On the Dangers of Knitting in Front of the TV

February 27, 2012

Several weeks ago my husband noticed his neck was chilly and requested a cowl in charcoal gray. (What can I say. The man doesn’t like to wear warm colors). Naturally I rubbed my hands together (a willing victim!) and went in search of yarn.

I settled on some light worsted  baby alpaca, which is perhaps a bit, er, limp for a cowl, but was the right color- and its smooshy warmth can’t be beat. I doubled the stuff up to give it some heft and knitted away. The result was both warm and (if I do say so) handsome, what with its top and bottom ribbing and seed stitch in the middle. (Note to self: seed stitch is a voracious yarn-eating beast). Never mind that now it’s mostly too warm to wear it. It’ll come in handy when the howling winter monster comes around next.

I don’t have a picture of the cowl at hand. Sorry peeps! But it doesn’t take too much visual imagination to figure out that the charcoal cowl in no way goes with the hat he usually wears, one of mine that he co-opted. The hat is brown, with a mint green rim. (Don’t ask me why he took a liking to it). And I had half a ball of yarn left (out of three!), so I figured a new hat was in order.

I got some black yarn of the same sort to make stripes, because my man likes ’em. I figured I’d just make up the pattern based on the old hat (also made up on the fly). Easy peasy, right?

It started out that way at least. I did the math, cast on, knitted for a few rounds, and had him try it on. He thought it was a bit tight, so I ripped the inch or so I’d knitted and added a couple of stitches. All totally to be expected. (I don’t know about you, but I find hat sizing to be surprisingly tricky).

I started the stripes, doing a thing called “the jogless jog,” which purports to make  stripes look more even. Last night I started decreasing, using the old hat as a model.

This is where I went wrong. We’d rented the movie Hugo. (Which, by the way, did NOT live up to the hype). But apparently, even the crappiest movie takes up too much of my attention for me to do jogless jogs while knitting stripes and decreasing. The hat is knit in 2×2 rib, and I was putting way too much brain power into working out how to decrease without mucking up the ribbing pattern.

Still, I thought I was making good progress until I found a stitch I’d dropped- like, 10 rows ago. If you’re doing straight knitting, picking up dropped stitches is no problem, but add ribbing and stripes and decreasing? There was no way it wasn’t going to look like crap.

Anyway. I feel like I belong on the short bus, and I have some ripping back to do.

The Hat of Doom

The moral of the story, as I read it, is that sometimes single-tasking is better.


5 Responses to “On the Dangers of Knitting in Front of the TV”

  1. As the stripe-likin’, cold-color-wearin’ husband in question, I would like to thank you for your perseverence in making sure I can keep my head warm in style. The cowl rules.

      • So you know how you borrowed my current hat to base the shape of the new hat on? And you remember how you still have it? And how it’s cold today?

        Turns out the cowl works perfectly well as a hat too. Much like the teepee principle, the hole in the top lets out the smoke but keeps the heat in. That cowl rules.

        Not that I’ll object to having a hat.

  2. Ah yes – the perils of knitting in front of the telly. I was making a little knitted puppy last night to give as a gift to an expecting mother while watching the oscars. I cannot tell you how many times I lose focus on what row I was on. The TV prooved very distracting and you forget the knitting requires a decent amount of brain power.
    Power on and best of luck with picking up the stich – I hope it doesn’t become too frustrating an endevour!

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