… A licky boom boom down.

(I apologize for having grown up in the 90s)

I know I sounded very confident when I laid out the Grumpecue plan, but in reality my overwhelming thoughts went something like, “You’re wasting your time, you have no freaking idea if this is going to work.”


I told the voices in my head to shut up and completed the first section. It looked… promising, so I allowed myself to become hopeful and plan the colors of the blanket. I knew each section would take 1.5 skeins, and after examining my stash of Hand Work Cora I came up with the following color plan:

No white in this blanket, I’m convinced it’s bad luck :).

Before I got a chance to proceed any further, Betty (en español), the informer that she is, sent me the following e-mail:

”Maybe you already know about this, but I received my copy of Montse Stanley’s Knitters Handbook, and today was looking through it when I spotted your Grumpecue! 🙂 It’s on page 104 in my edition, Fig. 2.113 (Short Rows chapter, Medallions). I think this is very funny! The book drawing even has the Curlicue garter lines!”

Sure enough, look at that!

By the way, I was extremely pleased to see so many great knitters list Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook as the best knitting book when answering Carolyn’s meme. I’m happy you have all discovered this gem of a resource – I’m in great company!

Betty’s e-mail prompted the biggest sigh of relief ever! So while waiting for yarn for my dad’s Sharfik, and while waiting for Sharfik to block, I knit and knit and kept on knitting the Grumpecue. Look at her now!

This is one of those situations where my plan is so fucking insane, that it might actually work. If Montse says it’s going to work, well, then it better!

Look at the color transitions, and at the waves that are formed at the joins – very pretty! I think they (along with the scalloped edge) feminize the blanket, which otherwise very much resembles a beach ball.

Now, kids, get out your calculator and your protractor, we’re about to talk a little Maths!

Having completed a little more than 3 sections of the Grumpecue, I wanted to double-check my modeling. Remember, I hypothesized that 6 Grumpecue sections would complete a 360° circle, but I based that prediction on Curlicue sections. Trusty protractor in hand, it actually seems to me that each section is coming out to be 65°, and that six such sections would therefore amount to 390°. Computer modeling confirmed my prediction.

Not to worry! I’m not much of a lace knitter, but I’ve certainly heard of “more than circular” shawls. This blanket is likely to become a “more than circular” blanket, and that’s just fine by me! Oh, and I now have a definite deadline for blanket completion – November 29th. Plenty of time! All good signs :).

And what of the Curlicue? I am still exchanging e-mails with Oat Couture, convincing them to take a closer look at the pattern. Apparently they haven’t been able to find any evidence to contradict what I’m saying – no yarn shops have sample-knit this pattern for display!

Then again, maybe in some instances it can work? For example, Betty didn’t have nearly as much trouble with her Curlicue as I did! Check out her before and after blocking pictures! (and click on them to be taken to the corresponding blog entries)


Amazing. Of course seeing the miraculous transformation made me question whether my Curlicue could be blocked into submission. Betty told me that she thinks even after the blanket is washed, it will not pucker (as much). Really? I’m intrigued! Would my cotton/acrylic yarn behave the same as her wool/acrylic yarn?

If I get a spare afternoon at some point, I may put the two-thirds-completed Curlicue to a two-step test. One: bind off what I currently have and block severely. If the Curlicue’s puckers are able to be blocked out, then I will move to step number two: machine-washing and drying the Curlicue to see if the puckers reappear (because I’m not interested in giving the mom-to-be a blanket that will distort after the first washing – no compromises).

Then again I’ve already offered to send the two-thirds completed Curlicue to the Oat Couture people as “evidence.” Ha!


53 thoughts on “Informer

  1. Kim

    Hehehehee.. I’m sorry but that unicorn thing did me in…

    …but then again almost anything is funny at 3AM.

    You’re going strong! I’m suprised you’ll even work on it with all the medicine in your system.. BRAVERY to the extreme!

    It’s lookin really good though! Yay!!

  2. betty

    Wow, it’s looking beautiful!

    …and by the way! I have the pattern in my hands! (evil grin). Now to find some yarn that suits!

  3. Cara

    Phenomenal! I’m LOVING it! Sometimes, I take out the pattern and just stare at it lovingly. One day, my pretty short rows, one day….

    Thanks for doing this. You give me great hope for the future.

    PS – Have you ever frogged short rows? I have and it’s really not that hard to get the short row back. Sure the first few times are a bitch, but then you just sort of see where the wrap is. I, of course, wouldn’t try it on Curlicue, but maybe you could play around with a swatch? Might take some of the pressure off. 😉

  4. Zarah

    Wow! That blanket is going to be beautiful. Keep sharing your struggles… it’s definitely a learning experience for you and for the rest of us!

  5. Cyndi

    Wow – sounds like kind of a stressful project. It is going to be so beautiful when you’re done though! You’re doing a great job so far, and I know that you can handle anything that Curlicue throws at you.

    PS – hope you feel better!

  6. Stephanie

    OMG – I almost had a heart attack too. I REALLY like this project and am so tempted, but I think I’ll wait until you finish it and see what you think and I still have Butterfly on my plate.

  7. jessica~

    I’ve been holding my breathe while reading your blanket posts. Just looking at the diagram is scary!

    It looks like you’ve got everything under control and the blanket looks wonderful!

  8. Allison

    Geez. I almost broke out in a sweat just reading that! I get that same panicky feeling when I think (or know) that I’ve messed up on a difficult project. A wave of heat rushes over me, I start to sweat and if my husband is in the room I say “do not talk to me. I’m about to perform a very delicate operation…” and I try to (as calmly as possible with my armpits wet) fix what needs to be fixed. STRESS!!! I’m so glad that yours turned out NOT to be a mistake! 🙂 The blanket looks beautiful!

  9. Angela

    Don’t you hate it when you freak yourself out like that? I had a moment like that a few days ago. But anyways, Curlicue looks AMAZING. I kind of want to make one myself now.. =)

  10. joanna

    Hi back! 😀 I think I might join you guys at True Grounds some time, I’ve been talking to Ariel about it… and I’m really looking forward to seeing the blanket in person!! Where are the other colors going to come in? (Assuming all the Hand Work Cora was for this project…)

  11. Wanda

    Oh my goodness, I was reading this like a horror novel, on pins and needles! I’m so glad you didn’t have to rip, that would scare me beyond belief. You are making progress and this blanket looks beautiful. I don’t know if this blanket will take until January. You definitely seem up to the challenge of knitting this baby blanket!

  12. marichan

    Who knew watching a blanket being knit could be so exciting? The blanket is coming out so beautifully and you will conquer it, I’m sure!

  13. Rachael

    Wow – looks great. You are approaching the halfway point already! Your knits are inspiring me to try something more challenging

  14. nona

    Amazing … not only that you’re tackling this short row masterpiece with all its turning, counting, and YOs, but that you’re doing it in public AND while you’re talking.

  15. Dani

    Sounds like you had a great time at the Knit out! I was working on Sunday, though I did get a chance to see lots of knitters on their way there 🙂 The blanket is looking amazing!

  16. Christie

    Geez…and I’m thinking I’m stressed about some stupid cable sweater and some freakin’ knitting fairies! Girl…You are a champ for taking that project on. I would have looked at it, said ‘that’s pretty’ and moved right along to some garter stitch.

  17. Ruth

    Oh, lordy, I almost had a heart attack just reading that! I think if I were knitting this blanket (and you’re tempting me, you really are), I’d be running a lifeline at the end of every section. With my luck, what started out as a little bit of frogging would rapidly turn into a huge pile of yarn waiting to be re-wound as I started again.

  18. kts

    I just have to tell you, that you have totally inspired me to make this blanket. I had my mother go out a buy it for me this weekend. I cannot wait to start it.. Regardless of the challenge!

  19. Emma

    Hi to you! I thought you must’ve thought I was a crazy person, coming up to you, saying I knew who you were because of your blog! But it was great to meet you in person! (And did I notice that you were wearing one of your so neatly hemmed jeans that I read about a while back?… I know, it’s scary the little things I notice sometimes…)

    The curlicue is looking great! Keep it up!

  20. Wannietta

    Great minds think alike! I really love the colours that you’ve chosen. I also admire youir perserverance and ingenuity – it’s why I keep coming back to read your blog!

  21. freecia

    A lady bought this pattern in our shop yesterday ( and I pointed to it and said “Curliecue!!! AUGH! This is a challenging project. Grumperina still has to read her pattern all the time and she’s one super-talented knit blogger can’t get hers to lie flat. It puckers and drives her nuts”. Then I showed her your blog just so she knew where to find a friendly ear.

    Come to think of it, I don’t want to be discouraging to anyone, but I’d have appreciated a warning myself before I started on something so large… (as would you, I’m sure)

    Should she achieve miracles and bring it back to show me that it does work, I’ll be sure to get her e-mail so you can ask how…

  22. Laura

    I’m excited now! Why–because my copy of Stanley’s book is on its way here and because both the Curlicue and the Grumpecue look like they are working out. I still have 6 months before I have to start and finish a blanket. I’ll continue to wait patiently.

  23. Christy

    I’ve had a similar experience to Betty’s. I have completed 13 sections of my Curlicue and when I lay it flat and smooth it, it looks great. I expect blocking to do wonders, even though it’s cotton yarn.

    Pictures of the 10 completed sections on my blog entry today.

  24. Marisa

    Funny, I always thought it was …a leaky boom boom now. 😉

    Love the colors of the Grumpecue. And the sharfik is lovely as well!

  25. yahaira

    I’m so glad you figured it out! So is one “beach ball” the whole blanket or a section of the blanket?

    Why do I want you to send oat couture the blanket to shoot them down? hrm

  26. lanea

    That song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the week, you evil evil woman. But I forgive you, because I’m loving the Maths! I am math impaired, so I find it fascinating to watch you fix that crazy puckering. Can’t wait to see the completed blanket.

  27. betty

    I’m sure your more than circular blanket will work out fine!

    I’ve taken a look at Christy’s Curlicue and it’s wonderful! No puckering! I’m wondering if maybe the acrylic blend was the problem? Because blocking did miracles to mine, but I wish it was as flat as hers!

  28. Purly Whites

    I just ordered the Montse book based on everyone’s raving about it and I remember that Figure. But did I put two and two together? Nope!

    I’m so glad this is working out. The colors are great and I love the edging. Keep us posted on the original curlicue. I’d be interested to see how the blocking and then washing test goes.

  29. Laura Neal

    I look at both pictures and I see the same thing, the blanket has issues. It just doesn’t seem to lay flat at all. It is one of those patterns that looks great on paper but, it won’t work when it is done. It is like the “hanger” dress, it looks wonderful on the hanger and then when it comes to wearing it, dog shit! I think this pattern falls in that range.

  30. Kim

    Ohhh- I just heard that song on the radio last week! Snow! I thought I had the cd somewhere, but I can’t find it now (is it hiding from shame?).

  31. zoe

    i just read your cabling wo a cable needle tutorial and tried it for myself. i love it! i’ve always disliked cabling, despite trying other sans cable needle techniques, but yours is too good! thank you!

  32. Kim

    Wow.. you sure are moving right along.. I’m pleased to know that you haven’t frogged your curlicue yet..

    Is it possible that upon washing the cotton in the yarn will relax and therfore unpucker? Hm..

    I’d like to think about it harder but I have “Informer” running in my head now.. thanks a lot! Lol.

    PS. You, lucky Ms. Grumperina, have been bestowed with the honor of my first comment from my brand new fancy silver laptop.. Ooooo.. don’t you feel special ; ) I’m proud of myself though.. I think I’m turning into that Maven thing you talk about in your 100 list. I got an unbelievable deal!

  33. gail

    Very, very cool. Based on your experience and that of Barcelona Betty I am very motivated to try the Curlicue myself, and the Grumpicue as well. I need to look through my stash. But I’ll start them after Christmas–too many presents on the needle at this point!

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