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  • Oh you speak to me!!! I try so hard to write notes and finish things before starting something new but it doesn’t always work that way! Thanks for this!!

  • I have some four-year-old sweater pieces lurking in a bag. They are patiently waiting for me to return to them to finish the rest of the pieces. I’d really like that sweater for the fall. Sigh

  • It’s lovely to begin the day amid my people. Two sweaters that just need sleevage. One has the sleeves PINNED IN and just need sewing. I’m going to get right on that. Except I need a day with good light to sew, and it’s been raining this week. Oh well.

  • Thank you for making me feel better about myself. I have three sweaters in various degrees of finishing and I was dreading going back. You have given me a little hope!❤️

  • A knitting triumph!! I do tend to work in on John st a couple things at a time, but I think being able to read and sleuth your knitting is a key, but under developed skill.

  • Ugh! I have a sweater that is half way done but I gave up on the neck line that I am converting from a turtle neck to a V-neck.

  • I am a terrible at finishing projects. I love the knitting, hate the joining up. When I return to a project, can’t find the pattern! The only thing I finish are shawls

  • Kay, you are ALWAYS awesome. Relieved that the temple of doom is not so full of doom overall. But I got twitchy just reading this!

  • I don’t make notes, or they are lost. I lose patterns ALL the time, or the rest of the wool needed to finish the sweater (shawl, blanket….). Good for you for pulling it all together and going forward. I am excited to see the sweater. I am thinking of knitting Relax (thereby abandoning a sock and a shawl … with notes this time!) as it looks like a great go-to choice.

  • Someday I will be adventurous enough to make a sweater. So far it’s only dishcloths, scarves and shawls for me.

  • You are speaking to someone who spent part of my weekend ripping out abandoned pieces.
    I greatly admire your sleuthfulness!!!!!

  • This is me, all my life. I do sometimes leave notes but they often make no sense to me a few month (years?) later when i return to the project. But I did complete my “Inspired by Kay and the Logalong” top, just two weeks ago, and it was a triumph. Your idea, when you get around to it, of the reverse stockinette section at the top worked out really well, and after all tha t garter stitch, it gets done amazingly quickly!

  • I too stop working on a project & think I am ok because a sticky note is marked off with row count. Seems sticky notes get tired of waiting for me & fall off patterns!

  • So you’ve been rooting around in my knitting project pile, eh? If I was any bit as smart as I think I am when I leave something note-less because I’ll “remember”, I’d be writing myself notes. Thanks for the knowing words this morning.

    • Forgot to mention that PDF download patterns are like the second chance at life for more than a few of my knitting projects.

      • Yes!

    • She has been in my house between the recliner and couch. I once completed 4 garments over a weekend, to the amazement of folks who did not understand that this one in worsted needed a second sleeve since December, that one has an hour of work left in it since my daughter got married and left for college(happy 8th anniversary, honey) etc. When the semester ended I grabbed a few things to finish off the top of the pile for summer projects. Making progress, get there behind me shiny new project, as I am finishing these before I cast on!

  • Wow!!! You did that like the expert you are!!! Great read.

  • But, you know….where’s the fun in that?!? (I have to keep telling myself that, because, like you….I’m a Forensic Knitologist.)

  • The story of my life. I always think I will remember things like passwords and recipes, but I never do. I do love a challenge. Figuring out where the heck I am in the pattern is one of them.

  • Oh, how I relate to your style of knitting! I could probably write a book on not being a knitter who finishes a project before beginning another. Suffice it to say I’m thrilled to be in your company. We all must stick together . BTW, LOVE the subtle color gradation in that yarn .

  • I love this sweater pattern. It looks beautiful in Sylph. Are you using 2 strands held together? And what a wonderful post for us “I’ll put it away for now” knitters.

    • It’s a single strand on a US No. 3 needle. Very light and drapey.

  • I am the queen of multiple works in progress, and I have been Her Royal HIghness for over 35 years. I do have some tips, most of which I learned very recently.

    You know how there is a large notes field on your Ravelry project page? Give yourself credit for every step you have made on the project, and then you can tell what you have done. I am now working on a summer sweater I started two years ago, not even using a pattern, and I knew exactly what to do next. If you keep them in Ravelry, you don’t have to remember what notebook your notes are in.

    Write down what size needle or hook you were using in these notes. Then you can even do the unthinkable, use the same implement to start yet a new project. I have no problem with monogamy in my romantic life, but I am a promiscuous crafter.

    If there is a downloadable version, keep the pattern on your computer, and put all your patterns on a flash drive when you have to buy a new computer. Your phone is good too, but it’s harder to lose your laptop.

    Those stitch markers that are really unusual safety pins, technically called bulb pins? They do not fall out, and you can make all your pattern pieces match by shifting them from one piece to the next as you complete the same step. You can buy nice expensive ones in a pretty case, or you can buy cheap ones from Amazon. Just buy them. Short pieces of yarn, formerly my fav, don’t fall out either, but they are wear out when transferred from the back to the left front and then the right front.

    I am not naturally organized. Organization was forced upon me by my knitting habit. Treat yourself as you would a particularly difficult client who may call at any moment. If you have a nice “file” you can answer any question without breaking a sweat.

    • “Treat yourself as you would a particularly difficult client who may call at any moment.” HAHAHA! Thanks for the laugh and the wise advice! I think I’m going to write this on the first page of my bullet journal.

    • I’ve got all my patterns in a Dropbox folder, so I shouldn’t ever lose a pattern! I’ve even been known to scan patterns from print sources so I can’t lose them. And I like the idea of using the Ravelry notes field – I just have to convince myself to do it….

  • Been there, done that. I like to think of it more as: Notes to self are a very cool form of time travel, making you more of a Back to the Future sort of knitter. I have to write them now because I have the level of forget that works over much shorter time spans — like overnight. Now if Indiana Jones joined up with Michael J Fox…

  • I have discovered an awesome app I have on my iPad called KnitCompanion. It has counters and a line marker so keeping track of where you are is easy, and I can come back to a project any time and the markers will still be there, waiting to start me up again. It’s a game changer folks.

  • You may as well have described my M.O.
    Some days I do better, others, not so much.
    It’s good to know I’m not alone, and to again try and do better… hooray for your log cabin sweater finishing! It’s going to be glorious.

  • I do so enjoy your humor. A lovely way to start the day. Thanks.

  • I am your type of knitter. My own Fringe And Friends knit along languishes in a bento bag awaiting my return.

    • At least we keep our UFOs in nice containers….

  • And a new Sweater pattern I hope. I kinda want to try and make one now that you have made one.

  • I was gone from my home for nine months. When I returned my mother-in-law had tidied up, including removing my various projects and their patterns from various bags. I have found the projects but not the patterns!

    • Ouch. I’m not sure I would have handled that very well!

  • Nah, I don’t always finish one thing before starting another.

    But I’m a meticulous note-keeper. If I set the thing down and don’t pick it up until weeks or months later, I want to know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. If I made modifications, I need to know exactly what they were so I can reproduce the thing later.

    I’m talking different colors of ink and highlighter tape and whatnot.

    Don’t judge.

    • Haha, I too use different color pens for different steps, rows, etc!! So far it has worked for me

  • Ironic that the sweater is called relax. I have several pillows that were left too long sweaters. Shrug.

  • Such fun!

    • It’s been what I call challenging!

  • I am so like you! I have a Fair Isle sweater from my youth that I still have and never finished. Maybe someday!

  • I have to tell you about a sweater I purchased from a charity store in Denver. All the pieces were there. All I needed to do was the front placket No instructions but enough yarn to complete the project. With the guidance from more skilled knitters, I was able to complete the project. My mother was delighted with the final project. So thank you all the knitters that place projects on hold to be completed later.

  • Announcer’s voice: “But, will Kay ever tame the Big Floral Damask Thing? Tune in again next week for another thrilling episode of Kay Gardiner and the Temple of Doom!”

  • I prefer the word “optimistic” to “arrogant.” I do make notes and leave them with the project. What’s really sad is that when I come back to it later, I don’t remember what any of the notes mean.

  • So um, what’s the name of that stitch holder thingy that looks like a good idea but should not be used?

    • I can’t remember! Stitch holder thingie? Found on the wall o’ gadgets at my LYS.

  • Hey, good save there. Thank you for sharing your true confessions and knitting ninja moves. We are the boss of our own knitting.

    I’m hoping to finish my log cabin cardigan soon. It was started a few days after Lynn Garrett’s project was highlighted here on MDK way back in March. I thought I had enough yarn in the stash, but after two skeins I realized I needed a third. The project went on hiatus for about a month. The rescue skein arrived by mail, now it’s full steam ahead. Log cabin segments are the best kind of sweater knitting. It is very satisfying to see those rectangles stack up into something big enough to wear.

  • Hooray!! Excellent sleuthing!
    I too suffer from the “of course I’ll remember what I did on that” syndrome. I was a latecomer to the Log-along, but have been wondering about the progress of this pattern adaptation. Is it wrong to be relieved to know yours isn’t done yet? Mine isn’t either! : D

  • Can’t wait to see this project finished!

  • OH SO TIMELY. I started banging out a Carbeth with y’all back in the winter, but I got derailed with the body worked to the armpits and the first sleeve not quite done. When I went back to it a couple of weeks ago, I assumed I was working a smaller size than I actually was. Last night I realized in horror that I had two sleeves in different sizes. ALAS.

    The good news is that I figured out a hack that only required about 20 minutes of tinking, and that yoke is the speediest thing ever. I might (?) even win the game of yarn chicken with my last skein, though my cowl collar is not going to be very cowl-y.

  • And how many WIPS do I have that would no longer fit and deserve to be frogged? I had the back if a lace T all done and started the front, knitting and playing dominoes at the same time when I dropped stitches and had to completely frog the front. Who had heard of life lines at that stage of my life? Now I weigh 50 lbs more and couldn’t wear that sweater on one arm! Lnext time it surfaces frog it frog it frog it!

  • Having joyously completed a project recently, one that I began 17 years ago, this post spoke to me, and me alone. Yes, you read that right, it is not a typo. 17 years ago (that’s seventeen!!) I knit a tiny baby’s sweater, and left it languishing, hidden among a myriad of UFOs that only increased over the years, until I found it again. It took me only a couple of weeks to finish — in actual time, maybe four hours. Finish the yarn ends. Buy some buttons (this took hardly any time at all). Give it a soak and a stretch. Sew those buttons on (this took most of the week. To get to, you understand.) And it is finished.

    You may be wondering… Many other people are wondering, not the least of them being my husband… Why did I knit this sweater, 17 years ago, without any intended recipient? (My youngest was 8 at the time, and the oldest grandchild was neither born nor even thought of. I remember getting a lot of flack over knitting this little gem.) The sweater is a Debbie New design. It is made of two hexagons, folded, then grafted together up the center back. I am a math major, with a specialty in geometry. Need I say more?

    Why have I kept it without finishing it for one of 14 other grandchildren? No idea. No idea at all.

    • I do believe I can beat 17, but if course I have no documentation for it . This begs to be a contest or a KAL, or something dramatic!

      • Alas, my little hexagonal sweater is now complete, and I can no longer compete.

  • This is so funny, and was definitely true of me in my early years as a knitter. I have two full-size plastic tote boxes that are full of unfinished projects, which I may get to someday. Now, though, perhaps due to middle-age or something, I find that I am much more disciplined and focused on my knitting projects than I ever used to be with practically any other project–work or hobby–in the past. I can think of lots of times that I have been known to knit with determination and focus on a single project, cleaving only unto it, even if (gasp!) there. is. no. deadline. involved! I also have a series of notebooks with details of finished projects, and I keep extensive notes on my Ravelry page. Even with that, though, I can’t always find the information on a technique that I’m looking for! A recent case in point: “Where did I put information about that damned felted daffodil?!” I never did find it, so I just made it up again.

  • I loved this post!!! My Temple of doom was the Big Sister sweater that I started over a year ago. Since it’s all one piece, it for to big to take anywhere as a knitting project so I set it aside. Then there were several updates and changes in the pattern so I ended up with multiple print outs and had to figure out which one I was working with last! I had to draw a visual for the pattern when I began so I wouldn’t miss any increases or put them in the wrong places. I color coded it too which helped but when I came back to working on it again, it may as well have been written in Greek! It took me a day to figure out what I had known before… a sign of aging to be sure! I finished it after March Madness but it’s back in the basket to be steamed and blocked before sewing the pockets. This time all the notes are together. Yay! Your posts make me laugh and inspire me to either start something new or finish blocking others. Not sure I will ever be great in a project detailed diary but maybe there’s hope I will improve! Thanks for the giggles! Jani

  • Glad you found what you needed. I am a knitter with onset dimentionia (?) So I have to leave notes and be sure I have my pattern with the project. I do get tired of long bouts of plain knitting so I lay it down and pick up something else. I love you newsletters. keep up being you. I am old enough now to know that you really can’t break old habits. You might bend them alittle but that’s all. Take care and keep knitting. Linda

  • I make notes then later I either can’t decipher what I’ve written or I can’t find the notes…

  • I wish I was less like you than I am. Perhaps there is some sort of 12 step program for us?? Can’t wait to see th FO.

  • Wow! Your posts/letters are always en pointe, but this one really resonates, apparently, for so many knitters! It certainly does for me: I’m always putting projects aside when the shaping gets complicated, because I need a project to “just knit.” And, I hate to break this to you, you relative “kid,” but the older you get, the harder it gets to figure out where you were in the pattern. And then there are the not-quite-sweaters that, if finished, would no longer fit. Sigh.
    But not to be negative, I recently picked up a done-but – for -setting-in- the- sleeves sweater, and now have a new one to wear, yay!
    Thank you for the knitalongs, that encourage us all to persist, and teaching us all the benefits of faithful knitting!
    Stay tuned for more finished objects from me, Lightdove on Ravelry.

  • This is so me! If someone as experienced and knowledgeable as you does this then there’s hope for me and my unfinished sweaters/mitts/shawls.

  • Even if you are a semi-reasonable note taker, invariably you put down your knitting, thinking you’ll be picking it up tomorrow — and then you don’t. For a month — or months. That’s how this happens to me. If I KNOW I’m taking a break, I’ll make a few notes – but so often, at the time, I expect to continue and then I don’t.

  • After having been a prolific knitter for 30 + years, I FINALLY started keeping a detailed notebook on why I had purchased the yarn, when, the exact everything I need down to the receipt from the store.

  • Great detective work, Kay! You’re our Sherlock Holmes, and we your Dr. Watson. A potential “Log Cabin of the Baskervilles” became “elementary”, my dear Kay.

  • I feel a little better knowing that I am not the only one who does this. Why oh why do I think i’ll remember? I never do!

    • But Wendy, you are the queen of Project Fidelity! I am trying to be more like you and just power through to the finish line.

  • Oh, this is me! I always assume that I will remember exactly where I left off or why I did something. Or I write a note that means nothing 6 months later. I have TWO sweaters that have been hibernating for over a year – I swear that I will finish at least one of them this fall, because I really want to wear it – but I’m already a little scared! (The other sweater has a steek. I may never be up to that!)

  • Well done gathering up the reins on that one!
    I go to both extremes on note-taking. Sometimes I record everything in row-by-row detail on a rav project page, which may seem like overkill but hurts no one and sometimes causes great rejoicing when I dust off a forgotten WIP and can actually make that second sock to match the first. Other times, I record nothing. Right at this moment somewhere in my house is a big pattern-less tube of random cotton stripes that I started sometime last year, thinking I could make a loose summer top. That would be for the summer we are now having. I wonder where that tube is.

  • Ooh, I can’t wait for this finished sweater! And, hey, at least you recognized it… I ran across a project the other day and have no idea what it is (no wadded up pattern, of course!).

  • Why did I never think of leaving markers on shaping rows???!

  • I have a set of little paper tags on strings to make notes and loop onto my needle. But they go unused because I convince myself I will remember, and this elephant forgets. There’s a chinook shawl in a box on the shelf of my family room the has been issuing a siren call for me to return to it. It sounds similar to the mournful husky next door —heyooooooooo. I’m currently binge watching British mysteries on Netflix to build my detective skills to take this one back on.

  • First: way to go!
    Second: what is this home steaming you refer to?!??

  • I have to share this massive confession. I’ve had a scarf sitting in my UFO pile on-and-off since 2010. This summer I decided I would use the entire summer to finish UFO’s and I pulled this one out and checked the pattern and counted the repeats. I was FINISHED with the scarf, just had a few rows of GARTER to finish it completely. I sat down and finished it in less than ten minutes.

    So I finished this lovely lace-weight held double scarf in EIGHT years… and ten minutes. Check your pile! (I’m embarrassed.)

    • I was recently gifted 6 UFO’s from the son of an 85 year old knitter, who had passed away and said son was clearing out her closet. Some had “rested” since the ’60’s. All had major problems. In one case she had carefully followed the pattern in a “71 knitting magazine to the letter, resulting in a front 18 ” wide and a back 26 inches wide. Following the given making up instructions would NOT make an anatomically possible sweater. The knitter did as told, the pattern was written by a lunatic from Mars. Now it’s in my UFO bin, sigh.

  • Oh this speaks to me – placing a project in a bag, not keeping adequate notes a or any notes – thinking I will remember, despite ample proof that my memory is taxed to the limit – the stress and frustration- even the inadequate stitch holder. So glad you were able to figure it out and not just shove it back in the bag for another few months.

  • A-MAZing! I do hope this continues inspires me once I put down the ipad.

  • Somewhere in my 50s my memory definitely got worse and I realized that the best solution to this kind of abandoned project problem was to Leave a Note for my Future Self. Because Future Self will not know what I know today.

  • You’re practically done!