half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

Lies, Damned Lies, and… Cursed Yarn?

I have long known that gauge swatches are lying liars who lie.

What I didn’t know is that entire knitting projects also lie. Oh yes. You know how some people say you should knit a giant swatch, or even a small project to get an accurate gauge measurement? How about a whole scarf? Shouldn’t that be adequate? Well, shouldn’t it?


See that scarf? That scarf is a lying liar who lies.

Actually, I’m a lying liar who lies too, because it’s technically more like three-quarters of a scarf. But my point still stands! That is a nice big giant sample of a stitch pattern. And what a lovely stitch pattern it is.


It’s the White Night Scarf in Rowan Chunky Print, and it’s quite yummy. Except for the lying and the lies. See, what happened was that I grossly overestimated the amount of yarn needed for this scarf. So far I’ve fed it two of the four balls I bought, and if I bound off right now it would still be a decently long scarf. If I feed it all four balls, it will eat me.

So I thought, all right, I’ll make a matching hat. A cute little vintagey-looking hat in that same stitch pattern. And I’ve got a scarf-sized gauge swatch right here. Woooo! Measure measure measure, poke at calculator, scribble in sketchbook, ooookay we are casting on 84 stitches, apparently.

Hum. That seems like a lot for chunky yarn on size 15 needles. That can’t be right.

Trusssst me, whispers the scarf. Can I trust the scarf? It’s so pretty… so very pretty. But, no! I will be strong! I will cast on 72 stitches instead! I’msorryscarfIstillloveyou. You know, maybe you’re right, admits the scarf. Look how I stretch! 72 stitches is totally right for a hat.

LIES. FILTHY LIES. Unless by “hat”, it meant “giant tube top”, but no, not so much. All right, let’s frog and try this again. 60 stitches? Yeah, okay. And we need some ribbing at the edge, because the 72-stitch hat oh wait I mean tube top no no wait I mean LYING LIAR TUBE TOP PIECE OF LYING CRAP THAT LIES I HATE IT SO MUCH… er. Okay. I’m all better now. The 72-stitch… thing… was a little baggy and curly ’round the edges.

And we have hatness. No thanks to you, lying scarf.


I’ll write up a pattern for it if I can get it to behave. Which it isn’t, at the moment. I finished up the top and it has a nipple. It’s a hatboob. With a nipple. “Usually only found deep in the rainforest, this is your chance to view the elusive Nippled Hatboob in captivity!” (Sigh.) But I’m not going to get into that now because there are other knits to yell at. Cursed knits.


Oh, you know where I’m going with this.


I joke about cursed yarn, but I’m starting to believe it’s a real thing. This yarn is all kinds of cursed. I have never had this kind of problem with a project before. There was the Lelah that ate my soul, but that was a simple sizing issue. There was the scarf of many froggings, but that was a “must find the perfect pattern” thing. There are tricky projects, and then there are cursed projects. There is no other explanation for this:


… that might not be a good illustration of the problem. It’s just a yoke. Looking all sweet and innocent, the lying liar. So I’ll explain. It doesn’t fit. Again. But that’s not the problem, exactly. The last incarnation didn’t fit either, so I fixed the points of fuckery. Body was too small – let’s make it bigger. Sleeves were too big – let’s make them smaller. Simple.

I should have known better. I underestimated The Curse. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE CURSE.

I thought at first that I’d shrunk the sleeves down too much. A pain in the ass, sure, requiring a frogging, but straightforward enough to fix. But something else is wrong. It’s tight under the arms, and pulling all funny. It’s like the angle of the raglan line is off. I’m not sure. I could try a compound raglan instead. But it might be just another useless battle with The Curse.

Because I’ve knit a whole bunch of top down raglans, and never had this kind of problem. I’ve even knit one at about the same gauge. Standard raglans generally fit me fine. UNLESS THEY’RE CURSED. This sweater is going to find new and different ways to cock itself up until it claims my sanity. Already, just to add insult to injury, the collar has warped into some weird shape that would normally be fixed by blocking, but not this time. Not if The Curse gets its way.

Yep, I have to frog this thing again, I think.

Bad things come in threes, right?

I have a cursed yoke…
I have a nippled hatboob…
what’s coming for me next?


  1. becca says:

    Oh, you poor dear. Well, in a couple days you can see my soon-to-be finished Serpentina lookin’ all pretty on my ravelry, and remember that much of what you do is NOT fail.
    And I will get those f’ing goatmitten pictures if I have to go to Brandeis and take them myself. My doofus of a friend has no camera.

  2. Cass says:

    Despite the nipple, I love the hatboob! The stitch pattern w/ the ribbing looks wonderful.

    Maybe all the sweaters of doom are the yarn’s way of telling you to step away from red and corals. LOL Just kidding ;)

    (My friend got the hiccups and hiccupped every time he tried to cuss. We told him it was God’s way of getting him to stop cussing because that boy was horrible at it. You, however, cuss with such class and hilarious repitition! lol)

  3. mel says:

    You’re not alone – I also knitted a hatboob and my Dad, wonderful man that he is, wears it with pride :) The nippled hatboob is now an official creature. As much as I’m sure you’ll fix yours, while I’m a lazy cow who gives people imperfect presents, its neat to hear that someone else has encountered this mysterious creature. Maybe its not us or the wool… could it be that the *patterns* in our heads are the lying liars???

  4. marianne says:

    Mercy… love the scarf and hatboob, that IS a beautiful bunch of stitches!
    As for the cursed yarn….. oh shit oh dear… I am so sorry but I’m seriously laughing and spewing water reading and re-reading… damn… I SO want you to knit this yarn into a fabulous creation!

  5. Lindsey says:

    Ahahahaha, GOOGLY EYES! loveit.

    You know… you might just want to try and trade that cursed yarn for some sweetass yarn on Ravelry. I mean, don’t advertise it as cursed… or maybe do, so freaky people will be interested in it. Freaky people with freaky awesome yarn that you could make this sweater out of. Just a suggestion. :)

  6. Lindsay says:

    That’s a shame. I was really looking forward to taking that sweater pattern when you were done :)

    But I’m really liking the stich pattern of that hat/scarf set.

  7. Hilary says:

    The scarf may be a liar, but it sure is pretty!

    I have the same issue with lying gauge swatches and have definitely done the be-nippled hatboob thing…..take solace in the fact that you are not alone!

  8. jensunshine says:

    ahahaha oh crap cyn! hat boob? awesome.

    I do, however love how the pattern works up in your rowan biggy! The hat looks great too, gotta show me if/when you’re finished! :)

  9. amanda says:

    Oh boy, rough day, huh? The hatboob is hysterical, even if it is at your expense. Hope the curses are lifted soon. The orange sweater is looking good, though – can you fix the fit?

  10. Nikki says:

    Okay, so maybe it’s cursed. Burn it. It will smell great, I promise. What? Are you know going to accuse me of being a lying liar who lies? But okay, so the yarn sucks. Do not tell me you don’t have like 500 pounds of other yarn you can use to make what looks like a totally fly top, I want to wear that top you designed, so punish that yarn (you might be surprised at how much it likes it and decides to behave after that) or get some other but you have got to do that pattern. Look at other raglan patterns in your gauge to see if they’re doing it generally the same way. Sometimes I have to fudge the raglan thing, too.

  11. chris says:

    Well, however much lying went on – the hat and scarf look great. And the sweater is going to be beautiful – it’s beautiful already, but I’m sure you’ll like it better when it fits you the way you want.

  12. Kelly says:

    I once saw a red-breasted nippled hatboob on one of my many expeditions to the Amazonian rain forest in the 20’s. It was a lot larger than I thought it would be.

  13. MonkeyGurrl says:

    Wait – hats are NOT supposed to be booby-esque with nipples?!?!?! {{slinks off, embarassedly}}

    Still, purty stitch. Perhaps this is ssssssssssssssserpintina’s revenge?

  14. amy says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog…I think I know what’s wrong with your sweater!

    It’s your previous post…the one about how perfect the Serpentine…and how PERFECT the pattern was…no changes…

    I think you jinxed yourself!!

    Seriously, I love the drawing and I hope you find a way around the current dead end!