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.)