Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's official - I'm a child.

Neckdown Long Hooded Cardigan
by Diane Soucy for Knitting Pure and Simple
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Organic Cotton in Graphite
Needles: Circular 9 (24"), 9 (16"), DPN 9 & 7, tapestry needle
Raveled here

So, I started another sweater.

Even after last time when I had an emotional break down with the Hourglass Sweater pattern that turned out like a pile of horseshit thanks to a bunch of different and evil issues.

I don't want to talk about it.

But, I went back into the water with sweaters anyway because I have always wanted to knit myself a sweater (like, a good one that I'll really wear, not a big fugly one that'll just be so I can *say* that I knitted a sweater - you know) and also because Philigry, who is chaperoning my re-entry into knitting, managed to knit up a sweater so excellent and allegedly so quick and easy that I felt safe getting back on the water skis for another trip around the harbor.

Or whatever. You've seen Jaws, right? You know what I mean.

So, with shaky hands, I went on to Jimmy Beans and ordered myself up a scary large amount of organic cotton (for my supah sensitive wool-hater skin) and then Yarnmarket for the needles I didn't have in my I'm So Anal Retentive Needle Case (I'll have to show this to y'all someday - it's silly) and then sat there on my couch and quietly freaked out about trying to knit another sweater.

Because of the Fear of Horseshit Knitting.

Don't mock me - it's a real thing. And I have it.

I then entertained the idea of what if the yarn doesn't show up and I don't have to tempt failure and maybe feel like a loser, but then the yarn showed up in, like, the blink of an eye, and by some miracle I'd also finished the Crazy Ass Knee Socks, so I had no choice but to dive in and hope for the best.

And also No Sharks, please.

Thankfully, this pattern started off super easy like Sunday morning. Cast on like a mutha and GO. And then, basically, keep going for a long time - making some INCs here and there, and do try to stick to your one cocktail maximum so that shit doesn't start falling off the needles as can tend to happen after cocktail #2. Or so I hear.

I was loving it a lot. I was moving fast. I had a HOOD, for godssake! Things were great - there wasn't any horseshit in sight! But, deep down, I was still worried. Eventually there HAD to be some snag. Some insurmountable disaster. Some pattern acronym unknown to man and inexplicable in the natural world.

Well, sorta.

So - I'm simple. Like, in the head simple. After knitting the hood and doing a jillion INC rows for the shoulders and back and starting to feel like HEY I'VE TOTALLY GOT THIS DOWN (I should know better, yes) I came to the increases for the armholes and nearly lost my shit trying to figure it out.

Again, I'll remind you that I'm simple in the head.

Specifically, the pattern says "Cast on 12 for the armhole and knit across the back stitches" or something to that effect, which is totally innocuous and not scary which made my sudden but complete failure to comprehend the process all the more alarming.

I started to Cable Cast-on, but it was leaving this bizarre connector thread dangling across the armhole that was

1. Wrong and
2. Wrong

Then I tried the so-called Knit Cast-On which produced similarly aggravating results. It's possible that I was doing both of these methods wrong, even though I've done them both before without issue.

My mind was boggling. Also, I was saying a lot of bad words and, in my last attempt at getting a Cable cast-on to work - I snapped the working yarn.


Oh yeah, I said it. Just like that. And I woke Bubba up in the process from the couch across the room. NOT a good moment for either of us. Thankfully the dog had gone to bed so she didn't have to be there for mommy's melt down. Rocket, however, looked up from her butt cleaning in alarm. How dare I?

Anyway. I knew it was time to get out the big guns and solve this once and for all. The sweater was going so well that I wasn't prepared to admit defeat with less than 1/4 of the sweater actually done. My only hesitation was that if I went for the big guns and found that they, too, were useless, I would have to go crawling on my knees to fellow Ravelers and beg for help due to my simplemindedness.

To be clear, Big Guns = My Big Vogue Knitting Book.

For those of you knitters who don't own this book, please stop everything you're doing (even if you're knitting at this exact moment) and go get this book. It will save you a lot of pain and suffering, especially if you refer to it BEFORE you overwork yarn to the point of snapping, like a normal person might.

And even if you do abnormal things like I mentioned earlier and only resort to it in a fit of anger and frustration, you'll be rewarded all the same with answers to your every knitting question. For instance, if your question is, "How the fuck do I cast-on 12 stitches with only one tail without creating a bizarre and unworkable connecting thread?" your answer will be on or around page 54 where it outlines the very simple process known as the Single Cast-on Method.


The Single Cast-on Method. The one that goes like this and only requires one tail and is the "best way to teach a child" how to cast on stitches as they "learn to knit" or something similarly insulting that made me not want to use it. In the end though, I tried it and HOLY it totally worked.

And just like that, I was back on track.

Albeit, I was a "child", but I was back on track all the same and didn't have to admit defeat to my sweater which is a wonderful and enlightening thing. And it makes it easier to go to sleep knowing that a ball of string hasn't triumphed over one's very soul.

So, yeah, I'm knitting a sweater and it's going pretty well so far, minus a short diversion in which I said every bad word. And I hope to have this enormous beast done sometime in the next decade because, despite its fast and easiness so far, it's still ruuuuuuuuuuully long and so will probably take some real deep down wanting in order to finish.

Wish me luck. Please. And also no sharks.


  1. I am SO jealous. I've always wanted to knit myself a sweater. But as I have already admitted, my sole entry into yarn working involved a sock, a sweater, and an audience laughing at me. But I am proud of you for jumping back into the sweater pool and I look forward to the finished project. I'm sure it'll be gorgeous.

  2. It's fantastic! I wasn't aware that I needed a sweater with a hood, but I totally do.

    And "Oh, Fuck Me" is my most common swear.

  3. Oh man, you're too much. I've decided I might need to stop reading Katie's blog because she knits too many nice things in too short a period of time. I've started Feb. lady about 3 times now, and I've ready to give up.

    anyway I can't wait to see you finish this thing up. I think it's going to be awesome. then you're going to knit a zephyr style pattern because they write the most simple, coolest patterns ever. I swear.

  4. If you can knit those awesome green knee socks you can totally knit a sweater. Yay for obstacle # 1 being trampled, hopefully there will be no more.

  5. Pretty sweater but boy, it is LLLLOOONNNGGG.

    Happy knitting! ;)

  6. How the *H* do you do it? I haven't been knitting for a long time, but I have been knitting the same freakin' dishcloth for a long time. Cripes, I think it has taken me three weeks to get half way done with one dishcloth. (It's for practice doncha know)
    Does your Big Guns Book tell people how to knit faster, even if they are all thrumbs and big toes?

  7. Good thing Bubba didn't take you up on your "invitation," because I suspect his advances would have been met with a knitting needle in a sensitive region.

    And now that I'm done making all kinds of nudgenidgewinkwink innuendos, I'll close by saying good luck, and may The Force be with you.

  8. Wow Finny! That's an awesome sweater -- tons on knitting in that long baby. Now, what I really want is to see the I'm So Anal Retentive Needle Case. ;-)

  9. oh, this is looking very sexy! you will love it in the cotton. it is fab. i told, easy, you have already done all the hard parts!

  10. Completely off topic--given your love of bacon I think you might love this...

  11. Um, well. I'll just wish you luck. I'm about 0/5 in the knit a sweater department. You on the other hand have this down!


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