Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, there was a knitter living in a house in Toronto, and she had a few problems. Mostly these problems were related to things like the three pounds of feline rage that lived with her, the way her husband couldn’t tell time but hadn’t been able to admit it over decades, and what it is like for you if your daughters are young women and all of your best parenting ideas are illegal. (This knitter had put forth solid, reasonable arguments for microchipping them, building a cage in the basement at the onset of adolescence or simply putting the entire family in a medically induced coma until their daughter’s brains were finished developing – and had been shot down on all fronts, thus leaving her with the only parenting option left to her, which was to try respect, reason, patience and intelligence.  It was going well, but was exhausting.)  This knitter had some other problems too, like that she drank too much coffee and had a hard time putting an outfit together, but mostly, things were pretty good… except for one thing.  The knitter had periodic, unpredictable episodes of idiocy, where for no reason at all, her usually reliable wits would leave her.  As a general rule, this hadn’t effected her relationships or parenting much, because almost everyone has episodes like that, but from time to time it had really bitten her hard on the hind parts in the knitting department.

Such was the case yesterday morning when the knitter in question decided that she couldn’t live with "the line" in her knitting.  She ruled out the possibility that she had reversed right and wrong side rows (there would have been an absent or extra row of knitting, were that true) and she checked to make sure that the yarn didn’t look different because she’d blocked it (that wasn’t it either) and was then left with the absolutely firm and clear knowledge that there was absolutely a difference between the two sections of knitting, that this was absolutely a difference that she could not live with, and that she was absolutely going to have to do something about it.  Unfortunately, perhaps as a result of blanket induced stress (which can be quite difficult to bear, depending on the deadline and nature of the blanket) it was at this exact moment that the knitter experienced one of the aforementioned periods of idiocy,  and as she looked at that blanket, knowing something was going to have to be done,  her throat tightened, her hands clenched and just like a row of startled birds, her wits departed her, and she decided that the only reasonable thing there was to do in the world (because it was the first ball of yarn that was the wrong one, you see) was to rip out the entire blanket, right back to the first stitch and start again.  This (rather reasonably, in your writers opinion) made the knitter want to find out what other people see in Tequila.

Now it just so happens that this knitter has a relationship with "The Blog". The Blog is a bizarre creature made up of a multitude of consciousnesses, that lived in strange parallel land only reachable by something called Wi-Fi.  The knitter had a small box of all knowing, and that small box had Wi-Fi and the knitter could use it to call upon The Blog.  She wrote a letter to The Blog, and told it that she was feeling terrible about having to rip back, and The Blog replied the way it does, with a sea of voices all providing answers at once. Now, having hundreds of opinions at once sounds overwhelming, like some sort of bad episode of Star Trek, but the knitter had the knack of it, and knew that she had to largely search for themes.  She knew that while the voices of The Mighty Blog would be many, they would be more or less divided into several camps, and they were.

When The blog replied, there were those who said that the problem didn’t matter.  That nobody would notice, that the baby wouldn’t care, and that the knitter must choose (should she value her sanity and liver) to let go of problems such as this, and roll right on.  The knitter almost always disagrees with this camp, mostly because she can be a little bit picky, but also because she has high standards for her own handmade things.  If, say the knitter had done her very level best to get rid of The Line, and the blanket still had a line? She might let go and move on, but to give up without trying isn’t in this knitters nature, and it isn’t as much the line that would bother her, as the idea that she couldn’t be bothered to spend the energy to fix it when she knew she could.  Also, during this process, this faction of The Blog helped her to realize something important.  The baby wouldn’t care –  and that’s when she realized that the blanket wasn’t really a present for the baby, but a present for the parents and family, and while they probably still wouldn’t care, at least that made more sense.  Even though the knitter doesn’t agree with this camp, over the years she’s come to appreciate it, because it’s a necessary and equalizing source of balance that keeps her from getting too much validation from the next group, which would likely turn her into an even pickier and more obsessive nerd than she is now. 

The second camp are the voices of the collective Blog who agree with the knitter, and offered support for her obsessive nature,  her perfectionist tendencies, and her direction. "Yes" this group of voices mutter.  "Yes, you must rip it back and you are not crazy.  Do it.  Do it and cry, but do it."
The knitter likes these voices, because who doesn’t like voices that agree with them – but has learned to be careful.  People who are like you and think like you often make the same mistakes you do.

Then there is the group that believes errors are inevitable, and a mark of a handmade object and that and that nobody is perfect, and cites The Amish, Muslims, The Navajo and various other cultural groups (depending on the voice)  that embrace imperfection (intentional or unintentional) as a mark of humanity.  The knitter appreciates these voices, but has never trucked much with the idea – only because she is going to make enough mistakes that can’t be fixed to qualify as human, and thus feels compelled to fix what she can.

Next up, the knitter considers the voices of The Blog that are creative problem solvers of the highest order.  These voices support the very intelligent and positive design principle that says that subtle differences in construction or colour (like The Line) are problematic, and that one very good way to solve them is to make the subtle difference obvious, and thus more congruous.  This facet of the hive mind suggested things like embroidering over the line, running a ribbon through the line or other such embellishments as to make The Line appear intentional.  The knitter read these with great interest, but ultimately rejected them, since they would change her idea of what the blanket should be in the end.  (She did, however, give a nod to their brilliance.)

Finally, as the knitter assessed the voices of the blog, she read something that stopped her dead in her tracks, and made it perfectly clear that her wits had departed her (which, as so often happens when your wits are gone) she hadn’t really known.   These voices said something that could work.  These voices extended hope.  These voices had come up with a solution that could keep the knitter from starting over, and preserve her sense of dignity and hope.  These voices said (collectively, and with variation) If the bottom part is the problem, and the top part is both bigger, and okay, why not take off the bottom, and knit more onto the top?

The knitter stared at this, and then the blanket, then resisted the urge to beat herself senseless with the nearest solid object, and realized that it was perfect.  She had begun the blanket with a provisional cast on so that she could rip it out and have live stitches to pick up at that end…

so what was the problem with snipping a thread and picking up the stitches as that thread was unpicked across the row…

and therefore removing the bad part, leaving her with stitches held for later, just like she had meant to do anyway?

Nothing. Nothing at all. It would mean that she had an extra chunk to knit onto the top, but that was a heck of a lot better than having the whole thing to re-knit.   As the knitter worked this voodoo, she contemplated the fact that without The Blog, she would certainly have (considering that she was clearly without her wits) have ripped back the whole thing, started over, and then (when her wits returned today) would have realized that she had trashed the entire blanket for no sensible reason and would had no choice but to investigate that Tequila, and possibly give up knitting, and definitely have to give up acting like she knew what she was doing in any way at all when it came to knitting…  and the knitter was again grateful to The Blog, and all its voices…  Even the tiny part of The Blog that is actually her Mother, and left a comment essentially telling the knitter to get a grip on herself, which turned out to have been really great advice, which the knitter regrets resenting at the time.

The End

298 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time

  1. Whew! I was worried you’d take the fatal plunge and frog before everyone could weigh in with the idea to just pull off the offending bit. Now Knit! Knit like the wind! 🙂

  2. I can’t believe I’m the 1st commenter, and I’m so glad you found a reasonable solution. I was thinking something like that, but didn’t know you have provisionally cast-on & am not quite sure I could to what you did (frog backwards?), but that sounds wonderful. Does that mean we should always provisionally cast on for really big project, in case we too find a problem at the 1st 25% of our work, say?

  3. This part, right here?
    “it isn’t as much the line that would bother her, as the idea that she couldn’t be bothered to spend the energy to fix it when she knew she could.”
    This is *perfect*. Thank you for concisely summing up something I have not been able to articulate in years.
    And yes, I know I was the one who said ‘Heirlooms does not meet without variation’ yesterday. I never said I was consistent.

  4. And yea verily, the knitter realised that this is the reason The Blog had existed for eight years. This moment right here, to save her sanity. And thus there was light.

  5. I was so excited this morning to find out what you had decided to do! So glad you took everyone’s advice to remove the bottom part…it really did make the most sense. Don’t you just hate it when you’ve missed the most obvious solution and it feels like the whole world saw it when you didn’t? Good story.

  6. What a wonderful solution. Of course, you’re not likely to use that discarded piece of knitting on the blanket since it doesn’t “match.” How about sewing it inside a hat to make a very cozy lining? Thanks for another great post!

  7. Oh, I’m so glad you decided to take this route rather than lose your mind at the bottom of a bottle of Tequila.

  8. The Knitter is a knitter who performs open stitch surgery on cables. The Knitter would quickly have regained her wits.
    Rock on, and knit fast!

  9. Whew! so glad there was a solution! but isn’t it still going to drive you crazy that you dont what the problem was?
    Its absolutely lovely! Will you be sharing this pattern and yarn details!

  10. Ayup, I saw that solution, and hoped that you would see it before you ripped. So glad you did.

  11. Brilliant solution, brilliant writing! Speaking of brilliant writing, logical solutions, and lost minds, have you read “The Housekeeper and the Professor?” by Yoko Ogawa? It’s a small book that’s best read in small sittings and then savored. I think you would love it. Could be a nice companion when you feel like taking a break from the blanket.

  12. I’m so glad you read the blog first! I didn’t read about your problem til this morning, but it made me think of the unsatisfactory hat band I knit, which of course I didn’t discover until the hat was done. I just took out the last line of hat band(between band and hat body, I mean) picked up the stitches, and knit down from there. It only works to do this if your new edge is in a place where you’re changing stitch patterns as the stitches line up 1/2 a stitch off. So for the edge of a blanket, it is the perfect solution. I was imagining you unraveling all that pretty lace and it was making me a bit dizzy!

  13. Brilliant! So glad you decided not to rip it out. That would have been far too disheartening.
    Carry on . . .

  14. Yes! Yesterday when I read your post, I thought, “oh, no, she only needs to rip out that bad bottom part,” and I went to the comments to say so, only to find that 300 other people had already done so. I logged on today hoping I’d hear that you took the good advice. Knit on!

  15. Oh man, I was totally going to suggest this course of action, as it was the one I’d inevitably take as an utterly slowpoke knitter. But I didn’t comment because there were already hundreds and I’d figured this one wee voice had only totally obvious things to say you already thought about. Well screw that, next time I’m speaking up!
    Glad you came to sense!

  16. Bless the blog! Excellent solution! What will you do with the yarn now discarded? Perhaps a bonnet? I hope you or some other brilliant Knitter can figure out what caused ‘the line’…could it be something in the spinning of said yarn? Or was the ball band inaccurate or somehow placed on a skein of different weight yarn? Inquiring minds want to know…

  17. I knew you wouldn’t take my advice (but then you ignored your mother’s, too, so I’m in excellent company), but please do take the advice of those who suggested you check the remaining balls of yarn VERY CAREFULLY to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
    And also? The knitter in the story is very entertaining. The knitter should definitely try tequila and let The Blog know what happens next.

  18. Laughing out loud @ work! Not at you but with you. Funny how sometimes you never see the most obvious. Glad you didn’t rip it all out while crying only to have to re-knit it while crying. Happy Day!

  19. Laughing out loud at work! Not at you but with you. Funny how sometimes you never see the most obvious. Glad you didn’t rip it all out while crying only to have to re-knit it while crying. Happy Day!

  20. I echo Kim @1:02. So glad that the other 300+ people got it right! I have to believe that you might have, too. Tequila is still an option, however…

  21. Thank goodness you didn’t rip it all out, then see those comments. You would probably have had a long lie down after that.
    I’m interested to see if another ball ends up with the same results? At least you will catch it within a few rows if you are watching for it.
    Can’t wait to see the border you are choosing! I still have yet to knit something with a middle and border. Looks fascinating and fun.
    Onward Stephanie!

  22. Glad you didn’t have to break out the tequila. It’s good you read the blog comments BEFORE you ripped out the whole blanket. That would have required serious margaritas. The blanket looks beautiful –it is definately going to be an heirloom.

  23. If you use the bottom yarn to add on to the top, make sure you don’t get a funny line again before you knit too far!

  24. Hooray! I love a happy ending.
    Sometimes, you just need a sounding board. It happens pretty often at work. You can’t solve the problem, ask someone else to look at it, and they point out something so simple and obvious that you feel like an idiot. Except you just know that next time, you’ll be the one pointing out the obvious to someone else…

  25. I am in the “agree with Knitter” camp and would have ripped the whole thing out. And then cried when someone said “why didn’t you just do *this* instead”. Relief that you fixed the problem. Knit on.

  26. I remember you doing this same thing with mittens once when you came up short of yarn. So glad you chose this route, rather than the frustration levels of having to re-do the whole darn thing.
    Long ago at a fiber festival in Montana I bought two skeins of beautiful cashmere. A year or so ago I finally broke them out of the stash to make a beautiful “Fiddlesticks” scarf -only to find the same kind of thing. Same lot- same color – but decidedly different. What do you suppose it is? The spinner just hit a different fleece? One from one end of a spool – the other from the other end? I’ve never been able to figure it out – but it’s kind of interesting, to say the least.

  27. Yeahhhh!! I thought to tell you about this, but other great people explained better than I could do. Great job, Stephanie!! 😀

  28. I missed all this yesterday somehow! But yes, you snip a row or two below where you want to undo, and as you get to the end of each row as you frog you have to pull the whole length through that last stitch, unlike going in the other direction. But I have so done this… Glad the Blog got to you in time!

  29. First, I’m so happy (for you) with your success and sharing. Such a wise woman to know that there is always more than one answer and that you chose to go for creative solutions – a blanket saver AND a mind saver! And, how wise to start with a provisional cast on with such a large project — perhaps a word from the wise that I will follow in future. Nice!

  30. If you haven’t already ripped that bottom part out, why don’t you make a pillow out of it to go with the blanket? It won’t matter at all if _it’s_ slightly different, and will save all that lovingly created knitting! Brilliant solution–so glad The Blog could help in your moment of desperation, Best, randmknitter

  31. It seems like the problem with that section might be the yarn, so may I advise not using that yarn for the “top” section? Good call though for cutting the bottom adn not frogging the top

  32. If I had known you started with a provisional cast on, I would have suggested the same thing! Excellent choice!!

  33. Hooray! I thought for sure you were going to frog the sucker, I am so glad someone had such a brilliant solution.

  34. I KNEW that’s what you would do! I could tell, after reading all the comments, that it was the way to go.

  35. YAY!! The knitter is brilliant!! And probably finished by now. So very glad that you’re so good at what you do (knitting, sharing, and weeding through the hive mind)
    I vote for avoiding the tequila, and just showing us happy photos of a finished and wonderful gift for a friend. And maybe a pattern.

  36. Brilliant! And a beautiful blanket to boot. Maybe you can keep that smaller, “offending” portion and make a little lovey for the baby?

  37. So happy you’re happy!
    I have two beautiful pieces of knitted fabric which are part-projects that failed for various reasons. They make excellent cat blankets as they fit Ms Puss’s favourite sunny windowsill. They look elegant and as though they had been designed for that exact purpose. It’s almost worth having a cat just for this.

  38. I think any little one would enjoy holding onto those stitches while also wrapped up in a cozy matching blanket.

  39. I am just now catching up on the latest. As I read the previous post, my still inexperienced knitting brain wondered if it was possible to remove the bottom without damaging the top-not that I have *any* idea how to do it, mind you. I am all kinds of giddy to see that it was possible and will result in you not losing your sanity. Knit on!

  40. It’s probably ridiculous how happy this post makes me, but there it is. All hail the blog. Resistance is futile.

  41. I’m glad it all worked out in the end. What a relief! I would’ve surely hit that Tequila if I’d had to rip the whole thing out, for sure!
    So, are you going to publish this pattern eventually?
    I’ll keep asking ’til you let us all know. 😉

  42. Congratulations! I so often act on the first thought, and rip. I do this without waiting to see if other ideas for correcting things come to mind and without thinking that perhaps late at night and in bad light is not the best time for making decisions or trying to pick up lots of tiny patterned stitches!

  43. Oh yay!! I’m so glad you didn’t have to rip it all! I was worrying for your sanity and probably would have cried a little bit.

  44. First time commenting.
    You kept me in suspense the whole time. I thought there was hope, and then at the end something horrible happened and you had to rip the whole thing out anyways.
    Phew. That was a wild ride!

  45. I am a little confused, I know what a provisional cast on is. but when you take the first part off , do you rip it out, so that it becomes single again , if so mark it so you don’t use it in the blanket again. that would be me, (oh see the left over yarn will just use it somewhere toward the end) and have the same problem happen all over again.

  46. So glad the voice of reason prevailed. Knit on, and investigate that Tequila AFTER finishing the blanket!

  47. The advise of “The Blog” is so wonderful. Thank you for sharing all the ideas. They help those of us who are still blogless. Still sending good thoughts containing any knitting speed to help with the blanket.

  48. Glad there was a solution, I just had a quick look at the comments yesterday and it did look like the blog had several ideas for a non rip version. Ahh that we all had such a team working for us. The alternate is that when confronted with a problem sometimes the best thing to do is walk away, do something else and sleep on it you tend to have it sorted out by the next morning.

  49. Can you use the cut off part to make a very-fetching baby hat to match the now perfect blanket?

  50. Let this be a lesson to us. We who like to knit complicated sweaters in a single, seamless piece, should stop and appreciate the argument for knitting up a garment in pieces and seaming them: more opportunities to avert total catastrophe.
    Why do I feel like a Margarita now?

  51. I’ve done this before on some arm warmers, where I didn’t correctly calculate how fat my arms were and it didn’t fit around them- knit from the elbow down. Its a little scary at first, to cut your knitting, but now that its done you have the technique in your arsenal. 🙂

  52. Yay!!! You know, I recently learned that there was a scientific study that proved that the section of the brain that is creative and good at problem solving will actually partially or completely shut down during stress. They put people in a room with a very simple problem to solve and had all kinds of crazyness going on, and SO many of the people couldn’t solve the problem. But once they made the room all calm, suddenly the people could figure it out. This is to say that you are not dumb. We all do this. I’m SO glad you aren’t more like me… If I have some scary thing to do, I tend to rush forward and just do it. “Like a band-aide,” I always say. And usually this helps me, but every now and then I have a situation like this and I think, “CRAP! I should have just waited!!!” ^_~

  53. I have to admit that I was in the “let it be” camp. I could that take that position because it was your blanket, not mine. I would have ripped that sucker out & reknit it, hating the blanket & the world around me for every second of the process. Thank goodness for the 3rd camp! I hope they’re around when I screw up my next project.

  54. So glad it worked out, and feeling a bit smug since this inexperienced knitter was one of the ones to ask if that would work! It’s so much fun being part of this great Blog – I learn almost as much from All of Us as I do from Steph herself!

  55. Gosh I love your blog. The part you write, I mean, not necessarily the people commenting. But I do like them too.
    I especially like all the Star Trek references in this post. I am a newly made Trekkie (something I would have never believed had I told myself that when I was 19).
    Glad most of your work was salvaged.

  56. The insane competitor in me is calling this a “win” – because I was in the camp you chose to side with in the end. BUT – I have to say how happy I am that some people had other ideas, because I’m going to have to try a blanket with ribbons woven through, now 🙂
    Also, “The knitter likes these voices, because who doesn’t like voices that agree with them – but has learned to be careful.” Love this. Huge life lesson in a single sentence!

  57. Fantastic! And this is why blogs are wonderful for learning lessons! wonderful job “The Blog”. Devoted member, for many years. Now keep on knitting!

  58. I was so sure that you had thought of that and ruled it out for some reason, that I didn’t even bother to post it!!!! Far be if from me to give the Harlot advice! Next time, I will share my thoughts more quickly. PS. love your parenting ideas, wish I had thought of them. Would have been much easier on the grocery bills through the last two decades!

  59. So cool! This kind of solution is what my husband is good at. Often, when I have a knitting problem that is too big for my brain to keep to itself, I open a bottle of wine and start venting all over my husband. Some where in the middle of the bottle he usually says something off hand like, “Well, maybe you could do this…” And I see a ray of sunshine and hear angels singing.

  60. The Blog is like a really good therapist, who also happens to have a lot of knitting experience. That’s a fairly precious thing!

  61. A lovely solution, and given the size and repetition of the pattern, a far more appropriate one. I am always impressed with your ability to rip and redo, but as I knit like the snails (as opposed to the wind), large swaths of knitting represent an even bigger time commitment for me.

  62. OK so I am by no means a career knitter but while I was sitting here reading Backwards or Forwards (because I read posts in order ;)) I was thinking Ive seen her take apart bottoms and tops to fix between them how many times on here (think sweater) and why isnt she doing that? So when I got to this opst and you did just that, I was so relieved! Good for you!

  63. Phew! Just in the nick of time. I would, however, suggest exploring the tequila as a means of celebrating…you know, it IS Friday 🙂

  64. I, too, am rejoicing that the Wisdom of the Blog reached you before you frogged the entire thing. A creative save is so much more efficient, elegant, and useful in the realms of knitting lore.

  65. I was with the last camp, except with the slight variation of cutting off the old, knitting a new, then grafting them back together. Yours works a bit more elegantly in that there is no grafting to be done. Brava!

  66. Congratulations to you and your Blog! A very fine example of collective discussion/problem solving!
    Is the newly disconnected lower bit large enough to repurpose with ripping it out as the pattern is absolutely lovely? A scarf for the new mother? A doll blankie for an older sibling? Maybe a cover for a fancy baby pillow?

  67. Sometimes we are so far apart — I’d rather die than snip yarn. It just goes against my sense of right and wrong in the world, and I won’t mock Karma for anything. But I’m glad that worked in your favor. I was trying to come up with this alternate ending when my inexperience got in the way. Bravo!

  68. I’m so glad you made that choice! I hope the rest of the yarn is okay, with no more lines and no more odd fuzzy skeins. Perhaps there is a sheep out there somewhere feeling very proud of his extra-fuzzy wool, with no idea how much trouble he caused.

  69. Hurray!
    I love the way you write – humourous and appreciative of everyone’s quirks. You’re fantastic

  70. I shouldn’t say this, but here’s what I would worry about: since you don’t know what caused the (now cut off) first part to be different in the first place, aren’t you worried that it might happen again with one of the remaining balls?

  71. Whew! When I first read your post the blog comment function wouldn’t work and I so desperately wanted to tell you to ‘stick a needle above the line and cut off the offending part’ but I couldn’t. I then considered messaging you on Ravelry but thought you might not want that. I’m very pleased things worked out!

  72. I was one of those people who offered a suggestion yesterday, but I couldn’t figure out whether the yarn used in the beginning was the problem, or the yarn at the end.
    Glad you worked it out!!

  73. OK, so you identified a problem developed a possible solution, but held off implementing said solution until you read advice from hundreds of people, putting their answers into categories. You carefully considered each category’s solution, picked the best one (which you happened not to think of yourself) and implemented it. Your narrative made for wonderful, humorous blog material but you, my friend, did not succumb to idiocy….

  74. I’ve been reading you too long. When you said “resisted the urge to beat herself senseless” I seamlessly read ‘resisted the urge to beat the snot out of herself”. Congrats on the solution I was thinking of all along. Just make sure you don’t unravel the offending piece and accidentally mix it up with the good yarn.

  75. I love, love, LOVE a good story. I am hoping the writer includes an epilogue detailing how the finished blanket turns out and what happened to that initial ball of yarn, you know, just to tidy up the loose ends.

  76. Now, if this isn’t a story for your next book, I don’t know what is!!! Love, love, love your writing.

  77. I’m glad that the blog could help you come up with an idea that you would have thought of yourself if blanket-induced stress hadn’t been all encompassing!
    I had forgotten that you had a provisional cast on so it wasn’t like you were losing quite the same amount of effort too.

  78. As one of the first among us to make that suggestion yesterday, I am thrilled that I was having a moment of clarity and sanity in the midst of your lapse thereof. 🙂 I have less and less of them these days it seems. You will get it done and on time! Huzzah! And for the record, any of the 3 options was a good one-you just had to find the one that was right for you in this situation.

  79. All hail the Blog! The Blog is your only salvation!
    Great father above us, I sound like a preacher. *lol*

  80. I’m glad The Blog suggestion worked as, even though I hadn’t realized the blanket had been provisionally cast on, that was my comment also. Then I saw your Tweet last evening and couldn’t see the amount of blanket in the photo and didn’t know what you had done. Phew! Glad you’re back on track!

  81. Ah HA! You cut it! Yes, my favorite solution. Is everyone who has taken my class listening? See how great it works? Knitting is so awesome you can cut it and it still lives!
    I am pleased.

  82. I can let out my breath now. I was so worried you would frog it before you saw the great advice!! Loved the fairy tale post. Once upon a time there was a very happy knitter and her relieved Blog!

  83. I’m not sure why I feel so relieved right now, but I really do. I knew you wouldn’t leave that line though. You’ve ripped back for lesser evils.

  84. Oh thank goodness you read the responses from the Blog…i was hoping you hadn’t done anything rash. The solution you chose was the one i was betting would work. Yay!!! So happy it worked out for you. I so know what that’s like…to stare and see an error…perfectionism is a cruel master at times. But thankfully you had the solution from The Blog.

  85. Such a lovely idea. Now, why I hadn’t noticed the provisional CO and thought of it myself is beyond me…of course, that could be due to the fact that I’ve never actually *done* a provisional CO.
    Oops.

  86. I wish I had a pound for every time I’ve rescued my knitting with a cut and paste.
    I’m glad that there was a happy beginning,no-one will miss that bit now it’s gone. We can all pretend that it never happened.

  87. I love that your mum’s initials are BS McPhee. She doesn’t take any BS does she? Lovely blanket, so glad The Blog stepped in and helped you come to your senses. Brilliant!

  88. Yay! So here’s the next question – which balls of yarn remaining go with the section of blanket remaining? Because you can use the one you pulled off to knit edging (where the line is intentional; assuming you meant to add a same yarn edging), but do you have the right yarn to finish the middle?

  89. Witts Restoration is usually an overnight process. Skip the tequilla (there is a time and a place, just not now) get some sleep, and most of all: listen to your mother. And The Blog shall guide them . . . although your thought process is pretty awsome on it’s own.

  90. What a page turner! I read yesterdays post, and nearly cried. I am so glad the story ends well, with all your wits returning just in the nick of time. Knit on!!

  91. “People who are like you and think like you often make the same mistakes you do.” This is possibly the wisest thing I have read all week.

  92. Crisis averted! I too was worried that you would start ripping from the top down before you got a chance to read the comments.
    I’m glad I can be a part of The Blog 🙂

  93. That’s what I thought too, but I thought someone else would come up with it as the line was awfully noticeable even to an untrained eye. So glad.

  94. I remember reading the first comment yesterday that said something to that effect and thinking, “Oh, duh! Why didn’t I think of that?”
    And then I hoped you’d see it. Looks like you did. Sorry I couldn’t have been in a logical place to offer the suggestion myself. 🙂

  95. That ran through my head but I thought “naaaah, this is the Yarn Harlot, she would have seen that right off, there must be some quirk of the pattern I don’t understand.” Gosh, we all learned something, didn’t we?

  96. Oh….what a brilliant solution. Yeah. Hadn’t thought of that. The wisdom of The Blog.
    Glad you were saved from Tequila this time. Though perhaps it’s worth a bit of tequila to celebrate?

  97. Save the bottom bit for a doll’s blanket. Or the favorite stuffed bear’s. There will be one, and matching blankets will be much loved.

  98. Yay! You made the right decision for you!
    (and it is secretly the decision that I hoped you would make!)

  99. I read “giving up acting” and just had this picture flash into my head of you waiting tables, waiting for your Big Break to come!
    Whew!
    After reading more carefully, am glad you are not giving up on your acting career!

  100. That solution hit me, but not in time to suggest it. I don’t suppose you could use that odd ball of yarn to do the border on it?

  101. I’m so terribly glad that you followed ‘The Blog’s Plan’ for you. Today’s post was great. I loved the tongue-in-cheek viewpoint 🙂 Knit On!!!

  102. Hurray! What a wonderful solution! I didn’t contribute to the overall voices of the Blog, but love the solution you found!!!

  103. Stephanie, sometimes your voice is just perfect, and that’s the case with this post. Bravo to you for coming through this bit of trauma with such sharp self-awareness, and for sharing it all with us.
    Love the nod to your Mom!

  104. Hooray! Terrific solution! Though how you were able to craft THIS wonderful post AND fix the blanket problem in the same day is beyond me.

  105. I need to tink back abour four inches of a very simple shawl, which is made with gorgeous yarn. I’ve needed to do this for months, avoiding the tinkback, the undoing of the progress. 🙂 I think you’ve given me the courage to do this probably very simple task, and finish the darned thing! Thanks! 🙂

  106. Absolutely what Leah (commenter #1) said. I’m glad you were clever enough to wait for the collective wisdom of The Blog to provide a choice of answers. And I’m so relieved you chose this one!

  107. Nosy people want to know, was it bad yarn or not?
    I am so glad that you didn’t have to rip it all out!

  108. My question is: Did you figure out what caused this line? If I don’t hear what caused this mysterious line, the same thing could happen to me! I don’t cast on provisionally and have no idea how to fix this problem except to rip it all out! I have to know!!!

  109. This WAS like a fairy tale. I really enjoyed reading it. And so artful in it’s language – a fairy tale for educated grown ups!
    I am glad this fairy tale had a happy ending!

  110. I’m sure this is what Picard would have to say, when he is not fighting the Borg……
    Do not sacrifice the Blanket. You’ve made too many rows already; too many stitches. The frogs invade our knitting and we fall back. The frogs assimilate entire projects and we fall back. Not again. The line must be fixed here! This far, no further! And *you* will finish the blanket on time.

  111. I thought of this too, since you had ripped out the beginning of work before. Knowing of that experience, however, I assumed that for some reason, it was not a viable option for this piece. I’m glad some people suggested it anyway, so you could bring your wits back. (Also the fact that you had done a provisional cast-on makes it a perfect solution). Hope you are enjoying all your wits today.

  112. I didn’t say anything about this the first time I commented and then I thought about it all day.
    I live with three pounds of feline rage too (I am so going to steal that phrase). In fact, my three pounds of feline rage is black with long hair too. She also has what my mom calls the ‘flat lidded stare’ that yours seems to share (especially in the one where she’s sitting on your stovetop cursing you for the house being cold).
    Mine is 18 now. She kind of leaks periodically (especially when she’s deep asleep) so we have to keep a close eye on her.
    I just wanted to say, I love your kitty. I just wish I could figure out how to reboot mine and get 18 more years out of her.

  113. Since it sounds like you are doing a knitted on border afterwards, in the interest of not “wasting” the offending yarn. Would it be a reasonable thing to use it on the edging?

  114. So glad your wits returned, and that the Blog was able to assist…
    Knowing that you had the wit to SLICE-ACROSS A CABLE to avoid re-knitting vast chunks of that recent cardigan, it just seems incomprehensible that the same solution would not have ‘leapt to mind.’ But, wits are like that…sometimes they abandon you.
    Fingers crossed that NONE of the remaining balls do not present this same unwanted effect…

  115. Ahem. And that SHOULD have been:
    Fingers crossed that NONE of the remaining balls present (exhibit?) this same unwanted effect…

  116. Next time you see your mother give her a big hug for me! My mother is no longer here to tell me to ‘get a grip on myself’. Sometimes that is some of the best advice anyone can get. Stop, settle down, and think through the problem. And boy did I resent it when she was right!

  117. I want you to know that I read this entire post with my hands over my eyes, peeking out like I was actually watching a horror film.
    This is what my life has become.

  118. Who knew that one day there would be knitters and blog readers all over the world waiting with baited breath to find out what you were going to do with the blanket? Surely our collective thoughts can only bestow a lifetime of good wishes for the lucky baby cuddled in “The Blanket”!! Knit on. Harlot, we love ya!

  119. Stephanie, How wonderful that just the day after you wrote that wonderful article on the power and beauty of the Blog, that the Blog helped you through an awful pass. You are a very fortunate woman and have earned every bit of the respect and affection of us who follow you faithfully. Knit on! Claudia

  120. Reading these comments is like looking at the results of a personality test, optimistic, pragmatic, fatalist, just like yesterday. Your writing has brought this all together into one wise blog…..and the blog adores you.

  121. You should still investigate Tequila. I write this as I am drinking my Friday night Maragarita.

  122. I am so, so glad you didn’t frog the whole thing! And, if you have yarn quantity problems, knitting the border in the extra-fluffy bit wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  123. oh good! glad you took our advice! and since you already had a prov cast on it’s perfect! yay!
    i’m going to have to do the same thing with the sleeves of my sylvi… way too long!
    that’s moss stitch though, so a little harder!

  124. The idea of ripping the whole thing out was so scary to me that I gasped and clicked away to tamer things like a favorite cooking blog. I, too, felt too much like a novice to make a suggestion to you the expert! I am so glad that “the save” turned out to be a bit more reasonable than first supposed. (listen to your mother- isn’t that what you would tell your girls?)

  125. O M G…NOOOOOOOO!
    Reading the first part I was convinced you had frogged it ALL.
    It is a great mystery how stress makes some of your brain function take a holiday, we have all been in that situation at times. So happy all is going well now, don’t need any bad vibes in a baby blanket.

  126. Wow. I need a blog.
    Hey, I have a question though…are we basically assuming at this point that it has something to do with the first ball of yarn somehow being different? Are you just going to not use that yarn at all in finishing the blanket? This is nagging at me so I hope it gets explained in the next episode. (It really is like Star Trek, you know.)

  127. Dear Knitter,
    You’re very welcome. It’s the least we could do in return for eight years of joy derived from reading your words. We’ve been there with THE LINE and its ilk, and we understand that fear can sometimes block logic. Keep calm and knit on. Love,
    The Blog

  128. So you don’t have to do that bit over? That’s AMAZING! Knitters are so very, very smart!!!

  129. Try 13 pounds of feline rage. The Coroner will look at my body and say, “What the H**l??!!!”
    As for the Tequila, I’m with Presbytera. Try it out and let us know. (But from one who knows and has sworn off….DON’T OVER-DO!)
    I’m sure I’d been with everyone else, had I known there was a provisional cast on. Although, I made a sweater once which was too long and snip, snip, shorter and then added the k2p2 bottom. I ‘now’ feel somewhat smarter!
    Thanks, Stephanie. You are my soul and inspiration!
    Bridget

  130. Funny thing…… I was thinking to myself- I would just rip out the part that was different. But being the knitting yoda that you are- I also thought surely you had considered and then discarded this idea for reasons that were above my knitting knowledge. Guess the blog teaches us all….

  131. I know next to nothing about knitting so can’t comment on that but wow! what a beautiful piece of writing.

  132. Perfect, I knew a solution would come. Thank you for posting all the solutions just in case one of us runs into the same problem at some point. At least we will be armed with solutions!

  133. What a gift …. the smile from reading your tale of amazingness will be with for hours! Thank you!!

  134. How long does it take you to read all these comments anyhow? It must be a great feeling that so many people feel so strongly about your blog and are such avid readers.

  135. Solution, serenity, wrapping, packing moving on. I was stricken that you might rip it out – brilliant solution Blog. That ball and the Star Trek reference made me think of ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’…perhaps Tribble Fur?

  136. Another idea for repurposing the mismatched first section: frog it. When the blanket is finished, pick up stitches around the edges. Use the mismatched yarn in a stitch pattern suitable for disguising the apparent difference in thicknesses to knit a border around the edges of the blanket. Done well, this should look like an artistic choice — sort of like ordering two different weights of yarn from Blue Moon or Lorna’s, but requesting that they be from the same dye lot.
    That said: Knit at warp factor 8, phasers on heavy stun, Ms. Harlot.

  137. I was so afraid you were going to say you’d ripped it out in a fit of “must get it done” and then found the solution. . .whew!

  138. Hope you saved the bottom. Compare that material to the finished and properly blocked piece. Would be interesting to see how close they are. Congrats on being happy with your solution.

  139. Only goes to prove what the Blogiversary post and notes said, the Blog is a two way street. If you can stand to work with the “offending” yarn, perhpas a hat for the babe, a doll or teddy blanket, a scarf for an older child, the mum – or dare I say – for the dad.

  140. Laughing laughing laughing. Thank you SO much for this post… and thank goodness you didn’t rip the whole thing. (Margaritas can definitely help too.) Thanks so much for The Blog… perfect ending for a really tough week.

  141. In every spare minute between reading your last post and this one, I have been worrying about you and the blanket, the thought of you frogging it all was so painful.
    I realised my comment with the solution came quite late after your post, so I was worried you might have frogged before thinking of it or reading the suggestion.
    I’m so glad others had the same thought and the surgery worked. It also reassures me that I am not the only one crazy enough to want to do such a thing.
    Well done, you must be relieved that you could salvage so much. I will look forward to the finished photos.

  142. Long live The Blog! (So glad there’s a happy ending here. Now if I can only remember it in my inevitable moment of need…)

  143. All ways a good idea to ask the Blog. I would not have thought to attack from the bottom! What genius! The Blog All Ways Knows!

  144. It may be too late, but could you save the first bit that was different, bind off the edge, and make it into a scarf or a table runner or something? 🙂

  145. Brilliant! I adore your blog – so funny!
    I say take the part you took off and make a scarf, stuffed animal or some other such thing out of it!

  146. I could cry with relief for you! The provisional cast on was a fabulous idea in the first place, I really must learn that technique!!

  147. Whew!
    I agree with the 5 others who suggested using the “odd” yarn that was removed to do the edging/border if its amount is sufficient.

  148. I am so glad this worked out. I had a similar dilemma recently involving a sleeve, a translated Norwegian pattern and a teenage daughter. The latter, when she eventually emerged from the pit at midday Sunday, glanced at the sleeve and said, “Just make the same mistake in the other sleeve. As long as it’s warm, I’m happy.”
    I do love my duaghters 🙂

  149. Hurray!! The thought of all that work and time being ripped out made me want to cry! I’m like you sometimes, certain errors can only be fixed by frogging, but others I don’t worry about and just leave. It all depends on what kind of mistake I made and how noticeable it is.
    I really had to laugh at your brilliant post today. I was one of the “rip out the bottom” commenters. I said that I would rip out the offending section, pick up the live stitches, and then treat it like a provisional cast on. I had no idea that you had used a provisional cast on! This makes me feel like maybe I’m starting to ever so slightly get the hang of this fun thing called knitting. Not because of the group of commenters I was in, but because I realized for the first time that I really understood a knitting concept. Like deep down in my bones understood the problem and had a useful working solution for once. That is so cool that I can barely stand it. I’m such a slow knitter and many of my very talented friends can knit circles around me, but now that’s ok because I actually got it for once! Thanks Stephanie!

  150. Hey Steph, I read this blog for the first time yesterday, after just reading your book ‘All Wound Up’ ( and a great read it was!). I saw that others had suggested just ripping back the different part, and knitting further on, and so didn’t bother commenting. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that sometimes things that seem blindingly obvious in retrospect evade us at the time!!
    Enjoy completing this beautiful blanket!

  151. I actually had that solution pop into my head yesterday, but didn’t mention it because I obviously must harbor some self-esteem issues. I’m “unworthy” in my knitting ability to mention such a thing, thinking you’d have thought of that and disgarded it because of… I don’t know. arg.

  152. OMG, I am so relieved you didn’t rip the whole thing out! I was rather hoping you’d thread some ribbon through the line – I was picturing something epically beautiful in my head – but this is clearly the best solution for you and doesn’t involve the hideousness of frogging all that lovely lovely knitting. And it doesn’t involve crying!

  153. Yarn Harlot – thank you for being one of a few writers that make me laugh out loud – brilliant!

  154. I love how you presented the resolution. I am so glad that you only ripped out the offending part of the blanket.

  155. Good for you- you are very brave and talented to do such a thing. Not sure I could’ve done it myself. I’m a fellow perfectionist and have accrued a lot of Frequent Frogger Yards (knitter’s equivalent of Frequent Flyer Miles, but sadly there’s nothing to cash them in for other than peace of mind)- especially on socks. By the time I’ve made it to the end of the first sock of a pair, I’ve likely already ripped and reknit most sections of the sock at least once and have effectively already conquered Second Sock Syndrome and then must proceed to tackle Third Sock Syndrome!

  156. Thank you Stephanie and to all your subscribers for their comments and stories. The blanket story and all the comments just mirror everything that the knitting community is all about. I’m a relatively new knitter since 2008 and as a take on each new knitting challenge, some not entirely succsessful, it is comforting to read about someone else’s experience and how they dealt with it. I too have been face to face with that age old question…..to rip or not to rip. This was a lace scarf. And I ripped and reknit. I couldn’t sleep until I made that decision. Anyway, thanks to all for being here, thanks for the laughs, I really appreciate you!!

  157. This is why I love your blog! I would have never thought to just rip out the weird part!! I love learning new things from your experience and writing! I have myself frogged a third of a baby blanket because I finally decided that I did not like the pattern and couldn’t bring myself to finish it and give it to my loved one!

  158. Yay! I noticed the provisional cast-on right away, and thought I should comment on that idea. But I figured you’d been knitting so much longer than me that if you hadn’t noticed that solution, it must not be feasible!
    I’m glad someone else mentioned it. I felt sick about you ripping out all that work!

  159. Whew. I’m so glad. I was too terrified you’d go ahead and rip to read the rest of the comments before commenting, so I see now I was a bit redundant. All the same. It’s a relief to know you haven’t needlessly wasted your time!

  160. I had to do that once to a beautiful lace scarf that my (still alive to bark about it) border collie once chewed a hole in about 12 inches up from the bottom! Worked great – and he now leaves my yarn alone. I guess he doesn’t want to go thru the drama of the hysterical me again.

  161. I am pleased to see that this sort of thing bugs you as much as it bugs me. I like not being aloeg in my perfectionism tendencies (I will sometimes let things go…but I, too, have to try, first!). My grandma encouraged me in my quest for perfection, which I learned at her knee 😉
    I agree with the comment from yesterday, when your witty fly away, your creative self takes over….I am working on the name for mine…what will you name yours?

  162. I’m glad this worked out for you. I stayed up until 1:30 last night finishing a lace baby blanket to be presented today. Happily this yarn dries fast, so weaving in, washing and blocking could wait until this morning.

  163. Hi Stephanie
    I have a question…as a Sock knitter of only 4 years experience I was starting to wonder about the average longevity of a pair of hand knit socks. I have a friend, an extremely experienced sock knitter who chooses to look at her socks rather than wearing them, so as to prevent them wearing out. I love her…but think she is being stupid. If I wear my hand knit socks they will wear out and I will have all the more reason to knit more socks, right? As the socks I first knit four years ago are starting to wear out, I have been darning them…but now even the darning is wearing out. Do I feel guilty throwing out the worn out socks? What do I do with the perfectly good cuffs ? Any observations you have on this subject will be gratefully received.

  164. That last group has got a lot of very clever knitters in it, doesn’t it? Well done with the fix!

  165. I think this is one of my favorite posts of all time. The blanket is definitely going to be a family heirloom and therefore worth taking time to fix. And what a brilliant solution!

  166. Most excellent job, of course and as usual.
    Also, you’re a mother, hence, you know the rule: always listen to your mother.
    The end.

  167. My Mom said “that error/mistake/oh-oh is your signature”.
    The tequila part sounded nice.
    Perfectness is not creativity.
    Yoga is the answer.
    Then maybe a good long walk out in the fresh air . . .

  168. And the part you took off will make a perfectly matching pillow to go with the lovely blanket.

  169. No worries my Child…
    I hit that tequilla for YOU! Man-o-manschevitz!
    You are still my hero(heroine)!!!!

  170. Yikes, you mean I have to carefully scrutinize each skein from now on for “fluffiness”, even when they’re the same dye lot?????

  171. Wow! Glad you found a solution. I think the blog is way cool but it does seem sort of trekky in a good and non-hive or collective way!

  172. Glad you found a solution that saved much work yet still held the knitting gods at bay.
    I often have to discuss the difference between perfection and excellence with my students. The ‘blanket line’ may be come a new part of that lore.

  173. You’re such a good writer! I love that it worked out, but I love all the asides about the writer in Toronto and her family, etc. Still chuckling — thanks!

  174. Oh, I’m so happy for you! I had that thought when I read the first post, but assumed that there was some reason you had already considered why that wouldn’t work in this case. Glad “the blog” came through for you!
    And happy for all of us too, because reading you is so much fun!

  175. Hey, that was me. I am in that group. I’m only bragging because it’s so rare for me to be right.
    Nonetheless, the blog is quite cool with it’s many perspectives (all wise especially when needed). The more ideas really do help with finding a fitting answer.
    Also, as to the Tequila, I’ve learned with experience, that Tequila is always “with friends”, never with anyone but the best. So proceed with care.
    However, still patiently a-waiting pattern information…

  176. So glad the blog helped. I always marvel at how our senses leave us when we need them the most. Glad you’re back on track.

  177. HooRAY! I’m glad you got that sorted. Pass the tequilla anyway and we’ll celebrate. I’ll bring the limes and salt.

  178. Steph– You won’t believe this. Mexico’s airport security confiscated ALL OF MY KNITTING NEEDLES this afternoon. “They are pointy! They are dangerous!” They took two circular needles and a set of four DPNs that were perfect for winter hats. And a small pair of snippers my daughter gave me years ago. When did knitters begin to be seen as terrorists?
    How about a blog on where knitters can take knitting needles in carry-on luggage and where they cannot. I’ve flown to Florida, Jamaica and Cancun. The Cancun to Orlando leg cost me about $50 in needles and other tools.
    The next time I’m in a Mexican airport, NO ONE is getting a tip!
    Penny

  179. I once found the site of a moth-feast near the waist of a bottom-up vest done in sock wool for my husband so he could have a light, non-bulky layer of warmth under his tweed jacket for work. This was especially distressing because said moths had completely ignored the fact that they were restricted by human decree from eating “moth resistant” superwash wool. Apparently they didn’t get the memo.
    I was so distressed, then I realized that the silver- dollar sized areas of doom had occurred just below a band of a different band of texture pattern (It is a fisherman’s gansey style vest). I had more of the yarn, so I ripped out from the garter band DOWN, picked up the stitches, and knit down with a combination of salvaged and remaining yarn. You can’t tell the difference at all. The other dime sized moth hole was near the neck back. I simply fixed that with duplicate stitch and it is barely noticeable.
    I am SO careful about moths but apparently this happened during a mild spell of false spring last winter. Grumble grumble grumble.
    Glad you could fix the lovely blanket. Both cast-off ends will match, too.

  180. ania–A quick solution for worn out sock feet but still usable cuffs…Snip a thread at the bottom of the cuff just above the worn bits. Ravel a couple of rows or more, then re-knit the end with some narrow lacy edge or, if you ravel several rows, turn it into a ruffle. Presto change-o, ankle warmers. Spin Off did an article on them a while ago, totally cute. Funny how our Ms. Harlot’s solution to the evil odd yarn blanket woes is so similar to your question! Must be snip season!!

  181. Tnank you, thank you, thank you! You provided the break through that I needed on a project I’ve been contemplating for a while now. Genuis.

  182. Also for Ania – if the feet are no longer worth darning you could save the sock tops for mitten cuffs (different colored hands of course). Also, if you can salvage at least a third of the foot yarn you can re-knit the feet in a stripe using a new color for, say, two rows and the old for the third. And if you have a jacket or coat with straight sleeves, you can sew a cuff up inside the sleeve as a wind blocker. Most coats have that added now anyway but maybe you could find one that doesn’t.

  183. Brilliant! And a brilliantly written blog post. Thanks for sharing this, I’ll remember this solution when I need it. I am of the crazy school myself sometimes when something is wrong and tend to just rip everything out (in tears the whole time).

  184. I am very happy that your blanket is better now. But inquiring minds over here want to know: What on earth was causing that line? I could see it quite clearly, and it now feels like the missing clue in a mystery story: if it wasn’t a different batch of yarn or dye, and you didn’t switch needles or change the pattern, then *what* was going on??

  185. I just wondered, looking at the picture, did you accidentally change needles? Maybe not for a different size (that would be silly, and you would know – wouldn’t you?) but a different brand, because not all sizes are equal. Even though you have solved the problem I have a feeling that this will continue to bug you until you have found the reason for the line.

  186. Please explain for us – when you’re finished with the blanket, of course – a bit more of the “how to”. I was under the impression one could not rip back from the cast on edge, only from the bind off. Any special things to note about ripping back from a provisional cast on? thanks!

  187. I read most of the comments and couldn’t come up with anything original. But you fixed that Rhinebeck (forgive spelling sweater and I would have put it awau to think on for a long time, and probably frogged.
    Yea, for a solution. Baby, parents, and knitter can all be happy with this solution.

  188. Apparently, some of us were more concerned with the CAUSE of the problem, and not so much with the solution! The is a great solution to the problem, but I still want to know what caused it!!

  189. Don’t feel too bad, last weekend, I had a momentary lapse of reason while sewing. After carefully, measuring and altering a pattern to fit just right, making a prototype to ensure that I had it all just so, I managed to put in the sleeves backwards. The shirt is still sitting in my sewing room where I left it after deciding that maybe sewing is too challenging. I’ll eventually go back and fix my mistake, but I needed some cool down time. Thank goodness there is knitting – safe, and comforting!

  190. ania at 1:20 pm:
    Pick up at the bottom of the cuffs of the worn out socks, and knit a new foot (x2). The yarn need not match color, as long as it’s the same weight.
    Next, knit a new foot – or a dozen – and keep them handy, so next time you can Kitchener stitch them onto the cuffs.

  191. Great work. Can I just say that ripping (whether from top or bottom) is what makes knitting so wonderful? (Try ripping a handmade quilt.) But smart ripping. That’s where it’s really at.

  192. Isn’t it lovely when someone – anyone – can provide the voice of reason that suddenly makes the impossible seem not only possible, but entirely reasonable and easily accomplished?
    I love presenting a problem to others, whether I know them or not, and have the perfect solution appear 😉

  193. Girl, I thought of you you all weekend. I felt badly that I had offered advice – you’d not asked for it. Your heavy heart filled the page – I couldn’t help myself.
    Today you sound better…yon Harlet returneth!
    It’s a very lucky wee babe, to be gifted a work so full of good karma. Happy knitting!!

  194. And now when the new babe is wrapped in said blanket, you will not be noticing “that line”. Much better to see the beauty of a newly born baby! Makes MY heart happy just to think about a beautiful new baby.
    Maybe the logic of the fix for the blanket will be gifted to the baby along with all the love that goes into making such a beautiful heirloom.
    Could you give the baby a hug and kiss from “the blog”?

  195. I hate to be a wet blanket (though I couldn’t resist using that line) but I don’t know how many more balls of this yarn are involved, and it worries me that some of them are of the same ilk as that first one…

  196. Thanks go to The Knitter’s Mom (for a crack at sanity), and to the Blog for coming up with a sane solution. Knit on (very quickly)!

  197. It seemed the logical solution. I didn’t comment because so many others had suggested it. I once took the ribbing off an Aran and lengthened the sweater by four inches and I hadn’t cast on provisionally. I suggest making the extra piece into a hat, claiming that the fuzzier yarn seemed more suitable for touching skin. My beloved has dubbed me the Empress of Rationalization.
    I had a revelation over the weekend while trying to finish a hat at a retreat. I knew my yarn was limited and the part hugging my head might be shorter than I had envisioned. Then I realized I hadn’t even enough to get back to my head from the edge of the beret. A wool hat is not effective if you have to use a bobby pin to hold it on your head. I was in a loving space and could rip out without crying. Alas, the floor was not clean enough for my usual dramatic abandon. I’d have to rip out 18 inches at a time while forming a ball on one hand. So I didn’t rip out and rewind as a separate step. I started the next hat (with five spiraling wedges) with the yarn end from the six spiral hat. Much less yarn wrangling, although several sisters-in-chant concluded that I knit mainly to keep my mental illness in check. What mental illness? I’m auditioning for the role of Penelope and unravel all my work every night. I worry that I’m going to wear out this lovely wool silk hand painted yarn before I have a hat. But the lady at the yarn store said that a yarn this loosely spun doesn’t get much less spun with each iteration. She could be one of my princesses.

  198. I’m glad your readers were able to come up with a solution. It was kind of what I had in my mind but didn’t think to write it down.
    Fly, fingers, fly!

  199. There is one other solution. And I rather suspect the Blog already mentioned it… but you could have just died it to a different shade. Such as pale green, pale yellow, bright orange. Just saying. Smart Blog.

  200. What an absolutely brilliant solution! SO glad to hear that you didn’t have to frog the entire blanket! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!

  201. This was exhausting for me and I was an innocent bystander/stalker during the entire affair. Here is was I REALLY want to know: What caused the line in the first place. Were it me with this issue, (granted, a much less accomplished knitter than you) I would be forever agonizing over whether I might inadvertently cause the line to appear again therby spending endless hours wondering how it came about so as to avoid it again….but that’s me.

  202. I feel your pain. I feel that, at times, I am living in your body, or you are living in my body…whatever….
    I do however have a question for you. Do you know of any website, book, tutorial, where I can use up all the bits and pieces of my stash? Some of it is 4 skeins/hanks/rolls or less. Some is just a bit. I just have the need to DO SOMETHING with it, so I do not feel I wasted the precious $$ I spent…..
    Having a stash habit is bad, but I also have one with quilting fabric and decorative painting patterns….this is really becoming uncontrollable….HELP !!!
    Love you, love your writing, did you ever in your wildest dreams think your life would take this turn?
    Happy for you, happy for me to read you, I understand you TOTALLY….
    Chris in NY

  203. Thank you for sharing yourself with US. Finding your blog, about 6 weeks after you started it IIRC, changed my knitting life for ever in a very good way. I found out I was NOT a nasty old granny just because the corners of every drawer and cabinet were filled with yarn! I lived in south florida at the time, and except for a few of mom’s friends and one friend’s awesome mom, I knew no one else who knit or crocheted, but I loved both to distraction. I took a LOT of crap from my then teenaged sons for it.
    Then along comes this zany, funny, young knitter on the internet. I credit you with dragging me out of the closet to hold my head up and be proud of my yarnie pursuits. Heck, I even first heard of Ravelry from you!
    You are the best!

  204. Ohh “The Blog.” Where were they when I was knitting the “Oh Deer” mittens I had to knit, after I saw them here! Ripped out the whole flippin’ mitten. Needed smaller needles. And no . . . I am too dumb to swatch! ACK!

  205. I am sure that the recipient of the blanket thanks you for not ripping the entire thing too, since she can’t give birth until the blanket is finished, that is if your past is any indication of the future.

  206. Brilliant — loved your post — I read your first post too late to weigh in but when I did read it I was pleased to see that I was trying to think creatively as a solution to the problem — I’ve frequently cut a stitch and unraveled a piece to work down from it but with your problem, I hadn’t reasoned it out to the point where you convert your mistake into the beginning of the work and continue knitting up and away from it — I have a WIP in hibernation precisely for a similar reason — because I don’t like how I added in pockets at the bottom of the work — must take a second look and see if I can come up with a creative way to salvage this piece — mine is a bit more complicated though by shaping rows as the work progressed.

  207. i thought of that and then said to myself “self, if the harlot didn’t come up with it, it won’t work.” i’m glad someone had the gall to question your knowledge and you can remain sane for a while longer. 🙂

  208. Good ending, really funny story. Am I the only one who took a tiny secret bit of perverse pleasure in the fact that even a teacher/designer/lecturer/etc/ can experience this type of angst??? Hey, it was only a TEENSY TINY bit. By the way, I used the “Urban Dictionary” to make sure I spelled “perverse” right, and the thesaurus part listed “Canada” amongst the other unattractive synonyms…could that be the cause of the yarn problem? Secret web-based anti-Canadian-ism? Good work, BLOG, saner minds prevailed again.

  209. I am constantly amazed by how the best solutions are usually the simplest. Congratulations on (another) work of art.

  210. Your comment about what kind of person with 38 years of experience continues on, knowing that it’s all wrong, strikes a chord with me. Here I am. And I do that more often than I admit. Tried to ignore the cast on edge isn’t going to work but COMPLETE the shawl anyway. At least I never blocked it. I am reknitting it. No deadline; just my pride. There would definitely be a bottle of akvavit if I had cut off the lace and bead cast on edge.

  211. I know I’m late weighing in,and I have not read all the comments,so this might have already been covered. I’m also assuming you are not using a hand spun yarn on the blanket. That said, in the manufacturing process, even though the color and dye lot may be the same, the weight of the fiber can differ from the beginning of the process to the end of the lot. As the fibers are run through the mill, little bits of fiber actually separate and are lost, so the beginning of a run is fluffier and fuller, less stretched, than the end of the run. It sounds as if you managed to get some errant yarns.
    Then again, I may not have a clue what I’m talking about. I do know that’s what happens to needleart fibers, such as floss, so I’m thinking it happens to yarn as well.

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