Un Knitting

Brace yourselves, it’s not good news. In a dreadful turn of events, both the gansey and the shawl took a swim in the frog pond this weekend.

Things were ok with the gansey. The gussets were coming along, the pattern was showing up nicely…it was all good. I even remember thinking that it was sort of incredible that it was going so well. It’s not really often that you just pick up a sweater and knit, especially one you’re designing on the fly.

Beforefrgan829

I was surprised that the knitting fates could resist the urge to point out my failure to plan. (That sort of thing is usually irresistible to them, eh?) I knit merrily along and I made it all the way up to the end of the gussets before I figured it out. I decreased every other round instead of every third round. You can imagine what sort of difference having ONE THIRD more rounds makes to the length of the gussets…and to the sweater. This mistake is my least favourite kind. It’s one of the ones that are entirely my fault. Beth says to decrease every third round. I did not follow the word of Beth closely enough. I skimmed Beth. I looked at the pictures, I thought “yeah, yeah, diamonds in the armpits. Got it.” and I did not read the charts for the gussets. I was too good for Beth’s charts, and now I am punished. I accept this, and I pulled it off the needles.

Gisswide829

See how wide the gusset becomes so quickly? If I kept increasing at this speed, by the time the gusset was the right length it would be so wide that it would wing out from under Joe’s armpits towards his nipples like a woollen version of half a missile bra like Madonna used to wear. That’s a good look.

While it was off the needle I took the opportunity to try it on Joe, and discovered that it’s a pretty good thing that I’m a lazy slacker who didn’t check the charts, since I started the entire gusset at least an inch too soon, and that error, combined with the too short gusset almost made Joe a gansey that would proudly have displayed the gentleman’s full on mature man belly button. (I firmly believe that there is no amount of elegance a man can carry himself with that will pull off that look, and further to that, I can’t let Joe wear a belly-shirt and then insist that his daughters cover up. They’d all want belly-ganseys too and soon the standard for elegance in this house would be in the dumper.) The good news is that the sweater is the right width. When I pin down length things are really going to come together. (Assuming ripping back several inches is enough penance for the knitting muses. You never know what will satisfy them. )

The shawl….the shawl I’m not ready to talk about. The pain is too fresh. Let’s just say that I apparently cannot count to seven. At all. Ever. The shawl and I have gone to separate corners until I can bring myself to tink back another row or two, or fifteen..or whenever the last time I counted to seven correctly was. Let’s leave it at that.

In the meantime, I’m going to distract you from my bad knitting by adding more stuff to the tour page:



-The time for the Powells event is 7:30

– I’m going to go to Knitty City after the Knit Out in NYC on the 17th – to sign books and hang out (I won’t be giving a talk there.)

-November 5th I’ll be speaking at The 2nd Annual Fall in Knits Benefit Fashion Event for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, CT Affiliate, 2pm at the Granby Memorial High School (hosted by
Marji’s Yarncrafts)

142 thoughts on “Un Knitting

  1. My condolences for your loss on the gansey and shawl. Will you be at Rhinebeck this year? We missed you last year.

  2. I’m so sorry. I think I may have just discovered the one benefit of being the ultra-slowest knitter on earth with a compulsion for double-counting and pattern checking. But I’m sorry for you.
    And yes, the decision not to knit a belly-gansey thereby unknitting the fabric of elegant society is a good one. Well done you.

  3. I feel for you. I really really do. I have a nightmare felted purse with a flower design I am knitting “organically” that I’ve ripped a couple of times. All those ends…(wails unconsolably)

  4. You are the harlot, you will prevail! Will there be services for the recently lost gansey/shawl progress? Or should we all just send wine, chocolate and our condolances?

  5. Ouch! Well, good thing you cought that fairly early (say before binding off or combining the pieces) -belly shirts on grown men really are not the most gracious of garments… πŸ™‚

  6. Drat! Those knitting muses just can’t let anything slide by, can they? Still, a belly-length, torpedo-bra-esque sweater just can’t be a good look…for anyone.
    I’m so looking forward to your upcoming trip to Third Place Books…can’t wait!

  7. Ooooooooh, ouch!
    Here’s how I count to seven: One…two…three…[MOMMY!!! $SIBLING took my $THING and my other $THING is broken and can I have a snack?!]…five…six…seven.
    {Repeat for several rows before realizing the ‘obvious’ error}

  8. Hmmm, belly ganseys… You could start a new trend. Hope your shawl behaves and can come out of the naughty corner soon.

  9. You have traveling socks and I have a traveling scarf. Well, my traveling scarf traveled off the needles and dropped several key stitches and generally killed itself while traveling around 3/4 finished. I’m going to Hong Kong in three weeks and really thought that it would get me through the flight and be done when I arrived. Now I may not even get it ripped out and rewound by then.

  10. Note to self: do not drink soda while reading Yarn Harlot posts. DO NOT drink ANYTHING while reading about belly ganseys.
    Hope things go better with the shawl when it returns from the frog pond!

  11. I feel your pain… my beautiful Clapotis got violently frogged and put in the punishment drawer last week. It’s still stewing in there (or I’m still stewing out here – whichever). Just remember what beauty you’ve accomplished in the past and know that no dang bit of string can beat you!

  12. But how else were you going to find out about the length issue? Better sooner than later…here’s hoping you had some chocolate handy!

  13. Oh Stephanie, these are trying times. Having started a new hat pattern, one with cables around the brim, I am constantly ripping or tinking back to correct something 3 rows back (or all the way back to the beginning of the repeat). What I want to know is, how can we blithely go along believing that nothing is wrong for so long?! One of the mysteries of the knitting universe. Knit on!

  14. Sorry to hear about the mishaps with the gansey and shawl (pesky patterns anyway) I did the same thing with a sweater once. You do tend to learn your lessons, it’s the remembering that you learned said lesson to be the kicker.
    6 days…can you believe it?

  15. Ooohhh! Don’t talk about Joe like that! You’re making me . . . oh, never mind. Keep it up. That and Franklin’s hairy picture do me a world of good. Thanks and happy trails.

  16. Ouch! My fingers are hurting in sympathy with your gansey and shawl woes.
    Still, I must agree with Kate on the need to make sure the mouth is empty before reading one of your posts. Belly-ganseys, indeed! The mind boggles.

  17. I’m so sorry…frogging hurts more than poking yourself with the needles!
    I have a signature comment for my emails, it goes:
    “If at first you don’t succeed…frog it and start over”
    Have a glass of wine before you start…ripping!

  18. Ouch. Take a lie down and enjoy breathing, then dive right in. Don’t take this the wrong way but seeing you, a knitting goddess, have problems really makes me feel a bit better about my many many problems.
    Come to OMAHA, Nebraska!!!

  19. It seems to be an affliction of several knitters I know (ME) that we have a difficult time reading instructions carefully. GOOD thing we don’t have a problem with your books eh ?I’m sure once you get this tour done you ‘ll get the gansey and the shawl back on track, maybe its the right time for some sock knitting for now. All the best

  20. I… I… No. I can’t do it. It would just be too cruel. Go find yourelf a nice glass of wine, dear.

  21. Sorry to hear about the gansey. REALLY sorry about the shawl. But hey! What’s that rust-colored thing under the gansey in the picture?
    You DO have a tour guide for Salt Lake next weekend, don’t you? Because, if not, I can think up some nice and easy-to-get-to places.

  22. Nevertheless, you should record the pattern for those of us who ARE interested in belly-revealing tops … see? there’s always a bright side, right?

  23. Hi there! When I am either learning something brand new, or doing some designing (I have designed about four NOT super hard sweaters, lots of hats and one pair of lace socks), I cut myself a lot of slack.
    Expanding one’s horizons or experimenting with creativity, is bound to come with some mistakes.
    Yes, I am an amateur designer, and knitting is a hobby and not a profession (yet). But if I stuck with nothing but what I can already do well; well, I think my brain would turn to mush. In return for my above philosophy, I am bound to spend some time tinking or in the frog pond.
    By the way, these are rather new terms for me, having knit since I was a little kid.
    Just remember fellow knitters, knitting is not a life or death situation. It should be fun and relaxing, albeit challenging at times.
    marianne, the retired pediatrician
    Keep on keepin’ on.
    ps: loved your At Knit’s End book.

  24. When I have screwed up miserably, and Frog Pond Hell is my fate, I like to console myself by reading about the disasters that even highly competent and experienced knitters fall into. Thank you for making my mistakes seem so normal.:)

  25. It seems that the weekend held no good news for me, either. Such beautiful socks…if only there was enough yarn to finish the toe.
    I’ll tink your shawl for you if you have a few feet of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Winter Sky. πŸ˜€

  26. I thought the part about the missle bra was funny, but belly gansey? That is too funny!

  27. I think making all these revelations to your public earns you a break and a beer. (Or two.)

  28. I’ve had a similar disagreement with my tunic from elann. It has been banned to its room until it learns to behave itself. I completely frogged it 3 times, and had to rip back 4 inches.
    Seems I can’t count to 2 very successfully, let alone 10. I’m gonna go cry now.

  29. Wow… is it my imagination or does the frog pond get stinkier every time I venture near? No, no, don’t answer that–if I went more often and didn’t just think ‘I can live live with that’, odds are, my frog pond would be a little fresher…

  30. Aw, crud. I thought I was the only one who did stuff like that. Another illusion shattered.
    I was thinking of designing and knitting myself a sweater for Rhinebeck. Recalling that I have completed exactly one sweater in my whole life, and had to give it to a person three sizes smaller than its intended victim, er, recipient, recalling that I lack your great depth of experience (if not of gussets), please talk me out of this.

  31. I’m sorry about the frogging, but I’m glad I’m not the only one… after only 3 inches on your snowdrop shawl I gave up and frogged ‘er last night. I don’t think I’m quite ready for lace – it requires too much of an attention span! πŸ™‚

  32. Those pesky numbers. Words, you can make them do what you want, sometimes. But you just can’t ever win an argument with the numbers, can you?

  33. But what about the Canadian cities? I live near enough to Winnipeg (in a Canadian sense of near enough) to willingly pile all my fellow wool-junkies into a VW and drive to see you. But I’m not begging.
    Yet.

  34. Oh God. Oh the agony. At least it was a length problem and not a width problem….a less froggy fix. Right? The upside? Yeah? (I’m not addressing the shawl right now…I just can’t.)
    BUT!! There’s a scientific study that states that frogging burns more calories than knitting. It has something to do with the increased heart activity and the energy expended by cursing the knitted project, its friends, its mother, and its sheep. So when you frog, you can eat twice as much chocolate and/or (I vote for “and”) drink twice as much wine as you would when knitting.
    (You believe me, right??)

  35. I am so sorry you had to do that. And I am so sorry to be laughing so hysterically at your pain, but you are too funny. And I really needed the laugh today!

  36. Since you’re already going to be on the east coast on Nov. 5, is the yarn crawl going to start in Baltimore at Stitches East on the 2 – 4?

  37. Poor thing. My condolences. Maybe you could bribe the shawl with chocolate? It works with other situations. And if not, you’d have chocolate to eat yourself!
    I guess now is not the time to trumpet to the world that I have conquered yo’s and completed a whole lacy-look scarf with my beautiful Pumpkin’ Smores!?

  38. Minnesota– why not visit our lovely state? Do your publishers know how many knitters actually reside here? Consider visiting us and our 24+ yarn stores!!! πŸ™‚

  39. In regards to Lori’s comment above – There’s a highway named after a case of beer? Aaaaaaaiiight!
    gigglin’
    laurie in victoria
    needing a 2-4 highway herself today

  40. The bright side, at least from this angle, is that you haven’t run out of yarn yet. Did you have to spin more? That is some beautiful yarn and the gansey is the perfect vehicle for it.

  41. I was going to comment on the yarn you will save by knitting correctly proportionate gussets, but then you had to mention length. I’m guessing that will suck up the yardage.
    Love the image of the man-belly. Reminds me of a beer commerical…

  42. I must tell you that misery loves company. After a very long Saturday I sat down on Sunday to knit. I’m making a lovely Wallaby for my eldest son. I didn’t check the pattern because surely I remember how to make this, I just made one last week. I knit all day Sunday. I didn’t think it looked right when I joined the pouch to the sweater, but I was tired and just kept knitting. 10 hours of knitting, all in all. I’d tempted fate… ALWAYS CHECK THE DIRECTIONS. 10 hours of knitting… frogged.. Oy veh.

  43. [hug]
    Nothing’s ever so bad that it couldn’t somehow be worse. Absent-mindedness doesn’t pick favorites. πŸ˜‰

  44. Oh good lord…don’t start a belly-gansy fad!!
    Still no Denver on your tour list πŸ™ but I’m optimistic.
    Joanne… fresh from a 6 hour knitting marathon at the Toronto airport, and a great Blues Festival weekend in Kingston!

  45. I think frogs hibernate in winter – so maybe this was the last one you’ll see this fall (I mean this Gansey/shawl). Here’s hoping for cold weather in Canada.

  46. Oh no! Well I have a whole sweater somewhere to frog..it is just way too wide!
    now my question is.. is there a way to unspin 3oz of super bulky overspun alpaca???
    I just finished my first ‘successful’ spinning!
    I suppose I need to skein it and hang it and hope for the best!

  47. i don’t blame you for planning on the needles. sometimes, when the mind is full and you just don’t feel like processing words any more, you just want to do something with your hands, and FEEL your way through . . . nevermind that you might have to rework itβ€”at least it doesn’t require a keyboard. (can you tell i’m a little brain fried, too)

  48. You know, the knitting fates might be punishing you for neglecting Icarus so close to the finish… especially when you’ll be meeting the designer in less than 2 weeks and she’d LOVE to see it *hint hint elbow in the ribs* πŸ˜‰

  49. I’m sorry you messed up both of your projects–that makes it an even bigger bummer. You can’t just work on the other while putting off fixing the ‘oops’ one. Don’t forget that knitting is relaxing and fun–even when fixing your own mistakes!

  50. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! I know you must have written other things, I skimmed over something about counting to seven, but the best part of my day is imagining your girls, or mine, walking around in the belly ganseys that we broke down and knit for them. I really am laughing out loud.

  51. Man what a bummer! You will be making an appearance in CT the one frigging weekend I’ll be away at Stitches East! Any chance of a swing through Baltimore at Stitches??

  52. Can someone spell distracted? Thinking about other things?
    At least if the gansey is frogged and knitted to the right length, it will look good! By the sounds of it, Joe doesn’t have mannaries, otherwise you’d leave the super gussets there πŸ˜‰

  53. That sucks! I laughed until I almost cried but it must be a good reason to break out the wine at Chez Harlot.
    And Steph, the tour page is worrying me. It seems quite possible that you intend to SKIP the St. Paul/ MPLS, MN area?!?!!?!!?!? I have asked my knitter friends and it’s official-
    We want Harlot in MN! Harlot in MN! Harlot in MN!
    Not only are you incredibly cool but there’s this MN/WI rivalry thing…… we’d never live down that you went to WI and not MN. Not only would have the better football team but the Harlot too!

  54. Gee, I have a sock in the frog pond. I keep hoping it will fix itself before Sunday afternoon and then it can come to Third Place Books.
    Thank you so much for sharing your frog pond moments as well as your triumphs. They help all of us, especially those of us who are new knitters.

  55. Steph, you are a wonderful knitter and that sweater is beautiful. The fault lies with the wearer. Surely developing a slouch and man-boobs isn’t too much to ask? Considering how much knitted love you endowed on Joe over the years I think a little consideration is called for.
    The shawl is clearly evil. Drive a wooden dpn through it and ignore it until it learns to behave.

  56. I feel your pain. I proudly whipped up both fronts of the Hex Coat from Nature Knitting within a week (I went to work, yes) and was so proud of my progress – it’s a fun pattern to knit. So much fun, that it wasn’t until I was ready to begin the back that I realized while I did change needles to begin the moss stitch, I didn’t actually change needle size! I simply went from bamboo to metal and kept on knitting on size 6. Apparently, when I was selecting my needles from the needle case, I thought I magically had 2 sets of size 8s and chose one, except they were SIZE 6! Well, one side is almost redone…

  57. Your trips to the frog pond do make me feel a bit better about my own. Sometimes I think these little (and sometimes not so little) setbacks are designed to make us appreciate the finished product all the more. I’m sure both projects will turn out to be beautiful–when they are good and ready!

  58. Hi there. I’m so sorry about the knitting. But I’d be glad to distract you with a beer in Portland. Let me know if you’re interested in going out after. I live 15 blocks from where you’re speaking on the 6th.

  59. Those kinds of mistakes are the worst. Especially when you are just beginning to think that you just may be quite clever. No experience there though.
    So when you are done knitting that gansey, Joe is going to have to wear it until he smells so bad you can’t stand to allow him into the house, isn’t he.

  60. So sorry about all the frogging. On another tack, Will you be able to knit on the plane while you are away? And by all means finish Icarus (you are planning to add the beads at the edge as Mim shows on her blog, aren’t you?)

  61. This calls for a very large glass of red wine, maybe half – nay, a whole bottle of something. I suggest Black Opal Merlot or perhaps a block of dark chocolate as big as your head.
    Not both, never both. We don’t want you losing your proverbial cookies all over the wool.

  62. I don’t know why it is that I’ve been thinking knitting lace shawls is any easier than knitting sweaters but you’re beginning to make me think I ‘could’ do it. Ripping, tinking, frogging, cursing – been there; heck – AM there!
    BTW, dear: a teeny word of caution when you’re on your next leg(s) of the tour?
    When you come to Salt Lake City, please keep in mind that you’ll be at 4400′ above sea level. Many people who first arrive here say there is no ‘air’ in our air. Move slowly, breathe deeply, and then we can toddle off to the local brew pub (yes, we do have several good ones in town, despite the rumors).

  63. I won’t mention the shawl.
    As for the gansey, better to find out now rather than later, I guess. (I must say I initially read the start as you had dropped Joe’s gansey into a real frog pond, so was somewhat relieved to hear no frogs had been cavorting on the sodden wool).

  64. I think you are being to hard on yourself for the mid-rift showing sweater. If their dad is wearing a belly shirt, you can be sure that the girls will never want to wear one ever again. Hmmm…parents everywhere might start calling you for the pattern. You could start a new line of clothing.

  65. Ha. You know what you’re supposed to think don’t you? Wasn’t it EZ who said that frogging should make you happy that you get to do that much MORE of your very favorite thing? Maybe by the time you and the gansey are back on speaking terms you’ll be able to contemplate a treaty of some sort with the shawl. I’ve got a lace scarf that defeated me back in February and I’m still waiting for the painful memories to fade before trying again . . .
    Oh, and when all is said and done it was a whole lot better to discover the gansey’s issues now, and not when Joe tries the finished product on for the first time. Right?

  66. Oh, don’t lose heart over Icarus! The lace border really is a little evil – I frogged the first inch of it TWICE before getting it set up right, but I’m done now, and hoo boy, is it ever worth it (there are pictures on my blog!). Keeeep going – don’t let it win!

  67. So happy to see that your time in Portland is 7:30! I am a teacher, and I am back at work that week, so I was hoping the event was at a time I could make. I am in the middle of my first sock, and I have you to thank (or curse) for that… we’ll see! BTW- there is a great YS on the same street as this powells… about 20 blocks west.

  68. The image of Joe wearing a Madonna missile bra just made my day. πŸ˜€
    The gansey is looking great, though, minus the wee bitty error. My hubby is starting to hint about his own gansey.. should I be worried?

  69. Belly Gansey…..Mature Man Belly Buttons? Eeeww!
    The mental image is just too much for me. I am also having to wipe spewed ice tea off my key board and monitor. Bad Harlot!!!!
    I am sorry though I just took apart an entire poncho this week. I can’t count either and chose the wrong kind of yarn. The darn thing kept growing and growing and growing….
    Have a drink Stephanie…I am

  70. I love your writing. You make my heart happy and glad, and you remind me that Im not totally weird for being so crazy about what i can do with some pointy sticks and wool. Your eternal fan,
    Sam

  71. What about Sacramento? We want you to come to northern california!
    I’ve had sweaters that make my every bulge disappear into straight chunk but not for my guy. He could use a sturdy bra, but wants a sweater.
    I had to frog the right hand of Knitty’s Fetching yesterday, three times. Got to the top cables and then realized I had turned a few around willy nilly in the beginning. Each time. Won’t even mention that I can’t count to freakin’ five for a simple 4×1 rib. One, two, three, FOUR, five. One, two, three, five. Sigh….I went to margaritaville and it was good.

  72. Yeah I had to frog my poor sweater twice, well almost twice because I made a gauge swatch I really did. THe only problem? My gauge swatch was wrong! So I am an average 21 year old with an average bust and my sweater was measuring upwards of 42 inches. So I pulled out about 4 inches of circular knitting and added decreases only to find out after three inches of knitting that my numbers are off again! Circular knit sweaters have it out for us! Just think when they are done they will be beautiful!!

  73. Oh no! Utah? California? You’ll be missing the KW Knitter’s Fair! How will nerds like me, who were far too impressed by your knitterly celebrit-ah to muster up the courage to say hello last year, make up for the sad lack of bravado if you aren’t even there? And more importantly, how will you buy all of the yarn??? Oh wait, that means there will be more yarn for the rest of us! Tour on, Harlot! Tour on! πŸ˜‰

  74. Now see, I’m sure you can count to seven. But being blessed with all those childrens who I believe are not yet back in school….that will mess with anyone’s basic math skills. And sanity. And drinking habits.
    Speaking of, I’ll be there at Powell’s! Bringing a bag of samosas and chutney πŸ™‚

  75. i’m so sorry. i feel your pain.
    and i still wish the wonder-promoter would schedule you in alabama. what about knit nouveau?

  76. YEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAW!!!! The Harlot is coming to NYC!! And to my favorite store! Of course I’ll be away (ARGH) but NYC knitters can and will rejoice! Whooooopeeeeee!!! And so sorry about the gansy debacle, but this too shall pass.

  77. Stephanie!
    So sorry about the Gansey and Shawl. On a brighter note… I’m looking forward to meeting you at your Seattle stop at Third Place Books.
    See you soon….

  78. Hmmm… I’m working on this Ann Budd gansey out of the Interweave Knits Winter 2004 issue and she increases and decreases the gussets every other round. Since I am just finishing the second gusset on the second sleeve I am a little freaked reading tonight’s post. I don’t think my husband wants to look like Madonna either. Although… there is an all-male Madonna cover band that plays here in Portland from time to time — called “Mandonna.” Maybe they could both try out.
    If I can land a babysitter I’ll see you at Powell’s in Portland next week!

  79. Please please please come to Southern California. I promise it’ll be warm. I’ll bring you a cooler-full of ice cold beers. Whatever it takes! Our Pasadena SnB group will inundate you with requests. Oh Puh-leaze!

  80. Oh dear…belly-ganseys? Stephanie, I sincerely hope you’re *not* on the cutting edge of fashion with that one, ’cause if the knit mags pick it up, I can see hordes of knitters running screaming into the night. Imagine the cover shots. Imagine the (male) models’ mortification. Imagine the horror when people actually *knit* such. “Just the thing for Spring!” Ohmygawd!! (Now, doesn’t that make you feel better you had to frog?)
    For the lace, alas, I can’t think of an equivalent. Have some more chocolate. A little more. Now start a new sock or something. πŸ˜‰

  81. Life in the frog pond: Come on in. The water is cold green and slimy – I should know, I frequent here often. Nice to have such illustrious company! ;o)

  82. Oh no!
    I sincerely hope that I did not bring bad luck to you with my comment in your previous post, regarding the exact same issues with lenght and gussets! (Where I had to rip the whole gusset too and knit several more inches *sulk*)
    The sweater looks sound, though. Good luck πŸ™‚

  83. My condolences. Frogging is such a painful process. May the knitting gods be pleased with your level of suffering and allow the remainder to knit up quickly and smoothly!

  84. I’m very excited to meet you in Granby,CT! But, you’re coming to CT on a Sunday – you may have to make friends with the locals to find where the beer is hidden…

  85. Oooh the pain. Or you could just say you are an upcoming knitwear designer that thought a belly gansey would fit a certain niche of knitters. Yeah, that’s it!

  86. Now that it clicked in my brain what frog pond means, I am much relieved that all you did was some ripping, rather than dropping your knitting in the drink!
    In my knitting maturity, I rip more and more. It is important for me that things look right and fit, so even if I could get away with it, I would still know that it’s not right. So, rip I do… hopefully your turnaround is a bit faster than my typical 6 months.

  87. I think of it as Penelope knitting: knit by day, rip back by night. She was doing it to keep those pesky suitors at bay until her DH made it home, but it’s still nice to feel like a Homeric heroine.

  88. Good thing you messed up the gusset. Otherwise you might not have noticed the length issue for another few inches.
    So sorry about the shawl.

  89. I am so sorry that I am laughing at your pain. Really I am. And I do know that the knitting fates will curse me for doing so, but I am. I couldn’t help it. Try as I might, the laughter just bellied up (no pun intended) and burst forth from my lips.

  90. I feel your pain on the shawl. The Rose Trellis is my challenge. I’ve done a couple of ripouts after trying to fix an errant stitch and ending up with dog’s breakfast.
    I will be at Powell’s. Wanna go to the Bridgeport pub across the street afterward?

  91. Four count ’em FOUR days until you visit Seattle!! And you are in Seattle for more than one day! We are, needless to say, honored that you will grace our fair city (ok when it’s not raining)for TWO days. What do you need here, smiley faces in the audience; chocolate; coffee; a good place for a beer? You name it, and it will be there!

  92. So sorry!!!!
    Belly ganseys for men probably won’t fly, but belly ganseys for the teens/20s age group? You could make a fortune selling them.
    Have you seen Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman? There’s a scene where Corkie (played by Guest), a high school drama teacher and director of a community play, does a really hilarious dance wearing a too-short cropped sweater. Rent it–it’s sure to cheer you up!

  93. I hope the Gansey and the shawl are enjoying their tandem swim.
    Of course you can’t count to seven. Once you’re done with the fingers on one hand, it’s all down hill. πŸ˜‰ (Which may be why I can’t count (on my toes) to 8…and have a horrible time buying shoes.)

  94. My condolences.
    But now I know that when I have to rip things out (which seems to be half the time I spend “knitting”), I am in solidarity with the Yarn Harlot. That’s a comfort.

  95. You are absolutley correct, just ONE belly gansey in the household, and all would be lost indeed.
    Although you now have me imagining some svelte young Channel Island dancing fishermen … (not sayin’ Joe ain’t svelte, just sayin’my imaginary fishermen ARE…) … belly-dancing in traditional Channel Island Fishing pants and New Harlot Channel Island Belly Ganseys….
    Somebody slap me please.
    My gansey is also up to the armpits and I am about to start gussets, so thanks for the reminder about the every third row thing.
    But mine erred in the opposite direction. In my desire NOT to have a belly-gansey, I am about 1.5 inches too long (it’s the black hole of knitting thing … I did measure and re-measure, really) and must rip back.
    But frankly my dear? Meeting a book deadline, TOURING for a book, knitting a gansey, working on lace and counting to seven all at the same time? Get real. Harlot, I have faith in you, but save your sanity set the bar just below counting, okay?
    Either that or let me send you some stitch markers.
    Dez

  96. Although I am very sorry about the Un Knitting that has recently occurred at the home of Harlot, it has made me feel so much better to know that I am not alone. I have been doing more tinking and frogging than knitting for days. Have more chocolate, and it will be better.

  97. Ah yes, unknitting. The small little vest I’ve been making has been unknit more than it has been knit–it seems. The only portion not completely unknit has been the back. Both fronts and the edging for the armholes AND the entire front, neck, front have all been unknit. good luck with your gansey.

  98. I am looking forward to seeing you at Bumbershoot this weekend. We’re getting our finest Seattle weather ready for you and our finest Bumbershoot crowds. I hope you enjoy your time in the Northwest.
    Beth

  99. “Belly-ganseys” LMAO!! You made me spit water out of my nose Steph!! That was great!!

  100. Oh goody, goody! I’m so happy to hear that Icarus is “a little evil” when it comes to the border. Especially since I’m already tinking my laceweight cotton — and I’m just on the first set of repeats. Oh, joy!

  101. I’m sorry to hear about the shawl but I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only knitter that can’t count to seven. Everytime I failed to count to seven I kept thinking….why on earth do I knit…I can’t count to seven (or two or six or 10)

  102. if i don’t see the northern half of georgia (preferably atlanta or athens) anywhere on that there tour page soon…i’m gonna…well i just don’t know what i’m gonna do. curse your gansey? maybe…that might be too severe. we’ll see. ;]

  103. Sorry to hear about the bad behaviour of shawl and gansey…and I thought it just me, that I was possibly brain-damaged, ‘cuz I can’t seem to count and knit at the same time!

  104. Ah, Portland. My favorite city. πŸ™‚
    While you’re there, be sure to take a bus or light-rail downtown and check out the main Powells store. It is freakin’ huge. Near it, too, is an awesome yarn store Knit Purl (http://www.knit-purl.com/). D. and I stumbled across it one afternoon and the owner let us in and gave us glasses of champagne! for no reason! and the yarns there are scrumptious. There’s also a good gelato store in that neighborhood…

  105. Stephanie, have you heard of and/or tried the Knit-Lite Knitting Needles that have battery-operated lights in the tips of the needles?
    I saw them in a book club brochure, but am reluctant to order them. I am a new knitter.
    The lure for really obessive knitters would be the ad’s claim that the needles allow you to knit anywhere – “Even in the Dark!”

  106. Oh so sorry to here about the frogging. The mate to my “just okay” sock has been having the same trouble. I can count, well I can, just too many. You will get it right and Joe won’t have to wear a belly sweater. (but a belly sweater and socks to match would be cool, some place)

  107. The frogging of the gansey has shocked my system–I don’t know what to do except shake my head and whistle low. Can’t imagine what it has done to yours.
    And if you need Beer (capital B) in CT on a Sunday, I’m your girl.

  108. My dear Stephanie,
    When one has shared so many knitting truths…and horrors (even when it is mainly one sided since you are the writer and I am the reader), I feel compelled to address you as, “My dear.”
    So, again, my dear Stephanie, I feel for your gansey troubles. I must tell you that despite my Grandmother’s best efforts (she could do a pair of mittens in a snap), I did not really learn to knit until my fifth grade students started knitting and I taught myself to knit so that I could sit in on their knitting circles during inside recess.
    Being a slow learner, I just learned a very important lesson from the school of hard knocks. I decided to learn how to do cable knit. I picked out a pattern for myself. (In case it turned out hideous, I wasn’t planning on giving to someone who would then feel obligated to let it rot on the shelf out of a twisted sense of duty to my hundreds of hours.) I mastered my cable stitches. (…even cabled stitched with a bent paper clip when I lost my cabling needle on a plane.) I had both the front and back knit, along with most of one sleeve, when I came to the realization that not all skeins are created equal. No matter how proud of myself I was for buying the yarn out of the clearance bin…it was not so great a coup when I realized that the number of skeins called for in the pattern were skeins that were over 100 yards and I had bought skeins of a mere 80 yards. Buying an extra skein at a bargain price is not so much of a coup in this situation.
    Anyway, I sympathize with pulling out, since I have now pulled out my entire sweater and am now looking for a pattern which only needs 800 yards of yarn, rather than 1100. It’s great yarn and I just know I will use it someday. (Does that comment give away that I am well on my way to have a substantial stash of my own?)
    Anyway, using your directions, I am moving on and am now about 2/3’s of the way into my first sock. It is quite a sense of achievement to see it develop. The only downside is that my husband is very worried ever since he caught me photographing my progress on our vacation last week. (I only wanted to document how many hours a day we were spending on the road!)Somehow, it didn’t comfort him when I said you always document your trips by recording how much you got done on your latest project.
    God Bless you and your knitting! Thanks for making even the least of us feel capable.
    Sheryl:)

  109. You and me and the number seven.I’m not admitting to the blog that I had the mistake again, since it only required 2″ of frogging (but there is a pic up of the mid-back feathering on Icarus).
    Perhaps its the phase of the moon?

  110. Stay strong. Keep focused. Personally, I would be weeping in a beer, but I like your approach better. Design review and personal space seem to be a much more adult way of handling the situation.
    Think of yourself as Wonder Woman!(since some of us already do) and consider it a task of saving the yarn from a tragic end. Can you only imagine how wonderful these items will become after you have saved them???

  111. About not being able to count to seven, I once took a hardanger embroidery class from Linda Driscoll, and this is one of things I distinctly remember she said “I know we can all count to five, but can we do it consistently?” I think this statement sums up your problem. Yes, you can count to seven, just not consistently.

  112. Not sure if you remember your visit to Cambridge, Massachusetts with the MIT team and Lucy’s Shop, but Lucy is heading the Boston Knit-Out and Crochet on September 24th. As a refresher, I am the girl who knitted 2 Clapotis for the Knitting Olympics, and I am hoping to see you there!
    =:8

  113. Oh, Stephanie — I’m so sorry! I hope the naughty, naughty Gansey is feeling rather sheepish! I’m sure Beth will sympathize with you! I was just poking around the web — looks like she will be holding a Gansey workshop in Rhinebeck, NY at the NYS Fiber & Wool Festival: http://www.sheepandwool.com/workshops.cfm
    Can’t wait to see you at the knitout in NYC!! Sue

  114. Hi Stephanie, i was involved in putting the bags together for the Stitch N Pitch here in Phoenix next saturday.. very exciting…. and met the other Stephanie
    http://woodlandsprite.blogspot.com/
    .. let’s see if i can post her blog correctly i don’t think i did though.. oh well anyway we had a blast and it was so much fun getting to know another fellow knitter and a neighbor no less:-) she is just so nice.. anyway back to your post i’m so sorry that i will miss you at the knit out:-( in nyc.. and i’m really sorry about your frogging of the gansey.. but i’m glad you hadn’t gotten too far along.. and that the width was perfect.. that always helps.. i love that you started the comment about if joe could have it why couldn’t the girsl.. very cute:-) lots of hugs and i’m off to post about your next post:-)
    Karola

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