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How To Mess Up Your Knitting Big Time On Live TV

Jan 23, 2008

Wow. As I write this, Monday's post has been up for less than 24 hours, and there are over 300 comments already!
You all had so many wonderful suggestions and ideas regarding what Knitting Daily could do to help you be a more fearless (or a more joyful!) knitter. I've asked our wonderful customer service folks to help me collate all your responses. Once that's done, I can start putting together a plan for future Knitting Daily posts which incorporates all that good stuff you suggested. Thank you—and stay tuned for what comes next!

Cap'n Frog keeps an eye on my knitting

Meanwhile, I am going to distract you with a story of one knitter's attempt to be fearless, and how it went just a wee bit wrong...and then how it came out all right in the end again.

We begin our story as our knitter (we'll call her, oh..."Ms. S") is getting ready in the stupid-thirty hours of the morning to go off and be interviewed on live TV. Ms. S is facing many new challenges this day: her first live television interview, having to get up so early, not being able to have her beloved coffee, and the final indignity: having to wear makeup for the cameras. Any one of these four would be enough to bring any sensible knitter to her knees, of course, but our Ms. S is determined to do her part for the greater good of hockey, charity, and morning TV talk shows.

Ms. S's part in today's TV script is to sit with two other knitters—the charming Ms. Marin and the wonderful Ms. Mya—and knit on camera throughout the interview: speaking when spoken to, smiling at the camera, and of course, not cussing like a sailor into the microphone. For her live TV knitting debut, Ms. S has brought her current knitting project with her: Hana Jason's Gathered Pullover. She feels quite proud of this choice as an on-camera project: She has the cable pattern memorized, and thus can knit without looking—the better to be filmed smiling into the camera whilst saying something witty and informative.

Of course, by now, you know that the hapless Ms. S is none other than myself—and that our TV knitting heroine is pretty much doomed somehow.

Marin and Mya were champs. The shots of their skillful knitting hands were awesome and they both had excellent hair days. I, however, was struggling with the whole knit-and-talk-and-smile-and-be-charming-and-wear-makeup all at the same time routine. When asked what kind of yarn was best for afghans, I blurted out that wool was great, and that acrylic was well-liked, and some folks preferred cotton, and oh, yes, blends, blends were good too. (Why does the earth not open when you want it to? Why?)

The next day, when I pulled out the Gathered Pullover, I found that I had knit the first 21 rounds of the cable on the front, as instructed…but somehow, during the glamor of the TV show, I had miscounted the markers, and oh, heck. The second half of the cable, rather than being on the front where the first half was, ended up on the back, in the vicinity of my right shoulder.

It's not supposed to have a cable on the back...

All right, go ahead: Giggle. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to work up to admitting this to you all. I'm telling this story because I've learned something important about myself as a knitter: Sure, I can knit without looking at my knitting. And sure, I can be charming and live through a TV interview, makeup and all. But cables and lace and other complicated patterns need to stay at home when I'm doing several other complex things at once.

Thus, perhaps the First Pithy Saying of Fearless Knitting is this: Know Yourself. If you need peace and quiet to knit a particular pattern, then shut the door and turn off the phone so you can knit your heart out. If you need to use four dozen markers plus tick marks on a sticky note to count your stitches, then buy yourself a ton of markers and stickies.Figure out whatever it is that you need to make each knitting session comfortable and successful, and then do exactly that. And if you make a mistake, giggle, figure out what happened and how to fix it, so you can keep on knitting.

On Friday, I'm going to show you how I fixed my mistakes, and got back to knitting a very beautiful sweater for myself.

You can still vote for next week's free pattern!

I've narrowed down the choices to three...and guess what? It's your call from there. Vote for your favorite! The pattern with the most reader votes will be posted next Monday as a free download here on Knitting Daily.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Three projects, all of which have been "learning experiences" for me: the Gathered Pullover, which is now recovering after a visit from Cap'n Frog; a rather untidily grafted hood on my husband's pullover that might need some Knitting Daily magic; and the Secret Knitting Daily project, which also spent some quality time with Cap'n Frog. (Cap'n Frog is a very important member of my family by now.)

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SusanC wrote
on Jan 27, 2008 7:39 PM
Sandi, hearing your bare-it-all stories, and your close relationship with Cap'n Frog - those are things that help me become a fearless knitter!
LadyKRose wrote
on Jan 26, 2008 12:54 PM
Sandi, I know how you feel. Being in an unfamiliar setting, even doing what you are very good at can cause all sorts of ripples. After a number of times doing it, you start to ignore all the distractors.
I was making a stole from fun fur and ribbon yarn. I mentioned to my knitting group that dropped stitches were difficult to spot. They were shocked! They couldn't believe that their 'guru' could do something so ordinary as drop stitches. My reply - "it happens to everyone." Perhaps, these learning moments help us all to realize that this is a process and sometimes we stumble.
Yarnmaniac wrote
on Jan 25, 2008 10:17 PM
Thanks for being so honest with us about your humaness.

I think it helps me to be more fearless knowing I am not alone.
on Jan 25, 2008 6:00 PM
Oh Sandi, you make me laugh! I can TOTALLY relate! I was interviewed on radio last month and, although no one in my town is burning effigies of me in the street, I'm convinced that's only because they don't know what I look like.

I probably didn't mess up that badly, but it sure feels like it when you're on air! Hang in there, my Dear!
AnnC@2 wrote
on Jan 25, 2008 7:20 AM
It is so nice to hear that Capt'n Frog visits other people besides myself! *wink* I am working on the Bonsia Tank, and made a mistake and couldn't "work it in" soooooo, after about 3 days of avoiding it, I forged ahead with Capt'n Frog and fixed it. I still took a few days off from that project, but now am back to it. Can't wait to wear it! Thanks for a great site, and such inspiration! I am knitting fearlessly!!
Ann C in SC
M.C wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 6:21 PM
Thank you to Sig -- now that I read your suggestion it makes perfect sense (and I have to wonder why on earth I didn't figure this out on my own, but I didn't)! I'll definitely do this in the future. Thanks again!
Knitting Nut wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 3:38 PM
I can definitely relate to such an error and it usually happens as a result of working on a detailed Aran design while in the car. No, I wasn't driving at the time! I had to "tink", (that's "knit" backwards), and beleive me when I tell you that "tinking" an Aran design is no fun especially when the design consists of 16 rows!
Ihave considered leaving in a small mistake, but I know it would drive me crazy to see it, so I "tink" and try real hard to only work on the Arans when I can keep focused on the design.
as for the ca and traveling, I now keep a "mindless" project for that!
Laura the Knitting Nut!
Kelsey wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 1:46 PM
Overall, I'm a very fearless knitter. I've been knitting since april and since then I've conquered socks, lace, cables and I'm working on fair isle. My greatest fear? Weaving in my ends. There is not enough clear direction on how to do it so it doesn't show, or how many stitches you should weave them through. I do weave in my ends, but I just don't think they look right when I'm done. I love knitting daily, thank you for all your great advice! And hey, slipping up while multitasking isn't a big deal. You were just seeing how a different cable placement would affect the overall continuity of the design. :)
Peacepurl wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 1:41 PM
OMG! I can SOOO Identify with this...I had bought some yummy mohair to knit a b'day sweater for my husband's daughter. She had picked out the cable pattern and I forged ahead. I started the front and worked industriously, enjoying the turns and patterns the cables were making when.. Oy.. I had lost my place and realized I had shifted the pattern a little to the right so it looked like the leaning tower of pink cables.. The cause? A distracting husband.. I know you ladies can relate.. Finally, I simplifed the pattern.. when I explained why I was doing this to the distractor.. he exclaimed.. Thank GOD! You GO, DIVINE MS S.. that's a bodacious color and I can't wait to see it completed !

Peace Purl.
on Jan 24, 2008 12:46 PM
Sandi....being a beginning knitter, I can't fathom getting on television and trying to do it. Although I did teach one of the girls that I work with how. I am a crocheter and also make paper beads from Walmart sale fliers, work full time (in a college bookstore)and have two children still at home. I can only do the knit stitch so far but have been turning out scarves as fast as I can get people to take them. lmao
EllenF@2 wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 12:31 PM
Thank you so much for sharing your, um, "experience"! My weekly knitting group struggles with this same issue all the time -- too much talk and not enough brain space for knitting!
Pagequilts wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 10:59 AM
the surveys or chances to vote never work, the current survey to pick out a free download doesn't respond, this has happened before, any chance of making these features more user friendly. valerie P. Toronto, Canada
SigridS wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 10:42 AM
For M.C., if you have lots of rows to go to fix a mistake, take your work off the needle & rip away, but stop a row or two before the mistake. Pick up the stitches & tink from there. A big time saver & you don't have to worry about losing your stitches.

DeborahS wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 9:55 AM
What Sandi says about knowing your style is true! I started knitting as a way to keep busy while I watched TV. As I've gotten braver my projects are more complicated and the TV has been traded for "books on tape" - sometimes. For lace knitting, a little music is about all I need. This is a good thing as I feel more connected to my work and I have learned more by concentrating on my hands.
Deb in Asheville
M.C wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 9:51 AM
Sandi, your fun-loving personality and fabulous sense of humor always shine through in your writing! Thank you for sharing your TV adventures as well as your knitting adventures with us. I spent last evening doing what I like to call un-knitting. Some days, it seems I do more unknitting than knitting, and it's good to know I'm not alone. This all brings me to a question I have: What methods do people use when they need to rip out a few rows? I actually do it stitch by stitch -- literally unknitting each one, but I know this can't be the most efficient way to do it! I'd love to hear what others do. Thanks again for brightening my day!
DawnM@3 wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 9:30 AM
I have to say...what a charming "TV Mess" story. It put a smile on my face that will stay with me all day...and I thank you for that smile. In my own small way I can totally relate to working on something while socializing, just to realize (after the fact...sometimes many more rows after the fact) that I was doing the wrong thing and had to rip it out and out...and out! I have learned my 'social knitting project' lesson as well. Although....I still have to be reminded(again)every now and then. Thanks for the smile...I love the daily emails!!!
Warren, Michigan
Anonymous wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 9:28 AM
Oh it was so very good to read that you do "mess up" too. I'm truly sorry that it happened and know you will fix it fast. My motto has always been "To Thine Own Self Be True". I am one of those who can't knit around a whole table of women chatting away, laughing and trying to do an involved pattern. I need to be by myself and concentrate even if I have to use several markers, stickys on the pattern, etc. Thank you for that wonderful post!
JoanB@2 wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 9:03 AM
Oh Sandy, I so admire your guts. I tried knitting the other day while watching my 18month old grandson. Not a good combination. I remember now why I always waited until my kids were taking a nap to work on something complicated! It's wonderful people like you, though that are making knitting a popular art once more. Keep up the good work. Joan B
MaryJ wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 9:01 AM
Snadi, you are going to end up in the Valhalla Hall of Blessed Knitters, for being so brave (TV, makeup, lack of caffeine), and funny and compassionate. Also wise! Great advice about doing whatever it takes to feel alright about what we are tackling in our knitting lives!I am a new knitter, and I am lucky enough to have you, the members of KD, and my SnB group to help guide me through the perils of knitting! Last time we met, I had to notice that even the more experienced knitters in our SnB had shrunk their felted projects too small, were ripping out the slipper AGAIN,and one lovely woman talked about how she had ripped back something so many times she finally let herself enjoy the process of pulling it apart-- the marvel of working with yarn endures, whether it is going on the nedles or coming off! Thank you for being such a wonderful muse and guide for all of us, and hey-- it's only knitting! (not my natural more anxious attitude, I borrowed it from the venerable Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl McPhee).
BettyW wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 7:46 AM
I am not a fearful knitter. I started knitting lace before I knew it was suppose to be difficult. I made mistakes in "yos" but did it the same throught out so it became a "design element". I need projects that I don't have to think about and projects that challenge me. So I usually have at least 2-3 projects on the needles at any given time. I do enjoy reading the daily posts and the patterns. My thought is go for it. The only thing that stops us is us.
CarroleB wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 7:27 AM
Hi Sandi
I'm new to "blogs" and I have to say I'm really enjoying starting my day with your comments and those of other knitters.I'm not a fearless knitter, but reading the comments of everyone is making me feel more fearless.Your comments about papers and ticks etc. makes me feel confident that with enough organization I may be able to attempt something more complicated. Thanks all
Carrole, Orangeville, Ontario
SherK wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 7:20 AM
I feel your pain! Although I've never been on TV of course I have hosted "Knit Club" at my home for 2 years now. I find that I need a "no brainer" project for club nights. We have as many as 12 knitter and we can really talk up a storm!It's great! Can't wait to hear how you ended up. Keep up the good work.

Sher Kayl
kkkeith wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 3:50 AM
Oh, Sandi, you do make me laugh. Not at you, but with you. I, too, am in the middle of the Gathered Pullover and have had to frog bits of it several times. Hard to believe something so simple is causing such grief. Have you frogged all of the cable or just the part you added to the back? I could be wrong, but from your photo it looks like you forgot to cross a cable? That center one that moves left looks like it goes over-over-over instead of over-under-over. Good luck with the Gathered Pullover. After seeing yours, I wish I'd opted for a color, but I found something neutral in my stash that swatched up right. Um, cheers! Karen, Am in Eng
WyomingK wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 12:36 AM
I've learned the hard way that it's better to leave the more challenging projects - the ones that need some attention paid - at home. There are just some things I cannot work while in public, or while being sociable, or heck, anywhere other than my sofa with no tv or music on. Know your limits. yeah.
JenniferH wrote
on Jan 24, 2008 12:10 AM
Oh, Sandi. You are SO BRAVE! I do not go out in public until after noon... mornings are for coming up for air & seeing if the temps are anywhere near civilized.
Meanwhile, I've re-learned that I cannot count when distracted. Heck, it is MATH, dreaded Math, which surely can be a lovely art form, done like Arabic script on a mosque, but totally without any understanding on my part.
So, dear, I am absolutely in awe at your accomplishments, whether the Frog had to be called in or not. Yay, Sandi!
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:31 PM
Reading the excellent books and articles you provide, such as THE BOOK OF YARN, and Ann Budd's KNITTING FOR DUMMIES has encouraged and enlightened me and helped me regain my confidence.
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:29 PM
Sandi's adventures with Captain Frog and all the comments by the readers have greatly encouraged me and helped me regain confidence. Reading KD is a hoot!
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:28 PM
Help to enable me to produce attractive, wearable, well constructed and finished garments that flatter the wearer would help me to be a fearless knitter again.
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:26 PM
I was a fearless knitter when I knit a $150 pure alpaca vest that stretched 4" in length the first time I washed it. I gave it to charity AFGHANS FOR AFGHANS. After reading Clara Parke's THE BOOK OF YARN, I suspect that the yarn may have been inferior (it was not a comercial yarn and I didn't block the swatch), or I inadvertantly stretched it in the wash, or it was the wrong mix, perhaps some wool? or the wrong construction (more ply?). Help with information about yarns and their characteristic would help me be a fearless knitter.
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:22 PM
I was a fearless knitter until I knit a striped scarf in the requested colors without a pattern that rolled no matter how much I blocked it. My boyfriend noticed this too. I had chosen stockingette stitch, not understanding the properties of the different stitches. Help with that would make me a fearless knitter again.
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:19 PM
I was a fearless knitter until I made a fairisle/intarsia fitted cardigan for a 40" bust that knitted to gauge to a giant 50". I sewed up the side seams as for steeks and finished it. I had to study finishing techniques:seaming, setting in sleeves, grafting. Help with that would be great!
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:17 PM
I was a fearless knitter until I made a fisherman's sweater at the wrong gauge from the wrong yarn. No resemblande to the lovely Irish sweaters I so admired. Help with how to choose correct yarn for patterns.
Elizabeth wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 11:09 PM
JaniceL wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 10:46 PM
Sandi..........hahahahaha!!! I thought you were absolutely wonderful telling the truth about your knitting experience....that is something I would have done. My mother taught me to knit very young (12 I think) and I have knitted in spurts, etc. for years. However, I'm older than 12 now (I have 2 grandbabies) and decided a few years back that knitting should just be for fun and not to worry over making mistakes or wasting yarn....just enjoy the journey. I learn more from my mistakes than from doing something perfect and not having to figure it out..what a lovely challenge. Please keep posting patterns, lessons you and other have learned about specific yarns and stitches, etc. This is a great site. Thanks, Janice
WendyP wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 10:05 PM
Sandi, you're a riot. I love reading your posts.

Now a really fearless knitter would have ripped that baby out right on TV! Of course, she would have needed to be paying enough attention that she'd notice there was a mistake...
JoyceC wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 9:38 PM
About being a fearless knitter: Constant reminders that what I thought was impossible when I started are, if not always easy, can be easy -- and fun. I started knitting about a year and a half ago and when I learned to do socks, I figured I'd never get it. Having been through DPNs, circs and two-at-a-time on circs, I even hear myself telling others, "It's not so bad and it does get easier." Must remember that.

About saving cables for times one can concentrate, I did that just this morning. I'm working on my first lace shawl, got an inch (96 stitches long) done in only five hours last night. So when going to the SnB at my LYS, I brought a jacket front, plain stockinette, no problem. Except I got so into the conversation, not to mention looking at all the yarn around me (January is sale month) that I must have ripped out as much as I knitted. Oh, forgot the buttonhole back there about six rows, rip, rip, rip, rework then noticed I'd made an extra stitch five rows back again. Sigh.
A.E wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 9:05 PM
Sandi!!! That was such a great story... but you got it wrong. You did perfectly. Your answer about yarn was detailed, showing how veeeeery much you know. You smilingly clicked away at a veeeeeery complicated and beautiful project, showing how skilled and advanced you are. And the best part is that you didn't notice any mistakes on camera, and you didn't curse on live tv.

As musician, I have learned the hard way: 1) stop playing when someone insists on talking to you, and 2) don't curse at weddings.
LindaD@2 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 8:53 PM
Sandi, you were brave to try to knit under those conditions, braver still to try to knit something complicated, bravest yet to admit to it! I hooted out loud--in sympathy! I have a dish cloth (mind you, I was not on television, was fully caffeinated, and had not a speck of make up on at the time) in which the cable was on the right side for 2/3rds of the cloth, and on the back side for the remaining 1/3. And I had my eyes on my needles the entire time. "All the better to scrub with," says I, and boldly dared to knit again another day.
ElizabethK wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 8:44 PM
OMG, don't know when I've laughed so hard! Of course it wall all entirely predictable, but soooo funny! Here's hoping you won't frog the extra cable on the back, but leave it in as a badge of honor/defiance/personalized design.
Meanwhile I've got the doors locked and the phone turned off . . .
GerdaP wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 8:31 PM
Hi Sandi,
I am a knitting instructor and decided to take an intermediate class in the shop. It took me the whole 2 hour time to work one round of a Dale swtr and even at that it was wrong!There is nothing as humbling as a complicated fair isle to bring down an "expert" too big for her knitting bag!
Fondly, Gerda Porter
SusanB wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 8:16 PM
Oh Sandi! I'm chuckling with you. I made a top down raglan sweater and I had to count and mark every increase between each second in a silent room to get it right- plus check off each row. Forget talking to anyone! Guess you will be rrrripping!
ClassicC wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 7:45 PM
I too would like to know what show you were on. I live down the road from you and am wondering if it was local show..please tell we would love to watch it. Thanks for sharing with us :-) You truly are fearless!
Repels-72356 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 7:13 PM
I laughed many times over as I read my way down these comments. People with a sense of humor are the greatest! On the subject of fearless frogging, I do a lot of the 7" x 9" rectangles for Warm Up America, and this has taught me never to worry about ripping out a few rows. The reason is that the number of cast-on stitches varies with every different yarn in order to come up with the correct width, so almost without fail the number I guesstimate is off by a few. Since this doesn't become apparent until a few rows have been knitted, the inevitable result is...starting over. I can do it now without a moment's hesitation, and this carries over into my other knitting too. CH
connally wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 6:24 PM
I would like to know how to repair mistakes without "un-knitting" every stitch back to the mistake! I can repair a mistake in stockinette and that's the only one I can repair! So....I fear making a mistake that will cause me to have to "un-knit" many rows or completely ravel out my project!! You didn't say the fear had to be rational.
LauraD wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 6:11 PM
Oh Sandy, I can relate - not being on TV, but messing up your project while talking and knitting and smiling at others! I was at a monthly sock club meeting, trying to cast on magic loop with a type of yarn I have never used. Let me just say after ripping out and casting on the cuff 4 times, I just calmly put it all in my bag and went home

SusanM wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 6:07 PM
Dear Ms. S, of course I laughed like hell but that is because you are so wonderful and so real. You are the best for this blog! Thank you, another Ms. S, that would be Susan
MicheleB wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 5:53 PM
You know, I bet nobody knew that you had made a mistake. You looked just great, chatting and knitting, letting everyone out there know that knitters *can* knit and pay attention to what's going on. Even if sometimes, we can't!

Garter stitch or stockinette in the round in those situations...
JanM wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 5:52 PM
Oh Sandi, how I sympathised with you and your encounter on TV. For a start, I think you are fearless to go on TV - we in the land of millions of sheep (NZ) are not fearless in that regard, as I think anyone who dared to go on one of the [few] magazine-type programmes destined for (dare I say it) middle-aged women would need to have courage in bucket-loads. I am an avid knitter (have been since the age of four)but I keep my passion within a small group of very good friends, and while my garments are much-admired by the world-at-large, their construction apparently takes place in the darkest of nights, when I have nothing better to do. If I were to knit in the staffroom it must be for a good cause (like premature babies) and to knit at lunchtime might suggest that I don't have enough marking to do!! I have thought about setting up a warm-room-tea-or-coffee-and learn-to-knit group which would possibly add to my street-cred which at present stands quite highly as a female teacher in an all-boys secondary (high) school who loves Shakespeare and American Football, and who just happens to have pictures of members of the New England Patriots on her wall! I have one very dear friend with whom I have long mutual knitting conversations, and with whom I feel no hesitation raving about the latest book, magazine, pattern or yarn; and I will knit without hesitation the most complicated Vogue or Seaton (wonderful, fine yarns and needles heraldic and florla designs of the 80s and 90s); but knit on TV? I don't think so!!!!
on Jan 23, 2008 5:47 PM
You are too funny. I call knitting that requires my full attention "kitchen table" knitting because that is where I need to do it so that I can fully concentrate. Enjoyed your story.
PhyllisL wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 5:32 PM
I love you, I love you. We have all been there, but to have someone bring it out in the open is the best. I have leanred more from your posting than I ever thouth possible.

Thank you, thank you.
EllieS wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 5:23 PM
Some of us real women are just too good to be well-portrayed on TV, even when it's us doing the portraying. You deserve a Daytime Emmy!
QuinnP wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 5:22 PM
Congratulations on flying the Knitters' Flag on such an unfamiliar public stage! Well done!
I don't think I could knit AND wear makeup. I think on some level I'd be vaguely afraid my face might fall right off. So I'd better just stick to plain knitting. Say, is that why they call it "plain knitting"? ;)
Kathfemme wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 5:13 PM
You brave soul! Thank you for sharing all this!

I have a question: on the tweedy aran sweater, does the ribbing flare out past the body, or is that just the picture? Would love to see a gallery of that one!
KaroleeL wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 5:02 PM
Thanks for confessing! I learned that it is just too hard to knit complicated things (like lacey socks) while watching my daughter's volleyball games. After much frogging I started bringing a simple scarf to work on.
SharonC wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:53 PM
As we say here in the South, Sandi...Bless your heart! I am so sorry that happened, but so proud of you for owning up to it. I've been wondering what went wrong! I can't believe you went on live tv anyway. I have a real problem with people "noticing" me...and that includes my knitting until it's finished!
MeliseG wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:26 PM
I am one of those knitters that needs a ton of stitch markers...if there is a center stitch, and I need to do something on either side of it (like increasing for a shawl), I put a marker on EACH side of the stitch. In honor of knowing myself, I will share my stitch marker secret. I go to a general crafty type store where they sell beads, and buy a packet of jump rings. They usually have multiple diameters, and I pick one that will fit the majority of the needles that I use. You can get a packet of about 150 rings for $3.00 or less, and I have had projects where I used the majority of the rings. And, when they are this inexpensive, when they decide to shoot off your needle across the room and roll under the bookcase, you can just shrug your shoulders and grab another one.
LaurelC wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:20 PM
Sandi, I so empathize. Okay, so I don't even have the excuse of a live tv interview to fall back on. I'm doing the Gathered Pullover too, and I just had to frog the entire cable b/c I miscounted and centered it somewhere on my left breast instead of in the actual center where it belongs. So feel better- at least you had a legitimate "I have better things to focus on right now" excuse!!
BarbaraJ wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:13 PM
just wanted to share..... I KNOW that I need total peace and quiet for many things... one of them knitting "patterns"... recently I tackled an irish knit for my son... here's my idea and it's worked pretty well..... purchase a "spiral coil index card pad".... found this at Walmart... I have written out (large print) Each Row... start at the top of the card with the Row #... then in language that YOU understand... each stitch as the pattern calls for.... flip over the card after you do each row and use a row counter as a "double insurance" for keeping track... even with this I had some ripping out to do, but could always find by place without too much problem.... hope this is helpful to others.... I have knitted and crocheted for many years but never attempted an Irish... both my son and daughter will have one before I DIE!!!!! also doing both sleeves on a circular.. (that's another story, trying to go back and forth without getting ahead of myself on one... actually "tied" them together.... sorry to babble, but thought this worth sharing... b.johnson
KatherineH wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:08 PM
I think you made a brilliant choice for the cameras -- some patterning to show, nice colour, etc. Don't worry about having to rip back the on-camera knitting, though. It was a prop like any other prop -- not real life!
Kirsten@2 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:08 PM
I'm also knitting the gathered pullover. All was going just fine until I got to the cap on the sleeve. Please clarify how 57 stitches reduces down to 21. No matter how I try, I keep coming up with 31.
AuroraF wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:07 PM
Yep--I have learned over the years that a complicated project is NOT the one to work on at a knitting group! or with any distractions. As to fearless knitting, I sometimes force myself to just sit down and try new patterns--even if this means ripping the knitting out several times until I figure it out---I have learned from this process to not be afraid of trying new "complicated" techniques---ripping out is my friend, and new
[hard?] stitches or techniques are now challenges--and not to be feared!
MaryW@3 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:03 PM
I am new to your site but it's great to have a place to share. I've been knitting for a long time but not with much adventure. I'm trying to stretch - open work, cotton yarn, dare I day it, intarsia. I knit the same as the Knitting Heretic. What has always amaazed me is people who don't have to look at what they are doing. Even knitting the boring parts of mittens or socks, I have to watch all the time or I really mess up. Is there a secret to being able to knit and not look? Thanks
MaryW@3 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 4:02 PM
I am new to your site but it's great to have a place to share. I've been knitting for a long time but not with much adventure. I'm trying to stretch - open work, cotton yarn, dare I day it, intarsia. I knit the same as the Knitting Heretic. What has always amaazed me is people who don't have to look at what they are doing. Even knitting the boring parts of mittens or socks, I have to watch all the time or I really mess up. Is there a secret to being able to knit and not look? Thanks
LauraW wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:53 PM
Oh, I'm so sorry. Just as you said, "Go ahead, giggle," I was truly giggling. You are brave to confess, Ms. S!
RobinS@2 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:43 PM
I love your story Sandi because it shows less experienced knitters like me that even the Gurus have bad days.
I have two kinds of projects (note I don't say how many of each) "Stupid" and "Smart". I save my "Smart" projects for quiet Sat & Sun mornings with only my coffee to interrupt me, and my "Stupid" projects are in small bags, ready to hit the road.
I employ many sticky notes, hatch marks, and any number of aides to keep me on track. I often rewrite the instructions for complex things on 3 x 5 index cards with only one instruction per line so I can use a sticky note to go down the card. I feel like Knitting for Dummies but it works for me.
ElizabethB@5 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:36 PM
I have to say, Sandi, when anything like this goes wrong, blame the makeup!! I don't think I could cross a cable (or anything else for that matter) properly with anything on my face that's more substantial than lip gloss.
NoraG wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:34 PM
thanks for that story,I know I will never give up working at learning and doing new stitches or patterns because
these real life situations make it all seem do able. i actually taught my self to do fair isle, I can't believe I learned it of course i need more practice but my mistakes seem less scarey because you all have wonderful stories of knitting
which have encouraged me to keep going
NoraG wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:34 PM
thanks for that story,I know I will never give up working at learning and doing new stitches or patterns because
these real life situations make it all seem do able. i actually taught my self to do fair isle, I can't believe I learned it of course i need more practice but my mistakes seem less scarey because you all have wonderful stories of knitting
which have encouraged me to keep going
MandyD wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:34 PM
I enjoyed that story. It's nice knowing even experience knitters can make mistakes!!
SeannaL wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:28 PM
While I haven't made that exact mistake, I have made similarly interesting errors. Sometimes I think the stitch markers actually hinder the process. You get past a set of markers and your mind is on autopilot and all of a sudden you are doing the pattern in the wrong spot. Whoops!

Then again, I'm a post it note with tick-marks kind of gal.
CharlesV wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:10 PM
Hi Sandy.
What TV show were you on and is there a youtube or similar link to watch it?

Stitch Stud
HaddaA wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 3:05 PM
LOL!!! I'm sorry but I had to laugh.

I'm thinking of knitting a cable sweater for my fearless knitting this year. I finaly learned learned cable knitting and I want make a swater full of them but my fear is not getting it right. It's more like your fearless knitting, having the cables end up somewhere they are not supposed to be. I have 3 kids and I need to learn to how divide my concentration between my babies and my knitting and not mess up on either of them.
MarinU wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 2:54 PM
*snort* You're so very, very kind, Ms. S.

I think you get a pass, though, as the long list of things you were trying to do -- on camera, no less -- requires only that you *look good doing it,* and that you did. Non-knitters saw a calm, clever woman who could talk and knit at the same time and maybe that gave them courage to try knitting.

I'm very interested in seeing your final product, by the way, as I plan to knit this one for myself.

As an adjunct, both to fearless knitting and knitting on TiVi, my biggest fear is always that I will buy all the yarn or have a particularly lovely yarn and waste it (there are restless children in India who would kill for my "leftovers") by screwing up a pattern, frogging a luxury fibre too many times, picking the wrong pattern...

This relates to the TiVi thing because I was knitting cashmere on TiVi day. I'd been saving it forever, waiting for a project special enough, and I finally decided it was silly not to just go for it.

I frogged just about everything I knit that day. The cashmere is still fine. Fear is dissipating.
Anna MarieC wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 2:50 PM
Kudo's to you for even being able to knit on TV (doing cables!), talking, smiling, answering questions. What a fearless knitter! I would like to think that I am a fearless knitter also. I am not afraid of making mistakes and ripping out work. However, I do need lots of quiet time when I knit, especially when I am knitting something that requires counting and cabling. When I have to rip out, I just think of it as a new lesson I just learned.
SherylK wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 2:23 PM
Yesterday and today's posts were great! I am a fearful knitter for all the reasons you mentioned (I've been machine/handknitting for 25/6 years and still procrastinate starting a new project out of fear of messing it up or wasting the yarn). I am getting a lot better, mostly because of the blogs that I read. Not only do they keep me motivated and give me ideas for projects, but reading about the blogger's mistakes makes me feel less stupid. Knitting/design is my passion, so when I make an error I think of myself as a failure. Although I didn't pursue design professionally, (which I regret)I consider it something that I should be competent at.

Today's blog also put me at ease because my first lace shawl has me locked in a silent studio with a "do not disturb" sign on the door. I only complete one repeat of rows at night before I call it a day and work on an easier pattern. I use enlarged charts, magnets, post-its, and markers to keep me straight, and still mess it up and have to frog and tink. I consider it a learning exercise in charts and lace.
Happygoo25 wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 1:45 PM
Hi Sandy,

I like your idea of locking yourself in a room to concentrate on a project. My fears of knitting are with increases and decreases. I know how to knit them but I am having trouble understanding slant and which ones are best for a particular project. It would be great to have an investigation of the ins and outs of shaping and how it can affect a design as well as fit.
SharonV wrote
on Jan 23, 2008 1:20 PM
If I had to knit on live TV, while talking, not having had a sufficient cup of coffee and knit warm up time, the only thing I'd be capable of doing is talking, smiling, answering questions and 'clicking needles' (pretend knitting). You at least put the cables on the garment - any cables I would have started would have gone straight to 'mock stitch' (more fake knitting). The only thing I can do in the spotlight is garter stitch and socks. So clap yourself on the back, you did a lot and it'll probably be easier next time.