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

The Princess and the Partridge

If I was an Olympic athlete, I would not be the one that comes home with 8 gold medals. (Yes, Mister Teevee Guy, I get it, if Michael Phelps doesn’t get his 8 gold medals then the terrorists win, all right already, I GET IT HE’S AN AWESOME FREAKY FISH MAN NOW SHUT UP ABOUT IT AND JUST LET ME WATCH THE RACE THANKS.)

I would not be the one who scores a surprise bronze medal and is all thrilled about it.

I would not be the one who is really really good, and then has a crappy day and trips over a hurdle or something.

I would not be the one who is ranked 27th in the world and then unexpectedly makes a final and finishes 8th and is all “I’m just so blessed to be in this race at all!”

I would not be the one who is awesome by Normal People standards, but craptastic by Olympics standards, and will never win anything, ever, but goes anyway because it’s the frickin’ Olympics, and also there are lots of hot athletes there who might like to have some sex after their events are over.

No, no, I would be the one who missed the trials to even get on the team in the first place because I didn’t feel like getting out of bed that morning. Yep. I bet you know where I’m going with this.

I fail at the Ravelympics.

There’s my sketch of a cute little tee that I still have not even written up pattern notes for, never mind cast on. And furthermore, I don’t feel like doing it. I still can’t decide exactly how I want the neckline to work and how much negative ease to use and where to place the bust darts and these are all things that I know perfectly well how to figure out, it’s just that even thinking about it makes me want to go to sleep.

Mmm, sleep.

And then there’s the Princess Yarn.


A little while ago, I stumbled on this Eye-of-Partridge Shawl pattern, and it was like, angels singing, lights shining, boxes of free Malabrigo appearing on your doorstep, etc. This was the pattern that I’d been looking for. Not for the Princess Yarn. For another yarn that has been taunting me for awhile, my skein of Mini Maiden.

And then I realized that the pattern used 274m of yarn, and my Mini Maiden was 500m, and I really liked the size of the pictured one and didn’t really want a bigger one. Sigh. Foiled again.

But I did like the stitch pattern, a lot. Like stockinette, but a little more complex and keeps variegated yarn from pooling. Maybe it was worth a shot as a scarf?



I liked it. I really did. It looked a mess close up, but from far off it was perfect. The colours were doing awesome patterny things and it looked good as a skinny scarf and I could probably get a respectable length out of my one skein and and and… clearly there had to be a problem somewhere. And there was.

Notice how the scarf is pinned down?

Want to see what happens when I un-pin it?


Well, fuck a duck sideways on Sunday.

I noticed the curling right away. In fact, I did the scarf with a border at first, but eye of partridge stitch is wonky when it comes to row gauge, thanks to all the slipped stitches, and it doesn’t play nice with traditional borders. In the shawl pattern, the eyelets help that issue, and I actually faked an eyelet border but that led to a messy decrease row next to the eyelets and blah blah perfectionism, you know the drill with me by now. So I had to switch out to a slip stitch border, and I knew it would curl, and I said,

hey, it’s silk, silk blocks really well, blocking will fix everything

because blocking is MAGIC, you know, and yes, sometimes it is, but given that this thing lost half its width the second I took out those pins, well, if blocking can fix this thing, then I can go to the Olympics and win 8 gold medals. Yeah.


So, it’s a week into the Ravelympics and one project hasn’t been started, and the other one will probably have to go to the frog pond. And I’ll have to find yet another perfect pattern for the Princess Yarn, and how the hell am I going to do that?

I’m thinking… linen stitch? Because I saw this. And it’s purty. And it doesn’t appear to curl. And FOR THE LOVE OF MONKEYS I NEED TO FINISH A PROJECT AND END THE FAIL.

Frog the Princess, start over in linen stitch. That’s the plan. Yay?

I have to say, as a knitting motivator, the Ravelympics are not so much doing their job. I still don’t feel like knitting much, and when I do, I’d much rather pick up one of my Smooshy lace scarves, which I am not allowed to do, because I must only work on Ravelympics projects or else… or else what? Or else I am one of probably thousands of people who won’t finish their Ravelympics projects? Huh. That’s not so bad. I will be in good company. We can all revel in our suckage together, it’ll be a shiny happy fail party. Why muck about with this whole “effort and hard work” thing anyway?

Yeah, I could never be an Olympic athlete.


  1. Bryan A. says:

    A pity about the eye of partridge. If the linen stitch ends up being similarly fickle, have you seen Franklin Habit’s Regicide WIP?


    Don’t know if it’s up your alley, or even if Princess will deign to play nicely with it. But I think it works rather well in his choice of variegated yarn. And I tend to have strained relations with the majority of variegated yarns once they’re knit up.

  2. tammy says:

    Perhaps a tasteful cowl? Chickadee is pretty from Through the Loops:


    Or, you could wander over to the cowl pron heaven for some other ideas:


  3. Aunt Kathy says:

    Perhaps you need to start up a new group on Ravelry, Ravelolympic dropouts, you know who you are… unite.
    All for one and all will fall, lol

    I hate curling projects.

    I LOVE your blog posts though, you don’t do that enough in my opinion.

  4. Glenna says:

    For reals, I wish people would SHUT UP about Phelps. WE GET IT. I hear he’s going to cure cancer and be the next ruler of the world and he saves kittens from drowning while on the way to the ruling the world and curing cancer. Bleah.

    I pet your yarn. I give it sympathy and pie.

  5. Riin says:

    I’m the one who doesn’t watch the Olympics at all and doesn’t care who wins at anything and thinks sports are evil, and imagines that all those people who chose me last every single time we were choosing teams in gym are sedentary, overweight losers now.

    Give your yarn a time-out for being naughty for a while. You still love it, but you just need to spend time not looking at it for a while. Work on something else, then come back to it. (I’ve got a sweater in a time-out right now because the sleeves were being naughty. Bad sleeves. Bad bad sleeves.)

  6. katie says:

    Dude, I wholeheartedly agree about Phelps. I like to watch him swim but could we just quit talking about him every freaking minute of the day???

    I love the linen stitch, I say go for it.

  7. Kate says:

    I am right in there with you, only I seem to be moving backwards. The WIP February Lady Sweater I decided to finish? The one where I only had to rip back 6″ of lace? Well, I’ve had to rip it all out. *sigh*

    I’m afraid if I stay in the Ravelympics, I will actually end up with *negative* knitting.

  8. michelle says:

    Put that bitch down with some garter stitch– teach her some humility. LOL

  9. Erika says:

    I think the linen stitch is pretty cool. I think I might have a princess skein somewhere.

    And don’t fret about the ravelympics. You’re one step ahead of me. I didn’t even sign up. So, I’m the one watching the olympics on TV and saying I could’ve done that if I really wanted to.

  10. Floderten says:

    I probably, if I’m being honest, won’t finish any of my Ravelympics projects either. I also had two. One I’ll never cast on for (a richly cabled sweater – wtf was I thinking) and the gloves… Well. I haven’t got darning needles or spare yarn for the thumb, and I’d actually much rather knit on my non-Ravelympics scarf.

    :) Hope you make your Princess Yarn submit to you. Hate those bitches.

  11. Beverly says:

    Which is worse: not participating in the Olympics because you’re too lazy to get out of bed, or quitting mid-vault (possibly breaking your neck in the fall) because you realize it’s too hard to continue? I started the Ravelympics with an afghan. Got 8 rows into it before I realized I was 10 stitches off. Frogged it and gave up. This was all in the first night of the Olympics. I’m lame.

  12. Adriana says:

    I feel your pain. I was all set to get on board with the Ravelympic, and then I got distracted by life and totally forgot about it until yesterday. So I’ve decided that instead of being a total failure, instead I’m like the Yarn Harlot and I only compete in the winter Olympics :)

    Good luck with the linen stitch. At least the yarn is super pretty :)

  13. Robyn says:

    [quote]Well, fuck a duck sideways on Sunday[/quote]

    omfg love it!!!

  14. marisa says:

    I haven’t watched a second of the Olympics. But I’m Canadian, we only care about the Olympics we actually win shit in. However, I think I heard Michael Phelps enjoys mayonnaise sandwiches or something. So I’m not totally out of the loop.

    As for the Eye of Partridge scarf, it’s possible it might block out okay if you use a really loose gauge. But I haven’t tried it, so I wouldn’t make any promises! Upon further reflection, using a really loose gauge would probably negate any possible effectiveness it might have as a warminating device, tho, so on balance, you might just need to let it go. Bleh.

  15. Hilary says:

    You can do it! I have faith in your yarn-taming abilities. And if not…I mean, we don’t even GET anything for completing a Ravelympics project.

  16. Jamie says:

    I so love the photos of your partridge stitch, even curled up. You have higher standards than I do. That linen stitch is very lovely as well. The Ravelympics did not motivate me one iota, I didn’t sign up for a team because knitting is the opposite of deadlines in my life. Except, er, when I have two hats to finish up for a wedding gift , which, if I mail now, would be 2 weeks late, and that’s not going to happen since the ends are hangin’ free at this point. So, no, I didn’t need a Ravelympics deadline hangin’ over me :)

  17. Jane says:

    Such pretty yarn, too! I am not a crocheter, but I have learned to single crochet around things like scarves, which seems to help with the curling.

  18. Judy says:

    Hi there
    I just put a poll on my blog about Red Heart Yarn and then did a google search which lead me to your blog.
    I read some of your posts and had to LOL

    Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi and let you know that I stopped by.


  19. =Tamar says:

    It’s Dec. 30 2008 and long past time for a comment, but why not… the original eye of partridge shawl pattern had the idea of making a cowl in the round at the end of that post; since a good scarf can be made in the round as well, why not use that or any other princess yarn as an eye of partridge scarf knitted in the round? Make it no more than about four inches wide when flattened because the extra thickness makes it as if a wider one were doubled. An added bonus: no purling.