Memo To: Garter Vine Sweater

Do not start with me. I understand that I made a serious tactical error when I mentioned out loud that I had every intention of wearing you to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I forgot that even the nicest yarn, masquerading as a gentle and decent mohair/wool blend cannot resist the freaking urge to jerk a knitter around given half a chance.

I find your deception and duplicity especially hurtful, since you have given me no hint of trouble up until now. Would it have been so bad for you to tell me that you were unhappy? I feel that there is a communication problem in this relationship and while I embrace and fully acknowledge the concept that “it takes two to tango”, I have to tell you that I believe that this time it is completely and totally your fault that things are not working out for us right now.


This is what I am talking about. See this? This is your two fronts, attached to the back with a loving and caring three needle bind off. (I cannot believe that means nothing to you. I ought to graft your sorry arse.) What exactly is up with your nasty little failure to match?

I have counted your rows, my conniving green friend and there are exactly the same number in both of the fronts. Exactly. I have checked the blog pictures (perhaps you thought I would let my guard down and not keep accurate records?) and I know that the two fronts were knit on the same needles. You are fresh out of excuses and I’m done playing around.

Do not even try to have a conversation with me about my attitude and gauge….I have your number. (Literally) I have firmly tugged on your length and I am sure of your lies. I am hoping that going public with your crap will shame you into decency. I am going to block the living daylights out of your duplicitous, shifty, guileful fibres tonight, and tomorrow we will see who is sorry that they started this up.

Remember, there are plenty of skeins of yarn around here who would love to see Maryland in the spring.

62 thoughts on “Seriously…

  1. Wow… bad yarn, bad, baaaaaad yarn. Did you talk to it about the burn test? Let it know you mean business!
    and I really can’t be first can i?

  2. Seriously you were first. Beat me by a minute!
    ps. Picked up the bookbookbook last night at Chapters on Queensway. A lovely Mother’s Day gift (which means I have to either (a) get my own copy or (b) wait until Mum is done reading).

  3. Spring? May? Maryland?? It might be summer weather by the time you arrive for the MD Sheep & Wool Festival.
    I’m so very excited about meeting you at it.

  4. Tell the garter vine sweater that you will NOT be taking it to Maryland. Instead, it will get wadded up and buried in a corner with other knitting unmentionables, or thrown to the cat for a lovely new bed. That’ll teach it…the Harlot means business. There will be NO MESSING AROUND when the festival is almost upon us.

  5. Bad yarn, send it packing to Harlot Boot Camp and block its ass into shape! And glad to see that the *gulp* upgrade has not gotten the better of you.

  6. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I had beautiful lavender thick-thin wool that I was knitting into a sleeveless mockneck. Since I didn’t have much wool, and I wanted to have a loose drape, I carefully recalculated all the stitches, decreases, etc. so I could increase a needle size. I calculated twice. Had my DBF check them. Carefully knit the front and back, seamed one side and….it’s 3 sizes too big.

  7. Oh I must remember this one: “I ought to graft your sorry arse”. Really Steph, you should publish these little witisicms of yours one day 😉

  8. What is it that makes good knits turn bad?
    (nature, or nurture? in this case I think we can safely assume that the problem isn’t in the nurturing. . . unless you’ve been unfaithful?)

  9. “I am going to block the living daylights out of your duplicitous, shifty, guileful fibres tonight, and tomorrow we will see who is sorry that they started this up.”
    One day, I will use this sentence on someone who is a non-knitter. I just know it. And I won’t care because it will feel good to say it!
    Thanks for the laugh, Harlot. (It’s been a very bad week for me.)

  10. Holy crap, you always have the best way of writing about things!
    I hope that the Garter Vine Sweater learns it’s lesson after some serious blocking!

  11. Whew!! I have just whipped a WIP into shape and the whole time I thought it was me–something I had done wrong. But now I know better! The yarns conspire against us! (Forget that I didn’t exactly read the pattern correctly…that means nothing to me…)

  12. There’s a magazine article in there somewhere: “Finishing 301: Trash Talk, Seaming, and Victory.” My last seaming session sounded like an especially cliche-ridden action film. “Oh, you wanna go? Let’s go. You’re in my house now! I own your ass!”
    Bookbookbook has convinced me, more than the yarn stashed around the house and the drawer full of sweaters, that I am indeed a knitter. Before last Saturday, I thought maybe I was an amateur who only aspired to be called a knitter. The fact that I have stories to go with nearly all of your meditations has convinced me that my mindset far outweighs my skill level in this matter. My mother is visiting week after next–can’t wait to share Volume 1 with her!

  13. I knew that thing would cause you grief the minute you attached the wrong side of the front a few weeks ago. When something goes wrong it is wrong for the rest the knit.

  14. Hey – Wait a minute…that sweater was suppose to meet us at Lord and Taylor in NY….I think if you tell it kindly that it is going to NY it will miraculously straighten up its rows!!! It also wants the trip to MSW too!!! It is after all a vine sweater….that travels.
    Only 8 more days till I get the chance to meet you and that lovely sweater in person!!! Today I received my confirm from Lord Taylor reserving my seat–Wahooooooooooooo

  15. Have you threatened her with an upgrade yet? Shown her the photos of Joe’s “repair work” on Ken’s laptop? Whispered “moth-bait” into her ears (eyelets…buttonholes..?) If that doesn’t put the fear of wool into a recalcitrant sweater, I don’t know what will.

  16. Show that mean sweater the error of her ways…. don’t finish her. Don’t knit on her. Knit a tank to wear at MDSW. Last year it was something insane like 90 degrees and so HUMID it was like a sauna. A barnyard-smelling sauna, with lots and lots of wool.

  17. Ummm, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but last year at MDS&W it was hot. I wore linen capris and a Tee but I was still hot. I live about an hour away and we are 85 degrees (F) here today. You might want to rethink the whole Long Sleeved Wool Sweater idea (not that it won’t be fabulous after you’ve kicked its fluffy little butt). I’d hate for you to collapse from heat exhaustion and be (no doubt forcebly) removed by paramedics.

  18. Amen, Sistah! I’m glad to know that yarn is yarn, no matter how experienced you are. Self-will run riot is not how I had thought about yarn, but rather I easily have pounced upon my own inadequacies as a knitter. Thanks for buckin me up! Sincerely, Lissy

  19. Wrestle that sweater into submission. Please have a back up plan for Sheep and Wool in case the weather is hot like it is today. April and May in Maryland can be quite fickle. I’ve seen the Sheep and Wool in many weather conditions. I am sad that I won’t be attending this year’s festival. No May stash enhancement, what will I do!?!?? I am hoping that perhaps I will be able to make it to Alexandria, VA to get my copy of the bookbookbook signed.

  20. Hi Stephanie, Kick that cheeky sweater into place. You own it, it doesn’t own you even if it is beautiful and I am envious because I will probably never have the patience to knit something like it. I am still awaiting my copy of the bookbookbook from amazon. Niet. Can’t wait.

  21. I second Michelle’s warning about our notoriously unpredictable weather here in MD during late spring. Today in Annapolis, on April 20, it is 83 (you heard me right!) degrees and humid. UGH! So, bring your lovely garter vine sweater, but be sure to have a tank top and sunblock packed as well!

  22. Who has 80 degrees in April/May? Are you guys kidding? It snowed here today. As for the lovely vine sweater, I think maybe she’s gotten a bit big for her britches. All this talk about how beautiful and wonderful she is has gone to her head. No more compliments, no more nice talk, it’s time to get down to business. I’m sure that once you make this change clear, she will straighten right up (and a good blocking is just the thing). Good luck. I’m sure she won’t dare defy you know that you’ve made your expectations clear.

  23. You are *so* in control! I’d have been flinging the d*#%^d thing across the room, then chasing after to jump up and down on it. None of which would have done any good to the stupid, cantankerous sweater. That was one terrific riot act!
    BTW, my copy of the bookbookbook just arrived yesterday and it is seriously cutting into my knitting time. Love it! I hope you’re heading to LA on your tour.

  24. We have 80 degree days in April and May. We actually have 90 degree days in April and may. The weather thingie actually is reading 90 right now but the sun is shining on it. But my ice cream did start melting right away when I got it. But Sheep and Wool can be cool. But whip that yarn into shape.

  25. Way to go! Leave your biggest sharpest “don’t run with those!” scissors next to it for a while. Nothing like waving about a lethal weapon to demonstrate you mean business.
    And fellow knitters- it matters not the heat (only lack thereof but she is from Toronto…) as I am absolutely positive that it could be 103 F in the shade and our esteemed Harlot will still wear this FO or another FO to showcase her wonderful knitting. And to identify her to potential stalkers in case they have been remiss in their photo stalking backlog or someone else comes dressed as a Harlot imitation. Remember. Don’t buy knockoffs 😉

  26. I was thinking you should use the weather as a threat to the sweater. Hello? You aren’t needed Ms. Vine. In fact, you are quite inappropriate. So your misbehavior is absolutely the tiny push Steph needs to bring some cotton lace out and not speak to you again until September.
    The expression round here is “if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour” – it can be cold, it can be warm, but without fail it will be the opposite of what you’ve planned for. So plan for that mohair/wool blend but pack a bikini. It’s 90 where I am (just ’round the bend from the fairgrounds…)

  27. LOL sorry about that sweater bad sweater! LOL
    i just wanted to tell you i just picked up your book and I love it! thank you so much for writing it! it totally cracks me up! and cheers me up!
    PS i think i’m the last Knitblogger to get your book! LOL

  28. Hmmm . . . any chance that a certain knitter got a little too tense about Maryland and her gauge was adjusted accordingly?

  29. I love all your posts, but I think your “Letters to the Project” are the best. I hope blocking works, be rough! 🙂

  30. Ya know, that threat of *other* options waiting in the wings to wear to Maryland might work, especially the weather’s warm. I remember a certain mango tank that might be cool enough.
    Btw, I finally got the bookbookbook yesterday and have already ripped through most of it–love it, as I knew I would. Oh, and this was at Borders…I took one of the copies still on the shelf and put it up with the display books, turned face out.

  31. It is times like these that the phrase
    runs through my brain.
    I know.
    It’s true though. My brain swears.
    I hope you’ll respect me in the morning.

  32. Stephanie, You are too funny! Whip that yarn into shape! I have no doubt it wants to see the light of day at MS&W festival and will do what’s necessary to make it there! You go girl!

  33. If it makes you feel any better, it was in the 90’s today in DC, perhaps a little warm for a mohair cardie? Tell that mohair to stay home without any wearing, think long and hard about what it has done, until it has learned its lesson.

  34. This is why I always knit both fronts at the same time on the same needles. Same with sleeves–although that did not prevent one sweater from turning into a vest because the guage of the sleeves did not match the body. Oh well, such is life.
    It is a pretty design and a lovely color.

  35. I want it recorded that Sandy purloined that phrase from me, with only a slight modification. Shitfuckpiss was the original. I think she’ll now owe me a fried Twinkie or something. A low-carb one, since I stepped on the scales this morning and saw the awful result.

  36. You tell ’em, Steph! If a blocking doesn’t correct this problem, I’ll be very surprised. Good luck!

  37. I recall something about knitting an entire Aran in 14 days a while back. You’ve got two fronts (granted, there’s misbehavior) attached to a back and pa-lenty of time, relatively speaking (and taking past performance into consideration), for whatever behavior modification is necessary. Even if, as Loretta suggests, the sweater is to debut at the swanky Lord & Taylor knitting soiree, you’re cryin’ in your Screech!
    ; )

  38. The weather at Sheep and Wool varies between raining torrents and hot and humid.
    This is one of the few times I am pro hot and humid. There is nothing like trying to get a wheelchair through the mud.
    Hat, sunblock, tank tops, long sleeved lightweight shirt (think bubble gauze).
    Steph, this is why I knit in the round. I hate to count, I hate to guess.

  39. Aaaahhh, I really didn’t know you could talk to wool like that!! Hmmmm, I know about talking to my computers in such a matter, but my yarn??
    My Flower Basket Shawl is in soooo much trouble… Maybe your cardi
    and my FBS have been hitting the dance clubs together when we’re not looking…..

  40. If blocking doesn’t work, try raising your shoulder up by your ear when you wear it. I find that if you adjust your posture to the mistake, you can wear just about everything you make without frogging. I actually frogged a mohair sweater so much the yarn wasn’t mohair anymore. It was just mo!
    I received your book from Amazon on Monday & I’m really enjoying it. I hope there’s a volume 2 in the future.

  41. Just for my record. I may have purloined but it was the innocent, gets into your brain and changes something to make it your own kind of purloining.
    If, indeed, there is such a thing as purloining.

  42. Just for my record. I may have purloined but it was the innocent, gets into your brain and changes something to make it your own kind of purloining.
    If, indeed, there is such a thing as purloining.

  43. Be sure to let us know if the projects talk back.
    Mine, so far, have remained mute, for which I am thankgful.
    Did IW KNITS editor know what she was talking about regarding BOOK 2? PLEASE fess up.

  44. Blocking and careful placement of the buttons 😉 should get that cardi in shape. If not there’s always the bleach test threat… “Oh, no -I’m melting!”
    I’m tickeled and a’twitter because I’m substituting Artful Yarn Cinema (nylon/cotton ribbon) for Rowan Yorkshire Tweedy Chunky (wool, of course)to make the brimmed hat from Interweave Winter 2004 for my daughter. I love the swatch… keeping fingers crossed the hat will behave itself.
    I think this calls for a g&t… btw, what’s FO?
    PS Maybe that should be my new call name – a’twitter knitter, say it 3x fast!

  45. I’m not a frequent poster (although I am a regular Harlot reader, including bookbookbook), but I have to chime in here to say that Harlot posters are a riot! This entire thread would make a hilarious stand-up routine. Maybe at Stitches East/West or something, I don’t know. Maybe this is the type of individual who follows the Harlot. All I know for sure is there are a lot of witty knitters out there.
    P.S. All the posts about MD weather are true. Make like a Boy Scout and be prepared.

  46. When I had the misfortune to have this happen to me (bad, baaaad yarn), the situation ended up with a pile of kinky, frogged, cursed-at yarn on the floor, with me in a tearful pile next to it on the floor.
    You will, no doubt, work the Harlot magic and I will be once again…put to shame. *sigh*
    Work it, woman!

  47. Whew, you don’t mess around when that yarn doesn’t behave. I ought to take a page out of your book (not literally) and threaten my yarn too. By the way, spotted bookbookbook in the Barnes and Noble here in Berkeley California. Way to go!

  48. See? Now this is only Reason #4,562 why I am nowhere NEAR Harlot-worthy: I’d just wear it open in front. Period.
    And VERY nice double entendre’:
    “I have firmly tugged on your length and I am sure of your lies.”

  49. Greetings Stephanie
    I got turned on to your Memphis Post by a friend in California. ROTFLMAO.
    Being Canadian born many years ago into a military family I have had to suffer the trauma of living in the extreme north and the extreme south. No matter which way I was pulled the language barrier Got the best of me. But all points being the same I would rather be in Canada any day of the week. Sure the weather was nice and in the 70’s that day you were here, normally it’s 90 degrees with a 80 percent humidity and a 98.8 percent redneck factor, Or 40 degrees and rain with a 99 percent ignorance factor. The ignorance factor denotes those folks who can’t seem to steer a car in the rain less long a 1/4 of snow that might fall one winter morning that shuts down the whole city for a week. Steph, may I apologize on behalf of Canadian born southerners everywhere for my extended family, Unforgivable as they are. Glad you had a good time, sorry about being a source of amusement. Southerners tend to think since they have never crossed that Big River that everybody that don’t talk like them and or is different in anyway is a Yankee, even a Californian I knows. LOL Bonnie!!!!!
    P.S. To all of you Folks that are saveing your money for a vacation to Beale Street… save it… and go someplace that you will like! Memphis is a very disappointing city even if you have a tour guide that lives here.
    Be Well
    Mike Roark

  50. This entire thread would make a hilarious stand-up routine. Maybe at Stitches East/West or something, I don’t know. Maybe this is the type of individual who follows the Harlot. All I know for sure is there are a lot of witty knitters out there.

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