When I got up this morning, it was snowing. I like snow. I dislike winter quite sincerely, mostly because I hate to be cold, but the way I see it, if it’s got to be cold, it might as well be pretty, and snow is pretty.


It didn’t stick, this first little snow, but it was around long enough to pose with the two finished parts of the Sunrise Circle Jacket. I came back to knitting this last night when I heard the forecast for snow, because as I mentioned, I hate to be cold and you can kid yourself all you want about the impending winter…but once there’s snow, you know it’s inevitable.


I only have the back left to do on this sweater, and I am loving it fiercely. If it doesn’t fit, I think I shall be bitterly disappointed. I’d love to know what dastardly magic lurks in sweaters that lets you knit a swatch, wash a swatch, measure yourself, knit the pieces, measure the pieces, triumphantly note that you are getting both row and stitch gauge, finish knitting the pieces, measure yourself, note that you are still the size you are knitting, block the pieces, compare them to the schematic, dance with glee because all is well, sew up the pieces, put the buttons on and then…….

have it not fit.

It should be that doing that many careful and accurate things guarantees success, but it doesn’t. I’ve done everything right, and my experience tells me that my odds are no better than if I had just knocked off without so much as a single nod in the direction of gauge. It’s like a random joke the iniquitous knitting muses like to play on us, and after many years as a knitter, one that I know is occasionally inevitable. I’d still like to understand it though, because I really love this sweater, and it to look great on me. I’d like to think I was engaging in something a little more predictable than a yarn based roll of the dice, but I know I’m not. I want this sweater to fit, I’ve done everything I can to make sure it fits, and I still have to face up to that possibility that my straw will be drawn and it’s going to fit as well as that Ramones shirt I’ve had since I was 16. (Which is to say, not at all well….but who gives up on fitting into a Ramones shirt?)

Luckily, the yarn was cheap, and the knitting is fast, and I think that increases my chances. The muses are buddies with Murphy, and the more time and money you spent, the more you attract their decidedly cruel sense of humour. Maybe if I knit faster…they won’t see me go by?

148 thoughts on “Inevitable

  1. No snow in detroit but it sure feels cold and humid enough to do so. I love the colors in your sweater.

  2. Sigh…. I think that is why I end up with UFOs… that nagging doubt that because I can’t try it on first, there is really no guaranty that it will fit properly inspite of all my cleverness.

  3. Good luck whizzing past the fickle muses. I am trying to get past the last hump on my Sunrise Circle Jacket myself. I need to put in my covered snaps (I like the lines of the jacket overlap, and didn’t want multiple buttons to distract) and one decorative closure. Button placement is a little fiddly with this jacket.

  4. One must pay a small fee to the knitting Gods to ensure proper project success. I believe this payment comes in the form of the first born sheep to the family but that’s not so handy for us urban dwellers.

  5. The important piece of magic in the scheme of thinks is that you are not getting cocky and saying that it will fit. By steadfastly assuring yourself that there is going to be a screw up you are in fact preventing that screw up – some kind of Murphy’s Law thing.
    Keep believing that it won’t fit.

  6. The sweater is looking beautiful – perhaps if you concentrate on the quickness of the knitting, the low cost of the wool and pretend that you’re not really sure you like it, the knitting muses will indeed let you pass.
    Referring to yesterday’s post, I got me a baby fix today! My daughter is a foster parent and she has a baby at her house since yesterday. Tiny and sweet and I’m going back after work to get another fix. The grandbabies are 9 and 4 now, so this is a treat!
    Good knitting.

  7. It’s coming along beautifully! Maybe my attempt to finish a lace stole (my first real piece of lace) in time to give it at Christmas will distract the knitting muses and let you slip by and end up with a fitting jacket…

  8. Oh no! I’m so sorry, that has got to be the biggest bummer. I recently knitted a sweater that came out far too big (I am not sure what I was smoking when I picked out sizing), and it turned into a gift.

  9. This is not very encouraging for us newish knitters and besides, didn’t you lecture pretty sternly in KNITTING RULES about swatching? Hmmmmmm… at least if seasoned knitters like YH make things that don’t fit, I’ll be in good company!

  10. The knitting gods/goddesses can be cruel indeed. And not only with their temperamental attitudes toward gauge. See, there once was a blogging genius, excellent writer and witty knitter who posted on her blog a sort of pattern/recipe for something she called an Unoriginal Hat. Little did she know that the gods decreed that it would be laced with something very addictive and knitters would churn them out by the dozens.
    … not that I have a small pile of them growing or anything…

  11. I’m thinking that you’ll get lucky and it will fit.
    And then some major appliance will break. You know, to even things out.

  12. What you have just described is precisely the reason I am very hesitant to try another sweater. The first one I made would have fit a giant, and although I’m not tiny, I’m not a giant either. It’s the reason I love knitting socks. I have it down to a science, and always get them to fit. I know, never say never or Murphy or the knitting goddess will get me.

  13. I certainly love how you write, my eyes LIKED the word iniquitous.
    Perhaps your acknowledgment of their power, the beautiful adornment of snow with extraordinary purple leaves and humble acceptance of the inevitability of winter, accompanied by prostrations to the gansey will constitute a pass.
    Happy Warm Knitting

  14. Beautiful, no GORGEOUS, sweater! And I’m jealous of the snow, fickle tho it was. I’m in New Jersey and who knows when WE’LL have snow. I hate being cold too, but I’d rather be cold than hot. Maybe if you whistle while you knit the goddess of knitting will not notice???

  15. I certainly hope that it fits. I am making a Kauni cardigan, which is my first “real” sweater, my first attempt at colorwork, and will be my first steek experience. Iam praying that after all that the darn thing fits….or I will just burst into tears!

  16. Well I hope it fits, but even if it doesn’t, it is a gorgeous piece of knitting. The color is beautiful, and the leaves (and snowflakes) look great with it.

  17. “but who gives up on fitting into a Ramones shirt?”
    I suppose there’s always the alternative the punk kid (he had a mohawk a couple days ago) on the bus came up with – he cut the main design part off the shirt and then safety-pinned it to the back of his winter coat (it is MN afterall)

  18. What is your family record for proximity to first snow with no heat? You made it to the 5th? That is 11 days before snow?

  19. I have the same problem…I’m knitting a bolero out of REALLY PRICEY CASHMERE that I took great pains in making sure I am getting guage…I’m scared it’s gonna be too big.

  20. Well, if you do ever come up with a way of tricking the knitting goddess, let me know. Because at this point, even after 30 years of knitting, I can be considered an expert only in the not-fitting department… The wonder of knitting, though, is that we keep trying anyway!

  21. No snow here in southern Oregon, just rain. Sigh… We usually don’t get snow until January/February-ish.
    I think the Knitting Muses are having enough fun with me. I have to rip out a Pi Shawl completely this week (from about row 20 of the 576 stitches section all the way to the beginning. The cat had fun with it…). So hopefully your sweater is safe!

  22. You have snow? That is not fair. I really, really want some snow. South jersey, where I live now, is a far cry from Michigan (or Toronto for that matter)

  23. But the snow is only pretty until it gets grey and dirty. I try to find beauty in winter, I do. I just have to look a lot harder than during the rest of the year. Of course, I have less daylight during which to look for beauty, so that may be part of it.
    And this is totally random, but…thanks for your books. They’re stacked up next to my knitting chair, excepting the one I mailed to a friend who wants to learn how to knit, and as soon as I’m not sick (her husband is recovering from surgery), I mean to teach her. Meanwhile, I sent her your first book, so she knows what she’s getting into. 🙂

  24. The snow this morning in upstate NY just irritated the hell out of me. Maybe its just the realization that we’re doomed with high heat bills until April.. that always depresses me! Oh and the snow tires were not scheduled to go on until tomorrow morning. Thank goodness it didn’t stick!

  25. I have the same problem with clothes sewing. I think it is the doing-the-work-and-then-trying-it-on process that is the problem. Unlike ready-made we can’t have the “it doesn’t fit” moment in the dressing room, we have to wait until all the work is done and *then* have it. On the other hand, when everything works out well, it is *way* better than store-bought, so I guess that explains why we keep trying!

  26. There was a gambling experiment with rats a while ago, if you reward them with food every time they press a button, then they press the button when they want food. But if, instead, you reward them only *sometimes* when they press the button, they will just keep on pressing it even when they don’t want food.
    I suspect something like that is going on here. If the sweaters fit beautifully every time, you would only knit them when you need them.
    I’m trying to reconcile the fact that brown is so not my favorite colour, and yet I’m in love with your Sunrise Circle Jacket.

  27. I feel for you deeply. I’m going through the same anxiety with the Cobblestone I’m knitting for my husband. It’s the first sweater I’ve ever knit, so I’m trying not to sweat the fact that it might screw up royally, but in truth, I can’t help but feel that even though I’ve gone to great lengths to make sure it’s the right size for him, that it will end up being too small…*sigh*
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.
    p.s. I’m a winter baby and have always loved the snow…it’s the cold that bites, but I can handle that as long as there is a good ski season behind it! (And of course lots of warm winter knitting to be done!) 🙂 All good things.

  28. I hope to god and the muses that it does fit you.
    My LYSO made one and it is gorgeous. I tried it on one day, and the sleeves were just right, even a bit on the snug side.
    The body hung lose on me. (I am about your size; I’ve seen you in person.)
    So…good luck with it!
    The yarn is wonderful.

  29. You forgot the other thing the knitting muses look for: Do you really really like the thing that you are knitting? Sad to say, the more you like it the more likely… well you know.

  30. The great thing about that pattern is that there aren’t any button holes so you can make the front close as tight or loose as you want. This helped to make mine fit better anyways.

  31. Don’t you think the suspense of not knowing for sure it’s going to fit adds to the excitement of knitting? Kind of like putting a horse in a race. You do all the right things, he is incredibly talented but you won’t know if he’s a winner until the race is over.

  32. Swatching is for sissies anyway! I’m sure this sweater is both going to fit you AND look amazing. Snow is nice for several days, but once the novelty wears off and school has resumed (here in Washington State snow is always headline news worthy and schools always close initially)then it’s just cold, dirty and annoying.

  33. Another reason to only buy yarn on sale! Glad you’ve got the heat on now that it’s snowing outside.

  34. Well, first off, stop all that triumphant noting and gleeful dancing! [g] When things come out right at your checkpoints, instead, very publicly heave mournful sighs and go around muttering, “This can’t last. I know I’ve screwed up somewhere. It’ll be large enough to fit Joe.” Then the goddess will considered you’ve made the proper sacrifices, and Murphy will flit off to someone else in disgust (because there’s no fun in doing exactly what you expect him to), and lo, all will be well!
    At least that’s my theory. Lemme know if it works, huh?

  35. The nice thing about that sweater is you put the buttons where you want them, so the chances of it not fitting are slim. It’s just a question of how much it will overlap and how low it will hang. Anway, I refuse all responsibility in the fitting of this sweater, unless it fits beautifully.

  36. Bah! What you need to do is bribe the muses. I’d suggest Strongbow or a nice Mead. If they’re all liquored up, they won’t be able to *!@% with anyone. That way you could be personally responsible for saving knitters everywhere from the muses. You might even throw in some chocolate truffles for good measure.
    BTW: Was knitting with a friend last night and she showed me her first scarf (knit years ago, still wearing) It looks awful and she said she likes it because it shows all the mistakes and growth she made in that one project. Sort of made me think of that piece you did about the first baby blanket.

  37. SNOW! (sigh) Send some here?
    I LOVE the colors in that sweater, tho’ I cannot wear them myself. I wish most fervantly, and shall pray to the knitting gods and goddesses that you will happily wear this sweater and it will be the perfect size for YOU.
    I think you’re right about Murphy, too.

  38. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you (because I am such a nice person); I want to knit this, but only if I know it will fit, given all the careful prep and execution of the swatching, measuring, gauging 🙂 Good Luck!

  39. Your sweater is wonderful! I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while now, but haven’t yet found the perfect yarn. I’ll find it some day.
    I love first snows! Come about February, I’m ready for spring, but the first couple of snow falls are always so pretty.

  40. That fitting thing is what has kept me from knitting a sweater for myself since 1980. (Yeah, you read that right.) Scarves, hats, mittens, and sweaters for the kids; afghans and scarves for me but no sweaters. However, I sucked it up and started a sweater for myself last week — but I’m kinda cheating. It’s a kimono style from Kimono Knits, so basically it is just a couple big rectangles with sleeves. If I can make that fit (I suspect only a complete idiot would screw it up. Stop laughing.) maybe I’ll attempt a *real* sweater.
    Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for ya!

  41. No snow here yet although it’s certainly been cold enough. We went from having a fall that was was far warmer than average – (temps hovered in high 60°’s & 70°’s- even hitting 80° just a couple of weeks ago) – to freezing cold sub-normal temps (it was in the 30°’s when we left for the health club around 6:30 last night & below freezing by the time of the 10 o’clock news). I have been busily knitting balaclavas for the grands. The oldest takes the school bus to kindergarten now & has to wait on the corner & the middle one’s preschool has outdoor play every day unless the temp’s are dangerously low or it’s pouring rain. The baby needs one because she won’t leave hats on her head & we’re hoping that she won’t pull a balaclava off. Personally, I love cold weather & snow but it seems to make me hurt now that I’m getting older.

  42. When you figure out the secret of fit, I’d really like to know. I have a feeling, though, that body type v. sweater style issues have a part in it. Similar to how clothes in the store that look to be the same size don’t fit the same at all.
    So many little measurements go together to make our unique shape and we just don’t account for all of them – kind of like blood typing. It doesn’t make much difference when you’re just doing a basic cardigan or having a routine surgery, but start knitting in a circle or have a chronic issue that involves lots of transfusions and all those little things we don’t routinely measure become important.
    Three guesses what one of my careers involved.

  43. It has been snowing here in Michigan also,which is making the hunters happy and the Grandchildren estatic.
    I spent a recent weekend on Drummond Island where the teacher(Gwen Bortner)talked ALOT about gauge. I listened-I took notes-I underlined the important parts in her wonderfully designed handout but I knew in my heart that the Knitting Muses have complete control so I just jump in with both feet. My philosphy is it will eventually fit someone. I didn’t tell Gwen this-she seemed so sure that her gauge class would solve all our problems-and I just didn’t have the heart to introduce her to the Muses.
    But, I know the Sunrise Jacket will fit beautifully-I think the Muses are busy at my house for a few days!

  44. Long Island is windy, definitely colder, but no snow (yet).
    I’m happy to say I finished the Unoriginal Hat last night. Nothing personal but I thought I should change the pattern since I was using different yarn (and I almost always change the pattern). Let’s just say that I wasted a day of knitting, and now the hat fits perfectly (just like you wrote it). I’ll be making a matching neckwarmer using the pattern sideways and repeating the right cable on the left side. Thanks for the inspiration!

  45. The first sock I knit for my husband (on size 0 needles with really drab boring yarn) came out much too big. I was lamenting the fact that I was going to have to frog the thing and try again and some very happy person interrupted my really good sulk to remind me that I LIKE knitting and therefore this was a chance to knit MORE and I should be glad about it.
    (Yeah, I know, I wanted to smack HER, too. Sorry.)
    The sock ended up fitting my dad so I didn’t have to frog it, just knit another exactly like it.
    I did take away a good lesson though, and that is to only work with yarn you like. Then you sort of don’t mind redoing things. Well, you don’t mind AS MUCH.

  46. Oh, I don’t know about that Murphy part at the end there. I knit my Sunrise Circle out of reclaimed not-particularly-expensive yarn (Lamb’s Pride) from a previous sweater that didn’t fit, and it didn’t take me very long (for me, anyway), and it still doesn’t fit. Though now that I’ve typed that out, it occurs to me maybe the yarn is the problem…

  47. Agreed. The faster the knitting, the sneakier the knitting. My mom occasionally catches me knitting something new and goes, in shock, “What are you knitting NOW?!” like I’m not allowed to knit more than one thing a week. Sneaky!

  48. Lately I’ve been knitting a lot of squares in various sizes for various charities, and the muses have smiled upon me: I want 5 inches, 8 inches, 9 inches, that’s what I get.
    They are just waiting for me to make another attempt to conquer sweaterphobia.

  49. I don’t think the muses are allowed to mess with reward yarn…not after you made the guy RUN to the warehouse to get it for you and you almost didn’t get it.

  50. The wrap nature of the sweater gives you a much better chance of a good fit (crap…I hope I didn’t jinx you). I finished mine six months after Thumper was born, and I hadn’t lost all the baby weight yet. It looked great then, and it looks great now 15 lbs or so lighter. Without having to move the buttons, AND it fits no matter how long it’s been since we last nursed.
    It’s kind of a magical sweater, actually.
    As long as the length is right, that is. (Ducks and runs.)

  51. I am trying to finish my first pair of socks – not the first pair I have started but I really don’t enjoy knitting socks (so far)and I have very carefully not said that they are for me. As long as they are in proportion there are enough pairs of feet in our house that they will fit someone I hope.
    And at the moment I’ve been lured away again, (did I mention I don’t like knitting socks), by huggable hedgehogs for my #2 son.
    I’m usually just pleased to finish any pieces at all as I tend to get a little distracted by new projects.
    Have a good weekend 🙂

  52. The sweater looks good with the snowy leaves. It is still in the 50s and 60s in Alabama. I didn’t think I should mention when I finally got my books signed in Atlanta! I am feeling the sweater urge-and I am knitting toe-up socks. Weird.

  53. The muses and Murphy are too busy with me right now to bother you so knit fast fast fast. I’ll be overjoyed when they leave me.

  54. OK, I have to say this: that gorgeous colour combination makes me think of something yummy and edible–maybe M&M’s cookies?? Gingerbread with Smarties?

  55. you’re thinking of it in the wrong terms. let go of the idea of “fit”. a little too big? it’s a comfy slouchy sweater, great for layering. a little too small? a bit of negative ease to show off those curves, well, that never hurt anyone.
    at least that’s how i rationalize it. leave me to my delusions, ok?

  56. You know, if it doesn’t fit you now, all you have to do is figure out how to alter yourself to fit the sweater. Too baggy? Gain a couple, eat some chocolate. Too tight? Lose a couple, don’t eat some chocolate. All in all, rather good. That and it’s good motivation to lose weight.

  57. Lovely lovely sweater! I’m so jealous of your snow – we just got a cold snap here and the highs are all the way down in the 70’s. Not quite wool weather yet…oh well, soon enough! =)
    Have a lovely weekend!

  58. That looks like cold snow. Here in northern NJ we’ve had snow that stuck, but it was warm.
    My first sweater is a handful of rows from being finished and has been for a long time. I can’t make myself knit them; I think because there’s too much at stake. Since Murphy is camped out with me, you should sneak by.

  59. I started doing the top down in-the-round thing, so I can try it on as I go and adjust, and sometimes they STILL don’t fit. That was a very astute comment about intermittent reinforcement.

  60. OKay–the fact that the yarn was cheap just doubled your chances of everything coming out okay. When I’m using the pricey stuff, the odds of me crapping out are just quadruple than the odds of screwing up with something from the bargain bin that foolish elitists failed to recognize as gorgeous.

  61. The mountains and northern portions of the state are supposed to get snow tonight, but here on the southern coast we’re not getting jack. I’m just holding out hope for a white Christmas.
    I love the Indian food colors of the jacket – so you. I think that if it decides not to fit, you must make it do so.

  62. No no NOOOOOOOOO! Don’t say this! It makes me break out in a cold sweat just reading this! I just spent $200 for the yarn to knit my first coat and it HAS to fit! If you can’t get your sweaters to fit, what hope do I have? *sob*

  63. I think I finally figured it out. Swatch is a Trickster. You know, like Bugs Bunny. Therefore, Swatch must use cartoon physics. It all makes sense now.

  64. Believe me when I tell you that ALL the bad knitting juju in the freakin’ universe converged multiple times on the sock I was attempting to start on the subway this morning. There could not possibly have been a single Knitting Snark available to play with your sweater today. Trust me on that.
    And, you’re welcome.

  65. I love snow, but where we live, we get very little. In fact it was 80F at the begnning of the week, and promises to be the same for the American Thanksgiving next week. It did get cool briefly when the cold front moved in, but it’s rapidly moving on. Gotta love Houston.
    Your sweater is beautiful. I love the colors. And the babies are precious.

  66. First…it doesn’t snow here, so winter is generally just on big chilly incovenience, with the occasional ice storm to get your heart racing on the commute into Dallas…
    Second…I think I have a new theory, hence to be known as the Harlot’s Acolyte Theory of Knit Addiction! As I’m sure you know, gambling, drinking, drugs, etc. are addictive. The addiction, in some cases, is more psychological than physical. In fact, the most psychologically addicting activities are those that offer intermittent reinforcement! It is the chance of payoff, not the payoff itself, that creates the excitement. Hence, if we knit everything exactly and it all fit, it wouldn’t be half as exciting, or addicting! (Thank you, very much!)
    Now all we have to do is come up with the cure! 🙂

  67. Oh dear … I should have told you. About 2 weeks ago, we had snow in Richmond Hill (part of the GTA)… not just once but twice .. then you would have discovered if the sweater fitted you and present anguish would be over …
    oh, dear … I AM sorry but we up here on the Oak Ridges Moraine. keep forgetting that you are in the warm lowlands by the Lake… oh dear…..

  68. I guess the furnace is on now. . .
    If it doesn’t fit, look at the bright side, you can frog it and knit it all over again. You’ll know what to do to fix it if it happens. But I’m betting it’s going to fit you perfectly!

  69. Ooohhh…what Jo just said! It all makes so much sense now. I’m pretty new to knitting, but I am already addicted to yarn (and this blog) and now I see…intermittent reinforcement,…brilliant! (:

  70. Sounds ever so much like the sleeves on my Thistle Jacket (wool, worsted weight, stranded – two color design).
    I measured them, I measured me… I checked the schematic, gauge, etc….
    and they’re much too tight.
    I wonder, if I had a woolly board — could I stretch them enough to make them comfy?

  71. I almost wish I lived in Canada… We rarely get snow or many days you can actually wear wool.
    Can’t wait to see the sweater!

  72. Glad to see you have a gauge gremlin too…I swear the odds of a sweater fitting are the same swatch or not!

  73. I know this is completely not your point, but I must tell you how relieved I was to read that I am not the only one with a threadbare Ramones shirt in a drawer. Why I think it might fit me at my age is beyond me, but there it is.
    Good luck with the jacket.

  74. Have you ever noticed how, following the properties of water, your body contracts a little during the winter season? I don’t know about anyone else, but my rings all come dangerously close to falling off. May your body contract to the proportions of the sweater. Tweak the thermostat if necessary. I’m sure your family will understand.

  75. It snowed here too.. sigh. Well warm yourself in the thought that you won the bloggers choice award for best hobby blog!! Congrats! I tried to represent out there in Vegas.. I was for certain the only knitblogger there! eek!!
    What are we doing to night? the same thing we do every night.. take over the blogosphere!!

  76. sigh. the season we dread is upon us (well, that is anyone over 12 probably dreads it!)…and yet,it is the season that defines us. so roll out the yarn, slip under the blanket and huddle near the fire. spring is a looooooong way off.

  77. Ahh, but snow is beautiful….It should fall on December 24th and be gone January 2nd.
    I know that I will earn the wrath of many knitters who swear by swatching. I have tried it… really, I have tried it, it just hasn’t worked for me. Now I look at gauge and inches/MMs and I estimate. I tend to knit tight so one size up on the needles is ok. I use the yarn closest to what I think the pattern calls for. Then I go for it. It’s exciting really. Like climbing Everest with an AAA trip tick. Sometimes the motels are there and sometimes the rates are even in the ball park.
    Did I mention I have only cast on 2 dozen socks…I have Never gone any futher than that. But my Grandaughters baby sweater fits! That is all that counts in my book. Well, at least as far as it is written…..

  78. On my walk to work today I caught a snippet of a conversation between two men who have been working on the the street construction – ( they were finally putting in the sidewalk, yay, I thought they would never get to it.) The man was saying to the other, “Every motor is different, every one, even if they have all the same parts, every motor is different, every one.”
    This made me think, seriously? this is not how it is suppose to work with machines. All the same parts should mean all the same motors. Right?
    But clearly this was not the man’s experience, nor mine with knitting and gauge. You can do everything right, be spot on with your gauge and knit the garment to specs and it still may not fit. Seriously, what the hell?

  79. So if you hate to be cold, what’s with the furnace wars??? I give in when getting out of bed gets to be too much of a temperature change in the morning! I’ve seen a Sunrise Circle Jacket knitted up at my local yarn store and I want to knit one! However, with three projects still on the needles, one a sweater, I suppose I really should finish them before I start another.

  80. Oh so worrisome… I knit a beautiful Rowan sweater once that fit beautifully, then went on to other projects, but am now knitting another sweater… for a friend’s wedding gift! What if it doesn’t fit??? I don’t know what I’ll do… you’ve terrified me! I hadn’t thought of that possibility. :s

  81. Doncha’ remember? It gets warmer once there is snow down to stay.
    (Something to do with physics I expect. The whiteness reflects heat.)
    If you believe this – as I do – you will not be cold in the winter.
    (Just think what an early snowfall could do for the furnace wars.)

  82. OK, I am worried now. I bought a kit from ‘Fleece Artist” at ‘MAD ABOUT EWE'(Nanaimo, B.C.)…..on your recommendation. Garter stitch jacket in wonderful!!! colours. Sized up, as the directions recommended, to a larger size, and am now paranoid about the possibility that I will run out of yarn right when I am doing the last row on the collar?!! Or…and this could be even worse…will it fit me when I am done?

  83. and if it doesn’t fit, YOU’RE GOING TO MAIL IT TO ME, riiiiiiiiiiight????

  84. “…but who gives up on fitting into a Ramones shirt?”
    Only quitters and people who are boring.
    I’ve got one that won’t fit, too.
    Live the dream. Gabba Gabba Hey.

  85. Dear Ms. Harlot,
    I normally only lurk around your blog, but for the past few posts, I noticed I cannot see your pictures on my Google Reader (only the filenames appear). Would you know if it is a problem on my side of the Net, perhaps?
    I hope you don’t think it rude of me to come out only to complain!
    Thanks for the joys of reading you every day.

  86. Re the fitting issue, I think it’s less to do about gauge/tension and more to do about perception. For example I know I am a narrow shouldered, large busted short-bodied female but boy can I persuade myself that I’ll look good in a sweater designed for square-shouldered, flat-chested long-waisted people if I just fiddle with it. Fitting is when reality kicks in with a swift kick to the head that once again I tried to knit the associated fantasy and not the actual sweater.
    I love snow; I love it being cold enough to wrap up and I’d adore winter if only it didn’t get dark at 4pm.
    It will fit. How could such a beautiful yarn not?

  87. Oh too well do I know Murphy’s law. During our last move my father-in-law threw out a bag containing the following:
    One bohus sweater (yarn from Kimmit Croft fibers, $149 USD at that time) almost completed except for the button band
    One Adrienne Vittadini sweater in a cabled cashmere yarn, all pieces completed, assembly left to be done.
    ah, murphy’s law

  88. I’m sure you’ve discussed this before…guess I missed it… but what yarn are you using for your Sunrise Circle Jacket?? I love that tweed!!!

  89. Noooooo! How in the name of engineering is it possible? I got into knitting precisely because my friend swore I could get custom-fit sweaters. If you hold every piece up to yourself, base everything off measurements of your favorite sweaters etc, you can really have it not fit!?

  90. No snow for me either, but I totally sympathize with your sweater predicament. I am finishing the sleeves on Sonnet in Svale, and I have that slightly queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach…..

  91. Here in Redwood City, somewhere between San Jose and San Francisco, we’re rejoicing in the change of seasons by welcoming the first rains in months and planning the winter veggie garden. Having grown up in Minne-snow-ta, this will NEVER get old. I also have my first-ever sock going, toe-up on two circs, which is partly your fault (and The Blog’s), and my local SnB (found through Ravelry). Thanks for the enabling encouragement, all!

  92. I like the sweater.
    it snowed here in Louisville this week. I love snow, I can’t wait until it sticks here.

  93. This may seem weird. Here’s how I’ve made sweaters that fit that I like. I go to someplace like Goodwill, and keep trying on sweaters until I find one that I like the fit of. Then I take it home and cut it apart to make the pattern. Measure it, and knit to those measurements, using the gauge I got when I knit the yarn I like using the needles I like.

  94. I think I see what is missing. Just because it says that this is the size you need doesn’t mean that they know bupkus about the relation of size to measurements. Measure the actual sweater on your needles and see if it has any relation at all to your own personal measurements whatever the pattern says. if it is off by more than a few inches up of your size (38 inches for a 34 inch behind) or down by a half inch or so (33 inches for the 34 inch hiney) for something tight it doesn’t matter what the pattern says, it ain’t going to fit anywhere close to right.
    Does that help?

  95. Thank you for sharing your experience and frustration with gauge! I keep waiting for the point where I have enough experience that I don’t have those problems any more, but it never comes. Now I can officially stop blaming myself when I get the short end of what must be a random phenomenon!

  96. Dear Yarn Harlot:
    Today I found copies of your early book Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter remaindered, for $2.99 a copy. There were 3 on the shelf at my local Borders. I bought all 3. Thank you for being you and for making my Christmas shopping so easy. (I’m keeping one for myself, and I’m trying to figure out which knitters who have made my life happy this year deserve this book and don’t already have it.)

  97. Is it possible that your work is coming out the size intended by the designer and that’s what doesn’t fit? Say you’re a size 10, the directions for a 10 are for a jumper 70 cm around the bust, you knit to gauge and get a 70 cm-bust jumper, but a 70 cm bust is actually fairly loose on a size 10, looser than you like. That would give you a jumper that ‘didn’t fit’, that seemed too big, even if you got gauge and stitch count spot on.

  98. Speaking of fit, I need some advice. I made EZ’s ribwarmer a few weeks ago. Since I’m a big girl, I used bulky yarn and big needles to make it wide enough, and omitted some of the repeats to keep it from being too long. I’ve worn it several times now, and it’s sagging something fierce. It’s Takhi Bunny Print, a wool/alpaca/acrylic blend, if I recall correctly. Will it firm up in washing, or should I use it as a three-season tent? I don’t want to frog and reknit it, even though it was quick.

  99. I want to thank you for a lovely road trip! My daughter and I had your Book on CD at Knit’s End (It was a gift from Shelli at Knitterly in Petaluma) and laughed! Both of us decided a sweater project was not for us, especially when you said that 1/2 stitch difference in gauge would make such huge difference in the size of the sweater. Thanks for a great ride! Trish

  100. I can help with the Ramones shirt, if it’s too tight. Open the side seams, and add a strip of coordinating material, all the way up from the hem to the end of the sleeves. I’ve done this several times, when I’ve found a t-shirt I like that doesn’t come in my size. If you use a matching material, the result is virtually invisible. If you use a darker material, the fix is very flattering. In the best-looking recent photo of me in existence, I’m wearing a white t-shirt that I enlarged with a strip of black material. I look 20 pounds thinner.
    If it’s too big, there’s a bit of engineering involved, but not insurmountable problems. It’s a more complicated process, so ask, if you need direction.

  101. which is why I rarely swatch, and even then, it is just for a ball-park reference. this is way, i do not get too disappointed.
    not being a perfectionist helps too.
    the sunrise circle will fit you great, especially with careful button placement (that was a bit fiddly)

  102. good evening ala hitchcock
    i have been listening to your interview
    with interweve knits—–
    the voice i hear in print then in real
    time is different it was fun
    now go knit me something and try not to
    trip over the rainbows

  103. Stephanie — I just found your blog (after reading your books) and now I am not getting anything done. I have just spent the whole day working my way forward (from ’04!) just reading your blog, only pausing to finish the socks I’m knitting and the back to the sweater I’m working on and perhaps cast-on some wristlets (because, you know, I finished the socks). Thanks for the inspiration.

  104. I never do a gauge, I know this is basically sending an invite to the hey-it-no-fit-gods but I’m new and naive. Plus my projects so far have been confined to shawls, hats, gloves and scarfs. Things which are vastly more forgiving than a sweater. I’ve had my eye on this sweater pattern for a long time, I think your yarn choice is excellent, can’t wait to see it when its done!

  105. This has nothing to do with yesterdays post, I just have to say this. I went on a one hour flight to Las Vegas and of course I brought knitting – hello Christmas!! – and he said, very snidely, “Are you the only knitter left in America?”. I was so shocked, my goodness, I said “You’d be surprised, dude, we are everywhere and we are not all old ladies!” I am 31. I picked up my needles and tried not to poke him lest he think we are annoying. I guess I give him props for knowing the difference between crotcheting & knitting. Thanks for the space to rant a tad and for sharing all of you with all of us.

  106. I agree with you about the snow – we had a bit last week, too. Like you, I wrote about it and have the same vision about winter: If it is going to be cold and grey, please, please do snow!
    I am also, while not please, gratified to see that one of my knitting heroes has the same problem with swatching, measuring, and measuring again, only to have the project not fit! I thought it was my relative newbieness that caused the problem. I suppose it is simply something to live with – like bleak winter days with no snow!

  107. Hello!
    I’m living in Norway and have read your blog. I am really impressed over the things you’ve knitted. Now I have one question: on january the 2005 you have a picture of som mittens you have knitted. It’s likely the most beautiful pattern I’ve ever seen – where did you get it?
    I would be really grateful if you could help me out with where I could get the pattern.
    Tusen takk fra Rita (norwegian thank you)

  108. That darn Murphy. He has been creating havoc in my knitting life lately as well…I will have knit Autumn Leaves at least twice by the time I finish it, and who knows where the rest of the ball of Koigu I was using to make a stuffed toy went rolling off to. I am sure that Murphy is rolling off the couch laughing at the sight of a poor earless elephant with only three legs. The photos with the bit of snow were just perfect for the sweater though.

  109. Thus far, at my dad’s place in the Poconos, it has snowed the evenings of the 14th, 15th and 16th. Just a dusting. Then yesterday, the 18th, they got 6 inches of snow. I only hope it lasts till Thanksgiving, because the mountains are so beautiful when covered with a little snow (when covered with a lot they’re unpassable, which is why I hope it doesn’t snow more between now and Turkey Day!).

  110. So, why do knitters tolerate this complete shot- in-the-dark about fit and knitting? Twenty-five years ago, I learned to knit, and the first sweater I made fit. The second sweater I made didn’t fit, and I put down the needles, unable to bear the process of time, investment, hope, etc, all to end up with a huge disappointment. Two years ago, I started knitting again, mostly shawls and scarves and things that don’t have to fit. I have slowly moved back into things where fit matters, and I’m much more comfortable about giving things away if they don’t fit, but the truth is, I’m shocked at learning the total lack of correlation between planning and result is a universal knitting phenomenon and not just my lack of skill. I’m not sure how I feel about knowing it will be with my entire knitting life. . .how do you, and other knitters, tolerate it?
    (this is my first comment ever, but I’m an avid reader! – thanks so much for all you add to the world of mothering, knitting, laughing, etc. )

  111. What lovely photos.
    I have to say, it kind of sucks living in the one city in Canada where it doesn’t snow. (okay, it snows at most once a year, but more like once every two or three years – which for The Great White North is practically never)

  112. You hate to be cold…but that’s just one more justification to keep knitting, isn’t it?

  113. Oh lord – I dream of snow! I wish for snow!!
    I believe in snow! I remember snow!
    I live in the Australian outback where we’re now in the Humid Wet Season…
    Harlot! Do you want to swap?!!??!?!

  114. “knit a swatch, wash a swatch, measure yourself, knit the pieces,….sew up the pieces, put the buttons on and then…….have it not fit.”
    I guess that is why I have not allowed myself to knit anything fitted. I just could not bear it if it didn’t work out after all of that. Maybe someday.
    Here’s wishing you Good Luck!

  115. Tried to email, but it was shot back to me. I think you would like the website
    Maybe you could give it a shout out. It is State-side Thanksgiving tomorrow. We could think about being thankful by donating food to others, and learning some vocabulary words too. Thanks for all the good causes you support!

  116. For blog fodder, how about US Thanksgiving customs that might include wool – knitted turkeys, pilgrims, table settings, fall sweaters, oven mitts, hot dish holders, etc. Then knitters from other countries could chime in with their customs for a holiday specific to their country. We’d all learn so much about other nations and the wool addicts who live there.

  117. Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be ‘seeking help’ in a comments page. But I’m desperately trying to follow “Knitting Rules” by knitting a ‘STAR SWATCH’.
    Does anyone know where I can find the ‘instructions/pattern’ for a star, which can be adapted to swatches?
    Knitting Newbie (aka know-next-to-nothing)

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