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

November is Masochism Month

I usually do NaNoWriMo every November. I’ve done it for four years and have written some truly horrible and hilarious novels. I just opened up last year’s novel, and it includes such chapter titles as:

  • The Case of the Missing Back Hair
  • Suck My Godly Cock!
  • In Which Nothing of Interest Happens
  • NinjaPirateZombieViking
  • The Inevitable Jello Orgy
  • Hippopotamus, Revisited

That is the sort of “great” “literature” I produce every November. But I’m not doing it this year, for a bunch of reasons that are mind-numbingly boring so I won’t speak of them. It doesn’t seem right to be doing nothing at all, though. November is Masochism Month! I need some ridiculous challenge that will make my life miserable!

So perhaps I should try this NaKniSweMo thing. I have two sweaters* that I want to make and already have the yarn for, right? The textured tunic and the Garnstudio jacket thing? I could be ready to start either one by November. But which one to make? Textured tunic would probably be the easier knit, but the jacket thing would be at a larger gauge and probably quicker. Hmm…

* As I typed “two sweaters”, the universe laughed loudly at me.

But. Buuuut. There’s always a but, and really it’s more of an ass, in the “oh ass crap fuck ass ass ass!” sense. My pile of indecisive Silky Wool has crawled inside my head, not unlike a brain parasite. I was poking around on Ravelry and spotted this pattern.

Now, I don’t want to make that sweater. Of course not, that would be too easy. But it gave me an idea. So I pulled out the sketchbook and drew up a little exercise in v-necks and asymmetry.


Hmm. Cute. Cute, right? Stockinette and moss stitch only, nothing more complicated that would melt into yarn poo. Just a little weird with the angles of the front panels. Okay. I could maybe make this. I could see this in Silky Wool. Good. Okay. Problem solved.

Poke poke poke, around the internets, for nothing in particular because NOW I KNOW WHAT I’M MAKING HA. Oh, look, the Winter 2007 Interweave Knits preview is up. Well, I’d better take a look, just in case there’s something even more suitable for the Silky Wool. You never know…

Ha ha ha, sez the universe.

I went through the whole list, and nothing caught my eye. Until I got to the very last pattern. Rosemary’s Swing Jacket.

Well crap. That kind of reminds me of the Thing I sketched, except weirder and better. Moss stitch everywhere! Crazy asymmetrical front with a crazy asymmetrical collar! I wants it!

But, well, it’s written for worsted weight yarn, so I’d have to do lots of The Math to make it work in Silky Wool, and it’s shaped kind of weird, and the front panel doesn’t look like it would stay put in Real Life, and the mag doesn’t come out for awhile, and I don’t know whether it’s full of icky seaming and and and wait. WAIT. I am a fucking designer. A crappy wannabe designer, perhaps, but was I not already dissecting this sweater, trying to figure out the construction and what the hell the big collar was connected to and… I don’t even need a pattern. I can make this right now. It’s actually a really simple sweater, just with angled front panels and a collar that’s attached to the back front panel then folded over the front front panel.

I can make that as a standard top down raglan cardigan, then pick up stitches at the neck and do a sort of asymmetrical (there’s that word again) trapezoid-shaped collar. And I can change the bits I don’t like. I can do one angled front panel and one straight one, because I like the contrast. I can make it more fitted. I can move the pointed bit of the front panel downwards and add a button. I can lengthen the sleeves and bell them a bit.

And best of all, since I am blatantly ripping off someone else’s pattern, I will feel no obligation to write up a pattern for this thing, since it ain’t my design. Yea!


What do you think, O Temperamental Pile of Silky Wool? Is that what you want to become?

I don’t know about NaKniSweMo. Now there are THREE sweaters that want to be knit (not to mention my still-neglected Fifi), and I am no good at project monogamy. We’ll see, I guess. November isn’t November without a good healthy dose of masochism!

It just had to be brown yarn, didn’t it.

Dear Large Pile of Silky Wool,

Would you like to be a Tangled Yoke Cardigan, or a sweater of my own design? Please let me know as soon as possible.


Inanimate objects are notoriously bad at correspondence, so while I waited for the Silky Wool’s reply, I decided to grab some needles and swatch.

The ball band suggested 6s, so that’s what I tried first. Right away I could tell that something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong. The stockinette wasn’t too bad, but as soon as I tried anything else, well… why don’t I just let you see for yourself. The swatch is helpfully labeled for your convenience.


Yep, all those intricate patterns promptly melted into a sea of nondescript yarn poo. Noooo! The Tangled Yoke Cardigan has that lovely twisty cabley thing that needs to stand out. The sweater in my head (is it healthy to have sweaters in your head?) is all columns of texture. Yarn poo is completely unacceptable in either case.

All wasn’t lost. I decided to swatch on 4s, the smallest needles I have on hand, and see if a tighter gauge would make the stitch patterns pop. I gave up on the aran braid cable too; I think that may be put to better use in the Thing that I plan to make with my Misti Cotton, but that’s a subject for another time.

Well, I have good news and bad news.

The good news:


Much, much better. Not at all resembling anything that rhymes with Mecal Fatter.

The bad news:


So what if the last garment I knit on 4s nearly drove me mad? It won’t be like Maddy. It won’t be like Maddy… right? With either sweater, the stitch patterns will be much simpler than Maddy’s lace, it’ll be mostly mindless and go much quicker. Yes. Graaaah. I love the way small-needle knits look. And I don’t even have a problem using small needles. If my feet weren’t so beastly I’d be all over sock-knitting. But a whole sweater? Graaaaaaah. I am not a patient person. Crap, crap, crap, boobs, crap.

As if I wasn’t confused enough, I then received a reply from the Silky Wool.

Dear Cyn,

Remember that pretty sweater you saw on Craftster? The one that was made in Felted Tweed, which means that it would work quite well in Silky Wool? The one that is all stockinette and garter so you wouldn’t have to worry about stitch definition? Maybe you should look into that pattern, huh?

Large Pile of Silky Wool

P.S. Stop saying that I look like poo.

Oh, great. Just great. The pretty sweater is Patti, from some Rowan booklet and now available on their site for cheap. It doesn’t look too pretty there. But here’s the one I saw on Craftster, which proves that it has the potential to be adorable.

What to do, what to do…

I think I will shut the Large Pile of Silky Wool in the yarn bin, as punishment for confusing me like this. It can take some time in there to think about what it has done. I’ll tell the Malabrigo to give it a little poke every now and then.

Oooh! I forgot that I had Malabrigo in there!

… oh noooo. Now I’m going to start angsting over what to do with the Malabrigo.

I’m unique, just like everybody else!

This entry is brought to you by a large pile of Silky Wool, currently angsting over what it wants to be when it grows up.


I did something shocking and appalling today.

I saw the new Interweave Knits on the magazine rack at the grocery store. I picked it up and flipped to the Tangled Yoke Cardigan that has been taunting me. Looked through the pattern. Totally my kind of pattern. Body knit in one piece, no yucky seaming apart from a little grafting at the underarms. Straightforward construction. Nothing complicated about the cable chart. I don’t have size 0 needles but that can be easily rectified. Looks just as lovely in the magazine as it does in the web pictures.

Then I put the magazine back down and left the store.

Well, okay, first I stopped at the Tim Hortons counter and bought a chocolate milk Iced Cappuccino. Then I left the store. My point is, I did not buy the magazine containing the lovely pattern. I think… I’ve gone off it. I think I was almost hoping it would be knit in eighteen different pieces and then seamed while blindfolded and listening to “Oops, I Did It Again” on an endless loop and then trimmed with bright purple fun fur (not pictured), so that I’d have a good reason not to make it. And I think I know why.

(Apologies to anyone still waiting for a Ravelry invite.)


Everybody wants to make it.

One of the nice things about knitting is that you can create a one-of-a-kind item. Even from a pattern that everybody and their dog is knitting. (If your dog is actually knitting something, please send pics.) You can modify the pattern. You can use an unusual yarn. You can add completely unnecessary ribbons and probably anger the yarn gods in the process. Lots and lots of ways to make a project your own. So what’s the problem?

Well, I don’t want to modify the pattern. I like it exactly the way it is. I wouldn’t be using the recommended yarn, but Silky Wool is probably the most common and obvious sub. My version of this cardigan would look exactly like everyone else’s version of this cardigan.

Trying to be different just for the sake of being different is dumb. I know this. Why does this bug me? So what if mine looks like everyone else’s; it’s still a gorgeous cardigan.

I may well go right back and get that magazine, because I am being an idiot. Or I may use the Giant Pile O’ Silky Wool for an idea that’s still floating around in my head, squeaking “knit me, nowwww, or at least sketch me before you forget me”. I’ve promised myself that I won’t start any new sweaters until I finish my neglected Fake-astanje Cardigan, so I’ve got a long time to decide. Because I am lazy. And will never finish that cardigan. Maybe moths have eaten it by now. Ugh, if moths get into my yarn bin, I am going to have to cut a bitch moth.

In other news, the awesome Webbo has given me a Rockin’ Girl Blogger award. Weeee!

It seems like everyone (and their dog… er… bitch?) has gotten one of these already, so I’m not sure who to pass it on to. Will have to figure that out.

And one more, completely random note: Every time I see a textured stitch pattern that looks all neat and interesting and such, it turns out to be freaking MOSS STITCH. That’s it? Not that it doesn’t appeal to my laziness, but… that’s it? That ridiculously simple stitch pattern can look so intricate? I see a lot of moss stitch in my future.