Erratic at Best

I tried to smack the random off this Monday with several large cups of coffee, but the random remains and will therefore be embraced.

1.  There are only a few days left until I leave for SOAR.  I am not ready. Rachel H and I will be road tripping it – and I know I shall see my beloved Rams when I arrive, but other than that I’ve done nothing.  No map, no fibre packed, no budget settled on, no wheel  or tools sorted out.  I haven’t even checked the website to see what materials I need to bring with me.

2. Despite this complete lack of planning, I’m not even a little worried. 

3. This is the upside of having your life be like trying to nail jello to a tree.  After a while you really learn to go with the flow a little. 

4. Turns out that I didn’t just knit one sock a medium and one sock a small.  In attempting to duplicate the first sock, it turns out that I knit a medium leg and a small foot on the first sock, and now that I realize how badly I screwed up, it’s easier to duplicate.

5. The irony that I advocate circling the directions for the size you’re knitting to all of my students to make sure that this never happens is not at all lost on me.

6.  Even though it was a mistake, it actually fits great. I’m going to avoid saying anything like "I should easily finish by the end of the month" since I’m pretty sure that’s what sewered me before.

7. Four things conspired against me while I was at Tina’s last week, and when the haze cleared, I had accidentally started Laminaria.

8. Thing the first was that having to rip back a sock that far really, really pissed me off.  I know it’s only knitting and all that, but from time to time I get supremely angry that being an experienced knitter doesn’t protect you from being a dumbass. If I’d have been paying more attention instead of just zooming along I would have seen it way sooner. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.  Experienced knitters don’t make fewer mistakes than new knitters.  They make bigger ones faster.

9.  My point is that the sock filled me with rage and so I put it in time out, and that meant I had nothing to knit. 

10. The second thing is that the Laminaria shawl has been haunting me something unmerciful ever since I saw the one that Natalie knit. I just love that pattern. I plan to knit it about six times a month. It was really only a matter of time.

11. The third thing that messed me up was that Tina is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Tina, and if you’re in her house than there’s a lot of yarn.  Yarn is everywhere.  All kinds of it. In all kinds of colours. Some of it is even wound up, and if the house wasn’t overwhelming, then there’s the dye barn out back and it’s got the motherlode in there.

12. The fourth thing is that once you get her to unlock the door, Tina has really low security.  There’s yarn in her bedroom, and she let me sleep in there.   

13. She knows how I am with yarn.  Putting me in that house was like asking a frat house to keep an eye on your keg.

14. This is mine now.  Silk Thread II in pondscum.  I’m not sorry either.

113 thoughts on “Erratic at Best

  1. Now this sentence just cracked me up:
    “I plan to knit it about six times a month.”
    I had to read it three times to realize you didn’t plan to knit it six times a month, but plan six times a month to knit it.
    Small difference, but it still cracked me up.

  2. “…I’m pretty sure that’s what sewered me…”
    Freudian slip or intentional? Only the Harlot knows for sure.
    I sure like the name of that yarn….”WHy yes, I’m knitting in Pondscum now…”. Just has a ring to it somehow.

  3. “I plan to knit it about six times a month.”
    At first, I thought you must REALLY like this pattern if you were going to knit it that often!
    Then I got it. 🙂 Pretty funny, really.

  4. It must suck to have a friend that does all that pretty dye-ing and she lets you take it with you!!! 🙂

  5. The pattern looks like waterlilies arising out of the pond scum. (Which my fingers typed as pond scrum–make of that what you will.)
    Love #8 especially!

  6. I’m not sorry either. that is beautiful. and I totally agree with the bigger mistakes faster. You are better equipped to fix them as well.

  7. *pout* RachelH and Rams together? Can’t even be snarky about it. You’re just plain lucky.

  8. Who could resist yarn named, pondscum? It’s gorgeous.
    I cast on your pattern, Pretty Thing. It’s so pretty in a pale shade of pink cashmere. I’m loving it. Thank you.

  9. can’t believe something called “pondscum” could look that beautiful. wow. very impressive – kudos to the dyer, the designer and the knitter.

  10. C’est le vie.
    You get the experience first, and then you learn the lesson.
    Knitting is such a harmless passion – don’t you think?

  11. Oh fun! You’re going to have little green aliens too! At least that’s what we see in my friend Carolyn’s Laminaria shawl, which is also made from a colour similar to Pondscum.
    *runs and hides.

  12. Oh My! Pondscum took my breath away!!! Yes – Lots of exclamation points are required!!!

  13. I have twelve rows left on my Laminaria but am handicapped by knitting it in yarn too dark to see in the evening. I can see you have enough sense to knit light yarn in winter light. I wonder how old I’ll have to live to until I think enough to learn from my experience?

  14. “Experienced knitters don’t make fewer mistakes than new knitters. They make bigger ones faster.”
    …the truest statement I’ve ever heard made.

  15. Who would have ever thought that pondscum could be such a gorgeous color? If I ever meet up with you & you’re wearing that shawl, it will be gone. Just sayin’.

  16. I often knit the legs of my socks a little larger – usually by going up a needle size. I have narrow feet, but the sock still has to get over a regular-sized human heel.
    In my case, I usually don’t figure that out until I’ve finished the first sock and tried it on several times. I finally realize it’s a little difficult to get it over the heel. So I knit sock 2 with a bigger leg and then have to rip & reknit the leg of sock 1. I nearly always do toe-up, so it’s not as awful as it sounds.

  17. Ah, pond scum…. My husband, a model railroader (great spousal hobby for a fiber nut like me!), once wrote an article about creating pondscum on a train layout. For years he was known nationally as the pond scum guy. So knitting with a yarn of that name would seem to be in my destiny, right? Where do I get some??

  18. I too like “sewered” — I never saw that used as a verb before. I still like it.
    Being a less experienced knitter than you, and tending to make things up as I go, I make socks and mittens two at a time. Is this cheating?

  19. I’m not saying I’m anywhere nearly the knitter you are, but I just put a purse into timeout because I can’t count to twelve and somehow that’s the purse’s fault. Then today I hauled out my hat in a waiting room and proceded to knit in the wrong direction. I think I’ll take a day off…. :)Obviously knitting is not my thing today.

  20. Gee thanks. I was fine until I clicked on the link to Laminaria. Now. I. must. knit. it. (after the other 6 ufo’s…)

  21. I love how after all these years of being the Yarn Harlot, and all the posts about how you knit what you want when you wanna, you still list off many reasons why you “fell down and started a shawl” instead of finishing your sock.

  22. how funny. i’m having ‘socktoberfest’ drama as well, but i am forging ahead fearlessly (but not without a few choice words). i recently spotted ‘laminaria’ on ravelry; i think it’s a bit daunting for my skillset, although i will live vicariously through you for now. oh and that yarn color? envy. envy, i say! please post as soon as you finish!!!

  23. Those socks are da bomb! So glad the mistake ended up working out well and you didn’t have to frog the first one too!

  24. Well, Laminaria’s a fast knit (I made mine, the shawlette size, in about a week, and that was in the midst of midterms) so those socks won’t be languishing for long!

  25. Wow. What a nice friend Tina is. Sounds like there is a lot of temptation at her house. But, I like the pondscum colorway. It’s going to be beautiful.

  26. I love the socks and the shawl (also in my queue) and I loved reading that. It was a balm to my nerves as I’ve had too many folks die around me lately and just found out that another is very sick. Knitting is so soothing – even someone else’s.

  27. While the sock may have put you into a rage, it is still awesome that knitting is flexible enough that you can knit a different size for different parts of a project (leg v. foot) and not have it automatically bite you in the arse each and every time.
    And the Laminaria is gorgeous. I want one. I also want a friend with a generous enough stash that I can once a year or so just fall down and have such an accident.

  28. I just bought some yarn whose color name is “Seedborn Muse” because the color name (as well as the color) just screamed “Knit Forest Path From Me ASAP!”. Can’t exactly say when that will be, but I know how these things happen.
    I think all that ripping is a small price to pay for Tidepool colored socks that actually pool…

  29. Elizabeth Freeman’s page with the Laminaria has one teeny tiny flaw. The photo of the lovely woman on the mossy rocks with the waves and the shawl is okay. What’s needed is a photo of the lovely naked woman (mermaid) on the mossy rocks with the waves and the shawl. Not explicitly naked, of course, but perhaps sitting on the rock with a suggested naked back. That shawl pattern is just beyond exquisite!

  30. Oh,this yarn! It is totally a ‘you’ colour, not ‘me’. But I wish it were a ‘me’ color because by the name alone, (which is involved in a very long and involved story in my department and thus has become something of our self-chosen descriptive noun), would have been perfect.
    Glad you are enjoying it. [Is there an equivalent to taking away keys from friends so they won’t drive drunk kind of thing for knitters? If so, perhaps you and Tina should discuss it.]

  31. The fact that you took a skein of yarn out of Tina’s house named pondscum is hilarious to me. I could not stop laughing.

  32. That six time a month sentence really confused me, it sounds like you want to knit that shawl six times every month. Which would mean, you must really, really love that pattern.

  33. Wait till it is -40 and then you can nail jello to a tree..although it is hard to get the nail in. I recommend a nail gun 🙂
    Shawl looks good. Have not had the nerve to try lace yet. Rather I am in wool knitting for the cold weather that will hit us northern Canada peeps soon.

  34. And why would you be sorry? She knows hire gonna do it. Plus awesome PR for BMFA.
    Man, I wish I had a friend like Tina.

  35. I love this line: “She knows how I am with yarn. Putting me in that house was like asking a frat house to keep an eye on your keg.”
    Can I come visit Tina? I’m totally okay with her low-levels of security.

  36. Another raw grey dreary Monday after a raw grey dreary Sunday. Thank you for making me laugh!

  37. No no…the best thing is when u rip something out and then knit it back the exact same (wrong) way. I do this all the time ….

  38. Woo hoo the sock is on the needle and almost done AND the shawl is going to be smashing. Where do you find the time to do all that you do ? Good luck with soar.

  39. Am I the only person who is jealous that you are going to Delavan, WI? (I would be jealous of going to SOAR, but I don’t know how to spin.) It will be stunning this time of year!

  40. frat house/keg
    I keep looking at that yarn and thinking jello shots! Small, pretty, easy to hide in your shirt? I love that pattern too. It looks great in jello shot… erm I mean pond scum!

  41. I recently finished a shawl/scarf (Galathea)in Silk Thread II Pond Scum. I love that color (of course Tina is a color genius so no surprise there….)
    That shawl/scarf has a way cool start to it. It is worth it just for the experience of getting it started. You end up with a pretty cool finished item too.

  42. I love it that you ‘accidentally’ started Luminaria. I ‘accidentally’ start lots of projects. Accidents happen.

  43. See, It’s like this, I need to force my husband to read posts like this and then (hopefully)I wouldn’t have to put up with comments like “huh well you can’t be very good if you keep making mistakes” or “why bother if it’s going to upset you that much”. This is usually in response to when he sees me twitching in an attempt to NOT throw my WIP across the room in temper (and so give the game away)because once again I’ve stuffed up royally with a really really obvious silly and stupid mistake.
    I take a lot of comfort that I’m not alone in this x

  44. Now wait a moment. I’m looking at that picture at the bottom there and that sure *looks* like a ball wound on a ball winder. Yet I recall a FIRM warning to never ever ever let silk thread near a ball winder. Did you chance it, or are you just *that* good at winding yarn tidily?

  45. I’ve been considering knitting myself a Laminaria too. Haven’t decided yet. I have a lovely skein of angora/wool laceweight in a gorgeous blue-grey. It is whispering to me that it wants to be a lovely soft shawl, but it hasn’t whispered which pattern it wants to be yet.
    Great color name…. Pondscum. I love it!

  46. That is a really different lace pattern. Just spectacular. If I was a size 2 or so, I could see me wearing that wrapped sarongish about my so-slim hips.
    My fantasy life also allows me to imagine that some day I will be mature enough to listen myself when I tell others how to avoid mistakes I personally have made (but continue to make). This fantasy life is very rich and fulfilling.

  47. SOAR?! I haz teh jealous, and I can’t even spin…not very well, anyway; mine always winds up looking something like cat barf. As to budget? Budget-schmudget, I say! Go forth, conquer, have fun…take your jell-o and instead of trying to nail it to a tree, make shooters, I say!
    And I lurve that shawl, that colour, that word…heh, “pondscum”…looks so much prettier than it sounds! I might’ve called it “duckweed”, but, it’s algae, either way; and I can’t wait to see it done!

  48. Oh my word.
    How you do make me chuckle, oh Yarn Harlot. Thanks for the laugh. I needed it…especially since this is Monday…and I spend all of my time working with teenagers…and this is my first year teaching…and I am having a long distance relationship with my yarn and needles…by long distance I mean that they are across the room from me while I sit and make lesson plans at the table.
    I will live vicariously through you (and yes, that is an SAT word, for those of you paying attention).

  49. The Blog has noticed that you wrote “sewered”, but this member has a particular understanding that you surely wrote what you meant –my aerobic system has been on the fritz for a week!! I just might have to start another shawl, in “Pond Scum”.

  50. Mondays are like that: extra random. Since you’re road-tripping it, I’m sure you’ll manage to get all packed and ready with time to spare. For some reason, it always seems easier to pack for a road trip than a plane trip.
    Nicest pond scum I’ve ever seen!

  51. Love the Laminaria! Are you doing the mirrored decreases or the usual one-side corrugated up-and-down, other-side corrugated across version of the first lace pattern? I didn’t mirror the decreases till my third or fourth try! 🙂 But I actually love how it looks both ways, so that’s all right 🙂

  52. My favourite trick is to be really organised and circle all the instructions on the FIRST PAGE, or sometimes just the first part (say, up to the armpit shaping), and not anything else. This enables me to completely forget what size I am knitting and leave myself in the lurch right as things are getting complicated. This is a lovely way of ensuring that I find myself enraged on a regular basis. I haven’t thrown knitting at the wall for some time, but it WILL happen again.
    (Now that I think about it, I threw some down on the floor and did a stompy dance only two weeks ago.. Not ON the knitting, but it was a close call.)

  53. “being an experienced knitter doesn’t protect you from being a dumbass”. This is going onto my bulletin board right under the page from one of your calendars that says “one of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
    Rules to live by!

  54. Lol,Stephanie. This is why you are a successful knitting humorist. Can’t wait for next year’s Sock Summit. I hope I can get classes this time so I can do something besides cruise the marketplace (which was several kinds of awesome all by itself.)

  55. AH! i need to stop reading your blog or i will never get through the projects i’ve got going!
    who am i kidding,
    that’s not gonna happen.

  56. Beautiful! I wouldn’t know what to knit if it wasn’t for you. The power of knitting suggestion!

  57. You just reminded me that I bought yarn for Laminaria… twice.
    That’s a gorgeous shawl and well worth the frustration that led you to start it. 😉

  58. Oy. Like I NEED another pattern to want right now!! Or more yarn, for that matter. I’m hip-deep in knitting survey data, a presentation coming up in three weeks, and all I want to do is knit. Do you think they’d notice if I showed up and talked about all the lovely lace I knit this month instead of circulating discourses of knitterhood? Worth a try, if it lets me cast on for something else…

  59. Talk about making huger mistakes faster…
    I decided to knit the Tomten Jacket recently, and somehow convinced myself that it was ok to plunge in when I had my doubts about my quantity of yarn. I told myself that it would be too hard to resize it(EZ gives you directions for resizing, btw). I had to face the facts when I got halfway through the first sleeve (the rest was done) and had maybe five yards left. Yep. I let it go that far. Pathetic.
    I ripped, cast on with 16 fewer stitches and smaller needles. I added a contrasting color. I’m crossing my fingers that that will do it.

  60. pondscum – so funny for something that looks so gorgeous! Yeah about the bigger mistakes – I knit a whole sweater too big, really big and I am big but it was way big. I tried to rip some and reknit but no dice what a mess – I did save the shawl collar and the sleeves. Almost done with the revised sweater – it fits now. I knew it was too big but …, it is not gauge I just picked the wrong size from the pattern. Worst part this is the 3rd time.
    You are going to love laminaria!

  61. Why am I not surprised that some form of Pondscum followed you home? I think Tina intentionally artfully places yarn all over her house to entice you. Nook and cranky yarn decor. I think you mention this form of stash storage in one of your early blog posts. I’m also sure she’s well aware that you will fall in love with something and she will reap the rewards of a well written review with great pictures.
    See you for one day at SOAR. (I hope)

  62. Laminaria. I am dead drunk in love with it as I slowly make progress with a cone of emerald green silk yarn. I Only work on it in moments when I am relaxed and calm so I can enjoy it to the fullest.

  63. Between tidepool and pondscum, is this a smallish-bits-of-water-in-which-small-creatures-dwell sort of kick? Both lovely color(way)s. They appear to match in the photos.

  64. I think laminaria is the most beautiful and interesting shawl I’ve ever knitted. I wonder why have I only knitted one… And I have the yarn…
    This is your fault. 🙂

  65. And how exactly did you get that silk thread into a yarn cake? Does Tina do that for you too? Dang, I need a friend like that!

  66. You hit upon the only rational thing to do with outrageously fugly yarn: lace. The absolute worst colors will often knit up into astonishingly beautiful lace shawls, scarves and hats.
    After all, try to imagine a stockinette sweater made out of that stuff. The mind boggles, the stomach lurches, and you’d be ripping it back to return to lace within 10 minutes of starting.

  67. when you want to throw yarn, you should go
    play Kirby’s Epic Yarn. He’s made of yarn and
    dissolves into a little puddle of yarn when
    he gets blasted.

  68. I’m just starting the border of Echo Flower, which has the same body, but an even prettier border, IMO. In silk of course. With beads.

  69. So, am I the only one to call “liar” at #9 – “…that meant I had nothing to knit”??? Does that mean there are no other WIPs in the house, perhaps a mitten or a navy blue sweater that makes you go blind?
    Not that anyone really *needs* an excuse to start another project in the middle of an unfinished one…

  70. I am considering your sock mistake with trepidation. I am a new knitter who just had to rip out a dishcloth because I wasn’t paying attention to the pattern. For 24 rows, I made the same mistake over and over. I thought it was because I was new, and that I would learn to pay close enough attention, eventually. But in reading your post I see that is not in my future. *sigh* I guess who we are in life shows up in our knitting….

  71. I am flipping out that Laminaria (a species of kelp) is being knit in the color of pondscum!! (I am knitting some Hiker’s Socks in a colorway called “Enchanted Forest”. Love that, too.)

  72. Love the remark about it being like asking a frat house to watch your keg. Wonderful imagery. Wonder if I could get her to unlock the door for me. I’d love a sleepover.

  73. The Universe is a strange place, YH. Pond scum yarn tentacles have bound us together without either of us knowing……..I’m a complete yarn yahoo, but friend Lost City Denise is my yarn Yoda and much patience with me she has, and many yarn yarns she shares. Check out my url link if you have time/inclination and this will all be clear as pond water. Peace.

  74. Maybe Tina was thinking that you’d try to take too much yarn, and wouldn’t be able to leave with it, and so you’d end up not taking any? I don’t have any good ideas for what she was thinking either.
    Funny you should mention nailing Jello to a tree, though. My husband tends to describe his thesis project as figuring out a way to do just that. (No, he’s not using Jello. Or trees.)

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