I like knitting

I like knitting, I like knitting, I like knitting. I like knitting. I like knitting.

This is all I am muttering, sitting here, gently rocking back and forth, definitively coming to the unavoidable conclusion that I need to rip back the entire sleeve of the Kauni Cardigan and have a complete rip and re knit of said offending portion. I have screwed it up in the following ways:


1. I have picked up a number of stitches around the sleeve opening that is unrelated to the number of stitches actually available around the sleeve. In fact, not only is the number of stitches unrelated to the opening, it is also apparently unrelated to the number given in the pattern. Clearly I have just picked a number out of the ether. While I’m a big fan of doing what works and not being a slave to patterns, this does not work, and in fact offers a subtle “lamb of mutton” sleeve effect that is doing the opposite of working out.

2. For reasons that I cannot fully explain (and frankly, choose to avoid, since they centre around my lack of intellect) even though I have knit the size small body, this number of sleeve stitches is closer to those suggested for the largest size.

3. I have added insult to injury by refusing to acknowledge, even though I could see it with my own two eyes, that something profound had happened to my gauge when I changed from circulars to DPNs after about 10cm of sleeve. It got looser after the switch and this, while it is offensive alone, is horrific when compounded by the magnificent number of sleeve stitches.


4. Since I went swimming in the river of denial on this one, I actually have pretty much finished the reeking slag heap of a sleeve before I could no longer devise ways to convince myself that the sleeve was “just fine” or would “block out”. It has to be ripped back. It has to be knit again. Fortunately for me, I am a knitter, and ripping it out just gives me a wonderful opportunity to enjoy this (*&^%$#@!!!ing sleeve all over again.

I like knitting, I like knitting, I like knitting, I like knitting.

199 thoughts on “I like knitting

  1. You love this yarn- remember? Keep saying that to yourself over and over as you rip it back.

  2. Does it help that it makes the rest of us feel better that even you, the Knitting Goddess, are not perfect. I’m trying my first pair of socks and I can’t remember how many times I’ve started over.

  3. Okay, I’ve got that phrase singing in my brain Dory-(Finding Nemo)style while I stare at my 3rd (really, an entire re-do of the 1st) Twisted Flower sock. Well, that and the “I love Cookie A patterns. Really, I do. I do.”

  4. Oh, the horror. At least it’s not mohair? And besides, you love knitting. This do over should be right up your alley. *cough*

  5. Sometimes if you *flap your hands* while rocking back and forth, that really does the trick. I find.
    Good luck on the re-sleeving.

  6. Is it evil of me to feel a sense of giddy glee when other people do things like this?
    I’ve been knitting for 20 years and I still do this kind of stuff, and I really think, I should have learned not to do that by now.
    You’re not alone. And, it *is* beautiful yarn….

  7. Well,if yarn has it’s own life path seperate from yours, maybe it’s not to be a sweater for you. Maybe it’s trying to tell you it wants to live with a very small body builder with the pecs of Arnold Schwarzenager?

  8. hmm…I will remember that song and use it often :). Actually reading your posts for this last year (my first year of knitting) has shown that ripping, frogging and colorful creative foul language is part of knitting. For that I’m eternally grateful.

  9. My Brioche shell has been sitting in the bottom of my WIP basket for over a year now because of the dropped stitches in the back. My intended re-imagining of the Waterlily shell has gone no farther than the swatch, because I’m freaked out by figuring out how to add short rows to accommodate my …erm, attributes. But most marvelously of all, I started a sleeve on my Binario evening gown as a guage swatch, and despite the fact that I “always get gauge” I clearly have not. I need bigger needles. It’s too small. I have too many stitches per inch. I have knit about 1 1/2″ of this sleeve and clearly need to rip back that paltry amount and start over with larger needles. And yet, for reasons passing understanding, I keep forging ahead with it. What, it’s going to get *looser*?!
    You are not alone. I like knitting too.

  10. Thank you madam, you have completely made my day, as I re-work (for the 3rd time!) my y/o increases in ez’s pi shawl. I feel much better now, as there is safety in numbers, dontcha know. The sweater is gorgeous, I can’t wait to see it all done.

  11. Oh, poor thing. *offers chocolate* So you must rip and reknit this most beautiful and complicated sleeve. Ah, well, just console yourself with the thought that most of us are drooling with envy at this gorgeous sweater!
    Maybe my idiocy will make you feel better. I’m trying to knit Noro Kocheron into a plain drop-shoulder sweater. A pattern I’ve used 8 times before. I am on rip number 6. I checked gauge and cast on the correct number of stitches for a 25 inch back. I got 33 inches. 5 more times I’ve altered the stitch numbers and ended up too big or too small. 20+ years of knitting and I can’t make this simple sweater – the yarn hates me!

  12. In case you didn’t know? Little mistakes are not nearly as entertaining to us as big ones.

  13. I think this will make you feel better, if not about the sleeve, just in general…
    I’ve been knitting for about a year, and got “Knitting Rules!” from my aunt (who also gave me all three Vogue Stitch dictionaries – lovely auntie), and enjoyed it very much. It made me feel much better about the scarf for my Mum that turned out to be more of a pashmina-size, and last month I made a scarf for a friend departing to colder climbs, and I MADE IT UP. I never would have done that without reading your book! When the pattern I’d picked didn’t really work in the yarn I’d decided on, I just winged it, and ended up with a cute little tuck-in with lace ends and ribbon threaded through where it changed from lace to rib.
    Also, you inspired me to try socks, and now I’m hooked and looking for a pattern to make my husband kilt hose.

  14. OUCH! At least the yarn does interesting things while you knit. Of course you’ve already enjoyed the interesting things the first time around…

  15. lol @ C with the Finding Nemo song…I like knitting, knitting, knitting, I like knitting, knittyknitty knitting…oooh, look at the pointy sticks and the preeeety colors. *claps hands with joy while rocking back and forth* You mean I get to knit this all over AGAIN? Oh, yay! I like knitting, knitting, knitting…
    I too am ever-so-slightly-non-sadistically-glad to know this happens with knitting goddesses such as you, as well as to novices such as myself.

  16. Wow…. even the knitting guru have to rip back once in a while. I don’t feel so bad now when I have to go buy all new yarns for the same project because they have been ripped back at least 8 times thaand are splitting badly. Thank god it’s not cashmere!

  17. Theraineysisters.com. One of them had trouble with the same cardigan, but with the colors lining up. There was ripping as well.
    I like when you can tell yourself that during a sweater or sock, but not with lace. I cry when I have to rip back on lace because I don’t use lifelines. I rarely have to rip back but it still sucks.

  18. At times like this I get the following refrain stuck in my head courtasay of Dory in Little Nemo.
    “Just keep knitting, just keep kniting, just keep knitting, knitting, knitting.” Clearly I am more of a nutter than I thought.

  19. I did that just last night. I’d made a sleeve one pattern repeat too wide and didn’t notice until the blasted thing was done. Grrr. And I, too, told myself, hey, it’s more knitting, and I like knitting. But all I could really think was thank goodness I hadn’t made it a repeat too narrow and now had to knit it again, and BIGGER.

  20. When this happens to me (and it does. oh my, it does), I leave it alone for a week or so, hoping that magically the error will fix itself, once in time out. It doesn’t. What a drag.

  21. That sucks. Though I have been there done that,like when I mix up inches and cms. You would think I am new to this knitting thing…grrrrrrr I feel your pain!!!

  22. Yahoo! Two chances to create the (left) sleeve and watch the beautiful pattern appear in your lovely even stitches!
    (No? Not working? To what address shall I send the margarita-mobile?)

  23. Have you seen clessidra over at Knitty? A lovely sock pattern, really. Until you are about to turn the heel and realize that you crossed the second cables from the top the wrong way. If I had caught it earlier, I could’ve done a repair… but after the decreases, nope, it was a trip to the frog pond.
    I am so looking forward to these being done…

  24. rip it back ??? you can DO that ??? Sorry, I didn’t know it. I have only been knitting for about two weeks (which is totally all your fault, by the way), and haven’t yet completely mastered knit or purl, but I am working hard here. I hope you’ll keep talking about what you are going to do, because I am learning alot – have you tried hugging the yarn ?

  25. Yep. That was me last night. Striving to finish the sweater for husbando that was/is so wrong in so many ways that I must have been taking a party cruise on the River of Denial all these many weeks. Cuffs large enough to fit around his calves. Set in sleeves that look like drop shoulders. Sleeves hang past the knuckles. And the neck is barely big enough to fit his head through!!!! I shudder to think what the psychological meaning is of me knitting him a sweater that is entirely too big for him everywhere except for his head…. oh dear. Will linen yarn compost? I hate for this to be an entire loss.

  26. Thank GOODNESS you love knitting! Also thank your lucky stars that it isn’t mohair like I did, and then was idiot enough to think I could rip it back . No more mohair for me thank you very much . Not if , but when I have to rip back I always have to re start IMMEDIATELY or it just goes into never never land. Good luck I’m sure it’ll be ok this time around .

  27. When I was a teen and my mom crocheted lovely afghans, she sometimes made mistakes in her pattern, got disgusted and threw the project in a corner. “I quit,” she’d say. I would go retrieve it, rip it back and sometimes crochet a few rows to get it back to where she’d been. I’d forgotten about this until now.
    Stephanie, if we had the power, we’d all take turns knitting on your sleeve till it was back where you first noticed the mistakes. (Or first faced them?) Hang in there. You’ll feel that unique satisfaction of having made it right, once the re-knitting is done.
    ~ Dar

  28. This is friday the 13th
    take the day off do nothing on the sleeve
    hum that old black magic -do not fall out
    of the chair-or use the ladder and be nice
    to the kitty wait till the sprits settle
    down they hexed my knit two purl two scarf
    i will wait till midnight and try once more
    the yarn spirts are in a tizzy

  29. Oh I am sorry to hear about the sleeve. I hate ripping back. I’m the ‘I’ll just k2tog’ kind of girl. Sometimes though, it can’t be done. πŸ™‚
    It is still a beautiful sweater. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

  30. Would it be any consolation if I told you that it has taken me over 3 1/2 weeks to knit a pair of socks with the easiest lace pattern in the world? That I knit the first sock almost in its entirety, only to discover that I’d knit the foot an inch too long and an inch too wide, and thus had to frog the whole thing? That after I’d reknit the first sock, I was four inches up the leg before I’d discovered that I’d dropped a stitch that eventually created a quarter-sized hole and necessitated ripping back to the heel flap? That after I’d finally finished the sock, I tried it on and discovered I’d bound it off too tightly, and thus will have to rip out at least a portion of the ribbing? That despite all this nonsense, I cast on for sock #2, knit two inches of lacework on the foot and promptly repeated the same dropped stitch fiasco I suffered on sock #1?
    (sound of crickets)
    That’s what I thought. What if we just put our collective needles down for a moment and made a few cherry pies instead? (Which reminds me: Help is on the way.)

  31. I have been working on my first lace project (Icarus shawl) since February. I have finally gotten to chart 4. I have had to rip it back more times than I can count. It seems that is very difficult for me to count to 12. sigh…
    Your sweater will be lovely when it’s done. The yarn is just amazing.

  32. I can’t help myself: I am laughing really hard at “reeking slag heap of a sleeve.”
    Someday I shall tell the story of the sweater I kept on knitting, even though it was clear that my gauge was WAY off and this sweater would fit the Statue of Liberty when I was done. Talk about swimming in the river of denial… *shudder*
    Kauni sure is beautiful, though. You like knitting!

  33. It is indeed a comfort to the rest of us Knitting Joes and Josephines that you’ve had to froggit — esp. for those of us still working on Clue 2 of MS3! πŸ˜‰
    Here’s a hug, anyway.

  34. Harsh…! It is such a pretty sweater though. Think of how nice it will be when it is finished, and how envious the rest of us knitters will be when we see it. Also it’s nice for some of us to know that experienced, accomplished knitters visit the frog pond every once in a while too!

  35. Well, at least it’s pretty knitting to frog back! And the second sleeve will be smaller than the first, so it’ll take less time… right?

  36. No, Steph, I beg to differ.
    You LOVE to knit, as do I.
    LOVING to knit is like loving your children.
    Your children can totally piss you off; in fact, there are times when you really kind of don’t LIKE them — but you always LOVE them. Thank God, or most wouldn’t survive to adulthood.
    So knitting’s like that; it can temporarily render you a gibbering, blaspheming semblance of the woman you are — but you still love it, even when it’s not only NOT rewarding but actively stress-producing. Again like children. Thank God we love knitting.

  37. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have just made me feel so much better for the 5 times I had to re-do the “travelling rib” on a sleeve and my now-2nd attempt to get the rest of it right while knitting in the round. Character building, that’s what my knitting group calls frogging. You already are of the highest character, of course, but why not look on the bright side? (Besides, it’s probably the fault of that dumb Nebraska judge . . . you were probably working on the sleeve when he made your vision go blurry and mis-read the pattern.)

  38. I hate ripping out, I hate ripping out, I hate ripping out!!! And when I think of what you’re working on, it would put me over the edge to have to rip out. As one commenter said it does make us non-royalty feel a bit better that you are not perfect. Thank you for sharing your imperfection.
    When I go to your blog and you haven’t posted for that day I experience a bit of withdrawl. Thank you for making us all smile a bit more each day.

  39. It is indeed Friday the 13th.
    It is beautiful. It is worth it. It is worth it. It is worth it.

  40. My very wise Newfounland Granny taught me this mantra at an early age:
    “As ye stitch, so shall ye rip.”
    She was right.

  41. Oh, *honey*. I just frogged a sweater I love, in a yarn I love, because I had to face the facts that I only have 10 balls (curse you, DiscountYarnSale.com!) and 660 yards of the softest Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran is just not enough for a long-sleeved sweater for not-small me.
    So I’ll make myself the softest throw, or shawl, or something. πŸ™‚
    Because I, also, like knitting.

  42. Another one here who is heartened to know that she is not alone, and that no one is immune to the trials of gauge and picking up.
    Thank you!

  43. What I wouldn’t do to come help with the frogging part. Once it’s frogged, it’s a whole lot easier to deal with. Heck, I’d reknit it for you, too; that project is just so gorgeous.

  44. No one ever seems to believe me when I tell them that knitting on circs vs dpns vs straights can give different gauge. Nor do they believe me when I say that continental vs english can also give different gauge.
    Glad that someone else has proven my point. Oh, look, a small pun. Yeah, I know, a very small one.

  45. I repeat to you the comment of a friend’s hubby on seeing her rip something for the ump-teenth time: “Wow, you’re really getting your money’s worth out of that yarn!”
    Can’t tell you how many times this has made me feel just a little bit better–maybe it’s the laughter!
    Go on, get your money’s worth!!

  46. Steph, I think you should be chanting “I love knitting, I love knitting”.
    My mom always used to say – “Just because I love you doesn’t mean I have to like you all the time”. Very true!

  47. Grin – you’re not alone in ripping today. I just finished a sleeveless yoked top to show off my handspun, and the non-handspun part is a silk boucle, which grew widthwise from 18sts/4 in swatch to 13 sts for the same 4 inches on the finished product. It looks like a fuzzy maroon balloon – and it didn’t even have any sleeves to mess up. πŸ˜› Of course I knit it from the bottom up, since I wanted a pretty handspun neckline that I could just keep knitting ’til I ran out, so I’ve got to redo the entire body from scratch.
    Isn’t it amazing how we out-clever ourselves?
    Good luck with yours – I’m sure it’ll be all done in no time!

  48. You don’t like knitting, you LOVE it.
    Besides… you had to vent on something with yesterday’s “issues”… surely your gauge would have been screwed up anyway. It was therapy…

  49. Remember the story in your book about the friend who was knitting the enormous sweater and you all to intervene? I laughed out loud reading that. It happens to all of us, but that don’t make it any easier! πŸ˜›

  50. Just pretend you’re knitting post World War III style. They may very well have to knit three sleeves for all their sweaters. I just hope they still have great colors to choose from like we do;)

  51. I’m knitting my very first sleeve right now – and shudder to consider the implications of the Knitting Goddess’ error! However, I frogged the back panel after almost 7 inches (just as I was starting to shape for the sleeves – it’s a baby sweater), then almost had to frog the front panel before figuring a fix to fit the pocket in. I’m hoping and praying I’ve put in enough time in this frog pond and can go on dreaming of my first grandchild instead of singing the “just keep knitting” ditty!
    Yours is a beautiful sweater and we all know – you most of all! – that it will be worth it in the end. I’m just glad you like knitting! πŸ˜‰

  52. I think we’ve all been there. Being aware of what’s coming off your needles is so important. But yet we all go into denial sometimes. I just came out of denial on a project recently myself.
    But it is beautiful.

  53. Can you just finish it and tell everyone that it is a “design element”?
    Best wishes. Sending thoughts of chocolate and your favorite adult beverage your way.

  54. You just go on and rock the frog, Stephanie. Frog for all you’re worth, wind it up pretty and pour yourself a cold bevs to enjoy while the yarn ‘relaxes’. The lovely finished sweater will be worth all the fuss. Don’t you wish we could just move that damn river away, far, far away, from the knitting? Or at least lose it’s address? Gah. Cami

  55. You know, if you’re going to be making a smaller sleeve next time, it won’t take as long and will give you better results sooner. At least, this is what I tell myself when I need to rip out an obscenely large item….

  56. OK, I must confess that I have ripped out a Monksy sock 4 times now. I mess up on row 3 and the pattern does not allow just frogging the row because of the double YO’s and ssk’s etc. I am not giving up, I refuse to be beaten up over 1 row. Love the yarn you are ripping…..

  57. I’m so glad it’s not just me that can knit on (and on, and on) when it’s obvious even to onlooking non-knitters that something has gone badly wrong.
    Puff sleeves – well I’ve seen a few recently, it could be the Next Big Thing. Maybe you are just ahead of your time?

  58. I like knitting, too. I keep telling myself that while I keep knitting, tinking, and knitting again on chart B of the mystery stole 3… I’ll get to last week’s chart today. Only a complete week behind schedule, so I love knitting… A LOT apparently. I feel your pain… err…JOY. πŸ˜€

  59. I’m sure you know that it’s encouraging to us less experienced knitters to see that even the very experienced do things like this on occasion.
    And hey, at least you aren’t having to rip back because you did stockinette on a section that should have been garter. Easier, but stupider. (Oh, the one doing that? That would be me).

  60. Well, at least you’re letting a rainbow rip;)
    As a mom of three boys… I’ve experienced much worse “ripping”
    I have a question.
    Why DO I pull the wrong DPN and end up yanking one right out of my sock at least ONCE everytime I knit a sock?
    Same mistake. OVER and OVER. And I chant as I pick the stitches back up “I like knitting. I like knitting. I like knitting.”

  61. I don’t think I have ever completed a single project that didn’t involve at least a little ripping. It’s the curse of perfectionism…

  62. Ripping = time travel… you know, that old unravelling of the space-time continuum thing. Who else but knitters get so many chances for a do-over?

  63. Well knit is a four letter word sometimes.
    For the most part it looks lovely as always.
    Tiny Tyrant – who is STILL on the ribbing for her first Harlot recipe sock. Thank goodness vacation starts tomorrow.

  64. Steph, I love this sweater so much, I’m knitting it even though I’m a fat girl with big tits!
    Ahh, the power of a beautiful yarn and the love of knitting.
    Didn’t even mind the shipping cost (too much).

  65. I know you have heard this before, but you really have a way with words, and making us laugh even about these disasters. Where are those fairies when we need them???

  66. Ummmm, I just noticed something… you changed the chart too… After the square thing, which ends with two rows of ColorA, there is 1 row of ColorB, then 1 row of ColorA, then the next square thing of ColorB (in the chart). Yours finishes the square thing, then has TWO rows of ColorB, one of ColorA, then square thing of ColorB. You totally meant to do that, right???

  67. Oy, oh, I mean yay! More knitting, hurah! I find myself doing the same thing, I say, “Boy this sleeve is so entertaining, I’m going to rip it back and do it again.” Yes, erm, yes I do just that. Wheee.

  68. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your humanity with the rest of us! I have a pair of socks that have been re-named “The Socks That Will Not Go Away” because they have been ripped back so many times. First I had to get the lace pattern to work up properly. Then I had to finagle the fit over the heel. Then I had to add an insertion to make the leg fit. Then I had to fix the cable portion of the pattern, because the crosses had nothing to do with the row count of the new lace insertion placed right beside them. Bah! I ripped the dratted thing out one more time, skeined, washed and rewound the ball and tried a new pattern. All was wondrously smooth sailing. I kitchenered the toe on sock #2 and tried them on, eagerly anticipating the end of this albatross.
    My gauge was off. I have to rip back the foot again and add about half an inch to the length of the foot in pattern. Because they have to match. They’re being knitted for someone else.
    And they’re my (not) favourite colour. They’re dark navy.
    I like knitting. I like knitting. I like knitting.

  69. I just knit an most of a second mitten during the movie of Harry Potter last night up until the end decreases. After the thumb gusset, I counted the amound of stitches around the tube of the fingers. I thought, “that’s an odd number of stitches, it doesn’t make sense.” I counted it 3 more times. Same number, 50. Examined. Didn’t look like I’d added any after the thumb. Added some anyhow, in order to reach the number I’d counted.
    As I am about to finish the mitten, entirely confused since my stitch count didn’t mathamatically add up, I count the 1st mitten one last time.
    Yup, there were less. Less stitches. I counted wrong 4 times. I feel like I have an intellect lower than a kindergardener’s right now.

  70. Oh, I hate to say this but I’m so glad I’m not the only one with a growing stitches problem. My latest UFO is the Favorite Socks Waving Lace Sock with the scalloped edge cuff. Ask me how many times I’ve ripped back and restarted. Go on. I dare you. Be warned, though, I’m armed with DPNs. It seems that once I get to the P1 YO K1 K2tog SSK K1 YO P1 section that I either lose the YO or forget to S the SSK so that instead of 16 sts per needle next K round I have 15. Or 17. IT IS IRRITATING. Steph, I feel for you. At least the yarn is absolutely gorgeous. That makes up for something.

  71. I’m cracking up because everyone’s sharing their own miserable ripping stories and I’m such a newbie that I can barely understand them! I feel the pain of having to frog something. I had knitted a whole day in the car on vacation, starting my husband’s first-ever pair of handknit socks. That evening, I discovered that 72 st wasn’t enough. Frogged it all and started over. And 84 stitches is a LOT of stitches, I’ve discovered. It’s given me FIRST sockitis. Anyway, not only do you like knitting but you’re very good and fast at it. Maybe the sleeve won’t take so long to redo? –Barb

  72. I just had this realization the other day: in what other area can you screw something up, and in the fixing of the screw up still consider yourself productive and to be actively doing the thing which you just screwed up?

  73. I think the knitting goddess is just angry over your lovely Baby Surprise Jacket and what that beautiful red/purple handspun will be knit into one day. So she’s decided to spite you accordingly.
    Maybe if you made something really hideous, like a fun fur sweater in between projects, she would take that one as a frog sacrifice, thus sparing your more beautiful sweaters?

  74. I hear you and share you pain. Thankfully we like knitting!
    I’m going through the same denial with my sweater right now. I’m going to knit the last 5 rows before the body split and try it on. I keep thinking it’s too big. I’m pretty sure it IS to big, but have merrily knit 10 more inches anyway.
    I’ll see once I try it on. I maybe able to save it and not rip out. I’ll just keep telling myself that.

  75. Ah, well, I’ve been avoiding the frog pond with the the MS3, so I guess I’ll jump in today and keep you company. At least It’ll be colorful in there with all of those colors. All of those lovely colors that will have to be wound into separate, freakin’ little balls . . . gee, I’m starting to feel better. I don’t have so much to rip, and it will only be one ball. Of course, it’s one ball of feltable laceweight, and there are the beads . . .sigh. We all have to do it from time to time (some of us, me included, more than others.) I feel your pain. I recommend Screech, then chocolate, lots of chocolate, then Peet’s, in that order. (I’ll be having martinis since you can’t get screech here, but we’ll be in the same alcohol-sodden, color-laden, chocolate-and-coffee scented, feltable Ponde du Frog, I promise.)

  76. I will not make fun of my friends. I will not make fun of my friends.
    while eating my morning bowl of oatie oh’s I saw I was not the only one enjoying them. Creepy crawlies in my breakfast.
    I will not laugh at my friends. ever. promise.
    with a cherry on top.

  77. If I needlepointed I would needlepoint Bonne Marie Burns’s
    “If it seems hinky, it is hinky.”
    Or maybe have it tattooed.

  78. I have had to recently rip out my Mystery Stole – TWICE – I have been recitely that mantra a lot too, as my husband looks at me and says “I thought Knitting was supposed to be relaxing”. It is honey, oh it is…(grrrrr)

  79. Take some comfort that all knitters have these ‘I like knitting….don’t I???’ moments. My last one (of many many many) occured 2 weeks ago when I ran out of yarn on a shawl on the last round (957 sts). It had a picot bind off, which takes a lot of yarn so I figured I would be safe if I could eliminate 4 rounds from the edging pattern…the only problem was that the only inconspicuous spot to do it was (drum roll please) 22 rounds back which equals 21,054 stitches back. A fairly stiff bourbon and 2 hours later and I was still ripping…miserable evening. But this too passed and I REALLY do like knitting – although I hope to never have to rip that much again!

  80. I think Dar hit upon the solution! Just the idea of a supportive relative or friend picking up the knitting to get you over the hump sounds wonderful. All the frogging is part of knitting, I just wish knitting needles had erasers on them.

  81. I’ve been trying to keep up the chant of “I like knitting…I like knitting” too, but it keeps turning into a string of filthy expletives as I rip out rows of the MS3 stole again and again and again. My husband and son tell me I’ve become a surly bitch (but in much nicer words.)
    I’ve softly and lovingly laid the stole aside for the next two weeks while I’m on vacation. Maybe by then I really **will** like knitting!

  82. I’m on the 3rd time of frogging the mystery stole… too loose, too tight… hate the beads… sigh…

  83. Dear Stephanie,
    I hope you realize how much comfort is offered by today’s post. I’m sorry you have to suffer, but please know you do not suffer in vain (or alone). Your books are wonderful, but your blog is priceless.

  84. Even at the wrong gauge and stitch count the pattern is really pretty.
    An you *do* like knitting, right?

  85. Look on the bright side – it’s fixable. I knit a sweater out of Noro Blossom in the smallest size. My swatch gauge bore no relation to my actual knitting gauge and, when I tried to go down a needle size, I ended up with a fabric so stiff it could be used for bodywork on a car. I stuck to it and knit the damn thing anyway, but it’s a bit… wide.

  86. Don’t tell me these things the day after I got my Kauni yarn!!
    Oh well, do it right or you won’t sleep tonight, right?? Knit on!

  87. Steph, I don’t know if you realize how much good you do in this world when you admit to stuff like that. We mortals take great comfort in it!

  88. I know you do sweetie. It still sucks to think that you couldn’t get it together enough to do the thing properly in the first place.
    Ah well. Humility is good too.

  89. My bottom-line motivator when I have tried every mental contortion/reinterpretation/justification to get out of a major repair or redo? “You KNOW you won’t WEAR it if it stays like that!” End of argument…sigh.
    (I certainly have enough experience with that outcome to know whereof I lecture myself…)

  90. The level to which you are able to delude yourself is really quite awe inspiring at times.

  91. Well, if it’s any consolation, I’ve just figured out how the colours are changing on your magnificent (by the way) sweater. All this time, I was admiring your knitterly patience of changing colours every 8 rows or so. Duh! Dumb ass… (I still admire your patience, though. Raising three teenagers, fighting maybe never-ending wars with squirrels, knitting up shawls that almost covers your backyard fence and, now, ripping an *entire* sleeve and still mantring (excuse the neologism) “I like knitting, I like knitting”. Really, I am on my knees!)

  92. Okay I apologize in advance for what I am about to say, but in a way it is a compliment. Its comforting to know that a mentor with such incredible caliber (in my estimation anyway) has brain farts too! πŸ™‚
    You only make us love you more.

  93. I LOOOOVEE knitting… but I EVOL TINKing!!! I think that’s what you’re going through…(I ekil tinking, I ekil tinking, I ekil tinking…)

  94. I was just reading on someone else’s blog, can’t remember whose, that she had to rip back the whole top of her back of the Kauni…so you are not alone, sweetpea.
    I had to rip my Lacy Waves sleeve and I swore the whole time. My husband kept asking me, is it really that bad?
    Yes. It is. Luckily, I like knitting, so I can knit it again. Grrrrr…

  95. I’m on your team. I ripped this week, too. Garter stitch at 5st/in, angora blend. I, too, like knitting and I do like the fabric it makes when I’m done… but I’m already tired of having bunny fur get in my nose the whole time I’m knitting. Sigh.
    It will be gorgeous when I’m done. Yours will be even more spectacularly gorgeous than mine.
    Remember, if you loved knitting it once, you’ll like knitting it again. Or so I keep repeating to myself…

  96. I feel your pain. I just knit a sweater for my teenaged daughter that doesn’t fit. And the worst part is, I knew it was wrong before I had finished the back. But I blindly carried on and knit the fronts, the sleeves, sewed it up, and knit the bands, all the while “believing” that all would yet be well. And then she tried it on… DK weight… 3 mm needles… Forget the frog pond; this one needs a frog ocean!

  97. Big deep breath…..hot cup of tea…..
    (and of course, deep feral growl at hubbie when he asks me why I’m ripping)

  98. oh, that REALLY BLOWS! At least you know you are in very good company swimming in the river of denial/frog pond. :o) We’ve all been there and we feel your pain. I’m having to rip back my Mystery Shawl, but hopefully just a few rows…we’ll see.

  99. That really DOES suck… wow… that was particularly spectacular when it came to well… not working out. XD

  100. Really, I think it should go more like this:
    “I like knitting.”
    ::apply Screech internally::
    “I like knitting.”
    ::apply Screech internally::
    “I like knitting.”
    ::apply Screech internally::
    “I like knitting.”
    ::apply Screech internally:: ”
    Of course, this could cause problems with the supply of Screech.
    (Whaddaya mean, “cause problems with the knitting”??)

  101. Ugh, Stephanie, I feel your pain. But, on the bright side, just be glad that it is so very beautiful and you get the opportunity to knit even more of it! Ruth in NJ

  102. OK – let’s start from the beginning. It’s all right as to what happened – it’s happened to a ton of us – just deep breath, rip, and, just for the heck of it, pick up a stitch per row from the underarm to the top – count them. if they are CLOSE to half of what you’re supposed to end up with, then continue to pick up one stitch from the top back down to the rest of the underarm (I’m sure you know all this already). OK – now – the first row around at the top of the sleeve is a solid color – so decrease appropriately until you get to the next round – and you’ll be fine – also check my blog entries for my own personal booboos on the first Kauni –
    now – can you please explain the feather & fan pattern where the feather part shows up in stockinette and the fan part shows up in purl/garter???
    phew – thanks for helping me out on that one πŸ˜‰

  103. The colors are so beautiful! I’m sure deep down, you just wanted to work on this sweater a little bit longer… I can’t wait to see the finished project!

  104. Yes, this sweater was too beautiful for you to be finished that quickly. This is the Universe reminding you that not savoring beauty just won’t do.

  105. Yikes, so sorry.
    that really is quite painful to read. Can’t imagine what it would be like to have to reknit that damn sleeve

  106. You don’t *like* knitting, you *love* knitting. And anything you love is going to drive you batshit crazy now and then. (Or something like that. I’m too lazy to go look it up.)
    Um… sorry about the sleeve.

  107. Well, at least it ‘s a pretty mistake (the colors are still lovely).
    Sorry about your trip to “de nile”.

  108. Speaking as a sock knitter who knits 2s2c, I would like to suggest one way to avoid the dpn induced change in gauge. Maybe you could switch to 2 circular needles when you get down to that part of the sweater instead. It’s an easy method which I just love, and hopefully the gauge will stay constant.

  109. I’m actually looking forward to ripping the oddity I’m working on…a WWII navy watch cap where the mysterious and inscrutable pattern called for “4/8” yarn, “needles for socks and sweaters,” and had me cast on 140 stitches. As you would expect if you decided this meant worsted weight yarn and size 4 (US) needles, it’s so big it’s hilarious. I’m just keeping it on the needles to show it to my knitting buddies tomorrow, then maybe we’ll all yank on the wool a bit and have a good chuckle.
    More Dory: “A game? I love games! Pick me!!”

  110. If I had to rip out an entire sleeve, I would weep. Sorry you have to frog it. At least you are a very fast knitter!
    I hope that you have made a nice cherry pie to make it all go easier.

  111. when I was living in a village in the Cascade mountains in Washington…. an old lady taught all of us to knit…men women and kids, we were all walking around knitting… and the mantra we used, over and over and over….

  112. Mmmmm, and every time you show that item, the colors make me swoon. It’s going to be beautiful!

  113. If you had magic loop-ed the sleeves instead, you could have used the very same needle that your sweater body was knit on, and spare yourself the gauge change woes. Maybe next time? Then you could use the same needle to make a matching hat, again, without switching to DPNs.

  114. Steph, I’m pretty sure you like knitting. It’s undoing one’s work that’s just never fun. Been there, done that. I’ve ripped out entire sweaters. (Ask me about the giant green raisin sometime.) I find it’s best to wait a little while after the ripping before knitting on that project again so you’re not knitting with feelings of anger or bitterness. Let those feelings dissipate and come back to it when you can knit that project with happiness again (it will probably make a difference in your gauge).

  115. Oh Stephanie,
    After having just ripped the whole leg of a feather and fan sock done on size 2.25 needles on 72 stitches, I feel your pain!!!!! I also blithly knitted on thinking “it will fit in the end, surely it will, surely!!” I actually thought of one of your writings about a huge sweater that some woman had knitted while I was knitting this obviously too small sock leg and still knitted on. Alas, it was too small, can you imagine?! and to the frog pond it went! At least you get to work with pretty colors!

  116. Funny thing. I teach knitting, and last night one of my students non-chalantly (sp) began ripping out a beautifully cabled sweater-front. Another knitter gasped and commented – how could she? And the knitter said, “Oh, I like knitting so much I don’t care how many times I have to knit it over.” !!! Wow. I’m more the ‘talking myself out of seeing the fact that I have done something wrong’-type, myself. Your sweater is beautiful, I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end (well, worth a try…)

  117. Wasn’t there a whole TV series: Ripping Yarns?
    Please accept my condolences… for the re-knitting (which, frankly, I do NOT love so much as ‘fresh’ knitting) and for the pun.

  118. Though it’s already been said…Sister Knitter, I feel your pain (((Hugs)))!
    A nip of Glen Livet might help….. ;o )

  119. That sweater is going to be beautiful when it’s finished. I’m standing by waiting for the finale!

  120. I’ve been reading for awhile…but just now commenting for the first time. I just finished reading Knitting Rules. I really feel for you today. I had to frog an entire baby sweater…because I was using some of my Gram’s vintage yarn…no way I’m getting more of that. I ran out just before finishing the 2nd front (sleeves and back done). But, now the yarn can be something else. I feel for you with that color work. My rip was wound into a ball…yours will be pieces and pieces of yarn. =0( The only consulation will be knitting with all that beautiful color on your lap for a few extra days. km

  121. Nothing wrong with a leg-o’mutton sleeve…maybe you can bring them back in to style ~_~
    Seriously, it’s nice for the rest of us to know that even the knitting goddess has gauge accidents and sometimes has to visit the frog pond. I know you just did it to make us feel better, right?
    Quel sacrifice!

  122. I love my dear friend, Tom. If he’s in the room when I announce that I made the sweater I’m wearing, he looks over his glasses rims, down his nose, and drawls, “How many times?”
    Oh, yes. I am a ripper.

  123. I feel better now. I too ripped my Kauni sleeve…gauge got all wonky on me, don’t know why! I was in denial for about 6 inches. That was yesterday. So I ripped. Today is Friday the 13th(great day – my birthday) and the new sleeve is just fine now. I’ve even decided I like all the orange and green in it. (What’s the deal with those 2 colors – they seem to be so much looonger to me.) Of course, I had the good sense to stop knitting my new and improved sleeve before I enjoyed my bottle of champagne. So happy ripping!

  124. I actually came back to read more comments – oh, the ripping stories!
    I had to add for Denny and Rams – in my family, it’s extra protein, good for you.

  125. Total sympathy! I’ve ripped back various stages of Kauni 3 times….and now I will undo and redo the button bands, Misery truly loves company! I feel better.

  126. I for one am glad to see you’re getting your money’s worth out of that yarn! hee hee…

  127. I just ripped out a Gansey because it was going to be huge! I’ve already started over and I’m feeling good!

  128. Usually I peruse the comments to see how many of us are in the same boat, to find my “metoo” sistahs. Not this time. Nuh uh. I wanna be all alone in this boat. I was so deeply immersed in that river that I not only sewed in all my ends as I went, but I grafted my underarm stitches together. Before finishing. All neat and tidy, right??
    After washing (with a little more hot water than usual – to incent punishment shrinking, of course), and blocking (only the parts that needed to be bigger, of course) I had no recourse but to acknowledge that the bustline drawstring is about 2″ too low and the neckline is too sloppydrapeyflashdancey. I have to rip out all those sewn in ends and frog the whole top of the top, back to the lace bottom, and begin anew.
    I sneeze in the general direction of your sleeve.

  129. You have to kiss plenty of frog and rip it, before your prince. I feel for you, I have done the same, just be patient in your frogging and onlyt doit as far as you need to. You are the artist and your craft is being remolded.
    The work is stunning!

  130. I love knitting but my knitting hates me. I haven’t managed to finish a project for months as one after the other has grown, shrunk, mutated and twisted until I am convinced that it is me that is wrong and not my knitting. Clearly my sleeves should be that shape – they were future proofing for the day I have flappy arms. My neck really ought to be 12 inches in circumference and my bust shaping ended up somewhat southwards deliberately to accomodate my pot belly.
    It is days like this that the disaster prone amongst us would like to remind you that we love you because of your mistakes, not despite them.

  131. This is what in our house is lovingly referred to as a “brain fart”.
    I’ve knit and frogged the same yarn into 4 different sweater patterns since January. It’s final incarnation is huge – but I don’t care, I’m wearing it anyways ’cause it ain’t getting frogged again.
    At least it wasn’t a cable this time!

  132. Join the Club! I too am ripping a sleeve. I knit it, have ripped it out completely, knit it again and now have ripped the cuff out twice. Cursed, blasted thing. However, mine is simple and one color (I am the idiot). You Win.

  133. My sympathies!! Whem I make horrible mistakes with knitting I get my Mum or my sister to unpull it for me! I do the same with theirs- not that I need to very often – it always seems easier to fix someone else’s muck-up!! Then you can just pick it up and pretend the mistake never happened. (Well it works sometimes!)

  134. Rip it out first, wind up the yarn neatly and get everything tidy. Then shut it in a drawer, label the drawer ‘Open In October’ and go start a lovely new cuddly project.
    Your Irish psychiatrist.

  135. My son comment to my DIL after she ripped out a project that she didn’t like to reuse the yarn: “Twice the fun – half the cost.”

  136. Does this mean you’ll have to try the 2 circular technique to maintain proper gauge? Heh
    Though I do feel your pain. I’m so sorry.

  137. This is just one of the things I love about knitting….you get to completely undo your mistake….sometimes more than once….and then when you get it right….it’s like it never happened!

  138. At this point, I’m surprised that you only “like” knitting, I’d really have to love it to go thru all that again.
    That said, this is truly going to be a fantastic sweater once you’ve completed it. Far beyond my meager knitterly experience. I just know that should I try to make this pattern it would have gone terribly wonky long before now. And I do love that yarn and the colorway is just WOW
    You inspire me and I must pick up my needles and grow a little.

  139. Whew! I’ll keep your mistake in mind when I get to that point. I think I like someone else making mistakes so I can lag behind and learn from them. thank you, (wink)

  140. When I first started knitting – ooh, must be 2 years ago now – I never re-did anything. I would ignore mistakes, fudge stitch counts, or simply stuff disasters under the bed and start something new. Then I started reading you and Grumperina and other Do It Right evangelists, and I came to Believe.
    The back of my current cardi-in-progress had one too many stitches after the armhole decreases and its ribbing so it looked funny. I spotted the missed decrease 6 rows down, sighed, thought of you, undid the offending stitches, worked the decrease and picked the stitches back up again. Then I noticed that I had mis-diagnosed where the mistake was, and I’d actually missed a decrease on the opposite end of the row, so it was now even more wonky. So I ripped back to the start of the shaping and began again. Decreases done, currect number of stitches, but one row looked funny. I had twisted several stitches when loading them back on for the reknit.
    My cardi will have some twisted stitches on its back. There are limits.

  141. Sigh. I am starting to get used to this. I have a sock that I must frog -my first toe-up. I finished, even though I knew it wasn’t wide enough for my foot…I wanted to think that it would stretch…that’s what socks do, right? You’ll feel better after it’s frogged and you’re starting down the sleeve again.

  142. The different gauge when switching to dpns thing really irks me.
    I knit a toe up sock using magic loop. I had to redo the gusset 3 times so on the fourth go-round, I decided to switch to dpns so I could follow the pattern exactly.
    On to the second sock. I started on dpns since that seemed to be easier and I was almost to the gusset when I noticed the difference.
    Aaack – even the colors looked different. I frogged it all and did the foot on a circular needle then switched to dpns. they are nearly perfect.
    We really should lobby for standards, I don’t care if they are metric… just consistant would be nice.

  143. Rather than just be another lurker, I just thought I’d add that its a darn good job you like to knit…smile. What a pattern! The finished piece will be well worth it. Its so unique!

  144. I weep for you, and deeply sympathize. And, gee, that is really skinny yarn, too. Probably the project is cursed.
    I say you should probably abandon the project. I’d turn back, if I was you. Send that yarn and that halfway finished sweater to someone you dislike and start a new, un-cursed sweater with fresh and un-cursed yarn.
    Perhaps if you write or call the yarn shop from whence the accursed yarn came, they will feel so sorry for you that they will send a fresh batch.
    Or perhaps the yarn is innocent in all this. Perhaps it is the pattern that has been cursed.
    Listen, greater love hath no knitter than to offer to finish a project. I will make the supreme sacrifice and offer to take both pattern and yarn off your hands and out of your home. You have children! I have only rotten dogs and an accursed cat. The cursed energy of my evil genius pets and your evil genius project will battle it out and be neutralized. That’s according to my understanding of arcane physics.
    Let me know. I can send my address. Or the pets.
    Frog Princess

  145. Oooh, fun to rip *that* out, too. Sounds like it’s time for a “time out” for the knitting, as Bonne Marie would say.

  146. Lest I sound too sarcastic, it’ll be so worthwhile — that sweater & it’s colours are *gorgeous*!

  147. Okay, after being totally intimidated by you for so, so long and never being able to figure out HOW you knit so many intricate things so often and do anything else, I am feeling better today. Thank you for allowing the rest of us to see your errors. I am ready to pick up my knitting needles again…

  148. Quick question. Does one sleeve match the top half of the body, and the other which you are showing matches the bottom half? Are you going to make the sleeves match each other or as I mentioned. I saw another sweater like this and she debated over matching the sleeves.she did not and I actually cried when I saw the end result.Oh well, If you don’t know who I mean, email me and I will send you her site.The grief of frogging is far easier to heal than something horribly flawed, or a UFO.

  149. Oh Steph, I feel for ya. I recently had a debaucle involving a puppy and my mystery stole. Casting back on tonight. Do remember, we love knitting. (btw — does the Kauni sweater come in child sizes??)

  150. I love knitting. I love Elizabeth. I love knitting her patterns. I have now ripped out a shawl collar on a cabled vest 3 times now. Finally went to Sarah P.’s house. After an hour or so the lightbulb went on. I ripped again. For the last time-I hope. It’s for my dad and he is 80 and is hoping to wear it before he is any older. My husband did make really cool antler buttons for it from a deer’s antlers that my dad had shot a few years ago. He will be so impressed-by the buttons, not the vest.
    I love knitting-the frog pond not so much.

  151. I wish I had remembered to repeat that while I ripped out Hardangervidda. I was knitting it the same time as you- and I haven’t knit since, it scarred me. I still insist my knitting was correct, my gauge was correct- and my husband grew a size.

  152. Question: Did you cut your yarn whilst doing the sleeves so that the bands of colour matched those of the body? I’m doing this sweater as well and was wondering about that…

  153. oh dear. i did the same stupid thing on the edging of my bee shawl. i worked about 40 rows (over 550 st each) of a perfectly AWFUL edging and forged ahead well past the point of knowing it just plain SUCKED.
    finally i was casting off and after about 30 castoffs, i laid it down and said “yup, it sucks alright. it’s really really bad. but not as bad as waiting this long to admit it. you dumbass”
    and then? i emailed two friends with pix to confirm. sure enough, they said it sucked.
    well, at least i was right about THAT.

  154. “I love knitting…” was also my mantra as I ripped out the ENTIRE back of the summer cardigan I was working on. But, it was so worth it, as the second one if true to gauge and looks so much better!!! Hang in there , Steph, its all for the best!

  155. Yeah, I’ve been doing that lately. The Baudelaire Sock and a Noro Shrug. It hasn’t been pretty. I’m blaming moon phases. Darn the new moon.

  156. Hi Stephanie,
    We met in Victoria, My name is Megan and I gave you a “Toe Kozies” kit to try out. It was my first pattern I had ever written (first of many I’m thinking)
    I know you have been busy ripping out beautiful Kauni sweaters and what not but when you do get around to the toe kozies let me know how you like them, Im just dying for some feedback. oh and we got the kauni yarn at Fun Knits (www.funknits.com)
    Its so beautiful, my mom is doing the same sweater you are working on, same color too. My next project is going to be the rogue sweater by the girl from auntie. good luck with your sweater

  157. I sometimes have to repeat that mantra myself when I do something that I MUST rip. Just think of it as saving money on more yarn this way….
    ps – I am SOOO angry about the previous post I have already contacted my senator…

  158. I like Beverly’s idea – hug the yarn! Just be careful of the pointy ends. I’m going to go try that with my Mystery Stole and see if it makes me feel better…I THINK I may have somehow offended the Gauge Goddess somehow, but I won’t know till I’ve knit another chunk of it, which will take me HOURS because it’s my first try with lace & with reading charts. My husband is being very patient with my talking to myself in the corner as I say the pattern out loud to myself, stopping only long enough to say “SH! You can’t TALK to me while I’m doing this!”
    My cats, on the other hand, think I’m weird.
    I like knitting, I like knitting, I like knitting.
    I like gin!

  159. Well, this doesn’t have anything to do with this post. I was just thinking about the squirrel issue. They make squirrel repellents, but I don’t know if they work. However, they also make these electronic devices that emit certain sounds (that humans can’t hear) that drive away animals such a mice and squirrels. Perhaps you could try one of those? They are pricey but I think it’d be worth it.

  160. And this is what I love about your writing. Your full tilt admission of making unbelievable mistakes and not knowing how. It gives all of us newbies hope.

  161. Your letter to relatives regarding gift giving is working! My beloved just came home from Hawaii. Not a lot of yarn in Hawaii. “Small shops, nothing special”, he reported. He brought me a bottle opener and three balls of hemp. The bottle opener is for ripping out. He bought the yarn from my LYS, because, “It looks Hawaiian.”

  162. The sweater sleeve is trying to tell you it is not a happy sleeve and actually wants to leave…grant its wish and be done with the silly sleeve. I have had to do the same on many of my projects…like your batts these projects speak to me of what they want to be and it is not what I choose for them, so consider this sleeve to be merely a batt that was persistant . . .

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