November 08, 2005
How To Become Aggravated and Feel Like a Fool in 5 Easy Steps
1. Feeling quite jolly with yourself, because all you have left to do in order to finish the sweater you are knitting on the knitting machine is to knit one sleeve, you are rolling right along, binding off the first sleeve, listening to a wonderful novel on your iPod (note to the curious: novel: The Historian; author: Elizabeth Kostovo). The first part of the book ends; you discover you haven't downloaded the second half yet. Bummer. You switch to listening to music instead (note to the curious: CD: "Z"; Artist: My Morning Jacket). You are still pretty happy, but not quite as happy.
2. You cast on for the second sleeve, set the cast-on comb, hang some weights, knit 80 rows for the cuff, increase for the body of the sleeve, and change the tension dial up a few notches, because the cuff is done. Your eye wanders to the pattern. Damn. You cast on wrong. For a brief moment, you wonder if the woman who ordered the sweater would notice; you are ashamed of yourself for even considering this. You remove the weights, remove the cast-on comb, rip off the cuff you just knit and cast it aside, cursing yourself for making such a stupid mistake. You are mildly unhappy.
3. You cast on for the second sleeve, set the cast-on comb, hang some weights, and knit about 40 rows for the cuff, when you realize, damn. Damn! You had cast on correctly in the first place! The part of the pattern that caught your eye was for the stupid collar! What an idiot. You remove the weights, remove the cast-on comb, rip off the cuff you just knit and cast it aside, with perhaps a little more force this time. You are fuming.
4. You cast on for the second sleeve again, dammit, realizing you should have had the entire sleeve knit by now, set the cast-on comb, hang some weights, knit about 40 rows for the cuff, increase for the body of the sleeve, and reach out to change the tension dial up a few notches, because the cuff is done. Oh no. You knit the whole cuff on tension 10. It is supposed to be knit on tension 8. You forgot to frigging turn it back to 8 when you cast on for the cuff for the third damn time. Argh. Argggghghhhh! You carefully turn the tension dial to 8! 8! 8! 8! 8! You remove the weights, remove the cast-on comb, viciously rip off the cuff you just knit and fling it aside, with great venom, and laugh a little hysterically as you consider that you are the KNITTING PROFESSIONAL, the person people come to to get help with their knitting, because they think you are a perfect knitting goddess. Oh my God, you think; the horror of it all.....
5. You very carefully, calmly, bemusedly cast on for the second sleeve, wondering with no small amount of intellectual curiosity how many times you will need to knit this cuff to get it right; you set the cast-on comb, and hang some weights. You realize that the room is shaking because your husband is banging on the ceiling of the room below, trying to get your attention to tell you that supper is ready. You sigh. You give up, deciding it would be best to let the knitting win, for the moment. You go have supper and download the second half of the novel, and prepare to do battle with the sleeve later in the evening. You are chastened, humiliated, and defeated -- for now. But you have a feeling that a big glass of Pinot Grigio will change your attitude. And the next time someone comments, within your hearing, that machine knitting is "cheating", you plan to rip their heart out and hope they understand.
Beth, your misery just brightened MY day. Sorry about that.
Posted by: Helen in NH | November 09, 2005 at 07:07 AM
Argh!!! Gives me new perspective on having ripped out Frannie's mohair vest 4 times before getting it right...At least you enjoyed The Historian!!! And, Beth...only a knitting professional would have endured what you went through and pushed on to getting it all right. You have my vote and my confidence!
Posted by: Ellen | November 09, 2005 at 09:13 AM
I'm just wondering how you like the book The Historian? I am about a third of the way through it. I had to put it aside for awhile and read some other books. I keep hoping the book will get better, after all, the critics loved it.
Posted by: Debbie | November 09, 2005 at 06:55 PM
I'm with you Beth. Only, I planned to punch them. You can rip their heart out after I'm done. After spending my entire day off with Susan knitting my mom's sweater, I have a whole new respect for the knitting machine!
Posted by: Victoria | November 10, 2005 at 07:22 AM