I'm setting this challenge for myself, not to necessarily mend or modify nine articles of clothing in 2018, but to use the remaining nine months of this year to practice.  To practice the arts of mending and modifying and to practice the new decision-making processes that I want to develop when it comes to consuming, hoarding, and discarding material things.  I want to use that time that I practice to think about how I came to have the current consumption habits I have and how I can modify those behaviours to reflect my ideals and my concerns.


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(Not the Heisenberg) uncertainty principle

It took me a long while, but I eventually learned to never say never.  Things can change.  Circumstances, ideas, and above all, people, can change.  Or at the very least, if a person isn't opening her narrow mind to the infinity of possibilities, she can rephrase her sentiments.  For example, a knitter who would once emphatically proclaim: "I would never knit socks" might instead say something like, "I'm not really a sock knitter", thereby introducing the possibility, if not the probability that sock knitting might happen in her life.  Likewise, another knitter might have spent the last decade firmly entrenched in the belief that project monogamy was essential to that project's completion and also that any other path led straight into the abyss of eternal startitis.  Yet the turn of the new year has that knitter toying with the idea of starting all the projects all at once just to test the validity of that theory, because, hey, why not? and let's be honest, not a lot of knitting got done in all those years.

But that has nothing to do with me, I'm sure.

Let's talk about my recent knitting and the projects I have going.  In the fall, I cast off my first ever bona fide socks.  That's sort of a lie.  I have knit a pair of "cabin socks" as a gift and a lifetime ago, I knit a pair of hiking socks (that could stand on their own, which was helpful because no one was prepared to assist them).  What I have never knit until now is socks out of fingering-weight yarn, i.e., socks that were theoretically wearable inside a pair of shoes.  And now I have.

After that, another pair of socks happened because the first pair was supposed to have been for me but didn't end up fitting.  I learned that -10% ease is way too loose for my liking and in the interest of self-preservation, I just knit a longer foot and presented them to my partner, who also likes a snug sock.  Why waste a perfectly good sock toe and a few inches of stockinette by frogging, I asked myself.

It's a good thing I got over the frogging aversion because otherwise, this second pair would also not have fit me or any adult I know.  I'm glad I made the necessary changes because I'm pretty pleased with these socks!  It's only been in the last year that I really came to appreciate wool on my feet after randomly buying a pair of wool socks to make it to the free shipping threshold for an online order.  Am I about to become a sock-knitting addict?  Jury's out (buying more self-striping sock yarn).*

It didn't take me long to cast on another pair of socks, despite having already started multiple projects since 2018 got going.  Lest you begin to wonder, I am not really a sock knitter.  Really.

When I bought this skein of fingering weight BFL last year in this super-charming "Dalmatian" colourway by Ancient Arts (another fantastic Canadian dyer) it was to make a hat, but I tried casting on for a hat, ripped it out, started again twice more and finally concluded that this yarn just wanted to be socks.  Who was I to argue?

All this knitting has unfortunately caught up with me so to give my wrist flexors time to recover I'm taking a break from knitting and starting on my #2018makenine sewing projects.  (Aside from a couple home decor items, I haven't sewn in the last few years so this is really exciting for me.  Although, I'm not sure if the more exciting part is the fact that I now have a room in which I can actually do some sewing and not have to pack everything away at the end of the day so that we have somewhere to eat and can sit down without fear of getting stuck by errant pins.)  I happened across the Make Nine challenge for the first time just last month and I really loved the idea partly because it was like a year-long Summer of Basics** challenge and partly because following the #2018makenine tag on IG has provided a nice dose of sewing inspiration.  I've been out of the sewing game for so long that I'm pretty unfamiliar with what's been happening in terms of the range of independent pattern publishers and fabric sources available online.  Seeing what people are choosing for their Make Nine gives me a nice little snapshot of what's going on and I really enjoy seeing people tackling their projects with such enthusiasm and confidence.  I tend to hesitate for way too long before starting (or not starting at all) because I'm afraid of screwing something up or ending up with something that doesn't blow my mind away.  But disappointments will happen and it's just a part of making.  If I have any New Year's resolutions (besides the requisite commitment to stashdown and to start exercising regularly), it's to ignore the what-if-I'm-not-good-enough-fears that stop me from attempting things and just START already.

But, I'm a fan of baby steps.  My #2018makenine is pretty tame.  I have all the materials and patterns for nine projects that I'm totally stoked about making so I don't have to spend any time (or money) on acquiring stuff.  (Truly, I have all the materials and patterns for much more than this, but I think nine projects in a 12-month is plenty ambitious for me).  The projects I've chosen are not super-complicated, they are all things I really want in my wardrobe, and a few of them are already cast on or cut out.  (WIPs are fair game too, right?)  This means I've got way more projects in active rotation*** than I've ever had before.

It never occurred to me before this year that having several projects going at once might actually be more efficient if you are someone who is easily distracted when something about a task becomes frustrating or boring.  You just switch gears and pick up something else that's also on the go.  Something's getting done and it doesn't involve Train of Thought or mindless surfing.  (I used to think that if I didn't start working on an entirely different project, I still had every intention of tackling the project at hand and toiling through the difficult stages--so I would do something noncommittal, like play a game on my phone or surf, but it would be weeks before I came back to it because life only offers you so many hours to spend on a hobby.)  Which is why I'm experimenting with starting multiple projects without finishing something first.  I can't deny that this feels a bit like skipping dinner and raiding the dessert table.  Which is to say, I'm really enjoying this strategy at the moment but I fear there may be consequences.


*My first two pairs of socks were knit with Striped Turtle Toes by Turtlepurl Yarns, an independent Canadian dyer based in New Brunswick.  The first colourway is "Beekeeper" which I purchased at The Knit Cafe and the second is "Comic Strip" which I found at Eweknit (both are fantastic shops in Toronto, but if you are not in Toronto, Turtlepurl's Etsy shop is well stocked).  I think I may have given this whole sock knitting thing a whirl because I enjoyed these self-striping colourways so much and I needed an excuse to buy them.  Not exactly in keeping with my stashdown goals, I know, but my guilt is somewhat assuaged by the fact that I knit two pairs of pretty fun socks as a result.

**My Summer of Basics wasn't exactly a success or a failure but it did get me to narrow down the infinite list of possible projects and I actually started (and completed!) a couple of projects.  A real triumph for a perpetual procrastinator.

***This is not to suggest that I never had a huge pile of WIPs languishing in a corner.  However, if I ever put aside a project to start something new, I had pretty much sentenced it to permanent exile.  If it didn't get frogged or chucked, it's still sitting in a box somewhere.  (Sorry, Mom.  I really do mean to come by and deal with those.)


You will often find people describe knitting as needing nothing more than two sticks and some string, but let's be real honest here: knitters love their tools.  Needles are tools, of course, and knitters can be quite passionate about them, but they are not the tools to which I refer.  I am referring to all the other accoutrements that you convince yourself would elevate your knitting experience.*

I definitely love tools, regardless of the task.  I love power tools, kitchen gadgets, laundry folding devices--you name it and if it helps me do a job better and faster, isn't cost prohibitive, and (I convince myself) I have somewhere to store it, I'm all over it.  So knowing I'm a knitter, you can rightly assume that I have acquired more than a few things to enhance my knitting life.  Do I believe any of these tools make my actual knitting any better?  I am going to go out on a limb and say yes, yes I do.**

Back in the old days as a student with little spending money, I knit quite happily buying only very few extras, just the basic notions like a Susan Bates tapestry needle, a cable needle, and when I was feeling really extravagant, plastic bobbins for colourwork (which got used for exactly one project some 14 years ago and never again).  But I would devise little "tools" out of common household objects when I thought of something that would make something easier to do (some worked better than others).  Then, with the rise of the internet and the inevitable proliferation of knitting sites (Ravelry, in particular), my eyes were opened wide to the many possibilities out there, both DIY and ready-made.  The truth of the matter is that one doesn't need much more than two sticks and string to knit but tools can facilitate certain steps in the process and that often means more efficient and more enjoyable knitting.  Who doesn't want that?

So as a self-proclaimed gadget junkie, I decided I'm going to occasionally talk knitting tools on this accidental blog*** of mine.  Possibly on intermittent Tuesdays, (i.e., possibly on Tuesdays, very likely intermittently.)  The plan is to discuss knitting tools/accessories that I personally like but rarely encounter any discussion about, perhaps further eroding any possibility that other knitters are going to start reading this blog.**** 

My first official Knitting Tools-day post will be about yarn holders.  I have posted about these before, in a distant time when I thought Tumblr was a good micro-blogging platform.  (I lost interest when I realized that I couldn't maintain a blog even on a micro level.)  It might seem as though I'm just rehashing old material, but two things: first, I have revised a few of my earlier impressions, and second, trees that fall in the forest that no one hears and all that.

Anyhow, all of this is to say that today is not my official first Tools-day.  This is my official statement to myself that I'm going to get right on that, sometime.


*These accoutrements are not necessarily costly items.  Whether you have a hand-carved walnut niddy-noddy or the humble PVC pipe version, it's a tool that helps you wind a skein and it is neither stick nor string.

**In addition to executing a task better than it would have been without, a good tool has a civilizing effect on me. And when I'm feeling more civilized, I'm more apt to strive harder for better than "good enough" results and I'm also more likely to have the patience for it if I didn't spend the better part of an hour in a stand-off with a pile of yarn barf.

***Occasional blogging was so much easier than creating real content, which, believe it or not, is still the ultimate plan for this website. But I seem to have a propensity for making plans for the future and keeping them firmly rooted there.

****Which may be for the best because I post secure in the knowledge that no one is actually visiting this corner of the internet. It certainly takes the pressure off.

What I did this summer

*Note: this post was mostly written at the start of September and I didn't publish at the time because, well, that's just another thing I didn't get to.

So blogging was not one of the things I did.  Another thing I did not do this summer was finish my three projects for the Summer of Basics MAL.  Going in, I had a sliver of doubt that I would make it to the finish line, but that was okay.  I just liked the idea of zeroing in on what I really wanted to add to my wardrobe and even more appealing to me was the permission I would give myself to work on these projects instead of endlessly berating myself for "wasting" time on a mere hobby when life's priorities are constantly in need of seeing to.  I thought I'd give deliberate "me-time" a spin instead of just snatching at it when I was at my rope's end.  I guess I need more practice because I ended up telling myself that I'd work on my SoB projects when I finished up my other work and now it's September and pretty much nothing is done.

*Note: actually, it's now mid-November

However, I'm not prepared to call my Summer of Basics completely unsuccessful.  I completed two of three items (albeit, after August 31st), both of which presented a challenge to my pattern writing skills, and it was a nice little confidence booster to plan and execute designs that had been bouncing around in my head for a while.  (I sometimes think I put off starting a project not for lack of time, but for lack of confidence.  I can't fail if I don't try, right?)  The other thing I did, to my surprise, was shed the extra pounds I had packed on since 2015.  So while I didn't totally succeed with the making aspect of the Summer of Basics challenge, I did have some success with the weight-loss challenge I decided to include in my version of SoB.  I managed to gain back some of my favourite wardrobe pieces, something I'm going to consider a win for my slow fashion efforts.

I'm not saying I ballooned numerous sizes in the course of the last few years, but I had put on enough weight by last April that I couldn't comfortably wear most of my clothing, including unmentionables.  I spent a few months only wearing those items in my closet with enough positive ease or spandex to accommodate my new size, most of which were still pinching and pulling in the most uncomfortable ways.  Don't worry, I'm not trying to spin this as a tale of woe, I'm just trying to explain why I was faced with making a decision to either replace nearly my entire wardrobe or go on an official diet.  I'm not really keen on the concept of dieting, I can't help viewing it as an entirely unpleasant way to go about living.  Counting calories, exercising so you can eat, and obsessively stepping on a scale sound like a fast-track to misery, if you ask me.

But then, there are many upsides to staying in shape.  The usual reasons that healthy-living types proclaim, like increased energy, improved mood, a more positive body-image, and the like are definitely all good reasons to exercise and eat a healthy diet, but in the context of slow fashion, there are a few other upsides that I hadn't considered until my weight-gain created a wardrobe crisis.  The main one is that if I can find a good lifestyle balance and maintain my weight, I'm not really forced to buy new clothes to replace clothes that haven't lived out a full and useful existence.

*Note: my idea of excess weight is based on my normal.  My "normal" has changed as I've gotten older.  (Also, my normal is not your normal which is not the next person's normal either.  Please redirect any outrage you may feel stirring in your soul, perhaps towards fructose, the real enemy.)

A healthy diet is something that I've had to radically rethink in the past few months.  After reading this book earlier this year, I was convinced I needed to try a version of the IF/LCHF diet, partly because I wanted to shed a few pounds quickly, partly because I had been recently advised of my increased risk for type II diabetes, and partly because I knew that my eating habits were probably the cause of my sudden weight gain. Also, I really liked the idea of learning to control my hunger and my dependence on sugar highs.  I was basically grazing on small amounts of sugary goods from waking to bedtime to keep my blood sugar elevated because I felt like it was the only way to maintain my energy and mental clarity.  I would feel pretty lifeless without sugar, not to mention a bit grumpy.  I was close to ordering this t-shirt but the possibility that I might be able kick the carb dependence and control my weight at the same time was too tantalizing to ignore.

Before you start to think that I'm bragging about the weight loss, let me stop you.  I lost just enough to get  closer to my normal and I'm happy about it, but what I'm actually proud of is having overhauled my eating habits.

Note: I wrote the previous sentence in September.  Full disclosure: I cheated a fair bit while I was travelling last month.  Amazingly, my trip was not as pastry-filled as it would normally have been but I ate like every meal was my last, and I still lost another two pounds, although possibly due to all the walking.  So much walking, all of it seemingly uphill.

But I'm totally digressing here. I could go on about my new diet if given half the chance, and no one wants that.  So I'll just abruptly switch back to the topic at hand: my two of three SoB FOs. The first is a linen tank top that I am calling the Ube Nut Tank in honour of the one ice cream cone I had over the summer.  If you were anywhere within a 3-block radius of iHalo Krunch this summer, you would likely have seen multiple people devouring black soft-serve ice cream in a jet-black waffle cone.  It was pretty eye catching, so I being merely human, got in line to find out what all the fuss was about.  I enjoyed the ice cream (coconut and ube flavour, hence, Ube Nut) but I had regrets about sporting black lips and tongue for the remainder of the day.  A few more details about the tank top are on my Ravelry project page and these are a few of the photos I attempted to take with only myself as both model and photographer (i.e., not an entirely successful endeavour):

My second project was not a summer item, but it was my on my list of possible SoB projects because it met the requirements and I wanted a backup knitting project to work on.  I call these my Mundy Gloves because they are not those $2 magic gloves you can buy everywhere.  (Yes, I am a fan of the Fables comic books.)  Magic gloves are small but stretch to fit any size and they can be worn under fingerless mitts/mittens/gloves for extra warmth.  The second-skin fit also means you retain some manual dexterity without being fully exposed to the cold air.  My gloves are the opposite of magic gloves in that they are not infinitely stretchy so you have to customize the fit, they are wool, not acrylic, and they were made to last.  I admit I love magic gloves but I hate that they are pretty much disposable because the fingers wear through in one season and there is no way I'm going to mend magic gloves but I will mend handmade wool gloves.  Also, I get uncomfortable when things are ridiculously cheap.  The cost to the environment and humans tends to be high when retail prices are driven so low.  I had some multi-ply laceweight that wasn't getting used for anything so I knit myself this pair of totally mundane gloves that happen to fit pretty darn well (after much frogging and revision) and are pure wool to boot!

I wrote myself a pattern because there are surprisingly few patterns available for laceweight gloves.  Am I the only one who is surprised by this?  Maybe there aren't that many knitters with my predilection for magic gloves, or maybe there are but no pattern designers think there are?  Maybe I'll add this to my secret list of patterns I might publish in my super-secret dream of one day writing and publishing patterns?  Lucky no one reads this blog.


One last post about Christmas knitting

I issued myself a Christmas knitting report card last post and let's say, by the numbers, my 2016 performance was a little disappointing.  But, as with real report cards, the full picture is sometimes obscured in the details.  In actuality, I concluded that it was all worthwhile all because of one response to one of the gifts I had knit.*

I have a theory that a maker whose handmade gift is received with true happiness experiences tenfold happiness themselves.  Of course, there is the joy we derive from the making itself and the love we put into each minute of that process, but we can only hope and not expect or demand that the recipient will love that thing as much as we do.  And even if the recipient is a three-year old child who would likely have been delighted with just about any gift, sweet kid that she is, I feel just as much satisfaction as if I had been judged worthy by a panel of experienced knitters. Maybe more.

For a good friend's daughter, I decided to knit a polar bear girl from Julie Williams' (aka, Little Cotton Rabbits) Girl Bear pattern and some clothes from the various LCR animal clothes patterns.  I was really taken with the beautiful winter-themed animals Julie posted on her blog and I convinced myself that a little dressed polar bear was just the right thing for this particular little girl, whom I will refer to as "E".  So, I made Polly Behr:

Making Polly and her little travel set was almost as fun as seeing E open her present.  Polly is knit with an Ontario grown-and-spun alpaca yarn I purchased from the lovely Alpaca Avenue shop.  The clothes are knit with various yarns I had in my stash.  The nice thing about doll clothing is that you don't need much yarn so I could dip into my collection of partials and singles and make a wardrobe, although it did limit my colour palette.  I made a few attempts at knitting some of the Fair Isle dresses Julie published, but unfortunately, stranded knitting is not my forte, especially under time constraints, so I settled for simplified colourwork and accessorised instead.  It wasn't intentional but all the accessories are of Danish design (which I deeply love, so probably not really a coincidence).  The little suitcase is made by Maileg (purchased from Kolkid, here in Toronto but available online).  The gift box, a red tin mailbox, and the teddy passport (how could I resist?) are from a Flying Tiger store in NYC, (which is where I happened to be last month).

My little friend has a great imagination and I decided to give Polly a little back story about having travelled from Greenland to attend nursery school in Toronto and needing a nice place to live.  E, who is many wonderful things, also happens to be none too fond of nursery school.  I think (I hope!) it helped her relate to Polly because she seems to have taken Polly's "care" to heart.  E's parents tell me she puts Polly to bed in her house (the red mailbox) at night and tries to keep her warm when they go outside to play.  I already thought it was a great triumph that E was so excited about Polly's removable "shacket" (aka, jacket, aka, cardigan) when she opened her gift but the update from her parents really made my day. :D

Needless to say, E has earned herself a lifetime appointment to my knit-worthy list for this alone!


*This post may have the slight stench of the humblebrag.  Try to forgive me this weakness, but E was so happy.  I'm just going to bask in this for a day or two.

Christmas knitting report card

So Christmas 2016 has come and gone.  From the perspective of a knitter, the success of Christmas might be measured by how much knitting was or was not done.  For the organised and rational knitter, a good Christmas holiday would have included some stress-free knitting in a comfortable, warm nook.  For the rest, there would be varying amounts of (probably frantic) knitting taking place during any free moment available, sometimes in unlikely places in order to meet a deadline.  Since I decided to embark on Christmas gift knitting sometime in early December, I should have fallen squarely among the latter group, but I did rein in my ambitions to three, relatively small projects, which had to be done or abandoned before I left for the holidays.

But that said, how did I do, really?  I decided to assess it by the numbers and I issued myself a Christmas knitting report card based on the three projects I had decided to make.

In truth, I don't really deserve that A+ for attendance because the majority of the Christmas gatherings I was invited to were all scheduled for days I wasn't even in town.  Which is to say, my performance for a mere three small projects was pretty disappointing even if I thought it didn't go as poorly as some previous years.  I think the conclusion is obvious; I should really just knit for myself and I can do it guilt-free because this report card confirms everything I knew to be true about (my attempts at) gift knitting.   Which is, it rarely ends well.

(If you would also like to issue yourself a Christmas knitting report card, feel free to print one for yourself.

If this were a fancy-like blog, I would have it generate your grades for you, but that is not where my skills lie.  You'll have to do it the old-fashioned way.)

Luckily, internet shopping has reached a level of efficiency that allows me to get to inside a week of Christmas Day to decide (objectively)* if the project in hand can be completed in time or if I need to order something right now.  Incidentally, I used to think I would rather be kept awake for three days straight by the barking of dogs and the clashing of garbage bins being knocked over by raccoons rather than brave a mall even once in the weeks before Christmas.  This year, having been forced to make a few trips to various malls, I found that it was surprisingly not utter pandemonium.  I'm going to attribute this to the rise of internet shopping.  Some people think the internet is destroying meaningful human interaction but I'm now rather inclined to think that it might be saving us all.

But back to the subject at hand.  Clearly, deciding to knit gifts a mere handful of weeks before Christmas is never a sound plan, yet somehow I convinced myself to give it a try anyway.  It would probably be smarter to set the publish date for this post for sometime in November of 2017 as a sort of wake-up call, a reminder to my future self of the inevitable outcome of last-minute gift knitting which you know I will be contemplating again in eleven month's time, but that would be planning ahead.


*I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but in the past, when the clock was running down and I still hadn't completed a project, I would then, through some strange logic, convince myself the answer was to forego some hours of sleep per day for the remaining days before Christmas instead of just going out and buying a gift to replace the one I wasn't going to be able to finish.  Like I said in my last post: madness.  Internet shopping allows me to get that close to a deadline and not lose my grip on reality.

Christmas Madness

I'm not referring to the parking lots at the mall or the back-to-back Christmas gatherings or the number of lightbulbs per square foot in my neighbourhood.  I'm referring to the affliction that annually strikes many knitters (and probably crocheters and sewers too) as early as the first week of December but usually in the second and third weeks of this otherwise run-of-the-mill-crazy month.  Certainly, I use words like madness and insanity in a rather loose manner (and entirely too often) but sometimes I can't help but wonder.

What I'm talking about is gift knitting and the belief that December is a perfectly rational time to start it.  A hat, you tell yourself will take no time at all.  And a little baby sweater for your cousin's newest baby?  So easy!  And yes, knitted toys are a little finicky to work up, but so small and relatively quick compared to the hours I could spend shopping for something half as adorable.  Then I should probably finish that sweater I started for my significant other which only has the rest of the front, back, sleeves, collar, and button-bands left.  And while it's blocking, I do have all these colourful partials that would make the cutest colourwork miniature stockings that I can adorn all these presents with.  Wouldn't that be a great stash buster and ridonculously cute?  And so the list grows into something gargantuan that couldn't have been conquered had you started in June like you should have.

A knitter's ability to reckon time is already suspect, but the nearer Christmas looms, the less a knitter can grasp that time is immutable (for all practical purposes) or accept the limits of their human biology.  But reality does set in, and we sleep, and we eat, and we don't completely shun our families and friends (we just take our knitting with us to their parties and hope no one notices).

The scary thing about it all though?  I've done this countless Christmases and I've long ago banned myself from gift knitting, because frankly, the majority of those gifts were never completed* and some, I'm not too proud to admit, are to this day still in the skein stage, yet I start toying with the possibility of just knitting a few small things for the people I think will actually appreciate it--every single year--around this time.  I'm not sure I can be convinced that this isn't a form of madness.

I thought I might be recovering from this condition after years (perhaps even decades) of denial.  Last year, I made exactly zero attempts to knit something for anyone other than my own self, even if I did give it some consideration.  However, this year I foresee a set-back.  You see, that hypothetical gift list a few paragraphs ago isn't.  I actually made that list yesterday, right before I pinched myself hard and looked for a bucket of ice water to dunk my head in.

Maybe just the hat then?

And the doll.

 Knitting with  The Gaynor Homestead 's divine  Rambouillet 3-ply worsted, "Home" .  My only hope is that I decide no one deserves a hat this nice except me.

Knitting with The Gaynor Homestead's divine Rambouillet 3-ply worsted, "Home".  My only hope is that I decide no one deserves a hat this nice except me.


*Once I abandoned all hope of finishing the gift in time, I would end up spending hours, last-minute, scouring the internet to find that person something just right and in time.  As in, I spent double the money (and time) I would have otherwise--buying yarn that didn't get used plus a gift that I probably could have bought a month earlier during Black Friday sales.

Who edits the editors?

 Gotland sheep giving me stink-eye at the 2016 Woodstock Fleece Festival

Gotland sheep giving me stink-eye at the 2016 Woodstock Fleece Festival

I am fully aware that errors in patterns will occur despite the best intentions of the publisher.  Usually when I do come across errors, they aren't too difficult to correct and my degree of annoyance isn't much more than if I had made a mistake myself.  I can find forgiveness in my heart for the occasional error that makes it to print and I just assume errors do slip past even good tech editors, but my world view has had an alarming shake up this week because I have discovered that one of my core knitting tenets (i.e., one should never start a pattern without checking for errata first) is entirely useless.  In retrospect, it flies in the face of another fundamental belief of mine, which is: don't believe anything you read, especially if it's on the internet.  Yet I just blithely assumed that errata could not, by definition, contain errors--an obviously flawed notion that I have now been disabused of.

I have, for various reasons, mostly stopped buying knitting patterns--but not because I fear the errors.   I just found over the years that I'm not very keen on following instructions and buying patterns didn't seem to make a lot of sense if I was just going to modify them beyond recognition.  I so rarely follow a pattern "verbatim" that it is practically an event when I want to knit someone else's pattern as written but isn't it nice to just let someone else do the thinking once in a while?

Recently, I happily embarked on a new project using a pattern that really caught my attention last year and I have been happily stealing moments out of the past five, very busy weeks to work on this project with a beautiful yarn that I have been obsessing over and which I purchased specifically for this pattern.  As I was nearing the end, it finally dawned on me that I had been knitting with blinders on and ignoring the misgivings I had about the charts. I knew that they didn't seem right, but it's a fairly complex pattern and I foolishly convinced myself that this particular publishing outfit would not have let such major errors slip past them, especially since I was working from the charts that were supposedly updated and corrected, and that it would all make sense in the end.  It did not make sense.

What makes the least sense is that I followed the charts even though I thought there were some discrepancies, so maybe I shouldn't blame the publisher or designer for my lost weeks of knitting time.  But then again, a publisher that proclaims the quality of their work and the fair compensation they offer to their contributors for that high quality of work, really has no excuse for what I'm looking at here (which is now a nearly completed but totally messed up project hiding under a jumbled pile of highly marked up charts and quaking in fear of its inevitable frogging later today, right after I down a shot or two).

(Rest assured, I did my public duty and emailed the publisher in hopes that they pull the pattern and correct it before another hapless knitter stumbles on this pattern and nearly bursts a blood vessel in her brain.)

This situation is entirely new to me.  In the past, when I found errors in a pattern, they were not of the magnitude that a simple refund or free pattern offer could not compensate for.  In this particular instance, a free pattern would, in my somewhat biased opinion, be a woefully insufficient recompense, which has got me thinking about what, in an ideal world, would be sufficient?  Five weeks of free housecleaning service? Several home-cooked dinners for the same duration?  Weekly I.T. support for my parents?  That knitting time had to be carved out of other time-consuming activities and I suspect that's how even the most efficient people find the time to knit.

I'm going to take my own advice though and just move on to other (possibly more relevant) tasks rather than sit here brooding and writing a blog post.  I could make that new flowchart I've been meaning to work on ("Should I frog this project?") or better still, I could take what might be the only opportunity I will get to finish up last year's gift knitting before Christmas 2017.