Take the Hint

This weekend was indeed full of knitting – or as full of knitting as you can make it while still meeting minimum standards of cleanliness and providing a reasonable amount of food for the masses – emphasis being on the minimum.  I decided that before I turned myself loose onto the stuff I really want to be knitting I’d finish up what was on the needles – sort of.  I didn’t go deep into the UFO (UnFinished Object) pile, just took a stab at clearing up the few things that were haunting the knitting basket. 

The trouble is that I think I hate it all, and I think it’s starting to hate me back.  If I were a less experienced knitter I would be inclined to think that everything I am knitting is a stinking slag-heap of fibre, but I am an experienced knitter, and I know about the crap that knitting likes to run on you, and I’m well aware of what’s going on here. It isn’t that all the knitting I’m doing now is bad, it’s that thinking it is – that’s an early symptom of Startitis.  I’m not falling for it. I’m finishing this stuff and that’s a promise – or at least, that’s what I said.

Apparently my knitting didn’t like that sense of determination, and so it’s teamed up with the universe to make it hard.  Take the new Flow. I read the comments carefully, cracking up at what you guys had to say. Often, there’s an overwhelming sense of the right thing to do in the comments.  I’ll say "Hey dudes, I have this knitting problem" and 95% of you will agree.  Not so much this time. There was about a 50/50 split in there – with the lot of you completely divided on which direction cotton yarn is going to screw me in. Half of you agreed with Taraincolorado:

It is cotton. It will grow as you wear it. Don’t let it fool you into adding extra length.

and the other half went with JudiP53, who was sure about this:

Cotton is going to shrink lengthwise and grow widthwise. It may measure the same as the Seduce version now, but it won’t after a couple of soaks.

This, by the way, only confirmed my belief that cotton is a beast to work with, and tells all sorts of lies to all kinds of knitters. I was starting to think it was just a matter of experience (and I am inexperienced with cotton) and then look at that.  A whole bunch of people who knit cotton all the time, and there’s still no agreement at all on how it behaves.  (I bet that if we investigated further, we’d find out some interesting things about how those two camps treat cotton in the gauge department, but there’s no way to know how I compare to them, so I suppose it’s not helpful right this minute.)  I decided to trust my instincts, based solely on the fact that every time I’ve ever been really shafted by a knitted thing, I’ve felt it was coming and ignored the hint.  I ripped back both pieces, added another inch to them, blocked them, and sewed them up – happily thinking that now all they need is the neck and arm bands knitted on, and that’s only a little work, and then this project will be done. 

Thing is, as I was sewing, I noticed something strange.  (Well, first I noticed that I hadn’t made them the same length and had to rip back one of the pieces again and fix that, but I’m not going to go on about that.) I noticed a little spot on the knitting that looked bleached.  

Then I noticed another, and another.  Some on the right side of the work and some on the back, but there they were.  These pictures don’t really show how obvious the spots are. They glow with a neon orange that can’t be accurately captured.  

I don’t use bleach anywhere in the house, so I’m not sure how it happened… but it was unmistakable.  Joe wondered if it wasn’t one of Sam’s cosmetics, and I did wash it in the bathroom sink, so perhaps, but it is obvious, and there’s no way I can wear it like that.  I duplicate stitched over two of the spots to see if I could hide it, and washed it again to see if I’ve fixed it, or if the stitching will spoil the whole thing.

It’s drying in the backyard right now, and truthfully, I have no issues with taking this whole tank and pitching it in the bin and calling it done that way. That’s also being fueled by the way that the bottom edge keeps curling.  My first Flow didn’t do that.)  The yarn wasn’t cheap, and I’d resent it bitterly, but maybe all this trouble is an actual hint that I’m not supposed to finish it.  Maybe I do hate it.  Maybe it does hate me.  Maybe it’s not a symptom of Startitis after all, because if it just so happened to burst into flames right there in the backyard right now,  I don’t think I’d feel anything but relief, and I don’t care if the tank knows I said that.  The thing has no spirit of co-operation, and I guess it doesn’t know what I learned from my grade 11 boyfriend, which is that being good looking doesn’t excuse you from being a total turd. That tank needs to get its scene together, or there could be a small, completely accidental fire.

228 thoughts on “Take the Hint

  1. Pitch it. Get rid of the bad mojo! The universe already tried to tell you that with the spots! (and some facial washes/products are very bleaching — benzoyl peroxide, etc.)
    So sorry!

  2. Why not just give it away? Or maybe raffle it? It is a beautiful color and made by OUR Harlot. I know a lot of readers who would $$ for a chance to own one of your creations!

  3. Just let it go, its a sign that it is just not ment to be.move on to something that’s fun and gives you a good feeling.

  4. Oh, I hear you. I am knitting a beast of a tank…for a 7 year old who is starting 2nd grade. I got perfect gauge. Or so I thought until I realized I had the wrong ROW gauge. Bugger.
    The cable on it looks like crap. The whole thing looks like crap. But the 7 year old who is getting it knows naught of gauge, but only it is pink/purple/lavender and her mom is making it for her first day of school and she loves it. I will continue to slog through the blasted thing. Because I love her. But I HATE the stupid tank.

  5. Sometimes I put my knitting in time out when it pisses me off. But I don’t see that as an option here. I say pitch it. It sounds like this item is begging for a fight, and you shouldn’t give it the satisfaction.

  6. All that work and expense going up in flames might make you feel better in the short term. You could make it do hard labor by being a cleaning shirt. I have a couple shirts in great shape, but because of a spot they will not be worn in public. So, I wear them when cleaning. Burning Flow might be a way to get your other UFOs to shape up, though.

  7. I’ve found that projects become UFOs for a reason. Either their not turning out as glorious as expected, or the pattern is flawed, or there’s a step that needs more exploration, or it’s just not fun.
    Get rid of them! Pass them onto friends. Unravel them. Be done with it. Unless you’re a knitwear designer, knitting is a hobby that should provide fun and relaxation. Let go and move on.

  8. toss it into some rust dye – if that doesn’t work, pitch it! Why give it the power to shaft you?

  9. This has been my summer of “finish it, you crazy person, before a new wave of Startitis hits you”. So…. those knits you can’t really love? Just make them go away. Get them out of your house. I think you should just ditch it in whatever way seems right and move on to the next. The benefit? Many less UFOs, and the way is cleared to start something new!

  10. Oh, dear. Apparently, we all had the same 11th grade boyfriend. Lesson learned. I say Dump It. It will never make you happy.

  11. The bleaching: facial cleansers. Ever since my daughter started using acne control facial cleaners, I’ve noticed some of the towels with bleached out spots on them. I blame the salicylic acid, but I’m not certain it’s really the culprit.

  12. Good luck with your end result.
    Could be toothpaste, some of the toothpastes have a component to bleach your teeth and if you drool while brushing it will bleach what you are wearing.

  13. It’s not the salicylic acid. It’s the benzoyl peroxide. Will take the color right out of everything. Even things you didn’t think you touched! It’s now banned from my house.

  14. Burn baby burn! I agree with Patty about the acne-control product. I buy light-colored towels for the bathroom, since the benzoyl peroxide leaves light spots.

  15. Dear Steph,
    You don’t know me but I have 7 skeins of Seduce in color #4486, which is a sort of light lavender with grey. Plus I’m going to be in Toronto this coming weekend. I’d be happy to give it all to you if it will help set the universe to rights.
    PM me on Ravelry (RisaB223) or shoot me an email.

  16. It could be an acne cream or cosmetic that included Benzoyl Peroxide. It can bleach fabrics. (This message has been brought to you by a knitting pharmacist.)
    Ditch the tank and start something you like. You know you’re going to eventually. Why waste time worrying about it?

  17. I think pitching it in a vat of dye isn’t a bad idea. If that fixes the problem, great!
    If it doesn’t fix the problem, then I can truthfully say that burning things is rather cathartic.
    …and I had that same 11th grade boyfriend. I didn’t learn my lesson until 12th grade however. But I think it’s made me a wiser woman as a result.

  18. I agree with Debby. Raffle it! Something knit by you will be treasured!
    And I have a huge bowl that I use for soaking. Nothing else goes into it! I never trust how clean my sinks are. Now I think that’s even a better idea than before!

  19. Frog it and turn it into dish cloths. Nothing like being used to scrub left-over food matter from dirty dishes to teach it a lesson it won’t soon forget.

  20. I knit a fair bit with good quality 100% cotton and always use at least 2-3 inches of negative ease and the sweaters works out great. Equal or Positive ease and the sweater will be huge on me. I also just throw mine in the washer and dryer which is why I like knitting with it. Just food for thought.
    Love the color and as someone said above, over dyeing may be a good fix.

  21. Burn it at the stake, burn it at the stake! That beast is never going to cooperate and is only going to cause you further anguish.

  22. BAH! Cotton! I say give it away, auction it, let the (seemingly currently absent) squirrels make a nice warm nest of it.
    And, RisaB223, if Steph doesn’t want the Seduce, i will happily buy it as I am now doomed to Flow

  23. Startitis can be helping you…. Giftmas is only a few months away so let startitis fly as long as it sticks with your knitted gift list… I have started, but only by picking up the yarn for 4 gifts and attempting the fingerless mitts for my 14 year old (pattern issues…. Somehow 31 stitches using worsted weight yarn on size 3 US needles is supposed to make the cuff big enough for a man’s large hand…. I’ve gone up to a 5mm and it’s still too small…. Now I am thinking of changing patterns)

  24. Sew a bit of cotton tape/ribbon around the inside of the lower hem, finish the neck and GIVE IT AWAY…
    I spent a distressing half an hour at our local recycling plant today – pitching years and years of stuff into skips. Stuff we bought for large sums of cash (when we had little money to spare). Now you literally can’t give it away. It made me value what I have and It also made me determined to think hard about what I buy in future. Your bete noir could be someone else’s ‘go-to’ top!

  25. BAH! Cotton! I say give it away, auction it, let the (seemingly currently absent) squirrels make a nice warm nest of it.
    And, RisaB223, if Steph doesn’t want the Seduce, i will happily buy it as I am now doomed to Flow
    Mamie1 on Rav

  26. It’s like a two-year-old. In the photo everyone else sees, it seems so cute and so perfect and so lovely. In your real life it’s all tantrums and angst and difficulty at mealtime. Unlike a small child, you can send it on its way without a bit of guilt. DO IT!!

  27. All the people saying it is a facial cleanser are probably right. I used to work at a store that sold towels that were dyed using all natural dyes, and we got a lot of returns/exchanges from families with teenagers with spots identical to the ones on your tank.
    Do you think maybe if you finished it and put it away in the dresser, you’d be over some of the emotional scarring by next summer? Sometimes I won’t wear a knit for months after I’m finished with it, because I’m tired of staring at its stupid face. (Not literally of course, I don’t generally knit faces into my clothes.) But after a season or two I’ll pull it out and have a new perspective.

  28. I, who never abandons objects, agree – pitch it. That curled edge is the last straw, it’s as if that naughty tank is blowing you raspberries. 100% cotton? I’d repurpose it to the washrag pile.

  29. Perhaps the spots are the universe’s way of teling you not to finish it. Could you repurpose the yarn into cute baby things? Or give it to a friend who likes cotton yarn and would make good use of it?

  30. I think if you hate it now, you’ll never wear it so stop fighting the inevitable. Move on to something you will enjoy!

  31. I’ve been reading you for yrs, and Have never commented. I think that those spots will not come out. Therefore it needs some kind of applique to cover it, or a button, a knitted flower, felt butterfly or 2-3….
    or you can send it to me and never see it again!!! seriously it is pretty even w it’s imperfections.

  32. I like the lighting it on fire scenario. It has a cleansing aspect to it that I feel you need after all the trouble Flo has given you. Get out the matches!

  33. Pitch it. Or, frog the whole thing and knit it into a wide-brimmed gardening hat, so at least it won’t be a TOTAL waste of expensive yarn (just a really expensive hat). Then go buy you some Seduce in Vintage White or Lunar and dye scraps of it til you get a color you like, then knit you another Flow just like the first but in your very own Harloty color (I agree with you – the color selection on the Seduce is uber-limited and not very Harloty at all).

  34. @Risa (1:12pm): If Stephanie doesn’t want that Seduce, I could give it a very good home!! *tries hard to look like the yarn-poor impoverished waif I’m very close to being*

  35. Dye it and give it away as a karmic rebalancing gift. Problem solved. Or don’t even bother with the dye; just give the stinker away.

  36. Reaffirming my commitment to always scrubbing the bathroom sink before hand-washing, even if it looks clean. (Could have been a hint of whitening toothpaste.)

  37. Perhaps this whole conundrum will be solved by a squirrel falling in love with the drying garment and whisking it away to line a nest with. this will bring about a total change of heart from said harlot concerning the value of squirrels.

  38. Send it to me. I won’t even mind the curling bottom edge or the neon spots. 🙂

  39. I’d frog the whole thing and re-ball it, then toss it to the bottom of the stash. You never know when you might need to make a quick little autumn scarf for someone who can’t wear wool around their neck. I don’t think those spots will be noticeable at all if it was re-knit as something else entirely.

  40. Get some procion dye and overdye the tank after finishing the bands. Get a color as close as you can if you want the same color-guaranteed success on those light spots. Resist the crapometer train and dye that tank into submission!

  41. My only attempt at Flow ended up in the trash. I just couldn’t make it work, and I tried more than once. I love the look of it, but I’ve been too chicken to try again!

  42. Maybe someone you know would/does love it as it is? I bet if you ask the internet (or just your friends) someone out there will love it as much as you feel meh about it 🙂 Otherwise frog and give the yarn away?

  43. And another voice joins the chorus: get rid of it!
    Life is too short to have to deal with tricksy, underperforming yarn. Not when there’s so much better yarn just longing to leap onto your needles and make magic for you.

  44. When I don’t like something I knit, I usually donate it to a women’s shelter. Especially if it is something that is actually quite pretty (I think this Flow is quite pretty) and just hated by me. If it is a total piece of crap then I send it to goodwill or the Humane Society to be used as puppy bedding.

  45. I laughed so hard when I read this. And felt a great wave of relief that I’m not the only knitter who has occasional failures and bursts of anger/resentment toward particular projects. Actually, it’s the reason I took up designing. It seems to be easier for me to avoid these experiences when I’m in charge of the pattern. Not that I’m avoiding them completely…

  46. Don’t waste the yarn. Rip it back and weave it into a pretty scarf. The “spots” will be points of interest or may be obscured in the weave.

  47. There is another option for covering up small bleached spots. Get an indelible marker in the same or close colour and colour over the spot with the marker. I have saved many an outfit with this technique.

  48. I shall cast my lot with the overdye crowd, and add that a nice little border- perhaps a simple sc chain? Would solve your curling problem.

  49. Stephanie, I can offer a character reference for Risa (RisaB233 on Ravelry)–she’s not a deranged psychopath stalker, but a nice lady who’s in the German Shepherd Lovers Group on Rav. (Maybe that WOULD put some people off, gee!) She works in German Shepherd Rescue in Virginia and fosters dogs for rehoming whose owners have decided they can’t handle them (usually because they think a GSD comes out of the package like Rin Tin Tin!) Our group is having a meetup in Toronto to cruise yarn shops this coming weekend. So you can trust that Risa’s yarn, while it might have a dog hair or two in it, is good stuff. I know, we all have to be careful, and you don’t know ME from Adam, either. (And I don’t know if you like the color she has, either) Just offering this as a FWIW…

  50. I’ve made two tanks this summer, both from the same yarn and neither of them fit!
    Partly my fault, but also partly just–I don’t even know. My Coachella is the right size, should have been the right number of bust short rows, right length, it just looks like *ss. Boobs in the wrong place. So frustrating! I’m going to end up ripping out both completed projects (and I never finish summer tops the same summer so it hurts) and put the yarn away till I’ve forgotten all about it. Blech!

  51. Speaking from experience, there is a nice feeling of satisfaction when chucking this kind of thing into the trash bin. (A lace, sort-of raglan cardigan. I made one sleeve, then the second. They didn’t match (shape). So I knit a third sleeve, and when it didn’t match either of the first two, away it all went. In a 40+ year knitting career, it’s the only thing I’ve ever pitched, and I have never regretted it.)

  52. If you hate it, don’t keep it. There are enough frustrating things in the world without intentionally keeping one in your closet.
    Maybe there’s someone out there who would find it a source of joy instead of rage. Maybe a charity that collects clothes would appreciate it. Or maybe someone would get a kick out of it as a karmic balancing gift. No reason it can’t do a little community service to make up for those nasty things it said.

  53. Your green Flow is gorgeous. This will not be the same because of the rayon drape factor. Cut your losses now and either have a raffle, trade, drawing of some sort and maybe someone else might not be “clobbered” by it. Sad, because the colour is gorgeous but it seems to be one of the joys – not – of cotton yarn. Ask me how I know that! LOL

  54. Nothing like pimple cream to bleach something, I have the towels to prove it. Life is to short, if you hate it and its this much trouble, make yourself happy and pitch it.

  55. i’m always afraid this will happen so i try to clean the sink out well with a mild soap (or else there will just be an even greater chance of some odd chemical stain…not like it’s happened to me before or anything…uh, never…). and for those REALLY special projects i end up using a plastic washtub that’s labeled KNITTING ONLY. but that may or may not have once been used to wash the dog…

  56. raffle it off!! if the duplicate stitch isn’t working, and you really don’t love it…..you could dye it and see if you like it better, if not, send it onwards! Toothpaste is what usually bleaches things out here.

  57. When I have a project that I am secretly hoping will burst into flames, it becomes a cat bed. I knit up this Hemlock Ring throw in a wool that I was really hoping was going to be nicer once it was washed a few times…nope, it was just as horribly scratchy as ever, and on top of that started to disintegrate after a few hand washings. All that work! But I put it on the cat bed and you would think the thing was made of catnip as much love as it’s gotten from the furry ones.

  58. Hi Stephanie,
    First, Congratulations on finishing the fundraising ride!
    You’ve already received many good suggestions about the top/cotton. I’ll put my vote on the side of donating the cotton (ie, unravel the top) to a church rummage sale, or your local Mission Services … some sort of place where a person with not much money will get the benefit of finding something really good quality and not so old as to break frequently (as happens with much donated fibre). Maybe put it in a bag with a little note saying that some variations in colour will come along. I’ll vote for not donating the top as a top because even if someone loves it as is, there’s always another person who’ll make a snarky comment about “spots” and ruin the first woman’s day.
    Best regards!

  59. Don’t pitch it if you hate it. Auction it off for Knitters without Borders. I KNOW you’ll have takers. That said – I’ll bet it looks lovely once dry, and even better on.

  60. Does anybody know the good people at Berrocco, who produce Seduce? Perhaps they could be convinced to dye up a similar bronze-y color?
    WEBS has a gorgeous turquoise Seduce, but I guess that’s not a Harlotty color, is it?

  61. Get rid of it. You will never be happy with it so say adios and get it out of your hair. Cotton is just, well, cotton. Bad knitting mojo, there.

  62. This just happened to me with a hat that was supposed to be a certain way and it will not cooperate. Into the bonfire with it.

  63. It looks so innocent and lovely hanging there in the back garden. But do not mistake an innocent look for good will. The Tank doesn’t appear to have any of the latter.

  64. I love cotton, but not in knitted garments. My Hey Teach can wrap around me twice, hoping the remake in Remix does not have the same outcome!
    My opinion: forgive yourself, toss it and go on with those things you love.
    I may learn that lesson for myself when I finally grow up, after all I am “only” 60!

  65. Pitch it?!! All that lovely work and beautiful yarn?!! Think creatively – add a patch or button or embroider over the spots. I am not a very experienced knitter but I would never let something I once thought was going to be beautiful make me throw in the towel. I always read but have never commented, but this thread made me. Remember how fun knitting is suppose to be!

  66. How come you don’t use bleach?
    I wash my handknit socks in the wash hand basin – your washing tale is alarming. I will be more careful in future. The last thing I want to have happen to handknit socks is having spots, and concomitant weakening of the fibres. There are also spotty teenagers, and teethcleaners who inhabit the house.
    Yikes – you’d a thunk it.

  67. That was supposed to be ‘who’d a thunk it’.
    Wouldn’t you know it, the one time this typist didn’t check before she posted, there was a massive error in it.

  68. Come on, Harlot, be an inspiration to all of us. Put down the matches and teach it who’s boss. Those spotches are a) miniscule b) a design element.
    P.S. Berocco lives in Rhode Island now and they still manufacture Seduce.
    Throw a i-cord binding on the bottom so it doesn’t curl and call it a day.

  69. The fluoride in toothpaste can also cause color bleaching – it’s nasty stuff. So sorry that so many things are challenging you with this beautiful tank.

  70. Life is too short to waste time on knitting stuff you hate.
    Don’t feel bad about ditching it.
    PS does anyone have contacts? Some solutions use peroxide.

  71. Do you like embroidery? Maybe a few scattered embroidered flowers would work to mask the spots and look cute and original at the same time?

  72. Maybe your nemisis the squirrel will come get it…maybe hes switched his taste from fleece to cotton now that its summer?

  73. I wonder if, after all extra work of dyeing and all the other stuff if, when you go to your closet and look at that version of Flow, if you will just shake your head and grab something else. In which case, it will not only have been a waste of your time and your talents, but it will now just take up precious space in your closet and your life.
    I say either flame it or use it when your painting the hallway/bathroom/hidden closet of stash.

  74. I once had a tank I hated. Actually I had one and my sister had one too. Both ended up getting ripped out in the end and the yarn re-purposed because neither would have been worn. Make your final call after you try it on.

  75. I would say unravel it if you can’t live with the spots that still show through after duplicate-stitch. Or unravel it because you don’t like it anymore. But I know you, I think. You can’t unravel it. The yarn is not cheap, but its the yarn that you don’t want to work with anymore. It taunted you. Even though its one of your favorite orange colors. So, I’m thinking it will go into the drawer or back of the closet never to be seen again…. So long orange flow!!! 😉

  76. It looks pretty, though I understand hating the curling. Maybe you can unravel it and give the yarn away (or give it away without unraveling. We can all do that part).

  77. Give it to the first person who admires it and could fit into it, thereby being rid of it and attracting good Karmic debt!
    I’m intrigued about cotton changing, according to the blog. I always knit my children cotton jumpers, living in the subtropics and they do distort with wear. I thought it was just me but I’m going to measure them before giving them to the children and see which way they grow.
    I suspect mine grow widthwise but will be scientific about it.

  78. understanding the sentiment about relief if the darn thing caught on fire- I left a sweater I was having Major Issues with and Hostility towards accidentally on a plane a couple of months ago. Though outwardly I fretted inwardly I was secretly relieved. Until the next day when my daughter went to the airport again to pick up her father, went to the baggage claim and found my knitting in the lost and found. That was three months ago. I still hate it, and may never finish it.

  79. I like the idea of donating it. Maybe there is someone out there looking for a tank with a couple of bleach spots and a curling end and will love it with all of their heart.
    P.S. I completely agree with your diagnosis of cotton – it is a fickle friend (or fiend whichever works)

  80. wow I think I need to start a blog so I can get lots of great ideas to solve my problems too (not just knitting)

  81. Hate when a knitted project gets ornery…it is hard enough to finish one when it is semi-cooperating.
    Cotton makes nice washcloths…and a few spots won’t matter. Plus, there is a certain psychic satisfaction in scrubbing it into little bits…

  82. My boss likes really spicy food. I canned some salsa recently and added some extra heat to it. It needed a catchy name so I named it Satan’s Armpit. He loved it, and everyone enjoyed the name. The labels look cool, if you were closer I’d give you some. I thank you for coining the name a while back. I wouldn’t have come up with it on my own.

  83. It’s been a long time since Presbytera of the Comments made me howl!
    I say dye it.
    I had an alpaca afghan that shed and stretched, and then clogged the vacuum and then clogged the washing machine when I felted it. It turned out looking like a burgundy amoeba, so I gave it to my Standard Poodles for their bed. As soon as I set it down, both dogs walked over and peed on it. I’ve never been so happy to throw something into the rubbish in my life!

  84. Haven’t read all above me, but the spots, from the sink where at least one daughter likely also washes her face, could be from facial wash and/or blemish cream.
    My kids use a face wash and blemish cream that totally messes with colored washcloths, towels, etc. My dark green towels look like they saw bleach, too, but didn’t. The stuff is sneaky and even ends up looking yellow on white towels. 🙁

  85. Does anyone in your house use hydrogen peroxide? acne meds have some kind of peroxide in them too. could have caused those spots. Gorgeous sweater, I’d keep it and wear it, too pretty to toss.

  86. When it’s dry – if it fits and feels comfortable – save it for a work shirt or dye it – or frog it. DON’T donate it. I worked at a Women’s shelter once and people were always donating stuff that was worn or torn or stained, thinking they were doing something generous and thoughful. In truth, these poor women were so down already, that wearing someone else’s bad crap just made things worse. We gloried in the days when someone would send something pretty. Don’t add to bad Karma. Just sayin’. It’s cotton. You could make it pay back the aggrivation in the form of cleaning cloths/dish towels.

  87. You do not like it and you are not going to like it. It must go! Even if that means just throwing it away. You will feel better the minute it’s gone.

  88. The spots could be caused by all sorts of normal, non-bleachy, householdy items: hydrogen peroxide, toothpaste, face wash, certain anti-bacterial soaps…the list goes on and on.
    I think you should rip it out, soak, dry, and re-hank the yarn, and put said yarn in time out until it decides something proper for it’s future.
    Because obviously, this wasn’t it.

  89. I like it and it is funky and cute. Wear it or burn it, but for me it is a go. I am not a perfectionist, though, as some people might lean towards . . . hint, hint

  90. Betsy, thanks for the vote of confidence…BUT…
    My LYS is having a summer yarn sale this week, and seduce is on the list. I don’t know which colors are available, but email me if you want me to do some shopping. It’s supposed to be 25% to 30% off.

  91. Does Sam use Proactiv? I bleached many of my mum’s towels by putting on the lotion, the wiping the excess off my fingers with a towel instead of rinsing. If there was some in the sink you washed the sweater in…

  92. bummer. the last sweater I made was awesome until I seamed it and then it became a piece of crap. Re: the bleached spots: yeah, it could be something cosmetic-related. I’ve got some bleaching on items that have been hit by benzoyl peroxide. Oh, the fun of adult acne.

  93. “I have no issues with taking this whole tank and pitching it in the bin and calling it done that way.”
    Wow, can you do that? This could turn my life around!

  94. Ditch the cotton, take Risa’s yarn (lavender gray? Yum) and get the Flow you’re dreaming of.

  95. My sister has oily skin and whatever cleanser she uses has bleached my pink towels in the past. That might be the culprit here? Ugh!

  96. I like simple cotton cardigans, since in Duluth MN is it often cold enough for a sweater (except for this past summer–wow!). But not everyone likes cotton, and this has been setting your teeth on edge for some time. Take up the offer of one of these lovely blog readers, give it away and make one of them thrilled, and move on. Your psyche will thank you for taking an annoyance out of the way. Take the offer of more Seduce, it is what you wanted, right?

  97. My sister has oily skin and whatever cleanser she uses has bleached my pink towels in the past when she dries her face after washing it. (Scary.) That might be the culprit here? Ugh!

  98. I’d be thrilled to win this in some sort of raffle.
    As to the weird spotting after washing, it could be that there was some sort of chemical on there from even as far back as the manufacturer that sat “inert” until it reacted with water. I learned in chemistry that some things can do that, but I don’t remember what kind of things (bases, maybe?) because chemistry was a while ago and I kind of phoned it in when I was there…

  99. Stephanie, you won’t know for sure till you finish it! Try it on after blocking, and if the only certain thing you hate is the curling bottom hem, just add 1-3 rnds of sc to it! (I know you hate to crochet, but it’s a quick and simple fix!) I’ve had this happen to me with a knit cotton skirt this year – once I sewed down the folded hem and adjusted the waistband elastic, I loved it! My favourite new summer knit this year! I’ve also heard of and seen facial and hair products (acne stuff and mousse) bleaching fabric 🙁

  100. I live in hot hot Texas, and I’m still worried about working something up in all cotton. I’ve got one item nearly finished and it isn’t wholly what I expected.
    I’m thinking that marrying a cotton with a wool blend sock yarn might be the ticket. And get some lovely visual texture at the same time.
    I say dye the thing and then auction it!

  101. “. . .and I don’t care if the tank knows I said that.” — Still laughing. Funny stuff, that.

  102. I am sorry it is not working out. I agree with everyone else about the source of the spots. I hope you can find a way to be happy with it. That is a lot of lovely work!

  103. Overdyeing?
    Or wait until knit night — take there and see if anyone else wants the challenge of fixing it.

  104. Stephanie – does your daughter use Proactive by chance? The stuff is murder on towels and clothes that you don’t even remember using anywhere near the area that you washed your face with. If nothing else I thought you might want to know before your sink ruins a knit that you actually like!! Best of luck!

  105. I agree with Presbyteria. You need to finish the gansey its coming back to haunt you, lol. 😉

  106. Whatever you decide, pitch or patch, as long as you write about it I’ll be happy! Your writing often makes my day. Thank you!

  107. Cotton does things differently, duplicate stitch does help sometimes to cover a spot. Sew it together, put the edges on it and if it still is not what you want, give it to charity. Don’t waste the work and the yarn. BTW I wear stuff that is not so good in the garden, doing house work or painting. I am going to make Flow but probably with the suggested yarn and not cotton, LOL, ;-D Thanks for the lesson!

  108. I’m really torn.. Part of me says auction it off. someone would love it.. and KWB is a great cause.
    But, part of me would love to see it frogged into dishcloths.. it so deserves that for causing such a dilemma.. Unfortunately, I was a lot older than 11th grade when I learned that lesson.
    Oh well, live and learn! I’m thinking about making flow too and I know what yarn not to use. So at the very least, you’ve provided an important public service!

  109. Isn’t this why they make dye…..at least to fix the color issue….
    The cotton….eh, it’s only good for dishcloths….

  110. Cotton is the worst knitting fiber on this planet. The only thing I use it for is kitchen dishcloths. I appreciate your eagerness to duplicate a loved garment (do it all the time) but not with this yarn.

  111. Maybe the squirrel will come and relieve you of it. It might go well in a nest someplace.

  112. I’m agreeing with two camps, both of which happily wreak revenge on the tank: either burn it or scrub toilets with it.

  113. I’m working with a cotton/rayon blend right now, and I’m making everything narrower and a bit longer to try to compensate. I’m doing this because my swatch got shorter and wider when i washed it. (Yep – totally smug about that.) I’m in total denial about what’s likely to happen when the rayon content causes everything to grow once I wear the thing for a few hours. Let’s face it, it’s a crap shoot. But do try the orange tank on before you start scrubbing the dishes with it. It might surprise you.
    BTW, I agree with other commenters about the pimple cream. Nasty stuff. Of course, it actually works, which is more than you can say about the stuff that was available way back when I would have sold my soul for a blemish-free face. And I hold out little hope that over-dying will make those spots go away. Your duplicate stitch idea sounds like it might work, though.

  114. Well, first I have to say that I hate edges that roll up. That alone would annoy me so much I’d probably frog the thing. And then with the bleached out spots (I’d guess the culprit might be toothpaste) you probably can’t re-use the yarn. So I say, kiss it goodbye and move on to the next thing in the queue. Maybe put it in the backyard for the squirrels. Or as Mary Jo suggested above, use it for a cleaning shirt. But not as a garment, as a scrubbie.

  115. I like the rolled edge – very much BTW, and for the spots – knit up a few small petals, sew them on and voila. I would not throw it away.

  116. It’s cursed. Let it go – either fire (very satisfying, I would think), or squirrel (not as, but still…).
    I was at my LYS this weekend (buying a cotton blend; oh no, what have I done!?!) – and paid a short but reverent visit to the Seduce. So, so tempting…

  117. Maybe this is all an indication that it is time to switch back to WOOL. Wool, wool, glorious wool – stretchy and strong, sometimes smooth and soft, sometimes crunchy and determined. Fall is coming, you know (I know, I know, I’m sad, too). so it’s time to knit with wool. Not some maybe-stretchy-maybe-not, weirdly-bleached-for-no-good-reason, plant-derived fiber. WOOL. (Also? Silk, alpaca, and mohair can be weird as well. Go for WOOL.)

  118. Anything that you worked so hard on and that looks so cute hanging from that wheel prop thingie in your picture deserves some wear in my humble opinion. I like the commenter who said overdye it with rust or you could artfully splash additional amounts of benzoyle peroxide, make it look intentional, and wear it with your oldest jeans for Saturday morning errands. And probably look pretty chic doing so. But that’s just me, whatever you do to make you happy is all that counts. As for me I am ripping back a cotton tank for the fifth time, but am happy because now I finally have the construction set up right (even though now the length is all wrong, for heaven’s sake! Is there no justice???)

  119. I agree with the raffle idea. Turn bad into some good. Put the money towards your charities if it does your heart and karma some good. Bring back the good knitting mojo!

  120. Could you try to overdye it? A box of RIT dye in a dark color might work. It’s worth a try! Or, you could always set it on fire. 😉

  121. It’s cursed. Sew up the bottom and make it a shopping bag. Force it to carry home toilet rolls and leaking dishwashing liquid bottles in penance for the rest of its miserable life.
    Then take a deep breath, find a better yarn, and make another Flow.

  122. No fire! Donate it! Somewhere, there’s someone who really, really wants that thing. OK, it’s not me, but someone does!

  123. I feel your pain! I made a blanket for one of my daughter’s friends, white and when the baby is born I was going to put a blue or pink ribbon on it. Word got out that the this was the blanket and the girl turned her little (insert snobby) nose and I changed my mind. Thinking on the earthy tones I thought okay a Hap blanket for the little one, grey, brown, teal and cream colors, I just don’t want any baby to have to grow up with a grey blanket so what I am going to do? She can buy her own blanket and I have now decided to give her a gift card. Hope she will be happy!

  124. A wise and funny writer, Dan Savage, says “DTMF,” which loosely translated means: kick that thing to the gutter and don’t look back. Some projects have bad juju – this is one of them.

  125. Small, completely accidental fires can be entirely excellent things. Burn the bastard…and cast on something you’ll love in its place.

  126. So sorry. One of my favorite colors! My suggestion: unravel it. The yarn can be used again, or just given away. As long as it stays in the shape of a garment, it will make every effort to stress you out! Be bold! Take charge!

  127. I can’t believe that Presbytera managed to bring the gansey into the conversation. Brilliant.
    I like the “donate for a good cause” crowd, but that’s because I manage so few FO’s that I can’t bear the thought of tossing something done (or nearly so).

  128. Future advice – buy a special plastic bucket and use it only for washing hand knits. That’s what I’ve done for the past 10 years after ending up with unknown spots on a knitted item (a planned gift no less – and I’m not a fast knitter.)

  129. I would just wear it, and see how it goes after the summer is over. one never knows why things turn out the way they do.

  130. Write to Berocco and tell them to put a nice burnt orange, rust, or what ever descriptive you want in their next Seduce line of yarn and make a happy Flow tank. Move on.

  131. Oh, Steph! Don’t spend one more moment on this. Life is too short. It’s a kitty blanket!

  132. Get rid of it. Put it into a nice ziplok bag just as it is (well, retrieve any needles, stitch markers, stitch holders, etc) with any leftover yarn and walk it down to your nearest thrift shop. Some poor broke knitter is going to LOVE you for it; then you can get some nice yarn and make Flow the way you want it, and LOVE it again.

  133. Cotton is maddening (sp?). I love it and hemp and flax…but they can be hell on hands, it leaps off the needles at the slightest bump in the car or if I look away and it measures wierd. But, it looks sooo pretty. Toss that tank – or put it in the Goodwill or give-away basket; someone (else) will love it.

  134. Steph,
    I know just how you feel. I have had my knitting hate me this month too. I have failed to make a shrug correcly (wrong width), I have the Brigewater shawl that is in time out…AGAIN..and have had several other knitting destasters and mihaps of late. It is so bad that I actually thought of just selling all my needles, my loom, my wheel and all my needles. I suddenly just did not want to knit anymore. I hated all my wool, combs, skein winder, and all my dye. I just wanted to pitch it all.
    But then…I went to bed, got up, went to work, hated work worse and when I got home, my yarn bowl looked so pretty with the Noro and KnitPicks wool and silk sitting in it. My freshly washed skeins of horned dorset and silk that I washed that morning were drying outside and were so beautiful that I forgot all about work and suddenly I revolked the “sell everything” mood. I had a glass of homemade wine, admired my newly spun skeins and….began the rectangular Cyrcus Shawl from Madelines’s Wardrobe.
    Have a beer dear and start over….

  135. It’s not just you: I recently knit up Lizette in a cotton/linen blend. Hated every stitch of the yarn, but I finished–including the !@#$ I-cord. I thought I had conquered it, only to have large, bleachy spots show up after I blocked it. I’ve been hiding in my sock stash ever since.

  136. Hate to say this, but you may have a couple new dishcloths there. The spots could very well be from anti-acne products, especially those containing benzoyl peroxide. That kind is tenacious and difficult to wash off surfaces.
    As for the rolling hem, try doing a half-inch of seed stitch on your next Flow. And wash a swatch to see how the yarn will behave when washed — some cotton yarns will shrink, others are preshrunk.

  137. Kick it to the curb…out, out damn spot…do not darken my door for another minute. Cotton is evil.

  138. Is your daughter kind of annoyed that you apparently outed her skin problems on the web? Also, I vote for the dye it and gift it camp. Though, maybe you should try burning incense or sage or something and then wafting the smoke over it (I’m not exactly clear on traditional cleansing rituals). You don’t want to accidentally send bad juju onto a loved one.

  139. Hey Steph,
    May I suggest, Use it for yarn bombing. Surely there is a statue in Toronto in need of a tank top. You’d have to use a propane torch to keep the cotton burning, I think. But maybe there are enough chemicals left on it after the bleaching to serve as firestarter. And then again you might have a hazmat situation.
    Smokey says, don’t play with fire.

  140. I second the notion of sewing the bottom edges together (or picking up sts and do a three-needle bind-off) and using it as a market bag. That would carry lots of stuff home!

  141. I have knitted one cotton sweater for myself, using a pattern designed for wool (same gauge). Never again! The thing is beautiful but it weighs a TON. However, I can’t bring myself to throw it out. I chalked it up to lesson learned.

  142. Sings: THE TANK, THE TANK, THE TANK IS ON FIRE!!!!! I would barbequeue it. Think of the satisfaction. You would be conquering the knit, literally. 😛

  143. Use sharpies to dye the problem areas. Quilters use this trick on cotton thread and it works well.

  144. Last night I spent time hand ball winding a skein of lovely I bought. Could have been the wine, could have been the movie I was watching but took me two hours to wind a measly 1/30th of it. Tonight it still sits there taunting and torturing me.
    If I do not make headway in a half hour the bitch is going in the garbage 🙂

  145. Could it be nail polish remover? That crap is the devil. Rather than dye it darker I’d try matching the color and giving it a dunk in the same color dye. You might also try soaking it in some tea to take down the brightness in the bleached spots. Don’t give up on it yet. This tank is still nothing but potential until its finished. Note: I didn’t say whether it was the potential for greatness or disaster.

  146. Pitch it! You shouldn’t be knitting with cotton right after that bike ride. It is too hard on the hands. If you need to be knitting (and I’m not sure you do need to be knitting right now) then do it with a yarn with a little bit of give in it, for goodness sakes. Take care of those hands!!!

  147. You have made my night. I don’t feel to bad about my knitting. If you have bad experiences and feel like tossing the knitted piece and you are an expert then I won’t beat myself up when I have a horrible experience with a piece of knitting. Thanks, you have put knitting in a new light for me.

  148. Cotton is accommodating and pliant and self opinionated and willful…… sound like anyone we know?… Its you in fiber 🙂

  149. I’m with the poster who suggested you embroider some flowers or leaves or something over the spots. (I used to do this all the time over the moth holes in my student cardigans. There again, it was the grungy 90’s, and I was a student. We were meant to look like that.)

  150. Fabric paint is my weapon of choice.
    I sometimes use it to paint something cute on a T-Shirt for my little one, but when mixed according to the original color it is also great for disguising spots (I DON’T use bleach either, but my mother in law pours chlorine all over her place, so whenever we have to visit, I can be sure that something will have bleached spots, and of course in the most prominent places…) Doesn’t always work to make spots invisible on plain cloth, but great if the material is textured, a little bit thicker and the color is variegated too, that is just perfect for spot painting 😉

  151. Pitch it or keep it or give it away – but what’s made the spots? I have an idea. I have a murder mystery company with two friends – we’ve been killing for over a quarter of a century. That is a lot of fake blood spilled, my friend. What gets fake blood out (for the most part)? Toothpaste. We use it all the time on blood spots. It has a lot of bleach in it – or something that bleaches – I don’t suppose it is chlorine but still … so you might have had a bit of toothpaste in your sink – I know I always do and voila! So here is a kinder way to think of this project – it sacrificed itself so that when you have a piece you’re nuts over it won’t meet the same fate. Really – that little vest is a saint of a knitted project.

  152. I don’t like knitting with cotton. I only do it for hats for my son. Otherwise, foggedaboutit.

  153. I’d unravel it and sell the yarn on kijiji.ca. Or at least Freecycle it. It is definately telling you something. I learned from you that yarn talks to us, and we should listen.
    I also agree with teh toothpaste. The whitening kind. Or skin creams meant to lighten spots or even out discolourations. Or hand sanitizer, or anti-bacterial hand soap. Or maybe the yarn had a bad dye job. Send it back as defective 🙂
    What is that comment about money making people autonomous?!

  154. You know how Oprah says the universe starts trying to tell you something with a whisper, then louder if you don’t listen, then continues all the way up to smacking you upside the head with a concrete block until you listen? I’m just wondering if the knitting Gods are trying to tell you something here. (Or your knitter’s subconscious mind, which knows something that you don’t.) 🙂 I personally will let a project go if (a) I get enough signs that I should or (b) I start to REALLY dislike it. I mean, I don’t give up immediately, but I think there is a time to stop, and listening to you talk about the orange Flow makes me wonder if it’s time.

  155. Those marks could be toothpaste. I accidentally ruined one of my room mate’s dark purple towels, and we ruled out everything except TOOTHPASTE. It left very similar marks on the towel. I love your blog! I learn so much about knitting here.

  156. Try making it one of the karmatic balancing gifts. Maybe it would help prevent this from happening again. (Because you know kniting is sooooo based on your karma.)

  157. Thank you for the guilt relief. I started a cotton sweater for my granddaughter and only got about 6 inches in when I decided I didn’t like “that cotton crap”. It’s been sitting in my UFO’s for over a year, taunting me. Now I can unravel it and give the yarn to dishcloth knitting sis-in-law
    Appreciate the save!

  158. You’ve got some knitting time in there, so an accidental fire would be kind of a shame. Send it to the local equivalent of the humane society for animal bedding!

  159. Do Not pass this bad thing onto some other innocent victim. Get rid of it. I like the accidental fire idea, but scissors can be fun too.
    Just hurt it and then burn it. Goodbye 4-ever.
    Oh, and you will have some fun doing it, as well.

  160. I was on team “ditch it” until Leslie @ 1:18 suggested dish towels. Great idea. I don’t agree with those who want you to auction it. While, yes, a garment made by the Harlot would be treasured, this one is flawed beyond resurrection by the bleached-out bits and both donor and donee will be unhappy in the long run. If, at some time, you choose to auction one of your knitties, it should be something you’re proud of. My 2 cents.

  161. O.O I can’t believe the number of comments from knitters who THROW YARN AWAY!!!!! Honestly, people – do I need to post my address here in the comments???? Those of us who are yarn-and-money-starved would just about lie down on hot coals to get something gorgeous, no matter HOW badly behaved it is. (Although, personally, I do turn up my nose at acrylic, cos I just can’t wear plastic – it’s like being wrapped in Saran Wrap.) So please, if you’re sick of the sight of it, pass it along!

  162. I feel I must speak out in defense of Samea. It’s more than cotton, it has some viscose and linen as well. (A mite elegant for dish towels, IMO) It is horrifying to hear of your misadventure – especially since I have a Samea Flow I am planning to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks…. I am afraid to look at it now.
    But my second Flow in Chiara turned out quite lovely, so at least I have a backup. Steph, I think you need to get back on the Flow horse. Order some nice Seduce online, surely there is another color that will do. I feel you did the Yarn Harlotosphere a great service turning us on to this pattern, and there must be hundreds of us working on one at this moment, in various yarns (personally, Seduce causes me great rage). So do whatever to the cursed Samea Flow and start a new one.

  163. Like the time my 100% silk burnt orange Little Shells shawl came in contact with a felt tip pen in the front hall. Long saturating contact. I soaked it. I tried to add more stains so it looked “hand painted” – I finally boiled it with yellow onion skins and that did the trick. Nice thing about silk – you can beat it pretty thoroughly.
    I’d say it was Tooth Past hiding on the white porcelain of your sink 🙁 I live in fear of such things…

  164. I might have tried blending in with Sharpies. I have them in many colors. It works on jeans that have gotten spotted.

  165. Donate it somewhere. Somewhere, someone will love it.
    Bummer about the spots, though — and I’m hoping that the “cotton karma” doesn’t ripple outward. I’m on the back end of a cotton bolero… Just hoping to be able to wear it before snow flies.

  166. I did tell you to put it in a box and ship it to a random location,.. that is still an option!!

  167. Well, it is cotton. Steek it into 4 pieces on the front and back to hold it, then cut it up into dish rags. That will teach it! All the other projects will then behave when they see you washing dishes with thier former basket mate.

  168. Something like this happened to me once with a bamboo/cotton baby jacket that remained in UFO status for 3 years before I resolved to finish it. After sewing many, many pieces together and blocking, it looked like something only an alien baby could wear. I burned it in our winter Solstice bonfire, where each member of our family burns a little tribute to bring back the sun (I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, so we take this very seriously). The cursed baby jacket burned like the sun. It was very, very satisfying. However, we’ve had a pretty cool, rainy summer, so perhaps sacrificing something that wasn’t fit to wear wasn’t the best move, meteorologically speaking.

  169. UFOs are UFOs for a reason: the love has gone out. I know the yarn is expensive. I would rip it back to ground zero and make a picnic blanket with it and all the other slag yarn you have. You cannot allow an inanimate object to get the better of you. Show it who’s boss.

  170. The last resort for fixing that stain is to color it with permanent markers. Find some that have permanent color, and are in a darker orange color, and color away. You might even mix shades of orange. Then put some of it nearby for balance. At this point, you have nothing to lose.

  171. Send it to us. We’ll overdye it. If it’s a complete disaster, you can pitch it. If it works, yay!

  172. Face products will definitely do that. I have seen it happen to towels and pillow cases. The main culprit is hydrogen peroxide, i think.

  173. Bleach spots? Face products – acne meds, wrinkle creams or lotions with Retinol A, some sunscreens or insect repellents, and toothpaste will make annoying spots like that on clothing.
    Call it karma and frog the darned tank. Then make some very expensive dishcloths from the bleach spotted cotton yarn.
    I’m going to make myself a Flow. I’ve already talked to my LYS (Local Yarn Shop) about ordering some Seduce.

  174. I have been known to take an appropriately-colored Sharpie pen to bleach spots. Honestly? It works pretty darned well. You just dot, dot, dot until it looks fine. And move on with your life.

  175. The spots could be from a feathered friend when it was hanging outside.
    I have had that happen

  176. I have used face cleanser that does that! Towels, facecloths, all with little (or very very big) bleach spots. Check with Sam about what type of soap she’s using on her face.

  177. Tie the little bitch in knots, douse her with hydrogen peroxide, squeeze and squoosh to your hearts content, throw her in the wash, and enjoy the sunshine.

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