Monday, July 21, 2014


I am really depressed about my stranded sweater.  I thought maybe it was coming up a year soon that I have been working on it.  So I went to the archives and damn! my first mention of the planning was July 9.  My next entry on the blog was July 23 and I said I was moving along on the pattern.  That is really not right. 

I don't think it has ever taken me over a year to complete a sweater of any kind.  Even when I was a newbie sweater maker in the 8th grade.  I am definitely going to get this sucker finished sooner rather than later.

I lost about three months with my friend's illness and subsequent death.  I also started another sweater and finished it quickly.  At least in my three month normal time frame.  I have finished a lot of things other than that sweater.  I am not going to keep making excuses.

I normally have two or three projects going.  I have a tendency to put things down and walk away for a while.  This particular pattern I could only do in the daylight.  I found putting a chair by the window allowed me the right light to see the pattern without strain.  There was no glare on the pattern propped up on the magnetic board on the table by the chair.  My eyes did get tired and I would have to stop.

Once I started the sleeves it should have been a breeze to finish.  It is a simple trellis pattern that is easily readable for any mistakes.  On the first sleeve I was two or three inches along when I realized I had made a mistake.  I ended up unknitting three times until I finally got the thing in my head. So now I am on the second sleeve and I have the pattern in my head and I know immediately when I have made a mistake.

 I think it is a geometry thing.  When I was in high school I had to be tutored to get through all the math classes.  My father was a whiz at math and tried to explain things.  He got frustrated and hired someone to tutor me.  When it came to geometry he would actually make the 3-D things and try to explain it to me.  I never got it.  I am so amazed when I see 3-D knitting or crocheting.  How does one think up that stuff?  They have a head for geometry and advanced math formulas that I don't.

I was in the fifth grade when the teacher explained to my parents that I was able to get the correct answers on the math problems.  The problem was I was not using the "correct" formulas or methods to get the answers.  When I tried to explain how I got the answers my father would just look at me like I was nuts.  I couldn't understand his language and he couldn't understand mine.  Sometimes I still use my old methods to get answers.  It does seem a little convoluted.

The irony of all that was the summer I stayed with my parents in my twenties.  I needed a part-time job until I moved on with my life.  I got a job in the superintendent's office at the local school system doing secretarial go-fer stuff for the administrative assistant.  It was boring.  My old fifth grade teacher found out I was there and she asked if I could help some of the kids being held over for summer school.  These poor kids were having the same problem I had with math.  She told me that she didn't care what method they used as long as they could get the correct answer in the end.  So I spent a lot of time with fifth graders helping them pass their math tests using a weird math system.

So isn't it strange that I can do the simple math stuff for knitting?  Sometimes I have to go over my notes just to make sure the numbers are right.  With weaving I had no trouble since I only wove with four harnesses.  So everything was divided by four.  Simple everyday math I can handle.  I can make change in my head so I know how to make money transactions. 

So is this a long drawn out excuse for not getting the sweater finished.  No, but it is an explanation of my warped thinking.  I now have the map in my head of how the knitting is to be done.  So now I can finish my sleeve.

So back to this other thing.  I have met a lot of people in my lifetime that have a greater math phobia than I do.  I mean I really lock up when someone starts with "Let's do a little math game." or "Do you remember how to do this algebraic formula?"  I shut down.  When I told one of my weaving students 30 years ago or so that weaving is basically a simple mathematical tool and she shut down.  She could not figure it out.  I finally asked someone for help.  This was in the days of early computers, so he built a program for me that would show the draw-down and when I pushed a button the woven piece would show.  By changing it to a visual thing she understood what I meant.  She went on to do beautiful work from that point on.

So, yes, I will finish this sweater before it is cold enough to wear it.  Yes, I have two other projects going that require work.  Oh, yes, I am already planning the next sweater.  It is going to be a simple thing-maybe a gansey or something. 

The weather is warming again.  It is in the 80's and the humidity is returning.  The yard needs attention.  I am lazy and have not been out in the garden lately.  Just this morning I was thinking I need to get that ragweed out of the front bed.

Gotta go.  Sorry to make so many excuses for my poor knitting habits.  I am going to get this sweater finished soon.

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