Flat Stanley

was my favorite book in 2nd grade.* It’s about a boy who is flattened by a bulletin board while sleeping, so when he awakes he’s only about 1″ thick.  He has considerable adventures, like being slipped through a sewer grate to get his mother’s ring, and being stuffed inside an envelope to travel to California to visit a friend, because postage was cheaper than airfare.

There are many lessons to be learned from Flat Stanley (although the comparison between airfare and postage is not one. That, my friends, is obvious). The lesson is that sometimes things are better flat than with dimension.

Like my most recent sweater, the top-down, roll neck cardigan designed by Purl Soho. It looks amazing flat.


(that’s mighty fine knitting if I do say so myself)

However, it looks just not so amazing with a body inside.

It’s the neck. It’s too floppy. And the length needs to be a smidge longer. But I won’t complain. The sleeves are plenty long (I added too much length, actually). And the buttons are cute. But clearly a sweater for Stanley.

One thing I’m particularly pleased with is how I jerry-rigged the sleeves.  I knit the sleeves for a different project, but got fed up with the tediousness of the stockinette body, so I abandoned it for this sweater, figuring I could make the sleeves work without realizing that the abandoned project (and its sleeves) was bottom up and this cardi (and sleeves) was top down. I grafted them together. It’s not that noticeable.  Really.


Oh, and forgive all the unwoven ends.  They’re all woven in now.

The most satisfying thing about this sweater? The freakin’ yarn. I subbed in Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft, and I think I may never use another yarn again in my life. It was a joy to knit, and it blocked so well, and now this sweater is just about the softest thing I own.

Oh, and Janathon? Yep, I’m still going strong, although clearly my posting hasn’t.  This past week was most interesting as I needed to juggle my ultra training and its long runs with the impending blizzard.  I’m still reeling.  Not from the snow, but rather the switcheroo of days.

This is how it was supposed to go down:

  • wed: hill ladder (8-10 miles–I did almost 9)
  • thurs: rest
  • fri: easy 6-8
  • sat: long run 12-14
  • sun: long run 10-12
  • mon: rest (good, because I’m supposed to work in NY that day)
  • tues: easy 5


Going into that week, I was registered for a trail half marathon on Saturday to satisfy the 12-14 requirement. I decided to switch Thurs and Fri so I’d have fresh-ish legs on Saturday for the race on a technical trail.  Ah, but the snow. By mid-day Friday, I learned the Saturday race was postponed, so when I got home Friday night, I knew I needed to get some mileage in.

Here’s how it panned out:

  • wed: hill ladder
  • thurs: Friday’s easy 6
  • friday night (8pm): 12/so much for rest.
  • sat: snow/ah, the rest.
  • sun: (after shoveling): 14 (wet, wet, slushy feet)
  • mon: (no work, so I can’t go into NY, so i moved Tuesday’s workout to monday afternoon) easy 6
  • tues: rest.

The snow was delightful.  Sometimes you just need some time to not do anything important and just breathe. It was a welcome break. Clearing the snow on Sunday was another story.

The ferns are two steps down from our front porch. We got about 30″. Thank goodness for snowblowers.

Lastly, did you know that turkeys can fly?  While we were out snowblowing and shoveling, I kept hearing the “gobble, gobble, gobble” of our feathered neighbors, but of course, they were nowhere to be seen.  But then on my Tuesday run done on Monday, I spotted them–flying up to the trees!

(*Flat Stanley was written in the early 60’s–there have been subsequent Flat Stanley books since 2000, but they’re not nearly as endearing.  Another important lesson: stick with the original).

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