Excuses, excuses.

Here’s all I’ve got done on the Mango tank.
Dissapointed? Yeah…me too. I think I knit pretty fast and yet, well, this one is slow. Without further ado I give you the list of excuses reasons why I have not made much progress on the tank.
1. The pattern has you cast on the fronts and back all together. This means that while the progress may seem slow, there are no other pieces to knit when this is done. This is mystically both encouraging and crushing at the same time.
2. I am knitting it back and forth on a circular. It is not an especially good circular, because I don’t like working on circulars and therefore, do not invest heavily in them. Yes, it has been pointed out to me that if I were to invest in better circulars I might like them more. Yes, I feel the burning sting of irony.
3. This amount of tank has been knit two and a half times, due to my own stupidity. The lace instruction got the better of me (You know…the pattern calls this “crochet stitch” and that should have been a tip off, crochet and I have an unstable relationship) and the first attempt looked like this…
At this point, two things occurred to me more or less simultaneously. First, I noticed that my lace looked nothing like the lace in the pattern, and I decided that although I was open to the possibility that this was to be a happy accident, I hated it. Secondly, I realized that although I had knit a swatch for the “rack” part, I had not swatched the lace and was undoubtedly being punished for not sacrificing to the muse of knitting, so in an attempt to release myself from her wrath I went back and did that. I screwed around with it until I had grasped the meaning of the instruction, and got something that looked like the picture.
If you look closely at the swatch you can see that I tried different stuff every inch or so until I had it worked out. We will not be discussing the instruction that gave me trouble, as now that I’ve come to my senses it’s obscenely simple.
I ripped back the tank, refraining from unladylike language the whole time.
4. What is it about my personality that says “Hey! I know…this yarn has a reputation for splitting up like J-lo, but I think that I’ll choose a project that requires tons of stitch manipulation. You know, lots of K2tog, and psso….yeah, that’s a good idea. Even thought this yarn has lots of fine qualities, let’s pick its one failing and capitalize on it. Sign me up.”
5. Since this yarn (used in this stitch pattern) is irresponsible and needs to be watched every minute to see if I am knitting all the plies of every stitch, I can’t work on it while reading e-mail. This cuts down on the amount of time that it’s getting.
6. I was zooming along when I discovered a mistake. The attempt to fix my mistake by dropping down the offending section and reknitting it back up with dpns was by all accounts, a miserable failure. Due to some kind of wandering K2tog action, this strategy was doomed from the start, yet I tried anyway. Here we see me with 4 needles, being used more or less at once with 3 strands of yarn. There are no words. (Did I mention that this did not work?)
This time when I frogged the work back halfway I may have dipped my foot briefly into the pool of self-pity. Three days and I’ve got one days work done. Today isn’t looking good for the poor tank either, as I’m celebrating the anniversary of my godless heathen union with this man…
This man is the funniest, gentlest, smartest man who ever lived with this much wool. He’s entertaining, patient and kind, has never, even once suggested that I should have less yarn, maintains that living with a crazy woman and three daughters is a privilege and I’m still having a blast with him every day.
By the way Joe? Nice *rack*, baby.

27 thoughts on “Excuses, excuses.

  1. Happy Anniversary!
    As I knock back a birthday wine (or two) tonight with my own Joe (whose birthday is two days from now), I’ll be sure to toast you and your Joe.
    Cheers, my dear!

  2. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. He’s DARling, bless his little cotton socks (okay, big, probably. And wool.) Let the record show that I stuck up for getting a gansy underway for that man. But since the two of you appear to be around 20, 22 tops, I want to know what chunk of Appalacia extends into Canada? Or are portraits of you going to hell in some closet, obscured by stash?

  3. First off…cute Joe you’ve got there. Nice work obtaining something tasty to look at every day.
    Second…I’m delighted to view some mango goodness among all the blue-ness. But if you end up in the nuthouse from knitting a lace stitch with splitty Microspun, I disclaim any and all responsibility for your sad decline.
    (please note, that I refrained from using unladylike language in this post — gold star for me)

  4. Hi Steph: Congratulations! Have a wonderful anniversary.
    You inspired me to make a tank modifying the same pattern you’re attempting. I faithfully swatched both the crochet stitch and the other pattern. Then I attempted to start the back. (My tank will have a front and back and will lace part way up the sides.) I believe I started on the back for the first time on Friday night. (By now my weekend knitting is a blur.) By this morning I’d only successfully completed two repeats of the crochet stitch pattern. (That’s 11 rows all together.) That pattern and the splitty yarn are a bear. When you figure out how to successfully drop down and correct errors with a crochet hook, let me know. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ripped back to the beginning, and I’d like to know a more painless way of correcting future mistakes. It’ll all be worth it in the end, right?

  5. Nice Joe you’ve got there. COngrats on the anniversary. Many happy returns!
    EEEK! about the mango. Just realized you are doing it in micro-unspun. Love the softness, love the finished product, hate the getting there. Deep breaths. My christening gown in the stuff felt like it took 100 yrs longer than it should have. The good news is that when you finish you’ll have no sleeves to mess with. It will look lovely on. Visualize the finished procuct and ignore the time spent.

  6. Congratulations! Joe both looks and sounds like a terrific life-time companion.
    On your tank. I see the two obvious mistakes you made here. 1. doing a “crochet” stitch…did you think the knitting muse would stand for this??? Re-name it immediately. Let see….open-work rack enhancing knit stitch?
    2. “refraining from unladylike language”. Now there is the biggest mistake! The muse appreciates this language, she loves to hear your agony verbalized. The next problem you encounter with this tank, be sure to cut loose and express your internal agony. All will then go smoothly and swiftly. (That’s my theory of knitting anyway!)
    Barb B.

  7. Congrats! Here’s to your godless heathen union! And to many more (and to much more yarn stashification and many more wonderfully knit items for you to make, and blog about, and frog, and complain about, and finish, and amaze the general public with, and enjoy!)
    Health and happiness to all five of you.

  8. Agreeing with “rams” here…have you and Joe been in a holding pattern at, oh, 20 or so? And does such magic come along with *every* “godless heathen union”? (I was tempted to insert the “trademark” symbol after that.) Maybe I need to get me one of my own!
    Am intrigued by the morphing lace of the tank. And I love the orange (though I am not, personally, a member of the anti-blue lobby).

  9. Great guy! It’s nice to have a good man around. One who cares about you and not all the ‘stuff’. Mine’s the same…are we not lucky!?
    Knowing you, you won’t let that sweater get the best of you. By tomorrow you’ll be up to the armscye!

  10. Happy G.H.U. anniversary and a belated happy birthday.
    I was wondering, does Joe get shirty when you have multiple WIPs and only want you to work on his? My SO doesnt understand the need for multi-tasking. I mean, I need to have at least a socks project and a big project at all times. Sometimes, more!
    Then again, he was impressed that I was knitting, eating dinner, having a conversation and reading simultaneously.

  11. aaahh…he looks sooo sweet, congratulations on your anniversary and for finding a man that puts up with yarn buying, we should all have one of those, (I have, but my excuse for the amount of yarn, fabric and beads is, I share my house with husband, 3 boys and male dog so I need girly stuff!!)

  12. Ok, let me get this right: three kids at least one of whom is a teenager (or close to it) and you two are still SPEAKING to each other much less so evidently rocking each other’s world??!?
    sounds like a GHU made in heaven to me! He’s a cutie but then so are you… happy, happy and many, many more…
    p.s. i feel your pain with the tank-which-has-become-the-eternal-tank… working on similar one for my mother. will it never end?

  13. Congratulations on your anniversary.
    As for your tank top, you might want to consider the “safety net” approach since ripping back is difficult, and your yarn is probably almost threadbare from ripping already.
    Just move your stitches to the cable part of the needle and thread a safety waste yarn through the active stitches. Keep moving your saftey net up as you successfuly complete error-free rows.

  14. Gah! Splitty yarn and a circular! *runs away*
    *walks back, shamefaced, to admit…* I’m working in two projects with splitty yarn (including one with a double decrease (sl2tog-sl1-k3tog) on size 2s for socks) and contemplating (dread, dread) buying a circular because knitting a sweater on 10 dpns is driving me fargin’ nuts. (I _would_ have to be nuts to want to buy a circular needle.) So let me just say,
    Brave, brave Stephanie!
    (And lucky Stephanie for having a sweet curly-haired Joe to knit for.)

  15. What =is= all this blasphemy of circulars? I’d been wondering, for that matter — Harlotele, didn’t you say you were going to close that vest to make it a tank? Are we to assume you’re going to sew it when you could just have knit it in the round? Revering your wisdom as I do, I’m sure you have your reasons and that I will be both edified and entertained when I hear them, but until then I’m forced to ask — what new madness is this? (That’s the long form of WTF?)

  16. Steph, I’ve used Microspun, and can testify that I had better results with it by trying out different needles. Blunter needles seem to handle splitty yarns better by sliding past each individual strand instead of gouging right into the middle like pointy needles do. So bite the bullet, run down to your LYS, and plunk down the $8 (oh wait, you’re in Canada, make that $15) for another circular.
    Of course, I used Microspun for a stockinette vest, not lace, but I do think you’ll be less whiny if you switch needles. Joe and girls will thank you.

  17. Happy Anniversary! Can’t be an entirely a godless union if the date is on the Summer Solstice… can it? 🙂

  18. rams — I don’t know what other people dislike about circulars, but here are the reasons for me:
    (1) the join. Never met one that worked well as a plain needle.
    (2) the flippiness of the cable. All the ones I’ve seen have a plastic cable with a lot of spring in it — it’s like wrestling with a tightly coiled hose.
    (3) the shape and length of the needles. I don’t find most of them long enough (even my sock dpns are 7″) and I don’t like the shapes of the points as much as the ones on my Brittanys.
    (4) the disconnect between length of cable and size of project. I tried a few times to use a circular on a (well, of course) circular project, and over-stretched one or two. I’m not willing to invest in a new set for every project.
    (5) dislike of available materials — I’m suspicious of the ones with metal needles — I’m allergic to nickel — and dislike the joins on the bamboo/wood ones (which I’ve seen mostly as metal crimps or plastic goop). I won’t knit with plastic needles.
    (6) irrational prejudice. 🙂
    Lace knitting large shawls seems to be the best reason to buy them that I’ve seen, and I don’t do much of it.
    Back to celebrating Stephanie and Joe’s anniversary!

  19. Congrats Steph & Joe. It’s gratifying to see that you can still keep each other in stitches after all these years. Here’s to many more years to heathen wedded bliss & appreciation of respective rackage.

  20. Hmmm. Joe. Nice. Looks a little like Eddie Izzard in profile, which in my world, is a very tasty thing. Congrats on the GHU-versary. Lots of good things happen in June. And who knows, maybe a small summer thunderstorm will sneak up, lightening will strike the splitty mango microfiber and a miracle will occur. Knitting will become bliss, zen-like meditation will ensue, and an effortless gem will just slide off your needles and onto your porcelain skin to the applause of millions!
    …and i might win the lottery. No harm in dreaming, now is there?

  21. Congrats. I just celebrated mg’s 43 birthday (he is upset that he is no longer the answer). Another godless heathen union. Nobody even wore white.
    I like hearing about other happy marriages. You seem to have everything I have, and I bet he never suggests that you sell some of your stash.
    Congrats again – and goddess, that man is cute.

  22. And does he take pictures for your blog when both your hands are occupied in “action” mode? Now that’s a good guy to have around.

  23. Thanks for showing your lovely curly-headed Joe.
    He has great laugh lines, the sign of a very happy man. Slainte Mhath!
    Take Queer Joe’s advice on the safety line, Steph, he can knit the most god-awful scary stitch patterns and make them work.
    And it’s not cheating…not really.

  24. Happy anniversary!
    “Splitting up like J-Lo!” Now that’s funny! You crack me up every time. Love the mango top. Hang in there with it.

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