Summer Mystery

It is a stupid kind of hot, and this heat may in fact be reducing the intelligence of human beings, or at least me. Together with the humidity, it is 43 C/ 109 F. (The humidity is about 50%. The combination of my curly fine hair and this environment means that if the weather doesn’t break soon I am going to only be able to wear button up shirts, since I seriously doubt that a tee shirt will go over my enormous unintentional country singer hair.)



I was knitting on the roundabout tank on Saturday night and it was looking pretty good. I was feeling happy and it was all coming together. I’d gotten word that Lee Ann’s brain surgery went really well and that she was recovering nicely, and I was emotionally and karmically prepared to begin having things go well again, and they did.

I went to bed feeling really grand about the whole thing. When I got up in the morning, this is what I saw.


I swear to you, I swear it, that before I went to bed I admired my work, put the knitting in my basket and went upstairs. Sunday morning, the knitting was still in the basket and I picked it up and knit a half row before I saw the disaster. This tank is knit like a long scarf, and at then end of each row, the last stitch is joined together with a stitch from the top of the course below. (This joins the scarf into a tube that spirals up until, at least theoretically, you have enough of a tank to cover your brace and bits, and you whack straps on that sucker and move on with your life.)


Upon closer examination, I can see that the stitch that has “let go” is the one that joins those two pieces, although for the life of me, and maybe it’s just the heat, I can’t imagine how it could have happened.

I have pondered several possibilities.


1. I dropped a stitch.

I would totally buy this, considering that it certainly “looks” like a dropped stitch, but I have the same number of stitches that I had before the renegade stitch down and unhooked the whole thing. In my experience at least, dropping a stitch results in one stitch less. I suppose it’s possible that I had one stitch too many and didn’t notice, but that seems like I’m overly complicating things.

2. The cat (despite being a long-haired cat who is coping with the heat by lying flat and unmoving on her back, splayed out in a way that by comparison, makes most hairy, male, shirtless, couch surfing, beer-drinking football fans look “classy”.) got up in the night and screwed around with it.

Possible, but this would mean that the cat has taken her regular level of sabotage to a whole new level by taking our stuff out of baskets, screwing with it, and (here is the part that seem unlikely..) putting it back into the basket when she is done with it. It’s not the degree of cunning or cleverness I find unlikely there…It’s the tidiness. What sort of cat would save you having to clean up?

3. Joe did it.

While I have suspected for some time now that my esteemed mate was put on this earth to screw with my mental state and draw me as close to the edge as is possible for one to go and still do laundry…I find it difficult to believe that he would mess with Alchemy Silk.

There’s crazy and difficult (and I believe that is still his goal) and then there’s suicidal.

4. The children

Again, possible… but I can not suspect the teenagers. I went to bed after them, I got up before them, and if you have teens, then you know that there is just about zero chance that they stood up during possible sleep hours without being whipped up to an upright position by a parent, being offered a buffet of some kind, or needing to escape a fire. That said, on Saturday night in this house, we had a confounding variable.


Hank. Hank is six now, and during his 24 hour sleepover, he was alone downstairs for about 3.5 minutes on Sunday morning while I brushed my teeth. Hank is…







and interested in yarn.


Behold Hank’s latest winding project. This ball was rewound about 23 times before he found something better to do and left it mid-wind.

I have a feeling I solved my mystery. Does anyone have another idea about what might have happened to the tank …Or should Hank just be glad that it’s too freaking hot to catch a speeding six year old.

196 thoughts on “Summer Mystery

  1. Apparently the house elf has eaten my post as well. Or maybe the internets are too hot today as well.

  2. Hank is incredibly lucky that it’s too freaking hot. Or perhaps you did drop a stitch and compensated for it without thinking by making another one. Despite the disaster, it’s going to be a beautiful tank.

  3. I don’t think you can blame Hank. A) He’s too cute and B) if you chastise him for something related to yarn he may be fibre-scarred forever. We wouldn’t want that.

  4. My only argument with the Hank theory is that in my admittedly limited experience, 6 year olds are as least as unlikely to put things back in the basket as cats are…
    We need a Maggie Sefton heroine, one of those clever ladies who knit and solve crimes.

  5. How do you know??? This power of yours is truly intimidating. How do you know when I’m having one hell of a Monday in this hellmouth of an office, so you post something so laugh-out-loud funny that I actually remember what GLEE feels like? And there’s Hank. Double bonus points. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thanks from whomever I’m not going to murder today after all because now I’m in too good a mood. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hank is also lucky he’s Hank – who can stay mad at a little boy who loves yarn for long?

  7. It’s definitely way too hot to pursue a 6 year old and methinks he knows it. And Mr Hank looks like a Yarn Gremlin to me. ๐Ÿ˜€ That being said – best of luck on getting it fix. No frogging, but you may feel like FLOGGIN the culprit who caused it, by the time you get it patched.

  8. Six-year-old boys are as likely to put things back neatly as the cat is. Or, if they do attempt to hide their mis-deeds, they usually leave some kind of tell-tale sign. I’m siding with Hank on this one…

  9. I have that kind of hair too Stephanie .It is very hot here but I doubt the humidity is as high. I do believe cats are capable of an awful lot they try not to let us see .Most of the human males are spread around like you describe the cat except ( mercifully) my husband who won’t wear shorts and yet unlike me isn’t a dripping mess.

  10. Poor Hank. I spit ice tea all over the keyboard with the country singer hair and not being able to wear a t-shirt. There are some advantages to having straight as a board hair.

  11. also – did anyone else only find this post by clicking on the responses to the one before and seeing that it showed a new one you could skip forward to?
    Everytime I go back to the main page I don’t see this one…
    Hmm… maybe thats how I ended up the 4th post for once in my life… (and maybe I need a life…but after sorting through tons of dusty gift books all morning at work, I think I’m allowed to have no life and no brain at the moment)

  12. ‘Busy’ – that’s how my mother described my younger brothers – always up to something be it hiding in the fireplace (in the summer), or wandering over to the neighbors house and falling asleep in a closet (unbeknownst to the neighbors or my parents). But they both turned out ok – just had to wait 25-30 years or so…

  13. my vote is Hank, only ecause when i was learning how to knit socks with DPN’s my daughter who is 6 took them off to play with….she was curious! Maybe Hank’s just curious. Yet, there is that saying about cats and curiousity….hhmmmm
    stay cool

  14. It’s entirely too hot to try to determine the culprit–and it’s also too hot to fix it today. So fix yourself a big glass of lemonade (spiked) and enjoy Hank! (He didn’t do it–he has too much respect for you AND for yarn.)

  15. You could blame Hank, but with a face like that what a wasted effort it would be. You wouldn’t be able to stay mad for more than a nanosecond with an imp such as he dancing before your eyes. And, in this heat, that is just a massive waste of energy. I’d question the cat again – they’ve been known to hold grudges, and I think they also like to see us a bit over the edge, not unlike our husbands. They are crafty and clever and could hone skills in reverse mess-making if they thought we would be off kilter enough to mistakenly feed them again or clean the box before is appointed due date. I vote cat.

  16. With my experience with 6yo’s (and agreeing with MBT) I think it is unlikely that Hank would have put the tank back neatly in the basket. It is more likely that you would have found him with the unraveling tank in his hand and an “oops, look what happened Auntie Steph” sheepish, innocent expression on his cute little face. It was probably a yarn pixie rummaging in the basket.

  17. You’re hotter than we are and DBF and I wouldn’t leave the house yesterday. Quality alone time is what we called it :oP Hank looks hard to catch. I like blaming the house elf. They are rather mischievous…

  18. Here’s my theory (and since my 6-year-old’s nickname is The Hurricane, I know whereof I speak): during Hank’s unattended 3.5 minutes, he attempted to travel all the way around the living room without touching the ground. While hopping from the chair to the couch, he had to put a foot down — right into your knitting basket. This resulted in popping all the stitches apart, but (and this is critical) the knitting never left the basket. Thus the clean conscience and wide-open puppy eyes when asked, “Did you take Aunt Stephanie’s knitting out of the basket and play with it?”

  19. I agree Hank is too cute.
    About the heat and how I’m doing my part to help Lee Ann. Hubby and I were at Albion Hills Conservation Area near Bolton on Saturday for a fantastic family reunion on his side. Afterwards on our way across the 401 to Oshawa(yes we even did that Friday evening during the train derailment, what can I say but we love adrenaline?) we hear a muffled boom. No worries, the car is intact, no problems, had to be someone else’s car. Right? Wrong. Reports that our cars air conditioner compressor blew its working parts to smithereens are as yet unconfirmed, but the fact that we drove from Port Perry Ontario to Penn State University on Sunday without air conditioning on the hottest weekend of the summer are a pretty strong indication that Lee Ann will be just fine.

  20. That’s such a TIDY looking mistake; hard to believe a six year old would drop only one, crucial stitch. My experience with children and knitting problems is, they pull the whole damn thing off the needle, or they grab a ball of yard and run around like loonie people.
    The big, important thing is: we KNOW who’s gonna have to fix it.

  21. If you are enjoying your weather (ha ha) then you are just going to love ours. I am in Tempe, AZ and you will be visiting my local
    yarn shop in Mesa next week. That is pretty much smack dab in the middle of monsoon season. So much for the dry heat.

  22. Well done, Watson. Nae doot aboot it. (The hell six year olds don*t tidy up — it*s called “hiding the evidence.”) I*m sympathetic — my apostrophe won*t function, and my son was just on the computer. Hmmmm.
    P.S. It was probably impulsive.

  23. I think I might have to cast my vote for the cat, too. Such methodical unravelling points to a mind full of both perseverance and willful perversity. Judging from his picture, Hank looks merely exuberant and fast. Cats, on the other hand, are the poster children for willful perversity.
    I wouldn’t mind a nice knitting detective sussing it out for us, though. Maybe Mma Ramatswe from the Alexander McCall Smith books. (If she’s not a knitter, she should be.)
    Incidentally, was that some creative nomenclature on your part, or has the universe proven to have enough of a sense of whimsy to instill a love of yarn in a little boy named Hank? ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hank should be glad that it’s too freaking hot to catch a speeding six year old. Plus, I don’t think he did it. My son is 7 and there is no way he would have stopped there – the whole thing would have unraveled. And it wouldn’t have been put neatly back in the basket. I vote Joe. He’s probably laughing his ass off right now, while you blame Hank.

  25. Oh, poor Hank. It’s a frame-up. I’ve been doing some figuring, and I think I have it worked out.
    It’s your worst nightmare come true…the clothing that your girls staunchly refuse to place into the laundry hamper awakens at night. Cranky, disheveled, and disillusioned, the rumpled clothing stirs. It slithers, silently, undetected, to the knitting basket. In a fit of rage over the better fate of items that are so obviously better loved than themselves (“Say, Walt, lookit here! This silk nonsense, lovingly placed INTO a basket! We’ll teach them a lesson…who says basket = safety??!!”) and they begin a willy-nilly destruction process that leads to … well, as you can see, no WIP will be safe…
    Protect your garments and knitted goods. Your daughters’ pants and blouses are taking no prisoners.

  26. I’m placing a bet on house fairies. This past week, they attacked a baby sweater I’ve been working. They’ve been known to be malicious little f^&*ers.

  27. So wait… you are not missing a stich? So Hank would have had to M1, drop the last stitch, and let it unravel? I dunno….

  28. Thanks for the info on Lee Ann, I can stop worrying about that now and find something else to worry about (starting with the size of the ironing heap – it’s too hot to think about ironing but the wardrobe is running on empty)

  29. Make sure the scissors are not kept in the same basket as the knitting. Sometimes temptation is too much even for kids who should be past “that age!” Learn from my lace shawl…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. This is just too weird…gremlin (or wine ?).
    I am just glad today I realized what the roundabout tank was…I mean I know about the knitting, but last week when someone talked about how great the roundabout tank was, I thought they were talking about some aquarium tank on one of you tours. DUH !!!

  31. Surprisingly, my son that is A LOT like Hank doesn’t touch my knitting but LOVES the ball winder.
    Yes, I do think Hank was able to do such a horrible thing in 3.5 minutes.
    Good luck with the fix.

  32. Dear Stephanie,
    I confess: I did it. Finally driven mad by your superior knitting prowess and determined to gaslight you, I snuck out of bed the instant everyone else was asleep, crept silently downstairs, unraveled that sucker, and replaced it neatly in the basket. Then I snuck back to bed with no one the wiser, except the cat, whose silence I’m buying with tuna.
    Your cousin,
    (Blog readers: her first move will be to deny any knowledge of a cousin named Lucia. My plan is working already.)

  33. Well, *if* it was Hank, just be glad you didn’t find the tank remains on the ball winder!

  34. Stephanie, thanks for the Lea Ann update; I’ve been blog crawling all weekend trying to find good news.
    Hank didn’t do it. Remember when he broke the ballwinder? That boy does not worry about hiding the evidence. I say the cat was entertaining a shady sort of friend. . .

  35. What you have here is a lot of circumstantial evidence. I am guessing that the perp will confess in about 10 years. one more thing. As a mother of three boys I can tell you that they absolutely can clean up to hide the evidence.

  36. The dropped stitch is more likely. How would Hank have unravelled it and left the correct number of stitches?
    My bet is on Mothra. Go call Godzilla to beat him up for you.

  37. You cannot even consider punishing a six year old boy who knits and loves yarn . . . but next time he is asleep spend some time chanting subliminal suggestions about not touching your knitting, just as insurance against possible future escapades.

  38. I’m going with the house elf (or just sheer insanity from the heat). One hundred and NINE degrees…..farenheit???? Oh my gosh….and wussy Western Washingtonians complain when it gets into the middle 80’s. So what ever happened to the cold and shivvery “Great White North?” Cold, Cold Canada my Aunt Fanny!
    Picked up 500 yards of Louet lace weight (linen, mohair and a bit of nylon) and 1700 yards of alpaca lace weight during my travels this weekend. Yippee! But what am I going to do with it? I have only made two pairs of lace socks. Nothing else lacy… me.

  39. I blame…the universe. Something funky is going on with the wips of many of my friends, and I too am not immune.
    Disaster. Horrible Horrible Disaster. Once again, I neglected to put Icarus up out of harms way, and my dog slept on it again. Only this time she dropped about a quarter of the stitches off the needle. No coming back from that,,rip, rip.
    Ask me how close it was to completion. Go ahead. Ask. Three rows into the third chart. That’s how close.
    Now I have to trek back through making colums purgatory. I repeat: I have to knit the shawl all over again.
    The dog is lucky she’s so damned cute.

  40. Hmmm. I don’t think it was Hank. He, after all, left the yarn mid-wind. Doesn’t strike me as the type to put things neatly back in their place. I’d blame it on the weather myself. That silk can be awfully slippery, and then the heat simply caused the final stitch on the needle to expand, and . . . woooosh! That’s all she wrote. Glad to hear Lee Ann’s surgery went well.

  41. Ooops! I have no idea how that happened! But it’s freaking strange, no? I have thought of making that tank too … but somehow the photo of it on the model always invokes the image of Egyptian mummy in my mind! I have to get over that before I can start! LOL!

  42. Oh, it’s SO the Hank-meister. Let’s give him a break and say he was bewitched by the power of Alchemy Silk…aren’t we all?

  43. I think it might be the work of the Gods of Delayed Retribution who were aiming at St. Louis County and hit Toronto instead. I once, while dog sitting at a friend’s house, accidently pulled out a row or two of her knitting–a rather complicated sampler afghan. Rather than admitting that it was my clumsiness, I let her dog, a very intelligent poodle, take the blame. My friend and the poodle have both gone on to that magnificent Knit Shop in the Sky, but I have been expecting the GDR to get me for years. Let Hank off the hook.

  44. Braids–it’s the only thing to do with the country music star hair in this weather (it’s 93, heat index 100, here in chicago–and the day’s still young!). people will, of course, be compelled to call you Heidi, but it’s a small price to pay for (relatively) small hair! your knitting looks like mine when i’ve been knitting in my sleep–and, although it does look tidy at night–but not the next morning! i’m going to go sit by the only air conditioner in the house now and knit!

  45. As fully and painfully aware as I am of the awesomely speedy destructive powers of small boys, how could Hank have done that and left the correct number of stitches on the needle? Unless you’ve taught him to pick up stiches already?

  46. MBT has a very good point about children putting things away. However, I do remember, as a kid, messing with something I knew I shouldn’t touch, breaking it, then quietly putting it back where it was, hoping no one would know it was me. (I have several memories of this same sequence, actually.)
    And besides, there are germs in the hospital – more than anywhere else. The universe is just making sure LeeAnn stays healthy while in that infested place. Dropped stitches are easier than flaming shawls that burn your new skirt and drop charred wool in your salad.
    Joe wouldn’t have done it. Nobody is crazy enough to do that, knowing the consequences. He would have flipped the coffee cups instead.

  47. Actually, I think it was Lee Ann’s guy getting revenge for your sending so many readers her way that the server crashed. (As soon as I read that bit in his email I knew it was your fault.) Though how he sabotaged Toronto knitting while in Montreal I’m not sure.

  48. I believe very firmly in house gremlins. These are mischevious little beings that take my stitch markers and needles. They have also stolen many tape measures. I would blame the gremlins.
    My friend had a very recent experience with a gremlin where it stuck scissors into the middle of a center pull skien and cut a few times. Darn those gremlins.

  49. I was going to blame it on the slipperiness of the fiber, but it looks suspiciously messed with. There has to be more than meets the eye here. Looking forward to your next post explaining the mishap.

  50. I wouldn’t blame cute, adorable Hank. I’d blame the heat. Here in Colorado we’re dying with temps of 103 and 10% (max) humidity. I can’t imagine how you’re coping. I dread the electric bill. The AC has been running non-stop. We can’t even turn it off at night and open windows. And I can pick up nothing more than socks to knit. I don’t want anything touching my skin. Good luck, Steph.

  51. Looks like five minutes with a crochet hook will fix that puppy, and my vote is the house elves, who are related to the car key gnomes who have displaced both of my sets of keys, and slid my DH’s cell phone and the television remote into a hidden flap behind and underneath the recliner chair bottom. It took calling the cell five times to locate its general vicinity and someone with teeny octipus arms to woogle in and retreive them. If they can put this stuff in that totally wierd place they can unzip your top with never a by your leave, leaving you to wonder what the heck happened. But Hank wouldnt mess with Auntie steph’s knitting now.Hmmmmm?

  52. I must say that was a very tidy roller-coaster ride there….from the first pic of oohhh, nice, to the second one…WTF (in dread voice and honestly, having to walk away from the monitor) to Hank, what a beauty! as to who did it? I’m going with the yarn pixie, they can be quite the little pissants. (thank you ever so much, needed that laugh) Very glad to hear Lee Ann is doing well, will keep the candles lighted and the chats continuing, in fact, I believe I’ll just add a few lines on your behalf, not that the universe doesn’t already know what you’ve been up to lately.
    49 days.

  53. Is it possible that when you stood up the Alchemy Silk decided that it absolutely HAD to come with you and attached itself to your pants or something so that as you walked away it unraveled itself? Also called yarn suicide. Or fiber hara-kiri.

  54. Nope, Hank is too sweet to sabotage anything. I think it was a house gremlin who is very jealous of the time you spend working (knitting)and decided you needed a bit more negative energy before basking in some positive vibes.

  55. Sorry to be a Pollyanna here, but if that stitch had to go, it is far better to have let loose in the basket rather than while you wearing it and revealing your … umm … charms.

  56. Umm….I vote Hank. I have three Hanks and a Hankette. Crazy yarn rippin, silk ignoring, yarn ogling hanks. Too hot though to stay mad. 2 am is much better for finding dropped(unravelled) stitches in this disgusting Ontario heat (it’s 42 here today with humidity)Popsicles should distract him for a minute or two. Don’t cry…you are the Harlot. Magical fixer of all mistakes in knitting.

  57. the underwear gnomes decided it was too hot to climb through drawers of drawers so they went for your alchemy silk instead but Hank stopped them – thats why they only got the one stitch off…

  58. Hot…yes. I spent the weekend in Lake Havasu City…120 F out. Just off a lake, so it was hot and muggy. I came home to Tucson, and was happy when it was just 108 F with humidity in the 30% range. I know that doesn’t seem like much after your 50%, but when we are used to under 15% (my swamp cooler stops working at 15%). THough, after Lake Havasu, it doesn’t feel as bad as it would have been if I hadn’t left TUcson.
    As for the tank…the heat did it. It is hot enough and humid enough, where the weather probobly has corporialized hands and messed with your knitting.

  59. French braids, They work every time, and they even look relatively good while coming out of themselves. Colorado heat is better than Toronto heat only because there is very little humidity, this means that your inner nose bakes and then crackles. however the shirt that i get soggy about once an hour keeps me cool until it dries out in an hour. home grown swamp cooler that you wear on hot days, along with wet braids.

  60. Thank you for the LeeAnn news. It’s going to be 45C/112F here today. I’ve stopped trying to think. I’m just going to sit here in pigtails and wait for winter.
    It was the cat. Hank was being a good boy and put the knitting back in it’s basket because he knows that’s where it lives. Oh, and put some pants on that cat, would you please?

  61. oh. my. god. hank is so BIG!! I don’t know why I’m surprised, i have a 6 year old, and she continues to grow. But he’s SO BIG!!!!

  62. well, you did mention a while back that your house was OLD……….I say the ghosts were restless………watch Hank, though, if he is the culprit, he will undoubtedly return to the scene of his crime………

  63. Hank should be happy that infanticide is punishable under law in most civilized countries. Even a jury of knitters would condemn you.

  64. Ohmy… Don’t blame Hank!
    I fear that this may be (unwittingly) my doing. My house knitting gremlin was plaguing me ferociously last week, making a mess of my peacock feather shawl. Exasperated, I told him to go bother someone else. Obviously he chose you as his next victim.
    Either that or it’s just a bit more cosmic insurance for Lee Ann.

  65. mmm…..I raised a “Hank”. Nothing was sacred. My “Hank is now 32 yrs old and married. LOL and keep the memory close to heart. They grow too fast.

  66. I’m really sorry about your spiral tank, but this post was hysterical! A crappy day made better yet again. Cheers…

  67. You could read Hank that fairy tale about the little boy who messed with his wicked step-mother’s knitting. And how he woke up one morning tied to the bed with the offended yarn. lol Well? I did say fairy tale. lol But maybe it would make him shy away from the WIP’s. lol

  68. I have a 6yr old male (fast, active,talks alot, informs me he is big now as going into Gr.1 etc) with a similar “interest” in yarn, who decided one day to help Mommy by moving her knitting from the chair in the family room….needless to say Mommy was speechless, crying inside, and cursing herself for leaving it on the chair where he usually sits…… ๐Ÿ™
    Take a deep breath…several in fact, have the traditional chocolate and alcohol on hand for sustenance and repair the damage!!!

  69. Hey, you know the answer to the “un”-spiraling tank; it was in your first paragraph … the heat & humidity caused the yarn to expand and POP! the connecting stitch all on its own! I’ll blame every problem that appears in the summer on the heat! We’re due to have 106 today in Sacramento, and so my garden has to do without me; I’m housebound again! That Hank is a cutie … where do kids get that kind of energy, especially when the rest of us are turning into hot, sweaty messes!

  70. Thanks for the update on Lee Ann. I was thinking about her today. Don’t you wonder why children are seemingly unaffected by the heat? There needs to be a gov. financed study I think. I go for the house elf playing with your knitting!

  71. I normally have straight hair but now due to the hairdresser says “Menopause” I have a swatch of curly hair in the back underneath. In the humidity it is quite attractive, this wad of curly bushy hair lying under stick straight hair. It is so hot here and I am so miserable, I wouldn’t care who did the mistake…drink I say!! drink up!!!

  72. Does anyone else think it’s coincidentally ironically funny that his name is “Hank” and he loves yarn?

  73. I vote for Hank. I’m the mother of a “busy” 5 1/2 year old, who decided to teach himself to knit on the hat I was making for his cousin. A Gordian Knot formed which required the Alexanderian solution.

  74. Please, update us when you solve the mystery.
    P.S. The humid hair is known as “beach hair,” with or without a beach.

  75. Stash Weasels????
    They’re too hot in there with all of the wool and they’re taken out there frustrations on your current project. Have so me Ice Cream and ignore the little beasties.

  76. Hank is *SIX*?!? No. *Way*. No. He is three. It says so right on this here blog.
    (When did time start going so fast?)

  77. Personally I have my hair under control thanks to some gel that is supposed to make my frizz into curls which was great yesterday — but today the hair was wet and then was pulled back and up and held with a clip. I don’t think a hurricane would move my hair today. Otherwise my house dress wouldn’t go over my head at all today. (cotton house-dress – the best thing to wear in this weather – it only took me 53 years to figure this out)
    I don’t think it was Hank – he wouldn’t have put it back in the basket would he – or is he an obsessively neat child ….

  78. But how did he mess with it and it still has the correct number of stitches on the needle?? Weird.

  79. It’s hardly any more likely that a 6 year old would put your knitting back in the basket than the cat would. Soooo, the only one to point the finger at … sorry … but I think … is YOU. Of course the heat had something to do with it …

  80. Here’s a teaching opportunity. You could ask Hank what happened.
    I’ve always told my boys that I will be much happier if they tell me the truth and that they won’t get in trouble for it. But finding out later that they lied to me has more serious consequences.
    The most challenging aspect of this parenting philosophy is actually keeping your cool when they confess to breaking something important to you.

  81. I have cats. And I know 6 year olds. No way either put the yarn back in the basket. I think it’s the karma reversing itself…..

  82. I also believe in ghosts…. of the poltergeist variety. There’s one that’s followed me around for years. Really.

  83. It wasn’t Hank. After that episode where you fixed the cable, I have perfect confidence that you’ll be able to fix this one, too.
    As for that country star hair, just shake those enviable tresses and enjoy them. Everybody wants them and the universe gave them to YOU. Curls are an attitude more than a hairstyle!
    Fellow Curly Top

  84. Oh, bliss. Jan G. is a genius — Pleeeeeeeease put your hair in braids and post the photo! My face hurts from grinning just thinking about it. (It’s the heat, it’s the heat…)

  85. I suppose it could have been the Sock Monster, but he ususally lurks in the washer or dryer. Perhaps you should question Mr. Washee? Maybe he saw something.

  86. I would not, under any circumstances -blame- the house elf. House elves and faeries are notoriously touchy about such things.
    I blame the cat. They’re far smarter than even we give them credit for.

  87. here in Barcelona, humidity is 90% (although temerature is only 31ยบ). Guess about my hair. ๐Ÿ˜›

  88. I’m right there with you. Yesterday it was 92 and felt like 107 at 6:00pm. Despite needing to unpack the house in order to cook, we decided we’d better just go out to eat and stay away. We only have one room air conditioner and that room hardly needed unpacking.
    As for your mystery – maybe if there was one stitch out the heat did the rest of the work on the yarn for you?

  89. I am usually pretty good about knitting disasters…I pick up the needles and fix it, but I must confess I GASPED ALOUD when I saw that. Holey moley. Whoever committed such a crime should be grateful that you are not going to waste valuable fixing-up time with revenge.

  90. Dara has it right on the nose. Go check out sknitty’s blog–the June 11, 2006 entry. She had the exact same thing happen, and even describes how she fixed it (and it sounded like a pretty simple fix). And not only that, but sknitty is a cool chick and a friend, so she would be happy to know that she helped you solve the roundabout tank mystery.

  91. Hmm… Having both a six-year-old and a cat, I believe, imho, that either one could have done much more damage. So, I’m ruling them out.

  92. OK so not Hank nor the cat, as I don’t think either would be tidy, although Hank might have realized his mess and put it back but again not tidily. It is the humidity or else the ghost of thousands of dead silk worms getting their revenge. joke
    I agree that a crochet hook will fix it right up but how very odd. I am doing a t-shirt in strips that has a similar connection to the previous strip as you are doing. i just checked, it is very much together.
    I am getting off this machine now as it is putting out more heat and we are already at 96F with over 90% humidity, plus I keep sticking to the keys. Glad to hear your life is picking up ( hehehe).

  93. After you pick up the stitch from the round below, aren’t you supposed to turn the work, and knit it together with the stitch beside it? Did you? I feel like the RCA dog – head cocked to one side, looking utterly fumdounded. As was wisely said, it looks like five minutes with a crochet hook will mend all. Good luck!!

  94. Okay… if there’s one thing I know it’s boys – I have 5 of my own attempting to drive me totally insane (and pretty much succeeding). While I agree it is very unlikely that a 6 year old will return any handled item to it’s original spot, never underestimate the ability of an adorable 6 year old to cover up a crime. All the suspect is missing is an unsuspecting and equally adorable 2 year old on which to assign the blame!

  95. My guess is that Hank wanted to practice knitting, spotted your project, picked it up, the cat sailed across the room and attacked it, and in an effort to hide it so you wouldn’t notice, he put it back where it was. Anybody else have a brother who left something sitting broken and figured that if nobody looked they wouldn’t find it and blame him? (And my brother’s been called Hank at times too!)
    Anyway, back to your Hank… How’s he going with the knitting?

  96. I’d bet money it’s Hank. Pin him to the wall with your double points and start the interrogation. Six year olds crack fairly easy, I know I taught first grade. We are baking here in the midwest USA. It’s 108F! I’m working on a wool purse in front of a fan.

  97. Since you are going to the greater Phoenix, Ariz. area, shop for what they call “patio”dresses. Usually of soft, crinkly cotton, layers going wider and wider from top to bottom. Stand above an air conditioner vent and floof them out with cool air. It won’t fix that tank top or that kid. My son has been described as a rocket, an atom bomb and robust. All before he was 3. He’s now 15 and the soccer ( football) coach thinks all those adjectives make a great player. It’s all relative. I have curly hair too and humidity. Cut it short. Then your neighbors won’t even know who you are come summer. It’s a fun trick to play on them when it’s hot.

  98. Definitely Hank. It’s always the children. Even if he didn’t touch it or fiddle with it he distracted you while you were touching it and the stitch just obeyed the implicit ‘children will foul everything up just to prove to you that your love is even more powerful than yarn’ rule. I know what you mean about stupid hot…it’s 114 here in nor-cal–not counting humidity…

  99. I have a five-year-old boy. As such, I think I can state pretty affirmatively that Hank 1) would not have been content with making a mess without trying to “fix” the mess (thus making it far worse), 2) would not have left the yarn untangled after making said mess, and 3) never, ever, ever have put the damage back in the basket. If it were Hank, guaranteed you’d have found it under the cat.
    I’m inclined the blame the same gremlins that are making it apparently impossible for me to knit a single 57-stitch row of shaker knit for the Brioche Bodice without making some sort of grotesque error.

  100. Ohhhh, that is just too bad… I find working on this tank puts me to sleep faster than a couple beers… only the leaves perk me up, and mine is coming along quite slowly. I do believe that it should be fixable, but am too hot to contemplate how at the moment.
    As for Hank, he is certainly old enough to learn the lesson all children must learn at some time — not to touch _______ knitting (mommy, auntie, grandma, etc.). Yarn is always available, but projects on needles are off limits. Cute or not, everyone needs some boundaries! Having said that, probably a good idea to ask him… wouldn’t want to place blame unduly.
    In the meantime, let’s see a picture of that hair ;~}

  101. Well it’s rather obvious that this poor tank is absorbing all “bad luck” so that your next book, which you admitted to being cranky about, will be turning out WONDERFUL. I think it’s probably a fair trade.

  102. Very Glad to hear LeeAnn is doing ok and all the BEST to her for a speedy and complete recovery. That round about tank picture has me completly baffled!! Are you SURE this is going to turn into something you can wear ? Its got to be one of the weidest patterns I’ve ever seen. Can’t wait to see the finished product. Hank didn’t do it . I think he’s too smart to fool around with his dear Aunts yarn. The cat is probably too hot and laid back to bother doing anything right now sooooooo– that leaves the the yarn gremlins. Sneaky little devils are always busy.

  103. Personally, I think it was a bit of Karmic insurance. Glad to hear Lee Ann is doing well. Hope it cools off for all of us soon! It hit 100 degrees F. in New Hampshire today!

  104. Hank’s name is Hank, and he likes yarn. Maybe he’s been endowed with special yarnish powers. He might not even know that what he does is wrong.
    Is his middle name Swift? Niddynoddy?

  105. Yup, I doubt the cat would have done it, but I totally believe the six year old might have! Especially in this heat. they don’t seem to feel it the way us old, slow adults do!

  106. I really think it was the universe having one last little screw with you, just for fun, after having allowed Leann’s brain surgery to go well.

  107. It’s so clearly Hank. He knows he’s fast, he knows it’s hot, he knows he can’t be captured. And he loves yarn.
    I’d look no further for your culprit.
    We’re melting here in Boston, too, by the way. Our dog and our cat have both assumed highly undignified positions on the kitchen linoleum–belly up, paws and limbs splayed, immobile, panting. It’s so hot they can’t even be bothered to spar.

  108. All I can say is God Bless You!!! I would have went beserk if I would have seen it. Yeah, God definitly bless you!!

  109. Steph-really. A combination of heat, humidity, cat, teen-agers AND Hank?
    You know you’ve pushed the limit on Karmic tolerance!
    Best have a beer, chocolate, and a nap before attempting reconstruction.

  110. Are you sure that Mr. Cutie-Patootie Hank didn’t go whisper the word “buffet” in the sleeping girls’ ears? Then, when they got up and saw that there was, in fact, *no buffet to be seen*, they had a deconstructionist moment with your knitting so that you’d be baffled by that and forget to wake them up. That way they could regain the sleep they lost while looking for the imaginary buffet.
    Remember, teenage girls are often irrational.

  111. So, have you fixed it? I think I see the problem in that second shot: five minutes and a crochet hook, like double stranded finger knitting . . . if you know what I mean.
    Hank is too cute. And feral. But I like that in a man.

  112. Pixies. (I am reliably informed that fairies only do good and pixies do mischief. The informant is not here to question about elves.) Pixies are pretty mean and crafty little things. They steal stuff and then put it back exactly where you thought you left it and looked at least a couple of times for it, for example. I think pixies would be easily capable of messing with Alchemy silk and making it look like you dropped a stitch, and tidying it back into the basket.
    But it is 32C inside my house and hotter outside (though there is now a breeze and some clouds that might (hopefully) produce rain…

  113. I vote Hank, Knitting needles and in the Living Room. (As opposed to Col. Mustard, candle stick and library). He may have used the secret passage to get in and out. That’s how he successfully hid the evidence. It’s true. All I need is for one person to show me a card that disproves it.

  114. You’re right, teenagers would never willing get out of bed before necessary, even to annoy their mother. Every time my cats get into knitting, I find it dragged through at least 3 rooms and wrapped around every available leg of furniture a minimum of 4 times. The tips of my bamboo needles are chewed off too. Nor could it have been Hank. If a small boy had done it it surely would have been found just dropped somewhere, or perhaps stuffed under a chair cushion. It would take the devious nature of a little girl to put it back in it’s proper place. No, I’m afraid that my considered opinion is knitting gremlins, can’t be anything else.

  115. I for one am glad you woke up to that mess. Gave Lee Ann a good night, too. Recovery can be tricky so hopefully you sucked that last bit of bad your way and she’ll be better soon.
    But as for what on earth happened? Not a clue. I’m still wrapping my overheated brain around the fact that you CAN pick up those stitches in just the right way, in the heat no less.

  116. OK.. no 6 yr old can do that w/out some evidence.. they can’t sit still long enough.. Hair.. join the club…I’m thinking of dyeing it orange & auditioning for Ronald McDonald.
    Heat…this is why I love winter.. I remind all the people that said they love summer last winter.. & no they aren’t any happier about being reminded either.. but at least I never complain about winter.. We had gone over 1,000 days w/ out a day over 100. why did we have to break a record? Hugs from a distance- handing you a nice lemonaide…

  117. Ah, the Hank Factor – my girlfriend had to deal with that today as well. She came home to something blue on the kitchen floor that she later found out had melted in the fridge because SOMEONE turned the fridge temp all the way up. We surmise that the 4-1/2 year-old son was trying to be “helpful.”
    I told her to count to ten – repeatedly (her, not me).
    Anyway, I’m sorry it’s hot, but at least you’ll be prepared for your visit to Oklahoma City. Somebody should warn you that it was at least 106 today. The building across from me at work read 116 degrees at 515 pm, but it faces west, so we always figure that it’s at least ten degrees off no matter what time of the year it is. However, never fear–we love air conditioning here.
    Oh, and there’s a cold front coming in this week–the highs are supposed to drop into the high 90s. Get out the long johns!
    Can’t wait to see you next week!

  118. Don’t know what happened to your knitting but if Hank is anything like my 5-year-old child, Spencer, he would never, ever do anything that horrible. Unless you were right there and he was looking you in the eye and smiling while doing it.
    Also, thanks for the tip about the ball-winder. 23 times! I’ll definitely have to pick one of those up.

  119. When my son was little and this happend, very rarely, I would just chastise myself for ‘not puttin it away better.’ Which was easier than having my husband tell me it was my fault for leaving knitting in reach of a kid…. but how will they learn….

  120. My guess is the speedy six year old! As mother of a six year old myself, I’ve learned to carefully guard any WIP’s, stash, etc. Between the six year old human and the 18 month old boxer/lab puppy, nothing of mine is sacred anymore. Add in that the six year old recently learned to crochet and thinks that my stash is free game and my cat thinks I bought it fo his enjoyment. I’m pretty sure my cat would be evil and clever enough to take something out of the basket, screw with it and put it back. . .

  121. Solution? Scroll down – this person had the EXACT same thing happen to her tank. Kinda creepy that I read about the same problem twice in one day. Maybe I read too many knitting blogs??

  122. Hank is adorable. Ok…the likely suspect, since I am learning a great deal about adorable little boys from my DD’s two (and the 3rd one on the way!)…But with a smile like that, with the glee on that face – you’d probably best just bite the bullet and admit you can’t prove he was the culprit – give him another skein to wind…

  123. As a mother of 5 1/2 year old twin boys who are also busy, exuberant and interested in yarn all I can say is at least it wasn’t the plumbing. Trust me.

  124. I say it’s the humidity. The thick air prevented you from noticing the dropped stitch (you’re on your own explaining how the stitch number didn’t change) and the sweat on your hands, rather than evaporating, temporarily ‘glued’ the dropped stitch into position. When it finally dried enough to give way, sometime in the night, thus dropping it completely with it’s neighbors, you were asleep, too deep in slumberland to hear the quiet sigh as your stitches gave way.
    In the darkness, your cat laughed and vowed to blame it on the small human.

  125. You’ve probably fixed it by now (or sknitty has explained it), but the secret lies in the slipped stitch that is passed over the picked-up joining stitch. When the joining stitch gets dropped, the passed-over stitch pops back up and voila: correct number of stitches, unjoined tank.

  126. Are you quite sure that you didn’t drop a stitch? Yeah, well. Got to get me one of those ball winders – I have a 5 year old who is fiber obsessed as well!

  127. When it’s 45 Celcius, I don’t want ANYONE touching me. Maybe that’s how the Alchemy silk felt, and one stitchie pushed the one next to it off the needle (Stop touching me! Mom, she’s touching me!).

  128. Oh, Hank is just too cute. Hum, he wound the ball 23 times?
    Could you please export Hank, swift and the ball winder to Atlanta please for one afternoon, please.

  129. Did you notice that the bottom portion of the piece is all nice and neat and even, and the top looks like something the cat dragged in? I am not blaming the cat, merely noting that someone might have had a bit more hair of the dog than waqs good for her, and made a mess of her knitting and then TRIED TO BLAM SOMEONE ELSE!! . . . just sayin . . .

  130. After all the speculation and “Yes blame Hank” and “No, it’s not Hank’s fault” I am left with one question in my mind:
    Is Hank wearing a wetsuit? If he isn’t, what kind of outfit is that? and if he is.. WHY?
    Ok.. so that was more than one question… It’s hot here too.

  131. Here is my theory, which isn’t as fun and creative as what most people have said, but at least it’s different.
    I’m guessing that you end your RS rows by working to the last 2 sts, ssk, then pick up and knit 1 st from the piece that you’re joining to. Turn and work your WS row. I think that the picked up st fell off the needle when you were putting your knitting away. After you pick up that st, there is an extra st on your needle, but when it fell off, you were back down to the “right” number of sts, so you didn’t think the st count was off in the morning. You picked up your piece and started working, and the jostling (and the slippery silk) made the st run down.
    Just my musings.
    I’m excited to see that you’ll be visiting Austin at the same time that I’ll be there! I’m packing my books for signatures. ๐Ÿ™‚

  132. Great news about LeeAnn.
    I promised myself this past winter when Cleveland’s weather was so incredibly cold that I would not complain in the middle of the heat during the summer. I lied. Sunday was 94, yesterday was 96. I felt like I was melting . . . gosh, if it was only that easy.
    Have a great day . . .
    Oh, and another hint, don’t ever let a 5 year old spread the sunblock on your back. I have spots that my DS missed. I think he was painting with the sunblock, so I probably have a master piece in sunburn on my back!

  133. I’d let Hank go un-captured for now. Although, since he loves yarn so much, maybe you should teach him proper respect for our wooly friend.

  134. 50%?? the humidity is 50%?? Doll, don’t come down to Baltimore where I think the humidity is about 80% right now – you won’t fit back in the car to go home.

  135. Have you overlooked the possibility that all of them were working together?
    Perhaps the kids took it out of the basket, the cat pulled the stitches out, Joe found it and put it back in the basket while Hank kept you distracted with his “adorable exuberant six year old” routine.
    This kind of complicated conspiracy does not happen by accident. One of them had to coordinate it. I suspect the cat because only cats can pair such cruelty with cunning.
    You’re dealing with some pretty deranged characters Stephanie. Watch your back.

  136. How would he have done it? I am really curious as to how he would have taken that apart. Do tell!

  137. My vote goes to the house elves, as well. Who are, indeed, related to the key elves who steal cell phones and keys, as someone else stated. I believe they are also related to the brownies who unpick hems as I’m hand-sewing them on skirts – the brownies pick out the hems on the floor-side fast and I have to stitch faster than they can pick if I want to ever finish sewing the hem.
    I’d hate to blame the 6-year-old. Mine takes the blame too often, and there’s really no point. Once it’s done, does it really matter who did it? If Hank did it, he put it back to hide the evidence, and knows what he did. He’ll feel bad enough about it. Give him a hug and show him how to pick up stitches, so then if he did it, his conscience will be relieved when you show him the whole thing isn’t ruined. If he didn’t do it, he might think it’s neat anyway, and it’ll keep his interest in fiber. (Just don’t forget to mention that it’s not something to be done for fun!)

  138. WOW! it is HOT in TO!! i’ve never been there when it was SO HOT! usually it’s pretty nice ๐Ÿ™‚
    Don’t blame Mr Hank. He’s just a child! who obviously loves to play…he’s just too cute. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I was checking your tour page and saw you aren’t even coming to Dallas! what’s up with that?? ๐Ÿ™‚ you would have a HUGE turnout if you came up this way! is there anyway we can convince you to head this way after OKC or after Austin?

  139. I think it’s funny – er, punny? (a tendency for which I entirely blame my father) – that his name is Hank.

  140. Having a six year old boy in the household myself, I would not think it beyond Hank to do it. Instead of getting mad at him, however, why not try to channel his interest in yarn and knitting?

  141. After taking a look at Sknitty’s, I don’t think it is a gremlin but rather the zeitgeist of this pattern. Besides, Hank is adorable. And hey, I dealt with this type of hair in this humidity with a clip, two combs and a sun hat! And by spending all day yesterday in the basement (oooh, chilly) getting a warp on the loom.

  142. I’ve been giving this problem a lot of thought and came to the conclusion that Hank may be the cause, but not the culprit. Think about it, you spent a day with an active 6 year old, you’re still up knitting after even the teenagers have gone to bed – are you sure it wasn’t messed up when you put it in the basket? I’m not trying to blame you, just wondering…

  143. The mystery of what our knitting does when we’re not looking … one of the seven natural wonders of knitting …
    Hank is adorable!! But you already know that don’t you!?!

  144. Think, Stephanie: Did you at any moment show Hank the tank top and say something like ‘See? See how this little stitch at the end of the row holds it all together?
    If so, um, it was pretty much your fault, wasn’t it. You’ve got to know a six-year-old is going to wait carefully until the tank top is not under surveillance and then see for himself.
    I know – when I was three I wanted to cut something with the pinking shears to see the zig-zags and my Mom said ‘you can’t cut paper with those pinking shears – you have to cut cloth’. I’ve always maintained it was her fault our living room curtains wound up with seams every two feet …

  145. I would go with the “house elf” theory.
    It is also so blooming hot here (we live in Iowa) so hot that my daughter’s pool is boiling…
    Hank is very charming…and remember he is 6!

  146. A boy named Hank who’s interested in yarn? C’mon, you made his name up. Didn’t think people would believe it if you called him Skein or Koigu, eh?
    I’m sweltering in NYC with what a friend called Vegetarian Cookbook author hair.

  147. I’m so glad to hear about Lee Ann’s successful surgery. What a relief. I think the knitting snafu was yet another of those good/bad universe things and that Lee Ann should now have a rapid and uneventful recovery. (That works for me. But I am quite sure that I’ve had those very same knitting pixies in my lace projects recently. They don’t seem to be bothered by the fact that if they were to be seen, I have pointy sticks & I’m not afraid to use them.)

  148. Don’t be overly upset with Hank. He was merely insuring that Lee Ann would have a comfortable day of recovery by keeping you in stitches – so to speak.

  149. Methinks it is Hank…have you tried teaching him to knit…giving him his own pair of needles and a ball of yarn? Perhaps if he has his own stuff he will leave yours alone.

  150. The bad luck magnet is still working while Lee Ann recovers. The magnet will be needed until Lee Ann makes it into big person clothes and not a paper sack with a split down the arse (this thing they call a robe).

  151. I think Hank is your prime suspect, but he’s just a curious little boy and didn’t mean any harm. He probably just wanted to see what Aunt Stephanie was making, and then–oops. I remember as a child, getting into stuff on various occasions, and then trying to tidy up the disaster so my mom wouldn’t find it, at least not right away. Of course then I had to spend agonizing hours, sometimes a few days, knowing that at any moment, all hell would break loose.

  152. i just wish we could all feel like hank does in those pics ……… just one more time, be able to experience that end of the emotional scale!

  153. My vote is for the cat. Cats are sneaky and it would just be like one to put it back neatly just to mess with your mind.

  154. Have you ever read the Calvin and Hobbes books by Bill Watterson? Your nephew Hank IS Calvin right now. My boys went through the Calvin stage and it is sometimes very funny. The books are hysterical and sort of put little boy behavior in perspective.

  155. Hank gleefully holding a ball of hand-spun yarn is one of my revolving screen-savers at home. The sight of him, clutching his yarn in great satisfaction, always makes me smile.

  156. alas, I too know the curse of country singer hair. I live in North Carolina where, from June to September anyway, the humidity hovers right around 100%. About Hank, I think he’s lucky he’s so cute, it’s hard to blame him for anything, isn’t it?

  157. Hank is quite capable of that, believe it. My 6 year old could have taken it apart just to see, put it back neatly, and beaten the polygraph under questioning. Hank is adorable. Don’t let that fool you. 6 year old boys can do things that defy all descriptions of expected human behavior.
    Thank goodness for ball winders, huh? You can keep the little ones busy for a whole 15 minutes with a big basket of yarn to wind!
    Sorry, no sympathy on the hair as I’m sporting the curly-headed Irish girl ‘fro in this humidity. Looking like a Troll doll has it’s entertainment value, I guess.

  158. Having never knit (knitted?) a stitch in my life, I find myself loving your blog. That sock chart was da bomb, dot com.

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