Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How I hope to not fuck up this sweater

So, hi there.

You know I'm working on this sweater for Bubba. And that there have been a few obstacles cropping up between me and the Long Awaited Sweater Success. But you also know that these obstacles have not been of the "Finny Created" variety, but more of "The World Doesn't Want This Sweater To Happen in a Reasonable Period of Time" variety.

To put it plainly, I haven't done any horseshit knitting to cause these delays, which is my usual modus operandi, especially with projects this large.

Well, that was all fine and good until WHOOPSY I had some cocktails and proceeded to horseshit knit myself right through the shoulder decreases all the while self-convincing that the weirdness I was seeing was attributable to my blurred vision rather than a result of actual bad pattern following (ie. Horseshit Knitting in its finest and most pure form.)

Now, common sense would tell one that using blurred vision and drunkenness as an explanation for something looking wrong would be, in itself, nonsensical. However, it's sometimes hard to tell what makes sense and what doesn't when you're knee deep in your Xrd cocktail.

Ahem. So, sometimes I'm stupid.

I came to terms with just how precisely I fucked up the shoulder decreases on this sweater as I sat in the backyard on Sunday morning squinting through the bright morning light as the dark-as-hell navy yarn decreased and then increased and then decreased right and then left all over the mothereffin place as though the person who knit this portion was...well...not sober.


Does anyone else know the soul-crushing hell that is frogging many inches of 220 stitch rounds of sweater - a portion of which includes unsalvageable decreases (and increases - ha!)?

Basically, it's amazing, and something of a miracle, that I didn't pitch a nutty and throw this sweater, random increases and all, into the composter. And then light it on fire. All the while screaming new and improved swears at the top of my lungs despite my lovely church-going neighbors lingering near the fence.

It's a miracle we're all alive (and not incarcerated) to read this post is all I'm saying.

When I collected myself and the remaining shreds of my sanity, I sat with my freshly-frogged-back-to-the-armpits sweater and gave it a stern talking to. To the tune of, "DON'T LET ME APPROACH YOU WITH A COCKTAIL IN MY HAND."

Or else, etc.

Then I set to making sure this sort of shit didn't happen again. And since I recently rekindled my love affair with the label maker, I decided to throw him into the mix, too.

Yes, the label maker is a dude. And I guess the sweater could be a dude since it's FOR a dude. So maybe I had a bizarre Yarn-Label-Crazy Girl three-way happening there, but that's a little too obscure and, frankly, bizarre for even my addled brain to contemplate.


I came up with a little strategy for avoiding future shoulder decrease disasters. Even though there are only two decrease stitches (four total - 2 front and 2 back) and all they do is swap at one point to allow you to shape the shoulders, which SHOULD be easy enough to remember if you're a normal person, I need a strategy. Because I'm not normal, I guess. Don't laugh at me.


First, I printed instructions for the front and back of each of the four decreases onto individual labels:

To get the space I typed out the first stitch, hit print, DID NOT CUT THE LABEL, typed the second stitch, hit print and THEN cut the label. It took a few tries because I'm a tard.

Then I peeled the backing off, folded them in half ala a lift ticket around that wire wicket thingee and slid them onto the safety pins I already had marking the beginning and end of the sleeve stitches per the pattern's instructions.

I made sure that the pins hung the right direction so that they showed the stitch I was supposed to be doing WHEN I was supposed to be doing it. Like so:

I had to shade this photo with my sombrero it was so bright out there. Yeesh.

Then, when I was finished SSKing the front right sleeve, I turned the tag over. Like so:

I like it when labels tell me what to do.

Then I began the sad task of working through the rest of the wiggly frogged yarn with my new directions under a penalty of death should I manage to drink myself into horseshit knitting again.

So far and BY SOME MIRACLE I've managed to decrease the body stitches, turn the corner and begin decreasing the sleeve stitches without resuming the previous disaster of zigzagging decreases.

It's a thing of beauty, to be honest. Too bad I didn't take a photo of that. Whoops. I think in my head I want to wait until it's really finished before I take any photos of Success. Since those can be used against me in court when I end up with another pile of horseshit and no one to blame but myself.


  1. The label idea is really kind of genius, in that whole unfortunate having to learn not to drink and knit way.

    I haven't knit a sweater since high school, but your posts are inspiring me to perhaps start one, if for no other reason than to see all the different ways in which I can screw it up.

  2. Wow, that really sucks! However, you are inspiring me to start knitting again. I've never tackled anything remotely resembling a sweater so I might have to start fairly simply and work my way up to complete screwiness!

  3. Those tags are a great idea. Knitting in the round is so brainless, it's best not have any any thinking, even if it's just a few decreases, to ruin the vibe.

  4. I've only knit things that are completely brainless, but I can tell that this is a fantastic idea, even for those of us who don't drink and knit. (I can't even drink and cook without grating a fingernail into our meal, so drinking and knitting is completely out of the question.)

  5. Heh. I just realized what my avatar is. That was the least brainless thing I've attempted.

    So there you go.

  6. HAAAAAA. Nice one, Finn. Although I suspect you can still knit better drunk than I can sober. Which wouldn't be so hard.

    I get into trouble if I have more than one drink before starting dinner (and this only happens if I'm making something really quick and so don't start making dinner till late). I haven't cut off a finger yet, but I do tend to drop things and burn things and I CANNOT try to grate anything on the box grater, unless I want to add a little of my own skin and blood to dinner.

  7. yes, i have done that before. i ended up ripping the whole thing out because i had no idea where i was. so glad you did not have to do that!
    i am having a give away on my blog...come on over and enter.

  8. Y'know, I've not seen the Horseshit Knitting theory before, but it certainly makes sense. It shall forever after be added to my knitting lexicon.

    I do think your label solution is a positive stroke of genius which mitigates (somewhat) your Horseshit Knitting crisis. I love my label maker, too, and shall add your technique to my growing knitting repertoire of tools/techniques/terminology.

  9. Finny. Finny. Finny. You know, sometimes I can't figure out why we're friends. You knit and I collect cat hair. You have a label maker and I have spoons. You are hilarious and I am nearsighted. And I have no idea what any of what you said means (see the "you knit and I collect cat hair" part.) But I love you anyway.

  10. You are a genius. How did no one think of this before?


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.