twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

To Rip…or Not To Rip? September 11, 2013

Filed under: knitting — kathy @ 1:43 pm
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We’ve all been there: you’ve been toiling over a very special project, however at some point you realize something isn’t quite right about how it’s turning out. You must decide if the problem with the (insert project of your choice–knitting, sewing, drawing, novel-writing, wood-working, heck, even cooking can be a project) can be ignored, or—gasp, groan—if it requires a complete “do-over.” It depends on what the project is, I guess.  If your hollandaise breaks, maybe you can save it with an ice cube. No one will know. On the other hand, if the deck you just finished has more of a slope than you intended, you could always claim you did it so rainwater would roll away from the house. You could, as long as Great Aunt June’s wheelchair or your Weber grill don’t roll off. If you goober up part of a cardigan’s knitted edge, perhaps you can hide it be draping the front, just so.

The problem is,  if you are a perfectionist (here, sir), there is little you can do to convince yourself that the mistake won’t be noticeable, because frankly, you’ll always notice it  yourself and it’ll make you pig-slop crazy every time you look at the  damn  darn old thing.

The Good Side

The Good Side

Which is what happened to me just the other night.

I’d been working the past few evenings on my Ollalieberry Girl Cardigan, trying finish it up before I start another shawl knitalong (more on that next post). And I’d been making good progress on the piece, despite the fact the top half is all seed stitch with a crazy knitted lace edge that I can’t seem to memorize no matter what I do.  Well, I’d finally finished the seed stitch bodice and was happily working the “twisted moss ribbing.” Even better, I was complimenting myself on being nearly finished with the current ball of yarn, and was fantasizing about adding a new ball the next morning. Sometime around 11pm on Monday night, I spread out my work to admire it (you know it’s important to do that), and crappers darn it, the ribbing on the two fronts didn’t match. Sigh. Worse, the back ribbing was all wrong, too. 😦  On one side, all the ribbing had cooperated, aligning itself into gradual mountain peaks and valleys of yarn. On the bad, naughty side and the back, the ribbing had arranged itself into tidy rows of “garter rib.” It looked okay, but it didn’t match the other side, and was certainly not what was specified in the pattern. Poop.



The Bad Side

The Bad Side

I hemmed, I hawed. I looked at the offending project from many angles and with different light sources.

I pulled up the project page on Ravelry and poured over the photos. Was there another person who’d had this problem? If so, did they just ignore it and go with it?

No, and no.

But it was now 11:30 and I had an early morning the next day (don’t we all?) So I balled the thing up, took two Tylenol, and went to bed.

As I my head hit the pillow, I sorted through the reasons why I could’ve screwed up and what I could do about it now. Obviously I must’ve been off by a single stitch in each of the sections where I’d messed up, and while it didn’t look bad, it was wrong. Worse, I knew it was wrong.



All woven through and ready to rip!

All woven through and ready to rip!

That meant there was only one thing I could do: I’d have to rip. But I hate ripping. I mean I really, really hate to rip. Even though I’ve said it before, the prospect of ripping hasn’t changed in my mind. I hate it. Probably because to me it represents hours of work being obliterated, hours I chose to spend knitting instead of writing, drawing, making jewelry…you name it. Hours and hours thrown away like so much cat litter.

On this project, I was especially resistant since I had to rip back to the last row of seed stitch. A drop stitch disaster in waiting. Add to that columns of lace. I shuddered to think of it. If it had been a total “frogging” of the cardigan, it wouldn’t have mattered as much since it would all wind up as balls of yarn and I wouldn’t have to worry about dropping stitches or losing my place in the lace pattern. Still, I couldn’t justify leaving the sweater the way it was; I knew it’d bother me forever and I would never wear the stupid thing. It was here that I decided there was no other choice, and I’d tackle it in the morning when the light was good and strong.


All good now!

All good now!

The next day, after a couple of strong cups of coffee, I picked up a nice long sharp circular needle a size or two smaller than what I was working with and began the tedious task of weaving the needle through the seed stitches and the lace. It took a while, and I did a bit of picking up through the wrong row. But with patience—argh, I hate having to be patient—I made it all the way through and ripped, fixing any dropped or wrongly picked up stitches as I went.

I also found that I’d been correct about having a missing stitch in each of the wrong sections, so after the ripping was finished and the stitch counts rectified, I started ribbing again, and voila! By the time I went to bed last night, I’d nearly regained the ground I’d lost in the morning after ripping.

I could torture myself that I’d have been completely finished with the ribbing if I hadn’t screwed it up to begin with. But I’m sure there will be something else in this darling project to make me nuts. Just wait. 😉



Torn. May 6, 2013

Filed under: knitting,life — kathy @ 1:50 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,
It's the Bug as "Fiona"

It’s the Bug as “Fiona”

I know, I know. I just haven’t kept up with my blog, and honestly, I’ve really missed writing it.

The problem is (this time, anyway) that I over-extended myself in the “helping out at school ” department this past spring.

When I said I’d help with the costumes for the Bug’s 8th grade musical, “Brigadoon,” I didn’t realize that I was offering to be responsible for the costumes. You see, in this case, helping meant that not only would I have to determine the look of the costumes with her teacher (who was also directing) based on the 1955 Lerner and Lowe movie production starring Gene Kelly (be still my heart) and Cyd Charisse, but that I was going to have to sew all those costumes as well. In 8 weeks. Well, actually in 7 weeks because there was a school break in there and I’d already made plans to be out of town that week.

So in just 7 weeks, I had to come up with 12 kilts, ghillie shirts, and tam-o-shanters, as well as 14 skirts with overskirts, puffy-sleeved blouses, and bodices, plus 20-some tartan sashes. And this doesn’t include organizing the costumes the kids were supposed put together and bring in for the “1950s NYC bar scene.” And there were 2 different casts so that more kids would have a chance to be a lead. Unfortunately, the kids were all different sizes, so there was little costume sharing. Ah well. So complicated, it required a spread sheet to keep it all straight.

Luckily I had a couple of dear friends help with the cutting, some sewing, and finishing, as well an unbelievable superhero-like rescue from my wonderful, gorgeous, and amazing BFF Meggie and her darling pal Wendy, who graciously lent me their precious bodices so I didn’t have to sew any of those suckers.

And thanks to the internet, I found an amazing website that sold remarkable authentic kilts and ghillie shirts; that truly saved my tookas. (sorry, can’t spell Yiddish, but I think you get my drift.)

I don’t mean to complain, mind you. I was happy to do it for the kids. But it was overwhelming. At least 7 weeks non-stop sewing, and not a bit of knitting during that entire time. Sigh. At least the kids were thrilled with the results.

Here are just a couple of pictures:

Just a few of the lovely lassies...

Just a few of the lovely lassies…

A scene of the Faire...that's the Bug in the white dress

A scene of the Faire…that’s the Bug in the white dress

And by the way, the Bug had the lead role of “Fiona” in the first cast.

If I can figure out how to do it, I might even download a video of one of the numbers. Sorry about the sound; the kids weren’t miked. Don’t get me started.

So, now with all that excitement over, I’m torn over what creative thingy to work on now: writing, knitting, yarn-dyeing, weaving, spinning, even a little more sewing.

I got so excited to have all these options, that with an eye for starting with a clean slate, over the last couple of weeks, I finished a couple of knitting projects. And then earlier today, I wound up a bunch of yummy Madelintosh yarn and started swatching for 2, yes 2, new cardigans: Cinnamon Girl, and Darling Emma. And I’m still working on my second pair of socks under my “6 pair in a year” personal challenge.

Yummy Madtosh DK in Alizarin colorway for "Cinnamon Girl"

Yummy Madtosh DK in Alizarin colorway for “Cinnamon Girl”

Oh right…I also got a wild hair to recreate my all-time favorite A-line pullover, which I’ve actually been considering for awhile. Finally got up the courage to figure out what I needed to do. So, I think I’ll stay busy for a while. But that’s just how I like it, I guess.

Now I have to knit fast. Very very fast.


Edited to add:

After posting this, I finally had a chance to catch up on reading a few of my fav blogs, including Yarn Harlot. LOL. She has a post from a few days ago titled “Torn” What a laugh, since I started working on this blog a week ago before I had time to finish it and post.


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