November 28, 2013

The cowl that made me swear like a sailor being attacked by the kraken while in a bar fight in a storm on the ocean.

Here's a little mid-week quickie to keep you tied over until I have a chance to write a real post this weekend.

I had a little spare time on my hands this past week so I decided to make myself a cowl with some leftover yarn. I've been wanting to make this cowl for months, but have just had other things to knit and fill my time.

Well, a week and a half ago I got a chance to get it done. It's really simple, just knitting in the round, but it finishes with the Kitchener stitch, which gives it a seamless end. Just know that it's a different kind of ending that's a bit more labour-intensive, but looks beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that you can't even see it. I've done it once before and was surprised by how easy it was. I figured this time it would be the same thing.

I started finishing my cowl on Monday night. I figured I'd be done before bed. Or maybe it was Sunday. Either way, it's Wednesday night and the darn thing just finished.

Something's hinky with this cowl. Everything went perfectly, except that my colours weren't connecting very nicely but that would be easy enough to hide, but when it came time to take out my provisional cast-on and do my Kitchener... it all hit the fan.

Cue me staying up later than I would have liked and having a half finished cowl to show for it. I'd had to undo it (my Kitchener) a couple times due to the seam being crooked and looking like garbage. I was mad. My wool started to break. I dreamt about the Kitchener stitch all night long. It was laughing at me and my epic failure. Last time was so easy!

Last night I had an hour or so to work on it, which should have been more than enough to do one simple row of finishing, but I STILL had to come back to it today.

The hidden part of the seam on the inside looks like garbage. Last night I made the concious decision that this cowl wasn't going to be perfect. It was going to have character. I'm starting to become a knitting perfectionist and the reason I love this pattern is that it's seamless. Why the heck would I want to have a freaking visible seam? If that's what I wanted I wouldn't have done the whole provisional cast-on (which was a pain in the butt, too, FYI) business.

Luckily, for the most part, the visible seam isn't too bad.

Until I finished.


Because just thinking about it makes me want to throw something. Like a tantrum.

I may have done my Kitchener a little tight, but I just wanted it to be done, loose felt weird, and my wool was threatening to break AGAIN. So, my invisible seam wasn't quite so invisible because it was making a bit of a tighter line through my cowl.

Being the problem solver that I am, I gave the cowl a little tug, to encourage everything to stretch a little and maybe loosen up. Well. Everything else stretched but the freaking yarn I'd used on the seam FOR THE PAST THREE DAYS decided to snap. Right on the pretty side.

Seriously. What a cheap, plastic hoe!

I may have yelled. And growled. And decided that life may not be worth living anymore because this fun little side project had literally just decided that it would throw me over my knitting breaking point and ruin my whole beautiful cowl experience. Also possibly my life, because that's how excited I was for this cowl. I've been thinking about since May, gosh dangit!

I was faced with a few options. The first was the most dramatic one of ending it all and torching my knitting pile, vowing to never knit again, ripping my beautiful cowl to shreds and weeping in the least ladylike way imaginable while, naturally, cussing like a sailor and have a big old pity party for myself.

Another option was to say screw it and attempt to undo my Kitchener without ruining the rest of my work. This would probably take me a couple evenings and drive me to alcoholism and possibly an early grave because HOLY COW let's talk about three days of work undone that should have only taken one and the probability of dropping a stitch is one million percent yes for sure going to happen. Also, my freaking yarn would probably break again, several times I'm guessing, as it went through even more abuse and COME ON there's only so much a piece of yarn and a young woman can take, you know?

The final option was to call it a flop and fix it however possible. I opted for this choice. Clearly. I'm still alive and forming mostly coherent sentences.

I did the worst patch job ever with the help of my darning needle and, fueled by a lot of prayers to the knitting gods, wished and hoped and thought happy thoughts that my little (terrible) patch job would hold. Goodness knows if it will, but it seems to be at the moment.

In case you're wondering, I'm wearing the cowl as I write this. I still kind of want to spill coffee on it and run it over with my car because of all the crap it's put me through (yes, this is how problems are solved in the real world, kids) but I love its colours and if I don't think about it I can almost forget how many millions of flaws it has in it, not to mention the knitting equivalent of hair plugs that it has.

If I hadn't called it a day/cowl I know that this darn thing would be ruining my weekend and we simply can't have that. I wouldn't be able to finish putting up my Christmas decorations and tree this weekend, and instead my life would continue to look like it does right now. I'm currently sitting in a pile of scrap pieces of yarn, circular needles, scissors, and cookie crumbs. In my sweatpants. For reals.

And, since I know you're wondering, NO YOU CAN'T HAVE A FREAKING PICTURE OF THE STUPID THING RIGHT NOW. I need to come to terms with my epic failure of an easy freaking project before I can share it with the world. I promise that I will, though.

Now, I'm going to go to bed and cry myself to sleep and probably dream about the Kitchener stitch being used to sew me into a body bag or straight jacket.


  1. Hahaha. Oh Anna. I understand SO WELL. Except I've haven't learned the Kitchener stitch yet, and almost all my knitting problems stem from user error. But I've been through some cookies and four letter words as well. Knitting is so much harder than it looks sometimes!

  2. Take solace in the fact that I don't even know what a Kitchener stitch is so you're already light years ahead of me in terms of knitting. Also I didn't know yarn broke like that just a knitting thing? Because I've never had that happen...

    I really need you to teach me to knit. I can, I think, sort of relate though...crocheting in the round is a BEYOTCH. One miscount and your hat is screwed.


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