Classic Plotline

I chugged away on that “flow” top yesterday determined to finish it before tonight. This is partly because I think that if you’re only going to make one summery knitted thing then you should wear it to a knitter thing and tonight is that gig at the Vaughan Library but my secondary motivation is that it would be a clean article of clothing and now that I’m this deep into the Tour de Fleece, it might be my only one.

This is a very simple knit. Very. The front and back are identical, it’s seamed at the shoulder and sides and there’s a reverse stockinette band round the neck and sleeves. Very simple. I I had the front (back?) done Wednesday night at knit night, and I cast on for the back (front?) and zoomed through. Last night I had only the armscye shaping and the neck to do, and considering how much yarn I had left and how I like my tops a little long, I opted to make the top longer than the pattern calls for by about 3cm (in the neighbourhood of an inch). I’d been leery to do that until I saw that there was tons of yarn to make that change, but there is. (The yarn is Berroco Seduce, and I bought all that there was in this dye lot when I was at WEBS. Usually I would buy an insurance skein, but there was only exactly six skeins there, so I was allocating carefully.)

As I sat there last night, I knew that this meant that I would need to rip back the finished front (back?) to the armscye and make it longer to match, but that didn’t bother me. I don’t mind a little of the old frog and tickle now and again, and I had time for a quick bit of a reknit. While I was knitting the armscye, I noticed that the decreases seemed to be taking a long time, and while I was puzzling over that I found an error in the pattern for the size 38. (At the armscye the pattern says you have 78 stitches, then you’re to decrease two stitches nine times and then have 58 stitches. Since I’m pretty sure that 9X2 is still 18 – not 20, that should read ten times, if you’re going to get 58 and have your ducks in a row for the neck shaping) and it occurred to me then, as I found and noted that error, that it was odd that I hadn’t noticed it when I knit the front. (back?)

This should have been a big moment. This should have tipped me off that something was not right. This should have been the moment in this story where, metaphorically speaking, the operator tells me that the calls I’ve been getting from this tank top all night are coming from inside the house- or the moment where the guy who’s been convinced that there’s a serial killer at the party finally loosens up and admits he was wrong, right when the rest of the partygoers see the serial killer over his shoulder? It should have been like that, but I was knitting and it’s a simple tank, and I told myself that the reason I didn’t notice the error when I knit the other part was because I just decreased however many times it took to get 58 and didn’t count, and since I am the queen of Didn’t-count-it-land, that made sense.


I finished the back (front?), set it aside, and then turned my attention to the front (back) so I could rip it back to the armscye, add the same amount of length so it matched the back and reknit the shapings. Easy and quick. While I ripped back I thought about how now I only had to do the seams (not so many) and the tiny bands (not so big) and I would be wearing this badboy tonight. I may have cackled – perhaps even gloated for a second. I wound the yarn back up, put the stitches back on the needle and gave them a quick count to make sure that I hadn’t ripped back too far. I got the wrong number of stitches. I counted again. It’s not my best skill, so troubles often disappear with a do-over.

Not this time. This time, I had ten stitches too few. I scratched my head, I puzzled over the pattern book, I looked for other errors. None. I examined my knitting for the place where I had made too many decreases – but I was bang on. I simply couldn’t figure out where I’d lost ten whole stitches… and then it came to me. Wednesday night I’d been puzzling over what size I had been knitting, and while laughing and drinking beer with my friends I’d worked out that I was making the third size and cast on. I remember that now because at least four of the people there chastised me for not circling my size on the pattern, or at least adding a post-it note or something. I realized, as I sat there with a finished back (front?) and a very nearly finished front (back?) that something may have been amiss there – that maybe I screwed up. Maybe the reason I didn’t notice the error for that size when I knit the first piece was that I didn’t knit that size. Maybe…. and I looked at it, and I knew it.

The two identical pieces of this sweater are not identical. A quick stitch count of the cast on edge of the first piece confirmed it. This sweater has only two pieces. The entire pattern consists only of knitting the same thing twice. Knit one, repeat. That’s it. It’s the whole thing. This pattern is – very correctly, I might add… rated “Easy” in the pattern book – and I have found the only real way to create an problem that can’t be fixed quickly. I’m furious. Furious that I saw all the signs and kept on knitting, furious that I didn’t count stitches back when it could have helped me. Furious that I wrote a blog post detailing my difficulty in casting on THE WRONG NUMBER OF STITCHES and didn’t notice… Furious that I only have one skein of yarn left – so that means that I can’t even reknit the piece that I have pulled back and make it as big as the finished piece, no no. I don’t have enough yarn for that. I have to finish the unfinished piece, then rip back the finished piece and reknit that. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. I am thinking about eating the remaining skein of yarn, calling it roughage and turning the back (front?) of this thing into a potscrubber and taking endless delight in watching bits of cheese and zucchini from last nights casserole get stuck in it before I go out to tonight’s gig braless and wearing a tank top out of Sam’s laundry basket that says “I dress this way because it bothers youl” on it. Screw it.

A half bag of stale salted almonds could knit better than me. I’m having chocolate for breakfast.

239 thoughts on “Classic Plotline

  1. Ooh. Yes. Have some chocolate. Chocolate will help.
    It’s probably no consolation to you that when you make knitting mistakes, tons of us out here are slightly comforted that we’re not the only ones. Somehow, it’s easier to make big mistakes on projects that should be super-simple.

  2. Does it really matter if the front is larger than the back (or vice versa, but being a woman, you probably *are* bigger in the front, at chest level…)?
    Your side seams wouldn’t be in the middle of your sides, but is that such a problem?
    You might even be able to get away with the length thing by making the strap seams a design element that’s *supposed* to be in front of your shoulder…

  3. “A half bag of stale salted almonds could knit better than me.” That’s debatable. They would certainly be nowhere near as entertaining.
    “I’m having chocolate for breakfast.” *Always* a good idea.
    Knit on, sister. And on, and on, and on. [Like Kenny Chesney’s love, which goes on and on and on…, or so the song says.]

  4. Yes. Chocolate…. but I’m not sure even chocolate will help this time… thanks for making the rest of us seem normal when we make knitting mistakes. 🙂

  5. Oh no, that is so frustrating! I can empathize completely. Here is something to cheer you up: find a Sept 2008 Bicycling magazine and read pg. 14, by the editor. It made me laugh, and think of you – seriously, might really cheer you up! In the meantime, I would roll that sweater up into a tight little ball and stuff it in the back of a very dark closet. Pile things on top of it and slam the door. Then eat chocolate.

  6. Amen to what ccr in MA said at 9:48. Thanks for being so blunt with us and letting us know that the Master (Mistress?) of Knitting screws up too.

  7. Knowing we ALL do this helps me keep going. I think “I’ve been knitting for decades. This shouldn’t happen. I’m hopeless.” Here we are, tryin’ to create bee-yew-tee and we cain’t even count. Frog on, Stephanie. We love ya. Thanks for being honest.

  8. Those wrong-size knitting mistakes are the worst! I had a bag of garbage explode inside the apartment today. Chocolate for breakfast (or dinner in my case) sounds like just the thing.

  9. Ugh, I’m so sorry for the knitterly troubles that this tank top is causing you! And I do have to disagree with your second to last statement–I’ve seen pictures of your bohus on this blog! I don’t think a half bag of almonds could do that. 🙂 But I do love the words on that tank top you’re planning on stealing from your daughter…maybe I should get one of those!

  10. But the yarn is so pretty! Don’t eat it. And I’ve found lately that the easier the pattern, the more likely I am to bollocks it up, as in I had trouble counting to three on a recent project. Three. Good luck deciding what to wear.

  11. There there…calm yourself…in a few years this experience will be but a pleasant (???) memory and we will all chuckle at it. Keep the faith!!

  12. I feel your pain, and though it is probably a most unwelcome response, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post.
    Last night, as I struggled with twisting yarn and cursed my newfound inability to do a simple seed stitch with two colors without screwing up repeatedly, I loudly asked my dogs “Who said this is relaxing?”
    Now I know the answer. It is sometimes relaxing only when re-telling about the screw-up, or reading about someone else’s.
    Again, thanks for restoring your reader’s sanity as you sometimes lose yours.

  13. I feel for you! Eat that chocolate and then measure both parts. Maybe if the difference is not so big (let’s say a couple of cm, maybe even 3) you can make knit the still unknit shoulder part to fit the one already done and finish it. As a previous poster said, maybe the side seams won’t be exactly at you side but it won’t show too much?

  14. Chocolate for breakfast is ALWAYS the right answer.
    If knitting the same thing twice were easy, everybody would be doing it perfectly all the time. My current 2nd sock of hte pair I’m on now has approximately eleventy million mistakes and I plan to fix none of them. 😉

  15. In my experience, it usually is the “easy” patterns that get screwed up – probably because we don’t pay as much attention to them as the more difficult patterns. They probably feel left out and want to get back at us.
    I’d be having chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So sorry to hear it won’t be done for your function tonight.

  16. Why don’t all pattern books have empty areas in them to jot down notes? I will admit, it is pretty funny – we all laughed over your difficulties with the correct cast on numbers. With all the craziness of this sweater – you know what this means – you will get it done – wear it once (this summer)- look fab in it and call it your favorite sweater ever!
    Chocolate and coffee solve almost all household dilemmas. Really.

  17. It’s always the easy ones that give the most grief – that’s why you didn’t circle your size or mark a post it note.
    It’s what we all do…
    See you tonight – can’t wait to see what you’re wearing…

  18. Bwah-ha! Yes, I concur that you *could* have the back one size smaller…since our “fronts” *are* more prominent than our backs…
    …I have a back/front cast-on, that is gargantuan, and needs serious frogging…but, denial is a mighty thing, as you knit furiously and hopefully to a deadline!
    Thanks again for your b-day celebration – it was a BLAST – hope you enjoyed the KNITPICKS laminated birch DPNS (I’ve become quite addicted to ’em, myself)!

  19. Oh, damn. That kind of thing makes me want to throw things – like the whole damn project, into the trash.
    Chocolate for breakfast is a very mature and sane response. Have a little for me, would you?

  20. I don’t care what you wear tonight – I couldn’t be more excited than if the entire cast of Doctor Who showed up (yes, I know – I’m a geek)
    See you tonight.

  21. I am sorry for your problems but it makes me feel so much better. I found a twisted stitch in the bottom turning of the heel but have knit almost to the toe. I have put the sock on with needles sticking out trying to see if it is going to be uncomfortable. It isn’t so I have to decide if I am anal enough to insist on frogging clear back. It is in a spot where I can’t just drop a stitch back and pick up. Unfortunately you have a similiar problem in that it can’t just be “fixed” without major problems. I am comforted to know that even good knitters can run into nuisances. Thanks for your candor.

  22. Beer goes well with chocolate at breakfast, and all your troubles just fade away… so does your day, but that’s a different story!

  23. I used to get so many things wrong – even easy ones – that I now type the whole pattern into an excel spreadsheet and go from that! It’s the only way I can make sure it all adds up. I am forever having to adjust the stitch counts anyway because I’m never using the yarn they require – because I’m knitting the pattern about 5 years AFTER I bought the magazine or book.
    Plus then I can drag the pattern around, in my bike bag to work, to concerts, et cetera, and know I can always print another if either I or the kittens destroy it.
    Some patterns seem to be stylishly uneven at the hems and such – maybe you could try that “I meant to do it” line? It is beautiful knitting and gorgeous yarn – good luck!

  24. This just reinforces for me that there is a lot to be said for knitting tops in the round and trying them on frequently. Then there is less chance of front and back bring different, at least not until you divide for front and back.
    Hmm. Pitfalls are everywhere, I guess.
    Oh well, have more chocolate! Go out and buy yourself a summery tank. There’s probably sales galore right now, as since it’s a gazillion degrees out and humid, why of course the stores start putting out their fall lines and put the summer stuff on sale.

  25. OK it is time to make lemonade. Eat chocolate, drink coffee, breathe.
    Measure across your back. Measure across your front. Is one larger than the other? If yes, then you have a solution for that part. Then decease for the neck opening to whatever size neck you want. Sew together, add the armhole and neck stuff and wear the darn thing.

  26. “eating the remaining skein of yarn, calling it roughage and turning the back (front?) of this thing into a potscrubber” LOL!! Brilliant! I’m really sorry this “easy” project has frustrated you so but it makes me feel so much better that even the advanced knitters have days like mine!

  27. *snortygiggles* at the idea of a half bag of salted almonds knitting!
    I’m sorry this tank top is tying you up in knots!
    You make it sound so funny that I want to laugh, but I know better to laugh at something like this because I hate frogging so much that I will not do it.
    It’s a very nice color!

  28. Improvise? Think halter top. A few temporary seams and some temporary creative work to lengthen the shoulder straps to go up and round your neck might get you through the evening.
    Easily accomodates the braless part. Can be disassembled and reknit to spec after the event. When working on the neck part, remember, halter – not noose.

  29. That is the kind of mistake you generally only make once. I did it once, and have never done it again. It is a hard way to learn a lesson, but my mother was right. Circle the size you are making! Of course, since this is the 21st century, I highlight it, but the concept is the same. The question now is: Will you ever be able to wear it after all this? Maybe the scrubbie is not such a bad idea. No, don’t do that! Finish it, in the correct size. If you don’t love it, someone will.

  30. Dear Harlot,
    Ummmm, I hope it’s at least some consolation to Your Good Self that Baby Knitters such as myself learn a real lot (not to mention derive a massive amount of hilarity) from blogposts such as this. I had to almost literally pick myself up off my office floor…
    As for me and my fingers, we’ll stick to socks!!!!
    All condolences,
    The Jaded One

  31. I’m for gathering the side seams of the longer piece, the ‘front’, at the bustline and calling it personalization of a pattern. Good Luck!

  32. So, does this mean you’ll have to do some laundry? Commiserating on the knitting problem, and the laundry necessity. :O/

  33. (Sigh) I take it that I am the only one here who thought the word “armscye” was a typo? That is, until I saw it repeated several times.
    Maybe “easy” patterns are too easy for you. Maybe your skilled hands, searching for a challenge, automatically create one for you if necessary.

  34. If I were you I would post the lot number of the yarn to knitlist or even your blog and buy another skein from someone who bought too many.
    I know the universe would reward you.

  35. You make me feel so guilty!!! I am laughing my a** off over your mistake! That’s just not how my mother raised me…..

  36. What is it about “simple” things that suck us in and make us all haughty and cocky? I’m knitting a pair of baby socks. Teeny, tiny, baby socks. Cast on a few, knit a few rows, do the heel, knit a few more rows, do the toe, bang yer done. Right?
    Hah. I’m tempting fate or whatever all over the place with my “Easy Peasy” attitude. Of course, I’m learning the short row heel and toe method but that’s not hard. Right?
    Hah again. I’ve ripped that blasted sock out so many times the baby is probably ready for his driving test.
    So, as someone above said, it IS comforting for us knitting serfs to know that The Great and Mighty Harlot can screw up the easy stuff too.
    Thanks for sharing your humanity!

  37. I did that once, only instead of having a different number of sts, I had a completely different gauge that made one half an inch longer than the other on a 12-month sized outfit (so, like 4 inches longer if it were something for me). It laid in waste for a while. I finally threw the knitted pieces and the yarn in the trash and poured spoiled food on them so I wouldn’t be tempted to go get them back out. I have yet to regret it. Knit on!

  38. Dang Girl, I sometimes sew the front in a larger size than the back on purpose… just get the straps to match and sew that bad boy up. You’re bigger up front than in back, and so all will be fine. BTW, I sometimes also make the front straps longer than the back, and seam them off the shoulder (a Rebecca trick). It is all good. Do not eat this yarn. Wear it with pride and harlotry. And breathe.

  39. Your candor about your mistakes only endears you to us readers all the more. We’ve all “been there, done that”. When I’m spitting and sputtering profanities as I frog 4 rows of a lace project, my DH will turn to me and say in a sarcastic tone “Knitting is relaxing??”

  40. thank you so much for posting this – it makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER about the millions of ‘not paying attention’ errors I make. And I’m truly sorry for your frustration.

  41. I love the horror flick reference. Really communicates a sense of impending doom. LOL! (ahem, sorry… not funny).
    In all fairness, I should point out that a bag of stale almonds CANNOT knit better than you (I’m sure both pieces were knit perfectly). But they just might be able to COUNT better than you. 😉

  42. Ahhh yes. Chocolate is always the answer. I can totally relate to your miscounting deeds… You’re in good company – all true and experienced knitters are in that boat.

  43. Ms. Harlot, you’re awesome. Someone once told me that from the weird pickles I get myself into, my life plays out like a Laurel & Hardy film. It’s nice to know that you’re a kindrid spirit. I think I would have had the salted almonds for breakfast… 🙂

  44. I say, wear the tank top, take the “flow” pieces, & work the story into your talk. It’s very gratifying to other knitters to hear that even a Knitting Rock Star occasionally makes mistakes… er, “design options”.
    BTW – Tell the baby that today is a very good birthday for extrordinary people. It would have been my Mom’s 94th. I’ll even suggest that Frances (Francis) would be a very good name for her (him). Get crackin’, kiddo — you’re missing some really fun stuff happening out here!

  45. We all have those days. I have a baby sweater on the needles and I have no idea what the size is…. or where the pattern is for that matter. We all do it, yet we don’t always learn from it.
    So make some notes, put the tank in “time out” and grab that tank top out of the laundry bin. We love you for you, not your ability to count.

  46. I think you show a lot of stick-to-it-tiveness to keep counting and frogging and counting and frogging. I would have thrown the lot in the corner long ago.
    That being said, you give me hope. When I make an mistake (which happens often, mostly late at night when I should be sleeping, but say to myself, “just one more row…”), I know if this type of thing happens to you, then I too can rip and try again.
    Thank you for giving all of us a chuckle and hope :^)
    ps – I am sure you will look lovely tonight in Flow.

  47. ok that sucks monkey balls!
    at any rate im glad to know im not the only one who has these issues.
    thank you for sharing and i hope you figure something out.
    BIG HUGS i had chocolate for breakfast this

  48. and this is why I convert things to knit in the round! at least then the front and back match but they do have the potential for being an even bigger problem if I mess up the count!!
    Go have some chocolate muffin and hot chocolate or an iced mocha — you’ll be able to see it clearer then

  49. Oh my aching sides. You made my day with this post. I’ve been laughing ever since reading it. No wonder to me why so many people love you and your books sell so well. What a glorius gift you have and thank you for sharing it with us. Chocolate for breakfast !! That is a must in this situation isn’t it ?

  50. I do feel a little bad about howling and laughing so hard after reading this! I do hope that now that you’ve got the whole “What the eff is going on here?” problem figured out, you’ll placidly sit through the reknit with a cup of Bailey’s and a splash of coffee!
    Good luck, dear!

  51. I have to agree with Mizzle’s comment…. Perhaps its just as well that the front is wider than the back. I know that my front is wider than my back–lots of “lumps and bumps” and this could be serendipitous.
    Will it work anyway?

  52. You never learning about this one particular thing is endlessly amusing. Probably just makes you growl that I said that, but seriously? Fabulous fun.

  53. What about the baby? Was it born………..yet? Please just have a glass of red wine, lay down on the chesterfield and place a cool cloth over your eyes……then make a decision. cd

  54. As much as I feel your pain, good God it’s nice to know that I’m NOT THE ONLY ONE who makes knitting mistakes so stupid that one would think that I would have to work at doing so, yet it comes much too naturally. I’m so tired of knitting away on something “simple” during our evening down-time and finding a truly horrendously stupid mistake, usually 2-3 inches back, and letting forth a string of expletives that makes my husband blush and grumble.

  55. We were channeling each other yesterday. I’ve been plugging away at the Dragon Skin Baby jacket for >2 weeks now and should have knit three of them. First, the SSE was too tight. Then I couldn’t count. Then I neither count nor cast on for sleeves. Then I started knitting some other mutant variation of dragon skin. Then I knitted for a baby with a 6′ torso.
    Fifth time’s the charm. Still no baby yet on my end, either.

  56. Don’t some people do this on purpose? Knit the front a larger size than the back to compensate for anatomy? Couldn’t you just do that?

  57. I have SO been there. I feel your pain. I was adding the finishing touches when I realized that I’d knit the wrong size from the beggining.
    Reknit for the Olympics.
    Eat Chocolate.

  58. Yes! Yes! Mizzle is right. Make the front bigger than the back; it’s the way we are. You’ll find that the top actually fits you better this way. Believe Mizzle! Then eat chocolate for breakfast.

  59. Would it help you to know that you’re not the only one who realized that she has to frog and re-knit her entire freakin’ nearly-finished sweater? Mine’s Ariann (yep, should be simple. Not for me, apparently!) and I was about half-done with the raglan decreases.
    I think I figured this out at almost the exact same time that you published this post. I really hope it’s coincidence and not catching…

  60. I hesitate to mention that it would probably take less time to do a load of laundry than to reknit the front (back?). I understand why a reknit is preferable, I really do, but I just thought I’d mention it.

  61. Oh please, that’s nothing. Let me tell you a story about the cardigan that tried to kill me. I cast on 34 stitches. You’re (according to the pattern) supposed to increase and get 46 stitches. I get 44. I rip back and redo it. SIX TIMES. Finally, after getting 44 over and over again I get mad and REALLY read through the increase row. I realize at this moment there is a mistake and you are increasing by 10 stitches. You repeat the increase row 2 more times and get 64 so if i had read ahead, I would’ve realized the pattern had a mistake. Even with my math skills, I know that 34 + 10 is 44 not 46. ::sigh:: So I start again, get 44 (correctly) increase 2 more times, get 64, and feel really proud that I found the mistake, finally…. Then I realize I was supposed to start the lace pattern 6 rows ago and I have to rip. Again. So I start over. I get 64 stitches. I have done the lace. I’m good. But then I look a line ahead and realize I missed an “AT SAME TIME” direction. I don’t know HOW I missed it, it’s in BOLD CAPITAL FREAKING LETTERS but I missed it. So I rip back YET AGAIN while cursing at my cat who thinks this is all a fun game. While I am working through the increases I read the directions and realize, AFTER frogging, that the “AT SAME TIME” direction that gave me an anurism didn’t actually apply to something I had already knitted but to something ELSE. I ripped back for NOTHING. FOR NOTHING!!
    Sometimes, the stuff we’re knitting tries to do us in. But I have to say, in defense of crochet, I have NEVER had this problem with crochet. EVER. I think my crochet hooks were scheming with the cardigan to frustrate me enough to get me to go back to them. I gotta give it to them though, it worked! =^)

  62. I realize you have a lot going on right now, but if you get a minute, would you consider checking this out?
    A friend of mine is writing stories about handmade things to raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and there is some yarn and some knitted things up for auction as part of it.

  63. Lessee…pin the finished panel to the front of the tank-top, sidle crab-wise up to the mic and hope no one notices?
    I hate counting stitches, too. It shouldn’t be possible to count stitches =five= times and come up with a different number each time. But I have. It’s probably quantum.
    Heisenberg’s uncertainty principal for knitters: the number of stitches is indeterminate until observed…and immediately changes the moment the observation stops.

  64. Oh, NO! If you supplement that chocolate with a little single-malt scotch, I guarantee you’ll be feeling no more pain… 😉

  65. There must be a virus in the air. I have four projects on needles, and I had to rip back on every single one of them this past weekend. One of them completely. One of them for the second time. For stupid reasons.

  66. I swear some patterns just have bad karma. Sometimes you just have to say the universe does not want me to knit this very easy top. How about just letting one of your daughters steal the yarn?

  67. why not just knit in it in the round? then both sides are even and you an try it on. Sure you’ll have to stop at the armpits and work sides seperately but atleast it’s even.
    I dunno, I’m just lazy

  68. Ah, yes – the old I-don’t-count-or-read-pattern-first syndrome. I’m in the midst of that with a sweater design. After spending time – and emails – finally learning that there is more than one way to interpret “M1”, I bit the bullet. “Enlarging” it, and adding a few stitches too late, and correcting my scribbled instructions, have resulted in 8 inches of knitted back with 6 inches of ribbing, and 2 inches of cable prep WHERE THE ADDED STITCHES STICK OUT LIKE THIS ! Last night I typed out the whole back instructions {I mean simple – mine say “M1, M1, M1, M1, M1” instead of (M1) 5 times !} and went to the frog pond for a little visit. Then before going to bed – and hiding the whole project away for the duration – I cast on the proper number of stitches, knitted a row, and it’s onward, with a fixed smile! I did have a Baby Ruth before retiring….that helped. Never thought of single malt. And there’s some lovely Glenmorangie just going to waste in that cupboard……
    What on earth is an armscye? Thought it was a typo at first…..then it appeared again!!
    Nancy in N MN

  69. Now, now, almonds don’t have opposable thumbs, and don’t let them forget it!
    But I agree with the others — do you really want the front and back to be exactly the same shape? You’re not shaped the same in the front and back. If you haven’t ripped it out yet, pin the seams together and try it on. How does it fit?

  70. I must constantly remind myself that the easiest patterns are the hardest for me. I get too cocky and make mistakes everytime. I am living proof that easy does not equal quick, that quick usually equals shoddy, and that chocolate is always the answer.

  71. I think Annadownya’s repeated mistake of writing 64 instead of 46 in her tragic tale of knitterly woe is deeply amusing. It makes me feel better about my own deficits knowing that she and you and most of the other commenters have these moments too.

  72. I completely sympathize. I just finished completely ripping out a sweet tank. It had a simple lace edge at the bottom, knit in the round then stockinette. I kept looking at the sucker thinking something was amiss, but kept on knitting, and knitting and knitting…I blame it on mindless stockinette…boring to some but soothing to me. When I got past the armpits, separated the v-neck…I couldn’t beieve how terrible it looked. Some yarns hide a mistake or too…not solid mercerized cotton…
    So now I have a giant ball of yarn and no tank. I went back to knitting socks.

  73. Such lovely people apologizing for laughing at your plight. Every now and then I feel a fleeting sense of shame that I’m not nice like them.
    Mind you, it’s a very, very fleeting sense. Gone already.

  74. Poot, POOT, POOT! I hate it when something simple turns into a disaster, but even more, I hate the feeling that it’s creeping up in the rear view mirror, and you know that it’s coming, and you don’t want to believe it. And it’s so aggravating if you’ve blogged about how wonderful it is. (been there)
    Before you frog, how much bigger is one piece than the other? Two inches? Negative ease is a fabulous thing, and it’s kind of a swingy top, anyway.
    Enjoy your chocolate!

  75. Must think postitive … at least you’re not re-knitting a leaf into a sock. I’m sorry you’re having a bad day. Chocolate, in my experience goes a long way. And nobody says you can’t have it for lunch. Knit on.

  76. Thanks for sharing your story about the Flow tank top. I’ve been having a similar problem with my first lace project–the leaf lace shawl. I had just gloated about finally finishing the first repeat–I can see leaves!–when I realized I had one too many stitches. Frog back. Reknit. Still one too many. The story goes on. The yarn is starting to look a bit fuzzy.
    Umm, I don’t want to add to your day, but doesn’t the size 38 take 7 skeins?

  77. Well if it’s any consolation the yarn is very pretty. Perhaps you can convince yourself that you WANTED to be knitting on this a little longer than usual….to get full value from your yarn dollar?

  78. I’m sorry to hear that, but at least you know that other people have done similar things while knitting, so you are not alone! I’ve had to reknit parts of garments because of mis-remembering the size I have been making! I try to make notes, but I am not always successful. Hopefully the cheese and zucchini come out once you decide you don’t hate the yarn anymore!

  79. It happens to me all the time! The simplest of patterns ends up being the biggest pain in the butt! After 30+ years of knitting and honestly being the master of stockinette stitch, I can still manage to get it wrong.
    I feel your pain. Good luck with the top.

  80. It’s Rachel H’s fault for pointing out that you did not yet possess appropriate undergarments.

  81. I’m reminded of the sage words of Remus Lupin (from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”): “Eat this chocolate; it will make you feel better.” Or something like that. Now if only I can deliver it personally…
    And I agree with the numerous posts about using the bigger one as the front – you’ll need to accomodate for your ‘girls’ as it is. Don’t give up!

  82. The baby that we are all waiting for is ready to make his/her entrance. I think this is the reason your sweater isn’t working out… tomorrow you will have news for us!

  83. Here is a quote from Albus Dumbledore that I believe applies: “In face, being -forgive me-rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.” We love ya, Stephanie and we’re with ya!

  84. Oh goodness! If it helps any, I have a well-worn-out-now, ridiculous-looking cotton dishcloth that started out as a sweater front, knitted halfway past the start of the armscye. I’m not sure I want to add that using it as such did indeed feel like justified revenge at it.

  85. I feel your pain, almost literally. I spent most of the July 4th holiday weekend trying desperately to get a “very simple” 4-row lace pattern to work out right. I knit and ripped that swatch about 40 times, catching some different error with each iteration. All the while assured on Ravelry and elsewhere that this lace pattern was particularly easy to memorize and follow. Bah! Only if you can really read. 🙂

  86. You say you’re having chocolate for breakfast like it only happens when the schtuff hits the fan and you need comfort.
    Doesn’t everybody eat chocolate for breakfast?

  87. I ALWAYS tell myself “I don’t need to jot that down, I’ll remember” and I ALWAYS forget.. you would think in my old age I would have learned by now that I ALWAYS forget and ALWAYS need to write it down, but I don’t. Therefore I have many projects like yours… what size needle did I use? what is that pattern stitch I had going there? and what size in my chest anyway??? if it’s any comfort you’re in excellent knitting company…

  88. Ah, yes. I see you made several classic horror movie mistakes. Drinking w/ your friends and not paying attention to your surroundings. Classic. Gloating was the equivalent of going into the woods/basement/haunted house by yourself when you KNOW there is a crazy man with a bloody axe between you and the safety of your car/truck/barn/house. Also, the cute blond is always the first to get chain-sawed.

  89. Darling. Look outside. Mother Nature sent you storms and thunder and all things torrential so that you’d look like a fool if you *DID* show up in a tank top.
    Mother Nature 1
    Knitting Gods 0
    Cheer up.

  90. I feel your fury. I hate it when I self-reference my circuitous-error…arghghgh. Ah well, rip fast and go forth. The yarn is gorgeous and the top will drape beautifully on your cute figure. Eventually.

  91. Poor Steph!
    I’ve done the same. The first argyle sweater I attempted (still the only, and still unfinished) I discovered I had knit the whole front with two fewer columns of diamonds than the back. If DH had been a hunchback, it would have fit okay, but not otherwise. I was off on my cast-on count by exactly 20. I didn’t notice until I did the neck shaping, on a bottom-up start.
    Laundry is faster than knitting.

  92. Haven’t read the preceding comments, I just want to say: I ADORE you for making mistakes like this and telling us about them. If the mighty and talented Harlot can make an error like this it helps me when I make such mistakes.
    Chocolate and cold beer. Or maybe a nice frosty blended margarita. You go, girl.

  93. Another vote for larger piece for the front and smaller for the back. Darling, this is a creative choice making the pieces design elements, not some grave error. Yes, in the same way that I have heard a software person state with a perfectly straight face, “That is a feature, not a bug in the software.” Although the alternative daughter’s shirt would work too. Knit on.

  94. yep. i cast on a freaking moebius the other night.
    remedial knitting classes needed…

  95. I know it’s wrong & petty of me… but it pleases me to no end when you prove yourselve to be human – sometimes I wonder. Have chocolate, and ice cream – you deserve it. 🙂

  96. There is only one part of your sad tale that makes me smile. I have been knitting for 48 years and I still, with great regularity, make stoopid mistakes in my knitting for which I can blame no one other than my lazy, cocky self. There isn’t enough chocolate, wine or beer in the world to take away the sting of one’s cutting self-reproach. My most heartfelt advice: fuggedaboutit. That yarn didn’t want to be that top, anyway. Leslie

  97. Never would’ve happened if you were working on that gansey. (sorry–I’m beginning to channel Rams)

  98. I did that too! I was knitting an alpaca vest, and decided to do it in the round instead of flat, then I put some stitch markers in on each side and did the bust shaping, and it wasn’t until I got to the armholes that I realised I had seriously stuffed up! I decided the knitting gods were telling me to rip it out and knit a summer cardigan instead.

  99. OK, so how about sitting with the first front/back in the process of being ripped out and starting to spin some fluff…oops what’s happening, oh shoot the fluff and the ribbon are caught together and ohh what’s this a new yarn. One that you can count on your tour de fleece and it gets rid of the nasty ribbon yarn that is at the root of all your problems on the tank. See, problem solved.

  100. A chocolate martini?? but honestly, you’re one of us and it’s the easiest projects I tend to make the most basic mistakes on. Just not paying attention to detail as much because it’s rated “easy”. When the project is more difficult or a technique is new I really pay attention. Just proves you’re human…….. 🙂

  101. After reading some of the comments:
    The bigger piece goes in the back. Backs are wider, because our arms come out in front. It has nothing to do with our feminine attributes, but with the placement of the forelimbs on our modified-quadruped bodies.
    Of course, I’m sure you frogged the whole thing, or burned it, before reading the comments, anyway.
    Good luck to you. The comment that this would be a good time to shop for summer clothes is a good one. I’d do the same, but my closet is stuffed.

  102. Ouch. But perhaps there’s a silver lining: I have friends who either have narrow backs or ample fronts & purposefully knit the back a size smaller or the front a size larger to accomodate their shapes. Once the knitted garment is on, you really can’t tell they made the pieces in different sizes. So maybe it wasn’t a mistake; you were just skipping ahead to the advanced class in fitting–

  103. Have you seen the “ripped” and “frogged” shot glasses on Ravelry’s store?
    You might need those. Who cares if it’s 9:30 am.

  104. I hope everyone who comes to see you at the library tonight brings you chocolate!!!!

  105. I’m choking and trying not to let the other people at work know that I’m obviously not working.
    I LOVE reading your blog, your books, everything. THANKS

  106. It really is comforting to know not only that you sometimes mess up but that you are capable of beautiful results as you have so frequently shown us. It gives me hope. I have been working on 1 sock since last fall. I’m now slightly less embarrassed by this confession.

  107. Let´s focus on the chocolate: chocolate is good. Is yummy. Does wonders to your state of mind. Apparently is good for your heart too.
    (I´m sorry this thing happened to you… but let me hurry and mark the size of the sweater I´m knitting because me, myself and I thought there was no need to circle as – and I quote my thought – “there was no need ´cause it´s obvious which size I´m knitting”.)

  108. Thumped my head over “Geez how could I have knitted something so wrong?????” as well. Like knitting up 3 marvelous pairs of yoga socks in a glorious fibre for friends — no problem, but finally doing my own pair…oh no! Somehow managed to make one sock 2 sizes bigger than it’s mate….aaarggghhhh!

  109. I’m half-way through a bag of stale salted almonds, and I think : stir fry the yarn with a little soy sauce. It’s make a lovely dish. Crow on the side.

  110. You think that’s bad? About ten years ago, I knit the sleeves of a sweater (both at the same time, to ensure sameness of increasing), and I FORGOT TO CHANGE TO THE LARGER SIZE NEEDLES when I finished the ribbing. I knit the whole sleeves that way! Only when I was starting to block all the pieces did I notice that the sleeves were little stubby things. To this day I have not been able to reknit them. I think I did rip them out, but haven’t had the heart to look at them again. The whole thing stopped me from knitting for about 5 years, because I felt that I couldn’t start a new project until I had fixed my grievous error. My husband even surreptitiously took the pieces to my LYS to find someone who could finish it for me. I have since gotten over the knitting block and knit again, but that sweater is still my secret shame.

  111. My mantra comes from Sensei Bonne Marie Burns ~
    “If it seems hinky, it is hinky.”

  112. Go to your LYS, even if they don’t sell Berroco. Bring your label with the dyelot on it. (You may also have to bring really good chocolate since you didn’t buy it from there.) Ask if they can get the extra needed yarn through a list of LYS owners. Many of us are on such lists. We may not always be able to find the yarn you need–but we often are.

  113. I ate chocolate for dinner the day I knit the same 2 inches of sock 4 times over because of my own inability to count. so, yeah. munch on.

  114. If you don’t want people to laugh at you, you shouldn’t be so funny. Although I am not really laughing at you, on reflection: I am laughing at the comfort of knowing that you are so so so much better a knitter than I am (recall that I am totally sweater impaired, terrified of even starting one) and knitting still kicks your butt too now and then.

  115. Ho-ho-ho-ho, ha-ha,ha,ha, ha….stop me — please! I want to empathize, but I’m chuckling so hard that it’s difficult to type. Geez, you make a story of such angst, so-o-o-o funny. Chocolate? With a scotch chaser, my girl!

  116. Ummm….I usually knit the front and back of my simple tank tops to different sizes. My front and back are not the same size. I just do a few more decreases on the front to compensate, or choose/design a really simple back that’s just a rectangle and the front straps come all the way over to the straight across back. So, you could choose the piece for the front that fits best, rip back whatever you need to (even just make the back rectangular with some ribbing to finish off), and make it a halter neck, or straps, or whatever. It’s not such a lost cause.

  117. I know it’s not funny, cuz it’s happened to the best of us. It’s funny in the sense that I just finished your book “Things I Lerned From Knitting” and you even devoted a chapter to this very topic….. and then it happens. I enjoyed reading little quips from same book to my husband who even agreed and laughed.
    I hope this tank top can be salvaged because it’s very cool (no pun intended) looking.

  118. Whenever I have to take a long trip to the frog pond I alsways tell myself; “Never mind, you (I) would have been knitting anyway.”
    Not very consoling since you wanted the FO for tonight, but at least you know it won’t take much longer to finish it now.

  119. I had a friend who just threw her partially finished project in the trash. When asked why she didn’t salvage the yarn, she replied that she was so frustrated that it just felt goooooood to throw it away. Sometimes you just have to do what feels right.

  120. I once stayed at a Bed & Breakfast in Dubuque, IA. The place was haunted, I kid you not. Aside from introduction to ghosts, I learned about “dessert for/with breakfast” at this place. Apple crisp with cream! How civilized can you get? If the chocolate didn’t soothe this morning, you might try it if it’s not too damned hot to bake. Sure helped me get over bumps in the night.

  121. Now I don’t feel quite so badly for not being able to figure out the decrease on a baby hat that is on straight needles and has the pattern K3 P3.

  122. I learned a new word today: armscye
    How could I not have come cross that in a million years of knitting??

  123. Put. The. Tank. Top. Down. Slooowly back away. Find your best cuppa coffee to chase down your chocolate.
    Begin again on a fresh new day.

  124. A couple of hours earlier notice and I seriously could have driven our shop model to the border and tossed it across to you. It’s the same color and under the circumstances, probably the right size.
    Chocolate AND Beer should rule the day.

  125. Check this out – ‘Once settled in Princeton, Albert [Einstein] was again consumed by his study of physics. That made him absentminded. One day the university office got a call from a man asking directions to Albert’s house. When the clerk wouldn’t tell him, the man sighed, “This is Albert Einstein. I got lost walking home.” ‘
    It’s not you, you are part of a long line of genii….

  126. Now, now, we would smack anyone else for talking bad about about the yarn harlot like that!!!
    No more negative self-talk.
    We all mess up.
    Have chocolate, some coffee, relax, and throw a load of clothes in the wash so you will have a clean top.
    Go knit something else and wait a couple of days or 10 or 20 before you go back to the tank top.
    There’s allways next summer.

  127. Chocolate, dark chocolate, will help. So will a nice glass or two of red wine.
    Now, how much bigger is the piece you’re knitting than the one you’ve already knit? Only a cm or two? Can’t you make the bigger piece be the front and the smaller piece be the back? Sure you can! Knit your shoulder straps onto the front, frog the back shoulder straps, and graft them together. Done and done. Show that bad boy who’s boss, put on a funky pair of earrings and/or necklace, and rock that top!

  128. Stop worrying, everyone. She’ll rip and reknit and it will be done in plenty of time for the talk.

  129. So sorry for your troubles. And I hate when I do something like that and then have to figure out alternative attire at the last minute. I’ve had it happen with knitting, sewing and dieting as the problems! Good luck tonight.

  130. It’s the phase of the moon or something. Last nighy I made two mistakes in 13 rows of garter stitch. Garter stitch! And after I fixed them I knit another row, realized I was supposed to change to the lace pattern, ripped it out, got a cup of coffee,came back and knit the row again instead of starting the lace! Egad, aliens have sucked out our brains…

  131. I did that too! On a fair isle. Discovered it when the armhole shaping didn’t reconcile with the numbers in the pattern. My solution: finish it and give it away to a tiny friend. sob.

  132. Chocolate chips with Cheerios and Milk. (Enough chocolate chips to get some in every spoonful.)The breakfast of champions. And knitters.

  133. A few days ago I proudly showed my husband my completed baby socks. His reply was to enquire as to whose baby it was that has the two differently sized feet.
    I was feeling bad about my knitting since, but now, after reading your blog, I feel better. Thanks.

  134. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. It makes me know that I’m not the only knitter who does distracted things and causes a project to rewquire many more knitting hours than expected !
    Is the baby here yet ?

  135. You poor thing… I can so relate to that one…as I’ve been bitten more than once. It’s very much like my entire academic history, such as it was. No need to take notes on what that teacher is saying… it’s simple… I understand completely. What would I need notes for? Essentially the same reason I need to circle all the instructions for the size I’m making, apparently.
    My solution in this case would be to put the whole thing away for a month or 6, and when you find it again, you’ll either be ready to frog and fix or just to frog it. Good luck!

  136. Ouch.
    The Berocco Seduce looks visually like the Silk Straw (Art Fibers?) that I know I used in a tank pattern from Lettuce Knit. The tank pattern from LK had a major advantage over Flow.
    It was knit in the round. Only count to a big number once. I would have made the same mistake if I had to count past 60 with the heat-baked summer brain.

  137. I have no words. *sniff* I’m just so happy, *sob* that I’m not the ONLY ONE ON THE PLANET WHO DOES SHIT LIKE THAT! *SOB SOB SOB* *hiccuip*

  138. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!! Sorry, the massive shrieking in laughter is one of the reasons why I am glad, that I generally can fit into a small, which is usually the first number that I read on the pattern. But if it’s any consolation, there are the patterns that, for some reason, write their numbers as M(S,L) instead of S(M,L).
    *patpat* I’m sure your daughter Sam has lovely clothing.

  139. While I know that there is no comfort for those who have just commited such a grave knitting error, it makes the rest of us who asipire to be as good of a knitter as you feel better that you now only make stupid mistakes like us, but that you post them in the internet and let us KNOW that you make mistakes like that. Thank you so much for sharing!

  140. Howling – sorry this is so close to home for me. Now I know we were sisters seperated at birth! My favorite line to my knit group buds is “just when you think you are smooth sailing and making great time on that knit, – that is when you are in the friggin Bermuda Triangle of knitting”. After all that yarn name says it all – Seduce. The sirens called you and you were under their spell…

  141. Oh THANK YOU for your insanely funny humanity. As much as all your many, many triumphs, your errors of humanity are such a gift you share with your readers. As I continue to struggle along in knitting land, wondering if I’ll ever really get the way of things it is such a relief to know that even people who are clearly amazing knitters can make basic errors. Gives a girl hope.
    But eat it? Really? It may be kind of evil in its treatment of you, but that is one lovely almost tank you’ve got going there.

  142. I feel your pain. I did the same deal with a pair of straight leg pants for a newborn. I invented errors in this simple pattern that no sane person could and then when doing the back half I REPEATED THEM!!! My only excuse was I was pregnant at the time but it didn’t stop me from inventing cusswords and castigating my IQ level.

  143. I’m laughing only because I’ve been there one toooo many times. It really is a sympathy laugh 😉

  144. I’ve spent the last three days casting on for an Aran afghan (a wedding present). I’ve made seven of them before, so I should have had it down pat. Right?? I finally got it right on the sixth cast-on–then I discovered I was one stitch short. Damn! (I fudged it…and no one will ever know unless I tell them)
    Now it’s time to start the pattern. Anyone want to place bets on how many times I’ll have to do that part over?

  145. These instructions are clearly too easy for you. Knit another bohus (or how about some more of those leaf-covered socks) and feel better.

  146. I knit this way, ’cause it bothers ME!
    OMG, that’s the story of my knitting life, and apparantly quite a few others. That’s why I’m so glad I’m not an air traffic controller.

  147. I’m so on board with your annoyance at the whole Flow tank thing, but it is making me feel much better about how lame dating is and how absolutely wonderful I’ve barely begun knitting my stash down really is – because the minute I begin, there will be complications… I’ve bought organic cookies and red wine for back up too. And I totally can’t wait to hear what laundry basket get up you settle on in the mad dash out the door to the event!

  148. Blame it on the heat. I’m guessing that you don’t have enough yarn to finish the piece you’re working on, or you’d do as so many are suggesting and use the larger for the frontispiece. Maybe you could rip both back to before the armscye, cast them off, run an elastic cord through the top edge and wear it as a tube-top.
    Let’s hope Presbytera is right and you reknit it in time.

  149. I don’t have time to read all the comments, but has anyone mentioned that you deserve the Lanterne Rouge for this? Before it is all said and done, you will be able to do the winner dance. Have faith, dear Harlot.

  150. Do not feel bad my dear. I cannot count today either. I’m on a deadline making things for my parents and was nearly finished with a hat when I realized I had waaaaayyy too many rows. So I ripped half the damn thing out. It only has to be mailed next week.

  151. Well, now don’t I feel better about the Midnight Circle Sweater cast on!!
    Thanks, Glad to know that the absolute Queen of Knitting is as befuddled as the rest of us.
    I opt for the shirt-I want one like that to wear around my grown kids-the way I dress drives them crazy!!
    Just breathe in and out, have a glass of good wine, and I’m sure the top will turn out beautifully. No Baby?????? Good God, I am starting to have labor pains for her!

  152. So far you have made at least 187 people feel so much better about their knitting.
    I wonder how many are enjoying empathy chocolate!

  153. Oh, no. That top and the yarn were beautiful when I saw them in Chicago. I guess the linen in the yarn could be considered roughage, but I can’t imagine it would make a good meal without a lot of beer and gravy.

  154. sometimes you’re the windshield… sometimes you’re the bug.
    Chocolate for breakfast sounds just dandy.

  155. This won’t help your tank-less state, but your post made me look at the pattern I’m doing, and at the number of stitches I’d cast on for the first (finished) sleeve and check it against the 2nd (ribbing done) sleeve.
    First sleeve, 36 stitches. Second sleeve– 32 stitches.
    Thanks for making me catch that before I’d knit the entire sleeve.

  156. 1. I find chocolate & peanut butter milkshakes to be absolutely theraputic for this type of situation (actually for any situation).
    2. Thank you for cheering me up with your story. I had to read the last paragraph to my husband because I was laughing so hard.

  157. You poor, poor dear!
    Do you have a Godiva store near you? You MUST go treat yourself (even if you have to cross the border to find one) to a Caramel Chocolixer. The cup is lined with caramel, and some concoction is blended together…a chocolate bar of some sort in the mix…into some heavenly liquid silk. As the drink flows down your throat, you can feel tiny pieces of chocolate going down as well…a most pleasant experience.
    Memories of the ten lost stitches will disappear with your first sip of this drink. Trust me…all memories of my roller coaster life raising a girl teen melt away…along with my waistline, but who cares…at the moment anyhow.
    Think I’ll go drink one on your behalf.

  158. I know this won’t make you feel any better but I LOVE the YARN:) It is so truely beautiful!

  159. I believe this is what we call “wool-brain”…with a slight touch of “spinning-itis” on top of it.
    It is alright.
    Have some dark chocolate…it is good for these particular ailments.

  160. Make the small changes you need to, and you can call this tank an “original” one of a kind design! Just don’t smear any chocolate over it, because it won’t just look right.

  161. Poor Baby. I make plenty of errors, but they are so often extreeeemly complicated. Yours are inspired, and yet, “simple.”
    You’ve no doubt heart the quote: The reason so few things are fool proof is that fools are so smart.

  162. You know what this is? Tired Knitting. I can work/play even if I am tired but I find there is an invisible wall of tiredness I can’t be productive past. Of course, the clue this was going to be difficult was right there at the beginning…”easy”.

  163. Shnikes, why does it happen that way. A pattern declares itself to be easy (and it is) and there is plenty of time and yarn to complete said project that it all goes so wrong. It must be that Murphy guy’s fault. He needs to go away. I like the idea of chocolate for breakfast 🙂

  164. Oh Stephanie!
    If only you knew how much your errors mean to me. They tell me that I am an OK knitter after all. If the Fabulous Yarn Harlot can do such hair-brained things then all my pigheaded mistakes and hours of frogging are just what happens to all knitters and I can stop flogging myself as a “knittiot” (knitting idiot)
    (Although I must be the only person in the world who has abandoned the magical Baby Surprise Jacket because I keep getting the wrong numbers!)
    Gillian in Australia
    (currently knitting toe up socks for the first time and now on my fourth start. Have even changed methods in an effort to get it right.)

  165. This post confirms that I am an evil woman who enjoys the pain of others, I haven’t laughed so hard in ages.

  166. Oh, my. I can understand — last night I cast on the SAME “second” sock for the fourth, fifth, and sixth times… It was after the fifth time that I was three rows into it and realized it was INSIDE OUT. Is this even possible?
    But then I recognized the problem. No alcohol. I have only been doing socks for a few weeks, and it has always been after I was “relaxed.”
    I got myself a beer, frogged, cast on again (6 is the magic number), and now we go ’round and ’round and ’round.
    Good luck. It’s going to be a lovely top when it’s done.

  167. I just finished my first piece of “real” clothing, a tank top, it fits and I’m inordinately proud of it. I’ve been knitting for two years and so far it has just been scarves, blankets, and a sock (I’ll finish the other one soon, I swear). I had to rip the tank back after about 5 inches (twice) and I thought I would never be able to knit stuff that people would actually wear. It is kind of heartening to know that someone who has been knitting for years, writes books about knitting, blogs about knitting, etc. can still make mistakes. We don’t have to be perfect, no one is. Bless you for showing us that.

  168. Well, crap.
    potscrubber- probably a fine idea- but dude- I vote bonfire in the garden for this one.
    OHHHHH man– take it with you to the event- and burn it out side—(somebody HAS to have a portable fire pot thingy… a demonstration! A knitters group catharsis against all projects gone bad! ( I don’t know- you pick:)… Might scare miggles- but still… fun! 🙂
    **double bonus- then it could be written off as a PR expense. ***

  169. New idea. Rip out nothing. Most women are bigger in the front than in the back. Use the larger size for the front and the smaller size for the back. I frequently have great ideas like this – just ask my kids. That said, I have a vest in my drawer that has a front inexplicably 3 inches longer than the back piece. Relatively easy to fix but it so infuriated me that we are having a period of separation.

  170. Thank you! Thank you for admitting to making mistakes that we all make from time to time and ask ourselves if we should really be knitting. ha. I read your blog often and I admire how you show the good AND the not so good. I feel like I am not the only one who does these things.

  171. I could swear and attest to the fact that easy patterns make us pay less attention. We think we can knit those with only half a brain, and then we do, and then screw them up.
    Been there, done that.

  172. i just finished a baby afghan which requires a ruffle this is picked up and knit on each side when the body of the afghan is done. I knit the afghan on size 7, and ruffle on size 8… I still don’t know how that happened, I SWEAR I knit the entir afghan on size 8 needles… the knitting house elves switched needles on me at some point, I’m sure something to that effect happened to you as well. but I admit no one is going to wear the afghan, just spit up and poop on it…

  173. Chocolate? Why not pull out the wine?
    If it makes you feel any better, it could be worse. You could be knitting something with the exact same numbers of stitches as its predecessor — and have two different-sized sleeves, because when gonig from cuff to sleeve on the second sleeve, you picked up a size 8 needle (marked in bright red with the number 8 on the cap facing you) instead of a size 5.

  174. Having just ripped out a whole side because I knit 2.5 inches of ribbing not 2.5 cm of said, I hear you. Having made a whole amazing jacket constructetd in strips the wrong size, I hear you. Oh yeah…..
    Chocolate is good. So is single malt scotch (But maybe not if you decide to reknit and are in the casting on process. Save it for the second row.)
    Given how often an error creeps into a pattern, the “Damn the torpedoes, I’ll keep knitting!” response is not hard to understand…..

  175. I’m so sorry your ‘flow’ top is not flowing…er, is backed up…er, I think perhaps chocolate and Screech are the order of the day. Makes the ripping out less painful. Take comfort in knowing that we’ve all been there. I hope you keep at it–it’s a lovely piece.

  176. This is most definitely the moment for chocolate; lots of it! And, more than that,it is the moment when you must reflect on all the very gorgeous things you have completed in total perfection! Give yourself a break! And, I would love a photo of you in that tank top!!

  177. I’m worn out just reading your frustrations with the tank top. I think I’ll take a nap. So should you, you deserve it.

  178. This is what’s commonly known in my world as “trying to do too many things at once.” We multitask ourselves right into incompetence! (or a least less competence.) Hang in there! The spinning is going very well!

  179. I found this neat thing on the internet that groups words you use a lot… unfortunately it did not like my blog, so I went down the list of blogs I read… yours was the first to work!
    (cough) Please don’t take offense that it made the word ‘behind’ the biggest? I didn’t do that, I swear it is all mathematical and stuff in ways I do not understand!

  180. I’ve been knitting for just over a year, and yesterday I finished knitting the front and back of a sweater. Why is this important? It is the first – the the only – time I have ever ended up with the same number of stitches i started with.
    (I still have to get through the sleeves, so I can’t breathe yet.)
    Thanks for making me feel better.

  181. It was all that spinning that threw you off your game. That wheel going round and round; all that fleece, all those singles, all that plying, it’s a wonder you did as well as you did. Chocolate is a very good idea. Maybe those little chocolates with the liquor inside. Maybe a box of those.
    On the bright side, you were sharp enough to catch an error in the pattern. That’s something isn’t it?

  182. it was the full of the moon
    every thing gets kinda wierd even knitting

  183. Has Megan had her baby yet? The brave woman looks like she’s going to have full-term twins.

  184. Although I’m (very quietly) grinning to myself and saying, “Thank God, I’m not the only one!”, I am also saying many dirty words on your behalf. I shall make a dark chocolate fudge cake with raspberry whipped cream and chocolate silk pudding in the middle. Where do I send it?

  185. My mom called me last night to lament trouble she was having with the toe of the 2nd of a pair of socks. In spite of trying it on before sewing up the toe…it was still too short when she was all done and she’s had to rip the toe out and have a do over. I mentioned to her that I was having one of those nights where I’d messed up one sock (it’s in time out right now), lost a needle to another one and was moving on to something else (gloves – Strata — from New Mittens and Gloves by Robin Melanson) and that based on your post I thought that the Knitting Gods are totally pissed about something.
    She let me know this morning that she read your post and laughed until she cried. At least we’re all in this together.

  186. Now see, here I was thinking that those days of screwing up simple projects were well behind us, apparently not, ah well, tomorrow is always a new day. I can offer you these words of consolation that I say to my daughter when she is having these sort of days, “You’re so pretty.”

  187. The last paragraphs were a great, hysterical piece of writing–putting into descriptive, graphic (not swear word graphic) words what we all feel after making mistakes on the easy stuff. I laughed out loud–no wonder you are a great humor writer.
    Thanks, and definitely have chocolate for breakfast.

  188. Ohhhh, I’m laughing and crying for you… That is so hysterically awful, and I can totally identify. I’m sure you must have some other knitarific item to wear just laying around your house, waiting patiently for this kind of moment to spend time with you?

  189. Or you can make the big piece the front to accommodate for bust shaping and the small piece for the back, and call it good.

  190. The Oak St.Park Knitting, Basketball (and sandbox) collective has yet to reach the heady heights of tank tops. But we are familiar with the joys of ripping out. Every clement evening from May to October we gather in the park and knit scarves and toques for the homeless in TO.
    On any given night you can hear knitters conversing in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Urdu, Pashtu, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean,French, and an assortment of other languages. The junior knitters are going like wildfire and have really made gains.
    The basketball contingent is largely confined to the cheering section, and also are used as beasts of burden to move the supplies in and out.
    The Sandbox group is mostly occupied with making sure that the knitters rarely have more than 15 minutes of uninterupted knitting without have to blow a nose or mediate a dispute over who had the bucket and shovel.
    Chocolate is always an option for breakfast especially if someone has taken over another’s project and large amounts of picking are required.
    Knitting is the best community organizing tool in the world – mothers and grandmothers everywhere knit.

  191. OMG that’s so funny that I almost spit coffee all over my monitor and keyboard!!! I do have to say though that I’m really sorry that my knitting mojo traveled through the ether to land at your house and infect you. Really I am. It didn’t leave me of course (I would never be so lucky) It just replicated itself and traveled to your house to live. I’ll try to call it back but I make no guarantees. If it’s any consolation, I have the equivalent in Dyepotland. I dyed 2lbs of fingering Merino Tencel yarn for a special order. Now, I normally know what I’m doing, but just like you I’ve found that I’m having a “What in God’s name was I thinking!!!” moment. So the color that this person wanted was quite light and they wanted it as even as possible. So for what ever reason, when I tied this yarn I didn’t put in a couple of extra ties. Merino/Tencel is slippery and it’s really easy to tangle. So to make a long story short I was a little too exuberant in my agitation of the yarn and now I have eight skeins of impossibly tangled mess on my hands. It looks like something my cat ate one whole skein at a time, then got on one of those old fashioned exercise machine with the band that goes around your stomach and shakes you silly, and then barfed the whole thing back for me in one giant tangle! That’s 3300 yards of total mess to laboriously untangle by hand. Hours worth! To add to my idiocy, I managed to get 2 skeins untangled and gave them to them already. DUH!!! So I went and hung myself because if I just dyed a new batch, it would be a different dyelot. I’m pretty good at matching colors and all, but, chances are that it would be noticeable so guess what? I have to untangle it all by hand. What a dork I am. Thanks for the laughter and the honesty. I’m back to unraveling, only 10 more hours to go if I’m lucky, and I’m not exaggerating!

  192. huh? i don’t even understand the problem. why can’t you just sew the two sides together? why can’t you block them to be the same size? why can’t you just have the front a little bigger than the back? it doesn’t sound like a problem at all to me, no sirree! (i, apparently, am a head-in-the-sand knitter). good luck!

  193. Ha! I thought I was the only dumb one. On the finished side, I would add a garter stitch “accent” down the side, it will match the cap sleeves. Then I would rip back the too big side and sneak the extra decreases in, or even put in a short cable pattern, like a placket on a polo shirt to pull it in. If that doesn’t work for you, single malt bourbon is good too.

  194. Stephanie: Purdy’s has joined forces with a brewer – we had the Purdy’s Chocolate Ale last weekend – it’s GOOD!

  195. Personally, my favourite part is that your solution to no clean clothes to wear isn’t laundry, it is more knitting.

  196. There must have been a tremendous disturbance in the Knitting Continuum that day. I spent the entire day ripping and reknitting (over and over again) one! stinkin’! lousy! sleeve! simply because I would not admit that the dye lot for the next skein did not match, and wasn’t going to match no matter how artfully I tried to blend it.

  197. Cheat.
    Pick out the cast on edge of the correct piece and rip it back to a length so you have enough yarn to finish the back. Put bottom st. on yarn or stitch holder.
    Cast on twelve stitches, devise a clever cable, and knit it long enough to seam up the sides. Knit two long skinny bits and seam them in, using the two extra stitches for selvedge.
    Cast on tweleve stitches, devise a clever cable, and, using Rick Mondragon’s sliding loop technique, join the two side seams togteher as you knit your way down from the armscye to the hem.
    Then, take the unraveled stitches off the holder, put them on a needle, and cast off the bottom adge together with the side seams. Weave in loose ends and no one will ever notice.
    Your top will be a wee tad bigger in the front (you are a woman, this is helpful) and instead of a mistake with a wonky side seam, you will have a design element.
    And? Been there. This is the exact reason I only knit my default, hardwired-in-my-DNA toque pattern or sock patterns in bars. Only in my case I learned about this the hard way when I cast on a second right front for a non-reversible cabled vest, and got all the way up to the armscye.
    It’s Guinness’ fault.

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