Saturday, May 01, 2010


Yes I feel like screaming, there is an anguished deeply confused scream deep inside that I'm suppressing. I know that probably isn't good for me, but really - if did scream my family would run in and wonder what I've done. Friday night I brushed the back of my hand on the element in the top the oven and that hurt, so I did yelp, and they came a-running, and took over and took care of me. This time if I screamed they would come-a-running and I'm not sure they would be as sympathetic about a knitting catastrophe as they were about a kitchen mis-hap. Today I can report my newest project is not going well .. at all, that I have a new toy on my ipod that confirms that I'm not really as dangerous in a knitting shop as I would have predicted, and my secret project is off the needles and blocked - which probably saved my sanity. After all a knitter needs at least one success every now and again to stay sane.

The end of the secret project left me with a need for some easy knitting, something I could knit out and about, and not worry about being to careful with charts or complex stitch patterns. I had a lot of Possum Merino DK weight yarn in my stash and needed space, Toby had outgrown his last Possum Merino sweater and needed another (or at least that is my story - the needed bit). The yarn is a lovely soft brown, originally purchased to knit Owls, but it failed the swatch test. I had the swatch still here with notes about the needle size and gauge - so used that to work the maths for Toby's next sweater. Like usual it took me 3 false starts to cast on and knit a few cm with the right number of stitches and not twisted. You know that bit about 'join in the round being careful not to twist' - well I take time to make sure its not twisted, and then 4 rounds latter its twisted, I really don't understand how that could be .. but suspect that some how as I knit the stitches spiral around the needle and twist all by themselves. Eventually I had both the right number of stitches and no twist - score, so away I knit.

And then after 3 nights of knitting, you know that enthusiasm for a new project stage where you abandon the other WIP's and just knit the new project ... I noticed the sweater was very wide for a very skinny boy. How wide you ask, well it is meant to be 86 cm around, so should have been 43 cm across. I couldn't measure it on the 80 cm circular needle so transfered it to a safety line and measured it - the monster I was knitting is 50 cm across, so 100 cm around. A good 14 cm more than it should be. How can that be? I have not done any investigation to see if my swatch notes were inaccurate, or if my gauge has changed, or perhaps I only think it was the yarn the swatch was in and it is a much heavier or thicker yarn. I've not even decided if I should frog it or make it for Bear, or knit it on thicker needles as it seemed a little dense. I'm just avoiding thinking about it all together. And I'm being stoic, and calm, and not even screaming, well, maybe a little inside. And I know that I really can't frog it until I can face counting all the stitches and documenting its dimensions so I can use it as a swatch. I think that is the bit that hurts the most. I can't abandon it, I have to face my failure and document it accurately - and I'm not ready.

Then there is my new toy, I bought a spending expenses app for my ipod touch. It allows me to make note of what I spend my money on, Bear and I share joint accounts for household and savings and then have personal accounts to take care of our own needs and interests with, so this is just for me to track my pocket money spending. I've been running it a little over a week and I love the little reports it provides, in the last week 66% of my spending has been on education (knitting camp), 11% on lunches (mostly I make and take a lunch from home - but there is sushi and coffee once a week), and only 5.9% on knitting! I'm ignoring that the knitting camp could be considered knitting .... and I'm hoping that this will curb my spending and encourage me to save up for souvenir yarn and fibre. Its called Expense Tracker - Spending.

And a sneak preview of the secret project .... of which I can't say any more than I love it, and I may have to knit my secret swapee another one so i can keep this one. If it wasn't for this knitting success this week, I'd have abandoned knitting all together .. ..



Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, no! How utterly maddening! You can scream here -- we'll all understand. There's nothing more frustrating than knitting a three-night swatch. Except maybe having to go back and document it. I'm SO glad that the secret project turned out well (love that little glimpse) -- that's some consolation. And I love your little app. I'm afraid of what something like that might show me about myself...

Suzanne said...

Take a deep breath. After the 'start' has rested a bit, an appropriate course of action will become clear, and you won't mind implementing it. Can't wait to see more of the secret project! As for the expense tracking app... I've been tracking ours in Excel for the past three months. Net result? I spend a little less, and am more mindful of my choices...then get depressed that this does not affect the numbers much.

Kverulantinnen said...

What I discovered after many unintentional moebius sweater starts is that you have to check at least twice: once the first time you join, and then again when you reach the join for the second round. Often times I think I have all the stitches going the same way, only to find that at the second time I reach the join they flip around. To be sure, I go around the whole row at the first, second, and third row. If those three rounds are okay, I'm set.

KathyR said...

Take heart in knowing that you are certainly not alone - many have walked the road before you! I, for one, have felt your pain, too, both the physical pain of the burn (oooh, those ones hurt!) and the pain of knowing that all your hours of knitting will probably, eventually, be frogged. Maybe you could be like the witch in Hansel and Gretel and try to fatten Toby up a little? ;)