Friday, March 27, 2009

It's 70 degrees, so obviously I'm knitting.

Yeah, in true Finny form, the weather is warming up and I'm choosing this time to begin a sweater for Bubba.

And you know I'm using wool since Bubba can actually wear wool and also because it's the most punishing fiber to handle when you're me and the temps get higher than 32 degrees.

I just hate wool and I realize that makes me an outcast in this world of knitters.

SORRY! I'm allergic! Or my skin is a big pansy, whatever. I don't know the technical reason why my skin freaks the hell out when it comes into contact with wool of any blend or saturation. I call it an allergy because that makes it seem more legit, but really it could just be that my skin is ultra-sensitive or an anti-woolite, I don't know.

Again, I can thank Philigry for this particular inspiration to knit man sweaters, since it was her Cobblestone that sent me to that place where all I could think about was knitting a sweater for Bubba that he could wear next winter for our ski trip.

And while I did present the Cobblestone as an option, Bubba chose the Seamless Hybrid from Knitting Without Tears because I think he wanted to test the legitimacy of the "without tears" claim or at least see if it could produce "Knitting Without Swears", which I think we all know is impossible.

For me.

FYI: This is not Bubba. This is Bubba.

Anyway, it was this rendition on Ravelry that had me thinking it might be a possibility for Bubba, since this guy has a similar build and maybe I was swayed by the color, I can't remember exactly. But Bubba liked it and so I ordered the book, a few sizes of Addi Turbos that I didn't already own and a truckload of Cascade Superwash in Como Blue so that I could exchange it upon receipt for a more normal color like Navy.

The Como Blue, I do not recommend it. It's a little too teal. And now that I look at this photo, it also strikes me as a little too teal. What is my problem? Anyway, we're knitting with Navy now and that's just fine by all of us.

And so far, very few swears! Granted, I'm only about 1/4 of the way up the torso of a patternless sweater knitted in the round, so there *shouldn't* be too much swearing going on, but I will say that given the work I've had to do to get to this point of mindless and enjoyable patternless knitting in the round, it *should* be nice and swear free.

I will have you know that, for once in my life, I actually knitted a gauge swatch.

(Hold for applause)

Then, THEN, I went on to measure, GASP IN HORROR AT THE WRONGNESS OF MY STITCH GAUGE, realize that I needed a smaller needle, realize that I didn't have that smaller needle in my possession, order the two next smaller sizes of needles from Jimmy's, WAIT a few days, receive the new needles, reknit the swatch and then GASP IN GLEE AT THE RIGHTNESS OF MY GAUGE on these smaller needles.

Oh yay and it's about fucking time, already.

So, I feel like I've earned my mindless and enjoyable patternless knitting in the round. Also because I had to do math before I could even cast on the first stitches because that is how this book works.

You may not know this about me (you know this) but I was told that there would be no math. Ever. But, alas, there it was. And it was asking me to do multiplying and measuring and there were words like "precise" and "exact" and "you'll fuck it up if you don't pay attention" and it was a little intimidating. Also, there wasn't actually any swearing, but that's how my mind translated "if you're off by even 1/3 of a stitch, your sweater will not fit properly".

I'm sure I'm not the only one who would take direction this way.

SO - I was vurrrrrrrrry careful to follow the directions exactly. Because we don't want another incident where I knit all gleeful and mindless for rounds and rounds and rounds only to realize that WTF?! this thing is so huge.

I can't have that in my life again. It was too sad.

I'm really hoping beyond hope that this sweater, when completed, will fit like a muthereffing dream and I won't have to put it in the To Be Frogged With Shame bin like the other one. For the record, I'm thinking that, once frogged, that beautiful silk yarn will become a long-sleeved version of this sweater that I already know fits like a normal sweater should. I think I can be trusted to knit a few sleeves and add a few inches to the bottom without fucking things up too badly.

It'll certainly be an improvement over the hot mess I've got on my hands now. Just taking up all kinds of space in the stash and everything. Ugh, it annoys me.

ANYWAY - this is about Bubba's sweater and how it's coming along nicely and I've followed the math instructions (triple checking, of course, since my math sucks bags) so it should do what the pattern says it will do, which is "fit perfectly" and "without tears".

Since I don't do a lot of crying, I feel like this is a pretty safe bet.

Perhaps I'll have to come up with a "Knitting Without Swears" book for those of us who scream profanities during times of stress rather than curl up in the fetal and cry into beers. We'll see.

Be sure to come back in a hundred years to check my progress on this sweater. Since you know it takes me forever to finish these things.


  1. Well, it looks like it's going to be a fun knit Finny. And it does not take you forever to finish a sweater -- I'm working on one I started 3 years ago -- I'm 1/2 way finished -- only 3 years to go!

  2. Bubba. Teal. Two words that do not go together.

  3. Here I was, thinking about you on and off all day out in your garden putting in all kinds of vegetables for us to oogle and awe about because you are so good at that stuff...and there you are KNITTING, with WOOL!
    We are up to 65 degrees here on the coast of CA. (It's 5:16 PM, Friday) You know where...yes, where the fog lives. No fog, none at all. I wish I could go out in my garden and pretend that I actually have green thumbs instead of the brown ones I was born with.
    My backyard is no where near having anything but weeds growing in it. Soon, baby, soon, I will be out there GARDENING! (Wish me luck)
    Nice color on the sweater by the way)

  4. Well, I can see where that blue didn't really do it for you - I can't really see the farmer (dh) wearing a sweater that color. Oh and that knitting for rounds and rounds only to realize WTF it's too big - that was me today. But I give myself points for realizing and frogging, rather than just deluding myself till it was done and obviously a disaster. And I think you (generally) finish your projects pretty fast, you're not slow!

  5. I've been eying up that non-pattern for my dh, I'll let you work out all the kinks first, and learn from your misadventures! ;)

    Guess what? I just bought my very own backyard!!! Garden here we come! Woot! Well, that being if you can start a garden in July too late to grow anything besides weeds?

  6. If anything were to inspire me to knit, it would be the possibility that I could casually mention doing something called "frogging."

    Oh, and Shannon? July is not too late. Depending where you are, of course. But even if you're in a cold weather place, you can plant fall crops that grow fast, like all kinds of greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, etc.), radishes, beets . . . things that mature quickly and can take a little bit of coolness.

  7. I would totally buy a book called "Knitting Without Swears", I tried knitting once and still have not completed the project (about 4 years later now....) I am sure the final product will be awesome!

  8. were words like "precise" and "exact" and "you'll fuck it up if you don't pay attention" and it was a little intimidating

    Oh Finny you make me laugh, and then cry in recognition. This is exactly why I do NOT do garments EVER, because the one time I did, I didn't pay attention and put SO MUCH TIME IN and ended up with a piece of tiny, tiny crap. Alas.

    Anyway good for you for doing a gauge swatch! If it came out right, have faith... I know your Bubba Sweater will come out awesome, if for no other reason than the karma that comes from knitting him a nice wooly sweater even though it gives you hand rashes.

  9. Thimble: Well, when I finish one and it's not a disaster, I'll let you know ;) I feel better knowing that I have at least 3 years on this one ;)

    Decca - Funny thing is that he chose the color online, but yeah, when it showed up we were both, like, TOO TEAL NO.

    Claudia - Well, if I weren't working yesterday, I certainly would have been in the garden planting up every seed in my stash. Today though, today was planting day (for half the garden anyway) and now the irrigation is set and the seeds are in and the finger crossing starts.


    I can't believe it was 65 in HMB yesterday? WOW. That's beautiful. Soon I look forward to getting back out there with the dog and enjoying that sea air. I miss the beach.

    GOOD LUCK ON YOUR GARDEN!! Remember, it's only an "experiment". That way, you can't be disappointed.

    rohan - You're a smarter woman than I. I always delude myself until the very end and then get all shocked when it's jacked up and way to big. So far, nothing's come out too small. We'll see how quickly I can destroy this one ;)

    Shannon - CONGRATS!!! You can TOTALLY grow things starting in July! Depending on where you are, if you have a late first frost date (November, etc) you can even put tomatoes in. You can also do late sowings of squash, spinach, beets, radishes, all kinds of stuff!

    Just go to your nursery when you're ready to plant and see what they have. Worst case, peruse the seed aisle and see what seeds call for "late season" or "cool weather" sowing. Most late season sowing doesn't happen until August around here (Zone 9 - 1st Frost, November or later), so you might even have some extra time to get your garden all ready for vegs.


    Also, I'll be sure to let you know how I fuck up this sweater. Even though I really hope I don't. But I kinda always do. Anyways, that's later!

    Kris - Frogging is bad. I don't want to frog anymore. Too bad that's likely my lot in life with knitting. *Sigh*

    Thanks for sharing your gardening advice. Let's get everyone overwhelmed with chard. You're evil.

    Shannon - please refer to all my posts on chard. You must be warned.

    Sarah - Hehe - I can imagine that after four years that project BETTER be awesome! If I ever master knitting without swears, you can be sure I'll write a book about it. Although I wouldn't hold your breath.

    Cure - See, I always end up with something huge. Which is annoying because I've knit all that extra just to have this enormo thing that won't fit anyone. Grrr...I do like to think that I'm earning knitting karma by knitting with filthy itchy wool in warm weather just for the love of my Bubba. We'll see!

  10. Mercy me, Finny, you sound like me knitting. I tend to run out of all the really "good" bad words and have to start making them up. Your a "Knitting Without Swears" book would make for a perfect book for me. I wish you well with Bubba's sweater and am super impressed you're doing this.

  11. Just stumbled across your blog. Too funny. Had to leave a comment. P.S. I think both my housemate and I have that book.

  12. Wow - both of those sweaters look cool! I'd totally wear either of those, and I like the color of the cobblestone AND the navy blue. Hm... So yeah, once you're done with Bubba's, I'll take one too. Do you need my measurements now?

    I'd show these cool sweaters to my coworker/knitting-tutor Julie, but you know that'd just mean she'd expect me to make it myself.

    Ain't happenin!


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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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