Pulling an All-Evening.er

Thursday night, I was a woman on a mission.

I decided I would not be going to bed until I finished A’s sweater.

Recap: A had asked me to make her this sweater…

…and I was pleased to accept the commission. Earlier this week, I emailed A and assured her the sweater would be ready for her on Sunday of this weekend (March 27th). I plotted out daily goals so that the sweater could be finit-o by the self-imposed deadline.

So I hunkered down with my sweater pieces, and got to work.

While I love knitting, I don’t so much enjoy the finishing. Sewing a sweater together is finicky, precise, and time-consuming. Beautiful knitting can be absolutely ruined by sloppy finishing.

I guess-timated I had a couple hours of work ahead of me. An evening’s worth? That would be fine. An all-nighter? That I was not ready to do.

It’d be one thing if I could count pulling an all-nighter as a New Experience. But nope, done that: back in high school, in Grade 11, I do believe, I attended a New Year’s Eve party that was put on by our church conference’s young people’s group. And I did stay awake all night! Thank goodness, I’m off the hook, and don’t have to attempt that feat, now!

Anyway, back to A’s sweater…it is completed!

ta da!

close up of the design on the centre front, plus the braided collar

I’m pleased with the finished product, and I hope A is, too. I’ll find out on Sunday!

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter?

Apart from that one New Year’s party, I have not. Even in University, I never stayed up studying or cramming to finish a paper.

I’m not a parent, so I’ve never had to stay up all night with a sick child.

Parties?? I’ve been out late, but never to an all-nighter!


So now it’s on to the next knitting project. (Might as well stay with the knitting theme today).

I still have this one on the go…

the project that requires concentration: knitted lace in variegated yarn; it's a baby blanket

I started this blanket back in July! I guess I am mindless more often than I am mindful! (I like to have one project of each type on the go).

This New Project is going to be a New Experience, believe it or not, so I will refrain from divulging too many details at this time.

But here’s the yarn:

four skeins - they need to be wound into balls before i can begin knitting

There’s a slight variegation – not sure if you can tell from the photos…

hand-dyed, made in canada, 100% pure silk

I bought this yarn back in September at the Knitter’s Fair with mom, and it was a splurge, to say the least:

i cringe to make public the amount spent on a wee four skein purchase...

Hey – some women are weak for shoes, some for perfume or expensive wine…I indulge in fine yarn!

Friday morning, I got to work on the winding. I had a bad feeling as soon as I opened up the skein. Within 30 seconds, the yarn was already showing tangles:

this could be slow going...

I wound throughout the day, as time permitted, and things went from bad to worse.

I experimented with holding the yarn over my left wrist and winding with my right hand.
I resorted to drastic measures – draping the skein up like a spiderweb and playing a frustrating version of “cat’s cradle” as I plucked and wove, in and out.

I have never dealt with a skein of yarn this awful, ever. If I hadn’t been so busy trying to unravel the tangles, I’d have been pulling my hair out.

At 4 pm…I still had not completed my winding job.

By 8:30 pm, I still had not completed my winding job.

It now looks like this:

from demented spiderweb to the beginnings of a fabulous bird's nest

Let’s just conclude by saying that at $42 per skein, I expect to find a yarn that does not require 10+ hours winding per skein in order to make it knitt-able!

I sincerely hope this was the bad apple in the barrel and that skeins #2,3 and 4 go lickety-split.

If not, Dad, I’ve got a project for you…

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  • Dorry  On March 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    oops, skeins, not spools. 🙂

  • Dorry  On March 27, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Amazing! That takes some serious skill! I can’t believe you made that. It’s perfect. All nighters? NO THANK YOU! I’ve pulled a few back in the day, but my body does not bounce back from that, and I can’t even imagine trying to do it now…unless a traveling schedule called for it. I’ll do anything to travel. 🙂

    That yarn is beautiful! I understand we all have our “things” that we feel good about splurging on. And you are going to make something gorgeous from that! I hope the other 3 spools don’t give you any trouble. 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      thanks, dorry! i think i’d be happy just doing projects with cables forever more! 🙂 oh yes, i bet you could be tempted by travel to do an all-nighter! that is your soft spot! update on skein #2….not as “knotty” (naughty?!) as skein #1, but no picnic! don’t know what it is with this yarn!!

      • Dorry  On March 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

        Haha – glad it’s not as knotty/naughty. 🙂 I bet the finished product one day will be worth all the work!

  • Brenda  On March 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Gorgeous! You did an awesome job Kathy, love it!!

  • Johanna  On March 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Wow – that’s beautiful, Cath! The cabling is lovely. Congratulations on getting it done!

    You know, you and Sue (Susie) would totally connect over the knitting and beautiful yarn. You would gasp out loud at her yarn collection which fills an entire wall unit! Have you ever heard of Ravelry? It’s an online knitting community that she’s heavily involved in and sounds amazing – if I was a knitter (http://knitting.about.com/od/knittingcommunity/f/ravelry.htm). You should check it out – it’s sort of Facebook for knitters… on steroids. 🙂

    The only true all-nighter that I ever pulled was, believe it or not, for work. It was many years ago when I was still in Public Affairs and a team of us were up against a near impossible deadline. We made it and I collapsed into bed the next morning at 8:30. Eek. There have probably been a few nights with Jacob when he was small but I’m sure I still got a few winks of exhausted sleep so not quite a TRUE all-nighter.

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 27, 2011 at 5:09 am

      thanks, jo! yes – i am a “member” of ravelry and have checked it out, though not extensively. SIL ana is more familiar with it, and has shown me gorgeous patterns from there – thanks so much for the tip and link!! i’m jealous of sue’s stash! re your all-nighter: glad they let you go home and didn’t say “8:30 a.m.! the work day now begins again!” 🙂

  • Zo  On March 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    That sweater is amazing. I feel your skein rage…one reason I’ve been [not] knitting the same scarf for years is that the [cheap] yarn was so helplessly tangled…I spend hours trying to pull it into usable shape. I’m not proud of this but I actually ended up breaking it and tying it together at one point.

    I would say I pulled an all-nighter…never intentionally stayed up all night to work on something. I may have missed sleep on an overnight flight..and I think stayed up all night at a slumber party once..not quite the same.

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      i DID debate cutting this silk…but for the price of it, i thought i have to just keep on truckin’…during this whole debacle, i’ve been WISHING i was dealing with cheap yarn! how ironic that the most expensive yarn i’ve ever purchased is soooo ornery! think you’ll ever finish your scarf?!! sleeping on an airplane?? never been in that situation, but i doubt i could fall asleep…ah yes – slumber parties. never a lot of sleep happening at those!

      • Zo  On March 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm

        I go in fits and spurts with the scarf…I think the fact that I don’t have a designated recipient slows me down. No accountability!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg  On March 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Cathy the sweater looks beautiful!!! Wow you did a great job!

    That blue yarn is gorgeous — I love that color. I hope the rest of the winding is not so horrible.

    I pulled plenty of all nighters in high school (tests) and college (papers!). I can’t imagine doing that now, I can barely stay up until midnight!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      thanks, holly! i’m quite pleased, esp with the cables. thank goodness skein #2 seems to be not quite such a mess…although it’s still quite tangly! i agree on how midnight seems so LATE now!

  • atomiclulu  On March 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I love the sweater. The tangled luxury is unfortunate. I apologize on the behalf of all lame yarn tangles all over the world. Notoriously finer weights do this for me even with a swift and yarn ball winder. I drape and twist and no matter how I lay them on the swift they look like cobwebs. Sadly the only solution is vodka patience then more vodka.

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      i agree – i think the fine yarn is part of the problem. happily, that first skein is now wound and DONE! skein #2 is less tangled…but this is quite the task! my patience is certainly being tried!!!

  • Lisa @ Thrive Style  On March 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Wow—amazing on the sweater! I totally know that feeling of get most of the work done on something and having the last tedious parts cause total impatience!

    I have been up all night a couple times. Most recently a couple years ago when I went christmas shopping at midnight on black friday after thanksgiving. It was totally not worth it!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      thanks, lisa! yes – when it gets down to the final few steps, it’s like that expression “like the horse smelling the barn” – you just want to hurry up and finish already! an all-nighter for shopping? that i could be convinced to do! esp if some gooood bargains are scored!

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