Posted by: jinniver | March 2, 2010

The definition of insanity

I succumbed to insanity during the Ravelympics.

Just as in 2008, I had 3 projects planned–this time, 2 hats and a scarf. The first hat gave me a bit of trouble, just on the brim. The second hat was a breeze–and it should have been, since I was knitting the same pattern. The scarf…

The scarf…I’ll let my project notes tell the story


2/17/10, 1000 – Cast on! Shifting to Team Sheepnuts! Knitting My So Called Scarf.

2/23/10 – And, halt! Temporarily, at least–this is going so slowly I’ve got no chance to finish on time, so I’m moving to the hat so I can at least get one medal for Team Sheepnuts.

2/24/10 – Still working on the hat, but that’ll finish up early tomorrow…and while I was working on it, I had a brainwave. Not only am I never going to get such a long scarf knit in time, I don’t particularly like long scarves. What I do like are cowls…and I love the ones that button in the front–very classy looking. Well, the cloche is going to have a button on it, so why not add buttonholes and matching buttons to my scarf and make it a cowl instead?

2/25/10 – From Scarf Super G to Aerial Unwind…sigh… Right before I broke to knit the hat I’d made a mistake in a purl row and came up a stitch short. I tried to tink back to the beginning and made a bigger mess (it’s just so hard with this stitch pattern to see where the stitches are), so I tried to push on and wing a fix…but the next row was looking worse. Tinking wasn’t an option, and I quickly learned that the yarn was too sticky and the stitches too confused even to frog back a few rows. So riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip! And cast on again…

2/26/10 – My So Called Scarf 2, Jen 0. And I was already almost back to where I’d to rip the first time when I realized I was once again missing a stitch…

…but I will not lose to a scarf.

2/27/10 – Scarf 3, Jen 0. This time I just cut what I had done off the ball; it had been frogged so many times it was getting fuzzy.

(later) – Scarf 4, Jen 0.

(still later) – Insanity: repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

Scarf 5, Jen 0.

I’m finding a new pattern.

2/28/10 – Just after midnight. I have a new pattern, and I’m not going to bed until I’ve got several inches knit. Darn it.

I’m using the stitch pattern from the Yarn Harlot’s One Row Handspun Scarf, but to turn it into a buttoned cowl I’m using the length and button instructions from the Herringbone Neck Warmer. I really liked the look of that pattern…until I realized it was the exact same stitch pattern that was already kicking my butt.

Here’s some irony. I posted on Twitter:

This is not a surrender. I’ve ordered a tactical retreat and an operational pause to regroup and develop a new plan of attack.

My youngest brother responded:

Is the enemy the yarn or the pattern? If it’s the pattern, just do a different one and claim victory! If it’s the yarn…

How come my non-knitting little brother figured it out so quickly, and it took me 3 days and 5 tries?!?

My So Called Olympics Sheepnuts Scarf (2)


There’s perseverance…like Lindsey Vonn, who after her initial success struggled on the slopes and added new injuries but kept getting back up that mountain. And then there is bull-headed stubbornness. I knew which side I’d landed on.

Fortunately, the stitch pattern in the One Row Handspun scarf proved to be one I could tackle…and fix, when I found a few mistakes a couple rows back. In fact, I made such good time on it that Sunday found me calculating just how many hours of knitting I had until the Ravelympics were officially concluded. The ending time was 11:59:59pm PST (GMT -5), which meant I had until 2:59:59am the next morning. Problem was, I had to up at 5am that morning to get to a doctor’s appointment…so there was no way I could knit until 3am. So, about 10pm, Steve and I both decided just to record the rest of the Closing Ceremonies and hit the sack. The scarf came to my doctor’s appointment with me instead.

And so I finished my buttoned cowl as Steve and I watched the rest of the Closing Ceremonies last night (although I have to admit that the giant beavers and flying moose made us regret that decision a bit)…but as I sewed the buttons on, I didn’t feel as though I’d failed. Ok, so I finished out of medal contention. But like Benjamin Koons, the New Zealand cross country skier who crossed the line 46th in the 50K, smiling and waving to the cheering crowd, I’d finished what I started.

And that’s a victory in itself.

My Insanity Olympics Sheepnuts Scarf (2)

Olympics Sheepnuts cowl and scarf (1)



  1. Very nice work!

    You always find the BEST buttons!

  2. Awesome! I love the set. It’s very flattering and has an interesting story. What more can you ask for? Great job.

  3. Those look great!! I love cowls too!


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