Swear Words…


It Was Bound To Happen

A basic rule of knitting is this: When you put something in writing on your blog such as “I have actually been very slowly making progress on that True Blood Faery albatross”, the knitting gods will bite you very hard in the butt.

I’m sure you all remember what I’m knitting. In case you don’t, it’s the Faery Ring sweater, by Mary Scott Huff. Here’s the best set of photos of the one she knit for her mom. Look closely at the front cabled section. Get the arrangement of those front cables in your heads so when you look at mine you will know why I invented several new ways to combine all the swear words I know into complete sentences.

When I started the cabled section, I spent several hours with knitters’ graph paper and pencil, plotting out the cable arrangement so it would be easier to knit. This past week I finally picked it up again after a couple of months sitting in time-out. I got to about row 10 of the cabled section and stopped. I had made a few minor errors when I was doing the charting part, and every time I would get to those bits, I’d convert it to the correct stitch in my head, but sooner or later I was bound to forget to do so. I figured I’d get out the paper and re-do the chart correctly, to make it more idiot-proof. Here’s a photo of the geeky nerdiness that is me. Click on it to see.

As I was finishing the second, revised, version of my chart, I realized the true error of my ways. This is not a little error. The whole damned jacket is knit in one piece up to the armholes, so each row is 308 stitches. 10 rows of that is 3080 stitches. After smacking my head on the table a few times, I got the sweater and looked hard at it in every direction, hoping that maybe, just maybe I hadn’t followed my own damned chart, but instead, somehow, had magically done it correctly.

Nope. Look again at Mary’s front center section, then mine. There are supposed to be a bunch of cables running beautifully on either side of that front center line. The 21 stitch section of seed stitch in my photo is supposed to be along the sides, under the armholes, not front and center. When I did my chart, I just made up my own arrangement of the cable sections. I have beautiful little cables under my armpits, and lovely seed stitch in front, where it doesn’t belong. I knew there was a reason I hate seed stitch.

Damn, damn, double f-ing damn. And then some. Out it came. There is one good thing. Having gone through this whole exercise, I realize that I really don’t need my honking 5-page chart. There are only 4 different cables, and they are all different stitch counts. There’s a 2-stitch cable, a 4 stitch cable, a 6 stitch cable, and a large 20 stitch cable. Once you get markers placed on the first row, you just do the cable that fits into the number of stitches you have in front of you. And then try to remember to do reverse stockinette stitch on the other stitches. I’m not promising anything at this point.


Swear Words… — 19 Comments

  1. Arg indeed! One always does learn a thing or three when the Knitting Goddess smacks one from above. Now you won’t be slave to that honkin’ huge chart set up. That is a nice silver lining.

  2. IMHE (experience), once the self-made chart gets to be more than two pieces of paper wide, I might as well put it away, frog it, or wing it.

    That’s a LOT of stitches in which to backtrack. A LOT.

  3. Doesn’t it make you wish you were a drinking woman? Oh, wait a minute – you are!! I think this calls for a double chocolate martini.

  4. I think I’ll vote with Dorothy on this one! A few double chocolate martinis after the ripping and then start fresh on the re-do after a day has passed…and I did the same thing when I spoke too soon about the sample lace I was making from Bamboo thread….we can commiserate together….

  5. That reminds me of when I knit St. Brigid — could NOT wrap my head around all those cables, patterns and repeats, so copied and taped up a chart of the entire front/back and sleeves!! Ugh.

  6. swear words indeed. been there too. done that also. and its one of those times when we repeat to ourselves that its the process, not the product we enjoy (yeah right!) Glad that it is a glorious red color that you are working on, which makes it fun… sorry about all the back tracking.

  7. Boy, do I feel your pain. I’ve spend the whole week knitting and ripping a pair of socks and made no progress at all. I hope you’ll press on. Everything about the sweater is gorgeous.

  8. Ouch! I’ve done that before, too…..and sent the sweater to time out for not telling me I was doing it! I’m so sorry! Have you tried using KnitBuddy on an iTouch? Seems like you mentioned once you were a Droid user like me. I bought an iTouch when I knew I would not be able to get an iPhone in the near future to satisfy my need for apps. And, I’m so glad you have realized you DON’T need to chart out all those charts….you crazy girl! Your Fairy Sweater will be gorgeous and you will love it all the more knowing all the heartaches it caused you. 🙂

  9. Take a deep breath… you can do it.

    I do like the dining room table covered in knitting graphs. That’s what I liked (not the tragic error).