Pants on Fire

You know what I was thinking last night?  That if there’s one thing  I can’t stand, one thing that just puts me over the top, it’s a liar. 

I can handle greed,  we’ve all got that in us somewhere, even if we can’t admit it. I mean, look in your yarn closet and try and tell me that you don’t think that impulse could get out of hand. I can understand sloth, and I get, and we have have all been guilty of being short tempered or having a weak moment where one has thought  unkind thoughts about someone, or briefly wished that they were set upon by an overlarge and rare pack of infuriated killer bees.  (I’m sure none of us have thought about buying the bees or releasing them into the person’s home, I’m talking about those vague moments where if there just were bees, and they had to sting someone, that it would be okay if the universe just randomly picked the human who’s pissing me off or sort of deserves it.  Just saying.)  I can have (some) compassion for fits of passion, for thoughtlessness, for anger, jealousy, impatience, truculence, stinginess, ruthlessness –  I don’t even (usually) have a hard time with  noisy, obnoxious, fanatic or  erratic people. (In small doses.  Very small actually. Maybe only moments, but that’s still something.)

It’s really just lying that makes me nuts.  Nothing like someone standing in front of you, betraying all the trust that you put in them, or making up something that hurts you to serve them.  It takes me from 0 to 60 in two seconds.
Yup, liars.  The bottom of the barrel, the lowest of the low… and that’s why I’m just about nuts this morning. 


I cast off Kiama last night even though I knew darn well it wasn’t long enough.  Not nearly long enough.  The voice of honesty said "That’s not long enough" and I said, "Shut your pie hole, we’re getting a new sweater in the morning" and the voice of honesty said "We’re not. That’s too short." and I cast it off anyway.

Oh, sure.  I measured, but I did that thing with the measuring tape that makes something that’s 13 inches look like 15.  I tugged and scootched it.  Then I LIED TO MYSELF AGAIN.   Even stretched it was only 14 inches, but did I cop to the fact that it was too damn short?  No sir.  I told myself (get this.  You’re going to love it.)  I told myself it WOULD BE LONGER WHEN I WAS STANDING UP.

Then, when it was all cast off and I tried it on and it was too short, I actually had the audacity to pretend to be shocked, then … and I can’t believe that I even thought this.  After 37 years of knitting… instead of saying this is too damn short and you know it,  I said MAYBE IT WILL BLOCK OUT.

I know. Nothing ever blocks out that way. Things only block longer when they’re already too long- not when you really need it too.

So I tossed it in the bathtub, blocked the crap out of it and not so much of a millimetre of length was gained, and now it’s wet and I have to wait for it to dry to fix it, and I’m going to have to add at least one of the balls of yarn that are left over – because I have THREE, and that should have been a tip off, and…

I just really hate liars.

202 thoughts on “Pants on Fire

  1. You’re hilarious! What knitter hasn’t done the stretchy tape measure bit just to be done with something?

  2. Ugh 🙁
    What are you going to work on while it dries? Maybe jealousy will make it get its act together and do a little stretching while you knit something softer and prettier.

  3. Have I done this? Yup. Have I even left it unchanged and worn it? Yup. Remember cropped tops? I do. And I have a long back. I even had a friend say, “We need to take up a collection for Leanne she needs to buy more yarn.” What did I do? Did I repent? Did I hide in shame? Nope. I laughed. Why not leave it unchanged and wear it over a long T. Do they still do that?

  4. Been there, done that. And, no, I am not being unsympatetic – but isn’t it a pain?

  5. Today’s whole blog could have been written by me. Were you in my head last night or were you casting off my gansey while I was sleeping?

  6. Yup, lying does come back to bite you. Usually deadlines do it for me. “Yea, I think this foot is at the decrease part-it’s lacy and will stretch longer, for sure.” Yea, right.
    I promise not to rush my socks at the end of the month, as the KAL deadline looms, but I’m weak… Yikes, it’s the end of the month!
    Hmmmm…..can’t seem to post. Perhaps persistence will win out.
    Ok, now I’m being told my entry “does not exist”. Strange…. I see it on the screen. (do we really exist?…what is existence?)

  7. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
    I feel your pain because it was mine also at the weekend. Three-quarters of the way through before I finally admitted I had got it wrong.
    It doesn’t hurt any more. It is going to be just perfect this time. And it’s going to be an entirely different pattern.

  8. Aw, I feel bad for laughing at this, especially the “it’ll be longer standing up” part.

  9. I am so sorry this happened to you, but I gotta tell you–I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does this. Not gloating, just feeling normal now. Thank you!

  10. I have about 8″ (20 cm) on you heightwise. Even though I know I have to add a minimum of 3″ in length to a garment to get it to look somewhat close to the way the designer intended, I often add less (maybe 2″), hoping that will be enough.
    Usually my sweaters stretch over time, but not in body length. The sleeves get longer and the body gets wider (and sometimes shorter).
    Part of it is I don’t want to buy extra yarn. Part of it is I want to wear the sweater NOW. I rarely have the fortitude to do the right thing and rip and reknit.
    I think I need to learn (once again) from the Great Harlot. Making sure garments are long enough has now been added to my resolution list.

  11. It’a not lying. It’s peri-menopause brain. At least, that’s MY excuse for mysteriously mis-sized finished items…

  12. Thank you so much! I’m just glad I’m not the only big fat liar head on the planet.

  13. I swear you were in the room yesterday when I took out a measuring tape to measure the hat I was working on. The hat is suppose to fit a toddler, but it sure looked big. As I was working on it I kept thinking “man this is way too big.” But did I stop? NOPE. Then I took out the measuring tape. It was the right length, but it still looked too big. But did I stop? NOPE AGAIN. Then I tried it on and it fit my adult sized head. What the? I EVEN DID A SWATCH FOR GAUGE! Now that’s just all kinds of wrong.

  14. I’ve done that. I’ve also done it in reverse. I had this lace skirt, and the pattern called for one more pattern repeat. Unblocked, it already went to my feet. I’m short – just under 5’1″ – it’s ok to make skirts shorter. But no, I thought I shouldn’t crap out and I should make the whole skirt. After all the blocking and such, well, it put the 6′ train on my wedding dress to shame. I had to rip the whole ill-advised section out – I wasted so much time. The lesson I took? Make my sweaters longer than I think, and the skirts shorter.

  15. Well. At least you lied to the one person who completely understands and will forgive you. (Or maybe you won’t forgive yourself; occasionally I fall victim to never-get-past-itis.)
    The real problem is that you told a several hundred others while simultaneously making it a permanent part of the net-sphere. I can only assume this is an attempt to learn a lesson in a really public way.
    Good luck with that. Let me know how it works for you!

  16. Looking back at the baby booties, I realized there are 4 babies incoming/already here, and all I really want to make for them are the most adorable baby booties you posted just a little bit ago… Any way for you to point me in the direction of the pattern source or is it as I suspect something you are able to throw together (I’m not there yet…)? Loving the blog by the way, thanks!

  17. This is why I don’t swatch. It’s too upsetting to be betrayed after I have been cheerfully knitting along, and all the while the swatch has been lying to my face, laughing behind my back, and in general making a fool of me.
    Just needed to get that off my chest. I’ve been having swatch issues. I’m not bitter though. That’s the main thing.

  18. Yes, Leanne, they still do that! 🙂 Love this post! I lie to myself all the time. It’s a classic knitters denial. We wouldn’t be real knitters if we didn’t!

  19. ok BUT i know you are good enough of a knitter to pick out the cast of edge and make it longer.
    (also, does acrylic/blends block out at all?)

  20. I’m practically the queen of faking it with the measuring tape. This may be the reason that the only sweater-type garment I’ve made wound up with a 3-inch too-wide back. Whoops.

  21. I just tried the in-progress dog sweater on my greyhound. I knew it wasn’t long enough, but it’s still *seriously* not long enough. And I’ve learned on dog sweaters that they’re never longer when they’re being worn because, unless your dog is walking only on his hind feet, even gravity isn’t on your side in stretching the sweater to fit. So thanks for all the reminders from your sweater. It doesn’t matter that I’m trying to get the sweater finished by his birthday (he’ll be 10 on 10 May). I can finish it late, but I cannot finish it short! (I bet you’re really going to like your sweater once it gets to the right length.)

  22. I do the same thing…………so often. You’d think I’d learn, wouldn’t you? Thanks for sharing, cuz if you are guilty of this …. I can obviously cut myself some slack 😉

  23. And how would you feel if you lied to yourself and then the cantaloupe frieze yarn you had ordered was back ordered? Yes. Life is very, very hard. Fortunately I have 50 to 100 other skeins to fill in the gaps. Actually, I don’t know how many skeins I have, but it’s probably enough to take the edge off.

  24. Truculent – that sweater is truly truculent. I love the word truculent. Thanks for using it.

  25. The thought occured to me that perhaps we should knit like we (seriously) diet. If you are dieting with a person you live with, you each fix each other’s plate. After all, we love our significant other more than ourselves, right? Well, if we had a live-in knitter, we could force each other to do what’s right in a timely manner.
    I’m still hoping to grown up into a “real” adult some day soon. Maybe by my 63rd birthday.

  26. What makes this particularly egregious is that the reason you liked this gauge with this yarn was because it wasn’t stretchy and wouldn’t grow.

  27. “Things only block longer when they’re already too long.” … “and I’m going to have to add at least one of the balls of yarn that are left over – because I have THREE, and that should have been a tip off, and…”
    I could be reading my old post on my first sweater, but in reverse– because I hoped that blocking would make it SHORTER and I had to undo my gauge swatch for the yarn even though I’d calculated I’d have THREE balls LEFT OVER… Now I have a tenty cashmere sweater dress. 🙁

  28. I’m knitting a table runner and keep trying to tell myself that it is longer than it really is. I mean, really, who decided that 72″ is the standard length for table runners? At least the table won’t care about its butt showing if the runner ends up a tad short! : )

  29. Currently I have a sock that would fit an elephant!! And I can’t blame it on blurry eyesight as I had very successful cataract surgery!

  30. I suffer from this syndrome with the second sock. I just want it to be over with and to have a pair so badly that I lie to myself about its level of doneness. Especially if they’re not self striping, then it’m bound to finish them off too early. Maybe we should form a support group… I’m Ashley and I’m a chronic underfinisher.

  31. Oh Steph, you have no idea (well, maybe you do, seeing as it IS you) how comforting it is to read your confession. I think it’s impatience that causes us to lie to ourselves like this. I can’t count the number of (insert item here)s I have made that are too small because I CAN’T WAIT to have it on my body!
    Ugh. Then I have to redo it and wait even longer. It’s one lesson I just can’t seem to learn.

  32. I so hate when that happens. The lying happened in eagerness to finish the project and enjoy your new sweater, so be kind to yourself and forgive yourself — you had good intentions afterall.

  33. Measuring knitting is such a farce! A little tugging, a little smoothing, I can so easily convince myself that I’ve met the goal. I’ve noticed that with measuring gauge, too. If I’m not careful, I’ll make the swatch into 14 stitches, instead of allowing it to inform me that it’s really 12.5 stitches.

  34. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done the same thing, both for my own sweaters and for ones I’m giving away. It’s not dishonesty, it’s being impatient for the finished product and–okay, I’ll admit it–jonesing for that wonderful ‘new-sweater high’.
    In any event, I feel for ya, babe. So, are you going to rip back again or try and live with it the way it is?

  35. I have two reactions to this:
    1. raucous laughter because I’m sure I’ve done the same and
    2. somber absorption so that I make sure I NEVER do it again.
    Thank you for sharing that.

  36. The good news is – it’s easier to undo the cast-off and knit more, than undo stuff that’s too long!
    My biggest problem is I’ve never reconciled to my (short!) height. And – measuring things while I’m sitting down and can’t get up because the cat is on my lap, doesn’t work out either.
    Just remember how much you like working with the yarn. Does that help?

  37. Do you think this might have something to do with your not knowing how long your arms are?

  38. Oh, man. You should totally ground yourself over this one. I hate it when my inner Knitting Voice gets all duplicitous on me…

  39. Look at the bright side – at least you’ve gone through the pain of trying to find the right cast-off, so now it’ll be faster the second time.

  40. Yeah, I’m with you on the “liars” thing–instantaneous rage. Except when it’s me lying to myself. Then it’s a really fun mix of rage, chagrin, and “Seriously? Did I really think I’d believe this? What was I drinking and was it cheap?”

  41. Done it – done it! I am sometimes amazed how I swear the piece measures 15 – and I think – “Good, I’ll bind off tomorrow”. Then I remeasure tomorrow and it says 13 or something. I think it is wishful thinking.
    You are not alone.

  42. You’re pathological.
    I don’t know about in Canada but here in the US there is a Fiber One Cereal commercial where a little girl calls the store clerk pathological and she is only convinced that he’s not lying because it’s pointed out that his pants aren’t on fire. Anyway, that is what this post made me think of…well that and how easily we can delude ourselves.

  43. Just thank your lucky stars that the knitting powers that be let you have those extra balls of yarn. If it was me there probably wouldn’t be any left at the store.

  44. Thanks for making me feel better – I just did the same thing last week! “Lie” is such a strong/harsh word….maybe we are just delusional, not liars!

  45. The words “Do Not Stretch When Measuring” should be included on each and every knit pattern in the world!

  46. This is my third time to try to post this. I am not a great computer person, however I am a pretty good knitter. Today is my 75th birthday, and it occurred to me that I have been knitting for 70 years. Last year a friend gave me a copy of At Knits End. I wanted to tell you that I have read your little book at least 4 times. I can identify with so many entries. The book is terrific, and I encourage friends to purchase copies. I am too stingy or too afraid they will not return my copy to lend it out.
    About 40 some odd years ago, I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I have knitted most of her patterns. Right now I am finishing another adult surprize sweater by EZ.
    Thank you for your book and your blog.

  47. I lie to myself only about socks. Luckily, they’ll always fit SOMEONE, even if they don’t fit me so they go into the Christmas 2010 box. One fine day I’ll serendipitously end up with a pair for myself.

  48. Truly laughing out loud here (the dog is giving me weird looks)! I always seem to do that with sleeves and justify it by saying, “Oh…it’ll just be a 3/4-sleeve sweater”. HA!!! It always falls in that no-man’s land between proper length and 3/4-length that just screams “ARMS TOO LONG!!! SLEEVES TOO SHORT!!!”

  49. In all fairness, gravity pulls downward, so I mean, you could possibly get more stretch when standing…. but you know, you could just wear a long shirt under it. Like a sorta long tank top? Ionno. That sucks dude.

  50. It’s not lying, it’s just not paying attention to that obnoxiously nagging inner voice when you have this lovely knitting and anticipatory excitement of getting to wear it and show it off the next day.
    If only. Well, okay, so, the *next* day.

  51. I was really relieved to discover you were only upset with yourself! It is so discouraging to think yourself finished with a project only to discover you’ve made more work for yourself. But, you will make quick work of it and be so much happier.

  52. Last sweater I made, I lay the two sleeves next to each other on the table and said “That’s good enough,” even though there was at least 3/4″ difference. If I stretched the short one just enough, it was a match. “Nobody will notice, it’s a kimono” I said. Hah. It’s obvious. And it looks really stupid. Saddest part is, the FO looks really awful (beyond the sleeves) so I have no motivation to make a correction.

  53. I can always tell I’m about to lie to myself when I tell my voice of reason to “shut your piehole”.
    Doesn’t stop me either.

  54. Hmmm, I think I may be lying to myself also & I haven’t even started the project yet so there is still time to fix it; but will I — probably not. I ordered enough yarn to make a small sweater when I really should be making a medium, but I rationalized, I DO knit loose, so a small will work out just fine. Besides, I ordered the yarn on line and would hate to get a different dye lot on the other two balls that I need plus having to pay for shipping, again! Good to know that an expert knitter has the same issues as this novice knitter =)

  55. Bees? Really. Mine are rabid wolves of uncommon size and ferocity.
    Or bears.
    But never bees. So far anyway. haha

  56. That’s NOT lying! That’s wishful thinking, hoping, wanting, or something like that. Lying is when you just bought MORE yarn when you haven’t finished the latest project and you know that it is hard to justify so you just deny that you bought the yarn even though it just arrived at your doorstep….. That’s lying. Binding off too early in anticipation of a wonderful sweater is just a little silliness. Get out the hairdryer and let’s get on with the sweater because most of us are waiting, excited to see the finished product… And thanks for the morning laugh!

  57. I wonder why this singular form of self-delusion is so common among knitters. Been there and done that, having cast on too few stitches on too small needles for socks and knowing full well I should have started over. But I kept knitting, telling myself “it’ll block out” just like the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, when he has a limb hacked off and says “it’s just a flesh wound”. So now I have gorgeous socks that cut off my circulation.
    Anyhoo, good luck with your sweater!

  58. Great post. I was all ready for you to rant against someone who has done you wrong, and while that sort of post can have its charm, too, I really wasn’t in the mood for it right now. I was SO HAPPY when you turned it all around, because, well, I have a sneaking suspicion that someone is driving me crazy too, and that person is none other than myself.
    It was the perfect post for me to read today. Thank you. 🙂

  59. I live with a liar too! I have both a sweater and a vest that need lengthening… You’d think that being short would mean the knits would look longer on me, but that is just one more lie I tell myself to feel better!

  60. Thanks Stephanie for making me laugh, I can always count on your witt when maybe I’m not having the best knitting day either!!

  61. We love you, Steph. You know that, right?
    It’s frustrating, it’s aggravating, especially when you do it to yourself.
    But it’s also really, really funny.

  62. I call this “smelling the barn.” I am soooo close to the end of a project that I just want to get it done and bask. And start the next project. Probably why most of my second socks are just a wee bit shorter than the first (why I knit them 2 at a time now). And most of the baby sweaters I’ve been knitting lately for the recent baby boom have one sleeve just a skosh shorter than the other. Now, body length is a whole nother beast.

  63. Had an instance of this, kind of, when knitting a sweater for my (grown-up) daughter. She IS several inches taller than I am, so I didn’t fall into the trap of comparing the length against myself. But I somehow assumed that her arms would be nearly the same length as mine. Um–more like six inches longer!

  64. Count your blessings you don’t have to listen to American political campaigns. Did you know that the Obama administration has bankrupted America and ended the American dream? News to me, too.

  65. So, am I the only one who wonders if having a slightly too-short sweater will make you look taller-ish (is too a word!)? (Which was your original plan, right?)
    In that case, it’s a total success!
    (And we all notice that you haven’t entered the squirrel contest posted by Kay on Mason-Dixon . . .)

  66. Oh dear,
    I just did the same thing myself with my sock club socks. Missed the very crucial instruction: “repeat rows 2 – 7 until only 2 plain stitches left” and merrily repeated rows 1 – 7 instead….on the first sock…only. Lied to myself that if I followed the instructions properly on sock 2 I’d be able to hide (hahahahaha) the ensuing drastically different heights and widths in the cuff somehow (What???). Now must frog entire leg from sock 1…which of course has been washed and blocked.

  67. What I love most about this blog are posts like these, where you describe your error-making, lying self to the rest of us.
    It’s good to know you are human.

  68. Ouch. At least you have a solution — wait till it dries and knit some more onto it.
    That’s better than realizing it’s too short and you have no yarn left to make it longer, right?

  69. Ah yes, blocking acrylic (or even 50% acrylic). Yet another reason I don’t particularly like knitting with it.
    Now let me tell you about the sleeves I was trying to block shorter last winter. (They’re still in time out).

  70. Oh my, do I ever understand that measuring tape scootching thing!!!! That and measuring every row or so to see if it’s long enough NOW! It seldom is. 🙂 I had a laugh out loud moment reading this post, Stephanie. I wonder if there’s a cure for this malady!? Hmmmm…. Patience tablets?

  71. Did you lie? Or, did you experience a wholly unjustified dose of excessive optimism? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Since I can’t stand liars either, I go to extreme lengths to avoid that label. There is no charm in lying about being a liar, so be careful here–very careful. 🙂

  72. I was reading your previous post about Origami yarn and how all of the properties of synthetic yarns suited this yarn choice so well to this project. I was especially struck by this:
    “This yarn, however, has no stretch. It is going to stay the way I knit it forever, so there’s no fear of it loosing its shape- not like cotton or wool.”
    …which would also mean that blocking it would change its shape not one iota.
    Ever since I started reading your books I’ve secretly wondered if I am a Knitter or merely a knitter. Speaking of greed, if stash size is a factor I certainly max out that category, and I design my own socks and hats and mittens and scarves and… are you noticing a glaring omission here? Yes, I am still sweater impaired, and surely someone who is too slothful to work her way through five or six sweater patterns until she might be able to design a very simple one on her own could never aspire to that uppercase K. So it is heartening to know that even Knitters, or at least some Knitters, have occasional mishaps.

  73. Peri-menopausal moment or liar? I’ll take Big fat lying liar guy (Hank quote) any day!

  74. This entry really made me laugh out loud. I do the same thing with socks. I’m working on my first pair of toe-up socks and sock number 1 looks like it was made for a clown because I kept lying to myself and saying, “This foot is too short, I need to make it longer”. Now I’m kind of disappointed and I’m not sure how to fix it. Oh well.

  75. Dear Steph, Sorry to hear you have been hoist on your own petard! And you did the hoisting!! BWAHAHAHA! I do that with chocolate. “Just one more piece can’t hurt. Not after all that you’ve already eaten!” Ha, ha. Love ya. Knit on!! Carol

  76. I did the same thing recently! I finished the entire back of a sweater, it looked too narrow, but I said the same things to myself. Then I laid it out over a sweater I wanted it to be like, and sure enough, man was that sucker narrow! Yep, I had to rip the entire thing out, mist the yarn, do the hanger with a weight thing, and reknit the whole thing. Usually I notice this kind of thing after doing maybe four inches of a sweater, but this one? –

  77. Liars stink. I know. I had to frog 3″ of lying last night myself.
    What have you cast on in the meantime to make yourself feel better? 😉

  78. Deluding myself? Been there — very recently. My last blog post is called “What I Knew But Chose to Ignore.” Now I have a wadded up pile of wool that’s supposed to be a vest and am debating which fixing option to try (any suggestions from knitters out there are welcome). And this is why I am now working on a completely different pattern.

  79. So does this mean you are out of yarn? Get to it, girl! The only thing worse than lying to yourself is using it as an excuse to avoid frogging the thing and adding a couple of inches. You know you’ll do it!

  80. Oh, man. You know it’s bad when you get the measuring tape in as an accomplice.
    On the bright side, at least you’re not a sewer–undoing a lie-to-self with a sewing project would necessitate cutting of fabric, and the only way you can fix that is with some creative piecing or the use of bobble edgings. Hands down, I’d rather add on a new ball of yarn (even the slippery kind) than face that!

  81. hahahaha – I feel better about my knitting mistakes – now I know that they’re not really mistakes – I’m just rushing and trying to finish so I can have a finished object. Laughing with, not at! I’m sorry and hope it was easy to fix.

  82. I’m not lying through my pie-hole when I say this post made me laugh out loud…a lot.

  83. I generally lie to myself about socks. You know, the ones at the bottom of the drawer that are never worn because they aren’t long enough! I mean, what would it take?…..just a few more rounds and they would fit!!

  84. Thank you. For your honesty. It makes us less- than- perfect- knitters feel a little better, if it can happen even to you.

  85. I can also relate. But it also made me think of “Are You Being Served”, the BBC comedy – Mr. Humphries “It’ll ride up with wear!”

  86. I just recently ripped out an ENTIRE sweater that was perfect when I finished and grew longer with each successive blocking. Let me know if you want me to send you umpteen unwound skeins of lovely blue yarn for your next impatient sweater mood.

  87. Ahhhh…while I’m sorry about the mishap, I can’t help but think that God is good in providing these (i.e. YOUR) experiences for the express reason that you have fodder for the blog.
    Thanks for a hearty chuckle!

  88. You sweetie, are so freaking normal and dang funny to boot! I think I have done this on everything I have ever knit. That is why my family is so often grateful (and surprised) by my generosity. Once I figure out it doesn’t fit me, I just pass it along to someone it will fit. (I so appreciated that bit of advice from EZ.)

  89. I’d say this was funny but it’s not for you is it ? How is the new yarn going to work in after you have blocked it? Won’t it show ?

  90. lol, I’ve been there too. Now I make myself go an extra inch or two no matter what I think because in the end…my D-cups are going to take up that room and it will hit where I want it to. One of these days, I’ll finally take a stab at short-row bust shaping (sigh).

  91. Awwwww, it’s so sweet of you to make it sound like YOU were the one who did that instead of me.
    Thanks. I owe you one.
    (Started to do it again with a sleeve on the Lillehammer I’m making for my son. Because goodness knows his arms are only going to get SHORTER, right? And it’ll stretch out. And block longer. And furthermore, if the sleeves are maybe just a LITTLE too small, well, then, he won’t get the cuffs all dirty. So it’s a FEATURE, not an EXECUTION FLAW. Ha ha! Argue with THAT logic!!)

  92. I hear you about the lying…but I might admit that I tend to (briefly) wish that people become swarmed by fire ants. Of course, it’s nothing that I haven’t experienced myself… *sigh*

  93. I have the same problem – I am short from the waist up, but I always over-estimate how short I am (I cast off too soon). Also, I never listen to the inner voice – “this seems to be too narrow, long, and it won’t be easily fixable after it’s sewn and blocked.”

  94. Just last month, I made a vest for my husband. I measured, and swatched, and did everything else I was supposed to do. And then it was finished. He put it on. It came down to his belly button. He is a lovely man, so all he said was “Ummm… is it SUPPOSED to be this short?” He is nearly 6 feet tall. I am 5 feet, on a good day. The vest is now mine (it fits me perfectly). I am knitting him an identical one, only 2x bigger. End of story.

  95. I take it that you cannot, in all honesty, try calling the piece a bolero or a shrug….
    (ducks, shields head with hands, runs like a bad dye job)

  96. The pull of getting something done is soo huge, even as I feel the obviously incorrect tension or peek back at something, I’m sure it is not so…not so, not so. Anyrate, my heart jumped when I saw your new post as my eyes look forward to seeing this yarn knit up. Can’t wait.

  97. stephanie i love you so badly:-) can you write another book please? i love your style! good luck with the sweater, mara

  98. ok, there is a REAL disease that makes you perceive things as being larger than they really are, you must, really must, just have a version of it. it distorts your vision, and you have ABSOLUTELY no control over it. trust me, i’m a doctor, and i ought to know!!!!!

  99. What is it with that?? I guess it is a certain personality type that is willing to dupe SELF into believing what SELF knows is not true. Surely there are people who would never never do that. I fall in the first group. To my detriment I have convinced myself to move forward on a something when I know it is not right. I think maybe we are the 7’s on the enneagram. It’s an interesting and ancient way of looking at personality.

  100. Oh, my, what a lesson learned. I too am working on Kiama. I bought the yarn (purple granita colorway) about a week before your first post but hadn’t yet started it. Of course, once I found out you were making it, I dropped everything to start it. I know how badly you must have wanted to cast off. Every increase row just makes it go so much slower! I actually prefer to call it “rationalizing” as opposed to lying though! Enjoy – can’t wait to see it on you!!

  101. I am currently lengthening a sweater I thought was done. I now know that if it doesn’t cover the bum, it’s too short for me. Arrrggg!!! Rows and rows of two-by-two ribbing!! Arrggg!! Arrrggg!!!

  102. Did I just hear you say…SS11? Does that mean what I think it means? (ducks to avoid the stampede)

  103. “I measured, but I did that thing with the measuring tape that makes something that’s 13 inches look like 15.”
    That is my favorite sentence of the day. Perhaps even the week. Brilliant.
    I love doing that thing too. Which is why some of my socks can only be worn if I scrunch up my toes.

  104. I am 5′ 2″, but waaay wider than you. Believe me, I saw how cute you really are at SS09, and I can’t wait until SS11.
    My big, fat lie to myself is just how wide I have got over the last 5 years since I had to retire early from work due to M.S. That nasty Mon’Ster.
    Thank you for your knitting wisdom and giggles and your wonderful fund-raising for MS.
    You help keep me grounded.

  105. This is probably just me but did you ever notice that when you are in this odd fugue-like state of denial you tend to knit faster and faster? I become frenzied and try to will the knitting into the shape/length/width I want and all of the time I have this feeling in the bottom of my stomach that something is- not- quite – right- here. But that’s just me.

  106. I had the opposite problem last night. Working on the Harumi sweater..everything is going along swimmingly. Measure..need 1 1/2 inches more before the shaping…knit 2 rows…am now 1/4″ too long. When did the evil knitting fairies start hating me? I could frog, but I think I can live with an extra 1/4 inch.

  107. Just did that with a sock… and did I pull it out and add the inch it needs? No, I cast on the second sock. I believe they’re going to my mother… tho she doesn’t know it yet. I really liked this color, too… hopefully my mom does too.
    Do you know someone shorter who would like this sweater? Maybe you REALLY made it for them.

  108. Oh Stephanie…after you just spent how many days lecturing all of us about measuring and how things don’t block out? Perhaps you are just trying to be a lesson for all of us? 🙂

  109. Hahaha, That sweater actually knows that it is going to be your absolute favorite of favorites when you pick up stitches and put a really cute funky edge on it! (just wait and see)…Your sweater told me so, and Kiama wouldn’t lie:)

  110. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks that any length will fit me, especially because I am 5 feet nothing. Of course, I never account for the fact that I have two rather large oranges strapped to my chest that might make anything I make wear shorter on me than it should. I have something on the needles now, that I was considering might be long enough because I might run out of yarn and I still have sleeves to do, short ones, but sleeves nonetheless. I might rethink that and maybe bite the bullet and buy more yarn 🙂

  111. Maybe you could make a beaded border for the bottom. That would be not only stylish and beadalicious but it would provide the assistance of gravity to make the most of every stitch.

  112. Ouch. I’ve done that before but it was always w/ sewing or vintage clothing.
    Then again, I’ve never had the nerve to knit a sweater yet.

  113. Ooch. That sucks. I used to lie to myself about things being too small and making garments that were huge (sometimes through not swatching and realizing that yarn was going to grow, grow, grow), now I’m more likely to go the other way. I so understand. It’s so tempting to get to the end and have something new.

  114. Ha! I thought I was the only one who did that; thinking I wanted the darn sweater finished NOW! As a result,I have a sweater that I’m always pulling down because it rides up to my bosoms! Well, not really that far, but far enough.
    Liz L.

  115. I’m thinking you should see Ricky Gervais’ Movie “The Invention of Lying” while you’re fixing your sweater. Than you can be laughing your arse off about the whole thing!

  116. You made my day with this.
    And I think I might (might) want to release the bees right into the house….

  117. I prefer to call it my boundless ability to delude myself – it’s a special gift I have. I’m swatching (and I NEVER swatch!) for the Traveling Sweater and trying really, really hard to be realistic. There are too many stitches for a do-over! Hope you are using the beer bottle cozy to keep your fingers warm while you console yourself.

  118. I know hat ya mean about lying to yourself about the sweater. lol I am doing just that with this one I am working on for my mom, I am using a cross stitch pattern to make it from and I keep telling myself this thing won’t grow it won’t grow and it keeps growing wider ugh any suggestions?

  119. OMG and you totally “forgot” that in the previous blog you said you were (AND I QUOTE) “5’1” and would find out when you tried it on later if it was a longish sweater. C’mon Steph, in Eng Lit we learned about foreshadowing! There was “THE SIGN” that it was going to go wrong.
    Your psychic fan… For future reference, I sotp before the true end of all sorts of projects and bind off and don’t even try to justify it. It’s s kind of anticipation heavily linked to boredom. Or just cause I feel like ending it. (Like those relartionships you go to the Ground Round and tell him it’s over because the atmosphere of burgers and stale popcorn kinda hits the nail on the head there.

  120. i can feel her pain. I have frogged one part of a tunic I am making so many times, that I think I am starting to turn green and get webbed feet. But, I keep telling myself that it is important that the final product be RIGHT. Some mistakes are not particularly noticeable, and can go by the wayside. However, at times, it just has to be right, ribbitt, ribbitt, ribbitt, ripitt….

  121. Okay, you told an untruth. But, is it really a lie? You knew the truth, and you only told yourself, so you knew the falsehood from the start. While the statement is inherently untrue, this is rather like taking your own money out of the dresser to spend on, say, yarn, rather than a savings bond. Can one steal from them self? Questions like this begin to unravel moral standards, and it is better to never lie, or shift budgeted money. Both are bad, and should be discouraged, because both will punish you.
    I tell myself every time I knit myself a sweater, that I am very, very short (4’11”, in my shoes) and very very wide. I need an XL in width, but only an XS in length. But every single time, I end up ripping out to and another inch in length! (How many times must I learn 14″ is one whole and one sixth of a foot?)

  122. Interestingly enough, I just got in from my bee yard and have one hive of bees that are just nasty and they stung me at least twice on my a**. How funny that your post was titled pants on fire and involved a mean swarm of bees.

  123. Measuring tape might be stretchy and shrinky. Depends on what you need! It will be the opposite. I’ve had it work this way with the stretchy thing. I’ve had it measure too short and then measure too long! I’ve also had it stay the same: measure, knit a row, same length, repeat for like inches and then… too long! How? What?
    See it’s the measuring tape that makes you lie. It’s made out of that funny plastic coated fiber stuff just to trick you. Looks durable and non-stretchy. Perhaps this is why so many hate to swatch. I’ve been trying to figure it out for years (also applies to sewing).

  124. Snow here too. Last fall I knitted an entire Bountiful Bohus sweater, knowing it would be to small. A small insistent voice said pull it on before you steek – EEK!. With a couple of glasses of lovely red wine, ripped the whole thing out. Gauge be gone! How wonderfully coincidental that our experiences collide. Thanks.

  125. I feel your pain. Did that with some sleeves once. Now I have a question for you. Won’t your gauge change from the blocked sweater to the unblocked yarn? I swear I can see where I added the yarn on my sleeve even though I try to ignore it.

  126. We feel your pain. Altho I have to confess you are a knitting wizard so it’s refreshing to know even after all this time the Yarn Harlot can mess up. Joining the crowded road of mere mortal knitters. WE all mess up, flub up, second guess, and lie to ourselves about our knitting dilemma’s. Thx for sharing that!

  127. OK this is not a lie in the definition sense. This is a clear and concise example of a denial of reality. Through out this entire sweater you have been in complete denial that you weren’t knitting wool. “Look at me not knitting wool” you said and then you made the arms too short, the kind of short you would with wool. Every “mistake” you’ve made on this sweater is the kind of adjustment a pro knitter makes to a project when knitting with wool. Your not a liar your just not quite sunk up with reality.

  128. “It will be longer when I stand up.” Right. And I’m skinnier when I stand up. Nice try.

  129. Ditto except that for me – it’s waaaaaaaaay too short. Everytime. And I keep lying. In fact I call it optomistic and a positive attitude. yeah right. Tonight the Stitchers are coming to my house. I think I will do a liars club check. Want to know the results?

  130. Whew! I thought I was the only one. Thank God for you! I was almost as excited to see the sweater finished also. It’s okay, one more day won’t hurt.
    I had a 4-h Project waaay back when I was a kid, and was in such a hurry to finish it because I hated the mint green color, and stiff acrylic, and my gramma hanging over my shoulder, I think I invented the new “short sweater” trend! 😉

  131. Thanks!!!!!!!!! You really do brighten my day.
    and you saved me some time. i re – did the knitting 3 times but it finally looks like it should. Thanks for keeping me inspired !

  132. I’m so glad I read this. Not only did it make me laugh…but I am in EXACTLY the same situation right now (well, the beginning stage anyway). After my lunch-time knitting, I tried my sweater on again and kept saying it’s *almost* long enough…nothing THAT bad would happen if I cast of now. Deep down I know that I wouldn’t be happy with it this short…but I really want it done! I swear every time I knit an inch it shrinks up half an inch. Sigh. Just a few more inches…

  133. “Shut your pie hole, we’re getting a new sweater in the morning”
    *wipes eyes*

  134. Liar? Delusional? You make the call. 🙂
    I think I borrowed your measuring tape. It’s the only reasonable explanation for my fingerless gloves being two completely different fits, right? I couldn’t possibly have been a bit tired of knitting the second one and scooched the tape just a bit and maybe, possibly stretched the glove a touch. Good thing mine uses so little yarn. Perhaps after a few more, I’ll be able to find two that match… or maybe I’ll just make your booties for our 4 teachers who are all pregnant right now.
    Good luck and hope your sweater is of the quick drying variety.

  135. You know how carpenter are supposed to “Measure twice, cut once”?
    When was measuring twice ever enough? !

  136. Yep… liars are the worst, ESPECIALLY when you’re a Gemini and there’s a pseudo-physical you standing beside you lying to your face!

  137. I am currently wearing a sweater that is too short. Granted I finished it in the years of boxy and cropped and it’s intarsia too, but…(I still think it’s really neat and perfect for gloomy spring weather at the beach even tho’ I live near the mountains).

  138. A woman’s intuition is a voice that should be heard…. So next time that voice tells you the “right thing” just take a deep breath and do it ha ha ha ha .

  139. Just added Sock Summit 2011 (July 28-31) to my calendar!!!!!!!!!!!!

  140. this happens to me with EVERY SINGLE KNITTED GARMENT, EVER.
    hats – “i’ll just pull it down over my ears, and forehead… and neck!”; scarves – “it’s long enough, you know, for a scarf, you don’t want scarves too long”; sleeves – “i’m just going to roll the damn things up anyway”; bottoms of sweaters – “crop tops are in fashion!”; socks – “it’ll be a sport sock.”
    and, inevitably, no, i won’t pull the hat down, nor will i be glad the sleeves are shorter, and i hate sport socks. and i don’t wear them. until, of course, i rip out the cast off edge and do the damn thing right. someday i’ll wise up and just knit that extra two or three inches, but for now, i’m an impatient girl who pays for it in the end.
    what i’m saying is, i feel ya.

  141. Dear Stephanie,
    I love your work for so many reasons. One is of course that you are so darn funny. I think that if your hobby were stamp collecting you would make that sound funny too ( except only really boring people would read about it). What I definitely love most is that you truly speak to the heart of every knitter and our every experience. And make us laugh at ourselves.
    You know as you age you do get shorter. So in 30 years or so that sweater will fit just fine.
    Cheers, your fan aka constant reader aka Kate

  142. I was really getting into it with you and then…so funny! I thought I was the only one who did that sort of thing! Never would have thought bees!

  143. I just saw a picture of Stephanie holding a Guiness world record ceertificate. SS09 knitters set a record. I was there. It’s official. We did it.

  144. I hate lying too. Especially when that someone puts back at you and tells you that they told what they are lying about.
    It is also easy to lie to yourself when you say “the scarf is long enough”

  145. I find this post amusing since at this moment I am knitting three more inches onto a sweater I finished and wore to work. I spent the entire day pulling it down and feeling like I had the shortest torso on the face of the earth. I knew it was too short when I cast off and I didn’t use a stretchy bind off so that was also tight around the bottom to add insult to injury.

  146. I don’t know that you lied to yourself so much as you were knitting a garment without a straight hem – so it’s hard to decide where you are on the needles. I also find that these ‘bast’ fibers (cotton, linen, even superwash wool as the stitches don’t marry well together but slide off each other) tend to block out wider and shorter when the water hits ’em and the 3rd dimension of the loop from the needles bites the dust and that bulk has to go somewhere – which is to the width. I knit a size smaller now when I make something with a yarn that seems to have no memory or no propensity to ‘stay together’ after washing. That’s kind of an ego boost right there. It’s worth washing the swatch when you aren’t working with the usual suspects, Goils!

  147. Then of course there is the lie that goes like this “I’m going to look just as fab in that sweater as the model in the photo does”, never mind she’s 6″ taller and 25 lbs lighter and you can remember the 80’s and maybe that big boxy look is not going to do it for you just because 30 years have passed. I think that’s why I seem to prefer knitting socks these days “Oh look it’s done quick and it fits” and I’m all pleased with myself. There’s nothing like positive reinforcement.Oh yeah and that sock knitting thing? It’s your fault. All the constant exposure on your blog, ooh look at the nice yarn, isn’t that an interesting pattern, hey lookie it gets to travel the continent, meet interesting people, have it’s picture taken yes, resistance was futile Thanks

  148. When someone lies and you know that they know that you know they’re lying and they still lie!

  149. Mean Person Registry, yes please! Let me know where that is if/when you find it!!! Love the idea. Sorry about your luck with the knit/liar thing, but the consolation should be that you know you are not alone!!!!

  150. …you lie to yourself when you just want something to be done so you can go on to something else or you are tired of this project and it hold no interest for you anymore and you want it to go away so it is easier to lie and say you are done when you are not and the darned knitting keeps telling you you are not done but you want to be done so you make up your own reality and in that reality the project you no longer like or are bored with is…….done so you cast off and then the stupid, honest, unvarnished truth smacks you in the face…hence your pants are now on fire and it really, really really hurts and you write and remind us not to set our own pants on fire…
    There! Im done………..

  151. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who does that! A few months ago I started a pair of socks for a friend who had been hinting (really more like whining LOL!) for a pair of hand made socks for almost a year. I was knitting both pair at the same time to try and avoid the dreaded 2nd sock syndrome. After the first inch or so I thought they looked big, and they kept looking big right up to the heel. Finally, reality set in and I finally forced myself to tried them on. My feet are 2 1/2 sizes bigger than my friends, and they were too big on me!! Denial, it’s not just a river in Egypt!
    On a brighter note I went home for a quick visit last week and I stopped at the local cheese store. They had just gotten in fresh squeaky cheese curd! YUM! It was absolutely delicious and I enjoyed every morsel. I wish I could have sent you some. Squeaky cheese curd is a childhood favorite of mine, one you only find in dairy country. Now all I have to do is make some butter tarts (one of your readers sent me her family recipe, one that doesn’t have corn syrup in it! Hurray!!!) and I’ll be a kid again! Even thought I had to rip out those socks, life is good, especially when you have squeaky cheese curd and butter tarts!!!

  152. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who does that! A few months ago I started a pair of socks for a friend who had been hinting (really more like whining LOL!) for a pair of hand made socks for almost a year. I was knitting both pair at the same time to try and avoid the dreaded 2nd sock syndrome. After the first inch or so I thought they looked big, and they kept looking big right up to the heel. Finally, reality set in and I finally forced myself to tried them on. My feet are 2 1/2 sizes bigger than my friends, and they were too big on me!! Denial, it’s not just a river in Egypt!
    On a brighter note I went home for a quick visit last week and I stopped at the local cheese store. They had just gotten in fresh squeaky cheese curd! YUM! It was absolutely delicious and I enjoyed every morsel. I wish I could have sent you some. Squeaky cheese curd is a childhood favorite of mine, one you only find in dairy country. Now all I have to do is make some butter tarts (one of your readers sent me her family recipe, one that doesn’t have corn syrup in it! Hurray!!!) and I’ll be a kid again! Even thought I had to rip out those socks, life is good, especially when you have squeaky cheese curd and butter tarts!!!

  153. You need to watch the movie Rushmore..Max Fisher..lovable character though he is.. lies throughout the movie, and releases bees into someones hotel room when things don’t go his way. 🙂

  154. Dear Ms. Yarn Harlot – I am very addicted to your blog and find it very hard when you go several days without posting. Now, I know you probably have a life and can’t just knit and blog all day every day, but still – you need to think about your fans!

  155. Oh my- yes lying to myself. Guess what I just did?
    I have knitted the back of a sweater TWO times, once a size smaller, and the back is still too big. Why? Did I check gauge??????? I keep thinking about when you continue to knit for another 8 inches before you finally dedide to address a problem.

  156. I sit here (weekend working stiff) knitting a top-down cardi for myself on a slow night, laughing heartily at your blog, and saying to myself “Yes, my armpits do start up around my ears…doesn’t everyones?”

  157. re twitter ‘the thing about teenagers…’ – the thing about teenagers, dear Stephanie, is that, eventually, they grow up and – mostly – turn into normal pleasant real people. For which the goddess be thanked, because teenagers as a species can be a real pain in the watsit!

  158. I hesitate to point this out, but didn’t the last post mention how very non-stretchy this yarn is? You have my complete and total sympathies! Knitter-Self was trying very hard to convince Logic-Self that we could reknit a baby shower gift in under three hours, and do the duplicate stitching too (it took me five hours to knit the first time – without the duplicate stitching – but the darn thing went walkabout the day before the shower, dammit.)
    After spending two of those available hours on hands and knees looking under EVERYTHING for this knitted gift, Logic-Self finally slapped the frantic Knitter-Self silly, and we took something else to the shower.
    The kid’ll get the reknit hat when he/she actually gets here, and I’ll find the original two days after that.

  159. This is not lying. This is more like wishful thinking or magical thinking. Or too much faith that the knitting goddess is looking out for you. Lying is too harsh a concept here.

  160. Hi Stephanie,
    What you may not have realized is that the model in Kiama is 4″ SHORTER than you are. She’s about 5’2″ and size 10 on the bottom and 8 on the top.

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