Technology and I have had a little falling out.
The laptop in this house knows full well that I’m a pen-and-paper lass at heart, and so it taunts me with nonsense such as “The file you’ve been working on for three hours without even so much as a loo-break is no longer available“.
You can’t go wrong with pen-and-paper, though. I even draft this blog on paper:-
I like to design stranded/fair isle motifs on paper, too, but then I have to type them up. And that was the origin of the problem that I’m about to describe.
Anyway, yesterday I was out and about in Oxford. I’d brought knitting with me because I knew I’d be waiting around a lot. No that’s a lie: I’d brought knitting because I always bring knitting. It’s hard to show you what I’m making, because after the section you see below, it’s due to launch into some wildly colourful stranded work using not-yet-in-the-shops yarn from Stylecraft that I’m not allowed to mention for a few more weeks. Hmm, let’s at least try some sort of photo. In case you’re wondering why the needles are unmatched, one of them is a replacement for a needle that suffered a fatal injury after being sat on by one of the twinnage:-
So I’m designing a complicated stranded motif, and since the yarn is 4-ply (US: fingering) and there are 200 little hard-to-see stitches in each round, it was proving to be quite fiddly. But I’d typed up and printed out my chart and I had some time spare to concentrate, so what could possibly go wrong? I’ll tell you what could go wrong: one round into the colourwork, I had a stitch left over. I looked back over my work. Twice. No, nothing wrong. That must mean that I’d somehow increased the number of stitches on my needle by one, so I counted. Nope, it was still 200.
Unfortunately this was happening in a public place, and so various bystanders’ negative stereotypes about knitters were reinforced by the sight of a wild-haired woman swearing and growling at her yarn. Sorry, fellow knitters: I let you down, there. The growling was not very dignified. But I’m confident that your impeccable behaviour in public will make up for my misdemeanour.
Stupidly, I’d only brought one knitting project with me, so I couldn’t even get on with something else. And it was only when I arrived home several hours later that I finally worked out what the problem was: technology. Because what I’d intended as an instruction to ‘Print out the knitting chart’ had been taken by this stupid chip-for-brains computer to mean ‘Print out the entire knitting chart except for just one column, which you should randomly omit, just for a laugh’. So it was never, ever, going to work. But why, you malevolent son-of-a-calculator, why did you do this? Given that you’re supposed to be such a pedantic detail-monkey, why did you suddenly decide that printing 99.5% of my pattern would be good enough? Shall I install 99.5% of your software updates and see how you like it? Yeah, not so amusing now, is it?
Next time, I’m taking a nice low-tech pad of paper and an HB pencil. Because that level of technology is never going to let me down, or get a virus, or suffer a power cut, or fail to save.
(And thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Feel free to share your own yarny woes, below.)
Yarny woes? Oh, you mean like the time I was designing a pattern and forgot to increase one row near the beginning, so when I sat down to write it out, the stitch counts for the whole project were off by two stitches. Ugh.
The Twisted Yarn says
Oops. I winced when I read that. Was it salvageable?
Oh how frustrating. Silly computer.
K Taylor says
Yes, my computer is blissfully unaware of how many near-death experiences it has had, thanks to my Sympathetic Spouse grabbing the hammer from my hand. Thank goodness for paper and pencil.
Well, there was the time when I tried knitting beaded lace and started from the top right corner of the chart. Twice. Then wondered why the pattern didn’t fit the stitches on the needle. Fortunately the yarn frogged well.
Third time round I started from the bottom right corner of the chart. I now mark all knitting charts with a big arrow and ‘start here’ – at the bottom right corner.
Thank God. I thought it was just me.
Tanya Ehrsam says
I mutter and growl at my knitting in public frequently(probably more so than I like to admit). I once stated in class, “If I start swearing, it’s directly related to the knitting.” My instructor promptly replied, “If I start swearing, it’s directly related to the snow.” (She had a 45 minute drive home.) Of course, we offered to let her out of class early;-).
Gillian/Victor Northcott says
Old squared maths books in different sizes are my choice
Georgy Evans says
Chose pattern carefully for two weeks’ hols – easy pattern with some interest – ha! Three extensive froggings: wandering end of round stitch marker, catching float where needed to unravel (bubble wrap stitch) and adding stitch. Perhaps not helped by knitting in dark in taxi in 30C+ heat. Sceptic spouse not convinced that knitting makes me a calmer better person.
It must be the artificial intelligence of silicia based things like computers that doesn’t compare with our carbon constitition. Worlds apart.
Technology and me just don’t mix. I thought that’s what the chaps were for!
Monique Elisabeth says
My husband, who is a computer guy, just made a dry remark : The point of the pencil can break. I must say He has a point 😉
You made me laugh again !!
Ann Shepherd says
Unlike a computer engineer you can fit a pencil sharpener in your handbag.
😀 😀 😀
Postcard from Gibraltar says
Oh how utterly frustrating. Aside from the pattern annoyance, I get so annoyed when out and about and find myself sitting waiting for something without a suitable yarny project to hand- and to think you even came prepared. Grrr! I feel your pain. Am currently sitting in a waiting room with no crochet! Thank heavens for wifi!
I really get a kick out of your sense of humor! My pet peeve is finding a wonderful pattern I want to do, then discovering, when you’re well into it, that there is some sort of mistake in the pattern itself! Maybe you can search online for “errata” for it, maybe not, but when a mistake is built right in to a pattern, GRRRRRR!!!
The Black Sheep Blogger says
That is why I’ve taken to bringing my IPad with me everywhere and a charger…That way I can see the pattern in its full glory and not be let down by a possible printing malfunction!
Maybe because I’m old and rotund (ok I’m fat) one or two stitches off here or there, don’t bother me much. If I get to the end of a row and it’s too short, I add one say under the arm where it won’t show up too much, same thing if I have too many, knit 2 tog same area and carry on 🙂 Nobody has ever noticed, or if they did they kept their opinions wisely to themselves. Can’t wait to see this ‘secret’ yarn revealed 🙂
Loved your post. I am so glad I am not the only one who suffers the same fate at the hands of a computer. It’s not us, it is the technology.
Hilarious post! Technology does seem to have a mind of it’s own, my partner always says I’m impossible to help once I start shouting at technology and it’s safer just to leave me to my yelling…
Cricket Fox says
Oh I year you there. Hubby laughs at me when I start screaming obscene things at my yarn
This is an accurate description for much of my life too!