Still Terribly True

Thanks so much for the warm welcome for Midge! It’s nice to be at the place where we’re sailing her, instead of fixing her, and let’s hope for fair weather this weekend – while Joe will continue to sail until it’s far to cold to do so, I’m back to travelling next week, and after the next few day’s I’m probably done on the water for this year. (Travelling? Oh, yes.  Next week I’m off to Loveland, then Hot Springs (Arkansas), then Vancouver, then Edmonton. You can see what I’m up to on this page, if you’re in the neighbourhood of any of those places. It feels great to be getting back into what’s more normal for me. All knitters, all the time.

Despite a family birthday dinner yesterday (Pato is 23 today! Three cheers for our gentleman) I got some decent knitting time in, and all be darned if the same thing doesn’t just keep being true. If you actually sit down and knit, knitting gets accomplished.  Yesterday and today I feel like I really made progress on Minni.

minnicomingalong 2014-09-05

Yesterday I’d knit 2/3 of the back (see that part with the diaper flare, and the wee green belt? That’s the back) and then provisionally added a whack of stitches for the front – then worked short rows there to make the neck slope, then started working all the way back and forth again for the sides. It’s a brilliant, but crazy construction.  All one piece, although it’s the most interesting way there I’ve seen in a while.

readytograft 2014-09-05

With that done, there was just the side shaping to work, first back and forth on one side, then the other…

moregraft 2014-09-05

with that accomplished, the next direction was to graft the one big weird piece together at the side, so with I did what knitters do, and put on an audiobook, put my phone on silent, and sat down to do it all in one go.

stillgrafting 2014-09-05

That’s a lie. I stopped once halfway to take that picture.  By the way, my current audiobook is Outlander. I don’t know why I waited so long to get to this series, it’s fabulous. I’m on the second book, and it’s super entertaining, although really, did anybody else notice that there’s really a lot of inappropriately timed sex in strange locations? Those two must really love each other – that or they’re loaded all the time, which, actually isn’t that far off of possible. There’s a lot of brandy and ale.  Anyway, totally worth the listen.

donegraft 2014-09-05

The graft looks good, all done, and now I think I have to decide. Do the one sleeve, or the other front? I’m inclined to go front, because then I’ll just have the sleeves left, and despite getting stuck on the desolate and emotionally barren shores of what Claudia has always called “sleeve island” I think it might be worth it to have the body of the thing done. Although I haven’t checked, I have a feeling this pattern ends with a rousing game of attached i-cord, which I always knit with a fierce hatred. (It’s always worth it though.) It might be nice to have the sleeves as a cool-down after that, a little something simple to take the edge off. The other choice doesn’t seem quite as nice to me, though I might feel differently when I get to the end and there’s a shorter stay on that island. I’m going to spend a little more time patting the thing and admiring what I’ve got so far, and then I’ll decide what to do… or I guess I could simply read the pattern and do what it says.

I know. Just kidding.  I crack me up too. Read the pattern and do what it says. Like people do that.

89 thoughts on “Still Terribly True

  1. Yeah …. who on the planet reads the pattern first! Loving the Minni, perhaps one can be upscaled to fit a small grownup(ish) like me?

  2. I’m so excited to meet you! I’ll be in Loveland at The Loopy Ewe’s Fall Fling next week, fumbling through your Speed Knitting class.

  3. And, once again, the Harlot throws caution to the wind and tempts the Knitting Gods! That is actually why we read your blog regularly.

    Well, that and all the interesting “not knitting” things that happen here too!

  4. Pattern ? Pattern, schmattern. As long as you’ve got something at the end that A) looks good and B) You’ve managed not to hate since casting on, then you’re a winner. Who cares what the instructions say?

  5. I would love it if someone would write a pattern for the Minni to make it a Maxxi for grownups. Then I could entertain myself with delusions of knitting it for myself.

  6. Pingback: Still Terribly True | Yarn Buyer

  7. I listened to the first Outlander Book, but lost interest when the American accents become prominent.. I loved the Scottish accents in Bk 1. And the sex was rather everywhere wasn’t it……

  8. YOU crack me up! I will never knit as much or as fast or as lovingly as you, but you will never have the joy of reading your column for the first time and laughing out loud. I’m very happy for Joe and his baby and I marvel at how you two workaholics are obviously made for each other, despite your different hobbies. Have lovely travels in our fair country. At least the knitters will protect you, and hopefully some will bring you vegetarian food.

  9. When the Outlander movie, or TV series, or whatever it is gets over here (it’s being made in Britain), beware the Giant Knitted Cowl that Ate the Heroine. Made in super bulky yarn. It does look warm.

    Fans, apparently, are thrilled with the clothing as contributing just the right atmosphere, and the designer is very proud of it.

    Clothing historians unfortunately have made some comments about this not being very much like what people were actually wearing in the 18th century, but the designer was working on a tight budget and an even more tight timeline.

    • The Outlander series is currently on here. Episode 5 begins on Saturday (they run it several times a week). It’s wonderful…well cast and really captures the grit of the time…and Diana Gabaldon has a cameo in episode #4.

    • Clothing historians mostly object to when the designer suggests that the costumes are accurate (when they are not) rather than say, “yeah, I know they aren’t, it’s artistic licence”. In this case, the designer has indicated that the clothing is accurate, although it isn’t, and also that she has used artistic licence to create scenes, which is certainly true. Unfortunately many of her fans have indicated that they believe the clothing to be accurate. Most historians are really into teaching people Real History, so this makes them nuts.

  10. I read most of the Outlander books before I got Audible… and now I’m listening to them all over again – I love the narrator! Enjoy!

  11. I’m on the third book of Outlander. I am loving the series. The third book really picks up some speed. I think… I don’t know I just listen and listen and loose track where I am. I’ve been in some funny places listening to the book and had to take my ear phones out of my ears to make sure NO one could hear what I was listening too. #feelingawkwardinthewaitingroomatsonsspeech
    If the other parents only knew.

  12. I thought you had gone mad at the mention of having read the pattern first (before starting the project OR a section). Glad you came back to Earth 😉

  13. Avast there matey, you are trim!

    A boat is just a hole in the water that you throw money into and have a lot of fun inbetween! Have fun, enjoy, sail fast, it is the only way to go. When I had my sail boat in Hampton Roads, Virginia we would tease all the stinkboaters and tell them that we would race them to Bermuda. Of course ,wind is free and “present most of the time” and they would have run out of gas had they tried. Never did leave the Chesapeake Bay because we found out that the Chesapeake Bay was a big enough ocean for our little 222 O’Day sailboat. We did see dolphin and pods of large rays as we sailed up and down and in and out gunkholing and we shot the rapids at the confluence of the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay as the tide was coming in! That was very memorable!

    Fair winds and following seas and all to Midge! What a great story and name.

  14. I’m also listening to the Outlander series while I knit, and also on the 2nd book. I’m knitting Foolproof, which has an interesting construction but not quite as interesting as yours!

  15. Read instructions? Left me chuckling, wondering how much time and yarn has been wasted because I did not read them!
    It is a lovely sweater, thought of knitting it til I read your efforts. Maybe when I mature…how old will I have to be for that to occur.
    Outlander. I am addicted, as was my husband. Read all once, thru book 8, read all the side novels and re-read books 1-4. Not willing to pay for Starz, waiting for DVD or Netflix to have it.
    Enjoy.
    And yes, sex, alcohol, fighting. No resemblance to my life, that’s for sure!
    Thanks for the entertainment.

      • She’s done a whole little series of what she calls “short stories” about Lord John Grey – they’re great! They’re actual normal novel length.

        I think they’re all titled something along the lines of “Lord John and the _________”

    • Don’t forget “A Leaf on the winds of all hallows” about roger helping his father back to his fathers present” – I think it might get a mention in book eleven.Also “A Plague of Zombies”, “The Scottish Prisoner”, and “The Custom of The Army”. All available on Audible!

    • In addition to the LJG books there are other shorter novellas like The Scottish Prisoner detailing Jamie’s life at Helwater, and a few others that you should probably have read at least through Book 7 to really get the context.

  16. I am enjoying the progress of each stage of the Mini – watching is better than my knitting this! I think it is possible to read a section of a pattern at a time to see what the designer thinks you should do and then decide if you agree. When I knit a sweater from the top-down and find that instead of m1l or m1r, the designer has opted for the YO – I ignore it and do the much nicer m1l & m1r instead. Don’t always want those holes in a sweater that is going to be used for warmth and not as an accessory.
    I just started the Outlander books – guess I’ve something to look forward to – as long as the ill-timed sex doesn’t make me drop a stitch, I’ll enjoy it LOL

  17. Outlander is awesome! You should really read/listen to them all! TV series is also very good- so far pretty true to the book- I highly recommend it. The Jimmy Beans Wool group on Ravelry is doing a MKAL shawl with Lorna’s Laces Outlander themed yarn- gotta say it’s fantastic! I’ll be in Loveland next week for your evening with the YarnHarlot!

  18. I read book 1 and only got part way through book 2. Couldn’t get any farther, just didn’t care. And yeah, I did notice a lot of sex. Finally I kept thinking, Get off each other already so we can continue with the STORY!. LOLl I liked the side novels MUCH better than the O series. I know I’m in the minority on this.

    • As I wrote above, I’m with you. Jaime and Claire get a little tiring, if not tiresome. I have read them all, but kinda wanted to red pencil some passages.

  19. Davina Porter, Outlander’s narrator is THE BEST.( I’m currently listening to her narrate C.S. Harris’s “Why Kings Confess”). I stumbled onto the Outlander books a dozen years ago and only just got around to designing some Outlander-inspired gloves –NOT like any in the tv series. I love the tv series, but some of the 18th-century knits make the characters look a wee bit too au courant. Audiobooks are the best for boring knitting. Sounds as if we’re keeping Audible.com in business!

    • You mean how the knits are unrelated to 18th C Knits? There are some appealing knits, for modern use. There is a lot of information available of what knits were used in the 18th C, just not those. I’m always frustrated that there were no shawls, cowls, cables, or bulky anything that wasn’t felted (men’s caps) in the 18th C. Lots in the 19th, why, colonial people, why didn’t you make lace shawls?

      Those knits will date the show rather like the bell bottomed sleeves and hair styles in the movie Camelot! (a favorite of mine…despite the costumes bearing little resemblance to anything period).

  20. The oddly placed sex actually turned me off that series. I’m fine with sex in books, it just was at such odd times and places it interfered with the story. So I only Read the first, didn’t continue. I seem to be the minority in that reaction. 🙂

    Sweater is too cute.

  21. I always knit sleeves one after another with no knitting in between because I’m nervous about them having to be repeatable. Then again, I work without a net (pattern) so I need to keep it at the tip of my mind or else who the hell knows what I could wind up with.

    • I knit both sleeves at the same time, each with its own ball of yarn. Very long, or else circular, needles. I do this with fronts, too – so I can reverse any shapings as I go and not try to remember how to do it on a second sleeve/front knit later.

      • that had never occurred to me! i have avoided making a sweater with that kind of shaping because i knew i would not be able to make it match on both fronts. it would be hard enough to figure it out once. now i will give it a try. thanks!

      • It works well if the sleeve shaping is predictable, but without a pattern, part of the fun* is that I need to work one sleeve before the other to see if it’s going to work.

        * Where “fun” is somewhat loosely defined. I just had to unravel half of a sleeve on a pullover for my mom this weekend because it turns out that my underarm decreases were going way too fast. 😛 “Fun” indeed. Oh well, I do say that I like to knit, right?

    • Virgos! Is that why I have to follow the directions? Only recently have I been able to go my own way and consider the pattern a series of suggestions rather than commandments. I’m a late bloomer, I guess.

      Love the sweater and wish I had a boat. Love the name Midge.

  22. “I know. Just kidding. I crack me up too. Read the pattern and do what it says. Like people do that.” Well… I am one of those people that try to do that, but then I re-read the pattern and realize I didn’t read something the first time. At least you are the creative/advanced type knitter with the cahones to ‘follow your muse’!

  23. The sweater is darling. And I’ve added Outlander to my library list as I adore audiobooks. I’m currently obsessed with the Inspector Gamache/Three Pines mystery series by Louise Penny. The actor who reads these books is superb and the stories and characters are just wonderful. Warning though – do read them in order as there is a continuing story line.

  24. Actually, the edging for Minni is not I-cord but a clever little roll of reverse stockinette on an even tinier needle. It’s a lot of stitches to pick up but only a few rows of knitting! There is some crochet decoration, though, in case you feel ready for some more of that…

  25. So disappointed to see the Outlander recommendation. Sex in novels is fine, but the gratuitous use of rape to drive the plot along with the incredibly damaging portrayal as PTSD as something that can be magically cured by inflicting further trauma have grave repercussions on how people approach rape survivors, especially those close to them.

    • Oh, “romantic rape.” Few things frost me more. Can we just leave that in the past where it belongs along with slavery, couverture, heretic-burning and other unenlightened garbage, please?

  26. So in love with that little sweater–beautiful!

    I always save sleeves for last. That way I don’t have to do them if I screamingly want to just ditch the thing at that point and can get on with the next.

  27. First, Happy Birthday Pato! The YH may not write about you often, but when she does it is obvious she thinks of the world of you. Therefore, you must be very special — all in good ways, of course!

    YH, good luck with the travels. I shudder to think of where you’ll have to change planes (and how many times) to fly from Hot Springs to Vancouver. Unless it’s O’Hare, it is bound to make O’Hare seem like a backyard picnic!! Make sure you have plenty of comfort knitting and cash for the airport bar(s).

    As for the baby sweater, I think I’d do one of the arms first. It should help break up the monotony of all those picked up, short row, and/or just plain tedious rows you’ve already done and those you’ll need to do for the front.

  28. Reading, not listening, am up to book 3, and the library does not have book 4 in just now, so I’d better slow down. Every chapter is so EVENTFUL, I don’t know how the author thinks this stuff up. Starz teased us with the first TV episode for free online – the scenery, the kilts, (the sex), the beautiful folk song used as a theme – I got hooked, and now I can’t see anymore. Ravelry is fermenting with Outlander knitwear.

  29. I just spent half an hour checking the options for catching a workshop in Edmonton at Stix in the City and have decided (sadly) that between childcare and finances it won’t be this time… but since i live in Edmonton, here are my recommendations.
    – coffee: Transcend or (if you like dark roast) Catfish Coffee
    – the Duchess (a bakery on 124 avenue)
    – a bike ride down one of the trails near the river
    – I don’t drink beer but there is a local brew called Alley Cat (or Kat?)
    All the best! The sweater looks great!

  30. When you had the recent post that you thought we read for your knitting mishaps, I wanted to say I read your blog for the ambitious knitting you do. I bought Minni when it first came out (love Lene!) but the directions were so complicated I put it on the shelf (and not having a precious baby to knit for, not compelled to knit either). Now that I’ve seen your explanations that there really is a lot to follow in the pattern, I might tackle the project sooner rather than never. Thanks for the tour!

  31. Then there’s the strategy wherein a knitter thinks they will avoid Sleeve Island by knitting them first (as swatches, even!) but falls into the Black Hole with the miles of stockinette that is the body of a cardigan. Surely I’m not the only one to fall for it.

  32. What a lovely piece you are knitting! Outlander! I’m saving the 1st book until after the first season of the show wraps so I don’t spoil it for myself. Lovely knits – expecially that chunky cowl – which will be mine as soon as I can dye some chunky wool I have! I think I will listen to them as well as that seem to be the most enjoyable way to do it. Fare thee well on your water and knitting journeys!

  33. Minni is looking great. I had no idea just by looking at her pattern profile that she would be such a demanding little thing! Congratulations, too, on your Midge adventures, exciting!

  34. I always call it “sleeve purgatory.” It seems to take forever, but when it’s finally done, it’s marvelous. And now, based solely on this post, I may need to read the Outlander novels. I know nothing about them other than what you’ve written here.

  35. I drive a lot too and from work, and started listening to Outlander- a series that I knew very little about other than it’s incredibly popular with my library patrons. I was just driving along, listening away happily to this well written historical fiction novel, and then…. the first graphic sex scene, read aloud for my listening pleasure, came right outta nowhere. I am not a prude, but I just about drove off the road. Thanks, Diana Gabaldon, for nearly causing a major traffic accident. That aside, love the books, and love the narrator.

  36. Re: the Midge saga.
    Made me laugh. My mom had what might charitable be called a love/hate relationship with father’s pet project.
    For the longest time I thought it’s name was “That Damn Boat”.

  37. I just started listening to the first Oulander book this morning. Only a few minutes into it but glad to hear it’s worth listening.

  38. I just finished listening to the first book in the Outlander series on Friday. It’s wonderful. Love how Minni is turning out, too, and am now fully confident that I will never, ever, never knit it myself. So I think a “thank you” is in order for that, at least. It’s lovely, but I suspect I would toss it out the window long before I hit the halfway mark. 😉

  39. Love the little sweater. While I personally don’t find sex in the bushes all that appealing, guess there is no accounting for fiction people’s tastes. 🙂 In one of those Outlander novels they finally got out of the bushes and did a bit of sock knitting.

  40. Yay, Outlander! And the audiobooks are some of my favourite, they sound like I feel Clare should sound. Those books have saved me and my mother from killing each other on many a car ride (and have gotten me through a few sweaters). Enjoy.

  41. Loved the Outlander series, but after a while i just had to skim through the sex scenes! I swear if you cut them out the book is ⅓ shorter!

  42. OMG! I didn’t know where to leave this comment so im leaving it here…reading, the secret life of a knitter…i was moved to tears when reading the chapter on your friend with arthritis how you and your friend helped her knit the projects with her yarn for her friends. You are such a sweet kind hearted person! Had me in “stitches” when knitting the intarsia that was supposed to actually be crochet! Sounds like something i would do. You are hilarious! Love your books, can’t wait to get the next!

  43. I’m so happy you like Outlander! The new TV series is really good too, and has some lovely knitted bits that just get my mind whirling!

    Please keep on the Outlander series. I just finished her latest release (book 8?) and I’m more in love with the series then ever. (There’s a knitting bit in book 7 where Jamie has to teach Claire how to knit!!)

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