Knitting Nightmares – what are yours?

Dropped stitches? Tangled wool? Lace charts? M**ths? For my new art project I want to know what your Knitting Nightmares are!

In June I will present my new art installation at Prick Your Finger. As part of my Curiosity Cabinet of Knitting Stitches, I would like to know what makes you exclaim “What a nightmare!” I have interviewed customers at Prick Your Finger during the last two days, and I heard some really funny stories: what about the knitter who did not know how to increase for a whopping 17 years? She made up everything herself, as following a pattern which had increases were a nightmare to knit for her – she would not enjoy the top-down sweater I’m working on at the moment.

Or the knitter who came in to buy some lovely slubweight Bluefaced Leicester yarn and fat needles for a quick, warm scarf: “I started knitting only two weeks ago, everything is a nightmare for me!”

Please share your knitting nightmares with me, they may end up in my Curiosity Cabinet of Knitting Stitches!

Post-Script: you may recognise which painting inspired my drawing. I’ve just given the demon something to knit.

13 Replies to “Knitting Nightmares – what are yours?”

  1. My knitting knightmare (did you see what I did there? 🙂 )is a cable or fair isle pattern without charts.

    I’m talkin’ to you, Debbie Bliss.

    And you, anonymous Sublime designer of Mable the cable–short-version

    There are things I’d love to knit, but not following seventy zillion pages of line by line instructions. I don’t really see why I should write out the charts myself (though I know some knitters do).

    I know there are some (weird?) knitters who hate charts. But we should always have both, in that case.

    And as for fair isle line by line….who are they kidding?

  2. Short row heels with wraps! No matter how hard I try they don’t turn out like the picture next to the pattern or tutorial. Thank god there’s a way to do them without the wraps (nightmare over!).

  3. Thought you might like to hear how my Aunt taught me to make stitches when I was 9. She made up this nightmarish rhyme……….
    Catch a man
    Tie him up
    Cut off his head
    Throw him in a ditch…
    It took me at least 30 years to figure out that this was actually rather horrid, in my innocence it was just a very clear description of how to form a stitch!

  4. Trying to get gauge!!! I try so hard to pay attention but my eyes glaze over and i just don’t get it – I could recite it to you but still don’t really understand it – consequently it is a hit or a miss whether anything will fit – usually a miss. It’s the numbers thing – I hate numbers, (I actually think I a scared of them!)

  5. I hate carpet beetles, and have found one feasting on an abandoned knitting project and then also found holes in other knitted items in a drawer (the horror!). I also worry about running out of wool – I’m currently knitting a vintage sweater and am not following the gauge and think I might not have enough yarn, but I bought it so long ago I can’t get any more…eek!

  6. Not exactly a horror story…but

    My friend June learnt she was to become a new grandmother so she called and asked if I could help with a little problem she was having with her knitting.
    “Sure, June, come on over”
    June arrives
    “whats the problem?”
    “Can you show me how to caste on”
    I’m not sure if she ever finished the baby outfit.

  7. My idea of a knitting nightmare is spending ages on a jumper only for it to fit like a wrinkled old sack. Perhaps this is less of a nightmare for those who aren’t prone to knitting clothing in 4-ply?
    Regardless, I go to great pains to knit tension squares and check the patterns maths to prevent it from happening!
    Nothing else really bothers me, I think knitting should be a delightful zen process. New stitches are just new learning experiences!

  8. I’ve been thinking about this since last week and I think my nightmare is not being able to knit or crochet. I have inherited Depuytren’s Contracture, also known as Viking’s Disease, which means my little fingers are starting to bend in as the tendons contract, and may be followed by my ring fingers doing the same. How am I going to hold the tension???

  9. I don’t think I have a knitting nightmare, unless it’s being locked in a room with plastic needles and acrylic yarn and nothing else!

    Love what you’ve done with Fuseli’s Nightmare. I’d say the demon’s knitting with acrylic too – look at all the static around them. The knitting removes some of the sexual tension, though…!

  10. my knitting nightmare is a dropped stitch when you’re doing three or more fairisle colours. I love doing fairisle, but can’t get the tension right if the wool just drapes along the back of the row, so I try to weave the spare wool in behind each stitch until it’s needed but then the balls all twist……

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