Monday, April 28, 2008

Miles to go before I sleep, or knitting frustrations...

The Chevron that won't die...
Sometimes knitting makes me want to stick a needle in my eye. Certain projects just seem to go on and on with no end in sight, and after several days make you wonder if you're not really knitting but are instead stuck in a parallel universe, rowing in some galley on a tyrannical ogre's ship on the high seas...Yes, this is how the Chevron is making me feel right now. Hey, guess what's not helping? Looking on Ravelry (it's not all sweetness and light, folks) and seeing people post their stats like "Chevron for Nana: Started April 8th, Finished April 11th", with some commentary along the lines of "Yeah I worked on this off and on while also finishing a major project due at work and having outpatient surgery". Are people lying, is this like fibbing about your weight on your driver's license, or are people actually that fast? Because I really need to know so I can recalibrate. I am told by many people in my life that all I do is knit, and yet I don't seem to be nearly as fast as some of you all out there. Color me a wee-bit frustrated.
Chevron update: several months later...
Is there something that I'm not getting here? I know that switching to Continental is an obvious solution, and am planning on giving it serious consideration (after the semester is over). But this whole Chevron incident has brought my knitting weaknesses to the surface, so naturally I am wondering the following: What are YOUR knitting insecurities? What frustrations do you currently have? Careful, misery loves company, and I am that person who will snare you and drag you down, but since you've already read this wretched post, won't you please join me in my knitting bad place?

50 comments:

tiennie said...

I'm right there with you since I'm working on a neverending scarf too. At least yours is pretty!

peaknits said...

I couldn't agree more - this project is like Groundhog's Day for me - same thing every day with no end in sight. Hate the damn thing, but I'll keep trudging on - eventually:) Yours is pretty...is that consolation?:)

Sharon said...

Sometimes...oftentimes, I feel like I'm the slowest knitter ever. So, don't feel bad. I have the yarn for this scarf, but I've yet to cast on because I have a feeling that it will just drag on way too damn long for me.

Yours is beautiful, though. Oh, and I think they're all lying to us.

allie said...

Oh, I completely understand. Right now I am working on the purse strap for Percy bag on Knitting. The strap is knit on size 2 needles with mercerized cotton and an attached I-cord on either end. And every time I work on it, I feel like it's going nowhere.
Your scarf does look beautiful though and those colors have to be some comfort during the seemingly endless knit.
Good luck in your bad knitting place!

kim said...

I dunno because I've been knitting the same sock for two days, and I haven't even turned the heel and all I want to do is start on three other things in my queue. But I blame that on the fact that eight hours of my day is completely wasted on work when I should be knitting. On the other hand, I have never knit one of the Chevron scarves from hell that seem to take a good chunk of one's life to knit. But yours looks great!

My knitting insecurity lies in the finishing. I love to knit; I hate to sew and have messed up many a project in the final phase.

Angela said...

It's not you--Chevron Scarves are tedious. Hang in there...

AmyP said...

I'm in knitting hell, too. I spent at least 12 hours swatching this weekend trying desperately to get the proper gauge. I tried a total of 12 different needles -- different sizes, different materials, different brands. At 11:53 PM on Sunday night I declared VICTORY! Now I am ready to start knitting on a 50 x 60" blanket on size 3s. Did I say victory?

Theresa said...

My gauge seems to be loosening up - and it's driving me crazy!

Daphne said...

I haven't knit the chevron scarf--but my guess is that it would take me forever, even as a fast knitter. Old shale patterns are slow for me (no obvious lace to read) so I tend to screw up more than usual, and that's fine yarn on small needles, and a lot of it--and all purling back. It's two pairs of socks worth of yarn, right, and no interesting changes to motivate. So, you know, I'm going to go knit my top-down, in the round sweater now. :)

Stella said...

I think I'm on the fast side of average and I STILL am slogging my way through a scarf right now. I always wait long enough to forget the frustration and I think "how bad could it be?? it's such a pretty pattern!" And then it hits me, about 40 inches in. Oof.

I'm also prone to a bit of self hatred as far as my own laziness when it comes to finishing, fixing small mistakes, etc.

Carrie said...

I totally understand. My Chevron Scarf is currently in timeout for not being done yet. I hope I remember in future that knitting a scarf out of sock yarn is never a good idea!! At least not for me :)

Esoteric Knitter said...

I would love to be able to knit a lot faster. I would get so much done. :) It definitely is crazy to see people speed knitting. Gosh, I suppose it gives me something to work towards. lol Geez don't I sound like a loser. hehe

Pikku- Kettu said...

It's the chevron. It's a neverending black hole of knitting. I've worked on mine for months but it seems like it's never going to be finished... *sigh*

travellersyarn said...

The chevron scarf is a nightmare, mine took forever, and I actively despised so many bits of it. The good news - I love wearing it!

knitchy said...

Getting complexes from Ravelers ?!? You don't look at the right ones. Take a peek at my project page and figure out this is the impressive result of nearly three (3) years of efforts. Now, doesn't it makes you feel like a rocket knitter ?

(and don't tell me I have to switch to continental - for I already did)

The chevron may be a p.i.t.a. but it's damn well pretty. Not all boring things can claim so ;-)

sophanne said...

My bad knitting place is when I put something hard down I am so ascared to pick it back up. in the time in between I've convinced myself that it's entirely impossible for me to knit and I'm going to make mistakes that I can never fix.

SJ said...

I had the Exact. Same. Experience. with the Chevron Scarf. I don't understand the people who did them in like two days. I think mine took two months! And in there was a car trip to Cleveland where I knit the whole time!

The mystery I can never figure out is why I always get stuck in the stockinette black hole. I can knit stockinette (especially in the round) without looking, and I'm pretty fast (20 years' experience will do that to you), but the knitting never seems to get anywhere!

Kirsten said...

They are either lying or not eating, sleeping, bathing or raising their butt out of the knitting chair in order to get the scarf done in three days! The Chevron is a notoriously tedious, endless knit.

I'm a slow knitter too. I also have a weakness for working on multiple projects which keeps the WIP's from becoming FO's very quickly.

Kate said...

My current never ending, stress inducing project is the Lilly of the Valley shawl I am making for Mother's day. Two hours a pattern repeat oy! I don't even want to think about picking up 300+ stitches for the edging yet...

nicole said...

My bad knitting place is that everything I knit is way too big. Funny, since I spend most of my time thinking that my body is too big! But time and time again, I'm frocked with loose, unflattering knits. Negative ease? No freaking idea what that's all about. And I ALWAYS run out of yarn (I guess this is irrevocable proof that I'm a loose woman!)

Hang in there, your chevron is truly worth it. The colour combo is fantastic.

Jodi said...

Your chevron scarf is looking beautiful. I wonder if some of the speedy chevron scarf knitters subbed a heavier weight yarn?

Some projects do just slog along. The gussett and handle for the bag I'm knitting is so slow. Moss stitch, plus doubled worsted-weight yarn on size 8 needles leads to hand/wrist pain, so I can't work on it for too long of a stretch.

Olga said...

I think the fact I started a 'knitting' blog is the biggest and cruelest joke, I NEVER seem to finish ANYTHING! I read some blogs that they pop out stuff daily- 12 hats, socks for the whole family, matching sweaters for their 8 kids...and this one I read, starts with a A and ends with a D D- yeah- she ALWAYS has finished projects. Man, I missed the knitting train somewhere.

Marnie said...

my bad knitting place is that i have recently knit myself 2 badly fitting sweaters. and now i just stopped in the middle of one badly fitting sweater and cast on the next to soothe myself, and now guess what? that one fits hideously, too. i cannot seem to knit something that fits me.

purlfriend said...

You know how I feel about the Chevron!! My bad knitting place is falling rapturously, hopelessly in love with some pattern, buying the yarn, remaining starry-eyed for about a day or two, and then casting the whole thing aside for something else.

Lolly said...

I haven't done this scarf, but it has all of the characteristics of frustration... however, once it IS finished, it is amazing. My knitting insecurity? lace. i have so little patience for it. I mess up on anything that requires YOs :P

serenknitity said...

I hear you, sistah. I'm in scarf purgatory at the moment, too. I'm so sick of looking at the thing I'm going to gift it to somebody I don't see very often. I always say to hubby 'Remind me to never knit another scarf.' Then a few weeks go by and he says 'What's that you're knitting?' and I say 'Oh, er....a scarf.'

knittingpanda said...

I feel your pain! I made several scarves for people for Christmas and have vowed never to make another unless the stitch pattern changes at least a couple times, because doing the same stitch pattern for so long drove me absolutely batty.

Amy said...

I've always thought that scarves in general are a total slog. Your Chevron is looking *fantastic*, though, so take heart. (I've definitely seen some really ugly ones.)

I have no idea how my final speed compares to other knitters, but I actually knit in pretty much the least efficient way possible: I throw, and instead of tensioning like most people, I hold the yarn between the tip of my index finger and thumb. But I've never really been tempted to try Continental, because the way I knit feels so natural to me, and it results in an utter lack of tension issues.

After all that rah rah stuff, though, my biggest knitting insecurity is that I *hate* making decisions or making stuff up as I go along. I'm getting a little better about modifications as time goes on, but I'll never be a pattern designer. I'm far, *far* too anal for it, and totally get hives whenever someone says something to me like "Why don't you just knit it at a larger/tighter gauge, and knit the next size down/up to compensate?" Yikes!!

Kim said...

When I saw the photo of Chevron, I wanted to run away screaming. I am having the same issues with this scarf. Knitting on it is a never ending nightmare and it never gets any bigger. It is my nemesis! I shoved this demon to the bottom of the UFO basket next to the doomed nearly 3 year old UFO entrelac backpack. I feel like I am the slowest knitter in the world. Hats, I can knock out in 1 1/2 to 2 days if it's super simple. I am flabbergasted when people really truly knock out a pair of socks in a day or two. Just remember that knitting is not a race! But maybe we'll both finish Chevron if we turn it into a race!

Yarnhog said...

I don't knit scarves. I knitted one, for a friend, and that was enough. There's a lot of knitting in a scarf! You could have the body of a sweater done with the same amount of knitting.

My Dickinson pullover is definitely in the same category as your Chevron Scarf. I swear I've spent 10,000 hours knitting it. I was working the first sleeve while watching a movie. I had 10 inches at the start of the movie and 9 inches at the end of the movie! What? I was knitting backwards?! And then I saw a completed one on Ravelry--absolutely perfect--which was a first sweater for a brand new knitter--and it took her less than a month. At that point, I rolled the thing up and stuffed it in the yarn closet. Bleah.

Risa said...

Oh I totally hear you. The Chevron was a slog for me too. After it got 'long enough' I called it done. Yours is looking lovely though - it will be worth it!
I too feel like the slowest knitter on Earth sometimes. Especially reading blogs - "Oh look at this pair of socks I knit today." Gag me.
My proudest moment was NaKniSweMo last year. I finished right on the deadline, but only because I severely neglected my peeps that month. Brew pub tour? Sure, I'll be the driver and sit in the corner knitting my sweater while you people get drunk. How anti-social of me.

Philigry said...

you always make me laugh! i have not knit chevron, but i do share your feeling whenever i knit a scarf. it just drives me bonkers. really though, this is beautiful!

Asappa said...

Scarfs always have that effect on me too! I have one in my Rav que hibernating since X-mas and one that I have benn working on for what seems like forever! I have also thought the same thing about some bloggers/Ravelry-ers! Some peopl seem to finish sweater after sweater in amazing time while I'm lucky to get an OF a month!

Carrie K said...

Ah, it's so nice to have company. I knit continental and it hasn't sped me up at all.

I knit all the time. I finish? Uh, not often. And who knits a pair of socks in AN EVENING? Everyone but me. Oh well.

K. said...

I'm not sure about having knitting insecurities, but if I have too many projects, I don't feel like I can focus. Right now I am just not feeling my knitting. I have more projects than I have EVER had on the needles and sewing to do for a birthday kid. I will probably have to hide all my projects in a box somewhere do them one at a time...

James said...

yeah. it takes me 3 months to knit a sock. While that is due to some series procrastination issues, I also find myself distrustful of those who knit entire sweaters in a weekend.

Specs said...

They are lying. Those people who finish things in a week. Lying. Dirty filthy, liars with their quick and beautiful knits.

I just finished my albatross project, but I have had a scarf on the needles since before Christmas. It's a seed stitch scarf. SEED STITCH. I'm never going to finish it. Ever.

The Knitty Sisters said...

I can completely agree with everything you say. I am a very tight knitter, so not only do I knit slow, but I also don't usually knit for very long because the yarn and my hands can't handle it. I am working on a baby blanket right now that I made up the pattern for and the combination of the partly acrylic (I know, EEK!) and being sick already, after about 5 rows my hands just won't last any longer. As all you knitters know, knitting five rows a day on a simple baby blanket is like committing knitting suicide. On the fact of just being a slow knitter... I always thought I was a pretty fast knitter because I've always been faster than my sister and mom. That was until I took a cable class and everyone passed me like I was standing still. It was not a pleasant experience. Ever since then, I have become self-conscious about knitting altogether, especially KIP. Hope that keeps your miserable feelings company.

Sonya said...

I hate those projects that don't end. I did a feather and fan scarf a few years ago that was just like that. You know what the key to knitting is, don't you? Perseverance.

a friend to knit with said...

just keep swimming. just keep swimming.
i heard ellen's voice the entire time i knit mine!!!!

Karen said...

I feel your pain. I too am slow, slow, slow. I secretly curse all those speedy knitters out there. :P

Emily said...

You're not alone. The neverending scarf...I mean the Chevron scarf took me awhile to complete too. Yours looks great, btw!

nova said...

I knit two of these monsters. And I am no speed racer, either. My knitting insecurity is cutting my knitting. Seriously, thinking about it makes me want to throw up. This is why even the idea of steeking freaks me out.

lollyno.2 said...

Buttonholes. I don't know what it is about these pesky holes but I delay doing them often for months (okay, even years). Most of my unfinished projects are languishing in a basket awaiting these supposedly simple final touches.

Krista said...

It's just nice to know that I'm not the only one who hits the knitting bad place once in a while?

I have been working on a scarf for over a year now and I'm tempted to label it The "%$#&&!@#!!" scarf when I'm finished it because that's exactly how I reference it in my own mind... as in "Oh God, I have to knit that "%$#!@#!!" scarf..." or "Oh crap, there's that "%$#!@#!!" scarf again, better move that before the dog eats it..." I've long ago moved past the "Oh, I love knitting this scarf..." stage and am betting that I will have given birth to children (currently childless) and sent them to college before I'm actually finished the "%$#!@#!!" scarf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hang in there!

TLCknits said...

Agreed! I always feel like turtle could knit faster than I.. everyone else seems to finish ALWAYS before me...

Sereknitty said...

Acres of mind numbing stocking stitch in a fine yarn is enough to send me running to the asylum. I usually need to have another project that involves either cables, or lace on the go at the same time, so I can break it up a bit. I had considered making the Chevron with this fabulous hand dyed yarn from Hello Yarn, but decided that the monotony would probably kill me.

mmorrison47@gmail.com said...

I am soooo slow, it takes forever to finish a pair of socks. So I usually have two pairs on the needles. When I get tired of one, I work on the other. But I have never made a sweater, I'm afraid that I am so slow that I will start and not finish.

WonderMike said...

It's official. I'm the world's slowest knitter. Period. And I knit continental. Go figure. My biggest fear is that people won't respect my work because I've never made an adult sweater or color work or intarsia or ___________. It's all a game, no? We should be enjoying. It's not a race and if you're not having fun (most of the time), something ain't right!

TopHat said...

My knitting insecurity is blocking. I've never done it, but that's because I never pick a project that really needs it.