October 7, 2004
Dear Rhinebeck Sweater,
Frankly, I'm so disappointed in your behaviour that I didn't even feel like capitalizing your name. I did though, because being disrespectful to you isn't going to help us get through this. That's what I wanted to talk to you about.
I know that we haven't been together very long, and that this relationship has been really intense. I've given you some of the best seven days of my life and my devoted and singular attention...except for that thing with the mitten, but you knew about that when we met. I've done everything I can to make you happy. I've given you so many chances. I even forgave you when you lied to me about your gauge. I understand. You were afraid. Commitment is hard for me too.
I really think though, that it's time for you to try and move forward with me. We leave for Rhinebeck in six days and I don't want to have to explain about us to all those people. I need you to co-operate with me. I know you think it's not your fault...but I don't know what else to try. I gave you the shiny blue needles...I'm not seeing the mitten anymore...I charted the cables when you felt unsure. I feel like I give and give and give...and you do nothing.
Take last night, I knit on you for hours...and you are hardly any longer at all. It's like I'm in some kind of relationship vortex, I'm putting in all of this effort and what do I get back! Nothing. You just lie there. Did you think that I would just keep trying? Did you think that I forgot how it was when we were working on the sleeve? When we would work together and at the end of the evening there was real progress? That's what I need from you. I can't keep holding this relationship together by myself. I need to feel less alone. I need to feel like when I swatched you, that meant something. That the evening with the ball winder wasn't just the wine talking. If I knit seven rows, you should be an inch longer. This is a law of physics. Why are you holding back?
I still love you, your firm ribbing and symmetrical cables still call my name. I still feel moved when I see your sleeve shaping and think about your saddle shoulders. I don't understand why you don't want to be with me. I'm young, I yarn-over quickly, I've never dropped a stitch on you and I respected you enough to write part of your pattern down. What more can I do to make this work?
I'm willing to give it another day with you, but if you aren't going to even try...well. A knitter has needs. Rhinebeck is in six days. I have lots of other yarn. You do the math.
Posted by Stephanie at October 7, 2004 11:20 AM
fabulous entry. and i thought i was the only one who has difficult yarn affairs.
such a lovely plea, followed by the one important line of threat at the very bottom. clearly you know how to handle things.
Hang in there Stephanie! We are rooting for you. Don't let the adolescence of the sweater get you down. It'll grow up soon, just like everyone else.
Thanks for helping me start my morning with a smile! You have SIX whole days....that's a lot of time to get this sweater done! I know R will come around soon....putting all the different pieces together will definitely encourage the back to get with the program!
Stephanie, I love your from the heart letter! I have a feeling that the Sweater will come thru for you! I look forward to seeing the two of you in just a short time! Karola
How can the Rhinebeck sweater do anything but comply after that heartfelt plea. I have faith in you both to come through.
You have captured perfectly that point in mid-sweater (or especially mid-afghan!) where you knit and you knit and you knit but when you stop to measure, the darn thing is exactly the same length. The knitting black hole. Also, I have to say, the boring stage where "endurance knitting" comes in. No more thrill of design, no more changes in shape to make things interesting, just knit the same thing over and over and over again.
There are two things that might help. First, it DEFINITELY looks longer to me(all readers who agree chime in here). Second, with a cabled design you may be able to FEEL more progress if you count cable crossings rather than inches... just a thought.
You've fired me up to finish the most ridiculous sweater I've ever attempted, from my first-ever handspun. So far it's used up nearly 3 lbs. of wool and I'm not done. But Rhinebeck beckons! Knit on!
Oh, we all know what hapens after Stephanie writes a 'Dear UFO' letter - said item whips itself into shape, realizing how lucky it is to be under the guidance of such experienced and talented hands! And the looming threat of abandonment - a perfect touch, just to prevent any future thoughts of trouble.
"and what do I get back! Nothing. You just lie there."
Being you're a hardy Canuck and all, the cold shouldn't bother you... so, have you thought about knitting it while wearing the Mango Tank? Just sayin'...
What day is this? Maybe the sweater is having a 7 day itch?
The stitches are ending up on a sweater in another dimension, same as with this sock I've been knitting forever. Somewhere out there, an other-dimensional knitter keeps picking up her gorgeous sweater saying "I'm sure it was shorter last time I saw it!"
I think this letter will probably initiate the breakthrough this relationship needs to move on to the next step (completion).
I should right one to my entrelac coat. I'm willing to try Dr. Phil techiques if necessary and if Rhinebeck doesn't respond to your letter I suggest you do the same.
Oh, Harlot, you were brave to put that threat in at the end. Last time I tried that, there was a mutiny among the yarn in my stash. Watch your back (or arms).
I want to see the Mango Tank with the Sweater That Shall Not be Named over it at Rhinebeck.
Maybe it's just me, since I knit at a turtle's pace and keep getting distracted by shiny things, but the difference in the pictures between yesterday and today is significant. Dang.
If Sweater *still* doesn't listen after your heartfelt plea/threat, I suggest threatening to send it to Florida for "hurricane relief". Just be sure to tell Sweater all about the air conditioning in December and tank tops & flip flops wardrobe year round. :D
Time for a twinkie! (Oy, I was on a diet... but anything for th' Harlot!)
You know when you hit this point and you get frustrated you will put the sweater down for a minute and come back and realize you are nearly finished. Persevere!
Wish I was going to Rhinebeck.
OMG...what a laugh I've had...I've tears in my eyes...Coworker with no sense of humor came over to read over my shoulder and ended up saying "I don't get it." I wanted to shout, "of course you don't, you twit, you don't knit and you have no sense of humor!!"
I'm going to print it out...
Rhinebeck sweater had better put out...or some other UFO surely will...
If you love something and set it free and it comes back to you, it's yours forever. If it doesn't, hunt it down and kill it.
You're clearly the mature one in the relationship, for expressing yourself and for issuing that heartfelt ultimatum.
Remember: if the sweater refuses to respond, it's not you, it's it! If it refuses to grow up, let it go, there are plenty of other yarns in the stash. And then threaten to put it in my husband's ice hockey equipment bag. Then it will know suffering.
I dunno....you think these could be early signs of 'BKS....Battered Knitter's Syndrome'? You know, you keep putting up with this kind of behavior because somewhere, deep down, you want to help the sweater; you feel that somehow, it's just misunderstood and maybe you're the only one who understands it...you feel that if you give up, somehow you'll be the one who failed.....the sweater knows this. It knows that you'll stomp your feet, threaten, plead...stand your ground! Don't give in! If it doesn't shape up within the next six days, walk away and don't look back.
Perhaps it’s just best if you and the sweater are just friends for a while. If you’d like to take more extreme measures, I could send my wool-eating cat over to have a little . . . heart-to-heart.
Good thing tonight is full of tv! :)
The problem is physiological, not psychological. The answer is Viagra.
Harlot: While I never questioned the wisdom of knitting a sweater in less than 2 weeks I am beginning to wonder if throwing down is the wisest thing to do just before a long weekend.
If this sweater is so immature then it will dig in its cables and be stubborn in the hopes that you pick up with the thrumbs or a quick and easy scarf and then turn around and blame you.
Tread cautiously Harlot. Unless of course you are knitting with wool. Wool is much more forgiving than cotton.
many thanks for the big laugh, this is really worth saving, please write a book! LOL
It is *so* longer than yesterday! you know that soon you're going to measure again and find--surprise, surprise--that it's actually too long!
Maybe you should threaten the sweater with a twinkie...
Maus, I'm right with you about the book. I have proposed a title for it: A Yarn Harlot Beteen Covers... ...I'll come up with a cheer (set to a Tom Lehrer tune) one of these days (Write fiercely, Steaphnie, write, write write, impress us with your wowness, do...)
As to R.S., isn't it most disconcerting when one discovers that one is knitting something of the male persuasion? Petulant, needy, anti-progress - could it be that you're knitting a politician?
No worries. You are in the throes of what we in this house like to call a"fusser", sometimes happens mid-project but more likely towards the end; sleep deprivation eggs this gremlin on. You will come out on the other side triumphant. By the way, I did an impromptu survey this morning in yoga class. I asked 12 barefoot people in a chilly room if they have turned on their furnaces. All said "yes" without apology.
indeed, i DID actually choke on my OJ durring that one.
i think i'm going to copy and paste that sucker, and use it against my dumb (thinks he's my ex)boyfriend. haha.
Steph, I have a beef.
I am presently swatching a sweater (luckily not a blue one). I will accept that we are both using elongated trellis cables (after all, mine is bigger than your is). I am comfortable with you doing the same sort of ribbing I was planning. I am even comfortable with the fact that you also match your cables. All of this can be put to coincidence.
But - we are BOTH doing saddle shoulders? Please tell me that yours aren't shaped!!! The only thing that saves me right now is that Cranberry Delight is a pullover for an amazon.
I am giggling at work..well a loud snort and constant giggling...So sorry the heart of a almost finished object can be so fickle...I never knew... hehehehehehehehe
Ummmm. Well I have never had a Twinkie either but I would never turn down a Jos Louis or a Ah Caramel or ANYTHING with Vachon on it.
At my house, I consider myself a steady craftswoman surrounded by temperamental artist types of various ages and talents. I am quite familiar with the feelings behind your Dear Sweater letter -- Dear Painting, Dear Pot, Dear Drawing, Dear Story -- particularly when it's an intense project and there's a deadline looming. Will it work, this isn't going anywhere, it's at a crucial stage, it's not talking to me -- there's often lots of drama, sometimes accompanied by throwing of pens, brushes, and the like (in the most severe instances). It's been my experience that it's all part of the creative process and this, too, shall pass. Take a break, clear your head, the sweater will acquiesce. The threat doesn't hurt, either.
Ok. Now that I have stopped crying with laughter...if I ever meet ANYONE who blogs, I have to hope it will be you.
P.S. Let Rhinebeck see you fondling some sock yarn...it'll come around.
Rams, I love it! A little blue pill for a too-little blue sweater! And Stephanie dear, you still knit faster than a civil-service nine-to-fiver like myself could ever aspire to (or sympathise with!)
I am SO working...
Oh, Harlot. Do not despair. RS is just testing you. It's these little interludes that you'll look back on and giggle to yourself as you strut your stuff in six days' time. Everyone at Rheinbeck will smile when they see how perfect you and RS look together. My faith is strong.
Dear Harlot - I am not only in awe of your ability to knit without heat, but your skills in negotiating your needs with the Rhinebeck sweater are remarkable. You have emboldened me to go home and deal with My Mother's Sweater, which has been taunting me from the bottom of the marinating bin for more months than I can admit without shame. I have faith that your Rhinebeck Sweater will listen and respond appropriately to your heartfelt letter.
Steph- I say give RS what's coming to him and take up with some hunky, ribby, turtlenecked fox of an Aran. Just for show, of course. Gather Aran's yarn...needles...tell him how cute he is...aw go ahead, give him a row while you're at it. Inside you'll know RS is truly the one for you...but he needs to be taught a lesson and I never met a petulant boyfriend who didn't react well to some play-hard-to-get comeuppance.
But damn, RS looks great! Keep a stiff upper lip, girl. Never let 'em see you sweat.
The sweater will come through for you... I know it will. Or else you'll kick it's ass. plain and simple.
*sigh. I am at the same point of my hush hush. I measure 9 inches, I knit for hours, I measure 9 inches and I sit baffled before I knit for at least another hour and find I still have 9 inches. You can beat this. Besides, like Lara said: you can always kick its ass.
Let's hope that the sweater doesn't realize that the threats are empty...everyone has seen the progress, heard the boastful challenge. As if you'd give up on the sweater and start a new one when all of Rhinebeck will be watching for the blue cabled cardigan, and mock you mercilessly if you're not wearing it.
But since your relationship with the sweater is still a new one, maybe it doesn't know you well enough to figure that out, and will be whipped into shape by this public airing of dirty laundry (which I bet your house is full of, by now...)
that is the funniest knit blog entry i've ever read. you rock my world, YH.
Dude...it's over twice as long as it was in the last picture you took. And I wouldn't measure it, yet, I'd count the cables... you've hit the black hole. If you just keep going, all the sudden you'll do one final row and all the rows of knitting that vanished earlier will come back, and it will be LONGER than you thought it would be.
You know you're making progress- look at how much you've done, you amazing woman! And it's GORGEOUS. You'll finish it in time, and you'll have the most amazing cabled sweater there.
I have faith in you.
Keep up the wonderful work, I too am waiting anxiously for the pattern to the Rhinebeck.
Come on now, be fair. The only reason you took up with the RS in the first place was to flash its blue cables at your friend with the butterfly jacket, you think it doesn't know that? It's not threats it needs, it's sweet talk and reassurance. We all have our pride. Takes more than an inch of fancy ribbing to bring us round.
My Sweet Harlot, you get so many comments that I always feel a bit superfluous, but I like Gina's suggestion the best -- or at least it's the closest to mine: Has RS seen your rack yet? I think THAT would get it motivated to behave! mwah!
Today is the first time I've read your blog and I can't believe my good fortune. I've been nursing a broken heart for a couple of weeks now and wish that I'd had your entry as a template. Thank goodness for knitting. Good luck with your affair.
What you need is the subtle seduction. Did you mention to the sweater there would be a late night candle lit bath in lavender scented eulcian? After which it will be rollup in a cotton towel, before a gentle blocking and air-drying. Dazzle it with the promise of some cool buttons or a zippy zipper. Let the sweater know there will be a trip down south, to meet woolly creatures, the chance to mingle with exotic fibres and knit Bloggers. The sweater must feel the thrill, anticipation, and excitement of the pending trip. The sweater needs to understand there is a possibility it will be photographed and make guest appearance on other BLOGS. Does the sweater understand it could be famous or infamous depending on the stamina of a Crazy Canuck and her plan to finish in six days…?
The RS is obviously afraid of the future. It's comfortable with the relationship as it is now. What it can't see is how you will be together once this stage is over. No, things won't be the same as they are now. The sweater can't see past the ending of this stage; it just sees the end. It needs reassurance; needs to know that you will still be together.
Hopefully the sweater can spell better than me. I ment to type EUCALAN bath and not what ever gibberish spelling ended up in my comment.
You are so peeved with me. I am purple. I am the color of royalty. You see my symmetry and that I am an end to means of yours. You forget. I am complex. I am one of a kind. I am a prototype. I am a miracle. I came with my own Karma... what it is, I'm not entirely clear about yet... but, prototypical, royal and micro-detailed fore sure. Don't blame me for your dirty laundry. Don't deprive yourself of however a clean house you want because of me. Even if I am curled in your knitting bag at Rhinebeck, I will be beautiful for you. I will look good and will not humiliate you. You have time. Rather like a rose bush that holds its buds for a long, long time, I will soon be in full bloom... and THEN you will see the beauty and miracle.
In short... don't rush me, I'm moving as fast as I can.
I'm sure Rhinebeck feels pretty sorry by now and you guys were able to make up.
Ahhh .. Harlot..
My heart aches for you. Perhaps you'll feel better when I tell you that amends have been made between myself and the &*^% oh, I mean, LOVELY purple domino vest thingy. We had been separated for about 6 months.. but seeing you start on RH gave me hope.. Purple vest thingy and I sat and talked.. well, there WAS a little whining.. but sense prevailed and we decided to give it one more shot. Happily these things turn out allright in the end and purple vest thingy is now a mature garment in it's own right. And so I thank you. Now I will not have to attend Rhinebeck without some sort of natural, hand made garment drapped every so artfully over my body.
In fact ::evil snicker:: I've been bad. As soon as I found out that the relationship with purple vest thingy was working out .. I was emboldened to start a friendship with someone else who REALLY wants to go to Rhinebeck as well.. you may have seen her name on other blogs... yes, "Lara" is now 2/3 done and may well accompany myself and purple vest thingy to Rhinebeck. Imagine. And I owe it all to you .. Goddess Harlot... !
Hope to see you and RH in Rhinebeck.. can't wait!!
This is my first time reading your blog - what a great way to start. Keep working through the knitting black hole - at some point you'll hit the event horizon and make some forward progress. :) By the way, that sweater is absolutely gorgeous! Maybe if it doesn't respond to a good heart-to-heart, you should just try effusive praise and compliments. :D
i so needed that laugh thank you!!!! wonderfully written entry!
What a fabulous letter and what a laugh I had reading it. And to think - I actually thought I was the only one who actually spoke to yarn!
I was inspired to read your previous blogs after starting with this letter. You do a great job! Thanks for the look at the beautiful sweater and the kinship laugh! :) Can't wait for the next entry.
LOve it. I couldn't of said it better my self. Someone has to be boss and it is you. Just like children, they sometimes need to have things explained as to what is what.