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More to Win! March 30, 2010

Guess what I got in the mail yesterday?

An extra copy of Sweater Quest! That's a great thing, because I wasn't willing to give away my copy. I wanted to keep my greedy hands on it. But I *will* give this copy away.

Leave me a comment here, telling me about the most difficult thing you've ever attempted to do in knitting (or if you don't knit, tell me about another difficult thing you attempted and how it went). I'll randomly draw a winner of the book on Friday.

Also, don't forget about what else you can win! My drawing is coming to a close! You could win one of three $25 Barnes&Noble gift certificates or THE LOVE SONG SWEATER itself! Link to How to Knit a Love Song somewhere and give it a review (your blog, Facebook, Goodreads, etc.) and make sure I know you've done it so I can be sure you're in the big hat. (If you're unsure if you're entered, feel free to shoot me an email.)

A review gives you three entries. But if you haven't had time to read the book yet, you can still be entered to win just by finding the book and taking a picture of it, posting it somewhere (or just emailing it to me). Or posting a picture of YOU with the book gives you two entries! 

There aren't that many entries, darlings, not in the big scheme of things. You have a good chance. (As of now, there are only 125 entries for four prizes. Looking good.)

And I'm extending it by three days -- I'll draw on April 4th, since I'm slammed until then, and won't have a chance to do it right. And you want me to do it the best way possible, so YOU can win, yes? Yay!


I made the Rona shawl from KnitPicks for my grandmother 2 years ago. I thought it was going to be the death of me, and it almost was when I saw the HUGE HOLE just inches from the center when I blocked it. I got it fixed, and it looks beautiful now, but it was by far the most challenging thing I've ever made.

The most difficult thing for me was a Swallowtail Shawl. I am HORRIBLE at lace knitting...I just don't "get" it intuitively, so I'm a slave to the charts/pattern. I finished it, noticed one dropped stitch WAY down at the bottom, fixed it, and realized it was WAY too small for me. Gifted it to a petite friend who appreciates it in her freezing cold office.

It seems that everything I do in knitting is difficult. Currently I'm knitting Multnomah and staring my first lace project and I keep losing my place in the pattern.

I'm going to try to tackle socks soon and I'm petrified!

I started a pair of Earl Grey socks for a man I'd only been dating for two months. They were the first thing I'd knit for someone other than family in a long time, and given the negative reaction to my knitting by my ex-husband, making something for a man with whom I'd become intimate was an emotional challenge. That's what made it hard - not the knitting itself, but the emotional challenge of it. He wears them all the time, and understands that the subtext of "I don't knit for just anyone, you know" is "I love you, you big stubborn man," so I consider them a success.

I'm not sure I have a most difficult knitting thing unless it was to let the *#^%~$ (or fill in your own favorite expletive) cleaning crew throw out my lovely, wonderful stash after a small house fire (residents OK-house fixed). I've recovered & had fun rebuilding the stash - now closing in on SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) but I must keep working on it just in case.

Socks, without doubt. I really, really wanted to knit socks, but I could not figure out how to turn a heel, and I couldn't get the count right when I was making the short rows. Nothing worked for me until I actually got a beginner sock book that had great step-by-step instructions. Once I was able to turn the heel and pick up stitches for the gusset I truly felt as if I could do anything in life. Now I fancy myself to be a sock engineer, and yarn and needles are construction tools in my erector set.

I was a relatively new knitter, had only done stockinette type projects, and I took on the Must Have Cardigan. Took me almost a year to make it - I'm a slow one, but I learned a LOT in the process. Now, looking back on it, it seems like it wasn't that hard, it was just endless...I'm a great believer in taking projects on one row at a time.

Long time stalker-first time commenter-although I do have 2 pics of HTKALS that I need to send/post...
I'm not sure about the most difficult thing. In terms of scope of project, it would be the season 15 Dr Who scarf for hubby-still needing finished after 3 yrs.

For technique, I'd say the Rocketry Baby Cardigan by Dream in Color. I've made it twice and still can't get happy with the applied Icord edging. In trying to keep track of the color changes, I miss the decreases/increases and changing to seed stitch. Maybe 3rd time's a charm?

It's hard to choose the most difficult! I took the Inga hat, converted it to a tea cozy, and chose 5 colors to intersperse for the non-white color, a la Alice Starmore. Turned out too big; I had to felt/full it and then do my first steeks! Mom loves it, tho.

Or could it be the Birch shawl, whose first line is "Cast on 299 stitches"? I screwed it up twice and THEN realized the needles needed to be size 8 (5mm), not size 5! I ended up with stitch markers every 10 stitches and laboriously counting the stitches every. single. row.

Or it could be Henry VIII, which is not even done, but I had to scrutinize online images of Jamieson & Smith yarns in order to choose Knitpicks Palette colors to substitute, and then re-order the charts in order to lose 8" of girth PLUS add a steek, as I want a cardigan. Phew, just writing that makes me want a nap!

The most difficult thing I've ever had to do in knitting was to...not kill my dog. I was knitting my first Clapotis with my own handspun and I was about six inches away from finishing the body...the dog (he was still an 18-month puppy) decided that his teeth needed a good floss (with wool!) while I was on a school field trip with the kids and so he jumped up on the kitchen table, grabbed my in-progress Clapotis, and chewed three big holes in it--the first one was just six inches from the cast-on edge. He had also found my bag of roving behind the couch and spread that all over the house, eaten at least three of the kids' stuffed animals, and then crapped all over the carpet upstairs AND ON THE CARPETED STAIRS THEMSELVES. I can't even begin to describe the amount of destruction and stink. I've seen tornado and hurricane damage firsthand and up close, and this was F5. Definitely F5. I walked in the door, saw the mess, and just sat down on the floor in shock. Hannah (my daughter, who was nine at the time) found my cell phone in my purse and called my husband and said "Daddy, you better get home RIGHT NOW or Mommy might have to kill the dog." Bless his heart, he was there 12 minutes later and whisked us out of the house and out to dinner. I lived and the Clapotis lived a few weeks later. I ended up frogging the entire thing to save about a third of the yarn. The dog lived, but it was definitely the most difficult knitting thing I have ever done.

Two socks on two circulars--I think that was the biggest technical challenge. But, like most things, once you've done it, it's not really all that hard.

Knitting on the subway while standing, that's challenging!

My most difficult knitting project is very much still in progress - the Princess Shawl from Sharon Miller. Orginally wanted it to be a wedding gift for my daughter but she died in a car accident 2 years ago, so I am making it for myself in a gorgeous teal wool/silk blend. It is definately NOT mindless knitting, so I have to be focused to even consider picking it up.

The most difficult thing I ever knitted was a Baby Christening Gown in a Pineapple design using baby yarn and size 13 (Cdn) needles. There were 13 pineapple repeats on each of 4 pieces of the dress. AND I had only 6 weeks to complete it. I'm happy to say I completed it and the Mom LOVED it. No comment from the wearer though!

Hmmm. Knitting comes pretty intuitively for me. Spinning, however, was painfully slow! I refused to take a class, rather I kept going back and forth between my spindle and my wheel until it finally clicked! It took about a year and a half, no lie! I love to spin now, so it was worth the wait.

I finally picked up your book in Barnes and Noble last night and read the first 2 chapters in the mall! It is just as good as I thought it would be, and unlike most romances I have read, I actually want to read the next chapter! Well done!

After A lifetime of knitting continental, I had to figure out how to knit all over again with my left hand paralyzed by stroke. This involved not just learning the throw method, but controlling ALL the stitches AND the working yarn with my right hand.......Took a few months of hard thinking, but I worked it out.

I had some really great forest green dk weight alpaca and wanted to knit a cowl for my girlfriend. I couldn't find one that was simple enough that it wasn't too girly for her, and still had some design to is so it was more than just a tube. So I designed it myself, knit it up, gave it to her, and then promptly had to take it back to line it because it made her neck itch! It's nearly lined now and will be gifted again this weekend at Easter :)

anything using black yarn.
or socks.
or mohair.
or lace.
so black mohair reverse stocking stitch socks with a lace panel up the back of the leg. yup, the most difficult thing (so far).
and they are a little big, but you can bet I wear them, even if they're hot.
mad as a box of frogs...

The most difficult thing I ever knitted is probably the first adult sweater I made. I have never been one to shy away from pushing my knitting to the next level (except when it comes to stranded colorwork, which I have avoided like the plague.) Anyway, about a month after I started knitting, I decided to learn cables and made a pair of fingerless gloves for my niece. I decided my next project should be a beautiful Jaeger sweater with lots of cables broken up only by seed stitch. At the time, I was knitting British style so seed stitch was a chore! The body of this sweater has six braided cables and I think 5 mini-twists. As I was relatively new to knitting and cables, I kept losing count or twisting cables the wrong way and having to rip out. The worst was when I twisted a whole row of cables the wrong way. By the time I noticed, I had to rip back about 5 inches on the back of the sweater. In the end the sweater looked fine. There are three spots where I twisted a cable the wrong way but it actually helps me figure out front and back on the sweater (there are two botched cables on the back and only one on the front.) I wear the sweater pretty frequently and though there have been times that I've wanted to re-purpose it by felting it and cutting it up, I just can't bring myself to do it. I am proud of that labor of love, three botched cables and all.

The most difficult thing I've done in knitting is keeping track of where the hell I am in a lace shawl that has knitting on every row (no resting purl rows) and isn't easy to "read" your knitting in...it took a lot of different highlighter colors and brain pain.

The most difficult thing I've done lately is sit through last night's Passover Seder, with 50 other Israelis all yelling at each other (it's how we show our love) in Hebrew, English, and a horrible mishmash of both. I survived by knitting under the table.. (don't worry, I didn't get any gefilte fish on yarn!)

The most difficult for me currently is consciously trying to loosen up my knitting and make it a habit. I picked up knitting very very quickly and was doing pretty complicated objects and patterns shortly after learning, but I often run into trouble because I knit so tightly that it's hard to k2tog or ssk or keep my colorwork from bunching. So I'm trying to force myself to become just a bit looser! :-)

My Dale of Norway Vancouver 2010 sweater -- mostly black yarn on size 1s and 2s, colorwork (for a non-color worker), first time steeks, all under deadline. Still need to redo the gargantuan collar, but I will need a stiff drink before ripping it out.

I tend to go for tricky projects because I adore the engineering aspects of knitting. Frankly, the dog sweater I'm knitting today is kicking my *%&(^! It would help if I'd seen the dog...

Definitely the hardest thing I've ever knit was a shaped double-knit self-quilting Fair Isle handspun mitten for my first husband. His left hand was ground up in a lumber mill accident and when they reassembled what they could it was rather non-standard. A long thumb, three hooked fingers, a palm missing pieces and covered in sensitive scar tissue and failed grafts. And he worked full-time outside in Montana. And he was a lefty.

So, I spun froghair singles of warm, soft qiviut and fine brown Rambouillet and plied them for the inner layer, then spun durable white Corriedale and Bombyx and plied those for the outer layer. I graphed a bear claw for the back of the hand, and his last name for the outer band between cuff and hand and his first name (and hearts) for the reverse of that band. I used salt and pepper for his thumb and the part of his palm where he could sort of grip, and a nice background print/grid for the rest of the mitt. K2p2 ribbing for the cuff. Short rows to curve gently around his fingers and pretty closely fitting since he had no feeling there and was constantly at risk for snagging his hand on things.

He wore it through many mendings until the fabric was blown.

I recently attempted my first lace shawl, a Charlotte's Web. I was intimidated by knitting from a chart but found that once I got started it really wasn't hard. I also learned the miraculous things blocking does for lace. Including exposing a dropped stitch smack in the middle of the shawl! After I picked my heart up off the floor, I took a deep breath and figured out how to fix it. That was probably the most difficult knitting challenge I ever faced. I'm happy to report it all turned out very well.

I would say right now the most difficult thing I have knit is Shedir. I'm knitting it for a friend that is going through chemo and I cannot wrap my brain around the chart and in the round knitting. I've restarted it THREE times and I still keep messing up. I'd like to get this done before she is done with her treatment!

I knit the Enchanted Forest found in a mid 80's Vogue... then reknit it as a pull over, changed the trees around and added trees to the sleeves. I still love and wear this sweater and will till if falls off my body in shreds... love, love it... but it was a challenge the first time and changing it made it more of a challenge...

Fair isle gloves on itty bitty needles. I was so proud of myself when I flipped them inside out to find the design was on the inside too!

Gloves link....http://dailyskein.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/wintergreen-gloves/

I think the most difficult knitting experience I've ever had was Shedir. The pattern and the yarn were lovely. I started out needles blazing, wanting to get the hat done for a friend who had lost all her hair due to chemo for lung cancer. I ran out of yarn and the LYS was also out. I saw my friend and her wife and she was bald but in good spirits and feeling energetic. I got another skein of the yarn to resume knitting, and she died before I finished, despite having looked so good and despite my belief that she would live to wear the hat. Ironically, I started wearing the hat when I got a stressful new job and started smoking again. It seemed perverse but perfect to be out smoking wearing a hat intended for someone who died of lung cancer. I lost the hat a few months ago and quit smoking. Hopefully the circle is complete.

The most difficult thing I did in knitting was to knit my wedding shawl. I used Eunny's Print o'the Wave stole pattern, which is wonderful, but it was my first "real" lace project. And I had only about a month to do it. I am a verrry slow knitter. Also, I was determined to think only happy thoughts while I knit it, and some sad things happened, so I didn't knit during those times...but in the end, I finished it, and it gave me SO much confidence...in my knitting, and on my wedding day! xxx

The Mystery Stole Project (3) I think? From a few years ago. I got the first half done and loved it, then the second half instructions were released and I wasn't in awe of the non symetrical concept, so I stalled. Working on my first Swallow Tail now. Hoping it goes better.

Trying to master the use of dpns! I have reworked the first row on a sock 4 times now. Just can't seem to get a handle on using more than 2 needles.

Most difficult thing...hands down - finishing an intarsia project taught to me by a friend who is no longer. It's an emotional thing sadly.
The intarsia, on the other hand (look! another hand reference), is enjoyable.
Congratulations on all your successes. I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and have enjoyed every word.

Probably the most difficult thing I have knit was a checker board that was double knitting. Everything had
to go just right to get it to come out right in the end. The disappointing thing was I knit a bag for the game board and game pieces and entered it in the fair. The people who displayed the item put it in the bag section and didn't even see the checker board!

I knitted an awesome sideways cropped cardigan for my first sweater ever (I'd been knitting for about 7 months at that point), including dropping a whole cabled section to fix a mis-crossed cable.

The most difficult thing I've ever tried to knit was a lace scarf. It wasn't that the pattern was difficult, it was the fact that I was a fairly new knitter trying to knit something with a sixteen row repeat, and I kept screwing up, and then having to rip back even more because I couldn't figure out what stitch was what except in the mostly garter row. I finally finished it, but it was a while before I tried lace again! I can't find a link to the pattern or I'd send it to you, since it was very pretty.

I cant make two of the same sock. Cant do it, makes me straight up nuts. I hear its referred to as "second sock syndrome". I dont mind wearing two different socks so its still all good. Lately I have been using two differnt yarns
and changing them randomly on each sock. Then at least they are from the same family!

Cutting a steek! Not just any steek, for some reason, ignorance I suppose, I chose for my first Fair Isle, a Dale of Norway cotton sweater. COTTON! *Smooth* cotton. It sat for a year or so, completely knit, waiting to be assembled. Lucky me, I met a woman at my fav LYS with a lovely Fair Isle sweater she had just designed. She convinced me to cut mine, and gave me some great tips.
And who did she turn out to be?
Feral Knitter!
Can you get luckier than that?!

The hardest knitting task I've ever done was grafting about 100 stitches on my first Sidewinder Sock. The directions didn't specify that you had to change your grafting method when the pattern changed from stockinette to garter stitch! That one took me days to figure out. I should really make the second sock one of these days...

I made a small fair isle bear vest which I steeked. It was smaller in size but the steeking was something very new to me. I did this years ago and still have no desire to try it again. I am glad that I did it.

That's a tough one. I would have to say the most difficult thing for me was when I was learning to do lace AND read a chart on the same project. My head just couldn't wrap around the instructions.

This was in the days of Knitty and I begged the people there to help and finally I was able to get it. :)

Oh, and the project was Backyard Leaves. :)

It's a toss-up - my first project was a sweater for my beloved. Which was difficult, but I didn't know enough to know that it was difficult.

Currently, the most difficult thing I have done was Anne Hanson's "Bee Fields" shawl - when I was doing it, I called it "BA, Masters, Ph.D." because of the increasing levels of difficulty of the three motifs.

Hardest thing is/was an Alice Starmore sweater - Rona - got it because of my name, but then got stuck about 10 years ago and it has been sitting in time-out since then. I have read your book and love it, and also read Sweater Quest (today). I might get back to the sweater. I don't want to win a copy of the books - already have them!

I have trouble knitting on circular needles---I knit on straights with one needle held under my arm because that is how I was taught by my Italian grandmother----every time I try to knit in the round I feel all thumbs and it is just so difficult for me!

The 2009 Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club is the hardest thing I've done so far. Every one of the six patterns was a challenge and a stretch for my abilities. But I successfully made them all! Beads! Lace! It helped me feel very confident.

Recently I had to rip out an entire scarflet, because I misread the pattern and messed it up. If it were for me, I would've kept it, but it was a gift for a fellow knitter who knew the pattern I was using and of course that wasn't OK.

I am a fairly new knitter, so EVERYTHING is difficult for me. I learned the "feather and fan" pattern to knit a baby blanket for my niece who is a mommy-to-be. I cannot tell you how many times I had to "frog" it. It finally made it off my needles in time for her Baby Shower! I now have "knitters elbow"! Is there such a thing?

The hardest thing I ever did in knitting was learning how to knit. I was a crocheted. Afghans, hats, scarves and beer cozies at Phish concerts. But I wanted to knit something that I loved ad wantedto wear. So I bought a kit. It trawler and moved with me at least seven times in 10 years. But in winter 2006/2007, I just buckled down ad put up with the hunched shoulders, the cramped pinky, the crap yarn and the huge holes. And when my niece pulled the needle out, I unraveled it all (I had no idea how to fix it) and started again. It sucked. But I was progressing. It was the ugliest scarf type thing you ever saw, and I knit it MY OWN DAMNED self. Yessssssssss. Once I had a sense of it all, I couldn't stop. Now it's just...me. Always. Kinda like my eyeballs. God willing. ;)

iPod touch makes for horrible and hilarious typos. So sorry. :(

The hardest thing I ever tried to knit was the Cece cardigan. It's lacy and I never did get my head around the instructions, particularly how to continue the pattern whilst increasing for the sleeves. It still sits as a glaring UFO. I may give it another go but for now, it has me beaten.

Many years ago, I had only been knitting a short while and tackled an extremely complex fisherman knit cardigan. It took many months (and many do-overs) before i finished it, but once it was done, I wore it for years and had gained LOTS of self-confidence. I figured if I could finish that sweater, I could do anything.

STEEKING! I knit my cat a sweater and decided to try the steeking since I'd rather mess up a small cat sweater than a big person sweater!

Like many knitters, the first Stitch n' Bitch book really molded me into a "real knitter". Back then I didn't know any other knitters and I had no concept of what a good semi-beginner project was. So after I finished a scarf from the book as my first real project, I decided to go for the Bowie Bag--a fair isle purse with David Bowie's face on it.

At the time, it wasn't so hard. It definitely stressed me out and wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, but it wasn't until a couple years ago when I was sitting in a fair isle class with Beth Brown-Reinsel that I realized how huge a project it really was for a beginner!

Knitting my first sweater for my then boyfriend- now husband. Big risk but it paid off! I will say I didn't actually complete it until we were engaged, but that is just because I'm a slow knitter. I had no idea how tall he was, I kept holding the sweater up to him to see if it was long enough. I thought it would never end!

not sure about hardest, but most frustrating was realizing I made a mistake in a lace stole and deciding I was just going to drop down & reknit back up just that section. (I do that (successfully) w/ cables & other stitch patterns all the time.)

(Lifeline? what lifeline?!)

It's the only thing I've ever resorted to getting help with. And the person who gave me a hand actually just frogged & reknit (which I was trying to avoid but obviously in the long run would've been so much easier).

My most difficult knitting is actually a pattern selection problem. See, I got this great natural heathered tan-and-cream silk yarn, and I made these great buttoned anklewarmers out of some of it (it took three tries to get the pattern, because I was making it up as I went along, but that was fine.) I had a good amount left over, and thought I'd make a shrug. I found a reasonable pattern, knitted a shrug. Hated it--the silk yarn really has no give, so the shug didn't really stretch or drape. Tried again, with larger needles. Hated it again. Tried a different pattern entirely. Not happy with the density, tried different needles. Ran out of yarn.

I think I may have finally found the pattern to fit the yarn in both texture and quantity, and that will also complement the ankle warmers.


I hope.

A couple years ago I decided to knit a fitted sweater out of dark purple sock yarn. Top down, seamless, with set-in sleeves. Seaming probably would have been much easier than picking up stitches in a really dark splitty yarn, but whatever. I had to come up with my own technique entirely for doing the sleeves since I wanted rounded sleeve caps instead of the more triangular ones you get if you follow the formulas. It took me absolutely forever, lots of Excel spreadsheets, miles and miles of stockinette, but it eventually turned into a sweater that I totally love. I really need to wear it more often - it mostly sits in my closet waiting for special occasions, which is a bit silly since half my motivation for making it out of sock yarn was that it would be fairly easy to wash!

Two of Ms. Alice's designs have given me much stress -- Cromarty and Tucumcari. Cromarty was my first Aran-style sweater and took me FOREVER, since I kept getting annoyed with all of the cabling, putting the sweater down for a few months, picking it up for a while, getting annoyed again, and on ad nauseum. But, it's done and gorgeous and I love it. Tucumcari was my first Fair Isle and my tension was astonishingly bad for the first two-thirds of the sweater. I overcompensated for my traditionally tight tension by loosening up to a ridiculous degree. The sweater is pear-shaped although I am not.

The most difficult thing for me is fair isle. I am a tight knitter and this causes me problems with fair isle. I read your book. It was great! I am patiently waiting for the next one!

One of my most challenging projects was learning how to knit socks from the toes up. I was very happy with the results.

I bought a book with a really nice pattern for a sweater tank. I thought it would be a good way for me to try a sweater without having to do sleeves. Well, I've started the pattern 7 times and ripped out everytime. The book is now hidden on my shelf and the 6 skeins of yarn are in the bottom of a tote. I'm afraid of the pattern now. I think I tried it too early in my knitting because it was tougher than I was ready for. Someday soon I am going to try again!

Possibly the first pair of felted slippers I made, due to the short rows. I kept getting off on my count and having to redo them. I'm glad I stayed with it, though. I really love these slippers!

Most difficult project - a full-size lace shawl with lace-weight yarn. So I made it my Ravelympics challenge - had to start and finish it during the Olympics. Used several lifelines which saved me. And I did it! And it's lovely! Frozen Leaves shawl.

You know, once I finish something, I often find that it wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd imagined. I think the most difficult project I've ever tackled was difficult because I had to make the hard choice of ripping the entire thing to fix gauge issues. My beloved Norah hat, my first color work - and not the last!

I am a beginner and have not knit too many things...but my first project was a dish cloth...my friend was taking a class and cast on for me and showed me the knit stitch...i knit and knit and knit and knit...my dish cloth was not square and I suddenly had way too many stitches on my needles...but I kept on knitting until I ran very low on yarn...but my friend had moved away and I couldn't figure how to get it off the needles...I carried it around with me and would ask random people (that looked like they might knit) if they knew how to knit and to show me what to do next...finally, a lady in the grocery store showed me how to bind off...I ended up running short of yarn and just threaded up a needle with the end of the yarn and ran it through those last stitches...tied a big knot and it was done...I only knit one...I still use it to wash dishes...

I just started your book on my Kindle...thanks for publishing on Kindle...

I guess the hardest thing I've tried lately is lace knitting...maybe I shouldn't have started with alpaca laceweight, which seems very slippery! I'm determined to learn to do it and read the charts but it will definitely be a challenge for me - I just can't seem to handle the openness and loose stitches.

BTW, I'm 3/4 through your book and love it! I look forward to more from you:) I'd like to read Sweater Quest - when I saw "Julie and Julia" it inspired me to do a knitting version of her self-challenge but I haven't figured out quite how to do it yet!

I think everything is the most difficult until I try it! Probably the most challenging for me is keeping even tension when doing Fair Isle or intarsia, but I'm getting much better at it so I'll have to come up with a new challenge.

As has been named before, my most difficult project was Swallowtail. For me it was the laceweight in combination with the project. I've done other lace and had an OK time and have used laceweights with varying levels of fun, but together was more than I was willing to stick with.

Toe-up socks are my knitting downfall. After 4 attempts, one of them all the way up and around the heel, I admit defeat. Give me lace, colour knitting or any kind of crocheting, but don't make me try toe-up socks again.

My most difficult knit was one of my first knits. I went to the local yarn shop and chose the pattern and yarn. Even though it was back in the 60's it cost me over $50! I had saved for months for that yarn. It was a 'simple' stockinette cardigan with ribbed band and cuffs. For some reason the pattern was written so badly even the shop owner who was an amazing knitter had trouble deciphering it. Long story short, I finished it wore it several times, then it got washed.... you guessed it! It felted down to the point it wouldn't fit an infant!

Lace! My first project I had to rip out three times before I finally got the hang of the easy easy pattern. I'm scared of what will happen when I try something more difficult!

The most difficult thing I have ever attempted to knit was a pair of fair isle socks (by Beth Brown-Reisel) What made them so difficult was that I had never knit socks nor fair isle. It was a long time between casting on and finishing the first sock. The second went a little faster. At the end I learned I loved making socks but was not so fond of fair isle. By the way, I looked at Sweater Quest when I was at the bookstore yesterday but stuck with my first choice, how to knit a love song ! I admit I would love to win Sweater Quest.

anything with lace; I have a love hate thing with it.

I am still working on Nora Gaughan's tortoise skirt (or turtle skirt, I can never remember), it requires constant picking up of stitches, then decreasing down.

I tend to do my worrying before I start a project, then find it isn't so hard after all. Lace knitting eek! Then has a simple pleasurable time knitting it. Fitted garment ack! Then once I dove in, it was so much easier than I thought. I find the prep more stressful than the project.

I always gravitate to projects that somehow test my skills or teach me something new, so most of my projects are difficult at first. Probably the hardest thing I ever did was after only about three years of knitting, I decided to design and knit an Aran sweater for my (then) husband. It did turn out well...except for minor fact that ALL of my purl stitches were twisted...yikes...

I have no one to blame but myself. My most difficult knitting project has been a self-designed, doubleknit, fully reversible 4 x 5 block (48 x 60 inches) baby blanket with different patterns on each of half of the blocks (like a quilt with every other block a solid square)in pastels and white. It'll be an heirloom whenever it gets finished if I don't go blind first!

For me its fair isle socks. I just can't seem to complete a total sock. I really love to knit color work and I get all excited about getting started. I fine on the cuff and turning the heel but by the time I get to the foot I have had it and want the sock done so they usually end up with a plain foot. Someday I will knit a total fair isle socks.

The most difficult thing I did was learn to crochet. I tried knitting over and over and it did not click so finally I picked up a hook and watched youtube crochet videos. I sweated over that little square for a weekend before it became an undeniable triangle. Now I am a better crocheter I can finally justify stashing yarn and coveting malabrigo. I am still determined to learn to knit though, just not sure how to achieve this miracle.

I've been reading your blog a long time, I love it. Congratulations on your book I will be reading it soon. It has been so neat to follow your story on getting an agent and getting published, etc. I just started taking a knitting class. So much fun and relaxing. Our first project is dishcloths! LOve it. I can't imagine being as good as you but I really would like to be able to knit socks : )

Entrelac socks in stretchy cotton yarn.... the pattern sucked and it took me over 8 months to knit both socks. I had to start them (both) 3 times, in 2 needle sizes. After re-working the foot, they didn't fit. I didn't have the heart to rip them again. So they are in a drawer, where i can't see them.

probably my most challenging thing to try was designing lace. despite numerous reference books and blogs i am still unable to figure it out. i can knit it just fine, but designing my own... not so much (yet).

Love love love your book! I am a yarn shop owner and put a review on my shop blog to tell all my customers about it! Couldn't email you by clicking on the "email" link so I'm letting you know about it here... Here is the link to my blog:

I am a fearless knitter because I am self-taught and don't know any better. My second project was a V-necked cardigan in 4-color jacquard. My sister is still wearing it (mumblety) years later. Lace knitting? No sweat. Steeking? I'm game. What kicked my arse was Thorpe. I could NOT get the hang of the DPN's with the chunky yarn. How silly is that? So I'm knitting it upside-down! Thanks for having this contest- it's fun!

THe most difficult think that I ever knit was a round lace table cloth in crochet cotton - who knows what size? From written, not charted instructions. It was a labor of love for my mother, knit in the late 80's before I started keeping track of my knitting in any way. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, I can't for the life of me remember where the instructions came from. She loved it and it stayed with the table that she used it on when she died. I need to ask my brother if they are still using it . . . I just finished your book and really enjoyed it. You tell a good story!

My most difficult knit was an Aran cardigan in orange that I started my last year in college. I bought the yarn at a shop run by the mother of a friend of mine and she talked me into orange because she was out of white. I hated the color, hated the sweater, and knit only the back before abandoning it and knitting for about 10 years. I thought I hated knitting but later realized I hated the sweater. My mother later finished it and gave it back to me about 5 years ago. Now I like it.

And don't enter me in the contest because I just won this book from Feral Knitter. But I had to tell you my sweater story.

I learned to pick up stitches from a horizontal edge by knitting a cabled band for the bottom of a sweather, then picking up 299 stitches for the body. Then I knit a plain stockinette sweater body for a man who is 6'2", and palin stockinette arms, and realized that I enjoyed picking up stitches WAY more than the 100,000 plain stitches. Still undecided if learning how to pick up on the fly or actually finishing the body was harder!

I don't know if you've already drawn your winner, but the most difficult knitting I've done is now. Pair cognitive impairment with an obsession for lace knitting, and you have guaranteed frustration. Still, what's life without a little challenge?

Definitely teaching my boys to knit :)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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