b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  Taking Stock
One of the best parts of moving (only in retrospect can I deem this as a positive) is the inevitability of taking stock of all those nasty WIP knits that we so easily find ways of ignoring (hiding from ourselves). In organizing all the stuff that needed to move from one Brooklyn walk-up to another, I tried hard not to shudder as the pile of unfinished knits continued to grow exponentially. One room gets cleaned and 3 more stow-aways rear their ugly heads. Repeat for every room of the apartment.

Sure, despair and hopelessness are the first feelings to descend, but leave it to the great momentum you achieve while moving to blow past those feelings of defeat and move right on to the moving-on.

A frog-fest ensued and I have to say I feel absolutely liberated and excited again about good yarns that had gone long forgotten. The biggest mountain to scale was my old friend Demi.

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taken july 2006. ugh.

On first consideration, it seemed like there were too many sinuous cables and twisted stitches to ever justify ripping something so beautiful, but in the spirit of being brutally honest with myself about what would and would not be worn... I knew what had to happen.

After trying on the body several times (there was only one sleeve left to complete the thing!), I knew what had to be done.

Too thick. Too warm. Too constricting. These are the things I repeated to myself as the wool carnage ensued. And, my friends, Demi is no more.

Don't be upset - because the best part of the story is yet to come! Almost immediately after the final stitch had been dissolved, I fell in love with the yarn all over again (it wasn't difficult). And it just so happens that I was in desperate need of a new sweater project. Do you see where this is going? Well lets just say that the Yorkshire Tweed and I are taking a second honeymoon, and I haven't looked back since.

Body and Sleeve

Despite having the busiest schedule I can remember in years, I'm getting a surprising amount of knitting done. Evening knitting has been adopted as the most effective way of relaxing in a short period of time.

What am I trying to say today? I guess that a little frogging goes a long way - and there's no better time of year to do it. Liberate (yourself) some of that gorgeous yarn that has been too-long imprisoned in a doomed project (we all have them) and I promise you'll be justified. I still can't believe I've been sitting on 10 balls of this discontinued wonder-tweed for almost 2 years with no finished sweater to call my own. That's all about to change.

And as for Big Blue, we're rounding the home stretch.

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As it turns out, sweaters are everywhere and that's what Fall should be about. Back to my wool-crazed euphoria. Happy Knitting.

I am going to let go also.And do something else with that yarn.Thank-you!

Can't wait to see your finished project!!

Nice to see you back after the whole moving business.

Frogfests are good for cleansing the mind (and the WIP-basket/closet/room). And as an added bonus, you get great yarn! I have a couple of WIP-monsters lurking at the bottom of drawers that I really should put to their final rest...

Big blue and the new sweater both look great!

thank you for your brilliant knitting.

I have to tell you that you are very inspiring. Your photography and knitting are just beautiful. I check your blog obsessively for new posts (no pressure) and whenever there is something new I get very excited. Good luck in your new home!

Oh - the thought of frogging those lovely cables makes me cringe! Sounds like it was the right thing to do, though. I'm sure you'll come up with something equally tweed-worthy ;)

Wow. Your frogging of old projects is a little like the knitting version of The Cure going on at Apartment Therapy. I bet it's really refreshing to start anew!

And what are you making with your lovely new wool?

I'm curious about your techniques for retrieving the memory of the wool pillaged from the cable pillory? Do you just ball and knit anew? Or do you skein and weight? Or fill-in-the-blank? Growing up, I wore many new sweaters made from old because my mother loved great yarn. Blue skies!

yes, you are very right. i have two sweaters i started probably two years ago, and lately i've come to realise they both need to be frogged. one is a delish tweed, fortunately, while the other is alpaca and i fear the ripping will be a battle. i'll keep my scissors handy.

Just the encouragement I need to tackle some of my lurking unfinished projects before I move next week...and I had been thinking of just piling them into a box. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs.

as hard as it is to rip, it sometimes just needs to be done. i recently ripped a sweater also - too warm, too bulky. it feels great.

I too recently reclaimed some lovely yarn from a doomed project. It felt fantastic and I have already completed something fabulously wearable. I am beyond thrilled. You will be too =)

I am so glad you're back! I always look forward to the projects you post.

A tweed's gotta do what a tweed's gotta do, n'est ce pas?

My condolences on the loss of such a lovely adaptation of Demi. But if the finished garment wasn't going to be loved as much as the yarn put into it, then something isn't right with the project.

I look forward to seeing what destiny awaits the Yorkshire Tweed.

sorry. . . . but what's this about 'frogging'? Don't know what that means. I do, however, really appreciate your wise words re: setting yarn free from the WIP (RIP!!!) projects that have so long - and so fruitlessly - ensnared them.

Good words.

Oh, it did make me cringe a little that ripping...but you are right, what is the point if you know you won't wear it and totally love it! Glad to hear your getting settled after the move!

I've come to love frogging! Feels like a monkey climbs off my back everytime I frog!

That yarn look so much better in a simple stitch. It really shows it off. :)

Nice to see your back, I love "Big Blue" and the Brown tweed is just to die for. :-) You have inspired me to work a little more of my Tilted Duster :-) Have a good week. Happy Knitting

I did the exact same thing to my Demi a few weeks ago, though I didn't have your courage to blog about it. I really did love how Demi looked, but I just knew I wouldn't like how it looked on ME.

Now what to do with all that yarn? I guess I'll have to wait and see what you've come up for yours!

This is really hard - I'm going to try to follow your example with my schlumpy denim!

I know how that feels...I've been knitting from my stash for some time now. I think the last time I bought yarn was more than 6 months ago, but there's still a lot of nice stuff to knit with.(including a nice blue Italian tweed - think it should be some fingerless mitts)


All hail the Yarn Liberator! I did some freeing of the yarn recently and boy did it feel good.

nodding in recognition here... when i moved i found some scary-old WIPs. 3 of them came with me, but they've all fallen by the wayside as i knit madly on cobblestone... the *perfect* relaxing knit-while-you-read project... i'm on the 2nd yoke decrease and i am so excited about seeing the finish line. then i'll tackle the unfinished projects, truly :)

Horray! It's almost like getting gift yarn. A present to yourself.

I've got a project that is not worth the ripping since it's a Fair Isle and in Lopi to boot. Nothing to do but struggle forward. Eventually....

Ha! Great post.
That was quite an emotional journey you took us on; a yarny rollercoaster. And we love a happy ending. You're a model for us all.

that is some gorgeous tweed, happy knitting!

Glad to see your back in the blogosphere! I was going through withdrawals. I can't wait to see your new projects.

Welcome back! You're writing is as eloquent as your photography and knitting--I need a regular dose. Many congrats on the Interweave sweater--definitely on my list for the hubby.

Frogging: like I always say, you get the experience of 2 projects for the price of one. Good call on that one.

I'm inspired.

Glad you're back to blogging - your knitting is such an inspiration! I'm currently working on a ribbed striped Noro Silk Garden scarf like yours (I know, you didn't design it, but yours was so lovely that everyone keeps referring to it as yours...) The scarf is a surprise for my hubby and I know he'll love it!


Ah, wool.
The Demi was lovely, but I suppose it was a bit superflous having the saddle shoulder Aran already. And yes, frogging is a most liberating experience. I have an Aran that needs to same treatment.

Enjoy your autumn and all the knitting love it provides,

Organizing my stash did the same thing for me. I fished out so many long-forgotten UFOs. Some got frogged, and some, I'm happy to say, got finished and found loving homes.

I'm sad to see Demi go, but it would have been sadder for it to sit unworn.

If you love a yarn, why let languish? Sometimes you just have to do it! Lovely stuff here, and I'm also a big tweed fan. Great photos of your knitting.

How funny, you and I were in the same boat. I happened to find MY old friend DEMI too... I was considering frogging. I am just not in love with it anymore. Thanks, I know now what to do:)

I recently reclaimed some yarn from a long forgotten project myself. I feel much better know. It was such nice chenille it seemed sad to waste it on something I was probably never going to finish. Now I just need to figure out what do with it!

It IS liberating, isn't it? I've just frogged a couple of socks in process, and feel giddy. I can't wait to see what happens with the sweaters. I've gone through an enforced closet empty and am in the refill state; I'm being brutally honest with myself, too. It's nice to hear it's in the air!

It's thrilling to go from one post to the next and see the great progress you've made.

I try to think of it as "harvesting" rather than "ripping."

I actually gasped when I read that you had all but one sleeve finished. I have an old (old old) project in the same state -- lovely forest green wool/alpaca sport weight in a gorgeous cabled pattern, back/front/one sleeve finished. And it won't fit me or anyone I know. If you can rip Demi, I know I can rip -- I mean, harvest -- my project.

Thanks for the inspiration!

I have to admire your bravery in frogging a nearly finished project. Glad to hear you have found a new home for your yarn though. Look forward to seeing the progress pics, it look a gorgeous yarn.

Glad to hear you & the wonder tweed are on your 2nd honeymoon! I frogged an almost done cable sweater once. It was hard but better than having that beautiful thing sitting finished but unworn.

Shouldn't that be:

"And, my friends, Demi is no Moore."?

Well done on your reality check. I have a couple of nearly-finished pieces thaat I'm stalling on, and I suspect it's for similar reasons.

Time to take a deep breath and start ripping.

..........and Yay!!!!

The cables were beautiful and the yarn worked very well. I wasnt nuts about the horizontal rib midline. I can, however, understand about the warmth you speak of and the same sweater in a blend or in cotton might work well. Beautiful work!

Big Blue is making me drool. I can't wait to see the final product.


Hi there! I'm new to your blog and I just love it! I'm learning to spin and your yarn is so inspiring.

i agree with you. it is just too busy that sweater. i never was a big fan. but i am a big fan of the coffee brown yorkshire tweed and i think it calls for simplicity. the blue sweater looks very nice. i wish i could get some sweater knitting done. oh dear.

In your current projects I see my favorite mac-n-cheese knitting, stockinette stitch. Do you find that pattern loses its appeal when you are under life stress? In those moments, the only thing that works for me is stockinette/garter and boy, does it feel good.

congrats on facing your unfinished projects head-on! I've been debating frogging one, so I'm following your lead!

Lovely, lovely. And very inspiring. I've just finished knitting a bag in that yarn (yet to be felted). It IS a great yarn.

I love love love the hat you designed in Knits Holiday. And I don't think I told you earlier, but I also very much admire the Cobblestone sweater in the fall issue. My husband is making it and it will look so nice on him. It's hard to find nice patterns for men's sweaters, as I'm sure you know. Thanks!

That Yorkshire Tweed is so delicious I could eat it. Big Blue is pretty darn luscious, too. :-)

Do you know of any knitting groups in Brooklyn? I have just discovered your blog via Yarnstorm's, just in time for a trip from London, England to New York in 5 weeks. I'll be staying with a friend in Brooklyn and I'd love to go along to a knitting group in the area while I'm over there. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

i tend to knit a bit more when i am busy, too. i think it helps with stress.

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