Ever want your knitting just to be something cozy, and nice, and straightforward? Not the business of churning out socks, nor the challenge of lace, nor the complexity of cables and charts. 

Ever just want it to be the plain, simple oatmeal of knitting? Decent, reliable knitting in a soft, pretty yarn that isn’t flashy? Ever find that knitting, and settle in with it for the long haul?  Picking it up at the moments when you need soft and sensible, cushy and cozy, and then, ever… while you are reflecting on how knitting fulfills the desire to be warm and sensible  that settles upon you in late winter… ever realize, as you relax into it, appreciative of the simple charms it possesses..

Ever realize you suddenly can’t knit your way out of a #$%$!ing bag? 

119 thoughts on “Cozy

  1. The simplest knitted items are the ones I have to rip out and start again six times. I think it’s the knitting goddess giving me a smack for thinking I can’t possibly screw this up.

  2. I’m pretty sure I realize that way every time I cast on for a second sock and proceed to screw up every little thing until at least the heel turn 🙁
    Of course, the first sock is always a problem free breeze. My brain is useless.

  3. Yep…realized I couldn’t count to 7 consistently on the weekend…Breathe, and easy, Steph, easy…

  4. Yes. Have re-knit a “simple” moss section of a “Must Have Cardi” at least 4 times this weekend…DUH…Cables are fine. Maybe it’s time to pick up “Dahlia” again – endless stockinette.

  5. It’s probably diagnostic to admit this, but I try real hard to rip something out and start over, with as few regrets as I can muster, so that I can focus on something more positive than “fixing” the unfixable.

  6. This happens to me all the time! I have consistently failed to notice the centre stitch for the past seven rows on the Aeolian shawl I’m knitting.
    I may go mad. It may be too late.
    Good luck to you!

  7. Yep. All winter, it seems like. I’ve frogged more stuff this season than I have since I was a newbie.

  8. Yup. I have that problem. Though the latest was that I thought I was brilliant enough to remember how many stitches I used in a sock without writing it down. It was frogged and restarted a day later.

  9. Thought you were going to end it with something like…….”only to find its now Spring and you don’t need the darned thing”

  10. YES—Sitting with knitting in my lab my husband asked me what I was doing –I said, “Trying to remebember how it knit!” 🙂

  11. Breathe in and out. It’s just knitting. It’s OK to take it out on the knitting instead of whoever is bugging you. Or maybe the adrenaline withdrawal just hit after your crazy travel schedule.
    Whatever it is, it looks yummy and soft.

  12. Sure have. That’s why I’ve frogged at least six times (and six different items!) before settling on plain and simple fingerless mitts. That said, now I can’t find the second ball of yarn……

  13. Yes. My sympathies… (…wondering how long a sympathetic pause I need to insert here…) …but you still haven’t told us which yarn you are using.

  14. Yes. Quite recently, actually.
    The solution:garter stitch baby blanket, knitted diagonally like a great big dishcloth.

  15. Glad to know I’m not the only one to have these experiences! Went to a concert with “simple” knitting in tow last week and spent the second half re-knitting the bit I worked on in the first half. Maybe half an inch of progress made the whole time. Hope no knitters were sitting near me…

  16. Oh yeah, that’s completely familiar territory. Sad to say….
    Is that Tosh Merino Light in Celadon? Whatever it is, it is lovely 🙂

  17. I have been knitting for awhile, but for the life of me, I can’t knit and talk at the same time. This puts a serious damper on my social life. 🙂
    But really, if I try to watch tv, or talk, or even have noise/things going on around me I can’t knit. I think I can knit, and am knitting, but then the next day I pick up the project, look at it, and think, ‘what the heck!?’ Anyhoo, I’ve learned to live with ALOT of frogging.

  18. Yes. Far too often. Not right now, though, so if you find your situation continuing, I’d be happy to find a use for that stunning yarn in your picture that you won’t be able to turn into anything useful. Must know what it is…..

  19. This is why I always try to do some sort of garter stitch project after a big lace project. It helps get my mind out of chart-reading mode and back into pure muscle memory. Flushing the lines, so to speak. You’ll get there. 🙂

  20. I ripped out a nearly-completed half pi shawl yesterday.
    Well, it was meant to be half-pi. I put in a lifeline before starting the border, and decided to slip the needle out and lay the thing flat to see how it ‘really’ looked.
    What it really looked like was a one-and-a-half-pi ruffly mess.
    Started again, but only because I really really like this colour.

  21. Thanks so much for sharing, it’s nice to know a knitting goddess like yourself has the same problems as us mortals;P What is the project you’re working on? It looks lovely.

  22. Yes. Last Friday night three of us were knitting the same simple dishcloth (a DISHcloth, for god’s sake) and all three of us royally screwed it up. It was funny but so frustrating. I fixed mine once I got home. But, yes, last Friday I was sure than I couldn’t knit my way out of a paper bag. Turns out it was only bad dishcloth juju. Whew.

  23. Life’s crazy full right now and it’s fun but overwhelming. I powered through a BSJ this weekend in leftover sock yarns and felt so victorious when I was weaving in all those ‘lovely’ tidbits.
    Your project looks way cooler than mine!

  24. Just this weekend, I was thinking to myself, “You have a ****ing PhD. Surely you can ****ing count to 6!”

  25. I’d answer, but I’m too busy establishing the center-front pattern which is the charm of the Fiddlehead Pullover, and which I omitted, apparently planning to start it at the yoke — which I could have done, but then it wouldn’t have been what I liked. I established this, of course, once I was to the yoke and hauled out the pattern. And ripped. And ripped. And ripped.
    You do know the French say “Je tricote — je suis idiote,” don’t you?

  26. Oh yes. Working on a fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants style project, got to a point where I knew what I wanted to try so I fiddled around, manged to cast on the stitches onto the wrong end of needles twice, fixed it twice and got going only realize half way through the first side that I cast onto the right end of the needles… for the wrong side of the knitting. Wow. I liked this side better right? Onward!

  27. Oh more times than I can count.
    Well… that is if I were able count.
    Counting is a skill I have seemed to lost over the weekend.

  28. Oh yes, that’s a familiar feeling – irish moss stitch for an entire cardi back taught me never to think that “simple” knitting equated with “relaxing” knitting. The complex stuff which engages the brain cell is always much less fuss in the long run! x

  29. The more simple it is, the more likely I am to mess it up. That is some pretty yarn you are having trouble with….what is on the needles?

  30. Perhaps it’s the knitting goddess telling you to take pictures of your Kusha Kusha and show them to all of us? 🙂

  31. I honestly can’t say that I’ve been there yet, but then, I’ve been knitting for less than a year, still. On the other hand, your yarn there looks wonderful and the stockingette and garter stitching look comfortably simple.

  32. Oh, yes. Oh, my, yes. Working on a “simple” hat right now. The pattern is fine, but the yarn….. sigh. Splitty. So. Darned. Splitty. And I don’t know how I messed up the cast-on count, and the ribbing. But I refuse to rip back acrylic. All I know is that it’s for an ancient little old lady friend of mine who’s never going to see the mistakes, and is going to love that it’s purple and soft. Must remember that after I wander away from it for the 1000th time after knitting two rows…

  33. Yes. Then I knit some socks. Socks are cozy. And useful. And I can knit them in a dark movie theater while Viggo Mortensen saves Hobbits (I have witnesses).

  34. I have one pair of socks, a fairly simple design, that I started knitting at least 10 years ago. Every once in awhile, I pick up the project to try to finish it, but I inevitably give up in frustration a few hours later, having ripped out more than I knit.
    I’ve completely ripped out a few socks in the past (when the gauge was wrong) and ripped back a few rounds a few times when I messed up the stitch pattern, but I’ve never had a sock I couldn’t eventually master other than this one.
    I can’t find any errors in the pattern, and there are no techniques that I haven’t done in (literally) hundreds of other projects, and yet, I just can’t master this sock.
    Maybe it will be my new spring project…

  35. Can you knit your way *out* of a bag? Seems like you’d *steek* your way out. To knit an escape tunnel, cunningly disguised as a sleeve. Like a wooly, Nordic “The Great Escape”.

  36. I broke my only wooden 3.5 circular needles, and I am only just beginning this top. . It’ll take me weeks to get replacement needles. . found old 3.5mm metal ones – circular – too short …….. back to knitting my skirt.

  37. You can knit circles and squares around me any day of the week. I stick to plain simple knitting and yet I manage to impress the non knitters around me. 🙂 Whenever I don’t want to think about what I’m knitting I make a dishcloth or two that way I always have a few ready for gifts.

  38. Yes. Baby Surprise Jacket. It’s on the needles now (baby is due next month, my friend’s expecting a grandchild). But I do have to pay attention to some degree to get the double decreases in the right spots. Now it’s the race to the end. . . will I have enough yarn? Knitting faster.

  39. This has to be the moon faze as I have redone this sweater for my Granddaughter, too many times.
    I made this sweater for her Dad thirty years ago, now she is in college and wants it.
    She may graduated before I get it right.
    Thanks for the laughs.

  40. INDEED… has happened recently when knitting the mindless comfort of a garter stich something or other, realizing as I stop to admire my lovely lovely yarn…oh Crap! is that a dropped/split stich?? how far back?…sigh.

  41. Dearest Harlot…
    That feeling would be today; just now in fact, and yesterday as I messed up the edging on the Cyrcus Shawl…again. Just took out the first 20 rows of Transverse Shawlette…for the 3rd time…
    It’s time for bed..

  42. That yarn looks like the malabrigo lace in the mariposa colorway. I am working on a shawl with that yarn now, it’s very pretty

  43. My mom died on Valentine’s Day, and I know that Garter stitch is my friend right now. Rows and rows of simple repetition, to soothe my heart. There will be time in the future for knitting to a brain-engaging challenge. Right now it needs only to be a comfort.

  44. As a newbie knitter, I have no idea what you mean….my garter stitch infinity cowl is incredibly complicated just now, since I seem to have double infinitied it!!!!

  45. Yes ma’am. Being one with the wooly softness, the sweet exchange of colors blendings and the glow of the wood needles and the draw of those tiny slick cables…then BAMMO. You’d think love would be worth more in the scheme of things eh? Then, I have to tell myself that I love knitting more than most things in the world…and do it again. That color is quite dear.

  46. Well, Stephanie, you CAN take it outside, place it in the road, and run over it with your car as many times as it takes to feel better. That has to be my favorite quote from you EVER! I cut it out of a calendar years ago and it now lives in my toolbag.

  47. Oh dear, too many many many times to count – not that I’m always able to count. Sometimes more than 2 is too much counting.
    Cat – at 9 pm, I’m so sorry but I snorked at the double infinity. Perhaps you could call it infinity squared and tell anyone who notices that it was a ‘design feature”.
    I dared not touch the needles tonight – tomorrow is another day to try my counting.
    Chris S

  48. That’s always the way it works for me too. Although I enjoy the simplicity of knitting something plain and straight-forward; somehow, inexplicably, the lace and/or complicated charts and the like seem to work out better in the end.
    I don’t think we’re meant to understand why.

  49. Well, yeah. Must have just started, frogged and restarted Color Affection about 20 times. It now lies abandoned while I retreat to a Hitchhiker – then I’ll do a lace shawlette I have my eye on – then, MAYBE I’ll try again. Or maybe I’ll do some socks. Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be…

  50. Socks are my oatmeal knitting , don’t need to concentrate too much, oops, then discover that a second heel was knitted instead of a toe.

  51. I’ve had times when I took something out and redid it. Three or four times. I have one where I did that, counting carefully, and it’s *still* off by one stitch, and I don’t have an effing clue where I’m doing it worng.

  52. With a gift lace shawl and a KAL sweater on the needles, I am turning to my new crush, Tunisian crochet, a very simple triangle and the delightful greys of Ancient Arts. The best oatmeal

  53. I think we’ve all had those moments when we couldn’t knit our way through a wet facial tissue.
    Have a strong beer or three, get a good night’s sleep cuddling your Joe, and try again tomorrow. As those annoying $%**&^ TV commercials keep reminding us: “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love you tomorrow, it’s only a day awaaaaaayyyyy!”

  54. Of course! I just worked #3 and #4 of the world’s easiest scarf pattern. One night work (it is like 28 rows), maybe 2 max. And #3….I cannot even tell you how many times I ripped it back and started it over. Finished it, did #4 start to end – one evening! And now that I am looking at #3 again …. yeah, I need to totally rip it out and remake it. Sigh…..

  55. I’ve been there done that. Several years ago I had taken an afghan that I was crocheting for my bed to work with me to work on it during my break times. (It was still small enough to fit into my bag) I swear it was the simpliest pattern but I kept having to rip out parts of it. I was telling some of the women in the breakroom about how simple the pattern was and one of them said to me, ‘So what you’re telling us is that it’s really simple, yet you can’t seem to get it right.’ Not a good recommendation for a knitting and crochet teacher!

  56. Perfect! There’s the shawl, an easy-peasy pattern I’ve got half-done in Lopi greys — it was moving right along til the sheer width of the thing made me so nervous (seven feet wide, really??) that I cast a second glance at the needle size given in the instructions. Which is when I discovered it’s NOT 8mm needles: that’s the US needle size I seem to be knitting this tent with! D’oh!

  57. YES! And at the moment I’m doing exactly that kind of knitting on my Thorn shawl by Bristol Ivy. It’s cleverly designed but oh so completely simple to knit. Perfect for the fug I’m living in at the moment. I hope your pattern is just as satisfying!

  58. Yes and I finally realized that I am a process knitter. One day I was looking through my patterns and Baktus “told” me to knit it. It is simple mindless knitting that helps me relax. Also when I am finished I will have something nice for myself.

  59. Uptownknitting, I feel your pain. I’ve ripped out my Color AFFLICTION at least 6 times. ARGH!!! And what about the baby blanket that was knitted on size 6 and 8 needles, but I forgot to change to the larger needle, so I had a baby plank. It’s good to know we’re not alone – thanks, Steph!

  60. I lay this story at the feet of the Yarn Harlot, a blog I’ve been following for 6+ years.
    . . .Until this summer, I was dyslexically KNITTING when I should have been PURLING and purling when I should have been knitting. I had completely mistaken these 2 basic stitches.
    I’ll let that sink in for a minute. A lifetime of knitting weirdly. No wonder things looked lumpy.
    Things are so much better now. (Thank you to the kind lady in LaGuardia (Delta gate) for putting me straight.)

  61. @lanamfeci : So sorry for your loss. Knit on, be comforted, remember love doesn’t pass just ‘coz we do.
    Yeah, the counting error crops up pretty often here. I have a rule: no knitting after 9 p.m! But I break it, and then have to rip & fix…

  62. Oh yes, for the the past two months! Every time I pick up the Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Shawl…AND further…to correct straight garter when you drop a stitch is a royal nightmare for me as I kept correcting as if it were stockinette until I realized that is completely stupid. (It’s really the yarn, and to top it off, two strands held together). AND 72 inches to go then 207 more rows. Kill me now.

  63. Yes, again and again. It’s taken me three weeks and countless froggings and restarts to realize that the small scarf I want to knit is simply The First Scarf I made when I started knitting again after 20 years …

  64. Yup, I am making monsters for my daughter, nieces and nephews, first 3 bodies had no problems, I started thinking this is easy I can get them done by Christmas without a problem (that was in October) I’m still not done. 4th body has been ripped out so many times I lost count in a 1 hour period. The monsters are about to come out of time out and I will try to finish the last 2 1/2 for Easter. Yeah I’m crazy but each one only takes a week when I don’t mess up.

  65. Ria, You made me snort coffee through my nose! I love me some sock knitting, and I do find it very engaging. Not peaceful, exactly, as I still find the turning of the heel and watching the self-striping yarn reveal itself to be very exciting.
    I tell my kids that what looks like a peaceful older lady (not that I see myself that way but … ahem .. in their eyes I am as old as dirt) knitting away is actually a very private, exciting adventure as I charge (slowly) through the landscape of the pattern, occasionally swearing and ripping back, occasionally being unable to comprehend the pattern designer’s instructions, throwing the WIP across the room, etc.
    Making two heels instead one heel/one toe is not something that I have done (yet) but it is SO something that I could do! ;))

  66. Is it the lack of light here? I think that’s what I’ll blame it on. I’m on the third knitting of a simple cowl which involves just rows of knits and rows of purls with the word ‘Simple’ in the name of the pattern. It’s a good thing this yarn is too pretty and colourful to stomp on or I’d be putting a Stomping Tom song on and having at it.

  67. I had to restart or fix an Ellison Bay shawl about 100 times last weekend til I ditched the stitch markers. Even the fixing was peaceful though when I thought of it as a Lenten activity/spiritual exercise, as though the mistakes and the repair were part of the process… 🙂

  68. Sounds familiar!Lace – no problem. Aran – no problem. Fair Isle – no problem. Plain garter stitch scarf – rippit, rippit!! Best of British, Stephanie – you are not alone!

  69. All the freaking time. I think knitting exists not only to produce lovely, warm clothes, not only to relax and ground us, but also to humble us and yank us down from our lofty ideals of mastery and conceit 😉

  70. Frankly, the “simple” knitting projects are the hardest for me. Give me intricate cables or stranded colorwork every time. When I’m absorbed in something beautifully complex I PAY ATTENTION.

  71. My trouble is that when I make a mistake, it becomes a UFO. Until I can’t possibly stand it anymore…and then I pick it up after a good long rest and tackle it, master it, whatever I have to do in order to get it to behave, even to cracking the cat o nine tails!
    And when it’s fixed, and done, I breathe, and tell myself…”there, now. That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”

  72. My son observed several stitch markers on my lace shawl in progress. He asked what they were. I said to keep track of the repeats, I put one every 14 stitches, two repeats. He said, you can’t count to seven? and I gave him “The Look”. Not on a regular basis, I replied.

  73. I do simple knitting every night, I just need it to chase the work day away. It’s the other types of knitting that beat me. Like sweaters. I did the first one fairly easy but after that…they are all in bags unfinished. I hate that.

  74. “…the plain, simple oatmeal of knitting…” I love it! (Remember, the Scots created and ruled the modern world while eating oatmeal–just let the Brits think they did it themselves.)

  75. There have been many days (maybe even months, but that’s too depressing), when, seriously, I could give away all but 1 skein of yarn and that 1 skein would be more than enough knitting for the rest of my life. I can’t remember what it’s like to finish something. :p So. Who’s up for some (un)knitting tonight?!!

  76. yes and YES!!!! So whatcha got on your needles chickie… looks like some I could tackle right about now!

  77. Yes. I can totally relate. Just ripped out the first 15 rows of the sweater I want to knit for the second time. I am hoping that the third time’s the charm. It’s not a difficult pattern. It’s just me.

  78. Oh, like the sweater for my 3 year old granddaughter that will fit her in middle school? We all have those days, weeks, months… Hopefully it passes soon!

  79. Umm.. this happened to me several times when knitting your cloisonee mittens… first I was doing the stained glass windows all wrong, in many different ways.. then when i finally reached the second mitten, i knit another left, instead of a right! i got there in the end..

  80. OMG….I thought I was losing my mind. How hard is a stocking hat? Couple inches of ribbing, then K1 row, P1 row. How many times did I drop the same &^%$ stitch and then start daydreaming and drop back into the lace pattern I just finished? Don’t think my son-in-law wants a lace cap to go deer hunting in!

  81. That’s so very zen. It’s like the mountain pose of knitting. And YES, after my day job, I could LIVE on the knitting-oatmeal, and STILL forget how to use the spoon… to speak.

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