A knitter has needs

Last night I went out to the Textile Museum for the launch of my buddy Fiona’s new book, and after her clever talk I went up to her to get her to hold the sock (because, you know…that’s what I do) and discovered that clearly my life has come right off the rails because I had forgotten to bring the travelling sock. This is rather stunning, since that poor pair of green socks has accompanied me everywhere that I go for the last 7 months, and all I can imagine is that my failure to bring it with me was some sort of subconscious expression of my desire to not travel for a while. Perhaps a conditioned response or something…like, maybe I’ve become Pavlov’s knitter and I figure that if I don’t have the travelling socks I won’t have to travel. (I am a little simple at times.) In any case, I was forced to hand her some other knitting, and that’s a very good thing, since she knit a little on it, which is more than what I have done.


The knitting in question is the Sunrise Circle Jacket, and while it was whipping along for a while there, it came off the rails where I had to follow line by line instructions and do that trickiest of things….Count.


It’s not that I can’t count (occasional evidence to the contrary) nor that I avoid counting (again, evidence notwithstanding) it’s simply that I knit largely while I do other things, and when I am counting, I can’t do other things. Now that I’m feeling better and I’m not just busy sniffing on a couch, the jacket hasn’t made for the best company.

Therefore a new sock sprang into being, something that I could motor along on when it was too busy or dark to count.


(STR “Downpour” Rotating Rib pattern of my own reckoning.) Sadly, this sock is not long for this earth, as I have arsed up the heel rather spectacularly, made the leg too short, failed to rotate the rotating rib, and as it’s circumference would suit a rather gouty elephant, it is clear now that the whole thing is worked on too many stitches. (I know it looks fine. That’s the ribbing lying to you.) I have known this for some time, but a knitter has needs, and I needed something to knit, and even though I knew this sock was an abysmal example of the art, I just kept knitting. I’ve known it needed ripping with every stitch I’ve put on it, but I can’t cast on in the dark or in fine company, and since that’s where I was…


I just kept knitting. (Don’t look at me like that. I can’t be the only one.) Now it’s hour of reckoning is here and there’s nothing stopping me from ripping it back with all the wild abandon that the piece of knitting junk deserves. Rip-o-rama.

Kiss it goodbye. Adios amigo. Hasta la vista, baby, and don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

PS. As a public service announcement for the knitters of Ontario, I feel compelled to tell you that Susanna Hansson is coming to the Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Guild to do some workshops on Feb 2nd and 3rd. The Saturday is the Bohus workshop (youknowyouwanna) and Sunday is her two beaded classes (the knitting is beaded, not the classes) Susanna lives on the west Coast, so this is a rare and wondrous opportunity. (Plus she’s my friend and very clever.) To get in on it contact the Guild.

131 thoughts on “A knitter has needs

  1. How the HECK do you screw up a heel that badly? That’s got to deserve some kind of award, or something. Makes me feel better about the puckered stranded knitting that I keep knitting on, and looking at the puckers and thinking “how much pucker is too much pucker??”

  2. First time commenting on your blog. I’m with you on the sock, the part about knowing it isn’t right, but keep knitting anyway.
    My first sock was a small one that I use for my cell phone. I am now making my first “real” pair. Have one done; just started the instep last night.
    Saw you in NJ last Friday night. What a thrill it was.

  3. I’m alsmost finished with a stranded mitten for my son that has too many stitches held for the thumb and will constrict his little fingers above the thumb within an inch of their lives. I knit merrily on. No, you’re not the only one.

  4. Hey Steph,
    I emailed you quite awhile back about some mohair yarn that I wanted to “donate” to a good cause [I doubt that it can be used for charity as it’s mohair and/or a mohair blend]…but you never emailed me back πŸ™ If you/someone you know can use it [I think it’s about 35 balls of Paton’s Divine, I think I have about 4 or different colours], please let me know. It’s sitting rather forlornly in the stash, knowing that it won’t be knit [it makes my allergies really act up].
    In regards to your blog today, no, you aren’t the only one who keeps knitting even when you know that you have a mistake that will need to be corrected…guess who else has done that …

  5. No, you aren’t the only one!!! I knit on a field trip once, and totally messed the whole thing up, and just kept knitting so that my daughter’s friends could get used to the idea that knitting in public is perfectly acceptable. Well, it is also to keep my mind occupied while my daughter shows off my “zipper” purse that I bring so that the whole bus can “un-zip” my purse into a pile of “bias tape” length, and then zip it back up!

  6. Ooh…that is an interesting heel…um…modification! But I’ve done exactly the same thing – knit on something I knew I was going to rip out – because the idea of sitting there with yarn and needles and *not* knitting was dreadful. I hope you get it straightened out quickly. That yarn is beautiful! (And you know we’re all going to ask for the rotating rib pattern, so you should probably write it down as you go along. *wink*) Have a lovely afternoon Steph! =)

  7. You are definitely not the only one. What else are you supposed to do when you forgot everything else? I suppose you could swipe someone else’s project for awhile and make them frog back anything you arsed up on their project.

  8. The sock was too big even for Joe? That is one serious case of knitterly denial! At least it was pretty in its giantness.

  9. Yep. Started a sock at a lunchtime presentation at work last week, got the right number of stitches cast on, and then they turned out the lights. I was pretty sure that I loused up the join, but I needed something to keep me awake and I’m getting to the point where I can knit by feel. Sure enough, when the lights came up about 40 minutes (and one inch or so) later, I had some sort of weird twist in the join and had to rip it out.

  10. Poor heel πŸ˜›
    Thanks for the link to Susanna – i had no idea she lived that close…i wonder if she’d be up for teaching a class in Victoria
    *wanders off to email her*

  11. At least you can comfort yourself with the thought that you get to keep knitting with such awesome gorgeous yarn.
    And…um…I’ve never seen a heel quite like that one before. But I’ve only done 1 3/4 pairs of socks so far in my short life as a knitter…so for all I know you could be inventing a new technique. Isn’t that how great knitting ideas are born? From what someone originally thought was a goof?

  12. By the way, I finished the Knots and Bark sweater from Fionna’s Inspired Cable Knits book this past summer, finally had the chance to wear it last week, and got a lot of compliments on it. My next project is the zip-front hooded cardigan with all of the knot work all over it. When I work up the nerve. I love her stuff.

  13. Easily done! I took yarn and needles to Stitches East. Cast on, got many compliments on the yarn, enjoyed (more or less) the Jaywalker pattern, and kept at it for over a week, having taken a short vacation and gotten home. I almost finished the gusset, and I thought I might see just how much *too* small it was going to be for my dainty size 10’s (41’s to some): oh my. So out she came. The yarn is still lovely and another day will bring me some inspiration for it; maybe I’ll use it for a kids Not Just Socks pattern. Or something. Anyway, it kept me amused and it kept me sane. Nothing wrong with that!

  14. Nope, definitely not just you. My first attempt at Cookie’s Monkey sock was weirdly too small. Probably my fault, what with not swatching and all, but still. It fit my leg perfectly, but I couldn’t actually get it over my heel without a lot of work. BUT it was my travel knitting during World Con, and I didn’t want to stop or start over. I also had this thought that getting the sock mostly finished would let me have a better template for the next attempt, so I didn’t rip it out until it was time to start the toes. Fer realz.

  15. Franken-heel! And no you’re not the only one who knits on just to have something to knit, knowing you’ll eventually have to rip it out.

  16. I do that all the time. (Make a mess of things, but keep going) My excuse is this: knitting is, for me, about the process, not the product. Keeping my hands busy trumps actually completing anything competently.

  17. The heel doesn’t look THAT bad. Maybe it’d look better on. (On what? On fire? to quote some comedian I can’t remember)
    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does that! The whole keep knitting even though it’s wrong thing. I have a quite recent example. I got some great sock yarn and made me a pair, and looked at the leftover and measured it out and knowing that I need about 100 yds for each foot to only make me a little pair of anklets and knowing that I measured out the leftovers to be 86 yds each, I cast on anyway. I guess I wanted to see how far I could get. The answer was…not very far. They’re now turning into socks for my 5 year old.

  18. It must be sock-arseing week, as I have also had to tink back a pair of lovely Austermann Step socks that might have fit a four year old with feet the same general shape as a ruler.

  19. I was looking at the photo of the sock thinking that pattern would be particularly awesome for the BF’s socks I’m planning for the STR I bought. Sigh. Now I have to think for myself. You know how I hate that sort of thing…
    The guesthouse is going to be empty soon. Come to LA. Bring the knitting and the husband. I’ll supply the wine. And beer. (though he can leave all his cable-y stuff at home. We have plenty here for him to play with.)

  20. Ooooo! I can’t wait to see the Sunrise Jacket get finished! Hopefully you two can become good friends again. As for the sock…that totally sucks. Could they perhaps fit Joe? They seem like manly colors for him.

  21. It’s ok that you know you arsed up you sock and just kept knitting. I think a lot of us do that from time to time. I do love the sock though. And, I think I might to wind up my STR Downpour tonight…

  22. Thanks for sharing the sock! I feel slightly better about the front inset panel for my daughter’s dress that I knit about 4 inches too long (I kept holding it up to her and it kept looking short – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) It’s covered in cables and I couldn’t stand the thought of wasting all that knitting time and ripping back those 4″. After letting it sit for a week I have managed to admit that the skirt will look better completely without it. *sigh* A ripping I will go…A ripping I will go…

  23. Your description of the sock being fit for a gouty elephant almost made me fall out of my chair laughing (and I’m at work)! I have a sock-in-progress exactly like that right now. I didn’t “arse up” the heel, but my denial did last long enough that I knit all the way through the gusset before I admitted defeat. If we both kept knitting, that elephant would at least get a pair of socks. Of course, gouty elephants are known for their attitudes, and it would probably complain about the socks being mismatched… Good luck, and happy ripping. I’ll be doing that soon enough myself…

  24. Haha, I know all about knitter’s denial! I’ve made whole sweaters that would fit a whale! But rip? Oh no, can’t do that until the whole knitted piece is finished, or hell freezes over!

  25. Oh gosh yes! I knit about 1/3 of a sweater that way — not liking it at all but needing to have “something to do” with my hands.
    And your heel! Oh thank you Godess! Somebody else can make ’em as badly as I!
    That’s enough exclamation points for the day but I simply had to rejoice. Thank you, Stephanie, thank you so much πŸ™‚

  26. I’ve done it, too! And of course that kind of knitting is always done IN PUBLIC and thus people — strangers and friends — will come up and ask “Oh, what is that?” I end up mumbling something noncommittal, when what I mean is “Oh, it’s something I plan to rip out as soon as I get home because I can’t sit still without some knitting. Ok, then, move along. Nothing more to see here….”

  27. Egads, woman, lest you had any doubt, you *so* need a vacation! That sock looks– Well, it’s– No, no, it’s sorta–
    Words fail.
    No, wait, I’ve got it now! If I tilt my head to the right and squint like hell, it looks like it’d fit a hoof nicely. And if it’s too wide in the leg, well, they need *something* that’ll stretch over those support wrappings, so the gouty elephant size thing isn’t a problem. Congratulations! You’ve designed a sock for horses!

  28. OF COURSE you’re not the only one. I recently frogged an entire day’s car-knitting (drive to Philadelphia and back) for exactly the same reason. I had two projects with me (three, counting the big Kitri shawl, but thank heavens I had the sense not to attempt black fagotting on small needles while car-borne), and I knew ahead of time that both of them were at stages where they needed more brain-focus than I could possibly give them under the circumstances; I knew perfectly well that all work done on both that day was inevitably destined for the pond at the end of the night. But you can’t ride in the car and not knit – you just CAN’T!
    It was worth it. Every stitch.

  29. Confirmation…as if you need it…you are not the only one: I knit Mr. Greenjeans all the way to nothing but the edgings to pick up and knit. Blocked with damp towels in order to more easily pick up said edging sts and confirmed what I had known but refused to believe…the stockinet (I can’t spell today πŸ™ ) part would fit someone with a bust 10 inches larger than mine; the cabled ribbing would fit someone with a stomach/hip area 15 inches small than mine. A frogging I will go…

  30. Of course you’re not the only one! Heck I did it at SOAR. The sock I started on the flight out was too big, I knew by the time I landed in Traverse City. I had grabbed the wrong size dpns while packing so my gauge was crap for my usual stitch count. But it was mindless knitting and that was required for those late night swill fests, so I just kept going knowing full well that I would be ripping it all out when I got home.

  31. *grin*
    See this is why I had no problems showing you the SOS (sock o’ shame) in Marlton. You totally understand!
    Glad you’re feeling better. πŸ™‚

  32. I once doodled a lace design, got going with it, thought it would be cool to slant the little slants in the other direction for some variety, and started slanting back and forth–I was thinking of Kaffe Fassett’s Brushes and Combs pattern, only in lace–and I was working on an afghan.
    I was halfway done with the thing before I realized that if you stretched it out, what appeared before you was a symbol that would, um, …have been right at home in Germany in the early 40’s. I have never had my knitting actually slap me like that. Hard. RIP!!!

  33. You have LOTS of company in the keep on knitting the screwed up piece just because it’s the only knitting I have and I cannot see to cast on again…think movie theater…it’s better than chewing on my (acrylic) nails. You make me feel better because you’re not perfect either…even if you are a knitter extraordinaire and my hero!

  34. Speaking of needs, I’m searching for other folks’ leftover sockweight scraps to knit a mitered afghan. I’d be happy to give those lonely little bits a new home here in Kentucky.

  35. Having recently experienced the ‘need to knit something NOW’ dementia at a show last month, I did the same thing, not the same sock, but the same denial=keep knittting=guess work on the heel= what else did you expect other than disaster? I waited for two days and finished the sock. A few days later, with a cold beer, some good folksy ‘know yourself’ music, and a bowl of popcorn – I ripped that sucker out…you just have to make the destruction part FEEL good and then it’s not so bad. I’m virtually holding your hand….

  36. Traveling without the traveling sock? Is that like driving without your driver’s license? Once you realize you don’t have it you have to rush home and hope you don’t get stopped .
    I am surprised they let you in with out proper sock credentials.

  37. Haven’t we all been there before? You exemplify a process knitter…. product be …. d–med. Happy ripping!!!!

  38. Yep, In the same boat. Did my first toe-up sock in a lovely cable pattern and realised I hadn’t increased enough to fit any normal foot. Well…maybe a halloween skeleton. So, I continued on!!! Thankfully, it was a new colorway dyed by my friend Margaret at Inspiration Yarns. She got a lovely demo piece to show of that colorway!

  39. I’ve done that a time or two (or three or four… what?). I’ve had knitting I know is going to need to be ripped out, but NEED some knitting. so keep going. Then rip out. Or, get distracted by the latest new shiny pattern and cast on something else entirely, leaving the poor original project sitting there until the unlikely event I come back to it, or more likely – I need its needle for something else.

  40. There’s a thought… pure junk knitting, destined for the frog pond as soon as it has fulfilled its purpose… which is just to be knitting. A “process” project, if that isn’t too contradictory.
    I like the twisty cable ribs, though. I hope they get to come back and play. They might be nice at the bottom and cuffs of an Aran sweater, with a twist halfway up the ribbing….

  41. What I love most about this is how calmly you sat in the pub last night, knitting away on that approximation of a heel while Denny and I watched and never saying a word to give away its fate.

  42. About this time last year, I knit a sock that gave me fits. When I finally finished it, late one Saturday night, my joy was such that I immediately cast on and knit most of the ribbing (5 inches worth) for its mate. Only after I started on the heel flap the next day did I realize that the ribbing on sock 1 was K1P1 and the ribbing on sock 2 was K2P2. Solution: two more socks! I sure was annoyed when I realized the mistake I made. The happy ending was two Christmas presents completed.

  43. Okay, so this has not a lot to do with the post. . . . I blinking love the Lenore pattern. Did you get the package yet? Did yours have the same little plastic friends in it mine did? Did they freak you out? (I sure hope not) Will you enter the contest or would that have moral implications? (being an author and all)
    You’ll feel so much better after the ripping. I bet you’ve even done it already.

  44. Lying ribs! Thank you for making that comment. How the heck does one figure out gauge when there’s a rib pattern? I would love to see the patterns say x stitches over 4″ *in rib pattern* instead of x stitches over 4″. Anyone?

  45. Oh, thank goodness. I thought I was the only one. Knitting for a week on an afghan I had clearly messed up the pattern on. Telling myself I could live with the mistake. Only to rip out a weeks worth of knitting because I simply could – not- live – with – it.

  46. Oh, too funny. I have a project in the car that I know needs ripping because it is about 2 sizes too big, but it kept me sane as dh explored back roads. That reminds me I need to retrieve it from the car

  47. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to know that even an experienced knitter like you has to rip out and start over sometimes. Seriously, knitting has been a huge exercise in humility for me. I am not perfect, and the knitting does not lie about this. But that’s okay. Because I can rip back and try again. And it’s not the end of the world. Thanks for sharing your failures as well as your successes. It means the world.

  48. I dunno, if you fix the heel it looks like it could make a wonderful Joe sock. Does the whole no-fancy-striping thing hold if the stripes are brown and gray?

  49. We all have products of “I just kept knitting”. (Like the sock that would’ve fit Shrek, or the hat that my husband kindly referred to as a “nice hot tub cover”.

  50. Took me four patterns to find one that worked with Downpour. Loved Nancy Bush’s Conwy sock and it turned out great. Too bad about that heel…

  51. Yikes. Between the forgotten little green sock and the spectacularly… original grey sock of short duration, I think the universe is hinting at No Socks For A While. Or it’s still stuck on the beauty of your finished, blocked Mystery Stole. One or the other.

  52. I know exactly what you mean. I was knitting a sock out of handspun when you gave your talk at Borders here in New Orleans, and I royally screwed it up. I knew I had done so, but didn’t want to apply the focus I’d need to fix it (I was busy paying attention to YOU!) so I just kept knitting it wrong. I needed something to do with my hands, after all! Yes, it was ripped as soon as I got home.

  53. Aaargh! You and Julia, having somehow divined that my stash really is immense, even by your standards, are obviously conspiring to make me spend all the household food money on books.
    No, you are not the only one.

  54. My door has hit so many arsses on the way out that it has a dent in it. I have become a professioal ripper outer. If there was a riporama contest I would win it. Counting is what does me in most of the time and we will NOT speak of tension. Good by to your sock–hellooo to your sunrise jacket. So be it , all bad things must come to an end. LUCKY Kitchener Waterloo guild.

  55. I find it easiest to hand the offending knitting to my husband and say, “here, rip this out.” It’s much easier for him to rip it out than for me – I’m much too attached to the flipping work of c**p. My husband on the other hand, takes a bit of joy out of pulling out stitches.

  56. If they’re too big, just turn them into handwarmers. No heel or kitchener-ing required that way!

  57. Truthfully, Steph, I’m not sure that the yarn was suited for the pattern you were trying to do anyway. Too much going on with it. All things happen for a reason. You should be thanking your heel for making you see the light.
    Just my humble opinion. Sorry.

  58. See, that’s why you rock! It makes all of us novice knitters feel so much better so see you arse up a sock that badly. Plus, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who can’t count while doing stuff. I have a lovely cabled purse pattern I want to make but it’s a large repeat and I’m not sure how I’ll keep track and not get distracted!

  59. I know exactly what you mean about both the knitting something just to be knitting and needing some quiet for following line by line and counting. The pic Clara has of you on Knitter’s Review in your Kauni cardigan really makes me want to knit that sweater!

  60. As a matter of fact, the sock I was working on when you came to speak in Denver was like that. I had arsed it up completely, but I didn’t have anything else simple to knit on while you spoke, so I just kept going. I knew, however, that I couldn’t ask you to hold an arsed up sock for a picture…which is why I handed you Donegal instead. πŸ™‚

  61. Wow! I clicked on the link for the book, and I thought it said Impaired Fair Isle Knits. And it took a while to realize that’s not what it said. I didn’t think it meant she was a drunken knitter, though. I thought it meant she made really cool designs from mistakes.

  62. The two classes aren’t beaded, but you have been sniffing on a couch. Sorry, that just really tickles my nerdy, word-loving self. I’m glad you’re feeling better.
    And you are not alone — I have a friend who has been working on the same scarf, day-after-day, knitting and frogging since August — just because she likes to knit. I’m just boggled by the depths of her devotion to process.

  63. I think that there is magical thinking involved: I really want to knit something, I know this is terrible but, magically, when I finish, it will be fine

  64. Tnak you, thank you, thank you! I wrote on my blog the other week about my knitting screw-up, and offered folks a chance to share theirs, but got no takers. I knew I wasn’t the only one!

  65. just kept knitting, huh?
    Welcome to my world.
    Least I’m not alone. Sometimes I just wanna knit- you know? Like it doesn’t MATTER if anything somes of it.. Then, other times- I must Produce. WIth a capital “P.” Maybe it’s hormones- maybe it’s craziness. Whatevah- I’ll thik about it while I’m nitting this sock I know I’ll never wear.
    it’s workin for me;)Mostly.

  66. oh my god. i thought I was the only one who did that! I have a pair of socks that I’m working on now actually. They are a gift for a friend and i’ve already ripped them out twice. They are so messed up and the wrong size (that’s what you get for trying to be clever and do toe up socks. oh toe up socks, when will i learn that I can’t figure you out?) adn I just can’t rip them out again. I know I will have to. But right now, I just need something to knit.
    thanks for making me feeling a bit more normal by being equally as crazy.

  67. I did that to a sock heel in a dark movie theater once, but when the movie was over, I was so proud of myself for having managed to get it DONE in the dark that I just picked up the two stitches I’d dropped (cough), and kept on going . . .

  68. I just got my socks that rock for October. Lenore is absolutely stunning!! Thank you for the beautiful design!!! Love it.

  69. Having just had to knit the leg part of 4 socks in order to end up with one sock and having had to rip an entire ‘nother sock due to poor fit and extreme ugliness, I empathize.

  70. Man, that heel is funny….it makes a heart glad to see that those we emulate can also eff things up a bit!
    Oh, and this knitter is such an idiot, that I didn’t even realize Lenore was your pattern until I read girljerry’s comment above. The pattern and yarn are simply brilliant!

  71. Oh, I know all about Denial Knitting. The kind where you keep looking at what you’re knitting and thinking that it will look better in a few more rows. Somehow. I did that on Kauni for quite some time when the colors in the balls of yarn merged — I was absolutely sure they were going to unmerge, and kept waiting for it to happen. It finally did, but not until a huge swath of orange had taken over the sweater. Then I kept knitting, sure that more knitting would make the swath look smaller. It didn’t. I had to rip. This reminds me that I’m hoping that maybe you’ll share with those of us who are knitting the second arm onto Kauni how you blocked it? From all the pictures of you at Rhinebeck wearing it, it is a thing of joy and beauty forever πŸ™‚

  72. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I always knit on the bus. Which is to say, if I’m the bus, I have to knit. Doesn’t matter if I’m making a sock and I think it looks like it might be too tight or too loose, and I really should try it on before I continue any further. I can’t really take a shoe and sock off and try the sock in progress on while I’m on the bus — well, maybe I could if there’s no one seated next to me, but if I have a seatmate…I’m flexible, but I’m not THAT flexible. So I just keep knitting until I’m somewhere where I can try it on.
    It looks like a lot of us are process knitters then. We must knit, or we’ll go insane. Is that the definition?

  73. I feel better now — I knit my first hat 2 years ago. It was to be the first thing I knit for my husband and I messed up in the crown where the decreases are supposed to line up and they didn’t, and I kept knitting, and I even cut the yarn and closed it up. He said he didn’t mind and was going to wear it that way. It is still sitting in the bag, of course. I can’t let him wear something that looks so dumb and have people ask him who made it! But, sadly I’ve no idea how to undo the dumb thing — so there it sits. Dumb!

  74. Um, I have TOTALLY kept knitting, even knowing that I’ll have to rip back and fix horrible errors. When you’re at the movies and you need to knit, you need to knit.
    Process, not product, I suppose.

  75. Thanks for that lite moment. If you are ever in the question-answering mood, I’m wondering how you either keep from dropping stitches in the dark, or pick them up if you do drop them?Driving home from Rhinebeck I had just this problem, and thought of you.

  76. As I tell everyone I teach to knit: knitting is easy…it’s the counting that’s tough!

  77. Yes, a knitter does have needs. The last time my IL’s were here I had a similar experience with a sock. I knew I couldn’t stand it and would rip the whole thing out, but kept knitting… it was for sanity’s sake.

  78. Welll…. I’m sure there are some elephants out there with really big feet… and I think we all understand the blindness that ensues with knitting. It’s kinda like how love is blind.

  79. I just knit up a seed-stitch hat (in the round) for my husband. I knew it was too big around, but just kept telling myself that my scale must be off after knitting so many baby hats — surely it was a normal, adult head size. Apparently to compensate, I made it way too short to cover his ears properly. I knew that, too. And yet, I kept knitting, all the way to the tie-off and cutting of the yarn at the very top.
    It turned out to be a very goofy, short, too-big seed-stitch beret-like thing. It was promptly frogged. And yet I can’t explain why I let myself finish it.

  80. Waitaminute- Kitchener is a place? Not just a knitting move? It’s like finding out that there’s a Twisted Rib, WY or Intarsia, BC!
    (I should probably go Google, because *intarsia* had to come from somewhere.)

  81. What was that sound? Oh yeah, that was probably the sound of someone at my guild frantically trying to book a larger venue. Heh.

  82. I can’t believe the second comment is from someone commenting for the first time – she probably thinks she’ll do that every time!

  83. I frequently knit things that I know I am going to rip out because I’m in a situation where I need to be knitting and that’s what I’ve got to knit on.
    I am also on my third heel for a certain sock because I keep not paying attention. That’s all it is; and I think we can all be forgiven for not paying attention when the consequences are guaranteed not to be life-threatening. What the heck.
    I have also been known to begin ripping an entire sweater in the middle of a staff meeting, apparently permanently scarring the memories of all the other attendees: a good reason to continue knitting even when you know what the future will hold for the stitches you’re making. . . .
    Although I admit it is not so bad to be remembered for pulling a near-complete project off the needles and beginning to unravel, right there in public. . . . Keeps everyone on their toes, especially me (sometimes).

  84. Susanna Hannson is a fabulous teacher. I took two classes from her at Stitches East, great stuff, nothing about beads though, can’t stand the thought of handling little bitty things and making them stay on a needle.

  85. Potato chips aren’t FOOD but that doesn’t stop me from compulsively eating them. And the same goes for making stitches that are no longer ‘sock-ish’!

  86. nice colorway. i may have to invest in some STR.
    and as i’ve heard said before:
    don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.
    take that as you will, lol, and happy frogging!

  87. “…like, maybe I’ve become Pavlov’s knitter and I figure that if I don’t have the travelling socks I won’t have to travel…”
    This is called “magical thinking”, and is common. My wife’s cat started doing it during a period of illness when he’d had too many vet visits. He had made the correlation that once he gets *back* in the cat carrier, the next stop was home. So as soon as we get there, he would hop right out of the carrier, and then he would start pushing it all over the office, trying to get back in it, in the belief that getting in would cause the trip home to happen next, before all the poking and prodding. (It didn’t work for him either.)

  88. I have forged ahead knitting slippers for my sister, who told me her feet have gone up a size since having her baby. Apparently my knitting believed she now has clown feet, as the slippers are too big for my husband, who has size 13 shoes.
    Fortunately, I have an out. I sew up all but a small opening of the slipper, and donate them to a friend who is a wildlife rehabilitator. The wee baby animals use the slippers as a mother substitute/sleeping bag.

  89. They’d probably fit my Mum in all honesty, no disrespect to my beloved mother, but she has feet like a little elephant. Really big ankles (not fat, it’s bone…weird) and diddy size 5 (UK) feet. Totally elephantine…remember, for every sock, there is a foot. Said foot might be in Outer Mongolia, or Tasmania, or belong to a non-human member of the animal kingdom, but there will be a foot.
    Maybe you need a little holiday right about now though, that may explain the situation…or you could blame Joe’s patch thingies. Actually, are you sure you didn’t knit some kind of audio cosy, and it was purely your conscious mind being duped by your subconscious to think it was a sock?
    I *heart* the colourway btw. πŸ™‚

  90. any chance you’ll be in california in the new year ? it turns out i’m suddenly moving from Montreal
    to san francisco.

  91. I did it, too. I’d done the toe of a sock before getting on a plane, then thought “Gosh, this seems awfully wide…”as I knit. I’d picked up 2.5 cm needles instead of 2.0s. I knit anyway (what else was I going to do on an airplane?)
    Worse: I ripped the sock apart when I got to the hotel, cast on fewer stitches, and knit on the way home — in spite of the fact that the sock was clearly still too large!

  92. Would you mind sharing what yarn you’re knitting the giant sock with? The colorway is lovely.

  93. I’m so glad you posted photos of Downpour…I actually just bought some a few weeks ago and would love to cast on for some slouchy, rainy-day socks but have to finish my 5 month old son’s knitted Superman costume first. I was really curious about how the colors would come together, so seeing your socks take away a teensy bit of the castonitis. Thanks!
    p.s. Still waiting for the Knitters Without Borders pin. You were here in October. I’m just saying…. πŸ˜‰

  94. Mercury currently is in retrograde. Mercury lords over communication in all its forms, including communication with one’s self. Blame it on the Mercury retrograde.
    When Mercury is not in retrograde, blame anything that gets arsed up on Hurricane Katrina. It’s very convenient. Even if you live in Canada.
    Last week I got to the heel of a sock, forgot it was for Dave and divided the heel as though it were for me (fewer stitches) and didn’t notice anything was wrong until I had waaaay to many gusset stitches and I STILL kept descreasing … and I have been knitting socks since I was in junior high. As for WHEN that was, let’s just say that I had a bicycle with a banana seat, and I thought Robert Plant was the bomb.

  95. I’m sorry to hear the sock isn’t working out at all – that yarn is gorgeous and I’m sure it will be put to good use!

  96. I really like where the rib was taking you, even if it wasn’t perfect. Am I looking at it right, that the rotate happens on a twisted stitch, or is it a case of physically moving the rib one stitch over at the same time as you do the twisted stitch?
    I’m thinking you are doing a previously unpublished, and possibly unique rib. Or its in one of those Barbra Walker I don’t have yet that are on ‘la list’.

  97. Hey Steph, I just clicked on the Susanna link and saw the ‘Wild Apple’ colors. Did you see the wonderful greens? the deep green of summer? the lovely light green of spring? the autumny red and gold? the 70’s appliance colors? I’m just askin’…

  98. Leaving the green traveling sock at home, was that really an accident or just an ingenious inroads on the reclamation of the home?
    I totally goofed up a pair of mittens for a church sale. The first one finished nicely but the second one ended up much smaller, and the whole time I was working I knew the blasted thing was smaller but just kept working all the same.
    No, the mittens didn’t make it to the sale, but they didn’t get frogged either. I think there in hiding. Somewhere.

  99. Sad to hear about the sock. I know exactly how that goes…a couple weeks ago I had one that was ribbed so I figured the fact that it seemed too small was because of the ribbing – until I tried to try it on halfway through the heel flap. It’s still in the denial pile and not yet frogged.
    Also, could you put a link to the Earl Grey socks in your free pattern links on the side? I plan on going to search for it in a moment, but that would make it easier in the future. Thanks!

  100. Hey, Becky, I messed up a mitten for my boyfriend to the extent that the thumb looked like a penis warmer rather than a thumb. I didn’t know how to tink at the time, and couldn’t face reknitting the entire mitten (pathetic, huh?), so we performed a circumcision. Then he lost the other mitten (the normal-looking one), so I knit him a new pair, and the same thing happened. I should have mailed the mutant mitten to Tom Robbins or Uma Thurman (everybody’s read Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, right?) but we performed another circumcision and Boyfriend gets to tease me about my knitting prowess. A lot.

  101. Yeah – I just completed one of 2 socks needed for Sock Wars that I know is not going to fit an adult – and I knitted that baby to the letter of the pattern — not just the letter, but the gauge and the measurements.
    I have yet to do #2 because I feel kind of badly for the person who will be killed by socks that will fit her daughter — if she has one!
    So, I for one am not looking at you like that.
    I do love that STR colourway.

  102. since now you know that we all just keep knitting and knitting and knitting (it’s what we do!), rip away. me, i’ll just keep knitting. nice yarn on those sox tho.

  103. i own fiona’s new book and i must say it is beauty personified. some nights i just open to the page with the picture of that scarf shown on the cover and admire it at length…. one day i will even knit it!

  104. The Bohus Class is amazing and Susanna was wonderful! I definitely recommend taking a class from her if she in any where near your area. The Sunrise is coming along nicely and I love the STC color!

  105. Heh, I do that all the time, knitting on the train back home from work. I suspect that I’ve made the leg of the 2nd sock too long, or the foot is too long (it’s only 20 minutes. I don’t schlep a ruler with me everywhere), but I keep knitting anyway, because I’d rather be knitting now and have to rip later rather not knitting.
    I know, I am some kind of crazy.

  106. I see this is more common than I thought. Actually I thought I was the only one who would blindly keep on with a project in the face of it eventually needing frogging. How satisfying to find a whole group of knitters who do the same thing.
    I have one whole mitten for my granddaughter done. One of those with a thumb, a pointer inger and the rest a mitten. The thumb and forefinger are seriously out of proportion but I had no other knitting and kept it up even through sewing up the finger holes! Now it sits waiting for its return to a ball of black fluff. sigh Namaste

  107. Susanna does indeed rock quite hard. I was fortunate enough to take the Bohus class at Stitches West this past February. I might even take it again to make sure i do the second cuff. DOH!! But, seriously, I’m very pleased to see that someone who can kick some serious Bohus Butt, can get muddled by a short row heel. Hee hee. I’m laughing with you not at you. I’m not stupid, after all!

  108. I so know what you mean… for example, that lovely Trekking sock of mine that you so graciously posed with last week in New Jersey…
    I started with size 2 needles and then preceded to cast on 72 stitches and work a kind of broken rib pattern that on my lower leg, well just not pretty (yes gouty elephant came to mind) and the heel is too big. But I kept knitting.
    And then to seal the deal, I brought it to Borders so I kept knitting. And you held it. So I kept knitting.
    Now I’m at the point where I have to decide to either decrease for the toes and finish it or rip it.
    Thanks, I think I know what I’m going to do.

  109. If it were only the heel, you could lie to people and say I had knit it toe-up, those generally turn out looking weird for me. But those things destined to be ripped are just, well, destined to be ripped. I save them up for when my ufo pile gets to me. Then I rip away and feel proud for having reduced the pile and increased my stash without having to hide any receipts! Yeah, I’m in denial (swimmin’ with the crocodiles). πŸ˜‰

  110. Just a quick comment. If you go to a war in Iraq, which i did, and you say to a rather snotty citizen of that country who wants to be pushed ahead of the soldiers on the schedule or he’ll leave, “Dont let the door hit you in the arse on the way out”, it doesn’t translate. Nope no way, not even for the local translator who was fluent in both languages. Just thought I would mention that! Trivia is everywhere!

  111. OMG. susanna hansson is teaching bohus on my birthday. i knew i denied myself those classes at webs for a reason . . .hmmm, what would it take for me to get there? and i’m pretty sure it’s closer to ohio than massechuesetts (ok, i can’t spell that today) . . .
    and HELLO. i want fiona’s jacket. with undying lust i want that jacket, it’s just fab.

  112. OKay, the best thing about having a room full of presumptuous hs students is that when I arse up some knitting, but good, I can just give it to them. They think red-heart is cool and socks are magic…it’s like pulling a rabbit out of a hat for muggles…they don’t care if it’s dead and pink, they’re just impressed that it’s a rabbit.

  113. I can’t believe it! The Yarn Harlot herself falls under the curse of the YH Sock Syndrome! Every sock that I’ve knit around you has had to be frogged due to some bizarre goof-up. (Not to mention my DH needing my immediate attention due to some sudden obscure emergency – groan.)

  114. Of course you’re not the only one. In fact, last week I was knitting away on a sock and turned the heel without, well, knitting a flap for the heel to live at the end of. Completely useless way to make a sock. But I was on the train, and frogging and then picking up all of those tiny stitches knit on 2mm needles didn’t sound like fun, so I just kept going on my screwed up sock.

  115. OOh! I got sltogether too excited when I was your “Downpour” socks. Because I’m knitting socks with that yarn, too! *LOL* I’m knitting with the same yarn as the Harlot, and that just made my day. πŸ™‚ Incidentally, my socks are also a little too big. But in more of a “I’ll just wear them without shoes and it’ll be fine” way rather than a “These will never fit ANYONE and I guess I’ll have to rip” way. *whew* As much as I like the yarn, I barely have the fortitude to get through two socks, much less three. πŸ™‚

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