Sunday, January 01, 2006


In Which I Discover That I Am Stupid

I pride myself on my accuracy at work, and we all know what pride cometh before, don't we?

Yes. Yes, we do. Pride cometh before having to check 1800 client records because we got dainty and used the term "expiry" rather than "death" and put data in the wrong place and now have to check all of those records even though only about 40 are likely wrong.

Next time I go on about having so much knitting time at work, just slap me upside the head, all right, dog? Oh, you did. Thanks.

Needless to say minimal knittage got done last night. The Boring Garter Stitch Scarf (tm) was 22-3/4" when I got to work and 26" when I left. And yes, I did knitting, I didn't just stretch it out a bit and remeasure to make myself feel better (although really, that sort of thing isn't beyond me).

I'll finish repairing my stupid stupid data entry stuff tonight and add a couple more inches to the scarf and we shall never speak of this again, mmkay?

Great, thanks.

Of course the night wasn't entirely knit-free. One of my few resolutions for the coming year is to actually knit something that's a little more adventurous than a scarf, hat, or baby sweater. To that end I spent some time exchanging emails with Ann, trying to figure out some stuff beyond just garter stitch (yes, and moss stitch and cabling and all of that good stuff that I can actually do). She was trying to explain to me about increasing stitches, and the difference between kfb (knit front and back) and m1 (make one).

If you're an experienced knitter, please look away, this will be very boring for you. If, however, you're a fairly new knitter, like myself, and you don't know what the hell you're doing, here's what I finally figured out after swatching it in my head in the car. No, I couldn't wait to get home. I'm all about the theory (and the math, but don't tell anyone) and I had to just chew on it until it all made sense.

I first had to figure out why the way I make a new stitch was called "knit front and back", because you don't knit INTO the back of the stitch. (Please note that after I do the only cast-on that I know, the knitted cast-on, that I do the second row by knitting into the back of the stitch all the way across because that gives it a nice firm edge. This doesn't work for everything and I shall learn at least one new casting-on technique this month.)

Then I got it. You knit the first stitch, and then instead of slipping the stitch off the left needle, you leave it there. The ACTIVE stitch is on the right needle and you put the left needle into the BACK of it and then knit.

That was a relief.

Then I thought about the m1 thingie and swatched it in my head. m1 is done by picking up the bar between the two stitches rather than knitting twice into the stitch on the left needle, therefore effectively making a stitch out of the top of a loop on the row below.

If you have, say, 18 stitches and you need 19 and are going to increase in the middle, if you k9, m1, you have nine on the left needle still. If you k9 then kfb, you have EIGHT on the left needle and 11 on the right. You've therefore used up one of the stitches on the other side already, so if the instructions say k3, and then you do a cable or something else, you actually have to k2 because one is used up by the kfb.

And I can see how that would drive a new knitter, or someone allergic to The Math, right batty.

Don't know if that's helped anyone else, but it makes it all clear to me, and that's what counts (IMNSHO) because I'm going to take Rachel H. up on her sweater challenge. I'm going to make a cardigan (possibly Eris) for myself this year. And I'm going to finish it and WEAR it, dammet. Marie, want to join us?

(That being said, I will also take Rebecca up on her generous offer to send me a cardigan, because she knits beautifully and I'm not a fool. Bec, I hate zippers in knitwear: toggles, buttons, frogs, tie closures, anything else is lovely.)

And as a side note to Erika, who I think just commented for the first time (thank you!) I work in a Canadian hospital so we use a different system from the one you supported, but I suspect that the pixies are international. They are likely the same pixies that cause people to report that their pagers aren't working when in fact they're just not switched on, or the batteries have run down. I think some of them come and put beer in my computer mouse at home when I'm not looking, also.

I'm going to make some coffee and sandwiches and then take The Walk of Shame back to work where I shall cuss and fix my own damned mess that I'm so glad someone else didn't find before me 'cause then I don't have to explain why I'm so stupid.

Except, of course, that I would have only had to explain to one or perhaps two people, and I've just blogged about the whole damned thing.

As I said before, blogging's easier if you have no shame.

(And speaking of having no shame, do take a peek at JenLa's Second Annual Blog Awards, in which I have yet again been named Cusser of the Year. I'm inordinately proud of this.)

you, my dearest darling, are a dastardly rabBitch (note the emphasis). i was making simple garter stitch baby booties, and the first 10 rows are plain garter stitch, while i was reading your dissertation on kf&b. dammit, i kept trying to do it! glad i finished that bit. and you are exactly right. go girl, sweaters are in your hands!
Hey Rabbitch, I don't know if a cardigan is in the works -- I got free yarn at Christmas that's better suited to a long-sleeved t-shirt. First sock in progress now, too.

Plus, my sister-in-law gave me a spindle for Christmas but had no time to show me how. Whimper. Know any good teachers in my end of town?

Don't feel bad about the records: I onced worked for a company that had bollixed up a 50,000-record database. Not my doing but guess who cleaned it up?
I've always done my kfb by knitting like normal, but not slipping the old stitch off the left needle, then knitting through the back of the old stitch as well. I suppose it doesn't really matter, but you can experiment and decide which you like better. There's also great videos if you have the net speed to dowload and watch here

Congrats on your JenLa award! I love those crazy girls!
Makes sense, although I'm not at that stage of the 'lesson plan' guidelines just yet.

Casting on, knit, purl, garter stitch, stocking stitch, casting off and a few 'ohmygodwhatamIdoingmakeitstop' stitches have been covered, although the last one was self-taught. Excited cat interference and sneezing while knitting have also been learned, although not listed in the curriculum.

Slipping, increases and decreases are coming up far, so good.

the brother

hmm..verification seems to be a combination of ack and godawful (gckdwl). I don't think I'm doing that badly? I won't take the random letter assignment personally..yet.
Now you can make SOCKS!!!!
Woo hoo!
Don't have to much fun at work now.... sounds like a rollicking fine time..
Contgratulations on your awards, Rabbitch! You definitely deserve both of them.
Congratulations on your award! I can't think of a more deserving winner.

and thanks (NOT) for accepting my challenge - or as I prefer to think of it, Invitation - all public like that. Now I really have to do it. I mean, I want to an' all, but geez, the pressure...
Dude, I have a giant pile of mouses (meece? Mices? Moose?) in my office, and would be happy to send you a spare, just in case :)

Let me know.
In December I decided that my resolution for the new year would be widening my repetory of curses. I'm a little bored with most of mine; I need more variety, depth, and richness.

And here I find you, resolving to knit the sort of garments that (in my experience, anyway) provoke alot of swearing and trash talking. Perfect timing! I eagerly await my first lesson from the master.
Hey there love

I am a beginner knitter also. I did my first baby sweater and because I am foolish I choose one with a gull stitch pattern (or some such thing) that was knitted in one piece from the top down. Yeah, nothing like the easy road for me.

I will be showcase the piddly items I knit this fall/winter since taking up the needles on my blog, soon. I swear. The baby sweater from hell as it is known in this house will live (and be photographed this way) on a teddy bear.

This year daring feats of inane knitting.
Yes Congrats!! Keep up the good work.
Oh, I almost ran right to the few knitting books I had to see why and if I was really doing it wrong. Thanks to a commenter above though, I see I am not the only one who leaves it on the left and knits into the back that way.
But all those numbers made my head hurt. If I didn't like to knit so much, the math would turn me off it. It's amazing how I can do my own taxes, balance a spreadsheet but have trouble with all the regular math. I think there are a few screws loose up there somewhere. But that's ok cause there is enough yarn in there holding it all together.
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