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Posts Tagged ‘knitting

to err is human; to frog, divine

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Written by jane

August 4, 2013 at 1:32 am

stumbling forward

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Long time no blog! Things that have happened:
my camera broke.
i was sick. a lot of sick. several times.
my computer broke. (I am writing this on a borrowed iPad — a very cool piece of equipment until you need it to be useful)
i turned thirty-two.

Nothing seems very exciting when you are bedridden and miserable, so I didn’t bother to document anything (“life wasteland of broken dreams, etc”)

but we go forward, don’t we. there has been Forward Motion on the sweater front, too, although it’s the back of the sweater really, and you’ll have to trust me on that,

because camera = broken


… as you can see.

Written by jane

July 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm

beginning … summer.

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Officially it’s still Spring — but yesterday was June 1st, and the thermometer was over 90F in the shade, and that’s summer enough for me.




It’s also six months away from the end of the year.
Which means gift-giving.
In six months.




It seemed like plenty of time (aeons!) when I was planning all this, back in January.
Doesn’t seem so long now.
 Well, a journey of a thousand miles, and so on and so forth.




It might take a thousand miles to turn this into a Milkweed.
No fear. There are six months. 

We’ll get there.




In the meantime … summertime.




(This post is a day late because I have an infected tooth. Pity me.)

Written by jane

June 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Posted in knitting.

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crafting a replacement

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Progress continues on the Enormous Striped Thing, although it seems terrifically slow and is terrifically dull to write read about …

So! I’ll tell you about another sweater! It was meant to be a replacement for this ratty old storebought <I>thing</I> I’ve had since the turn of the century — a lightweight acrylic cardigan with allover ribbing that began life as a sweatercoat, was hacked to hip-length sometime after college, and worn constantly, no matter how inappropriate to occasion or weather. (Great sweater.) The sleeves came out at the armscye and the button bands fell off and the sleeves unraveled at the cuff — and every time, I mended it.

… but ten years is a long time. I had to let it go. And at first I wanted to replicate it exactly — but I couldn’t find any laceweight medium-grey acrylic (fancy that), and then I couldn’t find any laceweight ribbed cardigans (I’m shocked, too), and … and finally I went with the second-best option: a sportweight grey wool.

And. So. It was supposed to be straightforward …



swatched. washed. blocked. measured.

co & worked bottom panel of garter stitch.

wet-blocked on needles. fits perfectly. feel like god.

1/4 – 1/6
worked modified decreases, adding plain rows between shaping, and adapted remainder of pattern for one-piece knitting — stupidly complicated as pattern does not measure in rows but “stripes”. knit up to shoulder of LH front, per adaptation.
adapted pattern wrong. need to rip back most of shoulder. commenced swearing.

ripped out shoulder.
measured body. seems right length but these things are deceptive so knit another inch or two.

reknit LH front.
knit RH front (went much faster than LH front as had already made every possible mistake)

knit on back almost constantly today (before work, during work, at dinner, before American Sign Language class, etc).



missed decreases somewhere despite reading the pattern eight zillion times. whatever; it’ll be fine.

co 55 on smaller needles & did garter stitch.
55 clearly too many stitches. blocked on needles (gauge is same in round as flat: when does that ever

happen? ever?) & frogged.

sleeves. bleh.
co 46. knitting two at a time to simplify my life. would be easier if i had two pairs of needles in the

same size.
knit knit knit knit knit

knit to elbow with much frogging & reknitting & figuring of increases. unsure about fit. blocked.

terrible. ugh. unknit. reknitting on much bigger terms.

sleeve all wrong. frogged.
… sewed shoulders poorly. it’s fine. it’s all fine.
… fixed shoulders.

knit sleeve, picking up from armscye.
ripped out.

knit sleeve, picking up from armscye in more intelligent manner.
sleeve looks excellent but is too small.
ripped out during ASL class, distracting everyone.

knit sleeve (picking up from armscye) on larger needles.



went away this weekend, bringing only the sweater to knit. i was concerned I’d finish the sleeves and be without anything to knit. LOLOLOLOL. I knit the sleeve (shoulder to wrist)
ripped it back to mid-shoulder (decreases too severe)
knit it again with more gradual decreases
ripped it out again
knit it again with neater decreases
ripped it out because they were in the wrong place (I’d had a beer and also some champagne by this stage)
& knit some more
ripped out a few rows (ending around mid-forearm)
& put it away until the alcohol wore off.

FINISHED A SLEEVE. and the choir sings!
there is no way i am embarking on another sleeve yet. picked up a million stitches along front, instead.
never button up my sweaters so will not work buttonholes. who are you kidding here.

finished buttonband. bind-off was a … nevermind. i don’t want to talk about it.
wove in ends.
started second sleeve. sort of depressed about it, actually.

finished second sleeve!!! involved some ripping back as I managed to mess up the garter-stitch cuff (twice).
no matter. wove all the new ends! washed & blocked in sink! laid out to dry on bed upstairs and laid it out very neatly but since the cats love the smell of wet wool as much as I do they will scrunch it all up and then sleep on top.

added buttons. cut & sewed three buttonholes at the top. (love making buttonholes.)

… and that was that.


Written by jane

March 23, 2013 at 7:54 am

love and patience and work

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You know the story of Penelope? Most people get her story tangled up with the legend of Ulysses, her husband, but Penelope has always been the important one for me. You want to talk about a process crafter — Penelope was it

The story goes like this: Ulysses went away to do Very Manly Things … and he stayed gone for twenty years. He didn’t send any text messages or carrier pigeons or smoke signals, so people (reasonably) assumed he was dead. Men started to court Penelope. It got pretty bad, I imagine. She tried logic (“seriously guys, I’m already married”) and the more direct method (“get the $#@% off my front porch” ), but nothing worked — until she told them she needed some space to finish her knitting weaving. (“Just one more row!”) 

She spent all day weaving and all night ripping it out. For twenty years. Can you imagine how happy she was to see Ulysses again, when he finally strolled back up the steps? “I CAN FINALLY STOP WEAVING THIS FREAKING TAPESTRY oh right darling I’m very happy to see you, too …” 

I know she found peace in the rhythmic motion and noises of weaving for it to occupy her for two decades —  because I find the same quietude in the work of knitting, stitch-by-stitch-by-stitch. Weaving made it possible for Penelope to wait, in the way that love for her husband made her continue on, day by day by day, weaving and undoing and weaving and undoing …

… for some of us, love and hope and patience and work are all mixed together, too tangled to separate.

Written by jane

March 15, 2013 at 7:39 am