Why do they call it Sleeve Island?

Because it’s more like sleeve hell. And an island connotes peacefulness, calm, vacation. Sleeves are anything but. I’m still loving the pattern and the yarn and yada yada yada but really there’s nothing enjoyable about knitting sleeves. Why is that? I’m SO glad I’m doing them both together because the pattern calls for you to work the increases into the pattern and oh my god that’s so freaking hard that if I had to decide what I was going to do on one sleeve then try to remember or understand what I did when knitting the SECOND sleeve I would never get it done. And of course I write stuff down but who can remember what they wrote when they’re scribbling stuff? And I always forget something somewhere. So the sleeves continue.

And even though they look like socks, I promise, they really are sleeves.

I probably won’t get much knitting done this weekend because the cards and all their packing materials arrived. Now I just have to put it all together and wait for USPS to send me the priority mail boxes. Which hopefully come today or tomorrow. There is still stock to be had, so if you’re interested, here’s the information again:

Palette Blank NoteCards

Box of eight press printed notecards. 5″x7″ glossy card stock. Blank inside. Envelopes included with each box. All cards in box are the same. Will ship in approximately two weeks from purchase. $4.50 shipping and handling charge added to each purchase. Quantities are limited.

The cards came out better than I ever hoped and I’m really really really happy with them. Thank you to all who have purchased the cards – I hope you love them as much as I do! (PS – They make great stocking stuffers. 😉 I’m SO bad at the self-promotion!)

Once again, thank you for all the good wishes, vibes, mojo, karma you’re sending our way. I fear I may have used up a lot of my own personal good karma yesterday driving into the city to get to the appointment. G had gone to work much earlier for some conference calls and I left around 9:30. You should know that NYC is literally around 3 or 4 miles from my house. Then add on another couple miles to get to the East Side. Round it off large and you’ve got say, 10 miles. That’s being generous. It took me over 2 hrs to get to the appointment. I alternated between crying hysterically that I was missing possibly the most important appointment of our lives, and screaming at the top of my lungs at every other car on the streets of New York. If you happened to be looking into my vehicle yesterday, I can assure you it was NOT a pretty scene. As luck would have it, when I finally got to the hospital, G had not gone in yet and we waited another 45 minutes before they called us in. I felt like the worst wife in the world while I was driving though – it was not a fun start to the day.

Thanks for all the advice about going on the Internets and looking up cancer. We learned that lesson the first weekend after the diagnosis. I’d be in the office ostensibly doing work and would let out some huge sigh and G would call from the other room – what’d you read? Tell me what you read. Or I would walk into the living room where G would ostensibly be doing work and his eyes would look a little red and I’d say what did you read? Tell me what you read. We quickly got over that and stopped reading. Even me, former research queen – I couldn’t handle it. I figured there would be plenty of time for research when and if we needed it. Fingers crossed we won’t need it.


  1. Fingers crossed with you. And I’m so excited for my notecards to arrive. Can’t wait to see them!

  2. Sleeves suck because you *think* they’re just some simple thing, two little appendages, but in reality, they’re nearly the same number of stitches around as the back or front of your sweater (at least, when you get to the tops), so they really take as long as either of the other two parts, only we have this idea that sleeves are small and fast. So when they inevitably turn out not to be, we go crazy!

  3. Everything’s crossed here, and praying for the best. My sister-in-law had a melanoma removed last week, so I’m going to make a donation right now.

  4. Sending prayers your way – I hope that everything turns out ok
    The sleeves are gorgeous 🙂

  5. Sending prayers.

  6. My New Year’s resolution for 2002 was “I will not look up my symptoms on the internet.” Sigh.
    The sleeves are beautiful! Hang in there, you’re so close!!!

  7. Michele in Maine says:

    Cara, internet research on any cancer is a double-edged sword. It can arm you with good questions but also scare the bejesus out of you. Like you said, best to wait and see what exactly you are dealing with. There are sites/forums/listservs on every possible cancer when you need them. I even stopped going to listservs after a while because everyone else’s experiences were much scarier than mine and reading about it didn’t help at all! For me, one of the best coping mechanisms at that early stage was medication to help me sleep at night. That way I was rested and could deal with whatever the day dealt me.
    Know that you are working with some of the best doctors in the world and you need to trust them. I love my doctors at Dana-Farber and I’m sure the Memorial ones are equally top-notch.
    You and G are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. my fingers and toes are crossed for you! and let me not get started about the distance vs. traffic hoopla. your sleeves look fabulous!! that two on two looks intimidating to me… not sure i’m ready for that yet.

  9. Well, you could have my sleeve! It’s so wonked that it will be frogged. Working the pattern into the stitches is IMPOSSIBLE. How can you decrease and increase at the same time and stay sane! I started the second sleeve to see if I could come to my senses. Sending calming thoughts your way!!

  10. hahaha, i always wondered about sleeve island, too! 🙂
    i’m glad to hear that you and G have something to think positive about. it’s nice to hear those sorts of things around the holidays. my thoughts are always with you!

  11. Last night while knitting sleeves I told my husband that sleeve knitting is the bane of my existence. It never fails that I think “gee, I only have to knit the sleeves and I’m done.” ONLY! They take freaking forever and since I knit most sweaters in the round (me no likey seaming), they are not portable for commuting knitting when it comes time to do the sleeves. Night after night knitting the sleeves and it never ends.
    Sending good thoughts to you & G.

  12. I think you’re sleeves look great, even if they are tormenting you at the moment. Just keep working away and they’ll be done in no time!

  13. I can not wait to see that sweater finished!

  14. I once spent 7 hours, of which about 20 minutes involved actual medical procedures, with my son in the ER of, ahem, a respected pediatric hospital in Boston. Luckily I had grabbed my knitting bag on the way out the door, so I ended up with a hat to show for the experience. The moral of this story, and yours, is: whether you have an appointment or not, you will have to wait FOREVER, so don’t worry about the traffic and be sure to bring your knitting.
    My fingers, toes and cables are crossed for you and G.

  15. I am having the same problem with sleeves – I am so bored, I don’t even want to take photos. And I didn’t do two at once, so I’ve finished one and started another, but stalled at the few rows of colorwork.
    Thank goodness the nature of the health care system in the US is that you can automatically tack on extra waiting time…

  16. Deborah C. says:

    Sleeves are forever. I do them both at the same time, too, because it somehow seems to take less time that way. I’m probably fooling myself, but please don’t burst my bubble… Sending positive thoughts for you and G, I’d keep my fingers crossed but I have to type.

  17. Ooooh, I got one of those gorgeous cards! Got the yarn in the mail and am *still* drooling over the card, which is going up with the Christmas cards simply because I want to be able to stare at it for the next month. Thanks again!

  18. Oh Cara, I issed yesterday’s post I’ll to read it now. Amuse yourself if you can…Think of your sleeves as big socks that don’t get heels or toes. You’ll be done in no time!

  19. I think the sleeves look great. My sleeve island isn’t a vacation spot either. I think it must be a desert island. No cabana boy. No umbrella drinks. Just sleeves that go on and on.

  20. Ah, some light has been shed on the mystery of knitting two sleeves at once (and perhaps two socks)! Thank you for sharing that photo. I realize the technique is probably in a million books on my shelf but I’m lazy like that. Your sleeves look great, BTW. And, prayers are headed your way as you traverse this most difficult time. All appendages are fully crossed. 🙂

  21. yeah – and the problem with internet research is that it’s not all up to date, anyway. when my bro had leukemia we did that at first, but it turned out the hospital had this entirely new treatment protocol with really stellar results. so, better to hear it from your actual doctors, you know?
    SLEEVES. oh my god. i’m so sorry i didn’t do both at the same time for my current sweater. big bummer.

  22. I’ve only worked 2 sleeves together once. I kept getting confused which sleeve I was supposed to be on.

  23. Cara, I love your blog so, if you’re willing to ship to Australia, I’ll order the cards. x

  24. Continuing to keep you and G in my prayers.
    That sleeve would make a great knee sock. Hee Hee

  25. I’m impressed, I’m in the middle of a sleeve at the moment as well, but it’s not nearly as complicated or beautiful.
    Hang in there!

  26. It’s called Sleeve Island because you are marooned there with little hope of rescue! Even the nicest islands turn into hell once the cocktails run out and there’s no high speed catamaran to the mainland.
    I’ve been radio silence in the comments around blogland lately, but I want to let you know I’m forwarding all good thoughts and energy to you as it was given so freely to me with my Mom. I think the people in the cancer hospitals are especially nice because it takes a special kind of person to cope with that kind of scared and sick. You go ahead and be bitter all you want,though, you have every right. Just know that there are loads of people out there who care.

  27. I think Sleeve Island is like Gilligan’s Island or LOST…you can’t get off..But since you’re doing them at the same time, it seems like longer, but when you’re done, you’re done. Good Luck with everything! Love!

  28. I love that yarn more every time I see it. Mmmmm.
    Continuing the positive thoughts…

  29. I love the notecards but they’re too expensive!

  30. I agree with Michele. Sometimes research makes you feel better and sometimes it doesn’t. There are some VERY promising trials for melanoma happening here in Texas (and I assume elsewhere.) Gene therapy… that ramps up the immune system to attach the tumors. I hope your beloved doesn’t need to go that route… but at least it is there, and unlike some paths, it seems to be free of ice and/or has been plowed recently.
    And have you seen www (dot)thesurvivormovie dot)com
    I did see a pink breast cancer car decal that said “Save the ta tas” on it… now I thought ta tas were something completely different than breasts… but I liked the attitude. The driver looked to be well into Sr. Citizendom. Good for her!

  31. I’ve got every appendage I have crossed for you. Damn this is so uncomfortable. 🙂

  32. My 28 yr old daughter was just diagnosed with progressive MS. Sometimes life just sucks.
    On a nicer note…I know a lady who knits the body of her sweaters and her husband knits the sleeves! How cool is that?! It started when she was pregnant and couldn’t finish a sweater because she had some problem with her hands. I don’t see this EVER happening in our house….