.

At Closing Ceremonies:  Done and delivered!  The Habu fibers are extraordinary and the finished garment is simply amazing.  It suits my mother to a T and she loves it.  Things don't get much better than that.

Fiddlehead Pullover

At Opening Ceremonies:  I had all of the pieces knit and blocked.  The sweater needed sewing up, a little bit of finish crocheting, and buttons.

At Closing Ceremonies:  Finished!  And completely fabulous.


At Opening Ceremonies:  All of the pieces were knit and blocked.  I needed to sew them up, knit the collar, attach buttons.

At Closing Ceremonies:  Sleeves are sewn in and collar is underway.  I've had several false starts on that collar, and some difficulty determining Right from Wrong -- I'm pretty sure I'd have made it if I'd been thinking more clearly.  Three-quarters of the way, I tore it out completely and started over last night.  I'll be casting off tonight and all that will remain are side and sleeve seams and the sewing on of three buttons.  I cannot wait.  I love this thing.

Maddy's Sweater

At Opening Ceremonies:  I had all of the pieces knit.  They needed to be blocked, sewn up, collar and buttonband knit, and buttons attached.

At Closing Ceremonies:  So very, very close.  I am down to sewing on buttons.  The buttonholes turned out too big, so I'm crocheting around each one (which is killing my wrist, so slow going).  It is gorgeous and fits Maddy like a dream.  It's a cotton sweater, so perfect for spring.  So timely.

Coup d'Etat

At Opening Ceremonies:  I had a sewn up sweater in need of button band, buttons, and collar.  It was just a wee bit snug.  And a tad short.  I tried it on several times while pondering my (very few) options (at least in my mind).

At Closing Ceremonies:  The sleeves have been detached.  The rest of it needs to be pulled apart for an inevitable frogging and re-knitting.  (Yeah, it was sort of a foregone conclusion.)  It's sad, but not as sad as a too-tight, too-short finished sweater that I never wear -- and I want to wear it.  I will make it so.  Eventually.

I missed the gold medal, but I did my best and I am quite satisfied with my performance -- and momentum.  Thanks for all the encouragement along the way!!




I'll be weaving in ends as time allows today. Buttons will be sewn on this evening.  Maddy will be able to model for an FO shot on Sunday!  If I can nab her on the way through, that is.  (The color, above, is quite a bit more true, by the way.)

I re-sewed the too-tight raglan seams on Oblique last night and I'm much happier -- much, much happier!!  I also picked up all the stitches for the collar.  I picked up too many stitches for the collar, but equal on both sides, so I just need to figure out the math and how to make it work.  I didn't have the head for it last night and wouldn't have been able to make out my calculations through the tears, anyway.  Lordy.  I've never cried so much during performances and medal ceremonies as I have for women's figure skating -- so happy for Joannie Rochette, so relieved for Kim Yu-Na, so sorry for Mao Asada, so sad for all of them for so many different reasons.  Wow.  They're all amazing young women.

I was prepared to spend some money on buttons for My Habu Sweater last night -- it proved quite difficult, both to find buttons and to spend money.  The weight of the buttons is as important as color and size -- the sweater is very light, if not delicate.  It took a while, but I think I found the perfect thing!  Yes, this is the cliff-hanger...

Happy weekend!

Button day

I bought buttons yesterday.  I didn't go far -- just to the Five-and-Dime in the next little 'burg -- so my selection was limited, but I found suitable buttons for three of the four sweaters I dragged along.  Sweet little off-white shank buttons for Fiddlehead Pullover; some plain black shank buttons for Oblique; and these for Maddy's sweater.

Button choice

She requested wooden buttons, which these are not, but I think they're okay.  What do you think?

Button closest yet

I love the "grain" and the little hint of blue."

Button closer

Yeah.  They had some nice wooden buttons, but not enough of any of the correct sizes in any of the designs (one or two) that I liked.

Tonight, I'll be stopping by Iris Fine Yarns to find something SPECTACULAR for My Habu Sweater.  I'm not even to the first elbow in the reknitting of the back, but I'm continuing to steam ahead.

I ran errands galore for most of the morning yesterday and ran into Mom at the coffee shop.  She came by afterwards to pick up her new vest, and called me later (after shoveling) to tell me that she put it on, she LOVES it, it fits perfectly, and she'd forgotten how beautiful it was.

I started to sew Oblique together and I am LOVING that sweater, but will have to redo a couple of seams -- I struggle with sewing TOO TIGHTLY, limiting ease and movement, and even pulling things out of shape.  Sewing a sweater together is NOT like sewing a skirt (unless it's knit) (which never will be a skirt o' mine).  Ugh.  So then I kind of hit the wall.  I sat there for a bit, but nothing was knitting itself...  So I figured out the spacing for buttonholes on Maddy's sweater and finished that off so I could start the collar.  Soldiering on... You know.

Back in the saddle

Crocheted edge

I'm hookin' again!

Small victories

Yeah.  I kinda didn't want to let a little crocheting bring me down.  I don't do it often, but I know how to do it -- I took a class!  My grandma can do that, for cryin' out loud -- probably yours, too!

All this baby needs now are buttons and a little light steaming around the edges.

I wove in a bunch of ends on Mom's Habu Vest during my lunch break yesterday and will do more of the same today.  I brought my hook and the correct fiber for crocheting the tie, also.

Last night, I cast off the second front of My Habu Sweater, and cast on for the reknitting of the back.  That's rather daunting, but I'm choosing not to think or dwell on it much -- just blindly moving forward, knitting one stitch, one row, one increase at a time.

I will need to resolve Maddy's button band/closure issue tonight.  Button shopping happens tomorrow!

Weekend recap, and forecast for the week ahead

It took me a while to get started on Saturday, but I finally settled down and seamed all the pieces together for Mom's Habu Vest.  Crazy how well that turned out.  I'll be sewing in ends today and crocheting the tie.  It would be nice to take the FO modelled shots with Mom on Wednesday!

Fiddlehead Pullover

High on success, I dove right in and set in the sleeves on Maddy's sweater -- and seamed it on Sunday.  On a roll, I sewed in the sleeves and seamed up the Fiddlehead Pullover!  The Fiddlehead needs only a crocheted neckline edge that incorporates four buttonholes and buttons; I am going to knit that edge because I've wasted too much precious time already with the hook.

Maddy's sweater will require a bit more thought, as the written finish (fringes and pocket flaps and more crochet) suits neither Maddy nor me; there will certainly be a collar, and I'm looking for my inspiration regarding the buttonband.

Fiddlehead neckline

The glaring mistake in placement of the neck opening was not actually glaring until it was all sewn up... I'm not turning back.

Knitting time (evenings) has been devoted to My Habu Sweater.  I am nearing the sleeve cuff, on the home stretch of the second front.  My ability to read the Japanese pattern didn't suffer much in the year or so since I knit the back, but my gauge sure has.  I think I'll be casting on immediately to reknit the back -- otherwise, I just know this thing is going to sit in an unfinished funk for another year.  Or more.  I just know it.  You do, too.

I am resigned to the fact that I'm probably not going to finish all of these sweaters by Sunday night, especially given that there will be no knitting at all on Saturday.

  • Mom's vest will be finished
  • Fiddlehead will be finished
  • Maddy's sweater (with requested wooden buttons) will be finished
  • My Habu sweater will likely be finished -- or very close
  • The fate of Coup d'Etat has pretty much been decided 
  • Seaming Oblique on Wednesday is the only way it has a prayer

I'm not letting up and still aiming for gold; I'll continue to give it my best and we'll see...

It's magic


I seamed the shoulders on Maddy's sweater late yesterday and set in the sleeves last night.

Today, the magic continues.  Doing the side and sleeves seams using mattress stitch.


It has been established that "finishing" is not my favorite part of the process.  And it's not just knitting.  I was talking with my sister Karen last night and she was quick to bring up all the cross stitch pieces that I've stitched but left unfinished.  (Gee, thanks Karen, for bringing all that up!)  I've been told (by my mother) that I'm a lot like my grandmother (her mother) in that way, so at least I come by it honestly.  Heh.  Anyway, there are some procedures in the process of finishing that slay me with their simple beauty and magic.  Seaming with mattress stitch is one.  It serves as motivation, too, so I'm off to do the other...

Happy Sunday!



In the words of Setsuko Torii, "The yarn is also a living creature.  It will stretch or shrink depending on the season or where you live."  Even as I was sewing these six pieces together today, I never dreamed they would fit like this.  It seems that the garment is a living creature, as well.

Left to do:  Weave in ends -- they are hanging all over the place!  Crochet a 50" long tie.  Oh.my.god.  I am almost finished with this thing!!!

Right now, though, while the window light is still "good," I think I'll start sewing up another...



...it's what's for lunch today!  After I ate, of course; I must keep up my strength.

The Olympics continue.  The "Other Front for *My* Habu Sweater" event is underway.

I'm feeling a little scattered, a little behind, and I'm not sure what happened to my calendar.  How quickly the feeling of organization -- heh, "organization" (period) -- flies right out the window!  Must take some breaks from Olympics over the weekend to pull things together and get a grip.

How goes it?

It's going fine -- we've had some crazy good fun few days -- and it's all going fine.

In the Olympic finishing department:  I haven't begun sewing up Mom's Habu vest -- I think I'll save that for tomorrow morning.  We might have lunch together, and maybe I can have it somewhat together by then -- see how it's working.  This one seems like it should be so easy, but I am really struggling -- it just doesn't seem like it should be working, even though I've checked and measured things numerous times, and Mom herself has given the nod.  Skeptical, I am.

In the Olympic knitting department:  I'm almost finished with one of the fronts for *My* Habu sweater.  I was mistaken the other day in thinking that I was further along.  The picking up where you left off in regards to a Japanese knitting pattern that hasn't been worked in almost a year isn't quite like riding a bicycle, but it came back to me much easier than expected.  I'm getting very excited about finishing this one!  It's much less problematic than the vest.

In the comment department:  Shelley wrote the other day that she "...can't imagine being on the cusp... I would have done an all-nighter and strutted the new piece each time. How can you walk away from the prize?"  When DH walked through the kitchen on Saturday as I was working on slaving over steam-blocking the vest pieces, I said "THIS is why I can walk away.  I hate this part.  THIS is what makes me a PROCESS knitter!"  I absolutely love having and wearing a piece that was made from my own hand, but that is definitely not my main motivation for knitting.  As my good friend Margene likes to say, It's the process!

* * * * *

I'm not sure what's going to happen next in the daughter department...


...except that among some of the newly created departments, there soon will be a new son-in-law department!  Yep.  Ali + Kevin, sitting in a tree... or standing under a bridge, as the case may be!

Funny, I never really thought of myself as a mother-in-law -- and it's weirding me out a little.  I've seen myself as mother, definitely; grandmother, certainly/anticipatingly; mother-in-law, not so much -- maybe because I've never had one, myself -- though my mother is one, and my husband has one, and my sisters talk about theirs.  It's the weirdest thing... but also, hey, so kinda cool, eh?  I'll be a mother-in-law -- a good one, I hope, like Glinda-The Good Witch, I can be Vicki-The Good Mother-In-Law.

Surely, only bad mothers-in-law are ugly.

Happy Day with Hearts!

I've been dieing to tell you about the cookies and the blog and photography.  You may recall that I attended a cookie-decorating workshop in December with some friends and two of my daughters.  We had a wonderful time and decorated some amazing cookies; the girls (Katie & Ali) were inspired to bake and decorate cookies for Christmas gift-giving; and we've embarked on a quest for the Perfect Sugar Cookie recipe.  The old family stand-by recipe by that name is perfect in many ways (soft, chewy, and sweet), but not in the way of decorating.

About a month later, I had an email from Dawn at Dawn Koehler Design -- she'd stumbled upon my corner of the internet and loved the photos I'd taken.  She was there the whole time, of course, and was mostly amazed at the images I'd captured "all from the little corner of the dining room!"  She was looking for someone to take photos of new designs for updating the website and I agreed to give it a go!

All of the cookie photos, save one, on this page are mine (as is one of the salad photos)!  There's a wonderful meeting area upstairs at the coffee shop; I moved all the chairs and set up my backdrop stand to form a makeshift studio, and we spent a day and a half shooting cookies.  After a couple of attempts with studio lighting that neither of us was thrilled with, I snapped a few using available light and voila!  Very happy baker/designer/decorator, very happy photographer!!  And I have now taken to calling it "my natural light studio."  Dawn has often worked as a photo stylist in her career, and it was fascinating to watch her work -- the planning, attention to detail, all the stuff she brought with her!!  Paper and textiles for backdrops, stands and props, tools -- she brought her iron and ironing board!  It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

Yesterday, Dawn brought a friend over to the coffee shop for lunch and asked me to meet her there so she could deliver this:

She had another, adorable little bouquet for Ali, too.

So far, I've resisted.  So far...  HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

Early last week, DH made dinner reservations at Caffe Mario in Green Bay and we had the MOST wonderful meal last night.  We were greeted at the door by Mario, himself, and shown to our table by his wife, Virginia; she is an artist friend of DH's from way back.  Wonderful people, fabulous atmosphere, terrific food -- every time I go there, I wonder why I don't go there more often!  DH began with bruschetta, followed by lasagna (him) and cannelloni (me) (we shared, of course), and we even saved room for dessert -- I had tiramisu, of course.  One little piece of bruschetta and most of a cannelloni came home with me for today's lunch -- or something...

Because I'm actually making Chili All Day Half-the-Day today!  Maddy's home this weekend and I feel compelled to make something to send back with her, and chili's the thing this time.  She has to leave before supper, so it'll be a late lunch.  As soon as I hit "publish," I'll be dashing off to the store (though I'll probably wash my face and change out of my 'jammies, first).

On the Olympic side of things:  I pinned out Maddy's sweater -- the best part is how happy she is that it's finally getting done!!  I also steam-blocked (as instructed) the crap out of the pieces for Mom's Habu vest and hope, hope, hope that it all comes together as it should; I'll be starting the sewing up today.  The thing that makes it so difficult -- for me -- is that the pieces are knit in all different directions and we all know that stitches behave differently than rows and it just sort of gives me fits.  I've just got to plow through and trust that it'll work; it will or it won't, right?  I can only do my best.  I also cast on (104 stitches -- good move not attempting that on Friday night) for one of the front pieces for my Habu sweater and made good progress while watching short-track speed skating and moguls.

Citius, Altius, Fortius!

Progress report

I took a little Happy Hour detour on the way to the Knitting Olympics last night.  I managed to do everything I'd planned to do except for casting on my Habu sweater, due to the counting.  I probably could have done it, but why take chances.  I took the sleeves off of Coup d'Etat.  Maddy's "Fitted Jacket" had a little soak.

Giving the knitting a bath

She's soaking in it

I'm going to pin it out RIGHT NOW!

It might just be do-able!

I gave each sweater a two-letter code and indicated whether buttons were required (because I will need to shop) -- and made a rough plan.  I'm going to have to double check a couple of patterns -- not only the button situation, but also refresh my memory as to required finish knitting for each project:  button bands or collars? button bands and collars? pockets or just pocket flaps?

There's an all day -- 8-9 hours, at least -- photography workshop on the 27th to keep in mind, but even so, I think I can do it.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!  I should have a finished sweater to wear to the workshop.  I should have two or three to choose from!

I've planned it a little heavy toward the beginning of festivities and a bit lighter toward the end, just so I have some space to make adjustments and move things around, if needed.  I'm gonna need some space, man, in every imaginable way.  Finish work can be brutal on my hands, wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, hips, knees, ankles, feet... maybe I'm exaggerating... a little.  I might need to pace myself, though; maybe I should book a mid-way massage.

The desired outcome will be a finished vest for my mother, a finished sweater for Madeleine, THREE finished sweaters for me (or two finished and one frogged), a finished baby sweater, and a gold medal!

Tonight's events:  I'll be filling the sink during Opening Ceremonies to prepare Maddy's sweater for blocking; removing the set-in sleeves from Coup d'Etat to prep that for re-soaking, re-blocking, and re-sewing; and casting on for the front (or back, I don't remember which I've already done) of my Habu sweater.  Do you think that's too much?  Heh.

Olympic contenders

Pile of hopefuls

This is the pile of unfinished sweaters that have all mostly been knit -- many of them are blocked and one of them is even seamed -- they all need finishing/resolving.  A couple of these are almost old enough to finish themselves.  Yeah.  Except it doesn't work like that.  I have very fond memories of the 2006 Knitting Olympics, and an awesome gold-medal sweater to show for it, and would like to medal in 2010.  I'm considering "Finishing" as my event, and here's the line-up.

Habu Lamb's Wool Linen Jacket

My Habu sweater, above, half-kinit.  It is Lamb Wool Linen Jacket (Kit-70) by Setsuko Torii, which I began knitting in April 2009.  The thing is loaded with stitch markers of every color and variety in capacity as row counters -- and that explains where they've all been for the past 10 months!
Habu Tsumugi 4-panel Silk French Vest

My mother's Habu vest, the Habu Tsumugi 4-panel Silk French Vest, was begun February 2008.  (Not a typo.)  The pieces are all knit and in need of the requisite "severe blocking"; still, I fear, they are too small.

Kelbourne Woolens' Fiddlehead Pullover

The newest and smallest of them all is the Kelbourne Woolens Fiddlehead Pullover; knit and blocked in January.


Oblique.  Begun December 2007.  (Also not a typo.)  Knit and blocked.  I want this one finished most of all.

"Fitted Jacket" from Vogue Knitting

This is a "Fitted Jacket" from a Vogue Knitting of a few years back.  This one is knit, but needs blocking; I never even whispered about it on Ravelry!  I don't know how long it's been sitting around, but it's surely been long enough!

Coup d'Etat

Coup d'Etat.  Finished, blocked and seamed, it was deemed a bit too small.  I haven't revisited in a while; if not finished, this would at least be "resolved."  You know what that means.

Olympic contenders

Hm.  It's quite a pile o' projects.  Would finishing/resolving them all be a feat worthy of Olympic gold?

P.S.  Thursday blogging trivia:  I noticed that this is my 1701st post!