Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Not all like shit. Yet.

Now, while I have successfully knit a sweater, as evidenced by that labor for Bubba, I'm still vuuuuurrrry skeptical about my ability to execute a sweater by way of needles and yarn.

Not that I'm executing it any other way, like by way of lunch meat or wood carving, but you know.

I'm a self-skeptic. Especially when it comes to sweaters and especially more when it comes to a sweater that is not a product of an EXTREMELY closely followed pattern, but rather an invention from my own pea brain.

And we know the crazy crap that goes on in my pea brain. It's not like I shouldn't be all skeptical because, yikes.

I bet something crazy was in my head at this moment. It might have involved wood carving.

But since I was able to pull off the Leaf Tshirt back at my 500th post without so much as a whine, I let myself use it as a basis for a perfect-for-me sweater invention. Or, rather, just an iteration done my moi which is much like iterations done by others on Ravelry but because I'm a tard and those people plainly are not, I call it an invention.

Gives it the weight I feel it deserves. Since I really shouldn't be inventing sweater patterns given my history with horseshit knitting.

HOWEVER, I'm currently taking liberties with this pattern in the following ways:
  • I'm giving it long sleeves rather than capped ones
  • I'm taking out the leaf pattern
  • I'm making it longer
  • I'm narrowing the waistline
I think that's it.

See, the first one came together so quickly and easily that I started thinking, "Hey. If this thing just had long sleeves I'd have myself, here, a fully legit sweater. For me. Imagine how I could redeem myself in my own eyes and believe again that I could knit sweater-like things. It could be great. I think I'll go have a cocktail to celebrate." And so on.

For, like, eight months apparently, I thought about this.

Because a few weeks ago an entry for, "Buy sweater yarn" appeared on my To Do list as if from nowhere.

OK, it came from my pen as I scribbled in my itty notebook while sitting in traffic, but still, it appeared there and when it did, I realized I'd been thinking about knitting this sweater for a long time since I had a color in mind and all of those changes I listed up there and I was already envisioning the outfit I'd wear with it and so on.

It was very specific, is what I'm saying, which is how I know my pea brain was thinking about it even if the rest of me was blissfully unawares.

And now, I've gotten past the hard part (the increases, which really aren't hard at all) and just have to keep going, tucking in the waist here and adding on some sleeves there before VOILA a sweater appears on my body.

Like magic? Perhaps.

The real magic is something else though - I learned A Thing.

Oh yes, the learning goes on!

Like, last time, when I was knitting that sweater for Bubba and learned The Thing called, Math, and then The Thing called, Labeling, and it made my world of knitting all new and fresh again? Yeah, like that.

Well, this The Thing is called, I Knit Loosely.

Yeah, it doesn't sound impressive like Math does, but I promise you, it's no less crucial. (Yes, I just said math was crucial. And I'll ask you not to tell my father.)

The Thing called, I Knit Loosely, is important to understand because all along I've been just using the recommended needle size for yarn and in patterns and it never quite does the trick. My knitting comes out too loose.

Like, I feel like it should be a tighter weave. And if I ever EVER knit a fucking gauge swatch, I would have realized a super way long time ago that OH I KNIT LOOSELY and should always take my needle size down at least one notch.

And, well, I should probably always knit a gauge swatch, but I'm not ready to admit that to myself because I'm pretty sure I've declared my foregoing of gauge swatches and I can't be making a big old liar out of myself just right here in print even though I think I just did.


Anyway, through the knitting of a gauge swatch (because of my paranoia in fucking up a sweater, I gave in and made one), I realized that WHOA I totally need to ratchet down my needle size to get the gauge right.

And using The New Thing I Learned: I Knit Loosely, I will be able to start out with a better guess in needle sizes at the outset of any gauge swatch knitting so that I don't have to, say, knit the swatch with size 7 needles and then see hugeness, then switch to 6s and see still hugeness until finally getting down to proper 5s and be, like, oh that's it right there.

Do you see what I'm saying here? You see. It's a time saver. And a screaming-my-ass-off-using-all-my-swears saver.

So, me and The Thing are going to get onto the bust part of this sweater shortly (which will HAha be the biggest part of the sweater - thanks for making your own quiet jokes here) and maybe in some reasonable amount of time a sweater will appear on my body as though by magic.

Or by Math.

WOULDN'T THAT BE THE WORST? IF MATH WERE MAGIC? Ugh. Let's never speak of this again.


  1. Oooh, cool Finny. That's a great sweater and it will only be better with long sleeves. Can't wait to see it!

  2. It takes me so long to just knit a dishcloth...I would hate to think of how long a sweater would take...if, that is, I could decipher the greek (to me) instructions. If I started a sweater right now, right this very moment, I may have it time to say, bury myself in it. That's a long time away, ya know?

  3. I'm impressed you're doing this and your thinking process is very amusing. I struggle with any knitting project other than clearly delineated patterns regarding dishcloths and scarves, so it will be a true learning curve to see what you accomplish with this project. You can do it, that's for sure.

  4. See how much I love you? I read this entire post without understanding a word. Gauge swatch? 6s? I had no idea you spoke Swahili.

  5. I love your pic where you're thinking of carving wood or whatever. You look so like one of those trendy knitting book pictures that I'm always jealous of and like, see, why can't I look cool like that in my knitted stuff? (oh, that's right... I haven't knitted anything actually big enough to pose in, like a full on sweater. Just once but it was, wait for it, Lion Brand Yarn. I rest my case.)

  6. So on my 30/30 list (posted on my blog) knitting something is on there. I was all GUN HO to do have someone teach me, and now with all your crazy talk...I'm scurred! I suck at math as it is, so I think I'm destined for dishcloths. Boo. But, now that it's on my list I must do it. Damn you for not posting this even two weeks ago!! :)

  7. Anna - do hope I don't make a hot mess of the sleeves, but I guess that's always a possibility when I veer off the pattern ;)

    Claudia - That's what I thought, too, but I swear this pattern doesn't take long. And since it really involves almost no thinking (especially when you take out the leaf pattern), you can do it while, say, watching the 49ers win.

    If you don't happen to be a niner fan, well, I don't know what to tell you, but I hear there are other things on TV in the fall other than NFL and MLB.


    Junie - I do appreciate your support and optimism, Junie. Who knows how it'll turn out, but I got past the boob part last night, so now I'm just at the sketchy "narrowing of the waist" part, which is really the only part I'm not super sure of. There will be some fuzzy math involved for sure.

    Fingers crossed this doesn't explode!

    Decca - One of my many hidden skills.

    Shelley - Hey, you knit a full on sweater WAY before I did - you SHOULD be proud.

    Meanwhile, this Tshirt takes barely any time to knit. I worked on it last night and almost past the boobs part.

    Sara - To be fair, the "knits" part of my life is right there on the header. And I'm pretty sure every knitting post I've put up has had some mention of the horrors of either math or me making stupid mistakes.

    Believe me, friend, if I can do this, so can you.

    Start with a scarf :)

  8. Hey Finny- check out my blog/an award awaits you!


  9. It's interesting that you're a loose knitter. Somehow I picture you with a tight grip on those needles, bending the yarn to your will. I'm a way-too-tight knitter. When I knit, that is, which hasn't been for over a year.

    Are you going to put up this pattern on Ravelry?

  10. love love love. you'll have sheep in the garden soon to spin your own wool.


[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.