I am an idiot.

Let me count the ways!

Firstly, it turns out I DON’T know what to do with miles and miles of acrylic. Oh I had grand plans, mind you, GRAND plans, but you know what they say about plans. Something or other about best laid and all that. My plan involved math and fibonacci patterns and my grandmother’s recipe for afghans and intricate color combinations and it was all going to be SO GOOD. Then I sat down and cast on 257 stitches on size 9 needles, knit two rows and thought OH MY GOD I cannot do this. Ripped it right the fuck out. I will admit something truly horrifying to you: I might just crochet Babette yet. With my acrylic collection. You heard me. I realized, while I was casting on 257 stitches that I could have crocheted like thirty million squares in the time it took to just CAST ON. I suck. I know. Sue me.

The fact that I couldn’t knit more than two rows of my most faboulous heirloom afghan might have to do with the fact that I’ve been hacking up a lung all weekend. A piddly annoying cold I had last week turned into HACKFEST 07 on Saturday. I worked really early in the morning and by the time I came home I couldn’t stop coughing. A few hours later and I was locked in my dark dark bedroom with a pile of pillows over my head so I could cough without my brain exploding in a million pieces. I’m no stranger to the headache, but I thought I was going to die. Or throw up. One or the other and I’m not sure that they’re not the same thing. I hate to throw up. I managed to sleep for a little bit and when I got up I was kind of okay and it’s only gotten better since then, but Saturday sucked.

Also, it was hot. I hate being hot almost more than anything. So I stayed in the house this weekend and knit a lot. You know how I know I knit a lot? I have a brand new hole in my left hand index finger – in a completely different spot than the old hole – and a brand new callus/blister on the third finger (yes, THAT finger) of my right hand. Guess what? I’ve got something to show for it! Which leads me to reason number 2 why I am an idiot.

It’s a MINI Monkey!! You may or may not know this about me, but I have A LOT of STR in my stash. A lot. Like, mindblowing amounts. (Although I bet there are a few people out there these days that could give me a run for my money.) Anyway, it’s not about how much you have, but how well you use it. At least that’s what I’m saying to you now. So, I’ve got a lot of it and a good portion of it is in the OLD put up, which was 325 yds. I’m beginning to think it was also a different recipe as well. This was before the days of lightweight and mediumweight and there was just ONE weight. Socks That Rock. I think the lightweight is a bit thinner now. Regardless, I thought monkey would make a great sock for my old put ups. I started knitting. I figured I could drop out one repeat on the leg and be good to go with my yardage. (Old put up=325; New put up=360.) I did Margene’s picot edge mod and started knitting away like a champ. I was about three repeats from the toe when I realized that I was DEFINITELY going to run out of yarn.

This is where the idiot part creeps in. Last Friday I had a lovely conversation with Margene about our monkeys. Now, you may not know this about Margene, but she’s 6′ tall. I’m 5’6″. So she’s got six inches on me. And, as biology would dictate, she’s got bigger feet than me. I’m about a 7.5 or 8 and she told me she’s about a 9 – 9.5. So we were perplexed at the fact that she did six repeats on her Monkey sock foot and I was doing EIGHT. We talked about how I like a really boxy toe and that I start my decreases right at the tip of my pinky and only decrease down to 14 stitches on each side (28 total) and that she does a much longer toe because, admittedly, her feet aren’t as pretty as mine. Which probably would account for ONE repeat on the foot, but TWO? What was going on here? Okay. Keep this in the back of your mind, but you’re probably getting the drift of my idiocy, right?

So I’m knitting away. Like a champ. Then I realize I’m going to run out of yarn blah blah blah. I think to myself, I better rip out back to the cuff and cut out a repeat on the leg because I still need to get EIGHT repeats on the foot, not to mention the toe decreases. RIP RIP RIP and somehow I’m back to where I started five hours later or something. Now I’ve got two more repeats to go and the toe and I’m TOTALLY GOING TO RUN OUT OF YARN. AGAIN! And I’ve already dropped a repeat on the cuff. I don’t want to RIP BACK.

Margene’s in my head with her six repeats on the foot. My other monkeys were a little long, but just HOW long? I take out my most recent sock and try it on – but this time I let the heel fall where it should and I stretch out the toe a bit and DUDE! I’ve been knitting a freaking EXTRA repeat on the toe this whole time! DAMN!

I finish off the mini monky and put it on and the foot/toe is PERFECT. I can’t believe what an idiot I’ve been! I must have put the ORIGINAL monkey on, thought it was fine where it was and cast off. Then, without thinking, I just copied that sock over and over and because it’s been so hot I haven’t been wearing them like I usually do. Sometimes I’ll wear that one finished sock the whole time I’m knitting the second.

It’s a good thing I figured out the problem because I had just enough yarn for the mini monkey with it’s cute picot edge.

This yarn is STR Watermelon Tourmaline, by the way. Once I was done this sock, I did was every self-respecting idiot knitter does and went stash diving. I came up with another mini monkey:

This is STR Seastone (which, I think, unfortunately, has been discontinued.) Hopefully I’ll have it finished today and a modeling picture tomorrow. The cuff is pretty short – about 3.5″ – but it seems longer on my foot. Very cute! And now I know that when I knit another full size monkey (there will be at least one more pair) I can add an EXTRA repeat on the leg. I’ve also gone back and fixed at least one of the finished monkeys. They’re so much better now. I’m an idiot, I swear.

Reason number three in the idiot dance is this whole I’ve got a secret game we’ve been playing. Now I feel like crap because you’re all coming up with these great fantastic things I might be doing and I’m not doing any of them! You guys! I’m very flattered that you think I would be capable of all these feats but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t have to do with photography or a book or a new job – it’s just a personal thing and it’s HUGE in my life but maybe not so impressive in yours. So stop speculating. You’re making me feel bad with your confidence in my abilities when, in reality, I’m an absolute idiot. Just ask Ann.

More socks tomorrow because I’ve turned into a factory. Really. It’s sad.

PS – Happy Birthday Daddy! Happy Birthday Tina!


  1. Hehe I think I’m more of an idiot than you. I’m knitting a pair of socks for my mom and I realiazed that it’s 3 sizes too big only after turning the heel!
    Loving the colours of your STR yarns!! So pretty!

  2. Send the acrylic to
    Boys who Crochet. It is a great program and you will get it out of your system. Works both ways!

  3. You’re not an idiot, because that kind of mishap would make me an idiot too.
    If you want grand plans, check out my blog.

  4. What a friend…just tell the world that my feet aren’t as pretty as yours why don’t you! 😉
    We’re all fairly idiotic from time to time, ya know?

  5. They all look great. I’ve got the hacking going on over here now but I have to somehow write a couple papers for school in a very awful dayquil haze. 🙂 But I’ve been doing some very boring stockinette knitting as well.

  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself! We still love you and your blog. The knitting “mishaps” happen to all of us. Blogging about it does help the rest of us feel OK about our sorry selves, though.
    I just love your mini monkeys. I’ve got to make me some. (My list of projects to do is growing faster than I can knit them up. Damn job gets in the way!)
    I hope you are feeling better soon.
    And that personal thing — tell us when you are good and ready, if ever.

  7. Now, now. You would only be an idiot if you never noticed that the first monkeys and the mini monkeys were different sizes.

  8. We’re all idiots at some point (I was a huge idiot last night, and I don’t think I’m even going to be able to blog about it for another few days). I’m glad your “idiocy” was fixable 🙂
    Don’t let all the speculation make you feel bad! It just goes to show the potential that people think you have. I think most of us underestimate ourselves, so it’s good to hear what others think you can do 🙂

  9. If you are an idiot, I am a moron. I have been doing something with that Pomatomous pattern, but I am not sure if it can be called “knitting.” I like the mini-monkey socks and that Seastone colorway is absolutely gorgeous.

  10. I’ve caught the monkey fever, too. I cast on for a pair this weekend. I have to do a mini monkey out of necessity. I’m 5’2 with very muscular calves. If I do 6 repeats, they become scrunch socks since they won’t fit over the bottom part of the calf. Bah. Maybe I could do the top on larger needles to compensate, but them the lace wouldn’t looks as good, I fear. It is a really fun pattern to make, so it’s easy to see why they are so addictive.

  11. Another great sock. I wish I could get the hang of knitting them but my befuddle finger just wont work.

  12. Hope that cough is gone and that you are feeling much better.
    You are not an idiot, just enthusiastic. Which, by the way, is one of the things I enjoy most about reading your blog!

  13. I think that’s one reason why I knit: I can be a complete idiot and the only one who thinks I’m an idiot…is me. (In other words, the rest of us still think you’re wonderful.) I recently had a jaywalker fiasco myself, and worst of all it was on my third pair.
    PS- Acrylic is a fickle mistress. It looks good and promises to behave and to treat you just as nice as the wool you’ve got at home, but as soon as you commit and take those first few stitches, you realize there’s no substance to the relationship and you two have nothing in common. I don’t know how many times I’ll have to learn that lesson.

  14. First of all, you are not an idiot. Let whoever among us who has not done this at some point in her life cast the first sock. Er, stone.
    Second, your life can’t possibly be more pedestrian than mine. Here are some things that would excite me:
    – getting the enormous holes in our back yard filled in
    – ever being able to eat chocolate again
    – having all the clean laundry folded and put away before the dirty laundry starts muttering under its breath and trying to climb out of the baskets
    – finding my daughter’s missing soccer ball
    – figuring out how to have 5 cats and a catnip plant at the same time (OK, I think I’ve actually managed this one. I’m very excited.)
    I trust your secret is none of these things, and I bet it’s more exciting. If not, I can only offer you my sympathy and some chocolate-covered espresso beans.

  15. Oh oh oh. I love these socks. What I especially love about them is the cute little pink peeking out at the top of the picot edge. too damn fricking cute, I say!
    You go. You know, for some people just making their rent is huge in their life. Or even just affording a movie. It’s all relative. I am just happy you have something VERY exciting and huge to you going on, and really hope it all goes well. (and I can’t wait to hear what it is!!! dammit!!)

  16. PICAdrienne says:

    We have fantastic guesses for what might be your secret, because we know you are capable of such things. Just because you are capable does not mean that is what you are doing, or what YOU WANT to do.
    It could be that you have decided to put a crocheted border on the mitered squares blanket, which, having the fortitude to stitch up is a mighty feat all on its own.
    Take our guesses, not as expectations, but as encouragement. And, anyone who is honest with themselves will admit, there are times, when they are an idiot.

  17. Knitting is kind of like golf or tennis in the idiocy respect – no matter how great you are (and you are, by the way), there are lots of days when your game is simply off. Hang in there! Whatever your news is, it will be very interesting, I’m sure, since I find the vast majority of your knitting blog both interesting and well written. Best of luck.

  18. *cough*cough* toe-up socks *cough*cough*
    Ok, so here I go pimping toe-up and I still managed to knit a pair of Monkeys toe-up that are too big for me. I tried them on and everything. *THAT’S* idiotic.

  19. Idiocy is too harsh! I’m glad you were able to solve the mystery and knit such lovely socks.

  20. I keep checking for a secret reveal! Are you doing the photos for a new Bruce album? That’d be huge!
    At least you stopped the afghan early in the process. I never realize a pain-in-the-ass project until it becomes an enormous boil that needs lancing.

  21. Hey, we all have our moments of idiocy and shame. No big deal! Too bad your grand plans didn’t work out quite right, but then again, when do grand plans ever work out *exactly* like we want them to?

  22. First off, you are many things (photographer, knitter, blogger,beloved daughter, etc.) but you are NOT an idiot. We all do foolish things sometimes, but that doesn’t make us fools!
    (Fools get to run around in bi-color tights, wear hats with bells on the pointy ends, turn somersaults on demand, and tell jokes. Oh, they also get paid for this. Granted, the pay may take the form of a seat above the salt at the Lord’s table, but there is always some sort of renumeration there!)
    But I digress. I do that a lot. That’s why I have my own blog now: so I can stop leaving these long, boring commments on other people’s…
    Wait a minute. It isn’t working, is it? Oh well, I tried! And in the spirit of shameless self-promotion (which Blogger tells me is absolutely essential if you are ever to develop a readership)…
    Come see me at: http://afewstitchesshort.blogspot.com/

  23. Don’t feel bad, I know I’ve done some backwards things with my knitting all of the time! I love both of the new Monkey socks, esp. that SeaStone colorway, too bad it’s discontinued.

  24. Oh Cara – you are my idol. I’m going to get obsessed over the monkeys now too!

  25. Your post title is my daily mantra – no lie. Welcome to idiotville – it gets pretty crowded sometimes but not many overachievers 😉

  26. If y’all would knit y’all’s Monkeys toe up, y’all could just stop when y’all run out of yarn. OK, I can’t pretend. I don’t live in the south. I live about five miles from Margene. I would send you a picture of my STR stash (“I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours”), but if you’ve been collecting it since the Early Days you have an unfair advantage over me. I only discovered BMFA in January last year.

  27. Idiot or not, you knit (and crochet) in magnificent way. I hope what I’m thinking you’re secret keeping is right…

  28. geesh, with so many people saying you’re not an idiot, I feel almost compelled to say you are. but the best kind of idiot.

  29. Holy crap those mini monkeys are adorable. Although a picot edge makes everything a bit more adorable. When combined with gorgeous STR you have a winner.

  30. Gorgeous socks. GORGEOUS. I did a picot trim on my first pair, because I’m a fool for the picot. Just love me some picot. But now that I’ve seen yours, I realize I like the picot even more with a shorter cuff (a la the Simply Lovely Lace Socks from IK Spring 2006, which is the pattern that first taught me the joys of the picot cuff).
    Great job, Cara. As always.

  31. well, sometimes that idiot stuff just happens…i’m still giggling though, when i saw the part where you said you were knitting like a champ, i thought it said chimp. i guess it’s a sign i should go start a pair of monkeys right now.
    and i can’t wait to see your finished blankey. when you take pics, please be sure to get some of the back side for those of us with inquiring minds.

  32. Hi Cara–I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a few weeks now and am finally going to quit lurking. I especially enjoy seeing your beautiful photographs…you’ve got an amazing eye! I also absolutely love the monkey socks…though I knit, I have not delved into the sock world yet (gasp, I know)…but when I do, I’ll have to track down that pattern.

  33. don’t tell me you’re not going to try the knit squares – you made me so excited, I knit one up last night (but with cotton and not in garter, cause my purling in the round leaves a mite to be desired. Anyhow, regardless, the socks are gorgeous. I have a pair I’m working on for father’s day (ribbed not monkeyed and I’ve frogged it 4 times – hence the reason I am mitering.

  34. i think mercury is in retrograde if it makes you feel better… oh and it’s almost a full moon – so there’s gonna be lots of idiots to boot! Yea I am one!

  35. Wow. I absolutely love both of those STR colorways. I haven’t used STR yet, but you’ve definitely inspired me to order some of their yarn (when I have money). I’ve already bought yarn for a mitered square blanket, which you also inspired me to knit. =)

  36. awesome socks, such lovely yarn.

  37. Love the monkeys! 🙂

  38. Clearly your feet loom large in more than just your ego. I just bought some STR in Seastone at MD S&W so perhaps it isn’t discontinued.

  39. Love the mini monkey!

  40. Just a thought, but with all that Acrylic and a crochet mood why not have a look a Jane’s afhgan at Yarnstorm (http://yarnstorm.blogs.com/knitblog/2007/04/scottish_dancin.html). What better way to use it all up! Love the monkey’s by the way – you managed to put me in a real monkey mood!

  41. Just a thought, but with all that Acrylic and a crochet mood why not have a look a Jane’s afhgan at Yarnstorm (http://yarnstorm.blogs.com/knitblog/2007/04/scottish_dancin.html). What better way to use it all up! Love the monkey’s by the way – you managed to put me in a real monkey mood!

  42. i wish you wouldn’t use that f____ word. It is really annoying, sorry, I guess I am old fashioned

  43. i wish you wouldn’t use that f____ word. It is really annoying, sorry, I guess I am old fashioned

  44. i wish you wouldn’t use that f____ word. It is really annoying, sorry, I guess I am old fashioned

  45. Not only is this a fun post. It also has a hidden “7 random things” meme:
    1. “I hate to throw up.”
    2. “I hate being hot almost more than anything.”
    3. “I have A LOT of STR in my stash.”
    4. “I’m 5’6″.”
    5. “I’m about a 7.5 or 8.”
    6. “I’ve turned into a factory.”
    7. “I’m an absolute idiot.”
    Is THIS your big secret?

  46. My plan involved math and fibonacci patterns and my grandmother’s recipe for afghans and intricate color combinations and it was all going to be SO GOOD.
    But what is your grandmother’s recipe for afghans?????
    We want to know.

  47. Ya know, those little things that are huge to us personally?? They really are huge to everyone! Even if we really don’t think so.
    I just found that out a couple weeks ago. And I’m sure you’ll find that out when you share your secret with us.