My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Knitting Mojo

In early July, right after finishing my Mara cardi, I cast on a new project, a design for an aran vest I was working out in my head, Keelan. I started it in Rowan Scottish Tweed fingering weight and completed most of the back.

And then I let it sit. For ages. I did finally finish the back and started on the front. And then I let it sit. For ages.

That danged project seriously screwed with my knitting mojo. I’m not sure why, but I hated knitting it. The yarn was nice, I liked the cable pattern, but the whole thing was just sucking my knitting mojo right outta me. So I kept starting and finishing other things, and enjoying them, but in the back of my mind, a little voice was chiding me that I needed to finish Keelan. After all, I really didn’t have all that much left to do — it’s a vest and I had the back and a third of the front done.

Right before I started the Wing-o’-the-Moth, I picked it up again and felt the joy of knitting being sucked right out of me. It was at that point I decided to abandon Keelan in its present state. I immediately cast on Wing-o’-the-Moth as comfort knitting. Mohair/silk yarn being knitted into lace really does go a long way towards soothing the knitter’s soul.

While I was knitting the Moth, I was swatching and experimenting with yarns for the new Keelan. And much to my surprise, I found the perfect yarn in my stash: Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed.

I bought a bag of this yarn at least a year ago with only a vague idea of what to knit from it. Turns out it is perfect for the Keelan I envisioned in my head.

The new Keelan is still a vest, but it will button down the front instead of being a pullover. And it will be longer that I had orginally planned.

Due to extreme fatigue and zombie-like demeanor brought on by seasonal allergies and the meds I take to combat them, my progress has been slow. But I am making progress, and thoroughly enjoying the knitting.


Which is really what it is all about for me.

It took me a long time to realize that it was fingering weight Keelan that was messing with my knitting mojo. I guess that’s because I very rarely start knitting something and stop feeling the love. But I need to remember this experience for the next time it happens.

How about y’all? What affects your knitting mojo?

In Other News

I finished the Opal Handpainted socks.


To recap, it’s colorway #22, knitted on 2mm needles. Toe-up. Of course.

There was a comments request for a close-up of the sides of the toe. Here you go!


And the other side:


My new commuter knitting is a stealth project, so there will be no mention of it here. Just sayin’.


I try to make a point of answering most questions from the comments. Sometimes I email the commenter in response, sometimes I answer the question in the blog the next day. If you leave a comment asking a question and you post either a fictitious email address or never check your email, don’t keep leaving the same comment with the same question, nnnnnn-kay? I do have the brains (most of the time) to take “remove” or “nospam” out of an email address — that’s not what I’m talking about.

(The reason I mention this is that someone has left a comment on four separate occasions asking the same question, getting a tad more belligerent with each asking. I responded to three out of four of those comments via email. And then deleted the comments from the blog. Because I can.)

If you ask me a question the answer to which I deem is none of your business, I will ignore it. My blog, my choice. And if you persist and keep leaving the same comment, I’ll ban your ass. πŸ™‚

Lucy is considering the advisability of leaving prank comments on my blog. Heh.



  1. Ooo, ooo, I have a question. πŸ™‚

    Any recommendations for a DK weight yarn for knitting socks? I completely forgot I signed up for Sock Wars and now I’m scrambling. I’ll probably be the first knitter to die.

  2. I like your new Opal socks – they look like the coat of a clouded leopard. And thanks for turning me on to The Loopy Ewe, I got my order (from Friday) yesterday (Tuesday) and am considering quitting my job to stay home and knit the gems that arrived, but then I could never buy yarn again *sigh*.

  3. I love your blog! I read it first thing in the morning -or right before I go to sleep, like today (cause i’m an ocean away). Thank you Wendy for everything we learn from you – you give so much. I’ve been reading your blog like a book!
    Thank you so much for sharing, K.

  4. Lucy does indeed look a bit devillish there!

    I recently experienced an interruption of knitting mojo, though I’m not sure why. I just found myself feeling utter contempt and disdain for all of my current WIPs. My cure is to switch to cross-stitch for a while…love my British cross-stitch magazines! πŸ™‚

  5. Austin Powers says:

    Crikey! I’ve lost my mojo!

  6. I’m diggin’ the Keelan, Wendy.

    Since I pretty much exclusively knit socks, I’d have to say my mojo depends on my liking the yarn. Well, no, I guess that’s not right, since my longest otn-sock is the second Amble from the SixSoxKAL August 2005 pattern. I’m using yellow Paton’s Kroy sock, which isn’t my favorite but is a yarn that I like. I guess it’s because the chart is one I either can’t or haven’t made enough effort to memorize. So I have to watch the chart for every stitch. And it’s not. fun.

  7. I can totally relate to the knitting mojo. After knitting through high school and college, I abandonned knitting for about 10 years because I hated it. Took me that long to realize it was the project-from-hell that I hated, and not knitting itself. Got rid of the project, got my mojo back, and I’ve been sailing ever since. You’re lucky you could figure it out over just a couple of months!!

  8. That Lucy….you can just see the wheels turning in her head. What sucks away my knitting mojo is too many long projects going, or too many lingering as WIP and nothing finished. I think I’ll go home and knit a mouse. We won’t talk about what happened to the quilting mojo – which disappeared 2 years ago.

  9. My knitting mojo wanes when a deadline is fast approaching. Worst possible time, right? Usually this is because I’ve been sidetracked by other projects and in a sick, masochist way, put myself under the gun to get something finished on time. Also, the realization that the knitted object is not, in reality, going to come close to the idealized version in my head, is pretty much a killer.

    That’s crappy about the commenter. Bully to the bullies, I say!

  10. Hi Wendy — Have you seen this? — a very cute/funny knitting animation on YouTube. Thought you might enjoy it. Actually while watching the woman in it knit at like 100 inches per minute it made me think of you! Enjoy!!

  11. The lady at my yarn shop convinced to me start this “sweater.” Unfortuneately,I am an advanced(sort of) beginner with limted skills and attention span.. yet I invested mucho $ . Somehow the yarns seem to split on me causing me to gain stiches.This is not fun when you do not know how to fix things yet or find the mistakes Very frustrating this weekend I dropped that damn sweater and started my fist Kitty Pi (first felting experience)To me this is what knitting is all about..I was so excited and can’t wait till it drys out.

  12. Knitting Mojo: I’m still learning that it’s OK to abandon a project in the middle, after working so hard on it. I just abandoned a cotton/wool blend sock because I couldn’t stand the feel of the yarn. Thank you for supporting the abandonment of projects (maybe we should have a swap of abandoned projects?)

    A question: Have you ever knitted a sock, er, boot out of worsted weight yarn?

  13. Gosh, I’m so sorry! I did forget to check my e-mail. I feel like such an idiot. I’m so sorry. I don’t know if I can apologize enough. By the way, that yarn you’re using for Keelan is really beautiful. I’m very fond of the color.

  14. I am coming to the conclusion that socks suck my mojo. waah. I love looking at all the knit socks, but I find them such a chore. maybe I just haven’t found the right yarn or needles or something.

    I asked a Q in a comment once, the same day that another blogger asked a similar Q. Well, you answered hers in the next post, but I felt kinda ignored. oh well, I thought. anyway, a day or so later I was cleaning out my email spam folder and there was your helpful answer. oops. thank you. but I just cannot imagine getting all huffy and making a nasty comment if you really had overlooked me. geez, you answer a lot of questions, but that doesn’t mean anyone is entitled to an answer.

  15. I’m sorry, it’s just that I don’t usually post on blogs, so I’m not used to this. I really didn’t mean to get so obnoxious!

  16. I love the new Keelan and I can relate to your mojo issues. Sometimes I am knitting something and just know it is not right and then I can’t make myself finish it. I’m glad to see I am not the only one!

  17. Geez, prank comments. Losers.

    Knitting mojo – I hear you on that. In my limited experience, it’s usually the yarn’s fault. Yeah. The yarn’s fault. Ha! πŸ˜‰

  18. Work bring my knitting mojo waaaaaaaaaaaaay down, especially as of late. Perhaps a new career path is in line? But your blog, other blogs, a copy of Interweave Knits….they bring it back up for a bit. I still haven’t cast on anything lately, but that darn stash keeps growing a bit. πŸ˜‰ thanks for the good knitting vibes your blog sends! (as well as the seeds to buy-more-stash-yarn)

  19. I’m not a prank commenter! It’s just that when I log in on my computer, this pop-up thing will sometimes come up saying that I’ve got new e-mail. It never came up, so I never thought to check. Plus, my friends send me all sorts of junk, so I don’t check unless the pop-up comes up. PLUS, I didn’t write anything nasty! I’m so sorry, but I didn’t mean to make anyone mad! I’m sorry to everyone.

  20. I like the Keelan, are you going to make the pattern available for sale to us? BTW – Good going Lucy, leave all the prank comments you feel necessary. You have such wisdom. (That’s from a very small child who is sitting here waiting to see the Lucy picture of the day)

  21. Hi Wendy,

    Delurking for a spell. To answer your question…..Deadlines. Deadlines really kill my knitting mojo. I guess I should get started on my Xmas knitting pretty soon then.

    I love the new and improved Keelan. Ya know cables are supposed to be all the rave this season.

  22. Hi Wendy,

    Delurking for a spell. To answer your question…..Deadlines. Deadlines really kill my knitting mojo. I guess I should get started on my Xmas knitting pretty soon then.

    I love the new and improved Keelan. Ya know cables are supposed to be all the rave this season.

  23. The vest is going to be fabulous with the new yarn. I’m glad you figured out the problem, and fixed it. πŸ™‚

    Last year, this pair of purple socks totally stole my knitting mojo. Well, not this pair precisely. I knit an entire sock with this self same purple Opal, which I loved knitting with btw, and part of the second sock, and then let the second one languish. It sat. I stewed. Finally I realized that it just wasn’t a good fit between yarn and pattern and ripped them out. Tried another pattern. Didn’t get as far, ripped again. Finally I found a pattern that was a good match for the yarn, and knit the socks up in a flash. Both of them. All told, it was about 6 months from initial cast on to finished socks, but I did it! And I got my mojo back. πŸ™‚

    I have a question for you, which you can answer in whatever format you please… How did you learn to design knitwear? Did you take a class at a local school? Complete a master knitting course? Make it up as you went along?

  24. My mojo was getting seriously sapped by a scarf. I was tying desperately to use up (free and acrylic) stash and have some bulky and worsted in the same colors. So I was trying to combine the two; it was really too thick for the pattern and I was getting bummed. I put it away and started your Kimono Jacket pattern 3 days ago, swatching for one of them to determine needle size, etc. Voila – Mojo’s returned! The scarf will be frogged and only ONE of the yarns will be used for a smaller project. Thank you, Wendy, for permission to frog and continue along the path of being a bad-ass knitter πŸ™‚

    p.s. tell Lucy she’s scaring me! LOL

  25. Deadlines. Deadlines kill the knitting mojo and make me psycho into the bargain.

    On the other hand, getting near the end of a project makes me excited and I knit like crazy.

  26. Hahahaha! That’s a great picture of Lucy. =D

  27. Oh, your shawl is beautiful – my husband and my cat agreed. Mmmm… I have a question regarding socks – I notice that you generally just knit the pattern on the leg of the sock and don’t carry it on to the instep/upper foot area, why? I’m just curious myself. I like both ways and sometimes I feel that having the smoothness of stockinette across the top of my foot is more comfortable for long wearing of socks day.

    Thank you. πŸ˜‰

  28. I think what zaps my knitting mojo is lack of experience and then picking a project that is WAY over my head. I am hoping it’s a beginner’s thing! I will have my one year anniversary as a knitter the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. I have really loved learning and now need to learn restraint!

  29. Wendy, when you pick up the wraps on the short rows, do you just knit (or purl)it then, or do you pull the initial stitch out from underneath the wraps before you knit/purl it? I printed out your post about when you were working short rows on the train and paid attention so you could answer a question, but it didn’t say whether or not you pulled the stitch out from under the wraps. Maybe you don’t and that’s why you didn’t mention it? (And if so, DUH! to me!) I have been pulling the stitches out and it looks okay. Just wonderin’. Thanks!

  30. Hi Wendy- What is a mojo killer? This sounds incredibly selfish, but if I know I’m making something to give away- I always find fault with it and don’t enjoy the process. Or if someone requests a specific item, it ruins it for me. After it’s done, I gladly give things away, but I can’t knit with a specific purpose in mind.
    Weird, the games we play with ourselves, eh?

  31. Ok, so you have a new stealth knitting project that you do on public transportaion, in front of potentially thousands of people, and you can’t mention it here? And how long have you been working for the CIA?
    Those socks are very pretty. Would you be able to do a close-up photo of your heels, from the side?

  32. I’m not sure my mojo is gone, but it is waining… and it’s a sweater made of sock weight yarn and a linen towel that are working in tandem to do it. I keep wanting to start something new, but know that the only thing keeping me on these two is the promise of something new, perhaps in a bulky, at the end…

  33. The mojo-sucker for me is indeed bad (or wrong) yarn. Even Koigu did it to me once, and I finally abandoned that particular pair of socks. Now, it’s hard to imagine that happening with Silkroad DK; what a truly lovely yarn to work with! As for deadlines, I think the secret is not to set any. If you’re making a gift for someone, just give it to them when the project is finished, and enjoy doing it.

    My granddaughter Lucy and I spent some happy time last weekend when she visited, viewing recent pictures of your Lucy . Thank you for the daily treats.

  34. Love your socks. I need to start a pair of socks. I want to learn socks. Besides a little baby/toddler pair, I have been unable to successfully get past the ribbing of any top down sock I try. I was going to try your toe-up recipe and was dissuaded by the knitters at my LYS (“Oh no, you wouldn’t want to try toe up for your first pair!” “Oh, no, you should get used to doing them the other way first”) I have despaired until today. Today I have decided to start a toe up pair – as soon as I get the right size dpns – and get going! Maybe this weekend? or maybe I’ll try the ‘easy’ pattern my Knitter Tea Swap spoiler sent me. Anyway, I want to start socks!

    BTW, Keelan looks beautiful. So many ideas, so little time to execute them!

  35. I’m odd. Usually my mojo just wanes on it’s own, no matter the craft, but I’ve found with knitting it’s sticking around. Course, it may also be the fact that I’m left wanting almost constantly. I have a six month old that made me want to knit three days before she was born, and needing to take care of her instead of knitting has me wanting to knit. Maybe it’s the whole I can’t do it constantly and get bored/sick of it thing going on.

  36. What hits your knitting mojo? What a great question!

    I’d have to say knitting on a deadline. I’ve finally learned that I cannot knit “for people” if it’s for a particular time – even the holidays. It makes me start to HATE knitting – I feel like it becomes an obligation rather than a joy. So, I am becoming one with only knitting for myself. πŸ™‚ If I do knit for others, from here on out, it’s a big deal.

  37. Oh, yeah. Deadline knitting really affects my mojo. I can sew on deadline. But not knit. I’ve got a project OTN now that has a deadline and there’s little to no way I’ll make it – I’ll think 2-3 times before I do this again.

    Lucy looks as if she’d hurt someone who left you a crank comment! lolol!! Does she still have her claws? (It’s a great photo, Wendy!)

  38. Kniting mojo, huh?

    Well, for one, I’m just discovering that when I “have to” knit, for a specific purpose, the knitting mojo spirals downward. I work at a wonderful new shop, and am teaching classes, too, but knitting because I “have to” (I realize this is still my choice), suddenly sucks some life out of my enthusiasm. Must be my rebellious spirit.

    Knitting anything with dpns also sucks it out of me. Completely – don’t like the little buggers.

    Finally, sometimes I just lose interest, temporarily… it always returns though. I find returning to a basic hat, or simple pair of socks snaps me out of it! Then I dive right back in.

  39. I love the Keelan. I am a real fan of seed stitch. In fact I have a sweater partially made that has double seed and a rib with seed stitch in the purl parts, and it has zapped my knitting mojo. The ONLY good things about this sweater pattern is the seed stitch parts. The style is outdated (tight ribbing at the bottom and a rolled st st neck), and will look awful on me. What was I thinking?! I’d never wear it and would feel bad about someone else having to wear it (it also has a big cable boo-boo that I would have to fix). Seed stitch gets me every time. I have to be super vigilant when I see seed stitch. But YOUR seed stitch Keelan looks fabulous and stylish. Will there be a pattern for sale sometime? Please? I need good seed stitch patterns to appease my inner seed stitch fiend.

  40. Lucy looks like she’d claw the eyes out of anyone who might try any funky comments on your blog.

    Pretty intimidating for a ragdoll!

  41. martha in mobile says:

    Deadlines, having too many wips or too much yarn (I know that last doesn’t seem possible) are what kill my mojo.

    Don’t you think Charlotte has apologised quite prettily? I would have been too much of a chicken to speak up and apologize to everyone.

  42. Wendy – I am always impressed when you take the time to answer your questions – via email or blog. (And you STILL get so much knitting done. How DO you do that?)

    Kathleen – don’t listen to the nice ladies at the LYS who told you not to start with a toe up pattern. My first socks were made with Wendy’s Toe Up Pattern and I’ve used it ever since. It’s a very easy pattern to start with and you can modify any part of it with fancy lace patterns as you become more comfortable knitting socks. It’s my staple sock pattern!

  43. You make me laugh……sometimes the project / design starts out with adventure & noses dives into the corner to collect dust!…..ah, well…..I had one that took XX years (cause it is embarrassing to admit the true number)…..but it did get done……just not when I thought!……as for computer illerates: get instruction!……you have never been nasty, rude, flippant (ok…..only in fun, though)…..and those that think you are obligated: go stuff it in a green olive!….just saying……

  44. Such fun to read all the comments. I find my Mojo wanes as I get closer to finishing a project… large or small. I’ve talked to other process knitters — you know us by the large number of WIP’s we have hanging around — and we all start to feel the ‘knitting’s a chore’ thing as we are close to finishing! Crazy, I tell you, just crazy. Then there’s the ‘I just finished something I really liked and can’t settle to anything else’ syndrome.

  45. New yarn or more complicated project will zap my mojo into oblivion. Even with something that I have been IN LOVE with, from the start. Give me a new, pretty, silkier yarn or a REALLY complicated pattern and UFO’s multiply like rabbits! Eventually, my mojo creeps back (or maybe that’s guilt) and I finish the projects….it just takes awhile πŸ™‚

  46. Lover-ly socks, Wendy! I just looked at my handpainted Opal and it is colorway #22! Now I know what it would look like. Thank you! πŸ™‚ I’ve been turned on to knitting socks ever since I found your toe-up sock pattern. I don’t even need to look at the pattern anymore. I’m not fast, but I really enjoy kniting socks now.

  47. Finishing. Finishing zzzzzaps my knitting mojo like nothing else. I can’t stand to weave in ends or sew up seams or…or….or… I have several pair of socks (like 5 or 6) that would be perfect for the chilly weather coming my way (MI) but are they finished?????? No-o-o-o-o-o. 4 ends per pair…24 ends max. How long could it take?? Any motivating suggestions?? Thanks!

  48. My mojo hates deadlines, yarn in colors I don’t like or of fibers I don’t like (I do a certain amount of paid knitting for a designer friend). I would pull out my fingernails before I would do entrelac or argyle and intarsia doesn’t exactly blow my skirt up either. But usually it’s just the blue funks that mess my mojo.

  49. Maybe your mojo was sitting in “idle” until the right fuel was added! Now the journey can continue at normal speed. That is why we MUST keeping shopping for fuel! I think Lucy would agree!

  50. No real question here. Just a comment.

    Knitting mojo -> Knitting MOJITO! Mmmmm!


  51. So, are you joyfully ripping out the old Keelan?! I hope so! LOVE Joy Sharp Silk Road, whatever its weight.

  52. I’m with Karen W. No matter what the project, the last few step (the blocking and assembly) or the framing for a cross stitch piece or the binding on a quilt….. It’s always that last step that drives me NUTS. The New!Shiny upcoming project is already calling my name by that point and I can’t wait to get started on it.

    I don’t really have a solution, I’m trying to weave in ends as I go (use a Russian join, etc). The lace blocking is a joy, and sock blockers are my friends, so maybe I’m over that speedbump.

  53. My mojo wanes when I hit any part of a pattern that requires thought — turning a heel, sleeve shaping, whatever; the project sits until I can devote some quality, i.e., uninterrupted, time to it. And any time a project isn’t going well I seem to need to cast on something else. (Dulaan hats are great for bucking up the confidence.) Generally, though, I’m pretty disciplined about sticking with a project, either until it’s done or I decide it sucks and frog it. (Let’s not discuss the felted purse that has been waiting for over a year for the applied I-cord edging ;-))

    I love the two symmetrical whitish lines outlining Lucy’s nose in the photo. She definitely looks Dangerous.


    An answer: Knitting something for someone that I know they will like/love, but that I personally hate, be it the technique or the color or the design or any combo thereof.

    A question: Do you do much spinning these days? I’d love to see some if you do!

  55. Stacie Dolin says:

    *SUCH* a strong face on that Lucy! So used to seeing her more relaxed belly……

  56. I can relate to the knitting mojo. I am in a bit of one myself. I just want to say thank for posting your genric sock up pattern. I have finished my first pair of socks ever and I love them. I am now washing them hoping I did it right and they don’t fall apart.

    Thank you again, I love this blog, it is the only one I read faithfully.


  57. hi Wendy,
    I beleive I knit too loosely the toe-up way, for my toe don’t look like this, the heel neither, little holes on the heel (do you see what I mean ?)
    I try to knit the back loop, but it did not change a single… hole.

    I love lucy (eeeerrrrr, the pics you put in your blog) soo accurate πŸ™‚

    (new deying on my blog – did you dyied yourself the grey yarn of the today’s-sock ?)

  58. I have just knitted a hooded cable vest using the same Jo Sharp yarn & in the same color – it’s the I love the yarn & the color & really enjoyed knitting it. Of course your Keelan is so much nicer as the cables are more complex! Thank you for sharing your knitting adventures as I love reading them everyday – even my 2 daughters are hooked on your blog! Thank you Wendy.

  59. What zaps my mojo is outside forces. Most of what I knit is for the 1st time, so I need a little more concentration. You know what day job can do for knitting, zaappp. If I get interrupted 2 times while knitting, I usually wind up putting it down.

  60. Sometimes I get annoyed at a project and lose my enthusiasm for it. When it was hot this summer, I decided to knit a Calvin Klein sweater in an old Vogue Knitting using Cotton Fleece. It seemed to sub perfectly for the original yarn. Then on the fronts, I realized the pockets were too high, and I ripped and redid them. Now I’m on the sleeves, and they’re too big around–so I have to rip again and rewrite the pattern. I feel as if I spent enough time on this sweater, and it ought to be done. I’m also annoyed at myself because things would have gone better if I just looked at the picture and wrote a pattern myself. I think this one will be put aside for some lacy scarves (Christmas presents). But I also hate the idea of it sitting there about 80% done. I don’t think I’ve ever lost my mojo for knitting altogether–just for a project.

  61. Ugh, what kills it for me is a crappy pattern. If the designer/author can’t take the time to write out a proper pattern – forget it. And I don’t care who the designer is.

    I can usually tell fairly quickly if a project is gonna suck the life out of me…*sigh* I know that from experience.

    Love the ribbing on the new Keelan! Looks like a couple ridges of garter before the ribbing starts?

  62. I have just this past January recovered from errata-induced mojo-itis that sprang from problems I had with a pattern 9 years ago. I loved the yarn, loved the pattern, loved knitting it and kept getting into one problem after the other. I literally stopped buying yarn, patterns, all I did knitting wise for years was very occasionally knit out of my stash, get the mojo going and then attempt again to figure out the hateful pattern errors. I loved the piece too much to walk away from it – although it did cross my mind more than once. Finally I took a workshop with Fiona Ellis on cables and with the excitement generated by that fabulous afternoon forced myself to finish the thing. It was like being shot out of a cannon after that!

    Now when I feel the mojo waning I literally think of images like your wing of the moth shawl or the one that takes my breath away – the steeking project – and dive right back into it! You are a knitting mojo angel! Thank You for sharing your beautiful and inspiring work!

  63. Hey, if you could ban about 1/4 of my butt, it would double the number of pants in my closet that would actually fit me! I’m going to start leaving prank comments – what an easy diet! (J/K of course)

    What kills my knitting mojo is finishing a project (say, the second sock or the neckline of a sweater) that I have begun to suspect is not going to fit well or flatter when finished. But, I’ve got 80+% finished and I just can’t let myself frog.

    I wouldn’t dare mess with Lucy today.

  64. The main thing that messes with my knitting mojo is yarn that doesn’t feel good to knit with … sticky or no spring, etc. Next is working on a project that for some reason isn’t right on track for my taste and sense of aesthetics. I end up, with every stitch, feeling less and less spirited. For some reason, leaving one of those projects on a set of needles rather than just meting out the justified death sentence to the object makes my mojo murky … and murky mojo sucks bad, really really bad.

    Lucy is cool. She could be given the job of dealing with hostile or prank commenters. I had one of those on my blog yestereday and could have used Lucy’s help with the varmint.


  65. Mojo killer: knitting in pieces and then putting together. Blech. Not my thing you understand, just sayin. Love the Moth. ooo and ahhh.

  66. Bekah Marshall says:

    ***comes out of her lurkitude*** I have been really enjoying your blog, Wendy! Such beatiful things you’re doing!
    So now for my two cents: mojo dwindles toward the end of a project, especially the finishing. Buttons for sweaters do it, too. I’ve got a dress for my 2 year old that will be too small by time I finally find the buttons to work with it. Also have a fall sweater for her that needs same… yikes!
    But the real mojo *killer* was a “tyrolean” sweater I knit for my first daughter. There were so many tiny bobbles on that thing I had blisters on my fingertips! SWORE I would never do anything with bobbles again in my LIFE! (so far I haven’t, either)
    Keep up the great work!

  67. Hi Wendy, long time no comment. Here’s a catch-up:

    1. Mojo-killer – getting near the end of a project, as someone else said. I hadn’t even realized it exactly until I read that. It’s not exactly the finishing per se, because I often quit *just before* I get to the finishing part. I don’t really know why.

    2. Finishing toe-up socks – true confession — I have never sewn in the ends of either pair of socks I have made for myself. I just tuck them in at the top (and the toe end just stays inside anyway). But all socks for others have been de-ended before presentation.

    3. Keelan question: Now that it’s going to button down, what will the neckline be? V-neck seems the most logical, but you didn’t say. Or are you going to wait until you get there and just surprise us? πŸ˜‰

  68. I find that the things that sap my knitting mojo change so it’s hard for me to pin down what the cause is. Sometimes it’s the yarn (linen and lace weight come to mind) sometimes it’s the pattern which may be beyond my abilities or too boring for words. My problem is that I simply cannot bring myself to throw in the towel on a project. Ever! How do you wrap your head around throwing away all the time and effort that went into something that’s just not working for you.

  69. Dearest Lucy:

    I do appreciate your input. I can tell by the look on your pretty little face (which ain’t as pretty with that *look* on it) that you feel the same way I do about prank comments left on one of the most wonderful blogs in the world… *doom to the prankster*. Tell your Mommy to BAN them away.

    Oh yeah, and tell her not to mess with that knitting mojo — it’s dangerous stuff. I started a sweater for my husband in a basket weave pattern in chunky yarn… oooooooooo it was probably a year before I came across the Enstein coat and decided to rip and start again. I didn’t even want to think about knitting anything else. Now the knitting is done, but for the collar and I need to stitch up the seams before that happens. And it feels sooooooooooo much bedda!

  70. Mojo killers:
    Knitting from a pattern that doesn’t include a readily discernible rhythm but goes on and on and on (the otherwise wonderful Diamond Tunic from Knitting Nature, for example). Or making a mistake, and then not having enough quiet time to meditate upon it and work it out, and then having to come back to the project after too much time as elapsed (yeah, I know, so what am I doing HERE???). Or attempting a by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants project, with results that are just totally congenitally malformed. Or being broke. Or that second glass of wine.
    Thanks for all you do.

  71. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO KNIT UGLY (or unsatisfying) SWEATERS!

    I came to this realization after having my own less than satisfying experience knitting up some yarn into the body of one sweater – hating it – all of it – the knitting of it… and ripping it out. I found a different pattern – and began again… and halfway through the body decided it wasn’t the patterns at all – but I hated working with the yarn. I frogged it all – rewound into balls – and gave the yarn to a prayer shawl knitting ministry at my church. They were delighted. I felt good about finding it a good home.

    Bottom line is that we knit not just for the finished product, but for the delight in the exprience of the knitting process. If something about that process is zapping you instead of energizing you – there’s something wrong!

    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing!

  72. I don’t know what it is that saps my knitting mojo, but I do know that if I try to knit on when I feel it waning, I end up in serious “hate that project” doo doo. My solution is to put it down and go knit something else. So I have six project OTN at once, so what? Usually just letting the sapped project rest for a week or more will bring it back. And if the mojo never comes back, well, knitting unravels, and I have a ball winder!

  73. I just moved, which affected my mojo (I drove for all 8 legs of the trip). We’re staying with relatives until we find our own place, so most of my stash is in space bags in storage. That affects my mojo. I have nowhere to sit comfortably and knit while watching CourtTV or the History channel. My poor mojo.

    Those Opal Handpainted are a sight to behold! Up close, they’re just multicolored. From a few feet (ehehe) away, they’re perfectly vivid! Love them.

  74. I wish I had knitting mojo to lose.

  75. If the project isn’t working for you, go ahead and abandon it. We won’t judge you for it. Sometimes things just don’t work. πŸ™‚

  76. What sucks my knitting mojo? I have this red sweater, its was first going to be Eris from Girl from Auntie. Then it became Sitcom Chic from Knitty, this time I finished it, but the rolling edges drove me to rip. So I made a deal with myself, I’ve been wanting to make a Fir Cone Square Shawl from Folk Shawls (dream/challenge project), but I can’t even do a gauge swatch until this red sweater is done. Now it is a basic crew neck sweater that I made using my Grandmother’s sweater wheel from eons ago. I am seaming it up now. I can’t wait to finally put this thing to bed. I love Eris and I like Sitcom Chic, but for this yarn and my body – they weren’t working. Sometimes simpler is better, I guess. :)K

  77. Hmmm, what kills my knitting mojo? A project that I just don’t like for whatever reason. Problems with size, finishing it up (i.e. seams, ends, etc) and fires that destroy wip.

  78. The new “Keelan” is beautiful as is your “Wing of the Moth” shawl. Your summer of lace last year inspired me to try a knitted lace project. So, this August I started the “Inky Dinky Spider” stole. Its my first attempt at lace knitting, but so far, so good. I’m pacing myself, using lots of lifelines, and counting stitches constantly. I should be done with my first set of webs in 2 more weeks. Its not as hard as I thought it would be. Just demands that you pay attention to the chart. I hope mine comes out as lovely as yours.

  79. Actually, Lucy and I are in cahoots to annoy the crap out of you with our questions. Apparently it is working. Mwahahaha. I love the new version of Keelan (an I realize I might have mentioned that before, but what can I say… I’m not very original).

  80. My mojo if I still have any at almost 54 is quickly taxed by scarfs. I am doing a lovely lace scarf as a Xmas gift for my sis out of kid silk haze. All the right stuff…good yarn, lace but it is a scarf, it sits and looks at me, I put it in a drawer, it pokes out the top. I may just finish the darn thing so I can get on with it.

    Also, it would appear that allergy meds make you knit at a normal rate…now you know how we feel watching you crank gorgeous works out and work a full time job and play with Lucy, “just saying”!

  81. A sock question – I’m on my 3rd pair of toe-up socks (I hated knitting socks until I followed your pattern, on 2 circs, now I’m in love!) Anyway, I was glad to see the close-up of the toe. Yours is much neater than mine. Any suggestions or tips?

  82. I totally agree with you about knitting mojo. One project that sucked the life out of me was one you did as a knitalong: Ingeborg. I loved the pattern, etc. but when I started knitting it, I hated every single stitch. I bailed out fast and returned the unused yarn, to the amazement of many of my fellow knitters. I told them I could not finish something I hated so much — knitting is supposed to be fun, not a drudge!!

  83. I haven’t read any of the comments (way too many!) but this post really gave me a giggle. First – congrats on getting the Keelan mojo back – it will make a beautiful cardigan in the new yarn.

    Quite a long time ago you left a comment on my blog and I thought “oh my gosh – Wendy left me a comment!” And I thought “what in the world should I say? I have to reply to her!” So I said something like “thanks Wendy” and sent the reply and it came back undeliverable. Of course I thought “oh no – Wendy’s going to think I’m so rude for not replying!” I was so dumb that later (like months later) I realized that I didn’t take out the “no spam” part of your email. I’ve spent months in self-therapy dealing with the concern that you probably thought I was rude for not replying to your nice comment. heh I know I’m silly. πŸ™‚

  84. Loss of knitting mojo- sleeves will do it everytime. I have a cardi witht eh front and back finished and the sleeves half done. It’s raglan, so I can’t turn it into a vest. When I knit for the kids, the first thing I do are the sleeves, and use them as a gauge swatch (small kids= small sleeves). Once the sleeves are done, the rest is all downhill for me.
    Another thing that crashes my knitting mojo are ungrateful recipients of my hard labor. All of my in-laws have been banished to the gift card list because they folded up their knitted item, said it was too pretty to use, and stuck it in the hall closet. Don’t tell sis-in-law, but I went through her closets and reclaimed all the knitted and crocheted items. My daughter now wears all the stuff I made for my nieces.
    I did but some of Lucy’s sock yarn. Tell her I promise to knit it up if she doesn’t send me any prank e-mails.

  85. Socks zap my knitting mojo. I feel guilty for not liking them and knitting the second one. But I like them while I’m knitting them.

    LOVE the yarn you are using for Keelan, it’s very similar to the Queensland Kathmandu I’m using for my Nicole Jacket.

  86. I’ve had my mojo ruined by a design that was fundamentally impossible, the worst being a sweater in the round that had passages requiring intarsia. In the round? Are you kidding? It was alpaca, and I ripped it out and redesigned it to remove the parts that just didn’t work–one of my first design ventures.

    I’ve never knit by request, but I think that would wreck it for me.

    I can’t work with a lot of variegated or handpainted yarns, so tempting on the hank, so given to splotchiness if not worked from alternate balls on each row. I no longer try.

    And I’ve seldom had a good experience with novelty yarns, though I use them for special effects once in a while, always combined with a strand of something that lets me keep track of my counts.

    Luckily, nothing has wrecked mine for very long.

  87. In the last month I ripped 20.000 stitches of my lotus blossom tank because I couldn’t listen to the voice in my head saying “it’s too small!” I knit my Mom’s felted clogs THREE times because 1- I felted too vigoriously and came up with little kid slippers, 2- I grabbed the #11 addi for clog #4 instead of the #13 I used for clog #3! And over the weekend I was cutting an end I had just woven into the sock toe I just finished and snip, cut a huge hole in the toe and had to reknit the toe again! Maybe it’s the weather or something but my mojo must have taken off with yours for Cancun πŸ™‚

  88. A yarn I don’t like definitely sucks my knitting mojo, but the worst mojo sucker is an error that is tedious to fix. Especially when it’s a lace error.

    BTW, I love those little red markers too.

  89. Wendy you do a fabulous job with your blog and the care and feeding of your readers. Boo hiss to any person who snarks at you.