Tuesday, October 06, 2009

it takes more than enthusiasm

Remember this?

Yeah, that was the "I'm 39 and I've always wanted a knit coat" birthday present to myself last year. Anybody wondering what ever happened to that? Yeah, probably not but I'll tell you anyway.

So I started knitting away on my birthday coat. I had that beautiful sky blue yarn. It was nice and thick and I was using big ol' needles - I was cruising! At the point where I was decreasing for the armpits on the back, I realized how damn heavy the material was being created by this nice, thick yarn. Heavy. I held the almost finished back up and I could literally see it grow. The weight of itself was stretching it to heights you could not imagine. In the 3 and a half minutes I had it hanging, that back of the birthday coat stretched and stretched until that material went from sky blue to ocean blue, cascading down the stairs like a flowing river.

Ok, that was slight exaggeration with a little hyperbole and a mixed metaphor for spice.

The point is ... I frogged it.

(knitting vocab: "to frog"; verb; to quit, to give up, to rip back HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS of knitting while crying and cursing simultaneously)

Remember this?

And this?

That yarn look familiar? Yeah, that's birthday coat yarn.

Just a little knitting tip I learned in my 39th year...just because you totally love a pattern and you adore some yarn doesn't mean you can put them together. There are laws of physics, laws of taste, and laws of time, money and sanity that must be taken into consideration. In this case, physics got me.

For you non knitters, let me explain it this way: I LOVE anchovies. I adore my mom's raisin oatmeal cookies. Should they be put together? Ok. moving on now...

So now I'm 40 and I still don't have a knit coat. I do however, have a SECOND frogged birthday coat already under my belt (and I've only been 40 for a few weeks).

Being older and wiser this year than last, I thought I'd try again. This year I did some research. I looked through all my knitting books and magazines, I surfed all my favorite spots on the net. I put hours into the sweater before I even cast on. Then it came to me, from that great knitting paradise in the Pacific Northwest ... KnitPicks.

Not falling sucker to the 39 year old's mistake, I even bought the yarn that the pattern was written for. I planned it so the pattern and yarn would arrive while I was in the States, I packed it tenderly for the long journey over the ocean, then neatly placed it in a prominent spot in my studio where it awaited my birthday.

This is what I chose.

I loved the contrast between the curvy flow of the jacket and the geometric stitch pattern.

So, I'm sitting in my birthday fort on my birthday with a bowl of birthday popcorn, some new birthday movies and I'm ready to cast on my 40 year old's knit jacket.

"Hmmm...it's kind of hard to read this pattern. Maybe it's too dark in this fort. (lamp added to fort) Now I can read it but, hell, this flow and geometry is too much to think about on my birthday, particularly when I'm trying to watch Brad, George and Matt while eating popcorn. I'll start it tomorrow."

40 years + 1 day: I did a swatch. hmmm, not bad.

I also meet a cow on the road

but I digress...

Then I made myself knit this flow and geometry every evening BEFORE I allowed myself to watch a movie. The two couldn't be done together. There was row counting and stitch counting and repeats and decreases. It was becoming a chore. No, it was a chore from that first reading of the pattern in my birthday fort. And it remained a chore every day, hour, every stitch. I got this far.

That's when I found a flaw in the written pattern.

Thinking that this was divine intervention allowing me to quit this horrendous knitting project, I got a little excited by my pattern conundrum. Then, feeling 40 and mature and all that bullshit, I decided to try to "stick with it", "solve the problem", "be patient". I looked up the pattern on KnitPicks for corrections - nothing. I went to Ravelry and emailed a total stranger who was knitting the same jacket - she had already frogged it. I wrote to customer service at KnitPicks. The lovely ladies there wrote me back and tried to help (they really do have good customer service) - too late. I frogged the f^$*er.

So now I have 20 skeins of beautiful coat weight yarn...I've started knitting this:

Older and so much wiser.

1 comment:

  1. yes, being 40 does really make you wiser:) ahahahah i am 40 myself, so i can say this:)

    i do hate to frog projects... it's like we say here... "engolir um sapo" "swallowing a frog" and gee it's hard to swallow:)