How To Mess Up Your Knitting Big Time On Live TV

Wow. As I write this, Monday's post has been up for less than 24 hours, and there are over 300 comments already!
You all had so many wonderful suggestions and ideas regarding what Knitting Daily could do to help you be a more fearless (or a more joyful!) knitter. I've asked our wonderful customer service folks to help me collate all your responses. Once that's done, I can start putting together a plan for future Knitting Daily posts which incorporates all that good stuff you suggested. Thank you—and stay tuned for what comes next!

Cap'n Frog keeps an eye on my knitting

Meanwhile, I am going to distract you with a story of one knitter's attempt to be fearless, and how it went just a wee bit wrong…and then how it came out all right in the end again.

We begin our story as our knitter (we'll call her, oh…"Ms. S") is getting ready in the stupid-thirty hours of the morning to go off and be interviewed on live TV. Ms. S is facing many new challenges this day: her first live television interview, having to get up so early, not being able to have her beloved coffee, and the final indignity: having to wear makeup for the cameras. Any one of these four would be enough to bring any sensible knitter to her knees, of course, but our Ms. S is determined to do her part for the greater good of hockey, charity, and morning TV talk shows.

Ms. S's part in today's TV script is to sit with two other knitters—the charming Ms. Marin and the wonderful Ms. Mya—and knit on camera throughout the interview: speaking when spoken to, smiling at the camera, and of course, not cussing like a sailor into the microphone. For her live TV knitting debut, Ms. S has brought her current knitting project with her: Hana Jason's Gathered Pullover. She feels quite proud of this choice as an on-camera project: She has the cable pattern memorized, and thus can knit without looking—the better to be filmed smiling into the camera whilst saying something witty and informative.

Of course, by now, you know that the hapless Ms. S is none other than myself—and that our TV knitting heroine is pretty much doomed somehow.

Marin and Mya were champs. The shots of their skillful knitting hands were awesome and they both had excellent hair days. I, however, was struggling with the whole knit-and-talk-and-smile-and-be-charming-and-wear-makeup all at the same time routine. When asked what kind of yarn was best for afghans, I blurted out that wool was great, and that acrylic was well-liked, and some folks preferred cotton, and oh, yes, blends, blends were good too. (Why does the earth not open when you want it to? Why?)

The next day, when I pulled out the Gathered Pullover, I found that I had knit the first 21 rounds of the cable on the front, as instructed…but somehow, during the glamor of the TV show, I had miscounted the markers, and oh, heck. The second half of the cable, rather than being on the front where the first half was, ended up on the back, in the vicinity of my right shoulder.

It's not supposed to have a cable on the back…

All right, go ahead: Giggle. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to work up to admitting this to you all. I'm telling this story because I've learned something important about myself as a knitter: Sure, I can knit without looking at my knitting. And sure, I can be charming and live through a TV interview, makeup and all. But cables and lace and other complicated patterns need to stay at home when I'm doing several other complex things at once.

Thus, perhaps the First Pithy Saying of Fearless Knitting is this: Know Yourself. If you need peace and quiet to knit a particular pattern, then shut the door and turn off the phone so you can knit your heart out. If you need to use four dozen markers plus tick marks on a sticky note to count your stitches, then buy yourself a ton of markers and stickies.Figure out whatever it is that you need to make each knitting session comfortable and successful, and then do exactly that. And if you make a mistake, giggle, figure out what happened and how to fix it, so you can keep on knitting.

On Friday, I'm going to show you how I fixed my mistakes, and got back to knitting a very beautiful sweater for myself.

You can still vote for next week's free pattern!

I've narrowed down the choices to three…and guess what? It's your call from there. Vote for your favorite! The pattern with the most reader votes will be posted next Monday as a free download here on Knitting Daily.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Three projects, all of which have been "learning experiences" for me: the Gathered Pullover, which is now recovering after a visit from Cap'n Frog; a rather untidily grafted hood on my husband's pullover that might need some Knitting Daily magic; and the Secret Knitting Daily project, which also spent some quality time with Cap'n Frog. (Cap'n Frog is a very important member of my family by now.)

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