Maybe I evened out

Point: Last night I got my knitting together for this trip. I’m starting a new shawl with the Catterpillargreen yarn (or rather, some of it) that I got on my last trip.  It’s the shawl striping in “Olive Branch” (the XL hank) and I’m going to make Cladonia.  (I saw a sample and it was so pretty I couldn’t stand it. I snapped like a little twig. I think it made a noise.)

catterpillargreenstart 2015-04-24

Point: I got the yarn out, and then the needle the pattern suggested, then heard the voice of experience in my head and saw that the combination of that needle, that yarn and me was going to make a fabric I didn’t care for, and went back and got a more appropriately sized needle.

Demerit: The voice of experience turns out to be a lying weaselface, because ten minutes after lift-off on my plane to Minneapolis this morning, I realized that I had misjudged the size of the needle I needed.

catterpillargreenstart2 2015-04-24

Demerit: I only brought the one needle. Like a rookie.

Point: I actually realized it was wrong, and stopped knitting, instead of wasting my time beavering away on a doomed project thinking things are going to get better any minute. They’re not. They never do.

Point: I took out my back-up knitting, which I actually had with me, exactly like NOT A ROOKIE.

backupknitting 2015-04-24

Demerit: Upon landing in Minneapolis I had to go directly to StevenBe and what I needed so that I can work on this- even though I have a million knitting needles at home.

Point: I actually got two, in case I’m still wrong about the needle sizes. That way I don’t have to go back again later today, on account of people saw me there and I would start to look dim.

gotneedles 2015-04-24

Demerit: I had to buy two that are totally and completely in my stash right now, and I could have brought with me if I hadn’t believed the voice of experience.

Point: I won’t believe the voice of experience again. It’s cocky.

83 thoughts on “Maybe I evened out

  1. My voice of “experience” has been wrong so many times I’ve lost track…and its not nearly as loud as your voice. I feel your pain, but a gift of yarn and a pair of (new, spare) needles is a nice Christmas gift for a knitter.

  2. Besides, a pair of needles that YarnHarlot has actually used and thus infused with her knitting magic would be a Very Special Gift. They could have a special label: “Needles Approved by YarnHarlot after thorough testing…”

    • No offense, Steph, really — but I’m suddenly not thinking of you at all.

      I have to thank you, Elizabeth. You couldn’t possibly know, but discovering Paks in a dim, dusty second-hand junk shop in Vermont about 25 years ago saved me from a weekend so awful that it became legendary in its own right. All of your work since has been a joy.

      • total agreement re Elizabeth Moon. Paks: one of the things I re-read, though I don’t have the romantic found-in-dusty-shop story. I also second Used By YH needles as great karmic balancing.

  3. By my count that’s better than even, 2 points to you! I feel like a rookie, packed so much yarn & extra needles for a 2 1/2 week trip. Then bought more yarn because Interweave Yarn Fest & then since I was so close, The Loopy Ewe. I was 1lb. away from the limit for my luggage…not sure how this will pan out…

    • I have some of that…at least it looks just the same and stripes and everything…it is Ms. Babs Biker Chick! And looks even better than the picture!

  4. One small advantage of heading to a knitterly place like Minneapolis – you can get the needles (and/or yarn) that you need! Glad you are in town and sorry I’ll be missing you this visit. Hope it’s a wonderful time and that the weather improves for you!

  5. Lying weaselface! Too funny! And to your previous post, I can’t count the number of people who question knitting socks, cost of yarn etc. heathens, all.

  6. Made the exact same rookie mistake beginning Cladonia in this yarn. Second time went with 4mm rather than pattern’s 4.5. The yarn was talking first time but I wasn’t listening.
    At the start of a new project we’re all rookies!

  7. By my count, you’re two points ahead… unless demerits count for more, or ROOKIE mistakes are weighted heavier in your system.

  8. You could offer those two “extra” needles that you have used as Karmic Balancing gifts. I know lots of knitters would love to have a pair of Stephanie’s needles!! Beautiful yarn. I wish I had as much time to knit as you do. I’m still struggling with the same sweater that I was in October with not much progress. I guess to make progress with a sweater, one actually has to knit 🙂

  9. With life’s lessons you ‘Get the experience first, and lesson follows after’. It maybe why you ‘have quite a few pairs of sock needles at home (27 pairs was once described)’. I don’t have any problem with you buying more needles – and I am sure the manufacturers and shop owners don’t either. When it is time to do some destashing there will be auctioning (with improved vibe infusion as described above), or for the larger sizes the local Steiner school.

    Good call on stopping when you evaluated the swatch – always a better way to go (see you have been knitting going into your 4th or 5th decade, you have learnt some things along the way)

    I read the other day (and I don’t know how true it is) the Louis Braille lost the sight in one eye with a knitting needle going in to is when he was 3 years old – utterly sick-making thought; but perhaps that is where the muggles get there worries about such things from.

    • This is Elizabeth Moon, the author? I love all your books. My husband keeps rereading the Paks books. Paks is such a great character. Speed of Darkness struck a chord with me, even before my son was dx with Aspergers. I love your books, too, Stephanie. Listening to the audio version of one of them was what convinced me to keep trying until I got the hang of knitting.

  10. Why don’t you get a set of interchangeable needles and keep that in your travel bag? They don’t take up that much room and I’m sure you’d save $$ within just a year! 😉

    • I really like the idea of traveling interchangeable needle sets. But I am OK with buying new ones as well. Doesn’t hurt to have extra needles and support our local yarn stores.

  11. Just don’t be too tough on yourself when you ignore the voice of experience the next time. (Just sayin’. Been there, done that…..)

  12. My voice of experience is always telling me to buy more needles because the old ones break, disappear, or get cattacked (attacked by cats). It’s ever wrong, *sigh*.

    • “cattacked” snort. that happens here. i can’t seem to learn that, if i leave my bamboo dpns alone for even a short time, the cat will nibble their little tips. she has even developed opinions- if she has a choice, she chooses the birch ones instead of the bamboo. (luckily- the bamboos are my favorites, but some stores only have the birch. and i am sometimes desperate enough to buy whatever they have, because of maisy cat!) mostly, i worry about her safety, like dogs with chicken bones, but she has not bitten a piece off yet, just little toothmarks in the very end, to snag the yarn even when i sand them. and i am sooo vigilant for a week or so, then relax just a few seconds too long. and then the cattack.

  13. Pish. There’s no such thing as extra or too many needles. There’s always going to be a set in a WIP when you have to start something new (yes, have to. Christmas is coming). And you know the Blog lives to hear about stuff like this – reassuring that we ALL do it.

  14. I just cast on the Palmyre with the same yarn! Same Addi lace needles too! But since this is my first shawl ever – which size needles did you end up using? What was wrong with the pic of the beginning of the shawl? Knit too tightly? Should a shawl be knit loosely?

    • I’d like to know, too. If it were me, I would have continued (based on the picture), so how did you decide it was the wrong needle size? Assuming that there was no swatch,

  15. I agree with Tricia. Why not get a set of interchangeables and take them everywhere just in case? I have a set of Addi clicks and crochet hooks that I use for just such a purpose.

    • The day I brought a full set of Addi Interchangeables on a plane with me would be the day the TSA decided they weren’t ok with knitting needles after all. Too much at risk. I don’t even bring my good scissors.

  16. Laughing so hard. Lying weaselface! Ohmygoodness yes. The wrong needle size and only that one on the plane with me: I have so been there. And each time I so knew I knew better but there I was.

    I’ll be flying again in a few weeks and humor is the best memory-jogger–thank you in advance for saving me!

  17. I AM a rookie knitter and I never, ever fail to learn something new from each of your posts. Thank you so very much for that. I will always knit a little on a project before I take it with me….just in case I need to sub in a different needle size. I also learned that no matter how smart I think I am….I still have room to learn more.

  18. I have heard that voice before! If the voice is right, it’s when you have your full stash of needles right beside you, rarely when you travel. If you are traveling and the voice is right that I when I will break a needle. Really should learn to travel with metal needles not tiny wooden ones.
    I don’t have many addis in my stash so you can destash those to me if you like when you get home:-)

  19. It’s one of the eternal truths of travel with knitting: if you have THIRTY needles with you, the one you need you will be missing and you will have to buy another in that size.

  20. I have been drooling over that very project—just lovely—and finally managed to snag some of the yarn (maybe too much [okay, never too much]) in the last pre-order. So looking forward to knitting it!

  21. And this is why I love my interchangeable set. Granted, it doesn’t work with things like socks because my sets don’t go small enough but for things like shawls and sweater parts and hats and such, I’m usually good as gold 🙂

  22. Steph, you forgot one liast item in that list:

    “Demerit: Call me a lying weeaselface if you will, but I probably will listen to the voice of experience again. I get delusional that way sometimes.”

    Enjoy the trip, and remember to pack extra needles in your purse or carry-on for the trip home. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the wrong size again, or get to watch a dropped DPN merrily roll its way to eleventeen rows in front of you.

  23. missing needle? I have been known to use swizzle sticks on an airplane! Now that is a dedicated and committed knitter!.

  24. How could you leave home without a full set of interchangeable needles? I’m shocked!

    As for the purchased needles, you can always gift them or sell or trade.

    I love the colorful sock you’re knitting. I’ve not yet knit any socks, but I’d love to soon!

  25. Steph, I feel an money raising opportunity coming on for your next cycling event! Needles & yarn (previously owned by Yarn Harlot) – let the bidding war begin!!!! xxx

  26. Oh man, packing a not-yet-started-project for a plane always ends in disaster. All things considered, it seems like you made the best of a tough situation. More points than demerits at least!

    • i have to start a project or a book before i leave, just to make sure. whenever i haven’t, i get a bad surprise.

  27. Aww, I LOVE Stevenbe’s! It’s my favorite LYS (of the 17 or so LYS’s we have here in the Twin Cities). Have you been to Amazing Threads (in Maple Grove)? It’s fantastic!

  28. Just a thought: If you are ever considering doing a fundraiser, why don’t you sell your duplicate and/or unneeded needles? I know that most knitters would rather die than part with ANY of their needles, but if you have a lot of duplicates, you might not miss them. Your loyal followers would get a kick out of owning a set of your needles.

  29. I agree – offer up some of your needles and yarn and let the bidding wars begin! I read a knitting “tip” lately that a knitter kept her needles in two zip lock bags. My thought was, what does she do with the rest of them?

  30. My “voice of experience” is still learning things so I don’t count on it very much. I just ask questions….


  31. There are no demerits allowed in knitting. And I’m looking forward to that beautiful Cladonia. Your colors are gorgeous already.

  32. A group of us were at Yarn Over today and were hoping to see you browsing in the marketplace. No luck with that, but we scored some great yarn!

  33. No such thing as too many needles, we won’t talk about how many size 5’s I have from when I first started knitting and had multiple projects going (major case of startitis). Later, brain fog has led to misplacing needles, leaving them in swatches buried under yarn…led to purchase of additional size 1’s. The stash is winning…

  34. It is just killing me to read of your travel to my hometown of Minneapolis, knowing that my own travel schedule is preventing me from attending FiberFest or meeting you there. But didn’t we give you some lovely weather for the weekend?

  35. After more than 55 years of knitting…. I finally bought interchangeables Cubix and they live in my knitting bag. I highly recommend them. Now I will start to carry a back up project or two. The knitting bag gets bigger… And it is April 28th and it is snowing here in Santa Few, NM. Ah, the joys of spring at high altitude…

  36. OK people I’m throwing this out there: I got my first Top Whorl Drop Spindle and a lesson yesterday at the Powhatan, VA Sheep & Wool Festival and now I UNDERSTAND! Although I have to say that it’s not just Tuesdays that are for spinning! I’m just sayin’.

  37. So it looks like you had 6 points but 4 demerits so you came out ahead. Also, I don’t think getting two needles that you already have is a demerit because what if, in the not so distant future, those two needles had something on them and you needed to cast on another project? Now you have extra needles which I think leads to a knitter being prepared and we should not be punished for having a good supply of our tools in case one should break, is being used, or might get lost. So see, you’re totally ahead and that’s how you do it!

  38. I clicked on the yarn link and drooled a bit over the color selections. When I got to the Olive Branch one, I thought, Oh! I bet she got that one! …which you had, but you’d kind of also mentioned it already. Point/demerit to me?

    Besides. When you have too many needles (someday, maybe, conceivably) then you can donate them to other knitters. Absolutely Karmic Balancing. (If a little harder on the wallet.)

  39. why is it that when I need needles the only place I have readily available (8 p.m. at night and flying out tomorrow) is Joanne’s?? I have so many Clover dpn it’s not funny. I only WISH my cats would attack so I would have an excuse. All they want is the YARN!

  40. You need a nice set of interchangeables to leave in your knitting bag!
    I just treated myself to addi lace clics. KA has nice sets, too.

  41. I think you should cancel the last demerit. You can never have too many needles. There are times when the needles you need for a new project are being used by another project. And it doesn’t matter how many sets you have of that size.

  42. Leave the extras in your suitcase when you unpack for travel purposes. This is where an interchangeable set of needles come in. Denise are good for flying since they aren’t metal.

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