Sunday, November 18, 2007

run, young knitter

I had the pleasure of hanging with a young knitter and his mom earlier this week. (I forgot to take his pic while we were together, but I snapped a shot of his hands in the car afterwards.) It's a good thing I met him then, not now, because he's bright-eyed and excited about knitting his own hat. I finished a bunch of things earlier in the week, so I was pretty upbeat about this whole knitting thing at the time too. I guess that's good because it would be kind of tragic if I had been the voice of the thoroughly beaten knitter, telling him how the knitting gods will stomp his ego and the simple act of wrapping string around sticks will sometimes bring him to his knees. You think I'm exaggerating? For your entertainment, I will provide a list of the ways in which the knitting has beat me senseless in the past few days:

1. Knit Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hat on size 7 needles. Curse the inconsistency of needle sizing in the U.S., as the 7 I saw on quick glance at the pattern is mm, not US size. No, of course I did not swatch. Yes, I did notice that the hat was coming out small, but Leah wasn't home to try it on, so I just kept going. Sho' 'nuf, too small. Tore it out.

2. Picked up the stitches and tore out the flipping bottom edge of my handspun cardigan. Tried 365,472 variations of stitches and/or needles in an attempt to stop the bottom from curling. No luck. Called out to a knitter friend in desperation. Temporarily abandoned in disgust.

3. Cast on for the Aran Watch Cap from Hats On!, following instructions for the stretchy yarn-over tubular cast-on. I got everything set up and reached a point in the instructions, at the end of a page, where it said to begin working. So I did. K1 P1 for quite a few rounds. With this cast-on, there's waste yarn involved, so I was going to remove that when I noticed that it looked like there would then be nothing to hold that cast-on together. So I went back to the instructions in the book and turned the page to discover the very important next few steps that I should have done if I didn't want this hat to fall apart in my hands. Tore it out.

4. Just about to turn the heel on the second of a pair of short socks, using leftover yarn from another pair, when it became clear that I would not have enough to even get up the heel on this sock. Into the trash they went.

5. Sewed the sleeves on the handspun cardigan, only to then remember that one sleeve was significantly shorter than the other because when I knit them last year, I wasn't sure where the shoulder seams would fall, so I left both on waste yarn to finish later. Forgot about this while the project sat untouched through the summer heat, then blindly bound them off and sewed them on. Clipped and removed the long arm.

6. Cast on for Trellis, for no particular reason other than that I think it's a cute pattern. Got my butt kicked by the combination of splitty, slippery cotton yarn; slick Addi Turbo needles; and a left twist stitch. Abandoned.

So, today I might warn the young knitter to consider carefully this path he's on. It might be wise to run as fast as he can AWAY from this hobby, before it turns into a sickness, an obsession. But, being the brave and strong young man he clearly is, I have a feeling he'll continue his quest to conquer the sticks and string. I wish him luck.
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Blogger amy said...

I hear you. This morning I sat down to finish the toe decreases and Kitchener a sock. Should have taken me ten minutes, total. Somehow I split a stitch while grafting and ended up with a godawful, knotted, tangled mess. An hour later I'd gotten back far enough that all was well, but I had FAR less sock than I'd started with. My husband pointed out that he could have done that. Stupid knitting.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous pat said...

I've had those days - I decide I should just quit knitting all together!
I think the Aran Watch Cap would be just fine with ANY slightly stretchy cast on! (That YO tubular is nice, but quite fiddly)

9:31 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Bummer! Maybe the spinning or sewing mojo is putting the hex on the knitting projects?!? Any other crafts hanging around, neglected, that may be casting evil spells?

So glad you kept the harsh realities of knitting obsession on the down low with the new knitter. He'll learn soon enough about the dark side.

Hang in there and I hope the hem issue on the hand spun cardi finds an acceptable solution. If worse comes to worse, make a beaded lace trim. Maybe the weight of the beads will tame the wild curl.

10:44 PM  

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